Thursday, March 25, 2010

RARE: Portraits of America's Endangered Species

Here are two videos by photographer Joel Sartore promoting his new book, RARE. Thanks to APE for these links.

RARE from Joel Sartore on Vimeo.

RARE: Behind the Scenes from Joel Sartore on Vimeo.

Friday, March 12, 2010

NY Photo Walk

Last week, after 2 days working on a video production in New York I had a couple free hours to explore the city and shoot pictures for myself. It sounds odd, but as a professional photographer I don't shoot that many pictures for me. It's a sad truth that I am working to change by allotting more time for personal work.

Personal work is the whole reason I became a photographer. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job! I enjoy all types of photography and am blessed by having the opportunity to shoot a wide variety of subject matter, but it has become a rare occasion that I make time to shoot without any preconceived intention. It seems silly, but this has become difficult for me. I'm constantly thinking, can I use this in my portfolio, for an epromo, etc? By thinking this way I allow myself to control my creativity instead of simply allowing it to flow freely.

The idea of a photo walk was originally introduced to me by a good friend, Ian Summers. For useful advice and inspiration check out his blog and artwork. Ian has been helping me define myself as a photographer and encouraging me to unleash my creativity. Ian defines a photo walk as "a photographic sketchbook – an exercise in seeing." A photo walk is to be without attachment to how the photographs will be used.

So, with that in mind I set out last Saturday with camera in hand and open eyes. After dropping my friend off in the meat packing district, I made my way toward the High Line based on his recommendation. It was a gorgeous day to be in NY and I found myself wandering around, looking at whatever interested me. I was walking for almost 3 hours and probably only covered about 1 mile. Slow and steady.

I found myself being drawn to textures and graphic compositions. I shot a total of 48 images or the equivalent of 2 rolls of film. I took my time, allowing subjects to present themselves. I didn't try to control the situation but rather waited for what Cartier-Bresson called the decisive moment.

This photo walk was therapeutic in the sense that I allowed myself to see whatever I wanted to see. There was no one but me deciding what to shoot. It felt great and after going back through what I shot I realized I had some images that I wanted to share. I'm not sure what they say about me as a photographer, but that's not the point. I think the point is that they represent one of the many ways in which I see the world. Below are three photos from this photo walk. If you want to see my 15 favorite, click HERE.