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Conversations A Visual Dialogue

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Conversations: Outtake from “Sounds of Silence”


Conversations

When I was first approached in 2013 about the Daily Photo Game concept, I was so discouraged about the photography industry and my personal photography in general, that I shared this vulnerable thought with founding member Eliot Crowley... "I don't pick up a camera anymore for personal work, just for jobs". A sad confession. Historically, my passion for photography goes beyond the traditional notions of a photograph. My interest lies in conceptual thought as it pertains to story and process. So when the game began I wanted to bring this orientation to the table, and in doing so, perhaps rekindle my passion in creating the art I have been producing since I was 16. Even at that early age, I was interested in manipulation of process, concept and narrative in photography. Some of my earliest photographs were intentionally shooting the wrong film for the wrong application. This interest in concept and execution has manifested itself most markedly in my photo-illustration work and “The Pear Series� photographs, shot on polaroid film. How the Daily Photo Game works: Every 10 days in repeating order, a given photographer's "game day" will arrive. On that day, the photographer will create and post a new image within 24 hours, a visual response to the previous photographer's submission. The thumbnail strip shown at top or bottom of the page, represents the timeline of image progression. Now having spent a year on the DPG project, I feel a newness in my volition to create. Much of this energy comes from a disconnection to purpose or goal, it is the doing that has given new life to my photographic voice. Ironically, it took a purpose, the game, to get me started again, but from within that production came a kind of freedom of expression and dialogue with fellow artists that fuels me and calls me to do more. The photographs that follow in this book are excerpts from the larger 365 image poject and are not in series. The image pairings are a visual conversation, within myself, outwardly with my fellow players of the game, and with the audience at large. Russ Widstrand 2014

Conversations: May 2013

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Conversations: May 2013

“Emergence” Russ Widstrand Photographer Continuing from Robert Nease’s “Toes and Sand” photograph, my image “Emergence” was inspired by

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Robin Trower’s “Bridge of Sighs” album artwork. Not sure why that inspiration came up, but that is the mystery of being an artist.


Conversations: May 2013

“Blue on Blue” Joe Pobereskin Photographer My image of New York City’s Chrysler Building follows the “blueness” of Russ Widstrand’s Emergence, the five triangular lights in each arc of the building reminiscent of the five fingers on each hand in Russ’ image. I inhabit the blue world, typically just before sunrise and just after sunset. Everything turns a monochromatic cobalt blue at magic time and I exploit it on a regular basis. This particular evening I was on a rooftop on Fifth Avenue, three blocks away. I was in the midst of a shoot for the Warner Brothers film Batman & Robin* when I made this image with my 600mm/f4.0 lens (I know, most guys would have bought a car). I love the way the stainless steel facade picked-up the dusky blue sky, the exquisite detail the lens produces, the blue on blue quality makes the hair on the back of my neck stand-up. *When viewing the film, every time you see Gotham City you’re looking at my pictures of New York re-built to create the Gotham skyline.

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Conversations: May 2013

“When Called Upon” Robert Nease Photographer

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Conversations: May 2013

“Flower Power” Russ Widstrand Photographer Following up on Robert Nease’s image, I thought we might investigate another tack on guns… our timely national debate over gun control. Peace out!

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Conversations: June 2013

“Shadowy Car� Russ Widstrand Photographer I shot this motion study with my iPhone. I love the distinct shadow of the vehicle projected onto the blurring trees, exaggerating their ethereal transparency.

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The late afternoon sun also added some nice warmth, contrasting with the bluish tones from the road and car.


Conversations: June 2013

“Truck In North Cascade Pass” Joe Pobereskin Photographer Russ’ image of the shadow of a car in a stark landscape took me back to a similar scene, pictured here. I made this image fairly mid-day on May 18, 1980. That morning I’d been sleeping peacefully in a motel near

Yakima, Washington. I was rudely awakened by a loud knock on my motel room door, it sounded urgent. Well, something was obviously happening so I went to the restaurant for breakfast and that’s when I learned that Mt. St. Helens had blown her top… about 300 miles west.

Feeling the need to amuse myself in an otherwise adverse situation, I collected ash in empty film cans along Route 20. I saved some ash as a souvenir, keep it in a vial on my desk.

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Conversations: June 2013

“Hear Come Da Judge” Robert Nease Photographer I thought Jay’s image of the child looking under the hood was funny and cute in contrast to a big car in a real garage. I wanted to play a contrasting image, went to two car shows over the weekend.

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Conversations: June 2013

“Wraith” Russ Widstrand Photographer When I saw Bob Nease’s nice Ferrari shot, I came up with 4 ideas to play off his image. A red hooded reaper, an opened tin can of Campbell’s soup with lid attached (backside), our cat in a medical hood, and a nice shot I just took of Mt. Hood on a flight back from Phoenix. The reaper won the day, though I am still curious about objectifying the tin can. Enjoy.

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Conversations: June 2013

“Through the Looking Glass” Robert Nease Photographer Upon seeing Jay’s image of the water droplets and how they were like little lenses I wanted to play with an image either behind, or in front of some kind of glass. I started with a silhoutte and kept moving the object

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closer and closer to the glass until it seemed to almost appear to be coming partially through the glass.


Conversations: June 2013

“Detatched in Montana” Russ Widstrand Photographer Robert’s image is a tough act to follow. I thought that Flathead Lake might make a cool location to explore my idea of the maple leaf and water.

Burrrr, I was squatting all the way in the cold water with the lens just above water height.

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“55 Grill” Robert Nease Photographer We all sometimes see faces in every day objects. As in Jay’s post “Wink and a Knot”.

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For me a front end of a 1955 Chevy has always had the look of a wide faced kid with braces.


“Dental Grilling� Russ Widstrand Photographer A different kind of grilling. I shot this while photographing a dental school, I thought it so surreal. My game day fell on our 10 hr drive back from Montana, I did shoot some frames, was happy with one of them, but decided to go with this instead. Glad it has finally seen the light of day.

Conversations: June 2013

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“Looking Up” Robert Nease Photographer In reaction to Jay’s image Desert Palm, Jay’s view point was on his back gazzing upwards. I thought we seldom look up in our daily lifes with our nose to the grind stone. I wanted to shoot something with an upwards view point. The sculpture was photographed looking almost straight up as I lay on the moist grass. The sunlight bouncing off of a mirrored building gave me some fun light on the steel cables and marble. I will now look up more often.

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“Loopers” Russ Widstrand Photographer My follow up to Robert’s cool image started at the hardware store. I bought a bunch of stuff that could be shaped into an infinity loop, my inspiration from his

image. In working with the loop, I tried many iterations, some that were perfect infinity loops and some less so. In reviewing my options in Photoshop, I kept coming back to the less perfect loop, it seemed to have more character, informality and spontaneity than the “perfect” ones. It also has some optical illusion twists that I liked.

Finally I added a droplet ripple to give the image more connection between the elements. It was conceptualized and produced within 24hrs.

Conversations: July 2013

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“53 Vette” Robert Nease Photographer When I viewed Jay’s Catus Cookie I liked the colors and the fun different direction…Thanks Jay…So I had to play something a bit different than what I had planned ! I had wanted to go cactus….but decided to work with the colors instead. Working in Photoshop I went about working with the Hue and Saturation among other things to achieve eventually what I was happy with.

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“Knight Light” Russ Widstrand Photographer My response to Robert’s image was spawned from the headlight and grid over it. I flashed on this fencing helmet I bought years ago, thinking I would make an image with it someday. That day arrived today.

Interestingly, this is a single image, no Photoshop, just light and fog. I even like how the light spilling out behind the helmet looks like mountains. The thumbnail below is the exact set with the house lights up.

Conversations: July 2013

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“Caddy II” Robert Nease Photographer When I saw Jay’s Shadow Dancing image I was intrigued by the texture and color of the huge rocks. I wanted to play on the texture and color but with a man made object.

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The rust and patina on the rear of this old Cadillac afforded me what I was looking for. Along with the low wide angle viewpoint, the image has a monolithic feel to it. The characteristic trademark, the badging felt to me like an old cave drawing made by a native, left for some future generation to discover.


“Time Forgotten Tanks” Russ Widstrand Photographer In responding to Robert’s image of the rusty car, I got lucky, no, not that kind of lucky. On the way back from Montana, I pulled over to make some photographs of a

Conversations: September 2013

tree farm I like to shoot. A group of rusty metal storage tanks caught my eye and I made some photographs of the subject. Besides the connection to the rusty patina in Robert’s image, I thought I would introduce black and white to

the game, something that has yet to be explored in the game. Have fun guys.

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“Sounds” Robert Nease Photographer The first thing I saw in Jay’s image were the hands. Hands can help and hurt, fix meals, help us drive, write and type, open doors and do multiple things. This is a portrait of Bob Lesher, lead singer and harmonica player, the patriarch of the band Tupelo Blue and One of the duo of Crosstown 2. During the shoot we were talking about sound and how one’s voice does not sound the same on a recording as your own voice sounds to yourself. So I asked Bob to put his hands over his ears for a moment….I was thinking…..”See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil”…

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“Sounds of Silence” Russ Widstrand Photographer In responding to Robert’s beautifully crafted portrait, “Sounds”, I had a number of ideas relating to silence. This megaphone idea rose to the top and stayed with me throughout my late night brainstorming. The next day began the biggest challenge, locating a megaphone in Portland in a couple of hours. As luck would have it, my local antique store had a couple of them… I bought them all. I shot the scene with both megaphone’s (painted this one), a phone with a disconnected cord and various changes of wardrobe. This simpler expression of the idea finally won the day, albeit through an excruciating edit.

Conversations: September 2013

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Conversations: October 2013

“Woody” Robert Nease Photographer When I viewed Jay’s image “Eyes Closed”, I liked the way her arms wrapped around her body in a graceful way. I thought I might use a piece of burned drift wood that started life as a huge root. I spent quite a bit of time

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moving around the piece of wood, turning it over and tring different positions until I found the angle that spoke to me. I added and subtracted light until the wood looked more like what I had pre-visualized.


Conversations: October 2013

“Carved Pear #1” Russ Widstrand Photographer As soon as I saw Robert’s image, I knew which image I had to post. The lines, shapes and forms of the last two images lead me to only one choice - one of the images from my Pear Series, works on Polaroid film.

This body of work is the result of a long period of introspection and self-examination. The impetus for this series was a yearning to create beautiful images once again. After spending years in the cerebral machinations of the commercial arena, my response was to engage a

vulnerability of spirit and heart I had not touched upon in my photography for sometime.

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Conversations: October 2013

“Dragon Teeth” Robert Nease Photographer Jay’s image of the Joshua tree and the spiky looking limbs made me think of spiky hair, but I decided to go a different direction. I wanted to play something a bit more fantasy like. I choose the catus image and played with the color until I got the feeling I was searching for. Very different from what I had planed to do. I am always a bit suprised and pleased when I take a couple of turns not planed in the beginning. I see Dragon Teeth...

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Conversations: October 2013

“Containment” Russ Widstrand Photographer Another long day for the Game, started at 8:30 am, finishing now at 8pm PST. Had a great time. The edit was tough again with so many options and variations to choose from. I chose this image called “Containment” for the conceptual overtones of the bookends. I think it will play well off of Robert’s strong and colorful image.

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Conversations: October 2013

“Sailor’s Delight” Robert Nease Photographer Seeing Jay’s amazing clouds, I thought of all the clouds I have shot from the second story of the studio building.

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This is one of my favorites. I created this image at Magic Hour…when the sun is at it’s lowest in the sky, thus the title “Sailor’s Delight” from the old adage “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.”


Conversations: October 2013

“Popcorn Anyone” Russ Widstrand Photographer My response to Robert’s image takes us in another direction. This image plays with the notion of visual similes.

Rather than posting another pretty sunset, which we all have tons of, I opted for a more conceptual direction. I look forward to where the game goes from here. Bring your own butter.

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Conversations: November 2013

“Tattoo Lady” Robert Nease Photographer I was intrigued by Jay’s image of the man with the tattoos on his arms. I have always thought that tattoos and pinstriping were so similar in their artistic variation except for the surfaces that they were put on.

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My decision was to play a pinstrip job of a lady on a trunk lid of a hot rod.


Conversations: November 2013

“Eye See You” Russ Widstrand Photographer What caught my eye in Robert’s ”Tattoo Lady”, was the weird extra eye to the left of the pinstripped woman’s face, its almost as though there is another entity surrounding the inner illustration of the girl.. I then flashed on an illustrative photograph I made of a dancer who was revealing only one eye to camera. As I viewed the two images together, the more I liked the pairing, the flowing shapes around the figures, the singularity of form and subject, and in particular, the haunting eye.

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Conversations: November 2013

“County Fair Food” Robert Nease Photographer “County Fair Food”, a little twist from Jay’s “Hotdog and Coke.” Fair Food…, from Maple Bacon Donuts to fried Twinkies on a stick. I though I would have a bit of fun and run with Corn Dogs with a bit of mustard and a Dew…Fair Food for sure….now where the heck is the ANTACID..!!!

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Conversations: November 2013

“Rasta Dog” Russ Widstrand Photographer I thought I would have a bit of fun playing off of Robert’s awesome image of corn dogs. Onions for eyes, cabbage for rasta hair, and the all important relish goatee. I shot the eyes in all positions, looking down, sideways and up. I kept coming back to this one for the eye contact across the thumbnails, adds a bit of playful connection and personality. Mustard is a must for my hot dogs, ketchup is not allowed. Adding this image of my sketches that got me to Rasta Dog… thought some background on concept would be interesting.

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“Shapes” Robert Nease Photographer Upon viewing Jay’s “The Sphere”, I loved the texture and ALL the shapes within the image. I decided to play with the everyday shapes of a circle, triangle, cylinder, and rectangle, all with texture. I gathered several pieces, played with them. Subtracting some and adding some pieces, till I had a balance that was pleasing to me. The different metals had varing textures of rust which was fun for me to work with.

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“Shapes and Shadows” Russ Widstrand Photographer My latest image for the game. Today was such a stellar day in Portland, I had to get outside. It was one of those afternoons I knew was going to produce blue shadows, I love these days. I went to visit a fellow photographer’s show in an industrial area of PDX, ripe pickings for a hard light shot. I found several, and this one rose to the top very quickly.

Conversations: November 2013

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“Big Box” Russ Widstrand Photographer Woke up to my game day today and it was 28 degrees here in Portland, burrr. I had two ideas to follow up on Robert’s conceptual and atmospheric image. One involved the homeless, who have very few choices. The

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other was some kind of retail scene, since we as Americans have so many choices. I did pay a couple of the homeless folks for letting me shoot their “homes”. Anyway, the other story took place at our local Costco. Consumerism galore and guerrilla photography at its finest. You never know when you might get the boot out of one of these places, we all know how dangerous

pixels are. So, I had my camera all set to go, I placed the camera on the floor at a dozen or more locations and this image won the day. I absolutely love the gesture of the little girl. Only 21 days of shopping left!


“Pure Weather” Joseph Pobereskin Photographer A friend of mine once told me, tongue-in-cheek, that what he loves most about America is freedom of choice: Coke or Pepsi. The recent string of preceding images are all about choice. I was struck by Russ’ comment that “we, as Americans, have so many choices.” He also mentioned photographing the homeless, and it seems to me that they, also Americans, have very few choices. And then we shift to Costco, a retail paradise, and return to choices aplenty once again. Russ also alluded to the weather, which is a huge story on the evening news the past couple of days. I have a choice: I could play an image of the homeless, but I choose not to dwell on the sadness of their situation. I could play an image of retail splendor, which seems a surreal concept given the awful nature of the previous thought. It snowed here along the shore of Lake Michigan this morning and I was able to make an image of an American flag. It seemed the perfect follow-up to the Costco image… so white, but with the red of the bumper and the bottle of detergent, along with the blue of the gentleman’s jeans and the packaging of the bath tissue. This image also speaks to the promise of America, giving me hope that the dire plight of the homeless will somehow be ameliorated.

Conversations: December 2013

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“Reflecting Branches” Russ Widstrand Photography I chose another form of branches to follow Robert’s asparagus fern. I shot this image while out hiking in the Columbia Gorge. A gorgeous hike with beautiful waterfalls, streams and light. This reflected image struck

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me as soon as I framed it, it had great compositional form and the blue sky seemed to emulate a river meandering through the scene.


“Urbanize It!� Joe Pobereskin Photographer An urbanized reflection on a Sunday afternoon.

Conversations: December 2013

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“Red 32” Robert Nease Photographer From green texture to smooth red, from side angle to front. I decided to play a few opposites to Jay’s image.

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And from a paint job that looks like it was put on with a paint brush to a $10,000 paint job with an engine of similar value under it’s hood. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder….and this my friends is one sweet ride.


“Seeing the Light” Russ Widstrand Photographer My new image for the Game steers the current car theme in a different direction. Charley’s, Jay’s and Robert’s images’ all feature automobile headlamps, albeit from different points of view. I am taking another POV on headlamps. This image came to me as I lay awake in bed this morning. Conversations: January 2013

I grabbed my trusty sketch book and did a doodle, actually, several of them. They all had a surrealist bent to them, this one seemed achievable and I liked its simplicity. So off I go, shopping for a round headlamp at the auto part store. With that in hand, how am I going to power it up? Twelve volts and all.

Luckily, I had a large battery charger that would do the conversion for me. I hooked the leads onto the back of the lamp and voila, let there be light! I made 3 captures, the glasses, and two views of the headlamp, shifting it for the second lens.

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“In The Wind” Robert Nease Photographer When I saw Jay’s graceful image, I wanted to play something outside my box, the studio. For me “In the Wind” is a picture of time past, when things just

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seemed to be a bit more free. Freedom and the feel of the open road.


“Windblown Woman” Russ Widstrand Photographer My response to Robert’s cool hood ornament image is perhaps a bit more playful than some of my previous submissions to the game.

My other options for today’s submission actually fit better stylistically, but the game, for me, is about having some fun with imagery as well. This image seemed to fit that bill, another take on a windblown woman.

Conversations: January 2013

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Conversations: January 2013

“Verdant Moss GMC” Russ Widstrand Photographer This image was captured with my iPhone during a walk in Corvallis shortly after we moved to Oregon. “Welcome to Mossy Town!” (one of Portland’s nicknames) I thought to myself.

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I guess the moss could be considered an Oregonian automotive adornment, kind of like the metal flake in Robert’s shot of the classic car pinstriping, only “greener”, in the environmental sense of the word. I had better keep moving or the moss is likely to cover me as well. This cropped version of the image shows some artifacting from the iPhone enlargement. I liked it and

even emphasized the effect further through excessive sharpening. These areas look like a circuit board “imprinted” on the paint of the car, and this contrast of time and technology applied onto the derelict van appealed to me.


Conversations: January 2013

“Untitled Vacant Lot” Joe Pobereskin Photographer Instructions: Whack your head into concussion, tilt, squint, repeat… just like Mondrian?

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Conversations: February 2013

“Big Boy Toys” Robert Nease Photographer Jay’s post of Godzilla got me thinking, whether it is little cars, stuffed animals or plastic monsters, everyone has their favorite toys.

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And when little boys grow up to be big boys, so goes the size of their toys.


Conversations: February 2013

“Pop Cars”

Russ Widstrand Photographer Super Bowl Sunday. I thought the preoccupation with cars in the game could use a different direction. I am less interested in cars as the showy display of shiny metal and power. For photography, I like them as concepts, so my take on cars leans toward the pop art side of the spectrum. As is my way, I awoke thinking of how I would respond to the previous image in the game… cars, toy cars, shiny cars, I fell back to sleep. Hmmm, I thought as I awoke, instead of more shiny cars, what about crushed cars. I liked it, so the hunt was on. Luckily it was a stellar day here in Portland, and Google helped me find some likely areas in North Portland to go stalk the wily and elusive crushed car. And elusive it was, remember, it is SuperBowl Sunday, no self respecting owner (male) of a metal salvage yard is likely to be around on a Sunday, especially not on SuperBowl day. So again I am left with guerrilla photography, sneaking into wrecking yards and making pictures. I felt 20 years younger, HA! On one particular felonious adventure I had to actually climb over a 7′ fence topped with razor wire. There was a gap next to the gate that looked like I might be able to climb and squeeze through. Success. This is where I made my picture for today’s game. Wisely enough I was shooting constantly in the first 5 minutes, knowing that I could be busted at any minute. Sure enough, a security guard showed up in 6 minutes and politely asked me to stop shooting. She was nice enough about it, and after explaining our visual game of telephone, she smiled and said “cool, but you still have to leave”. Thankfully, she unlocked the gate to let me out as I exited, no climbing involved. The resulting shot is pretty close to what I had hope for. There you have it… “Pop Cars”.

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Conversations: February 2013

“The Trouble with Mice” Robert Nease Photographer After viewing Jay’s post, I had to play my “Trouble with Mice” image. This is my vision of a line from the book “Of Mice and Men”, by John Steinbeck.

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I have created several images for this story but this one speaks to me of Lennie by the Salinas River. Lennie’s love for soft things conspires against him, bacically because he does not know his own strength, and over time becomes his undoing.

“Trouble with mice is you always kill’em.” John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men.


Conversations: February 2013

“Empty Pocket” Russ Widstrand Photographer Roberts’ lovely image of “The Trouble with Mice”, is a tough act to follow, such a cute mouse and a great story. I struggled with conceptualizing my image. It even kept me awake last night, racking my brain for a suitable visual response. Then it dawned on me, that it would be tough to top the beauty of Roberts’ image and I needed to find an different voice other than “beauty”. I found that voice in evolving the story with my image titled “Empty Pocket”. I think it works on several levels. Was the mouse here? If so, where did it go? The image also works for me on an emotional connection to emptiness or lack. The true grit of my image lays in a more desperate story, harkening to the time of the depression and Steinbeck’s era. I like the idea of our game images sometimes being more than a visual conversation, that they relate to each other in a narrative way as well. So while stylistically, my image departs from Roberts’, there is still connective tissue that binds them together through story that make the pairing that much more engaging. I enjoyed shooting it this morning.

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Conversations: February 2013

“Field of Dreams” Robert Nease Photographer Jay’s beautiful “Head of Cabbage” caused “my head” to be flooded with memories of summers spent as a young boy in the Salinas Valley, and my family who were connected to the farming industry. Remberances of a

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dawn ride with my cousin Don in his huge semi truck delivering bags of fertilizer to the farms, and my Uncle Clarence, touring the fields to check on the progress of the crops. They both taught me respect for the earth, and respect for one another, and much more. As I made this image a

couple of weeks ago, I thought of all that these two men had taught me. And all the fun I had year after year. The smell of the fields, the cool damp air gently blowing as the sun was getting ready to set was overwhelming. I formed a lot of dreams in this area of California as a young man, thus “Field of Dreams” was created in their honor.


Conversations: February 2013

“Side Trip” Russ Widstrand Photographer After seeing Roberts image, “Field of Dreams”, I immediately knew which image I was going to play in response. On a return road trip from Montana, I discovered an amazing stand of poplar trees, acres of

them. Even after driving for 7 hours, upon seeing the tree farm, we had to stop. As any “significant other” of a photographer knows, this – “I”ll only be a minute” – could actually take hours. My wife Barbara has endured these “side trips” with me for over 25 years. She exhibits a great deal of generosity

with her time in allowing me to make my art. So this image is dedicated to her, with thanks from a grateful husband. And, as she continues to remind me “Don’t discount the side trips”. A career in photography has been one continual side trip.

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Conversations: March 2013

“Walking in the Rain” Robert Nease Photographer Upon viewing Jay’s “Waterfree” image - and after I finally stopped laughing - I was struck by its colors. So, the other day... actually night... while the rain was coming down, I stopped at a nearby park at the top of a hill.

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I walked around photographing the bushes and trees and water running off the walkway. I liked the shape of the walkway and the color of the light that the parking lot lights gave off. It was fun walking in the rain and taking my time to frame several images, the peaceful

sound of the rain and the sound of running water was welcome solitude from the busy day. Walking in the rain... I might just make a habit of it... that is, the next time it rains.


Conversations: March 2013

“Rainfalls Up” Russ Widstrand Photographer Well, I thought I had it all figured out. I had planned on some kind of commentary on drought and water for my Daily Photo Game image, and as is sometimes the case,

the art took me in another direction. This image was actually shot in my studio. I did make use of water (glycerin) drops to magnify the scene behind it, as was my original idea, but the more I “worked” the editorial commentary, the weaker it got.

So back peddling through my earlier attempts, I cropped this image down and found a lovely expression of the idea, sans “concept”. I like the image, the drops seem to be falling up, drawn toward the thirsty roots of the upside down-unearthly tree.

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“Calla Lily Dreams” Robert Nease Photographer I was intrigued by Jay’s use of color in “Swiss Chard”, and I thought I would play off of those colors. I sometimes dream in color, sometimes in black and white. I am very fond of Calla Lilies of all colors, not just the white ones. The image that I created is part dream and part reality.

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“Blades” Russ Widstrand Photographer In responding to Robert’s “Calla Lily Dream”, I found that this image had the right stuff to stand up to his colorful image.

Robert’s posterized image seemed to have psychedelic overtones, and since I am all out of LSD, I decided to play an image that paired well with it on color, but went in a different direction on subject matter. I found this old sawmill blade laying in the grass at a restaurant on the way out to the Oregon beach.

I thought it to be a fascinating paradox of industrial ruin and new life springing out from its center.

Conversations: March 2013

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“Landmark� Robert Nease Photographer As I viewed Jay’s colorful image, I thought of all the businesses over the years that might have been in that building in Long Beach. I live in an older city too and it has a very eclectic downtown. I decided to walk the old

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downtown, with my camera and memories in tow. A lot of the buildings in downtown have been kept as close to their original construction as much as possible, several are listed on The National Register of Historic Places. Years ago when the building housed Fullerton Music, I purchased my first guitar along with a ton of sheet

music. I have seen almost all the buildings change owners and businesses over the years, some for the better and some not. This particular building is on The National Register of Historic Places and was build in 1904.


“Mini-Mall” Russ Widstrand Photographer I saw many things in Robert’s architecture image, form, color and typography. During the night, I had thought about model railroad towns and wondered how much of a long shot it might be to source and shoot that in 6

hours. As luck would have it, I hit the jackpot! I found a great guy named Leland. His model railroad layout is out of this world. The next hurdle was the actual approach to shooting the miniature set. While driving to the location, it occurred to me that to create a believable perspective, my pro grade Canon gear would be too big to fit into

the set. Additionally, the optical center of the lens would put it at the second floor of any miniature building. Hmmmm, what to do. Lightbulb… solution… my iPhone! Sure enough, the phone proved to be the right camera for this mini-mall-world.

Conversations: March 2013

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“TT Cap” Robert Nease Photographer I really liked the colors that Jay used in “Golden Beets”, and wanted to play some similar colors of strong contrast. Me being the piston head that I am….shot me

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a Audi TT fuel cap. Adjusted the color a bit..I think the design of this automobile is absolutely top notch, from the dash to the gear shift knob, an award winning design. And the fuel cap design is evidence of that.


“Nocturnal Coil” Russ Widstrand Photographer I saw many things in Robert’s image, a toy bomb, a UFO, and of course a circular object. I decided to play off of that circular theme. I shot this while out on a

night walk. I was attracted to the connection of the shapes, but I took a completely different take on the “polish”. Robert’s image: sharp, tech and colorful. Mine: atmospheric, soft and monochromatic. Interestingly, the pairing worked well on form, and it

continued to hold together for me in a mysterious way, even though they have no connection in subject matter. I decided to go for it.

Conversations: April 2013

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Outtakes and Process Russ Widstrand Photographer

Thumbnails at right show concept, process and outtakes from my work for the Daily Photo Game. Often I conceputalize several directions for my game images. Some of these concepts, like “Rasta Dog” and “Seeing the Light” were initially brainstormed with sketches and are shown on the opposite page. Additionally, I often use my iPhone to execute preliminary studies of ideas I wish to flush out. “Sounds of Silence” is one of these examples at right. In some cases, I like to shoot iPhone stills of locations I wish to remember, GPS tracking on the iPhone can get me right back to that same location. The “Pop Cars” image was geo-tagged in this way. Some images did not make the edit for this book and are included here as well,: “Detached in Montana”, “Kitty Dreams” and “Christmas Goes Viral” are several such examples. In some instances, I record videos of my photographic sets as instructional tutorials for my students at the Academy of Art Univerisity where I am an adjunct professor. The video how-2 on “Flower Power” is one such example. Occasionally, I am captured in one of my photographic sets. Such was the case on the “Wraith” image, where I was testing how to create the eye effects by holding a light up into the helmet. Similiarly, I sometimes capture helpers or hosts in some of my production stills, as in the image “Mini-Mall” with Leeland Anderson, I photographed him and his model train town, an odd juxtaposition. Russ Widstrand

64 Conversations: Outakes and Process shots from DPG


“Emergence” Outtake

Video How-2 “Flower Power”

“Wraith” In-Process

“Detached in Montana” Outtake

“Dental Grilling” Outtake

“Kitty Dreams” Aug 2013

“The Dragon” August 2013

“Sounds of Silience” Study

“Containment” Outtake

“Rasta Dog” Sketch

“Shapes and Shadows” Outtake

“Christmas Goes Viral” Dec 2013

“Pop Cars” In-Process

“Seeing the Light” Sketch

“Empty Pocket” Outtake

“Mini-Mall” Production Still

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Conversations

Selected works from the Daily Dhoto Game (DPG) project. A year long visual dialogue amongst 10 photographers. Designed, Edited and Published by Russ Widstrand All Russ Widstrand Photographs: Š2014 Russ Widstrand, all rights reserved All DPG supplied photographs are held under copyright by their respective owners, and are reproduced here by permission.

About the Daily Photo Game The Daily Photo Game is a group of 10 professional photographers challenging themselves to do what they do best: illustrate ideas and communicate concepts through photography. The Game is a visual conversation and as with all conversations - some are serious, some mysterious and others are humorous. How it works - Every 10 days in repeating order, a given photographer's "game day" will arrive. On that day, the photographer will create and post a new image, a visual response to the previous photographer's submission. One of the most underestimated challenges in playing the Game is the accelerated deadline - 24 hrs in which to conceptualize, source materials, shoot, enhance and deliver the image. This is where years of experience as professionals makes the difference. Each knows how to produce quality work under a deadline. Each understands the nuances of light and composition. Our goal in "playing the Game" is that we as artist's can stretch our imaginations while at the same time stimulate the audience's imagination. It is our goal to give voice to the continuing plight of visual noise in photography. Illustrating that not all images - or photographers - are created equal and that thoughtful, professionally crafted images can inspire the human spirit. While we call this process a Game, it is more than that. Creating images has been a calling and a hard earned profession for all of the photographers involved. The project requires a year long commitment, for a total of 365 images. Members of the 2013 Daily Photo Game are - in order of play: Eliot Crowley, Blue Fier, Bob Stevens, Martin Trailer, Charley Akers, Jay Ahrend, Robert Nease, Russ Widstrand, Joseph Pobereskin, David Blattel See more at http://dailyphotogame.com



"Conversations"