My presentation at last week’s Mono Lake Night Photography Festival was about the value of cultivating a diverse set of artistic influences. You are already doing this informally. The idea is to talk or write about your artistic input, as a playground for better understanding how these things are influencing your artistic output.
I had 45 minutes to talk, and spent just under 2 minutes talking about how each of these artists has influenced my night photography. As the presentation was both fast and media intensive, I’ve reproduced the list of artists below for those who attended the conference.
I encourage you to make your own list of influences. This could be a desert island list of your favorite films, photography books, novels, museum exhibits, dance performances — whatever you’re into. Making a list is the first step — the epiphanies are born out of process of articulating why you love this work, and how the work has influenced you. The writing doesn’t have to be lengthy — start with one sentence for the why, and one for the how. Have fun, and feel free to share your list.
Driving California SR 108 from Bridgeport up over Sonora Pass (9624 feet) on a lovely June day. The snow was still thick and the scenery was beautiful. The song is Climbing from Meat Puppets II. Thanks to Troy Paiva and Gabriel Biderman for a fun trip.
The first Paul’s Junkyard night photography workshop was a blast. At sunset on the second night, the owner cut a car in half, and then lifted another one in the air for us to photograph. I was tempted to dub dinosaur sounds over the video. Troy Paiva and I saw some amazing work during the critique sessions, and we’re looking forward to seeing more photos online soon. I’ll be featuring some photos right here on my blog, and also keep an eye on the Flickr group.
We’re planning to do another workshop at Paul’s in the fall. The April workshop sold out in less than a day. The best way to grab a spot is to get on our email notification list. We promise not to use your car to demonstrate how the giant metal cutter works.
Photographer Riki Feldmann and I attended the implosion of the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital yesterday in Oakland. Areas with a clear view along Keller Avenue were crowded with onlookers. We were very fortunate to share an excellent spot with a small group of government employees who were involved in selling the property to the developer SunCal and Lehman Brothers in 2005 for $100 million. We talked to a woman who was born in the hospital, and a few people who had worked there before it closed in 1996. I’ve seen plenty of abandoned places that I’ve photographed disappear, but have never seen one blown up. Quite an amazing experience. Here’s a gallery of night photographs of Oak Knoll.
Time-lapse technical details: I shot 12 minutes of HD video at 30fps with the Canon 5D Mark II and a 70-200/4L lens. The still frames were extracted from the video using QuickTime Pro. Every 10th frame was selected, and then re-imported into QuickTime Pro at 30fps. The time-lapse and video footage were then imported into iMovie, where titles and music were added. The music is The Waltz from the 1969 Art Ensemble of Chicago album Jackson in Your House/Message to Our Folks.
Time lapse technical details: A Ricoh GRD II was mounted on an OmniPod Camo-Pro7 Beanbag and placed on the dashboard. The camera was set to manual exposure and cloudy white balance. 1280 pixel jpegs were shot every 5 seconds for 1282 frames. Quicktime 7 Pro was used to create the time lapse at 6 frames per second, compressing an hour and 46 minutes down to about 3 and a half minutes. Titles and music were added in iMovie.