Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Buscando la Luz in Palo Alto

San Jose resident Robertino Ragazza has an extraordinary solo photographic exhibition titled Buscando La Luz (Searching for Light) in the Gallery Room of Keeble & Shucat Photography.

Fresh AirYou may have seen Mr. Ragazza before. His was the smiling face behind the front desk at the Hotel Montgomery for a few years. He is Hospitality Manager for the Cinequest Film Festival. Possibly you have sat next to him on one of his many international flights. Ragazza often flies around the world and always has his camera with him. This exhibit displays some of his black and white photography from Turkey, Spain, Mexico and even California.

His pictures beautifully show the unattractive sides of these places and focus on the light that can be found even in darkness. The sun shines through a beautiful stained glass in a decaying building in Bodrum. An old man from Celcuk, suffering from alopecia, beams back at the viewer. A luminous face smiles down from a crumbling apartment in Istanbul. In each picture you see the poor underside of the cities along with the bright lightness, love and wonder that is also present.

ContemplationRobertino Ragazza was born in the Philippines and raised in San Jose.  He is a photographer and a ceramic artist. Never without his camera, Ragazza concentrates on knowing his subjects, making them aware he is genuinely interested in their stories. This is apparent in each photo he takes, whether the focus is a small child alone on a cobbled street or a young butcher standing next to his work. An observer who loves to capture the moment, Ragazza’s influences are countless and spontaneous. Observations through life experiences and travel affect his creativity, finding he is at his best with street portrait work. “Light becomes my paintbrush and printing provides the meditative process that brings life to my subjects, giving me patience and a sense of peace,” says the Buddhist convert.

The gallery is in a room above the Keeble & Shucat Photography store in Palo Alto. California’s premier digital imaging store has an amazing plethora of cameras, supplies, an excellent repair department and a variety of classes. When you enter the store just head to the back toward the large “DARK ROOM” sign and go up the stairs. You’ll see the sign next to the gallery room where Robertino Ragazza’s work is showing.

Through Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Keeble & Shucat Photography
290 California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306
For more information call: 650-327-8996

Hey photogs – join the Worldwide Photo Walk

If you’ve got a camera, and you’ve got the time, and you want to hang out with a gaggle of other photographers capturing images from the heart of the heart of Silicon Valley, then you have to participate in the Worldwide Photo Walk in San Jose. I know I’m posting a little bit early for an event scheduled for July 18, but space is running out and you need to sign up soon to participate. And what a better way to go all image-geek than to start and end your walk at Adobe HQ in downtown San Jose.

It’s free to participate, but walks close after 50 members join. See the FAQ more info.

Oh yeah, and there are some very nice prizes involved, too.

Scott Kelby is the digital photography guru that launched the event that now has 912 locations around the world participating. This is the second annual event, and last year’s best-of photos were crazy good:

Suhaimi Abdullah, Singapore

Suhaimi Abdullah, Singapore

Jim Howe, Detroit

Jim Howe, Detroit

Can you do better?

Catching his neighbors on film

Joe Claus
Joe Claus has been working on a project called My Neighbors since last year, documenting with photographs the small business owners who make San Jose’s downtown unique.

Joe started his project because he’s a San Jose native, from a family that’s been in the area since the 1820’s. In 2007, he was completing an SJSU degree in industrial design and photography, and he decided to use his skills to give something back to his hometown. He felt that “Big business really tears up small businesses” and that if the community doesn’t support its small businesses, it loses a vital element.

He began taking portraits of small business owners at the entrances of their businesses. His camera is a Hasselblad medium-format camera, the kind traditionally used by portrait photographers for the incredibly sharp prints that can be made from its relatively large negatives. He loves the hands-on process of film photography, and he started out developing and printing the photos himself, but he now uses a professional lab for printing.

Joe says that at first he was turned down by as many as 80% of the business owners he approached, but now he’s usually able to make contact with a potential subject through another person he’s already photographed, and he now has much better success in convincing the business owners to participate. He says that his early efforts to convince people to be photographed, including a 45 minute conversation with one particular owner, also helped him to understand his own motivations and goals for the project.

The project is now just over 100 photos of local business owners. Joe took about 80 of these pictures in the past 6 months, despite having only one free day per week to devote to his project. He had originally planned to move away from San Jose after graduating from SJSU, but he’s stayed here, living near downtown and commuting to Santa Cruz for work, to be able to continue the My Neighbors project. He has no plans to wrap up the project in the near future: “I just want to keep going,” he says.

Morgan Hill Photography Club

The inaugural Morgan Hill Photography Club met at the independent Book Smart bookstore, attracting many more than the six or seven attendees that organizer Susan Brazelton expected.
Susan Brazelton
A resident of Morgan Hill since 1991, Susan’s interest in photography goes back to the 1970’s where she participated in various workshops and classes along the way.

“About 5 years ago, I decided to pursue [photography] a little more seriously. Now I can hardly look at anything without thinking in terms of light and composition.”

Since her retirement in 2005, Susan has combined her recent involvement in community activities and love of photography, by shooting local events such as the grand opening of the new city library, Puzzle Day, and the Math Mardi Gras.

On why she decided to create a local club, Susan noted, “I am always looking to meet more people in Morgan Hill and I thought that a shared interest in photography could be the basis for creating new friendships.”

Morgan Hill, a bedroom community of approximately 35,000 people, rests at the southern edge of Silicon Valley and is home to a variety of high-tech companies and abundant open spaces. This growing community is known for its yearly Mushroom Mardi Gras, The Poppy Jasper Film Festival, as well as being one of the premier cycling destinations (Morgan Hill is home to Specialized Bicycles) in Santa Clara County.

Having outgrown the bookstore’s cafe, the next gathering of the MH Photography Club will be held at the Morgan Hill Community Recreation Center (171 Edmundson) on May 7th at 7pm. All levels are welcome to share and learn.

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