The new Homeland Security warning system includes 18% gray.

“Annoying the TSA is not a crime,” the blog post states.

“Photography is not a crime.

You have the right to fly without ID, and to photograph, film, and record what happens.”

Bad news; good news

Blake Andrews: “Spending time in front of a screen editing images seems to be the way of photography nowadays. For my last few shows I haven’t even made prints. I’ve just sent someone a file. It’s Photoshop this, Facebook that, Flickr the other thing. Here I am this morning, typing this. Sometimes it’s hard to remember the joy of daily practice, just walking by a river on a nice day with a camera.”


Darkroom Zombies!

Brighter than iPods…

More menacing than radiating cell phones…

As senseless as phosphorescent hoodies. It’s every printer for herself from now on.

(Good luck controlling your neighbors’ highlights.)

Attention, AP Fo-Do: America needs more lerts.

Bring things to the final: at the least, paper and a pencil; a laptop & jump drive, max. Prepare whatever notes you wish, from which to work on your concentration commentary. Here are some examples:

Milton Rogovin, 1909-2011


Film springs eternal

…or for 123 years and counting, anyway.

Here is our course description, virtually verbatim from the course catalogue:

“Creative camerawork with light-sensitive emulsions is at the core of this semester-long course. Students become familiar with the process and aesthetic considerations of the medium, beginning with basic technical instruction and problem-solving methods for black-and-white film photography. Camera operation, film processing, printmaking and presentation are the main areas of concentration. (Students must provide their own film cameras.) Student essays and reviews deal with contemporary issues as well as the history of the medium, in addition to work in the darkroom. In successive semesters, students investigate the concept of fine print, experiment with a variety of materials, and employ more extensive manipulation of images. Evaluation is based on effort and progress; continuing study assumes mastery of tools, materials and processes. The lab fee is $60.00; there are additional expenses for film, papers and field trips.”

Necessary gear? See

Nuance wins!

Two words: Little… Lotto.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is proud to announce the sale of the jazz collection of beloved Chicago radio host Dick Buckley on Thursday, February 17, 2011. Buckley, who passed away on July 22, 2010 at 85, was a radio deejay in Chicago for over 50 years, spreading his passion for jazz to thousands of eager listeners.  He is best remembered as the host of a weekend radio show on Chicago Public Radio. He was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the subject, his deep voice, and his relaxed speaking style.  His last show was broadcast July 27, 2008.

The sale will consist of over 8,000 jazz LPs, 45s, 78s, EPs, mixed tapes and CDs, including many home-made compilations, comprising Buckley’s personal archive. Also included in the sale are books and reel-to-reel broadcasts of his radio programs. This extensive collection will be offered in 92 box lots of approximately 100 items each, grouped by style, artist, instrument and format.

Interested parties may peruse the items during one of the two days of previews held at the gallery. The auction will take place live on Thursday, February 17, at 5pm. For more information on the auction, please contact Mary “Lou” Williams at 312-334-4236.

We self-assess

…to a degree.

Don’t be alarmed as you read through this: it’s not worded colloquially, nor is it necessarily as some of the test questions will be phrased; instead, each item alludes to (not all) topics.

What is the distinction between “composition” and the “effective placement of objects within the frame”?

What affects the impact that a negative’s grain has on the look of a print, from choosing where and when (and what) to shoot to working in the darkroom?

What are the important details of film developer use?

How important is a sense of finesse when developing film?

Oddly, fixing film has its variables. (Actually, maybe it’s not so odd, partly because we work in a shared facility in a public school.)

That which should not be a variable is the assurance of darkness in a darkroom. How is that under our control?

How might we manipulate the enlarger to produce effective results?

The issue of test strips is huge in terms of time, cost, and efficacy. Think all about test strips.

How much control/leeway does one have in processing a piece of photo paper?

Plan ahead for a blunted essay: what’s your dream project in a photography class in huge school? What are the logistics and the aesthetics of such a project? How purely photographic is it–or is it dependent upon another context (literary, commercial, vernacular)?

Another mini-essay might concern itself with the apparent start/stop nature of the work flow of our process.

“B” on cameras & film

“…how do the tactile aspects of a camera affect the pictures you make with it? For me that is the big hump with digital. I hate the chintzy plastic feel of new cameras. They don’t engage me. I’d rather look through a viewfinder than at an LCD screen. I enjoy dealing with film, unwrapping it like a present, spooling it, and winding the advance with my thumb. Like records and bicycles, film cameras may be old fashioned yet they feel real and unmediated and good. The result of all this, for me at least, is that I make different photos with a film camera than I do with a digital one.”