Archive for May, 2011

Can I be more humbled listening to a good man from a slightly sooner time? Not often.

People Who Care, Prescott, Arizona from Bill Leyden on Vimeo.

Video made in support of People Who Care, Precott, AZ.

Song: Remembering Eire
Album: Grandfather Mountain Bear
◙ by Bill Leyden. All Rights Reserved.


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I love to make images of people who say, “I hate my picture taken. The results never look like me!” Maybe because I am one of those people. So I have tried to approach portrait-making from a slightly different angle these days. There is not a week that goes by that I do not think of my late photographic mentor, Monte Zucker. His timeless lighting and posing techniques are the holy grail of his students.

I have tried to take that appreciation for the light and look for the light emanating from people in love – to approach the portal of sentiment that made partners partners. This is a manifesto of the “Beloved” movement.

So I was grateful when Murry and Emma agreed to sit with me to explore their relationship. Murray was pumped; Emma was apprehensive. “I hate my picture taken,” she said on cue. (Usually it is the man who would rather be doing something else than making images).

Undaunted, I proceeded to invite them to explore the timeless nature of their love. I am glad we did. But I must admit that I got so wrapped up in the story, that I forgot that I had a camera with me, and more importantly that I was supposed to be using it!

Murray and Emma

After telling Murray where he and Emma could review the images, I arrived home to find this email:

“Bill, I don’t know what to say. All the words I can think of seem trite. They are beautiful. I think that 4,11,14,15 are particularly effective. The fragment of Emma’s full smile and twinkling eye in 14 are heart-stopping. In 15 you have captured the image that has lived in my heart for the last thirty years and more.

I’m tearing up so I have to stop and send this.

By the way, “Beloved” is something we often call each other, even if somewhat tongue-in-cheek when we are exasperated.”

"My 30+ Year Dream"

I love it!

My heart-felt thanks to Jesh De Rox and members of the Beloved Collective for sharing the pathways to the Portal.

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It should come as no surprise to anyone that Bruce Dorn is a Canon Explorer of Light. He is one of those truly magnificent image-makers who needs no instrument to find the light. Ask him for assistance in any lighting situation, and he will instantly say something like, “why don’t you try ISO 160, F 4.0 at 1/1000 sec.”

And of course it will be perfect.

While shooting in interesting light with just your typical Sedona subject matter, I couldn’t help noticing that whatever I was shooting must not have been as interesting as what was going on upstream, for the two men my senior in the background could surely trump my wisdom. So I made this image to remind myself to try to keep a wide perspective.

Must be great haps upstream!

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