30 days, five planes, six states, 25 Polaroids. Travel can be broken down into fragments, its broader purpose described with the broader vision of something less disposable than business card-size Polaroids (er, Fujifilm). These are not written as epics. They are individual words to be strung together to make up the phrasings of a longer prayer, an ode to the memory of things less extraordinary.
There’s always a bit of discord that comes along with the end of each year. In my opinion, this has to do with the way that we draw arbitrary lines that tend to try to force us to close the book on one span of time, body of work, or chapter in our lives. I’ve always felt like these lines are a little unruly and don’t lend themselves to the slower things that are more germane to the human experience. In short, life –just like photography –doesn’t really give a damn about the boundaries we try to impose on it.
If Photojournalism Is Dead, What's Luceo?
James Estrin believes Luceo Images is a vibrant rebuttal to the notion floated by Neil Burgess that photojournalism died last month.
I realized that the success of Luceo is a very good rebuttal to those who believe photojournalism is dead. David Walter Banks, Kendrick Brinson, Matt Eich, Kevin German, Daryl Peveto and Matt Slaby are carefully laying plans for careers of 30 to 40 more years. They are all busy with assignments and working on personal projects. They look at the same circumstances Mr. Burgess did and come to an entirely different conclusion.
I think in some very important ways VII The Magazine is a reaction to what has happened to our industry over the last few years. Photographers have always been seen as “suppliers” (the traditional role of editorial photographers, one or two rungs up the ladder from stationers and utilities but suppliers nonetheless) to the print world. A big question now seems to be who is left to supply and why should we remain dependent on the whims of a dinosaur industry. The question VII asked is why not become publishers and control their own destiny? Obviously the answer to that is VII The Magazine. This is a huge shift in the role of the photographers and the agency that opens up a whole new world with all the possibilities of originating and distributing.
Photographer and educator Joe Deal, who was instrumental in the development of the landmark exhibition "New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape" in 1975 and was the subject of several solo shows, died June 18 at a hospice in Providence, Rhode Island.
Matt Slaby: Here’s some frames from my current trip back north to Wyoming. If everything continues according to plan, I’ll be home in a couple days.
The strangest thing about narrowing down a year’s worth of pictures is the act of dissociating the image from the edit that it came from.
When thinking about what Denver-based photographers I would most like to interview, Matt Slaby immediately came to mind. An 6 foot 7inch tall EMT, Firefighter, photojournalist with a law degree, Matt Slaby’s less than expected roots have sculpted his thoughts as well as his unique aesthetic as an artist. His photographs exhibit a documentarian's sense of the fleeting, calling into question what lies beneath these captured moments. On a mild fall afternoon, Matt and I ventured out east to a small rural town shooting photos, discussing his journey in photography and how partial color blindness can make work challenging for a color photographer..
It’s true what you hear. You will not sleep. You may miss meals while on assignment. Be prepared for both. Bring some granola bars or other snacks to keep in your camera bag. Get some sleep before you get there so you don’t come in already spent. I hate seeing students sleep through some great presentations because they stayed up all week before the workshop reworking their portfolios, and they’ve stayed up each night at the workshop drinking crappy beer and chatting with friends. But when those lights go out in the barn, eyes close, heads go down… and a lot of powerful pictures and inspiration are missed.
For our next dvafoto interview, we’re talking to Matt Slaby and David Walter Banks, both of the new collective Luceo Images. I got to know the two and their work through the excellent APhotoADay email list, and consider them among my favorite young photographers. Matt Slaby’s got one of the most contemplative approaches I’ve seen among young photojournalists, and his writing is not to be missed. David Walter Banks has some of the strongest (and sometimes strangest) use of color going. The two paired up to cover both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions for the 2008 US presidential election, and I took an adversarial approach when I asked them about their process, the value of photographing such choreographed events, and their general journalistic philosophy. My questions and their answers follow:
Travelling through middle America is a lot less bleak than it’s usually made out to be.
Check it out here.