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Review of “When I’m 64” Exhibit, Including “Window Peeping”

There is a fabulous exhibit up at the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art in Rancho Cucamonga, California. When I’m 64, curated by Rebecca Trawick, centers around aging in America. There are funny, melancholy, poignant, and absurd moments to discover in the images on display. The exhibit runs through November 21, 2012.

Five of my large-scale photographs from the Window Peeping series are included.

Ceramic Ducks from the Window Peeping series

Art critic Stacy Davies deserves credit for recommending When I’m 64, and writing a great review in Visual Art Source (VAS). Aging is not sexy. We live in a youth obsessed world. Davies looked beyond the normal art hype to give Rebecca Trawick and the show the credit it deserves. Thanks, Stacy. I know I sound a little full of myself for blogging this because my work is included. However, my purpose is to bring attention to the topic of aging than to my work. In fact, there are seven other incredible artists in this show; Troy Adssey, Jeanne C. Finley, Jessica Ingram, Nancy Macko, Peter Riesett, Shari Wasson, and Martha Wilson. As someone who spent five years taking care of an elderly mother with dementia, I know our health care system needs revisions. I take every opportunity to spotlight their plight. After all, we will be there someday too.

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Having Fun With Instagram

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The Things We Do For Beauty – Instagram Photo

I got my first iPhone 4s a few days ago. I don’t know which I love more, my iPhone or my camera. I find myself reaching for the dang contraption before my eyes even focus in the morning.

One of the things I am having fun exploring is the free Instagram app. If you are not familiar with Instagram, it’s like Twitter for people who think in pictures. You can take a photo and easily click your way to cool effects. Feeling retro? Try the 1977 effect. Want to go B&W? Click on Inkwell. All washed up? Use Toaster.

The selective focusing option is my favorite. You can choose to have a strip or circle shape, and manipulate how much of the image will be sharp, and what will be blurred. Just use your fingers to on the phone screen to pull the size of the circle or strip larger or smaller. In the self-portrait above, I decided to make fun of myself as I was getting my hair colored and sitting under a dryer. I used the Early bird effect and a circular selective focus on my face. Notice how my hair becomes more blurred as it moves away from my face.

Strand Beach – Instagram Photo, Inkwell effect and strip selective focus

The last step in your creation is to write a caption and upload it to the Instagram sharing site. It will automatically post to your other social media sites if you set up your accounts to allow it. You can like and comment on your friend’s photos and build a following, just like Twitter.

Be prepared to get hooked on Instagram because it is so quick and easy to do. If you are standing in line at the coffee shop, make an Instagram. Filling up your gas tank, take an Instagram. It’s an Insta-boredom cure.

The House Above The Harbor – Instagram Photo, Kelvin effect

Canon 5D Mark III Arrives

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The new Canon 5D Mark III

Great news for Canon junkies. The new 5D Mark III has arrived. What’s so great about this camera? Well, more speed, higher resolution, enhanced processing power, and added creative options for  stills and Full HD movies. This new beast provides the most creative freedom ever for those of us who need to shoot with our brains instead of a machine.

Here is a look at the body with lens kit.  Here is a look at the body only.

So what’s the damage to your wallet? The body only is $3,499. The kit with lens will empty you out to the tune of $4,299. An investment, yes, but one I am willing to make. I think about the shots I have missed in low light, the noise I struggle to remove, and think – yes, this is worth the great shots I will get once it is in my hands.

Read a full review of the Canon 5D Mark III here.

I am holding my breath until mine arrives. Hopefully I won’t turn blue.

 

 

Gina Genis Radio Interview With Creative Orange County

 

Economy Portraits book

If you have an interest and about 1/2 hour to spare, have a listen to a radio interview I did with Creative Orange County on February 28, 2012. Susan Petrella, the engaging host asked questions about my current work, how I became interested in photography, and what makes me tick as an artist. Click here to listen.

 
By the way, the Economy Portraits book can be purchased on amazon.com.
 

Google’s New Privacy Policy

Google is changing its privacy policy as of March 1, 2012. What does this mean to you? Google states:

We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.

In this internet dependent world, we are giving up more and more of our privacy. Is this acceptable to you? How much do you want people to know about you? For instance, do you want your cell phone number made public? Do you want businesses to know what color underwear you just bought on a website?

One thing that really bothers me about using Google is the forced advertising. I don’t want to have to sift through a page’s multitude of advertisements just to get to what I wanted to see in the first place. Internet advertising is getting more and more invasive. It is now being placed inside the content of your search. You are forced to watch the ad before your desired subject comes up. Google claims that it collects information about you to send you ads that will be of interest. Well, I have never seen an ad that interested me. I don’t even want ads. Furthermore, when those annoying forced ads pop up, I close the entire window, opting not to watch either the ad or the content I originally searched. Google – are you listening? You are being counter-productive. People are not watching the ads OR the page they wanted to get to.

How about your photography? Is is becoming easier to steal your images from websites? As a photographer who has had to go after several people/businesses for stealing my images, I am concerned. You may notice the copyright watermarks on the images I post. I hate them. They ruin the feel of the photograph. But I have learned through experience that I must place them on every image I post. I suggest you do the same. I also credit every photographer for each image I use in this blog. This gives credit where credit is due, and it protects the image for that photographer. Please do likewise so we, as a community of photographers look out for each other.

We all make choices. There are other search engines and free email providers out there. Maybe we should start looking at our alternatives.

New Generation Canon PowerShot G1X Camera

Camera lovers, I have some exciting news for you. Canon has released the new PowerShot G1X camera. It is completely redesigned from its predecessor, the PowerShot G12. I am happy that the G1X has kept a ton of manual controls. I am a photographer who uses them constantly for creative freedom. Here’s a quick run down of the improved features:

14MP 1.5″ CMOS sensor, 28-112mm F2.8-5.8 lens, Optical viewfinder, ISO 100-12,800, 3.0″ swivelling LCD, 14-bit Raw shooting, 4.5fps continuous shooting, 1929 x 1080p full HD Video in stereo sound.

There are times that it is impractical to travel with my bulky DSLR and heavy lenses. I see the G1X as a suitable substitute. I  received mine on March 5, and stayed up until 2:30 a.m. setting it up and making test shots. I can report it is a HUGE improvement over the PowerShot G12. Miles superior in low light conditions and clarity of images. I can hand hold it at much slower shutter speeds than the G12.

Take a look at the test shots and video below. Keep in mind my test shots are not attempting to be beautiful. Quite the opposite; I purposely pick bad lighting conditions to see just what a camera can handle. The photograph below was taken with Pattern Metering. No flash was used, and there was no HDR in post processing. I am pleased with the way the G1X reads the extreme lighting contrasts. This image was taken hand-held with an aperture of f13, at 1/10 sec, ISO of 400. Note I said hand-held. There is no way I could have hand-held the PowerShot G12 at 1/10 sec. The f13 aperture kept detail from front to back sharp. A note – all images were uploaded in 72 dpi, for web sharing, so unfortunately, you won’t be able to see the high res quality.

Unedited Canon PowerShot G1X test shot with pattern meter mode

The next photo was taken at the height of the day. Terrible lighting conditions from straight up above. The G1X came through once again. I used the built-in ND filter to block out some light. I expected the sky to look more washed out, but the G1X captured the pale blue just fine. Aperture Priority of f16 hand-held at 1/30 sec, ISO at 100. The front-to-back sharpness is quite good. Once again, there is absolutely no editing. This is exactly what the camera can do on its own. Keep in mind that you can use any of the wonderful color booster settings in JPG mode to give a punch to your images, but for this shot,  I wanted to see how the camera does without any of the extra settings.

Unedited Canon PowerShot G1X unedited test shot of very bright light on a landscape.

Below is a shot along the same creek, but taken late in the day with better lighting conditions. I used the camera’s Vivid color mode to boost the saturation. Aperture was at f11 with a shutter speed of 1/125 sec, ISO 400. You can see the punch it gave the greens and added a bit of warm tone to the dirt.

Unedited Canon G1X test shot using camera’s Vivid color mode

The next image displays how great the PowerShot G1X is in low light conditions. I tried this kind of shot many times with a PowerShot G12, and it just couldn’t make an image without a lot of noise and needing a tripod. The PowerShot G1X has no problem getting a clear shot in very dim light. This room was completely dark except for the light from the TV. I used Program mode that set itself to f4.5, at 1/60 sec. ISO was at 400. I used the pop up flash and set the flash exposure compensation to -2. The camera was hand-held. The resulting shot is clear and noise free.

Unedited Canon PowerShot G1X test shot of low light conditions

Next is an example of the accurate color you can get with the G1X’s White Balance settings. I took this shot in a horribly lit shower stall at a public pool. I used the Tungsten white balance setting, and you can see the clean whites & cool grays of the tiles, and vivid oranges in the swim suit. Shot hand-held with an Aperture of f2.8, at 1/40 sec, ISO 400. I am very happy with the white balance results in the PowerShot G1X.

Canon PowerShot G1X test shot using Tungsten white balance

Click here to see a short G1X test video on YouTube. This video was shot using the video setting mode, and no other adjustments. It is as if you handed the camera to your 6 year old. The results are nice considering I did absolutely nothing to enhance the video. Imagine what you can do when you utilize the advanced settings. The sound is better than expected. You can hear the whistling sound of the strong wind in places. After making this video, I added the furry gray Windjammers over the mic holes, and it stopped the whistling.

Now click here to see a video of my layover in the Atlanta Airport after editing images and using iMovie to put it together. This is a more advanced result.

If you are into nature photos and videos, click here to view a video that includes stills as well as video. This also, is a more advanced result after editing images and using iMovie.

I must say, carrying this compact beauty around was a pleasant experience compared to the heavy DSLR I normally have breaking my back. I walked 4 miles without even noticing I had a camera with me until I aimed it at a subject.

Check out the Powershot G1X and see if it is right for you. If so, here’s a link to order yours. For your information, I also ordered the following items for my G1X kit:

Extra Battery – highly recommended, as I found the battery life when using video is less that I expected.

Flash – although the pop up flash is adequate in certain circumstances, I find a hot shoe mounted flash gives much better results. This one is small and lightweight.

16 gig SDHC Card – You will need at least 16 gigs of a fast writing card for all of the photos and videos you will be taking.

Wireless Shutter Release – I use this wireless shutter release a lot. I like it because operates with radio frequency (RF), so you don’t have to have a direct line of sight. Radio waves pass through objects such as windows and walls. Be aware that there is a bit of lag time with this release, though.

Travel Tripod – This tripod is essential for travel or hiking. Very light, and folds up to fit inside a carry-on suitcase. It is designed to use for still and video. Important feature for those of us who want to shoot both without having to have two ballheads. Keep in mind this is an inexpensive tripod. It is not as sturdy or constructed as heartily as an expensive one. I recommend it for times you do not want to carry your heavy, sturdy tripod with you.

Audio Windjammers – These cut down the wind noise when you are shooting video. I shoot outdoors a lot. When it is windy, the whistling sound of the wind going into the camera’s microphone is annoying when you watch the video. Windjammers stop that sound.

Card Reader – I like this card reader to transfer my images to my computer. It reads any type of memory card out there. You don’t need to use up your camera’s battery with the USB cord if you use this card reader.

There are two things I would like to see changed. First, the battery/SD card slot is on the bottom of the camera. I use my G1X on a tripod quite often. When I need to change the battery or SD card, I have to take it off the tripod, unscrew the tripod plate, change the card or battery, screw the plate back on, then put the camera back on the tripod. Kind of a pain in the neck. Second, it would be nice if Canon bumped up the volume control play back feature for video. Sometimes I need to check what I just shot to see if there is undesired noise, like an airplane flying overhead or a car alarm going off. The volume is too low in play back mode when you are outdoors with other noises around you.

An in-depth review and lab test can be seen at Popular Photography by clicking this link.

The price is $699 USD.

Thanks for reading this review, and keep your shutter clicking.

Exhibition Schedule for Gina Genis, January – December, 2012

Ceramic Ducks from the Window Peeping series by Gina Genis.

Pass the Red Bull please. Eight exhibits between January and December are leaving no time for sleep.  Work being exhibited includes images from Window Peeping, a series I shot over a two-year period. It depicts the elderly through open windows of their homes at night. Window Peeping makes a statement about the loneliness of growing old and living in the past. The second is selected images and installation pieces from Things We Leave Behind, which has never been seen before. Things We Leave Behind was photographed inside a deceased man’s apartment who was something of a hoarder. It raises the question if you knew you would never return to your house, what would you leave out for people to see, and what would you hide?  Photographs of the apartment will be exhibited along with furniture, writings, books, and other personal possessions of the man. The public may participate in Things We Leave Behind by being filmed answering the above question while sitting on the deceased man’s couch. Economy Portraits, a statement about how average people are coping with the collapse of the economy will be shown towards the end of the year.

Bedroom from the series Things We Leave Behind by Gina Genis

The completed Economy Portraits flag.

Exhibition Schedule:

Repositioning The Gaze, Truman State University, January 17 – February 17, 2011. Curator’s talk January 17 at 4:30 p.m. Opening reception at 6 p.m. I will be there to take part in an artist Discussion Panel January 18 at noon. Curated by Brandelyn Dillaway. Two 60″ x 40″ works from Window Peeping (The Pack Rat and Lives Lived In Cubes) will be exhibited.

PHOTO + PLUS,  Coastline Community College, February 9 – March 9, 2012. Opening reception February 10,  5 – 8 p.m. Curated by David Michael Lee. A large installation and photographic imagery from the series Things We Leave Behind will be shown. Each visitor at the reception who would like to be included in the exhibit will be asked to sit on the couch of the deceased man and asked if you knew you would never return to your house, what would you leave out for people to see, and what would you hide?

Momentum, National Women’s Caucus for Art 40th anniversary exhibition, at Gallery 825, February 17 – March 2, 2012. Opening reception, February 24,  6 – 9 p.m. Juried by Rita Gonzalez, Assistant Curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Ceramic Ducks, (40″ x 26 “) from the Window Peeping series will be included in the catalog.

Solo Exhibit of two series: Secret Lives – Images from Window Peeping and Things We Leave Behind, Biola University, March 19 – April 6, 2011. Curated by Barry Krammes. Opening reception March 20,  7 – 9 p.m. Each visitor at the reception who would like to be included in the exhibit will be asked to sit on the couch of the deceased man and asked if you knew you would never return to your house, what would you leave out for people to see, and what would you hide?

Mnemonic Ritual, Fellows of Contemporary Art, Curated by Grace Kook Anderson, Laguna Art Museum. Opening reception and artist discussion June 16, 2012. Exhibit runs through August 18, 2012. Work from Things We Leave Behind will be shown.

Spirit of America, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Economy Portraits, in a smaller form to fit the space will be shown. August 2 – August 18, 2012. Opening reception August 4, 2012 from 6-10 p.m.

When I’m 64, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Curated by Rebecca Trawick. September 10 – November 21, 2012.  Five large scale images from the Window Peeping series will be shown.

Capital Crime$, BC Space, October 6 – December 21, 2012. Opening reception is October 6, from 3 – 6 pm. A small version (10′ x 12′) of the Economy Portraits flag is on exhibit.

If you are in the neighborhood, please come join me for the opening receptions and have some fun.


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