A few days ago, while doing the weekly grocery shop, we stopped to look at bath mats. I know, such a glamorous life. While normal people would think in terms of which one would provide the best grip or even which one would best match the decor not me – I immediately go to that part of my brain that assesses photographic possibilities and then goes on to obsess over them.
My wife, Meg, is used to this approach and is extremely understanding so we walked out of our local Target with a very over the top blueish/aqua transparent and semi transparent thing that is meant to resemble pebbles under water (I think).
I spent two hours positioning, lighting and taking photos of this bath mat. I have over three hundred photographs of it – most of them being basically garbage and will never see the light of day. Here are a few that I thought were OK and worth showing. This intense focus on one subject is a great way to train the brain and the eye to really see. A don’t think that I’ve ever known a good photographer who wasn’t at least somewhat obsessive.
Read more »
For some reason I do not like looking like a photographer when I’m out and about. Something very old geezerish, (and I write as a member of that particular demographic) about wandering around with bags and camera vests and the suchlike. Reasonably priced, reasonably large sensor equipped, mirrorless cameras promise to make this concern a thing of the past.
My default walking out of the front door gear.
In Math there is something called optimization theory. The subject area can be guessed at from the name and is probably best explained by example: There is a hole to be dug. The hole digger has to work out the best amount of soil to extract with each dig so to speak. To much soil on each shovelful and he or she will tire quickly while too little will allow said digger to go all day but will not remove the maximum possible amount of dirt.
Deciding what camera gear to take on a trip or into a studio space has always been a bit like this – too much and confusion and an aching back result, to little and the shot could well get away. The camera problem is actually more complex than the shovel one as there is an extra variable to consider in addition to bulk and that is cost. Making smaller things do the same job as bigger things is expensive – especially in the early days of release.
Read more »
This post is a stab at a topic that has preoccupied me for much of my creative life. It is one that I want to finally bury for good and this piece is an attempt to do that. Apologies in advance if it comes across as a little preachy (I really struggled with the editing).
…but is it Original?
The subject of originality is one that occupies all artists including photographers at some point or other in their careers. Some never move past it and spend their entire careers striving to produce something that is truly original. History tells us that such a pursuit only rarely if ever leads anywhere good. The more common result of this approach is a frustrated artist who got stuck so to speak, and therefore failed to reach their full potential.
A certain level of acceptance is a good thing. I have no issue with is the Post Modern idea that everything has already been done and all that is left is arranging the elements in different ways – juxtaposition. Many artists find this concept terrifying and many an existential crisis has been prompted by little more than consideration of this fact.
Read more »
This is one of my favorite sets of images.
Just click on any of the thumbnails to see a much larger version (will open on this page and in this window).
In Conversation with David Bailey and Tim Marlow from Scream on Vimeo.
David Bailey is a British photographer who made a name for himself photographing fashion in the 1960s. Along with fellow photographers,Terence Donovan and Brian Duffy he helped create the whole ’60s Swinging London’ thing. He worked for Vogue at the time. To the best of my recollection he was probably the first British photographer to become a household name – this was as much due to an advertising campaign for the Olympus Trip camera as his work with the fashion industry.
David Bailey is probably my favorite photographer to watch and listen to. He is extremely unpretentious, doesn’t filter his views for mass consumption (at least as far as I can tell) and, perhaps most importantly, says really interesting stuff – not just about photography but about art in general (he also paints) and just about any other subject.
Read more »