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kyle cassidy

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how things work [May. 26th, 2009|08:27 am]
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This is how the art collaboration thing is going to work:

1) five_cats and faustian_wish are compiling a list of everybody who's volunteered.

2) we can use one more "administrative assistant" / data collector -- let me know if you're super organized and skilled in the ways of find and replace. bonus points if you can write simple scripts. more bonus points if you have a lot of spare time. i figure it's about two hours.

3) Tomorrow or Thursday I will post the first assignment list -- all it will have is the name of the person you're working with, it's up to you to contact them and figure out what you want to work on. I'll probably post some suggestions to help you along and invite other people to do the same.

4) In a month I'll have another "What came of it?!" post and ask everybody to show off the stuff they did together.



This is representative of a lot of email pouring in


If it's not too much to ask, I'd love to know how you got the shot of Neil and Cabal. What lens did you use? Was it all natural light? It's quite magical, yet very honest and human. Beautiful.


Occasionally on photographers, the photo community I moderate, someone will post something along the lines of "Here are my photos! I don't play by the rules! FTW!" and they're uniformly lousy. You can break "the rules" but you have to know what they are and why you're breaking them. In this case the "rule" is "don't shoot into the sun" why don't you shoot into the sun? because it causes lens flare and causes your subjects face to have very low contrast.

Here we have two photos taken at about the same time. The first follows "the rules" well, golden sun off to the right. The second I shot right into the sun, you can see it there and you can see the lens flare -- that washed out yellow glow. Lately shooting into the sun has become a fashion photography fad as fashion photos have adopted a lot of the trappings of "snapshots". We see shooting into the sun in magazines all the time now. Along with the flare you get a halo of what's called "rim light" and you can also get rainbow artifacts from reflections inside the lens. Typically most of these are things you don't want but it gives us a mood -- what comes to my mind is "summer snapshot" -- like a shaky movie camera it adds a "you are there" feeling to the image by giving the hint that it wasn't taken by a professional.

Both of these were taken with an 85 f 1.8 lens wide open -- currently my favorite lens.



if you're going to try shooting into the sun, set your camera to manual exposure and be sure to meter for the subjects face, or you're just going to get a silhouette. If you get some good shots, go ahead adn post them to photographers.

Hope you're all doing super swell.
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[User Picture]From: anwyn18
2009-05-26 01:20 pm (UTC)

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I am happy to play admin, if you still need one.
[User Picture]From: glamour_junkie
2009-05-26 01:46 pm (UTC)

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I'm pretty psyched for a surprise collaborative effort - this should be a really great experience.
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-05-26 02:16 pm (UTC)

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whomever gets paired with you is going to be Very Lucky.
[User Picture]From: briansiano
2009-05-26 01:48 pm (UTC)

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"Lately shooting into the sun has become a fashion photography fad as fashion photos have adopted a lot of the trappings of "snapshots". "

That trend comes and goes. In the late 60s and early 70s, I'd see a lot of that, especially set in forests or beaches. Sort of a hippie-chick-free-in-nature thing, and a trend away from carefully controlled studio photography.
[User Picture]From: haleyluna
2009-05-26 02:08 pm (UTC)

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maybe i'll use the 85. i have it, but i only ever use it to shoot live bands. i fail at lenses; i have some nice ones, but i walk around with macro.

i'm still a sucker for lens flares in the right shot.
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-05-26 02:16 pm (UTC)

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gotta shoot it wide open. pretend it only has one f stop.
[User Picture]From: ms_violet
2009-05-26 02:16 pm (UTC)

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You REALLY like having a panty-melting LJ, don't you?

Stop making me wish I were a black T-shirt.
[User Picture]From: theniwokesoftly
2009-05-26 03:56 pm (UTC)

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This was my reaction, too. I am SO tempted to make an icon that says "I wish I were a black t-shirt" now.
From: dawn [myopenid.com]
2009-05-26 02:19 pm (UTC)

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I think you took the sun with you when you left the Twin Cities. :-(

Even with the lens flare, Cabal looks pretty good.
[User Picture]From: rhondaparrish
2009-05-26 02:23 pm (UTC)

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I adore those pictures, and I can't wait for the collab project.

Sadly enough one of the things I keep thinking when I look at Cabal is 'Wow, he looks like he's very well behaved.' I think it's because my own dog is a brat LOL
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-05-26 03:14 pm (UTC)

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Cabal's pretty well behaved. But he and Neil went to training classes. That's probably pretty important.
[User Picture]From: dslwc
2009-05-26 02:25 pm (UTC)

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i find this *rule breaking* to be very confusing, for someone who is still in the baby steps of photography and the art world at large.

i understand that art in and of itself is a vehicle to test the limits, but at the same time, if the rule breakers are FTW! and lousy, why should i work so hard to gain skills and precision? it can be very disheartening at times. i think for the most part, when i do break the rules, it is by accident and if it works, it's pure luck. there is a part of me that believes anyone can be a photographer or artist, and there is another part (probably pretentious) that wants the lousy people to stop.it.right.now.

art, makes my brainz hurt.
[User Picture]From: dd_b
2009-05-26 03:07 pm (UTC)

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The things called "rules" in art ARE NOT RULES in any reasonable sense. They are "rules of thumb", of some use for guiding beginners to make more conventionally successful early work. Possibly (pararectal ideation alert) they are simple stand-ins, approximations, for the True Principles of Art, which nobody ever really figures out, but which artists start to get some feel for with experience.

I do find myself frequently annoyed by people who set out consciously to "break the rules". Mostly they end up demonstrating (to my eye) why those rules are a pretty good idea in general. However, they may well learn a lot in the process, and go on to doing excellent work based on that improved understanding. I probably shouldn't blame the artists, but rather the bad teachers who say "you can't write fiction in the second person" or some such 'rule'; it makes it sound like a challenge.

If it makes your brainz hurt, maybe you're doing it right :-).
From: somethingbeside
2009-05-26 02:29 pm (UTC)

rules

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Rules are made to be broken. I am new to trying to take photography seriously but I find that once you know the rules breaking them makes for much more interesting pictures.

Cabal looks great on the right by the way.
From: deafscreams.blogspot.com
2009-05-26 02:32 pm (UTC)

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I found the light play off of Cabal mesmerising. The one of Neil isn't too shabby either (winks). Indigo
[User Picture]From: blackwell
2009-05-26 02:38 pm (UTC)

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I'm looking forward to working with someone new!
From: (Anonymous)
2009-05-26 02:52 pm (UTC)

Rule Breaking

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Great words about Rules and breaking them. Very often, when I am asked to do some critisism on poems or short storys, I point out the parts where they broke the rules and their work stopped working. And I almost always get something in return like "But it is art, it has no rules, all the great writers break the rules, why can't I?" And I respond: "Yes, it is art, but it doesn't work like this, the rules are there for a reason, and if you break them, you should have a good reason to do so, and foremost, a good understanding of the rule you are going to break. And yes, the good writers bend and break the rules, but they know them so well that they can go beyond them." In short, I call that 'controlled freedom'.

Stefan (Der NachtPoet) Brinkmann
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-05-26 03:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Rule Breaking

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absolutely. when you're william faulkner you can write a 3 page sentence. because he was doing it for a reason and he knew very well why.
[User Picture]From: ceciskittle
2009-05-26 02:58 pm (UTC)

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I am so excited about this! Thanks for collaborating it all!

OT: How much training/school did you go through, and how much of your amazing talent is self taught/natural?
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-05-26 03:17 pm (UTC)

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mostly self taught. i had a few classes (maybe 3) but i was on the college newspaper and magazine staff, so it was a lot of trial and error. and buying photography books.
[User Picture]From: niamh_sage
2009-05-26 03:00 pm (UTC)

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Those are lovely photos, especially the one of Cabal and the sun.

I'm really looking forward to the assignment! When we reach our holiday destination tomorrow, the first thing I'm going to do is track down an internet connection. :D
[User Picture]From: htenywg
2009-05-26 03:00 pm (UTC)

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You don't know me but I am super excited for the upcoming collab, and am looking forward to reading more of your posts! :D
[User Picture]From: silveringridd
2009-05-26 03:03 pm (UTC)

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ohhh. kind of like an exquisit corpse deal.

maybe i should back out of this. whoever gets stuck with me is getting the short end of the stick for sure.
[User Picture]From: dd_b
2009-05-26 03:14 pm (UTC)

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Don't you dare!

I'm not privy to the thinking behind this project, but this has to be partly about pushing limits, extending comfort zones, bouncing off unexpected other talents (the explicit instructions to NOT say what art you did when posting "yes" point strongly that way to my eye). The creative interactions will be very different than doing something solo, and who knows what will turn out to be the crucial contributions to making something interesting?
[User Picture]From: lois2037
2009-05-26 03:13 pm (UTC)

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sorry... can't spell today, hence the delete... I don't envy anyone having to organize the incredible number of artists who responded to your collaboration idea. I'm hoping that it won't involve working over a super long distance, but that might be an interesting challenge, too.

There are no fancypants lenses in my possession, just the zoomy one that came with the D300, so I think I'll break out an old-school lens, currently hanging out in the archives with my FM camera. There's plenty of sun today -- this will be fun!
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-05-26 04:05 pm (UTC)

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I asked him "how often are you standing in your driveway doing this exact photo?" and he said "not more than once every five years!"

you're hired.

i'll send you a message.
[User Picture]From: spacedlaw
2009-05-26 05:08 pm (UTC)

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I just said so over at Lorraine's but I'll repeat it here: This is a gorgeous picture of Cabal.
From: spleeness.blogspot.com
2009-05-26 05:13 pm (UTC)

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Not that you need *another* book idea, but I would love it if you wrote one with photography advice like this for us non-photographers. I appreciate striking photos even if I don't know why they move me. I'd love to learn more.
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-05-26 05:26 pm (UTC)

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i've thought of doing something like "ten things you can learn in a weekend to be a better photographer than all your friends"
From: leemoyer
2009-05-26 06:50 pm (UTC)

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I love it when a plan comes together.
[User Picture]From: lxbean
2009-05-26 07:00 pm (UTC)

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hah! If you go to my lj, you'll see some great examples of just such a mistake. I put them up anyway because they made my heart squishy in the good way, and I'm glad they imply snapshots, but maybe now I can avoid such effects in the future (or not have to write stupid little made-up explanatory crap like "the light is our collective intellect"). Thanks!
[User Picture]From: wolfsilveroak
2009-05-26 07:05 pm (UTC)

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You know.. I should add Neil Gaiman to my 'list of authors who live near my parents (well, within a reasonable distance anyway) in Michigan to hunt down and stalk while back home visiting this August'...

Heh.

Just so I can meet Cabal and have Caena see what a well behaved dog is supposed to look like.}:P
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-05-26 07:14 pm (UTC)

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i'm sure he'll just love that.
[User Picture]From: ohsonaked
2009-05-26 07:30 pm (UTC)

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haha, you must learn the rules before you can break them! i can't tell you how many times i've had to say that. i teach at a cosmetology school and i have some students that want to jump right in and then suddenly somebody is missing some hair.
[User Picture]From: holdonyourhonor
2009-05-26 09:10 pm (UTC)

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sooooo very exciting!
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