Ctein met a number of TOP readers in Toronto on Wednesday. He hasn't said anything to me about it yet, but several readers have reported the meetup was a success.
Ken Straiton took this with with a Fuji X-Pro1 handheld at ISO 5000, with the 18mm lens.
Make it a point to visit Ken's website—I don't know him, but he's a heck of a shooter from the looks of things. Look for "Burma" under "Projects." That's the one that grabbed me.
Ken's Burma work reminds me of another photographer I've been meaning to mention—Aaron Greenman's "Holy Lands" portfolio. Like Ken's set it's a loose edit, but a lot of the shots are knockouts. Others are thought-provoking (at least to me—I'm reading a history of the Roman Empire right now and I've gotten to the part about the uprising in Judea).
And that brings to mind another photographer—remember all the way back to April 2007 (that's 40 years ago in digital camera years) when we did a post on a mysterious Flickr photographer known as "Glimpse of the World"? Glimpse turned out to be Howard French, a retired Senior Writer at The New York Times (and sometime TOP reader, to stay on topic) who now teaches both journalism and photography at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Well, Howard has a new book out, which the New York Review of Books wrote an article about. I'm a big fan of Howard's photography, which you can see more of here.
Maybe Ctein or some of the other participants will chime in here and tell us more about Wednesday? It's always fun when we can get like minds together.
(Thanks to Ken)
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A book of interest today:
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Featured Comments from:
John Holland: "It was a great evening with Ctein in Toronto. Peter Bowers deserves a big thanks for arranging the venue.
"Ctein showed up with a big box full of 17x22 inkjets. Many of the prints involved photos or topics he's done recent TOP columns on, in particular What Does It Take To Be A Good Printer?, the $19.95 Micro 4/3 Print Offer, and When Good Profiles Turn Bad, about his troubles getting a good print of his Apollo/Soyuz photo.
"Ctein spent a good hour or so on his portfolio, going through each print and patiently answering many questions about technique, paper, printers, problems and solutions. Imagine being able to pick the brains of, say, Ansel Adams for an evening; that's what it felt like for me.
"To see the prints 'in the flesh' was revelatory. It is not possible to overstate how good they are, and how poorly an 800-pixel jpeg in a blog article represents some of their subtler characteristics.
"Finally, we allowed poor Ctein to eat, and after supper some of the other attendees pulled out some pictures. Peter Bowers showed some prints of his very beautiful B&W outdoor photography; his Flicker page gives you a good idea of how terrific a photographer he is.
"Then Ken Straiton casually produced a box of 8x10 B&W workprints of his street photos in Japan, shot on film with a 6x6 camera. These pictures are exquisite; I'd buy a book of 'em in a heartbeat. Ken's a pretty interesting character; he's lived in Japan for 26+ years and has created a substantial body of work.
"Ken and Ctein were nice enough to take the time to offer some suggestions for my own photos.
"Again, thanks to Peter, Ken and most of all Ctein for such a rare opportunity to see some first-rate prints and photography."
Ctein adds: What John said. Ken and Peter's photos were exquisite and that Costco book was fascinating (and well done). Had fun. So did Cally (my friend who came along). Thanks, Pete!
Peter Bowers: "When I saw Ken's photo of the evening I was immediately reminded of the first chapter of The Hobbit, where Gandalf shows a map to the dwarves. Of course Ctein is something of a modern day Wizard—he showed us some of his magic—we were treated to an intimate discourse on the art and science of printing. It was particularly interesting to hear the process and intent behind each image. Ctein himself is a charming and entertaining speaker. As the evening progressed and more people arrived I backed up to let others get in close, and that was when I met Ken Straiton. He pulled out a box of his B&W prints, and this was quite a revelation. I had never really seen quality B&W prints before, the delicate tonal gradations were just amazing, and they had a quality that I haven't seen in digital prints.
"If you ever get a chance to meet Ctein in person, take it—you won't be dissappointed!"