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  • Benjamin Collins

3 Things - November 17th, 2020

'3 Things I've Seen and Heard' is a weekly round up of my inspiration for the week. I draw my biggest inspirations from photographs, paintings, films, music, interview, and most importantly, life. Here's where I try to share that with you, so that maybe you can get a view into my brain, see where I'm coming from, and also find things that inspire you.

3 Things I've Seen

1. Matt Black - Geography of Poverty

Woah. This photo project blew me away. Five cross-country road trips. 100,000 miles. 46 States. This entire project is a dive into the poorest communities in the country. In a time where we are moving from one president to the next and many are evaluating the purpose and the effectiveness of our economy, Matt Black's work highlights the intense disparity between those in power and those feeling the blunt effects of the economy.

From Magnum: "According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 12.7% of Americans – or 40 million people – live in poverty. To Black, poverty is not really a question of economics, but rather a lived experience of power. “It could have just as easily been called The Geography of Power”, Black says, soon after returning from his fourth trip, which lasted nine months. “It’s something much more complicated than economics; it’s about social power. Who gets their needs met and who doesn’t?."”

2. Edward Hopper - Nighthawks

I'm new to his work. I know they're all classics and definitive, and I can see why after diving a little bit into his portfolio. Not only are the paintings gorgeous, they also teach me that you don't always have to take things as you see them, you can also intentionally set out to create something the way your mind wishes to see something. It's something I needed to hear. It's helped me already to look at photography as more of an expression of myself/coping mechanism and less as a strictly functional role. Not that I saw it that way before...

3. Zerb Mellish

It seems I started following this man right as his career started to explode. Had the chance to talk to him over the phone back this spring and he is an incredibly kind person. Furthermore his photographs make me so inspired to head out and shoot all. the. time. Which is what he does. His Instagram and Instagram stories are always packed with behind the scenes of shoots and new content from his camera. I recommend you go check out his coverage of the Black Lives Matter Movement. An incredible perspective.

3 Things I've Heard

1. Tyler Shield's Interview with Film Supply Club

Expanding on my comment's on Edward Hopper above, it is okay to feel the want to alter an image and to not deny your inner self and your inner artistic mind that ability.

2. Steely Dan - Aja

This album sets my imagination to wander, and I quite like that.

3. Die the Monk - Touch Me

It's more the person behind the music that is inspiring me right now. Had the chance to meet Sebastien just the other day and he has put out multiple projects in the last year or so. Even more with his band, Pons. The creativity that oozes out of his music, and him in person, is infectious and left me feeling incredibly inspired to create anything and everything after we met and shot on Monday.

By Ben M. Collins

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