Archives for posts with tag: cafe

I continue to go to the cafe. Why? Well, first off because it’s a great place to work when I’ve gotten antsy at my office desk … somehow the buzz and movement of people at other tables, their conversation, lets me concentrate and focus on my own work better than sitting in the quiet, lightly dusty feeling library of office cubes.

Second, because there’s a middle school down the street one way and a Tai Chi studio down the street the other way.

Today is my birthday. A moment to reflect. I like where my work is going: the past couple of weeks I’ve pushed through to a couple of new epiphanies and ideas there. I like how my photography is developing: as I’ve moved to simpler, smaller, lighter cameras with less capaabilities, as my time to do photography has decreased, I’m spending more time looking and thinking in the making of photographs. Story—or the ‘imagined story’—in the work has become much more important to me.

Look deeply, imagine more broadly, see more clearly. These seem to be the right cues. More book ideas have surfaced.

Oh yes: a moment’s pause in respect for Neil Armstrong. May his footstep on the Moon continue to lead the way.

– Godfrey 2012

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Little passion plays … 

I decided to go see the latest Batman film this past Sunday morning and found the time had been shifted from 9 to 9:40 am. So I hung out at the local Starbux and had a quick bite and a cuppa. 

The little girl fussed and cried every time momma tried to sit down and have a sip of coffee. They ended up leaving, daddy running back from the car to pick up the coffee and pastries. “Pay attention to me, not to your breakfast!” 

Batman was great. Closest to the Dark Knight graphic novels from the 1980s I’ve seen yet. 

I’ll get away from this cafe shooting yet, it’s just so seductive and rich a field … grin. 

– Godfrey

 

Photographically speaking, about the only thing on my mind at the present time is the book signing event at ModernBook Gallery tomorrow evening. So imagine my delight when my friend Mark Roberts (a fine photographer and a professor teaching Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts) sent me a book review! 

Ways Together

Waystogether-bookcover

“Godfrey DiGiorgi’s Ways Together is, appropriately enough, the kind of photo book you’d want to peruse while quietly sipping a cappuccino at your favorite coffee shop. The coffee shop has become one of the common gathering places of our time and it’s fascinating to observe how people use it for solitude as much as for socializing. In fact, the digital interconnectedness of our society now makes it difficult to tell by looking which is the intent of the people in these photographs — which is of course part of the point. The theme of isolation versus contact is nicely played out throughout the book, which progresses through sections titled “Apart”, “Alone”, “In Private” and “Together”. The images progress from one theme to the other and yet maintain a common look and feel that makes this a unified work rather than a jumbled collection of works with a theme applied post hoc.

Though coffee shops are often jam packed with people, crowded and noisy, the photos on display here were obviously taken during relatively quiet hours. And the resulting photographs, too, are “quiet”. They speak clearly but they don’t shout. We need more of that these days, I think.

– Mark Roberts – Photography & Multimedia
  www.robertstech.com 

Thanks Mark! 

(Mark is also the head honcho behind the PDML Photo Annual, now in its fourth year. Check it out by going to his website and looking through the books section. It’s worth it! 

Hope to see some of you at ModernBook Gallery on Thursday evening! 
Just in case, here’s the address again:

ModernBook Gallery
49 Geary Ave, San Francisco, CA
Book signing event!
August 2nd, 5:30-7:30 pm

– Godfrey

In the cafe this afternoon, a misbehaving Polaroid SX-70 in front of me. Failed, bad exposures, $3.50 apiece worth of them, strewn on the table. The next table over from me—two women sitting with two young children, boy and girl. I’d hoped to maybe catch a photo or two with the Polaroid but my film pack had jammed on the first exposure, requiring me to fuss with it and lose four frames of eight. The remaining film was taking too long in process to see whether the camera was working properly yet.

“Oh, my mom had one of those!” the younger of the two women spoke in my direction. “I love old Polaroids! Can you still get film?” A conversation ensued. Instagram, her iPhone, my Polaroid images on the iPad … I never did get the photo, or read my magazine. I did manage to finish my coffee. But another connection made, another neat person who I will remember next time I’m there, who will remember me that next time too. The ways we come together in this environment.

I’ve been working on a book. A book drawn from the series of photos I’ve been posting to various venues the past couple of years with the title “Communicating” … This is what it’s about. The book is now done.

 

Announcing

 

Ways Together

Studies in Distance and Closeness

by Godfrey DiGiorgi

With a foreword by Brooks Jensen, Editor LensWork Publishing

A full preview is available on my Blurb.com bookstore:

Godfrey DiGiorgi on Blurb.com – blurb.com/user/GDGPhoto

Invitation

I invite you to join me for a reception and book signing. We’ll celebrate Ways Together along with eleven other new photo books at

 

ModernBook Gallery

49 Geary Ave

San Francisco, Ca

August 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm

 

Wine will be served. Copies of “Ways Together” in hardback and paperback will be available for purchase. To reserve a signed and numbered book at the event, or for delivery by postal service, please send an email to godfreydigiorgi@me.com for details.

A photo book is bigger than the photos it contains. The photos speak together, in a larger voice, playing with each other and speaking together as one thing. The feeling I have experienced from doing the book, from seeing the work in print, is different from what I saw as each photograph formed in my viewfinder and on my computer screen. The concept, the intent expanded in the becoming to a book.

The journey from being a photographer to becoming an author has been a challenge drawn out over years. This is my first published book, I can see a goal now. It draws me further.

Sorry I missed posting last week’s entry. I was down with a truly nasty cold and flu, and for the past week I croaked about like a frog with the sinus runoff and little energy. I’m back in the flow again now, the camera’s back in my bag, and new exposures are happening again.

Over a year and some now I’ve been shooting and posting the series called “Communicating”. The latest addition happened last Monday evening..

Communicating #72

I’d started with the germ of this idea in 2005, portraits of people in context I’d titled in my head “This Cafe Life” that eventually just became “People.” It finished up as a picture a week project slide show. (Viewable here as a flash slide-show presentation … yeah, back when I thought flash was a potentially useful presentation engine. People 2005.) 

Revisiting the idea half a decade on, what struck me as I continued my cafe rounds was the way that communicating in these ‘third place’ situations varied and how the electronic telecommunications age had infiltrated since even 2005. So many people now head to a cafe, buy a drink, then immediately plug into their email or web browser oblivious to the surrounding play of goings on. Yet those outside the web of electronic comm still interact … if you keep your own head out of the cell phone or the web browser for a moment, communications do not cease. 

The end product idea of this year and some worth of effort has been to put this series into a book. I have enough photo material now to make a solid 30-50 image book. So this week I start a photo book making workshop. 

The reception and book signing event will be in July. Invitations will be sent. Stay tuned.

– Godfrey 

 

It’s been kind of an odd week. As much as I tried to get done, it felt like nothing got done. Yet I see the evidence of work all around me on the desk, in the computer, in the inbox of my email. Hmm. A mildly annoying cold poked its way into my nose on Tuesday too. A feeling of something pending pervades… 

Must be the holidays coming on.

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So yesterday I was about the house, doing this and that, and feeling a bit chilled I sat down and watched a documentary on photographer William Eggleston. Got a good laugh about when his work was hung in a very notable gallery exhibition, Ansel Adams called the gallery to upbrade them and The New York Times rated it as “The most hated exhibition of the year.” That must have smarted, but Eggleston didn’t stop at all … he just kept on going. 

Realizing I’d been around the house all day I got antsy for a cup of coffee and a read at the cafe. Brought the camera along. 

These two fellows were engaged in a spirited to and fro, then all of a sudden they stopped for a moment. A Pause. 

I made the exposure, nodded at the fellow looking at me. He laughed, and they went right back at it with a chuckle … I heard the word “picture” and “snapshot” float over a couple of times for a few minutes. And then my attention drifted onwards. I looked up and noticed them gone.

Must be the holidays coming on. 
It’s been dark and cold these mornings of Winter 2010. So easy not to go for a walk in the pre-dawn chill, to enjoy the warmth of staying in bed or even just hanging out in my comfy chair while reading a good book. So easy … listening to the news on radio and television speaking dark things about jobs and economies and war. It has been dark, and that has been getting under my skin too much. 

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A recent daty, late in the afternoon, after a lot of time spent at the computer once again. I headed off to Mountain View for a walk and a cup. Sitting in the cafe and enjoying my drink, I saw them working on their computers. I had to refrain from chuckling as I pulled out the camera, switched lenses and snapped the shutter. Simply too many good nuances … I was afraid I’d miss it the shot if I did anything to distract them from their reveries. Every time I look at it, I smile again.

I’ve been out walking mornings since. Enough of dark and winter: time to think of brighter things. 
The gingko trees are turning golden, quickly, and they are beginning to shed. Morning sunrise creeps through their soon to be denuded branches again. The air is cold, breath frosts in front of me as I walk, my hood keeps my ears warm but my nose is icy.

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Too cold to sit outdoors this morning, my coffee gets cold too quickly. But it gave me the opportunity to chat with a few other regulars in the cafe, hear what people have planned for their holidays tomorrow. And make a few photos indoors. 

The Tao te Ching visited me again this morning: 

Verse 4

Tao is empty
yet it fills every vessel with endless supply 
Tao is hidden
yet it shines in every corner of the universe

With it, the sharp edges become smooth
the twisted knots loosen
the sun is softened by a cloud
the dust settles into place

So deep, so pure, so still
It has been this way forever
You may ask, “Whose child is it?” –
but I cannot say
This child was here before the Great Ancestor.

Funny book. I was thinking of tomorrow, of the turn of the year coming, of friends past and present on holidays like this one. It leads me to think of eternity.

Have a great Thanksgiving Day, all ye Americans around the world!
And have a great Day for all ye others!
The simple scene, a pleasure to photograph.

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Walking down Main Street, I spied some tables and chairs haphazardly sitting on the sidewalk next to a cafe off-side wall. Their positions suggested to me that several people had been there, enjoyed some coffee and snack, talked for a while, and departed leaving them askew. The curious thing was that it had been chill and raining lightly for a bit prior to my seeing them and it seemed that the cafe goers had only just left. I touched one of the chairs and the seat was still warm. Who sits out on the sidewalk in the rain, with friends, sipping coffee? 

I made about a dozen exposures of the group of chairs and tables … but this one, just one chair with its graceful curves and elegant starkness against the rough backdrop of the wall, a scattering of leaves blown to its feet since the people have departed, has so far struck me as the best of the set. I did debate whether I wanted the framing to be square or rectangular … I tried both, rectangular has won for the present. It’s a close thing. 

The chair looked inviting … I went inside, bought a cup of coffee, and sat in it for a few minutes until I’d finished drinking. Rain drizzled again for a few minutes. Warm coffee against the cool, moist air, my hat keeping it out of my eyes.

It was a comfortable chair.