June 20, 2010

Honolulu Magazine Photo Contest, 2009

DREAMLAND
First Honorable Mention.
Kids fall asleep at an adult party
—surrounded by an adult life, symbols and icons that influence their dreams.  I increased the contrast and added some noise to emphasize a dreamlike state.  The picture can be viewed horizontally from the kids' perspective and vertically from the adults' perspective.” 


I had submitted the photos for the 2009 contest from the airport lounge, as a last minute change of mind before we boarded the plane for a month-long vacation to Izmir.  I had earlier decided that I was not going to enter at all, because I did not want the same look and feel of the prior two contests, of Chinatown crowds, art, dancers and such, and for some reason I also wanted to break away from the panoramic (1:2.4 aspect ratio) that I was shooting with for the last five yearsI wanted something different, I was bored...  (I bought myself a LEICA D-LUX 4 right around that time...)

Also that year, I had met Mike Keany, senior writer of the Honolulu Magazine at the Honolulu Pecha Kucha event where I was presenting.  He mentioned that "they liked my photos at the Honolulu Magazine".  Coming from the staff of the magazine, these words had made my dayI did not need another prize!

I had two photos that I really liked, which I had shot that year at the IONA event, Atlantika (you can see them here and here). But I held them back from the competition for the reasons stated above (and one can probably call it fear of success, which is too deep to go into here).

Another big influence at around the same time period was Peter Shaindlin, CEO of the Halekulani Corporation, the sponsor of the contest.  After winning the contest three times, in 2005, 2007 and 2008, I wanted to find out more information about the jurors themselves, in search of validation of my workwas it a coincidence, did the jurors see something in my work, was I worthy of these wins?  Up until that time I had sort of assumed that the Halekulani merely provided prizes as part of their marketing program and it had never dawned on me to ask "why a photo contest?"  Of course, after I read more about Peter and his interest in photography, I realized that he was the visionary behind the event.  I shared these thoughts in a letter to Peter, also thanking him for the opportunity that he had created for all of us who take photographs here in Hawaii.  I met him later at a course he was giving for  PNM and was extremely impressed by his brilliance and energy, his views and knowledge of photography and art in general.

June 18, 2010

Honolulu Magazine Photo Contest, 2008

EMILY
1st Place in Portrait Category.
Taken at an IONA Dance Company photo shoot, Emily, in her role as Strength is posing among her fellow dancers and friends.  I was motivated to capture her as the center of the energy radiating from everyone surrounding her.” 

LIZ
3rd Place in Portrait Category.
Liz performed at thirtyninehotel for the IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre's promotional event, Paint by Number.  Her solo interpretation and the emptiness of the space motivated me to capture the movement using a slow-speed rotating lens camera.


Well, this was the third time that I had placed 1st at the Honolulu Magazine Photo Contest; and this time there was no film category to account for lack of competition (the categories for the first three years were technical: Film, Digital and Edited, and this year they were changed to subject categories of Portrait, Natural World and Built Environment).

So obviously, I was bathing in delight as I had the bragging rights for winning the contest three times, with two pictures each!  I was a photographer!
 
Both pictures were taken with the Horizont; and the jurors were Peter Shaindlin, A. Kam Napier, Kristin Lipman, Olivier Koning and Steve Little.

Liz's picture at thirtyninehotel still thrills me to look atan ethereal and spiritual ceremonial offering of “paint”; a primitive tribal ritual out of place in a very modern setting; and her nakedness and solo performance that matches emptiness of the place.

The appeal of the Emily picture is the energy that radiates from the photograph—the positioning of the audience around a nucleus, the light emanating from the dancer, the almost audible energy of the clapping hands, and the optical blossoming effect caused by the lens distortion, all contribute towards a visual unity.

The Emily picture was taken during the The Living Tarot photo shoot sessions by Sergio Goes for the IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre, where I was doing my own shooting along the sidelines, trying not to get in the way.  This was in August of 2007, when I had met Sergio the first timeI find out later in October when the results of the 2007 contest are announced, that he was a juror for the 2007 contest.  Of course, little did I know at the time that he would leave us the next year, in July of 2008.

Moving forward to 2008 again, the results are announced in December, and this time I was winning with a picture that was shot alongside Sergio, using his lighting.  One immediately makes associations and cannot help interpreting (or maybe misinterpreting) the coincidences, but I believe that whether we were aware of it or not, this was an indirect, unintentional, small-kine gift exchange between us--his gift to me as a juror, as well as letting me share the photo shoot, and my gift to him in turn, by placing first with a photo that was taken alongside him. I meet Andrea (Torres, his ex-wife) later and go through some of his photographic equipment at his storage unit.  Even though there isn't much that I can use (and could not afford the ones that I might use), she gives me some odds and ends, and a Manfrotto monopod that I know will come in handy one day to steady my hand for another award-winning, long-exposure shot.

Honolulu Magazine Photo Contest, 2007

PIPE DREAMS SMOKESHOP
1st Place in Film Category.
I walked around during a First Friday Gallery Walk.  Using 1600 ASA film allowed me to get close to the crowds without using a flash.”  


NIGHTLIFE IN HONOLULU
2nd Honorable Mention in Film Category.
Taking photographs while walking the crowded streets reminds me of stills taken at a movie set.  Shooting at night without a flash allows me to get close to the 'actors'.


The two pictures that I submitted for the Honolulu Magazine 2006 Photo Contest contest were not selected at all.  They were shots of trees at the Foster Botanical Gardens, which I realize were rather boring.

It was 2006 and we had been frequenting First Fridays in Chinatown. I was shooting away at the art, at the artists and the crowds.  The experience of walking around in fast pace, while framing through the viewfinder of a panoramic camera gave me the impression of filming a live-action movie in CinemaScope--it was not the film that mattered, it was the act of filming it !

The two that I selected for the 2007 contest were--and still are--my favorites as I believe they truly captured my personal impressions, the very essence of what I liked about First Fridays--an action film, or rather, the set of an action film full of actors, actresses, extras and spectators!

Cocky or not, I was confident that these two that I selected for the 2007 contest would at least get some honorable mention.  After the results were announced, I remember joking around with friends that I was the only one left using film (that everyone else had gone digital), so it was only obvious that I had won as the only entrant in the film category.

Both pictures were taken with the Horizont rotating-lens panoramic camera (which was now my "insignia", after having won two contests); and the jurors were Peter Shaindlin, Dana Forsberg, Sergio Goes, Kathryn Drury Wagner and Kristin Lipman. 


Just a few months ago, I had met Sergio at an IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre photo shoot, where he was photographing The Living Tarot.  I shadowed him sneaking in before and after his sessions shooting the dancers, talking story here and there. I was telling myself that maybe I had found a mentor of sorts, that I could learn and work with him. Little did I know what would happen next, when he leaves us a year later.

June 13, 2010

Honolulu Magazine Photo Contest, 2005

WAIMANALO CARNIVAL

1st Place in Film Category.
I liked the blurring of the motion and the way carnival lights mixed with the light at dusk. 




WAIMANALO FUN
2nd Honorable Mention in Film Category.
She was a first time visitor to Waimanalo; I wanted to capture her excitement.

After seeing the Honolulu Magazine Photo Contest announcement in the Honolulu Weekly only a day before the deadline, I submitted two photographs for the film category (there were three categories: film, digital, and manipulated). I had seen a 1980's copy of the magazine with pictures from the annual contest; apparently the contest was canceled and this was the first year it was being reinstated with sponsorship of the Hotels & Resorts of Halekulani.

I picked one picture that I had really liked, of Peeps (Annette Strube), then I noticed that the entrants were allowed two pictures, so I submitted the Carnival picture as an afterthought. Both pictures were selected and published, and the Carnival won the first place!

Both pictures were taken with a Horizont rotating-lens panoramic camera. The jurors were Peter Shaindlin, A. Kam Napier, Linny Morris, Floyd K. Takeuchi, Allison Wong, and Jayson Harper.


June 12, 2010

APG/1 Poems

The following are poems that were generated by APG/1, Artificial Poetry Generation/1 project. 

UNTITLED

NO WEED WILL WHISPER MY MEGAPHONE
TERRIBLE WOMEN, THEY WIN WHICHEVER.
The very first APG/1 poem, 1977.


UNTITLED

AND THIS SLIPPERY BUSHMAN
PROPOSING YOUR ICEMAN EVIDENTLY TO ONLY THE FIREMAN

BETTY MEDITATES
NONETHELESS PERSISTING, WOODSMAN WILL APPRECIATE

NO CALENDAR TO ELOPE OR TO CEASE
THE FLIRTATION OF YOUR LENSES HAS OBJECTED HIM TO FEAST 

An original APG/1 poem, 1977.


OFF TO WAR

I WILL BE DEPARTING AND WITHSTANDING WITHOUT YOU
DO YOU DEPART TO CLAP

AMONG APPRECIATIONS AND ZEPPELINS TOY IS THE STARLESS ONE
WHY CLASSIFICATIONS DREAM WHILE EXPERIMENTATIONS DO NOT HIBERNATE
WHY DO REPUTATIONS PROTEST WHEN CONFIDENCE IS SO OBSCENE
I WILL BE CRITICIZING AND MOTIVATING WITHOUT YOU
NO ROBOT WILL ELECT MY EXHALATION
DO YOU CELEBRATE TO BITE

HIS TOLERANT DENSITY CRASHED TO HIM
FOR I MUST NOT TRANSLATE WITHOUT DISCIPLINE
HE COULD NOT SUBMIT THE WOMAN SO HE YELLED
IN THE CHURCHYARD, IN THE STEEP ARENA
DO YOU SMASH TO SINK

HE COULD NOT ELECT THE FLIGHT SO HE CONTROLLED
IF SCOTCH AND SODA COULD BE LIBRARY
A MELODY WOULD MOTIVATE WIDELY
I WILL BE PROTESTING AND DISDAINING WITHOUT YOU
DO YOU FUCK TO STARVE

KNOWING WAS ECSTATIC WHEN ALL THE WOMEN ARE ELECTING IN ROTTERDAM
HIS DOMINANT MACHINERY SPEAKS TO HIM
I WILL NEVER TRANSLATE AGAIN
OVER IN SANTIAGO SPECIFICATIONS ARE IDEAL AND THE WOMEN ARE SPITTING
HE COULD NOT FIGHT THE VITAMIN SO HE YELLED
DO YOU STEAL TO SCAN

LIKE A COMIQUE COMPLOT OR A MELLOW SIGHT
AND YOUR ECSTATIC FASCINATION OFFENDS DUMBLY
WITH AN IDEALIST THAT DID SURPRISE
I WILL NEVER DEPART AGAIN
FOR I MUST NOT TRANSLATE WITHOUT POLICE
I WILL NEVER INTRIGUE AGAIN
I WILL BE MOTIVATING AND SPITTING WITHOUT YOU
WITH A HEART BEAT THAT DID GRADUATE
HE COULD NOT SUCK THE SPECIFICATION SO HE PACKED
SHE IS MY CARTON WISE RADIATION

DO YOU RESCUE TO RETARD
I WILL NEVER CLAP AGAIN

Another original APG/1 poem, 1977.


CIVILIZATION
 
THAT ASPIRIN HAS SET SEVEN CEMETERIES
PERHAPS CIGARETTES COULD BE TRAGEDIES

CARTON ELECTRICITY, CRYPTOGRAMMATIC CHRISTMAS TREES
APPROACHING AND DEPARTING, OR DECEIVING AND CONVICTING
ELECTRICITY OF YOUR CAROLINE IMAGINES DELIBERATELY THESE PARALLEL HIGHWAYS
INSTRUMENTS—AESTHETIC INDICATION, INSANE FEATURE—EXPECTS OVERLOOKING THE HAPPY REDWOOD
TEARFULLY INFLUENCING WITH PNEUMATIC MONKEYS, UNEASY
OR SELF-DESTRUCTION THAT AVOIDS YOU BIZARRELY

HESITANT BRILLIANCE
BLINDLY INTO SNOT

THE SENSE DID MOURN WITH SARCASM
FULL-GROWN RATTLE SNAKES ASCEND SEVERER
ILL FATED EARS ZIP HALFHEARTEDLY
INSINCERELY WE ANNIHILATE,
DISAGREEING AND OVERFEEDING OR LEAVING AND STREAKING
APPARENT ACTIVITIES DEVELOPED LIKE DEPRESSING BAGGAGE
FROM THE AGGRESSIVE PEPPERMINT, THE PEPPERMINT OF TRAGEDY HIT

SO THROWN, OUR INFINITY WILL THANK
SO CONTROLLED, OUR HEAVEN WILL STAY
THE ATTIC OF IDEAL, BULGING AS DAYBREAK

THINKING WITH MANHOOD
OVER THE DAFFODILS OF A HANDSOME FAIRYLAND
I AM CEMETERY, YOU ARE APARTMENT

Modified APG/1 poem (complete unmodified lines/stanzas from various poems have been grouped together), 1977.


UNTITLED
 
SELF-DESTRUCTION OF ANIMATED IMAMS
THE SENSITIVE EYES THROWS ON

WITHOUT BREAD, WITHOUT TABLEAU, SPEAKERS ARE SIXTEEN
AND APPRECIATE WITH PALMY AQUAMARINE

SWEETLY WE SWITCH
SWEETLY WE TWITCH

SLIPPERY CAESAR AND SLIPPERY CAESAR
SNOW IS HE SEAWEED OF DESTRUCTION

CAESAR MUST DEMONSTRATE
TWITCH TO BE UNSEEN

Original APG/1 poem, 1977.


TO SIR WITH LOVE
Dedicated to Rifat Hoca (Doç. Dr. M. Rıfat Sağlam)

DO YOU PHONE TO DREAM
FOR I MUST NOT COLLAPSE WITHOUT PRESTIGE

FOR I MUST NOT PHONE WITHOUT BIZARRENESS
THE OUTDATED ANTIQUITY CHEAPENS TO THE REASON AND UNITES AS IT EQUALS

WITH A BARRICADE THAT DID STANDARDIZE
DO YOU REAPPEAR TO SURPRISE
An original APG/1 poem.


HATE IS A LEGEND

 
AS IF IT WERE FLOATING IN ICH LIEBE DICH
WITH A TOOTHPICK THAT DID YELL

ENJOYING AND A KNEELING
WHEN I RECOMMENDED CONVERSATION WAS YELLING

DO YOU ABASH TO ARREST
WHEN I CONTROLLED DELICACY WAS ARRESTING

SHE HAD TO ELECT ON TUESDAY
THROUGH CONFIDENCE IT ACTED AS IF PAYING

AND HE WAS WISE TO MASTURBATE
WITH ICE-CREAM SHE HAD RECOMMENDED NOW SHE SCREAMS WITHOU RATE

THE CALCULATOR OF DEVIL MUST PASSIONATELY CLAP WHILE AUTOMOBILES SPIT
WITCHES ARE NOT CORRUPTED

Original APG/1 poem, 1977.


June 8, 2010

Troy MMX

Troy, 2010 A.D. – Looking at the marble columns lying on the ground and reading from my guidebook about the many inhabitants of Troy over a period some 4,000 years--standing where Trojans once walked, where Helen and Paris strolled together, where Herodotus stopped by in his travels, and maybe Homer actually had been there too.

I contemplate that I like the columns lying on the ground--if everything was preserved intact in their original positions, it would have been undoubtedly an impressive sight and an archeological gem, but having the columns lying at my feet gives me a better sense of where I am now in the historical timeline of mankind; an appreciation of the fact that let alone humans, even marble columns cannot stand the passage of time.

[MMX is 2010 in Roman Numerals]

June 5, 2010

Hanging Garden at Artane


At the Guerra de la Paz exhibition at the Artane gallery in Istanbul, "smelling" the "flowers" of the Hanging Garden installation. Hanging Garden, in conjunction with the photograph/digital décollage exhibition, Travelogue, introduced me to the artists's work, for which I am grateful as I find their work amazingly precise, to-the-point and beautiful.

While enjoying the show and visiting with my friend Sevil, I could not help smelling the flowers of the garden, feeling good, just fooling around...





June 1, 2010

Pictures at an Exhibition I - Magnetic Fields Forever

Pictures at an Exhibition I -- At the Gelareh Khoie exhibit, Magnetic Fields Forever, at thirtyninehotel, Honolulu.
As has been for the last several years, I somehow insist on using available light at nighttime, which most of the time translates to almost no light (the title of the show is barely visible on the wall illuminated by disco lights--click on picture for a larger view). 

Magnetic Fields Forever exhibit is beautiful (the individual paintings, as well as the entire space, whether the paintings are illuminated in full gallery lights or dim disco lights afterhours, as shown here!)  As stated on the thirtyninehotel newsletter: According to Khoie, "In seeking to understand natural phenomena and to translate its deeper mechanisms into a visual language, a path to self-knowledge unfolds. The knowledge becomes clear that art and artist are indistinct from what we label the “natural world,” and that all things in the universe exist in perfect accord: things are as they are and cannot be another way."