Interview with photographer Alex O’Brien

An interview with young self-taught photographer Alex O’Brien, whom I already speak a little about here. Portfolio: http://aobaob.1x.com/

All photographs by Alex O’Brien

– Hi Alex. Can you tell a bit about yourself, how you came to photography, did you have any formal training ? What are your influence ?

I’m a photographer/artist based in Düsseldorf, brought up all around Europe. The first time I remember showing any interest in photography was in September 2008 on a trip to the Swiss Alps. I then found a book on the exhibition of the family of man which was a great inspiration at the time. I am self taught, but that is no great feat. Google was my friend.

My inspiration varies from day to day, but I am most inspired by life, nuances, absurdities, everyday scenes, light, pattern, chaos, philosophy, all which life entails. As far as artists go however, I take great inspiration from photographers such as Henry Wessel, William Eggleston, Paul Hermes, and numerous others.

***

– As far as I know you started with digital before switching to film camera. What are you using now and did the use of film change your approach to photography ?

Film photography has provided me with a temporary style. With digital I would experiment and create work of every genre. When I first started out with film, I intended to use it just for fun and recording where I had been but it gradually developed until I reached a point where I was surer of what I was interested in capturing. I shoot almost exclusively in colour, a polar opposite to what I did with digital, though that’s just because I can’t afford black and white film.

***

Ghana

– You seem drawn to experimentation. Is it a way for you to try to find “your own voice”, or instead do you believe experimenting is “your own voice” as itself ?

I think it started out as a way of setting myself apart from others as I was learning the tools of the trade, but then it developed into my own voice. Every subject I photographed I tried to make look different. Now however I’d like to think my experiments in all the mediums which I work in have more of a certain style. I am not interested in enclosing myself within a particular genre or subject, but it would be nice for my work to have a similar aesthetic.

***

– What subject matters inspire you ? Are you drawn to some specific motifs ? …

Light is what determines how I take photos. In harsh midday light I find myself more prone to shooting cityscapes and people, night light I revert back to my atmospheric photography, evening light I find myself taking instinctive snapshots of people and cityscapes. Grey cloud and I normally put my camera away. The light is what really determines the photographs I take.

***

… On the other hand some of your work is very abstract. How do you get into that ?

It began by looking at some of the photos on 1x, at a time when I wanted nothing but to be published on that website. At the time I had a 5 megapixel camera which technically could never come close to anything I saw there. I lacked ability and photoshop skills. So I consciously decided to create moody, abstract images which lead to three published photos and a greater interest in that category. Then I bought a D90, which had I of bought several months earlier would have been used to recreate what I saw on 1x, but instead which I used to create blurry, abstract, grainy black and white images (things I could quite easily have created with my other camera). It was rebellion. I had a 1,000€ camera and using it to take photos which looked as if they’d been taken on a mobile phone. It was fun.

My photography now I would also call abstract as it has no logical reason to be, or clear message, or story. Abstract, but in a different way.

***

Tribal Dance


– How is your routine ? Do you go out with list of things or places to photograph ? How do you plan your work ?

I avoid planning. I cycle into the city and then just walk around for hours, following the light. However in Düsseldorf there are quite a few popular events. I sometimes go to these places and use it as an opportunity to capture things from the sidelines, which I wouldn’t normally do. The annual marathon and Japan day are often quite inspiring events filled with bizarre people which. Though I may just stay in bed.

***

Dragon Chasers

– You did a trip across England few months ago. What kind of photographic experience was it ?

As a photographic experience it wasn’t much. I took 20 gigabytes worth of photos, carried my camera every step of the way yet when I arrived home I just dumped all the photos on a hard-drive and let them sit. I haven’t looked at them since. The photos are a combination of multiple exposures, blurry photos, landscapes and photos more in my current style. When I arrived home I didn’t know where to start. 90% of the images were no longer of artistic interest to me. I think it is like that with all major projects. You go there, shoot as much as you like, but when you review them later you always think ‘it would have been better for me to go there now’, though that’s not necessarily true. The photos reflect a certain time and style in my life and that is enough. Art doesn’t improve with time, it just changes.

As an experience however, it was probably the best thing I’ve ever done.

***

Middle of Life Crisis


– How was the making of your book ? (
http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1752890) Did you have some sort of agenda, or storyline ?

Not really. A few friends of mine had made books on blurb, so I thought that I might give it a go. I put some of my more recent photos up and the book gradually took on more of a theme in appearance. It culminated in a series of images taken between April and November on film and represented nothing other than a group of photos with a common aesthetic. I spent a lot of time arranging the photos on every page, that was important to me. It was not dissimilar to creating diptychs. The book-making process differed from a lot of my work in that it was quite carefully planned and executed, whereas most of my artwork, be it photography or painting or graffiti is instinctive.

***

Floating

– You will turn 18 this year – hence attain majority. So, getting started for shooting fine art nudes ?

That’s priority #1.


– Any specific ongoing project, or wish ?

My second book is almost finished – just need another roll of film developed. I was involved in a project called GMOA (Global Mission of Art) which does exhibitions around the world, but my activity there faded. I’m involved in a lot of street art projects which is a medium even more frowned upon than street photography. I do a lot of abstract painting and drawing. A wish for the future? Just to maintain creativity and happiness and be to myself.

***

out of "Away"

***

Thank you very much Alex, and keep on the good work.

Interview with Bryan Formhals

An interview with Bryan Formhals, photographer and editor based in Brooklyn, NY. He administrates and/or is involved in various Flickr! groups such as HCSPPhotographsOnTheBrain,  he is also co-founder and editor of on-line  magazines/galleries LaPuraVida and Street Reverb.

All photographs by Bryan Formhals

– How would you define yourself ? a curator ? an editor ? a publisher ? an ecosystem animator ? an incubator ?

I’m a photographer and editor.  Although ecosystem animator has a nice ring to it.

– What is your typical routine when you search the web ? What triggers your curiosity to dig into someone else work and website ?

I don’t really search the web.  Information comes to me through my RSS feeds, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.  All of which I check multiple times a day. I don’t think that’s really necessary to stay in the loop though. I just happen to have a bit of an addiction to information.

What triggers my curiosity is in general one or two photos, or a recommendation from someone I respect.  When I’m looking at the work I tend to look for consistency. There are lots of photographers that might have a few nice photographs but not many can consistently make strong work, or put together strong projects.

– How is La Pura Vida working on a regular basis ? How many people are behind LPV and how do you split the tasks ? Do you get many submissions ?

I do most of the day to day stuff with LPV, like running the Twitter/FB/Tumblr accounts. The features on the blog are generally produced by me as well. James Turnley is also an editor and he’s put together some rather interesting features.

When we did the monthly shows, there would be a guest editor, but we stopped with that format in the fall.

I also reach out to people who run interesting Flickr groups, like Simon Kossoff for example. My goal is to continue to make it more of a collaborative platform but that’s challenging because people are really busy and I tend to be a bit of a control freak at times.

We do get a few email submissions but probably not as many as people might think. When we run a show we’ll get lots of them in the Flickr pool. We’ll probably be experimenting with using that to take submissions for shorter features developed around specific topics or ideas.  I’m generally impressed with the quality of the submissions.

– Do you have in mind some (non-already existing) innovative model of curating or publishing that the future web could provide ? And if so what could you see as potential limitations (either technical, financial  or others) ?

I don’t have an innovative model in mind. I tend to be pretty open about my ideas and think that the proof is really in what you do. Executing is incredibly challenging.

Right now there’s lots of new ideas developing around crowdfunding with platforms like Kickstarter and Empas.is. I’m not sure that will be the solution for everyone.

There are also a few online magazines that are turning the corner and might provide a model, such as Fraction Magazine and 1000 Words. It’ll depend on developing a large enough audience to be attractive to sponsors. It’ll also require partnerships and collaborations with other organizations as well.

I don’t think a purely fine art of documentary online magazine will ever be anything other than a constant struggle to remain sustainable but who knows.

There are lots of sites now selling fine art prints and such as well but I’m skeptical that this is sustainable solution for most magazines/sites.

The limitations from a technical perspective right now is presentation. Nobody will declare the web as the optimal platform for viewing photography. The formats people use for presenting work tend to be rather uniform, and I doubt most anyone will say that there’s really an equal comparison to seeing photographs on the web as opposed to on paper.

However, that will likely change as screen technology improves. I think it’s rather foolish to think that technology won’t continue to evolve and improve.

– You seem to be interested in Street Photography first and foremost. Is it correct ? and if so why ?

I’m often associated with SP because of HCSP and such but in general my interests are more eclectic.  I’m a big supporter of street photography and straight photography but in terms of what I look at regularly, it’s probably not as prevalent as people might think.

That said, I do think it’s interesting from a philosophical approach, and think there’s some really strong work being produced right now.

– Still on SP I’ve read a couple of times that you are concerned about street-photographers lacking some sort of “articulation” in their work – which I find interesting and I understand it as “purposeless”. On the other end of the spectrum though there have been attempts of more thoughtful “street photography” which are highly conceptual (such as Lorca-DiCorcia “Heads” series) and are often dismissed by the aficionados. Could you elaborate on that “articulation” idea with regards to SP ?

In general, I don’t think many street photographers articulate their philosophy very well, at least not in writing. There’s a tendency to romanticize the spontaneous nature of just going out into the street and not knowing what will happen or what you’ll see.

You’ll see the same old references to observing how we live in public and those sorts of things. That’s all great, and I’m glad people are out doing it. Having a historical record is interesting but from an artistic perspective I’m interested in a photographer’s internal motivations as well.

I think most street photographers who have been doing it for years have ended up creating a personal philosophy that goes beyond photography. It’s embedded into their day to day life, and the way they view the world.

I’d like to see more of that articulated by street photographers.

The conceptional end of the spectrum doesn’t really interest me all that much (I do like Lorca-DiCorcia), but then again, as one of my friends likes to say, it’s all conceptional, and I kind of agree with that.

– The story about Vivian Maier has some interesting facets, one being that it owes a lot to the internet, especially for the initial kick-off (the initial HCSP post from Maloof). But at the same time one can feel that there is a limitation to what the internet could do further, that the traditional media finally take the lead and that on the end of the day the success (or not) of the endeavor relies mostly on a single man’s acts. What does this story inspire you, specifically with regards to the role of internet ? Isn’t there something frustrating ?

The story shows that you can quickly assemble an audience for a body of work through the internet. The Maier situation is unique because it taps into the romanticism of finding an unknown genius.  That doesn’t really happen that often so when it does there’s a good chance it’ll reach a mass audience.

I tend to think we would have all heard of about Vivian Maier with or without the internet. I think it’s interesting that Maloof essentially turned to the crowd for help though, and specifically Flickr.  That allowed him to move quickly with what he was doing and find the appropriate help.

I don’t think there’s really anything frustrating about the story. Anytime something like this reaches a critical mass it’s going to attract a certain amount of negativity and controversy. Some of that maybe valid, but for the most part you end up with self-absorbed people trying to somehow personally benefit from the story.  You see this played out every single day on the internet.

– There are loads of photo communities on the internet, but on the other side I feel there is relatively few collaborative work (I mean collaborative work fueled by internet means) whereas the possibilities seem big. As a simple example there is no book (as far as I know) made out of the HCSP collection… Any thoughts ?

I think there’s lots of collaborations going through the internet, collectives, group blogs, group shows, etc.

There certainly could be more but creative collaborations are challenging, especially if money becomes involved.

In terms of an HCSP book, that’s just a logistical nightmare that nobody really wants to tackle primarily because they’re too busy with other projects.

I guess it tends to come down to people’s objectives. I think most just want to share and look at photographs, and have no ambitions beyond that.

I do think the most interesting photo communities that evolve in the next couple of years will figure out interesting ways to collaborate both on and offline.

– Are all your effort of curating directed towards the internet, or do you (or would you like to) set up “tangible” shows ?

I’m not really interested in doing tangible shows. I’ve done a couple very small ones already but I’m much more interested in the web, as well as print magazines and books.

The art game rat race just doesn’t interest me all that much.  I’m more of a media and web junkie and really want to see what can be done online, and with print in the future.

We’re doing a bit of re-branding with LPV which will hopefully solidify us as a magazine and not a gallery or what have you.

– Do you shoot often ? What do you like to shoot ?

I don’t shoot often in the winter, but when it’s warm out I go out a few times a week, and tend to just roam around certain neighborhoods.  I very much embrace Eggleston’s democratic approach, but tend to shoot a mixture of urban landscapes and candid street work.

I can’t say that I’m overly ambitious with my own photography but of all the photography related stuff that I do, roaming around with a camera with no destination is my favorite activity by far.

Now, if I could just be more articulate about my approach and inner motivations…..

Interview with Blake Andrews

Blake Andrews is an American photographer based in Eugene, OR. I am grateful to him for answering few questions.

 

– What is your initial photography background ? Did you had formal training ? What were your earliest interest in photography ? Any seminal figure that has very counted for you at the early stage of your development ? Did you encounter some decisive discovery or was it a more smooth development from the start onward to your most recent work ?

As a kid I was into art but I never saw the point of photography. I thought, why replicate reality? It wasn’t until late adolescence that I became more curious. I had a college friend who was into photography and I was into her, so that was a catalyst. She toured me around the college darkroom but at that point photo classes were generally booked and hard to get into. It wasn’t until after graduation that I finally took an intro b/w class at the local art school. That was in 1993 in Portland, and that was the extent of my formal training. From there I taught myself by looking at a lot of monographs, talking to other photographers, and most importantly shooting a lot.

I’d say the most seminal figure for me, both early on and even to this day, is Lee Friedlander. He showed me that the world can be seen as a visual playground, and that a photo can be just about visual pleasure with no other burden. Studying his work I learned a lot about layering, composition, visual wabi sabi, and how to put a picture together. He’s the one who made me pay attention to chain-link fences.

I’ve also been influenced by the Portland photo community, George Kelly and Chris Rauschenberg in particular. Portland has a very strong photo scene. I’m not sure I would’ve become a photographer if I hadn’t settled there. To an extent you are who you are, but you’re also where and when you are.

 

Scott Jones from "Photographers" © Blake Andrews

 

– How much do you shoot a week ? What is (roughly) your success-to-exposure ratio ?

I’ve definitely slowed down a little since moving to the country. During peak summer season now I might shoot 15 rolls per week. In winter, maybe half that. I make a lot of work prints –upwards of perhaps 6 or 8 per roll but usually less– but generally most images don’t get beyond that point. The number that make it as finished final prints is very small, maybe one in 1000 or something. But some of that is because I’m lazy, and because the only time I ever make finished prints is when I have a show which is increasingly rare.

 

– You are part of the In-Public collective, rather active on the web and I believe rather well known in the street-photography web community. On the other hand looking at your portfolio and reading your blog I feel you are more loosely attached to “street-photography” than most your colleagues from In-Public (note: it is a merely personal feeling). Do you consider yourself as a “street-shooter” or instead more inclined to the more open concept of “straight-photography” ?

I didn’t really self-identify as a “street photographer” until joining In-Public, and even now the label seems like an awkward fit. I don’t really shoot classic street scenes. I don’t live in a large city surrounded by crowds, and I don’t focus on the expressions or behaviors of anonymous strangers the way some classic street shooters do. I’m just as happy to shoot a puddle or a tree branch. I’m attracted to pattern, dark and light, posture, simple visions with a twist. I love absurdities. But I’m not making any grand statement about urban life as I think many street photographers feel they are.

 

© Blake Andrews

 

– Do you think like – say – Nick Turpin that there is a tradition of street-photography on its own right, as opposed to a more global tradition of straight-photography, which I believe is not exactly the same and would avoid the endless debate and probably useless and futile questions about what street-photography is and is not ?

Yes, street photography has a definite tradition and history. I would define it as making unplanned photos in an unpredictable environment. That’s not exactly the same as straight photography, which basically includes any photograph attempting to depict the world in a direct and real way.

 

– Do you think there could be a risk of “ghettoization” (for lack of better word) of street photography, with a hard-core fan base on one side and a global indifference otherwise (I would even say animosity instead of indifference, which is reinforced by the issue about privacy intrusion) ?

I think most people who really care about street photography are practicing street photographers. You can call that ghettoization or some other term, but either way it winds up being a hard-core fan base just because it’s such as obscure discipline and most people don’t get it. So there’s a natural division between those who do and those who don’t. I’m sure the same is true for jazz, poetry, quilting, or any other difficult practice. Is poetry ghettoized? Maybe, in some ways. I know I’m relatively indifferent to it though I have no animosity.

 

From "Panoramics" © Blake Andrews

 

 

–  Still specifically on street-photography I believe that one can see as an effort to renew the genre could be simply the effect of a cultural slant, depending on where you are based and where you come from. In other words ‘street’ is not photographed the same way depending on whether your are English, German, American etc… (which of course makes sense). Currently the focus seems to be on British street-photography (unless it is a biased impression from what is visible on the web) whereas for example the rich French ‘tradition’ seems now completely lost. Any thoughts ?

I’m sure there are currents in street photography which vary by continent, just as with other societal trends. I think the British street photo community is quite organized, vocal, and frankly, strong. So that’s why it is so visible. Look at Street Photography Now. It’s produced in Britain and features a large number of British photographers. Or In-Public or Publication. Same thing. Even HCSP has a large number of Brits. The exact roots of that phenomenon are hard to pin down, and would actually make a fascinating study. Maybe you could trace it to Parr and Graham, or the famed British reserve? Who knows?

I think Japanese street photography also has a very distinctive tradition and feel, but it’s much less visible in certain quarters. American street photography is sort of like America in general. It’s so heterogeneous and multi-faceted that it’s impossible to make many sweeping statements. One thing American photography has going for it is that, at least currently, this country has probably the least restrictive photography laws in the world. It makes for an interesting comparison with France.

 

From 'The Family Album' © Blake Andrews

 

© Blake Andrews

 

– The ‘Portland/Eugene Grid’ projects you are involved in and your ‘Family Album’ serie make me believe you are rather preoccupied in documenting your immediate environment. Does that actually reflect a genuine and conscious concern or is it somewhat accidental and a mere pretext for your work ?

It’s mostly the result of how I’m wired. I carry a camera everywhere and I have a constant need to make photos. The only time that feeling goes away is if I’ve shot a lot and I’m tired. Otherwise I’m “on” and looking. Since most of my daily activities revolve around my hometown and family, that’s where most of my photos are made. When I travel somewhere else, they get made there.

This daily practice dovetails with one of my fundamental beliefs, and probably the mantra of most street photographers, which is that important visual moments can be found in the everyday environment. You don’t need to go anywhere exotic. You don’t even need to be in a city to make “street” photos. You just need to pay attention.

 

From the serie "Circus" © Blake Andrews

– I understand from some of your saying that having no preconception is an important part of your routine when going out for shooting – which I believe is a commonly shared credo among street-photographers. However do you figure out there are some recurring themes/motifs/ideas in your work – either tangible or not ? if so do you assess that in some way ? Does it have impact on your “awareness” when out for shooting ?

I tend to find myself looking for the same subjects over and over. For example I am always looking to match people up with their environment in some way, and I read every handwritten sign I encounter, and I can’t pass a truck rack or trash pile without examining it closely, just to name a few. To an extent I try to avoid this stuff because I know I’ve shot it before but it’s also just how I’m wired. I can’t avoid seeing it because I’m programmed to look for some things and not others. What I’ve been focusing on lately is making subject matter disappear. It’s fairly easy for me to respond to things I encounter. What’s harder is photographing these things in such a way that they don’t dominate the photo.

 

 

© Blake Andrews

 

– You are a film supporter. Beyond the common “Film vs. Digital” debate is there something that film has over digital that is important for your own work ?

At this point it’s probably habit more than anything else. I’ve been shooting film for years. I like it. I’m used to it. I find everything about it satisfying. Light pours into a little dark box. Then you reverse the process by going into a darkroom and pouring light back out. A lot of people interrupt that process with a computer but why make it more complicated than it needs to be?

The only reason to switch to digital capture would be convenience, since film can definitely be a hassle at times. But convenience doesn’t seem like a very good determining factor to make any decision of importance. Convenience is responsible for Big Macs and disposable water bottles and suburbs.

There’s also the tradition of film. As I write this I’m surrounded by shelves of binders of all the film I’ve shot. It feels like an ongoing life project. So to switch horses midstream could disrupt that process.

 

From "Motion Studies" © Blake Andrews

 

– Most of your work is in b+w. Are you interested in color ? Does color involve specific problematics that challenge you ?

I tend to see things formally. Black and white enforces that vision.

Sometimes I shoot in color but it’s a different animal. For me, color photography is about what’s in front of the camera. If you want to represent reality to the best of your ability, you choose color because obviously the world exists in color. But that’s also the problem with color. It doesn’t provide enough separation from reality, unless you’re some genius like Eggleston. This goes back to why I was never interested in photography as a child. I thought, Why replicate reality? Because as a child I thought a photograph was a mere recording of a scene, a way to remember a birthday party or wedding later. And of course it can be those things. But what I didn’t realize then was that it can also be a lot more than that. And for me, the use of b/w helps it become more. It’s an instant abstraction.

 

© Blake Andrews

 

© Blake Andrews

 

– I tried to find a book featuring your photographs but could not. Maybe I am just bad at search engine…. but if there is really no book with Blake Andrews’ photography out there can you tell why (*) ? A subsequent (and maybe more central) question is : What is your level of eagerness for having your work exhibited (in whatever format) as opposed to just shoot for yourself, and how could it affect your work ?

The only book I’ve been in is In-Public’s 10. As for getting a solo book published and distributed, that’s a very difficult task. There are all sorts of impediments and a very limited market at the end of the process. So that’s not really on the horizon at this point.

There is of course self publishing. I’m considering producing an on-demand book this winter. I’d like to put together a book of my Diana photos from the past few years. I think that would make a nice series, and there’s no need to worry about the market since it would be printed on-demand. At this point the Diana project would be a lot easier to organize and edit than my small format street work. My street work is sort of like the Monster that ate Manhattan. It’s so huge and unwieldy I don’t even know where to start. So at this point the Diana work looks more inviting.

But honestly, I don’t know if any of this will happen. The book idea is one I’ve had for years. I think about it every winter but I’ve never gotten very far on it. My main interest is making new photos, usually at the expense of dealing with what I’ve shot already.

 

© Blake Andrews

 

Note (*) I noticed you are (unfortunately) not included in the recently published ‘Street Photography Now’ book unlike many of your peers from In-Public ? Is there a specific reason for this (otherwise than involving potential personal matter) ?

It would’ve been great to be included but the stars didn’t align.

 

– Any on-going project of your own on the photography front ?

I saw a recent show of Polaroids by Gus Van Sant and Andy Warhol that made me really curious to get into that. It’s really the perfect format in many ways. They’re one-of-a-kind, small tangible objects with their own particular palette. It’s the exact opposite direction from where most of photography is headed, which is computerized, mass-produced, printed huge and perfect. Add the fact that Polaroid is dead and that direction becomes even more appealing.

After my two grid projects wind down in a few years and I have a little more time, I’d like to start a photo gallery. I’ve got the first 3 years of shows already planned. There is so much great photography out there that isn’t being seen.

 

© Blake Andrews

 

– Any project(s), book(s), photographer(s) or whatever related to photography that you were recently particularly enthusiast for ?

I don’t know what photo hounds did before the internet. It’s a huge visual playground, and it’s really opened up and connected worlds upon worlds. With the explosion of internet photography the interesting challenge now is to curate in new ways. The recent HCSP thread curating David Hurn was a good innovative example. Cloud-source curation. Fraenkel Gallery’s recent Furthermore book was another example. It’s a traditional book but I think the editing was heavily influenced by internet thinking. La Pura Vida is another good example of using collective thinking power to curate. I don’t want to say that old Szarkowski model of an “expert” sifting and making choices is dead. There’s probably still a place for that. Flak Photo or Lenscratch, e.g. work on that model. But more and more I see that as just one person’s opinion, and the photo world is so fractured now that hundreds of opinions are clamoring for attention. Who knows which to listen to? For me, I trust my own judgment more than anyone else.

Speaking of individuals. off the top of my head I like everything I’ve seen online by Mike Sinclair. Same with Mike Peters and Mikael Kennedy. They’re very good. But It’s hard for me to get a sense of a photo’s power in a little jpg. Most of my favorite discoveries come the old fashioned way, through books or shows. Bookwise recently I’ve enjoyed Barbara Crane’s Private Views, Joachim Schmidt’s Ohio, Otto Snoek’s Rotterdam, Gus Van Sant’s One Step Big Shot, the Starburst compilation, Amy Blakemore, the list goes on. I thought the In-Public book turned out very well… I saw a book of Enrique Metinides in London which looked amazing. There are some people you can just trust that any book they make will be worthwhile: Larry Sultan, Mike Slack, Carl de Keyzer, Stephen Gill, Mark Steinmetz, Thomas Roma. These people are very careful about which photos they let out into the world, and it shows. They build a brand –their name– and after a while you learn to trust it. Any photo that comes along with that brand you tend to consider carefully.

There’ve been some good photo shows in Portland recently that’ve turned me on to new people. Stella Johnson, Wayne Miller, Mark Menjivar, John Bauguess, Justin Kimball, the current Gerry Badger show, etc. I get a charge every time I see good work that I wasn’t familiar with before, regardless of media. I just saw a link this morning to some Holga stuff by Andy Spyra that was great. I’d love to see more innovative toy camera stuff like that since a lot of toy camera stuff is rather blah. I can never get enough good photos… The only time I’ve seen enough is if I’ve spent hours looking and I’m tired. Otherwise I’m “on”.

 

http://www.blakeandrewsphoto.com/