Urged by a friend to enter Hey, Hot Shot!, Winter winner Colin Blakely submitted three solid black and white images. Believe it or not, you send very little of such work our way. And while we don't discriminate between the gray scale and the full spectrum, nor do we have a quota to fill when it comes to format, style, or genre, it's always nice to see b+w photography alive in all its glory. And Colin is more than just a superb photographer and, I'm sure, professor - he has a talent I am rather envious of. For the past two weeks I have been torturing myself over titles, it can be quite the difficult task to put a name to one's work, almost as difficult as a price tag. As for Colin, titles are his forté : The Anachronism of Basic Instinct, Confrontation with the Monster We've Collectively Created, or how about The Sound of Bad Blood Knocking Around? I might steal Ultra panelist Alison Grippo's idea and bribe Colin to take a shot at my work. Well done, Mr. Blakely.
When + where were you born?
New York, NY, 04/15/73
Where were you trained, if anywhere?
BA with dual major in Math and Studio Arts from Williams College (Williamstown, MA)
MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)
What do you do to pay the bills?
Associate Professor of Photography, Eastern Michigan University. I also occasionally shoot weddings.
What led you to photography over other mediums?
I came to photography because of the unique and pliable way that the camera sees the world. There is magic for me that happens when I get my first look at negatives I have made, and that magic is every bit as powerful for me now as when I first started taking pictures. I have also discovered over the years that I am much better at creating something interesting through the process of selecting from an infinite range of possibilities than by starting from nothing. As a photographer, I start with the entire world and everything in it, and that is the "canvas" from which I can isolate what is interesting to me. I am first and foremost an observer, and photography lends itself perfectly to this method of working.
What is your guiltiest tech pleasure?
Too many to name! I have to work hard not to drop into "deep geekdom" where the computer is concerned. Color management and programming with PHP are at the top of the list.
Do you have any other creative talents?
I wish I could say I was one of those "all-around-blur-art-and-life creative types." However, my creative endeavors tend to stay squarely focused on the photographic medium.
What image is permanently etched into your brain and thank goodness for it?
Sandra Bennett by Richard Avedon
Who are three of your favorite living artists?
There's so much amazing work out there, whittling it down to just three seems an impossible task, but here goes: Alec Soth, Paul Pfeiffer, Andreas Gursky
What does the spring and beyond have in its forecast for you?
For starters, the end of the school year and a much needed break from academic life. More importantly, continued work on my Somewhere in Middle America project, as well as an attempt to start to pull together a related project of color work I have been photographing for some time.
Anything about yourself - exciting news, oddball facts - or otherwise, that we should know?
I have three kids under the age of 5. Does that qualify as an oddball fact, or just an indication of my insanity??