Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve Hearts Of Darkness

E.A. 12/2010

W.A. 12/2010

T.A. 12 / 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Xmas Eve Snowman Cookie

Frosty The Red White and Blue Snowman, W.A. 12/ 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

End Of The Gauntlet Is Near

Elf On The Shelf, 12/2010

Have I ever mentioned that I hate this time of year? I feel like its something I tell everyone...there I am on the phone talking to my sister who has been in the hospital for months and I'm complaining about the holiday. Don't you have anything real to complain about? On the phone with Kate from Tidepool, telling her the same sentiment. Maybe you should keep these thoughts to yourself? It's just too much work!

Oh...but here we are...near the end. Let's try to enjoy it with photographs in the home stretch..more to come as we end the year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sex Story Suburban Dad Redux

With the holiday coming at us all with no brakes, no cushioning, no hesitation...its been a real treat to put together this story that has kept us busy and fascinated for the past 3 days. Gotta keep it kinda quiet until the issue is out of course...but two things stuck with me:

1. Make-up is the secret weapon to every great photograph.

2. Some things were just not meant to be photographed.

Details to follow.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Suburban Dad Shoots Sex Issue

The subject asked us to meet her at VIRACOCHA .
In the basement, before it was VIRACOCHA, animals were sacrificed for medicinal purposes.
Yesterday, it was our studio. We thought of E.J. Bellocq.
Shoot continues through out the week...more to come.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ECHOLILIA Installation at Union College

The ECHOLILIA installation that we hung in Live Worms last month is being reworked and reconfigured to hang in a show opening January 3rd at The Arts Atrium Gallery, Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. The show also includes work by artists Clarissa Amaral and Raymond Felix. Of course ya' all know I was born there, correct?

Exhibit Co-ordinator and Photographer Frank Rapant and I shared some sketches on what shape it would take in the new space. We have 30 feet of wall space really allowing the show to open up and spread its wings into something different. I did some drawings ( shown here ) and shared them with Frank who now is making the thing come to life. The added space allows the images to form a line, a sentence, a mathematical equation that can be read from left to right. The show at Live Worms was interesting...but I was never sure if it really worked or not. Now this is getting closer to something that really works for me. Exciting stuff. Frank is still messing with the hanging but sent me a jpg of it as it goes up, at bottom.

Work In Progress Photo By Frank Rapant

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Golden Age Of Photography

Kodak Ektachrome Film Hardener, 12/2010
I used to call it Photographer's Lighting, but I think its actually called Photographer's Supply.

It is the first camera store I ever went to in SF, after a guy at a lab suggested it to me, saying " is kind of punk rock in there..."

I walked in today and took some photographs with my phone.

I asked for some inkjet paper and purchased a pack of 25 sheets.
Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent, 12/2010
Photographer's Lighting, Supplies and Rental, 12/2010

Kodak Professional Indicator Stop Bath, 12/2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Misfit Cookies

Drunk and Dusty Reindeer by TA, 12/2010

Eye Rolling Ginger Man by EA, 12/2010

Deer In The Headlights by WA, 12/2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

See Saw Couch Makes Photograph

I just got this issue in the mail the other day with this shot we pulled off on a rainy day at Google. Exiting these shoots I always gotta ask myself some questions:
m m
Let's just say we didn't see this unusual piece of furniture on our way in? And then...let's just say that it was too heavy to move from it's original location to this clean space we wanted to shoot in...? And...oh, never mind. Sometimes you just use what you have and it all comes together...and is made complete by some inspired art direction on the spread. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stormy Day On The Penninsula

Last Thursday we learned that we love shooting in suburban garages and backlot barns filled with hay and wild animals. Who wouldn't? Kinda a top secret story, kinda on the hush let's just leave it at that for now....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Otto Bock Campaign / SF

Just got a chance to see the final spreads of our Otto Bock ad shot here in San Francisco back in September. Kent Brown and Cody McDonald were our subjects and the streets of San Francisco made up our set. Glad we got to shoot it out here before the rains kicked in. Great post production on these images executed by Steve Peters Digital also here in SF.

We are finishing up our next Otto Bock Relationships ad, shot in Chicago a few months back. Hope to see that released at the start of the new year...
The holiday gauntlet has begun...

Friday, December 3, 2010


Rainbow Drink, 2010 by Eli Archibald
The past 6 months really have been focused on all things ECHOLILIA...I probably don't even need to explain. Today is my son's 9th birthday so I thought it'd be appropriate to post a recent self portrait he did.
Tools: Iphone 4 with front facing camera and the Photoshop Express app.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Computer History 2010

How To Make A Fortune, 2010
Ericka Burchett was a photo pal in SF back in the era when transparency film was king and The New Lab was ground zero...remember that time? Wow. Now she is a photo editor at The Wall Street Journal. She called saying Hey....remember The Nerd Convention? Ericka had a story for me to work on that essentially gave me free run of the newly reconstructed Computer History Museum. What more could I want?

Here are some out takes from the shoot.


Saran Wrapped Computers, 2010
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The Proto-Type Pong, circa 1972, by Atari
The Godhead, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Colin Asks Some Questions

from "Sofa Portraits" by Colin Pantall

Psyched to see WIRED magazine's Rawfile take the time to shine a light on Colin Pantall's blog a few weeks back. "Get To Know Our Favorite PhotoBloggers" by Pete Brook directed all those not in the know to all that is Colin.

I was happy to answer some questions Colin threw at me the other day in the wake of ECHOLILA...and having worked similar photographic territory over the years, I knew he'd have some insights. We engaged and I learned something upon exiting. A snip of it below:

One thing someone did mention on the NYT’s letter section was that people shouldn’t romanticize the images. The story of a dad building an emotional bridge to his Autistic son is a very attractive one, but the reality of the relationship, how challenging it is on a daily basis, how it can still drive me crazy, is something I wish the project acknowledged a little more. The other week I found myself telling my wife that I wanted it to be more like the photographs were: dreamy, romantic, quiet, poetic, organic, this whole inner emotional journey where I was in control and he and I were equals.. She laughed and reminded me that it never really was like that. That was a fiction made out of the conflict….and it made some intriguing photographs. But the reality was always harder and messier. ---Interview with Colin Pantall 11/30/2010

Read It HERE.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fake Banksy / SF

On the wall at 16th and Hoff someone spraypainted a crude Banksy copy. Rough stencil, no real charm, but even in its copycat form it still did something for me. The image is like an exhale and carries just enough unanswered questions to allow you to project your own stuff into it.

At home I grab the Banksy book, Wall and Piece and look up the image. The caption reads:

When the time comes to leave, just walk away quietly and don't make any fuss.

What does it mean? It is one of those things that can relate to everything. Ending a project...realizing you are done. Starting something....that is hard...that's like giving birth...that is like pushing a rock up a hill. That is where all the effort is. Ending something....that should be like this. The thing has a life of its own you need to let it go.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Day After Thanksgiving

Big Dave, Wilson + Cheri, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 at the home of Thomas and Mercedes Broening. Is it an important chapter in the history of photography or is it simply a family gathering? Time will tell. Some of the history was made public HERE.

Why this now? Oh...I dunno. So much time is spent trying to push this ECHOLILIA thing...this elaborate family photograph that I'm trying to sell as Art. On the day after Thanksgiving I thought it would be fun to simply share some family snapshots and see what that was like.


Seating Placards By Emma Broening, 2010

Chloe back from Georgetown University, 2010
The Last Supper, 2010
Six Kids Watching Cake Boss, 2010
Total Eclipse Of The Moon Cheescake, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Day Before Thanksgiving

Wilson's Hair, 10/2010

I thought this was a work week...and for me it was, but really the holiday kicked in for everyone on Monday. The market was packed, kids were home from school ( not mine thank god ) and people were not picking up their phone. I have a massive spam campaign just waiting for the moment everyone lands back at their desks, FYI.

What are you thankful for? That's a question for Facebook, where instant gratification works it's charms most successfully. There is a restaurant here in SF that asks you a question like that before you order...and it always takes me by surprise...always makes me think. No answers here today.

Everyone by now has seen Damon Winter's Hipstamatic photographs from Afghanistan in the post Finding The Right Tool To Tell A War Story, on LENS correct? Even the most anti - Hipstamatic folk seemed to love these images. Take a look and read the dialogue HERE.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fingers 11/2010

Fingers, 11/2010

TA: What happened? It really was so easy for like, a long time, wasn't it?

CS: was.

TA: I liked it all better in the all looked so romantic and dreamy. I want that...

CS: It was never like that. I told you you were doing this to try to make it better for thought you could control the whole thing in the photographs. Make it like you wanted it to be. You forgot what it was really like.

TA: What about that guy who solved all his kid's problems with photography? Its in the paper now.

CS: Nope, thats just the story. This is what its really like. You just forgot.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Interview with Myself 11/2010

Q: Why did you publish a photo of a kid doing his homework?
A: That's my kid. He's not doing homework, he's signing the book we are selling. We both sign them when we sell them. He signs his name, I sign mine.
Q: I thought you guys already signed a bunch. What up?
A: Oh, we published 20 books, figured we'd sell 7 of them and then have the rest hanging around for Xmas gifts or something. We sold all of them!
Q: How did you do that?
A: We got lucky. Discover Magazine did a beautiful spread and story in their BRAIN issue. Then TIME did an online book excerpt and then the next week NYT's did a story on LENS, written by Jane Gross. News of the book spread out of the photo community and into the mainstream and we started to sell a bunch.
Q: Any memorable moments with all the media?
A: Yah. The most fascinating thing is all the response I've gotten from other parents who really see their own kid in the images Eli and I made. People sent me photographs of their kid, things their kid created, and these shots could have fit directly into my book. It was the same channel, the same manifestations.
Q: Did it make you think about this differently?
A: Yea, for sure. I think that really this ECHOLILIA thing I made photographs of is going on in every home of every family that has a kid like Eli. All I did is operate the camera a little more elegantly than the average parent who has a snapshot camera. I was there to document it, but all these other parents are seeing these things and feeling these things too.
Q: Any low points?
A: One Sunday afternoon CNN was promoting TIME's book excerpt and had turned my photograph " The Tooth Fairy, 2008" into a click here button.
Buy the second edition of ECHOLILIA/Sometimes I wonder HERE.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Football Legend Jim Plunkett

Had a good time with Stanford Magazine creative director Amy Shroads and writer Mike Antonucci at the home of football legend Jim Plunkett last month as the summer skidded to a halt. Read Mike's story "Heart Of A Legend" HERE.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chuck Close Up Close

I was in the library with my kids this weekend and found this book in the children's section: Chuck Close Up Close, by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. I grabbed it for them, but when I got home I realized it was really for me.
Maybe because its a kid's book, it really distills things down to the basics, but the important basics. How he started making art, the drive to make art, the drive to make art after adversity, and the hunger for the creative process. If this was a book for adults, I think it would devolve into gossip, name dropping, who he was getting it on with, who he partied with, etc. As a kids book, it really is in its pure state.
There is really nothing more I want to say...I don't want to do a review...I just want to share my enthusiam here. I'd recommend any creative out there to grab it and dig in.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fantastic Sensory Spaces / Review

Found this review tonite on the blog The Beaker Kids, with a title so appropriate I wish I wrote it myself:

Fantastic Sensory Spaces #2 : ECHOLILIA

Timothy Archibald's haunting photography of his son creates fantastic sensory spaces for our imagination.
Archibald's lastest book, Echolilia, is a play on a word often heard in Autism circles: echolalia, the mockingbird speech that substitutes for original language --"What ice cream do you want?" "What ice cream do you want?"

As an artist, Archibald easily slips into that half-world of alternate reality --the space between the echos-- appreciating and documenting where vacuum hoses are likely telephones and metal trash bins are ironic space helmets incapable of protecting us from loud alien appliances.

The photography became a mode of communication between father and son: ecolilia, Archibald's play on the word:

Around the time Elijah turn 5 we started making photographs together. I’d kind of initiate it with some direction, he’d do something that seemed unexpected…something I’d never have been able to think of…we’d look at the images together on the digital camera and try to refine them…try to improve them, try to take them in other directions. The idea of turning the creative control over to a child, while I operated the camera, allowed me to make images that seemed to have this sense of discovery to me. There was also alot going on at the time with Elijah…behavior things that we couldn’t make sense of.

"Play" is the operative word, because even though much of Archibald's work appears somber and dreamy, this is exactly the kind of play enjoyed by many kids with heightened sensory perception. By incorporating Elijah's self-chosen scanned images of himself and everyday ephemera, the collaboration becomes a high-concept floortime "circle of communication" exercise.

Archibald and his son capture the visual vocabulary of spectrum life. I've always felt autism's gift was the redefinition of language, and I've never seen if so beautifully expressed than here.

Visit The Beaker Kids HERE.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Photo Nerds Out Of Control, Redux

SZ, Susanna and TA behind the camera, 9/2010

Last year I created a post titled Out Of Control Photo Nerds...see it HERE.
I've always been a big fan of the work of Brian Ulrich. When we came upon this empty Circuit City outside of Minneapolis, we could not resist the chance to geek out as only photo nerds can.

Circuit City, 2008 from Dark Stores by Brian Ulrich