For anyone who is not aware of my book fetish this post is for you. I make a lot of books. Not all of them are good, and not all of them see the light of day. I’m in love with our trade books. Easy, simple, cool, sketches if you will. These books are the perfect intro to bookmaking. You have 400 images and don’t know how to edit? Perfect, page limit for trade books is 400+. Don’t have a lot of cashish to spend? Great, books start at $2.49. In fact, all of the books you see are $2.49 pubs. My next play is to find a group of like-minded souls, scattered around the globe, and actually TRADE the trade books. Are you in? Whoever you are….
Blurb made this film about UK based artist Nick Gentry. I love this work. Have a look.
I’m speaking at the Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose on May 14th. This is rare for me. Turn me loose talking about artists and technology. Will probably mention the old Blurb sidekick, but it’s really more about using the existing tools to tell the story you want to tell while keying on the creation of original works, which in my opinion is the only reason to use any of the technology. So, if you are around hit me up and stop by.
Not that you were asking but I’m going to share my magazine thoughts with you…again. Why? First, I’m amazed at how many people don’t know we make a magazine. Second, this format is SO unique in how it looks, how it can be designed and what it means to those who receive it. And third, there are SO MANY people who have the drive and talent to be publishing their own. How do I know? Because I did it. On a small scale mind you. I shot, edited, sequenced and designed a short run magazine, back in like 2009, and sold my allotted number.(100) And I’m pretty sure I could have sold a lot more.
Now, am I going to support myself on magazine sales? Probably not, but I will tell you within a week of “announcing” I was going to do this I was getting calls from people who wanted to advertise. I ended up not doing any advertising, didn’t really need it, but had I chosen to go down that route I think I could have managed it. The magazine has ALWAYS been one of the Holy Grails to documentary style photographers, going back to the days of Look and Life. HOWEVER, all of this died back in the mid 1990’s, and yet many of us are still pretending like these magazines are the keys to “getting work out.” Please. They aren’t, and they haven’t been for a long, long while, but the magazine is still very alluring because of what it means.
First, it’s designed to be discarded, in most cases that is. We all have friends who have every copy of National Geographic or Rolling Stone or Off-Road Buckshot Mudder….come on people I grew up country. To some the magazine is SACRED ground. Most people get a magazine, read it, leave it around until they look at it and ask “Why am I keeping these?” then toss them out. But why? BECAUSE THEY KNOW ANOTHER ISSUE IS ON THE WAY. People this is so fantastic. Ever thought about a subscription list? A simple email database of those who want in? How easy is that to compile? Wait for it….I’m doing this precise thing. Stay tuned for a subsequent post.
Also, magazines are informal in comparison to books. They are treated differently, taken poolside, used to mop up the puke of sick kids and probably still read, but I would need independent verification from you parents out there. Magazines travel. They are given away. My wife gives her’s away on airplanes. “Hey, wanna read this?” she asks and they are ALWAYS taken. Try giving a book away on a plane. It might work but people might think you are creepy too. And for all I know you ARE creepy. You’re here aren’t you?
These last two spreads are from a new project, Whistleblower, which is a look at the modern surveillance culture and the changing terminology of modern warfare. The images were made in various places around the world.
In a way this was a trial run. Just another test in a long, long line of tests. I made mistakes, even after proofing so many times I almost threw up. It happens. To everyone. Don’t sweat it. Correct and move on. Live and learn. Enjoy. When I see this magazine I think to myself, “What are the limits here, the possibilities?” and what comes back at me is…..there aren’t any. What are we waiting for? Permission? An editor to assign something then embargo the work after running ONE image? If you are a wedding photographer why not run a quarterly run of your best images which then goes out to your top vendors, planners and former clients, via print or “E?” If you are a editorial photographer why not run an issue on what didn’t run via mainstream channels? If you are an amateur who shoots for fun why not do a run for your family to keep them up on what is turning you on in the visual world?
We all need to get hip and get hip NOW. This isn’t 1975, or 1985 or 1995 or even 2005. This is a blank slate. A playing field where everyone gets in the game.
I knew the day would come. It started like this.
“Mr. Milnor, all three of your bags are overweight.”
“Yes, you are going to have to check all three bags.” “And there will be a fee.”
“How did I fly here without any trouble?” I asked.
“Americans are lazy, but we enforce the rules here,” she replied.
“Ouch.” “I like blanket statements as much as anyone else but that was harsh.”
“I work for a book publishing company,” I added, looking for mercy.
I unzipped my roller bag and asked “Would YOU want to check that?”
She looked own at a massive clump of equipment, cables, drives, fan belts, antiques, solid brass bodies and photographic buzz saws. “Ah, no, not really,” she answered.
“Okay, I will give you permission this one time, but that’s it,” she said. “I love you, I mean I seriously love you to the DNA level,” I said.
Now, I thought at some point the TSA would crack down on us filmheads but I didn’t see carry on bags being the issue that forced me from my ways. The day has come when I realize I just can’t carry what I want when I fly. Bastards! They don’t care, and I get why they don’t care, but it still royally sucks. So, I was downsized. By my own free will, credit card and Amazon Prime Account.
The first and second images here are my old setup. For audio you have Zoom H6 (NO I’m not linking everything slackers.), EV mics(x2), tripods, XLR cables, dead rats, mice, cats or whatever you call them, etc. This all fit in my Tenba backpack. The second images is of my Tenba Roller Bag. (Buy Tenba, I love them.) (Buy, buy, buy….)This is where poeple think I’m crazy. Hasselblad and two lens, Leica and two lenses, Polaroids and four packs of film, iPhone film rig, two hard drives, film, Canon 5D III and three lenses, cards, card reader, cables for EVERYTHING, batteries, bellows for Blad, chargers, model releases…..WHEW. My back is KILLING ME. ALL of this fit in this roller, its’ incredible.(Buy, buy, buy.)(Tenba, Tenba, Tenba.)
But now you will meet the NEW me. The smaller, lighter, hipper me. With short hair no less. From all the above to the following.
iPhone 6 Plus
(Yes it’s big. Get over it.) I see this as my COMPUTER and much more. The iPhone is now my email, text and phone, yes, yes, but also my audio recorder, podcasting base, digital camera and movie camera.
x2. So small and light and cheap.
Runs both lav mics and my headphones
External Ambient Mic
This replaces my Zoom for ambient street recordings for my “Just Listen” series, and also runs off the phone.
Oh, and in case you were wondering where all this goes, and how I’m going to downsize my equipment…I’ll show you. From this moment forward, when I’m flying, I will carry this audio setup, my Leica M4 and two lenses, my Polaroid and film packs, my meter, film, model releases and all of it fits in ONE tiny backpack that is so comfortable. (Tenba, buy Tenba) (You know I’m kidding about this, but this bag is fantastic.) Check out the small packs inside, designed for GoPro, that work perfectly for all my stuff. I just pull out the ones I don’t need, leave them in my hotel room and take what I need.
The last thing I have to mention is, I now check a bag. Most of the time. People are insane. Seriously, they carry on so much stuff, and yes I was guilty too, that I don’t like that feeling of now knowing if your bags are going to make it without being checked. So now I will get on with my small Tenba bag and my small, leather satchel and I don’t care if you attempt to carry on a stuffed Caribou, including the antlers. Go ahead schmucko!
The new me also travels with things like a yoga mat, so I need to check anyway, and speaking of what yoga does to your brain….I’m not rushing or frantic. I’m just being……OMMMMMMMMMMMM. I’m still missing one small, extender cable, but other than that I’m loaded for bear and ready to move. Get out of my way people, I’m a media professional.
Now, some folks asked why I just didn’t go this route from the beginning, and I’ll tell you. This new setup isn’t as good as my old one. It’s not as stable, durable and the sound quality is not the same, but it still works. Does this sound familiar? I’ve never had my Zoom crash. Ever. You could pound nails with the EV mics, and people have walked on my XLR cables without issue, but I’m in a pickle here and this was the solution I came up with. Anyone want to interview?