I’ve been a bit busy of late getting ready for some upcoming events…first up, Tuesday night, April 18th, I’ll be part of a public discussion of science and photography at the Boston Athenaeum from 6-7:30 pm. Bob Hesse, Thibault Roland, and myself will each make a short presentation and then engage in a round-table discussion regarding the impact of science on our creative processes.
Thursday night (the 20th) and across the country, I’ll have a table at the portfolio walk at PhotoLucida at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. I believe that my timeslot will be 8-9 pm. I’ve done these types of portfolio walks at other reviews and they are a wonderful way to see the work of scores of photographers.
…and because of these adventures, I’ll be on the road through April 30th (but will still have phone and email, of course).
I just wanted to quickly note that tonight is the full moon for April 2017. For Northern Hemisphere cultures, the April moon usually results in names related to spring, growth, or rebirth. I’ve used Egg Moon, Spring Moon, and Fish Moon (referring to shad moving upstream to spawn), and other common names are Pink Moon (referring to wild ground phlox), Growing Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, and the like.
If you live here in Maine and would like to watch moonrise tonight, you can see it at 7:44 pm (after sunset at 7:15 pm), and moonset will be tomorrow morning at 6:28 am. And keep an eye out for Jupiter, too — last night it was very close to the moon!
I was happy how last month’s post came out, so I’m going to make this a tradition — a monthly post where I get to talk about things that I loved from the month, whether they relate to photography or not.
Favorite books I read (non-photography). Pax, Sara Pennypacker. Your classic tale of a fox and a boy in time of war. Excellent YA fiction. Autumn, Ali Smith. The first in a series of four books coming out over the next year, this elegant book explores community, connectedness, aging, love, and more in a post-Brexit and post-Trump UK.
Favorite photography book I read: Modern Color, Fred Herzog. Herzog’s color street work from 1950’s-present Vancouver (mostly) is like comfort food for me, and this is the most comprehensive book yet of his work (and well printed). Based on his previous books, it might not be available long for reasonable prices, so move quickly if you like his work.
Favorite exhibition: The Thrill of the Chase at the Portland Museum of Art (Maine). This exhibition of the Wagstaff Collection from the Getty Museum is a must-see (and you can see it until April 30th). A spectacular collection of photographs that goes from the beginnings of photography until the mid-1980’s and it is chock full of gems.
Best link for lens geeks: Roger Cicala from Lensrentals analyzes tons of zoom lenses and comes up with some universal (or almost so) truths. The short version: for normal zoom lenses (24-70mm or so), they are highly likely to be better optically on the wide end rather than the long end, which is a bit counter-intuitive for me.
Favorite Science Photo: This amazingly beautiful photograph of Pluto from the New Horizons spacecraft, backlit by the sun and showing Pluto’s ever-so-tenuous atmosphere. (see it above).
Quote: “There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, every of them sufficient.” Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
Song: Day to Day by L.A. Salami. This version is recorded by NPR’s All Songs Considered one night at the SXSW music festival in Austin, my original hometown (at least it has the best argument for that spot). Bluesy/folk from an English guitarist. Amazing song and musician.
The BlackBox Gallery in Portland, OR has two upcoming calls… “Shadows: Darkness and Light” due April 10th and “Color: The Visual Spectrum” due May 10th. This gallery offers free printing and framing of selected work, keeping costs reasonable if you are selected.
The Fence 2017, which creates giant, well, fence installations based on the winning photographic series, is accepting entries for 2017, with a final deadline of April 11th.
The ViewPoint Gallery in Halifax has their annual International Photography competition up, with entries due April 15th.
Lenscratch, the popular blog, has their next free online exhibition, entitled the “Earth Day Exhibition”, with submissions due April 15th.
The PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont has a call for entry entitled “In Honor of Trees” and due April 24th. They offer free framing in standard sizes, too, to help minimize costs if selected.
The Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, CO, has their next call for entry posted, entitled “Photography as Response” due April 26th.
The New York Center for Photographic Art has their next calls for entries up, the first entitled “Wandering Curves” due April 30th.
We just installed a solo exhibition of my work at the Unity College Center for Performing Arts in Unity, Maine. I’m excited about this show as it presents pieces from all five of my bodies of work for a total of 23 pieces.
There will be a reception on April 13th from 4-6 pm, and I’ve included the press release below:
Friday, March 10, 2017 to Sunday, April 16, 2017
The Leonard R Craig Gallery at Unity College presents:
Jim Nickelson: “Celestial”
A show of work by Jim Nickelson. The show will run from March 9th to April 16th.
A reception for the artist will be held April 13th from 4:00-6:00 PM. Refreshments will be provided. The reception is free and open to the public.
In his work, Jim Nickelson creates photographs based on his interest in science and nature, with particular interest in the way we as a species grapple with the unknown and our relationship to the Universe. The exhibition includes work from five distinct bodies of work.
Adventures in Celestial Mechanics centers upon the full moon and the way various cultures relate to its cycles through naming conventions. Pyrotechnic studies natural forms found in abstracted fireworks, reminiscent of how we find familiar forms and comfort wherever we look. East of the Sun, West of the Moon explores landscapes evocative of fairy tale and myth, tools we have used for millenia to explain the unknown. Codex Natura addresses forms in nature suggestive of the shared celestial origin of all matter on Earth. Harmony of the Spheres is inspired by the idea, dominant for two thousand years among thinkers ranging from Pythagoras to Aristotle to Plato to Kepler, that objects spin in the night sky to create celestial music in harmonious relationship with each other, the natural world, and the human soul.
For more information contact Ben Potter, Professor of Art / Curator of the Leonard R. Craig Gallery at 207-509-7239, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The full moon for March 2017 is coming up tomorrow morning! You’ll have a good chance tonight with moonrise at 4:47 pm and sunset at 5:37 pm, as well as tomorrow morning’s moonset at 5:01 am. Tomorrow’s moonrise at 6:51 pm, just after sunset at 6:38 pm, might even be better (all times for midcoast Maine). (N.B. Note the times are much later because of the time change!).
March has been a great month for me in year’s past, and I’ve included some of my favorites here. The March full moon is of course known by many names across different cultures, and one of my favorite names is from the Dakota Sioux, who called it the Moon When Eyes Hurt from Bright Snow. Other popular names for this moon include the Algonquin names Full Worm Moon and Sugar Moon, as well as the English Chaste Moon and the Colonial American Lenten Moon.
At long last, here are your favorite photographs of 2016. Each year, I ask readers to submit their own favorite photograph that they took last year. I’ve always loved this annual tradition (here is last year‘s). I’ve added a link to a website when available, too, if you’d like to see more (and you should).
Ok, I’m going to try something new here — a monthly post where I get to talk about things that I loved from the month. Some things will be photography-related, some things not. These things might not have actually been published/released/occurred this month, but this is when I came across them.
We’ll see how this all develops, but I can use more positivity in my life (as I suspect is true for many!).
Favorite books I read (non-photography). A great month for reading. The best were: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dilliard. A contemporary Walden written about Virginia’s Roanoke Valley, a love letter to the natural world. The Sellout by Paul Beatty. Challenging and powerful book. Moonglow by Michael Chabon. This “autobiographical novel” could not be more in my wheelhouse — Michael Chabon, WWII, and the space program — but at its core it is a personal story loosely based on the life of Chabon’s grandparents.
Favorite photography book I read: Western Landscapes, Lee Friedlander. This giant tome, beautifully printed, collects Friedlander’s wonderful square format landscape work. The crisp compositions also provide another way of dealing with those big and clear Western skies in a way different than Weston, Adams, etc. by photographing so many shots through trees and brush.
Favorite exhibition: It has to be Brenton Hamilton’s 20 year retrospective at the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor. You won’t see anywhere else such a range of wonderful images masterfully created using so many 19th Century processes. The exhibit goes until May 6th.
Favorite Science Tidbit: How about this (composite) photograph of the Earth and Moon from 200 million taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, about 120,000 miles away? This is excellent for appreciating their relative sizes and distance between them.
Favorite Science Discovery: The discovery of seven (!) roughly Earth-sized worlds orbiting a single star. For those who grew up before we knew for sure that there were any planets outside our solar system, the idea that there might be more planets in the Universe than stars is mind-blowing.
Favorite photography quote: “The world is open wide to the photographer who can see. And one can never be bored if one can see.” From the description of Black Mountain College’s 1951 summer session, from this great article about the history of their influential photography program.
Song: A Little Uncanny from Conor Oberst. I’m pretty new to Oberst, and my 10-year old loves this song, too — we ended up discussing all the references in the lyrics while we are driving to and fro.
Every month I summarize some of the upcoming calls for entries for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England.
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.
The Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, CO, has their next calls for entry posted — first is “Black & White 2017” due February 28th (today!) and next is their annual “Center Forward” due March 29th.
The BlackBox Gallery in Portland, OR has one upcoming call… “Taking Pictures: 2017” due March 8th. This gallery offers free printing and framing of selected work, keeping costs reasonable if you are selected.
The Southeast Center for Photography has a call for entry entitled “Alternative Processes” due March 12th and another entitled “The Contemporary Nude” due April 9th.
The New York Center for Photographic Art has their next calls for entries up, the first entitled “Liquid” and due March 12th and the next entitled “Wandering Curves” due April 30th.
The Fence 2017, which creates giant, well, fence installations based on the winning photographic series, is accepting entries for 2017, with early bird submissions due March 14th and a final deadline of April 11th.
The Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA, has the call open for their 23rd Annual Juried Exhibition, with entries due March 17th. Always a good one for New England photographers…
The Monhegan Artists Residency is accepting applications (from artists with significant ties to Maine) until March 17th for their 2017 residencies. I wish I spend five weeks on one of these residencies!
The Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery has a call for entry entitled“Intimate Portraits”, jurored by Joyce Tenneson and due March 27th. They offer free framing in standard sizes, too, to help minimize costs if selected.
The Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, Maine has their annual Art 2017 call for entries (jurored by Corey Daniels), with entries due April 1st.
The Flagstaff Arts Council is accepting entries for their annual NightVisions exhibition celebrating the night sky, with entries due April 4th.
I’ve decided to have a sale of six of my photographs to help raise money for environmental causes, with 100% of the proceeds going to a group of non-profit environmental organizations. These organizations are going to be essential to help fight the coming onslaught on environmental regulations and protected lands.
You can see and purchase the six photographs from my photography website if you are interested. All six photographs were created on public lands. I’ll be taking orders until this Sunday, March 5th, at midnight Eastern. Thank you!