"Night News" - an occasional missive from the darkness
"A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing."
"To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven."
- Pete Seeger, the Byrds, et. al.,
(Adapted from The Bible, book of Ecclesiastes)
"Now the darkness only stays at night time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
No, it's not always going to be this grey.
All things must pass, all things must pass away."
- George Harrison (1970)
February 25, 1943 - November 29, 2001)
(The Friends of Photography
January 1, 1967 - October 31, 2001)
On this St. Stephen's Day (December 26), it's a tradition 'round here to take time to look back and reflect on the events of the past year. A reflection, indeed - but, of what? It's getting difficult to start up a new edition of Night News, each with "in memoriam" like the above - and of course we're not even dealing with the obvious here - the thousands of souls lost on 9/11, or the little bit of all of us that was lost on that day.
Yet, in the subsequent ennui brought about by the events of 9/11, it seems most important now to acknowledge and credit those individuals who have laid the groundwork for us in all our creative endeavors. Immediately after the attacks of 9/11, messages and emails started flowing in to us from around the nation, around the globe. Other than that, there was silence. On the "NightTalk" message board, we chose to re-post some helpful soul-searching words and dialogues from our friend David Batstone at www.sojo.net, who went into action publishing "Sojomail" daily, immediately after the attacks. At that time, some questioned if this was an appropriate use of the forum we have access to, and just what all this had to do with night photography, anyway. Tim pointed out that, "if one reads our original mission statement for The Nocturnes Web site: 'A resource for information about Night Photography and its intersection with all things Nocturnal - music, literature, other night imagery, poetry, pop culture, and science.' - at a time like this, you could easily add - '. . . the intersection (operative word here) with global politics . . . the environment . . . spirituality . . . human suffering . . . ' and how it affects us, as practitioners; then you have your answer."
Which is exactly what George Harrison has to do with Night Photography (it is The Nocturnes, after all!) We had even quoted one of George's songs in our last Night News: "Beware of darkness." - and we're so sorry to see mention of his work return here so soon, under the circumstances.
Anyway, we've a lot to go over - it has been six months (!) since our last communique. So, we are going to split up this edition of Night News into 2 parts. The first, going out in a few days, will have all the WORKSHOP NEWS, LIBRARY NEWS, and the BOOKS AND ARTICLES NOTED sections. Shortly after that is done, we will send out part two, comprised of IN RELATED NEWS, EXHIBITS, and MUSICAL NOTES. Whew! Got that?
So, here we go!
Our first Photo Tour to Ireland (led by Lance and Tim) was a great success. Olcan Masterson (a local traditional musician from Westport) was our host for the workshop - it was a perfect match for a bunch of Nocturnes! Between going out to sessions with Olcan (he plays in the pubs around Westport six nights a week!) and photographing at night around the towns and villages of County Mayo, it seemed like people were out and about almost every night, 'til the "wee hours" - this, in addition to photographing all day in various locations (Doo Lough, Achill Island, Keem Bay, Tullabaun, Tourmakeady). And the weather was very cooperative - Tim counted only 3-4 days where the "showers" might have been considered an inconvenience in the three weeks he was in Ireland (he did some genealogical research after the workshop). Amazing weather for the last part of October! The photo tour, due in large part to Olcan's "going the extra mile" was much, much more than a series of "photo-ops" - it was a total immersion into the culture of the West of Ireland. Look for images from the group and some of their recollections of the trip, on the Web site soon.
So, I might as well mention it now - we have a second tour scheduled for April 20-30, 2002. It's a lovely, gentle, safe country with people to match - we'd love to see you come along in April. More information re: the trip is available - http://www.thenocturnes.com/ireland - and if you email me directly, I think I can put you in touch with some of the participants from October, whom I'm sure would be happy to talk to you about the trip, giving some of their perspectives.
Tim's 10-week course at U.C. Berkeley Extension has finished up, with (according to the school) some great evaluations! And, he says that his evaluation of that particular group of students would also be very high. In fact, there is a group show of Night Photography scheduled for April at the school's Galleria space. And Tim has been invited back to teach a Summer Course in Night Photography. Dates will be announced on the Web site - http://www.thenocturnes.com/workshop - when finalized.
Todd Hido was a much anticipated guest lecturer at one of the U.C. Berkeley sessions. Thanks Todd - hope to see you again, soon! Troy Paiva, who has been speaking to our groups for a few years now, also visited. Both lecturers were very professional, informative, and inspiring. Both provided a wealth of practical info about vision and portfolio development, going beyond the technical aspects of Night Photography.
The UC group, along with some "Nocturnes Reservists" came out for what I can only be describe as a "field trip" to the Chabot Space and Science Center in the Oakland Hills on the date of the annual Leonid meteor shower. I don't think there were any great photographic results (well, maybe one or two) overall - a lot of condensation on lenses - but a fine, fun time nonetheless.
Most of the schedule of Workshops for 2002 is up on the Web site now, with
links to the various institutions provided. Quite a full schedule for this upcoming
year. You'll note that we've added a trip to Morocco and a Death Valley Workshop
- both occur in the fall. More about this later . . .
"A more dedicated group, you're not likely to find" - that describes the Alumni of our September 2001 Workshop, here in San Francisco. This "pre-9/11" group (they had their workshop over the Labor Day weekend) has come upon an interesting blend of camaraderie, humor, and chemistry. And they deserve the praise. All are included in the current Alumni Group Show, "Presidio Nocturnes" - http://www.thenocturnes.com/exhibits.htm - at the Presidio Alliance Building, in San Francisco's Presidio, up thru January 31, 2002. See more of their work from the Workshop at "Workplace" - http://www.thenocturnes.com/2001alum1.htm - BTW, the scans/info were gathered, and the page built by Betty Walker, a participant in the Labor Day Workshop.
Our most recent AlumNight, held on the Solstice, in conjunction with a show of Night Photography of the Presidio and Marin Headlands by Alumni of the Workshop Series and the UC Berkeley Extension course was a success - 13 attendees (4 days before Christmas!) - some were even willing and able to go out into the cold December night and photograph the Letterman Hospital DeConstruction ruins.
Lastly, Tim and I went down to Death Valley for Thanksgiving (another tradition) to start planning for a Workshop that will take place there in November, 2002 (the week before Thanksgiving next year - so mark your calendars). Designed for those who've taken a workshop or class ("in the system") with us, it'll give you a chance to do more advanced work, settle in on a theme, just see something new, etc. Visit the Web site in the next few months for more details.
"Every Full Moon in 2002" - or nearly every one.
BOOKS AND ARTICLES NOTED
There was a great piece published on August 21, 2001, in the San Jose Mercury News (paper and online) about Todd Hido by Jack Fischer. Entitled "Night Visions," it mentioned his show of recent work, at the time, at the Wirtz Gallery (http://www.wirtzgallery.com). And the September issue of Artweek - http://www.artweek.com - featured a review by Mary Hull Webster of the show (along with the front cover!) at Stephen Wirtz Gallery. Todd is certainly keeping busy, eh?
Michael Kenna's newest text, "Easter Island," is due out any day now. Photographed over a period of two years, it is the fourth publication (ISBN 1-59005-012-6) of Kenna's work by Nazraeli Press. Check out Michael's Web site - http://www.michaelkenna.net - for more info.
Another "Sky Book," perhaps? Check out Richard Misrach's latest, "Golden Gate" - published by Arena Editions, ISBN 1-892041-43-x. Photographing what must be the world's most photographed subject, at all times of day, from the same East Bay Hills vantage point, Misrach has given us a marvelous memento of one our local treasures, least we forget. We agree with Kenneth Baker's (San Francisco Chronicle Art Critic) analysis that "Some photographs make a better book than an exhibition." (S.F. Chronicle, December 16, 2001)
Celestial Nights, Visions of an Ancient Land, Neil Folberg. Aperture Books, 2001. ISBN 0-89381-945-x
Beyond Boundaries, Contemporary Photography in California. The Friends of Photography, 2001. ISBN 0-933286-73-2
Golden Gate, Richard Misrach. Arena Editions. ISBN 1-892041-43-x
Cuba, David Alan Harvey with essays by Elizabeth Newhouse. National Geographic Books, 1999. ISBN 0-7922-7501-2
Farewell, Promised Land, Waking from the California Dream, Robert Dawson. Univ. of California Press, 1999. ISBN 0-520-21124-3
Cuba, various authors, edited by Tom Miller. Travelers Tales, 2001. ISBN 1-885211-62-7
Shifting Tides, Cuban Photography after the Revolution. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2001. ISBN 1-85894-134-2
The Chietains, the authorized biography, John Glatt. St, Martin's Press, 1997. ISBN 0-312-16605-2
Summer Nights, Robert Adams. Aperture Books, 1985. ISBN 0-89381-141-6
The second part of this special edition of "Night News" will be emailed out to you within the next day. Look for it in your morning email delivery!
As always, this and past issues of "Night News" are accessible at http://www.thenocturnes.com/nitenews.htm
On these cold, dark nights of winter just remember that "all things must pass" and: "... lets just be careful out there."
"It's been ages since you last visited . . . "