Brian Barber Posts

Five Years of Selective Focus

Five years ago, on Nov. 21, 2014, Selective Focus was launched on Perfect Duluth Day as a weekly photo-submission series. Tim White coordinated and curated the series, announcing a word or theme, then he posted submitted photos related to the theme. The first post was sparked by the word “Randomness.”

Below are some other highlights from the first iteration of Selective Focus.

Selective Focus: “Everyday Mayhem” by Kip Praslowicz



Photographer Kip Praslowicz has a show opening Thursday, November 21 at the Kruk Gallery on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Much of his work has a very matter-of-fact feeling to it, a straightforward documentation of places, people and scenes. But there is a dry sense of humor in his work, especially when taken in as a larger collection. This week we get a preview of the show, and hear how the pieces for the show were chosen.

Was there a criteria for the images selected for this show?

1) The exposure made sometime between 2010 and 2019
2) The exposure was made on color, medium format film. 6x6cm or 6x9cm

Selective Focus: Amnicon Falls State Park

For this edition of “Selective Focus,” we share images from Instagram of Amnicon Falls State Park, located about 20 miles southeast of Downtown Duluth.

Selective Focus: Lance T. Karasti

Lance Karasti has been making independent films for several years, experimenting with techniques for shooting, writing and different ways of approaching the entire filmmaking process. He’s an active enthusiast in the arts in town, and he’s preparing for another variation in style and process for his current project. This week he tells us about his films, and his fundraising campaign.

LTK: I am an independent feature filmmaker. I am currently developing a style of filmmaking called “hypernaturalism.”

I started developing this style halfway through shooting my 2016 project Artificial. Artificial was being shot with a traditional process but I found myself rewriting the scenes every morning before shooting. By the halfway point I just told the actors to stop worrying about the scripts and be prepared to come up with stuff on the spot. While a part of this was due to realizing a lot of my written dialogue was amateur, it was mostly because it had become necessary for the authenticity of the narrative. As written, the film was about stuff I didn’t know and hadn’t experienced. The process of shooting it was like adapting it into something honest and reflective. Rewriting the scenes everyday had caused me to change the course of the film so much that completely improvising was the only way to adapt to the thematic shifts.

Halloween Banners

ZombieBanner-Call

Got a great costume this year, or been to a good Halloween party already? We want to see your creepy, comical, kooky Halloween photos. And we’d love to add them to the banner rotation — the long skinny photos at the top of the page when you view Perfect Duluth Day on a desktop computer. (There are no photo banners if you are on a smartphone.)

Keep in mind, the proportions are extremely horizontal, so not every photo works when cropped. Click here for complete submission guidelines, but the basics are: 1135 pixels wide by 197 pixels high, e-mail them to [email protected].

If you’re not able to crop and size them, send the full image and we’ll do our best to crop it into a banner.

Selective Focus: Heavy Rain and High Wind

The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood advisory until 10 p.m. tonight. Duluth city staff issued a news release reminding the public not to drive through standing water, and keep a safe distance from the shoreline.

Selective Focus: William A. Irvin on the Move

The SS William A. Irvin was moved back to the Minnesota Slip yesterday evening after being worked on at Fraser Shipyards in Superior since September 2018. The ship began its trip from Fraser at 5:30 p.m. and arrived at the Minnesota Slip bridge at 8:30 p.m. It took more than two hours to guide the big boat through the narrow blue bridge back to its permanent home. Here are a few views of the process, via Instagram.

Selective Focus: Matthew Dressel

Matthew Dressel is a Duluth filmmaker, screenwriter and movie enthusiast. He has served as host and festival director to the Duluth Superior Film Festival, and like most movie makers, seems to always have something in the works. This week in Selective Focus, we hear about some current and past projects, and challenges of putting work out to a YouTube audience.

MD: For as long as I can remember I’ve primarily considered myself to be a screenwriter. The problem with screenwriting, however, is that you need to wait for people to see it. This can take years and, for some, may never happen at all. So it’s a lot of waiting with potentially no pay-off. So along the way, I try to make things when I’m able. Up until recently, this has meant making short films, but this past year I’ve gotten into creating my own web series called The Pilot is Dead.

Selective Focus: Benjamin Olson

Benjamin Olson has a show of his photography opening tonight (Friday, Oct. 4) at Tettegouche State Park. It’s a perfect setting for his images that focus on wildlife and nature. His photos make you feel like you’re witnessing a spectacular, brief moment that takes patience and persistence to find.

BO: I am a photographer, specializing in nature and conservation. It was through my background in both science and art that I was able to bridge the gap between two separate fields to help communicate environmental issues at hand.

Selective Focus: Fall Colors 2019

Fall in Minnesota is just the best. Here’s proof.

Track the progression of fall and peak color at the DNR Fall Color Finder website.

Selective Focus: Keefography

There’s no shortage of subjects to shoot in our area, and photographer John Keefover is taking them all in. From landscapes to live performances to product shots, he’s turning out stunning images regularly, and always working on sharpening his skills.

JK: My name is John Keefover. I’m a Freelance Photographer here in Duluth going by the name of Keefography. I created this small photography business recently in May of 2019. Since then I’ve been extremely grateful for all of the support I’ve been shown starting this new venture. Though I’m humbled by the realization that there’s always room for improvement every time you pick up a camera, and also because of my self-deprecating humor. I think that latter part is mostly just a by-product of being a Vikings fan, or rather a Minnesota sports fan in general… Anyways, as a freelance photographer I dabble in a wide variety of genres including (but not limited to):

Landscapes. Northern Minnesota is beautiful, offering some of the best hiking trails in the area with the Superior Hiking Trail that follows along the North Shore. I enjoy being out in nature and sharing my experiences with others, often times with a short story to go along the image to really pull you into the scene. Landscape photography is great because no matter how many times you go to a location it’s always different. There’s lighting ranging from sunrise to sunset with cloud cover that brings various colors and moods. The unpredictable Lake Effect weather can also bring massive waves, Northern Lights, lightning, blizzards, rainbows, and other unique situations. The different seasons and transitions in between add a whole new dimension as well. Get outside and enjoy it as much as you can or follow me for the next best thing!

Selective Focus: Duluth Then & Now

Even if you’re not a history nerd, you’ve got to admire the effort put into finding and recreating these photos and the point of view. The images are from John McLoughlin’s @duluth_then_and_now account on Instagram.

Selective Focus: Quinn Montgomery

This week, we feature the youngest Selective Focus artist so far, Quinn Montgomery. She has been drawing caricatures of celebrities. Many are from shows that she most likely can’t watch for quite awhile. We get some background info from her dad, Derek Montgomery (previously featured in Selective Focus). For now, you can keep up with Quinn’s art career via her dad’s Instagram Feed. Be sure to check the second picture in each Instagram post to see the reference material with the finished drawing.

DM: I started documenting our daughter Quinn’s drawings as just a way to remember some of the things she was doing at her age, which is four years old. I found her style of drawing–large head with The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Jack Skellington-length arms and legs–as really humorous and fun. She’s always been very perceptive and expressive and the drawings are just an extension of that. I work from home and Quinn would bring me drawings every day of stuff she saw around the house or outside to cheer me up because apparently I needed that? I don’t know, but I always appreciated seeing her take on the world out here in Lakeside.

Selective Focus: Graham Burnett

Graham Burnett operates Graflex Parts, a business that restores and repairs antique cameras. Film isn’t dead, and there are a number of people who still take on the challenges of photography without a phone or SD card. He works on medium and large format cameras that shoot one sheet of film at a time, and definitely don’t fall into the “point and shoot” category. It can take months to do the repairs, custom-build parts and fine-tune the mechanics.

GB: I do repair and modification work to antique cameras, with a specialty in a several types of high-end professional cameras dating from 1900-1950. I’m a sort of “custom design shop” but for 100-year-old cameras. The kind I work on are all considered “Large Format” and produce images that can be up to 8 inches by 10 inches wide. I found my way to this niche of photography and cameras through my own progression as a photographer. I had a few specific preferences for what kind of cameras I liked and what sort of image I was trying to create with it; inevitably it lead me to antique cameras. Every artist has tools and my clients are mainly working professionals with a distinct goal in mind, using their cameras for anything from fine art to wedding photography. I often do conversions of cameras allowing them to accept accessories or lenses meant for entirely different camera systems.

Selective Focus: Beer Porn

Instagram loves a nice sexy photo of a beer can on the beach, a bottle glistening in the sun on a handsome patio, a plastic growler propped just right on a canoe. Here are a few recent ones.

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