(coming soon!)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

30th Chinatown

Drove up and back to Santa Cruz in one long day. But, it gave me the opportunity to add the 30th Chinatown - Salinas, California - to the long-term Chinatowns project.

A Chinatown in transition. Site of many homeless. A sense of loss exacerbated by the gray marine layer that often permeates this "island in a sea of lettuce."

There have been neighborhoods in other cities, first inhabited by other cultural immigrants, where the Chinese have moved in... a Jewish temple in an old part of downtown Toronto that is now a Chinese day care/youth center comes to mind. The American and Canadian cultural fabric is always in a state of flux and there are spaces where ethnic or cultural identity was strong and then newer generations weave into the larger identity and the next wave enters.

Salinas is one of those spaces for the change is happening right now as one views the architecture of a culture not really there anymore, altered and then abandoned. But the City is working along with the community to revitalize and there is already a community garden, modern temples and gathering places. I hope to return next year when the Lunar New Year celebration brings many residents there and reminds one of another era.

A great thanks to the Salinas Police Department for making me feel a little more secure as I wander here for a brief time .

First Five Images

Thanks to Aline Smithson for sending me to this 25 minute webcast from ASMP on website management and self-marketing. http://www.asmp.org/strictlybusiness/2009/04/not-working-enough/.

Thinking about my "first five images...."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Done... for the moment

Well, I've sent out the emails announcing the website redo so I guess it is done, if only for now.

Among the "What I love. What I don't," format that I seem to be using: The fluidity of a website is truly invaluable, as long as one can control it. I plan to turn soon to my sarajaneboyers.com, a never completed site for my literary work and, by virtue of the eponoymous title, probably the main directory site for me. But I've never really spent enough time in Dreamweaver to figure out how to work with it. Not too hard but again, just a matter of time when I'd rather photograph, write or work on projects. For these tools become housekeeping hogs as well.

However, now seems to be the time, if only to gain several additional archival pages for specific exhibition of some photographic or literary projects that can be made private.

Like opening a creaky door into a darkened room, I hope, and finding a treasure there. Or let us hope that some of you will...

What I don't like: managing now all of these spaces. The photo website. The literary/main website. The teen activism book website. The Saatchi online gallery. The LALOP blog. THIS BLOG! At least four email addresses. Facebook. Linked In. And, we don't even want to discuss the russian spam...

In any event, this is all at least a serious start. I watched tonight as photographers handed out their cards at the opening of the inaugural photographic exhibition at the new Annenberg Beach House, although much of the professional part fell away as we walked down to the beach from home . What a privilege to watch the mountains fade into the sunset (caught below!)

We do live in a terrific age when we can simply point others to our images online. I love a portfolio, still think it is the best way to present, but this facile introduction to one's work just cannot be beat.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another type of portfolio

Uploaded pics today to Saatchi Galleries Online. As always, having to edit down to a bare bones portfolio (11 pics!) is good for me. Surprising how comprehensive a small number of pics representing my work can be.

I am a fan of this communal site, supported by Charles Saatchi in the interest of disseminating work throughout the world. The site was suggested to me by my friend, Ann Mitchell whose own Saatchi site and website and blog are pretty terrific!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Website Administration

Because of time constraints, I have been using Foliolink for my website. It comes with a set of rather elegant templates and is used by some very well known photographers. I will do more later but presently I tussle with the administration concerns, i.e. making a portfolio private, trying to set up active links and a host of other smaller but vital issues concerning the presentation of image and info on site.

The pics seem ready. Now it's about the workability of the site and, put off although it shouldn't have been, the Artist Statement. It can be said that we as photographers may have difficulty with words and that is why we photograph. To the contrary however, I have found most photographers eloquent in knowing what it is they do and writing about it. OTH I, a published writer, am tongue-tied.


One of the perks of a home studio: watching the natural world live around you while you work.
One of the disadvantages of a home studio: the distraction of the natural world.

Most of the time, I lean toward the perk side.

I am continuing the website work, refining the statements and fortuitously, just yesterday a friend sent on a slew of quotes by the photographer, Robert Adams.

I am presently thinking of this one, "At our best and most fortunate we make pictures because of what stands before our camera, to honor what is greater and more interesting than we are. We never accomplish this perfectly, though in return we are given something perfect--a sense of inclusion. Our subject thus redefines us, and is part of the biography by which we want to be known."

And wow, looking for the source of the quote (remember I'm a writer as well and editors always want the source... ), I just found this cool site, Photoquotes.com! That said, I cannot find the source of the quote so I am at least listing the two Robert Adams books from which it may have been taken:

Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional ValuesBEAUTY IN PHOTOGRAPHY: ESSAYS IN DEFENSE OF TRADITIONAL VALUES, Aperture 2005

Why People PhotographWHY PEOPLE PHOTOGRAPH, Aperture 2005

Note that I'm giving the URL's for Aperture rather than Amazon. The writer in me wants always to go to the publisher or independent bookstore first. However if you just want to buy a book of mine, please do it wherever you can!

So... back to the big "D's" - distraction and diversion, part of the fabric of my life it seems - at top is a lovely butterfly just outside my window. Not a Monarch for those I haven't seen lately in this former canyon home for them, but still pretty terrific.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Next tough moment

I've sent out an email to some well respected photographers I know to check out the website from their perspective.

Sometimes I wonder why I leave myself so open yet, on the other hand, I am finding that the photographic community, like the writer community, is wonderfully giving and helpful. I am happy to be in this although I do await the assessments with some trepidation...

What I like About Any Project

Deadlines. Edit. Consistency.

Whenever there is a new proposal, a new portfolio, a new book or, even a new blogpost, it requires me to hunker down and be clear. Usually with myself. This takes time and it is not always as successful as I would want. Nevertheless, it usually works.

Reviewing and adding to my SaraJaneBoyersPhoto.com website is one of these moments.

Over the weekend, not only am I reviewing with a new perspective - an edit for a website is truly not the same as for a portfolio, especially for the flash-based template site such as I have - but I have gone back into work, especially my unfinished Gridlock series, and made it serious, printing out work prints in 20x30 format, larger than I've printed before.

This is becoming one of those exhilarating moments for me when a project moves from exploration into focus!

There seems to be enough that is strong now to put up for the website, but I know that there will be more.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Photography Is Not A Crime

Lots of activity recently on this subject. Here are a few pointer links:

The Facebook group, Photography is Not A Crime (I just joined it!) where I also posted the following: "And, if you want an example of why this is necessary, just see "Photographers Face Wider Anti-terror Curbs" which starts "Cameras trigger terrorism fears(UK) ... Civilians are being told to be on guard for people carrying cameras and zoom lenses as part of anti-terrorism seminars being rolled out nationwide ... ."

Photography Is Not A Crime - Your Rights A concise list of what a photographer can and cannot do, by Carolyn E. Wright, an attorney and professional wildlife photographer who specializes in the legal concerns of photographers. As a recovering attorney, I wholly support Carolyn's statements and BTW, think it is worthwhile checking out other pertinent info on her blog, "PhotoAttorney."

There are also various Flickr and other groups out there, including several websites by photo journalists. Just google "photography is not a crime."