Thursday, June 12, 2014

First Friday Foul: How not to treat an artist.

First Friday is the monthly Art Walk on Bainbridge Island. Normally a time to celebrate new art installations with openings at the nearly dozen venues downtown, it was anything but a celebration for Peter Kirk, despite the fact that he was on the verge of his first art show. 

Thirty minutes before his opening, he was informed that the venue, Eleven Winery, had taken down his work. Peter had hung it only the day before.  

Peter was at a complete loss for words. His show had been arranged by Jen Till, Peter's mentor, a painter who has shown previously at Eleven. In January of this year, Jen sent several photographs of Peter's work, along with a description of his aesthetic, to Eleven. The Tasting Room Manager responded "I loved his work. We would be happy to have him showcased here at the winery."

In the weeks leading up to the show, Peter and the Tasting Room Manager exchanged emails about logistics, scheduling, when to hang the show, and providing an artist's biography. As recently as 3 weeks ago, there was nothing from Eleven but enthusiasm: "I am really excited to have your works featured here at Eleven!"

Instead of hosting a reception to be attended by friends and family, Peter found himself in the parking lot, with his artwork in boxes. 

This is not how an artist should be treated. 

Jen sent an email to Eleven's owner, who replied that the problem was that Eleven needed a "better system in place for making sure that all art pieces provided for display in our tasting room locations are pre-approved, so that there are no surprises for either the artist or the tasting room manager at the time of the show." Apparently he forgot that the Manager had emailed Jen back in January that she "loved his work" and that "[w]e would be happy to have him showcased here at the winery."

In closing his email, the owner added this little bit: "My artist friends have told me that rejection is part of the deal with a career in art, and that ultimately this experience will make you stronger, blah blah blah.  I'm sure you don't want to hear any of that now."

No. He didn't want to hear that.

Peter Kirk's website:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Get Real About Getty

What would you do if you were Getty Images? If you're a big player in the banana market, you get to call the shots on the price of bananas.

The decision by Getty Images to make 35,000,000 images available for free makes sense for Getty. Getty is responsible to Getty.

Over the last 36 hours, my social media stream supplied a reaction ranging from "photographers hate Getty's plan" to "a second nail in the coffin of stock photography" to "welcome to the new world order of stock photography." "Surprise" was not among any of the headlines.

There seems to be a great need to re-mourn the death the stock photo world and re-indict Getty for its murder.

If you are going to criticize Getty, what is your beef? Is it that they try to pay as little as possible for content? (Who doesn't?) Is it that they destroyed the stock industry? (Someone was going to figure out how to take advantage of the emerging digital market.) Is it how they have driven down the value of what we do? (Who hasn't?) Do you expect them to be looking out for our best interests or their own?

So, the smart professional photographer doesn't operate solely within the Getty universe. The smart professional photographer knew this five years ago. Slinging rocks at Getty at this point doesn't make sense for the profession.

Our time would be better spent advocating for professional photography to the people who need to hear it, instead of complaining about the price of bananas to all the other monkeys. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Shoot my truck"

Last summer, my friend Jason (above) towed a 1968 Chevy truck from a field in Montana, where it had been sitting for 12 years, through blizzards and drought.  He was bringing the truck back to Bainbridge Island, where we both live.

The truck is from the island as well.

Jason, an architect, bought the truck from his friend Bob, a builder, who bought the truck in 1970 (Jason was born in 1982). It was Bob's work truck from 1970 until 2000, when it retired into the Montana field.

A new battery and a little starting fluid had the truck once again at work on Bainbridge. There were more than a few local tradesmen surprised to see "Bob's Truck" rolling around the island again. Now, when Jason drives the truck onto a work site, odds are close to 50/50 that some guy is going to say something about knowing "Bob's truck"

The truck is legend.

"I know it's not a Land Rover," he said, smiling, "but I want you to shoot my truck." He wanted me to take photos for two reasons. First, he plans to restore the truck next year and wants good "before" pictures. Second, Bob's birthday was coming up and he wanted to give him some nice photographs of his old truck.

I started asking Jason lots of questions about Bob and the truck. The moment I learned that Bob likes redheads, it hit me: this should be a pin-up.

It took approximately 7 seconds for Jason to agree with the concept.

Bob's birthday was last week.

He likes the present Jason got him the best.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Reflecting on how I shot Helen (the 2012 Range Rover Sport).

Before I ever actually sat behind the wheel, I had story-boarded multi-shot sequences, unfolding beautiful image after beautiful image. There were going to be interlocking story arcs. I involved friends in casting and props and lighting. I introduced myself to random Land Rover owners on the island, seeing if they'd be interested in participating as extras and interviewed them about their own vehicles.

I had my afterburners on for serious in the two weeks before I got the vehicle. 

I wasted a lot of time doing these things. 

Fortunately, I realized this the day before I met Helen. (Helen is the name I gave the 2012 Indus Silver Range Rover Sport.)

What I realized is that I was constructing images of Helen with no actual knowledge of her.  As someone who shoots a lot of portraits, I should have realized much earlier that I needed a level of understanding of the subject if it was going to succeed.

So, I decided to let it roll.  I tossed the "script" and drove the car. Within 3 days (I won't say how many miles or at what speed), I'd spent enough time with Helen to create some great images.  The only way I could transmit any feelings about the vehicle were to have some feelings in the first place.

In the end, most of the shots would not surprise people who are familiar with my work.  There are trees.  There is water.  There are dogs.  Some are at night.  All are in available light.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Top 10 Rejected Concepts for My Land Rover USA Shoot

At the end of September, Land Rover USA invited me to photograph one of their vehicles for a week. I finished shooting a 2012 Range Rover Sport a little more than a week ago.

My assignment: No restriction or guidance. "We don't want to see anything we've seen before."

Here is what did not make the cut.

Top 10 REJECTED Concepts for My Land Rover Shoot.

10. PROVOQUE - an homage to Helmut Newton, featuring the 2013 Evoque

9. "CURRY" - a straight rip-off of the 80s Grey Poupon from the 80s, except with hipsters and curry.

8. How bullet-proof is my Rover?

7. The magic of side-impact airbags.

6. "PETA" - photos of PETA executives enjoying the intoxicating smell of fine leather and the pleasure provided by seat warmers, "executives" can include super models.

5. 101 English Bulldogs 

4. Pimp-My-Rover

3. 1994 Toyota Camry vs. 2012 Range Rover Sport

2.The Discerning Rover Guide to the Best Truck Stops in the Northwest.

1. "What happens in a Rover, stays in a Rover."  Two women dancing in the headlights of a Range Rover that happens to be sporting diplomatic flags of a certain former colonial power and the personalized plate "HARRY."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Recipe for Mother of All Cheese Sandwiches

Tonight's dinner.

Before I became a photographer, I was, among many things, a line cook.  I picked up this "recipe" while on a "follow shift" at Lark, a great restaurant in Seattle run by Johnathan Sundstrom (yes, it is spelled like that).  This was prepared for "family meal," as the staff meal is otherwise known.  This is a great recipe if you've ever found yourself with a bunch of small pieces of good cheese.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Ingredients: A good french baguette and a bunch of different good cheeses.  If it's a hard cheese, grate it.  If it's a soft cheese, spread it.  Mix goat and cow.  Put in some blue.  Provolone is tasty.  Some grated low-moisture mozzarella (only a little).  

Split the baguette half, but don't cut all the way through.  Pry the bread open so it lays fairly flat.  Load cheese.  

Bake until GBD*.  Enjoy with a nice slice of apple and a glass red wine.

*Golden Brown and Delicious

Monday, October 1, 2012

A brief word about creepy photographs.

I have, until very recently, taken the world as I found it in front of my lens. My work remains predominantly documentary style.

I'm now engaged in several new creative projects that depart from this otherwise straightforward approach. The above photograph is the first of a new series, Constructed American Dreams.

When I am confronted by an image that I find creepy, my first impulse, for the vast majority of my life, was to blame the creator of the image. The "creepy" photograph operates like a searchlight uncovering things that we would rather not have to reconcile or recognize within ourselves. Why? Because photographs are silent as to their meaning. If you find an image "creepy" that is as much about you as it is about the photographer.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Dog of the Day

Cats seem to rule the Internet.

Every Friday, for the better part of the last two years, I have been posting my dog photos to my Facebook album, under the title "Friday Dog of the Day."

The time has come to ramp up my efforts against the predominance of cats on Facebook. Friday Dog of the Day will be launching its own Facebook page this Monday. Does the world need it? Frankly, yes. They are quite charming portraits, often with witty titles. I consider it a good kind of photographic graffiti.

Be a good boy/girl and repost/email this announcement, using one of the icons below this post. I'll give you a cookie. 

Ruby loves the beach, Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Friday, September 14, 2012

It was his grandmother's car.

She gave it to him when he turned 18.  The only body work it has ever had was the driver's side doors were pounded out.  Of course, it has been repainted. 

The owner smiled when I asked him about braking distance.  "I'll tell you this much, this baby can burn some rubber."  When asked the size of the engine, he said 420.  I looked suitably impressed.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Consequences for shooting people.

I received some nice news yesterday: my work has been accepted into the final round of judging for the 2012 International Fine Art Photography Competition and Grand Prix de la Découverte.  

I appreciate all the support and encouragement.  Here are 9 of the 10 images I submitted.  The 10th image appears earlier in this blog: here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On the Road

There are lots of photographs out on the road.

Over the next couple posts, I'm going to share some of the photographs that I shot during a recent road trip with my brother, from Seattle to Bloomington, Indiana. On the trip, we drove through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, ending in Indiana.

Invariably on road trips, I find myself wondering about the content, character, and destiny of this country.  I will rely on the observations of better writers than I to articulate the complexity of America.

"As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?" Alexis de Tocqueville(1805-1859), French Historian, author of Democracy in America.

Cashino, Rapid City, South Dakota

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rethinking Time (or Susan Sontag was wrong.)

In On Photography, Susan Sontag observed that "All photographs are memento mori.  To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability." 

My own experience of photography is different from that described by Sontag. That is not to say, however, that I don't recognize those "momento mori" aspects of what I do.  I would, however, say that it is more true that all photographs are a celebration of being alive.  To take a photograph is to see (or an attempt to see) something immortal, invulnerable, and immutable.  

I take photographs because something inside of me says "There it is."  [What it is I am never always clear.]  It is about the moment.  It is not about the moment after that or before that.  All photographs are affirmations, from this perspective, of the particular moment of being alive.  Each photograph from every photographer says "This is what it is to be alive for me."

Before they remind us of death, they first affirm life.  

Sontag would have known this if she were a photographer.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Engstrom Men

The youngest

have the fewest photographs.

He was awkward.

Not like the eldest,

who understood his role in life.

For he had an example

The father

that had lived a life his progeny had not

stands as an example

or cautionary tale

depending on

how you feel.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Mall versus the Salon

I am part of an online Facebook-based photography group, called Flak Photo Network (FPN).  Discussion recently turned to questions about the future of delivering art through means other than the established gallery route. Gallery representation is seen by many as the prime legitimating gatekeeper to this world that describes itself as "fine art."

During the discussion, someone pointed to 20 x 200, a project by Jen Bekman, the goal of which is to provide great art at affordable prices.  At that point, some person (who is on the staff of a museum on the east coast) chimed in with "20 x 200 brought the mall experience to collecting." I invited this individual to elaborate what he meant, but he declined.

This kind of statement is emblematic of the world view that real art is somehow reserved for people of a certain educational/professional/financial accomplishment, whose tastes have been rarified to the point to where they know what is good and bad with regard to art. This world view scoffs at attempts to bring art to those who are not part of this true art elite.  To these people, art is something that can be discussed, dissected, commodified, and evaluated on something other than completely subjective basis.  This myopia leaves them both blind and self-congratulatory.

Why does this attitude bother me?  Art is for everyone.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Poetry and the Unprofessional

A friend of mine, photographer Jaime Permuth, recently attended one of the sessions of FotoFest and relates this story:

Rainer-Maria Rilke
'I heard from a reviewer at FotoFest that there is an artist who answered each of his questions by opening a well-worn copy of Rilke and reciting a line of poetry. When the 20 minutes were almost over, the reviewer asked one final question and the artist handed over the book and said to him: "here, read for yourself."

Jaime shared this story on Facebook and reactions to the post included the suggestion that the artist was being "unprofessional," and a "pompous, pretentious fool."  

In the ordinary course of our lives, we speak and think in prose.  The visual artist does not.  

Words, by their very nature, reduce and limit.   Also, words, despite their apparent objectivity, are subjective.  In that, they are like photographs.

I do not know what other artists are trying to do. But for me, when I create a piece of work that is successful, whether it is a photograph, a painting, or a sculpture, it must have a certain quality about it: it must be referent to something that transcends language.  

This particular photographer decided not to play by the rules.  No doubt that more than a few reviewers were put off by his recitation of poetry.  If so, they missed listening to some beautiful poetry and probably missed looking at some beautiful images.

There are no rules in art.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Baggage Room

[I have drafted this essay as an introduction to the photographs I am showing this week in Houston, Texas at FotoFest 2012, a meeting place for gallery owners, museum curators, art collectors, and critics.]

Before you look at my work, I ask that you read this essay.

The thing that unites you and me is that we are both searching for images that matter. This task is made difficult, but not impossible, by the fact that photographs are everywhere, every place, and being created all the time by a growing number of people.

Are the images that matter the ones whose content was conceptualized, planned, constructed, executed, and synthesized?  To quote Paul Graham, the art world is eager to showcase artists who “use photography to illustrate their ideas, installations, performances and concepts.”  These artists operate by a creative process that art dealers can explain to their clients.  Curators of museums can explain these works to general public in a straightforward manner.  How these photographers work is readily understood.

But what about those photographers who engage the world as it is, whose works are not devised, arranged, or fabricated for special situations to imitate or replace usual realities.  One would think that, after the likes of Atget, Frank, Eggleston, Winogrand, and Graham, that the art world could appreciate a photographer whose work does not fit into a nice, neat, linear, coherent series.

If you could ask any of the artists above why they took a particular photograph, what they were trying to say, odds are that they would look at you as if your head were not screwed on straight. The answer to those questions is the image you behold.

The art world usually rejects work that it does not readily understand.  By readily, I mean within minutes.

For the most part, I am not interested in creating work that is easily understood.

I am presenting a work in progress, called Baggage Room. Since all the reviewers are not native English speakers, I will further explain the title. “Baggage” is American slang for a situation/condition/person/thing that gets in the way; a burden one is stuck with.  My photographs are designed to explore this concept, as well as the release or escape from “baggage.”  

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Last week, I attended the annual dinner and slide show held by the Seattle chapter of the ASMP (Amer. Society of Media Photographers).  As I mingled, I noticed nicely printed cards with photography related quotes on them, scattered among the tables.

I wandered, picking up cards here and there, looking for one that I liked. I'm a sucker for a good quote.

I stopped looking after finding this quote:

If your pictures aren't good enough,
you're not close enough.
- Robert Capa

Capa, one of the founders of Magnum, died after stepping on a landmine.  The mine blew his left leg off and he suffered shrapnel wounds to the chest.  He was covering the First Indochina War/Anti-French Resistance War.  The year was 1954.

Hockney & Atget

Avenue des Gobelins, Bainbridge Island, Washington (2009)
I don't remember when I first saw David Hockney's giant photo collages that he constructed by standing still and moving the frame of the camera around and building a scene, visual block by visual block.  It was in the early to mid 1980s, when I was a teenager.  For some reason I think it was at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

The work struck me on a couple of levels.  First, Hockney proved to me that there were pictures within pictures within pictures.  Second, it transgressed "the rules" and yet was successful.  Third, it was playful.  While it was breaking the rules, it smiled in the process.  Lastly, there is a strong intellectual underpinning to the work.

Having only recently resumed looking at photography, I neglected it for the better part of the last two decades as I figured out what I am supposed to be doing on this planet, I was struck by how the relative absence of images that could be described as both playful and intelligent out there in Photoland.

Photographers in the fine arts today seem to be predominantly conjuring up images and projects to create a works that evoke pathos. Sure, the ability to transform someone's emotions through images are what artist's strive to accomplish. There are things that photographs do inherently well. With no effort, they create nostalgia, which is a close cousin to pathos.

Atget, Avenue de l'Observatoire (1926)
At some point, I want something more than pathos. That's where Eugene Atget (pronounced Ah-Chay) comes in. One of the foundational figures in photography, he died in 1927, he took pictures of what he liked to look at. He wasn't working on some grand commentary on why modernism is stripping the individual of his identity. He photographed what interested him. [I suspect that he would not fare well in today's art world, but that is an essay for another time.]  What interested him was the spectacle of life around him.  Sure, there is pathos, but the unmanufactured pathos of life.  But there is also humor, irony, sarcasm, and a whole host of other subjects that fell under his lens.  Here is a wonderful article written by Minor White, published in 1956, about Atget, made available through the George Eastman House. (Be patient.  It is a big PDF and takes a minute to download and is travelling all the way from 1956.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Get a good pair of walking shoes and…fall in love."

The Blue Pot Knows, Bainbridge Island, Washington.
When asked for his advice to young photographers, Magnum photographer Abbas responded "Get a good pair of walking shoes and…fall in love."  A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hang out with a young photographer, a 10 year old boy named Dylan. I did dispense some advice while we went on a photo-walk with his mom. Though I did not suggest that he fall in love, I did mention that appropriate footwear is always a good idea.

Last week, I walked over a 100 block of Manhattan at least 3 times, wandering from the Upper West Side all the way down to Chinatown and Wall Street.  Though I walk every day, being in New York gave me a little extra to keep walking and walking.  I brought two pairs of shoes, a pair of black leather cap toe shoes and my Patagonia Waterproof insulated boots that I live in from October through April.

The advice about getting a good pair of shoes is invaluable.  But why does he say "fall in love?"  I think that it is because love is best pursued on foot.  That way you get a good look at everything on the way to love.

A review of the review.

Last Tuesday, I attended a fine art portfolio review organized by the New York City chapter of the ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers), a trade group of which I am a member.  The review, held in the meeting space of Calumet Photo in Manhattan, brought together 40 gallery owners, curators, editors, and collectors to look at new work.  There were between 100 - 110 people in attendance.

I had the good fortune of expecting a friendly face:  Doug Ljunkvist.  Doug and I met late last year in a photographer's forum on Facebook, known as Flak Photo Network.  We had exchanged observations about various points of photography and we quickly discovered we had similar photographic sympathies.  The review provided us the opportunity to meet in person.  He was sharing his ongoing project involving Ocean Beach, NJ.

I arrived early and was able to secure my choice of reviewers.  For me, the value of this experience lies not in examining a single person's thread, but stepping back and looking at what all the strands look like, including the strands drawn by other photographers showing that night.

For example, I love that, of a particular image, one reviewer said: "I think this is a really powerful image," where another observed about the exact same image "A little heavy handed, don't you think?"

I enjoyed discovering those particular images that made the reviewers slow down, to discover those 4 or 5 images that hooked them.  I have never written poetry, but it I imagine it is like watching someone read a selection of your poems.  I enjoyed watching the reviewers read my pictures and knowing where their eyes were on an image.  And it is a particular pleasure to see someone smile when they look at my work.

While I waited in between reviews, I chatted with a wide range of photographers sharing their work.   I could make some pretty good guesses about who in the room thought they were the next big thing. Some hid their craving for approval better than others.  The majority seemed like decent enough people.  My one generalization: the room could have been divided between those presenting their vision and those seeking affirmation of their vision.

A couple of days later I went for a photo-walk with Doug and we talked about our respective photographic journeys over pizza in Brooklyn.

I will be attending another fine art portfolio review, next month in Houston.  More about that later.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The greatest photograph I never took.

It was in the middle of a vibrant street market in one of the squares in Marseilles.

It was of a group of Muslim women, crowded and pressing up against each other, pawing around a 8' x 8' table filled with colorful assortment of undergarments, ranging from push-up bras to strapless numbers, as well as the great diversity of panties from small to smaller, and to smallest.  The banter was highly animated and full of laughter, with women helping other women find that special something, even holding up bras to model.

The light was perfect.  The colors, spectacular.  I could have taken 2 shots without breaking stride.  I knew I could.

If I lifted my camera, it could have become an extremely unpleasant scene very quickly.

So, as I walked by, I lifted the camera to my eye in my imagination alone.  I know my camera like the back of my hand, so I know what would have been where in the frame at the precise moment I would have fired the shutter.  I saw my focus point.

They are beautiful photographs.  I think I like the first one better than the second.  Perhaps, one day, though some as-yet-unknown scientific process, we will be able to create the pictures that live in our memory.  When that day comes, I promise to post it here.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

There is no reason.

2012 Snow Diptych, Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Q: Why did you take that picture?

A: For no other reason than I wanted to.  It was an impulse to make a photograph.

Q: But what are you trying to say?

A: Why do I have to be saying anything?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

If you like this photo. . .

The first snow, Bainbridge Island, Washignton.
One of the things that I think is funny is there is a great need for photographers, and artists in general, to be held out as singular visionaries, whose genius springs forth from their brains, as complete as Zeus' children.  

The fact of the matter is that any photographer who is worth anything has in his or her brain millions of images that have come before.  And that is just talking about photographs. No more than our bodies, to a greater or lesser extent, reflect what you feed them, how we photograph is a reflection of what we choose to look at.

People often ask me how one learns photography.  I think it was Walker Evans who admonished his students to really look, to stare.  I would add to that, look at good photography.

I tend to like "old school" photographers.  One of the greatest was Harry Callahan.  [Wikipedia will be offline on Jan. 18, 2012 to protest SOPA.] The photograph on the right is one of many Callahan took of his wife, Eleanor. If you interested, here is a link to an interview of Harry Callahan from early 1980s.  He's as unpretentious a photographer as you will find.

It seems a little unfashionable in certain photography circles to talk about who your inspirations are.  I have no problem telling you that Harry Callahan is one of my artistic heroes.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Small reflection.

When I am in between jobs I walk around with my camera and take photos of whatever interests me.  I like to think of if as taking batting practice, but where I get to keep the triples and home runs.  I got some nice hits today.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Looks like a crime scene to me. (Part IV)

Phil, Bainbridge Island, Washington.
I live on an island that lies a 35 minute ferry boat ride from Seattle.  In the early 1900s, Bainbridge Island was the center of shipbuilding on the West Coast, on account of the quality and quantity of timber.  Bainbridge is nearly the exact dimensions of Manhattan.  The entire island was clear-cut more than 100 years ago.

Where trees were not replaced, farms were born.  If you have read Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson, you have read of the fictionalized life of Bainbridge Island.  It is a place where Japanese farmers settled in the early part of the 20th century to farm strawberries.

Farms live and die.  There are efforts underway to bring several back to life.  Some, though, are being reclaimed by the land.  This is a photograph of just such a place.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Joining the great stream of images.

In this post-modern world, the real smarties go around saying that are no original thoughts.  The annoying thing about these post-modernists is that if they knew Ecclesiastes, they would have realized that their important insight about unoriginality is, in fact, a very unoriginal thought.

This is a rather round about way of introducing you to a new addition to my website, called Projects.  I create a tremendous amount of images, not simply as commercial work, but from my own need to photograph.  For the last three years, I have probably averaged 35k images per year.  (I raised the question of "how many photos do you take a year" once in a photography forum.  A lot of people had some very strong opinions about the value of working one way or another, which I found odd, as if there were some correct way to produce a photograph. I was just curious how many photos other photographers took, as I don't hang out with photographers, except virtually.)

In fulfilling my own need to photograph, patterns and themes and objects naturally arise.  There isn't anything I am not interested in photographing.  Under the new heading of Projects, I will be presenting different collections of images.  Some with be quite linear, like the first entry: Chairs.  Others will not be.

If you want a trip down back in time to 1950s America and want to see another photographer (some punk named Robert Frank) who liked chairs, visit this issue of Life Magazine.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What we don't see.

One of the aspects of photography that I enjoy is the silent collaboration I have with every person that looks at my photographs.  As a photographer, I can only hope my images find people who are in the mood to look.

I took this photo last September on Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

I was struck immediately by the way this man walked out of the  water.  He strode.  There are certain men whose movements are marked by having served in the military.  This man was one of them.

His friend is enjoying a dip in the warm and blue waters of Waikiki.  They have been life long friends.  They like to travel.  His friend loves to swim.

"It's his favorite thing," the man told me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Walking around Bremerton with Walker Evans and William Eggleston.

When I am between assignments, I wander with my camera.

I took these 5 photographs this afternoon in Bremerton, Washington.  They are of the environment around a discount shopping mall.  It has a Value Village, a second-hand store based in the Pacific Northwest.  The old Dollar Store is now vacant.  Another huge retail space, former home of Stupid Prices, sits empty.  A Grocery Outlet thrives.

When I get tired of looking at depressing urban environments, I look at trees.  When I get tired of looking at trees, I look at people.  When I get tired of people, I look at water.  I never get tired of looking.  That was one of the things I found so re-assuring when I discovered Walker Evans and William Eggleston: neither man seems/ed to get tired of looking at the world.