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Still Photo: Approaching Fine Photography Photography as a visual artform open to any serious picture, where classical photography is the mode of our expression. Open to all! Not curated. For works intended for clients and galleries submit to GALLERY ONE.

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  #1  
Old January 10th, 2014, 01:06 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default Jim Collum, a photographer's photographer!

Jim Collum loves the California redwoods and the neighborhoods, back gardens, forgotten factories as much as the pristine coastlines of the Northern California coast. What does he do differently?



Jim Collum: Photographer of the Week

Currently represented by the Susan Spritus Gallery and work will be available for your viewing at the LA Photoshow 2014 next week!! If you're going, make sure you stop by and say "Asher sent me". That way, perhaps I can get a discount!

We all consume photographs, likely as not seeing thousands of new images each months just in passing. With billions of images having been taken and millions of cameras sold each year, the sampling of the world around us is just what one does, like sipping coffee or texting. So what makes our pictures stand out?

I believe that we are all enthralled with the idea of suspending some view of life as if we could for just a slice of time, control the experience of it all...and we do. This very particular and distinctive sampling of what seems to be before us is what builds the compelling and recognizable image. That's how we separate ourselves from the pack, by selection of circumstances and timing of our pictures to reflect our bending and refocussing of ideas to a timeless image we can somehow export on to a pice of paper as a photograph. When we as photographers admire another's from within our midst, we know something wonderful is happening.

So that's what I find with the recent collection of work by Jim Collum. He has had his love affairs with Leica's, scanning backs and all the DSLR's you can think of, but what distinguishes him is his observational skill in the Northern California Redwoods, countryside, cities, neighborhoods, abandoned factories and surf-smacked coast lines. It's that and the choices he makes in building a body of work joined by some secret ingredient of commonality. Here, I posit that each image has a sense of penetrating one dimension by another.



Jim Collum: Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco

Medium: Platinum/palladium Ziatype
Date: 2013
Size: 7x7"
Edition: 9


Susan Spiritus Gallery

Maybe I'm being simplistic. Perhaps so, but bear with me. I see his platinum image of a building against the sky as a prototype of Jim's probing of one world into the space of another. Let's go with this idea. The sense of it is carried through with light filtering through the canopy of woodlands and then fusing with winding paths. One form penetrates another in a hard, confrontational or curvaceous strokes of light and dark.




Jim Collum: Early morning Fall Creek.

Medium: Platinum/palladium Ziatype
Date: 2103
Size: 8x5", 14x9"
Edition: 9 for each size


Susan Spiritus Gallery


and once again, the light comes down from the sky and cuts a path between the trees, as if the angels are visiting and inspecting what inheritance we will leave behind us after our footsteps are long forgotten.






Jim collum: Summit, Fall Creek

Medium: Platinum/palladium Ziatype
Date: 2010
Size: 7x7"
Edition: 9


Susan spiritus Gallery


So my dear friends, do you feel that one can mark dissimilar scenes by an overriding esthetic sense of unity of purpose? I really believe one might be able to do that and that Jim has shown it here.

Now you can attack me for being so lost in my own meanderings, after all, they just appear to be photographs!

They are actually technically distinguished in having been made by a craftsman to export visions from a poet's mind.

That's a photographer's photographer and so here's a salute to Jim and outstanding patient and imaginative photographer!

and yes, I do really experience some sense of attempts or an exploration of crossing from one physical or spiritual boundary to another in all these currently available series.

Asher
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  #2  
Old January 10th, 2014, 03:14 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Actually, it is James Collum. I found out because, after you post, I tried to find out whether I could see more of his work. His website is http://www.jcollum.com
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  #3  
Old January 10th, 2014, 03:19 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quite right, Jerome, but I call him Jim.

I guess I should change it to make it follow his name on his pictures!

Asher
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  #4  
Old January 10th, 2014, 05:10 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
Actually, it is James Collum. I found out because, after you post, I tried to find out whether I could see more of his work. His website is http://www.jcollum.com
Let me rephrase that, then:

"J. Collum, who is known as Jim on opf: example, uses James as a first name on his web site which is http://www.jcollum.com. On that site you will find a more complete selection of his works, if you computer can use flash."
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  #5  
Old January 10th, 2014, 06:11 AM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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He does Pt/Pd and Zia, he cold be David McCollum for all I care; the work is superb. However, with a last name like mine, I understand spelling confusions. It took the US army four tries with a draft notice to get my name figured out even though I'd already tried to enlist in the AF and was 4-F'ed because of steel pins in my right arm from a childhood accident.
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  #6  
Old January 10th, 2014, 09:00 AM
JimCollum JimCollum is offline
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wow.. Thanks Asher. (it's taken me decades to get to the simple 'Thanks'.. I don't do well with praise, and usually look down or away.. or point at something and shout 'Squirrel' to try to distract the attention from me. )

Names are funny things. Jim is day to day.. James is my legal name, how I sign, but I don't think anyone has actually called me that. As a child it was Jimmy, and my family calls me that. To confuse things even further, about 13 years ago, I met my wife, and her daughter (12 at the time), decided that my name was Larry. She's never called me anything but that.. Her friends, her friends' families and now..often my own family) call me Larry. At the time she was 12, and I don't think it was a complimentary thing.. but now it's said with love.

Jerome.. you're right about the Flash.. and it's even more embarrassing than that. My day job is a Software Engineer at Apple. My only defense is that between my family, Apple (a harsh mistress), and my photography, I haven't had time to re-write it. I've been saying that for the last 3 years though.. so I think I'll just need to bite the bullet and do it.

Photo LA is quite the place to be, both as an exhibitor and as a attendee. I've met some of the most talented photographers in the world.. and do feel a little out of place. It's also an excellent place to have the love of photography reaffirmed.. in the world of millions of selfies, Flickr and Instagram. There, you can see prints.. which to me is end goal. Something tangible, you can touch, see texture, smell. I have hundreds of thousands of images on my computer (I carry a camera with me at all times.. use it as a sketch pad.. to play with ideas). When I finally leave this life, those files will disappear.. The only thing that will remain to family and friends.. will be the physical.. prints.

Thank you for looking at my work (the virtual representation of it). I've always considered art as a conversation between artist and viewer.. one without words. It's a lonely place to be, to have something to say to people, and not have people listen... so the viewer is just as important a part in the relationship as the artist. (It's even better talking to artists, because there's both talking and listening going on...)

Please, if you come to Photo LA.. stop by and say hello!

jim, james, jimmy &... Larry
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  #7  
Old January 10th, 2014, 11:52 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Jim,

I'm so looking forward to finding you again and your prints. Of course I admire your work and the skills you've mastered. Theoretically, I could aspire to copy such craft and inspiration. But where I'd fail is in honestly showing your natural modesty!

Asher

..and by the way, ever since I grew up as "David". My grandfather apparently added "Asher", meaning "Happy" to modulate the warlike and murderous nature of the biblical King David. He wanted to bring out the celebrated psalmic poetry of the great man. However, I knew nothing of this as everyone at home and at school called me "David". However, one day I was big enough to be ported of to a summer camp in the Countryside. Well, being a Jewish gathering, there were a score of "Davids'. A scout counselor called me, "Asher, you are in this team!" Well I looked behind me to see who this "Asher" was! But just a few girls. I said, but I'm "David". "Not any more, he quipped. We've to many David's and just one Asher!

So that followed me in subsequent summer camps until I went to high school when one of the camp kids also was assigned there. Hi Asher, he said! from then on I was Asher and it has stuck.

Yes,

It's Asher
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  #8  
Old January 10th, 2014, 12:05 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post
Jim is day to day.. James is my legal name
I was just confused for a moment and wanted to link to your site where more pictures can be seen.
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  #9  
Old January 10th, 2014, 12:24 PM
JimCollum JimCollum is offline
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I didn't mean it in a negative way. Names are just funny things.. (like why are Jim, Jimmy and James considered the same name...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
I was just confused for a moment and wanted to link to your site where more pictures can be seen.
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  #10  
Old January 16th, 2014, 08:18 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Great to see you featured here in this way Jim, you've always been an inspiration to me.
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  #11  
Old January 17th, 2014, 12:30 AM
JimCollum JimCollum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Great to see you featured here in this way Jim, you've always been an inspiration to me.
thanks Ben.. Likewise.. your images of Jerusalem have been phenomenal. My wife and I will make it there someday!

jim
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Old January 17th, 2014, 05:07 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Would love to take you around Jim.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 06:10 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Jim is incredibly talented. Love his work.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 03:27 PM
Antonio Correia Antonio Correia is offline
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Jim, I have been looking at the great images you have.

"My hometown" is quite interesting. I am sure they turn to be excellent prints.

"Metamorphosis" is... superb ! I have already thought to do something similar (not so good) descending the holes left by marble exploration. (I am sure you know what I mean)
It is something I have planned to do some day this very year.

One of the aspects I appreciate in your work is the consistency of tones and crop proportions.
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  #15  
Old August 20th, 2014, 07:33 PM
JimCollum JimCollum is offline
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Thank you Antonio & Rachel.. appreciate the kind words!!

The Hometown series probably means more to me than I'd expect it to other viewers.. there's a more personal connection to the time, place & mood of the images. If enjoyed by others, then that's a very pleasant side effect of the project.

Metamorphosis has been an ongoing project for well over a decade. It has spanned multiple cameras. It's a place that I would visit at minus tides before dawn. Any other time and it's either under water.. or too contrasty for my vision. It's also one of my favorite places to be on the coast.

As far as tones.. I almost only shoot when the sun isn't in the sky.. either deep overcast, or before the sun rises (my favorite time of day). At sunset, you often find groups of people enjoying the moments.. but at dawn... very few. (It has always astonished me that I get grief from other photographers who want to go shoot.. and I recommend leaving at 4am to be in the location in time for the light )

I almost always shoot in a project mode. I always have a camera with me (... really.. all the time.. just ask my wife ) but I most often use it to sketch ideas. some of those sketches might turn into finished images.. but more often than not, they become a springboard for a longer term project. As a result of this 'project mode'.. the crops are often similar due to the aesthetic of the project. (but I'm not a stickler.. there are often images in a standalone project that done conform to a specific crop.. only because that image becomes 'significant' to me.

If you are ever in the Santa Cruz, California area.. please let me know.. I always enjoy meeting and shooting with other's. I enjoy seeing out familiar places are seen by eyes other than mine

Jim


Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonio Correia View Post
Jim, I have been looking at the great images you have.

"My hometown" is quite interesting. I am sure they turn to be excellent prints.

"Metamorphosis" is... superb ! I have already thought to do something similar (not so good) descending the holes left by marble exploration. (I am sure you know what I mean)
It is something I have planned to do some day this very year.

One of the aspects I appreciate in your work is the consistency of tones and crop proportions.
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  #16  
Old August 21st, 2014, 12:08 PM
Antonio Correia Antonio Correia is offline
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Thank you Jim for your invitation.

In fact, we have been in Santa Cruz two years ago when dropping my son's family in the US. I would love to visit you some day but I am afraid that will not be possible in the near or far future.

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