Taken on point. I definitely believe in finding the right image for the right person which is why often I will ask people to model for me (or they will offer) and then contact them months and months later. The character is very important to me as is making that photo have emotion in it which is best done by actually having the model feel what it is you are trying to convey.
Thanks a lot, that’s really helpful and definitely some interesting things for me to work on :)
I really should. I’ve been in a sort of creative block for a while but in an odd way because I do actually have ideas
“Lensed by photographer Åsa Tällgård, the May 2013 edition of Elle Russia stars Polish fashion model Iza Olak. Styled by fashion director Daria Anichkina, the blonde belle dons striking haute couture looks from designer labels such as Valentino, Dior and Chanel Haute Couture in an earthy set designed by Cedric-Cyril Colonges and Alexandra Rivet.”
I’ll start by saying I love the Dexter TV series. It has been my favourite TV series for many years and while I do love several other series’ just as much, Dexter always has a special place in my heart (please excuse the stench of cheese). With that said, it was not until last Summer (2012) that I actually sat down to read the original books which were of course, the basis for the series. At least the basis for Season 1 anyway.
While I was reading the book series, there were several key differences that I found I preferred in the books versus the TV series, and naturally some elements I much preferred from the TV version.
I was browsing the Dexter fanpage on Facebook a little while ago and found people saying they didn’t think the series could work now that Deb knows Dexters true identity. Au contraire mon amis, au contraire. That is where I got the idea to write this post.
The first book, Darkly Dreaming Dexter follows much the same story and timeline as the first season of the TV series and while I really like the way the first season of Dexter was shown/told, I did feel Jeff Lindsay took a couple of better turns at the end of the first book that the TV series changed. The first of those was the fact that Brian, Dexter’s brother, is in fact not killed at the end of the book. I was quite disappointed when he was killed off the TV series as I felt his character really could have added to his story in the upcoming seasons. He didn’t have to become a major character but even as a recurring one, it could have been a great addition to the story. The second element I liked in the book was that by the end of the first book, Deborah (Debra in the TV series) figures out Dexter is a serial killer. I liked this in the books because her character is supposed to be quite smart and it felt like the TV series didn’t honour that about her quite as well by making her blind to the true Dexter for as long as they did. I liked in the books that while she wasn’t exactly OK with this discovery in the books, she dealt with it in a way that I felt was more fitting to her character than what has been shown on the previews for the final season of the TV series. The one standout moment from the TV series that was not in the book was Doakes at the shipyard saying, “Surprise motherfucker”. That was such a strong and vital moment in the story which was not quite as exciting in the book because it is LaGuerta who finds him at the shipyard in the book.
After the first book/season, the two formats took quite different turns and developed mostly their own storylines without too much regard for one another. So for that, I’ll just sum up in short what I liked better from which format.
Books: the Dex/Deb relationship, Brian being alive, Doakes being alive, Brian coming back into the story prominently, Doctor Danco (one of the main killers Dexter is up against), Doakes losing body parts including his tongue but retaining that “fuck you” attitude, Cody & Astor being badass rather than whiney brats, Kyle Chutsky.
TV Series: Doakes’ “Surprise motherfucker”, the hotel room filled with blood in Season 1, the character of Angel Batista, the character of Vince Masouka, Rita’s death, Trinity (serial killer), Harrison in the blood, Cody & Astor not really being in the series after Season 4, LaGuerta as chief, LaGuerta being killed by Debra.
That’s all for now folks. I’m sure I’ll think of others when I’m not trying to.
I was thinking tonight of people I would absolutely love to photograph - all living of course. Tis a somewhat realistic dream in the end. So in no order beyond that in which their names click in my mind;
Bajar - I would absolutely LOVE to shoot an album cover for them or their album sleeve.
Labrinth - I find him to be a true artist in every sense of the word and would love to collaborate with someone who is so passionate about what they do.
Johnny Depp - I believe he would be willing to do absolutely anything I could possibly throw at him and he could do it better than most others would.
Lady Gaga - Seems an obvious choice but my reason is not just because her music is good but because she seems to be a great model who truly commits to her vision and the vision of those she works with. I enjoy working with people like this more than those who are prettiest.
Angelina Jolie - You just couldn’t get a sexier image than one with her in it.
Idris Elba - He has the ability to simultaneously look both vulnerable and powerful and that is not an easy feat by any standards.
Lana Del Rey - I love her look and the way in which she carries and conducts herself.
A while back, I came upon a blog post online (http://reavespartyofthree.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/morgan-3-years-20-questions.html) which set out to ask a 3 (now 4) year old child 20 questions each year around her birthday to see how things change and how she develops. While I am definitely not 4, I thought it would still be fun to answer.
1. What is your favorite color? Blood red and midnight blue. I’m a girl, I’m supposed to be specific.
2. What is your favorite toy? My laptop.
3. What is your favorite fruit? Probably strawberry.
4. What is your favorite tv show? This is hard for me to answer because I am such a TV show geek. So, I’ll break it down a little instead. TV shows currently on air (as in, not cancelled/concluded): Dexter, Breaking Bad, Luther, How I Met Your Mother, White Collar, and Criminal Minds (but mostly the first two). TV shows no longer on air: The Wire, Arrested Development, Malcolm In The Middle, Weeds, Entourage, The Inbetweeners, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and of course, Friends.
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Something involving pasta and a tomato based sauce (not ketchup).
6. What is your favorite outfit? A nice shirt/jumper with tailored-looking short shorts (basically, not denim) OR a well fitting dress.
7. What is your favorite game? I’m such a granny when it comes to games. My favourite is probably Freecell.
8. What is your favorite snack? Tarhana (sun dried wheat and yogurt snack. Google for images).
9. What is your favorite animal? Generally, penguin. Specifically, a leopard at the West Palm Beach Zoo in Florida.
10. What is your favorite song? Right now, I really like National Anthem by Lana Del Rey and Titanium by David Guetta & Sia. I don’t imagine either one is going to be a firm lifetime favourite though. I don’t have a favourite song of all time. I love music as a whole far too much to pick any one and I listen to just about every genre there is (in many different languages) so couldn’t even break it down to which genre I like best.
11. What is your favorite book? The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
12. Who is your best friend? My sister.
13. What is your favorite cereal? Coco Pops. I am a granny with games and a child with cereal.
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Walk. Or watch the world move.
15. What is your favorite drink? Coca Cola.
16. What is your favorite holiday? Newroz & Christmas.
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? An empty mind. It so very rarely happens though.
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? I’m really not a fan of breakfast so usually skip it all together or I’ll eat something that you wouldn’t really have for breakfast like pasta or a roast. But if I must, then a small sandwich.
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? I have a birthday tradition I put in place some years back when I realised I’d much rather spend my birthday with my family having dinner than with friends getting drunk which involves me cooking a meal for my whole family & buying my own cake. So, I typically just make whatever it is I want to eat for my birthday. It’s usually some variation of a full roast dinner.
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Happy and healthy.
Now this isn’t a review of The Wire at all, it’s a review of The Shield and how it was ruined for me by The Wire.
The first thing you should know is The Shield was sold to me as a great cop show to watch because it was so similar in style/substance to The Wire. Oh how wrong those fools were for suggesting such a thing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think The Shield is bad, in fact I’m marathoning through Season 5 as I type this; I just don’t think it’s anywhere near the quality of The Wire. I’ll tell you why.
I’ve seen literally hundreds of TV shows over the years; entire series’, not just single episodes either and I can say The Wire had perhaps the most diverse and the most three dimensional character base of any show, ever. This means it can neither be classed as a “white” show nor a “black” show (for example, Frasier vs Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Both of which had predominantly one race base of their characters), it was a show which had the perfect actors to play the characters because it did not discriminate. It’s audience did not discriminate. The Shield on the other hand has a predominantly “white” cast even though the show is supposed to be a realistic visual representation of the police force in LA. A quick search on Google tells me that in 2009, LAPD was made up of 42% Latino, 12% Black, 7% Asian, and 37% White officers. Yet, this is not reflected in the show at all - it is mentioned several times how big the Latino community is in LA but this is not reflected in the Farmington police force.
Putting that to one side, we can move on to the characters themselves. The Wire was a show which really challenged the way a person thought; the person/side they were rooting for. You never really got to pick a side and stick to it because the characters were three dimensional and so real that you were rarely decided on what type of a person the character was. None of them were purely good nor purely evil. There was no right and wrong, there just was. You wanted both McNultyandStringer Bell/Avon Barksdale to win. You knew how wrong Hamsterdam was but you still didn’t want people to find out about it because deep down you knew it worked. Now, The Shield on the other hand has a good vs evil, a right vs wrong. The characters are the sides of them we see - there isn’t anything more to it. They are typical TV studio characters that people can either like or dislike but not both. There is the alpha (Vic), the one who wants to be the leader but isn’t smart enough (Shane), the compassionate one (Lem) and the techie/book worm-y one (Ronnie). The characters do not change out of their roles; these are who they are.
The show itself follows a relatively traditional TV format in that each week there is a crime to solve but also a background story playing out in the long haul. The last episode of each season usually starts to set the scene for the upcoming seasons and then the wheel starts rolling in the same format again. So far, I have not thought “oh wow” to any of the episodes beyond the first episode. The first episode surprised me, I thought it was possible this would be as good as people had suggested but it hasn’t, in my opinion, lived up to that first episode again since.
All in all, it’s not a bad cop show and if I’d watched it before watching The Wire, I think I would have liked it much better than I do but unfortunately, they are not of the same quality so by default, this becomes fake & quite a bit repetitive. I will likely keep watching it until the final episode but the next time someone tries to group The Wire & The Shield together because they are both cop shows, I will be able to say mean things to them to make them realise they are not in the same grouping. The Wire sets the bar up ridiculously high and The Shield simply is not even within jumping range of that bar.
So to sum up, The Shield is a good series but don’t expect it to be similar to The Wire, don’t expect it to be too realistic, and don’t expect a real representation of the police force in LA by watching it. If you go in with regular expectations, you will likely not be disappointed, but make sure you don’t expect too much and definitely don’t watch it as a show which is similar to The Wire.
Many of you who know me somewhat, will be well aware that I love TV shows. I watch far too many and have seen entire series’ of many more that no longer air. I recently started to review them in my head and then decided I’d actually put it online. I’m starting with Bones because I’m currently watching Season 8 Episode 3 of it.
Bones: The killer is ALWAYS the character we meet second.
If you’ve been watching Bones as long as I have, you will have noticed a distinct trend which as the title suggests, is that the killer is always the “new” character we meet second. What I mean by that is, the second person Agent Booth and Dr Brennan talk to in their investigation. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but very few and far between. Except for the “big” killers - meaning those killers whose storyline extends to beyond one episode.
I like this show, which is why I continue to watch it but it is absolutely not the type of show you watch for realism. The main characters are decent enough and I understand they are supposed to be experts in their fields, but their abilities are a little past unrealistic; they are all a little too good to be true. With this in mind, it’s no wonder my favourite characters on this show are the recurring ones rather than the main cast. Characters like the helpers Dr Brennan has on rotation, Dr Brennan’s father, Angela’s father, the DA etc.
The show has the same basic set up each week: Random people engaging in some sort of random activity happen upon a body (or for change, sometimes we see the person killed), Jeffersonian team at the crime scene when Booth & Brennan arrive, Brennan looks at the remains and area briefly, figures out something with a lot of technical words which Booth obviously doesn’t understand (it’s their way of making the audience understand too) and then she tells the team to bring everything to the Jeffersonian. The team examine the remains closely while trying to find the weapon used cause of death, and ID of the body (usually done quite easily because you know, they’re all beyond geniuses). Booth & Brennan talk to someone close to the victim who gives them an important tip, they follow up on that tip which leads to person number 2 (the killer) who gives them another tip to throw them off, they follow up on that and usually one other one after that. Brennan is then back at the Jeffersonian where everyone has done great work discovering the weapon and how the person died, Brennan looks at the body intensely for a minute and figures out some vital piece of information which leads them to the killer (person number 2) who is arrested and tricked by Booth’s amazing people skills into confessing to the murder. Lastly, we have a small segment about their person lives whether it be them celebrating in a bar, the team all going their own way to sombre music, or Booth & Brennan talking about something.
It’s sad to say, the above was not based on any one episode but many came to mind while writing it. I think the show needs to push itself much further than it has done in previous years.
All round, it’s a good show to watch but I wouldn’t expect too much from it. It’s a good watch until you start to question it so try not to if you don’t want to ruin it for yourself. It is what it is and you have to accept it as is.
Coming Soon: How ‘The Wire’ ruined ‘The Shield’ for me.
I was asked tonight which photographers are most important to me and why. My answer is as follows.
Steve McCurry because he introduced me to taking technically good portraits of people which are also very interesting to look at. He also taught me that you can tell a persons entire story with just the look in their eyes.
Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott because as a team they create beautiful photographs that individually they might not and it shows how working with someone else can benefit photographers in achieving their best by pushing themselves.
Don McCullin because he shows the realities of the downtrodden world but does not compromise on the technical qualities of his work.
Annie Leibovitz for not just taking photographs of famous people but giving them stories in their images and for focusing more on the overall photograph than merely who is in it.
Henri Cartier-Bresson because his photography is all about being in the right moment and not trying to force those moments.
James Nachtwey for shooting images that are very difficult to look at but that you cannot take your eyes away from.
Kaveh Golestan because without his photographs, I never would have picked up a camera in the way that I did.