J. Grant Brittain – Documenting a culture

I was trying to find a way to introduce this post, and I found this quote from DLSR Mag. (Source)

I’ve been skateboarding since I was 8, and Grant’s photos were amongst the first I’d ever seen. They changed my life forever. I think that no other person managed to capture the awesomeness that surrounded skateboarding at that time, the beginning of a culture. We will never again feel what they felt, or recreate it today. Grant Brittain wasn’t just another skateboard photographer, for me he represents a time, a lifestyle, pointing me in the direction of what I’m doing now, so you could say that he influenced my life choices. That’s what I’m always looking for in an artist: that he doesn’t just create stuff, but that he sticks with his time, becoming a witness, a catalyst, in order to influence another generation. Grant is all this and more.

Photographer J. Grant Brittain holds one of his  photographs of local skateboarder Chris Miller at the Action Sports Retail show at the San Diego Convention Center on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. Brittain and Miller were signing to posters with the proceeds gAbout Grant:

Grant Brittain picked up a camera at the ripe old age of 25 and started shooting his friends skateboarding at the Del Mar Skate Ranch. The “Ranch” was a skatepark in a small beach town north of San Diego, California that he managed in the early 1980s, and it was there that he honed his photographic skills. After blowing massive amounts of film, he took every photo class Palomar Junior College had to offer. And with that, he felt he finally learned how to manipulate his 35mm camera.

While at college, an influential instructor introduced Brittain to the vast world of photography, and set him on his creative path. In 1983, Grant was asked to contribute skate photos to the premiere issue of TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine and became its founding Photo Editor and Senior Photographer.

Over the past twenty years, Brittain has helped TransWorld grow into the most popular skate mag in the world, and has captured the best skateboarders of the last two decades in photos that have become classics. He has also taught some of the best skate photographers, past and present, and helped them develop their own work. He hopes that they have gotten as much inspiration from him as he gets from them.

Over the years Brittain’s personal work-abstracts, portraits, landscapes and travel images-seems to draw from the opposite energy of his action images. His “off hours” are consumed by a search for calmer and more serene subjects. Still lakes at night and solitary desert forms are among the subjects of his diverse personal work. Some of his portraits of well-known athletes even manage to divulge a more reflective side of their personalities.

Few photographers have pursued so wide a range of subjects and styles. But few individuals find themselves so central to such an active community, where one’s perspective is just a notch askew of the rest, and where movement and progression is the norm.

Grant Brittain’s body of work reflects his deep involvement in an emerging youth culture, as well as his escape from it. Grant and a group of the skateboarding elite talent have left TWS and started The Skateboard Mag, check it at: theskateboardmag.com and at shops and newsstands

— Miki Vuckovich (via jgrantbrittain.com)


You can also purchase his prints over here:


Djénné Sources:

All photos are copyright J. Grant Brittain
























Infra-Red Timelapse – Karst Country

This is the motion component of the recent Karst Country exhibition shown at the BAC in Canberra ACT. This infra-red time-lapse footage features the limestone landscapes near Wee Jasper NSW – which were the focus of the Karst Country exhibition’s other prints and paintings – see karstcountry.com

This is only a very short section of a much larger project – in scope, duration and resolution (4K) – that I am currently working on with emerging cloud wrangler James van der Moezel.

The edit and music on this version were influenced by the unique constraints of public display in the specific gallery space – as well as the specific theme of the exhibition and it’s other elements. The evolution of this project will see a final completed piece which will probably vary somewhat in its content and music. We are just starting on this really – and this is the start of the start.

Technical stuff : RED Scarlet / Epic cams… Nikon glass … IR filters (R72) … CS6. Music by David Lawrence.

Note: some BTS, location and exhibition shots on the first three pages here – glenryan.tumblr.com/ – kinda outlines the whole project 🙂

Gregory Crewdson – Americano

Gregory Crewdson is an American photographer who is best known for elaborately staged scenes of American homes and neighborhoods.

GregoryCrewdson_Headshot2He doesn’t just “take” his images, he creates them, through elaborate days and weeks of invention, design, and set-up. The epic production of these movie-like images is both intensely personal and highly public: they begin in Crewdson’s deepest desires and memories, but come to life on streets and soundstages in the hills towns of Western Massachusetts. In his decade-long project “Beneath the Roses” he uses light, color and character to conjure arresting images, managing a crew of 60 amidst seemingly countless logistical and creative obstacles.

Gregory Crewdson’s photographs usually take place in small town America, but are dramatic and cinematic. They feature often disturbing, surreal events. The photographs are shot using a large crew, and are elaborately staged and lit.  He has cited the films Vertigo, The Night of the Hunter, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blue Velvet, and Safe as having influenced his style, as well as the painter Edward Hopper and photographer Diane Arbus.

The Movie:

GREGORY CREWDSON: BRIEF ENCOUNTERS follows acclaimed photographer Gregory Crewdson’s decade-long quest to create a series of haunting, surreal, and stunningly elaborate portraits of small-town American life — perfect renderings of a disturbing and imperfect world.

Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters Trailer from Benjamin Shapiro on Vimeo.


Some of his inspiring images:





















a story for tomorrow.

Such an amazing combination of storytelling, narrative, stunning visuals and sound wrapped into one short film. As you watch this film, take note of the importance of sound in visual storytelling.


“This video was written and produced while traveling through Chile & Patagonia with my girlfriend. We spent 5 weeks exploring this amazing country, and this is how we chose to document it. Thanks so much for checking it out.”

Special Thanks to:

LensProToGo, for helping us out with cameras and lenses. They are an awesome company, and the perfect place to rent DSLR’s and lenses.

website: lensprotogo.com

…Castulo Guerra for helping out with the voice over. He is an extremely talented man, who was great to work with…and I am so grateful he decided to take on this project…thank you very much Castulo.

…and also, to my girlfriend Nina for putting up with my nerdy ways, and for making this such an awesome trip…you’re the best.

Equipment used:
Canon 1D mark IV + full Canon lens package – 17 tilt shift, 24, 50, 70-200, polarizer, gradient filter, monopod, tripod.

Bowspirit by: Balmorhea
Skeletons by: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

StoneNudes with Dean Fidelman

Dean, “Bullwinkle” Fidelman has been a fixture in the Yosemite climbing scene for nearly forty years. Through his black and white photographs he has documented several generations of Yosemite Climbers. From the StoneMasters to the RockMonkeys Dean has been there to photograph Yosemite history being made. In 1999 Dean began work on his “StoneNudes” project, one of the most unique Art projects the Climbing Community has ever scene. Since then Dean has traveled around the country and the world photographing real rock climbers (both male and female) bouldering naked. Dean believes that both the rock and the human body are sculptures, and that we look both beautiful and natural climbing.

Stone Nudes: an extract of the art of climbing. Intended to inspire and celebrate the human form. Stone Nudes draws from the community it represents. Over the last ten years, a body of over one hundred photographs drawing from three generations of climbers has evolved.

Unlike current climbing media, these images do not seek to sell or promote anything beyond the experience. This approach has attracted climbers of all abilities to participate in a project designed to capture the essence of the climbing sprit.

Please visit stonenudes.com/ to learn more.

Brian Duffy – The Man Who Shot The Sixties

Brian Duffy (15 June 1933 – 31 May 2010) was an English photographer and film producer, best remembered for his fashion photography of the 1960s and 1970s, iconic Vidal Sassoon takes of hairstyle model Frankie Stein amongst many others, and his creation of the iconic “Aladdin Sane” image for David Bowie.

Alongside David Bailey and Terence Bailey, Duffy formed what has been described by Norman Parkinson as the Black Trinity. The trio is said to have broken the mould of traditional fashion photography, taking inspiration from street style and rejecting the more regimented studio imagery of the Fifties.

“Before 1960, a fashion photographer was tall, thin and camp,” Duffy once said. “But we three are different: short, fat and heterosexual. We were great mates but also great competitors. We were fairly chippy and if you wanted it you could have it. We would not be told what to do.”

Duffy completed his training at Central Saint Martins before undertaking an apprenticeship at Balenciaga. In 1957 he began work at British Vogue only leaving in 1963 to work from his studio. Among the many famous faces who sat for Duffy were Jean Shrimpton, Nina Simone, Brigitte Bardot, John Lennon, Michael Caine and Sammy Davis Jr. Duffy also dabbled with advertising and shot award-winning campaigns for Benson & Hedges cigarettes and Smirnoff Vodka.

“The thing about the photograph is that theres’s no smell and in a sense it tells the truth and yet it is a lie”

Many of those whom he photographed – Terence Stamp, Christine Keeler, Harold Wilson, the models Paulene Stone and Jean Shrimpton – have since come to be seen as defining personalities of the decade. Duffy’s pictures of them, however, have not.

Characteristically, this was the result largely of Duffy’s refusal to treat with the world on any terms but his own. In 1979, having solved most of the technical problems that had originally interested him in the medium, and tired by its increasing commercialisation by advertising firms, he burned the greater part of his archive in the garden of his studio in Primrose Hill. He did not take another photograph for three decades.

He had never showed at a gallery or collected his images in a book, and the growing nostalgia for (and boom in value of) his contemporaries’ work during the last 20 years passed him by. Duffy instead devoted that time to restoring Georgian furniture, and it was only last year that he allowed his son to organise an exhibition in London of what had survived the bonfire.

































Photo Feed 02.17.13

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