Over the Christmas holiday, my family and I visited my mother-in-law in Springfield, Illinois. This state capital never ceases to disappointment me visually, as for whatever reason, I am extremely attracted to the landscape of this area. The architecture here is a mixture of early 20th century grandiosity (and eventual decay), suburban sprawl, and rural utilitarianism. I find this conjunction of forms fascinating, and I have slowly been building up a body of work on this place. Earlier visits can be found here.
A friend who writes about architecture for St. Louis Magazine invited me along on a tour of the historic St. Louis Metropolitan Police Headquarters, which was abandoned for a newer facility earlier this year. I will skip including information on the history of the building, and instead refer you to Chris’ article here, which includes many of my images. In this post, I will include my favorite photographs from the visit to the building where three generations of my family have served as policemen.
from The Darkness, a haunted house attraction in STL
2014 has been quite the busy year. In February, I curated an exhibition of work by artist, Anna Kuperberg at the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. This was the first of three exhibitions that I would curate for the Museum in 2014, and the first of four that I would install there. Also in February, Photo Flood Saint Louis, my photography organization, covered the 250th anniversary of St. Louis through its partnership with stl250. This included three full days of celebrations!
In March, IPHF unveiled my next show, St. Louis Shoots: Contemporary Street Photographers from St. Louis, which ALIVE Magazine declared one of the “10 Art Exhibits to Visit in St. Louis This Month”. Also in March, the Missouri Arts Council featured this blog in an article titled, Snapshots of the Missouri Arts Blogosphere. In June, I was hired by the Museum as their Director of Exhibitions and Facilities, where I installed the well-received Portrait/Process exhibition.
Eric Greitens: Strength and Compassion is an exhibition that I co-curated, designed and installed at the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum (pics coming soon). The exhibit will remain on display through January 25, 2015.
If you can make it, please come visit me and meet the photographer at the event below.
Earlier this year, the camera that I have been using as a back-up (Nikon D50) finally died, and although I was planning to give it to my wife, I still needed something in the bag as a back-up for the occasional event photography that I still do. At the time, I was faced with a real dilemma; do I make my D300 a back-up by upgrading to full-frame (size, cost and pixels that I don’t currently need) or by downgrading (in all but image quality) to a D7100? How much event photography was I really planning to do moving forward with my current full-time job at the Museum? I decided on a stopgap approach; I bought a used Nikon D200.
In addition to Alternative Photography, I taught two other classes: Funography and The Photographic Series. Funography demonstrated simple techniques for manipulating images as they are being shot (versus in post-processing), while The Photographic Series illustrated the rationale for sequencing photographs in order to strengthen an idea or storytelling. For the Funography class, the students experimented with using flashlights, prisms, magnifying glasses, sunglass lenses, colored gels, paper bags, plastic cups, and more to create photographic effects. In The Photographic Series, students created a ten-image series for each of the following, documentary series, thematic series, and serial imagery series. Historic and contemporary precedents were shown to both classes.
It was a monumental task to accomplish everything in only a week, but we did it!
Images after the jump–> (more…)
For two weeks at the beginning of August, St. Louis Community College at Meramec was transformed into the College for Kids. Offering K-8 classes for gifted students, the courses ranged dramatically from chess instruction to animal demonstrations. As far as I could tell, I was the only educator representing photography this year, which explained the roughly 64 kids that came through my classroom. My three classes were Alternative Photography (1st week), Funography (2nd week), and The Photographic Series (2nd week). The experience was completely exhausting, but fun nonetheless.
Results after the jump–> (more…)
installation view of Darren Bader’s work (including my photo) in the Dallas Museum of Art exhibition, Never Enough: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art
Recently, I was contacted by the Dallas Museum of Art to make a photograph using directions provided by the artist, Darren Bader, for inclusion in an exhibition at the Museum. The artist, who frequently employs work by collaborators for use in his installations, assigned me the goal of photographing “oil with/and Mohel” (an example of his rhyming pair juxtapositions). Subsequently, the DMA coordinated with the Saint Louis Art Museum to allow me to photograph a local Mohel in their galleries, next to an oil painting. You can see that image, and the DMA’s description of the exhibition after the jump.
For nearly two hundred years, culture has taught us to accept photographs as truthful vestiges of events that have occurred, and we have been conditioned to ignore the manners in which that truth is manipulated by both the photographer and the camera. In the digital era, our faith in the photo document is no less, despite the many additional ways that images are altered (ranging from a conscious event like post-processing to the unintended problems inherent to having the digital sensor emulate analog film).
Telegenic is a series exploring the manipulation and dispersion of digital media via light-emitting displays, and the ways in which digital capture fails to fully communicate screen-originated imagery.