Interesting Stuff Last Month – September 2013

Steve McCurry Looks Back on His Stories Career
“Certainly when you have the time to really dig deep into a story, it is a great opportunity to explore every aspect of a topic and potentially find some interesting angles to include in the story. The same can be said for continuing to return to the same places over the span of many years.”

Military Rape, Enemy Within the Ranks
Photo-journalistic investigation into an odious problem. A good example of how one story can lead to another.

Sam Abell Interview
“It’s shifted in a good way, away from what you might call the singular successful image, to the sustained body of work. Yes, there are billions more photographers, and billions more photographs every day, but who’s building up a point of view? Who’s photographing with intention, and whose body of work will sustain itself and survive?”

RIP Gotham – Rands in Repose
A lament and attempt at recreating the discarded Instagram Filter.

Top 12 Photos by Paul Caponigro – Selected by John Paul Caponigro
The photographer and educator picks the top 12 photos created by his equally famous father. The result offers insights into both artists.

How Three Famous Photographs Were Edited Before Photoshop
The exhibit for Richard Avedon’s “Portraits of Power” included a photo of Jackie Kennedy done for Life magazine with marks similar to those shown in this article. It is naive to think that photos were pristine before the digital age.

The Economic Collapse Seen Through Aerial Photos of Abandoned Mansions
A fascinating way to visualize the economic fall out of the Great Recession.

Witness to a Massacre in a Nairobi Mall by Taylor Hicks
The photojournalist goes into an active terrorist attack as the police try to get bystanders to safety and contain the attackers. Truly news as it was happening.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About James Porto
A short interview with a wildly creative photographer. I had been clipping Porto’s early covers for Wired, before I was fortunate to meet him. Wish I had been able to take the Photo-Illustration class with him at SVA.

Francis Cisafio: Filter Photo Festival Blow Up Winner
I see faces everywhere and in many inanimate objects. So it’s always fun to see people mess around to create new faces.

Marty Knapp – Portrait of a Photographer
A short film about a photographer in northern California, who has been photographing Point Reyes for a long time.

Laurie Rubin Interviews Brook Shaden for Women in Photography
A good friend interviews a fascinating photo artist who is starting to gain recognition for her work. A future blog post will review her book, which comes out soon.

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling
Very good advice for those telling stories in any medium – visual or otherwise.

Road trip begins for world’s largest film camera
Although cameras like this are a novelty, the prints must be amazing to see in person.

Interesting Stuff Last Month – August 2013

A fascinating peek into Dinner in New York
How people in New York eat dinner is as unique as each person. Here’s an interesting view into their meal time worlds.

Day-to-Night in the City with Stephen Wilkes
Fascinating cityscapes with night and day time scenes blended together.

Bigshot – The Camera for Education
Buy a build-it-yourself digital camera for $89. Perfect for teaching kids how to make tech.

108 Years of Herman Miller in 108 Seconds
A fun, iconographic look at this influential design firm.

Photography Phone Call – Are Snapshots Dead?
A phone call conversation with photo collector, giving insight into what he looks for and why.

Kathy Ryan’s Instagram Photos on Absurd Consciousness
The photo editor for the New York Times magazine regularly knocks my socks off on Instagram. Go follow @kathyryan1

20 Photographs of Abu Dhabi by Martin Sigal
I’m partial to the industrial photos of the freeways, but the landscapes and other photos are also excellent.

Strange, Disturbing Figure Work by Masha Ermak
Very curious article about how a thesis project developed and the stunning work it produced.

Photography Is the New Universal Language and It Changes Everything
“The dialogues you can have with neuroscientists about photographic images are as interesting and as provocative as the dialogues you can have with artists.”

Maggie Taylor (video 8 min)
Another short film about Maggie Taylor, her fabulous photo composites, and how she creates them.

4 Sisters Photographed Every Year for 36 Years (Nixon Sisters)
“Whilst the fashion, haircuts and indeed their lives & personalities continue to evolve and change over the years, one thing that is incredibly evident is just how much of a loving bond there is between the four of them.”

Ellen Wallenstein Interviewed by Elizabeth Avedon about “Respecting My Elders”
An interview with one of my SVA instructors about one of her long-term projects and the book she made of it.

A Photo Editor Interview with Erik Madigan Heck
“I saw photography as a medium that was actually doing something new when Callahan took photographs, because he had perfected this space where reduction and minimalism were not exclusive to humanity.”

Interesting Stuff Last Month – July 2013

“We Are the Creative Class” by Adobe
Years ago, I read “The Rise of the Creative Class” by Richard Florida and recognized many things about myself described in the book’s pages. This promotional video by The Experience Design team at Adobe shows what life can be like as a person pursuing creativity.

The Path of the Generalist by Joe McNally
“I liken my wonderful predicament as being like that of being a pretty good utility player on a baseball team. I don’t handle any one position the best, but by golly I can play a bunch of different spots pretty well, and hit the cutoff man when the game is on the line. Most of the time.”

Why I think a day job is good for you (for aspiring artists out there) by Yuko Shimizu
An interesting perspective from a very accomplished and amazing illustrator. Well worth the read for those looking to work in creative fields.

Support – Shouldn’t It Be a Two Way Street?
“As much as I can say there is a photography community in New York, I find myself questioning how much of it is self-interest and how much of it is reciprocal.”

The War in Afghanistan in Tintypes
A US soldier deployed to Afghanistan makes tintype photos. “[I]t became less important that my work was done in tintype than that I could show the humanity of war in the eyes of airmen I fly combat missions with.”

Documenting the Legs of New York with @stace_a_lace
A photo editor at the New York Times uses Instagram to show off the legs of New York City. Go follow @stace_a_lace.

Dispatches of a Baseball Freak
Sports photographer Brad Mangin also uses mobile photography on his beat as a photographer for Sports Illustrated and shares his photos via Instagram as @bmangin.

Nir Arieli’s Breathtaking Photos of Male Dancers in Motion
A photographer combines multiple photos of male dancers to show motion in a single image.

A Short Film About A Man Who Has Sold Millions Of Forgotten Personal Photographs
This man rescues discarded photos, giving them new life in the hands of others.

Backpacks from the Border
Photos showing the accumulated stuff discarded at the US border by those crossing.

Pardon My Dust
A short film about a creative person who draws on chalk boards and about the artistic process and dynamic sketching.

Snap It See It Assignment – Decay
Instant film photos illustrating the idea of decay, including pieces by my friend Teresa Heath.

Human Dilations by Roger Weiss
Distorted figures photographed in a contemporary style yet referring back to Bill Brandt’s Perspectives of Nudes and Irving Penn’s Earthly Bodies.

Graham Smith – The Craftsmen Series
“For the most part I am an observational artist, so I like to interpret things I see. But I also work a great deal from my imagination.”

A Modernist’s Challenge to Instant Gratification
Images from a photographer who has been working away at his art for many years. Ray K. Metzker is one of the unsung greats that did not go the way of pop art and continues to explore his ideas in new directions.

#lexusinstafilm – Making a Car Commercial One Instagram Frame at a Time

A few weeks ago, the Totally Rad team showed up to a special event as a sponsor and to support a friend of ours from previous Instameets. @mollymgrubbs invited us to help to create a commercial for the new vehicle coming out from Lexus. The commercial would be shot, frame-by-frame by volunteers using mobile phones, processed however the photographer decided, and published on Instagram. How could we refuse?

Step 1 – Go to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA.

The Big AStadium

Step 2 – Pick the frame you want to shoot.

Volunteer Putting Up Frame ChoicesMy Frame

Step 3 – Wait for your group to be called, enjoy provided meal from food truck vendors, check out custom cars from the local Lexus car club, and hang out with friends.

Chenin & Jeremiah Clown AroundPeople Talking and Waiting
Cloudy Sky on the HoodTasty Grub

Step 4 – Go with the group over to the location where your frame is set up.

At the Edge of the Parking LotThe Setup

Step 5 – Hand your iPhone over to the grip, who locks it in place to get the exact frame from the storyboard.
Step 6 – Press the button to take the photo. Allow the grip to take a second one just in case.

Grip Lining Up the ShotMy Frame Unprocessed

Step 7 – Go to the post-production tent to process your frame, using whatever photo app you want, however you want. Just remember not to mess with the crop.

Do Not Mess With The CropUpload to Instagram

Step 8 – Upload the frame to Instagram and tag it with the correct event and frame number.

Version 1Version 2Version 3

I knew before the event how I wanted to process my frame. PicTapGo has an unsung filter called “Paperboy.” I’m probably the only one that ever uses it. The filter creates a half-tone effect as if the photo had been published in a newspaper or old comic book. What is not to love? And I was certain that my frame would stand out. Of course I did play with the frame later on to create a few other version, but I’m happiest with the Paperboy version.

Click here to see all the processed frames.

The day was long and hot. My group got pushed back eventually to the very end of the day, so unfortunately I only got the chance to shoot one frame. I would’ve enjoyed doing more. Easy come, easy go. It was still a fun event. And I got to help create a car commercial. Cooper, Sterling, Draper, Pryce would be jealous.

Interesting Stuff Last Month – June 2013

Steven Lippman “No Bad Days” for Malibu magazine
A wonderful portfolio of pale blue images of nudes in the surf.

A haunting, wordless retelling of the myth of Artemis and Actaeon
Short Film (3.5 minutes) made for the National Gallery in London with Anna Friel, reminding me very much of Bryan Fuller’s style for Hannibal.

Tell No One – Experimental Short Film Makers
They made the film above with Anna Friel. Be sure to check out the film “Seaweed”.

Annie Leibovitz on Getting the Shot and the Future of Photography
“I think photography is stronger and better than ever before. Those of us who are photographers, the difference between us and everyone else is that we take what we do very seriously.” Ms. Leibovitz is still one of my favorite photographers.

Julieanne Kost on Unavoidable Relationships Between Photos
Julieanne’s work is always interesting. Her combinations are intriguing and the individual photos themselves somehow help reveal her personality.

An Interview with Mona Kuhn in Musee
“The nude to me is always clothed—clothed with art history references all around, almost in a way that it cannot escape it. The nude I am interested in presents an inner strength and confidence that keeps them from feeling ‘naked.'”

Digital Black & White Printing Tutorials and Expert Interviews
John Sexton and Kim Weston, masters of black & white photography, talk about their craft. My friend Tony Corbell and Epson print guru Dan Steinmetz show techniques for digital printing.

Robert DeRosa (a classmate from SVA) Interviewed on Photoshop.com
“I’ve always been fascinated by landscapes. At 10-years-old, I would show my mother the pictures I took when I was out and about and she would say, ‘That’s nice, dear, but where are the people?'”