Musings on Being the Artist of Your Day

Tag: photography (Page 2 of 3)

Black and White Photography

"Missing the Times," photo by Mary Gow

“Missing the Times,” photo by Mary Gow

I took this photo, “Missing the Times,” when I was taking practicing street photography in Harvey Stein’s class at the International Center of Photography in New York City. I love black and white photography. The over head light in this photo could use a bit more exposure so it’s not so bright but I like the general nostalgic feel of this shot.

Briefly Seeing Harvey Stein, the Photographer Behind “Briefly Seen”

Mary Gow with Harvey Stein, holding 3 of his books.

Mary Gow with Harvey Stein, holding 3 of his books.

Briefly Seen - a book by Harvey Stein

Briefly Seen – a book by Harvey Stein

The World is Harvey Stein’s studio. He concentrates on the World-at-Large. Outside of the studio IS his studio. And books, he declared at the book signing, are his perfect form of sharing his observations.

Stein’s called New York City home for over 40 years. He’s a professional photographer, teacher, lecturer, curator and author. He’s received numerous awards and his photos are in more than 55 permanent collections including the George Eastman House, the Bibliotheque Nationale, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Boorklyn Musuem of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Denver Museum of Art.

He teaches at the International Center of Photography (ICP) and has been on the faculty of the New School University, Drew University, Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Visual Arts and the University of Bridgeport.

Creating Flow from Chaos, by Mary Gow

Creating Flow from Chaos, award-winning photogram by Mary Gow

I took my first photography course at ICP with Harvey Stein as my instructor. It was a ten-week course and we did a lot of street photography. I was enthralled with seeing the chemistry process – especially when the image begins appearing on the photo sensitive paper. I loved darkroom work (though it’s becoming a lost art now).

One of my favorite photos by Harvey Stein

One of my favorite photos by Harvey Stein

My Favorite Book by Harvey Stein: Artists Observed

My Favorite Book by Harvey Stein: Artists Observed

One of the first things we learned in Stein’s class was how the enlarger works. At its most basic level, an enlarger casts light onto photo sensitive paper. It was then I made my first photograms by placing objects on top of this paper. The x-ray look of them got my attention. And it touched on my obsession with line, shape and form which could be highlighted through layers.

It was in Stein’s class I found an artform that really worked for me.

I went on to make more photograms, some won awards. I felt especially honored by recognition in a show juried by California photographer and photogram-maker, Robert Buelteman. I also went on to work as a freelance photographer and my work’s appeared in newspapers, magazines, online and in books.

It was a delight to see Stein again after many years. He visited the Leica Store in San Francisco in June of 2016 to introduce three of his books: Coney Island 40 Years, Briefly Seen and Harlem Street Portraits, plus offer a three day workshop on street photography.

Thank you Harvey Stein for your inspiration!

Visit his website to see his work and world at

Butterflies and Blooming

Free Free Set Yourself Free, photo by Mary Gow

Free Free Set Yourself Free, photo by Mary Gow

This is the first day after the Your Turn Challenge and I decided to post again without prompting. It feels good to be writing and sharing today.

Here’s a photo I took in May of 2013 at the Butterflies and Blooms Show at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

My favorite part of the exhibition was a section where you could see caterpillars growing and if you were lucky, you could witness one becoming a butterfly!

I enjoyed the seven day writing challenge I’ve just completed. Last night I prepared this image to post today… after thinking about whether I was going to keep up the momentum. It’s one day at a time. I’ll see if I can continue these baby steps.

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.  ~Rabindranath Tagore

One Birthday, Two Cakes

There are times images can say more than words. I took these photos at documentary filmmaker Mary Kerr’s birthday celebration. Kerr’s work focuses on the history of the Beat Era’s artists and poets. Back in November she spoke at San Jose Museum of Art about the noted abstract painter Joan Brown, whom she had known.

Her current project is about the underground art and poetry scene in Venice, Calif., and San Francisco in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s Beat Era. You can see a snippet of the film and support her current artistic cause, the two-part documentary called “Swinging in the Shadows.”

Waiting with the Cake

Waiting with the Cake, part 1, photo by Mary Gow

Making a Wish, part 2

Making a Wish, part 2, photo by Mary Gow

Happy First Wish, part 3

Happy First Wish, part 3, photo by Mary Gow

Happy Second Wish, part 4

Happy Second Wish, part 4, photo by Mary Gow

You might also enjoy:
Audacity Outshines Talent?
Window at the Dakota
Lucky Patch
The Artsy Merchants of Venice

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