Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brazier - a new Reflection Series image

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

This image reminds me of cold nights spent around a fire trying to keep warm while indulging in long talks about how to change the world.
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Graffiti from Beijing - KwanYinGraffitiStudio

Work copyright KwanYinGraffitiStudio

I was checking out the Art Crimes website and came across this new work from the KwanYin Graffiti Studio. It love it, blending an older style that you might see on a paper screen with the new graffiti edge.
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A Picture Saying a Thousand Words - KKK Baseball Team

Photographer unknown

They say that a picture says a thousand words. As a photographer, from time to time I come across an image that leaves me speechless. This was the case when I came across this shot. Clearly not originally intended to convey a grand statement no more than a snapshot really, the combined elements of something as classically wholesome as baseball and the reminder of a time where the KKK could exist in broad daylight leave me reeling. I'm so grateful to be born when I was and to have grown up exposed to the beauty of humanity's diversity. 

America, you have changed for the better.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Heavy - new addition to the Reflections Series

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

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The Transparent City by Michael Wolf

This week's Photo Book Tuesday selection is The Transparent City by Michael Wolf. Produced by the Aperture Foundation, I chose this book for evoking the challenges I always deal with when traveling to big cities. Being from rural Tennessee, the vertical nature of being in a larger building while being surrounded by same has always burdened me with a sense of loneliness and a fascination with what other people are doing in their tiny space just a short distance away. It's confining and altogether weird to me. It's also really cool.

I've been a fan of Wolf's work for years after a friend sent me a link to his Architecture of Density series covering high rise buildings in Hong Kong.

From the publisher,
Bringing his unique perspective on changing urban environments to a city renowned for its architectural legacy, Wolf chose to photograph the central downtown area, focusing specifically on issues of voyeurism and the contemporary urban landscape in flux.

112 pages, 60 color images
released in November 2008
$42.00 currently at Aperture's website
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

3rd Annual Nature Conservancy Photo Contest Winners are announced

Image copyright Howard B. Cheek

The Nature Conservancy has been running a little photo contest now for three years and the results were just posted.

This was the Grand Prize Winner for 2008.
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Creative Graffiti

Found a bit of interesting graffiti this morning while trolling the net. The top shot shows the stencils added to the concrete wall which doesn't make much sense until you see the silhouette of the statue at night. Creative! Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Old Piano in rural Oklahoma

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

My buddy Dave and I found an old, abandoned church while venturing into rural Oklahoma last week. It was the kind of place that you would think would have been full of great photographic subjects, but it was really hard to make sense of the place. There were a few scattered pages from hymnals and this old piano that stood out in the scene. I tried to do some macro work with the internal guts of the thing and in the end produced nothing that I liked. A slightly wider perspective seems to have worked out much better. It was a creepy place overall, covered in vines with all the windows smashed. There was some critter moving around on the hole riddled suspended ceiling that ran me out quicker than I would have preferred. I picked up  a distinct odor that could only be skunk so we beat a hasty retreat out of there leaving it to whatever had claimed the place. 

I find telling the story of time to be a challenging endeavor with a photograph. Having seen others do it, I know it can be done yet I find my skill yet lacking to some degree. In the end, I got an image out of it I really like which is more than I can say about some of my other trips. 
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

21 Nights - Randee St.Nicholas covers Prince

I've done a poor job of keeping this going having gotten busy with this and that for some time now but Photo Book Tuesday is back (after receiving threats that I better get back at it.)

This week we're looking at 21 Nights by Randee St. Nicholas. Nicholas covered a stint of umm ... twenty-one sold out nights chasing after Prince, formerly known as The Artist, in London in 2007. Nicholas and Prince have been friends since 1991 when she was asked to direct his "Get Off" video, and she was the only photographer allowed to cover the event. Chasing after him in the hotel and at the after parties as well as backstage, Nicholas condenses the festivities into this 256 page gem. Notoriously difficult to pin down, this is an unprecedented view into the life of one of the greatest musicians of our time. 

For Prince fans, the book includes a CD of soundbyte extras available nowhere else. For fans of Nicholas, you get 124 never before published images. Quite the combo! 

$50.00 Hardcover
At 5lbs this will take a sturdy coffee table
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Cenci Goepel & Jens Warnecke - a different kind of light graffiti

Image copyright Cenci Goepel & Jens Warnecke

These two do a very different kind of light graffiti combining a love for the outdoors with some very creative night photography.

The shot to the left was taken in Briksdalbreen, Norway in 2007. 

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

John Crosley

Image copyright John Crosley

In the roundabout manner of the internet, I came across this New York based photographer's work on a Russian photo blog. A self proclaimed amateur, John's work is truly amazing often incorporating signage to create a vertical canvas that interacts with the human subject. 

He has a slideshow of images up at
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Walls as Canvas - a documentary project

I began this new documentary project right after the turn of the New Year as a way to examine how graffiti artists use walls as an ever changing canvas. I'm lucky enough to have found two buildings that the owners don't seem to mind, if not actively encourage, graffiti artists painting. Out here in the MidWest, we're not exactly in a graffiti Mecca. However in talking with some of the writers, people migrate from as far away as New Mexico to leave their mark and participate in weekend tag sessions. I'll be posting each shoot as a collage of images, trying to make sure to go back every week or two to document the transformation. 

The image below illustrates the change that occurred between my last two shoots. It's amazing how organic the walls become, morphing between the varied whims and collective vision of the group. 

Stay tuned!

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