The Roundabout – Vol. 5 – April 2015

Hello again my good friends, how have you been?

*listens patiently*
That’s excellent to hear! Now on to me. :) That’s why you’ve stopped at the Roundabout, after all.
====STUDIO+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
You know how I said May 1st would see the big shindig to kick off the Mill’s grand reopening? Well, I was lied to.  It was intended to be the big kickoff, but now it’s been delayed once more… now the big party will be June 5th, so I hope you’ll drop by and have a good time then…
BUT for those of you who have already cleared your calendars to come see me in the new space, well come on out! I’ll still be there and so will several other friends of mine in the mill.  250 Mill Street, Taylors. We’re up on the 2nd floor in WRK GRP.
My studio space is ready and already in use! In fact, it was used just last night.  I’ll be sure to tidy up before you arrive though, but pardon the mess if I don’t ;P
(((((((((((((((GGGGHosts of the Mill))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
I began this series last fall and was able to get 3 shoots in before the drama unfolded. It, like everything else, got put on hold while all that was sorted, but now it has resumed!
Last night I coaxed my friend Jenni out to play a 1920s era flapper and ghost about the mill.  (toward the end of the gallery)
This series is comprised of shots using long exposure and double exposure.  It’s rather mentally challenging and actually works more like a video production than a normal photo shoot.  Last night, I found myself actually blocking out the movement in the shot with Jenni, setting positions and marks, timing it out.  Directing Motion in a still. The exposure is taken for 15 seconds or more, depending on the location and available light, so all the action has to take place in that time.  Off camera flash is used to freeze each pose in the frame.  That’s how I achieve clarity and transparency in the image.
It certainly is an exercise in mental imagery. Visualization. Even more than shooting with light you can’t see…like infrared or even flash… you have to know how the light will read, how long to hold the position so the subject shows up enough but still maintain the transparency for the ghost effect.  I really enjoy the challenge of this series and there will be a few more added to it.  Huge thanks to Jenni for helping resurrect the ghosts, and to those still to come.
……..[ o*]……PHOTO BOOKS…………………….………………………………………………../
In fact, I will be having a photo book from this series made and it will be for sale at the June 5th grand opening. Not sure how much I will be charging until I actually lay it out and find out what it’ll cost to make, but I imagine it will be in the same as Abstracting Waters – around $60.  I’ll be ordering May 15th if you’re interested in a pre-order.

Speaking of, I still have a few copies of Abstracting Waters available if anyone is interested.

Also, I’m working on a third photo book tentatively entitled Eye For Detail which will build upon a subject matter that’s always fascinated me: Old items. Weathered, decayed, survivors, small things of interest overlooked every day but that have great character. It may be available in time for June 5th, but I may hold off until July.  We’ll see how it comes together :)
I enjoy photo books.  I think they present collected works well.  I always end up with a sheer glut of images that are great but never see a printer, this is one way I deal with that. Plus there’s just something so powerful about holding a tangible artifact of your work, work that by its new nature is very ephemeral.
%%%%SHOWDOWN%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
Art Show news. The Anderson Juried Show was great.  Lots of talented artists’ works on display. Didn’t take home any prizes this year, but it is the first time both pieces got into the main show.  Plus, there was actually buzz about my pieces.  I heard people speaking about the Econoline tailgate and even came across this lovely old lady describing my Glendale Shoals piece to a little crowd gathered around her.  I did something unlike myself and went up and introduced myself to her and the group.  Perhaps it will sell? Who knows.  It’s nice to be noticed though.
No love from Carolinas Got Art. Oh well.
Next show I’ll be entering for sure is the Spartanburg Library’s 3rd Annual Juried Show.  I may also try to shoot something for the Foundry Arts Centre’s Circus show…deadline for it is May 15th as well…so I need to figure out a circus themed shoot fast.
&&&&&&&& As I Write This &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
I’m watching The Blacklist, one of the best shows on television, and am suddenly reminded of perhaps the BEST show to be released in the last decade, a real top tier production, of course I’m talking about Daredevil.
Now, I won’t gush too much, though I honestly could go for hours on the show, but suffice it to say that you should be watching Daredevil, even if you’ve already seen it, you should be watching it again. And again.
It is so well crafted that it is hard to find any fault with it – rare for me, even rarer for a friend of mine who found no nits to pick – other than there’s not more television like this.  The storytelling is phenomenal and the cinematography is absolutely brilliant. Another friend called it the Renaissance of Noir and he couldn’t be more spot on with that assessment.  The interplay of light and shadow and bold, brash colors defining the scenes is remarkable.
It is breathtaking and yet inspiring. Quite the dichotomy.
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%MCU%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
This brings me to an event we’ve been waiting on for years.  Phase 2 is complete, and I know some of you have already seen Avengers 2, and I’ll ask you to hold your spoilers – one of the only times I’ll ask for that – and I am SUPER PUMPED EXCITED to see it on the big screen.  If you care to join, local friends, Friday night at 12:15AM at H20. That’s when I’m going.
It will be hard to live up to the first, but honestly, I believe they did.  The first trailer was good enough for me to have faith.
Phase 3 is going to be the real test for the MCU though. They are expanding well beyond the core that the mainstream public has become familiar with into characters and territories and worlds and events deep in comic lore where only the geekiest nerds dare tread. Those who have navigated the turgid waters of Retcon and swallowed bitter pills larger than any Infinity stone know what lies ahead, the bounds to which disbelief’s suspension will be stretched, the turmoil and strife that comes with re-integrating a long lost friend into the world.  It’s going to be rough. It will test who of the main stream has enough gumption to stick with the MCU all the way through Phase 3.
For me, I’m excited to see what’s in store.  I’ll ride this high as long as the general public is funding the budget to make these dreams come to life.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Production Halted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Temporarily!!!!!!!!
Well, my vacation came and went without a film being produced.  The logistics and talent just didn’t line up this time.  I haven’t abandoned it, but it is on hold for the moment while I get other projects up and running, establish myself more, and get a wider pool of cohorts to call from.  Tis the way of things.  Everything changes.
““`______““`
I received a rather odd message on facebook when I got up today.  Not odd in content, but just circumstance. A somewhat random acquaintance I met at a MTG tournament sent me this message. It read something to the extent of “If you ever delete people you don’t talk to from facebook, please don’t delete me, because I enjoy watching your photographic exploits.”
It was odd because this person has never liked, commented on, or even spoken about any of my photos before, and is not (currently) on this list. I believe him. And obviously it was in response to Ghosts, but I wish he’d spoken up sooner.
Which is why I’m glad all of you have.
There have been many negative things going on that have stretched me to my bounds, but I’ve been making it thanks to you guys.  Knowing people actually care about what I do with my photography and creativity helps tremendously. It is often a supremely solitary pursuit and while sometimes that is a perk to what I do, it’s also during those solitary times that doubt and misgivings eat away at my thoughts.  Knowing you guys are on the other end of the email helps keep it at bay.
So thank you, as always, for being there. For liking what I do. For supporting me. For speaking up and telling me.
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That brings us to the end again my friends.  Until next month, be well and keep in touch.
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James Pittman
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