Archive for May, 2008

Energy Crisis

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

The London Independent - famous for using information design to help tell a story has a striking front cover today dealing with the global energy crisis.

This is not like the oil shock of the early seventies - the supply and demand dynamics have altered fundamentally. Experts agree that peak oil is unfolding. The flip side of the bad news is that the pursuit of alternative energy, a systematic diversification away from oil, will not be tampered with by greedy oil companies and nuclear lobbyists. This time the world will get serious about conservation and sustainability.

For those of us who remember the romantic days of global journeys from A-to-B by sea and rail there will probably be a wonderful new high tech version of the past in the future of long distance travel. Certainly with airlines now citing fuel as a third of their costs - the days of low cost long distance journeys powered by jet engines may be drawing to a close.

Here are some fun shots from a calendar I shot for British Airways cargo in the 70s. The calendar and the story of the shoot were featured as a double page spread in the Evening Standard. At the bottom of the list the two images compromising the spread are shown individually and the very last image is a close up of the T-shirts we had printed for the shoot. In today's politically correct climate the ad agency's concept would never have seen the light of day. But the seventies was a decade full of fun when the humour of visual thinking and advertising wasn't as closely policed as it is today.

British Airways Cargo 01

British Airways Cargo 01B

British Airways \'Cargo\' on Pallet

British Airways Cargo - Man Handled

British Airways Spread A

British Airways Spread B

British Airways Cargo T-shirts

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Pre-Photoshop Image Making

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Here is a 1970's reminder of a pre-Photoshop montage world. This image is to be included in my new book. Its a single exposure with the model viewed through optical glass at 45º and the fabric positioned to the side. At the time there was zero retouching after the event. Now of course I have the luxury of scanning the transparency to clean and refine the image in Photoshop - God bless its digital socks.

Lindy with mirrored roses

More Circus

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Following the circus post on May 14th, here are some more circus inspired layouts. All my exhibition and book designs are now based around image juxtaposition within spreads. These pairs of images are often from different decades, projects and locations. This form of image partnering offers possibilities for narrative and rhythm that have long been intrinsic to my photographic thinking. Whereas in the past, when I pushed my layout thinking, especially on projects like Cowboy Kate and African Image the images were tightly linked by theme and being shot for the same project. These new layouts are freed from those constraints and offer a creative liberation that I relish.

Of course placing two images together that were not shot on the same afternoon causes a few critics to choke on their cornflakes, but that is the way of the photographic world.

Africana Elephant Clown

Miro Clown Face

Legs Moving Heart Kiss

The individual images are repeated below at a larger scale.

African Elephant

Clown Face with Beaded Curtain

Miro Crop

Miming Clown

Balancing Act

Heart Face Kiss

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Robert Rauschenberg – 1925 – 2008

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Robert Rauschenberg was a giant among the giants of American art. Given my life long love affair with collage his work holds a special place in my admiration. The New York Times have, as usual, published an excellent obituary. Rauschenberg was a highly eclectic visual powerhouse in post-war American art and his passing this week leaves a huge gap. His work struck an era defining balance between high powered creativity, fun and depth which radiates effortlessly from his images.

No American artist, Jasper Johns once said, invented more than Mr. Rauschenberg. Mr. Johns, John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Mr. Rauschenberg, without sharing exactly the same point of view, collectively defined this new era of experimentation in American culture.
Michael Kimmelman, New York Times

Here is an example of my work influenced by Robert Rauschenberg. The figure is from the wondrous Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway and the background is a wall in Venice.


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