Various and sundry, Milk Moon edition

"Milk Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

The full moon this last weekend was much talked-about as a supermoon – a moon near perigee in its orbit at the time of the full moon, making it about 10-15% brighter and larger than normal. I went up to Cadillac Mountain on Saturday night to photograph the rising full moon and there were quite a few people up there, all there to see the supermoon. It was a bit surprising but gratifying to see so many people interested in an astronomical event!

So, I was all set up for the moonrise when, just before the moon should have appeared, all of a sudden I couldn’t see much at all. A cloud had surrounded my location on the mountain and visibility dropped to just hundreds of feet at best. I waited a bit but was eventually forced to move to a lower elevation and, by the time I found a clear spot, the moon had risen quite a bit and my original plans were foiled. Sometimes the photographic gods smile upon you, sometimes they don’t. The Milk Moon photograph above was my best from the alternative location – let me know what you think, as always!

There are a number of other things I wanted to mention, too. We just posted the new online exhibition for the Maine Photo Alliance, this one entitled “Objects in the Mirror…” and curated by our own Ann L. Krumrein. I had to come up with a reflection/mirror image as I didn’t have any in my archive, so you can see my slightly spooky one of my daughter below at the bottom of this post…

On Sunday I made a journey to Manchester, New Hampshire to see the Modernist photography exhibit at the Currier Museum of Art – highly recommended if you can make it over there before the show ends May 13th. Beautiful prints and great photography.

Congratulations to Felice Boucher and Jane Yudelman, who both won prizes at the Lyceum Gallery opening of Through the Lens on Friday night in Lewiston.

Lastly, here is a great time-lapse video of Yosemite by Shawn Reeder – very well done.

And, as promised, here is my contribution to the MPA exhibit:

"Reflected Eliza", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

The Winds, The Seas, and The Stars

Only the third link of this post is about photography, but I think many of you, like myself, are also interested in natural phenomena as well as in different ways of displaying visual information, and that sums up the appeal of the first two items in this post perfectly.

If you’ve been bouncing around the Internet the last week or so, you may have already seen this – but I can’t tell you how much I love this real-time map of the winds over the continental US. I found myself spending way too much time of late just staring at the wind patterns, and then I discovered on accident that if you click on it you can zoom in quite a bit.

NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio has produced their Perceptual Ocean visualization and it is a stunner (you can download hi-def ones here), which gathered different types of scientific data to create a visual feast – an animation of ocean currents across the globe.

Lastly, and coming back to fine art photography more directly, the Bates College Museum of Art has produced a very slick video promoting the upcoming Starstruck show (a show which I’m very excited to be in) and discussing the art of astrophotography. You can view the video, which is less than 3 minutes, below:


Maine Photographers Represent in B&W + Color Magazine’s 2012 Single Image Contest

"Pyrotechnic #12", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

The most recent B&W + Color Magazine has just come out with the results of their annual Color Single Image Contest. I was very pleased to see that one of my images (above) received a Merit Award in the Pattern/Texture category. (You can see other of my Pyrotechnic series images here and here).

"Lost Highways", Copyright Sharon Arnold. All Rights Reserved.

But I was just as pleased to see how many other Maine photographers were found in this issue, including many friends and clients. Sharon Arnold received a Gold Award in the Metaphor/Abstract category (see photo above). Felice Boucher joined her in that category with a Merit Award. Robert Moran ended up with 5(!) selected photographs, garnering a Silver Award, two Bronzes, and two Merits. Mary Woodman also had a Gold Award to go along with her two Merits. Jane Yudelman joined the fun with a Merit award of her own, as did Lynn Karlin. Carol MacLeod also had a Silver Award and a Merit Award and LeeAnne Mallonee nabbed a Bronze and a Merit. Congratulations to all of the photographers selected!

I know that all of these contests are subjective and you can only take their meaning so far, but I see this sort of result as further confirmation of the rich and vibrant photography community here in Maine. Those of us who live here already knew about that, but I’m happy to see others taking notice as well.

You can see a copy of the magazine cover below if you want to find it on the magazine racks:

A Book Cover, Starry Night, and the VoxPhotographs blog

I was very pleased to learn that my image was selected for the catalog cover for the upcoming exhibition at the PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont. You can order the catalog here (and browse through all the images) and you can find out more about the upcoming “Four Seasons” exhibition here. I sprung for the hardcover, of course!

On Friday I published a guest article on the VoxPhotographs blog on selecting a paper for fine art printing. Please check it out if you missed it (and bookmark that blog, too, as it has become one of the go-to sites for the Maine fine art photography community). Thank you to Heather Frederic for the platform as well.

Lastly, I’d like to link to something on the Web that I found. Petros Vrellis created an animation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night (perhaps my favorite painting) that is very cool on its own, but the animation is interactive – users can use their fingers to change the flow of stars, etc. Alas, the video itself isn’t interactive but it does show how the interaction works – I’d love to see a commercially-available version of this. It would make a great iPad app if it has the necessary computational horsepower to perform all the calculations.

Various and Sundry, Year of the Dragon Edition

"Dragon", Copyright Jim Nickelson

First off, Happy Chinese New Year to all as we enter the Year of the Dragon. Sadly I did not have a photograph of a real dragon to provide from my archives, but I’ll use this shot from my Stolen Ninety-Nine project as a placeholder until real dragons become a bit less mythical.

I have quite a few random things to talk about this week. First off, congrats to Nickelson Editions client Brendan Bullock for making the cover (as the photographer, not the subject, that is) of the latest issue of Maine magazine that appeared on my doorstep today.

Congratulations also to NE client Jane Yudelman (as well as fellow Mainer C.E. Morse) for being accepted to the Snow & Ice exhibition at the 1650 Gallery in decidedly non-icy and snowy Los Angeles (see link for all accepted images and here for Jane’s, one of my favorites).

The Maine Photo Alliance has just published its January 2012 Online Exhibition, this one entitled “Odd Shots” and curated by Susan Davens. This is an interesting one as all participating photographers had to submit shots that do not fit in with the rest of their work, and Susan has done a great job of pulling together what I imagined were pretty disparate entries.

If you are interested in utilizing social media to market your photography (grudgingly or not), you’ll find Photoshelter’s new (and free!) guides to the subject very useful. I just read the updated guides and they are pretty good. You can find all of their free guides here.

I have a number of other blog posts in the queue for this week, so stay tuned…

Arla, Circles, Squares, & Lightroom 4

Copyright Arla Patch. All Rights Reserved.

Congratulations to Arla Patch, as her work is featured in the current print edition of B&W + Color Magazine. The article includes five images and is based on her newest body of work entitled “b. 1950”, featuring projection of images (in this case, watercolors) upon her own body. You can see (and purchase) all of the images in this body of work here.

In big news this morning, Adobe released the free beta version of the newest Lightroom product. You can read about and download LR 4 here and a more detailed explanation of the new features is here. I definitely recommend this free 22-minute video showing the new features if you are a current LR user – Michael Reichmann is definitely an expert on LR and has a practical and lucid approach to these matters.

So what are the big improvements? For me the biggest improvement is soft proofing for print – this is finally implemented, and in what appears to be a very intelligent fashion, making LR now an even more viable alternative for printing exhibition-quality prints. Other big improvements are separate curves for each RGB channel, a revised tone mapping system (blacks, whites, contrast, etc.), integration with Google Maps f0r GPS-enabled cameras, integration with Blurb for making books, and significantly improved ability to handle video. I believe the full version will be available in March or so.

So should you try this out? If you’ve never tried LR this is a great opportunity to sample the program for free. If you are a current user, it is definitely worthwhile to play around with it and see what kinds of differences there are, or to use it for special applications that require some of the new capability. I do not recommend, however, using the program for any production work unless you are very careful. I personally will not use it for ‘final’ processing of any of my images until the final program is released. Besides the possibility of errors in the code, there is also the possibility that any changes, settings, or processing you make in the beta will not carry over to the final project.

Lastly, circles and squares. There were two interesting posts on The Online Photographer in the last few days that I thought I’d mention. First, a discussion of the possibility of square sensors. I wish! There are decided technical advantages to doing so, but I’d say it is still unlikely in any mainstream product. What we will hopefully see even more of, though, is at least square crops available in-camera – I find it a decided advantage to be able to compose in the square and I miss that capability in my Nikons. There was a follow-up post on the even more unlikely possibility of a circular sensor, but a nice discussion by Michael Johnston on alternative frame shapes throughout the history of photography.


A new Waterscape, a new show, and a year-long exposure

"Waterscape, Moonglow". Copyright Jim NIckelson. All Rights Reserved.

Greetings to all and Happy New Year! I’ve been going through my 2011 images and I’ve just added one recent recent abstract Waterscape to my gallery. This one (above) was taken just after sunrise and also captures the reflected setting full moon. Let me know what you think! You can see my entire abstract Waterscape portfolio here. I’ll have my obligatory top-10 images of 2011 post coming in the next few days.

Congratulations to Heather Frederick of VoxPhotographs and the four photographers who just joined her gallery, Jeffrey Becton, Felice Boucher, Audra Welton, and Jane Yudelman! I’ve printed for Felice, Audra, and Jane and each has some exquisite work.

There is another show curated by Bruce Brown opening this Friday – this one at the Lewis Gallery at the Portland Public Library (and hosted by the CMCA) – this one and is entitled “Around the House: 17 Maine Photographers”, and includes photographers such as Sarah Szwajkos, Thomas Birtwistle, Jon Edwards, & Cig Harvey. The show opens this Friday, January 6th, and runs until January 28th.

And last but not least, Canadian photographer Michael Chrisman just completed on New Year’s Day a very impressive image – a one-year long exposure using a pinhole camera of the Toronto skyline. I definitely recommend checking out the image and the article here.

New Addison Wooley show, new Maine Photo Alliance show, & more

Copyright James Marshall. All Rights Reserved.

I’ve been pretty swamped of late with printing for the holidays and such (and that is a good thing!) so I’ve been somewhat remiss on the updates here. One very interesting show coming up is the Maine Photographers: Eyes on Asia exhibit (curated by Bruce Brown) that opens January 5th at Portland’s Addison Wooley Gallery. The opening night is Thursday, Jan. 5th from 5-8 pm, but they will also be open for First Friday the next night. Bruce is putting together three shows for Addison Wooley as a guest curator this winter and I’m sure all will be worthwhile. Included photographers who happen to be Nickelson Editions clients include James Marshall (prints on Canson Platine Fiber Rag), Brendan Bullock (prints on Museo Silver Rag), and Barbara Goodbody.

Another item of interest concerning Maine photographers is this recent post (Isle au Chocolat) by NE client Stacey Cramp with an entertaining story of her chocolate cookbook shoot on a Maine island…definitely worth a read!

And, speaking of food, the Maine Photo Alliance just posted their most recent online exhibition – this one with the theme of Food and curated by Joe Corrado. Check it out if you get a chance – my contribution is included below, too.

Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Various and sundry, post-Thanksgiving edition

Copyright Jim Nickelson

I just posted a new article here on this site – my comparison of inkjet/pigment prints with digital C-prints (digital prints made with chemicals rather than ink). Check it out if you are interested and please let me know if you have any questions.

Nomenclature is always a tricky issue, particular in fields such as digital printing that are relatively new in the grand scheme of things. Heather Frederick made a very interesting post on the VoxPhotographs blog about what to call digital prints (and why not to use the term giclee) – check it out here.

And speaking of nomenclature, I do maintain a glossary of fine art printing and photography terms here on this site – please take a look if you were wondering what something means…and also feel free to suggest anything new. I’m constantly adding to the list.

The 12th Annual Photo-A-Go-Go from the Bakery Photo Collective is in coming up on December 9th down in Westbrook, ME – take a look at all of the photographs available in this fundraising auction…Even if you can’t make it to the silent auction, it is definitely worthwhile to browse through the wide variety of photographs offered by Maine’s fine art photographers.

Various and Sundry, mid-November 2011 edition

I’ve been quiet for a bit here on the blog because of family travel and other obligations, but I do have a lot of things in the hopper. I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight some things I’ve found useful or interesting out there, as well as providing a few updates. So here goes…

The Maine Photo Alliance (of which I’m a member) just posted a new online exhibition, curated by yours truly – the exhibition is called Copycat and includes photographs ‘taken in the style’ of each of our members. Check it out here if you are interested. My entry, taken in the style of Susan Davens, is here (you can click on it to make it larger – it is actually a panoramic):

Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

In the gallery scene, there is just a bit of time yet to see the absolutely wonderful Koichiro Kurito exhibit at Waterfall Arts in Belfast as it ends next Wednesday, Nov. 23rd. Impeccable and beautiful platinum prints. Highly, highly recommended. You can read this excellent review by Heather Frederick of the show here (and please check out her VoxPhotographs blog generally as it is one of the essential resources for Maine fine art photographers) and also this interview by the Maine Art Scene, another essential resource.

Speaking of the VoxPhotographs blog, Heather has also posted an impassioned article on editioning. I personnally don’t agree with her conclusions (for reasons I’ll eventually articulate in a longer article), but it is certainly thought-provoking, as always.

Another thought-provoking post is by Alec Soth regarding whether artists should consider their audience when creating work – be sure to check out the often insightful comments as well.