Cityscapes, Urban & Street

Ghost Women in Barcelona

My eye keeps finding more images for my Ghost Women series. This time, on the walls along the streets and alleyways of Barcelona.

In this one I was seeing two couples–but their relationships are quite different. Perhaps one couple (upper) has managed to find accommodation and contentedness while the other (lower) is dealing with resentments, fears, perhaps even abuse?

Ghost Women, #51. Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #51 (Dos Parejas, Un Contraste). Barcelona, 2017

 

Can you see the face of self-destruction in this next photograph? Torn and disfigured…disappearing…perhaps due to unspeakable childhood traumas…the disintegrating effects of an addiction, maybe…

Ghost Women, #52 (Autodestruction). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #52 (Disappearing Self). Barcelona, 2017

 

Apparently comfortable, happy and healthy in their own skins in this urban space–what are their 3000 personal stories?

Ghost Women, #53 (What is their story?). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #53 (What is their story?). Barcelona, 2017

 

All I want is respect…dignity…you know, all those standard human rights we all ought to enjoy…

Ghost Women, #55 (Deserving of Respect). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #55 (Deserving of Respect). Barcelona, 2017

 

High voltage 69…authorized personnel only…

Ghost Women #56 (High Tension 69). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women #56 (High Tension 69). Barcelona, 2017

 

In a bar…on the street…a furtive glance. But who is he, really? Perhaps just a mere phantom of your own personal opera?

Ghost Women, #57 (A Furtive Glance). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #57 (A Furtive Glance). Barcelona, 2017

 

Is she in pursuit of a superhero, maybe? But superheroes are often distracted, with other, grander (!?), things on their minds. Or maybe they just want to go out alone on the balcony for a pensive smoke now and then…

Ghost Women, #58 (In Pursuit of a Superhero). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #58 (In Pursuit of a Superhero). Barcelona, 2017

Longmont Neo-Topgraphics

The march of progress continues along a southern section of Airport Road in Longmont, Colorado (as it does all along the entire Front Range). The constant drone of generators and the pop-pop-pop of the air guns as they relentlessly and ceaselessly drive nails into the wood framing…the sound of jobs…the sound of new homes in the making…the sound of a “healthy” economy.

So…I now have two more examples for my Neo-Topographic portfolio.

These new apartments or condos are going up along Airport Road, on the southwestern outskirts of Longmont. Note how Nature (here, as exemplified by that sliver of a glimpse of Longs Peak on the far horizon) is slowly being boarded up. The storm clouds are gathering–no coincidence. A “worm” or “snake” in the foreground tempts our eye into the image:

Longmont Construction, #1. Longmont, Colorado, 2017
Longmont Construction, #1. Airport Road, Longmont, Colorado, 2017

 

Here is another, very similar, view. We still have the storm clouds and Nature in the distant background slowly being extinguished but, to this composition, I add a hilly foreground that rhymes with Longs Peak in a certain way–they are both mountains of rock and dirt, but the former is a result of short-term human economic activity, the latter a very, very long-term project of the geologic forces–plate tectonics–of the Earth:

Longmont Construction, #2. Airport Road, Longmont, Colorado, 2017
Longmont Construction, #2. Airport Road, Longmont, Colorado, 2017

HUGE Photo-Poster and Flywheel Sports

Brooklyn Bridge, Nightscape #1. New York City, 2015
Brooklyn Bridge, Nightscape #1. New York City, 2015

 

I am very excited that I just licensed one of my images (above) to Flywheel Sports of New York City and, rather than on a typical website page, they used it in a most unusual way.

First, who is Flywheel Sports, you ask? Lets get that out of the way first.

Well, they are an up-and-coming sports-exercise company with a unique take on the more traditional stationary cycling classes you have probably already sweated, groaned, and screamed your way through. Flywheel has group cycling classes on high performance bikes that track exactly how hard you are working on a big “TorqBoard” for all to see (or not–your, and the instructor’s, prerogative). Looking at the numbers thus displayed, you can compete just with yourself, adjust your workout to your personal specific fitness goals, or you can compete against others. Groups can even compete against other groups…one Flywheel class versus another class…friends v. friends…enemies v. enemies. Upper body exercises can also be woven into the session. The competitive and motivational possibilities are limitless. And all of this accompanied by a super high-energy, pulsing, pounding musical sound track and top-notch super-fit instructors to keep you focused and majorly motivated.

For more on this…Slate Magazine did a nice report a few years ago on what this latest craze is all about and you can read it here: Flywheel: SoulCycling for the Truly Sadistic, April 10, 2013.

And here is a very recent (yesterday!) article/press release about their expansion plans: Flywheel Sports Announces Plan to Extend Studio Cycling Experience Into the Home, May 17, 2017.

It all sounds like a seriously fun and strenuous challenge (“Sounds dangerous. Count me in.” –Alan Shepard, in Top Gun). And since it may be coming to Denver soon, I just might get a chance to give it a whirl, so to speak.

Now, to the commercial use of the above abstract image of the Brooklyn Bridge…

They took my full file from the D800, which measures 7360 x 4912 pixels at 300 ppi (that’s a 24″ x 16″ print at 300dpi), and they blew it up…and  up…and up… and UP! They eventually stretched it into what looks like a 10-foot by 30-foot giant wall poster. Pretty impressive! Kudos to their art folks for recognizing the possibilities here–it’s all about depicting motion, movement, energy, and so on.

Of course, the fact that it was an abstract image gives the printer a lot of leeway when it comes to going BIG. A tack-sharp landscape might not look quite as good at this size (although up on a highway billboard, with a viewing distance measured in the hundreds of feet, it just might).

Here are a couple of snaps of the finished product, as it now appears in the new Flywheel building in Brooklyn:

Flywheel, #1. NY, NY, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Flywheel Sports)
Flywheel, #1. Brooklyn, NY, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Flywheel Sports)

 

Flywheel, #2. NY, NY, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Flywheel Sports)
Flywheel, #2. Brooklyn, NY, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Flywheel Sports)

Cozumel, Mexico in Black and White

Squall Line. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017
Squall Line. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017

A random selection of photographs, in monochrome mode, from the island of Cozumel, Mexico…

 

The tranquility of early morning on the western side of the isle–that is, before the thrumming start of the daily parade of dive boats carving their way through the sea to the many reefs:

The Pier. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017
The Pier. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017

 

An arm wave from on high…the lighthouse on the southern tip of the isle:

El Faro. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017
El Faro. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017

 

Here is a more abstract (erotic???) rendition of the lighthouse taken looking down from its summit perch, with a splash of color left on the woman’s purse:

El Faro, Abstract. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017
El Faro, Abstract. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017

 

The buzzards live in a paradise–they even get their own custom signs!

Guarda su distancia. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017
Guarda su distancia. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017

 

Finally, three abstracts from a local beach hotel:

Techo, Cozumel Occidental. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017
Techo, Cozumel Occidental. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017

 

Reflected Stairway. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017
Reflected Stairway. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017

 

Reflected Chandelier. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017
Reflected Chandelier. Cozumel, Mexico, 2017

Black & White Magazine Spotlight Portfolio!

An Orwellian New York. NYC, NY, 2015
An Orwellian New York. NYC, NY, 2015

 

B&W Magazine, in their current issue (June, 2017, Number 121), just came out with a short article and three pages of images from my Orwellian New York portfolio. (Yes, it is indeed the June issue–they put it out waaay early.)

It was quite an honor to be selected and I am thrilled about it!

You can see the spread in hard copy if you pick up the magazine at your local large bookstore. Or, for the online version of the article at the B&W Magazine website, simply click your mouse arrow HERE.

And, finally…you can see even more images from this particular portfolio by clicking on the Galleries tab above and scrolling down to “NYC – An Orwellian View”.

 

The Great Escape. NYC, NY, 2015
The Great Escape. NYC, NY, 2015

A Centennial Homage to Duchamps’s “Fountaine”

Urinal at Palmares Shopping Center, Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Urinal at Palmares Shopping Center, Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

One hundred years ago, a urinal (and, later, a Stieglitz photograph of that same urinal) caused quite a…uh…well…”splash” on the New York art scene.

Here is a wiki commons image of that iconic piece of white porcelain signed, in jest, by one “R. Mutt”:

Marcel Duchamp's "Fountaine". Photo by Alfred Stieglitz, 1917
Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountaine”. Photo by Alfred Stieglitz, 1917

 

Duchamp’s “Fountain” was rejected by the Society of Independent Artists (SIA) for their 1917 open exhibition even though the artist had paid the required entry fee. Surprise, surprise, surprise!

What was Marcel Duchamp really up to with this stunt? Well, apparently, it was both a practical joke and a challenge to conventional notions about the nature of art. It certainly prompted a lot of discourse–and burst blood vessels–among the highfalutin museum and gallery elite of the time. (With noses in the air and eyes averted, the SIA board euphemistically referred to the porcelain piss pail as a “bathroom appliance” in order to keep the scandal to a minimum.)

For more background on this incident, see Martin Gayford’s 2008 article in The Telegraph, Duchamp’s Fountain: The practical joke that launched an artistic revolution.

These days, even if you made photographs of actual human turds floating about in toilets I doubt you would raise many eyebrows–at least in New York (in Iowa, maybe).

After all, it would be pretty hard to outdo Immersion (Piss Christ) by Andres Serrano, no? (Dang, and that was 30 years ago now! Just looked it up.)

Death of a Dancer

Death of a Dancer, Collage. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Death of a Dancer, Collage. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

“…Let her finish her dance,

Let her finish her dance.

Ah, dancer, ah, sweet dancer!”

William Butler Yeats, 1865-1939

 

Some image details…

–Pieces of several mannequins were found scattered in front of a clothing store that was under renovation in Mendoza’s busy-bee city center.

–Ideas began to swirl in my brain as I made various captures from different perspectives.

–Some initial basic corrections in Lightroom: contrast, highlights, shadows, clarity, sharpening, etc.

–In Photoshop: slight cropping, some cloning to remove a couple of distractions.

–B&W conversions with Google’s Silver Efex Pro, then back to Photoshop for the layering.

–Layering in PS: Played a lot with the placement of the three images within one another as well as the opacity of each layer.

–Camera: Sony RX100iv. Awesome little street camera–although the files don’t have near the adjustability of my Nikon D800 files (of course!) they are still pretty darn good coming from such a small package.

–To be printed at 18 x 12 inches on 19×13 Exhibition Fiber paper.

Ghost Women Appear Again

Three more for the portfolio, all from old, weathered and torn posters hanging on obscure walls…

 

“Disappearing USA Woman Haunted by Her Two Exs”:

Ghost Women, #29. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Ghost Women, #40. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

“Torn From A Good Father”:

Ghost Women, #30. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Ghost Women, #41. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

“The Scarlet Letters Of Our Times”:

Ghost Women, #31. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Ghost Women, #42. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017