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A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...



Posts tagged "show your work"

Sep 12, 2014
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Getting tagged with cool pictures of my books on Instagram never gets old. Makes me wonder why I even bother taking my own photos of them…

(Credit: 1 2 3 4 5 6 )

Sep 10, 2014
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I give this one-star review of my book five stars.

I give this one-star review of my book five stars.

Aug 31, 2014
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David Lynch painting in his studio

From a nice NYTimes profile, “David Lynch, Who Began as a Visual Artist, Gets a Museum Show.”

Aug 20, 2014
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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

Aug 19, 2014
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Russian interior designer Alexey Steshak has been instagramming spreads of the Russian translation of my book, Show Your Work!

Aug 17, 2014
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A Vivian Maier Primer

I’ve yet to watch the the BBC’s The Vivian Maier Mystery or Finding Vivian Maier, but, of course, since she’s an artist who didn’t show her work during her lifetime and has now been built into a kind of mythical figure, she’s of great interest to me. (I’m a little embarrassed to look and see the only thing of hers I’ve posted here are her selfies.)

This morning artist Dmitry Samarov sent me a nice piece he wrote for Spolia Magazine, called “The Vivian Mire”:

Because Maier left no will or instructions on what she wanted done with her work, her intentions—and the image of her presented to the outside world—are in the hands of anyone that takes an interest in her story…

….There has never been a discovery quite like Vivian Maier and there may never be one quite like her again. Everyone who happens upon it can find a piece or an angle that appeals or that they can identify with. The kind of privacy she kept to do her work may never be possible again in our over-surveilled age. To make a lifetime’s body of work and not share it with anyone is anathema to our times and that makes it that much more attractive. Why didn’t she show someone what she spent every free waking moment doing?

Dmitry brings up lots of interesting issues. For example: her prints. Maier seemed to be less interested in printing or showing her work, than actually doing the work. (“By all accounts, she spent every spare cent on the next roll of film, chasing the next shot rather than reveling in what she already had.”) Here’s a comparison between one of her original prints and an uncropped print done posthumously:

As he was researching, Dmitry also collected links to piece on Maier, which can be found here. Spolia also has collected a bunch of perspectives in this post.

Thanks again to Dmitry for sending me down this rabbit hole!

FIled under: show your work

Aug 05, 2014
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I really like this photo of the intro to my book Show Your Work! Love seeing the book in everyday environments.

I really like this photo of the intro to my book Show Your Work! Love seeing the book in everyday environments.

(Source: danielyubi)

Jul 29, 2014
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Anything you promote, there’s a game that you either play or you don’t play. I decided very early on that I was very ambitious and I wanted to play.

Jul 06, 2014
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Chilly Gonzales teaches what he knows

The great Chilly Gonzales (“the musical genius!”) has a new book of sheet music out called Re-Introduction Etudes, which is a book of 24 pieces designed to give people with limited piano training (who gave up for whatever reason) a “re-introduction” to music theory and playing.

Here’s a video of Gonzales explaining left-hand technique:

And here’s a series he’s doing called “Pop Music Masterclass,” where he takes pop songs and explains the musical theory behind them. Here’s one for Lykke Li’s “No Rest For The Wicked”:

And here’s one for Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”:

Really brilliant ideas, and perfect examples of what I talked about in the “Teach What You Know” chapter of my book, Show Your Work!

Filed under: Chilly Gonzales

(Source: thinkprocessnotproduct)

Jun 25, 2014
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Don’t ask.

An old saying that I can’t stand is, “You don’t get if you don’t ask.” [My career really started when] I did a little reading in Chicago at a club. It was just a silly show, but Ira Glass happened to be in the audience. He introduced himself and then he called me a couple of years later and asked if I had anything Christmas-y that would work for a local radio show in Chicago. I had a story about the time I worked as an elf at Macy’s Santa Land, so I recorded the story and he put it on his radio show Morning Edition, which has an audience of 10 million. It changed my career in every way, but the difference is, I didn’t invite Ira to come and hear me, he just happened to be there. Somebody gave me a manuscript not that long ago. The note on it said, “Please Mr. Sedaris, you can become my Ira Glass.” That’s not the same! I have helped plenty of people, but I’ve helped them because they didn’t ask me to. Usually when somebody asks you, that’s a sign that their talent is for self-promotion, not writing.
David Sedaris

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