Sunday, January 27, 2019
The tar rooftop is really dirty and sticky. Seriously nasty. Not only years of dirt on top of sticky tar from the hot sun, but a Chinatown restaurant exhaust fan constantly blowing even more sticky stuff all over. Pretty disgusting to walk on— shoes are definitely necessary at the very least if doing nudes. The grimy aesthetic is to die for, though! I've never had a problem getting a model to shoot up there, though— it not only looks great, but it's also very private.
Monday, January 21, 2019
Jean-Paul Sartre's famous quote, "L'enfer C'est Les Autres" or "hell is other people," has often been quoted, but often out of context. This quote, which appears as the dialogue of a character in his play, No Exit, refers to a human being's loss of subjectivity when seeking the approval of other people. In the play, three characters arrive in Hell. They’re expecting flames and pitchforks, but instead, they’re shown into a plain ordinary room – and then gradually discover that this is where they’ll be spending eternity. Alone, together. It's about the difficult coexistence of people. This quote is very open to interpretation so there can be infinite takes on it— but, personally, I see it as how we are unable to escape the watchful and judgmental gaze of everyone around us.
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Thursday, January 17, 2019
I've always tried to maintain a strong lock onto the eyes. Normally, there is a natural rhythm of looking at people and looking away. When it feels right, we can hold our gaze a little longer, relishing a simple moment of human connection. We are naturally drawn into images by eye contact. There is nothing like that feeling of a tie bound by an invisible thread, as in sharing a unique moment with them. It’s very hard to articulate and explain in words that feeling that connects you to a subject, either in the viewfinder or on the printed page. When that connection is there, though, it's obvious— and doesn’t need words to explain it; we feel it.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Yeah, I've always had a thing for super long lashes. I'm particular, though. They usually don't look good straight out of the box- at least the cheapie ones that I buy. So I get ridiculously long ones and trim them to my liking first. That seems to make them a little more original...
Setsuki is a circus performer— so whereas I usually employ rope work for a suspension, this just her and a simple heavy chain that we linked up to the ceiling hooks. She did it all— I just stepped back and clicked the shutter. The brick wall, which is always behind the backgrounds that I typically use, is a nice departure. I've tried the brick before and did not like it, as it tends to be too busy looking. I think that I got it right this time...
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
In my early years as a photographer, I was pretty content to simply emulate past masters, which was basically how I self-taught myself photography— study a style, and imitate it as well as possible. Pictorialism, Hollywood Glamour, f64, Pin-ups, etc. Eventually, though, I became frustrated by my lack of any special distinction in my work— other than that is was always well done. Searching for a singular style, all I was managing was a derivative portfolio. The need to establish a personal style (and to garner gallery and/or book worthy attention) had overridden the sheer joy of simply shooting. I wanted to truly create, rather than just follow in the footsteps of others. I gradually began to develop and refine a particular vision by giving more thought to portraying something contemporary in a way that I was not seeing elsewhere. That is what you are mostly looking at in this blog— current subcultures documented with old techniques, which I find to be a wonderful mash up. Everything really came together when I applied what I learned to a newer subject matter, along with little additions of my own particular way of looking at things— which is in large part getting in (almost) uncomfortably close to my subjects as well as trying to capture genuine emotions. Hopefully, that is what is coming across here...
Monday, January 7, 2019
Sunday, January 6, 2019
Saturday, January 5, 2019
Thursday, January 3, 2019
My own opinion is that, in photography, the hierarchy of values runs something like this: subject… composition… exposure… focus. I’m certainly not the voice of photographers everywhere— but to me, small flubs can’t wreck a great photo. In the past, if one tried best with what they had and spent some time learning the camera and the fundamentals— then a little out of focus, enlarged grain, blur… won’t wreck it. On the contrary, it makes the photo easier to look at and love. The newest digital cameras are amazing, but they are often too good. Perfection can take the soul out of an image. Ironically, I have lately been purposely messing up my images a bit in order to give them some more organic feel that a perfect sensor doesn't quite give.