Posted by: David Vernon | March 30, 2009

Shaking off Spring

The Tree 53What a lovely day yesterday. No? And here I am trying to get back in the swing of things (Art Guild classes start up this week) and spring almost traps me at home. Fortunately the sun came out and all is returning to normal.

I’ve been thinking about a number of articles I should be writing – and while I continue to percolate on that, here’s a few do-dads for a Monday morning. A nearly April Monday morning.

I came across photographer James Balog a few days ago – being touted on John Paul Caponighro’s blog in a video (a very thought-provoking blog in its own right). Balog is leading an effort called the Extreme Ice Survey – documenting photographically global warming’s impact on retreating glaciers and very large ice floes. Neat stuff. The guy definitely has a healthy perspective on nature – and photography. Witness:

“There’s always a subtext in the work that means the most to me. The subtext is there’s this paradoxyl conflict between humans and nature… I’m trying to get at a feeling of tension. It’s implicit. If you make it explicit it hits you over the head too hard. But there’s an implicit tension between the human environment – the made environment – and the natural environment. I think it’s important to walk that line and be in a space of some tension and some uncertainty and some questioning in the picture. To be asking about the relationship and how we see the nature around us and how we conceive of ourselves in nature. If you don’t do that – you’re just pushing pretty pictures back into society and saying the same thing that everybody already knows. I want to challenge us to reach further and think bigger and think differently and move forward.”

This is one of the central themes I’m chasing in another article – and I think he’s smack-dab correct. Here’s a look at a little more Balog, courtesy of PDN and NikonNet.

How many of you (old) folks remember Roy Firestone? He’s famous to me for his interviews he did for ESPN over the years, but the ever-emotional Firestone did an interview with Ansel Adams about a year before his death (hosted also by Caponigro). It would have been pretty cool to meet Ansel – no doubt.

A great American photographer passed away yesterday. Take a moment to check out Helen Levitt.

I’ve had Joe McNally’s new tome of wisdom – The Hot Shoe Diaries – for about five days now. I actually feel smarter. Definitely one of the two best books about flash photography and lighting eveh!


  1. Balog was the subject of a recent, awesome PBS documentary, too. Really beautiful and purposeful stuff.

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