Thursday, January 26, 2012

Two Way Lens and John Arsenault

Two Way Lens proudly presents John Arsenault.

I am very happy to start the new year with another great interview on Two Way Lens.

John Arsenault is a Los Angeles based photographer. His work is included in many private and public collections, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas and has been exhibited internationally.

The first time I saw his work, I fell in love with it straight away. A big part of his work are his self portraits in which he captures so much beauty, intimacy, emotions and vulnerability. Another big subject are landscapes and still lifes, again perfectly composed full of beauty with a wonderful color range.

To see more of John's work please visit his website.

He also has a tumblr where you can dive into his fascinating world.

John's interview with Two Way Lens can be found here.

I Can't Stand How Much I Miss You, Provincetown, MA

Table Top, Provincetown, MA

I'll Go Anywhere so I Won't Feel that Pain, Provincetown, MA

Captin Jacks Wharf, 825am, Provincetown, MA

There Never Was A Woman Of My Dreams, Palm Springs, CA

Fallen Stars, Provincetown, MA

Delivery, Provincetown, MA

© copyright all images John Arsenault

Happy Australia Day

January 26. - Happy Australia Day

© copyright Michael Werner

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Lands of Milk and Honey

I updated my series Lands of Milk and Honey with some new images.

To see the complete series, please visit my website.

Picnic, Chiemsee, Bavaria, 2011

Bathers, Chiemsee, Bavaria, 2011

Chiemsee, Bavaria, 2011

Schloss Schönbrunn, Vienna, 2011

© copyright all images Michael Werner

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bruce Martin

Bruce Martin is a professional photographer with more than 45 years of experience in this field.

The love for photography started already in his childhood. His grandfather, who was a Daily News Press photographer and the only one granted to photograph famous gangsters in New York City put this love into him. This love grew bigger and bigger combined with enthusiasm, passion and creativity.

He lived in Europe for 15 years and worked for magazines like Elle, Mademoiselle and Seventeen. Then he got more interested in sports and put his energy in international cycling, marathons, triathlons and also in street photojournalism and portraits.

Today his focus lies in panorama’s landscapes of mountains, “rural X”, rusted cars and street life.

When I saw Bruce's wonderful project about the 80 year old Walter I was captivated by it right from the start.

This project is done with so much love and respect for the subject. The photographs are perfectly composed and let us look into a world we don't normally have access to.

Please enjoy the story of Walter written and photographed by Bruce Martin.

2011, A Pictorial Essay Rural X in America. Meet Walter....

I’m a photographer and alternative health therapist with a mission: To illustrate and share in a pictorial essay what it’s like to experience rural X in America.

This story really began years earlier with my curiosity about the possibility of rendering beauty in decay, something that, the more I look at it around me, the more I see it has a story to reveal.
I always approach an unknown location with curiosity and respect. This is important as I will be careful to not touch, destroy or alter anything for the inhabitants I come upon. These are my rules of engagement.

Approaching the property with my panorama digital and a 35mm film camera, I started circling, moving in closer and closer, taking it all in while “dry shooting” images in my head, deciding on my priorities for illustrating the story.

Yugo, I go

The farther I went, the more I realized this wasn’t going to be typical of the abandoned properties I had seen in the last 2 years since I’d been doing this.

Where’s the TV remote…?

"Halt, who goes there?" asked the guardian angel

At this point I’m out of my mind with curiosity and desire to enter the house and suddenly I see a cat and know right then and there I could possibly be in trouble. If the owner saw me, how would he react? How would I react? A flood of emotions raced through my mind as I face forward and head straight for the door. Walt and I meet outside, I fearing the worst. He wasn’t what I was expecting at all, instead: friendly, witty, and sharp minded. He invited me in….

"Would you like to come in…?"

Walter, 80 years old, is poor, living alone with his dog, Aflac, and two cats, in one room of the large, all wood, 14 room boarding house he was born in, owned by his family for three generations. As we entered, I can’t believe my eyes. Incredible: this is what I had trained myself for many years to prepare for in capturing the “beauty in the decay” of rural X. My mind slowly calmed down and I ask if I could do more photos of him. “Go right ahead…"Now the challenge, how was I going to render his maze of information in a clear, pictorial statement? Lighting was mixed florescent and daylight. Literally, I had no room to set a tripod and with detail that was begging to be rendered with the mixed low light, I did the best I could.

The captain’s chair

When I get in position, in my mind is that there comes time when being truthful, honest, and letting God take over and direct me was where I needed to be, giving up control and letting Him do the “driving." Switching into autopilot, I set up the tripod as best I could and made the camera’s adjustments all in manual mode. My 8mm lens was a God-send, as any other focal length with such limited space would not have had the coverage, sharpness, and the feeling of “being there” that this lens has. I decided not to use flash, but to use the mixed lighting with bracketed exposures, to get the “feeling just right”.
I quietly, methodically set out to record it all while trying to pay attention to Walter, as he told one story after another that really blew my mind.
He was very engaging, funny and serious at times, scattered in his thinking from years of medications, poor diet and living in the deep decay of his own self imposed hell. Nonetheless, he could recall with clarity and detail that to this day still amazes me.

"Isn’t Life grand…?"

In past experiences photographing people, I have felt it very important to align my thoughts and feelings with concern and compassion in my heart; without this the result would be lot different

"The last bad vice I have…"

He turned and shuffled through some papers to pull out a photo of himself and a friend from 60 years ago and showed it to me. “That’s me on the left," he noted. It said something powerful to me; looking at him now and then in this photo and I had only use my imagination to glimpse what he must have been like.


As the light fell and my energy and equipment energy running low, I gave Walter my card and said that if he needed to do shopping or had any emergency, I would be available. Saying my good byes, I made it to the door, noticing how sweet the air felt as I took my first breath of fresh air. Making it to the car, I prayed to God thanking Him for guiding my actions and showing me what I needed to do to accomplish this incredible task. I felt fortunate to be blessed with what little I have and I gave thanks over and over as I drove home.

That night, I started post processing all that I had done, the editing that I’ve trained myself for 40 years to do is represented here with these first 13 images, plus a 360/180 virtual panorama of the front property and his room, and now is locked into my computer’s memory and is shown here for the first time.

In closing, I offer one parting thought: What this has given to me is an immeasurable feeling of gratitude, especially profound to me at this time of year and this point in my 65 years on this planet. What I wish is that this heart felt pictorial essay will be an inspiration to other photographers as a call to search their souls for more stories which exemplify the true meaning of the human spirit - people caught in the act of being themselves, being human. Thank You, Lord, for all your guidance, love and support in helping make this possible. I owe it all to you.

Bruce Martin,

Catskill, New York, 12/7/2011

Part 2. My second visit.

I asked if I could photograph the other rooms. Here are a few of the images of up stairs.


Training bicycle he used


Master suite, all amenities included except toilet

Green room, TV, weight room, all included, no maid service

© copyright all images Bruce Martin