Got to shoot in St. Barts for 5 day, a friend’s wedding.  Amazing time.

Also read Beckett and chain smoked on the beach.  No, not Camus, but still…


Then to London for some of their fashion week parties, meetings with mags.  Tried to spend time on the street shooting, but the streets of that city: stoic (read, snore), so I began to wonder if there ever was a seminal London street photographer?  Other than the bit of work Robert Frank did (in Wales?), but I couldn’t think of anyone…?  Anyone?

photo: from the book Robert Frank: London/Wales, © Robert Frank.

Then home, I hit Penn station out of Newark on Monday eve rush hour and the train station was like firecrackers going off everyplace, felt remarkable to be back in the crazy.  Never satiated with that, never ever.  Gluttonous for the madness.

By Ezra Pound
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

(That’s a well known imagest poem that was part of a one of the more short lived art movements dubbed, Vorticism, which also had it proponents in photography.  The photography bit. though ambitious in theory, was to not such great effect I think.  The best part was what it was called, Vortography, which would not be, I imagine, an easy moniker to live up to…yeah, in retrospect, the name may have been the origin of the movements failing.

photo: Vortograph by Alvin Langdon Coburn


Update, I just confirmed a job on the W. Coast for next week, fly out today, so I’ll be gone again for a week…maybe two.  The blog goes neglected again.  Golly.

I guess in the meantime, cruise to the newsstands and take a look at Katie Grand’s (formerly the force behind POP) new mag, LOVE.  Maybe not amazing yet, but most certainly promising.

photo: cover of first issue of LOVE magazine, Beth Ditto, photo by Mert and Marcus.

That or – going back to Beckett – read his trilogy if you haven’t.  I’d tried twice and never made it much further than Molloy, but I guess I’ve come to a place where I can read it and be absorbed by it, absorbed.  Someone said once, I forget who, that you really can’t read/enjoy/understand the greats until you yourself have lived for awhile, lived the things that the books are about.  Not that I’m old and wise, gawdnoiamnot, but suddenly the long long winded Russians seem exciting and Molly Bloom’s soliloquy at the close of Ulysses seems, uhhh, doable.  I do hope by my 40s I’ll be able to get to Finnegan’s Wake, and even develop the patience for poetry.

[…]you must go on, I can’t go on, you must go on, I’ll go on, you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain, strange sin, you must go on, perhaps it’s done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have caried me to the threshold of my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.

-from The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett

That takes me to a different world.  Yes it does.

I promise some posts to come soon.  Promise.  Got back from London and had 3 shoots pile onto my phone while I was still on the tarmac.  Hit-ground-running-stumbling-correcting-cont.running.  You get the idea.  And I’m looking at this pile of Tri-x on my desk that ‘s begging for a long rodinal soak.  Sigh. Sigh again.  B/c alas, digital does beckon even I…

I wallow in self-disgust at the notion of doing a post on not posting, but just know web-land that I’ve not abandoned you!  So log off and go shoot or do whatever it is you do to get your scooter going, and I’ll see you back here before you know it.

(BTW, I’ve been way interested in the aesthetic of older sci-fi for a little while now, something that the cold, gray architecture in London further set off, so a movie list for homework until I can lay down a real post:

1) Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville:


2) Roman Polanski’s Repulsion


3)  Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls



Going to be in St Barts working this week.  Then in London for fashion week.  So there won’t be anything here for a bit.

I’ll try to come back with some pics and a good story.

‘Til then.

I’m not even sure how I ended up at Mark Steinmetz’s site, but I did, and it’s rare that I click within any site more than, oh, say, 10 times, but, again, I did – indeed, I clicked on every picture of every gallery.  His black and white work is technically very good, but moreover his portraits manage two things at once, a howl and a subtlety.  There is present in them that, how should I say, hollow isolationism that is so ubiquitous (and often so affected) in today’s portraiture, but these have something more gentle, caring, complex in them than just that, which makes them more remarkable.

I’m admiring it.  Thank you for it, Mark.

photo: from South (1994-2005), ©Mark Steinmetz.

photo: from South Central (1991-1993), ©Mark Steinmetz.

“Laurel Canyon,” SOMA, Feb ’09:

photo: ©Graeme Mitchell, 2009.

photo: ©Graeme Mitchell, 2009.

photo: ©Graeme Mitchell, 2009.

photo: ©Graeme Mitchell, 2009.

photo: ©Graeme Mitchell, 2009.

photo: ©Graeme Mitchell, 2009.

photo: ©Graeme Mitchell, 2009.

photo: ©Graeme Mitchell, 2009.

Stylist: Kemal & Karla (w/ The Wall Group)
M.U.: Hung Vanngo (w/ The Wall Group)
Hair: Sarah Potempa (w/ The Wall Group)
Set Design: Chelsea Maruskin (w/ Thomas Treuhaft)
Model: Melina (w/ Trump)
Studio: Shoot Digital

photo: Cigarette Box #6, 2009. ©Graeme Mitchell.