• /the-shot-blog/neil-leifer-returnsthis-time-its-personal

    He came back! Yes that's right...Neil Leifer returned to our Space and gave an unprecedented 2nd IRIS Nights lecture!

    (photo © Damon Webster)

    Neil is truly a one-of-a-kind photographer. His one-of-a-kind work is on display at the Space through March 14. Don't miss it if you haven't seen it yet! Neil's so "one-of-a-kind" that we asked him to come back and offer a second lecture.

    I love this pic...so Hitchcock!

    Neil's lecture was an all new look at the subject of Football - the images coming from his insta-classic Taschen book "Guts & Glory: Golden Age of American Football," which he was very happy to show and tell us about.

    If you have never had the opportunity to hear Neil Leifer speak you have to add this to your bucket list. His funny, fact-filled forays into the history of modern sports are truly unique.

    Of course every good Neil Leifer lecture starts with ... well ... NEIL!...and no one can talk about the brash young teenage photographer breaking onto the scene like Neil can. Here he is facing off with his own history:

    (photo © Damon Webster)

    ...and here he's consulting his current favorite authority on the subject...

    As always, his images are historic, innovative and - at times - humorous!

    Does ANYONE remember when football cheerleaders looked like this?

    Amazing. For a man who has witnessed and participated in over 5 decades of sports history,

    ...Neil remains ever-grateful, ever-enthusiastic, ever-engaging and ever-entertaining about his life.

    Thank you once again Mr. Leifer for another wonderful night!

    (All photos © Unique for the Space except where noted)

  • /the-shot-blog/bruce-hall-and-corinne-marinnan-open-our-eyes-blind-photography

    Last night was our 30th IRIS Nights lecture!

    We had two very special guest lecturers, Academy Award winning producer Corinne Marrinan and blind photographer Bruce Hall.

    The subject of the evening was a short film directed by our own Neil Leifer, co-produced by Neil and Corinne, and featuring Bruce Hall along with two other blind photographers (Pete Eckert and Henry Butler) called "Dark Light: The Art of Blind Photographers."

    I didn't know about blind photographers until I heard about this film. The subject matter was introduced in a very artful way in the film, through interviews with a number of well-known photographers talking about their skepticism or curiosity about how a blind person can even be a photographer.

    Bruce and Corinne discussed the unique case of each of the three, as each of them has a different kind of blindness.

    Peter Eckert lost his sight later in life, so he had a lifetime of 20/20 memories to draw on to create his ethereal, painterly images.

    (photo by Peter Eckert)

    Henry Butler has been completely blind since he was a baby, so his pictures arise out of his musical sense of timing and his connection to people he meets.

    (photo by Henry Butler)

    Bruce has been legally blind since birth - he has 5% of normal vision and can only see blurry shapes unless he brings something a few inches from his face...

    (This is Bruce literally reading a note from his Doctor explaining his condition.)

    ...so he takes pictures with a sense of what he might be capturing, but then has to look at large prints of the images (or enlargements on his monitor) to even see what happened.

    Corinne-who in her spare time has been a writer on CSI for the past few years- was completely charming and kept drawing great stories out of Bruce with her innocent-sounding questions.

    (photo by Damon Webster)

    Then we got to see more of Bruce's amazing underwater photography.

    ...including the one that Bruce said Neil Leifer loved of the glowing Garibaldi off the coast of Catalina Island...

    Bruce then veered into his other work: his ongoing (life) project documenting life with his twin sons who are profoundly autistic.

    This one is his favorite.

    And that was a wrap!

    What a great pair! Thank you so much for your Joie de Vivre Corinne!

    And your wonderful work Bruce!

    (All photos © Unique for the Space except where noted)

  • /the-shot-blog/lynch-brings-triple-tko-ultimate-fightings-brandon-vera-watercolors-and-his-mom

    Kevin Lynch
    Last night Kevin Lynch brought the goods.

    First he brought an amazing presentation of his work including celebrity portraiture, film posters, his exhaustive and up close coverage of the UFC fighters...
    Kevin Lynch

    ...including some very challenging before and after bout pics.

    ...and some chilling portraits.

    ...as well as an abstract series that he co-created with his wife called "Watercolors."

    Then... to make it all the more real... Kevin brought UFC fighter Brandon Vera to sit and talk with him.

    Brandon was so gracious and polite it was hard to imagine him breaking noses and spilling blood.

    ...but his input was very interesting. He spoke about his contemporaries and about the logistics of growing a 'career' in Ultimate Fighting.

    Afterwards they both stayed standing through a round of Q&A and the onslaught of fans.

    Kevin also brought his urban-legend-rare and giant book, OCTAGON. The book, which has more than 800 four-color and black-and-white photographs, was printed and hand bound in Italy, weighing over 50 pounds.

    It ranges in price from $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the edition, and is truly a work of art.

    But for those who wanted to purchase a book for Kevin or Brandon to sign, there were some more affordable volumes on hand.

    ...and plenty of opportunity to press the flesh and mug for the cameras...

    Oh! And did I mention that Kevin also brought his mom?

    She even came back afterwards and got her son to sign a few books.


    In short, Kevin really knocked us out. Thank you Kevin, Brandon and Mom. Y'all come back now y'hear?

    (All images © Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/brewers-tubular-zen

    Living legend Art Brewer graced our Space Thursday night and was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. He was totally down-to-earth, mellow, funny...and he actually showed up with a crew!
    Art Brewer 1/21/10 © Unique for the Space

    The last time we had so many people in the green room (really our Reading Room) was when David Hume Kennerly brought his whole family along to man his book-selling table!

    After a brief intro to the intro by Annenberg Foundation Exec Director Leonard Aube, who spoke about the unexpected success we've had with our IRIS Nights lectures, Art came out, sat down and starting rolling out waves of images and stories for our delight.

    Many of the pictures he showed were dominated by cascading walls of blue...Art Brewer © Unique for the Space

    Others showed the secret inner life of tuberiders...
    Art Brewer © Unique for the Space

    And some were portraits of the many surfers that are Art's real 'crew' - many of whom he has known since he started shooting waves as a teen!
    Art Brewer © Unique for the Space

    Despite the driving rain outside, the house was full! Many of the guests seemed to be off-duty surfers coming to check in on their pal. And one or two of his photos actually had some land in them!

    But the majority of what we saw were these incredible shots of little humans braving giant waves - accompanied by some incredible stories of the guy in the water shooting them!

    Afterwards Art graciously took questions (and generously gave answers) to the faithful assembly...

    ...and then sat and signed books, meeting folks and cracking jokes.

    Here he is signing a vintage issue of Surfer - the magazine that published his first cover shot when he was 16 years old.

    Dude...how rad is that? (sorry...I had to!)

    (all pictures © Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/jimmy-colton-takes-making-cut-whole-new-level

    Jimmy Colton, January 14 - © Unique for the Space Last Thursday, our Space was graced with a pair of the best eyes in the business - Jimmy ('only my mother calls me James') Colton - photo editor for Sports Illustrated. Jimmy Colton, January 14, 2010 - © Unique for the Space Jimmy prepped us for his presentation by informing us that during the Olympics his job entailed reviewing 319,000 unedited images to narrow down to 70. Jimmy Colton, January 14, 2010 - © Unique for the Space That's right: 319,000>70. Crazy, right? Then he showed us the 70 or so images - and he proved his point! When we first met Jimmy at our SPORT opening, he told a wonderful story about how he sees his work as digging for the jewel in the lightbox. Jimmy showed us how SI became the source of the 'photo finish' for the famous Phelps 100m race. In this case the jewel was not too hard to find. Jimmy Colton on the Phelps 100m victory - © Unique for the SpaceJimmy Colton on Phelps' 100m victory - © Unique for the Space Each of his presentations were impeccably produced and superbly scored. The Olympics, Super Bowl, and my favorite, the Ooohs and Ahhhs reel. Jimmy Colton - Ooohs and Ahhhs - © Unique for the Space As is often the case, Jimmy's lecture was attended by some of our other IRIS Nights stars, on this occasion including Lucy Nicholson... Lucy Nicholson at Jimmy Colton Lecture - © Unique for the Space ...and Rick Rickman... Rick Rickman @ Jimmy Colton - © Unique for the Space ...and Manuello (Manu) Paganelli... Manuello Paganelli @ Jimmy Colton - © Unique for the Space Needless to say, after the lecture Jimmy was swarmed by appreciative guests. Jimmy Colton after the lecture © Unique for the Space Many guests asked Jimmy to sign the complimentary issues of Sports Illustrated he brought along as lecture favors! Jimmy Colton © Unique for the Space Always the gentleman - he was happy to oblige. Thank you Mr. Colton. The pleasure was ours!

  • /the-shot-blog/he-shoots-he-scores-leifer-knocks-it-out-park-add-your-sport-metaphor

    Neil Leifer, Thursday, January 7 - © Unique for the Space
    Neil Leifer kicked off 2010 with our first IRIS Nights lecture of the New Year and boy did he just raise the bar!

    We had such an amazing turnout that we actually had to turn a few people away (we're SORRY!)... over 250 people filled our digital gallery AND our workshop area. Neil - always the prepared professional - was at the Space early to run through his slides and do an interview with KCAL (which they will be running on Super Bowl Sunday of course). He also took the time to chat in our Reading Room with one of our previous esteemed lecturers, David Hume Kennerly.

    David Hume Kennerly and Neil Leifer at the Photography Space

    Also in the house for Neil was recent lecturer Howard Schatz:
    Howard Schatz at Neil Leifer's Lecture

    Neil was so prepared he brought his own introduction, narrated by Alec Baldwin(!). He watched with great joy as Alec, Sly Stallone and numerous luminaries sang his praises before he even reached the podium. Neil Leifer waiting in the wings

    Once he took 'the stage' we sat rapt, listening to the master regale us with tales of how a hard-scrabble hobbyist kid (yes that's him in the picture below!)

    Neil Leifer at the Space for IRIS Nights Lecture

    ...became the youngest photographer to grab the cover of Sports Illustrated. Neil's a natural storyteller and a huge fan of his subjects...whether it's Muhammad Ali...

    Leifer's images of Ali at the Space
    ...or it's Fidel Castro!

    Leifer with Castro and Leifer

    Neil peppered his lecture with threats to reveal the score of the Texas/Alabama BCS Championship game being played in Pasadena during the lecture, but he was loudly overruled by our guests who didn't want the surprise ruined.
    Neil threatening to reveal the score

    Whether you were a sports fan, a photography buff, a history nut or an A-List photographer, Neil offered a highly entertaining evening...looking quite at home talking from our podium.

    Neil Leifer at the podium

    Afterwards, Schatz and Kennerly hung out for a while, chatting...
    Howard Schatz and David Hume Kennerly

    ...while Neil settled comfortably in for a long line of book-buying fans...for whom he signed everything...books, postcards, napkins.

    Neil Leifer, signing post-lecture
    He was so comfortable, in fact, and the audience was so appreciative, that we're going to have him come back on February 13 for a special Saturday IRIS Nights lecture -completely new, unlike his first program.

    What can we say? We love having Neil here and we're glad the feeling is mutual!
    Neil Leifer

  • /the-shot-blog/lucy-nicholson-makes-it-seem-so-fun

    Lucy Nicholson, December 17, 2009 © Unique for the Space
    On Thursday the amazing Lucy Nicholson - senior staff photographer at Reuters - graced our Space with her lilting British accent, her light-hearted sense of humor and an incredible presentation.

    Lucy Nicholson, December 17, 2009 © Unique for the Space
    From a short film about how an organization the size of Reuters shoots a big event to her own riveting photos, Lucy gave us a lot of rich content from a unique perspective to consider.
    Lucy Nicholson, December 17, 2009  © Unique for the Space
    Seeing what goes into what we end up seeing online (around the world) was a real eye-opener. Once again we learned at the feet of a master (matrix?).

    Lucy even gave a breakdown of the elements that go into Sport photography and discussed the importance of all the different factors...very helpful!

    Lucy Nicholson, December 17, 2009 © Unique for the Space

    She also let us see some of her non-sports portfolio. Lucy Nicholson, December 17, 2009 © Unique for the Space

    Lucy was so down-to-earth and accessible...

    Lucy Nicholson, December 17, 2009 © Unique for the Space

    Long after the Q&A was over Lucy hung around talking with lecture guests, friends and fans...

    Lucy Nicholson, December 17, 2009 © Unique for the Space

    Thank you for rounding out an amazing year of lecture Lucy!
    Happy Holidays everyone!

  • /the-shot-blog/rickman-rocked

    Who's Afraid of Getting Old? Not Rick Rickman or his subjects!

    © Unique for the Photo Space - Rick Rickman

    Last night Rick Rickman pulled back the veil on a "senior underground - a movement that few know about and little has been written about. It's the venue in which people over 60 are enjoying the aging experience by keeping themselves enthusiastically engaged in life itself."

    His infectious enthusiasm and personal stories about the geri-athletes he profiles were the perfect mix. Rick even brought along some of his subjects, including senior surfer Eve Fletcher - who at 83 years is still catching the waves!

    © Unique for the Photo Space - Rickman and Eve Fletcher - senior surfer

    Apparently Rick hangs ten with Eve a few mornings a week and she cuts him NO slack....

    © Unique for the Photo Space - Rickman with photo of Eve Fletcher

    She was similarly feisty in the Q&A that followed the lecture - for us she was the poster girl of the lecture.

    © Unique for the Photo Space - Rickman and Fletcher
    Rick also had on hand a couple of prize winning weight lifters named Bill Cunningham and Jane Hesselgesser whose physiques were in perfect form...and they were well past retirement age.

    © DS for the Photo Space - Rick with image of Bill and Jane
    Holy Jack LaLane!

    The list went on as did the expectation-challenging images. Senior synchronized swimmers, shot-putters and Iron Man competitors!

    © DS for the Photo Space - Senior Synchronized Swimmers

    © DS for the Photo Space - Senior Shot Putter

    Apparently one Rick's subjects, Sister Madonna Buder (not pictured here) finished Iron Man (26 mile run 10 mile swim and 100 mile bike tournament) 22 TIMES - once with broken ribs, elbow and shoulder!

    Just when we thought we couldn't see something new at the Photo Space - it came wrapped in the package of something old...amazing athletes with an amazing life perspectives captured by an amazing photographer.

    © Unique for the Photo Space - Rick Rickman greeting guests
    Thank you Rick Rickman.