Thursday, November 12, 2009

"F8 and be there"

What a whirlwind of a week it has been. A student again. Pushing myself, reaching out, falling short, listening, letting go, processing, turkish baths, ancient faith, a pigeon fancier, a perfume vendor,  turkish friends, sunset from the Galata, gypsy bands, devilish taxi drivers and hotel owners, street music and sherafe!

A rockin group of new friends and family brought together by a passion for photography; and to top it all off at the wrap up party I was offered a position as an inspector for iStock. I can now officially work from anywhere in the world!

Yesterday, after the conference was over, I went out to photograph a new friend, Cenk. Intelectual, stunt man, trilingual, PHD student, in line skater, teacher, and professional Parkour athlete, Cenk was our guide and model for the day. It was good to be shooting my own stuff again, just for fun, and free of the pressures of the last week.

But photographing Cenk, something felt different. I mentioned it to Rosco as we shot, but I couldn't really explain it. My time with the editors from Getty has made forced me to look at my work more critically. pretty pictures are no longer all that I'm searching for. I want substance. stories. I've been left paralyzed by the enormity of the possibilities in the world of editorial, and the vastness of what is left to learn. This is the beginning of a new phase of growth in my career. The eye, the passion, and the ability to tell stories. These are the essentials according to Aidin Sullivan. I think I have them. But it will be some time yet before they dance in unison. In the meantime I must deal with the real challenges.

The nitty gritty of editorial. Back to the basics. Lose the gimicks, trust your eye. Lightroom presets, and Photoshop foolery have no place in the world of editorial. Andreas let a Getty staff photographer go just the other week for adding a bit of gray sky to an image.The viewer has to trust that these are not photoshop stories. That they are real. As a photographer this means you have to nail the moment. This means getting there. Earning trust. Reaching out. and reaching deeper. In showing his photographs of war and famine Tom Stoddart's words really hit home for me: "those scenes are about F8 and be there, but the fact is I was there."

The following is a slide show of images from my first attempts at telling stories on the streets of Istanbul. Shot in a very brief time, without prior connection to my subjects, and no way of communicating other than gestures and pantomime I found it all very difficult.


  1. It's so different and interesting to see your photography in this new light. It's inspiring for me to want to find a challenge for myself. Congrats on the istock position! It amazes me that you are my age and have already done so much with your photography and travels. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Forest my man, you are growing up before my eyes. Blessings to you on your new position at I Stock, your new found love for editorial and all the possibilities that stretch before you. Whatever support I can offer you is yours.
    BTW I am going to dinner with Autumn tonight.
    Miss you brother, I am still waiting to hear about South America Itinerary...
    Keep shootin my man.
    Much love

  3. I am in awe of your amazing images, Forest. Thanks for sharing them and your news of the position with iStock. Congratulations!

  4. @Hailey You are already telling beautiful stories with your images, and personal ones as well. You will have no trouble telling the stories of others when you so choose

    @Jon and you before mine brother ;) You have always been one of the ones who has offered it all. Plans for SA shall be laid back in the mountains on a cold winter night, over beers and hot tub dousings.

    @Susan Thank you Susan!