Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Seeing songs, hearing images

Photographers and musicians have a lot in common.

Photographers create new images using a variety of tools.  When those images are presented as a portfolio, they should work together.  There needs to be a common thread (other than sharing the same creator) that connects them.

Musicians create new sounds using a variety of tools.  When those sounds are presented as an album, they should work together.  There needs to be a common thread (other than sharing the same creator) that connects them.

I have always relied on music to inspire my work.  And it's helpful when organizing images to think of how they would sound as an album.  Are they quiet or loud, simple or complex?  Do they look like they were made by the same person?  Why do songs / images appear on albums / in portfolios in a particular order? 

Seeing and listening are interchangeable.  Often when I'm working on a project, I'll try to think about making images from a musician's perspecive: What kind of album do I want to shoot?  What kind of portfolio do I want to record?  How do these images sound?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Beercans in a line / square / circle

I've always loved John Baldessari's 1974 piece Throwing four balls in the air to get a square ( best of 36 tries ):
I love the hand, since it tells you he's not alone. And I love how the trees eventually creep into the frame, a little shout out to California, and the loose energy of that art scene in the 70's.

Baldessari is also a total badass.

So I stole borrowed JB's idea and put a modern twist on it, using a more urban backdrop and beercans instead of balls.  We attempted the following combos, and stuck to 36 total attempts for each.  Funny how that number is losing its significance as film slowly vanishes...

3 Heinekens in a Line:

Four Budweisers in a square:

And 5 PBR's in a circle (my favorite of the series):

It was nice to shoot something random, no retouching, no complex lighting, just some beercans, a wall, and one light with a bare head.

I also think I like the single images more that the series, since there can really only be one "best."  I'm sure JB had his reasons for showing more than one.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Final Art from ESPN / Winnipeg shoot

Composite of Nolan Baumgartner, defenseman for the Vancouver Canucks for ESPN Magazine.  He dresses for some games, then for other games, has to put on a suit and sit in the stands.  This might be frustrating for some players, but for Nolan, he's just happy to be part of the team.   Super cool guy too.

Here is the final composite, which we shot in the locker room at the Winnipeg Manitoba Moose (Mooses, Meese?) home rink:

An outtake from the shoot, showing the post production on his clothes, background, and overall toning and lighting.  Thank you for putting up with my "nit picking" Dan:

And here it is on the newsstand at SFO, which is usually the only place I get to see my stuff in print: