About David Roddis

Photographer / artist; humanist / skeptic; citizen / socialist; dreamer / do-er. Life needs no mission statement; art is no boxing match. Competition demeans and divides; cooperation and compassion reveal profound connections. Do you need any greater incentive?

Holiday sale: pick up some unique gifts for only $20 and up… up… up…

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Allan Gardens:  the Palm House; "Senescence" proof, for sale at snap-them-up prices.

Allan Gardens: the Palm House; “Senescence” proof, for sale at snap-them-up prices.

THE DATE FOR THIS EVENT HAS PASSED : THIS INVITATION IS INCLUDED FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY.

To contact me, please :

use the form on my contact page; OR
email me: david@davidroddis.com ; OR
text/call:  416 802 6163


Holiday Sale
of
proofs and prints:

Saturday/Sunday 29th and 30th November, 2014

2:00 to 6:00 PM.

392 Sherbourne Street (just north of Carlton
Suite 805
Toronto, M4X 1K3

Use code 9344 for entry

ALL WELCOME!

This weekend, November 29th and 30th, drop by my home/studio at 392 Sherbourne St, Toronto, and help me clear out six years’ worth of prints and proofs as I start my Holiday Sale.

Images include:  8.5 x 11″ proofs of Allan Gardens and the Palm House; still lifes, and male erotica;  in carefully curated packs of two for $20. There are some gorgeous images here, if I do say so myself, and I do.

There are also larger proofs from 2013 and this past summer of 2014, gallery-wrapped, ready-to-hang canvas prints; and showstopping, large-scale floral abstracts, perfect for filling up that empty wall space in the east wing, at prices that will have you rummaging in your handbag for an extra diazepam.

Back-up? Or Storage? Be careful how you decide…

Answer the poll at the end of this article to find out how your method of data protection compares to others’.

There are tons of companies out there, from Dropbox (which I use) to Google Drive to Crashplan (which I use) and beyond, all touting the advantages of cloud back-up and storage.

But be careful:  There is a huge difference between storage and back-up.  If you choose back-up, but get your settings wrong, you could end up losing your precious files which you thought you were protecting against – well, loss.

Storage:  a manual process (i.e., actively done by you, at a time you choose, with the files you choose.  Danger of losing your files:  virtually NIL.)

Back-up:  an automated process (i.e., passively performed by the back-up utility, at times you choose in advance, with the files you choose in advance.  Danger of loss:  moderate to high.)

Here’s the deal:  just as your Auntie Murgatroyd said, “People are slow but smart.  Computers are fast, but dumb”.

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I am not a camera

(an edited, shorter version of this article was originally published on http://lifeasahuman.com/2014/photography/i-am-not-a-camera/)

The biggest breakthrough I’ve had with photographic creativity resulted from what I can only describe as “ignoring my camera“, that is, making my creative decisions autonomously, without regard to what my camera, and self-styled photographic experts, had been dictating to me. The results were a creative satori.

Many people, if they think of photography at all, have a very set and specific idea of what constitutes a photograph:  It’s sharp above all things; it is a faithful reproduction of reality; it has integrity and must not be altered (“photoshopped”); it’s properly exposed; the colors are correct; and on and on.

I maintain that NONE of these criteria is necessary; that they are all optional, that each is on a continuum which ends in its exact opposite quality; therefore, the gamut of available techniques can be expanded at least by 100% (in fact, infinitely).

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Open Studio: Sunday, October 19th, 2 to 6 PM

THE DATE FOR THIS EVENT HAS PASSED : THIS INVITATION IS INCLUDED FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY.

To contact me, please :

use the form on my contact page; OR
email me: david@davidroddis.com ; OR
text/call:  416 802 6163


Dear Followers and Friends :

You are cordially invited to my

Annual Open Studio and Sale of Select Artworks
Sunday, October 19th, from 2 to 6 pm.  

RSVP by Friday, October 17th

392 Sherbourne St, Toronto (just north of Carlton).

BONUS:  everyone who attends will be entered into a draw to win an open-edition, signed print of an image from this year’s series “Briar Rose”:
“Briar Rose:  He went away”

David Roddis, "Briar Rose: He went away" (2014). Archival pigment print. Open edition, signed by the artist. ©2014, David Roddis Photography.

David Roddis, “Briar Rose: He went away” (2014). Archival pigment print. Open edition, signed by the artist. ©2014, David Roddis Photography.

This year’s image is one of past suffering and present hope.  It is a tender remembrance of something / someone lost, but also of the will to go on and live – not just survive.   It is an image of great meaning to me.

Mingle, view my new work, ask me questions, cover me with compliments (or raspberries, according to your natural tendency), enjoy some light refreshment and even pick up a small (or large) gift.   The possibilities are endless!

Creatures of the night

You all know by now that I’m a music lover, and one of my favorite composers is Maurice Ravel.  Much of his music is imbued with a tender, haunting nostalgia and a mysterious longing; but he also writes complex, demanding works that are avant-garde or jazz-inspired, music brilliant and hard-edged, yet still evoking dark emotions:  like diamonds dipped in tears.

His piano suite Miroirs  (1904 – 1905) begins with a breathless, fleet depiction of “Noctuelles”,  or night moths, that trills and buzzes about chromatically in the upper reaches of the keyboard. Ravel’s genius here is to translate that uncanny soft fluttering of fragile wings into chattering sonorities that brush your face and escape your grasp, evoking both chills of delight and shudders of repulsion.

In a similar vein, my “white fuchsia” – what a strange contradictory name – seems to be attempting flight, and the pale hearts that it drags in its wake are drained of love and life force.  Night creatures indeed.

Here’s a recording from 1958 of the legendary virtuoso Sviatoslav Richter playing “Noctuelles” and “Oiseaux Tristes” from Miroirs.  Astonishing, sublime. (This link takes you to YouTube):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHogSUlpbFo

D. Roddis, “Noctuelles I (white fuchsia)”.  Digital image,  available various sizes as an archival pigment print.  Edition of 25.  © David Roddis, 2014.

D. Roddis, “Noctuelles I (white fuchsia)”. Digital image, available various sizes as an archival pigment print. Edition of 25. © David Roddis, 2014.

Ethereal…

I went all white with my garden this year… And certainly I was partly inspired by the white garden at Sissinghurst, Kent (home to Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicholson) which I visited one divine summer day in the 1980″s… But there were other factors involved.  I needed a change of pace from the overload of hot colors in last year’s body of work… And there is an element of sacrifice, purity with white; white is virginal, which means unviolated,  also fresh, naive; first time brides wear white; and white is also, surprisingly, a color of mourning.  And mourning is what I spent a large chunk of 2014 doing…

This choice of a white garden yielded weirdly wrong specimens – white bleeding hearts and white fuchsia, anyone? – and it took all of my self control not to introduce at least a splash of color.

White is ethereal, innocent, new and fragile shot against the light, and sombre, elegiac when against black. Here’s an example of the former:

D.Roddis, "Ethereal" (white begonia) .  Digital photograph, dimensions variable.  © David Roddis Photography 2014.  All rights reserved.

D.Roddis, “Ethereal (white begonia)”  Digital photograph, dimensions variable. © David Roddis Photography 2014. All rights reserved.

A place for experiments

I have two web presences, namely, this blog and davidroddis.com, and I treat them in different ways.

D. Roddis, "August Dahlias and Clematis." Digital image © David Roddis Photography, 2014.  All rights reserved.

D. Roddis, “August Dahlias and Clematis.” Digital image © David Roddis Photography, 2014. All rights reserved.

This blog is my just-out-of-bed, messy hair presence.  The place where I pull on some shorts and a T-shirt and kick back.  It’s very much a place for experiments and trying out new ideas.  Now, don’t get me wrong – everything here is thought through.  Duds don’t make it past the post, and whatever images I present here I believe have some merit.

Take the image above, for example.  Those who know me and my work know that I love to shoot against light so that the image is somewhat or even entirely blown-out (blasted with light so that there is little, or no, detail remaining in some sections).  Photography is ALL about light, after all.  And photography requires an “eye” and a certain amount of bravery in making choices, often very fast ones.  What you include and what you exclude matter. 

So I like the above image for its balance – the upward sweep of the colorful dahlias is accentuated by the tall glass vase, and is balanced out by the twirling tendrils of the clematis in the right foreground, more earthbound in their stoneware jug

I like this image, but I don’t love it.  It’s a little too mundane.  A little too everyday.  I would never seriously entertain the thought that anyone would, for example, purchase this image for their wall or to gaze at’ or that anyone would have their worldview challenged or changed by it.  But I’ve included it here as part of a process of play and discovery.  It’s nice enough, and that’s flat.  Poor little mundane image, it’s doing its best!

I’ve spoken about this distinction before: it’s snapshots vs. photographs.  Remember?

My web presence at davidroddis.com is a whole different ballgame.  It’s exclusively for the winners.  You’ll never see me there in less than my Sunday best, and I think of it as a job interview – I sell my work there and it had better be dressed up, too.

But just as the Polaroid shot often contained a keeper, my quick takes and off-the-cuff snaps often yield interesting results.  So here are some dahlia shots that I feel inclined to share, without apology.  Some of them might even be the floral versions of Lana Turner, waiting patiently here, at my virtual Schwab’s Drugstore soda fountain, to be discovered.  Time will tell.

What do you think?