Damn, I’m leaving again.  Stepped in NYC for a week, shot like one roll on the street, discussed a fashion story with a stylists that we were going to get going, then got called out West for another commercial job.

Will be out for about two weeks.  Telling you this is getting old, right…

Now, complaining about any money job these days would be wrong, so I bite my tongue about having to vanish again, and I just keep pics like these open on my desktop, small, in the corner, to keep things legit, to keep sanity legit.

photo: Untitled, 1971, ©Kohei Yoshiyuki.

(Meisel did a play on Yoshiyuki’s park photos for Vogue Italia.  Supposedly it was too much, (see it, here).  And while I prefer the original, as is most often the case, still a fine fash ed.)

photo: Nude, Seaford, East Sussex Coast, 1957, ©Bill Brandt.

(As far as I can remember, I’ve yet to see a fashion take on Brandt’s work.  Ripe to be done though.  Ripe.  Inez, maybe?)

photo: Brooklyn School Children See Gambler Murdered in Street , 1941, ©Weegee.


All of those are from the Moma collection btw.

Enjoy.  Will keep you posted.

It took me a a long long time to appreciate Steven Klein‘s work.  For that long time I didn’t get it.  I didn’t think it looked good, and that requisite was what took me a long time to get over…or not get over, but rather it took me a long time to redefine and learn what “look good” means.  Now I think Klein has one of the most compelling visions in the industry for the reason that from a practical standpoint what he manages aesthetically is incredible: he’s one of the few guys that can take, uh, not-pretty pictures that still manage to be completely effective as fashion work.  I say not-pretty in the sense that it looks like a lot of his work is shot on an old digital camera at iso 400 under flouro lights and processed by a mini-lab…I’m oversimplifying it, but you get the idea.  (One thing not simple in his work though is set/prop design, which is usually pretty bloody amazing.)  I think his work, from a photographic standpoint, is of the sort that you have to be a fellow photographer (or creative) to understand how good it is, to understand how hard it is to come to something that definitive.

I’m bringing this up b/c I think Klein’s recent work has shown no sign of backing off:

photo: from “Lara Fiction Noire,” French Vogue, 2009.  ©Steven Klein.

photo: from “Wild Couture,” Vogue Italia, 2009.  ©Steven Klein.

The author, Haven Kimmel had written this poem during the first chapter of a sprawling and inspiring email conversation I had and remain to have w/ her.  Last week for some reason I was possessed by the notion of hearing her read it, for my own pleasure, but also with it in mind to put up here, so I wrote and asked her to record and send.   And she obliged!

So, lay back and close your eyes, b/c I doubt you’re going to find this anyplace else.

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“The Holy Dove Was Moving Too,” written and read by Haven Kimmel.

Haven has a number of bestsellers riddling the shelf.  Go and seek out.

[Change of topic]

Note: my posting here has been pretty thin lately.  I’ve been busy.  I’ve been busy working on things I’m not in a hurry to go on about here.  It’s not my intention to talk work work on this site, at least not in depth.  Yes, I’ll drop a post updating the occasional happenings, but only so things don’t wilt here.  I suspect these are the thinnest posts.  You see, the original purpose of this site was to share the NYC Journal and other work I do that would be otherwise homeless, and also to talk about photography in the most whimsical sense of an art and of what lights the fires in my head and heart.  I have no interest in using this site as a marketing tool.  Why am I bringing this up?  B/c I’ve realized, as I’ve become busier, how the original intent of this blog was very time intensive.  The NYC Journal alone is something that I used to spend days on a week, while right now it’s lucky to get a handful of hours in the week.  But I’m not complaining, only letting you know I’m learning and making adjustments to keep things going here.   Note concluded.

On that note,,,

[Change of topic yet again]

a few random pics:

photo: London, 2009. ©Graeme Mitchell.

photo: London, 2009. ©Graeme Mitchell.

photo: London, 2009. ©Graeme Mitchell.

photo: London, 2009. ©Graeme Mitchell.

photo: London, 2009. ©Graeme Mitchell.

photo: London, 2009. ©Graeme Mitchell.

photo: London, 2009. ©Graeme Mitchell.

photo: London, 2009. ©Graeme Mitchell.

Someone sent me these 3 videos on Mario Testino (thanks, Brandon!), and they literally came across my phone as I was looking at the current Testino spread in V magazine featuring Natalia.  It was all fitting, since I was thinking of how Testino’s work is quit simple in many ways but that it nearly always works, and how he definitely deserves a nod for what he’s done over the years.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

From V:

testino_natalia_v_spring09photo: Natalia in V #58, S09.  ©Mario Testino.

And an old favorite add that Testino shot for Gucci back in the good ol’days of Tom Ford.  I believe this was from ’98, but don’t hold me to that.

photo: from Gucci campaign (1998?). ©Mario Testino.

There’s a nice write up on Mike McGregor, Taj Forer and I in the current Kodak Propass magazine.

You can check it, here.


So been in Portland, just now wrapping up this commercial job, and as usual I’m crashing with my good friend, Benjamin. He and I have been geeking on a few things, one being dubstep, which seems to be the electronic hype right now.  We went to a Pendelum show and this canuck, DJ Excision opened up w/ a gut shaking dubstep set.   Rocked my mind…jams you’d never usually hear outside of the hippest sort of party in London or Paris, deep, dark, dirty, apocalyptic, universe-ending beats, and I mean deep and dirty.

You can check his FB page and tour dates, here, or download one of his mixes, here.

Turn this up:

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mix: “Shambhala 2008” by DJ Excision

What does this have to do w/ photography…well, sort of a lot, b/c music is SO key on the set.  Some traditional favs of mine are Sigor Ros and the Stones for portraits; for fashion it depends entirely on the vibe, but when a shoot goes to that hard electronica place, for me that means things are going right.  And I almost never shoot street stuff sans headphones unless batteries run out, and there it is usually one of two extremes: something like Chopin/Schubert/Verdi or some crackin Breakbeats.


Breakbeats, (Plump DJs):

What do you listen to to set your work off?

I found these to be remarkable. Both in what they are standing alone in the Formalist sense, but also in how they function as a side of Bourdin’s work. I believe he would have shot these during his still shoots, which to me reveals a certain visual obsession, or at the very least a singular idea of great depth…

video: by Guy Bourdin

video: by Guy Bourdin

There are a number of more of them online if you look them up.

The actress, Emily VanCamp.

photo: Emily VanCamp, St. Barts, Feb 09. © Graeme Mitchell.