R.I.P. Bud Greenspan

A million years ago…well, back in 1995…I photographed Bud Greenspan. Bud, of course, is famous for his documentaries about the Olympics. One of those touchstone memories I have from my childhood is being glued to the TV, watching them whenever they were aired. How could I ever have imagined that years later I would have the privilege to photograph the man behind these wonderful time capsules of history, but there I was, shooting him for the 1996 Olympic Program! We did the shots the art director wanted and then, just before he had to leave, I asked for one more moment of his time. If you knew anything about Bud, you probably remember seeing him behind a camera on the sidelines of an Olympic event, with those heavy glasses he wore sitting on the top of his bald head…that’s what I wanted to capture. A few quick Polaroids and we got it. A partially solarized negative with the director staring back at me…almost looking right through me…it’s always been one of my favorite portraits.

Song of the Day

I’m On Fire


This time of year it gets pretty damned hard to find anything new to put up on The List, so I was happy when Kate sent me this one the other day…

This is at least the second time Kate Tucker has covered Bruce Spingsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’…the first was when her and The Sons of Sweden did it for ‘Sweetheart’, a Starbucks Valentine’s Day Compilation of covers. I liked it enough to put it up on The List way back in February of ’09…you can listen to it HERE…but that version, with it’s up-tempo country feel high-register vocal…pales in comparison to this much more somber version she recorded for Gary Benz, one of her benefactors who helped sponsor her Kickstarter campaign to release White Horses earlier this year. Quiet and haunting, with no production tricks getting in the way of her voice, it’s a much more fitting homage to Bruce’s original.

Check out more of Kate on her MySpace page or over on her website

Damn Ugly Is Number One ?!!

Yesterday, David HobbyThe Strobist…dropped his annual list of Favorite Posts from the past year and the big news that knocked Mr. Damn Ugly on his ass was that the interview David did with me back in May…* Cue the Celestial Harps & Trumpets *…was his Number One Post of the Year!

The Strobist Top Posts, Ranked by Clicks

Now David predicted that this news would lead to me getting a big head…and he was right! I mean, by his own count 2,469,886 different photographers visited Strobist from 218 different countries and territories. That all added up for a total of 20,531,296 onsite page views, with another 12MM via RSS….my hat size is growing exponentially!!! Honestly, I don’t know how I’ll be able to live with my own fame…..

Damn Ugly thanks David and all of his readers at Strobist for the honor. I plan to live up to all the duties and obligations that come with such a title and look forward to my reign at the top of the Strobist hit-count heap in the coming year!

Song of the Day



Yes, I know…..I haven’t been around much the past few weeks…work and the impending holidaze have simply gotten the best of me, but I promise to end the year with a flourish of posts that will inform, delight and entertain! And on the entertainment front, I’m happily gonna stay away from Christmas Carols by tossing out a leak from the forthcoming album from Asobi Seksu, the noisy dream-pop outfit from Brooklyn last featured on The List back in March of 2009. If ‘Trails’ is any indication, Fluorescence…scheduled for a February release…promises to carry on the duo’s signature wall of shoegazey noise and operatic melodies. I’ve always heard heavy doses of Slowdive, The Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine in their music, but Yuki Chikudate’s trilling soprano vocals on this song have really tapped into a Siouxsie and the Banshees vibe! Her voice bounces and swirls around the layered, fuzzy arrangement with such abandon, it’s exactly what I would expect from a band whose name is Japanese for “playful sex”…! So head on over to their MySpace page for more playful sex, I mean…Asobi Seksu.

Now THIS Is Impressive…

The other day I stumbled across what I thought was just one more way to waste serious time on the web, but instead really knocked my out…PhotoFunia Dot Com!!! It’s a site that uses an online photo editing tool that allows you to upload any photo of yours into one of a couple of hundred (and counting) stock images. Now this ain’t exactly new…I’ve seen plenty of other sites like this in the past…but what truly impressed me was the way PhotoFunia’s proprietary technology automatically identifies the face in the photo and imports it so damned well into the funny face photo montages….and it does it in seconds!

It takes about five seconds to upload the image and no more than five seconds more before you can download the finished montage to your desktop. And it’s all so well done…I’m not kidding when I say this is the kind of Photoshop work that some cases would take me hours! It’s kinda freaking me out with how this type of photo manipulation is advancing…but it’s still a lotta fun!

Check out PhotoFunia…I guarantee you’ll have a blast!