I hope everyone had as much fun as I did yesterday in the snow!
Tchunlo is a town like many in Michigan that will never fully recover after its collapse. Unlike most, however, it wasn’t just an economical downfall; it was also a plant meltdown.
Growth has come to a halt and although it’s winter the sky carries an odd hue. It hasn’t sat dormant long enough to resemble a post apocalyptic landscape and its former life is apparent. A worn basketball court. An empty park.
Due to contamination it’s unfit for anybody to spend extended time there. What’s interesting is the one population that’s not only remained, but grown: crows.
Scientists haven’t had sufficient time for their studies to show significant results, but the current plan involves a year of monitoring. In the meantime this town is yet another reminder of our impact on nature and how delicate life is.
I’ve already had a stellar photo career with many great experiences. Along the way I’ve worked with some wonderful people. On occasion I’m lucky enough to work with the same subject at yearly intervals. Such is the case with L’Meese.
I first worked with her in 2008 when I exhibited in a two-person show with renowned fashion photographer Stan Malinowski in Chicago. From Fantasy to Fashion drew an incredible crowd of collectors and I was proud to show my interpretation of fashion photography with Stan’s photographs for such publications as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Playboy. From Janice Dickinson to Iman in Valentino’s atelier, it was a smashing success. More of Stan’s work can be seen here.
I showed new work, inspired by Stan’s big budget shoots of yesteryear. L’Meese’s portrait below was included in the exhibit.
There are many things in life I’ll never understand, like texting while driving or fans of the Chicago Cubs. Equally confusing is this fascination with comic book heroes starring in feature length films. Don’t get me wrong I love comic books, but condensing decades of knowledge into a two hour slot, combining it with more CG than any mortal should endure and expecting action to look real because of quick camera motion is a tragedy. BUT there’s one thing I find more confusing: when other photographers ask what I shoot with.
The answer is: a camera. That’s all anybody needs to know and should already be implied. Why not ask what I drive (or ride depending on the weather)? Since the vehicle delivers me to the shoot, isn’t that equally important if not more? Asking what I shoot with suggests my imagery isn’t entirely mine, but a result of how much I spent on gear. A photographer is someone who works with light. They’re problem solvers and comfortable working in any situation and with any image capturing mechanism (except phones).
This isn’t to say I don’t love my camera, because I couldn’t be happier with what I work with. It’s just that anytime I’ve gotten into this conversation with another photographer, it goes absolutely nowhere.
“What do you shoot with?”
“What do you shoot with?”
If YOU have the answer, please join in.
Nia is a model that’s well ahead of the game and a fabulous person to work with. That’s what allowed us to be more creative during our shoot. Not only did she own the in studio strobe sets with her many looks, but she handled daylight and lengthy fluorescent bulb exposures with the same style and grace.
Below are two looks from two different strobe sets:
It was 6:56pm on the evening of August 15 when the flamboyant detective understood this was no ordinary murder scene.
At the same time across town the afflicted war veteran was having realizations of his own…
While his friend, the turbulent mob associate, was in the middle of a very important business deal.
The details from that transaction made no difference to the occupant of the residence one house to the south. The distressed burglar was hard at work, reaping what he could as his window was closing fast…
But not as fast as the clever spy’s.
“What’s the hurry”, said the brilliant psychopath to himself in the mirror of an apartment he had entered only once before.
The following day was spent analyzing images and materials taken from the gruesome display by the flamboyant detective.
And breakfast was ruined for two nameless thugs by an unannounced visit from the turbulent mob associate.
But the thugs had it easy compared to the clever spy, who withstood a night of interrogation and still maintained his cover.
Another day, another “…fuck it”, said the afflicted war veteran.
“50/50.” No matter how prepared, the distressed burglar knows there’s a fifty-fifty chance things could go wrong during any break in.
“Are you certain get the fuck out of here are the last words you’d ever like to say?” asked the brilliant psychopath.
A broken vase. A sideways chair. That was the extent of the mess made when the clever spy broke free and overtook his captors.
The minutes felt like hours as the flamboyant detective tried to comprehend what had taken place in the crimson apartment. “Could a human have done this?”
Some have no conscience.
Others remember all too well.
Some like to talk.
Others prefer the quiet.
It’s important to stay busy, but it’s also important to have fun. I recently began a series of images involving six different characters. Over time their stories will grow and conflict.
The guidelines are simple: only I can be in the image and it must be shot in my apartment, common area or basement. The techniques, however, are limitless.
I present: the brilliant psychopath, the afflicted war veteran, the clever spy, the distressed burglar, the turbulent mob associate and the flamboyant detective.
We can do the same for you. Contact us for more information.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, my father enjoys photographing wooded wintry scenes. Below are a few he’s taken in the recent past. My father has been photographing since the 60’s. For a period he even developed film and printed images in a darkroom built in the basement of the house I grew up in. It’s safe to say that his style, eye and passion for photography have positively influenced my life.