Category Archives: Cameras

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #13

Portrait of Karen Boyle by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Karen Boyle by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

 

Letters From Prison: Part 13, 2018

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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As promised, the story of PIC magazine. PIC, was short for People In Camera, and was started in the early 80s by Chris Knight as a sort of hobby. Captain Christopher Knight, to give him his proper title was an almost stereotypical rich English eccentric. He lived in a castle in Kent (Cooling Castle), had a full-time staff of falconers to care for his hawks, eagles, owls, and falcons, all of which spent most of their time on wooden perches in the castle courtyard. Chris was the scion of a family that owned fleets of container ships, which he and his brother had inherited. He was also a pretty darned good photographer, specializing in photos of pretty women. There was an old barn on the castle grounds that he’d had wired up and turned into an exceptionally well outfitted studio. He brought professional models from London for his own shoots and worked with a group of photographers who conducted workshops there and on the castle grounds. The photo of Karen Boyle, that year’s Miss Jamaica, that graced the splash page of my old bobshell.com website (and may still be up) was taken in one of the castle’s ruined towers in the summer of 1993. Anyway, I’d somehow met Chris, I don’t remember where, and was the invited up to the castle for a photo shoot and chat. Chris wanted to talk to me because PIC had been in the red for years, and as he said, was eating up all his “pocket money.”. We talked, he hired me as a consultant, and had the magazine’s books sent over to me. The problem was obvious when I looked over the books. He was grossly overstaffed, and was paying people high salaries for doing very little. I advised him to make some serious staff cuts, which made me very unpopular with those who got the axe, but in a short while the magazine was showing a small profit. Chris didn’t care if it made a lot of money, he just didn’t want it to keep on losing money.

One day I was in my office at home (I always worked from home) and got a call from a solicitor (British for lawyer) in London. It seemed that Chris had had a heart attack, and after hanging on for a week in hospital had died. But you could have knocked me over with a feather when he told me that Chris had rewritten his will during that week and had left PIC to me for a very nominal sum if I wanted it. Wow, biggest surprise of my life! I decided to give it a go even though running a magazine by “remote control” from the USA presented some major challenges. For most of 1994 I was essentially commuting between Radford and London. PIC originally had it’s offices in the grimy old English city of Rochester. I didn’t want to go up there, so I moved everything down to Hove on the south coast, and borrowed a large office from Hove Foto Books, my English book publisher, for a few months until we found a London office near Kings Cross, London. I realized at some point that trying to run a magazine in the UK while holding together my American commitments was just about impossible. Plus, we had a serious cash flow problem. On paper we were looking good, but many advertisers simply weren’t paying their bills. Not just little guys either, but some major companies were holding onto our invoices for six months or more. Meanwhile we had printing, postage, salaries, etc., that had to be paid right then. Then, real disaster struck! Over the long Christmas holiday a water pipe on the top floor burst, flooding our office and ruining things. The bottom line was that I could not go on pouring thousands of pounds of my own money in every month. Unlike Chris my resources had rather tight limits. So I had to make the very painful decision at the end of 1994 to shut the magazine down.

It was great while it lasted and I was very proud of the “book” (as magazines are called inside the business). We won an international design award for one cover, by the amazing Japanese photographer Hiroshi Nonami. The president of Olympus in the UK wrote to me to say that my cover portrait of model Nicolle Gray was the finest portrait he had ever seen. I was gratified by such positive feedback. I still own rights to the PIC name and logo and hoped to one day relaunch it. If I ever do it will most likely be as a webzine.

Having to close that magazine was like losing a child.

I did meet some very interesting people during that time period. Anyone from the UK reading this and old enough will probably recognize the name Keith Johnson, founder of Keith Johnson Photographic, later just called KJP, which was the largest chain of photo shops in the. UK. By 1994 he had sold the company and moved to his vineyards and winery in Sussex, where he was producing a very nice wine called Sussex Gold. He invited me, Michael Barrington-Martin and Bob Dove, two of the PIC writers there for a day. Keith had opened a restaurant there and had a nice big meeting room. We discussed having some photo workshops there, but that never came to pass. I had taught some workshops in London by then as well as in Germany, and was looking to expand, but things just didn’t work as well over there. The logistics were horrific and ate up any profit. Eventually, I settled down to the USA and Caribbean, where the logistical problems were fewer. My outdoor workshops were held here in Virginia on forest land I owned, in Florida on St. Pete Beach and Clearwater, and in Nevada at the Valley of Fire State Park. In the Caribbean I used beaches and private estates on St. Thomas, USVI. I had people from Europe and Japan come to these, which was easier than taking my show to them. I also conducted many studio workshops in my Radford studio, which had been specifically set up for teaching. It was big enough (35 x 80 feet) to have multiple sets active at the same time. Of course, I lost my studio when I was convicted, along with practically everything else…..

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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 at Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Mr. Shell is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-letters-from-prison-12/

 

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Art, Blog, Friends of TWS, History, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture

TWS Feature: Carrie M. Street Fashion New York

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Carrie M. Street Photography NYC, Copyright 2018

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Photography by Carrie M. Copyright 2018

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Text by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2018

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Taking Her Shot: Through the Lens of Carrie M.

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Snap!

 

She sees it. In her mind’s eye, before the setting is set and subject is set in motion. New designers, new faces; she’s shaking it up while going through the paces.

 

Snap!

 

The scenario starts to take shape, as her watercolor of wonder begins to crystallize to reality. Models in motion, having that gliding gaze across the lens’ view, as she takes her shot.

 

Snap!

 

Colors bold and that certain look of captivation in the subject’s eyes, takes the viewer on a journey of Carrie M.’s vision. Like a fly on the wall, a moment of private thought is conveyed from model to photographer. We catch a glimpse of the magic, but not the secret of Carrie M’s method.

 

Snap!

 

Hip-hop, couture, and every kind of style signature in between; she knows her stuff so sleek and tame. ‘Take my picture’ some might say. But, Carrie M’s maneuvers have a different kind of sway.

 

Snap!

 

On target, she is with dancers and athletes all in her camera’s midst. Faces, places of the sun and moon, are the backdrop she scopes out to get her shot. Life’s a beach and Carrie M. goes with the flow. When she grabs the camera and shoots, what’s ordinary gets blown away. 

 

Snap! Crackle! Pop!

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Carrie M’s passionate quest of her craft will never stop. Her line is cast in sizzling clarity, as the Brooklyn Bridge is in her sight. At the end of a shoot, for Carrie M. is resolute – Have Camera Will Travel!

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Carrie M. Photographer NYC.

 

 

ABOUT CARRIE M.: Carrie M. is a New York based, professional freelance photographer. Always on the lookout for new challenges and adventures for her vocation, Carrie M. holds a fresh outlook for fashion, faces, and atmospherics that will make your toes tap and senses snap to a funky beat and sly wink. Contact her @carriemphotography on Instagram.

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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, visit this pagehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/h-scott-follow-ruble-road/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Models, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Upcoming Exhibitions: Stanek Gallery

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Scene of the Crime on Exhibit at Stanek Gallery

 

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PRESS RELEASE_PHILADELPHIA
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A picture entitled, “Scene of the Crime” will be part of a group  exhibit entitled: People, Places & Things at Stanek Gallery, 242 North 3rd Street in Philadelphia. The opening reception is  this coming Friday, May 4th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.  This picture is part of a series of tableaux vivants created by Tony Ward between the years 1993 to 2000.  This will be the first time the artist exhibits this particular body of work in Philadelphia, where the pictures resulted in his second monograph, Tableaux Vivants, Edition Stemmle. Zurich, Switzerland, fpublished in  2000.  There are very limited editions of these vintage silver prints available and are now being offered for the first time to collectors at Stanek Gallery in Philadelphia.  In 2005,  “The Figure” another picture from the series sold (modern print 42″ x 62″) at an exhibit in  Paris to a collector from London for $18,000 dollars, the highest price paid for a single work by Tony Ward to date.

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http://tonyward.com/early-work/tableaux-vivants-1993-2000/

The Figure

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To learn more about Tony Ward’s tableaux vivants, click here: visit this pagehttp://tonyward.com/early-work/tableaux-vivants-1993-2000/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Announcements, Art, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Erotica, Exhibitions, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Glamour, History, Models

Diary: A Fashion Shoot at the Jersey Shore

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Holly: Wearing a Black Latex Dress

 

 

Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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Diary: A Trip to the Jersey Shore

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Holly and I had worked together many times before leading up to this shoot at the Jersey shore.  I first met her at Delilah’s Den, a well established gentlemen’s club on Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia.  Back then she was a shot girl and one evening she came over to me while I was seated at a table next to the main dance stage when she asked if I wanted a shot? I said no but I would like to have your number. I explained that I was a contract photographer for Penthouse and was at the club that evening scouting for new models. She reached for a napkin on her server tray and jotted down her contact information.  That marked the beginning of 1o year run between a photographer and young woman that would quickly become his  muse.  At 21 years of age Holly began to appear in countless Penthouse pictorials, Playboy and she even crossed over briefly into fashion layouts for mainstream publications based in New York.  This particular photo was created in the parking lot of a seedy Atlantic City motel where we set the stage for a series of fashion fetish photos featuring Holly as a fetishistic bon vivant.

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To see additional pictures of Holly , become a member, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/category/membership-account/

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To access additional Diary entries, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/3728-2/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Art, Blog, Diary, Documentary, Erotica, Fashion, Glamour, History, Models, Nudes, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Stanek Gallery: Exhibition Announcement

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Stanek Gallery: People, Places & Things. May 2018.

 

 

Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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I am honored to announce my participation in the first inaugural photography exhibition at  Stanek Gallery,  located at 242 North 3rd street in Philadelphia.  The group exhibition was curated by the legendary art gallerist and dealer Sande Webster Brantley, who I came to know during the early 1990’s when she had her first gallery on Locust street near Rittenhouse Square. She would later move to fancier digs at 2008 Walnut Street before closing the gallery in 2011 to pursue curating and art consulting.  Sande was one of the first if not the first female art dealer in American history to embrace African American artists works as equal to their white counter parts.  It is with this distinction that makes Sande Webster’s vision of art free of racism, bigotry, or prejudice. In celebration of this exhibition I would like to express my deepest appreciation for being included with these most distinguished artists, some of whom I’ve known since the 1970’s.  Shout outs to: Adger Cowans, Willie Williams, Donald Camp, Arlene Love, Robert Reinhardt, Ada Trillo, Ronald Tarver, Andrea Baldeck, Anthony Barbosa and Stanek Gallery.

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Another Place Another Time. Will be on view at Stanek Gallery

Another Place Another Time. Will be on view at Stanek Gallery

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To learn more about the exhibit at Stanek Gallery, click herehttps://www.stanekgallery.com

 

Also posted in Announcements, Art, Blog, Current Events