Sam Abell (@samabellteacher) — National Geographic photographer from 1970-2004. Currently, I maintain a career as an independent photographer, writer, and teacher on photography.
While in Paris last September to help launch the @acnestudios / @cindycrawford / Cadillac Ranch campaign, I stayed at the intimate and friendly @hoteldutemps. Every evening Dylan, the hotel bartender, made me his 'Dylan's Special' cocktail and enhanced it with a cloud of vapor from his pipe. Thanks to Acne, Cindy and Dylan for a memorable week in 'The City of Lights.'
Paul Souders’ (@paulsouders) book 'Arctic Solitaire' has been published. In it he relates the story of his singular quest to make definitive photographs of polar bears in the wild. It is a human story and one that ends in triumph. His intimate, daring and deeply refined image of a bear just beneath the polar ice is one of the most accomplished photographs--wildlife or otherwise--I have encountered.
The grand finale of the @acnestudios / @cindycrawford / Cadillac Ranch shoot in April was the appearance of two prominent billboards--one on Route 66 near Amarillo, Texas and another on legendary Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Thanks to Kevin Weinstein (@kevinweinstein) from the Los Angeles Center of Photography for making the trek to Sunset to capture this image at dusk.
Sandy Sugawara (@sandy_sugawara)and Catiana Garcia Kilroy (@cgarciak1) are exhibiting recent work at The Photoworks Gallery (@glenechophotoworks) , Glen Echo Park, Washington, DC until Nov 4. Two examples are shown here. Both are evidence of refined and original photographic seeing of commonplace subjects. It's rare to see in an ordinary scene the potential for a photograph that will visually vibrate. But that is what Catiana has seen and then achieved in her arresting image of a fence and a car. In Sandy's image, every esthetic element--graphics, palette and the volume of space--conspires to extoll the riveting subject, a stunning horizon of sunlight intersecting a glass water bottle.
Upon my return from Paris, I am reminded of this photo by @tomdalyphoto from our days in Amarillo, TX on the @acnestudios and @cindycrawford shoot. Tom made this photo from our production trailer during the time between our sunrise and sunset sessions shooting Cindy. It's a poignant reminder of all the behind-the-scenes production that went into this remarkable shoot, and a strong example of the "compose and wait" photography method I believe in. After micro-composing the scene of the Cadillacs framed in the window, Tom waited. Minutes later, our Hollywood set designer and painter of the Cadillacs @heathmattioli briskly walked into the frame to complete the composition and bring the image to life. Heath's hooded figure not only reminds me of the cold, harsh and windy conditions from the shoot, but also the ethereal and other worldly nature of the setting. It feels like a scene from a dream, one which I will now reflect upon...
Last night @acnestudios celebrated the launch of their fall/winter campaign with a gallery show and dinner in Paris. Cindy Crawford, star of the campaign, is shown with Acne Creative Director Jonny Johansson and me at the gallery. Later she makes a glittering departure-captured in a video by In-Style Magazine Editor @laurabrown99 and in a still by me. At the gallery @cindycrawford is showing me an image she made on her phone of Picasso’s ‘Boy Leading a Horse’ from the current Musée d’Orsay show. The horizon in the painting reminded her of the conversation she and I had about the influence of the horizon line during our shoot at Cadillac Ranch. A night to remember.
Today is a big day. Acne Studios (@acnestudios) of Sweden launches their worldwide campaign featuring photographs made by me of Cindy Crawford (@cindycrawford) on location at Cadillac Ranch in Texas. The shoot, which took place this April, features Cindy as a modern woman of the west. Acne's desire to see Cindy portrayed in natural light against the dual backdrop of iconic Cadillacs and the timeless western landscape led them to me as the photographer whose experience could unite all the elements of the campaign. Be on the lookout for more images from the campaign in Vogue Magazine and billboards in Paris, New York and Los Angeles. #parisfashionweek
This is the original transparency of a well-known image of mine, “Branding, Montana, 1986.” The west is on my mind today because tomorrow there will be a special announcement about another (very different) set of western pictures of mine--fashion photographs made at the famous Cadillac Ranch in Texas. Stay tuned for western images that in their own distinctive way are also “original.”
Three years ago, Skip Klein (@skipkleinphoto) commissioned a unique, handmade, handwritten book of my photographs. Each of the 26 prints is a signed original. The book also includes images that led up to the final photograph. This one of a kind book, 'Sam Abell: The Teachable Moment' is now finished. Consideration is being given to making further handwritten editions of the book available to collectors.
Last summer much of America was transfixed by a total eclipse of the sun. During the eclipse millions of photographs were made, shared and then forgotten. Dan Neri’s complex, layered and dramatic photograph deserves to be remembered. For a detailed description of how @dan_neri_photo achieved his remarkable result please read below.
Fred Zafran's (@fredzafranphotography) sublime image of a Japanese woman waiting for a train is emblematic of the qualities in his current exhibit. In his carefully curated images, Fred presents thoughtful impressions of Japan from a trip he made there inspired by the words of Basho. 'Along the Poet's Narrow Road' is on display until June 17 at Multiple Exposures Gallery (@multiple_exposures_gallery), Torpedo Factory Art Center (@torpedofactory), Alexandria, Virginia.
Not many places conspire to make their own portrait, but this one did. It is the garden of the Chateau de Brecy in Normandy, France. On this morning the garden's balanced, strongly structured architecture and plantings were softened and separated by fog. I simply centered myself. That story is perfectly told in Charles J. Stick's #charlesstick image of me making my photograph. Mr. Stick, together with Charlotte Tieken and I, were at work on the forthcoming book 'Looking at Gardens'. I was unaware of his photograph until my birthday when he presented me a framed print of it. Thank you, Charles!
My friend @irvinggreines has been working on a portrait project titled 'Working Girls' for a number of years. The portraits are of recycled mannequins still being used to display goods long after their original job in high end boutiques has ended. Irving has given these portraits a complex, subtle and haunting life. He's done it by discerning that damage has only deepened their emotional existence.
Skip Klein (@skipkleinphoto) made image #1 from within a hotel room in Hagi, Japan in 2016. It features a shadowed profile of me. It also resembles a classic image by André Kertész (@andre_kertesz_estate) that I’ve lived with for more than 40 years (image #2). Connections like this deepen my relationship with photographers I know, and those I wish to have known.