Saturday, January 23, 2010

Voy a España!

Heading to Spain for a week to make some pictures for Slipstream Cycling.  Me gusta Espana, y me gusta jamon y queso.  The last time I was there was in 2004 when the VW van I was living in for the summer decided to explode somewhere near Portugal.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ryan McGinley does it again (and again)

Ryan McGinley seems to have found his niche. Here is another project for another clothing company with more pictures of grass, trees, caves, waves, etc...

Banksy is funny

Apparently Banksy is coming out with a new film.  The trailer makes it look like a subversively urban cross between Lost in La Mancha and Jackass:

Banksy pulls off some hilarious stuff.  Last year in NY, I visited his installation called the Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill.  Kind of hard to describe, but basically it was a pet store with animatronic animals and processed meat foods (also animatronic). Amazing:

And one of my favorite stunts: At Bristol Zoo, he left the message 'I want out. This place is too cold. Keeper smells. Boring, boring, boring.' in the elephant enclosure.

A few more gems from Mr. Banksy:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's Contest Time....

This is always an interesting time of year for me, as I spend hours, sometimes days sifting through all the jobs in an effort to find the real gems to submit to the different contests.  For me -- Communication Arts, PDN, and AP are the places I want to be.

Some years the editing process is rewarding, as I look back at personal projects or interesting assignments, and feel like I've taken a few steps forward.  Other years it can be disappointing, as I wonder where the year went.   

There is a random component, especially with the commercial work.  To get jobs that are fun to shoot AND win awards requires a perfect storm of sorts.  But when it happens, it feels good, and makes the whole struggle worthwhile.

Anyway, here are a few of my favorite images from 2009, some personal, some work, all of which will be uploaded into the interwebs, along with a big entry fee and a little prayer.....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Help Haiti

It takes 2 seconds, and it feels good:

Jack White knows where we're headed, and we've been there before.

Rob Haggart posted an email correspondence we had last week on APE. Lots of interesting feedback from a very wide range of perspectives. I'd been wrestling with what to make of the whole CGI thing, and how I think it will change photography.

That is, until I heard a certain White Stripes tune this weekend, which summed it up perfectly. So I'll just let Jack White say it:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Um, I make stuff"

"Well, I am not a huge fan of using words to describe art and every time I am asked to write an artist statement my gut instinct is just to say 'Um, I make stuff."
- Thomas Campbell

T. Moeski is one of my favorites. He does it all: painting, photography, sculpture, and as if that's not enough, he also shoots intensely beautiful surf films, all in 16mm.

As much as I enjoy his individual pieces, I am equally inspired by images of his workspaces -- there is just so much raw, creative energy. When your studio looks like this, you know you are doing something right:

Photo credits: T. Muckluck, Andrew Paynter, Jeff Goldberg, Tiffany Campbell, Klaus Tummers, Nolan Hall, Alex Kopps

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wisdom from the Great One

Solid working advice from Mr. Gretzky:

"A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be."

Polaroid by Andy Warhol.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Avatar: the new Star Wars

Had a chance to see Avatar over the holidays, and was completely blown away. Mr. Cameron has not only hit this one out of the park, grossing over 1 BILLION DOLLARS in 17 DAYS, but he has redefined cinema in the process.

From the beginning of the film, I was waiting to be disappointed, and sure, there were a few moments where my eye was telling me that something wasn't quite right. But about 20 minutes in, that went away, and I was fully immersed in the incredible world that required $300 million and 800 people working around the clock for 6 months to create.

Look at this chase scene. Towering trees + plants, rushing water, angry furry animals, streaming sunlight, or even just someone running -- all these organic components that until now have defied CGI, because our eyes are just too smart. When it's off by a millimeter, or millisecond, our eyes know it.

It's the first CGI feature I've seen that looked and felt real. And I walked out of the theater just speechless. Avatar is the first film to get CGI right. And from here on out, it's only going to get more believable, and more common. We are at the beginning of an amazing era in image creation, where literally anything (ANYTHING) is possible.

Some may think that this is the beginning of the end for us image makers, as we are slowly replaced by software, but I think otherwise. There was an interesting interview with JC and Peter Jackson in Newsweek, where they discuss the future of CGI and cinema. As Cameron says:

"Computers don't create beautiful images. People do."