Suspect Photography

words and images from david george brommer

Month: February, 2014

Climbing the Mountain – Thoughts on Finding Photographic Style

Rancho Los Cruces, Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. Sony RX10

Rancho Los Cruces, Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. Sony RX10

The Mountain. No, I’m not talking about a character form a George Martin novel or a Janes Addiction song. I’m talking about a vast project and desire to create something amazing. The Mountain is all the work ahead of you, all the plans, the complications, the raw effort. The Mountain soars in front of you, its height is dizzying and when you are in the shadow of the mountain the temptation to do nothing, to not try to move forward freezes you. Letting the mountain daunt you will be the equivalent of rolling over and going back to sleep, thus condemning you work to photographic mediocrity. But you are stronger; you will climb the mountain and figure out how to let your photographic voice soar in an orgy of style that will define your photography!

Adapting to the brutal winter of 2014 in NYC. Fujifilm Xpro1 18 mm f2.0

Adapting to the brutal winter of 2014 in NYC. Fujifilm Xpro1 18 mm f2.0

The way to go over the mountain of work ahead of you is actually quite easy. Take one step at a time and keep moving. I would now like to introduce you to something everyone one of us has in their pocket, The Goal Compass. Every great person who achieves something wonderful sets their goal compass and moves in that direction with little deviation. This doesn’t just apply to photographers, imagine Christopher Columbus and the mountain he had to climb to discover the new world. He needed ships, he needed sailors, he had to break a history of convention that stated what he wanted to do was impossible. The planning took over a decade, but he stayed the course and made his spot in history. He could not be deterred and every movement he made was aimed towards his goal. We are not explorers seeking the New World, we are photographers, and fortunately our goals are easier than Columbus.

However the Mountain does stand before us and it can be daunting. By setting the goal compass on plateaus to traverse you will be amazed at the creative ground you will cover. Here is style deconstructed and that which reveals a simple formula  serving as a map to travel over the mountain in the most expedient way.

  1. Master the camera and lens you are utilizing. Use a specific technique to create the image and perform specific post process treatments.

  2. Find subject manner you want to explore deeper. This is idea made reality in the camera viewfinder.

  3. Create a body of work around the subject and place by using the same camera and techniques.

The Euclidean triangle that is the base to developing photographic style. At what point on the triangle are you?

Note: This is an exert from my upcoming book on Finding and Developing Photographic Style. Want to learn more? Come to Brommer’s Style and Composition in NYC Workshop in April.

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Finding Photographic Style and Composition in NYC 4 Day Intensive Workshop April 17th to April 20th

Message Man in Chelsea

Finding Photographic Style and Composition in NYC  is a four day intensive workshop to develop your style and advance your composition skills with classroom sessions, assignments, museum and gallery visits, critiques, and guided photo walks in some of NYC’s iconic neighborhoods led by David Brommer. Photographers who are looking to perfect their skills and spend every waking moment in the city that never sleeps will be taking advantage of high level instruction and techniques with an emphasis on creating a body of work that will feature their own voice. Being exposed to new visual concepts and photographs from a series of visits to selected Chelsea galleries and two iconic photo collections at ICP and MoMA, students will ultimately build a solid portfolio of images.

chelsea

Classroom sessions: In this part of the program, David Brommer will deliver his two signature lectures “Finding Photographic Style” and “Composition Beyond the Rule of Thirds”  to give you the right tools to create a series of compelling images during your time in NYC. The classroom will serve as a home base, providing an environment for post processing and critique sessions, as well as working as an arena to discuss ideas and evaluate progress. The classroom sessions will be held at the photo department of New York Film Academy , a brand new facility in Battery Park  with state of the art classrooms with views of the Statue of Liberty and the port of NYC.

Photo Walks: The photo walks will explore iconic neighborhoods and landmarks including The Brooklyn Bridge, Lower Manhattan, Central Park, The West Village, Times Square and Grand Central Station. A live model will be available for one selected location photo shoot that will also feature a mini lighting workshop.

Gallery Visits: The neighborhood of Chelsea, with its more than 300 galleries, has the highest concentration of visual art per square foot on the entire planet. This experience will be a unique opportunity to visit key institutions and enjoy short gallery talks.  The itinerary will include Steven Kasher Gallery, Robert Mann Gallery, Bruce Silverstein Gallery and Clamp Art.

Final Party: The grand finale of the workshop will be the “Black & White” dinner, a party hosted by David Brommer and his wife Barbara. During the party the students will showcase their work and enjoy a “Black & White” menu of photography inspired gourmet dishes created by Barbara, (a chef and Bauhaus schooled artist).

Notes: This is an intensive workshop with lots of walking. It is not a basic class, it is intended for intermediate and advanced photographers. Class is strictly limited to 12 students. Be prepared to work hard, create dynamic photographs and grow as an artist.

Fee: The fee for the workshop is $699.00. Workshop is limited to a maximum of 12 students. The fee includes admission to ICP and MoMA and the final party.

Meals are not included, however we will be enjoying the vibrant NYC food scene.

Payments: A $200 dollar deposit is required to hold your reservation. The final balance is due March 31st. Students paying in full by March 1st receive a $50 discount for the workshop (for this option, please use the Early Bird Enrollment button to pay).

Chose your payment option from one of the three below:

 

Workshop Cancelled. Subscribe to this blog to find out when more will be offered.

 

The Workshop Reservation Deposit ($200.00) is NOT refundable. If you cancel before April 15th you will obtain the fee refund minus the deposit amount (i.e. Workshop cancellations are subject to a $200.00 fee).

If you wish to pay by check please email me directly for instructions and payment information.

Any students who wish to bring a Fujifilm X System camera will receive special love. However, any digital camera or iphone is recommended. While the Suspect does love film, it will be hard to add film to the critique sessions and receive instant feedback.

Any questions please feel free to email or ask in the comment field. Thank you and see you NYC soon.

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A Stroll Down Super Bowl Boulevard or How The Super Bowl Invaded NYC in 2014

Seattle Sea Hawk Fans rampage in NYC

Seattle Sea Hawk Fans rampage in NYC. Zeiss 12mm 2.8

Attention Suspect Photography Fans- Finding Photographic Style and Composition in NYC 4 Day Intensive Workshop April 17th to April 20th 2014. Early Registration Discount By March 1st. 

I’m not a jock. More of an anti-jock actually. So when the Super Bowl in 2014 invades my town I’m not excited. However there is no denying that it will have an impact on my city, and it’s my job as New York artist to document this occasion, especially when 7 blocks of Broadway is closed and turned into a Super Bowl conflagration. The Super Bowl is part sport, part commercial and all American. Broadway was transformed into a huge commercial sponsor fest for few days leading up to the big game. I figured I’d go and stroll down “Super Bowl Blvd” and see if I could find some images.

Helmets in Herald Square. Fujifilm 35 mm f1.4

Helmets in Herald Square. Fujifilm 35 mm f1.4

In case you wanted to see exactly where the sponsorship was street signs were modified. Fujifilm 35mm f1.4

In case you wanted to see exactly where the sponsorship was street signs were modified. Fujifilm 35mm f1.4

The morning of my plans to do this I posted on my Facebook my intentions and got into some lengthy discourses and what struck me the most, a number of my Facebook friends said they did the stroll and had trouble finding images. A challenge! The glove was down, can one fringe artists walk among massive commercialism and come back with a decent image or two? You be the judge.

Kids could be overwhelmed, I wonder if he will remember these days when he is grown up. Fujifilm 35mm f1.4

Kids could be overwhelmed, I wonder if he will remember these days when he is grown up. Fujifilm 35mm f1.4

It's New York after all, you have to one true fan of real NY in the mix. Long Live The Ramones!

It’s New York after all, you have to one true fan of real NY in the mix. Long Live The Ramones!

I chose to bring the Fujifilm Xpro1 with my three favorite lenses, the 12mm Zeiss, the 18mm F 2.0 (which I didn’t end up using) and the 35mm f1.4. I set the camera to B&W mode and shot away.

It's sports.. you have to have ESPN.

It’s sports.. you have to have ESPN. Fujifilm 35 mm f1.4

The crowds were daunting. Movement was a crawl. So many fans, so many New Yorkers. But we are used to crowds are we not? Zeiss 12mm f2.8

The crowds were daunting. Movement was a crawl. So many fans, so many New Yorkers. But we are used to crowds are we not? Zeiss 12mm f2.8

Later I opened everything up in Photoshop and burned the edges and did some cropping where needed. Pretty minimal, I was using the +/- exp comp due to some back lighting. I believe you getting it right in the camera and conducting minimal post process.

I don't know much about Football, but I think this position is called "The Tight End". Shot inside the NYgard store. They had models gogo sports dancing their tights. Fujifilm 35m f1.4

I don’t know much about Football, but I think this position is called “The Tight End”. Shot inside the NYgard store. They had models gogo sports dancing their tights. Fujifilm 35m f1.4

In the back of my head were the comments from the nay sayers saying they couldn’t find and image. Well it was crowded. Really crowded and I thought how the hell couldn’t you find an image in this crowd?

The Hulk and Bane showed up. After I shot them, they demanded a buck for the pose. I didn't want to piss them off, so I figured it would be best to cough up a buck before Hulk smashed. Zeiss 12mm f2.8

The Hulk and Bane showed up. After I shot them, they demanded a buck for the pose. I didn’t want to piss them off, so I figured it would be best to cough up a buck before Hulk smashed. Zeiss 12mm f2.8

I was looking forward to the Toboggan and how to shoot it. I settled on a slow shutter speed and “hail mary shot” holding still. The image was shot at 1/5th of a second at F16. The 1/5th gave me just enough blur to make it count for more than a snap shot. A tripod would have helped, but this is street shooting, no tripods allowed.

Slow shutter speed to give the subjects movement. Fujifilm 35mm f1.4

Slow shutter speed to give the subjects movement. Fujifilm 35mm f1.4

Yup, this is on Broadway. So weird, such a production.

Yup, this is on Broadway. So weird, such a production.

The lesson here is to just keep shooting and look for that image. I’m sure in 10 or 20 years looking back to when they brought a Super Bowl to NYC these images will age well.  So when its something out of the ordinary, grab your gear and shoot.

the fans, the football... the hashtag. It's 2014 all right.

the fans, the football… the hashtag. It’s 2014 all right.

~David

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