The Crit House

Local photographer and (now)YouTuber Jeff Larason has been running a series of critique sessions called: The Crit House. He finds a photographer with works he/she wants critiqued and pulls together two prominent photographers to evaluate the work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSoDnjVxMko

It is still early days but Jeff is bringing us work worthy of looking at while the two reviewers give insight, add perspective, and often weigh in with a historical context.  At a time when we all could use a fresh look at each other's photographs, I find I am seeing new work and learning about it through the two reviewers' discussions.

Recommended

Topics: Commentary

Permalink | Posted December 3, 2022

Montague

My sympathies go out to the blog these days as it has been ignored and neglected. I owe you all an apology.

At any rate, perhaps from feeling as though my days have been strung together and all the same, I took a day last week and drove out Rt 2 to Montague, MA, about 1 1/2 hours west of Boston, to photograph. Simple really, no real intent in mind, to look and to shoot, small-town content being part of my background as a photographer.

There were no big surprises, no epiphanies, just a late fall sunny day, walking a street with a camera in hand. 

Sun at my back, a wide lens, I found things came to hand through familiarity, the sense that I'd been here before, if not in this specific place, places like it.

Typical for me, this walking down a street, looking, shooting. Clearly trespassing with a camera but staying on the street or sidewalk, taking my time, for I am no fast-shooting street photographer. Probably too many years with the 8  x 10, wanting to see and know everything in the frame and shooting slower because of it. I don't photograph to come across surprises later, although it does happen. 

The broader implications of this work? I have no idea, although I revel in the medium's ability to describe details and to handle a wide dynamic range. Remarkable.

I also believe, in this case, in photography's ability to be relatively honest, or at least to look like what it renders. Slippery that, isn't it? For we know all too well photography's propensity to lie.

But if you haven't lately, go out with a camera, look through it, and trip its shutter. Just for the pleasure of it, looking through our little black box, capturing an image to bring back with us to hold and perhaps print or share. 

You and I know that, that this thing we do is amazing. For me, it has completely been my life and career. So many fell off, spun out into something different, lost their whatever (drive, motivation?). Not me, I stayed with it: making pictures.

One thing I've noticed? As time goes on I now will crop to make the image better or more clear and less ambiguous. That's an old rule no longer true. I make the print now the shape and proportion it needs to be rather than hanging in with some rigid "no crop" rule. Along with that goes "standard print sizes", old and archaic: 8 x10, 11 x 14, 16 x 20, and so on. Out. Now I might use the same size paper for a body of work, but the images will float around on that same size paper in different sizes and proportions. 

So, where does that leave us? Some new pictures from a veteran photographer. Someone with over 50 years of experience practicing his craft and through this wonderful vehicle of the blog, sharing it with you. Want to see them continue? Then comment or send an email: here

As always and after ten years of the blog (hard to believe) I am  most appreciative of you the readers. Thank you.

Topics: New England

Permalink | Posted November 30, 2022

Update

It has been too long since I've posted anything here but this one, just quickly, as today is the second open studio afternoon in Acton happening on a rainy day:

Join us if you can.

I'll also be showing this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u07bGZkM-yU&t=5s

which is a video of an interview I did for the "Above" show last year at the Martha's Vineyard Museum. Worth watching if you haven't seen it.

One more: if you can't make it today and are local I would be happy to have you come to look at work. Just reach out: nrantoul@comcast.net

Topics: Martha's Vineyard

Permalink | Posted November 13, 2022

Looking at Photographs Repeat

Since we have a few events coming up that relate to looking at my work I              thought I'd send this along to you:

https://nealrantoul.com/posts/looking-at-photographs

which speaks about the process of looking at someone's work. While an open studio isn't quite the same as looking 1:1, it isn't far off.

And, this Saturday the Photographic Resource Center is holding a Book Sale. I will be there with a variety of my books:

From 1-5 pm in Cambridge

https://www.prcboston.org/prc-book-market/

and then in early November my open studio:

I hope you can join us!

Permalink | Posted October 19, 2022

Open Studio

Hope you can join us in my new studio in Acton for a bite to eat and something to drink and see old and new work. Two Sunday afternoons: Nov 6 and Nov 13, from 1-5 pm both days. Easy to get to, plenty of parking. Got Questions? 617-821-5310

Topics: Commentary

Permalink | Posted October 18, 2022