Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Farm Together Now: Cover Gurl

Happiness Alert: We're closing in on the final galleys of the Farm Together Now book, yippy ... and here's a sneak peek of the cover. It will hit the bookstores in December, but I can't help myself.  Look at this little piece of color, color, color ...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day 2010: Beauty Below Me

Beauty before me, I walk with.
Beauty behind me, I walk with.
Beauty above me, I walk with.
Beauty below me, I walk with.
Beauty all around me, I walk with.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Farm Together Now: They are all me.

The design process for the "Farm Together Now" book is quickly moving along. Right now, I'm taking a break from digging through my notes, double checking the spelling of names, and writing photo captions. And a couple days ago, while doing a final edit of pix for the book's endpaper, these two faces popped up in combination on my Lightroom screen. The photo of Julian, a Wisconsin organic dairyman paired itself with Chris, a vegan food security worker in Atlanta. Some things you just can not plan. Sometimes the clouds open up and illuminate the landscape. Or the brain.

All portraiture references the photographer, quivers with the tone of our own vocal chords, pounds out our own heart beat. We tell other people's stories, but always by framing the light bouncing off our own retina. More than mere "style," a photograph is both a document of the relationships we forge with our subjects and a thinly-disguised self-portrait. Me thinks.

Leonard Freed put it this way: "I was here. I was hot. I was cold. I was happy. I was angry. I experienced this. It took time. It is a part of my life. I remember the situations. It is not just a photograph, but a life experience. They are my people, my characters. They are all me."

Julian and Chris and Jim and Lane, Devon, Joel, Kirstin, Sam...they are all me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

George Steinmetz's horizon line

Great article in this week's New Yorker about George Steinmetz, the first photographer I ever assisted and also one of the hardest working, and most hilarious, guys out there. George taught me how to load a Nikon in an instant, pack a flight case to the max and run for the final boarding call.  He flys an ultralight paraglider over the sunset sands of the Sahara and beyond, shooting down from as high as 1000 feet. He says the best stuff is often at 500 feet, following Robert Capa's advice, "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough."

I shot this pic of him when we had a day off at Barton Springs in Austin, Texas. We were shooting oil field wildcatters, usually at sunset, and back then, from the ground.

Cheers, George! Here's to two shrimp and a granola bar on the next red eye. Long may you fly at just the right height. See George's beautiful work.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sky in the Pie: Next Gen

Sky in the Pie space, which I started back in 2007, continues on the corner of 25th and Mission. Sam Slater (on the left) created "The View From Here" by teaching high schoolers at Pie Ranch about photography and public art. He encouraged the students to work with "the camera as tool, much the way a farmer uses tools to harvest a crop that has been planted and nurtured." He continues, "Each week students took 35mm manual cameras into their own environments, with the goal of harvesting their perspectives and offering them up the their community." The results of their explorations can be seen outside Mission Pie.

Javi and Andy Gutierrez, the coolest brothers evah continue to serve up deliciousness inside the sweet shop. Their seasonal offering is Shaker Lemon pie and ....yummy... is it a winter winner. I worked with Javi on the Sky in the Pie mural series and I taught Andy down at Pie Ranch myself. Special brothers, those two. Hearts as golden as they come.