I remain a huge fan of the Christopher Nolan Batman films. Some people complain about how “dark” they were, but I found them quite funny, savvy and hopeful. In retrospect there wasn’t even any blood in the movies, which goes to show how effective dialogue, music and cinematography can trick people into believing something is really “adult” or “dark” or “intense” when it’s actually “all ages.” To this end I did a few of the villains as ceramic masks, and chose the movie versions of Scarecrow and Bane (Two Face I just do from memory but we can pretend he’s from the movie if you’re up for it). All three are currently up for grabs at my Etsy shop.
Vacations with the family are perfectly suited material for the Fuji Instax instant film. We found these “Mario Kart-esque” plastic palms on an extremely windy and sandy Sunday at Coney Island beach park. Coney Island had nature and history and texture beyond this so it’s an ideal location for me to shoot. I want to spend a whole day there next time- panos, models, family, fireworks, etc.
I’m putting a number of fuji instax/ polaroids up over at etsy, all of models from the last 3 years. I am actually more excited about shooting analogue instax images than I ever have been, thanks in part to this awesome polaroid book which opened my eyes to the creativity possible when you start slashing and painting and putting the images in different contexts. As I mentioned though, I have 3 years worth of instax that need to sell to pay for future photoworks/ feed the family.
When Lacheln and I shot some work a couple months back, she created paper head dresses in yellow and blue. They lent themselves to be interpreted as elements, so when I worked on the “blue” images I froze a couple in ice and rephotographed them. A slight angle when rephotographing
the image gives it a real “caveman version of free transform” look.
It’s no understatement that Anastasia Arteyeva is one of my favorite people to photograph. One of Ana’s best qualities is she is fearless to ideas and not worried about, say, getting feet dirty or looking “unpretty” by rolling her eyes back or making a bizarre expression- except that time I mentioned “tears of teeth”. These kinds of models want to make great images as much as the photographer does and are willing to do what it takes to make those images.
I shot Ana 3 times last year and in the year since it had been exactly 12 months since I last worked with her, so I had a long list of shots I’d wanted to do whenever we caught up. I usually get partway down that list until we start shooting extra stuff that comes up spontaneously. Usually the best work is from that spontaneous inspiration, such as noticing the couch in the studio had a checkered pattern that matched this outfit. I’ve got some of the instax/ polaroids of this set up for grabs at Etsy currently.
My brain spends its summer vacations in Remix Culture Land. That could be remixing photos or music. and I did a hell of a lot of remixing music these last few months. Occasionally you can get the multitrack “stems” from the band via some kind of contest, but one neat workaround is getting them from the Rock Band series of games. I have all the Beatles Rock Band material, for example, and it’s a revelation to hear the bits you couldn’t ever make out, and to be able to do a more modern mixing on the tracks that had Ringo mixed really low and in one channel only.
Two of the tracks I did from those Rock Band multitracks are what we used to call “smart metal” or “art metal,” Faith No More’s “Epic” and “Mountain Song” by Jane’s Addiction. The Faith No More song had a nice steady bpm that was easily google-able and my strategy was to mix all the guitar, bass and keyboard parts in completely different places under a jungle beat.
The strategy for “Mountain Song” was merely to drop out all the hard rock elements and leave the ambient sounds that lurked underneath. It became almost pretty.
I had printed a few images on 16×20 canvas last year- my more traditional large format black and white images that suit the fine art canvas look. With the holidays coming, canvas deals are all over the place and I’m ready to order more. These guys are up at Etsy with some others. I like canvas for images like these, not so much for my other photography- the piece needs to really be “wall art,” and not “conceptual gallery art,” and there is a difference in my mind.
The printer I like is CG Pro Prints. There are many canvas printers, some with pretty dodgy names like “Canvas Discount,” but CG had the best quality and nicest stretching out of the 3 companies I’d sampled. This year I’ll be doing a set of my Western Zen images.