Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Favorite Pic of the Day for October 24th

Image by Doug Neal Photography
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Check out today's birthday's HERE:

Halloween Countdown: Differently Demented by Birds Eye Studios

'My photography is my art, my passion and my life.'
Kenneth, Birds Eye Studios

Most of you know that I love Holiday themed images, Halloween being my favorite. Artists shooting holiday images in a way have to balance their art and the holiday without becoming corny or too kitschy. Some holiday images veer dangerously close to the cutsie, making a Hallmark moment rather than a memorable image.

The best holiday images are from photographers who keep the focus on what makes their work unique, adding elements of the theme to enhance an image, and not distract from it. Kenneth, from Birds Eye Studio does this superbly. The artist believes role that of an observer, to support the model to relax, be comfortable and enjoy the moment. Whether daring or conservative, Kenneth wants you to be you, making it his job to capture who that is.

As with many profession photographers, Kenneth spends a lot of time shooting portraits, sporting events, weddings and other special occasion's. If you spend any time on his website you will see that whether shooting nude models with razor blades or more traditional family portraits, his artists eye, seeking the unique and bringing out characteristics specific to the person of family in front of his lens.

No matter what he is shooting, Kenneth doesn't do boring. As a delicious counter balance to more tradition work, the Delaware artist puts a light, yet beautifully dark and demented touch on his creative work, hitting just the right bloody note with these Halloween images. Kenneth's featured model Christopher looks perfectly at home lounging in the pumpkin field, wearing a gas mask or as the object of carnage!

Young Wild Girls

If talent is an aphrodisiac than Saturday Night my sexual desire was through the roof! I have known who Bruno Mars was for awhile, listened and enjoyed his music but never til last week really paid him too much attention. His hosting, and especially his singing on last weeks Saturday Night Live blew me....away! As a host, he kept up with the talented cast, often making more out of some poorly conceived sketches than they deserved.

His two songs were incredible and watching the second, the way he was lit, his incredible lips, sweat glistened skin as he was singing Young Wild Girls was sort of orgasmic! Now I should also share I was at a friends house and Bruno was on a 60 inch in HD but I rushed home shortly after to watch my own DVR of the show (sadly on just a 32 incher). Not sure if the power will translate with a video, but if your in the US you can watch on NBC's site HERE:    Sorry to those outside the US, NBC is so strict with their videos. It has popped up on Youtube a few times, but are quickly taken down.

Kudos to Taran Killam

Speaking of Saturday Night Live, in a season that saw the departures of Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg and the possible future departure of Jason Sudeikis, Taran Killam is certainly a reason to keep tuning in! His appearances each week are a highlight and his 'Brad Pitt' impression this week had me doing a double take.

Killam is talented, but not cocky about it as some of SNL come off. The talented comedian steals most of the sketches he is in, not because he is the lead but because his acting and facial expressions make him the most watchable. While some on SNL might feel the need to be front and center, Killam is there naturally, not forced, simply driven by talent and charm.

Taran in the Joseph Gordon-Levitt SNL this past September.

Doug Neal Photography: A Specific Truth

'If I were a writer, I imagine that I would probably work with words much the same way that I work with images today. But, as I sit at my typewriter, I realize how woefully inarticulate I feel. Instead, my chosen medium is the camera, and my attempts to communicate come through this. Yet sometimes I still think of what it might be like to be a writer, to reach back into my memories, my childhood, my early adult life or my travels and craft some sort of fiction that would involve readers and engage their imaginations.'

Michigan artist Doug Neal is a graduate of Western Michigan University, has been capturing stories since 1976. Neal's work has been exhibited in New York, Chicago, Germany, as well as his hometown of Kalamazoo. He has been the recipient of the 1994 Irving S. Gilmore Emerging Artists grant and has had his work published in magazines as Provocateur, Australia's Blue, XY, Genre, Contents and Metropolitan Home. Tracy Chapman, Lucien Clergue, Greg Gorman, Christopher Makos, Kurt Markus, Sam Shahid and Bruce Weber are just some of the people whose collections include Doug's work.


Doug's images are strongly personal and evocative and resonate with the viewer not only because of his impressionist focus and the specific techniques he uses, but because of the story being told. Doug believes that typically, photographers tell a specific truth and the truth Doug is telling is the raw expression of his own emotional experiences and vulnerabilities.

'Generally, photographers have something they wish to record, and typically it is the truth. But it doesn't have to be the truth. This is the element of photography which resonates for me and which is most closely related to the written word. My photographs necessarily depict a reality, as that is what photography and the camera does. However, it is not the only reality.'

The use of a muse within photography is immensely fascinating to me and a subject I have explored often on FH. There is often a connection between artist and muse, a trust that brings out not only the creative, but also the personal, within the work of many artists. Muses often allow an artist to not only break boundaries, but as well explore parts of themselves they might not otherwise focus on or risk with another model.

'At the time the images of Linc were taken, I was working at the local art museum and planning to attend a photo workshop in Santa Fe with famed photographer Greg Gorman. I wanted to ‘shore-up’ my portfolio so I embarked on a two- to three-month period of intensive work, utilizing the models that had made themselves available to the students of the art museum’s school.'

'Linc had filled out a profile/application that stated that he was a gymnast and ‘that’ caught my eye. The gymnastics training made Linc aware of his every movement and his every muscle! He was able to move with a perfection and physical ‘grace’ that I had never had the pleasure of seeing through my camera’s lens before! He was completely comfortable naked and was completely uninhibited regarding his surroundings. At that time I had been doing some theater pictures and had access to the local Civic’s rehearsal stage and we made most of these wonderful collaborations there, in the space of those three months.'
Doug Neal


World Of Men is a concept for an exhibit yet to be seen. In it, Doug describes the images for the show as self portraits. Although they are not actually Doug, but models, the images are an idealized version of the artist, a way of understanding and defining his own maleness. A preference for solitude and the ongoing struggle on what the world expects of a man vs the hopes and dreams the man has for himself. Although the show has yet to take place, the themes are powerfully clear in almost all of Doug's work.

It was interesting for me to see how many of the men in Doug's images are captured with their face, head and eyes faced downwards and their eyes sometimes closed. Although this pose might for some indicate reservation, or even shame., in Doug's images I experience strong and powerful men. Their power however is quiet, respectful, not stemming from any physical competency, domination or endowment, but instead from a strong sense of self. Masculine simply because of who they are, not who they have to prove to be.

'Pete O was a model for a student of my studio-lighting course. This photographer had made a (terrible) picture of him as a “prop’ for a female that he had been shooting and working with. I saw the pictures and said, “I must photograph this guy, he’s fantastic!” The photographer put me in touch with him; we got together and made the first image…the one of Pete in bed. So, we shot maybe three or four times, I loved everything that we got, but nothing really went ‘stellar’ sort of speak.'

'After maybe a year or two went by, I got a phone call from Pete asking me if we could get back together and shoot some more stuff? And there was a bit of a surprise, Pete had decided that he (finally) wanted to be photographed naked and what more; he wanted to apply to PLAYGIRL magazine to be a centerfold. “Sure,” I said, with a big ole smile! For some reason it was just the goal that we needed to really make the best of all of our work together! He was very open and willing to allow me to make pretty intimate shots and open to working in a dark and dirty warehouse basement. Sadly, after all of our hard work, PLAYGIRL only ran one small image of him. I know he was devastated…and me, too…we sent them a ton of images and I thought he had a really great shot at it!'
Doug Neal

Doug Neal on ModelMayhem
Doug Neal Official Site