Alex Timmermans’ Escape To Nature

Alex Timmermans

“Flight Instruction” Copyright Alex Timmermans

My photographic interests are fairly broad, from modern digital all the way back to the antique or alternative processes. That’s why I was very happy to see this short video Escape To Nature about Alex Timmermans and his wet plate collodion photography. It was shot by Patrice Lesueur, and is beautiful in its own right. Take a look… Read More»


Posted in Alt Process Photography, Black and White Photographers, Black and White Photography Tagged |

Robert Sarazin Blake — Workin’ The Crowd

It had been a long time since I had seen my old friend Robert Sarazin Blake play, and I hadn’t yet seen him with his new band The Put It All Down In A Letters. The band is tight and Robert is better than ever. His music used to be described as folk punk, but I always thought of it more as angst folk. That’s a bit different now—the politics are still there, but the corners are smooth, the edges aren’t so biting. He’s always been one to work the crowd, but he’s smoother now—a reliable confidence on stage that is the hallmark of—really something more than—an entertainer.

Photo Of Robert Sarazin Blake At The Conway Muse

Robert Sarazin Blake — Workin’ The Crowd


Posted in Black and White Photography Tagged |

RIP: Fred Branfman, And An Image In Your Name

I’ve been thinking a lot the last few days. Fred Branfman, a person who I consider a true American hero (and I do not use the term hero often—sadly it has become watered down from overuse—and misuse), passed away last week. And, in addition to the sadness I felt, I felt a pang of guilt. Fred and I had been corresponding ever since I got involved in Laos and discovered the horror—and the millions of still-deadly bombs littering the landscape—caused by America’s “Secret War” there. I think Fred was the first American civilian that discovered the brutal campaign we were waging—and I think he carried that unimaginable weight on his shoulders his whole life. This article When Chomsky Wept (and this obituary, will give you some insight into Fred).

That is why I wanted to have Fred as an endorser for my fundraising project The Plain Of Jars Project (POJP) for the Lone Buffalo Foundation. After reading the book of stories by the terrorized villagers Fred interviewed, Voices from the Plain of Jars: Life under an Air War, I knew this man could give me insight that I could not hope to gather on my own.

Photo Of Fred Branfman

Fred Branfman From The Front Page Of The POJP Website

Now, Fred was not a person to send you an email comprised of one sentence—he wanted to know everything about what you were doing, why you were doing it, and how it was going. I have an email in my inbox from Fred and it is labeled “draft” as I had not finished it, supposedly to do more important things. Here is what Fred asked:

  • Are you still in the PDJ? (Plaine de Jarres; from the French)
  • How much did you make from you fundraiser?

Then stated:

I am very interested, if you have time, to learn more about what life is like on the PdJ, the life of the people, the degree to which the government cares about the people, specifics on the LBF (Lone Buffalo Foundation), etc. And YOU—how are you doing?

The man never stopped caring about the people of the Plain of Jars, of the people of Laos.

Now the guilt: One day I was at Site 1 of the Plain Of Jars and I saw an amazing view with the sun breaking through the clouds over the jar site below. I took one look and knew that this was an image I was taking for Fred. I sent him the image and he loved it.

Later, I named the image Tribute To FB in his honor. It was the most requested image from the gallery of reward images for the project. I wanted to tell Fred that. I wanted to tell him that an image I loved, he loved, and that I shot specifically for him was now named after him and was the most popular of all my POJP photos.

And I didn’t. I didn’t because other things got in the way—things in hindsight that I can’t even remember; things that weren’t important at all. I can’t tell him, show him, because now it is too late. And I’m sad that I couldn’t pay back, in the tiniest way possible, the inspiration I got from Fred.

Thank you Fred. Here is your photo, RIP:

Photo Tribute To Fred Branfman Plain Of Jars Laos

Tribute To Fred Branfman


Posted in Black and White Photography, Humanitarian Photography Tagged , |

Jeff Frost: Circle Of Abstract Ritual

This film took 300,000 photos, riots, wildfires, paintings in abandoned houses, two years and zero graphics to make. It changed my entire life. -Jeff Frost

As I mentioned hereCircle Of Abstract Ritual by Jeff Frost is an amazing use of time-lapse photography. He’s released the video on Vimeo where it has already garnered the Staff Pick Award. Check it:

If you can’t see the video above, click here.

Circle of Abstract Ritual

Circle of Abstract Ritual

The Description:

Circle of Abstract Ritual began as an exploration of the idea that creation and destruction might be the same thing. The destruction end of that thought began in earnest when riots broke out in my neighborhood in Anaheim, California, 2012. I immediately climbed onto my landlord’s roof without asking and began recording the unfolding events. The news agencies I contacted had no idea what to do with time lapse footage of riots, which was okay with me because I had been thinking about recontextualizing news as art for some time. After that I got the bug. I chased down wildfires, walked down storm drains on the L.A. River and found abandoned houses where I could set up elaborate optical illusion paintings. The illusion part of the paintings are not an end in themselves in my work. They’re an intimation of things we can’t physically detect; a way to get an ever so slight edge on the unknowable.

Early in the process I mapped out a very interconnected narrative structure. It took a long time to fill that narrative structure in, and when I finished editing the film after seven solid weeks of being holed up in a dark room I had no idea if it was something anyone would want to watch. I almost cut the film into pieces before realizing that outside influences were pressuring me to make that decision, and that I was happy with it as it was.

It took a long time to come to the creation side of the original premise. It finally took form in a collaboration with sculptor, Steve Shigley, as well as 15 amazing volunteers who moved full sized tree sculptures 450 times over two nights to create the stop motion climax of the film (see the behind the scenes film, Story of Abstract Ritual for the tale of their monumental effort:vimeo.com/frostjeff/soar).

The idea I wanted to explore was the creation of culture as a conscious creative act, but without the trappings of dogma from institutions or even from ways of thinking. The circle of inverted trees became a small piece of the world with personal meaning where I could mark significant events, contemplate and reflect. That circle still stands, and I still visit it regularly. Several people who have been there have told me that it’s come to mean something special for them as well. They each have their own fascinating way of interpreting the power inherent in those trees.

This film is art for the sake of art. It was made with much generosity, from the people who let me crash on their couches to the people who backed the Kickstarter to people who just wanted to pitch in: thank you. This would not have been possible without your help.

Every spare cent I make goes back into creating art. If you’d like to see me keep doing what I’m doing please consider purchasing a download or a print at jeff-frost.com, or PayPal me at jeff@jeff-frost.com

Thanks for watching!

GEAR:
Dynamic Perception provided motion control gear for this project. They’re a great company run by an awesome dude (hi Jay!), and their product is rugged and reliable. Check them out at dynamicperception.com.

Jeff Frost: Circle Of Abstract Ritual


Posted in Timelapse, Videos

Jeff Frost: Story of Abstract Ritual — Circle of Abstract Ritual

Some time ago I came across the work of Jeff Frost — part photographer, part videographer, part alchemist. Media and metaphysics—two of my favorites. Not long ago he had a Kickstarter campaign. He had me at:

It’s art for the sake of art.

Read More»


Posted in Color Photography, Timelapse, Videos