Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Heather Morton of popular blog HMAb has always seemed to be curious about my work and of course I appreciate the attention.
In a post titled Taboos in 2008, HM first discussed the pros and cons of Echolilia and it really made me think. The project was at an early stage, the tone was really just forming. This quote from her stuck in my head:
I think there is something voyeuristic about the work without a doubt. We are seeing very private moments laid bare. I see an obsession here and maybe more so in Timothy’s case a reluctant and volatile partnership between him and his son.
I read that and I kinda felt a mix of emotions. A little guilty and a little psyched. I liked the idea that relationships can be complex, and I thought she was seeing it that way.
Today in The Lounge she opens a dialogue with Echolilia and the intimate photographs of Daniel Peet.
"Evidence" by Daniel Peet
Monday, December 14, 2009
Last post we got into the photographs of Schenectady, N.Y. shot in the 1970's by photographer Jeff Lansing.m
I'm interested in the creator behind the images. I just don't want to see someone's great photographs....I always want to know about the life...what were they doing at this point in their life when they were doing this work? I sent him a note about what he was up to during the time period that he did this project. He responded below:
TA: What were you doing at the time you shot the Schenectady series? Were you teaching? Shooting commercially? A student?
JL: I was a photographer working for a company called Tri-City Photographics back then, shooting truckloads of GE plastics parts. A fun job and I learned a lot. In my free time I wandered around Schenectady shooting with an old Yashicamat and an even older Canon rangefinder. I think everything I know about photography I discovered on those walks around the old neighborhoods of Schenectady.
TA: Whose work were you looking at...like who do you think was influencing you?
JL: I was a huge Edward Weston fan in those days. I lived in Monterey for a year and would drive down to Pt Lobos as often as possible to photograph. Seems obvious to me now I was channeling Walker Evans in the Schenectady photos. Beyond that I pretty much worked in a vacuum. The New Topographics is cutting edge to me.m
Eventually I realized how ill suited I was for a life as a professional photographer (I'm not nearly aggressive enough) so I did the next best thing: I became a state worker. 30 years as a photographer for a state agency- paid the bills and helped me raise a family but kind of boring. I have always continued to work on personal projects, these are the things that keep me sane I think.
TA: What are you up to these days?
JL: The Schenectady project is a trip back. I tried to scan as much as possible before I retired since I don't have a film scanner at home. I was surprised at the results. Pleased really with how well the images held up after all these years.
Now that I'm retired I'm more involved than ever. I try to work close to home and make images of the world I live in. Currently I'm working on a similar project on the city of Rensselaer which has the same feel of an old city with established neighborhoods. I'm fascinated with what people do with their little 70 x 150 lots, and I love to witness how they make it their own and how their personality shows though their property.
Looking back (although I'm not done looking ahead yet), in a subtle way I suppose photography has been the thread that has tied it all together.
Photograph copyright Jeff Lansing. See Jeff Lansing's photography HERE.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I lived in Rotterdam N.Y. which was on top of what we called Broadway Hill.
I lived in Rotterdam N.Y. which was on top of what we called Broadway Hill.
Schenectady N.Y. was the city, and it existed on the bottom of the Hill. Rotterdam held the suburbs and the supermarkets. Schenectady held all of the secrets, the real life, the things I only glimpsed from the car windows when I was growing up. As a young student of photography, riding my bike into downtown Schenectady was like entering every Dorthea Lange photograph, every Walker Evans photograph...the entire Farm Security Administration project could have been photographed there...or so I thought. It was a wonderful place to learn how to photograph.
The other day photographer Jeff Lansing shares his images with me via the blog. And here it is, directly downloaded from my brain: Schenectady N.Y. in the 1970's, photographed by a photographer with a true appreciation and inner sense of this place. It's as if I found this photographer and asked him to interpret my memories of this town. And here are these memories handed to me in silver prints in the photographs of Lansing.
I've tried to thank him for sending the link to his work and haven't been able to reach him...so I respectfully hope it is ok with him to share his work in this manner.
See more of his work HERE
all photographs copyright Jeff Lansing
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I forgot to mention in the post below that the book will not be mine in a matter of days, so I'd like one of you out there to buy it for me...if you really enjoy the blog, you know?
Above is the holiday spam being launched to creatives everywhere in a matter of moments, stealth programming allowing it to avoid all spam filters. If you can get some joy out of it, please do. My apologies if you see these things as an annoyance.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I bought This Disturbed Land by Arthur Tress from Blurb as and Xmas gift for a friend but had it delivered to my house so I can check it out. First Blurb book I ever bought. Just wonderfull. I think Blurb got better, the paper got better, something happened...its just feels totally there. If I saw this in a museum bookstore I'd buy it in a second.
Why is there no Echolilia book? Oh, I just can't deal with it...I just can't finish it. But this makes me want to revisit the Blurb version again and work out the details.
Buy This Disturbed Land HERE.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Early In The Shoot, 8 ft Kino Flos
We did this massive photo shoot, but I think we were all so busy once the subjects showed up we don't have images of the masses we had to photograph...we only have shots of ourselves in the big open whiteness of Left Space Studios in SF.
Truth be told I had no idea how I was going to execute this massive photo shoot involving 45 people, but the photo editor seemed to trust me to come up with a plan.
So what was my plan? I think it was to essentially hire all the people that I always do who are so good at what they do and let them do their thing. Amos, Sz, Sjoen,Wong, and master of light, the new secret weapon Shaun Fenn.
Rocky start of the day, when our assumptions on how to make this image were not really working out. It just wasn't looking good. The masses are coming...they are in the hall....we just don't have it nailed down yet....a kind of panic seeps in. But I have this crew...they know how to do things. Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut, let them do their thing, and I'll go socialize with the subjects and try to get them comfortable with me. Will that work? It did.
With these large complex shoots, it does make me wonder: is it really just about hiring the people who know how to do the work? Is it that easy? You are the photographer, you do something as insignificant as push the button on an electronic device, as everyone else is doing complex and elaborate technical and social engineering to pull off the shot! Can I really take credit for this image? It really took everyone.
End of Shoot, The Large Whiteness of Left Space
Thursday, December 3, 2009
AAU Crew, 12/2/09
Let's see. I thought I had a "crew". Here in my 2 car garage office we have 3 cameramen, a sound guy, a director and photographer Jason Langer. And outside in the driveway we got the Academy of Art University van complete with a 1 800 phone number in case you gotta call urgently for an art education or something? 1 800 544 ARTS?
But of course these guys were super to work with. Got to talk about the trying to get the Sex Machines book deal and got to show Echolilia prints. J.L. did the asking and I did the anwering. Also got to view Jason's current project which was great to see as well. Good dialogue with an interesting artist and the sun was shining and then there were bagels...I think it was a good day.
The AAU Crew Van
Jason Langer 12/2/09
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
What is going on?
Fun few days ahead: Wednesday artist and educator Jason Langer coming to visit and create an educational video on the making of Sex Machines: Photographs and Interviews for The Academy of Art University.
What will he think of my home? My kids running around screaming?
And then we are producing a very ambitious...um....group photograph...that we got the dream team and then some on...and we are shooting that on Thursday at Left Space Studio...above.