Celestial Solo Exhibition at Unity College

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 bpotter@unity.edu

March 2017 Full Moon

“Moon When Eyes Are Sore From Bright Snow I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

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.

“Chaste Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Chaste Moon V”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Lenten Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Lenten Moon IV”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Moon of Wakening II”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Your Favorites of 2016

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).

Thanks for everyone who submitted, and enjoy!

Copyright Lisa Vietze

Lisa Vietze

Copyright Cally Peaco
Copyright Laurie McGowan
Copyright LeeAnne Mallonee

LeeAnne Mallonee

Copyright Angela Brown. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright William Ash. All Rights Reserved.

William Ash.

Copyright Terry Hire. All Rights Reserved.

Terry Hire.

Copyright Susan Guthrie. All Rights Reserved.

Susan Guthrie

Copyright Ann Krumrein. All Rights Reserved.

Ann Krumrein

Copyright Dave Clough. All Rights Reserved.

Dave Clough

Things I Love, February 2017

Photograph: Ok, I don’t have the actual plate in hand since it was still in the drying rack when I last saw it so this iPhone snap will have to suffice, but I love this portrait of my daughter, my first ever wet plate collodion/tintype piece ever (and even the first time I’ve used a large format camera!).

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!).

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Calls for Entries March 2017

“Mourning Moon II”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Good luck!

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 Maine Farmland Trust has a Visual Artist Residency that looks intriguing with applications due March 1st.

Center in Santa Fe has their annual set of awards, including the juried Review Santa Fe, with a final deadline of March 3rd. This is always a great one to submit to if your work is a good fit for it.

Hewnoaks Artist Colony on Kezar Lake in Maine has applications open for their 2017 artist residencies, with applications due March 4th.

Lensculture, the big online magazine, has their annual Portrait Awards call out with entries due March 7th. They offer feedback on the submission, as well.

The 10th annual Julia Margaret Cameron Awards (open to women photographers) has entries due March 7th.

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.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich has their annual Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition, with entries due April 7th (midday, BST – British Standard Time?).

The SohoPhoto Gallery has their 2017 National Competition open for entries now, with submissions due May 1st.

The ACCI Gallery in Berkeley, CA has a call for entries up for The Art of Living, with entries due May 18th.

Fundraiser Sale for Environmental Causes

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

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!

February 2017 Full Snow Moon

“Hunger Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Well, this snuck up on me this month – today is the February’s full moon, commonly called the Snow Moon (which is very appropriate for weather right now in New England). I’ve not actually used that name for my past photographs of the February moon, going with Hunger Moon, Trapper’s Moon, Bone Moon, Storm Moon, and the Quiet Moon.

This month’s full moon comes with a penumbral eclipse, too — which basically means that the moon will appear a bit less bright than normal. This is not a full eclipse so you won’t see the Blood Moon kind of look, but you should be able to notice that the moon is dimmer than normal, particularly on the top/north side of the moon. The peak of the eclipse is 7:44 pm Eastern, and it starts and ends about 2 hours on both sides of that.

Here in midcoast Maine, moonrise will be at 4:50 pm with sunset at 4:59 pm.

Below I’ve included a few other February full moons from my full moon series.

“Bone Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Quiet Moon IV”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Storm Moon”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Trapper’s Moon III”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Call for YOUR Favorites of 2016

“Pyrotechnic #255”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I’ve posted mine, and I’d love to post yours. Send along your favorite photograph that you took last year (to jim@jimnickelson.com) by midnight February 9th, and I’ll include it in my upcoming post (along with a link if you have one to your website). Here is last year’s list – there is always a great variety of excellent work.

Calls for Entries February 2017

“Mourning Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Good luck!

The Photographic Center Northwest has their annual juried exhibition coming up, with entries due February 5th.

The Southeast Center for Photography has a call for entry entitled “Architectural Photography” due February 5th and another entitled “Alternative Processes” due March 12th.

The BlackBox Gallery in Portland, OR has two upcoming calls…first up is  “Portraiture: Mirror Mirror” due February 8th and next up is “Taking Pictures: 2017” due March 8th. This gallery offers free printing and framing of selected work, keeping costs reasonable if you are selected.

The New  York Times is accepting submissions until February 12th for their free portfolio review — it is highly competitive being free and in New York, but I’m sure it would be great.

The PRC in Boston is having their annual EXPOSURE 2017 call for entries, with entries due February 26th. Please note that you need to be a member to apply. This will be the last exhibition in their current space as they are having to move away from BU on July 1st.

The Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery has a call for entry entitled “Alternative Processes” jurored by Dan Burkholder and due February 27th, and another 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 Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, CO, has their next calls for entry posted — first is “Black & White 2017” due February 28th and next is their annual “Center Forward” due March 29th.

The Maine Farmland Trust has a Visual Artist Residency that looks intriguing with applications due March 1st.

Center in Santa Fe has their annual set of awards, including the juried Review Santa Fe, with a final deadline of March 3rd. This is always a great one to submit to if your work is a good fit for it.

Hewnoaks Artist Colony on Kezar Lake in Maine has applications open for their 2017 artist residencies, with applications due March 4th.

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 (note the current link may change since it seems to be for a different show).

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.

A presentation, exhibition, a book, a video, and a workshop…

I have a few quick updates about five things, ranging from tonight through August (as well as well that is ongoing). I’m making a presentation tonight at the Portland Camera Club about my night photography at 7 pm. Visitors from the public are welcome, too, and the location is at the Woodfords Club (179 Woodford Street in Portland).

A group exhibition entitled “Order and Chaos” opened today at Eastern Kentucky University that includes a piece from my Harmony of the Spheres project. You can find out more here.

I may have mentioned this before, but one of the many things keeping me busy the last few months has been writing my book on digital printing, which will be published June 2017 by Rocky Nook. I’m extremely excited about this and you’ll hear a lot more from me about this as we get closer (whether you want to or not!).

For those interested in night photography, my Craftsy course “Editing Techniques in Night Photography” is live, and you can use this link to get 50% off of my class (this is an updated link – my old one had expired).

And last but not least, I have the first of my 2017 workshops with Maine Media posted now. My “The Craft and Art of the Fine Digital Print” workshop will be August 20-26. You can find out more here.