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September 2009

Montana Fair - The Extended Version

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Kenneth Jarecke, Contact Press Images


Call it what you like, the director's cut or extended version, regardless it always runs the risk of being long and boring. With that in mind, my own version of the Montana Fair is now online here (if you dare).

I got it down to eighty images from the 132 selects. Somehow we lost one on the way, so there are 79 waiting there for you to see. Oh, the one above isn't included, so let's call that one number 80.

Here's the essay, words and pictures in the New York Times Lens blog. The comments have been pretty awesome so far. Lots of people I really respect have weighed in.

I must say, it was a wonderful experience working with photographer/editor James Estrin of the Times on this project.

Thanks Jim!


Cowboys and Photogs

JAR09_0807montanafair_03

Kenneth Jarecke, Contact Press Images


I've got a nice piece on the Montana Fair in the New York Times Lens blog today. Run, don't walk!

I've got to pay more attention... I knew something was up when I had a good forty or so more emails then normal this morning... I should have given my regular readers a heads-up on this one.

I hope you enjoy it.

I'll get the extended version up on my portfolio site this afternoon. Watch this space for an update.

If you're coming here for the first time remember to sign-up for my email list.





Finding Grey

I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to photography. I like to think I'm a champion of the quiet, fly on the wall, whispering type of photojournalism that is rarely practiced today. So it is very embarrassing to admit that I pretty much overlooked the work of one of the true masters of this genre.


Grey Villet was a real photographer.

He made images that never underestimated the visual or
mental IQ of the viewer.

If you cared to look, it was all right there. Just don't expect to have them hit you over the head, until you (the viewer) actually looked.

I don't think we make pictures like this too often anymore. They get lost too easy.

I don't have an excuse. For every month you spend on a campaign plane with Stephen Crowley, you're going to hear him reference Villet about three times. So let's call the 203rd time the charm then, and forget about it. I'm happy to say I finally listened up when I read Crowley's wonderful essay here.

Better late then never.

From the New York Times Lens blog;

"The work will tell," Grey assured (his wife) Barbara - only months before his sudden death nine years ago - when he rejected the idea of organizing his own retrospective. "The work will tell."

That's got to be the Candiru quote of the day for me.

Time to change my own thinking in that regard.

Without the tireless effort of his family...

And guys like Crowley, Rodney Welch, and now newcomers like myself,  Grey's work would have been forgotten.

In that regard, Grey Villet is the exact opposite of Victor Sabatino, the subject of his essay "The Lash of Success" (that's some good writing there). Sabatino put his business before everything, including his family and, go figure, ended up losing all of it.

File that under things that make you go duh.

It's not just the quality of the work, it's the quality of the man.

I really hate to do this to you, but until Barbara Villet gets "Over the Edge" published (the book about Grey's life work in LIFE). The best place to see his work right now is here. Trapped deep in the bowels of the Death Star.