Lot Zine Released, and End of Year Gallery Show

LOT Zine Released, and End of Year Gallery Show

Paper and pixels

That’s what we have today, two incredible ways of displaying our work, one old and one new.

First, click here to order your LOT Zine copy. I’m so excited for this to go out.

The cost is $23 + shipping. That is actually the cost with no profit added, since they are printed on demand. If you’d prefer the PDF instead of purchasing the zine, just let me know.

And while the second part of this post is going to be the fascinating part, I want to stress how incredible it is that I can create a PDF, upload it, and have you all from around the world be able to get a copy relatively quickly. Magic.

I’ll release the PDF to everyone in a month but I want to make sure everyone’s first experience is the tactile experience of the magazine.

And thank you to Emily Passino, Larry Felton, Vin Sharma, Nora Hartfelder, TS Russell, Peter Weeks, and Richard Angeloni for working to create this (and how about that cover photo by Richard)!

And since they’re printed on demand if any of you get a copy that looks a little messed up (I don’t think it’s common, but possible), just let me know and we can get you a new one.

We’ll talk more about it when you all get it. Sit back and enjoy!

Part 2 – Pixels (and a gallery show)

So I’ve been a tad stressed lately. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. And when I’m stressed I sometimes screw around and try to think of fun things to procrastinate with.

Given that this is the year of the metaverse, it’s been on my mind. Especially with all the fascinating and ridiculous stuff that’s going on in the NFT world.

But really, what is the metaverse? Mainly, it is a melding of the real and virtual world. Now this can and I’m sure will be a terrible thing in many ways. 

But it also has a lot of amazing potential, especially if you don’t think of it as replacing the real world, but instead, enhancing the virtual world to feel less virtual. Hopefully a balance can be created.

So I started exploring the web to see if it was possible to show work in a real life gallery form, a way to elevate it and transform the experience of looking at it. And wow, what I found is so freaking cool. Here’s a gallery for my Luxe City project.

I suggest checking this out on a big monitor if you can, larger enhances the experience, but it works really well on a phone. And view in fullscreen.

In a few years, maybe we’ll be conversing in here, having drinks, and talking about the art. There could even be instant ways to purchase prints. The potential is immense.

And this is not meant to replace real gallery shows, but to create gallery shows for people around the world in ways that would otherwise be impossible.

And it’s perfect for this Salon.

So sorry for my rambling, the gist is… we’re going to have a holiday gallery show of our best work created in the Salon this year.

And then we’re going to have a permanent virtual gallery where we share projects and such from members. More on how that will work in the new year, but work on your projects if you can.

For the end of year show, Upload up to three favorite photos taken this year as a part of the Salon, or if you are a newer member, or been in lockdown, share previous work you’ve taken outside of the Salon during this year.

I’m only going to pick one from each person, so if there’s one you definitely want to show, just upload one. And the show will be up for one month.

Size the photos to jpg, 65% quality, 1900 pixels wide. Color space srgb. Name them “Firstname-Lastname-1.jpg”.

Upload here in the next two weeks: https://www.dropbox.com/request/lMVarLootjMUN2PNaMnf

And sorry no time for photo links this week.

Golden Apples

Golden Apples

I want to share this passage from the photographer James Prochnik.

“Photographer Mark Steinmetz once warned me and fellow workshop participants to “beware life’s golden apples.” I have an unreliable memory, but I believe Steinmetz told us this warning was passed on to him by Garry Winogrand and found by Winogrand in Greek mythology, so it’s a cautionary tale with a solid pedigree and a story I’ve often returned to and reflected on since hearing it.

What are life’s golden apples? As I recall the story – the golden apples are part of a Greek myth about a beautiful woman, Atalanta, who challenged her numerous suitors to a race – the one who could best her in a race would win her hand in marriage. So on the appointed day, Atalanta, and all her suitors set off running. Atlanta, who could run fast as the wind, quickly took the lead, but as the race wore on, some of the men began to catch up, and so Atalanta began tossing golden apples behind her. One by one the exhausted male suitors found themselves distracted by the golden apples and stopped chasing her in order to catch and keep one of these incredible apples for themselves. Only one suitor, Melanion, pushed on, unfazed by these entrancing and tempting apples. Melanion’s focus allowed him to eventually catch up to Atalanta, and so wins her hand in marriage. (The actual Greek myth has some notable and complicating differences from my memory of the story).

The moral of this story is that life is filled with golden apples distracting us from our true goals and loves and passions. In our contemporary world, the internet and social media are like demonic golden apple pitching machines throwing out so many golden apples it’s difficult for even the most dedicated and focussed artists to press forward, undistracted and undeterred. But even if social media and the coming metaverse were never invented there would still be plenty of distractions to keep our minds and hearts distant from our most enduring dreams. In my case, it was the realization that as much as I enjoyed the golden apple of photographing the random and serendipitous, few of the resulting pictures seemed capable of adding up to the consistent and coherent bodies of work I ultimately dreamed about making.

It’s important to recognize that the golden apples are not without value. They are golden for a reason, and a life of catching golden apples is still sweet, and still good. But a little time spent meditating on the golden apples of one’s own life may help us reach heights we never thought possible.”

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Challenge #8: Light and Dark

Quick Challenge Details

1. Upload up to six photos for Light and Dark. They can all be dark or light or grey, but it would be nice to see a mix.

2. Upload up to two photos for the self-portrait challenge, one light and one dark.

File Naming: Firstname-Lastname-1.jpeg (2, 3, etc.)

File Naming (Self-Portrait): Firstname-Lastname-Self-Portrait-1.jpg

Web Sizing: As you would size to upload to the site, 1000 pixels long edge, 65% quality). 

Upload Link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/yxyB8W7h067BsRG4ES91

Deadline: Friday, December 10th

*I’m creating a challenges tab so this information is more easily accessible.

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I hope you’re hanging in well. I have a feeling everyone’s a little tired right now, as am I. Hang in there and do your best to seek out inspiration.

Next week we’ll have a new challenge that will hopefully be stimulating and allow you to be creative. I’ll also give an update on the progress of the zine next week.

If you want the free shipping from DSI, don’t forget to order it by tomorrow when the free shipping is supposed to go away: https://www.homephotosalon.com/read-this-for-a-free-print/

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Read This For a Free Print

Read This For a Free Print

Don’t forget tomorrow’s deadline to upload photos for the LOT project.
*(To submit, export your files as high-resolution jpegs and name them Firstname-Lastname-1.jpg (and 2,3 etc.). Make the photos 300DPI and as large as they can go (or at least like 11 inches on the long edge). If you have questions with this please message me. Then click this link and upload: https://www.dropbox.com/request/O2OfkU395nMxVdXNlOKv)*
The set of photos is incredible to see so far. This challenge emphasizes the collective power of this group to tell a worldwide story. I can’t wait to start putting the zine together. It’s going to take a little longer for that to be ready – I’m aiming for a month.
We’ll have a new challenge in a couple weeks. In the Levitt group recently, someone was talking about the idea of resilience through the pandemic, and how we’re all just sick of resilience right now. That kind of hit me because it’s so true.
I’ve been pushing you all a lot this year with the challenges – trying to get you out of your comfort zone. The goal was to help you establish (or begin to establish) a new comfort zone and a wide variety of skills. I want you to be able to stop that interesting person you see to say hi, or to be able to find a great photograph in a parking lot because that’s where you happen to be. 
But it’s tough. Taking photos in gas stations and parking lots is tough, in the best of circumstances, let alone if you live in a more paranoid area, or if you look different. But I think you’ll see it was worth it with the story we told.
The next challenge will be less about pushing you and more about stimulating your creativity.
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Connections, Portrait Challenge Results

Marina Napoleoni

Connections - Portrait Challenge Results

There is a lot to read here, so pick a couple based on people who look interesting to you and check them out. There are fascinating stories throughout.

This was the best way I found to present it all, but I originally wanted to just show the photos together with no text, so we could get a sense of the quality of them all next to each other with no distractions.

It’s amazing how much stronger this set of portraits are overall than much of the previous portrait work that’s been done, even though there’s been a ton of fantastic portraiture already.

Everyone looks comfortable, real, in their element. There’s a lot of nuance in these photos.

I believe nothing can improve you as a street (or non street) portrait photographer more than showing genuine interest in your subjects. And this can clearly create some incredible experiences for you as well.

These photos are proof of that. Well done!

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Seeing the Light: Challenge Results​

Ann Hyland

Seeing the Light: Challenge Results

I’m going to keep my commentary short on this one. What can you really say that the photos here don’t already say on their own?

Clearly, one major skill that will improve your photography is better noticing the light and its qualities. And I think looking through these photos will certainly stimulate that.

I have tremendous fun organizing the images, although I’m sure I miss and leave out some great photos in the process.

I separated the selects into two groups, because in Lightroom I picked out an initial 45 photos and then another 45. But looking through after organizing these and they’re both pretty equally excellent.

Hope you find this inspiring! Next week I’m hoping to get to the portraits and stories.

And I’m psyched to see all the LOT photos already. My feed looks like one big parking lot and there are a lot of fantastic photos already. Get some portraits, get some detail shots, find quirky things, amongst everything else!

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Challenge #7 – Projects and Zines

Challenge #7: Projects and Zines

I hope you’ve all had a restful August!

Apparently the world’s still (temporarily) ending, we’re returning from a quiet August to get back to the real world, and we’re all mentally screwed up (on a good day). Or at least I am.

But it’s time to get things going more here. Let’s take some photographs. I don’t care when or how you do, just take some shots. And hopefully this challenge will help.

We’ve done many challenges based on specific ideas, and for this challenge, there’s both a specific part and a part that will allow you to go in your own direction.

*and just a side note, sorry for posting so many of my photos in these last few posts – it’s just easier to represent these project topics. We’ll get back to posting community photos after this.

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Please don’t forget to submit your photos for the Light and Story Challenge to [email protected] with the title ‘Challenge #6.’ The deadline is Sept 7th. And please send them all at once in one email if you can. A max of one portrait/story and up to 5 light photos.

Next week’s post will be all about the next project challenge coming up. But before that, I wanted to use this week to share my Speedway project and how it came about.

The development of my previous project, Luxe City was an organic process. It grew as I grew as a photographer. The story, the idea behind it, were all based on things I was feeling at the time and I had to learn those feelings and figure out how to express them.

Similarly, this is what I’m trying to do with my Quiet, Brooklyn (or Painted Flowers) project. I don’t even know the name for that now. I’m similarly figuring it out as I go along as I feel out the story that I want to tell.

100 Greene Street on the other hand was half organic and half figured out. I was naturally drawn to the street and kept going back over and over, but it took a few years to realize that the street itself could be a project on its own. And once I realized that, it got even more exciting to go there, and it continues to be.

Speedway is a crappy gas station down the block from me. It stands at the intersection of an $89 hotel that was just converted from being used as a homeless shelter, a police station, and a school. I cross through the gas station every time I walk to the subway.

I had taken a few good photographs there as part of my general photography, but one day it dawned on me that this place was a microcosm of a certain portion of the city. If I waited long enough there, it seemed like anything could happen.

This subsection is the opposite of who I was photographing in Luxe City. And strangely enough, I’ve only been turned down by one person so far for a portrait – a guy who wanted $50. I will pay $20 if necessary or if someone clearly needs it, but that’s my limit. This man did not need $50.

This gas station is not a place you’d expect people to be easygoing about letting you take their portrait, and yet they are. They seem like they get. It just shows that you never know.

The goal is to use this small but vibrant place to tell a larger story about the city – and to do it before it turns into a luxury building, which I’m assuming will be the final portion of the project.

I’m trying to mix traditional candid street photography with more formal portraits. I use the Fuji X100 when I walk by frequently to head to my jobs in Manhattan. Then when I have free time, I bring the GFX and focus on portraits.

It’s an interesting puzzle to try to figure out how to put that all together but still have it feel cohesive.

On one hand, I want the project to feel loose and relaxed. I want it to feel fun. I want each photo to be a little story in the life of the city. Some of the photos I take quickly and try to compose quickly to get that feeling. But I also want an aspect of it to be more formal. So for other photos, I spend a while composing. And I hope they balance each other out.

There are rock dividers on the sidewalk that are great to sit on in the sun. The first few times it felt weird, but now it’s frankly very relaxing to go for 30 minutes at 5pm and watch this crappy gas station run with the sun on your back. When I have the time I like to hit either the 9am rush or the 5pm rush.

So I sit there and wait for the right people to get out of their cars or to walk by and then I go talk to them. Sometimes I feel too uncomfortable and chicken out (yes, I still chicken out), but more often I’m able to get myself to go for it.

I’m starting to see the same people over and over again and now saying hi to a few of them. I’m starting to feel like one of the characters in the story almost. I went out again the morning of writing this looking for Mango but I must have just missed him because the birds were crowded around eating.

My buddy Scott Wyden-Kivowitz, who helps me with some of the behind-the-scenes work on the site, just started a new photo podcast called Photo Breakdown – where we talk for 20 minutes about the Mango portrait and the project in general: https://scottwyden.com/photo-breakdown-with-james-maher/

You can see the current form of the project at this link. Click on the photo so the lightbox comes up and then use the arrow keys to scroll through. Pay attention to the details – there’s some fun hidden stuff. https://www.jamesmaherphotography.com/speedway/

We’ll talk much more about projects, sequencing, and everything over the next few months as part of this next challenge, but start giving it some thought now. And there’s going to be an added surprise that we’re going to do as part of the challenge that I’m very excited about.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve all been able to get some time off this August.

Photo Links!

Inspiration – Light and Stories

Inspiration - Light and Stories

We’re only a couple weeks in and I’ve already been impressed with the portraits people have been taking and stories you’ve been coming back with.

The portraits have a different depth to them with the added interaction.

Instead of waiting for the recap, I wanted to share a few of these early to give some inspiration and more motivation.

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