Archives for posts with tag: street

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

 

The book is done, pre-orders for signed copies have been brisk. And of course, my mind is already moving forwards, further along. Art happens now, in the moment; exhibition and presentation always happens in the past. Art is always abandoned, never finished. New work leaps out of somewhere I cannot know. New things surface to my eyes, the next book project is already on the table. It is carrying a working title of The Drum … 

But the book signing and reception is coming up next week! 

Waystogether-bookcover

Ways Together

Come to the reception and book-signing!

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

I’ll be taking pre-orders until Thursday, write me at godfreydigiorgi@me.com for details. 

I hope to see you at ModernBook Gallery … ! 

– 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.

It seems to take forever for me to present a new photo right now. My mind and time are fully engaged … in work, in my upcoming book, in social involvements, and on and on it goes. When I spied this photo of a pup patiently waiting for his master to return, in a set of photos I made during a street walk in San Francisco circa June 2007, I said to myself, “Hmm. It’s about time I put that photo out there for others to enjoy.”


click image to view larger

A little patience and a lot of work along the way: things start getting done. At work, I’ve made it through our big annual conference and two of the three assignments I’ve been working on are done, the third is on the way now. 

The photo book workshop I participated in at Stanford U just completed its last session too … And the book project I chose to work on is now nearly done! I had fears for a little while there that I just would not find the time to finish it, but a few late afternoon and late night sessions came to the rescue. 

A more formal announcement is coming very soon but the book is titled Ways Together and is based on the Communicating series of cafe/street photos I’ve been posting since 2010. It’s so good to see this work finally come together as a piece! It will become available for purchase next month in both hard cover and paperback editions. A reception and book signing is scheduled at ModernBook Gallery in San Francisco on Thursday, August 2 from 5:30 to 7:30; of course, I’ll have a limited number of copies on hand for sale at the event too. You’re all invited to join me and my classmates in celebrating our books. 

And our little canine friend? Well, I seem to recall his master returned before I left the scene. He jumped up, greeted her gladly, and they took off into the city for their next destination a few moments later. Patience is necessary, and often rewarded.

– Godfrey

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 

 

United Airlines sent me a note in May that my frequent flyer miles were going to go away if I didn’t book something with them before the end of June. So I thought, ‘heck, i haven’t been to NY since mom passed away, i should visit my brothers and see what’s going on back east.’ 

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One of my friends was available and I had the time to visit yesterday. So on September 11, 2010, I took the train from Westchester down into Manhattan. The significance of the date was not lost on me. 

New York City is, indeed, a living organism. There wasn’t a lot of time, I had another engagement on my calendar in the evening. I  rode the Harlem Line down to Grand Central and feeling the heat as I exited the train brought back vivid memories of growing up in and around this place. 

The City in Summer is always about sweat. It’s always about movement, constant movement, the sound of so much going on resonating and colliding in the hot, damp air. Riding the subway, mid-day on a Saturday, it is jammed as if in rush-hour in any other city. I didn’t really remember the path to my friend’s place on 7th and First: I felt my way there riding the subways after a cursory glance at the map, and walked when I got off nearby. 

The street is New York. Every block, every neighborhood full of people talking, eating, buying, selling, sitting, laughing, crying, running, walking. All different ages, all different kinds. It is exhilarating. Buzz about the Towers. Buzz about the mosque, about politics, about what’s good and what sucks. I talked with a woman on the subway platform, jammed and jostled with passengers in the cars screeching through their tunnels underground, enjoyed an ice cream cone while watching a woman and her two youngsters doing the same. There’s enough to keep your ears and eyes full no matter where you turn. 

So glad I made it here at this time. 
The photographs we make are moments in Time strung along the threads of our lives. With them, we can travel back through Time as much as we want and bring the moments back to the present. They visit us in the Present, we journey back to them. Which way is it, really?

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Minox IIIS, film and developer unknown
8×11 mm original negative

I’ve been involved for the past several days in scanning and archiving my entire library of processed Minox 8×11 film negatives. Fifty rolls of 25 to 40 exposures made in the period between 1996 and 2002. 2000 photographs. That’s a lot of moments. 

There are some gems in that library. So far, what I have are all proof-quality: scanned through the film holder sleeves with a flatbed scanner … where when I get them all cataloged and indexed, I’ll sort and find a suitable selection for high resolution capture with the L1/Macro lens setup. 

But this one was just too neat to keep to myself … I’ll do a high-resolution capture later. 

So you’ve likely noticed that I have been absent for a bit, I’m sure. Intentional, in part. I took an enforced break from the blog, trying to sort out my thoughts about where to go with it. And with lots of other things going on off-line from photography too right at the present. 

Hopefully I’ll get a little more consistent with a weekly or bi-weekly post soon again. No promises. 

But stay tuned … 🙂
I love my morning walks. The air is fresh and crisp, the weather can be clear or foggy, and the world is quiet. I can let my mind wander while my eyes are looking, watching for those moments that make the photos I like. 

I remember this day last September when it was foggy … these two guys talking as I had my coffee, illuminated by the light. I’d forgotten all about it until yesterday. As I was looking for something else in that time period, this photo jumped up and caught my eye.

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So that brought me to think a little bit about this process of ‘discovering the forgotten’.

I have literally thousands of unprocessed photos. How about a “Picture A Day” project where I find one or another of my un-processed photos to present? I’m sure I could pull out a week or two worth of photos to post in advance so I don’t run behind. But whether to post them on this blog or create a new blog for them, or … hmm. 

I’ll figure it out in a day or two .. 

Photography Workshops Update 

Here’s what’s coming up on my workshop calendar in April …

April 24-25 :: Creating B&W Photographs: A Digital Approach

A two-day, hands-on workshop exploring the creation and rendering of black and white photographs using digital tools. The workshop will encompass using both Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom in this free-form discussion with lots of hands-on time. You are required to bring your camera, your laptop computer with Photoshop and/or Lightroom, and your photos to work with. No prerequisite classes are required. 

Offered at the Media Center, 900 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, California, USA

For more information and registration see the website

Or call Dave Sorokach (650-494-8686) at the Media Center.

Or email me directly.. 

I took an early afternoon walk in downtown Palo Alto yesterday. Visited friends at the gallery, watched shoppers and families in the Sunday-After-Holiday quiet that pervaded the streets. Music floated out of an alcove in front of the the bookstore as I approached … I turned in, sat, and listened for a while. Of course I took out the camera. But I was more interested to listen to the music. The camera sat on the table in front of me, waiting.

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Two students from the San Francisco Conservatory. They played very very well, the air shimmered with their music. A wonderful duet. 

The alcove walkway is a passage from street to store. Dozens of people walked through. I was struck with how many people, intent on their own affairs, did not seem to even hear them … few even glanced in their direction. The man in the corner table behind them, deep in reading his book, also seemed utterly disconnected from the music filling the space. 

Until they stopped. They looked at each other for a moment, seemed to quietly laugh at some secret joke, and then the reader stood, applauded, and thanked them. People rushed in from the street and the store sides of the alcove to tell them how beautiful the music was, drop some money in their instrument case, applaud for a moment. I spoke with them for a few moments, thanked them for the performance, returned to my seat to collect my things. 

And then everyone was gone again. The reader went back to his book. The two violinists looked at each other again quietly, took a breath, changed their music and began to play once more. Everything was as before. 

My camera made a click. I rose and walked on. 
I acquired a new lens today. Felt bidden to go to Mountain View and walk about with it for a bit. It’s remarkably small, fast and light; fits the camera nicely… 

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New equipment is always a moment’s pause to experiment, to try things, to test its limits and see what it does to your vision. It’s easy to fall into a sense of wonder – “Oh my, these are the greatest … I couldn’t do without this … ” – blah blah blah. The thrill of the new. The truth is that what it does for me over my previous choice of lenses is add a little capability and subtract a little weight from my bag. What I see, how I see it, hasn’t really changed. I guess I’m jaded with the thrill of the new … I just want to make photographs.

It’s the photographs which always matter most to me. While I was wandering downtown, I stopped into the used bookstore and found two wonderful photo books, Wide Open by Linda McCartney and Still Time by Sally Mann. I love used bookstores… I couldn’t put them down, so there went some of my store credit. I’ve spent a good bit of the afternoon leafing through them and finding wonderful gems between their covers. That’s the real thrill.

So I turned the corner from the bookstore, passed a cafe on the way to the car, and saw this table and chairs, newspaper lying on the ground. And something about it seemed so… just so, a state of suspension, of action that either just happened or was just about to happen. A conversation that lingered in the gesture of the paper lying there, passed it by, forgotten in the moment of that conversing as parties unknown went on to other things.

I like the lens, it let me see this moment better. 

Photography Workshops Update 

Here’s what’s on the calendar coming up in 2010 …

January 9-10 :: Lightroom: Starting In The Middle

A two-session workshop for photographers interested to learn how to use Adobe Lightroom. No prerequisites, some familiarity with Photoshop and image processing workflow is helpful. Students are welcome to bring a library of their own work, either on external hard drive or laptop.

January 23-24 :: Creating B&W Photographs: A Digital Approach

A two-day, hands-on workshop exploring the creation and rendering of black and white photographs using digital technology. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom image processing application approaches will be shown. You will be guided through a variety of different rendering approaches and printing techniques. The class will focus on doing, be prepared to bring your own photographs to work on! No prerequisites required, some background in using Photoshop or Lightroom is helpful. 

Offered at the Media Center, 900 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, California, USA

For more information and registration see the website – http://www.midpenmedia.org/ 

or call Dave Sorokach (650-494-8686) at the Media Center, or email me directly.