Merkley??? is NOT a Photographer.

Merkley

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 or 3 other photographers, the one’s whose photographs most resemble their own and they like to keep those books right out on the coffee table where everyone can see them.”

“Photographers make use of make up artists, hairdressers, location scouts and stylists which is way way WAY different than photoshopping out zits and wrinkles.”

“Photographers talk about how little they use Photoshop IF AT ALL, and even then it’s only to “adjust some curves” or “make the blacks a little more black.”

Even if you don’t agree with what he says, you should do yourself a favor and check out his work. I’m particularly fond of his “111” project. It’s a book (and Flickr set) comprised of 111 beautiful women in various stages of undress.

The book is amazing (thanks for the signed copy Merkley!), it fits very well right out front on my coffee table. 😉

Oh, and you can check out my Flickr Photostream here.

  • I love Merkley??? Great to see him on here.

    -C

  • Frederick, must have been very cool to meet Merkley, I am one of the followers of his on Flickr, his work is simply fantastic.. He does have the side of rebellion saying he is “not a photographer” but I just find that silly.

    Able to get any video? Would be interested in seeing that up here.

  • I wish I had the “stones”to take his type of photograph. I have to stop being so politically correct, and start pushing myself. As a friend of mine said once, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”

  • Gary Nelson

    Hi Fred
    Think your work on twip is great. Look forward to it every week! Wish it was daily!
    Just added you onto my flikr account, thanks for adding me also.
    Well this Merkley guy is a bit different, and yes I think he’s right, nudity sells. I do like the velvet feel of his pics. Thats the best way I know how to describe them.
    Anyway keep up to good work!
    Best regards

    Gary

  • Brilliant! Equal parts Finlay Mackay, Hunter S. Thompson, Gary Larson and Zippy The Pinhead. Plus boobies. Pure friggin’ genius.

    Thanks Fred!

    Paul