Graphis, The International Journal of Visual Communication, was first published in 1944 by Dr. Walter Amstutz and Walter Herdeg in Zurich, Switzerland. Graphis presented the work of fine artists and illustrators, as well as highlighting the formative years of graphic design as we know it today. Advertising and photography were also featured, and Amstutz selectively chose what he felt to be the best talent of the time, with the Graphis Annual introduced in 1952. My work was featured first time in Graphis Photo Annual in 2000 and I have been lucky to win few more times after that. This year my Circus series and two individual images from the same series were awarded among the San Diego NightTime Zoo Elephant image. Thank you Graphis.
Join APA LA in celebrating the winners of the annual Off The Clock curated exhibition of personal photography. Each year photographers from around the world submit their best, most creative personal images to be curated by an industry luminary. This year the very talented and esteemed curator, Elizabeth Avedon selected six of my images for this inspiring exhibition of one hundred images. Please come and be inspired at this free one-night only reception and exhibition Saturday, April 29, 7-10pm at Santa Monica Art Studios, Hanger Gallery South, 3026 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. RSVP at www.apa-la.org
I was thrilled to work on the marketing imagery for this year's Newport Beach Film Festival, with RPA Los Angeles. I also wanted to make a video documenting how the image came together. I started by shooting the vast landscape around the Salton Sea, which although barren, is the largest body of water in California. The rest of the image came together in my studio in a fish tank and Photoshop. Thank you Johny Long for the props and Julian Jones for the music. NBFF, Orange County's largest entertainment event, will start this Thursday the 20th and goes until the 27th of April. It will bring 350 films to over 50,000 film fans. Thank you RPA.
My wife Anne recently visited London. She went on a Sunday stroll with our newborn granddaughter and her “big sister” Jerry, a Springer Spaniel, to Hampstead Heath. She said it felt as if the whole lot of London was there, most of them with their children and dogs. Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient London park, which is also one of the highest points in the city. A beautiful, wonderfully preserved paradise which quiets the often chaotic bustle of London.
When walking down one of the paths Anne remembered an image I took a couple of decades ago in that very spot, for a series we called "Three Day Walk." With the series we wanted to pay tribute to London, our onetime home. We walked from Bromley in the south, to Highgate in the north, over the course of three days while shooting the Spring's bloom in black and white. After we returned to Finland Anne turned the photos into a book.
“The book grew out of our longing to re-experience and cherish the excitement, cultural pluralism, and unmistakable English tradition, which flows through the all of London. We were lucky enough to live inside of it for some years, and it will stay with us, and within these photos forever”.
Ladies and gentlemans, boys and girls and everything between and beyond. Step right up, and then, even closer. Come on in and join the circus. This beautiful piece of promotion is out and being sent worldwide within the advertising community. Thank you Anne for the design, Tomi for the cover logo, Adele and Julian for the copy. Color Incorporated in Burbank with their personal attention and dedication to the job led to the perfect printing result.
As a photographer, you always feel a little more aware of your surroundings than other people. After all, your livelihood depends on your eyes, on seeing things that other’s don’t. But it’s easy to forget that no matter how aware you are, everyone eventually becomes numb to their daily environment. That’s why traveling outside your comfort zone is so important to longevity in this industry, it keeps your eyes fresh, not just on the road but when you come back home. And traveling doesn’t necessarily mean somewhere far either, it could be another neighborhood, a different block, a quick hike, or yes, biking through Cambodia.
I’ve been thinking about comfort zones and new perspectives ever since I moved to the foot of Mt. San Jacinto, which towers above Coachella Valley in California. Every day something new catches my eye, or my ear, it’s been an invigorating experience. And those experiences are what really keep my art alive, keep me passionate about doing what I do. Case in point; earlier this year I was driving in Yucca Valley, on my way to Joshua Tree when I noticed some circus trucks in an open field. I could see the beginnings of a tent under construction, workers hurrying to-and-fro in the crisp morning air.
I parked and walked over to the campground, where I eventually struck up a conversation with the owner of the Ramos Bros. Circus, Oliver. He recognized my accent and as it turned out, he had traveled all over Scandinavia years before, as part of another circus. That coincidence provided an opportunity to ask if it would be okay for me to take some pictures of the circus, and perhaps because of that connection, he acquiesced. I came back with my wife the next night, just to take in the show as an audience member. One of the things that really caught my eye was how the imperfections really added to the rustic charm of the entire operation; this wasn’t Barnum & Bailey, and it was better for it. It seemed like everyone on the staff performed several different roles in the course of a night; ticket taker one minute, leading show horses the next, fire-eating tomorrow. All of this only added to the warmth and intimacy of the experience.
The whole thing was very spontaneous and I had to do a lot of adapting on the fly, but that’s also what made it fun. I remember standing in total darkness behind the curtains with some of the artists and thinking how the hell can I get anything captured with almost no light at all but it worked out. I went to almost every show they had in town.I would be sitting at home, planning on taking the night off but the thought of what I might be missing just kept nagging me, and the next thing you know, I’m halfway down Highway 62. I saw five shows over the week or so that they spent in town, each time trying to find a new angle or idea. One day I even went to the local Home Depot and rented the cherry picker so I was able to capture the whole tent from a different perspective.
I really want to thank the entire Ramos Bros. Circus for so graciously opening their doors to me and letting me spend some time in their world.
Community came together. Nearly 6000 signatures were collected in order to re-zone the Oswit Canyon as an Environmentallly Sensitive Area and to protect it from developers. I did what I know best, took pictures to share and to my surprise even collected some signatures. Thanks to all the volunteers, gatherers and signees. Not many initiatives turn in almost double the amount signatures needed and 5 months before the deadline. But despite of all this success, it is not over yet.