Kevin Twomey Visits a Local Legend Before It Closes It’s Doors.

_MG_7014Kevin Twomey spends his weekends riding his bicycle and hiking in some of the most beautiful places in Northern California.   Since my weekends are often very different (think being a mom, 3 kids and sporting events) I am always in awe of the photographs he shares at the end of a weekend of the latest remote place he discovered.  On a recent weekend trip to Point Reyes, he visited a place that compelled him to write a blog post.  

Here is what he had to say.

“When the  choice between paper or plastic at the grocery store was first offered to me (which today will cost you 10 cents per bag in San Francisco),  I stood there in front of the cashier with a confused look while taking too much time weighing the positive and negatives of both.

This  week, my indecision involves the agonizing question regarding extending the lease of Drakes Oyster Company’s operation in Point Reyes. I am glad I am not the “Decider”.

I visited the Oyster Farm on March 2nd to experience what might be my last tasting of DOC’s delicious raw oysters before  they close in a couple of months due to a 40 year lease that expired last year.

I had a nice talk with the son of the owner of Drake’s Oyster Co., Sean Lunny, as he worked on the line that sorts the oysters. He hopes that the federal government will at least allow them to finish harvesting what is still in the waters. The Oyster Farm plants and harvests 8 million oysters a year (producing about 460,000 pounds of shucked oysters).  They still have about 2 years of unharvested oysters in 1,000 acres of submerged land. Their operation accounts for about 40% of the commercial oyster production in the state. These numbers are quite impressive for a small company that strives to produce a product through sustainable agricultural practices with ecological responsibility.

After my conversation I walked around the farm and took a few snapshots of their farm & production.

As one who appreciates our natural wonders, I applaud the Park Service’s efforts to keep supporting our marine life.  But I cannot help but feel there is some way a company that provides sustainable, local-grown organic food can co-exist.  Because closing this company will affect the consumer market for oysters I wonder who will step up to replace what they provided and at what cost?  A company on some other less-defended shoreline waters 6000 miles away?  One that isn’t practicing sustainable agricultural practices?

Feeling compelled to help save Drakes Oyster Company?  Link to here to sign their petition.

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Andy Anderson Says that Ice Trolls Invented Drinking.

Over the years, the word I hear most when people are describing Andy Anderson’s photography is SOULFUL.  That is because he has a powerful connection to the people and places he photographs.  He doesn’t just take pictures, he makes friends.  Life long friends.

On a recent trip to Northern Minnesota to shoot personal work of the ice fishing sub culture,  Andy met some new friends.  Link to Andy’s blog to read what he shares about his trip and why he thinks the ice trolls invented drinking.

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David Martinez Finds a New Camera that Helps him Evolve his Look.

David Martinez recently called me to talk some about what direction he sees his worked heading this year.  It was a great call because David was so excited and passionate.  He had been shooting the new work for a while and said it would be ready to share soon.  He has big plans for the new direction and it got me excited too!

On the call, I asked him what were some of the things that inspired him to create a whole new body of work.  Besides it just being a natural progression and being inspired by the teams he had been working with, he mentioned a new camera that he was using.  Here is what he said about it. 

“Camera technology changes by the second. Sometimes the changes are big (like high def video on a DSLR).  And, sometimes the changes not so big (like an extra megapixel).  I have seen a lot of changes over the past few years; bigger sensors, better buffers, better transfer speeds, and they all help push my work even further.   At the end of last year,  I read about a new Canon camera and software that intrigued me (Canon EOS 1D X and Capture One Pro 7 software).  Thinking it was just another necessary small (albeit expensive) upgrade, I took the plunge and bought the camera. After spending a few weeks with it and the newest photo editing software, I can safely say it’s one of the biggest improvements that I’ve seen in a long time.  Every frame is sharp, I can shoot clean files in the lowest of light, there is a range of detail I’ve never seen in a digital format, tonal transitions are smooth and colors are rendered beautifully.

I’ve found that my new setup has been really freeing as an artist. I spend less time thinking about the technical limitations of what I’m doing and more time thinking about what kind of image I want to make. I’m able to really see what’s in front of me. I can be more present and more sensitive to my environment, which makes any  photographer, or any artist for that matter, better. I get more of the pictures I want more often.

Stay tuned in the next few months for a new collection of David Martinez images.

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Confessions of an Instragrammer. By Kevin Twomey.

@Kevin Twomey Instagram Photography

I love how when I see a Kevin Twomey image on Instagram, I never know it is his.  That is because he isn’t taking photographs of the things he does in his studio.  Instead he is photographing exactly the opposite.  And, being that he is a still life photographer, his world has opened up!   

Enjoy a recent blog post he wrote confessing his latest obsession.

“If you have not yet succumbed to the crack-like lure of instagram, all I can say is, don’t start.

It began simply enough, with me capturing stills on my iPad.  The iPad, as it turns out, is but a gateway drug: as a professional photographer, the limitations of its vastly inferior camera soon had me hijacking my wife’s iPhone to capture interesting images during our weekend hikes.  First, it was with her permission, but after I vomitously filled up her phone with my addiction, she cut me off.

I wandered the streets, desperate to fill that 16Gb void in my soul, and soon found a smartphone dealer who would sell me an iPhone. As a still-life photographer, I had been so used to the 4×5, taking my time, carefully crafting my shots, that using something a fraction of its size and weight was absolutely liberating!  I spent more and more hours under the influence of its euphoric filters, convinced that the next hit would yield that elusive high of PhotoShopped wonder.  I found acceptance in the Instagram community.

Instagram takes care of me.  It provides me with apps to nurture my creativity (first one is always free). It feeds my desire to observe and my obsessive need to shoot. After all, they are parented by Facebook, known for respecting -many- of the privacy filters they offer.  Except on January 17th.  Need I say more?

I can stop any time, though.  I can control it.  I’m not like those obsessive users driven to enter competitions, instacanvas and type-those-endless-keywords-on-a-scren-so-tiny-you-might-suck-it-up- your-nostrils-if-you-look-too-close.

It is just that it is my civic duty to mentor the social media generation, to impart professional wisdom gleaned from years of practice.

Or so I tell myself, as i watch my images flash by on my niece’s iPhone, shared and re-shared in a blindingly-fast display of teenage thumbwork.”

To view more of my instagram images please go to :  kevintwomey.com/instagram

Featuring David Martinez’s Video Portfolio This Week.

After spending all last week showing off our portfolios on appointments in NY, at the At Edge Face to Face event and in Los Angeles at Le Books’ Connections event, we were reminded how much people really appreciate flipping through an actual portfolio rather than clicking through one on line.

We know that timing and budget does not always allow for that, so we asked each of our artists to create a video of their portfolio for people to watch online.  It isn’t the same of course, but a little bit closer to the experience than a website.

This week we are featuring David Martinez.  See below for his full video.  To see the other videos from our group that we have posted so far, please link here.

Enjoy!

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Heather Elder Represents Rethinks the Agency Portfolio.

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Last year, we decided that it was a good time to create an AGENCY PORTFOLIO.  We had a fantastic group of photographers and many opportunities to show it off.  We didn’t want it to be a typical group book that had a section for each photographer.  While we like those and they are always very strong, we wanted ours to be a little different so that it would stand out more at events such as Le Book’s Connections.

What we came up with was a portfolio divided by SPECIALTY instead of by PHOTOGRAPHER.  We liked this idea because it allowed us to showcase the type of work our group can offer while allowing the viewer to file our group away by different specialities.  Of course it is always our main goal for a creative to learn who our photographers are and what they shoot individually.  This will never change.  But, by offering an alternate way for them to view the work in our group, we are opening up another opportunity for them to remember the work.

More often than not the Agency Portfolio is shown in conjunction with the individual portfolios so if a viewer is interested in seeing more, they can choose to do so right then and there.  This is particularly helpful in a setting like Le Book Connections because there are so many books to view and it can get overwhelming for some. We have found that our agency book provides a breath of fresh air in a crowded market.

Take a look for yourself and see.  It is no mistake that we chose the song, Breathe by Sia as the background music.  Enjoy!

Click here to see the video of our Agency Portfolio

Click here to see the video of our Agency Portfolio

When the Journey is More Interesting than the Destination.

© Kevin Twomey

Back in October we shared with you some photographs that Kevin Twomey took on a summer trip to Italy.   He included a corresponding post reminding us the importance of slowing down.  Well, Kevin’s trip also took him to St. Moritz. And, it was here that he tested out his newly healed arm after a break and hiked a hard to reach summit.  He recently shared his experience with us and the beautiful photographs that he created.

“While on vacation in Italy, we took an overnight trip to St Moritz and I found the journey far more interesting then the destination. The first leg was from Oltre il Colle to Tirano, where we took the scenic route through windy roads and over the San Marco pass.   We stopped at the pass to stretch our legs and take a few pictures.  What I captured was one of my favorite images from the trip.   I was drawn to the the modern day electric wires that followed over a road  built  in the 16th century. For me, it was about the layering of time.

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I was told that the pass was built as a trade route between Bergamo (ruled by the Republic of Venice at the time) and cities to the north so they could avoid paying the high tariffs to Milan. The modern road over the pass is a favorite for many hardcore cyclists.

The second leg was a 2 1/2 hour train ride from Tirano to St Moritz.  It was a gorgeous ride through the Alps with breathtaking scenery, where the tracks climb at a 7% gradient and stop close to Brenina Pass at an elevation of almost 7,400 ft.  I can only imagine what this trip would be like in the winter!

There are 3 things to do in St Moritz; ski, shop and eat.  Since I am not a big shopper, I was happy to just sit on the slopes of St Moritz (minus the snow), and enjoy my delicious cured meat and cheese sandwich while basking in the sun.

After returning from St Moritz, I decided to hike up to one of the lower peaks of the nearby Mt. Alben. On my way up, I met three lovely people who were on their way to the higher, more difficult-to-get-to peak and was invited to join them. The rock scrambling tested my arm (which I had broken 8 weeks earlier),  but the payoff was worth it when we hit the summit.   The weather was on my side at that moment with storm clouds in the distance to help give me the right atmosphere for my photograph, but far enough away so I cloud return home dry.

© Kevin Twomey

© Kevin Twomey

© Kevin Twomey

© Kevin Twomey

If you would like to see more of Kevin’s work, please link here.

Don’t “Freak Out” – you can now see Hunter Freeman’s portfolio on video.

As with the others in our group, we have created a video for Hunter Freeman’s portfolio.  And, in keeping with his style he chose a song that will make you chuckle. Hint:  See title of this post.  And, to add his own brand of humor, the song is performed by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.  Check it out below.

Hunter Freeman’s Video Photography Portfolio

If you would like to see Hunter’s portfolio in person, please email us here.  And, to see more of his work.  Be sure to link to his website.