Friday, March 11, 2011

Self portrait

Alex Stoddard takes a phenomenal self portrait. Participating in the 365 day project he went from not knowing how to operating a camera past auto mode to channeling his identity in the most extraordinary way and developing some amazing technical skills. And did I mention he's only 17? Below is an interview from My Modern Met.

What have you learned from your 365 project? How did your style evolve?
A better question would be what haven't I learned from my 365 project. Starting off, I hadn't a clue how to operate my camera outside of 'Auto' mode. Focus was a nightmare, and interesting concepts never occurred to me. Basically, I have learned everything about photography that I know now in the 229 days of my 365 that I have under my belt. And it isn't even just photographically that I've evolved. I have become more in touch with my emotions, more willing to accept and build upon my internal frustrations and glees. I think my 'style' has changed a lot as well, but I like to think that overall it is just an open variety of blending the real with the imaginary in a manner that doesn't call for any kind of manipulation. I like to take what is there and mold it into what I want to be there instead.

Your photos are all beautifully artistic. Do you try to tell stories or are you thinking about portraying a character in them?
Each photo tells a story of its own whether I am aware of it or not. I think it's just how things fall into place when I organize a shoot. Sometimes I'm subconsciously bringing in little details, a certain shirt, prop, location, and I don't even know that there is a story there until it's there. I consider myself boring, so I wouldn't dream of shooting only photos of myself in regular clothes in boring places. Instead, I try to become someone else, somewhere else, because anything is better than being just me.

I see that you're friends with Rosie Hardy. Does she influence you?
Definitely! Like so many others, Rosie was the reason that I started the 365 project in the first place. Her incredible compositions and concepts made me feel like it was okay to dream and shoot something outside of regular portraits. And even more so to do it every day!

How has Flickr helped you develop your style?
I basically owe everything to Flickr. When I first joined, I would read different posts that people would make in regard to Flickr's community, how everyone is so warm and encouraging, and I never believed any of it. But it's true. If it weren't for the kind words of my followers and them simply.. being there.. I wouldn't continue to push myself so incredibly hard in an effort to improve. Some may say that I shouldn't do such a thing.. that I should be shooting photos that I want at whatever degree of difficulty that I choose, whatever makes me happy. In a way, I agree, but I think that only comes after one has completed the 365. It's a project of growth, not of comfort.

Are there any quotes you live by?
I read something in Tim Walker's book that I can't recall exactly, but he explained that originality doesn't exist within a person, it never has, but instead we take everything we have ever seen, felt, experienced from everyone else and make it our own. I think that is a completely valid statement.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Live at studio coast

I went to Belle and Sebastian in the weekend which was simply amazing. It was on an island by Tokyo called Odaiba. I was a little nervous about catching the train over as I had never been there but it turned out okay and my friend was waiting for me at the station. 

Belle and Sebastian put on a good show and the sound quality was amazing. The crowd stood beneath the biggest disco ball in Asia. I love a good disco ball.  

The funny thing was the audience. Everyone was so polite. There was no yelling out in the silences between songs, no pushing and shoving to get a spot in the crowd and very polite clapping. I was baffled. In New Zealand it is every man and woman for themselves, there is pushing, shoving, whistling, calling out to the band and crowd banter. I'm not sure which I prefer?

After the concert I walked around Odaiba, the strange wee artificial island that it was. Looking at the Tokyo city sky line from a distance I felt like an ant, rather small and insignificant but appreciative of the greatness of such an amazing city.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pancakes and pot plants

A lovely selection of photographs taken from this delightful blog. Suddenly I am craving pancakes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Trust in your own greatness

Collage, illustration and painting by Wes Lang

Adventures on film

A mixture of days on film in January.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back to the future

I was nothing short of amazed when a friend sent me a link to Irina Wernings photography. In this project she invites people to step back into their past, recreating photos from their youth. Her ability to replicate fine details and facial expressions is totally uncanny.

"I love old photos. I admit being a nosey photographer. As soon as I step into someone else’s house, I start sniffing for them. Most of us are fascinated by their retro look but to me, it’s imagining how people would feel and look like if they were to reenact them today... A few months ago, I decided to actually do this. So, with my camera, I started inviting people to go back to their future. This project made me realise I'm a bit obsessive."

Freunde von Freunden

I love the Berlin apartment of Jenna Brilling found at Freunde von Freunden. The light, those wooden floors,  that pot plant collection!