Archive for January, 2013

Sebastian Liste And “Tough” Pictures

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 28, 2013 by johnbuckley100

A few weeks back, on the Leica Blog, members of the D.C. street photography collective Strata had a wonderful joint interview with its various members, including the redoubtable Matt Dunn.  Something that stood out from the interview was a quote from Steve Goldenberg, who said, “One of the biggest principles that drives our work is best encapsulated by Joel Meyerwitz: we aim to make images that are “tough”. As he said, “‘Tough’ meant it was an uncompromising image, something that came from your gut, out of instinct, raw, of the moment, something that couldn’t be described in any other way. So it was tough. Tough to like, tough to see, tough to make, tough to understand. The tougher they were the more beautiful they became.”

We thought of that quote this morning when reading, in last week’s New Yorker, Jon Lee Anderson’s takedown of Hugo Chavez’s dystopian Caracas, which was illustrated by one of the most amazing sets of photographs in modern photojournalism. Sebastian Liste is a 26-year old Spaniard whose work in Brazil is in a league of its own.  If you ever wanted to know what Meyerwitz meant when talking about “tough” pictures, look at his work.  In its content, composition, and in kohl-dark contrast, every image of his we’ve seen is nigh on breathtaking.

We admit we hadn’t seen his work before, but at an amazingly young age, he’s making his mark.  From his website:

Sebastian´s work has been internationally recognized by POYi, The Overseas Press Club, Sony WPO, NPPA, Lucie Awards, PDN Photo Annual, Paris PX3, Anthropographia Human Rights Award, Daylight/CDS Awards, CENTER Awards, Freelens Awards, The PGB Awards, Reinassance Prize, Terry O´Neill Award, among others. In 2011 Sebastian was also selected to participate in the 18th World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.

In 2012 Sebastian was announced as the winner of the City of Perpignan Rémi Ochlik Award, the Community Awareness Award at POYi, as one of the 30 photographers to watch at PDN 30 and received a Citation at the Olivier Rebbot Award. In addition he received a Magnum Emegency Found Grant to develop his new project in the Brazilian Amazon.

Fortunately, to bring this post full circle, Liste is represented by a lone gallery, and it happens to be in D.C.  Tough pictures.  Amazing photographer. Go check out the pictures from the New Yorker piece.  Then check out everything else.

Don’t Tell Fox News

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 23, 2013 by johnbuckley100

We found a woman with Federal Obama Notes.  The scandal could be huge.  Leica M9, 35mm Summilux FLE, Inauguration Day.

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Widowspeak’s “Almanac” Is A Compendium Of Facts About An Emerging Great Band

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on January 23, 2013 by johnbuckley100

When Widowspeak’s eponymous first album was released in 2011, you’d have been forgiven for thinking it was that Mazzy Star reunion we’ve all been waiting for.  Robert Earl Thomas was less adventurous than Dave Roback, maybe, though certainly his equal in sonic tastefulness, and singer Molly Hamilton sounded a lot like Hope Sandoval, minus the otherworldliness.  Now they are back with Almanac, and have surer footing, and a more aggressive pace, and we feel confident that the path they are on will take them far.

They make good partners, Thomas and Hamilton, as he shapes the sound with his lead guitar while she holds down the rhythm guitar parts forging the melody with artful phrasing.  Her voice stretches the canvas on which the songs are written across a fairly narrow frame.  Most times a baby doll husk, occasionally it loses all substance and recedes entirely into pretty fog, like Chet Baker playing trumpet on a slow song.  Widowspeak’s limitations, such as there are, emanate from whether one can live on the sustenance provided entirely by vocal meringue, and as we’ve just today heard about a restaurant in Tokyo that serves customers meals containing actual dirt, we have found ourselves nodding, seeking just a little grit, and wondering whether Widowspeak would be more satisfying listened to in longer increments if they emulated that approach.

Pareles used a Velvet Underground reference in his recent nice write up of Almanac, and while a stopped clock is occasionally right, you won’t be surprised that we beg to differ, that we think of Widowspeak less in the context of the VU than in the fourth-degree separation that comes from a young American band actually sounding more like the black ryder’s mutation of a Morning After Girls homage to the Brian Jonestown Massacre, who actually possessed the direct link to that VU sound.  Good company, though, right? More than sounding like Mazzy Star, better than sounding like one more acolyte of the Velvet Underground, Widowspeak reminds us of that magical moment we first heard the black ryder’s Aimee Nash singing with the Morning After Girls, though others will think of Miranda Lee Richards fronting the BJM.

For his part, Robert Earl Thomas is a canny lead guitarist who sounds more delicate on Almanac than he did live last November when Widowspeak opened for Woods at that amazing show at the Red Palace.  When he plays slide, he sounds like David Byrne on “The Big Country,” which of course was an homage to Phil Manzanera playing “Prairie Rose.”  All good lineage, all good music, a band with a future that links to the past — the best kind — and an album we will be listening to, over and over, until they mercifully deliver the next one.

Big Day In Washington

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 21, 2013 by johnbuckley100

Four years later, the crowds were only slightly smaller, it seemed to us.  It was definitely warmer.  People seemed just as happy, and as proud.

Leica M9, 35mm Summilux, except where noted.

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“Every Leica Has A Soul”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 19, 2013 by johnbuckley100

Very cool promotional video from the Leica Store in Brazil, via the good folks at Leica Rumors, which tells the story of the Leica M-Monochrom as the reincarnation of Robert Capa’s Leica III.  Even though Leica’s code name for the Monochrom was Henri, after Cartier-Bresson, we love this.

Families Arriving For The Inaugural

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 19, 2013 by johnbuckley100

January 19th, 2009.  Concert the day before the Inaugural.  Leica M8, 50mm Summilux.

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And So We Gather For The Inaugural

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 18, 2013 by johnbuckley100

Leica M8, 50mm Summilux, January 20, 2009

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