Category Archives: women

PSA: Smoking is NOT Glamorous!

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Smoking is NOT Glamorous!

 

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PSA: Smoking is NOT Glamorous!

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Studio News: Jameel Mohammed in Vogue!

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Jameel Mohammed: Khiry Collection featured in Vogue, September 2018

 

 

Studio News  by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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LEARNING CURVE

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Kudos to my former Fashion & Photography student Jameel Mohammed for being featured in the September issue of Vogue for the launch of his Khiry jewelry collection!  To see additional work by my former students at the University of Pennsylvania, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/tws-portfolio-reviews/

 

Also posted in Blog, Fashion, Glamour, Jewelry, Men, Models, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture

Advertisement: First Manhattan Mortgage, LLC

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First Manhattan Mortgage LLC

Also posted in Blog, Documentary, Men, News, Popular Culture

Light Table: Portrait of the Day

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Deean: Close Ups 1990’s

 

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Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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DEEAN: Close Up 1990’s

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During the 1990’s my studio was located a block away from South Street, one of the most famous streets in Philadelphia for attracting the avant-garde artists, photographers, musicians and stylists who frequented the trend setting strip. It runs East to West from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River several blocks South of center city.  Because of my studios proximity to South street, I often met interesting characters to photograph for my portrait work. Deann was one of those distinctive characters that I grew attracted to as a subject. One day when I was walking between 6th and 7th streets on South in a neighborhood called Bella Vista,  I noticed she was working at a  body piercing shop just around the corner from my studio which was located at 704 South 6th..  When I discovered where she worked it  prompted me to introduce myself since we were practically neighbors.  During those days, I was intrigued by a  growing interest in the art of tattoo and body piercing as a subject for various series I was working on at the time.  South street was known for attracting all types of unusual subjects.  Deann was not only known for being stylish and having a distinctive look, she also was known for being a perfectionist at body piercing.  On a day that I felt particularly daring in the Summer of 1997,  I walked into her shop and made an appointment to have her pierce one of my ears. The first time I was inclined to have a piercing performed was in college in 1974, after I saw the movie Serpico.  It was a defining display of individuality in my early twenties when I saw the character that Al Pacino played (a police officer) adorn his left ear with a single gold earring. 

So as a way to revisit the nostalgia of the past, and after the successful procedure to pierce my ear was completed,  I mustered up the courage to ask Deean to model for me. I wanted to include her in a series entitled, Close Ups.  She wanted to think about it. On the surface she appeared to be a bit reserved, timid and shy in contrast to her outwardly dramatic appearance.  A short period of time passed and then a magical moment of happenstance occurred.  On a night while I was out at a nightclub photographing subjects for another project, low and behold there was Deean seated at the bar having a beverage wearing a sharp shirt and tie with a conservative pin-stripped sports jacket.  I spotted a simple wall near where she was sitting and then proceeded to turn on my flash as I asked her to turn and look straight ahead so as to feature her distinctive profile.  She eventually agreed.

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To access additional work from Tony Ward’s Close Ups 1990’s, click herehttp://tonyward.com/early-work/close-ups-1990s/
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To access additional diary entries by Tony Ward, click herehttp://tonyward.com/2018/09/beach-report-last-days-of-summer/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Early Work, Fashion, Fetish, Film, Jewelry, Light Table, Models, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture

Bob Shell: Remembrances

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Photo: Bob Shell. Copyright 2018

 

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #22

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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REMEMBRANCES

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One of the cruelist things about being incarcerated is that friends and family die while you’re unable to see them. I’ve lost count of how many have gone in the last ten years.

Last October I was sitting at a table in the pod with three friends on a Saturday evening. We’d just fixed and eaten an elaborate meal, and were feeling well fed and relaxed, talking about things of interest. An announcement came over the PA system, “Shell, go to the sergeant’s office.”. Now, being called to the sergeant’s office is rarely good news, particularly on a weekend evening, so I went out there in an apprehensive state of mind. When I got there a young lieutenant and several officers were there. I asked what was up, and the lieutenant told me to sit down. He said that someone named Headie had called and asked them to let me know that my sister had died. I nearly passed out from the shock. (Headie is my nephew’s wife.)

My only sister, Karen, was six years younger than me. Since I was six she was always there for me, and since I’ve been locked up she had been writing to me at least once a month. She knew that I was incapable of doing the awful things I was accused of. I knew she had been diagnosed with cancer, and had surgery, chemo, and radiation treatments. Her last letter was from the beach and she was happy and in remission, so her sudden death was a complete shock. Now, I could have gone to her funeral, but in a prison jumpsuit, with handcuffs, leg shackles, and shock belt, with two armed guards. I thought I’d just be a distraction if I went like that, so I made the painful decision not to go. I was the only family member absent.

The DOC used to grant compassionate furloughs, but too many abused that privilege by not coming back, so they no longer do this. Once you’re inside, you stay inside. Hell, just to transport me from one prison to another they put more chains on me than an organ grinder’s monkey. Those escapes during transport that you see in movies are purely fairytales.

One of the most fiendish devices ever invented is “the box”, a device that fits over the chain connecting handcuffs. and attaches to a waist chain. Once it’s in place you have almost no mobility of your hands and arms. You might just be able to scratch your nose, maybe. When I got here to River North both my wrists were bloody from this contraption.

Unfortunately the men who wrote our Constitution prohibited “cruel and unusual punishment,” and our literal-minded Supreme Court has held that it’s OK for punishment to be cruel so long as it isn’t unusual. “The box” is definitely cruel, but since it’s used almost everywhere now it’s not unusual. If every state used iron maidens the Court would probably say that was OK! Sometimes courts are just plain silly.

But, back to my original topic. Last night I received the June issue of Shutterbug and turned to Dan Havlik’s Editor’s Notes. I learned there of the death in March of Chuck Wesrfall, one of my oldest and best friends in the photo industry. Chuck was a genius, the top technical expert at Canon USA. When I needed an expert in digital imaging to testify at my trial, Chuck came down from New York and gave detailed technical testimony for me at my trial. Unfortunately his testimony sailed right over the heads of the jurors, the judge, and over the head of the reporter from the Roanoke Times, which published a totally garbled version of Chuck’s testimony the next morning. The issue was simple: could the police have accidentally or intentionally changed the time codes on my photographs? Chuck demonstrated how this could have happened accidentally and explained it in great detail. The newspaper reported that he’d said the times were correct, exactly the opposite of what he’d actually said! Even though the jury had been instructed not to read the newspapers or watch TV news, they were not sequestered and I know that some of them probably disregarded this instruction.

Anyway, I’d first met Chuck in the 80s when I was writing my first book, on the Canon EOS system. We “clicked” because we were both tech heads. Over the years I took advantage of every opportunity to spend time with Chuck because he knew how everything worked and could explain so even I could understand. Plus, he was just one of the nicest people you could ever meet, a true gentleman in the old meaning of the term. He had relatives in Roanoke, and would often pop up to Radford to spend a day with me when he was in the area, always bringing a satchel of Canon’s latest goodies to play with. We were friends, not just business friends. He told me how he met his wife on an airplane flight to Japan, and later proudly showed me pictures of their son as he grew up. Chuck will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Among other good friends who have died while I’ve been in prison are: Derek Grossmark, owner of Hove Foto Books, publisher of my first books; Henry Froehlich, Chairman of Mamiya America, and the first man to import Japanese cameras into the USA after WW II; Steve Sint, longtime Popular Photography columnist; Lino Manfrotto, maker of high quality tripods and other photo gear; Don Sutherland, writer for Shutterbug, Playboy, and many other magazines; Bill Hurter, Editor of Rangefinder, who gave me work when I lost my Shutterbug job; Hilary Araujo, long-time industry executive; and probably many more I don’t yet know about. News reaches me slowly in here.

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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 herehttp://tonyward.com/2018/08/bob-shell-we-all-steal-ideas/

 

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