Ctein Show at World Fantasy Con (also Laurie Toby Edison and Beth Gwinn)

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by Will S, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. Will S

    Will S Member

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    Last Friday night I was at a party at the World Fantasy Convention in Albany, New York, when I happened to see the name "Ctein" on one of those nametags that everyone wears. I momentarily went into a state of shock not really sure if I was in a fantasy convention or a photo convention, but, looking around the room at the pirates (it was a pirate party after all) I managed to sort it out. (The "pirate punch" might have had something to do with my confusion as it was mostly pirate and not much punch.) I somehow managed to blurt out "Are you really Ctein? Why are you here?" which was undoubtedly rude given the fact that there really can't be more than one Ctein (which he pointed out to me! - see http://www.ctein.com.) Turns out he is a long-time science fiction/fantasy fan (as well as a really nice fellow) and attends scifi/fantasy conventions regularly.

    The next morning I managed to remember something of the night before and went down to the artist's gallery at the convention where Ctein had several prints from his "Christmas in California" series. (See http://ctein.com/Xmas_portfolio.htm) I'm not sure if what I saw were dye-transfer prints, but they looked very nice to my untrained eye. I think the series would be titled more accurately as "High Wierdness at Christmas" though. Ctein manages to capture both the beauty of these outdoor displays as well as the feeling that they are somewhat out of place in the suburban desert of California, which seeps in from the edges of the frame no matter how high the wattage deployed to keep it out.

    Also at the convention was Laurie Toby Edison - http://laurietobyedison.com/ I saw her book on display but didn't get a chance to talk to her - hopefully next convention.

    I also saw Beth Gwinn (www.bethgwinn.com) running around, but everytime I saw her she was moving very, very quickly in the direction opposite where I was headed and I stupidly never got around to setting up a time to talk to her. Beth has been making portraits of writers for a while now, as evidenced by the photo of John Crowley I found on the inside back cover of the new (to me) book _Novelties_ I picked up at the convention. She has a book available on Amazon right now - http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Dreamers...9557616?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1194302533&sr=1-1

    Best,

    Will
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Now I know why Ctein told me he would be away for the early part of November! He has published some of his Christmas pictures in an article in Photo Techniques about 3 years ago.

    In any event, I have to bug him about his SF interests. I collect SF books and have about 6000 of them, many of them first editions.

    Hope you enjoyed the convention Will. You should visit Baen's Bar.

    PE
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    PE,
    Would you like about 6000 more SF books? My wife is volunteering the space for more enlargers...

    Barry
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Barry, probably duplicates. :D

    Besides, what would I do with my photography book library? Along with my chemistry library and my math library and my other books, the house is overflowing with books.

    I'm a speed reader and can finish a novel in about 1 day, sometimes 2, so I stack up a lot of books. You must be one as well to have that many.

    PE
     
  6. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Just out of curiosity, did you manage to call him KUH-TINE despite your condition, or did you slip like I would and call him SEE-TEIN ?
     
  7. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Does anyone here know Ctein's original name?

    Tom.
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    He does not want it to be used. So, if anyone knows, please do not post it. I'm sure that Ctein would appreciate the thoughtfulness.

    PE
     
  9. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    How did he come to be called Ctein?

    And whadda I gotta do to get me one of those one-name monikers? :smile:
     
  10. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day all

    i don't know of this photographer but i just had a look at his website, i must say the images don't strike me as anything special, have i missed something?

    Ray
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ray;

    You are looking at digital images. His Dye Transfer prints are truly beautiful when seen in person.

    PE
     
  12. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    OK, I'll bite...

    What is the significance of the name "Ctein". That is, why did he change it? And the follow-up, why doesn't he use his given name?

    (As a kid, I was the one who would just ask the guy in the wheelchair, "why don't your legs work" instead of tiptoeing around him. Embarassed my parents when I did that. So this line of questioning falls into the same "if you don't ask, you won't know" catagory). :smile:
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    And my answer would be.........

    Ask him.

    PE
     
  14. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    Composing polite email right now. :smile:
     
  15. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    that's an over used excuse PE

    i don't find the subjects, compositions, lighting or perspectives to be anything special regardless of how the images are presented

    Ray
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ray;

    I have one of his prints in my posession, and the digital image on his web site does not do it justice.

    But, each to his own, so think what you wish.

    And I do agree about the overuse as an excuse as you noted, so there is truth in what you say. OTOH, he is a well respected photographer and author, and his books are selling well. He is one of the editors of Photo Techniques.

    This time last year he gave a lecture at the George Eastman House IIRC.

    Not many of us can add all of that to their resume. There must be a reason.

    PE
     
  17. Ctein

    Ctein Member

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    Dear Folks,

    A couple of you have written me to alert me that Will started a thread about meeting me at WFC. He told me he was going to; no surprise there. But enough questions, explicit and otherwise have come up that I figured it would be easier to post directly here.

    (BTW, I know quite a few of you, and a couple of you have encouraged me to post to APUG in the past. The reason I haven't (and may not ever, beyond this thread) is not that I don't find it (and y'all) interesting, but that I have way too little time to do all the writing and correspondence I'd like to. If anyone here's got them to offer, I would pay VERY good money for several extra hours a day.)

    Anyway...

    Will, I kept my eye out for you the day after we chatted at the party, but didn't seem to run across you. Sorry; I'd have much enjoyed continuing our conversation, which was a bit too difficult to maintain in a noisy party.

    In the small world category, Laurie Toby Edison has been my dearest and bestest friend for over a quarter century. And I've been friends with Beth Gwinn for a bit over 20 years. In the picture of me at Boskone, I'm standing just to the right of Laurie's table; unfortunately, you can only see the back of the top of her head. But her two books are visible at the center bottom. And the woman in the background is Bayla Fine, a long-time friend of Laurie's and a very good bud of mine. In fact, she's snoring away as I write this-- we're taking a couple of days to tour upstate New York together.

    The Christmas in California prints in the art show were Epson pigment inkjet prints. Much of the CiC series also exists as dye transfers, but frequently the inkjet prints have turned out *better*! That's because getting natural-looking tonal rendition in that subject matter requires a characteristic curve that's high unnatural for silver-halide materials. Easy to achieve in Photoshop, not possible even with dye transfer in the darkroom. Dye transfer prints have a wider gamut and substantially greater tonal range, but having better control of the tone and color placement trumps that for many of these images.

    Getting a single name is easy; ya just asks the court ta do it! And throw a few hundred bucks their way. Getting all your personal documentation changed is mostly perseverance and tedium (pretty much every ID system has a mechanism for dealing with single names, but they're all different). Anyway, Ctein is my sole and legal name, just not the one my parents handed me. It started as a nickname in college. It has no significance; it was created by quasi-random typing on a typewriter. Eventually it took over my life.

    Folks could probably ferret out my old name, but I'd prefer they didn't (or at least not publicize it if they did). First, it's not the name I choose to use, and I think that's my choice to make. Second, I know of two other photographers in Northern California alone with exactly the same name as my old one. Imagine the confusion that could result from that name being associated with me, too! So, thanks in advance for your consideration.

    Finally... Ray, don't apologize for your taste! If everyone in the world liked my work, I'd be extremely famous and moderately rich. Which I ain't. Conclusion follows. Conversely, even the extremely famous and moderately rich photographers have folks of taste and discernment who do not like their work. No one has universal appeal. I'd have to be insanely unrealistic and either incredibly insecure or supernaturally egotistical to expect or demand such, and I'm none of those.

    pax / Ctein
     
  18. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    well put Mr Ctein, as is the rest of your post, you are obviously a man of many talents, perhaps i should rectify my ignorance in regard to yourself and your work, you are obviously held in esteem by some number of your peers

    Ray
     
  19. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    And thus spake the horse's mouth. Thank you for answering my questions. :D
     
  20. Ctein

    Ctein Member

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    Ray, If you're going to give my work a second look, I'd suggest you go to the monographs (http://ctein.com/monographs.htm). Then you can choose among five different groups, each one organized around a theme, that pretty well covers the (narrow) breadth of my work. Pick the one that most interests you. If none of them do, it's a fair bet that nothing else I do will.

    You can ignore the fact that these works are all digital prints. My aesthetics and sensibilities are pretty consistent regardless of the medium. From an artistic perspective, you aren't going to hate how I work digitally and love how I do dye transfer (or vice versa).

    pax / Ctein
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ctein;

    There is a lot to be said though for the knockout beauty of a dye transfer, and both your DT prints and Jim Browning's are stunning when viewed with the eye rather than on a monitor.

    I have one of yours and 3 of Jim's here and can compare Jim's with their scans on his website. The difference is amazing. I don't think that the 'Ginger' photo you sent me is on display.

    Most people today do not appreciate the impact of a dye transfer print. Sadly, it is another dying art.

    Ron
     
  22. Ctein

    Ctein Member

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    Dear Ron,

    I understand your point. I didn't really appreciate Ansel Adam's work until I saw some originals (mind you, this was before we had laser-cut duotone plates). But, I've not ever had anyone say they didn't like my work until they saw dye transfers of it. I'd be really surprised if Ray were the exception. If he doesn't like the stuff online, I don't think it's gonna be any different in the flesh.

    pax / Ctein