The Blight, © Neil Girling, 1998-2017

Archive for the 'A Message From Our Sponsors' Category

Fandango Placement, part deux

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

playamap

Preliminary map, Fandango at Burning Man 2009

We received new information regarding our preliminary placement at this year’s Burn, and I’ve reflected that in the above map. We arrive this Saturday afternoon.

Note that this, like the one before, is still a “best-guess” and may not be accurate. The only thing we know for sure is that our address is listed as 3 o’clock and Adapt. Come find us and have a drink. And now, back to packing.

‘Tis the season

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

fandango

This is a best-guess on my part from the preliminary placement data they gave us.

The Burn this year is a go. I once again serve on the art documentation team, meaning I’m supposed to take photos of things. It’s a job I can handle. This year you may find me within the Fandango Village, and we are conveniently located at the 3 o’clock plaza (Adapt and 3:00).

Galleries from prior years: 2008, 2007, 2006

UPDATE: This map is a best-guess on my part.

A change of course

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Savannah, Raven.

White Witches — Savannah, Raven. Touch to view large (and larger).

For the last few years, several times a week could you catch me at some event or another, camera in hand. (You may have noticed). Though I’ve picked up many a trick over time to get photos sorted, archived, edited and uploaded in as expedient a manner as possible, it’s still a rather… large amount of work. And doing so has prevented me from experimenting with other avenues of photography, which I have wistfully lamented.

It’s time for something different.

By Streetlamp

Lulu de la Calamité by midnight. Touch to view large (and larger).

Vignettes and glimmers will be my focus for a spell, shooting in my (brand-new!) studio or on location, working with (mostly) cooperative subjects, as opposed to performers on stage. And I’ll be in control of the light for once. The above two photographs were shot Friday and Saturday night of this past weekend; I would call the experiment a success (if I may be so bold (and I am)).

This doesn’t mean you won’t see me out-and-about with some degree of regularity, like-as-not with camera in-hand — but if you do, I don’t want to hear an exclamation of incredulity on your part; for what else do I know how to do at an event, anyway? I just don’t want to have the responsibility and requirement to cover every act and aspect of a show and editing hundreds of photos later. Maybe I’ll get two shots instead, and perhaps they’ll be something completely different than before. However they end up, though, they’ll be on my terms, and I find that exciting (and a relief). Unless you want to hire me. In which case, we should talk.

So, do you have an idea that you’d like to turn into a shoot? Send me a note and give me your thoughts. I’m looking for models and locations and projects and what-have-you. (I reserve the right to be picky). I have a studio in Oakland and will work on-location anywhere in the Bay Area for the right project (or travel for the really right project).

In other news, I’ve updated my portfolio (with special higher-res versions).

——————————————————————————————–

Spy on me on Twitter! Written last night while sipping San Francisco’s own Old Potrero Rye.

Under wraps: and if so, why bother?

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

There exist in my archives a very large number of images never seen by anyone — a quick estimate puts the number at over 100,000. The vast majority of these are the duplicates, the blurry, the over/under-exposed, the ill-composed; you would be most disappointed to see them, I wager. I have heard it said anyone can be considered a good photographer if they only choose the right photos to post, but I digress: I’m not here to talk about the mountain of bad photos I have sitting here, and I’m not here to tell you the various trite reasons the ones worth posting remain languishing in the dark. No, I’m here to ask: why bother doing it at all?

I have always tried to put my work on display, even when it (frequently) was not worthy of it. My goal was not the criticism and critique of others, for I am and have always been my own harshest critic, and am never satisfied but for a moment with anything I have done. For if I cannot find flaw in a creation, it means either that it is perfect (which is utterly impossible) or that, instead, I’m not yet skilled enough to identify what is wrong. And, if so, I should not rest until I can do so. Nor did I (do I?) present and showcase for the (undeserved) praise that I sometimes received. Instead, all I wanted was acknowledgment. “Look, I did this, and I am proud of it for a moment.” A nod would be more than sufficient.

To not share is to be unfulfilled: it’s akin to laughing at a joke in an empty room. You turn and cast about, hoping to share it with someone — anyone — and thereby expand your own experience and joy, but no one’s there and you sigh and carry on. It’s like filling your mouth with fine wine and not swallowing.

I am not some artist laboring in obscurity to fill some void, some need in my psyche, only to have my work discovered posthumously — I cannot claim that dignified a goal. It is a performer whose traits I share, the desire for an audience. Though instead of even a quiet, polite applause, I instead satisfy myself with pageviews and bandwidth (oh woe is me). Ours is work to appreciate after the fact, for though we and the performers are plying our trade at the same moment, their act is the moment, and my photos will be up tomorrow.

Periodically someone will ask why do I bother? Why do I spend all this money and time and effort and go through the stress and pain and sleepless nights to do this? (For, perhaps you do not know, but I do not do this for a living. In fact, it barely — if at all — pays for itself. It depends on how I do my books). And I will not offer up some asininely banal reason such as “I enjoy it.” I can do better than that, and will explore that topic in a future post.

Ultimately, the answer here is that there is no point whatsoever for me to shoot something if no one ever sees it. There’s your tree-in-the-forest solution; did anyone hear it? Yes? No? Irrelevant.

All this was a very fancy (read: longwinded) way of saying “Oh hi, look, I didn’t post these last year for various reasons, but I am now. You should look (and thus validate their existence and my effort). Kthxbai.” And so, without further ado, I present you with a very small gallery of “studio-esque” — that is, contrived and posed and planned to some degree, and not a live performance — photos of miss Erica Mulkey, aka Unwoman, from a shoot she hired me for mid last year. She has not made use of them yet, but I have her permission to publish them — go here for the full gallery.

Edwardian Ball 2009! Also, Dickens, Post Yule Pyre, and Sea of Dreams photos.

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Coming up this month —

SF_edwardian09_11x17 EdBall_LA_11x17_laser

The San Francisco and the Los Angeles Edwardian Ball! I’m delighted to be the official photographer for this extravagant event, and am honored to share the bill with some of my favorite and most talented artists (including Jill Tracy, Paul Mercer, and Rasputina).

Friday is for you steampunk ninnies (and Rasputina!),

Saturday for the belle of the ball, the villainesse Jill Tracy,

and Sunday if you want the luxury of the red carpet and the ethereal soundscapes of the Ghosts Project.

You should go so that I might take your photo. It will be my job (though you’re still welcomed (and encouraged) to buy me a drink. Really.). And I can’t tell you which to use, but if you enter “belle” or “hubba” as a discount code, you’ll get $5 off your ticket price (I’m not special enough to have my own discount code).

And, in recent photo galleries, we have…

The last day of the 2008 Dickens Fair ~

Pictured is Andrea Zerilli of Oryx Incruentus (who, incidentally, will be playing at the Edwardian Ball) playing a harp in one of the shops — she claims she had no idea the chair had wings.

Next, from Sea of Dreams, we have my friends the Mutaytor:

I could have shot (considerably) more, since it was a great party (selling over 8,000 tickets, the rumor went), but due to budget concerns, I was not hired by Anon Salon (though they gave me free tickets) and so I instead elected to shoot only those folk who did ply me with free drinks (these things go far, people). Next year, however, I suspect I will elect for something markedly more quiet (though we’ll see if I keep -that- promise).

Finally, Danger Ranger (Michael Michael) and the Cacophony Society bring you the 20th Annual Post-Yule Pyre,

…wherein everyone coincidentally showed up with a dried-up dilapidated Christmas tree in tow… and then proceeded to place them in a large pile where they spontaneously combusted. Honest to God, officer.

Upcoming Events — Storytime Festival, Hubba Hubba Revue and the Edwardian Ball

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Coming up on Friday the 19th of this month is Hubba Hubba Revue — Christmas Special. I shall be your photographer for the evening.

Then, on Saturday, December 20th,  your favorite circus troupe Vau de Vire Society, joined by the buffoons of Fou Fou Ha! and the goofballs of Gooferman will entertain you with not one but two (2!) shows at the decadent Palace of Fine Art in San Francisco. The first show is family-friendly (shocking, I know) and the second a bit more like you’re used to (similar to Cirque du Soleil meets burlesque with a two-drink minimum).  Get your tickets here: www.storytimefestival.org. I’m the official photographer for this event.

And, coming up in January is the inimitable and fabulous Edwardian Ball, about which I’m sure you’ve heard so much. Three days of yesteryear decadence are yours for the taking, and tickets are available here: www.edwardianball.com. I am most delighted to be the official photographer for this event as well (an honor, indeed).

Also upcoming is the Sea of Dreams New Years Eve bash by Anon Salon, at which they’ve asked be to be a photographer (but negotiations are yet underway). It’s very likely you’ll see me there, joining my friends The Mutaytor from Los Angeles.

Public shared calendar and updated events

Monday, November 10th, 2008

I’d first like to introduce you to my shared Google Calendar, which has events at which I’ll be shooting as I get booked (and it’s only about 1/2 a mirror of the DNA Lounge’s calendar). Let me know what you think, or if you have any improvements; it is, after all, an experiment.

Secondly, I’m shooting at the Black Rock Art’s Foundation Artumnal Gathering — I’m running a portrait booth. It’s at the Bentley Reserve in San Francisco; get your tickets here. There will be a small gallery of my Burning Man photos on display as well (perhaps 10 pieces).

And speaking of photo booths, at the Crazy Hay Maze party coming up this Saturday (not to be confused with the fake one that took place this past Friday, hosted by Nexus) I will again be running a portrait station (studio-style) where portraits can be had for the low low introductory price and one-time deal of $5! Step right up, ladies and gentlemen.

Upcoming Events

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Upcoming events in the next month at which I will be shooting ~

And then in December, still up in the air ~

  • Saturday December 20th: The Storytime Festival with Vau de Vire Society at the Palace of Fine Arts.

To New Orleans!

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Photo by the inimitable Violet Blue at the Blogger Bungalow

It is but a scant few short hours before we depart for the Big Easy to join Jill Tracy and Paul Mercer for two shows, the Queen of the Damned Ball Saturday and Endless Night Saturday. I can’t think of a better place (or better company) to spend Halloween. We’re also fortuitously escaping the rain currently gracing San Francisco’s streets (though I like the rain).

If I can steal a laptop, I’ll post photos as I can from a cafe somewhere; if not, look for them Sunday upon my return.

A Public Service Announcement and Hubba Hubba Revue photos

Monday, October 20th, 2008

California voters: Tonight is the last night to register to vote. Do it. I’m not telling you who to vote for November 4th (*cough*, *cough*) hoping instead that you’ve watched the debates and paid attention to the failed polices of the last 8 years (or have you been living under a rock?). We need to send the world a message that we are not hopeless, arrogant bullies.

However, I will tell you to vote NO on Proposition 8 — don’t eliminate marriage for anyone (gays have the same right to be as miserable as heterosexual couples). If you vote Yes on 8 you are no longer my friend. This is much more cut-and-dry than the presidential election (where both major candidates are good, honorable people); this is about bigotry.  This is about out-and-out lies from the proponents: Churches will not lose their tax-exempt status (though those that support this should) and schools will not be forced to teach gay marriage in schools if Prop 8 does not pass. This is flabbergasting and out-and-out offensive.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

I bring you photos from Hubba Hubba Revue’s Oktoberfest! (pardon the lack of extraneous riduculous umlauts here), wherein Lee Presson and the Nails did play, joined by a very special guest, Leslie Presley — the two of which have not sung together for over four years (I believe).

Pictured above are Whitney and Jessica (of the zombie burlesque troupe the Living Dead Girls) brandishing faux firearms as the Oktoberfest Beer League Defense Guild (or so I just made up).