USER Men opens this coming Friday. Seven to ten, September the
third at Gallery La Petitie Mort.
Invitation, front and back
The shooting I was doing last year was very much about expression and
gesture, and the exhibition will be about that process. Six of the many
men I photographed last year will be represented in the show. Each one
by 2 or 3 or 4 images showing some of the range of expression the subjects
presented to me.
I hope you can make it to the opening, you’re invited.
More info here.
If you remember, I’m starting a magazine…..STANDARD. The first, kind of
test, issue is an edit of my work: AMERICAN STATES.
After getting off to a roaring start, everything kind of ground to a halt while
the design was being tweaked and fine tuned. Each issue will be designed
by a guest art director and this issue’s A.D. got swamped by a moving dead-
line for an Annual Report she was working on and then the summer holidays
reared their ugly head.
Happy to report that things are back on track and the premier issue is on the
press as you read this.
Here’s a taste of a page spread…….
I’ll be talking a bit more about this as time goes by and other projects I’m
working on settle down to a dull roar.
But let me tell you here and now that I’m already thinking about the next
issue. I’m also thinking that I’m gonna need some help with a lot of the
peripheral aspects of getting this up and running.
Right now I’m looking for a webhead to help set up an online presence
and, as time goes by and we see how this all works out, I’ll probably be
looking for some dog’s bodies, as well.
So if you know about web architecture and coding and have ideas about
how to make this thing shine, I want to hear from you. Please either leave
a comment here or PM me: tony (at) tonyfoto (dot) com
I’ll also soon be soliciting submissions for the next issue. You see, STANDARD
started out as a promo vehicle for me but I quickly realized that it should be
more than that. It should be a way to create and support both community and
Stay tuned for more details.
DON’T SHOOT ME, I’M A DICK
That great quote is from “war” photographer Simon Norfolk. It refers to
how he dresses for the battlefield: 4×5 camera and a Hawaiian shirt.
“I can’t believe that photographers go into war
zones dressed like soldiers! Soldiers are the
people they shoot at. If I could wear a clown
suit I would…….
….. I can either scrape in there on my belly,
wearing camo, and sneak around; or I can
stand right there in front, wearing a shirt
that says, you know, Don’t shoot me. I’m
I thought I might start with that slightly humorous bit from a great
interview Norfolk did a few years ago on BLDGBLOG, because he also,
in the same interview, brings forward many interesting and pretty critical
ideas about war, war photography and photojournalism.
© Simon Norfolk
BLDGBLOG: So your projects are
even more political now – yet they’re
intended as landscape photography?
NORFOLK: I mean, I didn’t get fed up
with the subjects of photojournalism –
I got fed up with the clichés of photo-
journalism, with its inability to talk
about anything complicated. Photo-
journalism is a great tool for telling
very simple stories: Here’s a good
guy. Here’s a bad guy……
…..I needed to find a more comp-
licated way to draw people in. I’m
not down on photojournalism …..
but its job is to offer all its infor-
mation instantly and immediately…
…..So the content of photojournalism
interests me enormously, it’s just the
tools that I had to work with I thought
were terrible. I had to find a different
syntax to negotiate those things.
I couldn’t agree more. All too often these days we’re fed clichés and
simple answers. Complexity seems to be regarded in many media
circles (or is that: circle jerks?) as, well, too complicated.
I really recommend going here and reading and thinking about what
Norfolk has to say.
Simon Norfolk’s website is here.
SECOND GUESSING OR FINE TUNING?
Further to last week’s post about what happens with the USER pix
when I get home……
This week I took a fast look thru all the negs I’ve shot on the corner
so far this year. Now that the shape and direction of the shooting
are becoming a bit more clear to me I noticed certain images that
I had originally discounted. I’m also starting to wonder about
some of the images I initially chose, wonder if or how they might
fit in to the final thing, whatever that may be.
Case in point…..some of you may remember this image of Helena:
I was initially attracted to it because of it’s ethereal, mysterious quality.
Then, this week, I noticed this frame of her, shot the same day:
It seems much more in keeping with what I seem to be shooting there.
It kind of has the same vibe as my initial choice but the look of it seems
Of course, in the end, who knows? Sometimes, when you’re shooting
for an extended sequence as opposed to just trying to get great singles,
certain “funny” shots are just what the doctor ordered, in terms of finding
images that will link passages or help move a feeling forward.
All I know now is that, when all the shooting and initial scanning is said
and done, I’ll still have to go back through all the material and agonize
over what to do, what to pick and what have I done.