Saturday, January 30, 2010

This Morning

After not having used the Hassleblad together in a few months, my son Eli busted it out this morning and shot this polaroid of me with my phone. He wanted a new shot for his blog.
He is into texting and wanted a shot of someone texting, but asked me to look at the camera. We shoot it, he makes one exposure, we open the polaroid and were both were like " really beautiful..."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

In The Cafeteria

I was at the bank the other day and found this copy on the coffee table while I was waiting to open an account. Spectrum Magazine photo editor Randi Silberman had the idea of photographing the director of HP Labs Prith Banerjee in the company cafeteria because he really is a "man of the people" style CEO. The p.r. folks needed some convincing...but we really couldn't provide a good enoug reason to them for this approach. In the end I think they were so confused by the request they just surrendered. I never usually like the results of shooting these corporate guys, the shots always seem so "us and them". But this shot I kinda like. Sitting across the table from anyone really just seems to level the playing field and loosens everyone up.

Friday, January 22, 2010

4 Kino Flos Should Do It, Right?

I just got this issue of INC magazine in the mail today with our story on Yelp.
Travis from INC called, looking for us to put together a photo shoot of 48 people from Yelp to convey this idea that the Yelp critics were everywhere, all among us...they were us.
It's exciting and intense to put together a logistical photo shoot like this. The key is to have a crew experienced in mass hypnosis and mind control: you get there early, set up two sets, one for the cover, one for the big group shot. Light each one, try to humanize yourself to the guys in the shot, shoot the cover, test the light for the group, Amos starts hypnotizing the masses, brings them in and arranges them, massive large scale mind control, shoot the group, shoot the late comers, comp things up, see if it fits, eat food, drink a beer, its a wrap!
For some reason I had it in my head that I'd be able to light the masses in some controlled manner, sculpting them all with Kino Flo's. Stylist Shannon Amos later reported laughter coming from the adjoining studios: Kino Flos? For 48 people? Hahahahahahahaha...
Fortunately someone walked into the studio to say hello and told us how to light this thing. Fenn, Poling, Amos, Sjoen all join forces and made this thing work out...! It's so great to be surrounded by so much talent on all of these shoots.

almost everybody all at once.
Jeremy Stoppelman, easiest guy i ever photographed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rainy Day Project

Taking a tip from diy photographer TB, i'm playing with stuff in my office trying to see what comes of it. You just build it, leave it up, revisit it when the light is right...such a different shift in gears from the performance quality that photo shoots usually have. Here is some of the stuff and a sleeping styrofoam head during a break in the experiment.
That's all for today.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What's Going On

So much stuff going on, hard to get it all done...but bunkering down amidst the biblical storms that are hitting the Bay Area make it easy to stay inside and get stuff done. At least as long as kids are at school or at the movies watching 2012 . ( as if! they wish! )
Messing around with shooting a portfolio piece in my office of all places...more on that tommorrow. Or when I get it done...and then excited to be preparing for a group show in March at Videotage Limited in Kowloon, Hong Kong curated by Isaac Leung. More on that as we get closer. We'll show large 40 x 40 images, above and below are some of the contenders.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I really don't love hunting around prop places...I love leaving it to the professional stylists and letting them do their thing...its just too many options and I can't think straight.
But all these phones seemed to tell the story of America or something...I had to share.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tidepool Show at Ignited

Love seeing this:
Kate and Brooke of Tidepool Reps showing the work of their artists this afternoon at Ignited in LA with an invitation featuring a shot from Echolilia. It's Art and Commerce, all right there together. And free food too...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Research : Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick's typewriter and mug, courtesy of the PKD Foundation
Working on a photograph that is about/includes author Philip K. Dick and wanted to fill in some blanks I had about him. Found this photo above and paragraphs below...thought you all might enjoy 'em:

Born December 16, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois, science fiction author Philip Kindred Dick started off his life with the same disturbing, high-intensity noir eeriness that would later mark his novels and short fiction. Born in a set of twins, Dick was tragically separated from his other half after a mere eight weeks when she died from an (alleged) allergy to her mother's milk. Dick bitterly blamed his mother for the bizarre development, and his lingering suspicion about the way his twin dwindled from the world of the living would leave a deep wound that he carried for the rest of his life. His parents split up when he was quite young, and he was subsequently uprooted and relocated with his mother to Berkeley, California -- where he would remain for much of his life.

Writing like a man possessed, he was ever haunted by the specter of poverty, receiving little payment for his 150 short stories and 36 novels. The need for cash, and the availability of cheap speed, fueled his incredible productivity. In one year alone he produced roughly 30 stories for science fiction pulp magazines like Astounding and Amazing, generally powering through his stories at the rate of 80 to 100 words per minute. Dick said of himself, "The words come out of my hands, not my brain," and, "I write with my hands."

PKD ( left ) and a family friend

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mother + Son / Psychology Today

Shayne Hughes and his Mother in the Guest Room, San Rafael, CA 10/09

I love big productions.
But sometimes it is just me and a camera and we are looking for the light and a relationship...and that's all the photograph needs. This was shot for a story titled "Mother Damned-est" in Psychology Today, looking at challenging parent/child relationships. Expecting something challenging myself, I got to witness a super honest relationship between Shayne and his Mom, something these folks put the work into to enjoy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Rebecca Horne : Domestic Manifestations

Rebecca Horne has been doing a bunch of images I can only describe as "domestic manifestations", but she probably calls them something else. She's been just kind of creating them and posting them on her blog...a work in progress that is great to see coming together and evolving. Some of the images are finished, and others are like the sketches that lead to the final image, and its just great to see the process.
What is this work all about? Domestic themes, theatrical body parts and the kitchen table all seem to be the cast of characters and theatre in which this all takes place. A gallon of milk becomes this frozen heart, a pair of high heels come off as a smirking take on lust and a phallic breadstick seems to represent the role of man. Arms and legs appear out of nowhere, practicing proper manners and acting out the parts of the play Horne is directing.
Tune in now cuz it looks like she is in one of those bubbles of high looks like its all just flowing out of her. Read about some of my favorites: here, here, and here.

all photographs by rebecca horne

Thursday, January 7, 2010

In NY: The Empathetic Photographer Class

My plan, once this commercial shooting thing is over, is to open up a school to teach whacked-out photo philosophy to like minded kids. Un-accredited of course...who needs a degree in photography anyhow? But before I was able to launch this plan, out of NY we have Thatcher Keats offering up The Empathetic Photographer Class.

The Empathetic Photographer Class:
The class will begin Wednesday, January 27th, 2010.
The class will run for 8 weeks.Your Host and professor is Thatcher Keats
Issues of technical competence, aesthetic concerns, differing lives in photography, artistic deficiencies, as well as the issue of exploitation and empathy will be addressed through discourse, presentation, and critique sessions.
Thatcher Keats has exhibited at ClampArt, The Christopher Henry Gallery, The National Arts Club, and Fashion Moda, among others. hosts a portfolio of his work.

Keats has been a guest of Yaddo, and has published a book, Confidence Games, in 2006.

Keats has taught publicly and privately in New York for four years, including at the International Center of Photography in 2010.

Please call @ 347-728-1141, or send an email to to reserve a spot.
Photograph by Thatcher Keats

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Camera Phone Poem

I was eager to leave town on Monday.
6 hour drive in fog.
I saw a Kiss Pinball Machine
I ate breakfast in a disco.
Sunrise over I-405



Monday, January 4, 2010

Best Photo Book Of 09 : Andrew Bush / Drive

Man driving west at 23 mph down a yet-to-be-named dirt road, around lunchtime, during a construction boom in Las Vegas in June of 1989.
In early September I got an invitation from M+B Gallery in LA for a forthcoming exhibition titled Andrew Bush / Vector Portraits. I loved the title of the exhibition, and here on the invite were 5 horizontal photographs of people driving. I immediately liked these images. They were so obvious, but really held my attention...I couldn't stop looking at them. Did a quick search, realized a book was out and in this terrible economy ( personal and global ) did something I never do: fired away and ordered it. It held this vibration that made me think there really was something there.

Here's the concept: images of people driving made between 1989-1997. Like other projects such at Meetings by Paul Shambroom, it gains its power due to repetition. But there is something going on here with the minimalism: a driver, the metal wall of the car, the paint color, the backround. That is all the information we have. But looking at the images one after another, the whole project takes on epic proportions. The color of paint on metal starts to mean everything. Simple relationships become grand. Big questions come to mind....its so hard to explain who this simple series seems to become transcendent. I feared it was only me, but everyone I've shown it to ( photogs, artists, the Fedex Guy,etc...) seems to respond similarly to it.

Man going northeast at 71 mph on Interstate 40 outside of Phoenix on a Monday morning in January 1991
Like Mark Rothko paintings or some other more abstract artform, it just seems to be a series that holds and reveals the secrets. The images from this project are like the things you see out of the corner of your eye while driving, now fixed and able to be studied and pondered. And the span of time he worked on the images was so impressive to me: 89-97, and they all carry the consistency of vision that make it seem like they could have been shot all in one year.

Unfortunately the book form lost the title "Vector Portraits" for the less esoteric title "Drive". Small complaint and I'm sure marketing steered that decision. But I can get past that. See more work from Andrew Bush HERE. Buy the book HERE.

All photographs copyright Andrew Bush.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


The blog went quiet over the holiday...nothing really to transmit, no one out there to read it. Lots of stuff on the blog this week ahead...
Excited to be back and see what comes of 2010. With radical positive things happening with my agents Tidepool Reps there already is a shot of adrenaline into the year. Getting to escape to sunny Los Angeles for a day on a very human shoot, its a good way to start the week, start the year, all of that.
Over the holiday I discovered the work of Alexandre Lobanov ( 1924-2002) featured in the book Create And Be Recognized, an anthology edited by John Turner and Deborah Klochko. As if any of us ever thought we were original and edgy, it all seems silly in relation to Lobanov.

I loved his work so much I had to share it is the reason to buy the book. I think the book is out of print, but I found it at Half Price Books. Read about Lobanov HERE.

all photographs by Alexandre Lobanov