Friday, October 31, 2008


Image copyright 2008 Byron O'Neal

In honor of those friends of mine who think that anything less than a forty-five degree slope doesn't count.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hy Sheanin Scholorship Opportunity with WPPI

Now celebrating its sixth year, the Hy Sheanin Memorial Scholarship is designed to help folks new to the photography industry. Prizes include round-trip airfare to Las Vegas for the 2009 WPPI Convention, registration for the show, a paid PLUS class of their choice, eight nights at the MGM Grand, and a one-year membership to WPPI.

Applicants should submit a cover letter with 50-100 words on why they would like the scholarship, a portfolio of ten 8"x8" or 8"x10" images, and a brief resume of one page or less. 

Deadline is December 1, 2009. Applications should be sent to :
WPPI - Attn: Hy Sheanin Scholarship
6059 Bristol Parkway, Suite 100
Culver City, CA 90230
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The devil gets railroaded

Digital Railroad, owned by Diablo Management Group, is closing down shop. The site which set up e-commerce platforms, hosted photographer image archives, and provided a venue for stock shots was seemingly doing well in most people's minds. 

Photo District News covers the story.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Image copyright 2008 Byron O'Neal

Working on some of my shots from yesterday and came up with this image. Sometimes you struggle with how to title your work, I do anyway. It seems the cranium referenced a video game from my youth. 

If you've never had the pleasure of playing the game, read more about Phoenix at Wikipedia.
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Horizons by Sze Tsung Leong

This week's Photo Book Tuesday selection examines everyone's favorite subject, the horizon line. In Horizons by Sze Tsung Leong, we are transported around the world where our only anchor resides in the earth meeting the sky. What drew me to this particular book was thinking about our recent financial mess, and I mean our as in global. It is a clear message that we are all connected on this planet. This book reinforces that message. Often times photography today seeks to use remoteness or isolation as a sales point. Not that anything is wrong with documenting a tribal festival in outer Mongolia, but here we are drawn to seek a common ground and view a thread that binds us together in something familiar.

From the publisher:
This first monograph to present the acclaimed Horizons series by Sze Tsung Leong is comprised of 36 images taken around the globe--all sharing a consistent horizon line. The softly colored and highly detailed images highlight similarities and differences across nations, cultures and landscapes--creating a spatial continuum out of geographically distant locations. 
Sze Tsung Leong was born in Mexico City in 1970 and currently lives and works in New York. His work has been exhibited internationally and is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery, among others. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. His bookHistory Images was published by Steidl in 2006.

Published by Yossi Milo Gallery
36 Color photographs
November 1, 2008

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Meteoric Rift

Here's some new work I've been putting together recently. Not sure why, but it makes me think of fall. In the absence of the trees changing much here yet, maybe my mind is just awaiting the color riot. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thinking about my grandfather

Fighting through a sinus infection again! Yuck.

My grandfather is in the hospital right now, and I was thinking a good bit about him yesterday. I went back to my photos from last Christmas and dug this one out. With a little Photoshop work, I like this version of him and my then three month old son hanging out together, Fane's first Christmas and my grandfather's 92nd. 

Sadly, I don't get to see him much these days.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Joe the Plumber immortalized on t-shirts

Seriously funny and yet really sad. Can't we leave poor Joe alone? 

If not, get your Joe the Plumber shirt here.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ONeal Urban clothing morning photo shoot goes terribly wrong

ONeal Urban signed its first spokes-model this week and those of us here at headquarters aren't so sure that was such a great idea. 

The mood was high this morning as dawn licked the horizon and our heads buzzed with excitement as production began on our first ever photo shoot with the new model. He came highly recommended and although quiet, was lighthearted and reasonably well behaved (for a model anyway). We could not have been prepared for the chaos that was to ensue.

For no apparent reason, he stormed off into the wardrobe area shortly after the shoot had begun and proceeded to toss cosmetics about haphazardly. One of the grips captured the incident on his camera phone (see left image). All attempts to communicate utterly failed as he adopted speaking Farsi or perhaps some Mongolian dialect, anyway not anything we were familiar with. At that point, we assumed he thought something was amiss with his make-up as he quickly opened up a jar of Vaseline and attempted to apply it onto himself. To make matters worse, the photographer kept complaining about the lighting and abruptly stormed off in search of an energy drink or something until as he put it," ... you idiots get this thing under control". What a mess! We tried to wrangle the talent back into line only to discover that our photographer (Byron O'Neal) was smoozing on the props girl whom he claimed he already had a relationship with. His wife, likely story! The model quickly fell into hysterics and could only be consoled with a hug. Who hired these guys? 

Feeling defeated we wrote the shoot off as a flop and accepted that all our careful planning was wasted. Evidently, craft services was originally to blame as our model got peeved about not having any organic hot dogs available. Who eats hot dogs at 7am anyway, such is the glamorous life I suppose. We're back in negotiations with the model's agent now. This cat is threatening to take us to court over some labor clause, will it ever end? 

Not to be defeated, we'll try again another day. 
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Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to now

This week's Photo Book Tuesday selection is Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to Now. Co-published with the Bronx Museum of the Arts, this new title from the Aperture Foundation examines the street for inspiring artists and photographers over the last half century.

From the publisher:
Street Art, Street Life examines the street as subject matter, venue, and source of inspiration for contemporary artists and photographers from the late 1950s to the present. This unique volume includes street photography; documentation of performance, events, and artworks presented in the street; works using material from the street; and examples of street culture.

Through works by almost thirty world-renowned artists,Street Art, Street Life explores a range of themes related to the street: as arena for political and cultural expression, violence and crime, gender roles in an urban context, advertising and commerce, and as counterpoint to museums and other traditional art venues. Street Art, Street Life is published on the occasion of an exhibition of the same name, organized by international curator Lydia Yee.

112 Pages
125 Color Images
$27.97 (currently on sale)

The Aperture Foundation also has a cool newsletter that I would definitely recommend signing up for. 
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Monday, October 20, 2008

F.U.E.L Collection - Grand Small Works Call for Entries

This gallery sits in the historic Old City District of Philadelphia and was recently the site of MTV's The Real World: Philadelphia. They are currently accepting email submissions for a Grand Small Works Show, each piece under 20"x20". Get your images together and submit by October 30th. It is FREE! 

This exhibition is not limited to photography. 

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Zephyr hits Rhode Island

Image copyright 2008 Byron O'Neal

I got word today that Zephyr, from my Sphere's Portfolio, will be included in a group show at the Gallery at Second Stage Studio in December. This will be the fifth exhibition this year that this image has been selected for. Sweet!
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Morning Sun Against Bamboo Screen

Image copyright 2008 Byron O'Neal

Got this new image that I shot yesterday worked up. Really happy with the result.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Snap to Grid opening at Los Angeles Center for Digital Art

In a show with this many pieces in it, I got a little lost trying to track mine down. Still it's a great opportunity to educate the public about the amazing diversity of photography that is being produced today, and I'm happy to have a chance to get some exposure and be involved. 

Rex Bruce, gallery director, shot a bunch of pictures of the opening for the show that are available in a slideshow format.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Announcing the launch of ONeal Urban

Today, ONeal Urban is open for business. My clothing line is a natural extension of my photographic journey into the urban landscape. Each unique design was originally taken "off the wall." Some designs are my own, while some simply inspire me to share them with the world. We are starting with just two designs with more soon to follow. 

Currently, my clothing line is hosted at CafePress until it makes economic sense to take it in house. Hopefully, I'll be able to do that sooner rather than later. Thanks for checking it out!
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department 1984-2004

For this week's photo book selection, we have Vandal Squad a cool look at graffiti culture from the other side of the fence brought to you from Powerhouse Books.

168 pages
110 color photographs

From the Publisher:
Graffiti writers have left a vivid trail and told their spellbinding tales the world over in countless books and magazines, films and videos, websites and events. They have shared stories of war and glory, of battles and triumphs, and have the pictures to prove it. But many have gone down for those ups; they’ve been caught in action or hunted as criminals, and brought forth to answer for crimes of vandalism. They’ve copped pleas or pleaded guilty outright; they’ve been sentenced to do community service, to pay fines, and sometimes even to serve jail time—yet more often than not they got right back in action. No one knew this better than the New York City Transit Police Vandal Squad.

Founded in 1980, the Vandal Squad’s mission was to protect the subway system from hardcore criminal acts of destruction like kicking out windows and throwing seats out of train cars. It was only with the Clean Car Program of 1984 that graffiti became the primary focus of this specialized Unit. On a mission to catch those who gained fame under tag names, the Vandal Squad had to identify and locate these individuals cloaked in anonymity (and often so transient they were referred as “ghosts”) using every means available, including the NYPD computer database, Search Warrants, subpoenas, and even vandals themselves.

In Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984–2004, former member Officer Joseph Rivera recounts the days and nights spent in pursuit of some of New York City’s most notorious vandals. The only book on graffiti told from the perspective of law enforcement, Vandal Squad takes us inside the New York Police Department. Rivera’s fast-paced tales of cat and mouse are presented alongside professional disregard within the Department. Featuring never-before-seen photographs and stories of graffiti’s infamous Top 40, Vandal Squad offers an unprecedented look at the graffiti world from the other side of the game.

Joseph Rivera was born and raised in the Bronx. He joined the New York City Transit Police Department in 1984, and was assigned to the elite Transit Vandal Squad in 1987. Rivera became the lead investigator of the Graffiti Habitual Offender Suppression Team (G.H.O.S.T.) within the Vandal Squad in 1998. The recipient of many commendations for outstanding merit throughout a 20-year law enforcement career, Rivera retired in 2004.

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Inner Noise Exhibition Flyer

Yeah for publicity!t I love it when my work ends up on the distribution flyer. Doesn't happen often enough unfortunately.
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Friday, October 10, 2008

TheWife's Take on Yellow Tangs

I have to admit, I don't read my husband's blog every day. Then again, some days I forget to brush my teeth. When eating is optional, brushing your teeth just seems to lose some importance, I don't know. I've been doing better lately, though - probably a sign I'm not working hard enough.

Anyway, the yellow tangs.

First, I looked a the picture. I thought, "Hey, that kind of looks like a painting!" Then I read it and realized it was a photograph. Not that unusual for B's work. Then I realized I was there. I thought, "Sweet! I contributed, somehow. Maybe." Then I remembered. Remembered that I was the size of a large storage shed. Remembered my internal thermometer was set somewhere around 100. Remembered the feeling of my ribs and cervix getting kicked. Remembered the sweat running down my back and thinking, "Why oh why did I wear a dress?" Especially, though, remembered looking at all the surreally (is that a word?) beautiful fish floating in gorgeous configurations and wanting so badly to jump in the water with them and their protectively hovering sea turtle friends. I wanted it so badly I considered stripping down to my less-than-attractive pregnant, sweaty, naked self and just jumping in.

"Hey, it's Hawaii. They're more laid-back here, right? How much trouble could I get in?"

Then I looked around and saw all the families. And the kids. Gaggles of children, innocent, shining, hopeful. They deserve to hold on to that innocent freshness, right?

What I thought?

"I'll never get licensed if I get convicted of a felony. Is indecent exposure a felony or a misdemeanor here?"

Now that would be a picture for an entirely different blog, eh?

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My Main Street - Tulsa, Oklahoma

It's been all over the news recently how we need to focus on Main Street and not Wall Street. It got me thinking about it, and I realized that I had no idea where Main Street was in my town. This place that is supposed to reference all of us was a foreign place to me. So, I took it upon myself to find our Main Street and see what all those Main Streeters are up to. Turns out that Main Street Tulsa is downtown and on a Thursday afternoon, nobody was around at all. The particular stretch I found myself in is a warehouse district close by the Cain's Ballroom. It stuck me as funny that my shot includes a sign that says Workers yet after ten minutes, I still hadn't seen a soul. According to Google Maps, Tulsa has no Wall Street.

If you are reading this and wondering where your Main Street is, go find it. If you drop me a picture of it, I'll post it. 
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

National Geographic Adventure and Exploration Galleries

If you haven't been over to check out National Geographic's photography sections, you are missing out. I hadn't checked out their site for some time myself and was blown away by the Adventure and Exploration galleries. Cool stuff.
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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

House Hunting a re-printed hardcover from Todd Hido

Unavailable for quite some time, Todd Hido's look at the suburban home at night has been re-released from Nazraeli Press. A signed copy will run you $75.00. 

Nazraeli Press tends to focus on artists who wouldn't get as much exposure in the mainstream book markets or up and coming shooters. If you have the time, they have an interesting array of talent represented that you likely won't have been exposed to before.

56 pages
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Monday, October 6, 2008

Hawaiian Yellow Tangs- an abstract expression of color

Image copyright 2008 Byron O'Neal

I shot this while vacationing in Hawaii in May of 2007 and have finally gotten a chance to go back to bring it to light. A school of yellow tangs was swimming just off the shore at the Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park on the island of Hawaii, which is a great spot to shoot by the way. We found an abundance of sea turtles and the fort at the park has some really cool wooden statues. It's a short trip from the Painted Church and well worth it. 

Nikon D200
Aperture f/20
Shutter Speed 1/100
ISO 400
Focal Length 277mm
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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Declare Yourself ad Campaign

Image copyright Mark Liddell has a great ad campaign going on. Heavyhitters, Mark Liddell and David LaChapelle have gotten together with a few young A-Listers (Christina Aguilera, Jessica Alba, Andre 3000) and created images for the site encouraging folks to register to vote. 

Regardless of who you are voting for, the message here is positive one of taking action and making your voice heard. Thirty-one states allow early voting so you don't have to deal with crazy lines or even crazier personal scheduling conflicts. What's your excuse?

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Work selected for "Inner Noise" Exhibition at the Caladan Gallery

Images copyright 2008 Byron O'Neal

I am very pleased to learn this morning that three of my images will be a part of the Inner Noise exhibition with the Caladan Gallery based out of Cambridge, MA. This juried exhibition will be posted online on October 15th and will run through November 14th.

From the gallery:

The work chosen for this exhibition epitomizes the array of inner experiences of the mind, and tends to reflect and create a very tangible response.  Very often it is easy to draw a relationship between these occurrences and to set up a visual map, whether we are aware of this action or not.  Whether it be the connection between the experience and emotion, or a lucid dream state, the cacophony of illusion and visual panorama is a constant source. 

This experimental work was created with graffiti and long shutter speeds. I held the camera and rotated it over a thirty second time period, in some cases incorporating local light sources into part of the shutter time. The banding in Approaching Pinnacle was created from long fluorescent tubes in a library above the graffiti. Special thanks goes to my longtime friend Dave for putting up with me through this afternoon/evening of shooting. 

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

James Nachtwey's TED Images are revealed

Image copyright James Nachtwey. From the Afghanistan Series.

James Nachtwey is one of the world's most renown photojournalists. Having covered global conflicts and social issues for the last three decades, he won the 2007 TED Prize and was given $100,000 and the means to grant a wish to make a better world. Tomorrow, October 3rd, his project will be revealed via LED screens on all seven continents and the web. I urge you to join me in viewing this landmark photographic event. Click on the banner ad to the left on my blog to check it out.

TED started in 2004 as a means to bring people from Technology, Entertainment, and Design together to foster the spreading of great ideas and has more than 300 free inspirational talks available on their website.

UPDATE 10/3/2008
The project that James Nachtwey has been working on is bringing awareness to a dangerous new form of tuberculosis. The image set can only be described as humbling and powerful. Check it out if you already haven't.

UPDATE 10/10/2008

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Szpilman Award 2008 - deadline October 15

Here's a contest likely off the radar. The Szpilman Award attempts to promote work that exists only for a moment of time. Prizes include a rather interesting trophy, money raised from donations for the contest, and ten days accommodation in Poland. 

It's free to apply and work must have been produced between October 1 of 2007 and October 15 of 2008. This is a juried competition and is a good opportunity to gain some international exposure. Did I mention it's FREE!
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