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Five Fab Fotos with Eric Black, A Visual Conversation with Imaginative Professionals

Meet Eric Black, Owner/Creator at Revolver Underground:

I guess you could call me a Jack of all trades…at least in the music industry it seems. I started singing when I was very young. My dad always had the radio on to a local country station so I was brought up on country but soon found rock music and have been a fan ever since. I like all music as a whole, however. I’ve been in bands since I was 18 and my current band MortalRising is an acoustic-driven rock duo.A few years back I started a booking and promotions company that booked mostly venues in my home town. I also DJ’d at a local rock station and hosted as a VJ on occasion for BalconyTV (www.balconytvnashville) and For The Record for a while in Nashville but I had my first taste of radio in mid-2008 at a privately ran station in Iowa where I hosted a spot on Saturdays. The station had a local music show and I started thinking about that and how awesome it would be to have Indie bands from all over the globe heard. In 2008 that concept was born. I call it Revolver Underground. February of 2013 marked the shows 5th year. During which time the show has been syndicated on several internet radio stations in the US and UK: reaching 100,000+ listeners a week, an artist roster of over 300, and heard in 70+ countries/territories around the world. Revolver Underground is quickly becoming a major source for Indie artists worldwide to get their music heard.
1. This photo was taken on the plane heading back from covering the Grammy’s. What an amazing event! My radio show Revolver Underground partnered with BalconyTV Nashville. This was also my first time doing interviews period. Why not jump into the fire right?
So many memories with this photo! From the time we landed to the time we left it was non-stop videos, interviews, pictures and editing! A LOT OF WORK but so much fun!

Photo by Vince Lambert,

 2. This photo was taken by Vance Lambert. I spent 2 years with dreads. I’d never had them before. There are natural and chemical dreads. I tried both but chemical seemed to work best. It’s like a perm times a thousand. Having dreads is a process and usually frowned upon by most people. However, I am not most people. If you take care of your dreads they will stay clean and look amazing! You can’t slack on them though. If you do they will look really nappy and gross.  I had just moved to Nashville with my band MortalRising due to being in the top 4 of a talent search contest. They not only liked our sound but they also liked our look. Had such a great time sporting these! I no longer have them but they WILL be making a come back very soon!
3. I took this photo on our return to the mainland after visiting Catalina Island in California. If you ever get the chance to visit you shouldn’t hesitate.
I was invited to cover a film festival where Sharon Stone received the Stanly Kramer Social Artist Award. I had to get there a few hours early due to the ferry departure times so I had the opportunity to explore the island and all it entails! Everyone was so laid back and nice. Just happy to be on the island. This wasn’t just in the tourist spot of the island. I talked to a few locals and they said they loved it there. You’re about 45 minutes to an hour out from the mainland if you take the fairy. You don’t have to deal with the smog and busy lifestyles of living in Los Angeles. I can see why all the stars frequent this place! My wife and I were seriously contemplating moving there while we were on the fair right back. Something is always happening there but it doesn’t seem to have that busy feel. People are just simply having fun. This is a great reminder of my time spent in California!
4. I had many opportunities to attend all kinds of events. Red carpets, VIP parties, mansion parties, movie premieres, CD releases, etc. This picture is of Joan Jet. She was kicking off the Sunset Strip Music Festival on Sunset Blvd! She was opening up the festival that night at House of Blues with an award ceremony and live show! I grew up listening to her tunes and reading about her but never had the chance to actually meet someone that had such a big influence in rock music! I consider her to be a music icon. Her show was spot on! From her stage presence to her vocals to her crowd interaction, I was impressed! She still has it!
5. I know this is a pretty plain picture but it means a lot to me. This was one of the first events I did after moving to Los Angeles. It was for The World Networks website launch at the Taglyan Cultural Complex in LA. You can see it’s simply a piece of paper taped to the ground. But what you don’t see are the other pieces of paper surrounding it. Revolver Radio is short for Revolver Underground. This is my independent music show that I do every week.  For me to see this paper, where I’m supposed to stand on the record carpet was huge! I’m standing next to big names in media! It was a turning point in my own life but also the life of my show! Someone thought that it was good enough to have in the mix with all the big dogs! From this point on I was added to many “lists” that got me into many amazing events! I took pictures of A list celebs and rockstars! Went to many parties and VIP events and gained a lot of experience as a photographer. Oh..and for the record. I’m not a photographer. But I do play one in real life.



Five Fab Fotos with Susan Angstadt, A Visual Conversation with Imaginative Professionals

Meet Susan Angstadt, Staff Photojournalist for the Reading Eagle:


I grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania – in the backyard of Amish country – and have worked as a photojournalist at the Reading Eagle newspaper since 2001. After earning a degree in film production from Hunter College in New York City, I studied photography at the International Center of Photography, also in NYC. My love for journalism started while living in the Hasidic area of Williamsburg Brooklyn where I was fascinated by the culture. This was further enhanced by a class I took at ICP called “documenting a community” where I went to Columbus Park in Chinatown nearly every day for weeks to document the people who practiced Tai Chi or played poker. As a photojournalist I have won numerous awards, including four Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors awards. In my spare time, I enjoy photographing anything cute and furry, older gentlemen, and documenting cultures.

Everyone talks about finding the one thing in life that makes them truly content and for me that is photography.

For more info:

On Twitter: @susanlangstadt

Sean Flannery Funeral

Christina E. Martin of Raleigh, N.C., who was the fiancee of Army Staff Sgt. Sean M. Flannery, watches as his casket is loaded into a hearse Tuesday. The Wyomissing native was killed while on patrol in Afghanistan.
Credit: Susan L. Angstadt/Reading Eagle

1. This was one of the hardest assignments I had covered in my then 10 years at the paper. The family allowed press to attend the services and gave us very little restrictions. It was cold and raining and I was drenched at this point–wondering if I had crossed the line of decency–was I too close to the family? I cried through the entire service and this photo happened at the very end as the body was loaded into the hearse. I had read prior to the service that Sean requested that if he died he wanted people to wear bright colors to his funeral. The red coat his fiancee wore combined with the American flag she held was absolutely heart-wrenching and beautiful at the same time. I cry each time I look at this photo. This photo placed first in the 2010 Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors awards in the Spot News category.

Hospice Volunteers

Jamie Wagner, Exeter Township, is a hospice volunteer who regularly visits Lina Snyder, 91, at Golden Living in Exeter Township. They share a laugh as they make their rounds around the nursing facility. Credit: Susan L. Angstadt/Reading Eagle

2. This was one of those assignments I was absolutely dreading. Just the word hospice sends a shiver of dread through my body. I don’t do well with death. So, I went there thinking I’m going to see volunteers sitting with people on their deathbeds. To say I was surprised and relieved is an understatement! When Lina, 91, laughed as Jamie pushed her around the floor melted my stereotype of hospice care. Lina was a “silent” laugher so the look on her face says it all as she didn’t make a sound. I have this picture hanging at work in the room I keep my equipment stored. This photo placed first in the 2009 Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors awards in the Feature category.

Shooting at West Greenwich and Tulpehocken Streets

Credit: Susan L. Angstadt/Reading Eagle

3. This photo from the shooting scene didn’t run in the paper.  Photos of dead bodies at crime scene rarely if ever run in the paper I work at.  However, this is a scene I will always remember because I got there almost at the same time as the police.  Multiple calls were coming in over the scanner in what seemed like an effort to confuse first responders as to where the shooting occurred.  I found it by following a man running down the street, clad only in a tank top at the end of November, and stopped as he stopped.  His brother was on the ground in front of him, dead after being shot in the face.   I remember not knowing what to do.  This was a dangerous area of Reading and police were just arriving—the brother was freaking out telling me “don’t you take a f*ckin photo, that’s my brother”.  The reporter was telling me “take the photo” and the police sergeant coming up behind me telling me “don’t you dare take a photo”.   After police arrived and surveyed the scene is when I took this photo.  It was the 10th murder in the city of Reading in 2008.  The body remained uncovered until the coroner arrived, more than an hour later.  I had to be escorted to my car by the police.

Fog Late night IMAGE

A pick up truck leaves the city over the Penn Street bridge amidst a cloud of fog around 3am. Credit: Susan L. Angstadt/Reading Eagle

4. This photo never ran in the paper.  It sits in their archives.   A big influence on me when I was just getting into photography was Brassai, Paris by Night series, and while probably a stretch, this really reminds me of his photos, only in color.  It was 3 AM and I had just finished covering the midnight opening of The Hunger Games for the paper and it was so beautiful outside.  I’m a sucker for light and fog.  So, against all rational thinking, I took off on foot and walked onto the Penn Street bridge in Reading and waited for a car to drive past me.  I thought the pickup truck mixed with the rear red lights was just gorgeous.  In 2011 Reading was declared the poorest city in the nation, just barely passing Flint, Michigan.   I was happy to make a pretty photo in a city most consider pretty awful.

Lenore R. Koehler

Berks County native Lenore R. Koehler, director of special project and events for the New York City Fire Department, gathers with firefights at the station across the street from the World Trade Center site. She worked with the families of dead and missing firefighters in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. Credit: Susan L. Angstadt/Reading Eagle

5. It was nearing the 5 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the paper wanted to do a series on people who were from Berks County but worked and/or lived in NYC at the time of the attack.  Since I lived in NYC for 14 years prior to returning to Reading, PA I was asked to spend the week in the city photographing former folks from Berks.  This photo taught me a lot about dealing with unplanned circumstances.  I met Lenore at FDNY Engine 10, FDNY Ladder 10 on Liberty Street across from Ground Zero.  I thought her portrait needed firefighters that were working the day of the attacks and felt this was the perfect location.  I had just positioned Lenore in front of the guys when a call came over the scanner.  I think I took 3 photos and the guys scattered to get into their gear.  Fortunately, one of my “test” photos worked.

Five Fab Fotos with Ian Spanier, A Visual Conversation with Imaginative Professionals

Meet Ian Spanier, Freelance Photographer:


There is nothing original anymore, there’s new, and different, but everything can be traced back to some influence at sometime or another. As photography has changed, mostly through technology at this point, finding your voice has become harder and harder. For me, reminding yourself of your influences is a necessity to stay focused on where you want to go. There’s a reason, at least for me, the masters are the masters. How they affect me now I feel continues to force my eye to a certain place, allow my brain to interpret things I see and create images the way I choose. Limiting this number to just five is not quite accurate, and not listing the great painters that influenced me like Sargent, Hopper, Chuck Close and Homer leaves out much of what formed my vision. Nonetheless, here’s five of my favorites:

Photos by Richard Avedon

Photos by Richard Avedon

1. My ultimate influence is Richard Avedon. Although Irving Penn was really my first influence, Avedon’s images of the American West introduced me to the beauty of loneliness and forced me to teach myself large format photography. His fashion is world-reknowned, and what I think I respond to most about it and use in my own work is that the fashion becomes just a part of the image. As I am primerily a commercial photographer, the opportunity to make artistic images in that world is limiting, it’s about the product. Avedon mastered the mixing of both selling the product and creating an image that could be in any gallery.

Photo by Brassai

Photo by Brassai

2. For my senior thesis in college I wanted to make a study of nighttime. I was a double major in Art and Psychology and was very interested in the mystery of night, and how the invention of the electric light opened up the world of night to humans more than fire or gaslight ever did. Low-light has become an ever-present conversation now with the advancements with camera sensors and faster lenses. Brassai had an appreciation for night, and pushed the envelope of what film could do long before the digital world was even an inkling of an idea. I had found this image on a postcard at a gallery when I was about 19 years old, and it sunk in through my senior year in college when I chose my thesis topic.

Photo by Edward Steichen

Photo by Edward Steichen

3. Along the same line as Brassai, Edward Steichen’s haunting images of New York always attracted me. Being a lover of New York City, his iconic images attracted me always, and as I learned about more of his work, what truly influenced me was the breathe of his work. Steichen, along with many of his peers, shot everything. I have always followed that path. I’ve said in the past that there was no “one” subject for me. I shoot what I see. Steichen, and even more so, Penn, did the same, and always made me know I could do the same. The tendency of putting photographers into categories never fully applied to me, and I’ve always fought it because they were able to do- so can I.

Photos by Harry Benson

Photos by Harry Benson

4. My first job in the magazine industry was as the photo assistant in the GQ Magazine photo department. There I met my mentor, Harry Benson. I knew Harry’s work in college, and when he walked into the magazine office for a meeting my mouth dropped open. Soon after Harry and I became friends, and I was fortunate enough to have many lunches and visits with Harry over the years. Harry has witnessed so much history, and his stories influence me always. Photography is very much a game- who is in charge, the photographer or the subject. Harry is a master at getting his subjects to do what he wants. This psychological battle is constant, and being able to witness Harry do this in person was invaluable.

Photo by Watson

Photo by Albert Watson

5. Albert Watson is a master lighter. Before I even knew what the difference was between a studio strobe and a Hydrargyrum Medium-arc Iodide(HMI) lights. Watson’s work had an impact on me. Whatever he was doing fit my asthetic and I needed to learn how he made his subjects come alive not only in what they were doing in the image, but the story that the lighting told. I truly believe that successful images are not soley about what the subject is doing, and that the lighting- be in artificial or natural, helps to tell the story of that fraction of time when the shutter button is pressed and an image is burned onto the film or sensor. As I developed my own lighting, Watson’s influence was a constant reference point, the main reason? He understands the sun. For me, understanding the way the sun is in all the many forms we see it not just in time of day and year, but diffused, direct, indirect, broad and tight and so on. Applying that understanding when shooting with or without strobes, modifiers and any light shaping tools was and is key to how I see lighting.

New Feature for ThisisSouthwark

As the new year approaches, I have decided to add a new feature to this blog.  Starting on 1-1-2014 I will begin a regular feature titled “Five Fab Fotos with(insert persons name), A Visual Conversation with Imaginative Professionals”.  I will ask people which five photos or images have made an impact or have inspired them and why.  It could be photos they took, about them, taken by their favorite photographer or about their favorite subject.

For now it will publish about once every 2 or 3 weeks, but I hope to make it a weekly post.  If you are interested in participating or know of someone I should interview, please let me know by leaving me a note in the comments or email me at fotomex2 at yahoo dot com.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for my first interview with Lisa Fernandez.