I found out that I was accepted into another exhibit. The Southeast Center for Photography in Greenville, SC started a membership program and decided to do a Members Show. The juror, Polly Galliard, selected this photograph of Anoush Anou, which I titled “Covered”. The exhibit opens on Friday, January 4. If the location sounds familiar, it is the same place that I showed last November. I am quite excited, and humbled, to have been selected for there again.
I can’t believe we are about to arrive at the end of Summer, 2018. WOW, where did it go?
This continues to be a terrific year. Deb and I spent a week in Cape May around July 4th. It was so much fun, good food, time in the ocean, and lots of fun activities and tours, including fireworks from both a boat and the top of the Cape May Lighthouse.
We also attended workshops at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. I’ve always studied with great photographers, this year I had the honor of attending “Intimate Portrait” led by Joyce Tenneson. She was fascinating as well as a lot of fun. In addition to the classroom and photography time, we got to see her work space in her home and a personal walk-through of an exhibit she had in Rockland, Maine. Our group worked well together and are keeping in touch.
Since returning I have continued photographing in my body abstraction series as well as portraits and fashion images, working on building that portfolio.
I was also pleased to be accepted into a group exhibit at Transformations Gallery for their Doors, show. I am also now photographing some local public art installations for the Metuchen Downtown Alliance, both as they are being created and after completion.
It looks like the Fall will be no less busy, so stay tuned.
As a photographer, this post will be almost all words.
Dual Vision came down a few weeks ago. It was a great opportunity for my partner, Deb Kmetz, and I to showcase work we made, curated, framed, and hung together. One photograph sold, but it was seen by all the people who passed through the Old Franklin Schoolhouse, in Metuchen, since January, and there were a lot! We tried to attend many of the public events and got some terrific feedback.
We were also part of two group exhibits organized by Charu Bakshi and her Earth Studios. We again sold work in those exhibits. We hope to be involved in more of those soon. We are also in an exhibit that was part of the Metuchen Art and Music Festival, the revised Junebug ArtFest, in the Rotunda Gallery at Metuchen Borough Hall. MetFest, as it became known, was a great success. I again organized the visual artists and made photographs during the 10 hours of the festival.
My work with models continues. I have updated many of my galleries on this site with current work. Deb and I will be doing some traveling soon including a trip to Maine Media Workshops where I will study portraiture with Joyce Tenneson, who juried the exhibit in South Carolina I was in back in November, while Deb attends one dealing with connection to place.
There is more to come, some photography wise and some personal. That will wait for another day!
Life really has been busy! After 41 1/2 years at my day job, I retired in December. Since then there has been a lot going on, all good.
I have been involved in two amazing exhibits. One, "Dual Visions", is a joint exhibit with my partner Deb Kmetz. It contains 18 photographs we made during our trip to the Palm Springs Photo Festival in May, 2017. Originally we expected to show how two people can be together yet produce quite different work. In the end we found that the work has much more in common. The exhibit opened in January and continues until the end of April, 2018.
I was also selected to submit an image to a local exhibit, "Return to Love" at Earth Studios. My photograph, "Love Emerges from Darkness", received much interest at the opening. That exhibit will be until the end of February.
I have also been continuing my work with models. Use your cursor to scroll through these images.
And of many local events and area landscapes. Use your cursor to scroll through these images.
There are many interesting things on the horizon. More about those as they get close or occur.
For a few years I vowed to start entering more exhibit opportunities. As I mentioned in recent blog posts, I've had some success this year. As an artist with the usual impostor syndrome fears, this seems quite impossible.
At the end of July I saw a call from the Southeast Center for Photography for an exhibit titled "Intimate Portrait". The juror for this was Joyce Tenneson, the amazing portrait photographer and teacher. I decided to enter and see what would happen.
Today I received notification that she accepted a nude, natural light portrait of model Keira Grant, a regular subject of mine, titled "Keira Backlit".
The photograph was made early in the morning on the private property of Chris M. Day, a photographer from Monroe Township, NJ.
For those living nearby, the opening will be on Friday, November 3, 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the Center.
Since I originally wrote this, the Center has posted all of the photographs on their web site.
I realized that I had never posted about this year's Metuchen Junebug ArtFest. It was another successful year for the festival with good crowds, even on the week when it rained while we had the street closed.
My personal highlight was winning first prize in the Curators' Choice of the store Windows Gallery. As last year, when I got third prize, two Metuchen residents, who are museum curators, judged the 22 windows and awarded prizes to the top three. This was quite an honor and was completely unexpected. The images were of the ruins at Salton Sea Beach, just after sunrise. In the chaos of the ruins, the morning light revealed an odd sense of beauty. I have submitted these photographs to other contests so I'll see if others feel the same about them.
I received word today that one of my photographs, above, was accepted into an exhibit at Nails in the Wall, the gallery at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Metuchen, NJ. For their fifth anniversary show they chose the theme "GOD in the abstract" and used outside jurors for the first time. Phoebe Pollinger, owner of PMP Art LLC, an art consulting firm, and Harry Simon, owner of the Simon Gallery, had the task of reviewing 300 entries and selecting around 30 for the exhibit. The photograph, of Hanna, is titled "Let There be Light".
The exhibit will open on Saturday, September 23 with a reception from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 17 Oak Ave. Metuchen, NJ 08840. I look forward to discussing the photograph with many of you then.
In early May, Deb Kmetz and I attended the Palm Springs Photo Festival in California. It offered us a chance to not only participate in many different conference events, but also the opportunity to photograph unique landscapes, very different from those near our homes in New Jersey.
Arriving on the Saturday before, we got up early the next morning, although not too difficult since our bodies were still on New Jersey Time, to photograph sunrise at the Salton Sea. It is a beautiful but odd place that led to many terrific images.
I attended a workshop with Greg Gorman, a photographer of celebrities and art nudes. His instruction and critiques were terrific. Even in the short period we were together I believe we all learned quite a bit. Deb studied with Brooke Shaden, another of the fantastic presenters who were all so giving of their time.
The week ended for us with a trip to Joshua Tree National Park, another for sunrise. This is a location where everywhere you go the view is different, and also beautiful. In the end we spent about 12 hours in and around the park. Before leaving for the flight home we also visited a local botanical garden where I made my first hummingbird photographs, a subject that is a passion for Deb, and took a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which offers another unique experience.
I have added a gallery to the main part of this site with many more photographs of all parts of the trip.
In the end only the photograph above wound up in the initial exhibit. However, it tuned out pretty good in the end.
The next exhibit went up this past week. The original image has remained in the space and the two above were added. These are both of Theresa Manchester, another professional model with whom I worked quite a few times. She is also a terrific photographer so please check out her photographs.
I'm already in conversation with the curator about work to hang for the next exhibit, sometime this fall.
Last Autumn, the employee cafeteria where I work was rebuilt. When it opened the dining room was full of beautiful abstract art. The artist, Mariyah Sultan, is a part-time employee of the company and is also responsible to curate future exhibits in the space. The first of these is a photography group show of work by employees. After a period of working out what work and sizes would be accepted, those of us participating will be delivering photographs this week. I will have two pieces in the exhibit.
The first is an abstract composition of a doorway of an old, currently abandoned, building at Sandy Hook, NJ, made in May, 2016. We decided it actually worked better cropped and rotated and will be presented 11"X17", plus the frame which the company will provide.
The second is part of a series I am working on of body elements of models with incense smoke. This one, of Erica Jay was made in June, 2016. It had been her suggestion to use incense smoke some months earlier, so I finally had the opportunity work on this with her. This image, presented 16"X20", again plus the frame, was one of the last of that session. This is a size I can not print at home, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the image works at that scale.
I am excited for this opportunity. If they decide to have an opening, to which I can invite people, I'll post about that.
As I get back into creating new work with models, I recently reconnected with two professionals with whom I hadn't photographed in a while.
At a series of group photography sessions, held for many years in Metuchen, NJ, I met Rebecca Lawrence in early 2009. After working together there several times we began doing private sessions. Much of that was at the studio I use regularly. For this shoot we decided to use a different location, Fovea Studios, in Brooklyn, NY.
One of the things I realized, is how important it is to create with paid, professional models and more than just once. Paying models allows me to make the images I want, although model input is always welcome. The model is more present being treated as the professional most of them are. With multiple collaborations I find a comfort and trust that allows for more interesting creativity. I look forward to more of these as well as first sessions with models new for me.
It has been since July when I last posted, sorry, but there has been a lot going on. I sold my house and moved to a terrific apartment in Metuchen, NJ. This puts me closer to the arts community I have grown to love. I also went through a medical issue that is now behind me. I also have something very personal that is fantastic!
In August I attended another workshop at the Maine Media Workshops. "The Narrative Portrait" with Amy Arbus was an incredible learning experience. Her direct and informative critiques has fired up a love of story telling through portraiture. I am looking for subjects so feel free to let me know, through the form on my contact page, and we can talk about setting something up.
Since things have settled down I have been photographing again with some new work on most of the pages on this site. Please browse through them and see what you can discover.
I now have some work hanging at Cai's Cafe in Metuchen so please take a look when you are there enjoying their terrific coffee, hot chocolate, and treats.
I have another exciting opportunity, which I will talk about when it is finalized :-)
This was an exciting year for me at the annual Metuchen Junebug ArtFest. For a couple of the weeks I photographed the events, many posted on the event web site, and others I had my usual sidewalk display as you can see in the photograph above, made by Deb Kmetz.
In addition, I showed some work in the Metuchen Public Library Gallery and in the Main Street Metuchen window of Carpet Maven II. As in the past, the participating Window Galleries are involved in several awards. One of these, the Curators' Choice, is judged by Sharon and Chris Atkins, Metuchen residents for the past three years and curators at major regional art museums. My display received the third place award. The images involved are shown above (please click on them to scroll through all six). In commenting on this selection Sharon and Chris wrote "We were struck by Mark’s delicately abstracted photography of details of the human body. We especially enjoyed his focus on hands – as central to his display at Carpet Maven, and as vehicles for exploring craftsmanship more broadly." Needless to say, this is a great honor and I am thrilled with the recognition. I hope to meet with them soon to express this in person.
I am honored to have this photograph of Shasta Wonder included in the Maine Media Workshop book "Exquisite Corpse Volume Two: Extended Play". For more information about the concept and the book, and to order your own copy, click on the book title.
This is very exciting. I look forward to seeing my own copy of the finished book to see this photograph relating to the others submitted.
Note that some images below contain nudity and are NSFW.
As 2016 seems to rush by, I have been collaborating with a number of models I've worked with before. This has me revisiting some ideas I started playing with before in addition to continuing on my portrait studies.
After experimenting with candle smoke in January, I wondered how it would work against the bodies of my subjects. Erica Jay, a model and friend, suggested trying smoke from incense since it was longer lasting and has no open flame. It also leaves the studio smelling great. As you can see in the images above it has been interesting. The lighting is the trick and is still evolving, so stay tuned for more.
I also have always been interested in silhouettes. With some better tools, and more experience, I decided to give them a try again. The above, click through to see them all, are a few examples of recent attempts.
With many more sessions booked in the next few months, I look forward for more of these and whatever else comes into my head.
As I noted previously, I had two photographs accepted into "Sacred Spaces/Holy Places" at "Nails in the Wall Gallery" at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Metuchen, NJ. The exhibit will run until mid-May. The opening was postponed a week because of the 28" of snow we got last week!
The two images are shown above. The photograph of the pregnant Katya, from November, 2014, represents the source of all human life. Here her womb is the sacred space where this miracle is carried out. In the other, Inna is found outdoors, on a beach, the place where land meets the sea. She experiences the joy of this place while exposed to it. Made just before sunset, a time when many reflect on the day completed. Please click the images to scroll between them.
On the night of the snow, after attempting unsuccessfully to get ahead of my shoveling, I decided to play photographically. In the past people have commented that some of my body abstractions resembled candle smoke. I set up a candle, my flash with barn doors, and the camera with a macro lens. Some results are above. Please click the images to scroll through the full set. I used limited depth-of-field here and expect to try more of these, correcting that, soon.
I was honored to have two photographs accepted into the next exhibit at "Nails in the Wall" Gallery at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Metuchen, NJ. The opening of "Sacred Spaces/Holy Places" will now be on Saturday, January 30 from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss the work with the attendees.
I also added some new images to this site including a few samples of photographs I made on Christmas morning when, due to unusually warm weather, we had beautiful, thick fog.
As we reach the end of another year, which seems to have gone by too fast, I thought I would reflect on some of my things photographically from the past 12 months. I discussed many of these in detail on previous posts and hope you'll look back on those for details and links.
I travelled, not for a class, for the first time specifically to create photographs. I made some terrific work as well as contacts, which I hope will result in some interesting photographs soon. I continued with the body abstractions which I showed in a number of locations. The feedback was terrific and these exhibits led to some fascinating discussion. The Junebug ArtFest and Eat, Drink, and Buy Art were fun again. Although there weren't many direct sales, they resulted in immediate or future possibilities, including a few headshot sessions. One of these was with a fellow commuter who has bad experiences with photo sessions in the past and was happy enough with the experience to recommend me to friends. I attended another class at the Maine Media Workshops which added skills to my toolbox which has helped with these headshot sessions. I am now in the process of preparing prints for a local exhibit which hangs in January. I am also waiting to hear from a submission I made in October for possible publication. I also continued to document local events including monthly Open Mic Nights.
I returned to photographing portraits, clothing, and jewelry. This has been fun and is something I will continue to explore along with more of the study of the body abstractions.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, whatever you celebrate, and a great beginning to 2016.
After a wonderful studio session last weekend I spent a few days this week at PhotoPlus Expo. For those not familiar to this conference, it is an annual gathering for photographers, now sponsored by Photo District News magazine. It takes place at the Jacobs Javitz Convention Center on the west side of New York City. Most of the major players in the industry display their products and have professional users talk about their experiences.
The Palm Springs Photo Festival run a series of portfolio reviews. I learned a lot last year and participated again, showing a mix of my body abstractions and some of my portraits. I got instructive and useful comments and some ideas on how to make the work more visible. I have recently submitted work for a couple of things from which I should hear soon. I'll let everyone know!
Next week is the PDN PhotoPlus Expo Conference at the Javitz Center in New York. It was at that conference a year ago where I was presented with the award for winning the till photography Maine Media Workshops/Zeiss Precision Image Competition. As I have commented before, this not not only provided me with the most incredible tools for my photography but the opportunity to attend another class at the Maine Media Workshop with a tuition scholarship.
I have continued making photographs using these tools and the information I gathered in the classes I have attended over the years. In the last couple of months I added to my body abstractions as well as my portraits, including images of a male model. In the photographs above, please click in the image frame to scroll through all of them, I have included some that are now in my print portfolio. I will be attending a day of reviews again this year, prior to this year's Maine Media Workshops/B&H party where the winners of this years Precision Image Competition will be named.
I look forward to seeing many friends at the conference and surrounding activities. Please comment and let me know if you are also attending Wednesday or Thursday, and we'll try to get together.