Just a quick one as we wrap up the week...it's a nice BTS shot taken by the most excellent Artie Bowman onsite at company in Detroit. The client needed some warehouse images to showcase their new facility. I needed to get above it all to capture it. Clearly it all worked out with the help of a lift. The images turned out great and this BTS is pretty cool. Looking forward to posting more content here and some of the project in the hopper for next week. Have a good one out there. More to follow...
Usually around this time of year I like to write about the music I stumbled across that hit me and stayed with me for the year. This post is admittedly a little later than what I like, but busy times had a hand in that, and I suppose the ole' adage, "better late then never" applies nicely. I'm not a music expert by any means and I have a tendency to stumble across a song and pay it over and over and over but I would like to think my tastes are rather eclectic and diverse enough to merit a quick review. Also, I should note, these are songs I LISTENED TO IN 2017, not necessarily were RELEASED in 2017. Time used selectively here.
So let's jump in...
5. Honne, Too Long, 2015
I don't know what I was doing in 2015, but it wasn't listing to this song. Don't remember how I found it this year but I dig it. Chill. Falsetto. Things I fall for.
4. The Lagoons, California, 2016
This song is just amazing. Again, chill, heavy sax influence...which I dig. The sax in M83's Midnight City is everything, which that song is SO good (I could have put it back on this list by my own rules). Anyway, I can't help but tap my foot when this song comes on. It was a choice studio song for me this year.
3. Bvdub, Nameless, 2017
It wouldn't be MY list if Bvdub wasn't here. And by default I can't have bvdub #1 every year but I would say this year he comes #3 (but given the day, #1 I suppose). I can't think of a harder working musician out there. At least by sheer volume alone. I would argue by talent as well but sadly the ambient music scene isn't everyone's thing. Every year he releases at least one album. This year his release Heartless is a really great progression. It reminds me a little bit of Born In Tokyo (from 2013). His other 2017 release (yes there were two in 2017, usually are two a year) Epilogues For The End Of The Sky seems to have a higher play-count on Spotify than Heartless. It's tough to narrow it down for me. I really like them both for different reasons. I'm writing this early, so the perhaps the stillness is influencing my feelings. Go listen to both and make your own decision if it's your sort of thing.
2. Markus Schulz Presents Dakota Featuring Bev Wild - Running Up That Hill
I love trance. Probably a mix of early exposure to 80s synth and video games. I don't know, but when a trance song hits me, it hits me. This song is awesome. It hit the speakers late 2017 and I love it. Markus is one my favorite artists in this genera. Not a morning song, but choice indeed.
1. Slowly by Giraffage featuring Matosic
This is just a fun song. I can't help but dig it. I've had the pleasure of sharing it with several people and all seem to find it just the same, fun. I don't even know what category of music this falls into but it's somewhere between chill and pop (I think). Anyway, it's a great driving song. It's a great afternoon song. It's a great studio song. So much to like about it.
So there's my "hot top 5" of the year. There's way more that hit the speakers thoughout 2017 but as I reflect at the moment, these are those songs I played endlessly or at least came back to for a healthy amount of repeat plays.
Looking forward to getting back to photography. 2018 is already shaping up to be busier than the last. More to follow....
When I meet up with passionate people who want to collaborate I always make the time. Vinh and Skotty of Cranium are definitely those people (follow them Cranium.club!) I spent part of the night in the studio with them this week photographing. And with tons of help from Artie we managed to put together some looks for their upcoming release at All City Kicks. All good things from them. Anyway, short post for the day. Could be the last one of the year! Crazy. Have a good one out there...more to follow...
About a year ago there was a significant transportation change in my life. In fact you can see the progression start here. Coming in hot, on route to Chicago, I lost the majority of a muffler on I-94. Well, didn't loose it, but started dragging most of it down the road. I was "that guy you did not want to follow" down the expressway. After that, it did make me wonder what the larger implications were of having a 2002 Subaru with 250,000 miles on it. I still believe that it had some life left, but it was a gamble. And after more consideration, gambling with safety isn't a good idea. And if I were going to a production where my car couldn't physically get me there, that would have been a problem as well. In fact, depending on the contract you sign, many have a clause built in for needing reliable transportation. While I had unyielding faith in my ride, it may at times, been misplaced. Maybe. I mean look how majestic it looked.
It is a strange thing, that year, that car, as it was a year ago...was probably one of the rapidly disappearing mechanical cars out there. It had a CASSETTE TAPE DECK. Virtually all of it was mechanical. There's something strange about that now. You really feel the idea of it being a tool, device...a machine when driving it. It wasn't a computer. Modern day cars are a computer. Very little question about it. The gas petal doesn't make the car go. But it's how you tell the computer that you would like to go and it determines if that's going to happen. Times change. Computer or no computer I had plenty of fond memories in that car. It lived through a time in my life where change was never ending. Virtually everything was changing every 3-6 months. I crossed the country from east to west, north to south and all back again several times over. Through sun, rain, whiteout blizzards, late nights and early mornings. It saw, along with me, virtually everything. Sights, sounds, places, weather... clichés and drama... it was sad to let it go. But as with time, things change, cars change. One thing that does seems to stay with us is music. Odd how that works. I remember finding, for better or worse, Coldplay in 2002. A Rush Of Blood To The Head was essential listing for me. I had a cassette tape that I would play in the darkroom at college. Printing in the darkroom until early hours of the morning. Always last to leave. There were floating boomboxes that would find themselves in darkrooms and random classrooms. You had to search them out if you wanted one because there were only two, but if you got one, that was lucky timing. They only played tapes though. The Coldplay cassette made it to the Subaru, to the darkroom, and back again, over and over... and then eventually to the shelf because CDs became cheap to make. And now, CDs are becoming the rare commodity as well. Such is time. But as time changes, the music seems to stay. Coldplay and Dashboard Confessional occupied the majority of what I listened to in college. And I still find myself listening to those albums from time to time. And with a little imaginative encouragement, I'm back in the darkroom, or as this frame of mind would have it, a 2002 Subaru off to a new place and a new adventure. Nice little reflection for midweek. Hey Subaru, let me help you tell a story, because as I have it now, this photographer's off on a new adventure and with a newer #Subaru.
There are times when I get a great opportunity to randomly work with someone... this is a pretty good case in point. Daphne had some time in Michigan before heading back to the sunny southwest and we took a hour or two to put together a few solid portraits in the studio before she left. There were a lot of really good moments. It was awesome that we had a chance to work together. Daphne is going places for sure. It'll be great to say, "I knew you when..." but until then, these are some great portraits. I'll post a few here over the weeks and a few more on insta.
Also, I cannot believe it's Thanksgiving. Time is racing by. That being said, there is a lot to be thankful for. Both in life and work I am continually grateful for so many of the people and opportunities that are part of who I am and what I do. I'm looking forward to a lot, but it's impossible not to look back and feel a lot of gratitude. For those of you stateside, I hope you have a good Thanksgiving with family and friends. If you happen to not read this in the states, be well my friends. More to follow...
I've been siting on a lot of work I've created over the last few months. I've found, for me at least, it's a bit process to add it to the portfolio and take on new jobs/projects at the same time. The greatest resource in the arts, or as much as anything I suppose, is time. Hands down. Always time. I never seem to have enough of it.
But I am happy with a lot of new work I've been producing. It's been a lot of collaboration and hustle. But it's all coming together. I'll post some here, and for sure on my Instagram. I'll probably post backstory here for a few that DID make it into the studio page but never here. Like I said, it's a process.
This image never made it here or on Instagram but it signifies my first collaboration Jordan. His work and skill can really take the image further. His mastery with skin tone, luminosity in the shadows, and background gradients is excellent.
Like I said in the last post, things have been busy behind the desk, but I'm happy I've been able find time to post here in the last week or two. It feels good to write again.
That being said I've never been a photographer who does "one thing" in terms of subject matter. When someone says, "You're a photographer? what do you photograph?" And my answer is usually, "a lot" or "everything" ...and while those are "answers" it's never an answer that people can latch onto. "Everything" doesn't really give them a relatable concept. But it's true! I find myself photographing such a wide range of content. There isn't anything I haven't photographed or won't photograph. I suppose I lead "studio first" but there's nothing I leave off the table.
Recent case in point, a project for River City Studios. They celebrated 40 years of providing quality sound to those needing professional audio. I spent the day along with Artie photographing their studios and space. It was a fun project and allowed different levels of collaboration. Here's two quick images from the production. And if you need quality audio, don't hesitate to reach out to them. River City Studios is an excellent team to work with. More to follow...
It's fast approaching the lull between Christmas and New Years where, unless your an EPL fan, it's a gap of time that seems largely different from the rest of year. It doesn't quite fit with the normal hum drum beat of everything before it. If you're an EPL fan, the frantic pace of the games over the next week are in the very least, something to talk about. Or at worst, something to be desired. That being said, I hope the Arsenal can do what Stella did circa 1998, and get their groove back. COYG.
But as thoughts drift, as they tend to do this time year, I am still overwhelmed with the amount of change this last year has brought. And yes, it's a mellow dramatic sort of reflectance because a) everyone says it's a need at this time of the year, as opposed to say, February, which when you think about it, why not February? I mean, it's got it's own things going on. And b) in the eyes of many, most change is small, or even insignificant. But in the eyes of the few, particularly my own, it's impossible to miss, and even still, impossible not think about. Life in all of it's majesty. Cue sunset, or as us in The Mitt know, cue sunset in 4 months or so.
As this blog progresses with thoughts and images I did want to pause for a moment and say to you reader, whoever you are, where ever you are, I hope your day is merry and bright. I hope that you are well, with family and/or friends, you eat well, and you drink well. I hope you're able to smile and be nice to each other. And if not today, maybe tomorrow, because while it's not a holiday, it's another opportunity. And I raise my glass to you : )
Next week I hope to post my top 5 albums of '16. Because it seems 10 is too much these days. Maybe, we'll see...
More to follow... cheers!
The week has positively flown by. Looking towards a busy week I'm thankful to be able to have a minute with a slow brewing Chemex and sip some coffee before the impending business of the week.
Here a moment from Los Angeles that I never posted but made my buddies stop at least four times along our walk at the Griffith Observatory so I could find the "right" angle. They were good sports about the whole thing.
Have a good Sunday everyone.
I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel George at SPE Philadelphia. We talked for a bit and he was kind enough to answer some questions about his work for this blog. His work is quality all around so make sure you stop by his site to see more of it.
His Artist Statement for Introducing Nature:
Introducing Nature is about the quirky ways nature is incorporated into urban environments. Trees grow out of squares cut in the sidewalks, hedges form geometric shapes, and potted plants stand isolated against cold, cement backdrops. There is a strong contrast between the geometric and the organic, the man-made and the natural. But we have grown accustomed to this polarity. We enjoy our parks that fit perfectly within the city grid and the orderly rows of trees that line our streets. These photographs do not delineate a battle between opposing forces – man vs. nature – rather they present amusing examples of how we maintain a close relationship with the environment. There is an apparent visual awkwardness to nature in unnatural places, yet that is how we preserve it in our urbanized surroundings.
[Me] To me I find an interesting conversation between "our responsibility" in terms of preserving nature and reintroducing nature into developed areas, do you feel that contemporary architecture is accommodating a new role in incorporating nature?
[Daniel] These days I do think that contemporary architecture is trying in more ways to incorporate nature in response to conversations on sustainability and green living. It seems that more people are recognizing the need to maintain a balance with nature, and as a result, are designing ways to include it in even the most developed urban areas. A good example of this is the High Line in New York City, where they basically converted an abandoned railway into an elevated, public park. It is amazing.
[Me] In the world of man and nature do you feel your images are confronting "visual awkwardness" or emphasizing it? To what ends to you hope to achieve though your interpretation?
[Daniel] I would say that my images emphasize visual awkwardness. I generally look for scenes where nature appears out of place, and then I try to push that odd relationship even further. I want to create a lighthearted sort of tension within the photographs—between the subject and the environment. I pay a lot of attention to the placement of light poles, power lines, windows, and other supporting elements in order to do this. I am interested in communicating my sense of humor, which I admit can be a bit dry, by emphasizing some silly detail that might normally be overlooked.
[Me] Your choice of using black and white seems at odds with the inherent qualities of "greenery" in our world, can elaborate on your motivation behind using black and white?
[Daniel] My main motivation in using black and white was to maintain a clear, precise emphasis on form. One artist whose work I looked to early on was Charles Sheeler and his photographs of the Ford Motor plant, which are visually all about the shapes of industry. It seemed to me that the best way to show contrast between organic and geometric shapes in my work was to eliminate color and focus on form. I found that color worked in my images sometimes, but that it was too distracting for the majority.
[Me] How are you planning on presenting the work? Large installations? Intimate prints? Or something else entirely?
[Daniel] For presentation, I prefer a more intimate print size—16x20 at maximum. I think my images lend themselves to be examined closer up, that way the sometimes, subtle addition of humor won’t be overlooked. However, my final goal for this project is publication, but that is a bit further off in the future. Right now I am just practicing by creating small, limited edition runs of magazines and selling them through my blog (photogeorged.blogspot.com). I am hoping that I can distribute copies, receive feedback, and save the earnings to help with the costs of book publication. Also, as a fun promotion I added a Golden Ticket to five of the fifty magazines—redeemable for a free, signed print. I wanted to do something fun in appreciation for the people interested in my work. Three tickets remain, just in case anyone was wondering.
So there you go. A little bit more about Daniel George and his work. I hope to continue this series a bit more over the next couple of weeks from people I met at SPE. So if I did meet you and we didn't exchange info drop me a line and I'll still get your work in there. Huge thanks to Daniel George and again, make sure you stop by his site.