Monday, December 29, 2008

Rabbitholes and Revelations

It is finally up on my website. The new series "Rabbitholes and Revelations" has come to an end...

or has it?

Monday, December 1, 2008

out of disappointment comes...

Trying to photograph others along with me has always been challenging but nothing has been so much so until this season's attempt at re-shooting a 2 year old idea. About a month ago now, I tried reshooting it. Well, the resulting images didn't thrill me at all. I hated knowing that I had to round up these models (or others) again since it took so long to get them all in one day as it was. Who had to work, who got sick at the last minute, etc. They were many cancelations and re-schedules. Luckily, I work with some gracious people and they were more than happy to try again...in the cold no less. Today was the scheduled shoot. It poured.....I had to cancel...again.

I didn't want to not shoot though so I decided to play around with a couple of ideas indoors. I shot 3 rolls of black and white with a shallow depth of field to blur out the background but here is a digital test shot that is all pretty sharply focused. Not too shabby, maybe?

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's good to have goals

Yesterday's photo shoot was challenging. There were 5 models and me and the use of some of my models as my assistants. Thank Goddess most are artists themselves and understood the difficulties of such a shoot. Today, I will develop the 6 rolls of film with my fingers crossed in hopes I have at least 2-3 outstanding images. You see, I've made a promise to myself that yesterday's shoot will conclude this series I've been working on for 3 years. Last Thursday was spent focusing and really zero-ing in on what to include in the body of work. The film I am about to develop should have the images that will fill those empty spaces.

I also began work on the new page for the website. I want to have both aspects complete within the next 2 weeks. Then it's time to contact some people and hope I can solidify an exhibit.

On a side note: The beautiful Danae - 14 year old girl whom I've known for at least 5 or 6 years now is truly growing into the most gorgeous young lady. I'm not surprised. I've been photographing her sister Karissa since she was her age now and she is equally as gorgeous. I will certainly be doing a studio shoot with them as soon as I can. Here is a photo of her and one of me composing for a shot with my male model Matt:


Monday, October 6, 2008

a few test shots

Thanks to my colleague and former professor J.H., I have found a new photographic location. I shot 3 rolls of film today to get a feel for the place. I'm not sure how much potential it has yet, but it is fairly secluded. Here are a couple of bad digital test shots. I felt safe inside and I believe I can spend a significant amount of time there to explore ideas. We'll see what happens.




I also will be adding work to my website by month's end, I hope. I need to show SOMETHING.

Goodnight....

Monday, August 25, 2008

New image

Only a few new images are popping out at me right now. This is one of them - Whenever I shoot in the woods while there is bright sunshine, there is always spotty light and it is frustrating. I try to be conscious of it and this particular day, I did the shoot without an assistant. I am amazed that the lighting actually worked in my favor in this image and gave it a painterly look. I am pleased.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sometimes....

I can be very stubborn. OK, I am a Taurus so LOTS of times I am. There were some brutally honest remarks about my work from some people when I was over in Houston. One that I hesitantly agreed with (damn bull!) is that I tend to shoot at similar distances and views in most of my work. I will whine and say that part of it is that it is a challenge when I am setting everything up myself to shoot in many different angles. If I was photographing something else where I had camera in hand, then, of course, it is easier to change view. However, in being completely honest with myself, I do think that a part of it is due to a comfort zone that I have created. I need to push that aspect a bit but what I don't want to do is lose the integrity of my work simply because the views of me "have" to be different than what they have been. Still, the commentary, as I said, is very valid and I have noticed myself thinking about it more when I do set up the tripod.

And with that in mind, I have done a couple of shoots within the last few weeks. I plan to develop the film tomorrow. In addition,. the weather here on Long Island has been gloriously cool today with the promise of the same tomorrow, so I may also go out shooting afterward. If not tomorrow, then definitely Sunday. I am feeling very inspired to do so, more than usual, which is always a blessing to me. Seriously, there are days when I fear that I will wake up and lose all motivation to create. I don't know why I have such thoughts, but they do occur. Must ask therapist about that one (wink).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Eureka!

Illuminated journey idea trashed; new concept brewing; think Alice in Wonderland.........

Very excited by new turn of events!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

errr.....

OK, so it's been awhile. Nothing new to report except that I am reworking my illuminated series, shooting a little bit and...well that's about it.

I did find some inspiration looking at the work of this Polish photographer: http://sarachmet.carbonmade.com (somehow I can't create a link to it - hmm......)

By summer's end, I will post some new images here, more importantly a new reworked piece.

Stay cool!

Monday, May 5, 2008

You say it's your birthday

Well, it's my birthday, too. In fact, I have about 3 hours left of my day and I am the proud owner of a brand new Bogen/Manfrotto tripod (the "oohs and ahhs are appropriate here). I opted for the 488RC4 head and 190XB legs. The tripod I've been using for the last 9 years or so was a gift from my sister and was ok at the beginning, but I needed something more.

I hope to do some shooting in the next few weeks. Our camping trip has been postponed due to inclement weather, so off to Boston we will go.

Stay tuned.....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

the months flying by......

It's already close to the end of April. I'm noticing as I get older, how quickly time really does fly. I remember hearing that from the elderly when I was young, rolling my eyes up and thinking they are just a bit batty, but no, they weren't. Next month, I will be 39 years old. One more year before I am officially middle aged......Middle age!! (gulp)

Enough of that. Next month also brings my 2 year wedding anniversary. The Husband and I are going camping up by the Delaware River. That was where I shot my Outdoor series back in '98 and '99. I don't think we will be going back to the same exact spots, which is fine, but I will be doing a reunion shoot on those 2 days. It will be nice to see what new ideas come to mind now, almost 10 years later.

In the meantime, I've put the Illuminated Journey series on the back burner just temporarily. The amount of feedback and suggestions I received from the work was so overwhelming, that I need to take a breather. I've also been a little ill as of late with the return of my diabetes, so I need to get that under control before tackling another direction with work that has taken me 2 years to complete.

I did re-edit the Hope and Shrouded series on my website, however. I needed to re-scan negatives for a slide presentation I was to give at a local college, and upon doing so, I noticed images that were stronger than others. I also took others out. I'm not sure there is anything too different, but the images I've added have become my favorites now. Here is one from the Hope series.

And that about sums things up for now. Stay tuned for a post post-camping excursion.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Houston Fotofest 2008

Got back on Saturday from my first run at Houston Fotofest. I will say it was an interesting experience. For those of you that don't know what it is, it is one of 2 or 3 fine art photography events in the US right now. Mainly, it is an intensive portfolio review with curators, galleries, publishers and collectors from around the world.I recommend an artist interested in going to already be an exhibiting, mature artist needing this as the next step in the promotion aspect. I met a 21 year old who clearly needed to work at it for a few years before attempting something like this.

Anyway, I got such a wide array of opinions on my work, it really will take time to let the dust settle and figure out what is the next step. However, the good news is that I landed an exhibition in Amsterdam - probably in the next year, and possibly one in England again. That would be great, because it will then be my 3rd exhibit in the UK. The woman from the Amsterdam gallery was so excited and passionate about my black and whites, she could barely contain herself. After she gushed on how wonderfully romantic they are, she said, " Oh! You have made my day with these!" I asked her if I could bring her home with me. :D

In addition to the actual event, I met some amazing artists, and became part of a great group of people that were not only talented, but provided to be such a good support system. It is definitely needed in this context as everyone is there for the same reason.

There are other events like this, as I stated. There is Photo Lucida in Portland, OR and next year is the next one, which I am considering doing. There are 2 in Europe, Rhubarb, Rhubarb in the UK and Recontres d'Arles in France, which I believe are held during the same month, so if I ever get the money to go there, it would be worth it - 2 for the price of one.

In the meantime, I will post some pics here of the Houston trip and will need time to rethink the illuminated manuscript pieces. I certainly didn't get the response I thought I would, and there was a general consensus that the imagery was stronger that the supporting text/artwork. Lots to think about....





Monday, March 3, 2008

yay

Well if it isn't about freakin' time!

My Illuminated Journey series is finally up on my website. Naturally, the work looks different (and much better!) in person, than on the web but, it's a reasonable facsimile. I've also given the site an overall minor facelift, including 2 newer images on the Outdoor series page,a "Reviews" page, and updated "News". Go check it out and feel free to email me with comments, questions, etc.

www.annmarietornabene.net



Next week is Houston Fotofest where I will be with the illuminated journey and outdoor portfolios. Wish me luck and if anyone reading this will be there from the 11th - 15th, look me up :)

Friday, February 1, 2008

it's february....


First, a photo. I did a photo shoot on Sunday outside. It was about 30 degrees out and there was ice and some snow on the ground. I had to do the shoot then because I need the images for the medieval series for March. I froze but tried not to think about it. My hands and feet had no feeling in them for about 20 minutes and then for another 5 once we got back in the car but I think it was worth it.

By the way, the soft focus occurred by a filter I had on my lens that had clear nail polish on it. The only enhancement here is the sepia tone a la Photoshop.


Now I'd like to add some excerpts from my analog journal that I did while I waited to be called for jury duty.

In my own statements regarding digital vs. film photography, these are my thoughts. You can either share them or debate them, it's fine.

I don't shoot digitally for my serious work because I like the anticipation building up of what I will see when I develop the film. If I get one great shot on the roll of film, I am happy, however, I have frequently gone back to film from past, looking at images that I thought of as rejects at the time, or images that I have simply overlooked. I may print it now, looking at it much differently. One wouldn't do that with digital, unless one saves every single frame one shoots, which rarely happens. The convenience of digital shooting is the ability to delete. Deletion is also often done too quickly, without much thought, though. Sometimes that can be instinctual and a good thing, but then one never knows...

There are times when I really rather feel the camera in my hands; the physicality of "shooting", rather than setting the camera up on a tripod and using a cable release. I still enjoy photographing others. Looking through the viewfinder at someone's face, allows me the freedom to stare and admire. I can study expressions, mouth movements, lines and wrinkles without appearing as a "weirdo". Photography seems to be a legitimate form of voyeurism. People tend to feel uncomfortable when you look at them, but can feel good and confident when a camera is pointed at them. They suddenly feel some sense of worth. I tend do think that way when I am photographed.

I may have posted this but I will write it again:

Some honest reasons why I photograph myself:

I am interested in interpreting things in my life in a romantic, dramatic, beautiful way. I want to pose and be "different" than I am every day. It's also somewhat easier to be my own model. I am readily available and I don't have to give direction or explain my motives (unless I am with other models). I know what I look like, for the most part, and what would or would not work photographically. Having said that, I am also intrigued by what I do discover in expressions and poses that I feel and instinctively make and am unaware of until I see the image.

Before I can begin to understand those people around me, I need to understand myself. There is certainly an amount of vanity and ego involved that makes the act of photographing myself not just important, but essential to my well-being. It sates my need for attention. I feel I can photograph and exhibit myself to gain a certain amount of respect and artistic credibility. There is that validation and justification of it.

Are my images too sweet? Perhaps on the surface, they are. Looking deeper, I see more. I believe others do as well. In all of the reviews I've had of my work, the common denominator has been surprise and pleasantly shocked at the beauty from such a large woman. Yes, that is the initial response, but now that much of my work is not necessarily nude, I do hope reviewers probe deeper.

More to come soon. I am in the process of a few more medieval pieces before the Houston trip. I keep saying that I will end the series with 20 but I'm not sure the word "end" is appropriate. I still think I need to resolve things and Goddess knows that life does not get resolved in just 2 years :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Molly

This beautiful young woman is an art student at one of the local universities that I model at. One glance at her and I knew she was Julia Jackson (Virginia Woolf's mother) incarnate. I had to photograph her...(top photo is Molly. Bottom is Julia Jackson photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron)