Jason Siegel is an accomplished lifestyle, music and fashion photographer whose controversial art installation “Shoot Portraits, Not People” was set for debut in Aspen on Friday, January 13th at The BLK MKT gallery.
This creative and provocative exhibit is Siegel's first non-photography based art project and displays photographic equipment built into high-powered weaponry, offering a look into the idea behind shooting portraits, not people.
The artful gesture of mixing tool and technique is evident in the creative process it takes to build the “guns,” from start to finish using hand-picked camera equipment as the source. This undertaking wouldn’t be possible without Denver-based metal sculptor Keith D’Angelo, who Siegel connected with in order to make this project come to life.
“Shoot Portraits, Not People” moves beyond the elements of still photography and captures the archetype of both guns and cameras as universally recognized symbols of provocateur. The display of one of a kind custom camera weaponry will be accompanied by other military themed accessories that create an interactive and immersive installation.
The attention to detail is impeccable with each gun being constructed by hand-picked parts chosen from over 200 pounds of camera parts specifically sourced for this project.
"When I'm taking photos, I'm mostly pressing buttons whether it's behind the camera or behind the computer. This project has allowed me to go beyond my creative borders and create something that has no boundaries and yet is totally unique," Siegel says.
Opening night of "Shoot Portraits, Not People," took place at The BLK MKT gallery in Aspen, Colorado on January 13th and will be open only through the month of January including during the X-Games.
Each handcrafted piece and the military-themed accessories will be available for purchase on site as well as prints of each "gun."
Peter Thoshinsky joined the San Francisco Police Department back in 1982. After serving as a cop for 31 years, his career in the department took a major turn: he became the official “historical photographer” for the SFPD.
The 57-year-old photographer was born and raised in San Francisco and received his first camera as a birthday present when he turned 18. But he didn’t become serious about photography until he received an unwanted darkroom kit from a friend and turned his bathroom into a small private darkroom.
“For me, the epiphany was the realization that the final print is what’s important,” Thoshinsky tells PetaPixel. “The glaring differences between drugstore color prints auto corrected for 18% gray and the drama of an 8×10 inch black and white print, tonally adjusted, was dramatic.”
To this day, Thoshinsky preaches about the value of carefully finished photos, whether film or digital.
“Only prints will survive after you are gone,” Thoshinsky says. “No one is going to open up your external hard drive in 2116 and convert your RAWS and make images. Not going to happen. No more so than anyone printing my 150 pounds of film negatives.”
7 years after joining the SFPD, the Loma Prieta Quake rocked the SF Bay Area in 1989. Thoshinsky brought his camera to work to document the quake’s destruction. His photos were well received, and the next year he was asked to shoot day-to-day photos of SFPD officers at work.
Thoshinsky continued documenting police work on the street for the next 20 years.
“From 1990 until 2012 I was a street sergeant in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, and had opportunities to photograph where no one else can,” he says. “I carried a little Konica T4 in my pocket with Kodak TMAX 3200 film, and took pictures when I could.”
After retiring from the force in 2013, Thoshinsky found himself continually at the receiving end of photo requests by the SFPD Media Relations Unit.
“At first I didn’t mind, but after a while, it got old proving free content,” he says.
So, he decided to ask the police department if he could be rehired part-time as a civilian photographer. He submitted a proposal for the creation of a new position of “Historical Photographer,” and, to Thoshinsky’s surprise, it was approved in 2015.
As part of the job’s description, Thoshinsky has carte blanc access to the entire police department.
“My job, as I see it, is to capture history, that “history happens today”, and it needs to be recorded,” the photographer says.
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ORNITOGRAPHIES | ORNITOGRAFIAS
Photography by Xavi Bou
Although Ornitographies is a current photo project, it has a somewhat distant origin, since it is born from the innocent and restless gaze of the child, who once was Xavi Bou.
El Proyecto fotográfico Ornitografías está en pleno desarrollo y tiene un origen distante, ya que nació de la mirada inocente e incansable del que una vez, fuera niño Xavi Bou.