#73 Seductive, with artist Rachael Dunville

Connection, Relationship, Intimacy, & Storytelling

Rachael Dunville, “Sim” (2006)  Chromogenic Print   ON HER WALL

Rachael Dunville, “Sim” (2006) Chromogenic Print

ON HER WALL


“I’ve never met a stranger.”

— Rachael Dunville (quoting her mom)

 

CAROLYN

CAROLYN and I conspired, long before the immediacy of the selfie-culture, to chronicle our overlapping obsessions—portraiture and her own disarming image.  

Since 2003, I've provoked my timeless, exhibitionist friend, exploring her projections of femininity, vanity, motherhood, and maturity. 

Objectifying her willing figure, I’ve observed the nuances of her illustrative gesture, her unabashed aging.  Decorative garments, or lack thereof, fail to disguise the tenor of her countenance, weaving between terse, lascivious, overwhelmed, or even void. 

These fifteen-years have revolutionized the medium of photography and witnessed the rise of digital narcissism in tandem with Carolyn’s vulnerable confessions.  I, too, shifted perspectives from behind my various lenses—from curious admirer to privileged spectator, from fellow collaborator to dedicated confidant.

What remains is an ongoing portrait of complicated, transformative self-identity as an Xennial woman.



NOTEWORTHY SINGLE SUBJECT WORKS

Nicholas Nixon “Sisters” (1978 Harwich Port, Mass. and 2010, Truro, Mass.)

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/03/magazine/01-brown-sisters-forty-years.html

Harry Callahan, “Eleanor”


Show Me State

SHOW ME STATE is an ongoing, 20+ year portrait of the Missourian allure in which I grew up and to which I belong.  With striking impunity, its residents (friends, strangers, and intimates) gaze straight into the camera, and therefore, straight into me.  This oscillating event, of looking and being-seen, circulates desire and tension—fundamental to the act of making a portrait.

In an era where reticence and obscurity define our mortal guise, where personal significance is tangled between selfies and self-worth, these individuals evince unflinching presence, eccentricity, curiosity, and vulnerability. 

Unveiled in our hushed interface is a state of emotional undress, an intuitive exchange, a subtle seduction between willing participants.  

ON THE WALLS of RACHAEL DUNVILLE

Matthew Pillsbury, “HBO’s Rome. Thursday October 13th 2005, 12-12:50am” from the “Screen Lives” series.   http://www.matthewpillsbury.com

Matthew Pillsbury, “HBO’s Rome. Thursday October 13th 2005, 12-12:50am” from the “Screen Lives” series.

http://www.matthewpillsbury.com

Katy Grannan, Claire (Burned) Baker Beach (2006), from  The Westerns    http://www.katygrannan.com

Katy Grannan, Claire (Burned) Baker Beach (2006), from The Westerns

http://www.katygrannan.com



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#72 Seeing: Your Eye is Not a Camera

This was a magical tree, in beautiful light. But it looks flat and unfocused here. What gives?

This was a magical tree, in beautiful light. But it looks flat and unfocused here. What gives?


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#71 Living on Both Sides of the Lens: Meet Ellian Raffoul

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELLIAN

Shooting on Instagram: @ellian.co

http://www.ellian.co/

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PHOTOGRAPHY OF ELLIAN

Modeling on Instagram: @ellian.raffoul

Modeling contact: @scoutmodelagency 

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#70 Where the Photo Meets the Frame: Meet Artist Jefferson Hayman

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“Photography is the easiest medium with which to be merely competent. Almost anybody can be competent. It’s the hardest medium in which to have some sort of personal vision and to have a signature style.” – Chuck Close

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William Joseph McCloskey's 1890 trompe l'oeil still life “Oranges in Tissue Paper”

William Joseph McCloskey's 1890 trompe l'oeil still life “Oranges in Tissue Paper”


Robert Frank - Pedestrian Crossing Center White Line on 34th Street, NY, 1948.

The version I am more familiar with…

The version I am more familiar with…

From The Metropolitan Museum of Art and  The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

From The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


Together, by Jefferson Hayman

Together, by Jefferson Hayman

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INSPIRATION

The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.” ― Chuck Close


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#69 Storytelling with Photos: Meet Stephanie Heimann

Photography at THE NEW REPUBLIC magazine: https://newrepublic.com/tags/photography

Danny Wilcox Frazier /VII for  The New Republic   (insta: @dannywilcoxfrazier)

Danny Wilcox Frazier/VII for The New Republic

(insta: @dannywilcoxfrazier)

Amy Lombard  for  The New Republic   (insta: @amylombard)

Amy Lombard for The New Republic

(insta: @amylombard)


Stephanie Heimann

Stephanie Heimann

Stephanie Heimann is the the Photo Director for The New Republic based in NYC. She has garnered several awards for the magazine, including a 2018 National Magazine Award nomination for feature photography and the 2017 Magazine Picture Editor of the Year Award from the NPPA. She has worked on many international and domestic magazines and was Al Gore’s photo editor on the sequel to his book Inconvenient Truth. Her career began as a photojournalist covering post-Soviet culture and the first war in Chechnya, and she spent almost ten years as an expatriate photo editor based in Moscow, Hong Kong, and Europe.

(from https://fence.photoville.com/jury/stephanie-heimann/)


ON THE WALL of Stephanie Heimann…

Stanley Greene, “ CHECHNYA ” Grozny, Tchétchénie, 1995

Stanley Greene, “CHECHNYA” Grozny, Tchétchénie, 1995

Thomas Dworzak/Magnumphotos
CHECHNYA, Grozny. 7/1996. The shrapnel-splattered wall of the Central Exhibition Hall.

Vincent Cianni, “Fourth of July fireworks, Water Street, Newburgh, New York” (2016)


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#68 Printing on Glass: Meet Fracture

Neomodern isn't the only company with a passion for getting images off your phone and onto your wall: Fracture is a growing business that has tapped into the challenges of printing on glass, in the tradition of Ansel Adams' and even the original Daguerreotypes, all photographic processes on glass.

We spoke with Herb Jones, CMO of Fracture, about their mission and process.

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ON THE WALL of Herb Jones

by Herb Jones, 2016

by Herb Jones, 2016


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#67 The Life/Time Project

I’ve been trying to figure out how to best execute this idea since 1989. First as a book. Then a Hypercard stack, then CD-ROM… CD-I… Website… then Wiki…

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The first proposal (looking for an agent) in 1989

The first proposal (looking for an agent) in 1989

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from Chapter 17

from Chapter 17

from Chapter 28

from Chapter 28


Ross Goodwin, the guy at Google that Suzanne mentions…

http://www.thehypertext.com/2015/12/01/novel-camera/


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#66 Are Still Photos Dead? Meet Frederick Barnes

 
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“The Road to Pt. Reyes” by Lucasfilm/Pixar (1984): A one-frame movie.

“The Road to Pt. Reyes” by Lucasfilm/Pixar (1984): A one-frame movie.

“… I am a filmmaker [but] I’m very much akin to a toy-maker. If i wasn’t a filmmaker I’d probably be a toy-maker. I like to make things move, and I like to make them myself. Just give me the tools and I’ll make the toys…”

—George Lucas, 1974


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#65 The Zen Arts & Photography. With Chris Lunt

The Zen Aesthetic, Or Wabi-Sabi

Zen has a unique aesthetic, which includes a great appreciation for moderation, asymmetry, imperfection, rusticity, and naturalness.

This Zen aesthetic concept is called Wabi-sabi, and it sees beauty in things that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. In art, Wabi-sabi is manifested in modest, humble, unpretentious and earthy artworks.


Hokusai 's   The Great Wave off Kanagawa  , 1831  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukiyo-e#/media/File:The_Great_Wave_off_Kanagawa.jpg

Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa, 1831

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukiyo-e#/media/File:The_Great_Wave_off_Kanagawa.jpg

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)

Horikiri Iris Garden (Horikiri no hanashōbu), from  One Hundred Famous Views of Edo   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshige#/media/File:Utagawa_Hiroshige_I,_published_by_Uoya_Eikichi_-_Horikiri_Iris_Garden_(Horikiri_no_hanashōbu),_from_the_series_One_Hundred_Famous_Views_of_Edo_(Meish..._-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Horikiri Iris Garden (Horikiri no hanashōbu), from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshige#/media/File:Utagawa_Hiroshige_I,_published_by_Uoya_Eikichi_-_Horikiri_Iris_Garden_(Horikiri_no_hanashōbu),_from_the_series_One_Hundred_Famous_Views_of_Edo_(Meish..._-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)   Asakusa Kinryuzan  (Asakusa Kinryuzan [Sensoji Temple]), from the series  Meisho Edo hyakkei  (One hundred views of famous places of Edo)

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)
Asakusa Kinryuzan (Asakusa Kinryuzan [Sensoji Temple]), from the series Meisho Edo hyakkei (One hundred views of famous places of Edo)




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BONSAI

Seeing the universe in everything.

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KINSUGI

Embrace flaws. The articulation of wabi-sabi

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IKEBANA

Balance and harmony of elements.

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ENSO

Effortless elegance.

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

HAIKU

Poetic constraints.

How admirable

he who doesn’t think life is fleeting

when he sees the lightning.

(Basho)

Pepperpods

Put wings on them

And they’re dragonflies

(Basho)


Mushotoku represents a state of mind where the spirit does not seek to obtain anything. This is the attitude of a mind that do not get attached to objects and that seeks no personal profit.

Hishiryo is a state of mind beyond thinking and non-thinking. During the practice of Zazen, it is the normal condition of the consciousness.

Zanshin is a concept found in Zen, Budo (Japanese martial arts), particularly Kendo, and in many Japanese arts, such as Ikebana (flower arrangement), chado (the tea ceremony) and sumi-e (ink painting).

Fudoshin is the 'immovable mind', that is, the mind that has met all challenges of life, and has attained a state of complete composure and fearlessness. This state of equanimity is essential in the practice of Zazen and Budo.

Mushin is the essence of Zen and Japanese martial arts. Mushin literally means the "mind without mind", and it is commonly called "the state of no-mindedness" 

Satori: As opposed to what many people think, Buddhist Enlightenment is not a special state of mind. It is simply a return to the original, natural condition of the human mind.


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#64 The Power of Scale, meet Bryant Austin, Photographic Artist

Bryant Austin, “ Minke Whale Composite Portrait I - Detail”  (2009)

Bryant Austin, “Minke Whale Composite Portrait I - Detail” (2009)

“I don’t even create any more, I connect… I connect to Earth’s reality. And to myself.”

— Bryant Austin

BRYANT AUSTIN’S ARTIST STATEMENT: I am mostly known for creating life-size photographs of whales, with an emphasis on the inquisitive expressions of their eyes. A process that encompassed twelve years of my life to create fourteen life-size whale portraits. Everything I create expresses an awareness that all photographs taken throughout history, are the cosmos taking a self-portrait. It is this feeling of connectedness that I seek to convey through every photograph.

Bryant Austin, “ Humpback Whale Mother and Calf II  (2005)

Bryant Austin, “Humpback Whale Mother and Calf II (2005)

My new work reveals the sun’s surface in vivid detail, as viewed through Earth’s varied atmospheric states. Dramatic landscape elements anchor the experience to challenge our perceptions of reality and our place within an infinite void. The process is complex and often requires the use of three telescopes equipped with infrared cameras and a monochrome video camera with scientific filters. This equipment is often backpacked in the Sierras to capture Sun/Earth interactions that occur only a few moments each year.

Following my father’s death in 2015 and a near death experience of my own a few months later, I felt compelled to explore the oneness I felt with whales through other subjects. My creative journey revealed an avenue for deeper connection to the cosmos, personal transcendence, and peace of mind.

This creative practice has led me to feel that the disconnection we experience - from one another, from nature, and the universe - is an illusion. Closer to home, this awareness has challenged me to explore ways to deconstruct the divisions we create between subjects found in nature and contemporary photography.

https://www.studiocosmos.com/

Bryant Austin, Sperm Whale Composite II (2011)   8 X 36 feet

Bryant Austin, Sperm Whale Composite II (2011)

8 X 36 feet

Bryant Austin, “I'm Here”   Cathedral Spires and Sun, Yosemite (2016)

Bryant Austin, “I'm Here”

Cathedral Spires and Sun, Yosemite (2016)

Bryant Austin, “Precession Study - Panel II”   Cathedral Spires and Sun, Yosemite (2017)

Bryant Austin, “Precession Study - Panel II”

Cathedral Spires and Sun, Yosemite (2017)


RUBIN NOTE: I was thinking of Peter Beard, not Nick Brandt, when I was recalling African images of Africa and dead animals. The following is about Nick Brandt:

Nick Brandt, Lion in shaft of light, Maasai Mara (2012)

Nick Brandt, Lion in shaft of light, Maasai Mara (2012)

In December of 2000, Nick Brandt was in East Africa directing a music video for Michael Jackson. When the shooting for the video was complete, Brandt took some time off and visited some of the wildlife preserves. He took along a medium format camera and began to photograph the animals he saw from the car. Now, six years later, Brandt is out of the music video business. He devotes himself full time to photographing the animals of Africa.

Brandt’s approach to his work is unique…perhaps because he was never trained as a still photographer. Although he take photographs of wildlife, he is not really a wildlife photographer. He’s not interested in documenting the actual lives of real animals in the wild. Instead he creates romanticized images of animals in an equally romanticized setting. https://www.utata.org/sundaysalon/nick-brandt/

https://www.thedailybeast.com/nick-brandts-across-the-ravaged-land-photos

http://www.nickbrandt.com/


ON THE WALL OF BRYANT AUSTIN

Bryant Austin, A Mother Listens, (2006)

Bryant Austin, A Mother Listens, (2006)

Clyde Butcher, INDIAN KEY 6 Everglades National Park, FL (1997)

Clyde Butcher, INDIAN KEY 6 Everglades National Park, FL (1997)


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#63 Los Angeles (and Sock Puppets)

Rubin: Wondercon, Anaheim (2019)

Rubin: Wondercon, Anaheim (2019)

Yours truly, and animation director (“Book of Life”) Jorge Guttierez

Yours truly, and animation director (“Book of Life”) Jorge Guttierez

PopSockets were invented by David Barnett

Suzanne’s generic “PopSocket”

Suzanne’s generic “PopSocket”

“In 2010, our founder was looking for a way to stop his earbud cord from getting tangled, and he achieved this by gluing two buttons to the back of his phone and wrapping the earbud cord around the buttons. As ugly as the buttons were, they worked. In the course of improving on the idea, he developed about 60 different prototypes, making the buttons expand and collapse via an accordion mechanism, so that they could function as both a stand and a grip.

In 2012, Barnett launched a KickStarter campaign for an iPhone case that would have two PopSockets grips integrated into the case. In addition to getting successfully funded, the KickStarter campaign enabled Barnett to show the world his dancing prowess.

Two years later, in 2014, Barnett launched the business out of his garage in Boulder, Colorado, and has subsequently sold over 40 million PopSockets grips around the world.

https://www.popsockets.com/pages/about-us


The work of Alexa Meade: https://alexameade.com/

“Alexa Meade’s work may look like something you would see hanging on the wall in an art gallery, but Meade isn’t like any other artist. The artist’s work is different in that she literally paints human beings, turning them into living, breathing portraits. Alexa creates the illusion of a world where 2D and 3D have become one.” Business Insider


ROAD TRIP

ALEXA MEADE

BEACHWOOD CANYON

TOPANGA CANYON


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#62 The Syntopicon: Russ, Doug, Kris and Nigel

This episode is our review and discussion of our first four guest shows — Russell Brown, Doug Menuez, Kris Sanford and Nigel Barker.

Doug Menuez, “Hacienda de San José del Refugio Amatitan” (2001),   from his book  “   Heaven, Earth, Tequilla   ”

Doug Menuez, “Hacienda de San José del Refugio Amatitan” (2001), from his bookHeaven, Earth, Tequilla

“Syntopicon”

“The two volumes that make up the Syntopicon comprise a distinctive kind of index. The term "syntopicon" means a collection of topics. In these two volumes there are nearly 3,000 topics parceled out among 102 ideas. The purpose of these volumes is to provide a subject-matter index to writings included in the Great Books of the Western World. Underlying the creation of the Syntopicon is the conviction that the books in this set have an overall unity in the discussion of common themes and problems. Such a unity exists because all of the books belong to the western tradition…” — (Philosopher and editor Mortimer Adler)

Our syntopicon will periodically insert episodes into the mix where we review and synthesize ideas and threads that move through different conversations with our guests. What does Russell Brown think of the use of Photoshop vs. journalist Doug Menuez. Or artist Kris Sanford. How did they learn composition? What photos inspire them? And so forth.


A few of my pictures from the Photowalk at Fort Point (Join our Meetup group to participate! Bay Area Photowalks)


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#61 Meet Nigel Barker, Fashion Photographer & Media Personality

“What’s the difference between an amateur and a professional?

I don’t get paid to fail.”

—Nigel Barker

Nigel Barker (2017)

Nigel Barker (2017)

Nigel Barker is an internationally renowned photographer who opened his New York studio in 1996. He served 17 seasons as photographer and judge on the hit TV show, America’s Next Top Model, which airs in over 140 countries, and hosted Oxygen Network’s modeling competition series, The Face, starring alongside Naomi Campbell.  Barker’s latest hit show Top Photographer premiered to rave reviews and a second season is in the works. 

Barker’s presence in the fashion and entertainment industry has resulted in an array of exciting projects including the creation of his own furniture line the NB1 & NB2 Collections available exclusively at Art Van Furniture.  He is also a Founder and partner in the new NYC gym, The DOGPOUND

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Barker has directed and produced films, documentaries and commercials for Hollywood clients to international charitable organizations and was awarded the “Film Heals” Award for Humanitarianism at the 6th Annual Manhattan Film Festival for Dreams Are Not Forgotten. Using the power of photography and motion pictures he has been able to spread his humanitarian message to vast audiences through films, PSA’s and traveling exhibitions.  He has worked with several charitable organizations including The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society International, Make A Wish Foundation, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation (of which he is a board member), The Edeyo Foundation (board member) and the USO where he serves as a digital advisory committee member. 

Drawing upon his 20+ years of experience in the fashion and beauty industries, he has two books—The Beauty Equation, published by Abrams, and his latest book, New York Times Best Seller Models of Influence published by Harper Collins. Nigel currently lives in New York with his wife and renown Yogi, Cristen AKA @ChinTwins and their two children Jack and Jasmine.

http://www.nigelbarker.tv/

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“If you truly think your photograph has what it takes…. print it.”

—Nigel Barker


Richard Avedon, “Dovima with Elephants” (1955) (Evening dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, August 1955)”

Richard Avedon, “Dovima with Elephants” (1955) (Evening dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, August 1955)”

Man Ray, “Ingres's Violin” (1924)

Man Ray, “Ingres's Violin” (1924)

Richard Avedon, “Duke and Duchess of Windsor” (1957)

Richard Avedon, “Duke and Duchess of Windsor” (1957)

 
Niger Barker (2008) from the Montauk moon-lit mannequin sessions.   https://www.thecut.com/2008/08/nigel_barkers_latest_photo_pro.html

Niger Barker (2008) from the Montauk moon-lit mannequin sessions.

https://www.thecut.com/2008/08/nigel_barkers_latest_photo_pro.html


ON THE WALL OF NIGEL BARKER

Bob Gruen, “Led Zeppelin/Jet” (1973) John Paul Jones, John Bonham, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin arriving at the Teterboro, N.J., airport en route to a 1973 gig in Pittsburgh.

Bob Gruen, “Led Zeppelin/Jet” (1973) John Paul Jones, John Bonham, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin arriving at the Teterboro, N.J., airport en route to a 1973 gig in Pittsburgh.


If you like our show, please subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcasting app, and please rate the podcast. And don’t forget to join the Neomodern Facebook group to discuss the show, share your photos, hear about specials for printing or framing your best images. Thank you!

#60 Meet Kris Sanford, Artist and Educator of Young Photographers...

Her art explores intimate relationships, specifically queer desire, through the use of appropriated images, video, and text.

Kris Sanford, “Susan” 2000/2015 Portraits

Kris Sanford, “Susan” 2000/2015 Portraits

Kris Sanford, “Nathan” 2000/2015 Portraits

Kris Sanford, “Nathan” 2000/2015 Portraits

Kris Sanford grew up in southeast Michigan. She received a BFA in photography from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and an MFA in photography from Arizona State University.

Kris has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including group exhibitions in Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, London, Miami, and New York. She was named a finalist for the 2018 Dorthea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Other recent awards include the Fellowship 17 International Award from Silver Eye Center for Photography and the Visual Studies Workshop Residency Award through Critical Mass 2016. She was included in the GETXOPHOTO 2016 photography festival in Getxo, Spain and had a solo exhibition at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon in 2017. Her photographs have been featured in Fraction Magazine, Light Leaked, and Slate. She is represented by Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston, Texas and Tilt Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona.

http://www.krissanford.com/

Kris Sanford, “Folding Chairs” 2011 from the series “Through the Lens of Desire”

Kris Sanford, “Folding Chairs” 2011 from the series “Through the Lens of Desire”

ON THE WALL OF KRIS SANFORD

Kris Sanford, from the series “Cropped” (2011)

Kris Sanford, from the series “Cropped” (2011)


ON THE WALL OF KRIS SANFORD

(c)  VICTORIA CRAYHON . Untitled Holland MI

(c) VICTORIA CRAYHON. Untitled Holland MI

#59 Meet Doug Menuez, "Fearless Genius" Photojournalist

“Art is anything you can get away with.”

Marshall McLuhan (and Andy Warhol)


Who is Doug Menuez?

Documentary photographer and director Doug Menuez once stood at the North Pole, crossed the Sahara, had tea with Stalin's daughter and held a chunk of Einstein's brain. Quitting his blues band in 1981, he began his career freelancing for Time, LIFE, Newsweek, Fortune, USA Today, the New York Times Magazine and many other publications. He covered the AIDS crisis, homelessness in America, politics, five Super Bowls and the Olympics. His portrait assignments included Presidents Bush, Sr. and Clinton, Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Lenny Kravitz, Mother Teresa, Jane Goodall and Hugh Jackman. His award-winning advertising campaigns and corporate projects for global brands include Chevrolet, FedEx, Nikon, GE, Chevron, HP, Coca Cola, Emirates Airlines, Charles Schwab and Microsoft.

His fourth book, “Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985-2000,” by Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books, became a #1 bestseller on Amazon’s photo book list and was published in the US, Japan, the UK, South Korea and China. Over 100 million people worldwide have seen the project through the book, exhibits, viral press and talks. A fine art exhibition of rare images of Silicon Valley’s greatest innovators, including Steve Jobs, as they changed our world continues to travel. His extensive archive of over one million images was acquired by Stanford University Libraries in 2004. Doug divides his time between the Hudson Valley and NYC.

https://menuez.com/

Doug Menuez, “Steve Jobs Returning from an Employee Picnic. Santa Cruz Highway, California” (1987)

Doug Menuez, “Steve Jobs Returning from an Employee Picnic. Santa Cruz Highway, California” (1987)

Doug Menuez. “Steve Jobs Explaining Ten Year Technology. Development Cycles. Sonoma, California” (1986)

Doug Menuez. “Steve Jobs Explaining Ten Year Technology. Development Cycles. Sonoma, California” (1986)

Doug Menuez, “Steve Jobs Rallies the Troops” (1986)

Doug Menuez, “Steve Jobs Rallies the Troops” (1986)

Doug Menuez, “Steve Jobs Considers a Response. Palo Alto, California” (1986)

Doug Menuez, “Steve Jobs Considers a Response. Palo Alto, California” (1986)

Doug Menuez, “The Founders of Adobe Systems Preparing to Release Photoshop. Mountain View, California” (1988)

Doug Menuez, “The Founders of Adobe Systems Preparing to Release Photoshop. Mountain View, California” (1988)

“We’re primates—we look for eyes, expression and emotion in the human face. The face is how we connect with people.” — Doug Menuez

ON THE WALL OF DOUG MENUEZ

Doug Menuez, “Hacienda de San José del Refugio Amatitan” (2001),   from his book  “   Heaven, Earth, Tequilla   ”

Doug Menuez, “Hacienda de San José del Refugio Amatitan” (2001), from his bookHeaven, Earth, Tequilla


Elliott Erwitt, “California Kiss, Santa Monica, CA” (1955)

Elliott Erwitt, “California Kiss, Santa Monica, CA” (1955)

Rubin “Elliott Erwitt” (2011)

Rubin “Elliott Erwitt” (2011)


Menuez has balanced the commercial and the art in photography. “The main point remains that during the entire history of photography there has been a constant debate about it being art or not. Avedon merged art and commerce, as did Steichen decades before him as he fought this battle. Today the result is people are making editions of 1 to create the one of a kind object. Young collectors don’t give a shit, but there are still [only] about 100 serious fine art photo collectors in the US.”


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The Concerned Photographer (on Amazon)

W. Eugene Smith, master of the photo story. Not ashamed of moving people, or sandwiching negatives… but he made a clear point that he was an artist.

It was the truth as he saw it.

Smith, “Welsh Minors, Wales” (1950)  A0825

Smith, “Welsh Minors, Wales” (1950)

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Smith, “Walk to Paradise Garden” (1946)  A0824

Smith, “Walk to Paradise Garden” (1946)

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A nice story about W. Eugene Smith and his photo “Walk to Paradise Garden”

https://huxleyparlour.com/w-eugene-smith-hope-and-innocence-2/


Vignetting

Here’s an example of vignetting (from https://filmora.wondershare.com/video-editing-tips/add-vignette-effect-to-video.html). It’s a strange effect, oddly hard to notice when done well. It also can be applied heavily and look odd.

Here’s an example of vignetting (from https://filmora.wondershare.com/video-editing-tips/add-vignette-effect-to-video.html). It’s a strange effect, oddly hard to notice when done well. It also can be applied heavily and look odd.

Rubin “Fleet Week” (2011)

Rubin “Fleet Week” (2011)

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Vignetting is a form of cropping, but using the darkening function around the edges to narrow the viewers view, almost like looking down a tube at the photo. Here’s a more subtle version of vignetting, where the entire image (except the two men) has been burned in, with the lower area of the street and the upper left, both pushed even more, to make the subjects draw your eye a little better.


“The best camera is the one you have with you.”

Chase Jarvis (Visionary photographer, director, and social artist)


The Leica M.  A precision tool. Without a lens it’s somewhere between $5-8K. I’ve seen side-by-side comparisons of Leica photos and iPhone photos, and in many cases the images are comparable (which is amazing); but the Leica is still a precision optical device and there’s more to a great shot than the resolution of the output.

The Leica M. A precision tool. Without a lens it’s somewhere between $5-8K. I’ve seen side-by-side comparisons of Leica photos and iPhone photos, and in many cases the images are comparable (which is amazing); but the Leica is still a precision optical device and there’s more to a great shot than the resolution of the output.


Dorthea Lange, “Migrant Mother” (1936)

Dorthea Lange, “Migrant Mother” (1936)

Such a classic, and sensitive, image from Lange. Oh, and less widely known in that she retouched the photo to remove some stuff in the lower right. Like Adams, photographers weren’t so sensitive about using a pencil or needle to clean up negatives.

https://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/migrant-mother/

Dorthea Lange, “Migrant Mother” (1936) — and other shots from that shoot.

Dorthea Lange, “Migrant Mother” (1936) — and other shots from that shoot.


If you like our show, please subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcasting app, and please rate the podcast. And don’t forget to join the Neomodern Facebook group to discuss the show, share your photos, hear about specials for printing or framing your best images. Thank you!

#58 Meet Russell Brown, Pioneer of Photoshop and Mad Scientist

“I’ll do anything to a photo to make it better.”

Russell Brown

It is fitting, we feel, that our first show guest is the distinguished and inspiring Russell Preston Brown.


Who is Russell Preston Brown?

As Sr. Creative Director at Adobe Systems Incorporated, Russell Preston Brown holds a unique position in the computer industry. Brown maintains a vital presence in the digital design and publishing community, facilitating the exchange between the user and software developer that is so essential to Adobe's software development. (http://www.russellbrown.com/whois.html)

Russell Brown, Eclipse at Ship Rock, May 20, 2012

Russell Brown, Eclipse at Ship Rock, May 20, 2012

Jerry Uelsmann, Untitled, 1974

Jerry Uelsmann, Untitled, 1974

See Russell’s work on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr_brown/

Brown (2019) Dino Roundup with Cowboy Bob -  Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Brown (2019) Dino Roundup with Cowboy Bob - Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Brown (2019) A Wizard’s Hat Sunrise with Marie-Lee and Philippe

Brown (2019) A Wizard’s Hat Sunrise with Marie-Lee and Philippe

Brown (2019) Surfing at Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Brown (2019) Surfing at Cannon Beach, Oregon.


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https://www.instagram.com/insta_repeat/

Thomas Jefferson’s grave (https://www.presidentsusa.net/jeffersongravesite.html)

Thomas Jefferson’s grave (https://www.presidentsusa.net/jeffersongravesite.html)

If you like our show, please subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcasting app, and please rate the podcast. And don’t forget to join the Neomodern Facebook group to discuss the show, share your photos, hear about specials for printing or framing your best images. Thank you!

#57 Enter the Darkroom

Jerry Uelsmann, Floating Tree (1969)

Jerry Uelsmann, Floating Tree (1969)

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Uelsmann at home, digging around in his contact sheets (2018)

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Me, in my darkroom, 1979

Me, in my darkroom, 1979

Rolling negative onto a spool. (This would normally be done in complete darkness).

Rolling negative onto a spool. (This would normally be done in complete darkness).

The Waldorf-Astoria in Phoenix, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Waldorf-Astoria in Phoenix, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

If you like our show, please subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcasting app, and please rate the podcast. And don’t forget to join the Neomodern Facebook group to discuss the show, share your photos, hear about specials for printing or framing your best images. Thank you!

#56 Why We Print

(and Happy Birthday Ansel)

The Mac OS Mohave wallpaper photo, artist unknown, and hypothesized to be somewhere around Death Valley.

The Mac OS Mohave wallpaper photo, artist unknown, and hypothesized to be somewhere around Death Valley.

Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley (1948) by Ansel Adams

Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley (1948) by Ansel Adams

TOP REASONS TO PRINT:

  1. The selection process is part of the photographic process. It’s an important threshold to subject images to, particularly now that it’s so easy to take images.

  2. They proscribe how an image is consumed. You just don’t know what kind of device your image is going to be viewed on — it could be big or small, cropped by software or through reposting, over- or underexposed by a range of uncontrollable brightness settings on devices, modified in any myriad ways. If you care about the thing you’ve created, you want to control many aspects for how it is to be viewed, and decide how it should be presented— including its size, framing, surroundings, and exposure. Giving this up is giving up too much…

  3. You have to live with an image to know that it’s good. We keep thinking of printing as the deciding moment as to whether something is “good enough” - but we really can’t know that until we HAVE the print, and spend time with it. Printing is part of this evaluation process. (It’s another reason to print often, even if we only frame occasionally.)

  4. The creation of an object. A photo isn’t just an image, it’s a physical manifestation of that image. Ansel Adams said that the negative is the score, and the print is the performance. Each performance is another opportunity to do something amazing. And having a THING that you can hold… look at repeatedly, over time… this is special. Printing MAKES it special. It MAKES it iconic.

  5. The hedge to technology. Sometimes an image is important enough that you just need to make sure it’s not ephemeral, able to be lost or buried. Maybe tech will get better and you’ll always be able to see those digital files, but — probably not.

  6. Legacy curation: when we die, what of these images do we pass along as important. Do we just hand over a key to a cloud account with terabytes of images? tens or hundreds of thousands of images? Who would go through that? And what would they find important versus what you know to be important? Printing takes on this issue and creates an important subset that can be managed, saved, passed along, enjoyed.


If you like our show, please subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcasting app, and please rate the podcast. And don’t forget to join the Neomodern Facebook group to discuss the show, share your photos, hear about specials for printing or framing your best images. Thank you!

#55 Visiting Monet

DSCF7839.jpg

Some snaps from my visit to the DeYoung:


If you like our show, please subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcasting app, and please rate the podcast. And don’t forget to join the Neomodern Facebook group to discuss the show, share your photos, hear about specials for printing or framing your best images. Thank you!

#54 Travel Pictures

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Some of Suzanne’s snapshots on her trip. The first row is how she sent them to me, the second row was my messing around with a little post production.

  1. The first one is like a face. Since the color didn’t really add too much, i wondered whether making it monochromatic wold diminish distractions and enhance the face-ness. Not sure.

  2. The powerlines felt unfocused to me, and the thing that was compelling was the weird array of lines in all directions, the birds on some and the lights on others… so i cropped tighter to accentuate this detail, cut out distractions, brought up the saturation and blacks a little to make the lights pop more.

  3. The weird color swatches on the wall just needed a little color balancing, a tiny bit of brightening. It’s oddly surreal.

  4. Suzanne’s selfie during our podcast recording is wonderfully composed, the frame feels full of interest and dynamic energy — the only issue was the white balance, and this shot is very hard: the room is lit mostly from daylight out a window, with a little bit of in-room fixtures, and then the computer is completely different color temperature — blue. So one white-balance fix won’t really solve it. I tried b&w but it lost the immediacy, so i just tweaked the white balance for the outside light and took all the saturation down a little so it was less problematic. It’s not done, but it would take more work to adjust the colors differently across the frame.


If you like our show, please subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcasting app, and please rate the podcast. And don’t forget to join the Neomodern Facebook group to discuss the show, share your photos, hear about specials for printing or framing your best images. Thank you!