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.)


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