I was walking through Chapters with my daughter a couple of weeks ago and on the way to the children's book section we passed through the bargain book section where I noticed the book "Being a Photographer" by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Never one to pass up a deal I grabbed it without know anything about Yann or his work.
Turns out the book comes with a nice little DVD documentary all about Yann and his photography. It makes a good Cliff note version of the book. This is the photographer responsible for the 'Earth from Above' photos that were massively popular in the early 90's. The write-up about his aerial photography is really interesting as well as the preparation involved in getting those iconic images. Just the amount of film that had to be packed and labelled is truly daunting and makes me happy for digital despite my nostalgic claim to love film.
Yann's career also had some other interesting points such as his beginning where his family lived on a nature preserve and he spent time with his wife documenting the lives of lions. He also did a lot of 'studio' photography on locations capturing really unique images of farm animals and their relationships with their owners. The brown canvas studio work also covered naturists, tribesman in bermuda shorts (I think a commercial job he regrets in hindsight) and porn stars.
This is a book and DVD that covers the work of a really unique and diverse career. Yann comes across as a humble yet uniquely talented photographer. He embraces new photographers openly and comments on the differences between working the craft a decade or more ago and today. For the price of this book, you can't lose. I highly recommend it if you can find a copy.
Onto other things, I notice that the rumour that the Olympus E5 is going to be announced tomorrow August 31st has been retracted in favour of an announcement of a new micro four thirds camera. I still suspect there will not be an E5, but the rumour site now says it will happen mid September. I'm not holding my breath.
As for myself, we are looking for our first studio space. Up until today we have been running our photography company out of my home which has worked OK for weddings and portrait clients that want location work, but we feel it is time to 'grow up' our business and to really identify ourselves with a commercial space that will be attractive to our clients. We have looked at two spaces so far, one occupied by another photographer that is moving away, and another that is in a downtown location that we are unsure about. The first was far too rough for us, not giving the sort of presentation we wanted to show our clients without some major renovations. The second had a neighbour that is an environmental lobbyist. Nothing wrong with that but the literature that dominates the public spaces of the building are not exactly what we want attached to our brand. It seems like finding the right space is going to be challenging, but I hope it is worth the effort in the long run. I'll definitely update the search on the blog as we go through it including our discovery of whether taking on that expense was worth it!