Yearly Archives: 2012

Photographer Denied Day in Court by Arbitration Agreement

- - Blog News

Strick’s case should serve as cautionary tale for photographers entering into agreements with corporations that insist that disputes be settled by private arbitrators rather than a court of law. β€œI am devastated by today’s ruling by Judge Lichtman, our JAMS arbitrator, and feel that I have truly been denied ‘my day in court’ as the merits of this case have yet to be heard,” Strick said in a statement issued following the arbitrator’s ruling.

via PDN Online.

The Daily Edit – Monday
7.9.12

- - The Daily Edit

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V Magazine

Editor-in-Chief / Creative Director: Stephen Gan
Photo Editor: Evelien Joos
Consulting Creative / Design Direction: Greg Foley
Art Director: Sandra Kang
Associate Art Director: Cian Browne

Photographer: Sebastian Faena

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

This Week In Photography Books – Evzen Sobek

by Jonathan Blaustein

I used to live in Albuquerque. Great town. It’s like a big chickenwire grid of concrete, wedged between some mountains and volcanoes. (Bisected by the Rio Grande to boot.) I’ve always seen it as a smaller, cooler, much poorer LA. (Cooler b/c it’s perfectly unpretentious, poorer b/c it lacks natural resources, unless you’re counting dirt.)

I might still be living there if it weren’t so soul-crushingly hot in the Summertime. 5000 feet above sea level, once it cracks 90 degrees, people get angry. (I call it “angry hot.” Creative, no?) From May through September, you can see waves rising off of the melting asphalt, and insanity rising off of peoples’ brains. Just driving down the street, you become hyper-aware of the pissed-off lunatics zipping around, looking for trouble.

Many years ago, I recall losing my sh-t in mid-October, well past the “normal” season for heat-induced misery. A friend and I were hiking in the mountains East of town, and it was all too much for me. The unrelenting burn on my skin, well into Autumn, sent me into one last seasonal rage. I shook my fist at the sun, like the old grandpa who used to mutter and curse at Dennis the Menace. (Mr. Wilson?) “Damn you, Sun. Enough already. I’ve had it. Get off the stage and let Fall have some time, will you? Stupid Sun. You’re not even a big star. No one would care about you if you didn’t, you know, provide for all life on Earth. Asshole.”

My rant had no effect. We made it less than half a mile up the trail before I quit, seduced by the allure of air-conditioning on the car ride home. Oh well.

Most people, across the world, have developed a sure-fire way to beat the heat. Get out of the city in the Summer. Duh. Go someplace with some cold water, and hunker. Genius.

Just the other day, I was dodging rocks, submerged in some small rapids in the Rio Grande. Beautiful, majestic, and less than 10 minutes from my house. Yes, it was convenient, but really, I would have driven a lot further to circumvent my sweat glands.

Given that it’s pure Summer now, with even the 4th of July behind us, (mmm, hot dogs,) I thought the least I could do was offer you a virtual respite from your own version of Summer hell. (If you’re in India, Australia, or Argentina, feel free to dismiss me as a hopelessly ethnocentric American. My apologies.)

Today’s journey comes courtesy of Evzen Sobek. His 2011 book, “Life in Blue,” was published by Keher Verlag, and ought to transport you somewhere entirely new. (If you have, in fact, Summered in the Czech resevoirs of NovΓ© Mlyny, then you’ll have to visit another website. Maybe Colberg has something fresh today.)

The volume, square and solid, meanders through the subculture of people who ring this collection of lakes. The palette, no surprise, is suffused with blue, and yes, we see a lot of thick, shirtless Eastern European dudes.

The images are tightly composed, and indicate the use of blazing flash into the sun. Both are pretty standard tropes of contemporary art photography at the moment, mainly because they work. They give a viewer pause, as there’s an import to images that are so carefully crafted, and the added light gives additional vibrance to any and all color.

Some photos are witty, like the guy holding the sausage sculpture, or the dim-bulb-looking dude, in a camo T-shirt, staring at a newly constructed book shelf like it contained the secrets to the Universe. (Despite the implied narrative that he built the damn thing.) Others are poignant, like the swans coasting through the misty water, or the shore-line memorial to someone who must have drowned.

Most, though, fall somewhere in between. Curious and thoughtful, they encourage careful contemplation. Not because they’ll “change your life,” but because it’s a pleasurable experience. The cool blue, the gentle breezes, the crackling of fish skin on the barbecue. Let’s leave it there, shall we? Hope your Summer is going well. If you’re chilling on the water somewhere fabulous or absurd, feel free to tell us about it in the comment section below.

To purchase “Life in Blue” visit Photo-Eye

Full Disclosure: Books are provided by Photo-Eye in exchange for links back for purchase.

Books are found in the bookstore and submissions are not accepted.

 

The Daily Edit – Friday
7.6.12

- - The Daily Edit

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Rolling Stone

Design Director: Joseph Hutchinson
Creative Director: Jodi Peckman
Art Department: Steven Charny (Sr. Art Dir.), Matthew Cooley (Deputy Art Dir.), Elizabeth Oh ( Assoc. Art Dir )
Photo Department: Deborah Dragon (Deputy Photo Ed.), Sacha Lecca ( Sr. Photo Ed.), Sonja Gill (Assoc. Photo Ed.)

Photographer: Peggy Sirota

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Olympic Athlete Photographer Joe Klamar Brushes Off Criticism

- - Blog News

β€œI was under the impression that I was going to be photographing athletes on a stage or during press conference where I would take their headshots for our archives,” he explained. β€œI really had no idea that there would be a possibility for setting up a studio.” It was the first time AFP had been invited to participate in the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Media Summit, which was held this year, in May, at a Hilton Hotel in Dallas.

I work for a news agency and I wasn’t taking pictures for a Nike ad

via Pixels and piety: Photographing Olympic icons – Correspondent.

Still Images in Great Advertising- Peter Rad

Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column whereΒ Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.

I know I can’t find all my favorite examples of still images in great advertising in the award shows or Ads of the World. Β Sometimes I like to find more recent work that is being seen currently, so I check blogs and websites of folks who have either caught my eye in the past or agents I respect. Β I stumbled upon the work of Peter Rad with Brite Productions and his work for The Brooklyn Academy of Music campaign. Β I think this campaign really spoke to me because a lot of my marketing ideas for my clients “just hit me”. Β I feel that inspiration can hit you at the most unique moments because as artists we see something and trigger an idea.
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Suzanne: Β This campaign is very layered and therefore stopping the viewer in to looking a little close. Β When I look at your website and see the Open Orange campaign, Ballantine’s Scotch Whiskey, Skyteam and your editorial work, I get a true understanding on why you were selected for this campaign. But I would assume that you had a lot of input into who was featured and the “inspiration” of “just hit me”

Peter: I’m very grateful to have worked on such a campaign. Β One of the smart things that BAM and McGarry Bowen did is to bring the prospective photographers in very early in the concept stages of the campaign. Β This makes perfect sense, and I truly believe that if more agencies did this, they would get better results across the board. Β It helps tremendously when technical and logistical problems can be resolved before the idea is fully realized. Β To me it’s a show of strength and self-confidence from the creative team… the key to collaborative art, be it commercial or fine art.

With the tagline in place – ‘BAM – and then it hits you’, bidding photographers were given a bunch of performance images from BAM’s archive. Β These we mostly stage images… dance, theatre, music, etc. Β There were also some film stills included. Β Our job was to consider these performance images, and think of ways in which they (the characters within) could be included seamlessly, in a broader New York scene. Β We also had to somehow connect the performance with the protagonist in the tableau – the person who is remembering their ‘BAM moment’. Β At first; this made me a little nervous, because all of the stage images were lit with theatrical lighting. Β I initially thought that might limit the variety of environments. Β In the end though – and this is in part a testimony to the sophistication of today’s theatrical lighting designers – this challenge was instrumental in stirring up ideas and scenarios that I may not have thought of had the lighting already had a scenic context. Β Suddenly stage lighting becomes, a car headlight, or lightning, or light reflected from windows at sunset, etc.

Initially I was asked to draw 8 scenarios with a view to 6 ads being produced. Β However, as the excitement of the process grew, I found myself making many more drawings. Β In the end they increased the ad count to 11. Β That’s so rare. Β Usually the numbers are whittled down, not expanded on.

Suzanne: Β Your personal work is very thought provoking on the social and cultural aspects of people in different ages and places. Β Is this of interest to you? Β I know from your bio you love to document the honesty of environments but you seem to like to capture them? Β Where does this come from?

Peter: My initial foray into photography was what you might consider ‘old-school’. Β I used to paint and draw, but then my uncle introduced me to Polaroid cameras when I was little. Β Later that prompted me to switch to photography as a medium. Β I was already painting in a figurative style, so the transition was fairly seamless. Β From an early age, I was interested in people and how they relate to each other. Β When I started studying photography in college, I was immediately drawn to the work of documentarian artists… Diane Arbus, Alfred Stieglitz, August Sander and Robert Frank, among others, were strong influences. Β I was always drawn to the gutsiness of real emotion and body language in documentary style images, especially when used in conjunction with something slightly off – a seemingly displaced person or object, or the moment before or after the ‘decisive’ moment. Β To that end The Surrealists and Dadaists were other favorites.

By the time I got to grad school, I started to consider my social background more, and how it related to why I take pictures – I came from a large religious migrant family in Australia. Β I began to think more about how the themes of psychology, relationships and home/place might factor as foundations for my images. Β As much as possible I try to bring these ideas into my commercial work. Β Ultimately my images don’t end up looking completely documentary in style, as they’re staged and mostly lit depictions of a suggested reality. Β I stage a scene so that it can be ‘documented’ Β (in the more traditional sense of that word) within a controlled environment. Β In that regard, what I do is very similar to how movies are made. Β I direct and record the happening. Β The only difference is that I end up with one frame, not a reel of images.

Suzanne: Β Do you think that being a faculty member for the Master’s program at School of the Visual Arts has kept your mind open listening to the young minds of your students??

Peter: Without a doubt, teaching is a great way for artists to retain a verve and open-mindedness, necessitating a solid knowledge of the artistic dialogue currently taking place in, however also considering the past and (for the seers) the future, and how these tie in to contemporary investigations.

Teaching is very much a two way street. Β The teacher, who believes that teachers teach and students learn, is missing half of the equation.

Beyond this context, I feel that I’m constantly learning from crew and cast members on shoots. Β My ideas are always solid going into a shoot, but teaching has taught me that the interaction between two people is always educational for both parties. Β It keeps me open to a greater range of possibilities.

Suzanne: Β I love the fact that you are a busy working advertising, editorial and fine art photographer. Β I feel that many photography schools are filled with tenured professors who didn’t make it as professional photographers and therefore instructing their students with old school philosophies of advertising when the game has changed so drastically. Β Do you agree?

Peter: Let me see, how do I answer this diplomatically… it’s true, the old school methods of teaching photography are restrictive because they draw more from history than the present and the future. Β This was very much the case when I was in college. Β We were taught a craft, and asked to consider an artistic approach for our work. Β However it was left up to us to source those artistic influences, based on their teaching us what took place in the past. Β For those who didn’t make the extra effort, their work often reflected the work of historical photographers, and didn’t flourish in the context of fresh ideas. Β This is precisely the reason why I decided to come to New York and to SVA to study. Β Their faculty was a ‘who’s who’ of renowned working artists and theorists. Β This kept us (and them) on our toes, and required of us to engage in a substantial understanding and knowledge of what is currently taking place in our choice field of art. Β We’re a bit spoiled here (in New York) in that regard, because it’s a major center for photography. Β I’m encouraged to see that more educational institutions are adopting this fresher approach.

Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.

Peter Rad lives in New York, and works internationally as an artist and commercial photographer. His award-winning work has received critical acclaim worldwide, and is featured extensively in top-level magazines, high profile advertising campaigns, and fine-art exhibitions.Β Drawing from his background in painting and a passionate love and understanding of the moving image, Peter directs his characters and carefully manipulates environments to create images that retain a realist honesty in their documentation. Through his thorough execution of lighting, this documentation is embellished with a hyper-reality and theatricality. He also often scripts dialogue for the actors in his images, resulting in a filmic style of tableau photography. The images have become well known for their narrative quality, as well as a unique ability to highlight that most interesting split-second moment just before or after an action takes place.Β Peter’s versatility and depth as a narrative image-maker is further evidenced in his portraiture and landscapes, which surround and expand on the main scene studies.Β Aside from his advertising, editorial and fine art work, Peter has been a faculty member in the MFA Photo & Related Media department, at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

APE contributorΒ Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies.

Getty Images Draws Initial Bids of Around $4 Billion

- - Blog News

At around $4 billion, a Getty deal would be among the larger private-equity transactions this year. Investment bankers say credit is available at reasonable interest rates, but buyout firms still need to put up around 30% of a deals value in cash, which limits their ability to pursue very large deals. …these firms feel confident about Gettys business, which is stable and brings in regular cash flow…

via WSJ.com.

The Daily Edit – Thursday
7.5.12

- - The Daily Edit

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National Geographic

Creative Director: Bill Marr
Deputy Creative Director: Kaitlin M. Yarnall
Design Director: David C. Whitmore
Art Director: Juan Velasco

Photography
Deputy Director: Ken Geiger
Senior Editors: Bill Douthitt (Special Editions),
Kathy Moran (Natural History), Susan Welchman (Departments)
Editor at Large: Michael Nichols
Senior Photo Editors: Pamela Chen, Alice Gabriner, Kim Hubbard,Todd James, Elizabeth Krist, Sarah Leen, Sadie Quarrier

Photographer: Mark Leong

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

The Daily Edit – Tuesday
7.3.12

- - The Daily Edit

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Martha Stewart Living

Creative Director: Daniel Biasatti
Deputy Creative Director: Ayesha Patel
Deputy Design Director: Lilian Hough
Photo Director: Jennifer Miller
Senior Photo Director: Linda Denahan

Photographer: Gabriela Herman

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Olympic Photography Goes Amateur

- - Working

The internet is buzzing about these Olympic portraits taken by Joe Klamar for AFP and Getty. Most of the talk is about how unprofessional they look with ripped seamless, rumpled flags and sinister lighting (Reddit thread here). I have to agree, but rather than throw Joe under the bus I think AFP and Getty are to blame for not doing an edit or even tossing the shoot (actually don’t know if that’s even possible). Obviously Joe had his 5 minute sessions with exhausted athletes and failed. So, why not edit them?

There’s some interesting conspiracy theories surrounding the shoot as well. BAG has a post abut how it could have been intentional and meant to poke holes in the idealized portraits we normally see of team USA (here): “I think this subset of photos also take a silent sledgehammer to the jingoistic adulation of the American team, to the extent these athletes serve as a fantasy extension of the dying dream of American worldwide superiority.” Unfortunately, I think the answer is more pedestrian: editors asleep at the switch treating an olympic portrait session like a flickr feed.

You can see the whole take (here). Note: other photographers images are mix in with Joe’s.

This Week In Photography Books – Adam Bartos

- - Photo Books

by Jonathan Blaustein

I don’t check email on the weekends. No FB or Twitter either. I don’t have to worry about who wants to “talk” to me in New York, or New England, or even New Mexico. (Sorry, Dad.) Furthermore, I’m off the clock from 5pm to 8am each day. Try it some time.

Our brains weren’t designed for 24/7 contact and communication. Not even remotely. Every time you get a nice email, or a complimentary comment, your brain drops some dopamine or seratonin. (Mmmm, yummy brain juice.) Conversely, each time someone bitches at you, drops one more deadline on your head, or inundates you with sarcasm, your mind rolls out the adrenaline and/or cortisol.

Either way, your chemistry is working overdrive, all day, every day. I can’t wait to see what the cumulative effect will be, as this has never before existed in human history. We’ve all become a bunch of glorified lab rats, looking up at an unkind Universe, waiting for our next sign. (Ping, ping, ping.)

It’s none of my business if you choose to listen to this advice. I’m sharing it, because that’s what I do. For the last ten months, I’ve been talking to you each week. You can tinker with your routine, or not. I was as addicted as anyone, before my wife enforced these rules. Now, I’m happier, saner, and more productive.

Photographers, in particular, were not intended for such a life. Pre-digital, back in the day, it would have seemed absurd to any decent lensperson to suggest they allow themselves to be interrupted, constantly, while trying to get some work done. Our workspace was sacred: The Darkroom.

In the end, my decision to walk away from my Duke degree, (and the great likelihood of financial security,) was an easy one. Up until my time in the photo department at UNM, I’d never worked hard at anything before. School came easy, as did certain aspects of sports. If I wasn’t good at something, that was that. The idea of practice was not yet embedded in my head. Then came the darkroom.

At 23, for the first time, I could and did spend 5, 6, 7 hours at a time slaving away. The quiet, the sickly-sweet chemical smell, the soothing safety light, together they seduced my latent work ethic. Previously lazy, the darkroom engendered a marriage between my passion and my patience. I took it as a good omen, and devoted my life to the craft. (Especially when a color darkroom opened up a block from my apartment in San Francisco. The photo gods can, in fact, be kind.)

Now, we live on our computers. We tell people how proud we are that our digi-prints finally look as good as gelatin silver. And the world will never be the same.

As such, I was fascinated by “Darkroom,” a new, over-sized monograph by Adam Bartos, recently published by steidldangin. (A partnership, I believe.) Rarely before have I seen someone produce a work of nostalgia, without the sentiment. The project is devoid of emotion, while clearly bowing at the temple of the past. Tough combination.

The book is immaculate; even the cover image is perfectly rendered. High class production values have certainly gotten my attention lately. (Take it for what it’s worth.) We obviously don’t all have the dollars to spend, but a few extra grand can do wonders in the right hands.

The premise of the book is straightforward: photos of lived-in darkrooms owned by American photographers. A peek at the thank you note in the back indicates that several of them are high profile, and a couple are even folks I know here in New Mexico. So it has an insider appeal, as well as being a super-well-crafted look at a part of our collective history.

Compositionally, the images are very formal. Shiny film rolls, lined up here and there, posters that were rarely seen, as so much work was done in the dark. It evokes Thomas Demand a bit, with it’s cold rigor, but that prevents the whole project from devolving into a treacly mess. Nicely done.

I’ve got to think that many of you would love this book. Whether as a reminder of your salad days getting a contact high off the fixer, or as a hint that it’s time to put down the f-cking iPhone. Either way, this one is a keeper.

Bottom line: A very well-made trip down memory lane

To purchaseΒ “Darkroom” visit Photo-Eye

Full Disclosure: Books are provided by Photo-Eye in exchange for links back for purchase.

Books are found in the bookstore and submissions are not accepted.

 

Still Images In Great Advertising – Christoph Martin Schmid

Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column whereΒ Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.

I ran into these ads on Adsoftheworld.com and since they caught my eye, I knew they would catch the eye of the consumer. Β Shot by Christoph Martin Schmid, I think they are funny and quickly to the point.Β The campaign does make you think about who shops on line and whether you want to be anonymous or protected from a Tammy Faye Baker makeup artist (see example of what I mean by this reference).
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Suzanne: Christoph, you are based out of New York, Berlin and Cape Town. Β Each of these locations are very different in the advertising they do. Β How do you position yourself for those cultural differences?

Christoph: Specialised in story telling I look at 21st century citizens independent from their locations and culture. In fact there are certain patterns in behaviour and life-style I observed that seem globally valid nowadays. In my approach of an assignment my main weapons are humor and precision. Only the exactitude in the staging of a scene, the shaping of the characters and the careful choice and setup of the background assures that the message intended can be universally perceived.

Suzanne: Β When I go to your site I see the urban scenes and think that collection was the reason you were hired to push the concept even further. Do you agree?

Christoph: I am fascinated by human nature in all it’s comic absurdity and the compression of the urban space produces some of the most hilarious stories. In my personal work I have developed a conceptual approach and visual style that attracted the agency to see that translated into their campaign. The task was to shape two characters that all viewers can relate to. Everybody should be able to say: ‘yes, I know that kind of a situation’

Suzanne: You have been professionally shooting for over 20 years. Β Do you think that clients are aware of what you can produce verses seeing it on your website?

Christoph; The work on my website is not related to any advertising job. This work just represents my approach to photography and storytelling.Β I find it important in order to stay ahead of the zeitgeist to keep progressing through personal work. And whether it is one of my own projects or a job I get asked to participate in, the creative process starts always with the conceptualisation of the image.

So when I get involved in an advertising project I first try to enter into communication with the agency creatives who came up with the initial story. When I feel I have understood the intention of the script I offer my ideas to develop the idea further and to help translate it into the reality of a photo or moving image shoot, bringing in my experience from my personal work.

Suzanne: Β Working in multiple markets do you think we in the USA play it too safe and don’t take risks like the other countries do?

Christoph: No, not at all. The US advertising industry still is trend-setting on a global scale. I like the dry sense of humor I find in many TV commercials and print campaigns. And since my recent arrival on the US market last year, I already had the chance to work with some very talented agency creatives to produce some impactful work for US clients. The socio demographics of the US and the daring ambition of its citizens in their pursuit of happiness make fantastic material for storytelling. AndΒ storytelling is a powerful format to convey an advertiser’s message !

Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.

Christoph’s early career in Paris encompassed fashion editorial and advertising workΒ as well as some photography for the music industry. After spending five years in Paris, Christoph moved to New York where his passion for visual storytelling found purchase in the film industry. He studied at NYFA (New York Film Academy) and returned to Europe two years later, to settle in London, where he directed television commercials whilst keeping his passion for stills photography alive.Β Christoph divides his time between Berlin, Paris and Cape Town and is fluent inΒ English, French and German.

APE contributorΒ Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies.