Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy 90th birthday, dear Magi Mooney!

Fem Libber from the start. Outrageously honest. Politically liberal former candidate for Mayor of Detroit. Member of the Raging Grannies of Metro Detroit since it formed in November 2002 to protest GW Bush's build-up to his unprovoked attack on Iraq. Longtime volunteer at St. Patrick's Senior Center in midtown Detroit. Beloved great-grandmother, grandmother and mother of six. Fighter for women's justice and ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. Involved in just about every women's local and national organization, especially those relating to women's reproductive rights. And tonight a redhead again after years with a white braid hanging down her back.

Detroit's own Magi Mooney. One of a kind!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Burnians at LOOK3

David Alan Harvey, Anton, Panos, Wendy, David McGowan and Patricia (photo taken by Rachel)

I am way too sleepy to be doing this but I can't stop myself. The Burnians who can't be here at LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, VA need to know that they are with us in spirit.

Kurt Lengfield annd Bryan Harvey (DAH's son)

Doug MacLellan, Michael Lloyd Young, DAH, Wendy, Panos, Anton and Patricia (photo taken by Scott Zetlan)

And before I drop over from exhaustion -- happy exhaustion -- here is an example of what I learned today in David's Low Light/High Mind Workshop. Thanks to DAH I am now shooting on manual and playing with my shutter speeds for the first time ever. What a fabulous workshop!!!

Click on photos to see them larger

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph 2011

I was delighted to run into Linda O on the pedestrian mall shortly after having checked in at the hotel here in Charlottesville, Virginia. She and I had originally connected on David Alan Harvey's blog, Road Trips, and then had met in person during the 6-day workshop he and Jim Nachtwey co-taught at Look3 in 2009. She is now taking Chris Anderson's workshop while I am simply here for the festival. I took this photo as she was preparing to show me the start of a beautiful essay on her mother who has suffered a stroke.

The theme for LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph 2011 is "home" and it feels like coming home to be here again. Over these next four days I anticipate seeing old friends and making new ones, having my artistic sensibilities stretched and deepened, and strengthening my already passionate commitment to photography.

During my first 8-hour day of driving on Monday I asked myself what I saw as a benchmark of success in my life as a photographer. The answer was clear: passion! Not recognition, awards, exhibitions, books or anything that comes from the outside, but only what wells up within me as I pursue this work. And as I thought about the past four months of working on the project, Young Musicians, all I could see was passion. Of course I want my photos to be good but that is not the most important thing to me. I want to tell the story as effectively as I can. The story is what interests me not my photos. That is a shift in my thinking.

Linda O was saying that she has come to a place in her life as a photographer where all she cares about is the quality of her photos. Not the story, not her feelings about the work. She wants to know which of her photos is excellent, and is ready to get rid of the rest.

Isn't it wonderful how each of us finds our own way in life?

So today I will scoot around to different galleries and see the exhibits connected with LOOK3. That will include the work of Nan Goldin, Christopher Anderson, Massimo Vitale, Antonin Kratochvil, LaToya Ruby Frazier, BD Hope for a Healthy World, World Press Photo Awards, and Pictures of the Year. I have already seen the work of Ashley Gilbertson and George Steinmetz because their images are outside in the mall. I came a day early specifically to be able to do this. It is so rare that I am able to see prints of this caliber that I want to take my time and savor them rather than rushing through and/or being in such crowded conditions that I can barely move (as will be true at the openings this weekend).

It is supposed to reach 97 degrees Farenheit (36 Celsius) today so Charlottesville will be HOT in more ways than one!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

on the move...

I've been on the move of late. Three days after photographing the final concert of the season for the Civic Youth Ensembles, I
was on a plane headed to Los Angeles for the Opening Gala of "Beauty Culture" at The Annenberg Space for Photography. This is a blockbuster exhibit in which I am fortunate to have an image (the self portrait of me looking in my grandmother's mirror that I use as the cover of my book, "Falling Into Place"). The New York Times even gave "Beauty Culture" a 2/3 page write-up! You can see my photos from the opening on my website.

While in Los Angeles I was delighted to spend five days with my dear sister and brother-in-law, Emily and Gorsha Paramonov. In addition to the opening, we went to the Los Angeles Planetarium made famous in the iconic film "Rebel Without a Cause," met my online photographer friend Anna Boyiazis at her photo exhibit at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, and spent the weekend at Emily and Gorsha's beautiful villa in the desert that is available for rental. My dear friends from San Diego, Phil Ouelette and Scott Weldon, drove up from San Diego and joined us there on Saturday. If you go to the Portfolios section of my website, you can see Phil and Scott featured in "Just Another Married Couple."

Five days after returning home I was in downtown Detroit for three 12-hour days at my beloved Detroit Electronic Music Festival (now called Movement). This was my 7th festival in a row and, as the only white-haired scooter-riding EM music lover in attendance, I've become a bit of a celebrity. I think what blows the young folks away is not simply that I'm always there but that I obviously adore this music and spend as much time on my feet dancing my bootie off as they do. Oh yes, Grandma Techno (their name for me) loves her DEMF! To see my ever-growing festival photo essay, go to my website and click on "Their Music, Their World' under Portfolios.

And now I'm packing up for a trip down to Charlottesville, Virginia for the world-class LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph! I'm leaving early Tuesday morning and will be on the road for a day and a half. It's over 600 miles from Detroit to Charlottesville and I like to spend the night at a motel on the way. Folks often freak out when they hear I drive these distances by myself but I love taking road trips. That's the advantage of having a wheelchair accessible minivan with a ramp. It means I can go where I want when I want. Independence is where it's at!