(coming soon!)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Photo editor

Ok, so I have put up the various Chinatowns categories. Way too many pics and in need of an edit.

Also, looking at the full site, how do I recategorize the rest of my ongoing work?

Luckily, I have a photo editor/consultant! Paula Gillen, whom I first met at Photo Lucida in 2007 when she was still a photo editor for the New Yorker has become a friend and, best of all, my photo editor. In subsequent years, Paula moved to Colorado and has established a highly successful business as a photo consultant for various museums, media and for individual photographers. Her website, GillenEdits, explains it all.

So here is the bad part: Paula RIGHT NOW has access to my site and is deleting, moving, commenting on the work. It is an agonizing process for me to just sit back for a moment, especially since I can check in by going to my website and seeing the movement there. A bit surreal. But then, the edit process while a little more immediate is not unlike that which I am used to with my books. The most difficult part of any work: when to carve it up, clean it up, force oneself to understand and act upon what it is that really is one's most basic direction. Notice that I've moved to the impersonal? There's a reason for this.

Let's see where this goes in the next few hours.


With all of this work, I also find that I am not shooting much, except perhaps for Gridlock, but that still, the need is there and I am again graced with nearby wildlife. "Harold," who visits every year in the Spring in some incarnation, is here almost touching my studio window.

The good side of working on the website

Like other deadlines by reviewing the work for the site, I find that I am also refining more of it. I've been making more edits while at the same time doing what I (and most others) do as a writer: reviewing the body of work itself with a different eye, honed over time and distance. Doing so allows not only a crisper edit but occasionally the discovery of something passed over which now is possibly shining.

The Gridlock Project is a good example, not even yet up on the web but now, soon to be!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Back to the Website

Trying not only to reedit and add in, but to understand exactly what the website is and what it is for.

With respect to the Chinatowns Project, I've categorized the work - almost 8-9 years of it! - into three categories: Settings, Community, and Outside. That said, some of the work could be put in at least two of them. Stylistically, given the size of the project, the work needs to have a consistency as well.

So, the first questions, perhaps with respect to all of the portfolios, are:
Is the work interesting?
Is it different from others so as to make it a source of interest?
Have I been successful in presenting my strengths or should I edit even more to exclude any that is weak?
Do I have enough or, always my problem, too much?
What is the story that I am telling, for even in work such as mine that makes its focus on detail, there is always a tale to be told.

The latter provides me with many sleepless moments for within this body of work there are many ways to go: As fine art photography... my most passionate concern. As a fine art photography monograph (and perhaps more than one). As a children's book project (my other career). As a documentary/community project, perhaps a series of touring exhibitions in North America, if not beyond. And hopefully, something to sell! There is also the aspect that the work could be exhibited or shown by government or tourism bureaus as examples of the North American immigration history ... something that I would certainly like to see.

But the insecurites arise, very much like putting together a book project that one has researched for some years. Faced with the material, where is the element of unification? And how to best show this?

BTW, here's a site I found with the best reasons for a photographer to create a website or a blog. http://www.magicalplacesfineart.com/blog/2008/10/11-reasons-every-photographer-needs-a-website-or-blog/

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


"Sara Jane Boyers Aloud" and "Sara Jane Boyers IS Aloud" (my URL name since I messed up the first time on blogspot - see posts below) for this little set of rambles raises a few diversionary paths. Remember I said I was a procrastinator?

The first is the homophonic reference to my being "allowed" to say whatever it is I wish to say "aloud" right here.

"Aloud" gives expression to thoughts - usually in the air but then, what else is this online presence but a "broadcast" if not from mouth to ear then from fingers to eye.

"IS Aloud" is perhaps not grammatically correct, but I am using it
1. because I have to (see messed up above .. this may become its own state of being);
2. since it may describe the state of being, in that I am aloud, speaking (or in this case writing)

"Allowed" gives permission to the expression. Permission from me to consciously put something out there. Permission from Google - aren't we all going to have to get permission from Google one day? - to add them to this blogspot.

Using my writer's mode, here's an exercise I found while researching "homophonic." One always wants to go to the dictionary or source.... http://www.all-about-homophones.com/homophone-machine.php

And since I am stumbling around in the world of words and phrases, I think it's "if not...then" and NOT "If not....than." Please email me if I am incorrect!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Closer to nature than we would think

Who has time to think about the website when a deer, a young buck, just appeared on the back hill. Yes, it is urban LA but not all of it is that urban. And while coyotes are heard - and often seen - near the mouth of the Canyon, it is rare for a deer to venture this far down. Until tonight. At dusk and no time for a tripod. Perhaps he'll come back.

problems already

Confidence and complexity. Under the guise of redoing the photo website, I am thinking about the words and getting up the blog.
Confidence, complexity and focus, the latter of which I seem to be lacking although I believe it is simply a ploy of my mind to keep me from the hard edit of the work.

That said, today I try to link both this new blog and my Los Angeles League of Photographers blog to the sarajaneboyersphoto.com website. It was 103 degrees yesterday in Los Angeles, 93 at the beach and so this seems the proper thing to do but it's not working. Hmmm...

Monday, April 20, 2009


I thought I'd write about redoing my photographer website, www.sarajaneboyersphoto.com. I thought it was time to create a blog.

Given the vagaries of the blogspot website, I messed up the first time so "Sara Jane Boyers Aloud" is not available... my own fault and so "Sara Jane Boyers IS Aloud" is the easy second choice. Cannot seem to be able to negotiate with myself to give up the first.

As I think about what I want to do - the website, the blog, my future - I love my friend Aline Smithson's quote from Lenscratch, her amazing blog: "This process brings up all the not so positive part of being an artist--doubt, fear, and questioning."

We'll start soon...