photography

Doctor My Eyes

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long

‘Cause I have wandered through this world
And as each moment has unfurled
I’ve been waiting to awaken from these dreams

People go just where they will
I never noticed them until I got this feeling
That it’s later than it seems

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what you see
I hear their cries
Just say if it’s too late for me

~Jackson Browne

Women of Color Organize for Access and Accountability in Photojournalism – The New York Times

“Tara Pixley often felt isolated in the newsrooms where she worked as a photographer or photo editor. As a “black woman who was the child of immigrants, raised by a single mom, and also a first-generation college student,” she struggled for a decade to fit in. She was the only woman of color in the photo departments where she worked and was ignored or treated dismissively.”

 

 

 

Unearthing Photography’s Time Capsule – The New York Times

“In March of 1985, the photographer Robert Frank arrived with a paper sack at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to use Polaroid’s 20-by-24-inch camera. It was a hulking beast of an apparatus, worlds away from the diminutive 35-millimeter Leica that had freed him to roam the country while shooting “The Americans,” the 1959 book of photos that crowned him a king of counterculture and the most imitated photographer alive today.”

 

Listen Up!

Going to try something much different here in the name of artistic freedom. I’m going to post mostly single frames whenever the mood strikes me, and whenever I find them. This allows me to a) better take advantage of the technology now available on my iPhone with Lightroom CC and the WordPress app and b) to breathe.

Seriously. I think this is going to work much better for me and I’m betting there’s a lot of you who came to this place long before me. Great example is this shot here. I might have held up posting this image, literally forever, because I might not have had any other images to post with it as a set.

Or I might have struggled at the time I saw it with a title so I wouldn’t post it and then it would become lost in the thousands of images in my library. Now I can take better advantage of my usually, but not always, dependable spontaneity.

As I always say, Good Luck to Me! (Okay no, I’ve never said that.)

Cheers and thanks to all of you who visit here!

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Great News from the Los Angeles Center of Photography!

Incredibly, out of the 1700 or so images submitted and of the 50 or so chosen, the LACP has once again picked two images of mine for their upcoming 2018 street shooting exhibition. One image will be hung in the physical exhibition and the other will be in their online gallery. These are now the sixth and seventh images of mine to be picked by the LACP for any of their various exhibitions since I started submitting shots for their consideration in 2013.

I want to so sincerely thank everyone at the LACP for all their endless hard work and most especially Julia Dean for founding the LACP and for giving photographers in Los Angeles this amazing venue and exposure.

The image above, Adelita, was one of the shots I submitted that wasn’t selected. I love it though and I’m pretty sure I never posted it here on 50lux.com so there it is!

I don’t like to post the actual images that have been selected for the exhibition until after the show has ended because I just feel like that’s stealing the LACP’s thunder, so to speak. For the time being, these two images really are theirs to display to the world. So I offer this one in their place. As I said, it’s one of my favorites. Anyway, once again, I’m extremely grateful to everyone at the LACP, but also to everyone who follows this blog and hits the like button on any of my posts. It means a lot.

I’m not as good at promoting myself as I should be. I shoot and post process images and put some of them here. There are so many that I don’t post here, however. It’s overwhelming actually. I wish I had more of the required ground game together.

I’ll post another shot and more information on the show in the next week. Till then, thank you again to just about everyone on the planet who has ever looked at even just one of my images and liked it. A massive thank you to my lovely wife, who has always believed in me, no matter how crazy the idea or project.

I also want to thank Leica and Nikon. Their gear is the stuff that dreams are made of and none of it has ever let me down.

Thank you to all,

Donald Barnat

Jan 28, 2018

And P.S. How could I forget, a big thank you to WordPress, which has been really the only tool I’ve had that allows me to get my own work out, unfiltered, curated only by me, to the world. Thank you, WP!

The Democratic Forest: William Eggleston

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“Eggleston was in New York during the last week in October for the opening of a new exhibition of his work at the Zwirner gallery that runs through December 17. All of the nearly 50 images in the show were taken in the ’80s as part of a mammoth series called The Democratic Forest, which in its entirety includes some 12,000 images. But in the Zwirner show, for the first time, many of the images have been reproduced on a giant scale, some of them five feet across. Staring at them on opening night (and it is a measure of how Eggleston is idolized, particularly by the young, that hundreds of people braved a truly filthy rain to attend the opening), I thought, when you make a picture that big, there is no room for error, no place for a photographer to hide. And in this case, no need. You could put these pictures on a billboard, and they would lose none of their integrity.”

Source: William Eggleston: The Father of Modern Color Photography – The Daily Beast

35mm f1.2 Voigtlander Nokton ASPH: My Favorite 35

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I once owned the much anticipated and very expensive Leica Summilux 35mm f1.4 ASPH FLE. That lens drove me crazy. I can’t imagine the genius and time and planning and expense that goes into making such a complicated and high-end piece of kit as that, or any Leica lens, so I don’t really like to bash things simply because they just didn’t work for me. But that lens didn’t work for me and I’ll leave it at that. I loved the 35mm 2.5 Summarit. Nice lens that made really classic looking images. I loved the 35 ‘Cron. I don’t think that things can get much better than any Leica Summicron lens. Period.

But like so many others, I covet fast lenses. So back a few years ago when I had the money to experiment I bought a Voigtlander 35 1.2 ASPH Nokton. I have to say, if that lens had been dressed up in a Leica barrel and had a red dot on it and I’d paid what I paid for the 35 ‘Lux FLE… I would have been happy with that purchase. To me, this is the 35 ‘Lux style lens I was after from the start. But unlike the Leica, I can handle it. It never fails me. It has some distortion and I’m working with a profile in Lightroom now to try to address that issue but… it’s okay. I’m okay with this lens. I’m okay with the color, the contrast, the sharpness, the wonderful 50 ‘Lux-like bokeh. Everything.

Anyway. Here’s a quick shot I grabbed the other day and below please find a detail from it to show a little of why I like this lens so much.

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Previously Unseen Arbus – The New York Times

“Diane Arbus: In the Beginning” shows, among other things, that Arbus settled early on many of her major themes.

“Street photography was the advanced mode of the day, and practitioners like Lee Friedlander, William Klein, Helen Levitt and Garry Winogrand all claimed New York City as their turf. So did Lisette Model, a Viennese émigré with whom Arbus studied briefly. Ms. Model didn’t give her student much formal advice. Instead, she urged her to ease away from the stance of objectivity then considered requisite for serious photography and instead establish emotional relationships with her subjects, and see where that would take her. For Arbus, the advice was heaven-sent. It gave her permission to be the artist she was ready to be.”

“Diane Arbus: In the Beginning” runs through Nov. 27 at the Met Breuer, 945 Madison Avenue, at 75th Street; 212-731-1675; metmuseum.org.

Source: Previously Unseen Arbus, Unearthed Years After Her Death – The New York Times

Rodeo Clown

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That’s Rodeo (ro-DAY-oh) as in Beverly Hills. 😉

Weekend Forecast: More May Gray in L.A.

More old Nikon street photography. Not as old as most of the stuff from last week. These were from the Nikon DSLR days. D70, D2Hs, my favorite, the almost disposable (I had two) D80, the mighty D3, and the D700. Oh, and in there somewhere was a D200. 😉

Sunday Color Sundae

Son of Even More Ancient Street Shots of Los Angeles

Yes it just keeps on going. I THINK all or most of these were taken, as were the rest in this week’s blast from the past, with the Nikon Coolpix 950. Trusty little devil. Between 2000 and 2004. Which is mighty trusty indeed for a first generation digital camera. Solid.

City of Night

I grew up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Aliquippa was the home of a giant steel mill; at one time it was the largest in the world. The entire monstrosity was near 11 miles long and employed close to 15k workers.

The town was like something out of a rust-belt boom-town dream. Or was it a nightmare? Aliquippa was in the Guiness Book of World Records for having the most bars per square mile. A recent article in our local newspaper put it this way. “Aliquippa was a dirty little town of 30,000 with more bars, bordellos and gambling rooms than most would care to admit. In 1918, a state Supreme Court justice offered the following assessment of Aliquippa:

It is said that the region is largely peopled by uneducated foreigners, who invariably carry concealed deadly weapons; that murders are common; and that when a quarrel ensues, the question as to who shall be the murdered and who is murdered is, largely, if not wholly, determined by the ability to draw such a weapon quickly.”

When I moved to Los Angeles I understood that this place certainly had its share of dangerous areas and situations. It was the 1980s and there was a crack epidemic and gang violence was a scourge in LA. So I resolved immediately to stay on the Westside and far from the bad areas of town. And I held onto that resolve for the first ten or so years that I lived here. But, you know, being a person from the place where I come from, the street has its attractions to me and after playing it safe for so long I longed for something that seemed more like home. Sounds weird to me now even to type that.

So I become somewhat familiar with some of the more interesting parts of LA. And at night. So when digital cameras finally became available with their convenience and the ability to experiment, check your results in real-time, and move quickly on, I had the greatest idea. Go out and shoot the bad parts of town with my digital camera. lol.

Well, ISO capabilities back then weren’t at all like what we have today on our digital cameras. And I didn’t actually, it turns out, have a death wish. 😉 So this project wasn’t something I devoted many evenings to. But it was an interesting time in LA. I think the LAPD had street crime on its heels at that moment. Or was it the exact opposite? I remember both periods quickly followed each other. Different police chiefs and different approaches. Anyway.

I had some tricks. I would go out on really REALLY cold nights. Nights that cold are really uncommon in LA so when the chill hits here, the streets can be very deserted. Anyway. Hope these images capture the imagination that I was gripped with when I took them. I would be the first to admit there’s probably not a single really strong image in the whole bunch. But they do capture something of the atmosphere of the city back then. The darkness and strangeness I was after more than anything else.

Faces of Ancient Street Shots of Los Angeles

More from the Nikon Coolpix 950. Probably from around 2000 to 2004. I’m like Vivian Maier Lite. Less calories. Less filling. Etc. Please enjoy responsibly.

More, Even Better, Ancient Street Shots of Los Angeles

Again, these images were taken with one of the first great digital cameras, the Nikon Coolpix 950. Probably from around 2000 to 2004. I had so much fun with this camera that twisted the part with the viewfinder from the side with the lens. Twisty little sucker. Like having a viewfinder camera and I don’t know why I remember it being ‘live view.’ Maybe I’m misremembering. Anyway. Yet even more images to come tomorrow.

My Ancient Street Shots of Los Angeles

All of these images predate even my first DSLR, the Nikon D70. These were, believe it or not, taken with one of the first great digital cameras, the Nikon Coolpix 950. Probably from around 2000 to 2004. Yes, I’ve been doing this a long time. More to come.