Category Archives: Documentary

Bob Shell: Meditations on Cameras and the State of the Photo Industry Today

tony ward cameras meditations industry photography

Tony Ward. Self Portrait. Copyright 2019

 

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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Meditations on Cameras and the State of the Photo Industry Today

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The first professional level camera that I ever used was my father’s Exakta VX1000. It was an odd beast, obviously designed for a left-handed user, with the film advance lever and shutter release button on the left of its angular body. It had shutter speeds, as i recall, down to 16 seconds, and an internal film knife that let you cut off part of a roll of film if you wanted to develop just a few frames without sacrificing the rest of the roll. That camera was my father’s pride and joy, and he’d saved money for some time to afford it. In those immediate postwar years Japanese cameras were considered junk, and the German photo industry was top dog. The Exakta cameras were made by Ihagee in Dresden, Germany, I have that Exakta now at my house in Radford, just waiting for my release. It came to me on my dad’s death in 2000, along with the rest of his photo equipment. It has the 50mm Steinheil lens, a lens that will focus very close; almost a macro lens, and is super sharp. The Exakta VX cameras were mechanical masterpieces. The VX1000 had a top shutter speed of 1/1000 second, while the less expensive VX500 only went to 1/500. My father got some great photos with that camera. It had no built-in light meter, so you used a separate hand meter or guessed exposure. I got to be pretty good at guessing, plus the black and white films we used were very forgiving. You could miss by quite a bit and still be able to pull off a good print in the darkroom. Of course, we developed our own film and printed the photos in our basement darkroom. For a while my father was the photographer for the Easter Seal Society in Roanoke, and the job came with the privilege of using their very nice darkroom so we would do our developing and printing there.

I must have been 12 or 13 when I “souped” my first film, and printed the pictures. Wow, that was a miracle, watching the images appear in the developing tray under the red safelight! I was hooked but good. And the pleasant addiction never went away. That sense of wonder has been lost in today’s digital world. Not that I’m down on digital, I’m not. I was an early adopter of digital, but never thought of how disruptive it would be to the business I love. Suddenly, almost overnight, major photography companies found themselves in the buggy business while automobiles took over the roads. Some companies made the transition and survived, but some didn’t.

A prime example of corporate head-in-sand blindness is Kodak. Essentially they invented the digital camera, and their electronic sensor division made, and may still make, some of the best digital sensors. But did they build cameras to house those sensors? No, they just sold those sensors to camera companies and gave away that market sector. Yes, there were Kodak professional digital cameras, but Kodak just bought Nikon and Sigma film cameras and modified them with their digital sensors and electronics. They shut down this operation some time ago. You can buy a Kodak branded point-and-shoot digital camera today, but it’s not made by Kodak. It comes from a manufacturer in Asia. So far as I know, the last cameras actually made by Kodak were some APS film cameras made at a Kodak factory in Mexico, where they wrestled with serious quality control issues. The last Kodak black and white photographic paper was made at a Kodak facility in Brazil. Rochester, NY, once “Kodak City” has seen the Kodak workforce drop radically, and people there can no longer look to Kodak for lifetime employment. It’s really sad to see this great American company go down, victim of bad management decisions. The same thing happened to Polaroid, another victim of the digital revolution. Both Kodak and Polaroid were instrumental in getting average Americans to make photographs. None of us in the photographic press anticipated the rapidity of the digital revolution, I’m sorry to say.

And now, there is another digital revolution going on, this one moving faster than anyone could have predicted. It is being driven by the cameras built into cellphones. These tiny cameras keep getting better and better. Last year saw the front covers of Rolling Stone and Conde Nast Traveler shot with iPhones! With cell phone cameras so good, many are asking, “What’s the point of carrying around a camera?”. This is a good question for the vast majority of people. And it’s sending ripples throughout the photo industry. You probably didn’t know that those compact point-and-shoot cameras were the bread and butter of the camera companies, and sales of those cameras provided the R&D money for advanced SLR development. Some companies saw those simple cameras making up 85% of their revenue. Where will that money come from now? I foresee a few camera companies going bust, unable to stay in business from SLR, high end mirrorless cameras, and lens sales alone. I’d say that Sony and Canon have the best chances of survival, as both companies are very diversified, with many other product lines to provide income. Fuji has a good probability of survival, too. I wouldn’t bet serious money on the survival of the others. At the very high end, where digital cameras sell for $ 30,000 and up, companies don’t need to sell many to survive, so it’s likely that Hasselblad, Leica, and Phase One will hang on. At least right now you can’t shoot a Times Square billboard with a cellphone, and there are other applications which require more pixels than even the digital SLRs can produce. Serious photographers will want more image control than phone cameras allow, and for things like wildlife photography only a long lens will work, so cellphone limitations will keep up a demand for more capability. To see beyond about ten years my crystal ball becomes hopelessly clouded.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-music-photography/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Cameras, Film, Men, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Travel

A.H. Scott: Madison’s Key

tony ward erotica memberships available online collection archives key

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

Poetry by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2019

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Madison’s Key

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Mauve painted nails gingerly pressed against Maurice’s chest
Madison whispered, “Babe, you should get some rest”
Maurice’s left hand had a different plan
He placed his hands over hers and warmly remarked, “Whenever I relax with you, my dear. It’s always best”
“You lay back on this bed”, Madison knew their calypso of caressing would soon begin
As he did so, their hands parted ways
He folded hands behind his head and waited for her delightful play
Madison’s auburn locks flowed against the tip of his cock
“Oh”, Maurice reacted from this feathery touch
“And, to think you were just yawning few moments ago”, She purred, “When you’re turned on it, gives me a rush”
Shaft palmed and funneled slowly by both of her hands
Maurice knew he needn’t make any demands
Madison’s mouth proceeded upon him in a silent dialogue of skill and tenderness
Maurice was never a man to be selfish in the sphere of satisfaction
He enjoyed Madison’s delectable attractions
“Feels nice, feels good”, He motioned hands from behind his head and against her swerving shoulders
Madison gazed up at him with eyes of electric ecstasy
Maurice smiled, “To have you is my wish”
Her hands moved from his root and up to his mouth slowly, “Wish fulfilled”
Maurice’s lips lightly tapped against those painted nails, as he would return the favor and taste her flavor
Madison switched places with him upon the bed
She laid back and revealed her precious gem
Maurice polished her to a state of shimmering ascent
Madison’s moans filled the bedroom, as she kept eyes on him
His mouth took her there
There to that place where her core existed
As Madison squealed, Maurice knew he had her
Not just in an exquisite feast of fantasy’s flourishing
But, an excavation and expectation of spiritual symmetry
Madison’s fingers ran through his wavy, brown hair
Maurice’s head moved with precision in the realm of precious pleasure
Connection of root and rose came in moments next, as Maurice and Madison melted in movement
Like a balmy wave in summer, they glided together on that bed with tempered ease
Crashing minutely, yet cresting in a simultaneous tide
This was their comfort as the dew of dedication seamlessly swirled in a scintillating culmination between them
As they locked eyes in that familiar way, each were draped in devotion’s view
She was unlocked and absorbed in his rousing reverie
Maurice was Madison’s key
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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go here: http://tonywarderotica.com/4827-2/
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Editor’s Note: To see more pictures of Maurice and Madison as well as other pictures and films from Tony Ward’s erotica collection, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/category/membership-account/

Also posted in Art, Blog, Books, Cameras, Diary, Early Work, Erotica, Fetish, Film, Men, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, women

Katie Kerl: Balance Your Life

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Photography and Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

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Balance Your Life

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Back to reality after a week or two of birthday fun; time to get back on my healthy diet regimen. It was not until I turned 32 did I take stock in how I was mistreating my body. I have done a complete 180 since then. Partying is all well and good in the moment, until its Tuesday and you’re feeling the downward spiral of reality and anxiety. I used to get sick at least four times a year, and would stay up most of the weekend having what I thought was  fun for my life in that moment.

There came a time I realized it was not fun anymore. If your weekend hangover is delayed until Tuesday you may have an issue. I was going through a laundry list of things at that time; A shitty boyfriend that I do not wish upon anyone, finding out who my REAL friends were in the most undignified fashion, and sick family. At that time I did not know how to deal with those emotions other than not sitting around thinking about it. Today, I am a completely different person. I try my hardest to not drink while going through something negative. I have failed at that here and there, but as long as I know it is not the way to handle it that is all that matters.

Meal planning is a big part of my life. To me cooking is therapy, and plating is a creative art form. If I cook for you, it is going to look like you are eating at a five star restaurant. Stephen Starr had run a home cooks challenge a few years back. They featured my sweet potato hash with Greek yogurt crème brûlée on their Instagram page. I also practice intermittent fasting, meaning I drink a cup of coffee in the morning plus one liter of water, or decaf herbal tea until around 1pm.

Then I eat my first meal, which usually is my largest of the day. I do not believe in cutting out carbs from your diet. That is a great way to set yourself up for failure. I’ll prepare a portion of lean protein with vegetables outweighing the meat, and some form of starch. Sweet potatoes are my favorite, also quinoa, potatoes, and rice. I make plant based protein smoothies mixed with different fruits, green veggies, nut butters, and almond milk, sweetening it with honey. I make sure to SEASON all of my meats and veggies. Flavor is usually what people lack when cooking for themselves.

Through the rest of my day I try to get down one more liter of water. I think a gallon is way too much for me. It always makes me feel bloated and cranky. Drinking a glass of water before you eat also decreases the amount of food you intake. Chewing your food properly before swallowing helps you digest correctly. Being in my thirties heartburn is a real thing I did not know existed in my twenties. In the evening dinner is the smaller meal for me. I will also have fruit, nuts, or granola bars as snacks. I try to stop eating by 8pm.

The only time you will see me with junk food in my house is when I have PMS. Then nothing is stopping me from eating all the cheese, chocolate, chips, and pasta in sight. I pick two days a week to eat whatever I want. Depriving yourself of something you want to eat makes being healthy feel like a chore.

Now, I realize this is not many people’s cup of tea, or good use of their time anymore in an age of meal kits and fresh food delivery. I always find it baffling when my friends say they cannot cook. That basic human survival skill we are skipping teaching our children in the day of convenience.

How do we make healthy meals a family activity again? We move through life so fast that slowing down to eat together rarely happens. Nothing makes me feel better than seeing the look on friends faces when they eat my food. Some of my fondest memories were cooking with my mom, grandmothers, and aunts. I always tell people if they need help getting a jump start on basic meal planning I am here to help. That goes for anyone reading this wanting to change, but not sure where to start. I am no personal trainer or nutritionist but, I look better at 35 than I did at 25.

Summer is coming and so are sundresses and bikinis. If you would like the recipes of the food photos I have attached here please visit my Instagram page. If you want a healthy mind, body, and spirit a good diet is the best place to start. You can work out all you want, but you truly are what you eat. I know I am ready to shed the winter layers and lay in the sun; Are you?

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Portrait of Katie Kerl, Philadelphia 2019

Portrait of Katie Kerl, Philadelphia 2019

About The AuthorKatie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. Education: Drexel University studied Behavioral  Psychology. Occupation: commercial/ residential  design Philadelphia resident since 2011 . Hobbies include: Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos & house music lover. Instagram:  @kerl_up_with_kate. Email: Kate.Kerl32@gmail.com. To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-take-me-to-the-disco/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Glamour, Models, Popular Culture, women

Portrait of the Day: Alexandra

Tony_Ward_Studio_glamour_portrait_ParisAlexandra

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

 

Editor’s Note: To see more pictures of Alexandra as well additional pictures and films from Tony Ward’s erotica collection, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/category/membership-account/

 

Also posted in Art, Books, Cameras, Diary, Early Work, Erotica, Fashion, Fetish, Film, Glamour, Models, Nudes, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Travel, women

Katie Kerl: Take me to the Disco

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Photography and Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

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Take me to the Disco

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Reflecting on this Miami Music week, I have to say it was the best one to date. I have incredible friends and family that made this birthday beautiful. It started off with our friend Bob upgrading Amiee and My flights to the admirals club, and TSA pre check. We got in a few pre flight eats and cocktails. We touched down in Miami ready to shake shit up. 

Bob arranged our room the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse. The staff was the nicest there. I highly recommend it. We went right to the roof for their happy hour and for photos of course. There were beautiful views of South beach in every direction. We shopped a bit on the city walk and ate before getting ready. 

After more than a few drinks in the room, we were off to our first party at Do Not Sit On the Furniture. It was the Sweeeet Party with Dennis Ferrer & DJ Sneak. I love that old school funky house vibe. The venue was intimate, and there was so much room for dancing.  I have to say it was amazing for a small setting . We walked back to the hotel and got a few hours of sleep. 

I woke up on my birthday around 7am, and went to see the sunrise on the beach for the first time and not in a club. I realized that this trip was different, a much more mature way of doing it. I sat with my Cuban coffee pondering life, and what was in store for the day .It felt amazing to be alive and 35. When everyone was awake we headed to the classic News Cafe for breakfast. I really needed that Bloody Mary, chicken, & French toast. 

The Esscala Pure Trance yacht party was next on the Musette with Gabriel & Dresden, Solarstone, and Simon Patterson. 

One thing about yacht parties, the drinks are the least expensive you’re going to find in Miami. Needless to say we left a little wobbly after dancing for 5 hours. After a disco nap we were ready for the coming night, which was The Paradise Party at Space.

Amiee and I went to that and gave Bob a break. We were in the front of the DJ booth and it was pure musical happiness. One thing I noticed, I didn’t need to stay till the end . By end I mean to be determined into the next afternoon. We went back and slept around 5am. 

We got up and ate at Puerto Sagua the best Cuban diner you’re going to find in South Beach. Aimee had the whole diner singing Happy Birthday to me over my tres leches. 

From there we walked to Wet Willies. 3+ hours of Call-A- Cabs , and one entertaining Britt offending people’s outfits , talking in a Brad Pit pike like voice from Fight Club , we were more than on our way to a good night. 

After that hilariousness, Aimee and I walked back to the room. Of course we got side tracked by the shopping mall with a bar and Dj outside. When in Rome (Miami) you order more frozen cocktails. 

By the time we got back to the room, I had fallen asleep with a trail of gold fish behind me in the bed, and my hand still in the bag. 

After my 4 hour coma, I rallied & we were off to the Laser Face party at Mana in Wynnwood. Gareth Emery put on an amazing show! It was something I usually would not have picked, but was so happy I went, as did my voice from there on out for the entirety of the trip. 

I found myself wanting to get up and do the things I hadn’t before. The next morning I walked the ocean drive market, saw the Versace Mansion, got fresh coconuts, and just laid on the beach. 

Now, to many people this may seem normal for vacation, but not this week in Miami. Usually, you pass the beach on the way to a party, or coming home from one. I’m so happy I slowed down enough to enjoy the city I already loved even more. That final day we ate at the hotel restaurant Havana 1957. The lobster /seafood dish we had was amazing. 

Then, we went to the Spinnin Records pool party at the Sixty Nautilus hotel on Ocean Drive. We walked up and who did we see? Only Sander Van Doorn, the headliner doing an interview. The pool was beautiful, and even the 71$ drinks were worth it. Leaving a bit before it ended, we ran into Erick Morillo. He just ended his pool party at The National Hotel. He was nice enough to take a photo with us. I rarely ask Djs for photos, but his energy while performing his sets is amazing. 

We went back to the room for the last time, but I wasn’t done just yet. I went back to Mana in Wynnwood for Elrow. I decided that hanging with the new friends I had made was better than trying to get out of that place at 6 am. 

I made my way back to the hotel.

We had week ending mimosas at 7 am and back to Philly we went. 

I must say that I feel like a completely rejuvenated 35 year old. Who has some seriously amazing people in her life. I will never stop going to Miami on my Birthday. 

Music heals your soul and the friends you go to dance with make it perfect.

I’m one lucky girl. 

Cheers till next year Miami! 

Kerl Up with Kate 

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Katie_Kerl_we_love_Miami_blog

Katie Kerl: Miami 2019

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About The AuthorKatie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. Attended Drexel University for Behavioral  Psychology. Occupation: commercial/ residential  design Philadelphia resident since 2011 . Hobbies include: Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos & house music lover. Instagram:  @kerl_up_with_kateTo access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: http://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-picking-up-the-pieces/

 

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