#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.


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