At a loss to understand why ‘fake news’ is considered ‘new’ news. Everybody has being lying to everybody else since we crawled out of the primordial swamp. To be more precise, believing their own perceptions of reality; packaging and promoting it – for personal gain. This Guardian commercial from a London ad agency in 1986 not only sums up why advertising became a noble profession (through the sheer creativity of simple observation – sadly gone) but also through the fallibility of what people believe and why they believe it. Today’s journos take note. Examine all issues from all angles, then decide. The power of discernment. Thank you for your 3 and half ‘Likes’.
While reviewing this collection of album cover portraits (see link), I noticed one possible criteria for selection that was completely absent: one of technical excellence. Dylan’s portrait for his “Blond on Blond” album, for example, is a photograph with “camera shake” – usually the bane of many a photographer when the camera or subject (or both) are moving in unison with a slow shutter speed. These photographs usually get binned. Nevertheless, this photo has succeed in becoming part of the iconic vocabulary of modern music. In this day and age where precision and rationality are venerated – and have the technology to deliver it – we are in danger of forgetting why things “work” and why they don’t. Perfection doesn’t work. Perfection rarely interests people. It’s boring. Like music itself, it’s the seemingly random empty spaces between notes that confers harmony and emotion and not only the perfect notes themselves. Photographers don’t need to be perfect technicians to make great photographs – they need to be able to capture images that convey emotion with sublime subjectivity. The best photographers are usually humanists. They understand that life is messy (like this poorly written piece) and transient and create work that celebrates this fact rather than trying to ‘perfect’ it.
I’ve tagged this compelling post under the title of Cinematography, which is, admittedly, stretching the remit of my blog a bit, but an article from today’s British Guardian merits attention. Although two of the films mentioned – “Ida” and “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring” – are beyond sublime cinematographically and deserve more than a mere footnote, the real reason I’ve reposted is to share the central premise of the article: Movies matter. We live in an age where most of our cultural gatekeepers have been demoted by a digital democracy championing an understanding that everything is now commodity: A sense that it doesn’t matter what you make so long as it satisfies a market need or want. This is unfortunate. The best movies, like the best art, usually come out of left field – uninvited and unexpected. The market is like a two-way mirror. The market is never surprised. It only observes. It consumes – never creates. Great movies, on the other hand, are always mirrors of who we are inside. The movies mentioned in the article are great movies. Worth a read. Link to article: I watch therefore I am: seven movies that teach us key philosophy lessons | Film | The Guardian.
As a good Irishman I couldn’t possibly let our national holiday go by without a mention. St.Patrick’s Day has, in recent years, turned into a parody of itself with only the faintest vestige remaining of the religious origins of the festival. “Irishness”, like St.Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Mother’s/Father’s Day; Secretaries Day etc., has now been reduced to just another greeting card commodity that can and has been exported around the world everywhere from Kazakhstan to Las Vegas and Helsinki to Hong Kong. Ireland as marketing myth. Irish Journalist, Ian O’Doherty, sums up succinctly my feelings about our national day with his usual acerbic wit in today’s Irish Independent newspaper:
“Tis a time to be proud to be Irish and if you’re a tourist, visiting our fair isle, remember that on this day, nobody is a stranger. They’re just someone who hasn’t punched you yet.”
Quite. Top o’ the mornin’ to ya – especially to all of those waking up with a clear head this morning. But as Dean Martin said “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”
Really compelling “then and now” photography from Operation Overlord – more commonly known as D-day – that took place on the 6th of June 1944. I had the opportunity to visit the Normandy beaches a couple of years ago and was humbled by the sacrifice and bravery of the men who took part in the largest seaborne invasion in military history. I remember wandering down to the shoreline on Omaha beach, turned to face the machine gun decked dunes, 100 or so metres away, and tried to imagine what it was like to be a young American GI on that fateful morning: tired and wet, weary of the smell of vomit from seasickness and fear, weighed down by 75 pounds of gear, alighting from a landing craft and running as fast as a he could towards a blizzard of bullets. Respect. Left a lasting impression.
Link to interactive article: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/ng-interactive/2014/jun/01/d-day-landings-scenes-in-1944-and-now-interactive
In a world drowning in a tsunami of images, does photography mean anything anymore? Advertising art director, Erik Kessels, sees beauty, humour and a touch of the surreal in decontextulized “found” photo albums.
Link to article: The world’s weirdest photo albums | Art and design | The Guardian.