Little Change Of Heart...

After I decided to enter fewer shows here came a couple that looked interesting and sharing is kinda what photographers do. I must have forgotten. One show from the New York Center for Photographic Art is asking for entries on the theme, “Patterns and Shadows.” Right down my alley. (Click Through)

The shows at APG and Mason Fine Art are up and look good. I think Alan Avery did a great job choosing for the “Alan Avery Selects” show at the Atlanta Photography Group.

Addendum …

We attended the opening of the “Alan Avery Selects” show last evening. It was very well attended. I was really pleased to see four photographers from the SSPG included. I got to see many of the members of the “Nexus” group which included my major professor at GSU, John MacWilliams. I was a member of that group for a short time. They are interesting, talented people and they did the community here a great service.

Today, October 19, 2019, Alan Avery will give a Juror’s Talk at 1:30. It’ll be interesting to hear. Alan owns and operates the oldest art gallery in Atlanta.


The South Street Photography Group had our year-end exhibition ay Mason Fine Art last evening. (I’ll add photos of the hanging exhibit later.) I can only guess at the number of photographs this 54 represents. I must have shot thousands since January and I’m sure the other group members did as well. We posted what we liked of our work month to month and brought prints to monthly meetings. These framed displayed works are the result of those months of work.

I think Chip will probably “do it again.” If and when he does do we need to push to gain ground in the understanding of what we do?

The Unexpected...

A friend of mine and I went out last evening photographing. We thought we would go to a particular well known neighborhood but first I wanted to check out the Buddhist Temple south of our house on Boulevard. We had no way of knowing there had been a celebration there which ended just before we arrived. There were people everywhere in a place I had only seen as sort of dormant in passing. We’ve lived in Grant Park for 40 years and, although I knew the temple was there, I had never wandered in. I walked through the gate and asked the first person I saw if it was alright for us to come in, immediate yes and the answer to the “May we photograph?” question was positive as well. It didn’t take long until we realized that we were among the friendly people I remembered from my time in The Republic of Vietnam… all Americans with Vietnamese heritage. There was food. We were handed water, watermelon, oranges, apple slices, Vietnamese “Jello,” and peaches, some to eat, some to take home.

Then there was an “event.” My friend got stung by a wasp. He is allergic to stings. Fortunately he had benedryl with him. As soon as I told our hosts what had happened we were given ice for his hand, a place to sit quietly and the offer of an “epi” pen. We stayed quite a while as he got better. Meanwhile we were educated about the routine of the temple. I gave TraMy Nguyen my email so that we could begin to keep up with the goings on there. She is the President of VAC USA (Vietnamese American Community) and President of VAC GA. Everyone was so nice to us… as I remembered. In the conflict in Viet Nam we were in their country, really messing it up but I never saw resentment on the part of our Vietnamese neighbors. I left that country in a melancholy state wondering what would happen to all of them. I hope some of them found the happy place the people we visited Sunday have found.

I made mostly snapshots. That was fine. I’m just glad everybody got back to normal. Believe me, we’ll see the folks at the temple again.



The South Street Photography Group will be having a show at Mason Fine Art in the fall of 2019 and we’re getting ready for it. This has been a very productive year for all of us. I’ve photographed a much wider variety of subjects and been into places I seldom go, if ever. Probably would not have happened without the group and Chip’s leadership.

The space requires us to limit the number of pieces we exhibit to four. Making the selection has been difficult. Some say it’s because all our creations are our children… bit sentimental but with a grain of truth. To choose ten I culled the year’s images to 86, then down to 48, then to 20, finally to 10. Chip will pick from the ten for a final four.

The final four. (click through)

The way they’ll be seen.



We’ve been wandering, albeit in a rather organized way. Germany to France and finally to Italy.

The photographs vary widely as one might expect given the subject matter. Now we’re here in Pietrabuona, home.

We went through the Leica factory in Wetzlar, to Cologne and a couple of great art musems. To Namur, I had never heard of it but it was halfway between Cologne and Paris and turned out to be a nice city and interesting. Then to Paris, me for the first time. The people were kind, helpful, never rude. How is that? I’ve heard nothing for years but how rude the Parisians were. Not so much.

After 10 days or so in Paris we went to Lyon, Torino and here, with a sigh of relief, not because we didn’t enjoy those cities, it’s just peaceful, quiet and familiar.

After a while to Mantova, Graz, Vienna, Erding then home to Atlanta.

(Click through.)

Wonder bread...

Later this week we should have a brick bread/pizza oven in the back yard. After travels to Italy, mostly, I realized that with rare exceptions we don't have bread much here. There are local places in Atlanta that do a good job but I think it has to come from home. Tuscan bread is saltless so the ingredients are flour, yeast and water... how difficult can it be? It's quite difficult to do well. And after using the Bosch for years with a pizza stone I concluded the road to good bread was making it the "old fashioned way."

I found a company in Australia, Melbourne actually (Ben Guilford), that makes  "kits," several, different sizes and characteristics. It has been an adventure in the construction. I have a really good stone mason to work with and after a "reset" to be more specific and follow the directions to a tee, the oven is coming into being. It's a beautiful thing as well. I've made photographs along the way and I'll share them as time permits and after I get them organized a bit.

In addition to the bread products you can cook most things that require an oven. Looking forward to the discovery.


Two roads...

I've decided to change direction a bit. I'm going to photograph for myself mostly and not enter shows as much. I've established an Instagram presence. If that seems to be rewarding after a while I'll continue. I'm not really sure how my photography is being received and, at 77, I wonder if I'm being indulged. Then too, after these years of making images I look at "contemporary" photography and a lot of it seems distant from the art. So the "Exhibitions and Awards" section will be briefer, I suppose, but the work will go on.


Thoughts on my photography...

You know, like where it's going, for instance.

Historically I've been an "art" photographer since 1967. That's when I started to learn the processes and came under the influence of Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Gene was never cruel but he had an eye for craft standards and an aversion to making the same photographs over and over. Not to say he never followed a theme now and again but sunsets, cats in windows and reflections in still waters didn't show up much.

My budget in the early days was limited... very limited. If I hadn't been able to pick up great equipment while I was in Vietnam I doubt I could have continued. The only real trouble having no money caused was not having presentation materials, mounting board, things like that. But the condition forced extreme scrutiny concerning what I did print. Worked out OK.

Since those early days in Kentucky I've always photographed "my stuff" but I also had to contribute to the household income which meant working, sometimes at photography. I had a string of photography based jobs from Maisel Photochrome to Georgia Tech finally to Grafica, Inc. as a graphic designer and a photographer. Only since "retirement" have I been totally concentrated on my own work. Here is what I have found to be the world of photo.

Success in art photography is as much about who you know as anything. I would like to say it helps to be proficient in the craft but that's not consistently true. After you have a fairly extensive portfolio, or big stack of photographs, you can start entering shows around town or around the country. You pay an entry fee, usually $35 to $50 to enter from 3 to 8 images. If you're accepted you have to print, mat and frame the selected images and then get them to the show on time. There is a juror, maybe two or three, besides the gallery owner or museum curator of photography. I'm never sure who makes the final decisions or if there is a "this is the way it is" session before the judging begins, but I'm seeing some strange selections, mediocre photographs, bad craft, sameo-sameo. For people who are the movers and shakers in the world of museum quality photography very often the images chosen I've seen many times before.

Of course you can hope that exposure to the same jurors after a while might call attention to your work once they've chosen it, not so much. The "blind"system could guard against that kind of recognition, if it does... The goal for most serious photographers, all the while, is gallery representation or a museum show, purchase by a museum, maybe a book...

I conclude, you must do it for the love of it.

New Ground... The Influence of The South Street Photography Group

There are a couple of rather maligned words in our language, maligned because they are often misread as punishment and belittlement, the words discipline and critique. The concepts these words represent, especially in art, are desirable and necessary. Without discipline the basics are confounding, repeatability or the development of style become impossible. Critique, that requires trusting another artist or group of artists to be as objective as possible and at least illuminate the road if not travel with you, can become the tool that moves an artist forward, helps them see themselves and their work more clearly, provides a path for creation and improvement in craft. South Street has become that for me, critique. The discipline part is a tenet of my existence.