Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

At some point recently, I passed a milestone of working 35 years and while I have occasionally thought about what retirement could be like I realised that it’s a lot closer now, even if I have to work until I’m 70 to afford it.

This recent New York Times article on Annie Leibovitz caught my attention. I don’t think Annie is planning her retirement anytime soon but why would she?

Listening to some electronica curtesy of Scottish band CHVRCHES (not misspelt!) I always had a soft spot for this genre ever since The Art of Noise released Close to the edit back in 1984. Lauren Mayberry has this delicate child like quality to her voice that isn’t forced and group shows how much a three piece band is capable of.

Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

I picked up a couple of books this week on the premise that in ten weeks I can start working on my unread pile…

At work by Annie Leibovitz includes some classic images spanning across her career, along with a narrative about her approach to photography and her subjects.

To be honest, I had never thought about thinking until I picked up a copy of Edward De Bono’s Teach yourself to think about 20 years ago. Since then, I have collected more of his work, particularly titles looking at creativity.  With a title of Serious creativity, there is bound to be something inside that I can apply to what I do.

Unusually, I have no websites to share this week…

Listening to (and occasionally watching) a recording of the latest PAX D&D game. I can’t remember how long they have been doing this for but it is two hours of nerdy indulgence.

Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

The Easter break has come and gone and between chocolate induced comas, these are some of my finds this week.

Cole Thompson has a portfolio full of black and white inspiration. This are strong graphic images often with large blocks of deep black in them.

I seem to be drawn to people who carefully stage manage what is presented in the final image like Alexia SinclairAnnie Liebovitz or the many classic photographers that preceded them like Richard Avedon and Cecil Beaton. Gregory Crewdson fits this description very well and this video explains the approach he takes to making an image.


Looking and listening this week

I want to make portraits of people again.


I have all the equipment and enough technical competency to do this and I have done it before. What I seem to have lost after my break from photography is the knack of asking and getting people to pose for me. So I decided to look at portrait photographers in more detail and share the results.

My first port of call was my personal library. I have always admired the work of Irving Penn so went back through my books to look and hopefully learn. My library includes ebooks and I recently added Photography Q&A by Zack Arias which I am working my way through.

I also collect websites that I subscribe to. Here are two Melbourne based photographers that have distinctly different styles but whose images have a sense of drama, Morgana Creely and Leanne Cole. I also found Hawaiian photographer Sarah Lee this week. The post forte forte contains some striking underwater images. This level of work is probably aspirational for me right now, but gives me something to work toward.

also been looking at videos. Here is a short list
The art of portrait photography
Keith Richards by Annie Leibovitz for Louis Vuitton – I really enjoy watching her work, she has such great rapport with her subjects.

If anyone has attended a portrait workshop lately that worked for them or has some practical tips for getting me restarted, please leave a comment!