It must be true

August 31, 2009

Of course the camera never lies…

I believe everything I read and see in the papers too….

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The Cove

August 6, 2009

Louis Psihoyos and I were photographer’s together at Fortune Magazine and also National Geographic Magazine. He’d gone quiet for a time but now I see what he’s been up to: The Cove.I call it a brilliant documentary; a friend called it an advocacy movie with a sense of humor. Make a difference and go see it. The trailer here is brilliant too.

Food Inc.

July 1, 2009

I’m a huge fan of documentary films but it wasn’t until I saw Food Inc this week that I realized how poorly so many other documentary films are made.

This is a doc that’s well shot, well scored, well paced and well plotted with good graphics and even a message of hope at the end and a call to action.

Go see it.

Here’s the opening….very clever credits too.

Also, digest it in HD at Apple Trailers site.

Look3The third Look3 a festival of the photograph founded by National Geographic photographer Nick Nichols and Jessica Nagle comes at an interesting time for photography. With newspapers and magazines losing subscriptions and every photographer I met telling tales of diminishing assignments and struggling for survival, it seems like a great chance to explore where photography can go next.

So I was particularly excited to see the Shots show at the open air pavilion at the end of the pedestrian mall in charming Charlottesville, VA where the festival is held. This was all about multimedia, and trumpeted as “work from emerging and internationally recognized photographers.”

and there was some mighty fine work and presentations, including:

Michael Wolf’s Transparent City,
Christian Ziegler’s Art of Deception,
Saiful Huq Omi’s Bangladesh,
Alejandro Chaskielberg’s High Tide,
Andrew Cutraro’s Out Yonder
and the merciful relief of Alex Prager’s Big Valley.

But at the end of 2 hours, I came away overwhelmed from that distinctly American desire to confuse giving people too much crap the better option over smaller more thoughtful bites of quality.

So for a festival of three’s, I offer my gallery of too’s:

  • too much volume. YEAH!! DISTORTEDAUDIO!!! YEAHHHHH!!!!!
  • too many pictures. Thank god for the 4 minute limit
  • too much self importance, visually and in narration, without showing me why
  • too many things I’ve seen before in terms of style and approach
  • too few surprises
  • too many wide angle pictures following by more wide angle pictures
  • too little desire to communicate understanding.

One big surprise was the amount of stolen popular music. It’s astounding that photographers, an artistic community that values ownership and rights to creative work would baldly rip off other artists, often without credit and most probably without permission. A colleague suggested we should have a music festival where all of these images were shown onstage without permission and without credit or payment. Any objections?

But if you’re going to steal, be bold so my vote for the best use of stolen music goes to Michael Rubenstein for his witty use of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On’ with his photos of Mumbai Sperm Banks. For a moment we got to laugh .

no, F*#@ you!!

March 15, 2009

This past week I talked with two amazing journalists who are out of a job because their newspapers folded. And there are more to come.

So, how are J-Schools teaching bright eyed students to prepare for jobs in the brave new world of journalism, whatever that might be? According to a sharp item on New York Magazine’s website, here’s how one of the “greatest” journalism schools sees the future: Columbia J-School’s Existential Crisis

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Note to self: check out more stuff at the Learning Annex before having a tenured professor try to teach me how to do things they’ve never done before.

Happy Holidays

December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays.

Happy Holidays from Bob and Regina

air sick

January 21, 2008

Toronto Star photographer Lucas Oleniuk is responsible for perhaps my favorite multimedia piece thus far …and now he’s done it again with a video about global warming created from twenty thousand still images.

If I ever considered working for a newspaper again, this is where I’d love to try it out.

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the cartoon life of print

January 19, 2008

Print journalism just can’t get a break. Even the Simpson’s are piling on.

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power of time

December 31, 2007

My friend and OU grad school classmate Tim Gruber has an interesting and opinionated blog.

As part of an exercise in our video class, we had to post our favorite movie. He chose this film from YouTube, which asks: If you had the power to turn back time, would it be a good thing?

See ya all in the New Year!!!

one hundred young americans

December 2, 2007

This year-long project represents photographer Michael Franzini’s 30,000-mile journey in search of what it truly means to be a teenager in this hyper-connected, media-driven society. It’s a book, a blog, a website and a series of stills and video portraits.

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When the Canadian journalist Naomi Klein finished her new book Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism, she sent a copy to the film director Alphonso Cuaron, (who directed Children of Men.) In response, he worked with a team to create an amazing short film to promote the book.

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Klein, who also wrote the very popular anti-globalization book No Logo didn’t stop there. She worked with the Manchester Guardian, the international daily and my favorite newspaper website, to develop a mini website to explore the book and its ideas.

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This all brings to mind a conversation I had this summer with the design director of a major US publishing house who told me she’s convinced that every book needs a website. Well Klein, forever one step ahead of the rest of us, now has a film to promote her book which she is releasing this week in the US.

Rock Star

September 12, 2007

I used to do a lot of portraits when I started working for magazines as a freelance photographer in NYC and I remembered those days when I did a fun portrait a while back of Professor E.O.Wilson. He’s the Mick Jagger of Science, often referred to as “Charles Darwin’s Heir” and a genius. He is an amazing thinker, a two time Pulitzer prize-winning author, the man who coined the term “biodiversity” and also a very gentle man. I made this image at the Darwin exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. After the session, I got to walk through part of the Darwin exhibit with him and hear stories about Darwin’s family, whom he knew. It was one of those moments that made photography the joy it continues to be for me.

You can see this image at my new website bobsacha.com

I’m still struggling with how to bring all the pieces of a story together powerfully in an interesting multimedia format online. Here’s a great story from the Toronto Star: great images, a tightly written story piece so beautifully voiced (by the writer!) that it made me swoon and great orginlal music.
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This is something you can’t get on TV or in the newspaper. It has mood and feeling and texture and a story too.

Just talkin’

August 16, 2007

I love talking with interesting people. Last week I had breakfast with George Jardine, a very cool guy from Adobe who helped design Lightroom. We met at one of my favorite restaurants in NYC and talked about a few things that we’re both extremely passionate about, with the big one being photography.

Two days later we got together again and this time he recorded our conversation for his great series of podcasts. We spoke about photography, new media, films, audio and where this might all be going. It was a fascinating and enlightening conversation for me plus I got to wear a very cool and amazingly efficient microphone on my ear, just like a popstar.

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Have a listen.