Call for Your Favorites of 2018

Snæfellsjökull, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I just posted my own favorites of 2018, and now I’d like to publish yours! If you’d like to be included, send me a jpeg (and a link, if you so desire) to jim@jimnickelson.com. I’ll be making the post of all the submissions near the end of this month. I love seeing the wide variety of great work that people inevitably submit, so I hope you participate!

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Full Moon January 2019, with bonus eclipse!

“Blood Moon”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

As you have likely heard, the full moon for January is going to be an exciting one! The full moon will occur Sunday night and here in North America we’ll see a total lunar eclipse (as depicted in my photograph from a few years ago above). Now, I say we’ll see the lunar eclipse, but of course you have to avoid having clouds in between you and the moon, and here in New England that is looking unlikely. But you never know…

If the skies cooperate, you can see the eclipse on the East Coast from about 10:30 pm until 1:45 am, with the eclipse being total from about 11:30 to 12:30. Unlike a solar eclipse, you can watch a lunar eclipse with your naked eyes.

You may have seen references to this being a Blood Moon, a Wolf Moon, and a supermoon…the Blood Moon refers to the eclipse (and the color the moon often turns, based on atmospheric conditions), the Wolf Moon is a very common name for the January full moon, and a supermoon means that the moon is a bit closer in its orbit and appears 5-10% larger in the sky than is average.

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Photography in Maine January 2019

Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I’m starting a new series of monthly posts that cover photography exhibits in the state of Maine. Let me know if you find it useful — I hope so, as I haven’t found a site yet that does this. For Boston and some of greater New England, I recommend the What Will You Remember blog for exhibit lists and reviews. If you have an exhibit you’d like me to publicize, please let me know as well. For January, this is what I’ve found so far…

Portland Museum of Art, Portland. The big photography show is Richard Avedon: Portraits, 1952-1970, which is a must-see (that I haven’t yet seen!). You and I both have until June 16th to see it. The Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago exhibit also includes photography and extends until May 5th.

Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston. Peter Turnley: Refugees through March 23rd, 2019, photojournalism of refugees throughout world. Anthropocenic: Art About the Natural World in the Human Era, also through March 23rd, includes a variety of artwork (including work by a number of photographyers) focused on nature and the effect of mankind upon it in the 21st Century.

162 Russell, Rockport. I definitely recommend checking out the extended pop-up exhibition at 162 Russell Ave in Rockport (the old CMCA building. The exhibit takes advantage of the beautiful space with collected works from Paul Caponigro, Ni Rong, and Dirk McDonnell. The show extends until February 2nd and is open Fridays and Saturdays 1-5 pm. You can hear an interview with them about the show here.

Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland. The 2018 Biennial is up through March 3rd, and includes work from photographers such as Sal Taylor Kidd and Rachel Sieben (among much other work!).

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My Favorite Photographs of 2018

In what has become an annual (and non-unique) tradition, I love to share my favorite photographs that I made during the previous year. Such a list is obviously subjective and likely to change based on mood (and the fact that I’m still going through my photographs from last year!), but I like to put a stake in the sand nonetheless.

In another annual tradition, I love to share favorite photographs taken by my readers, too. So, if you have a favorite photograph that you took last year, please consider sending it to me, and I’ll include it in a post with your name (and link, if you’d like) later this month.

Given that my first ever trip to Iceland was in 2018, the landscapes of that beautiful country play an outsized role in my list of favorites. This first photograph is from an amazing black sand beach near my artist residency at the Baer Art Center in Hofsós, Iceland. I spent many hours photographing the beach and waves there and I’m still digging through the results.

Skagafjörður Beach, Iceland, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

My Pyrotechnic series is complete, but I can’t myself from playing around with abstracted fireworks. In 2018 I came up with a new look and this is my favorite of the bunch. Soon I’ll have the full set up on my website.

Pyrotechnic Redux #1. Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Going back to Iceland photographs, this photograph of Dettifoss waterfall is one of my favorites…especially when printed BIG. I have a 30″x30″ sitting here in my studio and want to try going even bigger.

Dettifoss, Iceland. Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

The famous Jökulsárlón in Iceland (a/k/a Diamond Beach) has become such an overdone subject…and yet I couldn’t help myself once I came upon a combined glacier/lagoon/ocean/black sand beach.

Jökulsárlón, Iceland. Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

After going to the reviews in Santa Fe, I finally was able to revisit Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado after twenty years away.

Great Sand Dunes National Park. Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

While in Iceland, I became obsessed with Drangey, a magical (maybe literally!) island just off the coast where I was staying for my residency. I photographed it all week in all kinds of different weather and light. At the moment this is my favorite of that group.

Drangey, Iceland. Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved

Another favorite location in Iceland was the Rauðfeldsgjá ravine. This photograph is looking up from inside the ravine…and is another photograph that really needs to be a large print.

Rauðfeldsgjá, Iceland. Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

…and from just a few miles away on the volcanic mountain Snæfellsjökull, maybe my favorite photograph of the year:

Snæfellsjökull, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

And now for some glaciers. Seeing the glaciers of Iceland was at the top of my list, and I’ve restrained myself by only putting two of these resulting photographs on this list of twelve.

Fjallsjökull, Iceland, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
Svínafellsjökull, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

…and lastly, I’d like to share two photographs from my Terra Incognita project where I’ve started pushing the boundaries of traditional landscapes in different ways.

Terra Incognita #4, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
Terra Incognita project, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
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2019 Printing and Photography Workshops

“The Tarn”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I’m pleased to announce my three 2019 workshops, all provided through Maine Media Workshops. I’m teaching one session of A Sense of Wonder and two separate sessions of my printing course. I’ve included the course descriptions below, and please follow the links to find out more information and to register. Feel free to contact me with any questions as well.

A Sense of Wonder, June 23rd-June 29th, 2019, Maine Media Workshops

Find new avenues for creative expression as you explore the mysteries of the natural world. Through a combination of lectures, image and portfolio reviews, demonstrations, discussions, and photographing as a group in the field, you’ll learn how to better appreciate the wonder in the natural landscape all around you, and to learn tips and techniques necessary to capture it in your photographs.

Ranging from sea to mountain to lake and to forest, you’ll get to explore intimate details of the landscape and learn how to capture natural processes such as tides and winds. You’ll have the opportunity to photograph the night sky (even experimenting with hooking your camera to a telescope) to explore the cosmos and, on the other end of the spectrum, you’ll be able to capture smaller aspects of nature with macro lenses and a microscope.

Discovery and experimentation are at the heart of this workshop.  You’ll find joy in discovering the Maine landscape in new and creatively exciting ways.

Participants may work in any medium and in color or black & white.

The Craft and Art of the Fine Digital Print, April 8th-12th and September 8th-14th, 2019, Maine Media Workshops

In this course, students will learn a workflow for creating fine digital prints. The workflow includes digital capture, establishing an artistic intent, digital processing in Adobe Photoshop and/or Lightroom, printing on an inkjet printer, and handling the finished print. Digital processing and printing topics include maximizing image quality at capture, color management, sharpening and noise reduction, black & white printing, proofing, matching screen and print, and making local and global edits to color and tonality.

Throughout the course, we will work through images as a class by making a print, evaluating the print, making modifications, and ultimately producing a final print.

We also discuss the qualities and characteristics of a fine print, the many options for inks and papers available to today’s printers, and how best to produce a print to realize an artistic vision, including choosing the best paper for a particular project.

Students will also have ample opportunity to shoot in the field and to apply all of the techniques learned on their own images.

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Calls for Entries January 2019

“Painted Hills #65”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

It is time for my monthly summary of upcoming calls for entries for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England, so please find below my list for January 2019. If your new resolutions include finding ways of getting your work out in the world, some of these might be helpful to you.

This list is certainly not exhaustive and usually reflects ones of particular interest to me, but hopefully it will be helpful to many of you as well.

Good luck!

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, CO has their next call posted, entitled “The Life of Water” and due January 6th, 2019.

The Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts has their Sixth Open Call for Entries up, juried by Aline Smithson, with entries due January 6th.

The BlackBox Gallery in Portland, OR has two upcoming calls… “Black and White: Photography” due January 11th and “Taking Pictures: 2019” due February 8th.  This gallery offers free printing and framing of selected work, keeping costs reasonable if you are selected.

The PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont has a call for entry entitled “A Color Moment” due January 14th and another entitled “Altered Realities” due February 18th. They offer free framing in standard sizes, too, to help minimize costs if selected.

The Perspective Gallery in the Chicago area has their 10th Annual Lens 2019 juried competition open now, with entries due January 14th.

Black & White Magazine has their annual portfolio contest open now, with submissions due January 15th.

The SoHo Photo Gallery has their annual portfolio contest coming up, with entries due January 15th.

The Maine Photography Show in Boothbay has their always-popular call for entries up, with entries due January 18th.

NESOP in Waltham has a call for entry, entitled “Stranger Than Fiction: Street Photography“, with entries due February 22nd.

Bostick & Sullivan is having their first ever call for entry, jurored by Alt Pro guru Christopher James, and with entries due February 28th.

The New York Center for Photographic Art has their next call up, Momentum. It is juried by Debra Klomp Ching and entries are due March 17th.

The Maine Arts Commission has is now accepting applications for artist Project Grants (due March 21st) and Maine Artist Fellowships (due June 20th).

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Looking back at 2018, Looking forward to 2019

Pyrotechnic #284, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Happy New Year to all my readers! The beginning of a new year is typically a time for reflection and planning, and I am certainly not immune to that temptation. When looking at the national and international scenes as well as the environment, 2018 was in so many ways a horrible year, and 2019 has the potential to be even worse. It is a struggle for everyone to focus on the things that matter to you, whether it be your family, friends, work, hobbies, or your art. All is not negative as there are signs of hope and progress as well, and like many I have become more active in fighting for things I believe in. Moving forward, I plan to use this space to share my thoughts on these struggles and how they impact the artistic process.

On a personal and artistic level, 2018 was much more positive. I pushed forward on my projects, attended three portfolio reviews (Boston, Santa Fe, and Houston), taught three week-long workshops at Maine Media, printed for many wonderful artists, had three solo exhibitions of my work (NESOP in Boston, my own show at Pascal Hall in Rockport, and PhoPa Gallery in Portland, may it rest in peace) and took my first trip to Iceland for an artist residency (an amazing photographic and personal experience). I’m optimistic about 2019 as well as I plan on doing a lot less marketing and creating a lot more art.

I’ve also rethought the details of my online presence. I’m now only using Instagram for my social media presence, and I’m consolidating my various blogs to right here at 56×56. I’ve been posting here for over ten years now (first post in September 2008!) and I’m going to be changing things up. I plan on including what I’ve been doing before but expanding into what I hope to be more relevant, frequent, and interesting content, so stay tuned! To start things off, I’ve changed the look, so please be patient as I work through the kinks on this new WordPress theme.

Thank you to all for your attention and kind comments, and best wishes to everyone for a wonderful 2019!

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Winter Solstice and December Full Moon

“Long Nights Moon”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Solstice! Today is the December solstice (which is the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere), making tonight the longest night of the year. And, delightfully, the days now start getting longer again…

This year we get December’s full moon almost on the solstice, with the full moon arriving tomorrow. If you are so lucky as to not have torrential rains like we do here on the coast of Maine, the full moon tonight will essentially appear full. The photograph above is a December full moon from 2011, appropriately entitled the Long Nights Moon.

This site will be quiet until the new year. I hope all readers have a great holiday season, and best wishes for a wonderful 2019!

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Calls for Entries December 2018

Fjallsjökull, Iceland, 2018

It is time for my monthly summary of upcoming calls for entries for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England, so please find below my list for December 2018.

This list is certainly not exhaustive and usually reflects ones of particular interest to me, but hopefully it will be helpful to many of you as well.

Good luck!

The BlackBox Gallery in Portland, OR has two upcoming calls… “Focus: Landscape and Architecture” due December 6th and “Black and White: Photography” due January 11th.  This gallery offers free printing and framing of selected work, keeping costs reasonable if you are selected.

The New York Times Portfolio Review is free to enter and attend (and thus highly competitive!), and entries are due December 10th.

Lenscratch has their next free call for entries up, with the exhibition exhibition entitled “Your Favorite Photograph Taken in 2018” due December 14th.

The Ellis-Beauregard Foundation is offering Project Grants to Maine visual artists of up to $5,000. Submissions are due December 14th.

Lensculture Magazine has their next call up, the Visual Storytelling Awards, with entries due December 19th.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, CO has their next call posted, entitled “The Life of Water” and due January 6th.

The PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont has a call for entry entitled “Sanctuary” due December 17th and another entitled “A Color Moment” due January 14th. They offer free framing in standard sizes, too, to help minimize costs if selected.

The Perspective Gallery in the Chicago area has their 10th Annual Lens 2019 juried competition open now, with entries due January 14th, 2019.

The SoHo Photo Gallery has their annual portfolio contest coming up, with entries due January 15th, 2019.

The Maine Photography Show in Boothbay has their always-popular call for entries up, with entries due January 18th, 2019.

Bostick & Sullivan is having their first ever call for entry, jurored by Alt Pro guru Christopher James, and with entries due February 28th, 2019.

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Harmony of the Spheres Exhibition at NESOP in Boston

“Ouroboros #2”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

A solo exhibition of my Harmony of the Spheres project just opened at the Garner Center for Photographic Exhibitions at the New England School of Photography in Waltham, MA. Next Tuesday, November 6th, is the opening exhibition from 6-7:30 pm. So if you’d rather avoid hitting refresh on your browser on election night as you agonize about the future of our country, consider joining us as we ponder the mysteries of the cosmos instead.

But make sure you vote first!

The exhibition extends until December 7th.

…and don’t forget to check out Elin Spring’s list of New England photography exhibitions in November…and thank you to Elin for giving my show a shout-out! I’m hoping to catch many of these exhibitions myself on my journeys back and forth to Boston over the next few weeks…

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