“Chance” in photography

When I am working with photography I am distinctly aware of the role that chance plays in the successful capture of an image. Naturally, digital photography lends a high degree of control over an image and I understand the usefulness of this process. Traditional film, on the other hand, provides what seems to me as a greater chance for discovery and this is one of the reasons why it is a part of the process I use. Due to the mechanical and chemical nature or the process the actual image left on the film often differs from the image I think I’ve captured. I process the film myself in my studio which adds to the risk (I’ve screwed up a lot of film) as well as the variation in the imagery. Once the film is processed, I scan it using the default settings on an old scanner to limit the control I impose at this step of the process. This is how these photos have taken on this strange sepia tone from a black and white negative. I think it gives some the appearance of some early daguerreotypes or tintypes.

I enjoy the appearance these photographs have acquired. After all, I am not trying to make clear, fine quality photographs, (I’ll leave that up to the real photographers), I’m trying to find an image that is as much about expression as it is about discovery.

Starting work on a small linocut project.

I’m working on a linocut with the family chruch, St. Andrew’s Lutheran, as the subject. It is a beautiful old church and a great example of those which used to cover the prairie. As farm sizes increase and the size of small towns decrease fewer and fewer of these chuches remain. In fact, this one depends on the decendants of parishioners for its repair and upkeep as regular services are no longer heald there.

Ceramics 2011


Every summer I enjoy working with clay. I am certainly no potter or ceramicist but it is fun. These pieces and more can be seen in an earlier post  in their green state.

I think the slip made of some indigenous clay turned out quite well. Unfortunately the clay was not compatible with the glaze and it crackled. This isn’t such a bad thing as it actually looks quite nice but it renders the work unsuitable for foodstuffs.

I like the form of the cup in the top right hand corner. I think this years pottery will look very much like this one!


An art is about subtleties, isn’t it? I mean, if you look at the difference between Da Vinci’s work and that of his master, Verrocchio, the difference is not in the subject matter or the endeavor but rather the life-like qualities in the work of art. It’s the nuances, or subtleties make the difference between a lifelike work of art and one that only mimics life.

I’ve started a new painting on this subject. I’ve recognized it in previous paintings I’ve done where this “subtlety” is reflected in the use of color or the near touch between objects but I’ve not really focused on it. So far I’ve restricted the color usage to that of a prior painting and will probably restrict it even further so that the painting is not so much about dramatic color or value but the very slight changes between them. I’m also considering proportions again (and again, and again…) but looking for another way to reflect that study.

So far only the color, proportion, and pattern is evident but, with some more time, additions will soon follow.