20 Photos, 2 Hours to Live or Die

Let me be the first to welcome you to the things that I do when you're not looking.

Tonight will be my first photo exhibit.  Six years of work that will be displayed for two hours.  To me, I feel imaginative and resourceful about this approach to showing my work. I take a blue color approach to being a working artist.  The idea of standing on my stage appeals to me.

In many way this is where the business of art is moving: artist to viewer.  No need for a curator, gallery or even reviews (but those I do welcome). Display the photos, place it all on the line and see if I can win over the crowd.  This works for me.

What attracts me to this concept in the first place is an old-fashioned “social” idea.

Not so long ago the word "social" actually meant going out into the world and experiencing life. Today's mutilated version of the word “social” is limited to loneliness, an internet connection and a mouse.  There will be no "Like" button at my show, I will not ask you for a Tweet, we will not connect on LinkedIn afterwards, there will be nothing to Pin...but I do hope we have interesting conversation.

Photos need to been seen and to be experienced.  For too long my canvas has existed solely on the computer screen.  Art, music and photography is our culture.

To have a culture it needs to be social.  To be social you need to be with other breathing-interacting-human beings meeting in a collective community space.  Bonus point here for the breathing humans who attend my show: there will be alcohol and food. Interacting humans love wine and cheese.

Two hours and that's it to discover if my work lives or die. It's emotional for me; I feel more like a working artist walking out onto a stage to perform music that has never been heard before rather than a photographer having his first exhibit, watching and waiting for the room fill up with people.

Exhibit, display, opening...all seem like the wrong words to describe this new venture.  New words need to be used. Maybe it should be called "The Business of Being Creative”. Or “Liberated Profiteering”.  I know... “Gig”... yep that works for me. I am having a gig tonight.  That feels true to my roots. If you want to wear a tie to my gig better just stay home, this gig is not for you.

After this first gig comes to a close I will pick up the remaining pieces and hit the road for my first ever photo tour...per se. Coffee house, punk rock clubs, libraries and wherever else that photos may be hung; that's where I’ll take my troubadour roadshow of PGH@Night photos.

Join us for a memorable opening:
Date: 11/30/12
Time: 7:30
Place: 502 West North Ave 
           PGH, PA 15212

Already planning the next photo-gig to be titled “Emptiness and Form” (when abstract photography attacks and nobody gets hurt. Deep non-violence with all the non-stop action).


Exhibit ~ PGH@Night

In 5 days I will be holding my first ever photo exhibit. Am I nervous? Yep.  Not even sure why. The work is good; I am proud of it. Will people show up? Not sure.

A few months ago I wrote about how seldom I get to see my work in print.  The post was written about how the computer screen has become my canvas. Well no more: last week I received 20 large prints that have been filling up my home.

This is what I want to share with you.

Seeing Pittsburgh at Night photos enlarged is an experience to see. On Thanksgiving I gave a sneak peek preview and the feedback was great.  It was my first time displaying this work not on the computer screen. I got to sit back and watch and listen to how the photos effected the viewer.  It was thrilling.

Create connect and grow…..those words never seemed more true to me.

"Encores!" presents “Pittsburgh At Night”
A photography exhibit by John Craig

Join us for a memorable opening:
Date: 11/30/12
Time: 7:30
Place: 502 West North Ave
           PGH, PA 15212

P.S. The photo above was taken at this year's Pittsburgh Light Up Night 11/16/12



Current Reading: Bruce by Peter Carlin
Current Music: Love This Giant by David Byrne
Sounds: Blue-news TV
Smells: Clean house smell
Mood: Waiting to find out?
Temperature: 36 degrees
Thoughts:Vision is important!


Pittsburgh Light Up Night 11.16.2012

The March 1st workshop is filling up fast.  There is a strong interest in learning about after-capture post-production workflow.

If you have attended my previous workshops you may find the addition of the after-capture to be the missing key in taking your photography to the next level.

FYI: PGH@Night Photo Exhibit ~ (Info HERE)



Current Reading: Who Am I by Pete Townshend
Current Music: 5th House by Dominic Miller
Sounds: Coffee percolating
Mood: Better
Smells: Cold morning air mixed with coffee aroma
Temperature: 31 degrees
Thoughts: Should of told them 15 years ago.


Updates, Workshop & Exhibit

The March 1st workshop is filling up fast.  There is a strong interest in learning about after-capture post-production workflow.

If you have attended my previous workshops you may find the addition of the after-capture to be the missing key in taking your photography to the next level.

This photo will be on display in a 20x30 metallic print at my "PGH @ Night" exhibit.


VOTE:The World Must Be Ok

Reposting from 4yrs ago....seems appropriate.  The question that is asked in every election is "Is you life better now than it was four years ago?"  For me my answer is yes....I hope it is for you. 

The World Must Be Ok
(48 hr of perspective)

3pm Election Day November 4, 2008 – I voted for the first time. No long lines, no lines at all, no campaign supporters pushing pamphlets at me and no protesting crowds. Only two college kids guiding me through the election process. Not sure if I feel a sense of pride or disbelief that my vote will effect change positively.

7pm sitting in a bar waiting on election results. I ordered a draft beer. The bartender places the mug in front of me with an orange wedge on the brim of the glass and charges me $4.80. The patrons are talking about the NFL, pizza, and cheap gas prices and I just ordered a five-dollar beer. The world must be ok.

Twenty-one months of following this election, I just acted on my civic duty and I sit alone in a bar drinking overpriced draft beer. Watching the lives of other people I open my journal to write. Loud crash of breaking dishes from the back of the bar kitchen bring the crowd to a hush. Smiles, giggles and a sense of – glad I didn’t do that to bring life back into the clientele. The TV channel is turned from election coverage to college football reruns – the world must be ok.

7:30 pm I write a letter in my journal to my daughter. I title it “Life”, it’s a love letter of sorts with lessons that I hope to teach her. A little boy runs into the table at which I sit. He and his family are sitting across the room from me eating pizza. He asks me “watch you doing?” “Killing time”, I told him. He responded, “ok” then he ran back to his family and his pizza. Left the bar to pick up my wife. She was at a coffee house attending a meeting. I walk to the coffeehouse and order peppermint tea.

8pm voting polls close on the East coast and the first election results are in.

11:01 pm Barack Hussein Obama is our new president elect. “We the People”, the ancestors of the founding fathers of the constitution chose hope and change for our country. It feels good. The world must be ok.

11:30 pm I check on our sleeping daughter; so cute. She rocks herself gently from shoulder to shoulder when she is sleeping and wiggles her bum sometimes. I smile and try not to giggle aloud. I stand over her crib and I think about how she will never have to understand that the world she fell asleep in is not the world she will awake to. The world has lost enough, for this brief moment the veil has been lifted.

6am Wednesday the 5th woke to a new world. The TV reports that the world likes us again, even the French. The planet celebrates the U.S. president elect. Russia moves their military forces towards Poland. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivered an aggressive speech against the US.

12 noon, lunchtime, decide to listen to conservative Rush Limbaugh right wing radio (the day after the election) for the first time. I thought it would be fun. I read The New York Times, The Economist, I listen to independent local radio and I am a fan of Al Gore. Basically I am the poster boy for all things tagged liberal fascist. Personally I always thought of myself as a conservative in lifestyle and liberal in my judgment towards others. I pay my taxes and if you want to marry a man, woman, dog or tree I do not care. Truth be told, I care if it is my dog but that’s it. After taking in some of their views you can call me a tree hugging liberal fascist. Upon my death I will stand in front of my God and let her/him/it judge me. Rush Limbaugh is loud and angry – we’re a socialist country now, shouts through my speakers. It amazes me how devoted his audience is when his job title is “On Air Personality”. Journalism is dead and we can’t even blame Rupert Murdock.

3pm listened to the Sean Hannity conservative right wing radio show. Hannity is hoping for the resurrection of Ronald Regan. Based on how the world has treated the teachings of the last successful resurrection I hope Regan stays dead; let him go the way of Buddha, his teachings have not been as badly distorted. This is what I learned from a couple of hours of conservative “entertainment” radio – if you want to be a Christian Cowboy listen in. The world must be ok.

8pm attended a lecture at Heinz Hall in downtown Pittsburgh with my father. Not sure why I always refer to Pittsburgh as downtown. The lecture is given by Paul Rusesabagina, the humanitarian of Hotel Rwanda. 6am I awoke to hope, 8pm I am listening to a talk about the genocide of Rwanda, Africa. I sit and take note of the living history in the flesh standing in front of me talking about the power of words and peaceful dialogue (to understand Hotel Rwanda read this…).

Rusesabagina talks about disturbing observers; people who only scrutinize the events but cause no change. Media, United Nations, Foreign Governments; none of them are peacekeepers or peacemakers. The phrase “never again” becomes again and again and again throughout history. In our current time we had the Holocaust of the Jewish people in Germany, the genocide of Rwanda and Darfur in Africa.

10:30 pm Walk out of the lecture hall never more aware of the birthright I have due to the soil I was born upon. Citizen responsibility towards a global perspective on civility, equality and human rights needs to be held by all.

11:30 pm flipping through late night news I hear the blurb “there is no more right wing politics, there is no more left wing politics, there is only forward or backward politics.” I like that.

1pm Thursday 6th I start writing this

3pm I complete writing: the world must be ok.