Monthly Archives: October 2010

woot! you, me and everyone we know…

This is the banner that is currently running on Overtone and which features as the headline on the press release as well. It was made by the fabulous designers of Taluut Design in  the Netherlands.

And *finally* sent out invitations and created a facebook events page which you can find here: http://tinyurl.com/2v8plb3
I want the whole world to come so please feel free to invite as many people as you like … seriously all mothers, fathers, boyfriends and girlfriends… the milkman and the butcher, your grandma and her dog *and* the cute boy next door… invite them!

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Ou est le Swimming Pool

Busy and awesome days. My family from the NL just got down here last Saturday and I am trying to mix spending time with them and working a “full day in half a day”. So far so good except that I haven’t blogged or tweeted all that much. Otherwise, all’s pretty darn good.
 
I have a shoot this morning with a fashion designer,  an online campagne is running on Overtone, press releases are being sent out as I type this, negotiations are being held with Orms who will do the printing and framing, talks and drinks are being had with the Grand Daddy people who are doing a fab job on organizing the party side of it all, a video is being shot and edited, copyright clearances are being made for the music in the video. The project is the first thing I work on in the morning and the last thing at night. I’d say that yes, absolutely, I am becoming slightly monomaniacal about it all but it’s cool too.
 
In between all this I am showing my family around town or places like Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Noordhoek, Bo-Kaap, Woodstock or Cape point and we’re eating food and drinking whiskey & wine like there’s no tomorrow.
Oh and I moved from Noordhoek to Capri to Fresnaye in a week. I am quite the “schlepper” by now:-)
 
In other news, yay, I see Giant Sand has a new album out. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet just like so many other records at the moment… The title for this blog post comes from a UK band called “Ou est le swimming pool” … I haven’t listened all that much to them yet but the title seemed apt… Yet now I really just want to listen to Harlem… Gay Human Bones! Friendly Ghost! I live in a graveyard, I want to go out but it’s too hot…. lalalalalala”. It’s been out for a while now, on Matador Records… and well, damn, you gotta love Matador home of Belle & Sebastian, Interpol, Bettie Serveert, Cat Power (Cat Power!!), Pavement, Yo la Tengo, Dum Dum Girls, Sonic Youth, Solex, Bettie Serveert… :-))))) Yeah! That yeah should be said like the mc (G.E. Smith or Kris Kristofferson, can’t remember) said it when introducing Johnny Cash at Bob Fest (Bob Dylan’s 30th anniversary celebrations with Booker T and the MG’s as the house band, how awesome is that?!) explaining that when Bob Dylan first met Johnny Cash he just walked up and around him like he was a big tree and said Yeah!
That’s the “yeah” i mean:-)
 

Pinelands Left Foot Step Down

Yesterday’s was an awesome day of  shooting. A long day but an awesome day. I met up with Verity late morning and just made our way to the Hip Hop clothing factorystraight away. I had never been to Hip Hop and had no idea what to expect. Turns out the factory is above the {field office} in town. Cool. I like that place.
The pink curtains didn’t make me feel very confident about what we would find *inside* but man, as soon as you go inside it’s like you falling down the rabbit hole. Clothes, clothes, clothes. Green, red, black, yellow, grey, purple, checkered, stripes, flowers, embroidered, sparkly, see through, petty coated, long, short, shiny, it’s all there. It’s awesome. There were four racks of clothing we could freely chose from and if we needed any help, just say so. That’s another thing about Hip Hop, everybody is super friendly, helpful and enthusiastic about what they do. See, it really like falling down the rabbit hole and being twirled around by a smiling hare offering you a hoompa-loompa accompanied trip down the yellow brick road.
 
After about an hour or so of trying on outfits we made our way down to the {field office} for  some coffee and a sandwich and we were good to go.
 
The idea was to shoot at Oude Molen in Pinelands, find that hippie, trippy car or some broken down wall and just start shooting. While  driving around the place we spotted some old beat up bus in a vegetable pad and that seemed way cooler than the hippie, trippy car which also happened to be covered in shade and wasn’t nearly as cool as I remember. Beat up bus it is then. Or so we thought… The darn thing was behind a closed fence… Off we went trying to find somebody who could let us in. The bar lady? Nope. Some random guy? Nope. The horse guy then? Aaahhhh maybe. The horse guy could at least lead us to The Guy Who Could Let Us In If He Like Us. As soon as I heard the Guy Who Could Let Us In was also known as Opa Jono I knew we were in. And yup, we were.
 
So off we went, pretty dresses in our arms and a camera in hand. Opa Jono and the horse guy settled down nicely on a chair and watched us for a while but fortunately grew tired of it pretty quickly. We shot on, in and around the bus, trying out different outfits and poses.
After nearly two hours at Oude Molen we figured we’d done enough and headed home to the deep south. Relaxed a little bit at Verity’s house and decided it was a pity not to use that gorgeous black dress so should we maybe try for a few more shots? Hell yeah. Must have been around 6 o’clock already and the sun was slowly setting, the wind was picking and it started to get cold. We wondered around the wetlands for a while, took a few photos and called it a day. I say it was a fab day.
Oh yes, there a new The Bees album out! Awesome! Love love love The Bees. Every Step’s a Yes:-) Title … yes from The Bees ‘Octopus’ album….

Pills ‘n Thrills and Bellyaches

And just like that things change. I wrote an entire blog post on how I was a bit worried. Not exactly stressed yet but worried as a lot of emails seem to be floating in space and no one is replying. And there are 3 shoots left to do and am having a hard time getting hold of people. I have some time left but slowly getting a bit anxious. Yeah, anxious is the right word. I even have a stomach ache…  
Then I got a Facebook message from a friend saying a photo of mine made it into the Cape Times this morning. At the same time an email popped in asking when I would like to do the shoot. Then another email with the pdf file with the article/photo. 
 
And then I checked www.overtone.co.za and there’s the banner that my friends at www.taluut.nl made for my project. Invitations should be ready soon as well. Wow. It almost seems real:-) I am going to have an exhibition. A solo exhibition. A solo exhibition in Cape Town. Cape Town as in South Africa as in not my home country. Nice. I am almost inclined to say that it is a happy Monday. If I was an optimist or even a realist that would be true.
The photo in the Cape Times is a photo that is currently on show at the Museum Gallery. It was taken for the Swimming Upstream project but didn’t make the selection. It’s a portrait of fashion designer Hendrik Vermeulen and we shot it in Tokai a while back. I will post more on that later.
 They’re playing Live on the radio. I hate Live. So I’ll just play something I do like… The Sonics, ‘The Witch’… Maybe some Jon Spencer Blues Explosion next… Now that will get my Monday started properly:-)
And yes, of course, the title is from the Happy Monday’s third album.
But you knew that already:-)  
 
 
 

As Long As You Can Whistle

It’s one of those in between days – Not feeling  100%, not sick either. I have sent out emails requesting a shoot but am waiting to hear back. The designers are busy are making online banners and an email invitation, and the press release is under review on a friend’s computer.
 
I watched ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ last night, the original of course. I can’t be bothered to watch the 1999 remake. I think the story is quite thin but man, Faye Dunaway is stunning and love love some of the outfits she wears. The dress she’s wearing when they’re playing chess, wow. The chess scene is hot in any case; the close-ups of faces, lips, arms, hands caressing chess pieces, you can feel the sexual tension rising. I love the late 60’s feel of the movie. The clothes, the cars, the use of split screens, it’s old-fashioned but in a good way. The pace of the movie is good too.  I’ve never been a big fan of Steve McQueen but after having seen Papillon, the Great Escape and now the Thomas Crown affair and must admit the man is handsome to say the least;-)
 
 Thing is that I’ve been watching quite a few escape movies lately and ‘Papillon’ was cool but apparently the book is better (Shannon:-)) and the whole isolation cell scenes are terrible but not nearly as claustrophobic and upsetting as Javier Bardem’s scenes in ‘Before Night Falls’ or even Paul Newman in ‘Cool Hand Luke’.  ‘Before Night Falls’ wins hands down in the claustrophobic department. Speaking of that movie, Johnny Depp as Bon Bon is fabulous, never realized how hot Olivier Martinez is until this movie and Sean Penn as Cuco Sanchez is cool too.
Cool Hand Luke spawned the classic line “What we got here, is (a) failure to communicate” which, according to Wikipedia, made it to #11 in on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 most memorable movie lines. I should check out that list.  
 
My personal favorite must be on there, I’m sure: “you do know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow” by Lauren Bacall in  ‘To have and have not’. It’s not just the line that I love. It’s the tension between them, the black and white, the lighting’s stunning. Yes, I got a thing for Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart:-)
 
 
Time to go outside. Hope you’ll have a great weekend:-) I’m watching Butch Cassidy & the Sundance kid tonight. I’ll post about the project some other day.

Swanlights Tshepo Moche

 Why don’t we try the big knife? It seemed like a good idea. Oranges, pineapples, a blender, a pan. Not just any pan, an orange frying pan. The knife was only because the dog didn’t like to be held.
 
We are in a gorgeous house in the Bo-Kaap and I am doing a shoot with Tshepo Moche, a young AFDA student who will graduate this November. I really wanted someone at the beginning of their career as well just to show the whole process. And I hadn’t photographed anyone in the city yet so this was a wonderful opportunity to do so. You can’t really tell by the photos that it is in the city but I know and that’s enough for now.
 
No, we did not need the knife because the dog didn’t want to be held. The idea was for Tshepo to be this bored house wife holding smokes and a cute blond doggie. The doggie didn’t like it and the house was smoke free so we nixed the idea.
 
I struggled a little bit with the light. I like using just natural light and I have been doing so throughout this project and didn’t want to change that. I managed though. We shot in the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen and back to the living room again.
 
The awesome news is that we have also started working on a video for this project. Cait Pansegrouw and Pierre de Villiers are shooting it and I am so lucky to have them on board. It will be so cool and can’t wait to see what the final product will look like:-)
I haven’t done much all morning. Just emailed a bit, sent through interviews from last week and edited one photo. Ai. Time to go out for a run.
The rest of the week will see me editing the photos from yesterday and a couple still more to do from Lauren’s shoot as well. I may do a shoot on Thursday but that’s still up in the air. I will pay a visit to the Museum Gallery once again to go over the press release and set  things up properly tomorrow. I will likely meet up with Tshepo after that so we can do the Swimming Upstream interview. We never got round to it yesterday. Too many knives, oranges, coffees, baths and playing dress up to distract us. It was a cool day.
The photo above is just an outtake from yesterday’s shoot. The title comes from Antony & the Johnsons new album. I don’t really like them but I like the title:-)

C’mon Billy

I have two more weeks to finish. I have more time but I am trying to finish everything before my family comes out for a visit. That is, the parts that I have control over. Finish all the edits, write the press release, make sure the banner has been sent to Overtone, send out all invitations, send files to Orms, set up interviews with the press etc etc.
I am a bit in two minds as to what to do with the invitations. On the one I think it is good to send them out 3 weeks in advance but on the other I think a lot of people, especially those that don’t know me but who are interested in photography or in any of the artists taking part, may just decide a week or so in advance. I know that’s what I do. You check the current events calendars and see if you have time. Or you’re simply in the mood for free drinks, socializing and some art. Unless somebody tells that there will be an Anton Corbijn exhibition or Robert Capa one or something like that cause then I’ll book and make sure I’m there. Sigh, if only. It’s so odd to me that the World Press Photo doesn’t travel to Cape Town. Why not actually? That would almost be a dream job. Set it up over here and do my own work at the same time…
 
I saw Tim Burton’s ‘Big Fish’ again last night. Love, love, love that movie. Albert Finney and Jessica Lange. Wow. Love the colors, the imagination behind it, and who wouldn’t want an Edward Bloom day once a year where everything is just fabulous and magical? And I totally want someone who’ll climb into the bath with me when I’m old and sick. 
 
It’s funny eh how some images influence you or stay with you for a long time. I think the photo below of Bob Dylan by Barry Feinstein is such an image. It’s such a fantastic image, so well composed, such awesome black&white tones and sums up feelings of isolation, adoration, estrangement, intrusion, boredom, ouside world vs inner world, trying to just do your thing… Or like the first image above, by Edward Hopper ‘Excursions in Philosophy’.  He has such an awesome sense of composition and light, often using light as a way of showing revelation and casting long, symbolic shadows and depicting scenes of extreme loneliness, regret and maybe even estrangement within the American rural and urban landscape.
There are so many inspiring portrait and music photographers out there but being a Dutchie and growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I grew up with images taken by Anton Corbijn, Niels van Iperen and Charles Peterson. When Anton Corbijn still had his one page in music magazine OOR a gazillion years ago, I would buy the magazine just for that. I would always be a little jealous while looking at his work. I’m jealous in any case of people who are being paid to travel, who get to see the world and meet people for a living. I know you can say the same thing f.e. about flight attendants but it’s not quite the same:-)
 
I have a photo shoot with a young ADFA graduate trying to make it as a director this afternoon. Should be interesting:-) Will talk about it later.
Listening to Agnes Obel ‘Philharmonic’, The Sore Losers self titled album and still Mark Ronson and the Business Intl’s ‘Record Collection’ and bang bang bang is still my favorite:-)
left: PJ Harvey by Anton Corbijn.
And yes, the title is a P.J. Harvey song:-)