American photographer Christian Peacock has restored my faith in photography. Digital has reduced the human spirit to a polarised code – you are nothing but a combination of zeros and ones. Not true. Christian shot these beautiful creamy portraits with film. Old school with a touch of the old masters’ aesthetic. The people in these photographs exist. They breathe. They have lives. They have loves. They have triumphs and disasters. They are human. Humanity captured gracefully by a very talented photographer. In my book, old school is doing something real well; with spirit and passion. Christian should be proud of his old school credentials. Please check out his “Making of” blog and learn how analog photography changes the relationship between shooter and subject – the secret sauce that digital has all but forgotten. Source: Blog — Christian Peacock Photography
Someone, somewhere stated that “Good is the enemy of great”. I’ve been fiddling with my new website for weeks trying to make peace between the two. A truce was called. Time to launch myself into my “second life”. Being an advertising art director for the last 25 years has been incredibly rewarding for me – but my real passion now is photography. When you are passionate about doing something, you tend to do it well, and it shows in the work. Hopefully, my passion for photography will, in time, shine through. If you get a moment, I would appreciate you visiting the site and rummaging around. Please feel free to suggest ideas and thoughts about the site and how I could make it better. Good enough may be the enemy of great, but the will to get better is your best weapon in the fight to do great work.
Link to site: http://seanhayesphotography.format.com
Every once in a while, I post something on this blog that’s not about photography. But it is, nonetheless, a kind of snapshot. A snapshot of the marketing/advertising business that’s in serious turmoil. People who are only of the ‘money persuasion’ would guffaw at the above statement as ad spend by brand managers worldwide is off the charts: $660.88 billion forecasted for 2016. And climbing.
Someone, somewhere, is getting very rich – but somehow the business ‘feels’ poorer. I know digital marketing doyens tend to shun sappy sentiment in favour of algorithmic assuredness – but they are missing that ‘magic’ ingredient that makes our business work: Empathy. Humans are messy and irrational creatures. Machines only understand logic and binary code. A marriage made in communication hell.
Using ‘colourful’ language, marketing ‘guru’, Mark Ritson, spells out in black and white the many myths of digital marketing. Well worth an hour of your online time.
NB* I’ve just noticed the uploaded video is taking considerable time to convert. In the meantime here is the link to the original YT page: https://youtu.be/IJF7C1jvjXM
British artist Tacita Dean alludes to a quality about film that we have all but forgotten in our digitised world, namely, the artistic necessity of gestation. The immediacy that digital affords the creative process has diminished the value of an ‘interval of time’ between start and finish; where mistakes can be made, flaws are seen and incorporated, and the chemistry allowed to surprise. Digital crushes time by being efficient and economical. Digital leaves nothing to chance by banishing the ‘not knowing’ part of creativity that’s an essential ingredient of image making. Our so-called modern world demands clarity, conviction, conciseness, confidence and cost control – digital delivers all these digital left brain qualities. Ambiguity and doubt are the domain of the analog right brain – and that is where interesting things are made. Nuance.
I’m a person who has always been interested in interesting people who say or make interesting things. Advertising used to be melting pot of these kind of people. Not so much anymore. I believe the art of short film making is where all the interesting stuff is being conceived and beaten into shape on laptops all around the world – sometimes on a shoestring budget. Historically, the price of producing slick audio-visual projects were prohibitively expensive and only the most dedicated – or maddest, pick your superlative – had the endurance to bring their visions to fruition. Today, thanks to affordable technology, the price of entry to this once exclusive club has dropped to almost zero. The only investment required is a belief in your own ability to make interesting things. That’s the good news. The bad news is you have to make or say something very, very, very interesting to break through the tsunami of sameness that infests our creative culture today. These films, I believe, are a good representation of what can be achieved creatively if one sets out with a good idea to start with – something that resonates with us as empathetic human beings. The film “Reach” by Luke Randall is a good example of storytelling that pulls on heart strings as well as electronic cables. Many people believe that technology is changing us and that we must keep up with technological change if we want to stay relevant. Rubbish. Our human responses to authenticity has always been the same – for countless generations. These films are authentic. That’s why they work so well. Artifice can only get you so far. Creativity about is building things that ring true. Short films used to be a “calling card” while prospecting for bigger projects. I believe they are now a standalone art form in and of themselves. Hope you agree. Enjoy.
Watching more than seventy live, perspective-changing TED Talks back to back for five days straight is nothing to scoff at. Let’s be honest: Your brain gets tired. That’s why TED’s curators program each session with short video breaks to give the mind a rest before the next set of talks. Funny, inspiring, silly, beautiful, here’s all the videos shown this year at the conference. Think of it as TED’s short film festival.
Pinnipèdes, by Victor Caire. Two fat, sleepy animated seals fight and love each other.
Wiggly Things, by Rogier van der Zwaag. An animated interpretation of philosopher Alan Watts’ lectures, about how we humans like to “break down the wiggliness of the world.”
Reach, by Luke Randall. A robot that needs to be plugged in in order to survive dreams of life outside his window.
Moving images, by Lorne Resnick. Lorne Resnick makes five-second video clips…
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Excellent article on the silliness of the “quality” debate in photography.
“Looking at them I’m reminded that a definition of photographic “quality” is meaningless unless we can define what make photographs evocative. In the digital age, with an enormous emphasis on detail and precision, most people use resolution as their only standard. Bewitched by technology, digital photographers have fetishized sharpness and detail.”
Sums up my feelings about the subject perfectly.
Self-indulgence or self-portraiture? ‘Selfies’ have a long and illustrious history in art. A perfectly acceptable way to examine and explore the interior life of an artist in paint and photography. With the ubiquity of ‘selfies’ on social media sites – they seem to rankle more than reveal. Interesting article.