Magdalena, still age 5. Combination of my new Fuji X-E1, the 35mm 1.4, new portable monolight, and my favorite model. I think it’s an enormous leap in quality.
Some of my favorite photographers used their family as art subjects… Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Sally Mann, Harry Callahan. You’ve got a subject that you have strong feelings about and access to at all parts of the day, and that subject knows the photographer well and family members get to be creative together. Definitely a path worth exploring.
A new lens came in the mail, the Fujinon 50mm 1.4. I got it by trading in my beat-up Nikon D700, a full frame camera that I’d had for over 4 years and was holding on to because, well, “I could use a backup camera” and “it’s a full frame and my new one isn’t” and other excuses But truth be told modern technology is only modern within a 3 year span, and whatever you replace
Around 2006 through 2009 I photographed a lot of animals. It was a subject matter that was easier to pursue when the kids were in strollers and I had a functional 70-300mm lens. Then the lens broke and I had transitioned into model photography… Then a couple weeks back Fuji initiated a sale on their X series lenses, and I snatched up the 55-200mm (equivalent to a 70-300mm with the mirrorless camera). The first destination was Wildlife World Zoo outside of Phoenix, a place that has really easy access to the wildlife. Tele work is not so easy for me to get in the swing of shooting, as I usually stick to a normal prime lens and have a good sense of how near/ far I need to be.
I made a lot of ceramic sculptural masks recently; photo shoots really slow down in the week leading to Christmas all the way to late January, and kids are on vacation, so there’s not much to do but sculpt. I watched a documentary on Famous Monsters of Filmland and tackled a bunch of those characters, and I also did several guys inspired by the late King of Comics, Jack Kirby. I just fell in love with his approach to faces. Large brows, huge ugly teeth on villains. If I tried to do a Neal Adams sculpture I wouldn’t know where to begin, but these characters have the strongest lines and weight and power. Currently up for grabs on Etsy. Feel free to contact me for commission requests!
With two young kids I spend a lot of time consuming children’s entertainment, and thinking about what made an impression on me as a kid. Around age 10 I recieved a book on Looney Toons animation that had a very in-depth view into the making of the cartoons. It was then I realized some directors were better than others, and some cartoons were actual ground breaking milestones. The single best cartoon of all Looney Toons was, in my mind, Chuck Jones’ 4th-wall-breaking torture of Daffy Duck in “Duck Amuck.”
It’s still very much taken for granted that subject, background and sound combine to communicate a singular concept in a video sequence (the same goes for photography, but minus the sound). ”Duck Amuck” takes those segments apart and reassembles them so when Daffy opens his beak, strange animals sounds spill out, and he notices it but clearly doesn’t have control over his own body. A few minutes later, the film frame splits, creating two Daffys who are instantly antagonistic to each other. Maurice Noble’s background art styles use sometimes realistic paintings, sometimes flat shapes with sketchy lines that evoke smoke the way my 5 year old draws them. Writer Michael Maltese and voice actor Mel Blanc ranges Daffy’s emotions from rage, fear, frustration to reasoned bargaining to pure joy and back within a few minutes. Tie this tour de force with director Chuck Jones’ immaculate sense of timing and camera techniques and it’s such a tour de force I want to watch it over and over.
model Angel Lin in Marcel Dejure wardrobe, additional styling by Laura Buenrostro and Jamie Graden
I look back at my photography from the last 3 years and see the huge impact this cartoon had on it. People are shredded and reassembled, unreal elements are added to prints (like paint and embroidery) that interact with the “real” elements. Sometimes there’s literal cartoons within the images. Odd juxtapositions, like a very dark element in a light scenario, or vice versa are common. I’ve even gone for flatter, more graphic design type of backgrounds in the last few months instead of 3 dimensional environments.
I shot these photos over 2 years ago with model Alysha Nett, and I didn’t do much with them at the time. It was part of a set I shot with a designer, Jacci Jaye, and 3 other models, but the other 3 got shot in a studio in a cleaner environment, so that became the basis of the image series and these ones of Alysha around my friend’s apartment got left on a hard drive.
Cut to January 2014 and after selling a polaroid of Alysha on Etsy, I spent about 5 minutes in Lightroom and knocked out some simple versions I really liked. Then I made the photo grid presented here for my Instagram, and (as of the time of this writing) I like the grid even more than the individual images.
What makes the difference in two years? Why do photographers and other artists see something new in material that is not new and fresh? Alan Moore talks about how critical we can be of our creative selves, and it’s pretty common for creative people to despise what we create as soon as we make it. More mature eyes can look kindly at our previous work and think, “that wasn’t actually that bad.” At this moment in time I don’t owe anyone involved in the making of this photo anything, and the pressure of pleasing other people is gone.
Anyways, some of this set will be getting the bigger mixed media treatment soon!
I’ve spent close to 2 years making tunes as Artificial Human with Luxbot Lacheln, and we’ve made enough quality tunes that it’s moving on to the next phase- video and performance. Because it’s generally electronic, the performance has to be more “performance art” than “live performance.” “Play Dead” is a taste of our most recent stuff (featuring Glass Olive on backing vocals):