Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blurb Spring Campaign 2014

Wonderful to see Blurb embrace this challenging image as part of their current ad campaign aimed at industry creatives.

Direct, immediate and still leaves one wondering, this is the inspired work of creative team Paul Huber and John Parsons.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Stereoscopy Summer 2013

Wow...maybe a year since I revisited this project.

And it was last year in Baton Rouge, LA that I tried to finally explain it and edit it and make sense of it all.

Had some time to tie up lose ends and realized I had this image of my Dad, from last August. I think I like it, but to be honest, it doesn't really fit. No matter how I try, it still seems like that project was about my life, my kids, my home and the acceptance of change of all of that. If I could make it fit, I would.

But for now,we'll just enjoy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Pendulum / The Photography Book 2014 / Back To Me

An extremely eventful year that 2013 was.
And here we are in April 2014.
If I survive this week it'll be a miracle.
Not to worry, I say that all the time....as does everyone.


The thing that keeps the world turning and keeps us putting one foot in front of the other each and every day is the idea of the pendulum swinging. Lisa's theory, borrowed by me, and now applied to everything.

What once struggled is now on top. What once was locked-in to top tier success is now gone. Photography as a concept seems to be taking a beating : Is it dead? Is it better then it has ever been? I'm not answering that one, but it is clear the Golden Era of the photography book is now. The pendulum has swung and look what came with it.

There was a time when any self published book / indy press book by a photographer had to be a failure. No editor, no insight, no critical thinking: just someone with enough money to push the button on the press and sign a check. The other day, after buying my second copy of  Back To Me by Christina Riley via Straylight and trying and failing to buy a second copy of Tim Soter's Electronic Music New York City 1995 book out on CafĂ© Royal because it was sold out, I realized the this pendulum has swung. Every penny spent on photography books during the past two years has been spent on an indy press creation. And I've never been more excited about what's ahead.


Arriving site unseen this week was Back To Me by Christina Riley.

A quiet story, told in your ear. Not sad, not tragic at first glance. No high drama. It feels like introspection.

Just the data, shared by the storyteller as if it happened to someone else. Rich with color, rich with grain, warm and tangible- not like you are drugged, but just like you are very tired, but your senses are working overtime.

There are a few characters: a man, a woman, maybe something standing in for our conscience, or our inner voice. There is a bridge. And then there is our judge: the stars, the universe, you know it never stops watching you. You can't and you won't fool Mother Nature, your Higher Power, your Intimate.
Slowly you realize the stakes are high. This isn't just a moment, it's a defining moment.


The balance and efficiency this book displays is it's power: it tells us more and shares more with us with as little as possible. No fat, no fluff. Every word included has a purpose, every photograph is key to the understanding of the whole. You see the cover and you are there. By the time you close the book, you have taken in as much as you can for the day. All within 52 pages and 30 photographs.

I just bought my second copy for my friend who is in high school. This book speaks to me at 46 and will surely speak to her as well.

This voice would be silent in book form before now. The pendulum has swung and we are all better for it. Enjoy it now...cuz it'll swing again.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Andrei Linde : Inflationary Cosmology

Andrei Linde made time for myself and a writer in his office at Stanford University. The Department of Physics his office is located in had recently been redesigned and made to look like the location of a mid level start-up company: colored walls, lamp lighting, colored rugs...a very contemporary location. The writer and I were underwhelmed. I really couldn't imagine shooting anywhere in this space. I guess I should say I couldn't imagine shooting Andrei Linde in this space.

We enter Linde's office and it looks nothing like the rest of the building. Natural window lighting, blank walls, some text books, two basketballs, and walls and walls of blackboards. It looks as if he asked the interior designers of the building to skip his space...just work around him. We knew this was our location.

Linde opens to curious strangers quickly. Conversation flows regardless of questions. He paints a picture of a young boy, home sick with the flu, reading a science magazine, wondering if a certain theory that occurs to him on that day could be true. A great storyteller of the stories that are only told in science, Linde needs to be interrupted to focus on the portrait session.

The writer I'm working with begins discussing the Nobel Prize. He politely acknowledges the prestige of this but then says this: These prizes such as the Nobel Prize can open doors at points. But I'm looking at possibly being the one who has the theory on how the universe was created. With that in mind these prizes seem very...inconsequential.

Of course, I'm para-phrasing. This is how I remember it, no notes taken. But I think it's very close to a very powerful idea.

Some background on Linde from Wikipedia:

Perhaps the most far-reaching prediction made by Linde was related to what is now called the theory of inflationary multiverse, or string theory landscape. In 1982-1983, Steinhardt, Linde and Vilenkin realized that exponential expansion in the new inflation scenario, once it begins, continues without end in some parts of the universe. On the basis of this scenario, Linde proposed a model of a self-reproducing inflationary universe consisting of different parts. These parts are exponentially large and uniform, because of inflation. Therefore for all practical purposes each of these parts looks like a separate mini-universe, or pocket universe, independent of what happens in other parts of the universe.

Inhabitants of each of these parts might think that the universe everywhere looks the same, and masses of elementary particles, as well as the laws of their interactions, must be the same all over the world. However, in the context of inflationary cosmology, different pocket universes may have different laws of low-energy physics operating in each of them. Thus our world, instead of being a single spherically symmetric expanding balloon, becomes a huge fractal, an inflationary multiverse consisting of many different pocket universes with different properties. This provided a simple scientific interpretation of the cosmological anthropic principle: Our world may consist of different parts, but we can live only in those parts of the multiverse which can support life as we know it.
These ideas did not attract much attention at that time, in part because the anthropic principle was very unpopular, in part because the new inflationary scenario did not quite work and was replaced by the chaotic inflation scenario. However, in 1986 Linde found that in many versions of the chaotic inflation scenario, the process of exponential expansion of the universe also continues forever in some parts of the universe. Linde called this process eternal inflation. Quantum fluctuations produced during eternal chaotic inflation are so large that they can easily push different parts of the universe from one vacuum state to another, and even change the effective dimensionality of space-time. This provided a very powerful realization of the theory of the multiverse.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Steal Your Face Redux

There always has been this theory that the Grateful Dead created a family around them- the crew, the fans, the band themselves. Survival instinct? Perhaps. Something worked, no one can deny that. Arranging this shoot with Phil Lesh for Rolling Stone was like organizing the family picnic. Professional, yet everyone seemed excited to meet you and help you do your best.

But that's the band, that's the crew, the music. It's that skull and lightening bolt logo..."Steal Your Face" logo I think is what it is referred to as...I never understood that thing.

Standing with Phil Lesh outside a building brandished with a crude version of this icon, we hunted for an explanation.We landed on something like this:

Phil, you'll be gone. Your sons will be long gone, their kids will have passed into the other side. Polar caps will have melted and the polar bears will be living in cities. Civilization will be gone, but that logo will continue to appear. Maybe long after it's significance has faded...we've all forgotten, but wow...that skull will survive, it will appear. When you least expect it...there you'll find it. We want you to look at it with that curiosity. Does that make sense?

It did, and we made our photograph together.

I'd Be Lying If I Was To Pretend This Was Not A Thrill :

Of course this is a thrill for me.
I'd be lying if I was to pretend it was not.

The Grateful Dead.
Rolling Stone Magazine.
Phil Lesh- the smart one!
What more can I ask for?
And it was a good day.....

Let's see:
I'm 47. Lesh is 74.
There is a yin/yang relationship there
I can't ignore.
A rhyme?
This time
I didn't even plan it.

See the issue 4/12/2014 on the newsstand this week.
First Rolling Stone Interview for Lesh, written by David Fricke.