A Vision Inspiring from Paradise

When news hit that visual storyteller Tim Hetherington died last month in Libya, it sent a huge emotional shockwave through the community of not just the news industry, but photographers and people dedicated to working with images. He was a hero, a skilled practitioner and one of the bravest to hold a camera in a war zone. I finally watched one of his last works, an almost 20min film that blends war footage with footage of his times in Europe. Powerful and deep. Check it out.

One of the things I’m finding most difficult in getting my photojournalism and visual storytelling on is telling a tight story. What I mean is, just showing images is the easy part. I can do that. But, putting things together in image and sound and making sense and always having a storyline, shit, man, that’s the challenge. You can shoot all you want and pop it into Final Cut and spit out a long showcase of the things you “see”. Making it all tell a story and having that good narrative is the stuff of experience, practice—-unless you’re just gifted like that, which I’m not.

I know Tim would probably be proud to know that his work will inspire–forever.  Solid storytelling and the bravery it takes to get the facts and images stimulates an understanding of time and history.

If you’re in the New York area this summer check out Tim’s work in an exhibition setting at the Aperture Foundation, through Thursday, June 23 (10:00 am–6:00 pm most days). More info is here.

(video via Frank151)

Busting Flicks in D.F.

Toy Selectah
I first started hearing photos referred to as “flicks” sometime in the mid 1990s. Up to that point, a flick to me was a movie. One of the things a lot of guys and girls in my neighborhood would do is take a flick outside of a club against a spray-painted backdrop, usually a huge dollar sign or something else that signified urban cool. If it was a group of ladies, you would get the sexy pose; a group of guys and you would get the hard-rock pose with one guy kneeling in the front somewhere. Someone probably had a gold grille in the pic, too. The photographer was probably using a Polaroid camera and sold the picture for around $10 bucks. I know my boy Marcus has a ton stashed in a box somewhere.

Coming to the digital camera game late, I decided to bust more flicks myself. In the past year, I’ve upgraded to a Canon G10 and focused my eye on hundreds of things. If anyone peeps my Facebook albums, they know.
Buraka Som Sistema Nov. 2009 Mexico City

I just entered my first photo contest, and didn’t win, but one of my photos beat out a couple dozen others to get printed and displayed in the exhibit for The Space Farm, a media collective based in Mexico City, check them out, here. Then, if you’re in Jersey, go to Space Farms, just for the kitsch-y flavor.

All flicks taken in Mexico City in 2009. They represent the four out of five I submitted that didn’t make the cut (from the top): Toy Selectah, Andrea Echeverri of Aterciopelados and Buraka Som Sistema.