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Legacy, Photography, and Va… WHAT? Episode 63

A Legacy of Images

Legacy? We have a legacy?

In tonight’s show, we get off to a weird and dark start (lots of swearing, WARNING) with the introduction and pwncasting  (that’s where we sucker some unsuspecting person who innocently logged into Skype into joining us) of “The Nuge”! Thanks man, that was fun. BTW, the rest of the pre-show banter was recorded and is at the end of the show.

After that we settle into our normal routine and Tony asks us about what we think our legacy will be and, perhaps, what it already is. How about you? What do you see your photographic legacy being? Do you even think you’ll have one? Let us know in the comments below what your thoughts are. We’d love to have the conversation!

So, we’re also dropping the “featured artist and photographer” segment. It’s run its course and we found ourselves struggling to choose one each episode, so it’s kind of hard to say you find someone’s work “inspirational” when you only learned about them 20 minutes earlier. We hope you don’t mind.

Finally, we’re looking for input. We’re coming up on our three year anniversary (can you believe it) and the format needs to evolve more than just change. We’re thinking of adding more chatter about our hobbies and what we’re doing in the rest of our lives in addition. Don’t worry, we’ll still have a main topic for each show but the three of us aren’t feeling like we’re properly engaging you. We’re open to new thoughts and ideas so please give us some feedback of the kinds of shows you have liked, the types of episodes you don’t, and anything else you think would add to the show’s experience.

As always, thanks for listening and being a part of our world.

Rob, Rick, and Tony.

P.S. – Dear Nuge, never bring up the French!

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I Hate It… I Love It… It’s Episode 61

Finally, Tony reveals the answer to the great question, what did he mean when he said Grammar Nazi knows a think or two about self-abuse? And Rob compliments the contrast. It’s something we love…

But, tonight, Rick asks us two questions: what do we love about the photography industry today and what do we hate about it? We pretty much agree on each other’s answers but that doesn’t mean it’s a boring show.

Love it or Hate ItToday’s Artists

Tony, who can never seem to select a normal artist, instead wants to talk about a British documentary series that follows a bunch of kids over many years called the “Up Series“. Doing one episode every seven years, the filmmakers started in 1969  and have followed the “kids” for over 40 years now.

Rob chose a female fine art photographer, Lauren Bentley. Some absolutely beautiful work from a photographer who understands form and beauty. However, we do have a slight disagreement about the historical accuracy of the photographs. They’re fantastic images (and there is some artistic nudity so, you know, be careful opening up her site at work or around tight asses).

As we always say, let us know in the show notes what you think and whether you agree with us or not.

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Should We Care About Whether Photoshop Was Used? Episode 60

This show is pretty late in coming out and I (Rob) have a perfectly good reason – I kinda forgot to put it out.

Anyway, great show tonight with a discussion on whether or not it’s still relevant to ask the question, “did they use Photoshop?” I had a conversation on twitter with a group of photographers on Twitter and it started off with a conversation about images that are staged or posed and, of course, it moved on to post-production. Then one of the other guys tosses this out, “Its deciding where photography ends and Photoshop wizadry starts.”

To which I asked, ” is that question still relevant?”

Think about when you listen to music – do you care which microphone or production software was used in making the final recording? Do you care about the process that the production engineer used? Of course not. When you look at a sculpture, do you care which chisels and hammers the artist used? Other than a curiosity in how something was achieved, of course we don’t care. We focus on the final piece.

So why is it that photographers have such a stick up their (okay, our) asses about the process by which a piece of art/photography is created? Did they use Photoshop? And don’t say that we don’t – we really do!

What do you think – if we are trying to produce art and are thinking/visualizing the final image when we capture it and/or manipulate it with software afterward, does it matter?

No, it doesn’t. So maybe it’s time that we collectively pull our heads out of our butts and just appreciate good imagery for the art that it is.

BTW, here are the guys I was speaking with – give them a follow on Twitter: @Cliffyboy13, @Basssn1, @photojack, @MelJD46, and @stevehuntphoto.

And, as always, let us know what you think in the comments below!

Tonight’s Artists

Easton Chang – an Australian photographer who shoots cars and has done some amazing Formula 1 stuff. Care to guess who chose him?

Grant Achatz – A Chicago chef recently in the news for his ranting about children (babies) being in his restaurant. Regardless of your thoughts on this controversy, he’s a culinary visionary. Watch his YouTube video:

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People Change Their Behavior Around Cameras – Episode 55

Gotta start off with two quick notes: first, we apologize for this coming out a day late. Second, there were some technical issues with Skype when we recorded and, as you’ll hear, there are a few times throughout the show where the flow gets interrupted.

Okay, now on to the show.

It’s Tony’s turn to choose the topic and he comes up with something we hadn’t thought of before: how do peoples’ behavior change when they see  a camera? And have behaviors changed now that cameras (and smart phones, etc.) have become so commonplace in our society? Are people more guarded or more open? Are they hesitatnt about where those pictures may end up or do they care? Does it matter whether it’s a professional or an amateur who is taking the picture?

A lot of disagreement in today’s show and it makes for some good stuff. And make sure you tell us in the comments section whether you think you change your behavior when you see a camera. Or have you noticed a change in how people react over the past 5, 10, 20 years?

And should we have named this episode Babies and Bot Flies and Larvae, Oh My?

How do people's behavior change when in front of a cameraOur Artists

Our photographer is Ian Ruhter. Rob first learned of his work after watching the video, Silver and Light. You can also click on the picture to launch the video and it’s worthwhile watching. Ian not only is an accomplished photographer in his own right, but he makes his own wet plates and does all of his development; on plates much larger than we’re used to. In this age of digital photography and knowing we can make as many copies as we could ever need from the file, wet plate photography is awe-inspiring. There are no files, there are no negatives. The plate is the only copy of the photograph that exists. Not a lot of room for error and that makes Ian Ruhter a true artist.

Leonardo da Vinci is our “other” artist. Not much to say other than a true visionary who continues to influence our society to this day. The da Vinci Code may have made him a legend but Hudson Hawk balances that out. “Is looking like a constipated warthog a prerequisite for getting a job in the art world?”

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Is Constantly Recording Life Preventing Us From Experiencing It? Episode 53

It’s Called Life, Dammit!

Life. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it’s awesome, and sometimes it lets you get drunk on Amaretto. Be that as it may, no matter what we do, no matter where we go, we seem to always see people with their damned arms in the air, holding their phones and taking video/pictures of whatever the hell is happening around them. And we do it, too. But should we? Are we so concerned about recording life as it happens that we’re no longer actually experiencing it? Yeah, we think we are. And that shit has to stop.

Experience life

We’re all about taking pictures and being recorders of history but let’s also make sure that we are no disengaging from life and no longer making history.

Seriously,we need to cut that shit out.

Our Artists

Today, we look at Marc Hauser, one of the pioneer modern-day portrait photographers. His ability to capture people in real-life poses and expressions makes for some of the most captivating images we’ve seen in a long time. He’s a helluva shooter and a trip through his galleries is worth 30 minutes of your life.

And then Rick throws us a curve ball. After introducing us to several macabre artists and other “interesting” characters over the past couple of years, he chooses Mr. Americana himself, Norman Rockwell. But hey, it’s about life, right?

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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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Has Photography Been Impacted by Casual Photographers? – Episode 49

casual photographs are important for capturing memories

Nice snapshot, Patch!

What the Hell is a Casual Photographer?

Sorry for missing an episode and, as they say, “Sorry For Your Luck”

Normally, we discuss the art of photography from the perspective of the professional and enthusiast photographer. But what about all those other people (and there are a lot of them) for whom photography isn’t a hobby? We’re talking about those folks who carry around a camera (or smart phone) for the purpose of taking casual snapshots of their friends at a bar, uploading them to social media sites and then doing nothing else with them.

In today’s topic, we look at how the “casual photographer” has impacted photography and, more to the point, how the photography industry has changed as it has adapted to meet their needs. This was all inspired by a picture that Patch tweeted to us. We may have railed against sites like Instagram and Facebook before on the show, but we’re coming around and seeing the value and importance of them as people record their everyday activities and relationships.

What do you think? Leave us a comment and tell us if you think that photography has been positively impacted by all of this.

Our Artists

Once again, we feature a musician as our artist of the fortnight. Rick chose Michael Jackson (yes, that MJ) and we talk about whether music changed because of him or did he change because of the music industry. By “we”, Rick and Tony talk about it while Rob showed his disdain for MJ by tuning out and surfing 500px.

Our featured photographer, however, is a phenomenal food photographer, Marcus Nillson. His portraits of chefs, particularly of Jose Andres, are simply brilliant. Check him out!

Hey Tony, let someone else talk, will ya?

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Will Photography Become a Core Competency? Episode #48

Competency in Photography

Courtesy of long-time listener and huge fan of ours (yeah, I am taking liberties but so what?), Ivan, we have tonight’s topic: Might good photography one day become a core competency?

Will photography become more mainstream? Will those of us who see photography as a craft be able to step up and excel? Or does photographic quality continue to slide toward mediocrity?

Or both?

Continue reading »

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Chicago Sun-Times Fires Their Photography Staff

Chicago Sun-Times Makes Dumb Move

Chicago Sun-TimesAt least that’s how the headlines should read. Last week, the Chicago Sun-Times decided to fire all their photography staff. Now, they’ll be relying on their reporters taking pictures and video on company-issued iPhones. We have the pleasure of welcoming back Steven Chappell, A.K.A. The Grammar Nazi. Steven, if you recall, is a university professor teaching journalism and he has some excellent insight into why this was a huge boneheaded move. Continue reading »

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