Song of the Day



Johanna Cranitch has been whispering in my ear for a while now about fellow Aussie songbird Nadia Ackerman, and today I have something to share off of The Circus Is Back In Town, her latest album. Now chances are even if you’re unfamiliar with her music, you might know more about Nadia than you think…she’s been getting a lotta notices recently for her vocals on the new UPS ‘Logistics’ campaign…even syndicated radio talk show host Neal Boortz has been Tweeting about it…I actually think he’s got a thing for her, cuz he’s mentioned her more than once…! I suppose it’s understandable that Neil might have fallen for the girl with her breathy, beautiful voice calling out to him from the TV, but still…a teeny bit creepy.

Anyway…I love the song. The relaxed, languid way she shuffles through the verse has an almost narcotic feel to it, and the simple piano and electronic backing loop that accompanies her is both classic and psychedelic at the same time.

To find out more about Nadia Ackerman, check her out on her facebook page. You can also keep your eyes on The List…I have a feeling we will be hearing…and seeing…more of Nadia in the near future. And if you haven’t seen it already, here’s that UPS commercial I was telling you about…

New Work – Robert Nardelli

Click on Any Image for Full-Size

My tour of the nation’s boardrooms continued last week when I got to spend some time with Bob Nardelli, the ex-CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler, who is now at Cerberus Capital Management, one of the largest private equity investment firms in the country. His new gig has him running the Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company…a little portfolio that includes about 50 companies with combined revenues of nearly $50 billion. With that as his day job, it’s not too surprising that I was not going to be given a lot of time to do what I do, but I was further hamstrung when the location I wanted to shoot him in was deemed ‘too public’ and instead my only choice was…the boardroom.

The boardroom is always the first place I’m shown and usually the last place I wanna be! The person giving me the office tour typically says, “We’ve done a lot of photography in here!”, which makes me wonder why they think I would want to go where thousands have gone before, but beyond that, most boardrooms are just not that photo-friendly. They can be High-Tech or Old-World and as well-designed as possible, but there’s no gettin’ around the monstrously large table that inevitably takes up the bulk of the room. And even the best boardroom is usually kinda bland, overlit and without much drama. So to overcome these little obstacles I decided to get a bit dark and moody and make a shot that was more cinematic than real…..

…then, for a quick secondary photo, I decided to do one of my Artificial Portraits (above) that I could also serve as a nice setup for a tight portrait…..

Are Y’All Ready For An 80mp Digital Back ?!!

Barely a week after I was pissing and moaning about the big announcement from PhaseOne that they were introducing a $42,000 digital back that captures only Black & White images, comes today’s bombshell from Leaf that they’re gonna now about to trot out has to be to most ridiculous bit of technological overkill yet seen on the digital landscape…an 80MP digital back that kicks out a 165mb RAW file and…ya might wanna sit down for this…a 480mb TIFF file! Now for those of you who understand such things, then you know that by starting with a base TIFF of 480mb, your final layered, retouched & messed-with file can easily end up being larger than TWO GIGABYTES in size!!! For those less geek-savvy, let’s just agree that the file size this thing produces is waaaaaay bigger than just about anybody needs, wants, asked for or even thought would be necessary! With resolution like this I would imagine you could stand on top of a tall building in New York and take a pretty sharp picture of Boston (I kid, of course!), but no…the number one reason Leaf claims this thing is necessary is to “eliminate Moiré and more perfectly render objects – from the texture of fine fabrics to the smooth curves of car metal”…! Now you’ll hafta excuse me whilst I digest that statement, because I’m on my third Leaf back and with each new back Leaf has made the exact same claim…and I still have Moiré! Oh…not so much that it makes any real difference and what there is can usually be eliminated with a bit of Photoshop fuckery, but I hafta ask…just what is the new 80mp Aptus-II 12 with its’ newly designed 53.7×40.3mm full-frame CCD sensor really good for besides forcing its’ owner to buy stock in companies that manufacture hard drives?!!

Just for kicks, I took the last job I did with my ‘Old Skool’, 33MP Leaf Aptus 75S and ran the numbers to see what the difference in storage would be if I shot the same job on the new Aptus-II 12. I shot 307 RAW files, each one of which is 68.3 megabytes in size, that translated into 20.97 gigabytes of total space used, and quite frankly, that’s already a huge pile of ‘zeroes’ and ‘ones’ filling up disc space! However, the same 307 RAW files shot on the Aptus-II 12 with its 165 megabyte capture rate will give you a 50.66 gigabyte meatball that you have to store on multiple redundant backups systems until they plant your dead ass in the ground! That’s a lotta gigabytes, Baby!

Oh yeah….the Aptus-II 12 is gonna come in at about $32 Grand, just in case you wanted to start saving up your pennies now…..

R.I.P. Jay Colton

Photo © Claudio Edinger

I woke up today to the terrible news that Jay Colton, photographer, photo editor and educator, died Saturday while teaching at the International Photography Festival/Paraty em Foco, in Brazil. I have known Jay since the early 80’s, but after many years of not seeing each other, we had rekindled our friendship in the past year. Details are hard to come by, but he apparently collapsed while conducting portfolio reviews at the festival and never regained consciousness. He leaves behind his son Christopher and wife Moira and the entire New York photo community will mourn his passing.

The following was a news report from Brazil on the Paraty em Foco Festival that featured Jay…

Song of the Day

If You Wanna

DOWNLOAD: If You Wanna

There is precious little information out the on the interwebs about The Vaccines ‘cept that this new London outfit is being set up by none other than NME to be ‘the future of everything’…! Hell, that’s a lotta pressure for a new band that doesn’t even have a MySpace page, but what they do have is a tight, uniquely refreshing Lo-Fi 60’s Pop sound that sticks in your head. I’d tell you more, but honestly, that’s about all I got…so check them out on facebook or on their interesting, if rather obtuse Website


We’ll…..not you and me, but the entire studio full of bawling, drooling, Oprah-obsessed Super Fans who happened to be holding a Golden Ticket to the debut show of her final season are packing their bags and heading off for a free week in Kangarooland!

And if that news wasn’t enough to make the crying masses wet themselves, Oprah told ’em that none other than famous pilot John Travolta would be the one flying them there!!!

This is all giving me a massive headache…….

Song of the Day

I L U (Phantogram Remix)

DOWNLOAD: I L U (Phantogram Remix)

School of Seven Bells latest album, Disconnect from Desire, is practically brand new, but the Brooklyn-based trio already has has a new digital EP set to drop September 14. Heart is Strange is one of those crazy little things that happens when the remix-masters fall in love with a band, and SVIIB is one of those bands. The EP contains only four cuts, two versions of Heart is Strange (the Radio edit and the Pantha du Prince Remix), Dust Devil (White Sea Remix), and today’s SOTD, I L U (Phantogram Remix). Disconnect from Desire has been one of my favorite albums this year, but I’m always up for a good bit of knob-twiddling. Check out more from SVIIB on MySpace or on their Website and for you New Yorkers who plan on doing CMJ this year, they’re gonna be playing the Santos Party House Saturday, October 23rd and it promises to be one of the best shows of the week!

And Now… A Digital Back For ‘Pure B&W Images’…?!!

The steady march of technology in the photo biz often makes my head spin, especially with the price of admission factored in, but this mornings email from PhaseONE even made me take a deep breath. For the mind-bending sum of $41,990.00, photographers can now enjoy a ‘pure’ digital Black & White experience with the release of the new 39 Megapixel PhaseONE Achromatic+ Back. That’s right…42 Grand and you can only shoot B&W! Now I don’t wanna seem too Old Skool here, but if ‘regular’ digital backs are having such a hard time capturing Black and White images, couldn’t we just load in a roll of Tri-X like the old days and be happy? Was there really that big of an outcry from the photo community for a piece of equipment that essentially moves the medium backwards?!! I’m not saying I don’t love Black & White imagery…far from it…but spending 42 Large on a digital back is sort of like inventing a High Definition Video Camera that only shoots silent movies! And yes…Phase is touting the scientific applications of such a back as one of the main reasons for going forward with such a project, but you just know there are gonna be a lotta kids with messed up priorities who will have the Achromatic+ on their wish list this Christmas!

Song of the Day

If You Want It (French Horn Rebellion Remix)

DOWNLOAD: If You Want It

You’re all gonna have to cut me some slack, but The List is gonna deviate from the normal flow of Indie/Singer-Songwriter/Guitar-Driven tunes today, because as a dyed in the wool fanboy of anything Synth-Pop, I can’t resist leaking the first new material from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark since 1996! OMD’s new album, History Of Modern, is set to drop later this month, but already the remixologists are twiddling the knobs on a few tracks that fell off the back of the truck. French Horn Rebellion has taken “If You Want It”, turned the bass up to “11” and added some club-friendly hooks and electro-fuzz and the result is a industrial, dark and dreamy, juicy kiss on the lips to all that Eighties UK synthpop we all loved back in the day…

Check out OMD on their Official Website or over on MySpace

Don Draper Wins A Clio? Big Deal…I’ve Got A Clio!!!

OK…so on Sunday night, just as ‘Mad Men’ was lassoing its third consecutive Emmy for Best Dramatic Series, I was over on AMC watching that nights episode where our hero, Don Draper, wins his first Clio Award (and the apparent pain & suffering that comes with the honor). Well, maybe pain & suffering is a bit strong, since as Don does a victory lap around a bar with his trophy, all the gals in attendance are clamoring to spend the night with him! And that’s when it hit me…wait a second…..I have a Clio, and the damned thing has never managed to get me the ladies like it did for Don!!! I kinda think I got a raw deal…….or maybe I just need a tailored suit, a high & tight haircut, and a skinny tie!