4.18.2011

An interview with Michael O'Brien in which we discuss his new book, Hard Ground.


Michael O'Brien Speaks.  Hard Ground. from Kirk Tuck on Vimeo.


For those of you who are unfamiliar with Michael's work, here is his website:  http://www.obrienphotography.com/  I met Michael in the 1990's when he moved his family to Austin, Texas after having done a six week assignment here for National Geographic.  He is an icon in the industry having done the ground breaking, "What's on your Powerbook?" campaign for Apple, Inc.  A beautiful and timeless campaign for Bank of America and countless amazing photographs for magazines, from Texas Monthly to Life.  And of course, National Geographic.

I decided to interview Michael after the publication of his new book, Hard Ground.  It's an amazing book. I hope you enjoy hearing Michael talk about what he does, how he does it and the thought processes behind it.

I'm so honored that he made time to do this interview with me.

The book is called, Hard Ground.

15 comments:

John said...

Lovely interview, Kirk. Michael makes for a compelling subject in his own right. Nice job.

Anonymous said...

I bought Micheal's book on the strength of your suggestion and find it to be wonderful. The video is really interesting and reflects much of what you say here. I guess as you move up the ladder in photography the context and content overwhelms all the other stuff.

Thanks for doing the video. I learned too much to digest all at once. Please keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Killer interview. No distractions. Just hardcore art.

Clayton said...

Excellent interview which really goes to the heart of why we make photographs.

Chase said...

Great interview, Kirk! I love this book, and everyone I have shown my copy to loved it as well. It is awesome to be able to hear the story behind the art.

kirk tuck said...

Chase, if you like Michael's book you might want to go to Amazon and write quick review of it. I think it's a book that works on a number of levels but the more photographers that are exposed to it the better. It's a real work....

Bold Photography said...

Nice interview. His words work well as an audio caption to the book, which I very much look forward to getting.

Patrick Dodds said...

Beautiful.

Philip said...

Very nice and inspiring interview. He certainly seems like a very unassuming, interesting and approachable person. What beautiful film type 55 is/was too. Thank you for posting this.

Craig said...

Very interesting interview. I have the book here (I ordered it as soon as you initially mentioned it) but I haven't had the time to sit down with it yet. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks!

Craig said...

Oh, and I would also like to add that I really relate to Michael's comments on digital photography. While I don't go to the extreme of buying 4x5" film that costs $5 per sheet, I find that even the cost of 135 or 120 film, together with the minor inconvenience of carrying multiple rolls around, changing rolls, and processing them, is enough to encourage me to slow down and think about what I'm doing much more than with digital, where every shot is essentially free. Shooting with manual focus and manual exposure, and refusing to bracket, also helps. Get it right the first time and learn from your mistakes!

Kurt W said...

"...and every time a new digital camera would come out it would have more mega pixels or WHATEVER they have..."

Hearing O'Brien say that was priceless and inspiring. Great video.

Paulo Rodrigues said...

Thanks Kirk, I'm glad I finally got around to watching it.

Fans of polaroid T55 will be pleased to know that Bob Crowley at the New55 project is making good progress on a replacement film

http://new55project.blogspot.com/2011/04/dtr-and-great-negative-too.html

Anonymous said...

Great interview - really helps you get inside Michael's brain on this project.

Jessica said...

Great. Inspiring. Well said.