Dec 11 2018

FIRE + ICE

Photo by Blake

It’s weird. Yesterday I was writing about being stuck in the mud. I think I spent like 3 minutes on that post, had dinner, watched Incredibles 2, and then went to bed. 

I woke up this morning unstuck. Could it be just by acknowledging a stuckness, you then become unstuck? 

I always look at my projects with the metaphor of a bus. Like my idea or project I am working on is the bus and I am the bus driver. It’s up to me to get this thing up and over these mountains, rain or shine. 

I have driven through 1000s of blizzards. But sometimes this particular bus, project, thought, or idea wasn’t built to for this kind of weather. I have tried to upgrade at times, replace parts, etc. yet still sometimes no matter what you just get stuck and there’s nothing you can do about it. 

But this morning I woke up with a new metaphor. I am a DJ. 

I make songs (photos). I find other songs (photos) by other people (you) and I put together records (Hamburger Eyes). 

Not sure how this simple re-framing of a metaphor can change everything, but it did. Everything feels lighter seemingly instantly. 

While it would be nice, it isn’t about the money. It’s about showcasing new photos. It’s that simple. It’s not about a world tour on a bus. It’s about making music. If money comes, awesome. If not, then I still have all these songs. 

I think it’s easy to get sidetracked with bills and dreams. That doesn’t mean the playlists have to end.  

Dec 10 2018

Productivity

Photo by Zane Grant

What does productivity mean to you? I feel crazy busy these days but not productive at all. And when I am not productive is when I start feeling annoyed with myself. 

For me, making stuff is productive. Shooting photos is the input and showing them is the output. This feels like the machine of productivity that I am used to and want to be part of. 

Getting rid of massive amounts of stuff feels productive. Clearing space for new ideas feels productive. 

Running around town doing errands does not feel productive, but laundry does. Social media does not feel productive, but blogging does.

I don’t even know where I am going with this. I think prioritizing what is most important is what productivity is. In our case, photography. 

Warren Buffet said something along the lines of, “Write down 20 of the most important goals and things you need to do and accomplish. Spend a lot of time on it. Then take the top 3, and throw the rest away.”

Dec 03 2018

Edits

This is Ed Templeton signing copies of his latest book at Arcana Books. One of the best photo books stores on the planet and it happens to be 2 minutes from my house.

I was blogging about how different editing for books is vs. editing for zines, prints, and internet. Each seems to have its own dialect, boundaries, and obstacles. As you get older you find out that you may be more fluent in some of these languages than others.

It’s easy to say that a “winning” photo would translate on any medium, sure. But that is the short game. The long game isn’t about 1 photo, it’s about all of your photos and how you choose to set them free into the world. Maybe one will end up on a wall in a mansion in Malibu, maybe a big group of them will end up in a book on a shelf at the thrift store.

When you are making these things you get into the subtle dimensions like paper texture, ink texture, stiffness of cover, etc. Then you have the literal dimensions of the book and the spine width. Then you have the 4th dimension of time, the physical flipping of the pages and the sequencing of photos.

On the other hand, on a blog there is scrolling. And it is infinite. There are screen dimensions vs website dimensions. There are your resolutions vs their resolutions. And there is a built in attention deficit disorder meter running.

I am probably over thinking it, but all this is part of the craft. If we are to be called photographers, then we are to be called craftsmen I think.

Nov 30 2018

CHRIS LESKOVSEK

NAME:

Chris Leskovsek

LOCATION:

A little village called New Zealand

WEAPONS OF CHOICE:

Some digital cameras that don’t look cool to list here, with 28mm, (40mm), 55mm lenses.

WORDS TO LIVE BY:

Photograph to stay awake and be present.

HEROES:

storm thorgerson, salvador dali, dieter rams, andy warhol, henry rollins, daido moriyama, sergio larrain, saul leiter

MOVIES:

The Terminator 2, Snatch, Rosso Profundo (deep red), The Secret in their eyes (and most of Ricardo Darin’s movies), Amores Perros, Pan’s Labyrinth, Up, Twin Peaks (not the movie but the TV show, love it, recently watched it again)

LINKS:

Site – www.chrisleskovsek.com
IG – @chris_leskovsek

Nov 27 2018

Down by the Hudson

Photos by Caleb Stein
Text by Amitava Kumar

I don’t know what post-industrial decline means. It is a vague notion in my head. Boarded-up homes, the husk of dead factories with broken windows and overgrown grass, businesses gone to seed. And the people? The people are missing in this picture of decay in my mind. When I first came to Poughkeepsie fifteen years ago, I was told by an academic that while there were pockets of prosperity in Hudson Valley, this town had suffered from post-industrial decline. I’m not a sociologist and I cannot say with certainty if such a statement is even true. But what draws me to Caleb Stein’s images is that he provides us the people missing from my mental picture. And what’s surprising about these images, no, what’s honest about them is that instead of people, we get faces. Individual lives. Their wealth of stories and secrets are shielded from us—mysteries that we cannot part—but we wonder and ask questions because that is what I think the photographer himself is doing. Hello? How are you? How is your day going? I imagine him asking this over and over again with the same people who then begin to treat him as a neighbor that he undoubtedly is. The photographer as everyman. On the street, in parks, and at the watering hole where we see that his eye is as clear as the water. Consider the remarkable image of the Prom Boy, a picture taken on the street on which I live. This image does fill me with wonder. Such a fine, even tender, mix of contradictions: the large flower in the buttonhole, the bandage on the nose, the slightly askew bowtie, the bruised eye, the stubbornly dignified gaze… I could go on. I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong in saying any of this about the young man. All I can be certain about is that this is what living is about, this tussle with the real, this strange encounter across divisions of race and class, in a rectangular visual space. This is life.

http://caleb-stein.squarespace.com/

Nov 24 2018

TOM SOUZER

NAME:

Tom Souzer

LOCATION:

Pittsburgh PA

WEAPONS OF CHOICE:

XPRO 1 with a 28mm/50mm equivalent or my phone.

WORDS TO LIVE BY:

Shoot what you feel and feel what you shoot.

FIRST KISS:

7th Grade I think? Haha.

BOOKS:

The Americans (Frank), Wayward Cognitions (templeton), The Family of Man, Arthur Pollock, Earthlings (kalvar), Mean Streets (Grazda), and The Animals (Winogrand)

LINKS:

Website – http://www.tomsouzer.com
IG – @tomsouzer