Remember what it was like as a child, where in your grassy yard on a Summer’s day, you held arms outstretched, tilted head back and whirled around in circles? The scenery would whiz by in an increasing blur. A fun thing to do, as you examined play options.
The whirling activity sort of is my life this beautiful spring day, with birds singing outside as the morning expands.
I am looking at a lot of things right now. One interesting piece was just sent to us by Elmar Von Hoesslin (Donna’s ex husband)Â and is a creative look at his Berlin based company. I liked Elmar from the moment I met him, as he and Donna had traveled through California and stopped in to visit. This video says a lot about why. Curiously, the subjects AND the length are similar to the film that Donna and I are creating for Intuit which is titled Passages.
In addition to working on my girlfriend’s film, I have been deep in study for a project. I use books for reference. I love books and own a LOT. There is no substitute for them in the digital realm. Books require an investment in time, money and physical space. They have weight. They require a commitment that digital content examined on the computer does not. You cannot press enter or delete. They have an analog form. Sort of in the same manner as our physical bodies do. Probably why I like em.
In front of me is a book entitled Toni Frissell, Photographs 1933-1967. Toni’s work was so very diverse that I believe she would be thrown out of most Art and Photography schools today, which encourage an aspiring professional to focus on one thing. Fashion, Journalism, Portraiture, Art and yes WATER! Toni shot it all, and did it so well that she will live forever in her imagery.
As I flipped the pages, my eyes fell upon a paragraph with yellow highlighted words (a study tool I learned in school) which I had applied maybe 12 years ago on the page. The paragraph reads:
1. Catch the subject at an instant of pleasure or emotion.
2. Know your subject’s interests beforehand (highlighted)…this so you can get him or her talking, even to the point of saying something provocative to the extent of outrageousness.
3. Click your camera at typewriter speed. Film is a cheap commodity.
4. Luck-the commodity that puts one at a crucial event and the chance is given a vital instant. (highlighted)
Below in my own hand I had written these words:
Preparation breeds foresight, foresight gives birth to opportunity.
In doing my research I found the seed which gave rise to the tree bearing the fruit of my own career and in looking through her imagery once more, I found my own self. It was shocking to me,Â and caused a slowing down. The whirling scenery stilled and pulled into focus.Â God I love books. You cannot press delete!
The project I am designing will invite a select group of subjects on to a friend’s estate where we will spend some time on a one of a kind property which has locations that are the photographic equivalent of gems in a crown. I will have an assistant or two, a small crew, wardrobe and the new Canon 5DM2 and new RebelT1i. We will also be shooting some motion picture. It could possibly be one of the more ambitious projects that I have endeavored to do. Time will tell as the process unfolds.
These sort of loosely scripted shoots have generally been looked at askance by some of my colleagues with the possible exception of Shawn Frederick whose challenge: “You think that you can do something better than anyone else? So do it!” always rings in my psyche. So I just do, and the images without fail end up being something that rewards both myself, subject and crew in multiple ways. It is sexy, exhilarating, adventurous, artistic, wearing, emotional, fun and well, REAL. But there is zero fiscal motivation for me. It costs in that way.Â It can be terrifying as you are banking the recovery of the time and money of all involved in long term return. I don’t think the IRS likes em(my shoots) either.
The imagery below is a sampling of a few in the “Because I can” genre. Friends, colleagues, special people and moments.Â Some have passed on but they live in the imagery. From Academy Award winners and famous covers, to simple snapshots.Â Click on any of the images for the back story and a full view. There are fifty one here.Â I have a lot more.