Surf The Web Instead Of TV?; It’s Definitely A Heckuva Lot More Fun
"But when television is bad, nothing is worse...a vast wasteland."--Newton Minow
In his now famous speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, the FCC's
Minow may have quoted Edward Estlin Cummings but he was on-target in addressing
the state of television in 1961. I have to wonder what he would think about
the visual and aural assault of today's 150 channels of digital cable
and satellite TV. We've got quantity but finding quality is as hard as
looking for a business suit in Lil' Kim's closet. I think that's
why people have increasingly turned to the World Wide Web for information and
entertainment. It's interactive, full of useful (and useless*) information,
and a heckuva lot more fun.
* A piece of trivia: The producers of the Gilligan's Island television show named the shipwrecked boat the S.S. Minnow to express displeasure with Mr. Minow's "vast wasteland" speech.
Creativity Is Not A Place
Davida Nemeroff is a young photographer living and working in Toronto but the photographs on her website (www.afikomen.ca) display maturity beyond her years. Her style, including design of this refreshingly original site by a Montreal-based company called Dynamo, includes images of whimsy and depth that reflect her ethnicity and nationality in untold and often humorous ways. Contained within three sections--Series, Editorial, and Snapshots--are collections of honestly real, hysterically funny, and sometimes sad images made in monochrome or color.
For those people who say, "there's nothing left to photograph," I point them to the "My Father was a Pirate" or "El Presidente" series to show Nemeroff's innovative approach to making images using family and friends as models. Don't miss Music in the Editorial section, specifically the "More" collection that features the dazzlingly hip "Fox the Boombox" panorama. Look especially at the eyes of her subjects in portraits of the group controller.controller, showing the contact she made with these people that goes beyond "smile for the birdie." Similarly, her Editorial work on Joke Club (a pun on Fight Club?) contains images that make me smile just thinking about them.
Peter Hurley is a New York photographer whose deceptively simple yet cleverly designed website (www.peterhurley.com) can be viewed in two versions. The Full version requires broadband and the playful--it suits the images--interface by Illgraphs (www.illgraphs.com) is a delight to use. The Light version performs well on any kind of Internet connection and Hurley is quite a performer himself. Just look at Actors Headshots, ordinarily the most mundane project a photographer shoots, to see how he turns the genre on its head with images that are fresh yet accomplish the goal of showing the actor's or actress' personality.
For something completely different, look at his Out-takes gallery showing the actors' real personalities. (Any publishers reading this? This collection of funny images should be a book.) Hurley is an accomplished fashion shooter and the color and black and white images in his Modeling and Kids galleries range from dramatic to seriously cute. Speaking of cute, you ain't seen nothin' till you look in The Hurly Family gallery for photographs of his twins. These are great photos no matter whose children they are. If you have broadband you'll enjoy special effects and bonus images such as the "live portfolio" in the Fun Stuff section, but no matter how you see Hurley's photography, you must see it.