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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Comments

Most excellent indeed. Thanks for this.

Something doesn't feel right about this. A film? Really? I don't see much depth in the images at his website, at least not that merit a film about the man. As was said by Dennis above, I feel like there's a sales job going on here and I'm pretty tired of people trying to sell me things.

My feeling on seeing this trailer tends to run with the observations made by both Dennis and Jamie.

There is an irony in delivering 'stills' in the sequential limitations of a filmic timeline, even allowing for the facility of 'freeze-frame' in digital presentation.

Famously, Chris Marker's film "La Jetee" uses B&W stills to tell a story filmically.

Staying just with what is presented, the trailer itself compounds the contradiction by speeding up the cutting rate, no doubt to raise both anticipation of the range of images available, as well,possibly, to imply the notion of the equally famous 'moment' in this type of photography (cue sound of shutter click).

An autobiographical 'film' has the luxury of feeding us both stills and movie interviews, mixed to support and balance the story being told.

Then there is the 'middle ground' of a digital 'slide show', something of an art in its own right, possibly leading us back towards Chris Marker in what is possible with the sequencing and delivery of both the related content of each 'still' in conjunction with a simple, or richly layered soundtrack.

Chris

"Something doesn't feel right about this. A film? Really? I don't see much depth in the images at his website, at least not that merit a film about the man."

Seconded. Without wishing to sound too harsh, I thought the voiceover was staggeringly pretentious and the photos, themselves, were a bit generic. I feel bad writing this as I wanted to like that trailer.

I'll give a plug for the film on Saul Leiter, instead.

Mike, c'mon man, I can handle a little classic romanticism with Peter Turnley but this... It seems a little DPR forumish, no?

Edit, edit, edit. Then show.

That's a little cynical, may I suggest? Is there a snapper who doesn't need the moving air of promotion or publicity in one form or another, for one purpose or another?

At least the guy has himslf a Leica, not to mention better shots than most people are perfectly happy to display to the poor old world at large!

Rob C

Pretension alert needed?

I think there may be some nice photos here, but his website keeps covering parts of the frame.

I am a bit turned off by the acuity/color/grain bit. The whole presentation seems a bit over the top or pretentious.

The "film" seems an enterprising way to market one's self and work; I like the shots, but good luck on Acuity-Color-Grain irrelevant catchword marketing thing.

I like a much of his work, although I’m occasionally thrown off when I see a photograph that I think should have been a reject.

And I too find this film preview off-putting. It’s one thing to have someone else pick apart your work and to find themes and ideas that they present to the world in a film or article. It’s quite another thing to do it for your own work. It brings to mind all those unbearable “artist statements” that you see in galleries where people overstate the significance of their work, or of aspects of it.

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I don’t like that kind of self-aggrandizing. And I don’t see it as “marketing.” Marketing is when Bob says that Fred’s photographs are wonderful and then Fred takes advantage of that to sell prints or books based on Bob’s recommendation. Marketing is not when Bob says his own work is wonderful and then uses that to try to sell you books or prints. That’s more like shysterism.

Ken, thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment. Right off the bat, I will admit that I'm the type of person who is extremely bad at/uncomfortable with self-promotion, and for that reason, am well suited to working for someone else. That said, self-promotion can be done in varying ways. Curiously, the "About" page on ACG's site changed since yesterday. Yesterday, it included the full text of a Leica Blog article, which today only appears accessible through his links page. Anyway, when I clicked on the "About" page yesterday, it opened with 3 pictures (the last one, the "smirking" one) followed by the text "A brilliant street photographer in the classic Leica M tradition ..." (which is the start of the article, and you only find out that it was an article at the very bottom).

So maybe he corrected a mistake since yesterday, but I get turned off by people who feel the need to tell you they're brilliant.

For years, a few coworkers and I went to a long-running deli once a week for lunch. The owner was a great big guy who did catering jobs on weekends and always came out to say hi and talk hockey with the couple guys who follow hockey. The food was just good, substantial, fairly priced deli food, with some hot options that changed week to week (you always had to ask). A couple years ago, it closed down and was replaced by a new luncheon business with a forgettable name based, presumably, on two guys who opened it. It was professionally painted with a logo that was obviously professionally designed. Inside, it was clean (no more shelves full of groceries and snacks) and streamlined; there was a pretty, young girl (I don't know if she followed hockey) behind the register, a menu done up in the same font as the sign outside, and on the wall, a "mission statement". Everything on the menu had a name and the food was ok, but overpriced. The whole experience was lousy ... it changed from a place whose emphasis was on food to a place whose emphasis was on marketing.

ACG doesn't let his pictures speak for him. I don't necessarily knock him for trying to make a go at it, but maybe the way in which he's trying turns me off. So it's not a philosophical objection to trying to make money. Maybe it's an objection to trying to make money with style over substance. For what it's worth, I also wish him luck.

Screams hipster.

Okay, that's a little nasty. Sorry. I tend to judge pictures by the Wish I Had Taken That rule and I only saw one that flashed by too quick at the beginning. I think he's got a ways to go.

And the narration, which he insists good photographs don't need, was, to my ears, a patronizing word-salad of art cliches. If this is the way one needs to differentiate oneself these days, well, I wish it wasn't so.

If one were to search online for this worthy gentleman together with the 'religion' followed by a not-so-tall actor then one might find interesting things. The publicity machine appears to be astroturfing for a cult.

When writing about my photography I describe myself as a "visual omnivore" because I am a curious person who thinks in visual terms. Are my photographs "brilliant"? Am I a brilliant photographer? That's for the audience to decide. I sometimes feel that I've nailed something but in the immortal works of Popeye "I am what I am and that's all that I am. I've been told that I "have a good eye" and other complimentary phrases regarding my photographs rather than my intelligence and that is where I think the focus of publicity should be, on the work.

AGC has many good images on is site but I'm turned off by the tone of self praise. If I buy a photograph it's because the image speaks to me and not because of who made it. Yeah, I know that's how it works, not only photographers but any artist, the famous ones sell work in large part because they are famous and they get bigger prices because they are famous but I've never been able to play that game. To me it becomes a trap.

I'm recalling a review of Salgado's "Genesis" that Brooks Jensen wrote in which Brooks lamented that Salgado had taken the images digitally, introduced artificial grain, printed them onto a digital negative and then silver printed that so that they would resemble his earlier work on film. Likewise I wonder with AGCs images how many are a deliberate attempt to create something that fits the style he has promoted as being him rather than truly representing inspiration in the moment. At what point does the need to produce a "recognizable (fill in the famous name) image" trump real growth & creativity? At what point does the name become more important than the work?

Oh well, I guess I am not so sophisticated. That is good.

I wish I were good at self promotion. I'm not. So instead of sipping pina coladas on a beach somewhere I'm still working all day every day.

Making a full time living as a photographer is hard enough. Especially in journalism and fine art. There's thousands who want to be and very few who are. I reckon you really have to do something different, but not photographically, to stand out from the crowd.

Good luck to him. And some nice work to back it up.

Gordon

Well, I just have to comment. Why is it that soooo many photographers websites take foreeeeever to load. Surely, they of all people should know about file sizes, and how to optimize for the web. I tried to look at Aarons site but gave up after a too long wait. Please, give us thumbnails, or smaller file sizes. This is just painful. Not all of us have super fast connections. Mike, your site always loads fast. Thank You. Love it. It's the first thing I read every day.

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