Fake Rock, I-80, Rodeo, CA
1) What was the first camera you owned and what do you shoot with now?
A Pentax K1000 with a 50mm lens - it was a nice little camera, but I traded it for a
Nikon F2 long ago.
Now, I use two cameras, diametrically opposed, but working together nicely. I've
got a Canon 5d mark2, which I use for my commissioned work; its a great camera.
For my latest series of photos though, I'm shooting with a nice old beat up Speed-
Graphic 4x5. The 5d works SO well as a light meter; which I figure is putting it in its
2) What's in your main camera: Film or Memory Card?
I just heard Abelardo Morell speak; and he likened the transfer from film to digital
as similar to the transfer from wet-plate
to dry-plate negatives, meaning that its
a continuation of the story of photography, and generally, an improvement. The
reason I'm still shooting film is because I love to make big final prints, and I can't
afford a 40mp digital backs - so 4x5
seems to be the best way to get the resolution
I want. I love that digital gives you the information about your photo right away. I
usually have a pretty clear idea in my head of what I want, and working digitally has
really helped me to get there sooner.
Writing, Under Hwy. 24, Oakland, CA 3) If you had access to any photographic equipment you wanted for a day, what
would you choose?
Ah: a wind-tunnel, strobes, digital back, harness, and some helpers.
4) What classes are you teaching?
I've been teaching digital one
for a while now. I'm adding a course to help
students work on continuing or creating a body of photos - which I'm pretty excited
about (Personal Projects in Photography). I've tutored students on almost anything
digital (Raw processing, Lightroom, Photoshop) but what I am most interested in is
helping students to think visually, take chances, and create unique images that feel
authentic to their way of seeing.
By the Home Depot, I-880, Oakland, CA5) What are the top reasons someone should take your class?
I try to keep things fun; I see the technical aspects of photography as important,
but really I just want to swallow it down so that I can use the tools creatively. What
surprises me is how I continually enjoy teaching Beginning Digital Photography.
Going over the basics, explaining that light travels very fast and in very straight
lines... It remains exciting.
6) What was the last art opening you went to?
I went to Art Murmur and was amazed by my friend Misa Inaoka's show at
went to the Headlands 30th birthday celebration - which included some really fun
interactive work, including a smelling booth and an art obstacle course, which was
pretty amazing. Oh, and the Oakland Museum recently unveiled this groovy little
customized truck, the Oakland Rover
Passenger Train, I-680, Benicia, CA
7) What part of RayKo's facilities do you use the most?
Well, I scan my film on the Imacon scanner
, and I often teach in the lighting
studio. Sometimes we get to use the lighting studio
as a lighting studio, which is
really fun. Oh, and Im really excited about this new classroom that is underway.
8) Bought any good photo books lately?
Sadly my budget doesn't allow me to buy as many as I'd like. I was just reviewing
my Emmett Gowin
book - I bought the first edition in college and it remains humble
but impressive. I bought the catalogue for the last Pier 24 show "Here", and I was
recently given a Michael Light book as an award from the Bedford Gallery
In the more how-to vein, I just got "Publish your Photography Book
" (D. Himes &
M.V. Swanson) which is a great resource for those of us interested in getting a book
Arnold Point, I-80, Oakland, CA9) Recent work that has caught your eye?
Hmmmm. I recently got to know a few photographers through the Photo Alliance
Portfolio reviews and that was really fun - Rebecca Horne and Joshusa Band
especially. I'm pretty fascinated by the work of Vija Clemins and Rodney Graham,
and I'm reading a book about Buckminster Fuller that is very idealistic and really
fun. Caleb Charland's work is amazing; I love photography that considers and plays
with the way photography shows the world.
10) What are you currently working on and where can we see it?
I am now getting work together for two exciting events. The local one is a
photography show at the San Francisco Art Commission Gallery entitled "Nothing to
- It opens on October 26th
, and I'm really excited to be a part of it. The second is the
Houston Art Fair, where Traywick Contemporary will be showing some of my work.
Finally, I'm getting ready for a solo show at Traywick next spring. I've got some
work to do for that one, so wish me luck!
I recently updated my web site to include my new work: www.johnnaarnold.com
And I have a blog that I enjoy writing in when I can: www.johnnaarnold.blogspot.com
Social media-wise, Im most commonly on Facebook, where you can friend me at
. Im have a twitter account too - @johnnack
but Im still working on
my twittering; I figure its good to step outside every once in a while.