Sunday, March 24, 2019
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Friday, November 28, 2014
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Nocton Notes - My life in and around the village of Nocton, Lincolnshire: Raises Dough!!!!! Very funny!!!!!!
Nocton Notes - My life in and around the village of Nocton, Lincolnshire: Raises Dough!!!!! Very funny!!!!!!: "Class raises dough for church A breadmaking masterclass. Baker Peter Welbourne with his students at Wellingore . Photo: 8642mf Published o..."
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Richmond High class focuses on dying art: The printed photo
Posted: 06/07/2011 08:42:02 AM PDT
Updated: 06/07/2011 11:02:36 AM PDT
At at time when most photos are buried in cellphone cameras or forgotten computer files, John Ohlmann hopes to teach his students the value of something tangible and lasting.
"It's an artifact," he says of a printed photo. "There's a thing to touch, and it's a permanent thing."
Ohlmann teaches five periods of a black-and-white photography course at Richmond High School, with 180 students making their way through the course each year.
On a typical Thursday during fourth period, Ohlmann's students buzz around the classroom in orchestrated chaos. Some squint at strips of film hung to dry from a laundry line with wooden clothes pins, searching for their latest work. Others keep time, oblivious to the chemical
stink, while their film soaks in a bath of water and "fixer." They rush in and out of the dark room where they crouch over enlargers illuminated by the soft orange glow of a "safe light" that won't damage photos.
Most of this generation doesn't remember life before the Internet. But they are fascinated with how a manual Canon from the '80s or an early 1900s Brownie functions, and what kind of photo it might produce when they point it at their young niece, the cracked pavement, the statue of the Virgin Mary.
"I didn't know how to take pictures when I started. Now I really like using the manual cameras and the light meters," senior Shannon Colbert said. "Before, I mostly used digital cameras and everything was done for me. It's
Ohlmann provides the cameras, film and development materials his students require, as well as a set of skills rarely taught anymore yet necessary to produce the shots they want. He assigns them certain subjects or techniques, like a photo that combines two negatives. Colbert recalls being sent out on a treasure hunt assignment, where one of the required photos was "roadkill."
"It's kind of like a little adventure," she said, recalling how she tracked down a dead raccoon. "I lost the film to that one, thank God," she adds with a laugh.
A photographer friend once asked Ohlmann why he bothered to teach this old-fashioned technology, when the rest of the photography world was going digital.
"Light is light. Lenses are lenses. Things like composition, texture, how to frame a shot are the same, whether it's digital or film," he explained. "They're learning skills they can use if they get a job as a photographer."
More than that, Ohlmann said, his students are discovering that they're good at something that requires patience and technique.
"They're learning to craft something," he said. "I get kids that are just so good, that have the eye, this innate talent. They often don't know that it's any good. They see they have this ability and it's a real boost."
Staff writer Shelly Meron covers education in West Contra Costa. Follow her at Twitter.com/shellymeron.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
How We Met: Adam Clayton & Michael Hoppen
'Away from the music-business star system, you find more measured people to be around'
Michael Hoppen, 53, is one of the UK's leading photography dealers, having exhibited and sold the works of artists including Diane Arbus and Henri Cartier-Bresson. He has been the director of Chelsea's Michael Hoppen Gallery since 1993. He lives in west London
I first met Adam around 10 years ago. We had a show of Jacques Henri Lartigue, one of the great French photographers: Adam purchased a wonderful picture by him, which shows the 20th century appearing in the shape of a car on the left and the 19th century disappearing in the shape of a horse and carriage on the right. It's an important moment in photographic history, and it was quite surprising that he came in and knew exactly what he wanted.
We didn't really meet for a number of years after that, but he reappeared on the scene when we started specialising in Japanese photography. He has been to Japan many times with U2, and had a fascination in the images and the history behind them, and has built up a collection of post-war Japanese photography. We get some people who come in and say, "I want a photograph about this size," which makes my heart sink, but Adam is drawn to specific images.
Are we similar? He'd probably say I was tone-deaf, but the most important thing that we share is a passion for creativity.
We never really talk about music. I like U2 as a band, but I gravitate more towards jazz. When we have social time together, we'll go to galleries or museums. And we always email each other about things we've seen and have found interesting, or I'll call him and say, "If you're in New York, you should go and see such and such an artist."
I most admire his diligence: he's not a dilettante or buying pictures as it's trendy. You must remember U2 have worked with some incredibly talented artists such as [the photographer] Anton Corbijn. In fact, we had an exhibition called 22, which was 22 pictures of U2 over 22 years by Corbijn. That shows the mettle of both Adam and the band: where others would chop and change who they work with according to fashion, there's a level of consistency there.
My favourite memory of Adam is when he saw the work of Shomei Tomatsu for the first time, and, like me, just said, "This guy's unbelievable." It's tremendous when someone you respect sees the same thing in a work that you do. You don't even need to say that much: that's the art of great art.
Adam Clayton, 50, is the bassist for the Irish rock band U2, with whom he has released 12 studio albums and sold more than 150 million records worldwide. He lives in Ireland and France
The first I heard about Michael was through [the fashion designer] John Rocha. John had recommended Michael to me as the go-to guy for photography. I'd started collecting some pieces in the early 1990s, when I was living in New York: Robert Mapplethorpe, Diane Arbus, Man Ray. I was really just dipping my toe in the water, and I stopped for a long time after that. Then my friend Naomi Campbell gave me this Lartigue photograph and, as it happened, Michael was having a Lartigue show at the same time, so I went to it, and connected with him immediately.
What marks Michael out as a dealer is his passion: he collects as much as his clients. The art market was very different before the mid-1980s: then, art was all about passion, whereas now it's become a commodity. In that way, I think Michael is very much rooted in the old-school. He doesn't just sell to you, he informs you. He can teach you how to look and really see things. If I'm in London and have time off, usually on a Saturday, I'll give him a call and see what [exhibition] he has on, and what usually starts out as a 45-minute visit turns into a couple of hours.
There are two types of collector, I think. There are those who are quite academic, and get into the archaeology of finding the earliest example of a particular idea. Then there are those interested in what's new. I'm in the latter category, probably as I have a great interest in popular culture. That's where Michael is great: he puts an awful lot of stuff under my nose, such as Japanese photography. My interest in that came out of a feeling of boredom. I felt the big American photographers – the Walker Evans, the Ansell Adams, the Irving Penns – were over-exposed, that they had colonised our minds in terms of visual imagery. Also with U2, our artistry has always been bound up with the mythology of America, and I had grown tired of it. So when Michael said, "Why don't you look at what's going on in Japan? They're very undervalued, but doing very high-quality things," it was refreshing.
Michael is much more open-minded than I am. He lets everything in, which is admirable, while I edit quite a lot simply.
I'm sure Michael listens to music, but he's not interested in my opinion of it and that's fair enough – he's not interested in what I had for breakfast either. In the music business, there's a big star system and a degree of drama and glamour. Once you get away from that, you find much more measured people and I prefer to be around that. That's what I find in the art world, and that's what I find in Michael.
The first European show of the US photographer Robert Bergman's colour portraits is at the Michael Hoppen Gallery, 3 Jubilee Place, London SW3 (michael hoppengallery.com) until 27 November