A Life, A Lifetime, and a Tie

the-tie

John Thomas Banta had over 200 ties.

Most were bold, loud, occasionally whimsical and always hard-to-miss.

In short, they were very much like him. He dressed for occasions, often wearing his wildly interesting ties. And he lit up the room with his presence. He was a big man and could be intimidating at first… but only for a few moments. His generous warmth won over even his detractors. Everyone liked him.

I never met the man, but from what I know about him from a wonderful letter from his daughter, I would have liked him. A lot.

He was proud and giving, fair and honest, and deeply loved being someone who was thought of as a helper.

He went in to the hospital for a simple knee surgery, and didn’t leave. His body formed a clot, and it took this great man down.

One week later, a blood clot nearly took me down… but I did come back.

Yesterday I received a beautiful note from his daughter and a beautiful tie from his collection. It is bold, colorful and unapologetically wild. Susan Barta has sent his collection of ties to people who she thinks her dad would have wanted to have them.

I am on that list. And I received this tie.

And I will wear it with pride, sir.

I will indeed wear it with pride.

 

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

“What Should Photographers Charge in 2014?” – A Discussion with Rosh Sillars

My bud Rosh Sillars’ recent article on “What Should Photographers Charge in 2014?” really hit home with me and a lot of my Project 52 PRO’s. Pricing and figuring out what to charge is always a very difficult part of starting a photo business, and Rosh takes a very pragmatic, and value producing look at this timeless conundrum.

A significant truth:

“Here is the bottom line:  You can’t win if you play the lowest-price game. You can’t beat free and stay in business. Friends with cameras, cell phones and free stock photography are going to win every time if you don’t have something better to offer.”

Rosh makes the point that setting ourselves apart from the mediocre, and the mundane is absolutely necessary. Whether in the work we do or the way we do business, bringing value to the table for our clients is a game changer.

Another real world challenge is that the day of the ‘button pusher’ is over. Amateurs with talent can make images that are far beyond what the best shooters were able to make 20 years ago. The technical skill involved is learnable for free, and there are many, many talented people with great ‘eyes’ for imagery.

You simply cannot be “average” anymore.

“Just because your friends and family tell you that you have a good eye doesn’t mean people will pay you for your photography.  We are in the heyday of photography. Photos are everywhere. Unfortunately, being able to create an in-focus, well-exposed and nicely composed photograph is not enough for a photography career.  You need more.”

I hope you enjoy this interview and the great questions that were asked by our Project 52 PRO’s.

Thanks for watching.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Shooting a Beer with Rui Bandeira

Cerveja Letra for Don

We have so many talented people in the Project 52 PRO group. Meet Rui Bandeira.

He shared this shot with my last night and I knew I had to share it with you all. Here is Rui:

“Hi,

I had 3 goals for this shot:
1) it had to be fresh and make the viewer desire to drink it
2) keep the bootle, the lable and the glass important
3) keep a traditional and rustic look

I made the image with a Canon 5DmKII and 100mm L MacroII

After deciding on the framing I wanted I started the shooting.

I knew I would do some compositing so I started by making the base shot. I would then build the rest of the shots i needed based on my drawn comp.

After the base shot I started doing the images needed for the comp.

I had to do a few images with a gold card for the interior of the bottle and glass, for doing this I hand moved the flash so I could get it pointing to the cards.

For doing the bottle images I removed the glass, and for the glass images I removed the bottle.

After having all the images, it was time to composit it all in Photoshop.

You can see a hi Res image here.”

Thanks Rui. Below are some shots Rui furnished for the shoot. See more of Rui’s work at his website.

Ingredients_Lighting_Diagrams

2014_03_20_4920

2014_03_20_4922

 

Here is a GIF that shows the process.

Cervejaletra

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

ISLA: A New Book by Ernesto Bazan, Photographer

“No, I don’t [do assignments]. I stopped doing that, more or less, when I decided to become a teacher in 2002. Because of my workshops, I had to leave Cuba in 2006, which is ironic. I fund all my work thanks to the generosity of my students. This will be the third self-published book now. In exchange for their support, I usually give them two options. The first is to pre-acquire a limited edition of the book. I’ve done the same with ISLA. Of course some who could afford the limited edition of one book cannot any longer, but there’s a hardcore group of students that have bought all three limited editions of each book.

 

The economic situation is what it is, but these students can help me by buying these books at over $1000 each. That is the foundation of how I build a book. Even if they can’t buy the limited edition, their names will be a part of the thank you note at the end of the book. I think that by helping these students to take better pictures over all these years, I’ve developed all of these incredible friendships and I’ve also had the unique and amazing, priceless privilege of just concentrating on taking my own photographs over the last thirteen years.”

– Ernesto Bazan

The entire article is here. It is long, but full of insight.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

What Is The Biggest Problem with Your Photography?

The biggest problem may also be the one that most people focus on. No pun intended.

“So let’s get the elephant out of the bag most of you keep it in and into the room where we can discuss it: most people are complaining about their cameras because otherwise they’d have to put the blame for their photography on themselves. It’s the camera’s fault their photograph isn’t great. Or maybe the lens’ fault. Not theirs. 

 

Now don’t get me wrong. If you managed to take an incredible photo of a compelling subject in a way that the world hadn’t seen before and it was with a D600 that was throwing lubricant and dust onto the upper left area of the photograph, you’d be pissed. Equipment can get in the way of your enjoyment. But let me also be clear: you’d still have a great photograph, though you’d be spending a lot of time cloning out the crud the D600 put into the photo. Generally we don’t want our photo gear adding to the tasks we have to do in our workflow, which is one of the reasons why the D600 shutter issue was such a big deal and has really hurt Nikon’s credibility with users. One Nikon technical support person apparently suggested to one of this site’s readers that they not use such small apertures or take time-lapse images. Really? Then why are the features there?”

– Thom Hogan

It is always interesting to me how much discussion goes into the crap we use and how little goes into the crap we produce.

Perhaps we should change that around.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Photographs = Communication = New Creative

Photographs as communication.

The new uses of photography continues to grow.

“It’s not that my memory improved but, instead, that I started archiving these events and ideas with my phone, as photographs. Now, if I want to research the painter whose portraits I admired at the museum, I don’t have to read through page after page of my chicken scratch trying to find her name. When I need the title of a novel someone recommended, I just scroll back to the day we were at the bookstore together.

Looking through my photo stream, there is a caption about Thomas Jefferson smuggling seeds from Italy, which I want to research; a picture of a tree I want to identify, which I need to send to my father; the nutritional label from a seasoning that I want to re-create; and a man with a jungle of electrical cords in the coffee shop, whose picture I took because I wanted to write something about how our wireless lives are actually full of wires. Photography has changed not only the way that I make notes but also the way that I write. Like an endless series of prompts, the photographs are a record of half-formed ideas to which I hope to return.”

– Casey N Sep

I am working on something that is so far out of the box for me that it is a kind of a whole new path.

With an iPhone.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts