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
The German filmmaker Wim Wenders is a master image maker and storyteller. I’ve been reviewing his work this week, especially his 1984 movie ‘Paris, Texas’, and have marvelled at his use of photography to give the movie its power by creating a profound sense of place. Most movies are about character development and narrative and how they intertwine to tell a story. It’s rare for movie directors (John Ford’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ and Orson Welles’ ‘Touch of Evil’ are two other examples that jump to mind) to give a starring role to places and landscapes in which the story unfolds. In this short interview, Wenders draws reference to ‘time’ as a guiding principle in creating his films and photography. Something I can relate to, having named my blog ‘Time Machine’ since its inception. I also relate to Wender’s being a painter, filmmaker and photographer and understanding that one informs the other to great effect. I have always maintained that photographers and filmmakers should study fine art painting to develop a deep understanding of framing, composition and light. Well worth watching.
Witz’s work is fine art painting and this is supposed to be a blog with a strict remit to celebrate the best in photography – but I don’t care. I’m posting this. His work is brilliant. His large, epic canvases are reminiscent of old master painting techniques, combined with a kind of HDR photorealism. And did I mentioned I think his work is brilliant.
Link to galllery exhibition of his work in NY: http://jonathanlevinegallery.com/?method=Exhibit.ExhibitDescription&ExhibitID=4E99DF8B-B0E5-82CE-8C5D60A91FD239F4
Portrait of my beautiful wife. Shot with my iPhone and processed with photo apps to add a painterly texture.
I’ve been a big admirer of Alberich’s photography on his flickr feed for some time now. I call him the Titian of the photographic world. He creates beautifully poetic underwater portraits of sirens and nymphs from Greek mythology that have more than a passing resemblance to the work of the great 16th century Venetian fine art painter of flesh: Tiziano Vecellio – more commonly known as Titian. The photographer himself remains a bit of an enigma. I attempted to contact him regarding my wish to showcase his work on this blog, but have received no word back. Neither can I glean any personal information about Alberich on the internets. However, I think his work speaks more than eloquently for him. Please check out his flickr feed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alberich/
Many of you have remarked how my photography work reminds them of oil paintings by the old masters. I always take these remarks as the greatest of compliments because I have a deep love of painting and painters and have spent many years studying, in detail, how they handle light and composition to create their masterpieces. In fact, I would highly recommend that any aspiring photographer take a course in life drawing, painting and/or the history of art to improve their photographic skills. Learning how to “see” is essential to mastering any visual medium, and the old masters were masterful at understanding how light and composition combine to create sublime imagery: photography is no different. One painter that I am particularly interested in at the moment, is the German Symbolist and Art Nouveau artist, Franz Von Stuck (1863-1928). I admire his draughtsmanship and dramatic use of light. I am particularly enamoured with his rather formal portrait work; beautiful profiles with ornate textural clothing. The portrait above, of my niece Ashling, is heavily influenced by Von Stuck’s approach to light and composition. Below, is a painting by Von Stuck, called, Cinderella. The Symbolists were heavily influenced by mythology and romanticism; a perfect theme to portray the emerging beauty of my niece.