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Ken Tanaka
November 24th, 2009, 11:21 AM
Hell OPF Folks,
If you read my ramblings at all you probably get tired of my frequent promotion of creating bodies of photographic work --projects-- rather than simply single images. Lucky snaps are fine, but a somewhat focused direction of exploration really exercises your imagination and can take you into deeper waters that you would otherwise navigate.

OK big mouth, let's see something, eh?

I am in the process of rejuvenating and reestablishing my Web galleries and am taking the opportunity to present previously un-shown work and projects (mainly at the welcome and constructive nagging of my wife and friends).

So here's the first example: Of Dreams (http://kentanaka.zenfolio.com/p587626973)

I welcome you to tour the 51 images in this set. The description at the beginning presents the conceptual basis for the work. Of course I also welcome your feedback and reactions.

One note: The images are actually presented in a sequence constructed for presentation in a book. While the images are not intended to be a harmonious sequential stream their recto/verso organization in the book does establish a degree of open-book visual cohesiveness that's not apparent in this single-file online organization. (shrug)

John Angulat
November 24th, 2009, 11:43 AM
Ken,
There will be others far more eloquent than I who will offer praise for this body of work.
I will simply say "amazing!"

I strongly recommend to all who view: use the slideshow function.
Do not alow your concentration to be interrupted by mouse clicks, scrolling and other such distractions.
Allow this incredible body of work to be presented to you unencumbered.

Ken, I am truly humbled by your talent.

Winston Mitchell
November 24th, 2009, 12:17 PM
Ken,

I saw the gallery a few days ago and wondered why you hadn't announced it here. Now I know why...it wasn't ready yet.

The current incarnation does a much better job of meeting it's aims than the work-in-progress did. I bookmarked it as it will take several visits to take it all in.

Observation...your dreams are much more benign than mine.

Nicolas Claris
November 24th, 2009, 12:31 PM
Bonjour Ken
Je suis désolé, mais je ne peux pas commenter ton travail en anglais, j'aurais trop peur d'utiliser des mots déplacés ou inappropriés… peur de ne pas être suffisamment précis, peur d'être incompris…
Donc me voici dans ma langue maternelle pour parler de tes rêves, réels ou supposés, commenter ton fort joli travail, fin et délicat, un touché photographique qui m'émeut. Sans me faire rire ni même peur...
La douceur de ton approche, le choix de tes sujets et de la matière est si précis mais respectueux, que la seule chose vraiment utile à faire est de faire le vide autour de soi et de se laisser embarquer par ton invitation à voyager, bouger, rêver, profiter de l'étrange, de l'incongru ou de l'inattendu.
Bien sûr connaître et aimer Chicago et son "melting pot" culturel et artistique aide certainement à ne jamais se sentir mal à l'aise en regardant ton regard, en le suivant même.

Une grand leçon, nous n'avons pas besoin de nous référer aux grands maîtres souvent cités ici.

Merci.

http://translate.google.com/?hl=fr&ie=UTF-8&text=&sl=fr&tl=en# ;-)

Tom Robbins
November 24th, 2009, 01:54 PM
Fantastic Ken! The slide show is the way to go. I found myself grinning on several occasions at the incongruous (dream-like) transitions between images. Your execution of the project is a true inspiration.

Nigel Allan
November 24th, 2009, 05:04 PM
There are some seriously good photographs with flawless execution in Ken's presentation on that link. It is a gauntlet thrown down to everyone who holds a camera to up their game.

Ken is a man who is clearly at the top of his game.

There is not much more any of us can add, Ken. You've exhausted us all of superlatives

Rachel Foster
November 24th, 2009, 05:10 PM
I particularly like this one (http://kentanaka.zenfolio.com/p587626973/h191c95fe#h89bfafa), this one (http://kentanaka.zenfolio.com/p587626973/h191c95fe#hfe3b5aa), and this one (http://kentanaka.zenfolio.com/p587626973/h191c95fe#h26d96c00).

This one (http://kentanaka.zenfolio.com/p587626973/h191c95fe#h2fc093f4) really captures my fancy. It's like the city is having an idea.

Some I will have to look at again and ponder before I "get," but that in itself is of value.

Mike Shimwell
November 24th, 2009, 05:47 PM
Ken

I've just been through the slideshow twice and will look again tomorrow. Very good, individually, but more so together. At times I could see where you wanted the images side by side and that helped to shape the view.

Thanks for sharing. There is much to learn from this.

Mike

Ken Tanaka
November 24th, 2009, 06:04 PM
Thank you for your kind compliments! This has been a delightful side-project of mine for several years. It's nearly impossible to close-out, as new images can be added to it nearly continuously. But the preparation of its book will, at least for now, put a punctuation on the formal set.


...
This one (http://kentanaka.zenfolio.com/p587626973/h191c95fe#h2fc093f4) really captures my fancy. It's like the city is having an idea.
...


What a delightful interpretation, Rachel! The most common reaction I've heard is that it looks like a small nuclear explosion plume. On person, a New Yorker, felt that the distant building on the right reminded him of the Statue of Liberty and that the image represented a terrorism nightmare.

But your "City Having an Idea" interpretation is unique!

What you're actually seeing is a distant aerial view of a steel mill in Gary, Indiana doing a furnace blow-out. They do this a few times each year and if the air is calm we see these enormous smoke plumes.

Interpretive variations are a big part of the fun of this genre of photography.

Rachel Foster
November 24th, 2009, 06:07 PM
Ken, my interpretation might have been primed by knowing you were the photographer. "Thinking," "ideas," and "Ken Tanaka" all seem to be synonyms.

Edward Bussa
November 24th, 2009, 06:21 PM
I'm not sure which is more enjoyable, Ken's excellent collection or this discussion. Thanks to all for the inspirations.

I'm definitely looking back at my past photos with a fresh eye but also thinking about how I spend my time in the future!

(second thoughts) I've been struck time and time again over the past year how some photos work much better when they are smaller or closer to "thumbnail" size... There are things that standout about Ken's collections when I'm viewing the thumbnail gallery - not just because I can see the other photos in the relationship Ken intended either. There are shapes and ideas that come across quicker. One example of is the ballerinas with mounted officer. At thumbnail my visceral understanding of the contradictions here was greater than when I viewed the larger version - the idea got lost in the detail of the larger version... does anybody have a similar experience?

Ken Tanaka
November 27th, 2009, 02:02 PM
Not promoting ... just announcing....

that the book of this work (http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/1016310) is now available. You can walk through the "preview" of the first 15 pages to get an idea of how I chose to lay-out the images on facing pages.

janet Smith
November 28th, 2009, 02:14 AM
Hi Ken

I've just visited your website, in fact I liked what I saw so much I asked my husband Paul to come and look, we've both just looked at your collection again and wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our visit, good luck with your book.....

Cedric MASSOULIER
November 28th, 2009, 03:19 AM
Hi Ken,

I don't want to analyze your pictures here but i just want to say your work is excellent ! I love your dreaming subjects and your treatments.

So i have just ordered your book ;)

Regards,

Cedric.

Mike Shimwell
November 28th, 2009, 05:05 AM
Ken, just to say that the pictures work better in the book format.

Mike

Ken Tanaka
November 30th, 2009, 09:37 AM
Thanks very much Janet, Cedric, and Mike. Glad your husband liked the images, too, Janet!

Mike: Indeed, I sequenced the images for layout in the book such that facing pages would be more visually meaningful than one-by-one images. (Example: This image (http://kentanaka.zenfolio.com/p587626973/h1c3fb7d8#h1c3fb7d8) faces the next one.) This, by the way, can be quite a challenge in book design. I've seen groups argue for days over such decisions!

charlotte thompson
December 3rd, 2009, 06:06 PM
Ken

what a nice body of work-

of dreams- how did you incorporate dreams as an artist of your your own being- sort of how do you see dreams-

I love these

# 22- a maniquein in a wheel chAIR- DID YOU SET UP THE COMPO- striking actually but don't know how that becomes the title of dreams just my inquiring mind-

# 29- is immediate intrest- outstanding in form and compo- though dark it seems to show the richness of that darkness- I so loveeeeee that shot!

#33- says a lot about your artsy side- I so like this as well- didn't think I would see this kind of work from you but it teaches me to more open- thank you-

that's what I have to say

Charlotte-