Tuesday, February 16, 2010

McBloggie is moving.....

I've decided to move McBloggie to my own domain for a variety of reasons. Please redirect to:


Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Presidents Day

They waited, respectfully and patiently, for their turn to have their picture taken in front of the great man, a near constant stream of people from every ethnic background, anxious to pay tribute to this icon of American presidents, who represents so much of what is good in the American promise. On this day I was proud to be an American.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Midwestern Minature Metropolis

My buddy Alan sent me this link. Photographer Michael Paul Smith, a former museum display designer, created models and superimposed them in real backgrounds to recreate the midwestern town of his youth. This is the coolest thing I've seen in a while:
Check it out: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/35299392/ns/today-today_home_and_garden/displaymode/1247/?beginSlide=1

More of his images can be seen on his flickr page Here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24796741@N05/sets/72157604247242338/

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Oliver B. McClaran July 29, 1917 - February 11, 1978

Me and Dad, 1956

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Interview in Shutterbug

I was interviewed by Maria Piscopo for her Business Column in Shutterbug along with BigshotStock colleagues, Brian Smale, Shawn Henry and Brian Smith about business trends in editorial photography.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Workshop in Haiti?

Zoriah Miller wants to charge $4G to teach a workshop on Disaster photography. WTF? To be honest I haven't read the entire output of opinions on this but it's stirring up a shit storm on the various forums and blogs. There's even a facebook page, "Responsible Photographers Against Zoriah..."

Here's some more reading:

Huffington Post

Light Stalkers discussion

And Zoriah's version of the story

Friday, February 5, 2010

Be Here To Love Me

Be Here To Love Me.

I’ve been haunted since watching this fantastic documentary on Townes Van Zandt the other night. Reflecting back on when he first began playing and writing music he said:

“There was one point when I realized, Man, I could really do this. But it takes blowing everything off. It would take blowing off family, money, security….happiness. Get a guitar and go”.

He did. But could I do it, blow everything off? Could you? It strikes me as an act of ultimate courage to walk away from everything in order to single-mindedly pursue perfection in your art. A argument could be made that it's ultimate selfishness. Or cowardice.

The film’s poster asks, “What would you sacrifice to follow your dream”?

It’s easy to romanticize the idea of no attachments, no distractions, nothing holding you back. But I love my life, my family, my motorcycles and my work. Would it be worth living without all of that to make art without compromise. I’m sure I don’t have it in me.

So the reverse question might be asked, “how has your work been sacrificed so you can lead a semi-normal life”?

Life only gives you one chance to get it right. I guess it helps to start out being a genius.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Mike Floyd just sent me the link this morning to something called Pilfered Magazine, a photo blogozine exclusively featuring images stolen from various sources on the web and submitted by viewers. This month's cover features an Irving Penn image. But beyond that individual pages don't even credit the stolen photo to the original creator.

Their about page says:

"Its founders, artist Patrick Hoelck and creative director RUDJ, together with their team (Nate “Res” Harvey & Mia Van Valkenburg), have in the past spent hours surfing the web to put together presentations for various commercial ad and editorial jobs…and noticed the hours it took to gather images and felt it was time to have a massive image collective shared by the people, for the people."

What a load of crap. Theft is theft whatever you want to call it and however fancy you want to design it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rest Area- I-5

Not really the a great picture but I like it anyway.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Vintage Derby Photos

1952, Championship Heat

In my other role as Dad I've become more invloved with the Soap Box Derby. Along with the amazing Lydia Hess we've been working on producing new marketing material for the Salem Soap Box Derby Association, new website, etc.. I had seen scrapbooks that belong to the club before and tracked down Steve Brandt, a former race Champ and Race Director, as well as Dad to two racer / Champs, who keeps the books. Steve gave me permission to bring some home to scan for the website and I have only scratched the surface. Some of the images are amazing, at least I think so, but maybe that's because of my enthusiasm for the Derby. One of the things that I think is particularly cool is seeing these images from 50 - 60 years ago on the same race track my kids race on. Here's a couple more:

1963, Finish Line


Check out the Salem SBD website here: http://salemsbd.org/History.html

BTW, This is a super cool thing to get kids involved in. If you are interested in more info get in touch.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


When asked what I like about my work the first thing I think of is the cast of characters I meet. Over the years I've had the pleasure of photographing people of many many walks of life, politicians, tycoons, murderers, atheletes, junkies, movie stars, etc., but none have the chutzpah of Stu Rasmussen. Elected Mayor of Silverton Oregon last year Stu became the first transgendered Mayor of an American town. I spent a couple days in Silverton hanging out with Stu and what I found remarkable was after only a few minutes, minutes in which Stu quickly disarms and charms you, you no longer see him as transgendered. You just see Stu. The people of Silverton, young and old have accepted him as one of their own in ways I found hard to believe could happen in a small town.
Anyway, here's a couple from the take I shot for People:

in the City Council Chambers, Silverton.

With his girlfriend Victoria.

Friday, January 22, 2010

We're screwed

Time magazine paid $30 for a stock photo which it used on the cover to illustrate a story on the "The New Frugality". Is that frugality or publishers making a statement to "content providers" about the ready availability of cheap but acceptable artwork. It seems the day of reckoning is upon us when a culture of commodified "good enough" content has replaced well craft art in magazines and advertising. Can consumers tell the difference? Do publishers care?

Great article in the LA Times:


Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Blog Sucks

Okay I admit it. I really have been calling it in and not putting forth the effort to make this worth reading. And to be honest I've been just a tad lost in regards to improving it.

But the thought occurred to me that perhaps I could spice things up by telling a few stories about some of the more, ahem, interesting shoots I've been fortunate to be assigned over the years. I mean this IS a glamour profession after all.

So why not start at the beginning. Way back in 1985, I was living in Dallas Texas trying to get started working as a magazine photographer. I went down to Austin and met with Fred Woodward at Texas Monthly and showed what no doubt was the thoroughly forgettable portfolio I had at the time. He didn't have much to say about it but on leaving I gave him a copy of a small self published book I had produced a few years prior, called Atget's Gardens. The book consisted of pictures I had made at Versailles one afternoon under the influence of cheap red wine and the notion I was walking in Atget's footsteps. Here's a couple sample pictures:

Well what do you know but Fred really liked the little book and damned if he didn't call me for an assignment a couple weeks later. My first big time magazine assignment. And for a heavy weight art director as well.

The assignment was to photograph the car pound. The place your car goes when it gets towed. I shot 22 rolls of tri-x (that's black and white film for any youngens that might be reading). Here's the image that was published:

After that it was off to the races. My next gig was shooting the dog catcher:

Over the next 4 years I shot a number of assignments for Texas Monthly for Fred, Nancy McMillan, Kathy Marcus and DJ Stout. I can't begin to tell you how fortunate I was to land those first gigs, as they opened doors for me in NY and elsewhere down the road. But the first was still the best. Thanks again Fred.

BTW, I still have copies of Atget's Gardens for sale. 5 bucks.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mark Hooper

I just returned from a terrific presentation by photographer Mark Hooper as part of the Portland Art Museum and the Photography Council's Brown Bag Lunch series. Mark produces elegantly executed, thought provoking and often humorous work for magazine photo illustrations as well as work specifically for exhibition. If you don't know his work seek it out. The two images above are the only ones I could find to link to but take some time and look at his web portfolio.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Surprise Package

As has been widely reported Business Week magazine was purchased by Bloomberg and is moving their offices. Today I received a package of original images dating back 20 years I had created for Business Week over the years, which they kept on file for potential future use. Was fun going through the package and finding images so old made for stories I had long forgotten.
Included was this vintage portrait of Bill Gates, photographed in 1991 working in his home office on a Saturday morning.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Preservation Magazine

This guy has made a mint selling stuff for old houses.

Inc. Magazine

Fun story about books burritos and a son's love.