Last Friday I assisted Marissa Findlay on a shoot for The Guide magazine. Marissa’s fashion photographs have a stylish yet casual feel. It was great to see her in action working with models, stylist, assistants, hair and make-up to produce (seemingly) effortlessly beautiful images.
I can’t wait to see the feature next month!
Here is a video of another Findlay shoot from 1am magazine.
While studying photography I was fortunate enough to see the 1936 documentary Night Mail twice. The film is an experimental documentary about the postal train travelling from London to Scotland. It was screened by David Reid at Nottingham Trent University and also Peter Rae while at HfK Bremen.
It is an interesting document of people’s lives in the 1930s but also a perfect piece in its own right. This 24 minute film is a triumph of innovative camera work, storytelling, excitement and poetry all matched to the timbre of the sound of the train wheels.
Sadly youtube doesn’t hold a candle to seeing the film on a cinema screen.
On the subject of post, I recently read that in 1680s London there were up to 10 deliveries a day. Perhaps the modern complaint of being too ‘connected’ with Twitter, email and mobile phones isn’t such a modern one after all.
I went to the AIPA‘s annual photography conference Image Nation in Auckland last weekend. There were a dozen speakers including a magazine art director, an advertising agency executive, digital creatives and all flavours of commercial photographer specialising in automotive, architectural, food, fashion, art, documentary and skate photography.
The incredibly talented, innovative and hard working fashion photographers Charles Howells and Juliet Taylor presented their work and discussed their working style on Sunday afternoon and it was fascinating to hear how differently they approached their shoots. Howells is a very quietly spoken and thoughtful man who told of being rather ‘cold’ with the models he shoots “they are professionals, there to do a job and so am I”. Taylor on the other hand appeared atop the highest of heels swathed in designer clothes and blood red lipstick. She showed footage from her shoots of her leaping around the studio with music blaring.
Two brilliant photographers with completely different ways of working and equally wonderful results. I would love to see shoots from both photographers featuring the same model.
Who says photographs need to be sharp?
Some time ago I was exploring antique shops beneath Hamburg railway station. I was surprised to see that the Nazi medals and other paraphernalia had been censored using stickers and tape.
I surreptitiously took these snaps with a digital compact. Click to see them full size.
Clare de Rouen is the best photography bookshop in London. It is above a sex shop on Charing Cross Road. Although it is tiny, it is packed with rare and beautiful photography books.
At the back of the shop is a hall and staircase. A couple of years ago they converted this otherwise useless space into a gallery.
I made this video with a Flip camera of the group exhibition titled ‘A Looking Glass Eye: 21st Century London’ in September ’08. It innovatively showed the work of a couple of dozen very talented London photographers such as Steven Gill.
I bloody love the work of Bill Owens.
When I was studying in Bremen I came across his 1970s books ‘Suburbia‘ and ‘Leisure‘ which are wonderful.
What really makes the images for me are the quotes which accompany each image. Unfortunately none of the photographs on the web show these quotes so you will have to get the book out of the library. Or, if you have a spare £20 you will not regret buying Suburbia.
There is an good interview with Owens here:
which you can put on your ipod.
Interesting points are how he carries around little model release cards which he takes people’s email addresses on. Also about how he has a plan/script for shooting before going on trips. Reminded me a little of an interview I read with Alec Soth.
He talks about how he loves digital now and he’ll never go back to film. It may or may not be a coincidence that I love the photographs he made on film but think that his recent work is pretty ‘pub standard’.
Check out his recent work and weird movies here:
I also like that he runs a brewery and is the president of the American Distilling Institute!