Books I Love: “Voyages” by Raymond Depardon

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Hey folks,

My first installment of a new series titled “Books I Love.” The concept is very simple. Find a book in my collection, photograph it, then share it with you. The idea being to share what I love about the book or why I have it. The books will range from traditionally published, POD and handmade. The only stipulation is that I love the book. Most of them have a backstory, which I will also share. Books and photography are forever linked, so why not explore the relationship through my bookshelf. Hope you enjoy. This first installment features photographer Raymond Depardon and his brilliant book “Voyages.”

The Leica File: Eleven

It had been a while since I checked in with a Leica File installment, so I thought I would serve one up right before the holiday. I really love this photograph. It might be because it is one of the only decent images I made the entire week, or it could be really good. That is up to you to decide. All I can say is that this place at that moment felt right. I believe you can feel images before they happen, and when I got out of my car I felt there was something coming. It was only a matter of watching, waiting and then pouncing when the moment was right.

Sustenance

Go on the road long enough and your mind will begin to play tricks on you.

I recently returned from a three-week work trip which took me from Vancouver to Savannah and many, many points in between. As you know, I normally have a camera in hand along the way. This trip, because of it’s pace and requirements, forced me to pack my gear away during transport. I would get to my destination for the day, unpack my leather “Dan Bag” and also unpack my gear and THEN head out into the day, days that were primarily about giving presentations for Blurb.

Every now and then, I’d get a second or two to shoot, and I mean every now and then. Over a three-week period I shot two rolls of film, which should give you an idea of how packed these trips were.

Creatively speaking, I was desperate, starving. I feel this unbelievable pull to be making things, so I do what I can to satisfy this need as I’m plodding through daily life. I write, I sketch (poorly) and I make the occasional photograph. And I talk to myself, daydream and think of the future. I’m not sure what else to do.

I love doing these trips because I love being in the field and I love unlocking OTHER people and their creativity. The creative world is constrained today, constrained by an odd assortment of baggage, history, tradition and learned behavior. My job isn’t to talk about Blurb, that would be too dry for me, but rather my job is to shake up the playing field. I present ideas, show people things and then get out of their way. It’s fun.

But the meter is still running the background. The creative meter, which comes in the form of a whisper or a memory or a reminder. These pictures I make on the road are like decaf coffee, in theory they are fine, but they leave me a bit flat. Perhaps it’s because I’m not as connected to them as I need to be, or because I can’t stop and consider them in the field. There is no time.

They are photographic empty calories but I find them essential to my current existence.

New Magazine Preview: Una Pura Verdad (A Simple Truth)

A while back I did a magazine. My goal was to sell one hundred copies. I did one blog post and the magazine began to sell, and before long the one hundred copies were gone. For me this was a telling sign of the times and yet another indication that, as an artist, the future was now and the future was what I was going to make of it. I’ve always felt, as a photographer, I’ve been on an island. Historically, my tools were limited. In fact, when I started in this game my tool set included ONE tool; the land-line telephone. These days we live in an ever-changing electronic world where we have more communication models than ever before. They are simply models, there for us to pick and choose. I still feel like I’m on an island but now I can invite others to join me. These models won’t make great images for you, nor will they make you a photographer, but they can surely help you get where you want to be. In my case that means pushing further and further to the edges of the island, one foot in the water lapping at my feet, wondering what would happen if I dove in and left the solid world behind……..

This spreads above are from the recent test I completed with the new Blurb magazine format. Granted, this was a rush job done right before I left on my recent trip and right after I partially tore the MCL in my right leg. I was not in a chatty kind of mood. However, a test is a test and it came with a benefit of the doubt. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long, long while. The moment I could make my own magazine. Magazines are different from books, they are less formal, signify a renewal or continuation from month to month and are expected to wear out and disappear. Personally, there isn’t much about this format I don’t like.

In addition to the print magazine you see above I also dove a bit deeper into the modern tool kit and made a rich-media version of this same magazine. Rich-media you ask? Add audio and video and you have rich-media. I did this simply because I could. I’m not making bold proclamations about the future, or media in general, I’m simply experimenting with new tools to see how and why I would use them. I suggest you do the same. I now have this magazine on my phone and iPad. I never use my iPad but the magazine is there nonetheless. I do use my phone and have found it handy to be able to show this work in this fashion. I also feel that certain people IN these photos can relate to this work better via phone than print magazine, which is something I must consider moving forward. What you see below is how the magazine actually looks on my phone.

My goal is to continue to explore. I don’t ever want to be one of those people who always finds a reason NOT to do something, or try something. I’ve now tested both of these platforms and have a concrete plan in place as to how and when I’m going to use them. When something new comes along I’ll test that too and see if I can find a way to work it in.

The only thing that is bugging me about all this is the fact that I can’t be in New Mexico right now working on this project. It’s driving me mad. Time, time, time. Such is life. When I finally do arrive back it will all that sweeter. Happy testing.

PS: The football photograph was made during my last trip. A week of shooting and this is the only image I think was fairly successful. It sure felt great as I was kneeling in the sand watching the lads play as the sun lit up the expanse of western sky. I was tired, sweaty, coated in dust and dirt and exactly how I should have been.

Facing Change: Danny Wilcox Frazier

I met Danny Wilcox Frazier a few months ago at the Look3 Festival in Virginia. We spent a grand total of about five minutes talking but he came across as a very driven and personable guy. Nice to see he is a part of the Facing Change crew. The film below will give you a little background on what he does and how he works. As you will see, some really nice photographs here.