Merkley??? is NOT a Photographer.

Meet Merkley??? You’ll need to read his blog to find out what the three question mark thing is all about. It’s not very often that one gets the opportunity to meet a true artist. Not only is Merkley a true artist, he’s one of the top photographers on Flickr. In the time he’s been a member on the site, he’s managed to gain a following of almost 15,000 “contacts”. That’s an amazing audience for any photographer… on Flickr, or otherwise. Even though he vehemently claims that he’s NOT a photographer. It might be his saturated, irreverent and unapologetic photographic style, or as he told me.. “maybe it’s because people just like looking at naked women”. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect while making my way to his home in San Francisco. I already had Flickr on the brain as I’d just finished recording an episode of This Week in Photography (aka TWiP), and during the show I had the opportunity to ask a few questions to Flickr’s Community Manager Heather Champ. I wish I’d asked her about Merkley. We chatted about all kinds of stuff, from Photoshop techniques, to the question of “why Lightroom”. Somehow we got onto the topic of Flickr censorship and I have to say, the way he expressed his opinion on the topic was by far the most concise I’d heard to date, he said; “you don’t go into the mall with your d!ck hanging out and not expect someone to say anything about it do you?”. Here are some excerpts from the “I am not a Photographer” post: “Photographers only really like 2...

Portrait Photojournalism

While prepping for a recent photo shoot, I asked myself “is it possible to take a fresh look at portraiture?” The standard definition of portrait is pretty broad and I guess by design, leaves much to the individual “portraitists” interpretation. Portriat noun 1 a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, esp. one depicting only the face or head and shoulders. When shooting this series of images I wanted to break beyond the “tilted head” posed portrait and create a look that would really catch attention. I wanted to at once be provocative, evoke a sense of sensuality, while not being pornographic. Since this photo is posed (or rather, guided), it’s not really a candid, looking at the definition above it is technically a portrait… or is it? Could this be Portrait Photojournalism? These images were captured in my studio with a Nikon D3, Speed-o-tron studio strobes, and post-processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop CS3 Extended **note: the original image in this post has been replaced with the current...

Memorial Day: Sacrifice

A picture is worth a thousand words. Remembering those who served and sacrificed, and those who continue on in the armed forces of the United States of America. I shot this photo (actually a stitched panorama) today at the Golden Gate Memorial Cemetery in San Bruno, CA. There’s a high-rez version on...

This Week in Photography (aka TWiP)

Over the past several months, I’ve had the honor of being a regular on the This Week in Photography (aka TWiP) podcast. It’s been an amazing experience to hang out with, and shoot the breeze about all things photography with the likes of Scott Bourne, Ron Brinkmann, and Alex Lindsay. We’ve had some amazing guests on the program, from prolific photographers to authors on many important aspects of the photographic industry. Being the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Marketing Manager of course I bring an Adobe perspective to the show. While Alex and Scott are decidedly agnostic with regard to software at this point. It’s a fun and informative show and we generally have a blast recording it. It’s not all fun and games however as we do dive into some very topical photography related issues such as Canon vs Nikon, Lightroom vs Aperture, raw vs JPEG, and more. However, we keep things relatively light-hearted, but at times things do get a bit heated… so far to my knowledge, no one has stormed off of the “set” yet. If you haven’t done so already, you should subscribe in iTunes, and give the show a...

A Visit to Ansel Adams’ House

What an awesome Sunday. I was invited down to the Ansel Adams’ house, along with Robert Scoble and Marc Sibler for a late morning visit with Michael Adams, son of Ansel Adams. Michael gave us an amazing tour of the house, the darkroom, and the gallery. What an amazing house it is, and what a permeated feeling of art that place has. You can almost feel “photography” in the wood. Michael is amazing. Turns out we were both in the Air Force! Though he was a General, and I was an enlisted man. It was hard to fight the impulse to call him “sir”, but it’s nice to know that there was that common ground. Veterans can talk for hours about stuff. Not to mention that when I was active duty, I NEVER had the opportunity to shoot the breeze about photography with a General! It was also great to finally meet Robert Scoble… aka the Scobelizer! Robert showed up and immediately began streaming his visit live to Qik.com, twittering, and more. He’s a social media machine! He said he’d get a blog post up later about it. It was great to get tips on blogging from one of the pioneers. He streamed the below interview LIVE to his legions of Scobelites! Wow. The surreal thing about this visit was that as we were departing, General (ret) Michael Adams asked me if I might consider coming back down to help him learn Lightroom and Photoshop! Imagine that… the son of one of the most important names in photography asked little ‘ol me to help introduce him to the world...