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LAST 10 MINUTES print heading

LAST 10 MINUTES

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Keeping the cat

A friend asked me how things were going.   I told them this story from last Sunday:  Jackson and I were running to catch the train to New York.  As we approached the platform, the train was already waiting, and we watched as the doors closed.  Jackson looked up at me, “Daddy, we missed the train.”    I then saw one door stuck open.  That never happens.   We ran over, jumped up onto the train and looked back as the door closed behind us.   “Daddy!  We made it! And it is a double decker!!”

That is how everything feels right now.   Like the door is staying open just long enough to let me jump in.  So much momentum.   So many doors.

At Workman Press this week digging into our photo book with my friend Scott Mowbray, Stephie, our agent Mark Reiter, and the great editor Suzie Bolotin.   It is like watching an olympic sport as they take my work and ideas – and spin them into something I could never have seen so clearly from my perch.

All those years,I fought the process of explaining what comes so naturally.   I deflected praise and special attention – feeling that I was photographing universal ideas everyone shared.   I did not want to think too much about  something that seemed inexplicable and was making my life so rich.   Felt my skills were exploring and understanding the experience right in front of me – rather than making sense of the whole body of work.

Mark thinks of it like comedy writers sitting around a table.  I am astonished finding myself in a room with such invention and brain power working on this project.   Lorne Michals says you never want to be the smartest person in the room.   I love how the best collaborations make the work so much better than you ever could on your own.

Getting back to that train ride to NY.  A couple of seats in front of us, there were 4 teenage girls telling the whole car about their lives, loves, and then this story:

“Our cat peed on the carpet and my father said he was going to get rid of the cat.  So I peed on the carpet and asked my father if he was going to get rid of me.     We got to keep the cat.”

This shot is of my good friend Shlomi and his daughter Zoe.

02.28.12 Posted in Everything Is Connected, Personal Work, Something I Heard

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Better than Facebook

(this is a bad reproduction of a very old image I took of Joni Mitchell in concert)

I was walking up the hill to our house last Friday with Stephie. It was the end of a heady week.  Our work together is taking on a life of it’s own. The weekend was an island we were climbing up the hill towards, to reset our clocks.

There were three people walking in front of us. One was our neighbor Eve. She was with a couple – the guy carrying a tripod case and what looked like a video shoulder bag. Eve heard us, looked around and said hi. She introduced us to her sister and her sister’s husband. She said they were working on videos. When I asked what kind of video they explained they were doing 50 short scientific films about water – and they were just finishing up a film on Fracking. “Non-political” but of course VERY political.” The man asked what I did. “I am a photographer, but doing some videos now, too.” “What is your name?” “George Lange.” The guy then said, “That is so weird. I used to know a George Lange who was a photographer. I gave him a ride from Ithaca to Vasaar and he paid me with a Joni Mitchell print. I still have the photograph hanging in my house.” Slowly I recognized the face, remembered Philip’s name. I had not seen him in 35 years. They had plans. No time for catching up, but promises.

We looked in the front window at the two boys eating in the dining room. As soon as we turned the door knob the weekend would begin. We stood staring in at our life from the outside.

Jackson lept up when he heard the door open. Running over to us he yelled out, “Daddy. Mommy. I MISSED YOU!”

02.14.12 Posted in Everything Is Connected, Photos

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First Aid Kit

First, I apologize.   I try to do this everyday.  You are busy.  It is okay.  I am busy, too, but I am always thinking about you.  Wondering if you saw this.  When I sit down there is so much to share that the post gets much longer than you have time for.  Take a little bite.  Sip some coffee.  Come back when you can.  I will be here.

Started the year off meeting with Stephie in New York on January 2.  No one was working.  The city was cleaning up and quiet.  The office in NY was empty but really bright and sunny.   We needed a plan.  I have never planned.  We needed to keep a promise.  Needed to shine a light.  So we made a plan.   It was not that hard.  Stephie loves maps and has become a master cartographer for this ship.

Subalehka and Jonah whose two brains make a very balanced wonderful one – came in and helped us part on the left and comb everything into place.

Then…over the next weeks everything became wonderful and rich.   I can’t show the pictures yet – but soon.   I can’t talk about the videos we are doing – but so excited the new projects involve the leap to directing.   I can say the book we are doing for Workman is going to be totally amazing!   I can say the next weeks shooting in LA, in Utah, in Columbus, in Boston will be the best I have ever done.

Last night I stayed in NY writing for the book.  I don’t understand why some days I have such crazy energy and everything just comes pouring out.  I took a late train home.  Walking up the hill I heard this song I knew coming out of a bar.  A bunch of women were having a great time singing Karaoke.   The song was so familiar.   Then they came to the chorus of “Thunder Road.”  I kept walking.  Thought about the night a couple of years ago my mother asked me about Bruce Springsteen.   We sat down on the couch and I played her several videos of Bruce singing Thunder Road – acoustic alone, with the whole band.  I gave her a sheet with the lyrics.   I looked over and she was really moved.  She said, “I didn’t know he was so emotional.”   Months later she went to see him in Colorado with my brother.  They snuck up to sit close.

Links:
Great article in the Times yesterday on eating mindfully.  Hard to imagine slowing down this much, but does make eating lunch at your computer sound alittle insane.

Odd segue, but sticking with food – if you are in Nashville, visit Burger Up.  Love everything there from the room, to the staff – and onion rings stacked like a perfect mountain.  But go there for the coffee.   It is crazy that something we are pretty sophisticated about in NY they can rewire your body with in one cup.

Discovered the most amazing band in the middle of the night in Nashville over the weekend.  Could not sleep in the middle of the night.  Plugged my ears with a show called, “Acoustic Cafe.“   Not as Starbucks as it sounds.  They played, “King of the World” by, “First Aid Kit” that had Connor Oberest (Bright Eyes) singing on the track.  I checked out their videos.  I listened to the album they just released.  They are sisters, in their early 20′s – from Sweden.  I am so happy to share.  Here is music to take February back with

I saw a clip of Bill O’Reilly (which is a weird thing to say since I have never watched him before) DEFENDING JC Penney and Ellen Degeneres.   Then I did something I also have never done, I wrote to JC Penney supporting their support of Ellen.  They wrote this back, “As we focus on being in sync with the rhythm of our customers’ lives and operating in a ‘Fair and Square’ manner that is rooted in integrity, simplicity and respect, we couldn’t think of a better partner than Ellen DeGeneres. We are extremely proud to have her on our team.”

The rhythm of our customers…..   Maybe there is hope.

One last video for if the snow ever comes……from the Head & The Heart

02.09.12 Posted in Everything Is Connected, Photos, Something I Heard, Something I Saw, Something I Took

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