Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Framed


Here's a beautifully shot movie made using an iPhone and Apple Final Cut Pro. Just goes to show what can be achieved with a little imagination and a minimum amount of gear. Best of all, it left you wanting to know more. Did the photographer know the girl? Why did he have her camera? Was she a ghost? Oh, the questions!

I love this little film and i also love the camera used by the photographer - a Yashica 124. I have a Yashica 124 too, although mine is a more recent version - the 124G. Sadly I've never seen anything out of the ordinary while looking through the viewfinder. I've taken some great photos with my 124 though - photos like this one here.

Anyway, sit back and enjoy this great short story...

Thursday, 22 March 2012

On Creativity

In the midst of all of my current problems with technology (the laptop has broke and my iPhone battery is faulty) I spent an enjoyable hour listening to Bruce Springsteen talk about creativity and music at a keynote address made at Austin's annual South by Southwest music festival..

First of all, i will add that i think this talk is a must listen for ALL creative types, regardless of what format you use. The advice that Bruce gives to young musicians is just as valid for film makers, photographers, graphic designers, fashion designers etc.

Several comments stood out but the one key section of the talk that i really thought summed up my thoughts on creativity was Springsteen's comment on the creative process:-

"The purity of human expression and experience is not confined to guitars, to tubes, to turntables, to microchips, There is no right way, no pure way, of doing. There is just doing."

Change the musical terms to reflect other creative areas like photography, painting, film making, etc, and the quote is just as relevant for those areas of creativity too.

Bruce Springsteen's excellent SXSW keynote speech can be found HERE

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Frank Larson Website


Sightseeing tour, NYC - October, 1952 | Photograph by Frank Larson

In May of last year, i posted about the work of Frank Larson, a photographer whose excellent photography only surfaced when his family discovered a cardboard box containing around 2000 negatives.

I'm extremely pleased to see that a website for Frank's superb street and portrait photography has been established featuring even more of Frank's great photography. There's a broad collection of photography displayed on the website, but I especially like the fascinating portraits of ordinary working people - a favourite is the image of a Sign Painter in Times Square just going about his work.

The Frank Larson website can be found at http://www.franklarsonphotos.com

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Capturing the Super Natural


Lindisfarne Priory, Holy Island, Northumberland, England 

Just by chance, a couple of weeks ago, i came across a copy of photographer Simon Marden's  'A journey through haunted France' in a bargain book shop. The quality of the photography, sublimely haunting photographs that are dramatic, dark and often very grainy due to the frequent use of infra red film, and the ridiculously cheap price of the book made it a must have purchase.

It has to be said that I'm not really into the ghost and super natural stories contained within the book, however the superb quality of the black and white infra-red images more than make up for that. Marsden himself stated on his website that:-

“It is not my intention to try and convince you that ghosts exist, but rather to inspire you not to take everything around you at face value; to show that what we are conditioned to believe is 'reality' may not be quite all that it seems, if only we take the time to inquire".

I suppose the tales of super natural encounters no doubt nicely help sell the books. The idea of a 'ghosthunter' photographing a spectre of the super natural has captured the imagination of many, ever since photography began, although getting a ghost to sign a model release form is probably fraught with problems.

Marsden's images work though because they just portray the aesthetic of the super natural without actual having to show an actual ghost. Like the best horror movies, Marsden's images give a strong hint of the possibility of super natural activity, then let the viewer's 'dark and scary' imagination do the rest of the work.

Sadly Simon Marsden passed away in January of this year, but his archive of images and the many books he released will continue to influence new generations. I, for one, will certainly be buying more of his books.
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