Friday, May 11, 2012

Favorite Pic of the Day for May 11th

Hendri by Paul Smollen
-See More Below-

Happy Birthday today May 11th to:

Check out today's birthday's, including Mr. Saggy, HERE:: & HERE:

Six Degrees of Gay Marriage Support:

I know it is historic that for the first time ever, a sitting President has voiced support for same sex marriage. I know especially after the North Carolina vote, the timing is welcome and should be celebrated! I am hesitant to give Obama full kudos however as I can't help but feel he is not being completely honest. My feeling is he has always supported gay marriage, but feels the need to have his feelings be 'evolving' for his own political reasons. Maybe it should not matter, but it is smart but still, it bugs me. It is time man 'evolved' at the pace of the rest of the world. I am not sure men and women, beaten, stoned, raped and abused due to bigotry and prejudice would be patient and high five finally achieving the same human rights as everyone else. Will & Grace co-creater Max Mutchnick says it much better than I and thankfully not Vice President first daughter Bristol says it worse. Go Glee!

Images via Greg Weiner

Fetching: Garrett Hedlund in Georgia Rule

Adjective: Attractive.
Synonyms: charming - attractive - engaging - alluring - winsome

Fetching is one of those old fashioned words not used nearly enough. Replacement words like 'hot' are far too generic and although descriptive don't really provide much texture, feel or character to what is being described.

Fetching is exactly the word that came to mind as I enjoyed Garrett Hedlund's turn as Harlen in Georgia Rule (2007). I have avoided watching the five year old movie due to my distaste for anything related to Lindsay Lohan. Although talented, I find nothing about her in anyway appealing. A couple of weeks ago, as flicking through the hundreds of channels on my television, I came upon an early scene with Garrett finding Lohan's character asleep on the side of the road. I have enjoyed Hedlund in many roles, and like many, have been captivated with him since his turn Four Brothers. (2005).

I love family drama's (Ordinary People being the preeminent)so decided to give it a shot. Lohan's inclusion aside I really quite liked the movie. Although the movie was an obvious showcase for the talents of it's three female leads, it was the men (Hedlund, Cary Elwes and Dermot Mulroney) whose characters were really the most interesting. Jane Fonda was great, but was so clearly vying for an Oscar nomination, that it cut into my enjoyment of her performance. Garrett was fetching in every one of his scenes and I especially loved the long hair. Such a departure from his other roles. If like me, you have avoided this flick, Hedlund is worth giving it a look.

Four Brothers (2007)

Aquatic Absolute: Hendri By Paul Smollen

Whether coincidence or not it seems many of the artists I profile live or work near a body of water. For most it's a sea or an ocean, but a great lake or two certainly counts! Humans are drawn organically to water, it is a natural life force. I know from my own experiences that my body reacts strangely when it has not been in or next to the ocean in awhile. Although I live only a few miles from it, every once in awhile my body commands me to drive up and over the mountain near my home to not just be near the ocean, but drench myself and become apart of it.

It comes as no surprise then that Australia would produces so many incredible photographers. Artists generally either capture the beauty that surrounds them, or are forced to create it. For artists working in the land down under, the beauty is everywhere. Shooting in Australia without unitizing the Pacific and Indian oceans as backdrops would simply be a crime.

Sydney's Paul Smollen says that even as a child, there was always a camera in his hands. While it may have rarely had film in it, it did allow him to see life differently while he was growing up. Paul has always specialised in landscapes, flowers and still life. His foundation for shooting was already beautifully formed, just awaiting a model to be apart of the surroundings he was photographing. It is more natural for Paul to have a camera in his hands than not, and Paul feels he sees the world with more clarity while looking through a viewfinder then when without.

Paul and I have been in communication about featuring his work for some time. Our busy schedules and the fact that my e-mails were only popping up in his spam folder made initial connection a bit of a challenge. Water also played a small role in pulling us together. When Paul finally had a break, he took some time off in Malaysia, working by the pool on the images of Hendri and sending on the info needed for the feature.

'I was contacted by another model who said would I mind meeting his friend who wanted to try modeling. So I agreed and met with Hendri and saw right away just how special he was going to be. This shoot was the first time that Hendri appeared in front of the camera, as the shoot was only supposed to be a test shoot. I chose the locations with Hendri as I wanted to contrast his smooth muscle definition against the dramatic rugged Sydney coastline. But so that the focused remained on Hendri I stripped a lot of colour from the images and gave them a more muted tone, so that the eye is initially drawn to Hendri then the surroundings.'
Paul Smollen

Paul says that he enjoys working with new models, actors and musicians and believes in giving them a voice and creating work that is unique to each person. 'So there is always something special in their books rather than run of the mill.' Although some photographers have signature shots or sets, it is rare for Paul to revisit a concept or do copycat shots. Paul would rather challenge the model and himself to come up with something new and original. Paul especially enjoys the energy and a rawness a new model brings to the work. Capturing that rawness and their expressions is more exciting that posed work.

'I am faithful to the moment and the ethos of capturing a moment in time, so how you appear in front of my lens is how you will look in the image. There is no digital manipulation to any model. I may strip light, adjust contrast and colour, but if your eyes are brown, they stay brown. I never change who a person looks as that is what makes them unique and I only capture record that.'

Paul Smollen Official Site:
Paul Smollen on ModelMayhem & Facebook