Monday, January 31, 2011

Harry & Aberforth

Harry: It's...he left me a job.
Aberforth: Did he now? Nice job, I hope? Pleasant? Easy? Sort of thing you'd expect an unqualified kid to be able to do without overstretching themselves? Did he leave you the tools to do this job?
Harry: I — it's not easy, no. But I've got to —
Aberforth: Got to? Why got to? Let it go, boy, before you follow him. Save yourself, don't do what someone tells you to do. Look around...try to enjoy life. You're not here for long.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Golden Age

Noritsu 1001 VBW, Berkeley, California / 1/2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Otto Bock / Chicago

Ed Lezza / Lezza and Sons / Chicago, Illinois

Always happy when one of my favorite images makes it thru the edit and ends up in the final ad. This portrait of Ed Lezza had everything I wanted it to have: a timeless old world feel, a chunk of Ed's charm, and a subtle acknowledgement that Ed's wearing a Otto Bock C-Leg.

The thing I always respected about this campaign was the subtlety that was woven into the project. Sometime's we'd see the subject's prosthetic leg...sometimes we wouldn't. We'd let this issue present itself in the photographs the way it works in real life. Advertising is usually about the product, the lifestyle, something you are supposed to want. Otto Bock allowed us to just present the lives of their customers. By choosing that path, they allowed us to create some truly human photographs.


Monday, January 24, 2011

7x7 Out Takes

Ginger Murray / Publisher of Whore Magazine, 12/2010

As the year skidded to an end I had a great time shooting a portrait series for art director Ben Hardiman at 7 x 7 here in SF. I'm eager to get my hands on the issue sometime this week and see what they did with a somewhat controversial opening image we more on that later in the week. But for now I wanted to share these two portraits of what I saw as powerful women: Ginger Murray and Louise Brizendine. I thought they kinda complimented each other. Veronica Sjoen of Artist Untied did the make up here and I really thought it made all the difference.m

Dr. Louise Brizendine / Author of The Female Brain, 12/2010

Friday, January 21, 2011

Speaking Of Books

Gift Wrapped Echolilia with Union Invite, 2011
Speaking of Colin's book, which is being sent to my home in California from Bath, England as I type this...there are still plenty of copies of ECHOLILIA/ Sometimes I Wonder being sold out of my garage. It is the second printing, shown here in elegant gift wrapping. We sold our first copy of the new year yesterday. Buy it HERE.

Then...I found this insightful review of ECHOLILIA written by John Edmonds. I've been saving it for so long, I figured now was as good a time as any. Enjoy:

So, It's been a while since my last official blog entry and even longer that I've come across a photograph that I really get excited about. It was recently that a good friend introduced me to Timothy Archibald's work. His series and book entitled Echolilia shows photographs of his son and miscellaneous scanograms of his. What struck me immediately about this series was the beautiful contrast of light and dark. I appreciate Archibald's work for his boldness in creating dark, mystifying portraits. Unlike many other photographers who work with their children as subjects creating photographs that have a light, airy quality, Archibald goes for the obscure. Rarely does the art community see a collaboration between father and son in photographs. More often there is a joint effort between mother and child, husband and wife, or photographers and their immediate families, versus fathers working with their own children. I found it quite refreshing that Archibald has been working with his son.

There is a very faint sentimentality in the photographs and a sense of eccentricty that result in an unusual beauty; you can tell that these are dear subjects to him, without feeling as if he is imposing his affection on the audience. The emphasis of form and shape and the anthropmorphic quality of the young boy's gestures and activities make for some of the most interesting photographs I have seen in a very long while. Archibald's photograph's are reminiscent of Ralph Eugene Meatyard's photographs of young boys against abandoned houses and throughout the fields on overcast days; yet, with the same ominous beauty, Archibald's work has a refined, pristine quality to it.

Above is my favorite photograph of the series. There's something wonderful about how ethereal the photograph feels, without having blown out highlights and having an almost silhouetted form. I love the shape of the feet, the line of the boy's back and back light. The boy is on a table in such a suggestive stance that mimics a cat, sniffing flowers; this serves as the photograph's punctum, along with how that one specific strand of hair on the middle of his head mimics the delicacy of the flowers in the vase. I especially like the warmness in the tones, the water in the bottom of the vase and curtain as a framing device. The photographs of in Echolilia are interesting because of the subject's commitment. His personality carries the stories told in these photographs. Whether or not Archibald is directing him, the scenes are very believable. Part of the success comes from leaving the viewer interested in the unknown and curious to know the what is really happening in the images. They're ambiguous in their content, but inviting in their alluring beauty.

Read John Edmonds blog HERE.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

BUY: Sofa Portraits by Colin Pantall

Sofa Portraits by Colin Pantall / cover

One of my favorite projects over the past few years has been Sofa Portraits by Colin Pantall. In an intro to the work on his site statement, Colin writes:

Sofa Portraits is a series of images showing my daughter, Isabel, as she watches television.
These portraits portray the flawed physicality of childhood and its mental and physical freedoms - but also the constraints that are applied by the adult world - the furnishings Isabel is so often pushing against, the dress determined by the educational system she is now part of, or even the attitudes to her physical self-expression as she watches television.

Sofa Portraits is now available in bookform - 42 pages, 29 pictures, measuring 30cm x 21cm, in an edition of 60.

Again, in his words:

It's handmade with a Japanese stab-stitched hardcover binding. I was looking for a cover that matched the sofa in the picture. I couldn't find one, but worked out with normal bookcloth the time limitations, imperfections and design flaws of a handmade book more than matched the dilapidated state I was trying to recreate. It's not perfect in other words.

If you would like a copy, they are £60 - made payable to at paypal. Postage and packing is included in that.

There has been a big buzz about this series since it was first made public. This book seems to take the project on some new tangents, as books often do. I'm eager to see where it takes us. Drop him a note and buy this book.

Sofa Portraits / interior page

Sofa Portraits / interior page

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This Just In

MLK Connect The Dots, W.A. 1/2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Advertising Think Tank / Half Moon Bay

Cabrillo Highway, 1/2011
We start very early and gather at the R.V., but it never seems early enough...

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Love My Life

On the farm the studio yesterday...oh, looks like we have alot to do....huh?

SZ, Eric Haines, Matt Stevens, Shannon Amos, Veronica Sjoen, Mark Rutherford, and Micah Bishop...Adam Moore and producer Mark Hofmann, off set. This shoot was not a piece of cake, lots of stuff to navigate thru and decisions to make. But what a creative and generous team I have...I really think you can see it in the photograph. And as we know, photographs never lie.

Lots of requests for the ECHO invites, really from all over the world! It feels like the Mail Art movement I was into when I got out of college again. So don't be shy, send me your addy...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On The Set

On Set With T.A. by Mark Rutherford

So what is going on?

Busy, busy, busy putting together a wonderful ad for an agency everyone in the biz has heard about for a client everyone has in their wallet...well almost everyone. Last day of shooting today...see the photo above by Mark Rutherford, zen master digital tech, the guy who keeps things so peaceful.

Then...please keep sending me notes with your addy if you'd like a ECHOLILIA invitation card. They are striking and beautiful and I have a stack of 'em. I've been so touched by everyone who came out of the woodwork asking for don't hold back. I'll get them out next week. A nice way to stay in touch and spread the love.



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Echolilia Invitations / Union College

Just got a stack of the invitations to Photography Invitational 2011 at The Atrium Gallery of Union College in Schenectady N.Y. Haunting and beautiful....drop me a line if you'd like one.
The show feature the work of Clarissa Amaral , Raymond Felix as well as the Echolilia installation.
Read about the exhibition HERE.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Best Photo Blog Post Ever

This modern day equivalent of The Ten Commandments resides in the photo department of West Virginia University, courtesy of Nate Larson of MICA...he was just visiting.
Just in case it's blurry, I got'em all for ya:

Holiday Pictures ( Halloween In Particular )
Your Pets
Your Roommates
Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend
Homeless People
Other Classmates
Your Car or its Rearview Mirror
Your Dorm Room
Self Portrait In A Mirror
Looking Up A Tree
Your Frat Brothers
Live Bands
High Street

And then for all of you commericial photographers out there, I have to add a few:

The Bonneville Salt Flats
Delta Blues Musicians
Burning Man
Ruins Of Detroit
Surfers At Sunset
Anything On A Flatbed Scanner

Monday, January 3, 2011

What I Did On My Winter Vacation

Student #1 Callie Mitchell, 12/2010
Some snapshots from the first live-in-photo-boot-camp type of event I always wanted to put together but finally got the chance to. Callie Mitchell flew in from DC, spent four days, three nights living and breathing photography, visiting my artist friends, braving SFMOMA, shooting in the rain and occasionally playing the Wii with my kids during downtime. Picasso took cigarette breaks, ya know?
What did we learn?
Hmmm....well it is about the journey, not the end result. But just when I thought we may have pushed hard enough...or maybe too hard...we took a break and took a hike in the woods. Oxygen, redwoods, the wet and the scent of tree bark...all of that seemed to open our minds. There we found a moment of inspiration in the discovery of a discarded stuffed panda, soaking wet and buried beneath the leaves and rain. This was our muse and fueled the photography for that day, that night, and we are, taking the panda home in a plastic bag to recreate our own reality in the studio that night...and waking up to shoot it under the natural light of the early morning before her plane takes off.
What is the lesson?
You never know where you will find inspiration.
Studio of Suzy Poling & Wesley Weaver, 12/2010
SFMOMA, 12/2010
Found Object Photography / Mill Valley, CA 12/2010
Final Project 12/2010