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View Full Version : A Photo Competition dedicated to the memory of Al Kaplan?


Keith
06-28-2010, 05:46
I really miss Al's presence here and I'm sure many of you feel the same way and I've had this idea running through my head for some time now.

A photo competition dedicated to Al's time at RFF and his life generally which was extrordinarily rich. I thought about a competetition purely encompasing the 15mm focal length and hand held self portraits but then realised that not everyone has a lens this wide ... and I don't think the man himself would have wanted people excluded from such an event because they didn't have the appropriate gear. He was far more inclusive in his attitudes to have time for such a concept IMO!

That said it would need to have something that identified it with Al and his style. When I think of Al Kaplan I think about coffee at Starbucks, hand rolled cigarettes, stuffed animals, community spirit, women, darkrooms, local politics and so on ... his enthusiasm for photography was limitless and his appetite for life was enormous!

How about some suggestions?

dfoo
06-28-2010, 06:06
Great idea! Does anyone know what happened to all of Al's negatives, and equipment?

sleepyhead
06-28-2010, 06:13
I think it's a nice idea. I'm a little hesitant about a competition, perhaps more of a project would be appropriate.

But I have to admit, short of the topics/areas of interest that you've listed (local issues, music, the 60s, etc.), I'm at a loss of good ideas regarding the nature of the project.

What about a moderated Flickr group - "photos in the style and spirit of Al Kaplan" - or something like that, in which some RFFers can moderate the content for inclusion based on consensus. If Als blog is still up then that can clue contributers to the group as to what kinda content the group would be after.

Just an idea - feel free to slam it.

ferider
06-28-2010, 06:16
Great idea, Keith.

When I think of Al Kaplan I think about coffee at Starbucks, hand rolled cigarettes, stuffed animals, community spirit, women, darkrooms, local politics and so on ...

That by itself is already a pretty good description of a theme :) I like it.

Roland.

kshapero
06-28-2010, 06:21
Great idea! Does anyone know what happened to all of Al's negatives, and equipment?His son in Boston has it, I am pretty sure. Plus all kinds of cool equipment that needs to be sorted, I assume. pity.

Don Parsons
06-28-2010, 06:43
I like the idea of "In the spirit of Al Kaplan". You have a gallery here. wide-angle self-portraits, local politics, stuffed animals, fishing, Al had a pretty wide range of interests.

Whatever you want to do, I"m in. I miss Al.

dogberryjr
06-28-2010, 06:44
Heh. I read the headline and immediately envisioned a thousand various 15mm self-portraits.

Steve M.
06-28-2010, 06:51
Excellent idea. I read Al's comments over many years and had a lot of respect for where he was coming from.

robklurfield
06-28-2010, 07:26
gotta be 15mm superwides.... great idea, Keith.

Keith
06-28-2010, 07:31
The only problem I see arising is the total contempt Al had for digital!

Where do we go with that? :D

oftheherd
06-28-2010, 07:52
The only problem I see arising is the total contempt Al had for digital!

Where do we go with that? :D

He was as you have pointed out, also a big fan of the 15mm perspective. But again, not everyone has that.

My impression of him was that he was pretty tolerant of other's taste in photography, even if he didn't presonally like it. I suspect he would have been pretty happy to know others thought so much of him. So I think he would have been happy to see any photographs dedicated to his stye, perspective, and passion. He would also, of course, reserved the right to make any comments on them he wanted. :p

Sounds like a good idea Keith. Perhaps giving the guidelines you have already suggested, then seeing how others interpret that based on how they perceived him. I bet he would have had fun with that. He and Monkette.

rover
06-28-2010, 08:46
What about a moderated Flickr group - "photos in the style and spirit of Al Kaplan" - or something like that, in which some RFFers can moderate the content for inclusion based on consensus.

There is a flickr group dedicated to Al


http://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/

michaelbialecki
06-28-2010, 08:51
whatever it is...count me in...I miss that guy

raid
06-28-2010, 09:38
I also miss Al. This is a good idea, Keith. Go with it.

bgb
06-28-2010, 11:50
For those of us not too familiar with Al's work :( is there a gallery we can check out ... a link would be nice.
Photos need to be in his style or at least an interpretation of his style, so we select photos on the basis of Al would have liked this? or what would Al have done here?

MickH
06-28-2010, 11:54
Try this one: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/6344/1997/1600/AlsmokingatStarbucks.jpg

bgb
06-28-2010, 11:58
cool photo I have seen some of Al's work but only became aware of him when he took ill. So no history with the guy but i like his style

MickH
06-30-2010, 08:25
I've just bought a CV15mm from one of the esteemed members on here... just waiting for the postie to deliver it.

It was looking at Mr Kaplan's photographs that inspired me and, while I doubt that I'll join in a competition, I'll certainly be thinking of him when I press the shutter release.

sleepyhead
07-06-2010, 04:18
Any further thoughts? Is someone willing to take the lead on this?

Keith
07-06-2010, 04:33
Any further thoughts? Is someone willing to take the lead on this?


I'm not convinced that there's a huge amount of awareness of Al's importance here and how much he meant to so many of us. Also how significant his influence was photographically in the present time frame ... not to mention his past which he shared regularly with us.

I would hate to see something like this not get the attention it deserved! I'm totally committed to the idea but I'm not sure how the masses see it because from where I stand this thread hasn't generated a huge amount of interest.

Just my feeling ... I may be misreading it!

Krosya
07-06-2010, 04:46
Al also liked to use Autocords (TLR) if I'm not mistaken.

brainwood
07-15-2010, 14:52
Keith
I like many here think the idea of a photo project in AL's memory is a really great one I would not be too disheartened by the response to this thread I think the actual project would generate alot of interest and participants . You can count me in ,along with many others here by the sound of it.
Chris

ferider
07-15-2010, 15:27
Hi Keith,

let's just go ahead and do it. All we need are a (non-gear centric, IMO) theme and some rules, a time frame, and a dedicated RFF gallery. How about "Environmental portraits/street/peoplescapes on B+W film", shooting for a month or so, a couple of weeks to vote.

Maybe we can even end up with a Blurp book. Let me know if I can help.

Roland.

coelacanth
07-15-2010, 15:30
I'm too new to RFF and only knew him from ROMing through RFF and a few other places. If that's still OK, then I'd love to participate. Now why did I get rid of that CV 15mm?!

kzphoto
07-15-2010, 16:06
I never really knew the man, but anyone who has the respect of so many has my respect as well. I'd love to do something in his memory.

PKR
07-17-2010, 08:00
Hi Keith;
I'm new here too. Please fill me in on Al.

p.

gb hill
08-08-2010, 19:53
Keith it may be that many are like myself & no one has seen this thread. Anyhow I'm bumping this so maybe others will see it & something will come of it. May I suggest taking the themes that described Al's personality & posting a W/NW thread in memory of Al No deadline! Just keep it going when someone has something to post. I like W/NW better than a gallery anyhow.

MPerson
08-09-2010, 00:08
Sorry Keith I too totally missed this. I probably think of Al everyday when reading the forum and filling in his reply to some posts. :D

I am eternally grateful for all the stuff he sent me on Double-X etc. for the project.

A W/NW thread (sticky?) would be simpler and maybe the first post could be a short bio of Al for those that did not know him but happy to go with the consensus.

Weird that I posted this on my Blog (http://filmus-monochromus.tumblr.com/post/925449467/silver-is-better-digilux-2-i-do-not-mind-jack) yesterday morning! As it is a digital image I fear I can hear Al working up to spin cycle.

ChrisN
08-09-2010, 01:16
Al's stories from the darkroom were part of the motivation to get my own darkroom up and running. I originally discovered Al on the Leica forum on Photo-net and was really pleased when he joined us here. Al's work covered a broad range of styles and interests, but the wide-angle self portraits were a signature piece that said so much about Al and his approach to life. A key message for me was - have fun and don't take yourself too seriously.

I think the fun self-portrait idea would be a good tribute to Al and his influence, with whatever lens you can manage. I can make it to 16mm if I can use the Pentax. Tri-X of course. :) Maybe posted here and in the Flickr group too for those who have Flickr accounts.

oftheherd
08-09-2010, 02:02
Al's stories from the darkroom were part of the motivation to get my own darkroom up and running. I originally discovered Al on the Leica forum on Photo-net and was really pleased when he joined us here. Al's work covered a broad range of styles and interests, but the wide-angle self portraits were a signature piece that said so much about Al and his approach to life. A key message for me was - have fun and don't take yourself too seriously.

I think the fun self-portrait idea would be a good tribute to Al and his influence, with whatever lens you can manage. I can make it to 16mm if I can use the Pentax. Tri-X of course. :) Maybe posted here and in the Flickr group too for those who have Flickr accounts.

That is a point about what system to use. I also only have a 35mm for my Kiev, or a 50mm for my Super Press 23. I do have an 18mm for my Fujica/M42 cameras. Would this be limited to super wide RF or any very wide to show a style?

I am inclined to super wide, say 25mm equivalent or below and attempts to follow his style. That will be a challenge no matter.

What are your thoughts Keith, and others as well?