Tag Archive for 'photography'

Hanging on too long

With the decision to move having been made, today is the day the culling process starts. Sitting next to my desk is a collection of art and photography magazines that I collected before I moved to London in 2001. Not Only Black + White Magazine was pretty cutting edge in it’s time, featuring profiles of artists and photographers along with interviews and art nude editorials on Australian celebrities of the time. Sports stars, musicians, actors and other personalities all made their way onto the pages of N.O.B+W magazine.

It was where I discovered the work of my favourite photographer in the world, James Houston as well as the talented Paul Freeman. Both guys got their break in the pages of this publication and followed up in the pages of it’s gay equivalent that came along a few years later Not Only Blue. Both magazines were physically large publications and expensive by magazine standards at the time. I’ve hung on to these editions for years and I don’t want to get rid of them as there are some beautiful photographs as well as great memories in their pages but if I’m honest with myself, I never look at them. There are some special editions like The Sydney Dream full of Olympians and The Album full of musicians that I will hang on to but it’s time to cull.

Still for sale

Now that the decision to move has been made, it’s time to take stock of what has been accumulated in five years of living here and start to cull all the excess. Several years ago looking down the barrel of moving for the third time in just over 12 months, someone said “You can clean out all the junk.” At the time, there wasn’t anything left to clean out. That is certainly not the case now.

In amongst all the junk there are lots of pieces of my photography. There are a couple of framed prints left over from my first exhibition “Shrouded” and several from the second exhibition “Freedom“. There are also the four large (unframed) prints from the group exhibition earlier this year “Company of Men”  that I was a part of in Melbourne and Sydney (pictured above). Prices can be negotiated for those interested in purchasing any of the work. It should be seen on a wall rather than hidden away in storage as it is now.

Photography is just a hobby for me at the moment and putting together the exhibitions gives me a lot of joy but it’s a tough gig to try and sell art. I don’t have the name or reputation that generates wild sales so it’s a costly business to exhibit without a guarantee of even breaking even. I still wouldn’t give it up.

Not sure why.

For those of you who were quick enough last night to see the original images that went with my post about the weekend’s photo shoot, you’ll notice now that there is only one image with the post. Shortly after I posted it, the model told me he wasn’t comfortable with any images showing that he was nude going online. Keep in mind this is a guy that had seen my work and liked it knowing full well clearly, that I shoot mostly male nudes. The model had been chasing me to do the shoot for weeks so it’s rather frustrating to then have him change his mind and say the nudes can’t go online.

He was happy for me to use the images in the exhibition and if I put another book together but as anyone knows, marketing an exhibition or book is going to be done largely online through social media. The rest of his shoot wasn’t successful enough for me to have enough images to use without using any of the nudes and too many portraits of the same person will be overkill.

It’s not unusual for me to use non-professional models. I can’t afford to pay models as photography is still a hobby for me and both exhibitions have barely done any better than breaking even on costs. Having said that I quite like using people I know and non-professionals as they don’t have any bad modelling habits that they get into doing typical “model” poses. I guess I just have to keep trying my luck. There are a couple more shoots I have lined up for this series before it’s done and I’m really happy with where it’s all going. I need to lock in one or two more models and I’m set.

Another shoot done.

On Saturday, I photographed Haris who had come up from Wollongong to do the shoot after weeks of delays and setbacks with lighting. It wasn’t my best shoot. The concept hadn’t been fully fleshed out in my head and I’m suffering from a cold/flu thing at the moment so my energy levels were low. Going through the photos this morning my fears were partly confirmed and I wasn’t loving the results but there are a few images I’m happy with. Whether or not they make the cut for the Tribal exhibition will remain to be seen but I’m getting better at letting go of shoots that aren’t as successful these days. I do love the richness in the colour that has come out in these shots. They also capture Haris’ soulful eyes I think.

A few years ago I was watching a documentary on Annie Liebovitz and she was given some advice that I have kept in mind ever since and I think a lot more photographers could do well to remember. Editing is crucial. I don’t mean the retouching part of the editing process but rather the culling process. Weed out more. Having a large number of shots in a portfolio doesn’t mean it’s been a good shoot. Often you see a photographer or a model with a dozen images from the same shoot or setup and it gets repetitive. When it comes time to put on this exhibition I will be showing at most, three images per shoot.

TMF #13 is here!

The new TMF Magazine by Dylan Rosser is out now containing a short Q&A I did with photographer Bryan Nevin. As usual TMF is full of gorgeous photos of beautiful men and interviews with models and photographers. Dylan Rosser is always showcasing great talent in the magazine and it’s a very affordable read.

Bryan Nevin works with a lot of gorgeous porn stars and fitness models. The guy with all the tattoos above is packing some serious meat so go along and buy your copy now!

I’ve been updated!

As a graphic designer there are many different avenues you can go down with your career. Sadly Web design has largely passed me by as it’s a very different mindset to print design which is my background. The idea, however, of getting someone else to do my website when I am a designer, is something that I’ve struggled with so I usually leave my website to languish unattended for way too long. Thankfully Adobe have come along with some great software that is very similar in it’s use to a print layout piece of software but which you can add web functionality to it and publish it to the web. So after way too long being neglected, my website is all fresh and new with a revamped layout and new content. The design is still similar to the old site and by no means will this win any awards but it’s all up and running, so go and have a look at brentonparry.com.

Some inspiration

PROPHECY

There’s an idea I’ve had for a piece to be included in my next photography series that would be quite a stand alone piece but hopefully work with the rest of the tribal images.

While all the shots I’ve done so far have been simple set-ups in the small studio space we set up at home, I’m taking inspiration from the piece above called “The Prophecy” which was the result of Beautiful Mag collaborating with models and photographer and digital artist Aymeric Giraudel. The trick is going to be finding a suitable location to photograph, under the right conditions so that I can put all the models, which will be photographed in the studio, into the location in a realistic or believable way.

If it all works I’d love to print it really large to be quite an imposing piece in the exhibition. Whenever that happens.

Running away…

TODD-SANFIELD

This week has been a really tough week at work with some successes and some frustrating technical dramas and management rubbish, but one of the highlights of the week was my copy of Virgin Island arriving in the post. The latest collaboration between model Todd Sanfield and photographer Kevin McDermott is so lush and beautiful that it couldn’t do anything but put a smile on your face and a lump in your pants.

Todd has made a real name for himself with his modeling, his underwear line and that ridiculous body. He’s also a seriously intelligent, squeezing all the modeling and underwear mogul activities in between his pharmacy studies. Down the track he wants to make headway in HIV research. From everything I have ever seen and can find on Todd, he’s always avoided specifying his sexuality which I think is great. If he’s straight he’s smart enough to not alienate his primary audience, gay men, and if he’s gay he’s keeping the gay boys interested by being mysterious.

It’s rare that one model can hold interest for an entire coffee table book and Todd does it easily in this book and the predecessor, Motel Hotel. Mostly through beautiful photography by Kevin McDermott combined with Todd’s amazing body and beautiful masculine brooding looks but also partly because he’s not afraid of getting it all out for the camera and even getting it hard.

The right inspiration

Back when I was studying graphic design all those many years ago, my illustration teacher told us that if you are going to use reference material then you need to choose the RIGHT reference material and she was dead right. So many people in the performance or artistic world are being “inspired” by the wrong material. Just because someone else has done it doesn’t mean it’s good. Sure you may be able to use it to build something magical but maybe not. Conversely choosing great reference material doesn’t always guarantee success. How many times have we seen up and coming celebrities being made up like Marylin or Audrey Hepburn for a photo shoot and looking like a cheap Halloween knock off.

Thankfully Bell Soto have done a stellar job with this video. I’m not sure if it was actually for a fashion label or as a bit of an editorial promotion like a video version of a magazine spread. The two male models look incredible in this not just relying on the pouty androgyny that is so common these days. They look like old school performers getting ready for the theatre backstage. When I saw this I immediately thought of the image above of Vladimir by the legendary photographer Herb Ritts who died 11 years ago. I would even guess that Ritts was inspired by performers like Nureyev.

Wherever the inspiration has come from using classic theatrical makeup references and using male models who are masculine but comfortable in that slightly feminine realm has really worked to create a beautiful video.

PERFORMANCE from Bell Soto on Vimeo.

Another tribal shoot

Some of you might remember seeing Nathan before on the pages of this blog. He was the brave soul that let me paint him in the window of an art gallery at an opening a few months back. That also led to me introducing him to Ross Watson and Nathan being immortalised on canvas.

Today I painted Nathan again in a similar way for the tribal series of photos that I’m working on. It was a technically challenging shoot today as I was forced to use just one light as a globe exploded yesterday while I was doing another shoot and there was something going on with the one light that was working. Despite all that, I’m really happy with the results. Nathan is very easy to work with and takes direction really well.

I still haven’t workout out when I’ll put this exhibition on for public display. Financial concerns are the main issue and I keep having ideas that will work well with the theme. Stay tuned.

Would it work?

A lot of friends have started asking about when my next exhibition is going to be. To be honest I have no idea. The last exhibition “Freedom” didn’t sell very well and putting on an exhibition is a costly exercise. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have AussieBum sponsor both Shrouded and Freedom exhibitions which helped enormously with covering costs but an exhibition is an expensive endeavour to put on. The total cost of putting on that last one was about $4,000 including printing, framing, gallery hire and the costs associated with having an opening night.

One way I had thought of doing it was to start a kickstarter or similar crowd sourced project with varying levels of support garnering different benefits. This time around I’m toying with the idea of having one large image (60cm x 90cm) and 2 or 3 smaller images (20cm x 30cm) from each of the shoots and each image would be available in a limited number in either size. If someone paid $500 (for example) they would receive a large signed, limited print of their choice from the exhibition or if they paid $100 they would get a signed, limted print at the smaller size of their choice.

The draw back would be that the people donating the money, or effectively buying a print, wouldn’t receive their piece until some time after donating. I’m just not sure I can afford to outlay all the money to hold an exhibition again and not cover my expenses.

So many hits!

Fourteen months ago I uploaded a video trailer for my photography book Aussielicious Men to vimeo. I can’t believe that it’s had over 94,000 hits! That’s so awesome. It still averages over 100 hits per day. The book hasn’t sold many copies at all on blurb but that’s ok. It was a book that I felt that I needed to put together for myself as much as anything. It was never a money making venture that’s for sure. If I’d been planning on getting rich from it I’d be sorely disappointed by now. I wonder if we can get it up to 100,000 views? Feel free to share it.

Aussielicious Men Trailer from Brenton Parry on Vimeo.

More nude Olympians

Every year ESPN releases a Body Issue full of nude athletes and this year is no exception. Any time you get a talented photographer taking photos of celebrities you are usually set for an interesting result. When those celebrities are nude athletes in prime physical condition then the results will be something that should be on a gallery wall. Michael Phelps joins the ranks this year and boy does he have a tanline. Also featured is Aussie sailor Jimmy Spithill on the far left. I can’t find who the photographer was on this edition. I assumed at first that it was Annie Leibovitz but watching a couple of the behind the scenes videos on the ESPN site, it’s a guy that I don’t know.

I don’t know who a lot of the athletes are but Giancarlo Stanton, who apparently plays baseball for the Miami Marlins looks so sculpted on the cover. I swear, you can’t go wrong with adding water to a beautiful body. Shiny goodness. The basketball player in the middle looks fantastic. Firstly he’s a beautiful guy with an absolutely rocking body but his image is saturated in beautiful delicious colours and lighting that is perfection.

Congratulations Peter!

After the initial round of voting and now a tie-breaker round of voting we finally have a winner. Congratulations to Peter who sent in this adorable photo of himself smooching his boyfriend on for the Portrait photography challenge. Peter will receive a print of Allan’s winning movement challenge photo from the last challenge as his prize. There were some stunning shots in this challenge so thank you to everyone who took part. Give me a couple of months to come up with another theme and we’ll have another challenge.

Time for a Tiebreaker!

Well the voting has closed on the Portrait Challenge and we have a tie! So now we need to vote again but this time just between the two portraits that both received 31 votes (13%). The two portraits are the images featured above. On the left is Peter’s Portrait of a Kiss and on the right is Ali’s portrait of Paul. Voting closes on Friday Sydney time to resolve this deadlock. Congratulations to the two entries and to everyone that entered. Let’s see who is the favourite!

Which Portrait should win?

  • Peter's portrait of a kiss (65%, 188 Votes)
  • Ali's portrait of Paul (35%, 100 Votes)

Total Voters: 288

Loading ... Loading ...