[NSFW] October 19th 2014 — Fashion Nude Workshop with Anita De Bauch

I’m stoked to announce I will be conducting a fashion nude workshop with internationally-published art nude and fetish model, Anita De Bauch, on Sunday, October 19th, 2014, between 2pm to 6pm.

The 4-hour workshop will be held at The Lumen Room, a beautifully decorated space for arts, dance and wellness. Anita is one of my favourite persons to work with, and brings style, experience, and a great attitude to every shoot. To give every participant enough time for guidance and with Anita, the workshop will only be open to 4 participants, on a first-come, first-serve basis. The price per person is S$200.

Contact me via email at callan@callantham.org for bookings and more information. Participants must pay the full fees upfront to secure their spot; payment details will be provided via email. Share the word, and hope to see you there on October 19th.



Updates

Just a short update while I get my life back in order; there have been some major changes since the last post, one of which is me finding a full-time job (thanks Adam!) that I’m pretty good at and that I enjoy. I’ve been rearranging my schedule since then, but any commitments I’ve made prior to this will be honoured, and I won’t be quitting photography :)

If anything, this job has enabled me to meet interesting people more frequently, and photography is part of the job. Here’s a photograph of Mr Ling Tai Meng, who owns an old-school men’s hairdressing salon in the Ubi industrial area.

In the meantime, I’m working on Nisshi Vol. V. The editing process slowed down since I landed the job, and between that, family commitments, and Diablo 3 (yeah, I’m an obsessive gamer), I’m slowly whittling the selection down. This volume will have fewer photos, and I might even do something different. As always, it’ll be ready when it’s ready.

Gotta find time to make some portraits as well, as I’ve been ignoring that itch for quite a while now. Time to find some beautiful people and put them in front of my camera….


An old blog post about gimmickry, from me old blog

Article was originally published on my old blog on July 4th, 2013. Reposting because it’s still relevant to me.

I read this Julian Stallabrass article this morning, and it bothered me in some ways. Leaving aside my usual dismissive ”the article failed the 1978 test” [2] pronouncements, it appeared to be defeatist in his appraisal of photography, unless I totally misunderstood him.

Saying “If everyone is a photographer, then no-one is a photographer” and being reluctant to say if he is a photographer or not (again, the 1978 test is really apropos here, proving Szarkowski’s prescience, and still massive influence) does not make me doubt my interpretation. This choice quote at the end of his article is quite telling:

“It is not only harder to say whether or not you are a photographer, but harder to say where the lines lie between professional, social or artistic work. As the divides between these areas increasingly blur, so it is harder to assign a picture to one realm or the other. Fatal pressure is applied to the ideology of artistic autonomy, and with it the autonomy of the individual. If we are all artists, then none of us are.

I, for one, do not believe that the lines that Stallabrass wrote about matters all that much. Where it matters, and where I think Stallabrass did not fully exploit, is the distribution of photographs, as opposed to the pervasiveness of photography itself. To say social media is shaking this up is an understatement — I don’t think anyone truly knows how this is going to pan out, not in the near future.

The idea of “everyone is a publisher now” provokes a more fruitful discussion than “everyone is a photographer now”. If everyone remembers that, we’d all spend our time better.

It appeared to be a case of kismet that I then stumbled across this quite brilliant article by Mike Johnston over at TOP. His explanation for his distaste for gimmickry in photography is a perfect counterpoint to Stallabrass’ article — that photographers don’t seem to be content to just take photographs, but to hunt for certain elusive, and exclusive, properties that make them stand out from the crowd.
More importantly, Johnston’s point about so many mistaking a photograph’s properties as its qualities really struck home. I think, personally, that this malaise has pretty taken over as photography becomes easier for and more accessible to — creating and sharing and consuming — everyone.

This is symptomatic of that search for uniqueness, that again, Stallabrass hinted at. The application of Instagram filters, the indiscriminate use of expired film, willful cross-processing of slide film, the explosion of lomography, grotesquely composited HDR, the unthinking post-processing using presets in [insert your favourite post-processing software/plugin]…all these are just gimmickry, and has precious little to do with photography.

And gimmickry makes me genuinely angry. It is manifestation of a lazy imagination that is in love with the idea of vision and creativity, but does not want to do the work of creating. It is being in love with the projected idea, a ghost of a vision, without making any effort to realise it.

It is, to put it unkindly, a scam.

Techniques exist to supplement and implement a vision. They should not be the vision itself, and they should definitely not call attention to itself. Photography is a visual art — let the visual content speak for itself, and let the technique fade to the background.

If a photograph is boring, then no amount of visual trickery will make it interesting. You can substitute “visual trickery” with any fashionable photography term (HDR? Instagram Filters? Take your pick.) you want, but it remains true. We should all focus on doing and viewing the work, nothing more.


Quote of the Day

_”Art that gets paid for today is typically art that helps a company get a return on its investment. But as many are beginning to point out, that’s not the only possible answer, or necessarily the best one.” — Anna North_

North’s piece at the New York Times is a fascinating read about art and the price of art in today’s Internet age, but that quote, from the end of the article, is what I have struggled with, and continue struggling with.

Corporate largesse usually isn’t the best answer, not where art is concerned. There are work that will hardly contribute to any effect on a company’s bottom line, but are necessary anyway. Everyone is still trying to find a way to make it financially sustainable, and that is only possible when enough people find it important, or compelling enough to put down money for it. If that doesn’t happen, I can only hope the art continues to get made anyway, because that is what we do, no matter what else we are doing to pay the bills and put food on the table.

When there are so many ways to get things for “free”, it inculcates the mentality that art should be available at no cost. I have no answers to that at the moment, except to keep photographing what is relevant to me; nor is this some sort of apocalyptic warning, but rather just an observation that gets me thinking over a cup of coffee and a cigarette or two.

Will people buy my work? Or prints? Or help sustain what I do? I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
Using Format