simple is beautiful
Amy Stein Photo
2 ... 2 ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ASMP Mentor Program

I'm about to hop on a plane to do a visiting artist stint in the grad photo program at Syracuse University, but I wanted to give a quick shout to the ASMP New York mentor program. The program connects working photographers with those just starting out. This year I'm participating as a mentor which means I'm committing at least one day a month for six months to my "mentees." If the thought of me advising you on your work and career doesn't pique your interest, check out the other top notch photographers giving their time to the program.

Get all the details here and learn how to register here. Sign-ups are happening now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Battle Photo: Auto Graveyard!

I have led many a photographer into the visual Thunderdome that is Battle Photo, but I have never entered the squared circle myself. It only seems fair that I subject my own work to the same test. And what better way to make my debut than against the best pound-for-pound photographer ever. I am doomed!

Joe's Auto Graveyard, Pennsylvania © Walker Evans

Auto Salvage Yard, Route 90, Louisiana © Amy Stein

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chris Marker's La Jetée

I teach the Freshman Seminar course in the photography program at Parsons The New School for Design. The course serves to give incoming students both a technical and conceptual overview of all things photography and a foundation of knowledge that they can build on throughout the rest of their time in the program. Each year one of the first things I do is show the students the 1962 science fiction film La Jetée by Chris Marker.

La Jetée is set in a post-nuclear war Paris and focuses on a group of survivors living underground as they experiment with time travel. It was produced with minimal budget, has no dialogue, and was constructed almost entirely from black and white still photographs. It would seem an odd choice to introduce students to the world of photography, but it is simply one of the most stunning and important visual statements made in the last hundred years.

If you have not seen the film, you must. You can watch it below in three parts (it's only 28 minutes long).

In 1996 MIT Press produced a book of images from La Jetée. That book is now out of print, but this year Zone Books reissued La Jetée in all its glory. The book includes all of the film's original images along with the script in both English and French. You can buy a copy here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Certificate of Awesometicity

I took my car in to get an oil change this morning and this commercial was playing in the waiting area. My two favorite parts are when the white family toasts their Obama plate in the beginning and when the man in the pink shirt stops writing, turns to gaze upon his Obama plate, and then turns back to his writing with a shit-eating grin.

Yes you can...own a piece of history.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Framing the Presidency

In an age of hyper-partisan media and made-for-TV presidential stagecraft does the photograph still play an important role in helping the electorate define a candidate? Or, has the singular photographic image morphed from moment definer to mere visual buttress to support the rhetoric of partisans?

Tonight, I am looking for answers.
“Framing the Presidency”
Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 7:00 p.m.
The New School
Tishman Auditorium, Alvin Johnson/J. M. Kaplan Hall
66 West 12th Street, New York City

The Aperture Foundation, the Photography Department of Parsons The New School for Design and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School present a new season of panel discussions focusing on photography. The second event is “Framing the Presidency,” which explores the collision of photography, mass media, and politics in the 2008 presidential campaign and beyond. Artists and media experts share their experiences and explore the power of photography in constructing our image of the presidency.

Tim Davis, photographer
Robert Hariman, Chair of Communication Studies at Northwestern University
Todd Heisler, Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist
David Scull, New York Times campaign picture editor photographer
Admission is free!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Brand New Funky President

"Hey, country
Didn't say what you meant
Just changed
Brand new funky President"

- James Brown

Monday, November 3, 2008

Vote! Vote! Vote!

If you are going to vote, great. I strongly suggest you vote for Barack Obama.

If you live in California, don't be a dick. Please vote against Proposition 8.

If you are not going to vote, you suck. And, I am going to kick your ass.