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.