#930. Monday Post (18 Nov 2019) – Layer cake workshop, square challenge and gear review updates.

By pascaljappy | Uncategorized

Nov 18

Let’s not beat about the bush. I regret to let you know that, as we speak/read, the Layer Cake workshop is a no go. Most of the people who were initially interested have other obligations at the workshop’s dates, so there are not enough participants to make this viable. But maybe you’re interested and haven’t said, so here’s an update! Oh, and plenty of other news, too ๐Ÿ˜‰

O’ brothers, where art thy?

Layer cake workshop: last orders please ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let me recap the idea briefly: we spend 4 days with 2 high-profile curators and an award hogging artist to

(1) Assess the underlying meaning in our photographs with the help with one of the curators and a portfolio of our prior pictures.
(2) Work with the artist to deepen that meaning
(3) Assess progress and further work with the second curator.

We do this in the idylic little village of Saint Paul de Vence, conviently close to Nice international airport but in the setting of a stone village in the hills, staying at a very nice hotel with very nice food.

All other information is provided on the previous Layer Cake Workshop page.

Plato was here

More participants are needed to make this viable. I asked whether it was possible to reschedule at a more convenient date and the answer is no. And to the question “can we do another next year?” the aswer was also no. This is a one time chance I/you are being offered. If you’re interested this is the time to speak. I need to pay the hotel in 2 weeks or cancel for good.

Fear not, other workshops are being planned. And we’ll use a better date selection process, well in advance to ensure they work for the greatest number of participants possible. But this one is special in that it tackles an area few do and the quality of the experts do make it feel like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Request for participants ends at the end of the week, sorry ๐Ÿ˜‰

Movin’ on

Square format challenge

Just a few more days until the results of this month’s photo challenge are published. As a reminder, the subject this month is simple: square format. Any subject goes. Colour or b&w. Film or digital. Only the format matters and how you use composition to play with it formally, naturally, provocatively …

La Ciotat mono
La Ciotat, duo

Gear Reviews, ordered

As on all blogs, articles are published sequentially and get lost in the pile of new ones as time goes by. Deeper and deeper out of memory and use.

So, I have created an index page containing most of our gear reviews (some critics wouldn’t call them that, but hey …) and ordered by manufacturer and type of gear. My parents wish my room had been as tidy as this review page, trust me.

You can access this page via the Resources > Gear Reviews menu. And, on the homepage, via the Craftmanship (gear & technique) column.

Let me know what you think, and what types of reviews you would like to see here in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

470 feet, 417 million. Now that’s what I call gear!

Quick bonus: Online galleries

Finally, I’m happy to say my online gallery is finally complete. Finally. More about this later this week or next monday. It tooks me ages to decide on a design and I’ve simplified my initially over elaborate and pompous attempts significantly ๐Ÿ˜‰ Finally. Let me ask a couple of others to send me pics to start a less me-centric gallery and it will all be ready to launch. Finally. Yay ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ This is going to be fun. Finally.

Shady selfie in Odessa (apparently)

That’s it from me, but I’m hoping to hear from you very soon ๐Ÿ™‚ There has been a comment dearth like no other in recent days! Of dearth vador evil proportions, I tell you. Is it something we said? Is it the new look? Are you bored with our line of content? Would you like us to tackle other topics? Is your computer a MacBook pro and your keyboard a so..ing nuisance? Has the cold set in a frozen your fingers? Are you playing mean pinball? Monologs really ain’t no fun. We want to chat with you. Do not leave us hanging, dazed and bamboozled.

(please note that all posts are systematically emailed to all subscribers. If you have subscribed and haven’t received an email for this post, then your email app/website has fallen to the dark side and blacklisted DearSusan, placed us in the spam folder, or one of the other indignities gmail does to email, for example: promotion tab, other tab … make sure to find one of our emails in one of those dark corners and drag us back to the light of your main inbox)

Faces of La Ciotat 1
Faces of La Ciotat 2

(all pics on this page made in lovely La Ciotat, which has recently been declared one of the most beautiful bays in the world, with an Hassy X1D & XCD 45 lens. Wait. La Ciotat wasn’t annointed with a Hassy, the pictures were made with a Hassy. Oh dear …)


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  • Wojciech Zieliล„ski says:

    Hi, I really like Your photos here. Could You share some quick info about lenses You used here?

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you Wojciech. The lens used for all of those photographs is the Hassemlad XCD 45 f/3.5. It’s the “standard” lens on the X1D (more or less 35mm equivalent on full frame) and the cheapest in the lineup. The two elongated images (the boats and my shadow) are panoramas made of 2 images each. Hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Frank says:

    Thanks for taking the time to organize the “Resources” pages. The posts on gear are so accessible now. The “Art, Creativity & Intent” pages are helpful, even in their work-in-progress state. You’ve put a LOT of effort into rebuilding DearSusan over the last year and your labor is making this site evermore valuable.

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Ah, La Ciotat! Lovely images, Pascal. Iโ€™ve never heard of it, but itโ€™s on my radar now. Those yummy stone walls make my shutter finger tingle….in a very good way.
    Sorry to hear that the Layer Cake workshop is circling the drain after all the work you put into it. What a shame.
    Looking forward to seeing the results of the Square Challenge!
    The dearth of comments lately may be due to the approaching holiday season – Thanksgiving in the US is on November 28 and then itโ€™s just a short few weeks until Christmas/New Years….

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Nancee ๐Ÿ™‚ We like La CIotat bbecause it’s close to home and has a lovely mix of beach and heritage. When the shipyards closed about 20 years ago, the place was run down and grubby. They manage to reinvent themselves and now service the yacths of the wealthiest people on Earth. There’s far more sea-going luxury here than in Saint Tropez and Portofino combined. This means the village has been cleaned up and modernised without losing its old charm. And they kept all the old cranes and gear. The bay is nice, the old port is nice. And it’s the entry point to the Calanques, our local (small) Fjords.

      Worshop: no worries. I’ll plan further in advance next time. Two others are bbeing planned and I hope that if those sell well, I can twist the curator’s arm ๐Ÿ˜‰ All 3 experts loved the idea, but don’t want to repeatedly commit to something that doesn’t happen. They are in huge demand and can’t afford to lose a contract over this uncertain idea of mine ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Comments: ups and downs. It doesn’t really matter but I don’t want to be taking DS in a direction that bores everyone senseless.

      • NMc says:

        Re comments; I donโ€™t think you should judge a post by the response levels, which is a bit of a S.M. way of thinking. I often donโ€™t comment because someone else has said something better rather than me having nothing to say. I always check most article for comments twice if I read it soon after posting to make sure I do not miss good comments. Regarding email notices, I donโ€™t want more of these so I donโ€™t subscribe, I always check DS regularly so donโ€™t need the prompting anyway.

        Re square challenge; I donโ€™t think I will submit because when I tried to shoot for the challenge I was doing graphics more than photography probably over thinking things, like Nancee I look forward to seeing everyone elseโ€™s though.
        Regards Noel

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    Don’t worry, Pascal… I am sure I am far from being the only one reading every post in DS, every line, never missing one, but not always commenting; most of the time, it is just that I was so busty that once I could find the time, the post was long past due… even not sure the poster would look back and find my comment!
    And sometimes, the post is deeply appreciated (like the post from Philippe and you on the Paris show)… but I just had nothing interesting to add!
    So the simple truth is that I don’t think an absence of many comments means systematically a lack of interest!

    • Michael Fleischer says:

      Hi Pascal R, I fully agree with your comment and recognise your thinking.
      Also, I don’t want to just make a non-relevant comment
      for the sake of making it.

      However, the issue still remains to respond as this is a “shared venture”
      from time to time if one feels compelled – also in appreciation of other
      peoples efforts…:-)

  • Pascal, sad news that the Layer Cake Workshop may not be happening, but good news others will be. Like Nancee La Ciotat looks very enticing for a visit, your photos make it so.

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