Here is an excerpt from an excellent article by Harold Merklinger over at Luminous Landscape:

I would argue that an image, whether a painting, a drawing or a photograph, is a graphic portrayal of some object, scene, story, or idea that conveys some message to the viewer through the sense of sight. Even a drawing or painting may involve some degree of technical assistance in its preparation, be it a measure taken by means of a brush handle and thumb, a projected image, a sketch or even a photograph. It may also be entirely the imagination of the artist. A photograph necessarily relies heavily on technical assistance, but also involves some degree of human intervention. A human probably at least determined where to point the camera and when to push the button. A photograph necessarily requires some scene or object to serve as its origin. That origin does not need to be identifiable, but it usually helps to have at least a few clues. From there on, it depends what photographic game the photographer chooses to play. Is the scene identifiable? Is there some action or situation that is to be portrayed? Is it a play on colour and/or light? How much detail or lack thereof is appropriate? Am I satisfying just myself, or do I have a viewer or audience in mind? Does the viewer understand or need to understand my intent? The answers will vary.

You can read the rest of the article here

I was saddened to read the news this morning of Kodak’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This of course comes as no surprise to anyhow, still for many, the news is hard to swallow. The digital revolution is upon us in a very big way, and has been for a little over a decade now. Without question, Digital has killed the celluloid star. Progress like this is of course inevitable, but a recent upsurge in the film movement would perhaps refer to it as regress. I’ve purchased and made use of new-era instant film from The Impossible Project. I even returned to an old Canon A1 film camera and roll of Ilford 3200 ISO black and white, which I still have a dozen or so exposures left on.┬áHipsters have recently forced the arrival of a low-budget film camera revolution. However as previously stated, this major shift in the photographic paradigm has been inevitable for years, and today is the first last day of Kodak’s life. Barring something miraculous, today is Kodak’s last moment. I’m not sure anyone could say it better than David Gonzalez of the New York Times.

RIP Eastman Kodak

The other day a good friend suggested that I spend more time sharing my thoughts on photography. They pointed out that I often go off on rants, waxing poetic on one obscure facet of photography or another. I get asked a lot of questions about my photography and some of my answers read like essays, as the questions I get asked are rarely of a technical nature. People are more inclined to wonder about my cerebral process than my technical process, which is smart because I’m not really sure how most of my equipment works. Part one of this series shall deal with answering your most common questions:

What the fuck is wrong with you Richard?

What the fuck is wrong with me? What the fuck is wrong with you? I’m not certain anything is wrong with me, I am just likely more honest than your current sex partner. See, my mind has no space for stagnation. Like most people, I get tired of looking at the same things all the time, over and over. My mind is not limited by the boundries of popular morality, and yours shouldn’t be either. I don’t feel guilty about the things I think or the way my mind works, because I can’t control it. But I can share it with the world. And so the photos are just a way of releasing the pressure in my head, caused by the backing up of ideas. I promise you, at some point during the course of your relationship your boyfriend has thought about handcuffing you to something and taking pictures of finger-banging you. Probably very early on in your relationship, actually. And even though the newness and discovery of the romance has faded, he still thinks about it, only now its your best friend finger-banging you while italian opera music plays on a phonograph and he’s sitting on an old wooden chair nearby, jerking off. Trust me, he’s thinking about this right now.



What kind of camera do you use?

Fuck off. Do you really think that makes a fucking difference? A good photo begins a long time before charging a battery, formatting a memory card or setting an F-stop. The equipment is just the technical necessity for sharing with the world what you see. Photography is the study and manipulation of a situation for the purpose of preservation. And if that quote shows up on your Facebook profile or your Twitter account you owe me fifty cents. And my fucking name better be right under it. Richard Forsythe Northwood.

Why are all your photos of naked women?

They aren’t all of naked women, I’ve taken many photos of naked men as well, just that in most all cases they’ve had naked women on top of them, around them, etc. This is because no one likes looking at cocks unless they’re doing something. Also as one of my parole conditions I am required to take pictures of puppies once per year until 2016.

How do you come up with your ideas?

Strangely enough, most of them occur to me while I’m standing at a urinal. This has made for many uncomfortable and awkward moments when I’m desperate for some creative thought but I don’t have to pee. Given that no one should ever be in a public bathroom longer than they have to be, I’ve often resorted to other creative devices. Drugs, alcohol, your sisters Facebook profile. Sometimes all three at once.

What is your editing area like?

Ummm there’s a computer, a couple of monitors, a mouse, fuck I don’t know its like everyone else’s editing area? What the fuck is an editing area? I have a desk and a computer. On that desk sits a lot of junk and a dirty ash tray made out of a sliced up Red Bull can. I constantly have music playing while I edit photos, but it is always the musical score from the hit television show Dexter. Is that weird?