The First Five Years: 200 Photos on Flickr
As of March 18, DarkTopo is five years old. I'm at a strange point in my career when former students write to ask me for advice about being an artist. Mostly, I say this: Don't, unless you must. And if you must, be smart and be ruthless.
With that in mind, I let my Flickr Pro account expire, because it's no longer worth the two bucks a month to drive traffic to my site. DarkTopo has served its purpose; I'm no longer an “emerging artist.” To hell with terms like that. As if you're not an artist now, but you'll be one later. That's bullshit. “Later” is a lie they tell you in school.
But the good news is that Flickr, the suckers that they are, allow freeloaders like me to keep and display 200 photos. Never one to avoid making more work for myself, I saw that as an opportunity. So I deleted everything and compiled a new collection, replacing my entire Flickr photostream with two hundred core images—some of them never released before—that make DarkTopo what it is. And what is it?
Damned if I know. Ask me in another five years. In the meantime, I'll just say it's a blog about the photographic life. I wrote this big long essay about it, but you don't want to read it and I don't want to be verbose. So to sum up how I feel five-years in, I'll quote the eminent photography theoretician, James Hetfield:
On through the mists and the madness, trying to get the message to you.
Thanks for an awesome half-decade, folks.
Where it all started: DarkTopo circa 2007.
Where it really started: I was standing in this parking lot at about 0200 when I decided I couldn't do this anymore without some sort of venue for my work.
The kindness of strangers: Kyle Cassidy bought me a couple hundred feet of film.
Ghetto film drying cabinet: How my Smoking Hot Wife was came to be known as my Smoking Hot and Incredibly Patient Wife.
Contact: Can you believe we actually did this?
A closely-followed DarkTopo tenet: All cameras are disposable. But I still have this one. And it still works.
20 March 2012
14 March 2012
If you haven't seen it already, drop your latte and rush to the news stand for this week's Xpress. As if last week's Forbes/Cooper coverage of Occupy Asheville weren't awesome enough, this week includes not only a solidly DarkTopo cover shot, but my sprawling, vertically oriented double-truck photo essay on the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, side-by-side with David Forbes' account of the development controversy.
Oh, and a bunch more of my photos, too, including shots of US congressional debate between McHenry and Fortenberry.
It's been an awesome March, and we're not even to the Ides yet. Watch out, Caesar.
10 March 2012
I was so caught up in the Occupy Asheville photos on the cover of the Xpress (and there are many, many more OA photos to come) that I completely forgot to mention a much more resonant and far-reaching accomplishment: The Argus has been Disclaimed.
You can find the hilarity in your nearest purple newsbox, or read it right here.
This is actually the second time that DarkTopo content has made it into the hallowed pages. The first was more indirect and had to do with Carl Mumpower (Photography pro tip: Need more light? Stand next to a lightning rod.).
The March continues . . .
08 March 2012
Hit the newstands yesterday with a superb piece by David Forbes. Get your copy on the street, or read the story here.
This is just part of a very busy month which I am privately calling the DarkTopo Month of Badass Photojournalism, or just "March" for short. Stay tuned.