This week I head out to Los Angeles to exhibit a body of work at Fresh Artfairs (an event that kicks off Photo LA). I'll be showing images from the beachcombers series, which is a collection of toned silver prints taken on various beaches and waterways around the world. To prepare, I've been in the darkroom and building frames for the last couple of weeks. The framed pieces are hanging in the studio, and I occasionally change out an image in hopes of making it a stronger body of work. In a moment of weakness I asked my girlfriend which print if any she would change out, when she chose one of my favorites I glared at her with a look of contempt... "are you kidding me", a few days later changed it. At the end of August, a large group of the series will be on display in Phoenix, but for this show I will have to edit down to about eighteen framed pieces.
These photos are out-takes from a recent project that was shot for the copper mining industry in Arizona. The star of these images is Styker (a 6 month old catahoula puppy). Styker is a cattle dog "in training" on a ranch near Superior, and on this particular afternoon he was coaxed... reluctantly, into his first photo shoot. When full grown this breed is said to be the largest and most aggressive cattle dog, able to handle wild cattle effectively in the roughest of terrain.
Stryker took the lead as we hiked into the location and when our human talent went to make-up, Stryker readied himself by rolling in cow shit and snacking on decaying fish and lizards on the shoreline. When it was time to begin, our little dappled friend bounded in and out view... in the frame for a brief moment and then completely out of sight. He seemed to take a keen interest in photography and would climb excitedly over me to more closely investigate the camera. His encounters left me covered in muddy footprints and a very distinct turd like odor.
All and all Stryker gave a stellar performance... and I would be honored to work with him again.