Nik Software - Free from Google

I have used Nik software plugins for a few years, I particularly like the Silver Efex Pro and use it for most of my Black and White digital images.  I have found it to be easy to use and a good way for me to create digital images that are similar to my silver gelatin prints from negatives.  Google bought Nik a while back and this past March they made the Nik software plugins free to everyone.  Works with PS, Lightroom, & Elements. 

Here is the link to download the plug ins: https://www.google.com/nikcollection

 

Jon Soo Hoo - Dodgers Team Photographer

http://dodgersphotog.mlblogs.com/2015/09/13/91215-someone-special-rest-in-peace-chef-dave-pearson-by-jon-soohoo/

I first met Jon in 1988 when I had a one game credential at Dodger Stadium, he was pretty new there and got tasked to oversee that  I was in the right photo well.  He has been the Dodgers Official Photographer ever since.

A lot of Jon's work is press like just because of the needs of his employer but he also has the freedom to be creative and he does an outstanding job looking for new ways to approach his subject matter.  I love the fact he looks for different angles to photograph the game and isn't afraid to try and use different lighting for powerful images.   It's not all "Art" but a good photograph is a good photograph and I like his images.

 

Mary Ellen Mark

In 1986 Mary Ellen Mark's "Mother Teresa and Calcutta" photographs were exhibited at Northlight Gallery at ASU where I was a student.  To the best of my memory I was on the gallery staff that semester as part of my studies there at ASU.   The prints were, and are amazing and we were lucky to have her come lecture in conjunction with the opening.  Documentary Photography lost one of its great photographers when she passed away on May 25th at the age of 75.  I know I am late getting this post up, the last few months have been a battle, but I wanted to make sure I put it out there how much I enjoyed her work.  I am sure her images helped me grow as a photographer and her impact on the medium will continueon for years and years.  It is always sad to lose someone so important but I am thankful she was able to accomplish so much and influence so many.

http://www.maryellenmark.com/index.html

 

Photography Blog resource

I received a message today from Zane at WhoIsHostingThis.com about their visual guide to launching a successful photography blog and asking to share it on my site.  Another potential resource for photographers the link is below and also on my links page now.

http://wiht.link/create-photo-blog

Sean O'Hagan and the arguement about Photography being Art...

Bouncing around the web today and found this from last month , wanted to share it.

The Guardian's Art Critic Jonathan Jones wrote an article blasting the $6.5 Million dollar price tag paid for a Peter Lik photograph recently (Jimmy Kimmel also took a shot at the sale as well, classic video if you can find it).  I agree, this sale seems insane.  For me Lik is photography's version of Thomas Kinkaide.  He has great technical skill and he is a master businessman. The issue here is not about Lik (you can look at Lik's site and draw your own opinion) but about the comments Jones makes about Photography not being Art.  Not all photography is art but some is.  Just as some painting isn't artistic.  Anyways Sean O'Hagan wrote a great response to Jones' comments and I encourage you to read both articles.  Good exchange and always good to mull over these questions every once in a while anyways.  I would also suggest following Sean O'Hagan's features, he has great insight on the medium.

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/dec/10/most-expensive-photograph-ever-hackneyed-tasteless?CMP=share_btn_fb

http://www.theguardian.com/profile/seanohagan

 

Santa Anita Book Review on Amazon

While monitoring some on-line activity I came across this Amazon review of my Santa Anita book which I really appreciated.  Even though it was a small press run, I still have some copies of the book available for sale.

Review

Laura Rose of Equine Images Magazine wrote: "In his book Santa Anita, photographer William Karl Valentine captures the pulse of this California racetrack with his camera, The images, chosen from four years' worth of photographs, include everything your eye may pick up during a day at the track - from a classic stretch drive to a refreshing horse bath, from a grandstand littered with people and paper to a lost child in the safe grip of a track security officer." "But the photographs of the people of the track tell just as much of the story, and Valentine has captured them not as snapshot figures, but as friends...it's evident that notonly does Valentine know the track, it knows him."

Mark Ratzky of the Daily Racing Form wrote: ""Santa Anita" is a must-see for any fan of this racetrack. The book contains 80 black and white pictures of just about every aspect of an afternoon at the foot of the beautiful San Gabriels, and really manages to capture a day at the races."

Bill Jay - History of Photography Professor at Arizona State University wrote: "...Muybridge was the pioneer: Valentine the progenitor. It is fanciful (but fun)to speculate on Muybridge's reaction to these images made over 100 years later...Muybridge would probably be jealous" -- Publisher Comments

http://www.amazon.com/Santa-Anita-William-Karl-Valentine/dp/0963140019