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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Happy New Year everybody and thanks for all your visits, likes and comments. Looking forward to seeing you here again in 2014.

Seth’s Blog: When you’re offered precisely what you were hoping for….

I’m still struggling with dichotomies that the internet presents; especially in relation to artistic expression. Yes, I’m delighted that the ‘gatekeepers’ of old have been banished to analog history. Yes, I’m thrilled and enthralled by the explosion of creativity and freedom that the technology now affords everyone with access to a keyboard. But more is not necessarily better. Without curation, of any kind, isn’t there the danger that genuine nuggets of sheer brilliance become submerged in a tsunami of drivel and dross? How to achieve gravitas in an insta-everything world, where attention spans are measured in microseconds and ideas and thoughts are relegated to mere trinkets and trivia for insta-consumption: Or as the industry jargon would say – ‘creative content’. An oxymoron if there ever was one. I could be accused of elitism – and you’d probably be right. But it’s worth bearing in mind, that the analog elitism of old invested time and money in nascent artistic talent that, although not guaranteeing a livelihood, certainly provided for the possibility of financial security down the line. Today, even the most talented and successful musicians are paid a pittance by online streaming sites like Spotify. The ‘Long-Tail’ business model, that owners of the distribution channels like Google and YouTube expound, are very profitable for them – less for the creators of that ‘content’. A pittance multiplied by a thousand ‘hits’ is still a pittance. A thousand ‘hits’ multiplied by quadrillions of sites makes the shareholders of those channels very happy indeed. I understand Godin when he says the onus is now on you – the creator- to create. No excuses. No gatekeepers to block your way. Build a ‘market’ of 100 believers in your creativity – forget about mass markets. But creative people have bills as well. Some people are getting very rich indeed when creative people say “Yes” – but I can assure you; it’s not the creators.

 

Patrick_Chapman_The_Negative_Cutter

The Negative Cutter by Patrick Chapman. Cover photo by Sean Hayes.

Just received copies of a new book this morning from Irish poet, writer, screenwriter and dear friend Patrick Chapman. Patrick kindly asked me if he could use one of my photographs as the cover for his latest literary work. I was delighted to be asked. I’m looking forward to a good read over the festive period. Please check out Patrick’s link below for a complete overview of his writing and film work.

The Negative Cutter, my new book of fiction. | Patrick Chapman.

I’m a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams. For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the glowing silver hues of his epic landscape photography. Unfortunately,  the Yosemite mountain range is a bit of a hike from my house here in Belgium – my local park will have to do. For now.  Hope you like the image – and should you like one of the images enough to want a pristine print on your wall, please write to me at shonski50@me.com and we’ll chat about print sizes, prices and shipping arrangements. Thank you for your visit.

Silver_Lake_Sean_Hayes_Belgium

Silver Lake © Sean Hayes

Not strictly a post about photography – but this is too good not to share. Everybody is saying advertising is dead. But reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated – and animator, Alvise Avati, proves it. A master class in how advertising should be conceived, written, directed and produced. Everything starts with an authentic insight – however small. Written and directed by Avati – he does a brilliant job in bringing this insight to life. That was the good news – the bad news is that no brand manger approved this; and sad to say, probably never would. The commercial exists exclusively to showcase the talents of Avati and the London based production company, but in the process, it has highlighted how banal and uninspiring the ad business has become. Brand managers and their creative agencies take note.

GLEN HANSARD by Conor Masterson

GLEN HANSARD © Conor Masterson

I’ve never had the opportunity to work with Irish photographer and filmmaker Conor Masterson – but I’d like to. Based in London since 1995, Conor’s talented and accomplished eye for producing polished and intriguing photographic work has been recognised and awarded by the Association of Photographers and has led to photography commissions for award-winning ad campaigns for Guinness, Coca-Cola and The Royal Navy. I first noticed Conor’s work through his portrait pieces of Glen Hansard – lead vocalist of Irish band The Frames. What I particularly like about Conor’s approach to portraiture is his ability to capture a sense of spontaneity and playfulness in his subjects, while still maintaining a strict adherence to the discipline and technicalities of producing quality photography. By no means easy. In recent years, Conor has used his well-honed photographic skills to successfully move into film making and cinematography. His natural abilities for building a visual narrative combined with his compelling photography style have culminated in him directing a full-length documentary film about the The Frames. The film celebrates the band being a collective of gifted musicians, who, over a 20 year period, have supported each other and created music together. Titled ‘The Frames In The Deep Shade’, it was shot in beautiful black and white and in an experimental style that steers clear of all the ‘rock documentary’ clichés. The film follows the band over an 18 month period and is intercut with spectacular concert footage and intimate interviews with band members on several different dates and at varied events. The final film received its premiere, to critical acclaim, at the 2013 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. A trailer for the film is posted below. I encourage you to visit Conor’s web site and discover the depth and diversity of his talent.

Link to portfolio: http://www.conormasterson.com/

 

More portrait work from Conor.

DOMINIC JOHN by Conor Masterson

DOMINIC JOHN © Conor Masterson

TOM MEETEN by Conor Masterson

TOM MEETEN © Conor Masterson

LOUIS HORTON STEPHENS by Conor Masterson

LOUIS HORTON STEPHENS © Conor Masterson

Belgium_Sean_Hayes

Belgium and Black and White © Sean Hayes

Belgium_Sean_Hayes

Belgium and Black and White © Sean Hayes

Belgium_Sean_Hayes

Belgium and Black and White © Sean Hayes

Hope you like the images – and should you like one of the images enough to want a pristine print on your wall, please write to me at shonski50@me.com and we’ll chat about print sizes, prices and shipping arrangements. Thank you for your visit.

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