Saturday, July 14, 2018

Haunting images of the St. Lawrence River // WaPo

Haunting Images of the St. Lawrence River
Charles-Frederick Ouellet grew up near the Saguenay River in Quebec. His interest in photography began when he was a teenager, and he went on to study it in college. At first he was mainly interested in photography as a way to document skateboarding. It wasn’t until he was in his 20s that he began to be interested in documentary photography. But that early interest in skateboarding remains with him. “One thing I learned from skateboarding is: It forces you to look at urbanism and architecture with a different perspective,” he told In Sight. “Through skateboarding, I learned how to create and improvise in the urban landscape. I do apply the same pattern for photography. You just have to open your mind and learn to look differently.”

Ouellet told In Sight that it wasn’t difficult to find his subjects because he used to live in a town on the river and knew many of the fishermen. It is through their perspective that he shot “Le Naufrage.”

“My work is anchored in the documentary tradition, but the idea of storytelling in a traditional documentary sense does not interest me that much,” he said. “When photographing, I don’t feel I have to stick to representation; instead, I try to see through the eyes of my subject. In ‘Le Naufrage,’ the images I was taking changed after I realized we were always talking about weather condition, history of navigation and natural elements. I felt I had shot enough of the men working at sea, and I started photographing the clouds, the sea and the shipwreck sites we were talking about. After that, my edit changed, and it became more poetic, less illustrative.”

Looking at the images in the book, it is true that the work is more interpretive and poetic than it is purely descriptive and linear. You can see more about the book at his website. In the meantime, you can see a selection of his images here.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Herbie Hancock | "Hear, O Israel, Hear O Jazz" by Allan Ripp

Herbie Hancock | "Hear, O Israel, Hear O Jazz" by Allan Ripp

During winter break of his sophomore year at Brown in 1967, Jonathan Klein traveled to New York with his French horn, baritone sax and an unusual score he’d written several years earlier. 

An aspiring composer and son of a Reform rabbi from Worcester, Mass., Klein had taken a traditional Jewish prayer service – complete with candle blessing, Kiddush, psalmist meditation and the Sh’ma – and set it to jazz tunes, from snappy to bluesy to bossa nova and even modal. Congregations around New England – including his father’s – enjoyed his adaptation and now Klein was getting chance to record the work, part of a recruiting effort by the National Federation of Temple Youth to attract new members. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Blackjack - launch of historic Friendship sloop

The Friendship sloop is the iconic maritime symbol of Maine.  Today a completely rebuilt Friendship sloop Blackjack was christened.  I have previously posted photos and video of  Blackjack under reconstruction.  Now that project is complete.  Dragged by a team of oxen and steadied by a line of volunteers,  Blackjack has been launched.  

The project was led and underwritten by the legendary Penobscot Bay schooner captain Jim Sharp.  All the work (much volunteer) was done at his Sail, Power, Steam Museum in Rockland.  The boat was built over 100 years ago by Wilbur Morse who popularized the brand, building hundreds.  It is a modification of the traditional Muscongus Bay sloops of local fishermen in the age of sail.  The rebuilt Blackjack is a sailboat (no engine).  It will be a floating classroom of sorts - taking people out for afternoons to fish in the old manner.