I've reached a point in my portfolio photography where I would be very happy going back to the dark room. With myself finding modern day life so very uninteresting I found myself not needing to take large sums of photographs. I realized this last Summer when I was using a medium format Yashica Mat 124 TLR camera where you're limited to 12 exposures per roll. Searching for subjects worthy of one of those 12 exposures was a form of meditation. I felt relaxed and in absolutely no hurry with some days taking only two or three photos. I would then send the film to a local lab that just closed for developing and scanning. While at the time I was living in a large open loft I didn't have the closed room or money to put together a darkroom. Since then I've moved into a much small condo with no space and again no money to assemble one. While at one time I would have spoken against the hybrid practice of analog capture and digital output I've grown to accept it. While you would no longer need a darkroom you would need an expensive scanner and some basic supplies. Maybe one day.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
In interviews I'm often asked what other photographers have inspired me. It's not so much who but a certain type of work they sometimes produced. Whether it be Daido Moriyama, Takuma Nakafuji, Eugene Smith, Weegee, etc, etc, it's that dark gritty kind of photography that gets my heart pumping. A noir attitude that I can relate too as someone who prefers the night. A couple of years ago I stopped photographing in this manner because of it becoming very disingenuous in today's world. As I've stated many times it's become too sterile, too homogenized, too planned and curated. I see too many young photographers try to recreate those photos, usually so young that anything before the year 2000 is foreign to them. There's no truth or accuracy to them which became very evident when I found local photographers trying to emulate my photos.
Sunday, March 17, 2019
WIth astronomical amount of photos being taken everyday will any of them be worth remembering 10, 20 or even 50 years from now. The rush to take as many photos as possible and post them on social media as fast as you can has taken over quality. I then begin to wonder if you could eliminate all the selfies, food photos and pet photos just how many daily photos would be left ? While some older photographers put the blame on digital photography alone I believe that we haven't reach this critical mass shit storm until the release of the smartphone. Can photography ever be taken again seriously as an art form???
Friday, March 15, 2019
A conversation that keeps repeating between myself and several other photographers is why does a location of a photograph matter so much. By that we mean why does location outweigh the photo itself. A good photo is a good photo no matter where it was taken. We started to take notice every time one of us would travel to New York City to photograph and the response to those were much greater than our local photos. Also there always seems to be more interest in the purchasing of those photos. I would bet that if I took one of my Philadelphia photos with no widely known recognizable buildings or landmarks and posted that photo online with locations Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago and New York City, that the New York City would garner the most attention.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
I'm always searching for new projects and ideas, it's what keeps me going. But what happens when every place begins to look the same on street level ? The same chain stores, color schemes or lack thereof. The masses on their phones oblivious to their surroundings. Cars consisting of the three non-colors of white, black, and grey. I haven't done any real street photography in a while but I still watch and listen like one.
Monday, March 11, 2019
There are too many photographers today that look for acceptance on social media. Even photographers who've been around long before it post photos looking for that "like" or the "It's Brilliant !" comment. The problem is that the vast majority on there don't have an eye for photography and the bigger problem is they're interacting for no other reason than to get you to interact on their page. I've watched photographers change artistic direction and even modify their own taste for the masses who are by no means an educated curator or patron of the arts. To me as an artist this is very dangerous.
Sunday, March 10, 2019
About 8 years ago I set a goal for myself of self publishing 100 zines and books. So far I've only been able to reach the halfway point of that goal. My first publications were the 40 issues of "The Philadelphia Project" and "Out of New York" in which all 2400 copies sold out quickly. After those I noticed a slowdown in sales with each new publication and began to worry. I spoke to at least a dozen other photographers who self publish and found out they they were experiencing the same slowdown as myself. While we're still not sure of the cause, at some point we would like to continue. We'll see what happens.
Saturday, March 9, 2019
I'm asked all too often about my style of photography. I never liked the idea of labeling art but I understand it's something that the masses need to comprehend it. I've never liked artist statements and very often do submit my work for exhibitions due to the fact that there seems to be more weight put on the statement, bio and CV than the art itself. I speak to a great of other artists who also hate the idea of the artist statement but find it somewhat necessary. I would prefer just to say that I'm an "Urban Expressionist" and leave the rest of the mess out that has all the charm of a job application.
Friday, March 8, 2019
Thursday, March 7, 2019
A lot of photographers struggle on what to do with themselves when they're uninspired with photography or in-between projects. I myself struggled for a long time with this which usually made myself doubt what I was doing. Several years ago after just finishing up a photography project I picked up a paint brush. I've been painting on and off since 1992 and while back then I found it frustrating I recently found myself and have been producing a body of work over the last couple of years that I'm truly happy with and hope to continue. Painting help clears my head, relaxes me, and prepares me for when I pick up the camera again.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
I use to think about creating a gathering spot for artists to get together and talk about art and about the art life. Several years ago when I was still drinking I thought about places like the Kodoji Bar in Tokyo that catered to photographers or the famed Cedar Tavern in New York City during the 50s. Then it switched to more of a cafe/coffee shop type of establishment because not only myself but most of the artist I knew gave up alcohol mostly because of health problems. Today more than ever I want one of these places where we could hang out until at least midnight and separate ourselves from the growing army of people with laptops and phones who have taken over just about every coffee shop in America. Maybe a place with some space to paint or print photos, no wifi, a non sterile beige environment. I can dream, can't I.
I've reached a point in my portfolio photography where I would be very happy going back to the dark room. With myself finding modern d...