Tag Archives: style

Let’s Get Some Questions Answered – Episode 57

Hey friends, We Have a Question!

We’re trying something new over the next few episodes and this starts it off. Instead of a “topic”, we’re each taking a turn and asking the other two a bunch of questions and giving each a maximum of three minutes per answer. So, in this episode, Rob has six questions that he asks Rick and Tony who, by the way, have no idea what the questions are. The questions run the gamut from personal opinion to industry predictions and the guys do a great job of thinking and answering on their feet.

And, as you listen to the very beginning of the questions, you’ll hear just how “in the dark” Rick and Tony are!

Here’s what Rick and Tony answer this episode:

  1. What are the three biggest mistakes you’ve made in the past with your photography?
  2. What are the three largest successes you’ve had in the past?
  3. If you could change one thing about your photography, what would it be?
  4. Where do you think photography will be in five years?
  5. What is the biggest thing to have happened in photography?
  6. Which artist is your biggest influence for your photography?

Next episode will be Rick’s turn to put Rob and Tony on the hot seat!

Our Artists

Warewan ni Byaku by Riusuke FukahoriWe’re back with both a photographer and an artist to highlight. The photographer for this show is Sandy Skoglund – a modern day surrealist who, unlike her earlier peers, manages to keep the subject matter lighthearted and bright. We all really like her work and it may have something to do with… SQUIRREL! Search her site, you’ll find the image we’re talking about.

Moving on, we look at Japanese painter Riusuke Fukahori. He paints goldfish but they’re three-dimensional and painted on/with resin and inside of traditional Japanese containers. The results are breathtaking – make sure you watch the short video.


Whaddya think? Were their answers good, bad, or irrelevant? Let us know in the comments, okay? Thanks for listening.

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Is That Your Style or Are You In a Rut? Episode 52

StyleStyle? Or a Rut?

Style – it’s a word we use on a regular basis to describe our artistry. hell, even in our previous shows we’ve talked about how important it is to have a definitive style in photography. But, can that style become a crutch for never evolving? Can we get stuck in our own artistic rut and happily… ignorantly continue on while thinking we’re just maintaining our “style”?

That’s the topic for this episode and even the three of us have a hard time figuring  it out. And do we even answer the two critical questions: how do we identify when we’re stuck and how do we power through it?

Whatever. How about you, our intelligent and sober (presumably) listeners weigh in and tell us what you think!

Tonight’s Artists

Taking a good look at a young Canadian director and film maker (who just happens to be related to one of the co-hosts), Miles Jay. Specifically, we’re highlighting a short film he directed called Hollywood and Vines. It’s short (4:30) and constructed entirely with clips from Vine. Pretty awesome and, for those of you who think social media is a passing fad and its impact on visual arts is unimpressive, guess again. Watch the video below.

As for our “other medium” artist? Tony chose (so you know it’s gonna be fucked up) Rockstar Games. Who? The gaming geniuses behind Grand Theft Auto 5. Seriously, it’s a pretty amazing game! Check out this review.

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My Work is So Great, So Great Is My Work – Episode 50

We took a different path today and decided to look at our own work. After two years (almost) of the podcast, we thought,”what the hell” and talked about the work we have done, where we have come from, and where we think we are going.

It gets a little sugary and supportive – certainly a departure from other podcasts – but we’ll be back next time with our normal crap. But this is a really decent show and gave all three of us an opportunity to look the other guys’ work and talk about it. You can definitely see a progression in the work we’ve done and the artistic vision that we’ve developed since starting Polarizing Images back in September 2011.

Take a look at the stuff below and let us know what you think. C’mon, leave us a comment – you know you want to!

The Work of Others (Our Artists)

Lewis Hine is our photographer of the fortnight. His work for the National Child Labor Committee changed the way the US looked at the use of child labor. He has some of the most iconic works of America’s industrial age. Except, like Rob discovered, some of his most well-known work isn’t actually his. ^#%&# Internet!

FREEBIRD! Yup, Lynyrd Skynyrd (the original group) is our artist. What do we have to say about them? Listen the show, then, dammit!



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Smart Phones are the New Polaroids – Episode 44

Smart phones are all around us. In the past four years, the number of iPhones, Android-based phones, tabelts, iPads, etc. that people own has grown exponentially. They’re everywhere! Concerts, parks, on trains, in  schools… And one of the main consequences of this is that we are now back in the mode of photography being shared instantly. Sometimes this has enormous social consequences like Continue reading »

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Episode 34: Photography Is All About… SQUIRREL!

Elisha and Anne: are you available next week?

Tony is out sick for this episode and it’s left to Rick and Rob to record the show. Listen to what happens when two guys with attention deficit issues try to remain focused on a conversation. Witness for yourself Rob’s amazing talent of taking 5 minutes to set up a 5 second answer or Rick giving an awesome answer that has nothing to do with the question.

It’s a rather personal show, with R² (that’s shorthand for Rick and Rob) discussing their goals for 2013, their regrets of the past year, and their dream assignment. Of course, there is the usual oddball stuff liberally strewn throughout.

BTW, since we forgot to do the opening segment, Rob was drinking whiskey and Rick was drinking his homebrew. So now you know.

What else do we talk about? Well:

  • The difference between allowing mistakes and accepting mistakes
  • How the business of photography interferes with the art of photography
  • Can a style atrophy if you’re not careful?
  • Buy stuff from our CafePress Store (it’s a recurring theme)
  • Will Rob continue with figure studies in 2013?
  • Why photography can still be a viable profession
  • How the opening sequence to our first episode was like Masterpiece Theatre… on quaaludes


There’s neither a featured photographer nor artist this week but that will be back.

Happy New Year and, before we forget again, it’s absolutely critical that you never, ever… oh look, a puppy!

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Shooting the Fine Art Nude – From the Other Side of the Lens

The Nude Model

An hour and a half? We could have kept this one going for hours!

Okay, we’re talking about nude photography again, just like we did back in episode 12. Well, not exactly like we did back then. Jayda, an art model that Rob recently worked with, drops by the show to answer the guys’ questions and offers her own insight into what it is like to be a nude model. She adds a whole new (and welcome) dynamic about the topic and you don’t have to listen to the three sausages talk about nudes!

Alternative print process – the fine art nude

Have you wondered what a model looks for when deciding to work with a photographer? Or to what level a model may want to collaborate on an image or in the entire shoot? Or what the model expects from the shoot? Or how awkward Rob, Tony, and Rick get when talking to a girl? Then this show will answer those questions, and more.

A huge thanks to Jayda for providing such a well-articulated insight into the life and world of one art model.

Folks, this show is a keeper!


Following on the theme of fine art and nudity, we look at the painter Pierre-Phillipe Renoir and the photographer Nadav Kander. How have we not talked about Renoir before?

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Art – Can the Creation Of It Be The Actual Art? Episode 18 Says “Yes”

Art – it’s what this is all about, right? Damned straight, skippy!

We get off to a slightly rough start this week, but there’s a reason – Rick was drunk and Rob wasn’t. After we get the universe sorted out, we quickly get into our usual flow and have an amazing discussion (if we say so ourselves) about whether or not the mere act of creating art can be the art itself.

What, exactly, makes something “art”?

Never let anyone say that a portrait can't be art

Never let anyone say that a portrait can't be art

After watching a documentary on Spencer Tunick’s Naked States – a state by state journey through the US photographing everyday (yet remarkable) people – Rob was struck by the number of the subjects who talked about how posing for Tunick’s art project was a healing and powerful experience. And that got him thinking (which always is a good idea, right?) If the therapeutic aspect of the project was in the creation of the work then maybe, from an art therapy perspective, the real art is in the creation and not necessarily the final print.

That leads us down some interesting paths as we talk about whether a blind person can create art if they are not physically engaged with the medium and the healing power of being an art subject. Rob opens up about the real strength and joy of his work!

Our photographer and artist of the week

Tony introduces us to the wonderful work of Irving Penn. From his Wiki Page:

(June 16, 1917 – October 7, 2009[1]) was an American photographer most known for his fashion photographyportraits, and still lifes. Penn’s career included work at Vogue magazine, and independent advertising work for clients including Issey Miyake, and Clinique. His work has been exhibited internationally, and continues to inform the art of photography even after his death.

Our artist of the week is the well-known and very talented jazz  musician Miles Davis. Considered to be one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, his penchant for creating something new from nothing is an inspiration to all artists, including photographers.

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Photojournalism – Is it Still Viable? Episode 17

Another episode, another rant. But this time we decided to be different. Instead of three guys who have never practiced true photojournalism before, we brought in one of our regular listeners, Grammar Nazi! (a.k.a. Steven). Steven, or Mr. Nazi if you prefer to be formal like Tony, not only has been teaching photojournalism at the university level for a really long time (how long? listen to the damn show and find out!) but has also worked as a journalist and photojournalist.

Can you believe it? We actually got someone with real credentials to talk about it. And (to quote my current favorite show, Archer) “Holy shit balls!” This guy is good and knows what the hell he is talking about. So, yeah, maybe we turned the clock back a bit and the show is a bit NPR-ish but when you hear what Steven has to say, you’ll know why all three of us are super-excited about this episode.

Is Photojournalism Dead?

That’s the obvious question, isn’t it? All three of the guys were almost ready to declare professional photojournalism as a dead vocation. Grammar Nazi assures us that it isn’t. It’s just found in different places these days. He points out that, while large papers like New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are laying far more people off than they are hiring, they are also completely ignoring smaller towns and cities with their coverage. So, to answer Rob’s question about what career path awaits a graduating journalist, Steven paraphrases the famous line, “go small, young man!”

Our Featured Artists


Sumi-e requires patience and time; two things that are the antithesis of photojournalism

Again… holy shit balls! If you listened to episode 16 (you did listen, right?) you heard Rick go off like a Roman Candle about flower photography. Don’t worry, he still despises it in most incarnations (in-carnations… see what I did there?) but he also chose to pay homage to Nancy Rotenberg, a recently deceased photographer who worked with floral subjects a lot. And did so in a way that Rick found inspiring.

Rob has discovered the beautiful sumi-e work of Yolanda Mayhall. Ms. Mayhall is an American artist who learned the traditional sumi-e art when she lived in Japan with her husband, another artist who died in 2005 (welcome to the dead artists’ episode). As you’ve been listening to the show and learning about Rob’s affinity for simple design and aesthetics, you will immediately know why he is drawn to her work.

Again, a huge thank you to Steven the Grammar Nazi for his insight, humor, and time in sharing with us the past, present, and future of photojournalism. You can follow Steven on Twitter @thegrammarnazi or read his blog at http://www.stevenchappell.com/

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The Print – It Is Nowhere Near Dead (Episode 13)

Alright, Brian, it’s a new episode and the deal with Jameson has expired, so you get mentioned again (a lot). So bear with us for the first few minutes of showing the love to some friends before we finally get around to talking about tonight’s topic: the death of the print. Yup, we’re rehashing a topic from just 10 episodes ago but, so what? This is such an important issue for all of us as artists that we’ll likely explore the print and its importance every so often. The impetus for tonight? Rick’s purchase of a Peter Lik print.

The Print: Still Relevant?

Tonight’s topic includes discussing the difference between an art print and a photographic print, the death of the cheap print from the big box stores, the stages of art collection as we move through life, and (thankfully) the death of the cheap poster industry. Then there’s the whole income-range of our potential clients and who has the money to buy a $3000 portrait for their home? No, seriously, how? We all want to know.

During the show, we discover that we’re at a point where we realize that art isn’t going away, there’s just a lot more noise in the marketplace. And this leads Rob to one the biggest pieces of insight he’s had in the past couple of years; ask yourself if the shot you’re going for is gallery quality. And just what the hell does that even mean?


To make a physical print that shows a physical impossibility illustrates the joy of art

Tonight’s Artists:

Our photographer tonight is Erik Johansson: a visual illusionist who is at the peak of his craft. Tony calls him a magician and does so with the greatest respect. Rob is struck by the paradox of creating something physical (like a print) that shows something that cannot actually exist in nature. Rick has a hard time thinking of him as a photographer.

Interestingly, last time we talked about the print (episode #3, by the way), we featured another photographer whose work begins with the photograph and uses it to create digital art. What is it about this topic that causes Rob to find inspiration in digital artists?

The artists for tonight are one of the most famous unknown couples: Charles and Ray Eames. You may not know them by name, but you probably know one of their most famous pieces of furniture, the Eames Lounge. A very prolific pair of artists, they were successful in designing interiors, creating furniture, photography, art, and more. They demonstrate how everyday items can be art.

Signing, off, fucking step it up, buddy!

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People On the Other Side of the Lens

Holy shit – almost an hour and a half?! But it’s worth it, trust me… Topics today include dealing with the different types of people who land in front of your lens and how to help them relax and enjoy the photo shoot. Rob surprises an unsuspecting and long-lost friend and then Tony asks her to reveal what would creep her out. Surprise, she answers!! Sorry, B_Mo, no Van Heusen shirts here! Internet “models” need not apply.

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