I’ve moved this blog over to a wordpress.org address, as it allows me to post multimedia like audio slideshows and video. Also the pictures are big. I mean, HUGE. Please have a look and bookmark:
So calming, soothing, contemplative. I miss the water, the salty air, the sand between the toes….
Last week I flew down to Phu Quoc, a lovely island off the southwest coast of Vietnam, for a luxury resort shoot. The manager, being a warm, generous soul, said it would be fine for my family to come along and stay in one of their swank villas for the week while I toiled (er, somewhat.. not really) under the sun working on their shot list with an affable graphic designer from Saigon. So my three month-old son got to swim in the sea for the very first time, which was a huge deal for us as we are water people, and want him to spend as much time in an around water as possible.
The shooting brief consisted mostly of detail shots – design, architecture, mood, suggestive images etc… lots of fun, and much more creative than the more literal shooting briefs I sometimes am faced with.
After Phu Quoc, we flew to Saigon and spent a few days with friends. I took a little time to head over to District 1 and meet my friend Ben, with whom I’ve been brainstorming on a photography project that he came up with a few months ago. This project takes us about as far to the other end of the photographic spectrum as you can get while still staying in the “design/architecure” realm – one structure is a new neo-French colonial style resort, the other is a real French colonial building built in the 1920s. But the old building is falling apart, is doomed to be knocked down, and we’re hoping to capture some of the stories between its walls before that happens. And its a personal project, so no payday. Which makes me like it all the more.
Juggling career and family, art and commerce, it’s all about balance.
So, the SWPAs have come and gone. What a whirlwind. I flew from Hanoi to Cannes, spent 2 nights at the very cool little 3.14 hotel, and flew right back to Hanoi. That’s about 48hrs worth of flying for roughly 48hrs on the ground. Worth it? Most definitely, even just for the baguettes.
Although a little fazed by the jet lag, I was able to catch an Elliott Erwitt presentation the first night, and then met a whole bunch of great photographers from around the world. I had the particular good fortune to spend some time with winners Roderik Henderson, Amit Madheshiya, Rainforest Trust winner Daniel Beltrá (who won a grant to photograph disappearing rainforests in Brazil, Congo and Indonesia), caught a few glimpses of Mary Ellen Mark and Tom Stoddart and talked with too many people who’s names I can’t recall due to exhaustion, jetlag, and a few too many glasses of champagne.
Here are a few snaps from the evening, including a view of the luxury yachts parked outside the reception hall, and some images of the winners on stage as well as presenting their work.
Iris D’Or and landscape winner David Zimmerman:
Portrait winner Roderik Henderson:
Advertising winner Dustin Humphrey:
Music winner Amiran White:
Mary Ellen Mark presents the portrait award to Roderik Henderson.
Amit presents his work.
Conceptual and Constructed winner Tamany Baker.
Architecture winner Michael van den Bogaard.
Natural History winner Lisa Maree Williams.
Fashion winner Piotr Fajfer:
Contemporary issues winner Giulio Di Sturco.
And finally, Current affairs winner Wojciech Grzedzinski. I have a strong suspicion we’re going to see a lot more from this guy in the future. Very strong work, and very committed.
The Sony World Photography Awards hosted an evening with Elliot Erwitt tonight at the Miramar Theatre in Cannes. Erwitt has been a Magnum photographer since 1953, and even if you don’t know much about photography, chances are you’re familiar with his work. I don’t think there’s been another photographer in the last 60 years who can match his eye for humour in composition. His output has been consistantly amazing through the decades, and he’s been a huge inspiration to younger photographers over the years.
His talk consisted of a slideshow presentation of about a 100 photos, a little retrospective of some of his work, accompanied by minimalist commentary – either, “There’s nothing to say about this picture” or a snappy one liner adding even more humour to the image. Some photographers really over analyze and intellectualize their work. Not Erwitt, who basically said a good picture speaks for itself. And I really admire that.
Bonus: Mary Ellen Mark was in attendance too, with her signature long black twin braids. A good first night for the festival. And now, after many miles with no sleep, I hit the sack in my room at the marvelous 3.14 hotel. Bonne nuit.