Field notes and late night rambling

More words from a Master

When I’m in the office I constantly have something playing on my second monitor that I can learn from and be inspired by. I’ve been listening to a lot of episodes of Inside The Actors Studio, that amazing series on Bravo where they interview great actors and directors about their lives and the personal aspects of their craft. I was just finishing the end of the episode with Al Pacino and he said, to paraphrase: “You want to keep trying […]

Hey, make me look good!

I hate to hear a subject tell me to make them look good. Not that I don’t understand their wish to be shown in an appealing way but frankly that’s not my job. My job is to make something interesting out of what I have to work with. Especially when shooting something for a news publication the image has to stop the viewer from breezing past the article my images is illustrating toward the article they are intending to read. […]

With feet come eyes

I made an appointment to get some work done on my car and that got me thinking. Not about the car as I have an amazing mechanic in Boulder – Hoshi Motors (shameless plug). No I got thinking about what to do with the time that my car was in the shop. I didn’t schedule any assignments so I pretty much had the day to muh-self. I figured that I’d put some gear into my small backpack and take a […]

Ah, the people you meet!

When I was chatting with the editors in New York I told them that I am usually assigned to photograph people who have never been professionally photographed before unless you count their senior portrait or a sitting for Olan Mills. As a result I am working with rather raw subjects and I am very much exploring mentally the subject in the first minute or so to see where they are coming from while the other part of my brain is […]

After action report: New York

It’s been a long time since I was in Manhattan. Well frankly I haven’t been there since I was a kid. Although the city has changed considerably, as have I, it’s still the most important city in the world where everything that you could want is unfortunately sandwiched between things that you would like to avoid. In my case it is filled with potential clients, read as: patrons for my art, and was unfortunately blisteringly hot. Lots more after the […]

Dance like no body is watching when you know that they are watching

Well, I’m packing up for a week in NYC to bang on some doors and hopefully meet some new editors. This trip is a long time coming and I’m pretty excited. I’ve gotten some great response from my hand made promo dealy – Whoo-HOO! – and a couple of appointments before I even get on the plane. It’s all very encouraging. But the process of going and showing your folio isn’t like going to apply for one of those job […]

Doris … take a memo!

Well my little promo is finished and out the door. I’ve spent two solid days just typing simple little promo cards with 2-3 sentences on them to try and set up appointments for my upcoming trip to New York.  I have such respect for the secretaries of the “old day” before word processors and “correct-o-type”. Those people were trained beyond what most of us would have thought possible. I’m so happy that some brilliant people have made spell check because […]

It’s not magic, it’s hard work

I was walking down the street yesterday pushing a cart filled with my strobe case, light stands and tripod, loads of power cables, oh and camera case too, when two ladies meet me at the crosswalk in the middle of a conversation.   The lady with the dark hair says to her friend, ”The problem with technology is the people who don’t understand it.” Well this gets me thinking so I butt in and say, “That’s because they confuse technology […]

All my bag-age

Ok I'm going to admit that I have something that I should get off of my chest. Ya see, I have a problem and it helps to be open and honest about it. Here goes … I'm a bag junkie. Where some women have more shoes than they possibly need, kinda like my wife, but not as many as they want, I have loads of camera bags, keep getting more and lusting after ones that I don't have. When we […]

Autumn in summer

I got sent off the other day to do a little human interest story on a local outfit that works with impaired adults and has put together a softball league for them. The idea is that getting to play softball helps the ones who are physically limited to get them some exercise and for the mentally challenged to learn to interact with others. They don’t keep score or any of that as the game is an excuse for them to […]

“Uhmph! You would never know that you are a photographer … “

Wayne said over my shoulder while I gleefully made photos of the cup in front of me. Two weeks ago Wayne was actually the subject for an assignment but this time he was just the guy next to me as we sipped some very nice mead.  Turns out that he and I are members of the same home brewing club the Indian Peaks Alers. He's a board member and I'm the new guy. I've been a home brewer for about […]

My new little friend – read as: a personal touch

I'm not much of an ego kinda guy so I really don't like "tooting my horn". Thus marketing myself is always tough when I'm not meeting someone in person. It just feels, well, impersonal and that puts me off. So I have been thinking of some way to make my meager attempts to get new business more personal and more like, well, me. Sending out postcards and e-mailers really has a mass produced feel to me. I mean if you […]

I’ll cover your flank or not a back seat driver

I met Lindsay Lack about 3 years ago, I think, when I put together a gathering of local news and documentary photographers for a night of drinking and pictures. She and her hubby had just recently moved to Denver from Iowa where she had finished a few internships after graduating from the Missouri journalism school. Great gal, good shooter. I kept in touch with her and she quickly became my assistant and friend.

How did I get here?

Caleb brought up a good question from my last post: what made me want to not pick up a camera for fun but with “serious” intention? I’ll give it a go. Here’s the long form answer:   You see I had been making photos since the age of 8 due to the fact that I went to a school that was a kind of experimental deal where they were trying to push the boundaries of education. This was in the […]

A love story

Alright folks it’s time to warm up the Wayback Machine a bit. Ready? Whirrr-ZaM! Ok here we are in the long forgotten time of 1993. I was still working at the camera store but had used my employee discount to get me my first serious camera, a Nikon N90. I had a Minolta, remember them?, with a useful but admittedly crap lens. I knew that the future of photography, and thus my future, lied in equipment that was faster and […]

Do not adjust your set … we are in control

As I have said before photography is about control and as such the photographer makes a host of decisions in order to make a successful photograph. When dealing with a human subject there are even more factors that come into play. When the image is a portrait and not a candid the photographer is taking control of the situation for the expressed purpose of making that portrait. One of which is getting the cooperation of the subject.   For me […]

Copy cat, copy cat!

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” Herman Melvile I had a very interesting thing happen the other day. I went to my mail box, the physical one, and on the cover of a publication was an image that stopped me in my tracks. So I went inside and showed it to my wife whose eyes got very large upon seeing it. “How can they copy you like that?” she cried. She was rather upset […]

Peter Turnley’s head, hands and feet

First off – a confession. I'm a gear head. I absolutely love equipment but I don't have a fetish for it. I'm not a collector or one of those people who names their tools like they are pets. Nah, but I do believe that the choices which an artist makes in regards to their tools says something about who they are and certainly how they work. Sometimes this even says something about how they think. Given that I almost became […]

Picture a window

I'm not sure where there idea hit me but I've been glad that I went with it. Since I love to photograph things in a layered manner it often bothers me that I have to deal with things that are very 2 dimensional looking. I often think that it would be cool to be able to peer through something to get to the subject. But in studio-esque situations which are actually on location that often is either in abundance or […]

I love the smell of fixer in the morning …

yes because it smells like ammonium thiosulfate which is a bit like victory but mostly because it doesn't have to do with all the issues of color balance. Gad but I hated making color prints. I used to do it and frankly only moderately well. Not like my B&W printing prowess as I must say I can make a great looking print in that realm. With a B&W print it's all about your tones and there are loads of options […]

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