Archive for August, 2008

After The Rain Wins Prestigious Honor

After The Rain was a photograph I made back in 2003 down in Southern California during the wildflower bloom on the Gorman Hills. It was the most extensive wildflower bloom on record there in Gorman. A similar bloom occured in 1992, but not as extensive. The hills run for about 7 miles along Gorman Post Road which parallels Hwy 5. For the entire lenght of Gorman Post Road and from the base of the hills to the top, it was socked in color like that seen in this image.

I decided to drive down from the San Francisco Bay Area on Easter weekend with the notion that on Easter no one would be out and about, as it was a family day and a religious holiday that would be observed. Well I was sorely wrong. However, my actual intention was not Gorman, but the John Gavrillis who had also photographed the extensive bloom at Gorman and had THIS photograph on display as 40″x50″ enlargement. It certainly was quite impressive to see. I asked when he had taken it and he told me Saturday, the day before I was there. I told him I had the same photo – you know how we photogrpahers like to hear that from other photographers – and he chuckled and said ahh huh! I invited him to my booth and pointed at my version and he said wow, that is better than mine. We walked back to his booth and I pointed out where in his composition you could see mine. We both had a good laugh.

After the Rain has been my number 1 runaway best selling image. To me the photo speaks to what gratitude is truly about. These hills are dry and yellow for most of the year. Even in winter and spring they sometimes don’t flush out with color as they depend heavily on ample rain. When it does come, they just burst out in color as if to say Thank You for the life giving rain and in their gratitude, they give off this amazing display of wlid flowers. It has brought some viewers to tears, for reasons they could not explain. It stops almost everyone who passes by my show booth. It is an amazing scene.

It has placed in many photographic competitions, however this award, even though it was only Runner-Up in the International Conservation Photography Awards is still its greatest accolade to date. The open invitational is put on by famed landscape photographer and convservationist Art Wolfe. The winners of this year’s competiontion will be on display from August 30th to October 12th, 2008 at the Museum of History and Industry located in McCurdy Park at 2700 24th Avenue East, Seattle, WA. If you are in the neighborhood stop by and take a look. Let me know what you think of the image in real life. I am sure it will knock your socks off.

Peace – Youssef

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Calendars Are Now Shipping

The 2009 From Darkenss To Light wall calendar is now in stock and ready for delivery. For all those that have pre-ordered the calendar, they will ship out in the next 48 hours. Be on the lookout for them in, or I should say near your mailbox.

The printing this year is top notch and the look and feel of the paper used is, well the best way I can put it is luxurious!

To order a copy or more visit The Calendar page on the Organic Light Photography Website TODAY!

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The 2009 Calendar Goes To Press

From Darkness To Light 2009 Calendar Cover

From Darkness To Light 2009 Calendar Cover

I spent most of today at the printers – Akido Printing in San Leandro at a press check of the 2009 From Darkness To Light wall calendar. It is a fascinating process to watch. On the older presses, like the Heidelberg Speedmaster it is still a very fly by the seat of your pants operation. Here is how it generally goes. The four aluminum plates go into the press, about 100 sheets are run, and then once the press starts putting out clean sheets, they are checked for proper color registration by using a loupe and the printed cross hairs in the slug area. If an adjustment is needed then the plate has to be loosened and hand adjusted and anouther 100 sheets are printed and checked. Its a tideous process but in the hands of a seasoned pro like Mark, the Press Master at Akido, it does not take long.

Once the registration is locked in, then the color tweaking begins. A little more cyan here, a little less magenta there. The repeatability is near non-existent. Color matching is basically attained by one’s eye with regards to the printed image. At the same time Mark pulls out a Gretag photospectrometer and reads the CMYK color swatches on the slug area of the sheet in the various zones across the sheet to check for the color balance across all the section and makes small adjustments in the color densities which gets electronically sent to the press where it will lay down more or less ink on the plates. Once I sign off on the proof, it is set aside and all other sheets coming off the press for that plate set are checked against my signed proof and colors are managed to the CMYK swatches of the proof.

The odd thing is once one set of plates are used for the run, they are trashed! A next set of plates are mounted and the whole process starts again. There really is no cross checking from plate set to plate set to maintain the same color as the previous run, although I think it could be done. I am going to reasearch this topic and report on it soon.

With the printing all finished, I should have the calendars as early as Thursday of this week! The front and back cover of this year’s calendar is shown in the image above. Visit The Calendar Page on the Organic Light Photography website to order your copy today!

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Calm Down

A Calm Tarn in Tioga

It has been a week of long nights and hectic, and sometimes frustrating, work setting up and modifying this web journal to my liking. Many hours were spent on this endeavor and I can’t help but wonder if it was time well spent. Time is our most precious asest. Once time is spent, it is gone forever. And every moment that is spent brings us closer to our end, becuase unlike money or other property that can be regnerated, once we use our time up, our ‘time’ is up.

Probably not the best of topics to start off this web journal with, but it is one that will hopefully keep me aware of the time I spend on this. As I sit here tapping away on these old weathered keys writing I really have to wonder if my time is worth all of this. I guess only time will tell.

But undoubtedly I am sure the internet has to have taken the moniker of “The Thief of Time” away from the television by now. I have been so wound up working away and amazed at how much time it actually takes. Hopefully the time I have spent will be an investment that brings some good into the world, God knows it won’t give us more time.

Now that I have gotten this journal to about 95% of where I would like it, its now time to calm down and use my time in other ways. To help me reach a calmer state, I returned to the image that I have started this post with in the hopes that it can bring me back to the state of tranquility that I experienced when it was first captured. It is one of six new images released at Organic Light Photography   This photograph was captured several years ago and I recently re-processed it to my liking and is now available.  Take some time and calm down with this tranquil and calm Sierra tarn found in the Dana Meadows shadowed under Mount Dana.  But also take some time to be with those that you love before time runs out. Oh, and if you have some extra time and can spend just a little here, check out the other five images as well.  Enjoy!

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The Opening

1.  In the name of God, the Benevolent, the Merciful

2.  Praise is proper to God, Lord of the universe,

3.  the Benevolent, the Merciful,

4.  Ruler of the Day of Requital.

5.  It is You we serve, to You we turn for help.

6.  Show us the straight path,

7.  the path of those You have favored, not of those who are objects of anger, nor of those who wander astray.

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