1.21.2011

FRANTIC FRIDAYS!!!!!

In the quiet days of 2009 and 2010 I'd forgotten what it was like to be busy all the time.  Now assignments are rushing back as though a dam broke somewhere upstream.  Too many executives decided they couldn't put off being successful anymore.  More people decided to defend their marketing turf.  Maybe they just got tired of looking at the same old stock photographs they got for a song.  Maybe they really needed to differentiate the service they sell from every other competitor in their industry.

Whatever the reason it seems like were back to those busy Fridays where the kid needs delivered to some event, the clients would like to see everything we shot.  Now.  And the book is just tantalizingly out of finishing range for the moment.  And of course, masochist that I am,  I promise camera reviews on Monday.

So why am I posting yet another installment of the blog?  Because, in the interlude between making client web galleries and uploading I stopped and lingered on a shoot I did for fun.  I liked this portrait so I messed with it for a minute or two.  And I came to the conclusion I've come to so often before:  The magic that happens in photographs isn't about some soulful camera or magic lens.  It comes in spite of our tools.  Our tools interject.  It's as though they are part of the Heisenberg Theory.  They become intertwined in the process of seeing and subtly change nuances of intimacy and revelation.  Some more, some less.  Our goal should be to nullify their impact on our vision.  Because that's when we step over into art.  And I damn sure don't want the breeze from a shutter actuation in Belgium to create stylistic hurricanes here in Austin if I can prevent it.

Cameras blow in the breeze.  Tethered by your own sense of style.










7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your posts are always good reading - even the silly ones. But when you include images like that portrait I get totally distracted.

She has to be one of the most stunningly beautiful and elegant women I have ever seen? You can tell her that.

Alan Fairley said...

The best camera is the one that just gets out of the way....

Or maybe the best one is the one that's so finicky you are forced to know exactly what you want to do with it....

FrankG said...

I think we are searching for a camera that is small but performs well and does not limit the use of the lenses we need to be creative. The current crop of micro four thirds cameras fills that need for me. I have a Canon G11 and felt the limitations. The technical minutia definitely gets in the way these days. I can read the specs on the Olympus website but I want to see what the camera can do in your hands. I look forward to Monday.

Silvertooth said...

I am just glad to hear that your business is picking up and you are now working your tush off!! That is good for you and the citizens of Austin and Texas in general! Hopefully the economic downturn has begun its rebound. Enjoy yourself and keep posting.

Gino Eelen said...

"The magic that happens in photographs isn't about some soulful camera or magic lens." If it were, all Leica owners would be fully justified in paying top-dollar for their gear, because upon purchase they would instantly and magically rise to Henri Cartier-Bresson or Ralph Gibson fame.

"Our goal should be to nullify their impact on our vision." Or at least we should get to know them well enough to be able to exploit their idiosyncrasies in the service of our vision. We should use it and work it enough so it becomes part of our vocabulary. 'Vision' or 'style' that depends on a tool, technique or trick only last so long I would suspect.

"And I damn sure don't want the breeze from a shutter actuation in Belgium to create stylistic hurricanes here in Austin if I can prevent it." What? So you declare yourself ready (with an expletive!) to actively prevent stylistic influences from Belgium to have any impact on your local photographic culture...? Is that a grudge or something against us Belgians? :-D

Bronislaus Janulis said...

Camera, model? Model wins, what camera.

Anonymous said...

My daughter sets up a mini portrait studio at corporate events (e.g. Christmas Parties) with the E-pl1, FL-36r, an umbrella and a reflector. She has the company give out picture frames as party favors. The guests then come by for portraits, group portraits, etc. at the end of the event on their way out. It is interesting to watch her work. I think because she is young, the subjects are not intimidated by her or the camera. By showing them the results right away on the LCD, the guests really get into it and regroup for different poses, fantasy shots, etc. Everyone has a great time and people usually hang around and extra 45 minutes to get the shot(s)they want. The corporate clients have been really pleased. So, I guess what I am saying is that portratit work is really a very collaborative affair and when it works, everybody has fun. It helps a lot that the E-pl1 is unobtrusive and the built in remote off camera flash control makes on site set up a breeze.

I would also say with respect to the particular model she is indeed beautiful, but let's not take anyting away from the photographer. She has some facial features which are rather strong and need to be handled intelligently when doing a portrait study. Mr. Tuck did so, deftley I might add and thus did what a good protrait photographer does: makes the subject look his/her best.