Welcome to the Essential Light Photography Blog By Jim Sabiston

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Days of Future Past

"I love deadlines. I like the 'whooshing' noise they make as they fly by." - Douglas Adams

Wait a minute, was that December that just blew by?!?!

Here we are finally coming out of the far side of the careening rush of the holiday season. Like many people,  I frequently find myself wondering how we continue to lose ourselves in the maddening crush of the season rather than take the other direction and just slow down a bit and reflect on our personal take on the Solstice and/or whatever spiritual take we might have on it. One of the victims of this year's running about has been my photography. There is just too little free time to get out to personal shoots or even process images. I've certainly let my blog updates take a bit of a back seat to more pressing matters. Still, even with all the rushing about, it is a natural time to find a moment to look back over the passing year and consider the ground covered, lessons (hopefully) learned and also to consider the rapidly approaching future.

The news isn't all bad, happily enough. It looks like we had a banner year for Holiday season sales which has contributed in some part to the running about - but that's a good thing and hopefully a sign that the economy is starting to warm up again. We will have both kids home for Christmas, which is a very good thing! I've made some new friends over at the Islip Arts Council and won an award for my Maple Red print at the recently concluded Seatuck Environmental Association Photography Show, which is sponsored by the Council. The reception was very well attended and my prints received a lot of attention, particularly from Council members. I am looking forward to doing a lot more work with this group. As this post does not discuss some photographic concept in my usual manner, I will share the three images that were accepted into the Seatuck show, starting with the award winner, "Maple Red":
(click on image to enlarge)         Maple Red
On the bad news side, another gallery has closed. Studio East Gallery, owned and operated by my friend Terry Falquero closed their doors after a three  year run. We had the reception for the current mixed media show a few weeks ago and it was a bittersweet event, knowing it was the last show for this quirky little gallery. I will miss our monthly show receptions and friendly, interesting discussions with the other artists. I may actually have to consider joining one of the local art groups at some point. 

It is already time to start considering next summer's show schedule. We want to show in the Westhampton Spring show, for instance, which will be a new one for us. We are considering a return to Sag Harbor as well, as they seem to have wised up and allowed tent setups on the park grass instead of the roadway. I want to find a show venue in the Stony Brook area as well, which is an odd void in our show network. I think we will still limit ourselves to showing on Long Island for the coming year. The logistics of traveling out of state are just too much for what amounts to a weekend event for us, at least for the immediate future. Next on the promotional front is the ongoing search for open artist calls for shows and publications. I've two submissions in the works as this is being written, so hopefully they will come to fruition.
(Click image to enlarge)                Inner Light
One of the year's outstanding moments was my portfolio review with Sean Kernan. This, in fact, may have been the most important moment of the year for my development as a photographer. We had a really interesting, if all too brief, discussion about my work which ended with Mr. Kernan's entirely unexpected statement that "Anything that I could show or teach you, you are already doing. You are on your own. Let's see what you can do!" 

I really did not see that train coming, as the saying goes.

(Click image to enlarge)               Windswept II
Bearing in mind that I have never taken a photography class, or even an art class for that matter, excepting the usual 8th grade thing we all take, Mr. Kernan's pronouncment came as a surprisingly profound shock. It is one thing to study on your own, comforted by the fact that you always have the option to reach out to those teachers and resources to get a helping hand or hints of direction. It is quite another to inadvertently discover you've passed an important benchmark without even realizing it. I'm still sorting this out in my own head and it will be interesting to see how this newfound realization affects my work.

So, here is to hoping all of you have an interesting and happily challenging new year. Get out there and let's see what you can do!