Thursday, January 31, 2008

Back to the Bronx

I've returned to teach another class at Bronx Community College, and I'm really enjoying it. The first half of the course is Adobe Photoshop, so that's great fun. Later, we move on to Adobe After Effects, which should also be a good time.

Above: a detail at Burnside Station photographed this morning.

Five Minutes Later

It's a tradition, I guess: all advertisements in New York must be defaced. Not all that creative an effort though, this time. I was expecting more.

Unwerth Repeating

Here's that Ellen von Unwerth advertising photograph I wrote about. Gold lamé no matter which direction you look.

What DSLR is Good Enough?

Here's the question I always get: "I want a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera. I'm not ready for a professional model, don't want to spend too much, but don't want to buy something and then grow out of it in a six months. What should I buy?"

Well, there were new announcements by Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony this week -- so the real bargains are the models that have been out a little while. They're great cameras, and are now bargain priced.... Take a look:

Nikon D40

Nikon D40x

Canon Digital Rebel XT

Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Pentax K100D

Olympus Evolt E510

You can't really go wrong with any of these. I'll have more on the new cameras that are coming out, but I tend to advise people -- go for the less-expensive camera body, then take the savings and in put it into another good lens.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We're Unwerthy

Ellen von Unwerth is one of those photographers who is able to hit an art director's fantasies so dead-on that the photographs don't need to be good. They look as if someone handed a model a camera during a break at a fashion shoot, and she had a fun time with it. And that's what they are, and they work.

Google her name, take in a little sample of her photographs and you'll realize: she's everywhere. And has been, for a long long time. Generally, though, that doesn't mean every advertisement in the subway. It does now. For about a week or so, waiting at my usual stops has meant staring at the new Equinox ads. Adweek explains:

Equinox Gets Racy in Push From Fallon
"In one, a group of nuns in a candlelit room are rooted to the spot by a nude male model they are sketching. In another, a male model, wearing only skintight gold lamé underpants, is bent over into the shape of a table. On his stomach rests a platter of fruit that a group of women dressed as if they were going to a masquerade pick at."
That's right: the one in the subway is the one with the gold lamé undies.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

AIPAD 2008

From the Department of Planning Way in the Heck Ahead: The AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) Photography Show New York will run from Thursday, April 10 though Sunday, April 13, 2008 at the Park Avenue Armory at 67th Street in New York City.

Is there any way you can double check that? Yep, you could click right here.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sambadende Brazil Tour

Dana Bartle has been blogging her documentary trip to Brazil at Sambadende Brazil Tour 2008. I'm a little late to the party, but better late than never.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Robert Capa Negatives Found

Robert Capa's negatives from the Spanish Civil War have turned up, according to an article in tomorrow's New York Times.

The Capa Cache
"The discovery has sent shock waves through the photography world, not least because it is hoped that the negatives could settle once and for all a question that has dogged Capa’s legacy: whether what may be his most famous picture — and one of the most famous war photographs of all time — was staged. Known as “The Falling Soldier,” it shows a Spanish Republican militiaman reeling backward at what appears to be the instant a bullet strikes his chest or head on a hillside near Córdoba in 1936."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Frugal Hawaii Posted

The new Frugal Traveler episode is finally edited and posted.

Over on my other blog there's a little about the process and a link to the video.

Frugal Traveler, Hawaii

Editing this episode of Frugal Traveler: Hawaii was a strangely textbook process. I don't mean mechanical by any means. Not at all. Rather, it went through very specific phases, progressing from an impossibly long first draft, through an intractable second version, eventually reaching that moment I still don't quite understand: when the piece becomes watchable.

Here's what I mean: the first assembly was 45 minutes long. (The final piece is exactly 7 minutes long.) Once this was done, I cut away at the material, but found I couldn't make a coherent version with my normal way of working.

Then, after a lot of struggle, I found that this particular piece wanted to be edited backwards: work on the ending, then the material before that, and continue back to the beginning. Seems strange after the fact, but that's what worked....

Saturday, January 19, 2008

An Upper East Side Koan

Someone's having a little trouble with the food groups.

If only there was someone I could check this with or someone I could call to find out for certain.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Photography in the News

Has the new year brought any news stories about photographers? Yes, unfortunately it has.

Winehouse Backhands Manners Into A Photographer
"Psychopath songstress Amy Winehouse was her own version of a Good Samaritan this morning, attacking a photographer for bumping into an innocent bystander and not apologizing."
Coldplay's Chris Martin pounces on photo
"After the photographer snaps a couple shots, Martin jumps on the man, pushes him to the ground and tries to make off with his camera, all while yelling, 'Have some respect!'"
Bruce kicks photographer, takes oath
"Later, Bruce said he became frustrated as photographers from The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News were crouched at his feet as he bowed his head in prayer. He asked them not to take his picture and kicked the Rocky photographer, Javier Manzano, in the knee when he did."
Bjork accused of shirt-ripping paparazzi attack
"Icelandic singer Bjork has been accused of attacking a paparazzi photographer after arriving in New Zealand for a concert."
Less violence please, folks. Of course, there's also:

Four paparazzi arrested after chasing Britney Spears
"Four photographers were arrested for reckless driving after a late night car chase of pop star Britney Spears on the outskirts of Los Angeles, police said on Thursday."
Britney Spears To Sue Photographer Over Leaked Family Portraits
"Britney Spears is reportedly planning to sue photographer Dani Brubaker, after private family portraits taken by the snapper were sold to a U.S. magazine."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dogs of The East 80s

On 80th Street, a group of dog walkers approached me, with maybe 25 large dogs. I noticed, as they came closer, each dog in turn would glance to the side, then edge away, tail down.

When I got to where they had been looking, I saw this guy. Perfectly still, perfectly calm. He wasn't bothered by packs of dogs going past, and he wasn't concerned when someone wanted to take his portrait.

As I Was Saying

As you may have noticed, I've been away from the blog for a while. I'm not sure what to say about that just yet, so I'll just continue on as usual, for whatever that's worth. Since my last post, I traveled to California and back twice, but only made a few photographs. There is some news, however, of events in the upcoming weeks.

First: I'll be showing three photographs in a group show at the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts. The show is scheduled February 10 - March 23, 2008, in Alta Loma, California. More on that soon.

Also: It's official. My short documentary film Blind Faith: A Film About Seeing will be screening at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. It's an "official selection." Excellent.

Blind Faith at Big Sky

It's official. Our film Blind Faith: A Film About Seeing will be screening at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

We're an "official selection." Excellent.