WHITE SEAMLESS + BOOK REVIEW

Art directors seem to really like shots on white seamless. I suppose it’s because of
the design options these shots give them.

Speaking from personal experience, though, I have to tell you that it’s kinda difficult to
make white seamless shots interesting. The subjects usually have a hard time because
there’s nothing to hold or lean on, no environment, nothing to relate to except the
photographer. They’re totally isolated.

And the photographer has to make sure that the subject’s body language and expression
will work, will somehow make the image compelling.

When the images do work, though, there’s something quite beautiful about that isolation, and
graphic quality. After all…..we hardly ever get to study the human body devoid of context.

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I came across this Robert Crumb drawing of a photographer at work, in the Charles Bukowski
book: THE CAPTAIN IS OUT TO LUNCH AND THE SAILORS HAVE TAKEN OVER THE SHIP.

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I hesitate to reproduce this here because I certainly don’t want to contravene any copyrights.
(I know I get a bit bent out of shape when people use my work without permission.) I noticed
in the book’s colophon that I can use bits of the book without permission if it’s in the context
of a critical article or review. So let me review…….

Charles Bukowski might be an acquired taste, I don’t know. I do know I liked his work from the
first time I read him. Same with R. Crumb. I never get tired of looking at his drawings. I think
both Bukowski and Crumb create work full of detail and nuance in the apparent framework of
bombast, vulgarity and crudeness. No mean task and I must admit to some envy. I’m sure I
wouldn’t want to be them but their work strikes me as true and meaningfull.

THE CAPTAIN IS OUT TO LUNCH AND THE SAILORS HAVE TAKEN OVER THE SHIP is a compilation
of Bukowski’s notes from 1991 to 1993. It’s full of observations about the creative process, betting
at the race track, fame, women and so on. Robert Crumb has provided illustrations throughout.

If you’re looking for a book that will inspire and entertain I think you’d be hard pressed to find one
better than this.

There.

PROTEST + PROMO

FIGHT THE POWER :-)

A while back I was very interested in protesters.

More specifically, I was interested in how the signs they carried were a lot like speech
bubbles in cartoons.

So I went to a bunch of protests, isolated certain people with signs and simply took
their pictures.

This approach was in reaction to a photo-documentary project I had previously done.
Some of the people in those photos were a little miffed because they thought I had
misrepresented them in the project. It seemed to me that it would be impossible to
misrepresent people who write their thoughts and concerns on a big piece of paper
and carry it to a public place to display.

Of course what I learned is that any photograph – any instant isolated from the moment
before and the moment after – recontextualizes the thing in the photograph. That’s what
makes photography so kool. Know what I mean?

So, anyway, here are a few protesters……

(click on images to enlarge)

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DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE ;-)

A recent e-mail promo (smaller than actual size)…..

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BLOG-WORTHY

What’s blog-worthy?

Some of the shoots I do are pretty commercial. The images I create are what the client
wants (on strategy, dynamic, interesting looks on the subject/model’s faces, move the
client’s agenda forward, etc., etc., etc.). Sometimes I find these shoots a bit not-what-
I’m-really-about. (I have got a mortgage, you know.) (And I want a new car.) Of course,
sometimes these real commercial shoots yield images that turn out to be way kool. No
matter what, though, I always try my darndest to make my photos as interesting as
possible given the parameters of the shoot.

Other shoots I have way more freedom to do my thing. Usually these are editorial gigs but
I also have commercial clients that want me to get my ya-yas out.

And sometimes my clients don’t want me to put their shots on my blog until after they have
appeared in the application/magazine/forum for which I shot them. Fair enough.

This past week I was shooting every day but a lot of it fell into the not-what-I’m-really-about
category. Not blog-worthy.

I can show you some pix I took of Steve Sutherland, C.E.O. of Ballistik Hockey and Combat
Baseball. This is an Ottawa firm that sells 8 million dollars worth of hockey sticks and baseball
bats a year. And shots of Ron Lemaire, Exec. V. P. of the Canadian Produce Marketing Assoc.

I’ll leave you to guess who’s who.

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