Thanks to Wesley, Brett and Jeffrey, I was able to go out with them week before last again. It was a beautiful morning, but cool enough to wear wetsuits. I got a chance to wear mine for the first time in the Gulf, and so was able to get into the water to photograph them as they were harvesting clams.
I have added a Clam Boogie portfolio to my website and would greatly appreciate any feedback., what you think of it, how it works on your browser, phone, or tablet. That sort of thing. Many thanks!
Here is a short video of the book’s working copy. I am going to still make a few editorial fixes, but this is pretty much what it is going to look like. It is rather obvious that I need to go to page turning and video school.
Posted in Artist's book, artist's book, black & white, black and white, book, clam farming, clamming, documentary, documentary, Florida, hand made, Kraft paper, Made with Paper, photo book, photography, Southern Photography, video
To distract myself this past weekend, I put the finishing touches on the working copy of my Japanese Stab Bound book The Way We Work/Clam Boogie. For a while, the distraction worked. Then the reality of Tropical Storm # 9/Hurrican Hermine and the ferocious damage it caused began to sink in. Although I had initially thought the storm would not be much of a problem, I began to realize that I was wrong and it became the most destructive storm to hit the area in the decades I have lived here. In one way or another, it affected everybody in the Cedar Keys. Most of the businesses and many of the homes in town were either destroyed or severely damaged. Which means that people immediately lost their livelihood while at the same time incurring considerable expenses and hardships, and these don’t go away at the end of the 24 hour news cycle, they linger, often beyond full recovery.
Perhaps it was serendipity that I just started reading Alan W. Watts’s The Wisdom Of Insecurity.
Except for a brief exception, I have not been in touch with the crew of the Clam Boogie. My concern is that they all were greatly affected by the storm, both at home and at the workplace. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Here is a photo of Jeffrey and Brett made during my last/pre-hurricane trip with them.
Posted in art, Artist's book, artist's book, bird-dog, black & white, black and white, clam farming, clamming, documentary, documentary, hand made, Kraft paper, Made with Paper, photo book, photography, Southern Photography, the way we work
With apologies to Kenneth Graham, …there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about with books. I continue being slow as molasses putting this book together. However, it is an extremely satisfying task, and a wonderful example of the concept that in order to have a good book, one does not need a collection of stunning photographs, but rather a collection of photos that work together and tell a story. I have previously written about my process, so I won’t rehash it here except to say that if you feel the least bit like doing a book but are hesitating, hesitate no more and get going, even if you have not worked out all the details in your head.
Posted in art, Artist's book, artist's book, black & white, black and white, book, clam farming, documentary, Florida, hand made, Kraft paper, Made with Paper, photo book, photography, Southern Photography, the way we work
Lately, I have been going through my old negatives, in a very unorganized sort of way. I do not have all my 3-ring binders that hold contact sheets and negatives, in one place. What I discovered was that there are quite a few photos I never printed or scanned that now, looking back, are quite poignant. Especially the ones I made right around the time the Florida net-ban came into effect. So in a random order, I will post some of them here. The above one was made in April of 1995, just a couple of months before Cedar Key net-fishermen would become extinct, leaving them and the community devastated. I am not quite sure who that is on the boat, but he is headed towards the Gulf from our fish-house.
Last week I posted to/curated the Southern Glossary Instagram site. This morning the editor posted a nice recap of my posts and comments on the SG website. I think they did a great job and it’s worth a visit.
I keep working on my 8×10 inch Strathmore Drawing paper photo book, finished the front and back cover made with board and Kraft Paper. It’s the same as I have used all along. However, it had been a while since I made one, so I had to go back and see how it is done. My two main references are Sage Reynolds outstanding youtube videos on bookbinding and Peter Baumgartner’s fine video on Japanese stab binding. I use his method/pattern for binding the spine. While making the covers I messed up enough so this one is strictly my ‘working copy.’ My biggest weakness so far is my fumbling with the page design and layout. At the same time, it is pretty neat playing around with the various possibilities.
The pages in the photo above are perhaps just a bit punchier than in reality, and the odd color cast is due to the funky lighting under which I made the photograph. I print the actual pages on my Epson R3000 using the Advanced Black and White setting, so the color in the prints stays pretty consistent.
Posted in art, artist's book, black & white, black and white, book, documentary, documentary, Florida, hand made, Kraft paper, Made with Paper, photo book, photography, Southern Photography, the way we work
Wesley winching up clam bags while Jeffrey is hosing them down to get all the mud and sand off the clams and bags; Brett in back emptying the bags into orange-red plastic buckets. Watching this evolution is like watching a well-choreographed ballet. These guys move around silently, frictionless and apparently effortless to change tasks as the tempo of winching in the bags changes. Although they make it look easy, it takes tremendous strength, agility, and cooperation.
Now that I am using a digital camera I am continuously torn whether to present these photos in black and white or color. Usually, I prefer black and white. For one thing, I feel it works better with my previous black and white film photographs, and for another, I am just not that comfortable working in color and properly expressing the ‘atmosphere’ of this work.
Posted in art, clam farming, clamming, color photography, digital, documentary, documentary, Florida, photography, Southern Photography, the way we work
Friday evening we caught the opening of the BFA exhibit at FSU. There were only four summer graduates, of the work exhibited this one really caught my eye. I need to go back and check who the artist is, can’t find it anywhere on line.
A couple of days ago I ran across my above book – I was surprised how good it looked to me and how well it had held up. It was the motivation I needed to get started on another one. The last couple of years I have been going out with the crew of Calm Boogie several times, and lately, I have been trying to go out at least once a month or so. Some of them I have known since they were in high school and they have been extremely supportive of my work, and I get a big wave from them whenever I see them when I ride my bicycle on the back road where their ‘shop’ is.
So I started printing proof pages [see below]. While I can roughly edit my work on the computer, I really need to hold the pages in my hand to get a good sense of how things will look, also photos that look good on my computer screen don’t necessarily look that good in print. As before I am printing on 8×10 inch Strathmore Drawing paper. Of course, it is not an inkjet paper and the image quality suffers a bit. Nevertheless to me that loss is made up by the feel and look of the paper. I am sure it is not everybody’s ‘cup of tea.’ My plan is to make a very small edition of books using the Japanese stab binding technique again, along with Kraft Paper for the cover.
Posted in art, artist's book, clam farming, clamming, documentary, documentary, hand made, Kraft paper, Made with Paper, photography, Southern Photography, the way we work
Jeffrey, Wesley and Brett hauling clams on board and washing and stowing them.
Posted in art, black & white, cedar key photography, clam farming, clamming, digital, documentary, documentary, Florida, photography, Southern Photography, the way we work
Wesley pulling a clam belt off the stern of the bird-dog.
This past week we had a tropical storm come through the area and the waters were closed to clamming and oystering.