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Jan Saudek 2/11/01 Description:
gallery and stories of the Czech photographer (mature content)
"I don't have the capacity to portray other people's lives. I am portraying my own..." That's the "motto" on the cover of today's pick, the well-designed site of Czech photographer Jan Saudek. This is not just photography — this is fine art (in my humble, yet consistent opinion). His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums all over the world since 1963 and as you enter the site, the "very first photograph" he took back in 1953 is shown — if I were Jan and my first photograph looked like that, I am sure I would have pursued photography in a big way... just like Jan did. I'll stick my neck out here and say that Jan's a master in the true sense of the word. Enjoy!
Steve Double 2/7/01 Description:
online photo gallery
"The way that the translation of a living person into a two dimensional inanimate image changes our perception of them is endlessly fascinating to me." Specializing in photographing celebrities (primarily musicians), Steve Double has been at it professionally for over 13 years. Wired, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Vibe are just a few of the places where you might run into his work and he's also done a lot of record sleeves (which I think would include CD covers) and press photos for a number of labels in the UK and US. His site is a collection of 99 of his best shots and I dig the way he uses a simple mouseover on each photo that tells a little the artist shown — some of his comments show that Steve has been around the scene for a long time — you get the feeling that he really appreciates getting to meet so many "fascinating and inspirational people." He's had a little help in creating and producing this site — excellent use of DHTML — but it's the content that really drives it. Steve's portrait style shows the interesting side of his subjects and I found it most enjoyable, considering that many of the featured personalities are, indeed, inspirations to me, and maybe even to you, too...
Notes from the Road 2/6/01 Description:
Travels in city and country.
Inspiration isn't always about design. It's not always the quality of the visuals or the precision of page layouts that count when we feel empty and need to be inspired. Sometimes, it's a matter of substance and the imagery of far away places we've never seen that fill the void for us. I've looked at this site at least six times in the past and passed on it. Maybe I was looking at the quality of the photos instead of the images themselves — maybe I was in too much of a hurry to stop and read the detailed accounts of Erik's travels — maybe the page layouts just didn't impress me enough — maybe I just didn't need to be inspired at the time so the meaning and creative spirit behind the site simply escaped me. For whatever reason, I looked, I passed, I looked again and passed again, and so it goes. This time around, something clicked in. Erik's been to all these places and the images are genuine. I need to be inspired a little, so I take the time to read all of the cool stuff that comes to Erik's mind when he visits a place — his impressions about the people and the conditions that surround it. It dawns on me that maybe sometimes I have to simply let go of that pursuit for excellence in design (whatever that really means) and stop looking with such a critical eye and take in the experience for what it's worth. Try it sometime and thank guys like Erik for choosing to share his love for the road with ya...