Journal

Weekend Links // June 13

Last week was fun as I worked with Fair Trade Services, a record label out of Nashville, on upcoming album art for one of their acts, CCM trio — and institution — Phillips, Craig & Dean. But, all that work meant less being social & no time for Weekend Links.

So, this will be a two week edition.

Here are 7 pieces of awesome from the last 2 weeks that you may have missed:

1. What We Storytellers Do

 
It’s what we storytellers do, Ms. Travers. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again, and again, and again.
— Walt Disney, in Saving Mr. Banks
 

2. Courage: from Normandy to Tiananmen

In the last two weeks we've seen the anniversary of two remarkable moments of valor — the 25th anniversary of Tank Man standing alone in the face of the Chinese government & the 70th anniversary of the Allied troops storming the beach at Normandy on D-Day.

That got me thinking a bit.

 
 

Seventy years ago, on June 6th, 1944, with the fate of Western Civilization under threat, more than 300,000 brave kids from Great Britain, the United States & Canada landed as a collective force set diametrically opposed to the ravenous conquest of Europe by Nazi Germany. To more clearly define this, the bravery on display at D-Day was a collective expression of courage that changed the world.

Juxtapose that with June 5th, 1989. A seven-week long student-led protest against the Chinese government, favoring freedom of the press, speech & a slate of economic reforms, came to a frenzied climax as 300,000 Chinese military troops converged on Tiananmen Square a the heart of Beijing to clear the students from the square. As tanks rolled through Tiananmen, a lone man stepped in front of a line of tanks, blocking their path. The bravery of one, in the face of an immovable force, that changed a nation.

Juxtaposition is a beautiful thing, don't you think?

3. Capa's D-Day & Widener's Tiananmen

The courage in both of these momentous occasions was also documented by photographers who exhibited another kind of valor — the kind that goes weaponless into war.

Here are two short videos that commemorate the photographers behind the images you know so well.

Robert Capa's D-Day, from TIME Magazine:

 

Jeff Widener Reflects on Tiananmen, from the Wall Street Journal:

As an addendum to this, the story of Jeff Widener's negatives in the video above bear striking resemblance to the story of Capa's negatives from D-Day. The story goes something like this:

And although Capa shot approximately 106 frames on the beach, only a handful have survived. Though the exact number of surviving frames is uncertain, the actual negative of the picture known as The Face in the Surf, along with another from the set, was lost sometime after the photo’s publication in the June 19, 1944 issue of LIFE. It is, in a sense, a testament to the incalculable hardship and violence of the Longest Day that the only surviving photographic record of the Omaha Beach landing from the beach itself are nine hard-won, fragile, immensely powerful negatives. (source)

The images we take for granted are not easily captured or brought into view. The storytellers behind them must battle for everything they get.

4. The Photo That Made Me

VII photographer Christopher Morris recounts the story of the photograph that jump started his career in a new series on TIME.com.

Panama, 1989. Photo by Christopher Morris, VII, for TIME

Panama, 1989. Photo by Christopher Morris, VII, for TIME

 
The day before the photo was taken, though, two of these photographers were wounded, and, very sadly, José died after receiving a gunshot to his head. So I was left as the only photographer still working. This all happened at a time when I was really trying to break out as a news photographer. After this, I was put on contract for TIME.

This image gave me a new sense of self confidence — it showed me that I could control fear, something that in my earlier conflict work I had struggled with.
— Christopher Morris
 

This is the first installment in the series from TIME & I'm really excited to see what comes next.

5. #intheWAKEof

I started a new series on instagram that I'm rather excited about. To photograph a face is one thing, to photograph a person's character is something altogether different.

Often, when I'm wrestling with a new idea or want to experiment, photographically, I turn to my iPhone & see if I can make something meaningful in much the same way a painter might turn to their sketchbook.

Here is the first fruits of an experiment I'm calling #intheWAKEof. You'll have to read the full captions on instagram.com to get the full sense of what's at work here.

Also, you can follow me on Instagram by clicking on either image above to see where this series goes next.

6. Shooting News w/ an iPhone

Mike Castellucci, reporter for Dallas' ABC affiliate, WFAA, is well known in the area for his quirky human interest stories. I've always appreciated his point of view. So, I was excited when I heard he would be doing a segment on One by One. I freaked when I learned he would be shooting the entire story with his iPhone.

The finished piece aired this week. Here it is:

 
 

I don't know if this is the future of news... but if I had to guess, I would say:

 
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
— Peter Drucker
 

7. Ask Not

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Kyle Steed started a mural. Last week, he released a video that some friends of ours made documenting the process. There's a moment about halfway through when the sun comes out from behind the sun that's just way. too. good.

And, apparently the Mayor's office agrees:

 
 

Related Content

Weekend Links // May 30

This week's edition of Weekend Links (coming to you a little late) winds its way through the idea of legacy. How will you leave your unique mark on your place and her people? How will your work echo in the lives of others?

Here are seven beats in a bigger story that I hope encourage & challenge your belief in what's possible with a single life:

1. The Best Places to Live

If you're a photographer, apparently Dallas is number 10 on the list according to PetaPixel. They looked at number of working photographers, number of job openings for photographers, overall cost of living and the annual average salary of those working photographers and made a spreadsheet.

I noticed something interesting, though; Plano, Irving, Garland and Ft. Worth all cracked the top 35. Couple that with the spirit of the growing community, as evidenced by the success of WELD and the attention garnered by this year's One by One show & I think you'd have to put DFW, as a whole, somewhere just above Houston, on the list.

2. Maya Angelou

This quote by the late poet basically says it all, for me:

 
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
— Maya Angelou
 

3. Where To Put The Camera

Henri Cartier-Bresson, the father of modern journalism & founder of Magnum photos, had some good advice on where to put the camera for portraits:

 
The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt.
— Henri Cartier-Bresson
 

4. Jerry Wachter

 
 

On seeing this I'd tweeted the image, naively saying the image was reminiscent of my hockey work. I was quite mistaken. If anything, I have been working in the very long shadow of a giant.

Thanks to @DrCapsFan, I was able to learn the man behind this particular photograph was the late Jerry Wachter. As it turns out, Wachter's work is legend in the world of sports photography, though finding a portfolio has proved almost impossible.

One place his work is collected, because he boasted more than 30 covers in the late 70's & 80's, is on si.com. 

On his death in 2005, Si Director of Photography, Steve Fine, described Jerry as "that rare action photographer who was adept at all four major sports. When you sent Jerry out to a game, he always delivered."

5. Details Matter

Google changed its logo this week. But you didn't notice. Neither did I, actually. But a few keen eyed Reddit-ers did notice.

The second 'g' moved a single pixel to the left & the 'l' moved down and right by one pixel.

Many have speculated about why Google would make such an insignificant change. I believe the answer can be summed up in just two words: details matter.

6. Lavar Burton & Hayden Miethe

Lavar Burton launched a Kickstarter to re-boot Reading Rainbow for a new generation. Apparently, the news excited almost everyone who heard about it because in just 11 hours, he'd met the $1M goal. And in 24 short hours, the campaign more than doubled the goal.

Incredible, right?

Crowd funding is a great way to get things off the ground & everyone who has decided to crowd fund hopes their project can get a little momentum. Some succeed. Some fail.

Enter a guy you likely haven't heard of: Hayden Miethe.

I met Hayden while working on the documentary about Korn guitarist, Brian Welch. On our first phone call, Hayden mentioned his music project called Vinyl Jones & The Sons of Tennessee. Cool name, but what about the music? Imagine Marcus Mumford & Johnny Cash getting in a barroom brawl with Kanye West & Macklemore.

I was intrigued. And more that just a little.

Honestly, it's not that crazy to think the two genres can work together. Before country was polished up by Nashville, it was dominated by deeply honest storytellers like Johnny Cash. That same foundation of story is at the core of any good hip-hop album.

So, if you were going to give Reading Rainbow a few bucks, consider instead putting some wind in the sails of Vinyl Jones & the Sons of Tennessee.

7. Kyle's Mural

This past week here in Dallas, my friend Kyle Steed finished a fun project for his city — a giant hand-lettered mural along the new Trinity Strand Trail, which winds through our neighborhood around the corner from WELD.

 

The sentiment Kyle chose for the mural was a riff on John F. Kennedy's famous challenge:

Ask not what your city can do for you, but what you can do for your city.

Coming full circle with this installment of Weekend Links, it's projects like this that are the intangibles that put Dallas much higher on the list of locations perfect for photographers. This is a city of humans looking to re-make our place. And it's the humans, not the salaries or the job openings, that water the soil of my career.

If you're looking to go hunt down #thatKyleSteedmural, you can find it right here:

 

Before she was reciting her poem at Bill Clinton's inauguration, before he was defining a photographic genre, before Reading Rainbow or even Geordie Laforge, they were just people with ideas. 

What ideas are you living into existence?


Related Content

Kyle Steed

When I started this series on mobile photography, I knew I wanted to feature the work and thoughts of some of my favorite mobile photographers and I knew, without question, that one of those people would be my friend Kyle Steed. 

Tyler Sharp  Kung Fu's with Kyle

Tyler Sharp Kung Fu's with Kyle

We met a couple of years ago at the Echo Conference. I remember sitting next to him (and his trademark hat) during a Barton Damer breakout & thinking, "this guy's notes look so much better than mine."

I took this photo with my phone to commemorate that moment:

Kyle-Steed-by-Trey-Hill
Kyle-Steed-by-Trey-Hill

Kyle doesn't call himself a photographer, though he has a crazy following on Instagram that believes he and a camera do okay together. By trade, Kyle is an illustrator and has a distinct artistic voice.

I know Kyle's work anytime I see it, even when I'm not expecting it, like in a Walgreens spot (that's his hand-drawn typeface at the beginning). You might be familiar with some of Kyle's work, too. He's the creator of the super popular Instaxagram, the man behind WhatIsDallas.com, and Folly. Attempting to list all the wonderful projects he's had his hands in would be superfluous, at this point, so let me just attempt to wrap up by saying this: Kyle is one of those people whose talent and artistic vision is overshadowed only by the love he shows his fellow man.

"you find them when you're not looking." - Kyle Steed

"you find them when you're not looking." - Kyle Steed

I think that comes though in his work, his photography and I think you'll hear a bit of that in his answers to the three questions I asked him.

Trey: What is your guiding philosophy as an artist & how does IG fit into that?

Kyle:The world is a complex and often frustrating place to be, so I always seek a way to find and hold on to the simple things I find. Sometimes it requires a lot of searching and digging to get there, other times it’s just right in front of my face, but when I find it I hold on to it. There exist a certain peace in simplicity. But I also believe there is a way to have peace in the midst of the chaos of our life. I guess this is the fire my eye for photography has been forged in.

My hope is to always continue to refine and sharpen my eye. Nothing here on earth is ever finished.

Kyle-Steed-Church

Trey: How has mobile photography altered your way of moving through the world?

Kyle:If I’m being honest there have been times when I’ve been totally caught up in the whirlwind of social media (Instagram) and feeling like I have to share my entire life. But that kind of thinking really stresses me out. The stress of feeling like every shot has to be perfect, or worse... has to get thousands of likes, is just silly. I don’t regret that time of my life, just learn from it and move on. Now I feel like I exercise greater control over how and when I share my photos. I don’t spend all day trying to think up my next shot, instead I just let the shot come to me. Some days I don’t post anything, other days I may have a handful of photos to share. But that’s the beauty of it, having this mobile device in my pocket makes it so accessible. It comes along with me on my journey.

Kyle-Steed-Dont-Play-Safe

Trey:Who is your favorite follow on IG & why?

Kyle: There are so many great photographers on instagram. It’s still such a new medium for photography that I don’t think we’ve seen the best of the best. I can say that @colerise has to have one of the best consistent feeds that I follow. That man knows his way around an iPhone camera, that’s for sure. But I’m afraid to give this question a definitive answer, because it’s not about numbers but about the feeling and stories a person chooses to tell with their photos.

this is Cole, you can follow him on  Instagram .

this is Cole, you can follow him on Instagram.

Kyle has something pretty exciting coming up for anyone interested in mobile photography. He's teaming up with Austin Mann to teach a mobile photography workshop, part of the recently announced WELD creative labs. If you're interested in taking part, you can learn more here: labs.weld.co.

Part I: The Original Social Media

Part II: Mobile Photography Apps

Part III: #panogramtastic

Part IV: Kyle Steed