Friday, June 24, 2011

Lydia Panas, Santa Fe Review Find

Lydia's giant prints made a lasting impression on me at Review Santa Fe, and I'll be blogging for the WSJ about the upcoming US publication of her new book. What I liked the most about the work was her canny way of getting at the tension and connections between people. This is a hard thing to do in still pictures, and devilishly subjective. Lydia Panas on the above photo:

"There is something lyrical, a bit like a dance, and also a kind of strength, about this image for me. They had come to my house for dinner one night and we did the shoot. I watched them arrange themselves, like I always do, and then added a little direction. I noticed that the mother had a very strong influence, so when I saw her arranging her husband's hair slightly, I asked her to keep her hand there. The photo presents them in two groupings, the girls boldly in front, fierce and independent, supported by a strong parental bond.  The mother lends a directing hand behind the scenes."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hand Grabs Water

Great day shooting--the above is a test from something I worked on today. This morning I made coffee and went straight to the studio and started working. Ollie was over at his Dad's, so I got an early start for a change. It really felt good to be back in the studio. I'm afraid I recently came close to becoming one of those people that just makes a lot of convincing excuses about why they aren't doing the things they should be doing. Damn it all. I won't let that happen to me.

Last night I went to a Tom Stoppard play called Arcadia that was surprisingly good. The play alternated between modern times and the early 1800's. The set was spare and sketch-like in it's simplicity--with a long table at the center of the room. Carefully chosen props worked for scenes from both time periods. One unforgettable scene has the characters from both time periods occupying the same space. Two actors read the same book, side by side, in two different time periods, with the same pacing, in a ballet of page turning. This moment was more than just story telling. It was a taste of what I'm after.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Impress my Soul

Psychologist and philosopher Nick Humphrey has some interesting ideas about the source and function of consciousness. He suggests, among other things, that consciousness is needed to impress the soul. Being enchanted with the magic of experience may provide a reason to live in itself. I can sympathize with this idea.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chiara Tocci and Life After Zog

Chiara Tocci is one of the more intriguing photographers I met over the weekend in Santa Fe, NM at the Center portfolio review. Her photo essay "Life After Zog" tenderly combines reportage, elements of a personal story and hints of folklore to create a lush and mysterious photo essay on High Albania.

High Albania is a mountainous territory that has been described as "The land of the living past", and is still one of the most isolated areas of Europe. Zog I, Skanderbeg III of the Albanians, was King of the Albanians from 1928 to 1939.