Keira Grant, Take #2

Horrifically behind on literally everything. New posts coming soon, working on some updates to my site as well, new work, old work, bits and pieces… In the mean time, a rather random take from a shoot with Keira Grant way back in August, enjoy…



#0670_23A Venus With Fly Trap

#0670_24A Venus With Fly Trap




Back home, things have slowed down considerably, or at least my alcohol intake has tapered off considerably. Florida is just plain strange. More on this later.

Been thinking a lot about prints lately, tangible objects, 3 dimensional things you can hold. I haven’t printed nearly enough of my own work save for the occasional one off and the odd digital proof. Contemplating putting a small zine together of recent work, concerning signs, bundled with a darkroom print in a limited run.

Happy 2019... This will be the year of prints…

Eleven Years Later...

About eleven years ago I took a part time gig at the Academy of Art University as a lab tech on the night shift. Not the most glamorous of positions to say the least, but I was flat broke and coming off a very long very disastrous and entirely tragic endeavour with a group of photographers that turned out to be a half million dollar con job. Honestly I was just trying to keep from getting evicted at that point.

Final prints submitted by Ian Chen

Final prints submitted by Ian Chen

I lab teched for a few semesters, eventually moved up to full time, supervised the lab at night for a bit, started running the pool of camera equipment and the small studio in the New Media department. The director knew my background was in photography and offered me a class, and things just sort of snow balled from there. I started teaching more, did some workshops, re-wrote the class once or twice, and somehow a decade went by. This past Friday I taught my last class as a full time employee of the Academy of Art University. I am officially unemployed. 

Final prints submitted by Ashley Davies

Final prints submitted by Ashley Davies

I'll continue to teach and do workshops going forward but only on a part time basis. My days of fixing cameras and lights and projectors and asking people if they turned it off and turned it back on again are over.  I'm looking forward to spending less time in front of a screen and more time in a classroom for sure. Teaching was always the part of my time there that I enjoyed the most, and I'd like to do more of it in the future if I can. It's been quite a ride to say the least, I've worked with some amazing people, and seen a lot of folks come and go. If you'd have told me when I started that I'd spend a decade there I'd have said you're crazy, but such is life, and so it goes.

I'm in Florida at the moment, with family for the holidays, enjoying some long awaited down time with my wife and the new baby, looking forward to a quiet Christmas and a low key New Year. Turning the page on one chapter and ready to start another...  

Dear Tumblr...

Like most platforms, it was only a matter of time. It lasted longer than most.

Tumblr’s decision to ban all NSFW content on December 17th is not simply ludicrous, it’s the last nail in the coffin. Why it feels strangely synonymous with opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, I can’t really say. Perhaps it was simply the last best place, to borrow a phrase. I do know it’s all we had left.

I wonder Tumblr, will you ban hate and bigotry as not safe for work? Will you ban Terry Richardson for his brand of exploitation? Will ban the Kardashians in various states of undress? How about Miley Cyrus?

As of this evening, they have not.

What I do know is that “fine art nude” currently produces no search results, where as “White Power” returns thousands of posts.

Apparently violence and racial propaganda, among other things, are still safe for work.

Will you erase entirely what so many have created? Will you destroy creative work that you consider morally dubious while condoning the voices of intolerance?

Will you return my personal information and browsing history when you inevitably decide to erase my feed?

Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo, was quoted after acquiring Tumblr “We promise not to screw it up.”

You had one job.

We’ve built these 9 headed hydras. We show up, we create our content, we deliver it for free, we publish, we push, we link, we share. They take it all, and give us the “privilege.” It’s the ultimate case of work on spec. Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, we drive these platforms. But let’s be honest, it’s not about the user, it’s about profitability. It’s about ad revenue. It’s about corporate advertisers being more afraid of sex than they are of racism. This is about app stores. This is about stock price.

This is about censorship. This is about legislating taste.

I’ve discovered, followed, met and interacted with some truly talented individuals on Tumblr. I’ve been exposed to creatives of all types, genres and disciplines that I would have never stumbled upon had it not been for this platform. I’ve shared a great deal of my own work in the process, and found it overwhelmingly fulfilling more often than not.

But it was just a matter of time.

God Speed Tumblr, it was fun while it lasted.

Word On The Street

Sometimes I’m worried where San Francisco is heading. Sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I’m worried one day all the weirdos will be gone. Sometimes I’m worried we’re just completely failing the ones who are left.

#0664_33 Powell Station

#0663_36 Market Street

#0663_16 Mission Street

#0672_22 Market Street

#0672_06 Mission Street

#0672_01 New Montgomery Street

#0672_19 New Montgomery Street

At some point, there'll be a baby...

It was a rough entry. Babies come with hats. Ours was 8 pounds, 8.9 ounces and 22 inches long…. With nice ears, close to the head, as my very Polish Auntie Dorothy used to say…

Joanna, 18th Street, 8 1/2 months pregnant.

Joanna, Cafe Le Morais, 3 days before delivery.

September 26th, Kaiser Hospital, San Francisco.

Kaiser Hospital, September 27th.

Self Portrait as a Father, Sans Child.

Bed time, Eureka Street House.

2am, Eureka Street House.

Word On The Street...

Snapshots from a summer that’s almost gone, at least by San Francisco standards… Hoping to be back to a semi-normal post schedule soon…

#0659_17 - Castro Street

#0659_07 - New Montgomery Street

#0661_04A - Market Street

#0661_07A - Market Street

#0662_00A - O’Farrell Street

#0659_15 - “Happy and Healthy”

#0661_03A - Powell and Market Streets.

#0662_15A - Market Street

Recent Acquisition...

So we had a baby about 2 weeks ago, and I’ve been laying pretty low ever since. Hoping to post more work soon, I’ve got quite a bit on deck, but as was expected, I’m a bit busy. Here are a few Polaroids, because sometimes me and the boy get bored at night so we take pictures.

Thomas Eveland Szymanski, born September 26th, 5:21AM, 8 pounds, 8.9 ounces. Nice ears, close to the head, as my Polish grandmother used to say. He’s got my wife’s nose and my perpetually grumpy scowl…

Could've Been Worse...

I'm not much for vacations in the traditional sense. I get bored, dislike crowds, lines, forced participation, structured entertainment, tours etc. (I'm fun at parties though). I do however enjoy being left alone to read books, consumption of Jack Daniel's, long walks on the beach and poking dead things with sticks. So we went to Kauai. We stayed in a little house on an old sugar plantation and read books and drank (at least I did) and walked on the beach and were generally left alone.  Couldn't have been better...

#0654_09A Pregasaurus, Waimea