We photographed graphic designer and illustrator Jerry Joyner yesterday. Here are a couple of initial images. More to be added later.
It started with one, and now it’s grown to three of these wonderful old brass barrel lenses (Petzval style), from the 1800′s. Like children, each one has its own particular quality that makes it worth keeping. Now I get it why people collect guitars; each one has a certain trait. I first started using them with wet-plate, but now I’m finding a (crude) way to use them with 8×10 B/W film. The other weird thing about this practice — with many of these lenses, you never really know what the real F-Stop is; you might know the focal length though. That’s half the fun of it.
Update: My friend Dale Bernstein just sent me his Evidence of Addiction as well. Each lens, with its own individual personality and quirkiness.
I got a couple of minutes in the green room last night at 3rd and Lindsley. Really strong show by a young group Honey Honey. This is Suzanne Santo, the lead singer, and strong fiddle player. Fun night.
We shot this today. My neighbor, from my old house on Gilmore Avenue — Bridgett McGuire and two of her four children. We shot all four children, but I just can’t make it work together yet. I like this image as a standalone. This is Sadie and Jed, with Bridgett. 8×10 collodion on metal. Part of the ongoing Mother Project. Feels like echoes of Julia Margaret Cameron. I can remember bumping into Bridgett at 8th Avenue Kroger on the day she found out she was pregnant with Jed, (bottom right).
Illustration shot today of my good friend Wolf Hoffmann, of the band Accept. 8×10 collodion on black metal.
Shot this today. Illustration with Jules Burciaga. 8×10 collodion on metal.
Powerful documentary on the country of Myanmar (Burma), next to Thailand. Buddhist, but military government. Complicated. Stream on Netflix.
Strong film. Art and political activism in China. Stream for free on Netflix.
Just sit down and find some quiet, and let this interview with Maurice Sendak in the NYTimes just wash over you. Illustrations by Christoph Niemann. I think Terry Gross was even a bit flustered and taken aback by his honesty and transparency.
I was sending this podcast link to a friend, and noticed that someone actually videotaped this program. So you can see his face and hear his voice. About an hour long, and worth it, if you find an hour over the holidays. I like his gentle manner and also his humor.
I ordered my mother an iPad Mini for my mother as soon as they were announced. Her hearing is so far gone that I can no longer call her on the telephone. So that means, in order for me to check on her, I must drive an hour, to Bowling Green, Kentucky. My brother and I schemed on an iPhone, but in our exhaustive testing with her, the keyboard was too small for her hands. The Mini seemed just right.
When the Cable Guy first came to install her internet and router, she turned him away. I guess she forgot all the instructions I’d given her about the Installer. (Stage One early dementia). So that blew a few more weeks. A second Installer came, a week before Christmas, and we had backup plans so that she would not turn him away this time. So now, we have a wireless router/modem, and this iPad Mini that’s mounted on the table beside her BarcaLounger. We have the volume turned up to HIGH, and it beeps ten times when a Text Message comes in. I wish there was an “Elderly Mode” for that iPad, but someone else will have to invent that.
Below is a video that I shot last night, with my phone, at my brother’s house in the country. We all sat around and tried to teach her how to use the Text Message function on the iPad Mini. The text messages continue to flow in today, Christmas Day. They are hilarious.
I’m a bit shocked by the power of this technology connection. It gives me comfort to continue to get fragmented texts from her, but at least I know she’s OK.
There’s a fun part in the video too, where my brother pulls her up out of the chair and gets her to dance (before she’s trampled by my brother Robert’s boxer). She said she hadn’t been dancing in thirty years. Was a really nice Christmas…
Do not miss these stunning photographs of the migration of Siberian reideer, by Sebastiao Salgado, in The Washington Post. This is a true master at work. It’s a full body of work; keep clicking the Right Arrow. (Sit through the initial ad).
Shot this portrait of my friend Dane Carder today after lunch. Experimenting with shooting 8×10 HP5, but with the old 1800′s Petzval lenses. And this combined with a built blank plate from some wet plate that we shot today. Still learning…
Dave Smith’s arms, meeting The Last Supper, today, while cleaning out the new Against The Stream Nashville center on Charlotte Avenue. A couple of the guys at the table don’t seem pleased.
We were in that place for almost two hours. But she had a big time.
I received these back from Chromatics last night. (What a great lab). These are 48″ on the short side. Tests for the collodion, to see how they would show large, instead of framing the original 8×10. If I continue with wet plate, I’ll probably show them large like this. Impressive at this size. I love faces.
Rachel Lehman, owner of Crema Coffee, downtown on 1st Avenue South, at their home in 12South. About six years ago, Rachel’s brothers set this tree on fire with fireworks, and almost killed the tree. Today it stands in this hollowed-up womblike state in their back yard. From the MotherProject. 8×10 collodion diptych.
Some images from a Jack Daniels project that we shot this past summer. Thank you to Nelson Eddy, CD; Jan Mattix, AD; Brett Sahler, producer; Tricia Scott, numbers; Anna Webb, props; Joel Micah Dennis, tech; Jon Morgan and Derrick Hood, lighting and humor; the helicopter guy; and all the fine people with big hearts who live year-round in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We’re becoming family down there.
A full day today with Lanie Gannon, her husband Rob, and their two children. I like this diptych of her two sons, Jack and Ki. More images added soon, of Nathalie, Rob, and Lanie.
Tricia sent me this link today to a New York Times story, shot by Tierney Gearon. Amazing concept and images. Just shows that the gear, or the camera, doesn’t mean squat — the idea always wins. The idea always trumps everything else. I remembered that I’d seen the film on Tierney Gearon, and her children and mother. You only can find it on Sundance Channel or the DVD. Worth finding, however you can. Click the graphic below to watch the trailer. Here’s a video link too, related to the NYTimes story, but the video falls very flat to me. Way too long; no patience, and questionable production values too.
Circa 1978, CBGB’s, New York City. Great face, great haircut.
Today, I was varnishing in the basement and came upon this large metal plate lying against the wall. I barely remember shooting it, weeks ago. It must have been a warm up plate. Something happened with the Silver Bath, and at the time I considered it a mistake, but today, it hit me in a nice way. Maybe an omen of my life in the past few years? Anyway, I copied it today and stuck it on the site. Sometimes, maybe some time has to pass before you can see something. Garry Winogrand used to talk about that. He’d wait for months, to process the film, in order to let his emotions fall away from the image itself.
I heard Bill Hunt speak at PhotoEast, in NYC, years ago. He gave out this sheet at the end of the talk. It’s basically a casual list of his recommendations on how to submit your work to galleries. I’ve lost mine since, but I saw it again this week on Isa Marcelli’s facebook page. Was good reminder. Click image to see (and print out) a larger version. Here is Bill’s book.
We met this fellow today, coming home from a shoot. The offramp of I-440 and Nolensville Road.
We worked with this yesterday. Was trying to shoot thru the glass and see how the light gets bent and warped. Not sure it’s finished. I still have a rumble to mess with it more. 8×10 collodion, diptych. Nine inch petzval lens. Daylight. One minute and twenty second exposure. Strange chemical surprises happened yesterday; not sure why or how, but I like them.
I shot this today at dusk. This unloved empty lot has just sat there for years. Then, finally, someone rented it this winter and installed a Christmas Tree yard on it. The smell of wood burning; warm lights in the trees — amazing how one thing that truly complete a neighborhood. 12South, 12th Avenue South, Nashville.
I guess we’ve officially started on The Mother Project now. When we’re not shooting, we’re printmaking and planning the frames. As it stands now, each piece will be 32″x40″ in the frame. But it’s very early on at this point. Brydgett C will be on horseback; Bridgett P will be piled in her giant bed with all four of her kids; and if Diana gets her way, we’re going to construct a plywood swimming pool in my back yard, since her girls were born in water. (With hot water, of course). There’s a new 8×10 wooden camera on the way; we’re just now starting to hit our stride. The house is a mess, with prints everywhere, and the smell of varnish in the air, but good things are happening. Moving forward.
On Tuesday, I helped judge some final portrait portfolios, via Skype, for the Photojournalism program at Western Kentucky University (my alma mater, if you can say that if you never graduated). Also judging was Chris Stanford, from Atlanta. Tim Broekema is the professor for that class. Looking back on it, the whole process was pretty intense — seeing all that work at one time, and trying to be honest and not candy-coat the feedback, but also trying to be supportive. I think the last thing a student needs in these crazy times is candy-coating, especially as a senior. Especially as a PJ major. Never before in the history of the world has there been such a glut and oversupply of photographers. At some point, the rent is going to come due, and you gotta do something to not live under the Shelby Street bridge.
Anyway, Tim and Chris and I have been emailing each other, since that day, and today, Tim sent these two links for review. I had been bitching to him about these young kids getting too involved with gear, and flash units, and all the things that keeps them being truly being with their subject — and the importance of avoiding people/photographers that seem too sales-motivated, with hokey gear (to get in the way). I’ll let you fill in the names. I’d teach a class where every student only had one body and a 35 1.4, and they’d duct tape their body on ASA 6400, and wide open, and no other gear, and they just get in the car and go see the world, and hang with interesting people. Be a human being first, and then a photographer second. Chris cited Danny Clinch, during the Skype session; I agree with Chris. I’d probably add Ryan McGinley to the list as well, maybe minus the sparklers.
Anyway, here are these two links. Both links give me hope for young photographers coming out of a photojournalism school in the year 2012.
Edit: After I posted this, I saw this link on Joerg’s site. I love the Artist Statement on the body of work. I feel this about young people — so many options and distractions. Nice images too.
“Every new day gives us hundreds of opportunities. Gigabytes of new information, armfuls of exciting events, kilometres of unexplored places, chances of adventitious meetings – all this is waiting for us with the beginning of each 24-hour time span, which we are to use as effectively and rationally as possible, acting profitably and getting a satisfactory result. It could seem that realization of this fact is sure to inspire us. The problem is that the variety of alternatives and the great number of possibilities result in a deep fear of losing something really essential, missing some unique events or relevant information. Consequently, the fear leads to an inner catatony, a moment of floating in the air, which paralyzes our will and puts us into inexplicable panic. The endless variety of choices that we have to make doesn’t let us decide on anything. Instead of taking up new challenges, we stay at home in our cosy and safe little world which is ready to keep us away from the stream of this impetuous life beyond it.”