Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Woot woot!

Are you familiar with the blog Lenscratch?  If you're a photography lover, you should definitely be reading this blog.  Author Aline Smithson uses her blog as a platform to introduce her readers to really interesting photography (typically emerging photographers) from around the globe and also to perpetuate the feeling of a photo community through posts about upcoming photo events, portfolio reviews, exhibitions etc. Hers is one of the few blogs I actually read (not just "mark as read") every day.

and today, I AM ON THE BLOG!!!!!!!!!

Check me out here.  I'm so excited!  It's such an honor to be deemed worthy of Lenscratch.  If only you could see the happy dance I'm doing in my PJ's right now :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

World Water Day

Did you know today is World Water Day? It's a day that is internationally observed to raise awareness and find a solution to the water issues that plague the world population.   You can read about the initiative here. In honor of WWD, charity:water has launched a compelling campaign to help Haiti get back on it's feet through clean water, which you can learn about here.  There are lots of great resources online if you've got the gumption to learn about it.

I've got a few new pictures to share with you: 

Earlier this month, I took a look around the Carlsbad Mineral Spa after realizing the company I work for buys it's bottled water there.  Did you know Carlsbad was actually founded and developed due to John Frazier digging a fresh water and a mineral water well on his farm?  He realized he could make a profit and BOOM - tourism and the town of Carlsbad.  Yes, that is a tiny cup of water in his hand.

I also went to check out the Lake Hodges Dam, which was completed in 1918 by the San Diego Mutual Water Company, a private water firm.  It's actually pretty hard to find out any information about this company, but now the lake provides water for the San Dieguito Water District, which includes my very own tap at home in Cardiff.   Even back in 1912, lawyers petitioned against the building of the dam, stating that it would compromise water sources for citizens in the northern parts of San Diego County.   I don't know if they were right or not, but obviously their protests were unsuccessful.

Why is this relevant? I don't exactly know yet.  I'm still figuring things out as I research, and visually responding to what I learn along the way.  Hopefully these will make sense down the road.  I'm trying to narrow down a focus on this water project; one thing that really gets me riled up is the privatization of water.  Right now it feels like that's where this work might be headed...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thoughts on Photography

I saw this article today and it got me all fired up about something I've been thinking about for a while. (Note, that I saw the article, and did not read it in its entirety, so maybe it argues against me somewhere. Still) I thought maybe posting something here would help spread the idea around like butter... Here is what I posted on Craigslist, where I see many of these offenses taking place:

Attention Photographers

I'm a photographer and I'm writing this post to ask you to consider STOP taking low-paying photography jobs.

When photographers accept $25, $50 or even $200 for a gig, they fuel the trend of clients paying us too little for a service worth far more.  Photography is damn hard, and time consuming.  It's not just the shoot - what about the brainstorming, client meetings, emails back and forth, editing, post-production, equipment, stress, your much goes into it. 

I saw a post for a gig offering to pay someone $25 to cover about 15 miles and make 8 stops to take pictures of surf spots, for the client to put on their membership-based website daily.  $25?! Are you kidding me? What a joke.

(You should be ashamed of yourself!)

If the industry as a whole decides to start demanding to be paid what we're worth, we'll all be better off.  I know the economy is rough and we are all trying to make ends meet.  But what happens when it picks up again? Clients will still be expecting their $25 photo shoots, believe me.

So, for all of us, tell them to suck an egg and demand to be paid what you're worth.

Maybe it's worthless for me to post this, but this is something I feel strongly about. I know, we all have to learn and grow as artists and build portfolios and these shit paying jobs can be part of that. But you know what else can be part of it? Creating work for yourself, about something you feel totally passionate about...I feel that will always be your best and strongest work in a portfolio anyway.   

If you're a photographer who agrees with this, take a second and help spread the word.  We need to ban together as an industry to make sure clients know our value.  And if you disagree, I'd be interested to hear why.  There are two sides to every story.

Thanks for reading :)

the spread

Check it out!

Here is the article I mentioned in my previous post with the portrait I made of Dr. Anne Steinemann.  I'm really happy with the way they used the image, really digging it. The article was really well done too, you can read it if you click on the JPEG.  

This was for Discovery Channel Magazine in Singapore and New Zealand, with a circulation of about 100,000. Sweet!  I hope more projects like this come my way.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dr. Anne Steinemann

In November, Discovery Channel Magazine hired me to make some portraits of a very inspiring woman, Dr. Anne Steinemann, who was a visiting scientist at Scripps in La Jolla (she may still be, I'm not sure when she was heading up back north).  Dr. Steinemann specializes in water resources and environmental management, studying the toxins in everyday household products and exposing the many ways in which they make us sick.   You can read some of the scary things she found in her studies here.

If you're interested, here is a link to Anne's page on the University of Washington website.

I haven't seen the issue of the magazine yet, so I'm not sure what image they ended up choosing, but here are my top three pics (pun!):



I'll scan the magazine spread when it arrives in my mailbox.  Stoked to see it!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A couple of things...

I didn't have time last night, but I when I posted those photos below, I wanted to tell you guys about Atrazine. This is something I learned about when I saw Flow, but it has been in the news lately because of some recent scientific studies.  Click here and here for some recent articles.

Basically Atrazine is the most commonly used pesticide in the United States. I believe the stats are that we use about 80 million pounds a year on our crops, largely in the mid-west.  We all know pesticides are bad, but did you know that this particular pesticide causes sexual mutation in frogs?!  It turns boys into girls! Sounds like science fiction, right?

But it's real, and the scary thing is that it gets into our groundwater. It's been banned throughout the European Union - the very place where it is manufactured by Syngenta -  because of its effects on groundwater.

I need to do more research and I don't want to give you guys bad information so I'm going to stop now.  Read more about it online if you're interested (here's the wiki article).  But atrazine is some scary shit and it boggles my mind that we continue to use it ON OUR FOOD, especially in such a way that it also contaminates our water.  Eat organic you say?  Atrazine has even been detected in rainwater.  How can you stop THAT from getting on your food?

On a more uplifting note, I spotted a photo of mine I shot way back in July on Check it out if you get a chance by clicking here.  This is one of the first creds I've received as Liz Lantz and I'm honored that it is associated with such a great film.

He said I could only photograph him if I did not include his face

Line Studies

Encina water reclamation plant, Carlsbad

A few things I'm working out in relation to my idea to photograph water. I would love to hear any feedback or ideas on this.  I miss critiques!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

new friend

Meet our new friend!  Technically, Greg's new friend but you know I'll be testing it out before too long.  6'2 Mako by FCD.  Suh-weeeet!