Friday, August 17, 2012
'A shoot you can walk away from, unharmed, has been a good shoot'
With a life long interest in photography, Nottingham, England's Danny Barson had mostly only shot landscapes and wildlife until about a year ago. It was then he decided to join Model Mayhem and connect with models to gain experience and try his hand at portraiture.
With landscape and wildlife work there is little need for a studio. With the transition from land forms to the human form comes the need for locations. Danny's previous experience clearly came in handy as one of the things that first struck me about his work with Scott was how beautifully he mixed model with location.
With most of my favorite photographers, and in most of my favorite images, the artist does not shoot a model in front of a location, instead they make them apart. The first set of images were taken at a dangerous derelict place Danny found and I love how Scott is positioned and framed within the environment.
The first shot of Danny's that I saw was his MM avatar, the third image below featuring Scott, standing in the middle of a field, throwing his shirt into the wind. I love this series of images. There is something special about the Cleethorpes location, a freedom, and deep connection between Scott and his environment that struck a cord. Danny believes that beauty is captured by the eye, not the camera and I like how Danny was able to highlight Scott and still capture the incredible beauty of the field, the sky and clouds, and the North Sea on the east coast of England in the distant background.
I love the ease and freedom Scott displays, he is a natural in front of Danny's lens, especially impressive given this was his first time shooting nude. Danny connected with Scott through MM and Danny says they clicked right. Scott had never really thought about modeling until he was asked to about seven years ago. At first things were bumpy and Scott says initially he was unsure of what he was doing. With support from his family and the endorsement of an agency, he continued to work hard at it. The 23 year old Sheffield model says it was not until he was catapulted into the studio for all day shoots and meetings that he discovered how much he truly enjoys it and says his work with Danny has re-energized the passion.
'We have a mutual respect for each other, and know each others boundaries. Although those boundaries have been pushed at times for the sake of a great picture, we trust and have faith in each other to get the best we can. We always discuss what we both want from a shoot, but sometimes work on the fly and suggest ideas and those shots can be the best of the day. Scott has a brilliant personality, and a great guy to work with.'
The London Olympics may be over, but there was one other athlete that caught my attention I wanted to feature.
At over 6ft tall, with his dark hair, beautifully unshaven chest and incredible body, Italy's Niccolò Gitto was hard not to notice in his light blue speedos. Niccolò and his team mates on Italy's water polo team brought home the silver.
Sometimes you see a movie, and depending on your age and life perspective at the time, you may feel one way about it. Sometimes in order to challenge your original perspective, a re-watch is required.
I remember going to the theatre when I was about 13 or 14 and seeing She-Devil with my parents. Mom, a huge Meryl Streep fan saw everything she was in. From my 'just barely a teen' perspective She-Devil sucked the big one. I thought the story was weak, Roseanne truly horrible and wondered what Meryl Streep could have been possibly thinking. The only consolation in the 98 minutes of film I watched was the few glimpses of actor A Martinez as Streep's houseboy Garcia. Even Martinez in a speedo however was a little sad as I knew from seeing him elsewhere he is an incredible actor, but here regulated to a sexy, but none the less cultural stereotyped.
Although I did not watch last week's Roseanne Roast, I have thankfully avoided all of them, the constant commercials for Roseanne's roast had me seeking out a copy of She-Devil to re-watch. I was really surprised how quickly during this version that I was sucked into the story. I don't think I had really connected, at 13, the reversal of roles between Roseanne's Ruth and Streep's Mary. Roseanne's performance was far better than I remember, and Streep's about the same. I love Meryl as well, but even re-watching, I question many of Streep's role choices in the late 80's and early 90's. It was if she was some how trying to remove the Oscar winning drama queen coat placed on her by taking on lighter, yet also weaker, moives and roles.
There is a lesson in She-Devil and maybe not the one the movie intended. Mary of course pays dearly for ruining Ruth's marriage but with each of the characters they also learn that no matter whey they go, they also unfortunately follow themselves. Ed Begely's bob is simply a douchebag no matter where he lives or works.
Now, despite a second viewing, a much more enjoyable one, the movie didn't exactly turn into a masterpiece, yet I appreciated so much more about it than I first remembered. Sadly Linda Hunt seemed to be dropped as a character mid-way through the movie, and Sylvia Miles was far too over the top in each and every frame she was in. Most notably this time, I noticed how Roseanne's Ruth, though written as the victim, did some really horrid things, especially to her kids. Yet, in the context of this film was shown as the hero. She-Devil really had no heroes, except maybe Hunt's Hooper. Although Begley, Roseanne and Streep were all written to show huge character transformations, it was Hooper, in her a brief scenes, who actually showed a capacity for change beyond any of the others.