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  • pfigen commented on the blog post Camera Work: Photography An Art Form?

    2014-12-15 12:51:10View | Delete

    Photography has always been a melding of art and science and that’s one of the things that makes it special and unique. Without good technique, you generally end up with crap, but with too much emphasis on technique you end up with sterility. For many that’s an impossible line to balance on.

    I once photographed the great jazz artist Joe Zawinul at his home in Malibu. The writer for the magazine doing the interview asked Joe something to this effect – ” Joe, I know you don’t teach, but if you did, what would you say?” Joe answered something like this – “I would tell a student that anyone can learn how to play an instrument – where and how to put your fingers, but in order to become an artist, you have to learn the instrument but then throw it all away and play from inside yourself without thinking about the “how” of playing your instrument.” Not an exact quote, but the gist of which I’ve never forgotten. True for a musician and just as true for a photographer.

  • pfigen commented on the blog post Camera Work: Photography An Art Form?

    2014-12-14 15:53:06View | Delete

    Lawrence – Great images. Nice surprise seeing your name here as well. Personally, I really don’t worry about the proliferation of iPhone type of images everywhere you look. They seem perfectly appropriate for the low bar of social media, and with rare exceptions, don’t rise to the level of art, even “snapshot” art. Because there’s such a wide gap between those types of images and the photos that might actually be considered art, I never worry about the “art” types being diluted in the process. The “art” images, hopefully, will always stand on their own. As far as copy protection, someone can always take a screen shot and have a low res copy of any image anywhere online. Not much you can do about that, although I have found a few of my own, let’s say, appropriated and being sold on t-shirts, mouse pads, and even copied as paintings on Etsy.

  • While I would never in a million years vote for Mitt, I have actually been to the Ebelings ranch in Moorpark on several occasions – to photograph Jan for one of my clients. Watching him ride and knowing a lot of people in the dressage world, there is no doubt in my mind that the top riders are indeed athletes. Riding at that level is extremely good for developing the “core” strength of the rider. To watch the synergy of horse and rider together is surprisingly beautiful to watch, but has very little to do with politics other than the fact that the only people who can really afford this are typically one percenters and more likely half a percenters as well, and as such, pretty well untouched by the depression like the rest of us. If riding helped Ann Romney with her medical issues, that’s fantastic.

  • The best part of the film was the great Dyan imitation by Jackson Browne, which also for me, underscored what was missing from most of it – the debt that all musicians and folksingers in particular – have to those who came before. More of that would have provided a lot more context and interest. In the end, and we saw the film on its second day of release, while I enjoyed the archival footage, after a few weeks of reflecting on this, I’m left far less impressed than I thought I would be, and far less than something like Bela Fleck’s Throw Down Your Heart.

    Spellcheck question: The spelling of “drumer” with only one “m”. Was that on purpose, as it’s a spelling I’ve never seen anywhere.

  • pfigen commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: Merry Christmas From The Family

    2010-12-01 22:24:44View | Delete

    I first heard this back in May of ’94 when I was photographing Robert in Bandera and Luckenback. I loved it then and love it even more today. Best Christmas song ever, as far as I’m concerned. To anyone who has not had the pleasure of one of his live shows – don’t delay. They rock and everyone has a great time.