The Morris Performing Arts Center

The Morris Performing Arts Center
Kodak EasyShare Z730

I don’t know which of my photographs are good, but I do know which ones please me. This one pleases me for its bold colors, especially the blue sky and the red awnings on the building. I also like its composition, with the corner of the building roughly on the left vertical 1/3 line. I wish that stoplight wasn’t intruding from the right. I remember well, even though I made this photo 14 years ago, that I couldn’t find a pleasing angle on the building that also eliminated that stoplight.

For years, I’ve placed into this Flickr album the photos that please me most. Now I’m beginning to print them and put them in an archival box. I’ve wanted to do this for years, but as is typical with me I put it off thinking I lacked the time. Margaret bought me a nice box at Father’s Day, which nudged me to start.

I’m printing these photos on 8×10 paper without cropping them from their original aspect ratios. I’m uploading the digital files to Costco, which doesn’t have a native way to do what I want. So I’m editing each file in Photoshop first, adding white space around each image to expand it to the 4×5 aspect ratio. Costco prints them that way just fine, on Fuji Crystal Archive paper with what they call a “lustre” finish, which seems to be another way of saying “matte.”

I bought some acid-free interleaving paper from B&H to place between each photograph in the box. I also bought some Stabilo All pencils from Amazon so I could write key details on the back, the same details I write under each photo in this “single frame” series. A regular #2 pencil doesn’t leave a good mark on the photo paper, but the Stabilo All pencil does.

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.


22 responses to “single frame: The Morris Performing Arts Center”

  1. fishyfisharcade Avatar

    It’s a good idea to make prints, and one that I rarely act on sadly. I occasionally stick a bunch of photos on a memory stick and get some machine prints made. – just random stuff which pleases me – but I don’t really do much with them. The area where I lack the most is making prints of family pictures – they’re the ones that will really count. The stuff I photograph for pleasure makes me happy, but I doubt my family will be as enamoured with it versus photos of us all together and doing stuff. I really need to pull my finger out before the task becomes too big.

    This was a real benefit of film in the pre-digital, pre-Photoshop days – you always got a pack of prints. There’s a joy to flicking through physical prints that doesn’t feel the same when using a screen.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I still have all of my prints from when I started making photos, 1976, to about 1994 when I stopped. I married a professional photographer whose candid family snapshots blew away anything I could ever do, so I ceded all photography to her. The only exception was when she set her everyday camera, a K1000, and handed it to me to make a photo so she could be in it!

      Honestly, schlepping around all of those prints is kind of a pain. Yet I’m unwilling to get rid of a single one of them, even one that didn’t turn out well.

      1. Khürt L Williams Avatar

        The photo of the Morris Performing Arts Center is beautiful Jim.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Thank you! It remains one of my favorites.

  2. brandib1977 Avatar

    I need to get back into making prints. Digital files are nice but you can’t delightedly sift through a box of digital files.

    Sadly, future generations won’t know the joys of siting down with grandma’s photo album to see photos of their parents in those “weird clothes” and all the moments that mean so much to us today. I was part of a conversation recently where someone was recounting their project – scanning old photos so they could throw away the originals. I nearly died at the very thought. But to them, their parents’ photo albums just represented paper clutter.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      In a way, old photos are paper clutter. Where do you put them all? On the other hand, if you scan them and throw away the prints, yours will be the last generation that ever sees them. I don’t think anybody is going to go through Grandpa’s hard drive to see what photos are on it.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar


  3. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Nice color and contrast here!

    Until my Mom passed in 2011, I used to walk around with an Olympus point-and-shoot camera and film in my pocket all the time, got prints made, and put them in a series of scrapbooks. Lost heart after she passed, and was too busy for over a year fixing up the house for sale, looking for a professional level job again, etc.

    When I investigated going back to doing this type of thing, it seemed like I could only get similar quality work by spending hours on a computer trying to get the digital output to emulate what I was simply getting out of film. I didn’t get into photography 35 years before to make computer work the major point of the process, in fact, I don’t even like computer work. So, never really went back…

    To Brandi B’s point, the print is the thing, and future generations will only know the joy of the work by seeing your output in physical form. I suggest all interested parties to find a source for prints and figure out how to make prints you like!

    I’ve commented repeatedly on many photo related sites, if I died in my apartment tomorrow, someone with little knowledge might think that my transparencies and negatives, (and photo collections) in boxes on my shelves, might have some value and they better talk to someone to see what to do with them, but no one, and I mean no one, is going to spend time looking through my computer or detachable storage drives to assess the value of what’s on there, it’s junk, and it’s junk because it has no physical aspect.

    My Mom had been shooting digital for ten years before she died, and even we couldn’t spend the time to figure out how to get into her computer and see if there was anything of value, we just pulled the internal hard drive and destroyed it, and hauled the rest to the city electronics recycling center.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve made some lovely prints from images I shot with my trusty Canon S95 digital. They don’t look like film, but I don’t try to make them — I accept that they are digital photos.

      Agreed: nobody is going to sort through your computer to find if there are any photos on there. Good heavens, if someone actually did that on my computer after I’m gone they’d find 25,000 (as of today) image files there and throw up their hands and give up.

  4. Marc Beebe Avatar

    I like that building.
    As for prints … I have maybe half a dozen of mine on walls. Why so few? Because they are transient like everything else. I know because thousands of my printed photos are long gone now. Not out of choice, but because it’s what happens.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve thought perhaps I would set up some frames matted to 8×10 and rotate photos through them. I have too much existing art on the walls and not enough space for a lot more.

      1. Marc Beebe Avatar

        I like the digital photo frames, but they are a lot of money for a good sized one. As it is I think we have to look on photography like preparing a good meal; we know it will be gone at some point so we should enjoy the process as well as the end result for however long it lasts.

  5. Rick Avatar

    That really is some nice architecture. You caught it at a great time of the day with the shadows gently falling on that left side. And to think it came from a Kodak Easyshare.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The EasyShare Z730 was a terrific point-and-shoot for its time. The one I used to make this actually died this day later on this road trip – I stumbled and fell and the camera hit the ground hard and that was that — so I replaced it with a used one, which I still have. It still does nice work. I last used it last summer:

  6. marcusterrypeddle Avatar

    I thought it was a photo from Europe at first glance. That’s a beautiful building and the light makes it even nicer.
    Except for my wife, I have no family or close friends here in Korea. I have some 8×10 prints of my best photographs and all my photos are very neatly organised on my hard drive. But I know that when both of us are gone all my pictures, paper and digital, will end up in a landfill. I guess the only things that will survive are the framed photos I sold at my exhibition some years ago and maybe a copy of the magazine I self-published.
    Here’s an even sadder story. When my grandmother died my aunt inherited everything, including the house. She immediately stripped out everything and got rid of it, including a large number of photos from the 40s, 50s, and 60s that were in an end table. I don’t know if she asked anyone if they wanted the pictures or not. Probably not, because she moved in all in a hurry.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That’s a real shame about the family photographs your aunt disposed of. I’ve heard other similar stories – someone ought to study how families behave when parents die; there are probably patterns to the behavior.

  7. lasousa2015 Avatar

    Great image.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you!

  8. Roger Meade Avatar
    Roger Meade

    That’s a beautiful shot of a great looking building! I have noticed that some of your recent shots are taken in the morning or evening, in low angle light. That gives them a much nicer look in my opinion. That is part of the appeal of this photo.

    As to the comments about the vulnerability of digital images- I have to agree. My older brother had some old family photos digitized on his computer, and he would occasionally send me one vie email. Some of them were treasures. I have to imagine he had more that I didn’t see, but he died several years ago in a distant state and I have no idea what happened to his hard drive.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Roger! I made this photo on my US 31 road trip in 2007 — it’s a genuine oldie from my archive!

      Here’s hoping my printed archive will be something my children will appreciate when I’m gone.

  9. Sam Avatar

    What a magnificent building! Great pic!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s a jewel in my home town. I’ve gotten to go to a few events there and it’s as stunning inside as out.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.