We hike back out and drive to one of the many fish-cleaning stations along the Noosa River. This needs no explanation… stinky dead animals are best disemboweled outside of your house. Troy gives up on me and lets me snap away with my camera as he cleans the fish, chucking scales and entrails to the gathering crowd.
The gulls screech and squabble and posture comically with their wings, each defending its square-inch of turf. I already kayak at least once a day, so why not add a rod and reel and see what happens? It seemed easy enough in Australia flawed assumption 1 , and if I managed it when I was 6 years old how hard can it be flawed assumption 2? The line is already on the spool, but everything else was up to me. Being reasonably intelligent and stubborn , I figure I can do this myself.
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So I turn to Youtube, which is immensely unhelpful because all of the fishing-for-dummies videos out there assume that any dummy can at least rig the rod properly. Twenty more minutes of swearing later, I realize that the line needs to go on the other side of the flippy thing, which I learn is called a bail. Naively assuming my frustrations are over, I grab three hot dogs and a bucket, fashion an anchor for the canoe out of some molding rope and an old gym weight, and shove off the dock.
I anchor 30 meters out and set about learning to cast.
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Here the Youtube videos do help, and I after a few minutes I actually get the hang of it. Cast, reel, cast, reel. Okay, now I want my fish. After a few minutes, I hear a gurgling hiss and whip around, nearly upsetting the canoe. Our local otter just popped his head above the waves and is growling furiously at me.
He dives down and then re-emerges even closer, clearly wondering what sort of jerk splashes about as he searches for supper. After watching me for a full minute — growling all the while — he swims back towards shore, leaving a bubble-trail in his wake. The fish are thoroughly frightened so I paddle in for the night, confident that tomorrow will bring my first fish. Wrong again. He gives my rod a surprised nod of approval, and then recommends I make dough balls for bait.
Apparently the fish also find it revolting, because two hours go by without even a single curious nibble. Then some locals cruise by in a speedboat, kitted out in fancy gear and catching fish after fish right in front of me. A fat bass literally jumps over my line.
I hate everything. To the delight of our family poodles, my casting improves enough that I can fish from the dock. Each time I reel in, the puppy has a complete meltdown about the mysterious and possibly threatening object moving towards him in the water and then tries to bite the bobber. Another hour. No fish. Behind me I hear a bark — the old dog is staring intently into the bucket I left in the canoe days ago, in the hopes of showing off my first catch. Another woof, this time more concerned. I put my rod down, walk over, and peer into the canoe.
Please note that all comments are moderated and may take some time to appear. Please tell me you took the hook out of the small fish before feeding it to the Kite. And please tell me you did not feed fish bones to pelicans — that tears their pouches. Here are some links to share to educate people about these issues:. This includes filleted fish that are tossed to them. The sharp, pointy bones of larger fish carcasses can pierce the soft tissues of pelican pouches, throats, and stomachs. This can lead to several unfavorable situations. This can lead to malnutrition and eventually starvation.
Much like the throat, bony fish carcasses can also cause puncture wounds and internal bleeding in the stomach, but an even larger problem can also arise. These bones can be a breeding ground for bacteria and other pathogens that can make pelicans ill while also inhibiting the normal digestive process. Hi Jennifer, thanks for reading and for your message.
Yes, we did remove the hook from the fish we tossed to the kite, and we were careful to only toss skin and other soft parts to the birds. Thanks — Justine. Great story! Shit has a long history in England, and it gets me every time. Plus, people do seem fond of recounting that history, when they know it, so the conversation seems to come up a lot. Somerset House is built around a central courtyard, and a large-scale tent structure was constructed in the middle, to house the Photo London pavilion.
There was a pop up Negroni bar in the courtyard as well, and a cafe just for the event, but part of what makes the entire complex interesting is that there are cafes and tea houses among offices and galleries. I was afforded the opportunity of press access, and might possibly have been tipped off to the wifi codes, unless you buy a local SIM card, your American phone only works with wifi, so in the end I visited Photo London on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Here, though, I knew almost nobody. Everywhere I went, each face was new.
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And I was totally anonymous. It is also an art fair, and those are not really made for artists and journalists. Dealers are trying to meet and sell to collectors, and tourists can pay 30 pounds for a proper day of art viewing, coffee drinking, and lecture-attending. So I checked it out, made some mental notes to look further as the weekend evolved, and set off to find my buddy, who was showing his work with Euqinom Gallery from San Francisco. I had made plans to meet my friend scott b davis , and we go back a long ways. It went into foreclosure while I was in town, but apparently Jamie himself is still worth half a billion dollars, so no worries on his end.
I had a solid, fresh pizza Margherita, and scott got a special, with local organic vegetables. I think my pizza was 6 pounds, which is a screaming deal, and we had plenty of space and time. After that, we chose to stretch our legs, and walk off the pizza, and found ourselves in nearby Trafalgar Square. I walked him into my favorite church, St Martin-in-the-Fields, where I heard a concert rehearsal 6 years ago that made me cry. The National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery are there, next to each other, and both are free to enter.
You know me by now, and great free art is one of my favorite things in the world, so off we went. Instead, we went into the National Gallery and wandered among some of the true masterpieces of Post-Renaissance painting. A casual visit to such a beautiful place, for free, chatting with a friend among the heights of human history.
Last thought. Those folks have caused too much misery. See you next week! It was as an outside-in spotlight on Rural America shortly after the election and eventually turned into a personal project as I came back of my accord to build the project into a more in-depth piece.
The photos take place primarily in and around Wallace County, Kansas, which has a population of fewer than 1, people and is consistently one of the most overwhelmingly Republican counties in the nation. The project eventually took hold for me and became a personal exploration of external factors on internal notions.
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I wanted the images to consider the relationship between rural communities and their surroundings, as well as the juxtaposition of isolation vs. To see more of this project, click here. Heidi: I know you did some research on old master paintings after we discussed the concept for our OTT food shoot. What did you watch and what did you learn? Paul Getty Museum, L. How did that research translate into the final image?
The window light and textures, along with the opulence was replicated. Surrealist elements were also added to push the OTT narrative. How difficult was the post as we had only one hand model? It was quite straightforward to be honest. Much like a collage, it was cut and paste. The tricky bit was getting the correct hand gestures during the shoot. Were you concerned the lights would start to deteriorate the food? Why, thank you! I started looking into this process when I was studying commercial photography.
This turned into mixed media very quickly. I found collages to be an exciting process to break out and translate my ideas and emotions in more than 1 way. And honestly, it was just a lot of fun trying out new and exciting process:. You have great range in your work, how do you know when to execute straight forward photography vs the collage? I try not to separate the 2 processes. By nature the collages always come in later. So any photographs made can work with the narrative.
Sometimes I have found photographs made years ago, so give me a narrative element. I do have a lot of digital collages, but not everything is digital. It comes down to which method would be most beneficial for the artwork, for example Drips. I cannot predict how the paint is going to drip and blot. How has your personal travel influenced your work? To me it became a series on patience. I did, it is half the fun of it. I really love the process of seeing how all the writing, drawings and photos can make a story.
This project started in the New Year. I initially wanted to make a zine and then it turned into a journal of sorts. Every two months the plan is to bring a new one out. So this one is January and February. Photos I got back from the developer, doodles I did, work that was published, thoughts, all things that happened in those two months. I can cheat a little too. Like for instance there are two images in there that are from years ago but because I was teaching a class at RISD in January and was doing research for it I was allowed to use the images I was going to show my class as examples!
I made for now but might do another run. The plan will be to send out a new promo 6 times this year, every couple of months. Effectivness aside though, just doing them is enjoyable, I have so much fun working on them. I re designed my website and made a book last year that was about pages which is where I first realized how much I loved designing the book as much as doing the art that went in it.
Also what is nice is that unlike instagram, which I use as a promotional platform, once I send these babies out into the world I have no idea if they will be seen and or appreciated. I let go of them, not worrying about likes or dislikes. A shoemaker once told me we have to take care of our shoes, they protect our feet, our feet carries our body that carries our head….
There was nothing else about his story, but he taught me the value of craftsmanship and dedicating a lifetime to making sure people protect their heads…. Warning signs of falling debris during repairs at the New India Assurance Building, an Insurance firm. Mahim beach on a Sunday afternoon. A place where I spent many evenings of my childhood. Flashes of light on a rain soaked street that reminiscent of walking hand in hand in the rain with my mother.
The Red Cat and Other Stories had some of the same images, tell us about the cross over. In very simple words: A city where everything is kinda there, for whatever it is you wish to achieve or do; all you have to do is show up. It evoked memories of the time I moved, and the mental jolt I got on seeing the socio-cultural differences. It made me think of all the conversations I have had with people I know that have shifted along with the city. For curation I did a mammoth archive dive.
Over repeated edits and since I am one of those photographers who makes photos everyday, I added the new material made in the month and half leading up to the show. Final stage edit was done jointly with Kaiwan. One of my biggest takeaways, apart from many others, is his use of variants of a single image, akin to repetition. I always thought that repetition was simply a tool in writing, a figure of speech, but when done with images its quite fantastic!
What did you hope the viewer felt? The ultimate goal of my work is empathy and introspection. And they both work in tandem. Most importantly I wanted people to read the photos and enquire within instead of expecting simplified captions. The whole series also aspires to incite curiosity. Were all the images in the book and the show shot with your iphone?
In the process, I learnt that am a very different photographer on the phone and it began impacting the way I deal with the city and country. The phone camera is the camera of today, our generation, and what better way to chronicle and display a lived-in experience of my spaces. The phone allowed me to have a citizen like eye instead of being all professional about it. And India, gets a short stick on that end. People have for years photographed it in extreme ways, too much colour, too beautiful, or too poor, too tough a place.
I am quite fatigued by the cliched images of lovers on Marine Drive, crowds at the Gateway, south Bombay charm etc. Landscapes so imposing that everything else in the photograph is elevated too. As a response to this tedium, I self-published a photo book last year called The Red Cat and Other Stories in which I linked a Sindhi fable my mother told me when I was younger and my way of seeing the city which I feel now, after all these years of carrying multiple and confusing burdens of influences, is inspired more by these little fables and folk stories.
My goal was to create the most un-Bombay book on the island city as I can. Hence I focus largely on the suburbs, arriving at a balance of sorts in terms of representation of class and landscape. How long did the book take to shoot? The book took four years, from conception on a May afternoon in , till going to press in May of There are 16 stories of grit, of survival, of successes and failures that lead up to the Red Cat fable at the end of the book, where the protagonist is a young 17 year old, hence The Red Cat and Other Stories.
What font is in the title of the book? The font is specially designed by Sabeena Karnik , who merged the handwriting styles of my 2 elder sisters Shirley and Sonia and for my name I used a font called Metropolis. If not for my sisters I would not be in a position to pursue my dreams. The book is an ode to that very fact that we are never self made. Everything is a collective effort and it is true for a city like ours. No one can fulfill their dreams on their own, everybody needs a Red Cat.
How did you decide on that binding? The binding was a last minute decision fueled by an accident. The printer, sent me the final dummy and after one day the cover began to drift away from the book, exposing its spine. At first I got mad but then I was drawn to its bareness. How often do we come across a beautiful building or a home and when we go to its side we see a chaotic network of pipes and wires.
I also wanted a sense of fragility, like some of our inter-personal relationships, one wrong word or action that is misinterpreted brings to collapse years of knowing someone. It happens with all of us. No image on the book cover, why? For the cover too, I kept it simple. Its simply a book with photos and text! So, because of its whiteness, if you leave the book on a coffee table, there are bound to be stains, handle it roughly and it threatens to come apart. A day before printing, I reduced the paper weight from gsm to as well, for I wanted a certain see through to happen.
Sacrilege, felt my photographer friends and the process co-ordinator at Pragati Offset. But if you hold up certain pages against a source of light, two images merge to make a third. Like life, many things happen at once, overlapping. The printer thought am being stupid or just cutting costs, but trust me, it only looks fragile, it is pretty sturdy. Over the last year, I came across many readers who have done interesting things with it. One man wrapped it in a beautiful hand-spun cloth from his village and kept it in his safe as a gift for 4 year old son when he turns Some others have refused to let go of the bubble wrap envelope that I had used to pack it.
Some have simply kept it locked inside their cupboards instead of their bookshelves. Some books are beautifully personalized by food, pickle or tea stains. How did the book push you creatively? The book tested my patience at all levels. Whether it was design, production or tracking of couriers. At every stage, it demanded patience of ginormous amounts! I taught myself the basics of Indesign, binding, understanding page counts to minimize wastage etc etc.
As a photographer I lead a pretty sheltered life. Chasing stories, getting published and drawing a salary. And when one is doing news pictures for a long time, a false sense of superiority or a strange unreasonable dismissal of anything but news pictures had set in. So, self publishing a book, in India, when one is freelance, is like harakiri for such thoughts as well! Every step is twice as tough without institutional backing. With regards to narrative, I knew the things I wanted to avoid.
So it simply became a process of exclusion. I revisited several places to better some of the photos, one place I visited seven different times spread across two years. I was no longer chasing the perfect light, or form or anything that makes a photograph come across more dramatic than it already is.
I had about 98 versions of Ghar till I abandoned that narrative and changed its name followed by 40 odd versions of The Red Cat and Other Stories. I showed the book to some photographers but I found their feedback limiting. How did you decide about the text and was there a through line in all the interviews? I was pretty sure about having text in the book; it simply shaped up as I went along. The layout for the spreads was also quite fun. If one sits and puts together all the text columns of the book on a single page, they resemble a city skyline.
The gap between some words is more, some less, for a reason. Like houses in the city, some have a single room, some have 2 room houses and so on. To the uninitiated it might seem like one giant mistake. Why are some words in red in the text? In addition, There are some words in red ink though that one has to join up and construct a sentence which is the last line of the Red Cat fable. This allowed me two things, one that I can keep the story open ended if the viewer does not wish to join the words.
Second, its a game of sorts and you can involve kids too. A lot of photobooks alienate kids and senior citizens. For the same reason, I junked the hardcover and made a semi soft cover which allowed me to make gatefolds that contain short, succinct and often suggestive captions for the images.
Stay with the narration and simply open the gatefold to know more. How has your perspective of the city changed? Change is too severe a word. Its just transformed a bit for the better. Made me a whole lot more sensitive than I was towards it. I think, that is a really good thing for its very easy to fall prey to extreme emotions here. I tried to pick images that could mix and match to give a sense of my overall style of work and be able to tailor to who I would be sending them too.
The Cocktail is from a bar in called Pearl Diver and was a part of a cover story for Nashville Lifestyles. The slices of cake are from the cookbook Everyday Little Cakes. I have been working with them since before the opened the restaurant and I really wanted to include women who are doing amazing in the restaurant industry. The knife is from a cutlery company, Hammer Stahl, that is based out of Tennessee. The next portrait is one of my absolute favorite images. It was a great experience and seeing the entire animal being used was amazing. The ribs were from a recipe shoot for Parade magazine.
This was the first time I have sent out promos in a while but I will do this twice a year. I think having something tangible can make all the difference in the world. I was able to get hired by a publication that was on the top of my wish list for new clients because of these promos. We are so used to looking at things on screens these days that being able to hold something physical is still special.
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I always notice when doing portfolio reviews or handing a promo to someone their reaction to it is much greater than just looking at the same image on a screen. The story got a bit of press last month, as I recall reading an editorial or two about the situation. In one article, maybe in the Guardian? Meaning, any deviation from your normal physical travel route, or usual digital activity, and they would have reason to be suspicious of you. While Sartre suggested that Hell is other people, the Chinese are using tech to turn your regular routine into a form of prison, if not outright torture.
But was published in To create an interval, of even a week, in which I can let my experiences settle into memories, and then decide which ones are worth sharing. So a few minutes ago, I was on the floor stretching, when this book caught my eye on the shelf, still wrapped in plastic.
Well, this one cuts to the heart of it like the evil dude in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Sorry for conjuring that visual. But immediately, it becomes clear this is not a story about tourists. Given that I wrote last month about NYC becoming a global city for outsiders, this book presents a series of images that is as old school as it gets. I thought about it for a minute or two, and though it should have been obvious, it was not.
So finally I opened up Apple Maps. Not only are these people commuters, they might not even be New Yorkers. Because the photographer brilliantly stationed himself right next to the biggest transport hub in the city. Growing up as a kid in suburban New England, there was always something enchanting about the west. Stories of entrepreneurial pioneers leaving everything they knew and heading out into unchartered territory read like epic fairytales—the great American quest into the vast unknown, with trials and tests around every corner, and insurmountable obstacles overcome by singular resolve, spontaneous ingenuity and some good old fashioned luck.
I think like most Americans, I have a tendency to romanticize our history. I am often confronted by a sense of nostalgia for times gone by—a compelling ache for experiences I did not experience and never will. This nostalgia has been an ever present theme in my life since childhood, and as an adult has manifested in my work—first as a historic preservationist and then as a photographer.
It inspires in me an insatiable need to preserve that which is lost, whether through the restoration of a house or the creation of a visual narrative—ensuring that its memory is honored and lives on. But nostalgia is a funny thing. It is a non-experience, an artifice of memory, and like the great American fables of the west, and it glosses over the day-to-day minutia and trivializes the mundane.
But there is beauty in the quiet moments interspersed between the pivotal plot points. The series in part is inspired by the location itself. The Dalles Mountain Ranch, located in the rolling hills of the Columbia River along the historic Oregon Trail, was settled in the s.
The land proved to be harsh and unsuitable for farming, forcing the settlers to ranch cattle rather than harvest crops. It was eventually lost in the Great Depression and subsequently whittled away parcel by parcel until eventually purchased by the state and designated as a preserve.