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A digital scrapbook of stuff I'm seeing / reading / finding / watching / thinking about / listening to. It is where ideas take shape, and perhaps, end up on my blog or website.

Christopher Nolan talks about the film making process in relation to a short film he made in 1999 called “Following”. Some great insights that are  applicable to documentary film making, something I want to do at some point.

I most liked the idea of starting the film with something you can control heavily. E.g. camera on tripod or dolly, high quality audio by having no background noise, etc. By starting that way, people are not immediately alienated by the poor audio or video, so that by the time they see how cheap it was made, they are already deep into the story, and ignore the shortcomings. 

His new film looks interesting too!

On the Set of Mad Men by Alex Majoli (Magnum)
I love quality TV shows, they are so enthralling.
I am currently enjoying my way through Mary Ellen Marks Seen Behind the Scene which together with this essay are adding to my already large desire to make some photographs on movie sets.
I love how you can get these rather bizarre situations that show the lie that is films and tv. But it seeing that lie introduces another, more complex kind of magic, the process of production itself. 
On the Set of Mad Men by Alex Majoli (Magnum)
I love quality TV shows, they are so enthralling.
I am currently enjoying my way through Mary Ellen Marks Seen Behind the Scene which together with this essay are adding to my already large desire to make some photographs on movie sets.
I love how you can get these rather bizarre situations that show the lie that is films and tv. But it seeing that lie introduces another, more complex kind of magic, the process of production itself. 

On the Set of Mad Men by Alex Majoli (Magnum)

I love quality TV shows, they are so enthralling.

I am currently enjoying my way through Mary Ellen Marks Seen Behind the Scene which together with this essay are adding to my already large desire to make some photographs on movie sets.

I love how you can get these rather bizarre situations that show the lie that is films and tv. But it seeing that lie introduces another, more complex kind of magic, the process of production itself. 

In No Great Hurry 13 Lessons in life with Saul Leiter,

I’ve finally watched the documentary on Saul Leiter and it is worth every one of its 10 dollars to buy. Centred around his flat, and many interviews by Tomas Leach (Director/Cameraman/Interviewer), you move through the film with each life lesson providing a topic. 

It is a touching, funny and at times sad film about a photographer who just got on with life. I love Tomas’ involvement, hearing him ask the questions and being overtly involved. It is testament to what Carl R. Rogers said “What is most personal is most universal”. 

"There’s a certain kind of charm and comfort in disorder that not everyone appreciates. To know everything is not good, to be in a state of pleasant confusion, sometimes can be very satisfying. Especially if you’re slightly crazy."

He was a remarkably funny man. It is great that Tomas includes the part where he asks Saul a question, which he miss-understands and goes on a long but funny rant about being asked lots of questions. 

If you enjoy photography, then it is well worth a watch. 

Ira Glass’s Manifesto
I’ve been listening, and enjoying This American Life for a while now, but I first came across Ira in his well travelled commencement speech, where he spoke what would become a well known quote; 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

I am interested in adding audio documentaries, ones that can stand completely on their own, and combining it with some good documentary photography. So when I came across www.transom.org, a site dedicated to public radio, and found something called ‘Ira Glass’s Manifesto' I was hooked. 
I read part one when I found it, and have only just finished part two, saving the third part for another time.
It provides a great look in how he creates radio stories, so much so, that in an example, the ‘Liars Story’, I was so taken in by what was unfolding in front of me, I forgot what I was doing there. 
If you’re interesting in This American Life, the process of radio, or storytelling, its worth a read and listen. 
Thanks Ira and Transom. 
Ira Glass’s Manifesto
I’ve been listening, and enjoying This American Life for a while now, but I first came across Ira in his well travelled commencement speech, where he spoke what would become a well known quote; 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

I am interested in adding audio documentaries, ones that can stand completely on their own, and combining it with some good documentary photography. So when I came across www.transom.org, a site dedicated to public radio, and found something called ‘Ira Glass’s Manifesto' I was hooked. 
I read part one when I found it, and have only just finished part two, saving the third part for another time.
It provides a great look in how he creates radio stories, so much so, that in an example, the ‘Liars Story’, I was so taken in by what was unfolding in front of me, I forgot what I was doing there. 
If you’re interesting in This American Life, the process of radio, or storytelling, its worth a read and listen. 
Thanks Ira and Transom. 
Ira Glass’s Manifesto
I’ve been listening, and enjoying This American Life for a while now, but I first came across Ira in his well travelled commencement speech, where he spoke what would become a well known quote; 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

I am interested in adding audio documentaries, ones that can stand completely on their own, and combining it with some good documentary photography. So when I came across www.transom.org, a site dedicated to public radio, and found something called ‘Ira Glass’s Manifesto' I was hooked. 
I read part one when I found it, and have only just finished part two, saving the third part for another time.
It provides a great look in how he creates radio stories, so much so, that in an example, the ‘Liars Story’, I was so taken in by what was unfolding in front of me, I forgot what I was doing there. 
If you’re interesting in This American Life, the process of radio, or storytelling, its worth a read and listen. 
Thanks Ira and Transom. 

Ira Glass’s Manifesto

I’ve been listening, and enjoying This American Life for a while now, but I first came across Ira in his well travelled commencement speech, where he spoke what would become a well known quote; 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

I am interested in adding audio documentaries, ones that can stand completely on their own, and combining it with some good documentary photography. So when I came across www.transom.org, a site dedicated to public radio, and found something called ‘Ira Glass’s Manifesto' I was hooked. 

I read part one when I found it, and have only just finished part two, saving the third part for another time.

It provides a great look in how he creates radio stories, so much so, that in an example, the ‘Liars Story’, I was so taken in by what was unfolding in front of me, I forgot what I was doing there. 

If you’re interesting in This American Life, the process of radio, or storytelling, its worth a read and listen. 

Thanks Ira and Transom. 

selektormagazine:

Alex Crétey Systermans, selected portraits from Issue 1 (web and print)

Selektor Magazine Issue 1: Alex Crétey Systermans

ONLINE ISSUE
PRINT ISSUE

It is well worth checking out Alex’s photographs. Adore his portraits and use of light. 

Portrait of Vicky, from March.
Portrait of Vicky, from March.

Portrait of Vicky, from March.

March Snapshots. 

Snapshots from March 2014, on Eastbourne beach. 

Serbs by Christopher Anderson
If you’ve not seen any of Christopher Anderson’s photography, I suggest you check it out now. 
In this image, I love the light, fog, and the back lit silhouette. Strong blacks are a common theme in Christopher’s work, that can be seen in his wonderful, and somewhat film-mic book, Capitolio. Images here via Magnumphotos.com. 
Serbs by Christopher Anderson
If you’ve not seen any of Christopher Anderson’s photography, I suggest you check it out now. 
In this image, I love the light, fog, and the back lit silhouette. Strong blacks are a common theme in Christopher’s work, that can be seen in his wonderful, and somewhat film-mic book, Capitolio. Images here via Magnumphotos.com. 

Serbs by Christopher Anderson

If you’ve not seen any of Christopher Anderson’s photography, I suggest you check it out now. 

In this image, I love the light, fog, and the back lit silhouette. Strong blacks are a common theme in Christopher’s work, that can be seen in his wonderful, and somewhat film-mic book, Capitolio. Images here via Magnumphotos.com. 

austinkleon:

Contact Sheets

After seeing Vivian Maier’s film rolls, I’ve been pawing around online, looking at other photographer’s contact sheets. (The biggest treasure trove is this book of Magnum Contact Sheets — and several of the sheets above came from the site Chasing Light.)

What is a contact sheet?

The contact sheet, a direct print of a roll or sequence of negatives, is the photographer’s first look at what he or she has captured on film, and provides a uniquely intimate glimpse into their working process. It records each step on the route to arriving at an image—providing a rare behind-the-scenes sense of walking alongside the photographer and seeing through their eyes.

Going behind-the-scenes sort of breaks the mythology of photography:

No document gives greater insight into how a photographer shoots and edits than a contact sheet—the direct print, from a roll or negatives, where a film photographer often first sees her work, grease pencil in hand, and marks her best frames. […] “The contact sheet spares neither the viewer nor the photographer,” Martine Franck writes… “By publishing that which is most intimate, I am taking the very real risk of breaking the spell, of destroying a certain mystery.”

Photographers, of course, don’t always like the evidence of their process:

“It’s generally rather depressing to look at my contacts,” Elliott Erwitt [says.] “One always has great expectations, and they’re not always fulfilled.” Henri Cartier-­Bresson, a Magnum founder, so hated the idea of someone pawing through his outtakes that he once bragged about throwing out his negatives “in the same way as one cuts one’s nails.”

And in the digital age, of course, contact sheets don’t really exist…

Related reading: 10 Things Street Photographers Can Learn From Magnum Contact Sheets

Some more!

austinkleon:

Rolls of Vivian Maier’s film

From the documentary, The Vivian Maier Mystery:

With her Rolleiflex, she had just twelve shots and then had to reload the film. Not easy in the open air. She shot about a roll of film a day. She spent virtually all her earnings on film, equipment, and storage. Unlike most photographers, Vivian tended to take just one shot and move on. Her hit rate was phenomenal.

When the Chicago History Museum had a show of her work, they displayed prints of her rolls of film. Here’s Michael Williams, author of Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows, on what you can learn from looking at them:

This is a roll of film and the order in which they were taken. It’s kids getting on a bus in the morning for school. She drops them off and then she heads Downtown and she starts photographing. You really get this sense of a day in a life… or her diary here and you can see how she moves through the street. If you put it all in a row, you would see one woman’s life unfolding on film…you’d have an unbroken string of images of what she saw, what her experiences were. This is what her big project was. It was her life. It was experiencing life through photography.

Filed under: photography, Vivian Maier

(Top image via a post at The Online Photographer)

Austin Kleon talking about photography, what more could I want?!

beben-eleben:

Alex McLean, a licensed pilot and photographer, took these gorgeous photos “just by sticking his camera out the window”.

What a phenomenal view. 

If you see a bus you want to get on, get on it. Don’t let life pass you by, missing opportunities as you go. And if you don’t know where you want to go, get on a bus anyway, at worse it isn’t where you wanted to go, but then at least you know that now. #oxford #bus #vscocam #photographforthought #blackandwhite (at Oxford, Oxfordshire)
If you see a bus you want to get on, get on it. Don’t let life pass you by, missing opportunities as you go. And if you don’t know where you want to go, get on a bus anyway, at worse it isn’t where you wanted to go, but then at least you know that now. #oxford #bus #vscocam #photographforthought #blackandwhite (at Oxford, Oxfordshire)

If you see a bus you want to get on, get on it. Don’t let life pass you by, missing opportunities as you go. And if you don’t know where you want to go, get on a bus anyway, at worse it isn’t where you wanted to go, but then at least you know that now. #oxford #bus #vscocam #photographforthought #blackandwhite (at Oxford, Oxfordshire)