Friday, June 17, 2016

Retro Fair...

Retro, well not really. Only one year old. Shot at the San Diego County Fair...

Walking the midway zone early in the morning before the rides started taking on their passengers. I noticed the motionless Ferris wheel. As I stood at the bottom gazing up, it reminded me of a vintage ride from the past, maybe from Europe or a small mid-west town fair. Fairs I love. The smell of corn dogs, fried chicken, apple pie, sounds of kids screaming on the rides. and the smell of animals all blend in just fine...

This is from my "Fabricated Curiosities" collection and is an archival print. The image is 8" x 8" and is matted, with a black museum wood frame 12" x 12", ready to hang and enjoy in your B/W collection.

You may purchase it here for $85.00 plus shipping and have it shipped to your door, or if you're in San Diego, pick it up at my studio on 30th Street, and I'll refund the shipping of $25.00 to ship anywhere in the continental U.S. or Canada.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Shooting Pictorialism

I've always been drawn to "Pictorialism" for some reason when it comes to photography. It just resonates with me. In definition, it's an approach to photography with a soft-focus such as this gas station that emphasizes beauty of subject matter, tonality, and composition rather than the documentation of reality. Maybe it's my underlying desire to go back to slower times, as this was the hallmark of photographers in the first decades of the 20th century. Some of the greats that started shooting this way were; Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and Imogen Cunningham. They would later reject the painterly atmospherics of pictorialism and set a course of sharper focus followed by the rest of the photographic world.

"Cafe 11"  © John Straub
This image was shown for the first time at Art Walk in Little Italy in May. It's from my "Road Side Salvage" collection and is archival pigment on high quality archival paper. There are two sizes available, a 16"x 24" for $95.95 plus $20.00 postage and 24"x 36" for $210.00 plus $20.00 postage shipped within the US or Canada. The larger of the two is signed and numbered out of a limited edition of 25. Both will come ready to be matted and framed.

Sizes Available

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sometimes They get Printed...

Most photographs I make are personal pictures and never end up in print. Sometimes they do, as this one did, went on to show, and on to a collector in Corning, New York. Oftentimes, however, they are simply photographs I hope resonate. They end up on Facebook, or here. I guess the moral to the story is, that if you see something I post and you would like a print. Feel free to contact me.

A/P and one of one printed, © John Straub  

Thursday, May 12, 2016

On the road...Decaying Dreams #14

I shoot this area a lot, and decided to take a detour off the main road and into the community of Salton Sea Beach. Just the name attracts. Turning onto Desert Dr. I came across this triple wide. The look I love. One of those places where you imagine what memories there were. How hauntingly appropriate the ghostly clouds look over the corner of Desert Dr. and Frontier St.

Decaying Dreams #14
This is from my "Decaying Dreams" collection and is archival pigment on cotton rag B/W paper. The image is 12"x 18" and is matted, with a black museum frame 18"x 24", ready to hang and enjoy in your B/W collection. It's the A/P out of a limited edition of 25, signed and was shown at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park.

You may purchase it here and have it shipped to your door, or if you're in San Diego, pick it up at my studio on 30th Street, and I will refund the shipping. $395 + $40 to ship anywhere in the continental U.S. or Canada.

Monday, May 2, 2016

"Open Desert" at Palm Spring Art Museum, and Welcome

First, I would like to welcome my new subscribers from last weekends Art Walk in Little Italy and say "thank you" for taking an interest in my photography!

Well, I'm pretty jazzed about this email received from the Palm Springs Art Museum concerning the upcoming "Open Desert" show.

"Dear John Straub,

We are pleased to inform you that a selection from your submission has been accepted to exhibit as part of the photographic slide show developed for OPEN DESERT Music and Photographic Arts Showcase.

We hope you can join us at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 7, 2016 at Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg Theater.  The event will feature an international selection of photographic submissions projected in collaboration with the explosive musical talent of: Drum Hall, Tribesmen, Caxton, and Mike Pygmie Ensemble.


This will be coming from my B/W series called "Decaying Dreams." I've spent quite a bit of time documenting some of the conditions around the Salton Sea, an area of California that has suffered badly with the drought. If you would like info on the show, here is a link:

Friday, April 22, 2016

"Mission Federal Art Walk 2016" is here...

"Mission Federal Art Walk, Little Italy" is just around the corner, in fact, it's going to hit us in the face. This April 30th through May 1st, Little Italy's vibrant streets will be spilling over with color for the 32nd year. It really does have something for every art lover and one of the things that makes it so special is, you get to meet the artists, over 350 of them. But, I'm not here to tell you about the other artists, I'm here to tell you I will have a booth full of sweet color botanical images, framed and ready to hang, as well as some special black and whites. You can preview some of my images on my site:

So, come by, check out my art, in booth 318, at the corner of India and Cedar. You never know, you may find that unique image that you can't pass up.

Here's a link to Mission Federal Art Walk.

Friday, April 8, 2016

One of the Best...Dorothea Lange

When I think of photographers, my thoughts always turn to one of my favorites, Dorothea Lange. She was known best for her Depression-era photography for the Farm Security Administration. One of her best know images is one called "mere migante" (migrant mother), shot in 1936. The image was one of a woman holding her children under a tent in Nipomo, California. Lange had spent a month driving the central valley documenting what impact the federal programs had in the rural area, when she came upon the migrant camp. There's a link later where you can read in her own words what made her turn around on a rainy day when she saw a "Pea-Pickers Camp" sign on her way home from shooting. She only took 5 shots that day. One of them ending up to be her most iconic image.

Anyway, I was fascinated by the fact in this image, she was sitting on her car with camera in hand to get a shot.

Dorothea on her 1933 Ford Model C Wagon. The camera, Graflex 5x7  Series D. Photo credit Wikipedia

Friday, March 25, 2016

Speaking About Road Trips...Decaying Dreams #22

Yep, speaking about road trips in the last post, this image was captured while I was researching areas around the Salton Sea. I happened on this bullet ridden abandoned shack and water tower. Standing and staring, the bright silver belly tank perched upon the tower just spoke to me. I think the best images, impress some kind of emotion on the viewer. How about you?

Decaying Dreams #22

This is from my "Decaying Dreams " collection and is printed on special B/W archival paper. The image is 12"x 18" and is matted, with a black museum frame 18"x 24", ready to hang, and enjoy. It's the A/P out of a limited edition of 25, signed and was shown at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park.

You may purchase it here and have it shipped to your door, or if you're in San Diego, pick it up at my studio on 30th Street, and I will refund the shipping. $395 + $40 to ship anywhere in the continental U.S. or Canada. A/P SOLD.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

George Barris at Monterey Car Week

I was going to post about George Barris some time ago, but you know how things go...

I shot this about three years ago during the Monterey Car Week
 at the Automotive Fine Arts Society show at Pebble Beach. 
The self-proclaimed "King of the Kustomizers" passed away at his home in Encino, California last November 5th. He was 89, and even at that age he was a regular at car events, constantly shaking hands, signing autographs, and bringing his classic smile to warm the hearts of everyone. The last time I saw him was two years ago at the Los Angeles Auto show, and as I did always, posed to get a selfie with him.

George started out like a lot of us, building model cars and modifying them as a kid. It was only natural that he should do the same thing on a larger scale. He started a customizing business with his brother in Lynwood, L.A. after the war, there chopping and sectioning countless cars, including the era-defining Matranga 1940 Mercury and the Hirohata 1951 Mercury. He built cars for television shows as well as celebrities such as Sonny and Cher, Elton John, even John Wayne. He truly was a classic, just like the cars he created and I'm sure he will always be remembered by the rod and custom community. Godspeed, George!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Andreas Feininger

This is a rather unusual image for Andreas Feininger. I'm sure it was captured while he was on assignment for "Life" magazine, freelancing from 1943 until 1962. The reason for posting, I think it's just classic route 66 for those of us just that enjoy going on road trips.

Andreas Feininger image, Seligman Arizona, 1947

Feininger became famous for his dynamic black-and-white photographs of New York, other frequent subjects among his works were science and nature, as seen in his bones, shells, plants, and minerals in the images of which he often stressed structure. Rarely did he photograph people or make portraits.

During his career,  he wrote comprehensive manuals about photography, of which the best know is The Complete Photographer. He passed away in 1999. If you have some time google his name, and check out his very cool images of scenes of Manhattan back in the day.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Coronado Speed Festival...A Chamber Day in Coronado

As the cars roared by during the Coronado Speed Fest, there was a click of my camera...caught it! A Chamber of Commerce shot with San Diego's skyline as the backdrop for a race image.

This is a commission shot of the ex-Jerry Kuhn Camaro, now owned by Mike Gagen. The back story of this image, goes like this. It needed to be an afternoon shot to have the sun radiating off the car, as well as the city skyline. The race group would only run once in that time slot, so I needed to find the location on the track to capture both at the perfect time. The camera speed and aperture was set so it would show a clear background, but blurred wheels and blurred foreground to relay a sense of speed.

Mike had the 24" x 36" image professionally framed, and here it is finished.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Mobile Camera...

It made me feel good to see this old image. So I decided to show it to you, because it has a bike and camera in it. This here was made back in the days when creators were creators, and not some skinny hippie kid who would put a crimp in a sheet of now-a-days ultra-thin sheet metal and call it the day in the design studio.

Actually, the camera looks kinda' like a, Agfa Ansco that I just put on my photo site, you gotta' check it out, here.