Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, New Year!

This time of the year, this day, is a time for reflection on the year past. For a lot of us it becomes the real Thanksgiving day, because not only do we reflect on what has occurred over the last 365 days, but we also give thanks for those things that did (or didn’t) transpire. So I will take this time to give a few selected (non-comprehensive) photographic-related “Thank You” shout outs to some of the positive stuff from the year 2009.

First and foremost is Flickr. I give thanks that the big social-photo site is still there uniting people socially around photography. I dove rather heavily into Flickr in both 2008 and 2009, and I finally ran smack up against its limitations about the middle of this year. After repeated sour experiences on the social end of Flickr, I came to the welcoming and refreshing realization that this was not what I wanted for my photography. I still use Flickr. I’m still a “pro”. I still peruse the uploads of those on my contact list, and I still venture out looking for new contacts. I’m still an admin on a couple of groups, but I’ve pulled back considerably with regard to the meat of what Flickr is all about, group postings, social networking and contact management. I uploaded six photos yesterday, but my plan for 2010 is to not broadcast uploads. I plan to be more selective with what I show. So, thank you Flickr for the experience and for helping me realize how much I value my photography.

SFMOMA. I became a member this year, finally. It’s been one of the best investments I’ve made in a long time. Thank you, SFMOMA for the great exhibits this year, especially Robert Frank’s Americans and the William Kentridge exhibit. What a great summer.

Thank you, Castro Theatre for showing Godard’s Made In USA and thank you Roxie Theatre for your Film Noir series. I know you’ve always been there, but this was a return for me to the art-house cinema of my youth.

Thank you Panasonic and Olympus for your µ4/3 products. What an incredible development and what fun if has been to get truly excited about digital photography. A couple of months ago I attended a gathering of local rangefinder photographers. At the table were several panasonic µ4/3 cameras and twice as many lens mount adapters. I was able to affix Leica M mount and LTM lenses, Nikon lenses and Olympus lenses to my G1. I hope someday everyone gets to see a GF-1 with a Noctilux attached. What a blast it is to meld the old with the new.

Thank you photo book publishers. I think I invested in more photo books this year than any other, and there has been no shortage of fascinating and cherish-able offerings. Some of my favorite books this year came from Steidl. I’m thinking particularly of the expanded edition of Frank’s Americans. Eighty pages of contact sheets!

Thank you Apple computer for your iPhone and iPhone-related products. I’m thinking specifically of the iPod Touch, which I acquired when I bought my daughter a MacBook for her freshman year in college (I don’t have an iPhone). Images from the iPhone camera have been showing up everywhere and combined with the cool apps the results have been impressive. For the Touch, I’ve found several apps that have really changed my photo processes. I’m most impressed with the Digital Truth Massive Development Chart app.

Well, that’s probably enough for now. Happy New Year!!