in the making

© kjm

Marilu and I attended a party a few nights ago, in a lovely old St. Louis home. There was wonderful food, lots of new (to us) interesting people, and a performance of live music. Three musicians, two of whom play with the Chicago Symphony, performed a Mozart piece to a crowd of about 50 - it was quite a treat.

While we listened and watched the musicians, it made me think about artistic creation - the act of making. The music we heard wasn't being recorded, but was joyfully being made for those of us gathered that night. As photographers, what we make will ultimately be consumed/viewed on a piece of paper or as a digital image on a screen. But what about the joy in the process? I make hundreds of pictures each week, but is there a joy in creation each time I push the button? Obviously not, but there are still frequent moments when I know all the elements are coming together, and I'm about to make a really nice picture. My heart beats a little faster.

That feeling used to happen more often - perhaps more often than not, in my earliest days of taking pictures, when I knew less about the craft. Here's to still understanding the end product of what we create, but to not overlook the pleasure of actually pushing the button.


white stuff

Christmas Eve snowball
© kjm

I had a vigorous, pre-dawn shoveling session this morning. The snow was the "brownie" type: a slightly crunchy surface, with moist snow below. It was also of the "good packing" variety, which is to say, good for snowball or snowman-making. Many a grown man in Wisconsin will still reflexively bend down to pack a snowball, if the conditions are right.


within reach: sauce

spaghetti bowl © kjm

[within reach is a series of photographs examining the environment of home in detail]


this existed

Dad On Bed, 1985 © Larry Sultan

"Photography does stop time. It's an exterior form of memory: This existed. That's it's greatest truth, to leave a trace of what has been." - the late Larry Sultan, in an interview on Fresh Air.

Shouldn't most of us make, or have made, our own version of this picture?


as seen: a.m.

morning light on Marilu's couch © kjm


within reach: frigid

frost on the bedroom window
© kjm

[within reach is a series of photographs examining the environment of home in detail]


fast graphic

© Dustin Amery Hostetler (UPSO)

Graphic artist Dustin Amery Hostetler has created his "holiday wish list" over at Jen Bekman's 20x200, and this is his lovely take on my piece, Jones Boulevard Location, #1. You can find his contribution to the site, Color Study, #4 here. If I were filling my own 20x200 stocking this year, it might include work by Dan Boardman, Mark Menjivar, Colleen Plumb, Shaun Sundholm, or William Lamson.


within reach: protection

after packing the box © kjm

[within reach is a series of photographs examining the environment of home in detail]


taking on water

© Francis Ford

Frank Ford's ship isn't sinking - but if it was, he'd have lots of people to throw him a line. Frank has been making wonderful pictures in Milwaukee for a long time, and has assembled what he calls The Lifeboat Show, a collection of portraits of friends he'd want with him, should he start taking water on. It's a who's who of Milwaukee's theater, photography and art world: like Jim Dine's Name Painting meets Noah's ark. Shouldn't everyone do this?

If you're within the sound of my voice, you have a few days left to see the show. The Cedar Gallery is at 326 N. Water Street in the Third Ward (above Starbucks). Hours: 1-5 pm daily, with a closing party this Saturday.


i love this photo, #35

© Alexi Hobbs

I love this photo by the photographer Alexi Hobbs. Alexi is a full-time graphic designer and part-time photography major who lives in Montreal. Check out his blog, The Contact Sheet, where he often skillfully pairs photographs with music.

"This photo is part of Maritime Currents, a semi-diaristic series I made in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, two of Canada's Maritime provinces. It is an attempt to juxtapose the kitschy touristic experience, that we all go through when we visit the typical sites found on any tour-bus vacationist's itinerary, with my own personal explorations and more private moments. This particular photo shows the quintessential seafood platter one can purchase, and then enjoy, in most of the little take-outs that are found in practically all of the little towns."

[See past 'i love this photo' entries here.]



I've been thinking about this idea/concept for a while, and now it's a reality. Today, collect.give is launched. collect.give is a place to collect photography online, while donating to good causes at the same time.

I'm so enamored by the online photography community: the vast pool of visual treats, the power of reach, the discovery of new photographers on a daily basis. It's also still so new, and the idea that new projects can add to the community landscape is exciting to me.

And of course, technology makes this possible: a website built in a few days, digital printing techniques, PayPal, blog and Twitter posts spreading the news.

New work will be added to the site (sign up for the email list!), but the photographers featured at the launch are among my favorite photo world friends: John Loomis, Susana Raab, Dalton Rooney, Emily Shur and Allison V. Smith.

Please take a look, and purchase a print if you feel so inclined!