Sites With A Theme; It’s Blogging Time Again
"The first step in blogging is not writing them but reading them."--Jeff Jarvis
Twice in the past I've tried to create a blog and failed miserably each time, perhaps because the blogging sites, not me, controlled the software used to create and maintain them. Recently my pal Ralph Nelson (www.ralphnelson.com) told me about Apple's (www.apple.com) iWeb and while it's far from a new program, it's a great way to produce and update a blog. I recently replaced my aging Mac G4 OS desktop computer with a Mac Pro and the iLife software includes iWeb, which was bundled with it. Even if you have to purchase iLife it only costs $79 and the package includes other applications such as iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, and iDVD, so you get your money's worth and can leverage functions of the other programs to enhance your blog, such as using iPhoto to create Web Galleries. You can visit my new blog at www.joefaraceblogs.com and by the time you read this there should be a Spanish language version online as well.
It would be easy to claim that Julia Bailey is one of the best female wedding photographers in the country, but it would be far more accurate to say she is the leading wedding photojournalist in the U.S.A., period! Bailey's imagery contains the kind of incisive wedding photographs that are only possible when the creator is freed from the straitjacket of the check list and is able to explore what's really happening, not just imitating the kind of shots found in your Aunt Audrey's 1940s wedding album. No cookie-cutter images here.
Bailey's camera doesn't miss a bride's quiet laughter during what might otherwise be a serious moment of prayer. But what sets her work apart from even the best wedding photojournalism is the soaring heights Bailey's artistic imagery attains. Just click through "Portfolio" and look at some of the pictures. Bouncing back and forth between monochrome and eye-popping color photographs, whose effects remind me of Kodak's old color Photomicrography slide film, she dazzles with style. Occasionally her photographs resemble fashion imagery more than photojournalism. This is especially true in the "Trash the Dress" section that takes wedding photography into unexpected and even gothic directions. Hey, she's from New Orleans, so it's no surprise that her style is a gumbo of emotion, color, and panache. Bailey maintains a blog, too; be sure to visit it at: http://jbailey.bigfolioblog.com.
Nancy G. Horton's website has a delightfully colorful 1960s look to it, including a portrait of the photographer climbing out of a swimming pool wearing a pink swimsuit and flowered cap. This delightful site has four sections, including the charmingly named "Samples" section that showcases tear sheets of Horton's published work; my favorite being the orangutan greeting card, but then monkeys and apes always get me. "Events" includes mostly color concert photographs, including a wonderful portrait of B.B. King. You'll also find photographs of Joni Mitchell and Little Richard and I am way too unhip to recognize the rest, although you may. Rounding out that gallery are monochrome images of what looks like Burning Man escapees that I wish were run larger--a comment that applies to all the images on the site--so they could be better appreciated.
I was mesmerized by the haunting imagery found in "Places," which obviously has a different meaning for Horton than to most folks. The untitled image of a foggy day makes you want to pause while expecting to see a group of druids in prayer to walk by--any minute now. "People" is a pastiche of documentary, fashion, and smiling corporate folks whisked together in a style combining sharp, bright color and strong composition that forces you to confront the images. Horton doesn't have a blog per se but her "News" section functions in much the same way. Check it out.