Monday, November 12, 2007
Colin Finlay - Master Of The Immersive
Colin Finlay gets close to the human condition and the suffering of others. Real close.
His empathetic eye also has earned him the attention of advertisers seeking a unique look in a crowded market. Ocean Pacific was the first company to approach him with an ad campaign requiring intimate, real moments of people who just happened to be wearing their clothes—a stark contrast to everyday ads posed to perfection in studio environments.
The campaign was perfect fodder for the traveling journalist, a chance to anchor on the North Shore of Oahu. “I needed to step away and ask myself what I had lost,” explains Finlay on traveling to conflicts around the globe. He caught intimate portraits for the advertising campaign, and its success led to dozens of other clients.
“Now I move effortlessly between photojournalism and advertising,” he says. “But sometimes it's odd. Recently, I jumped on a plane from Cambodia to Los Angeles and ended up at Frank Sinatra's old house up on Mulholland, some crazy-ass $50,000-a-day rental for a huge ad campaign. There I am, looking at images during the shoot, and I happen to look down and see the mud from the killing fields still caked on my boots.”
A beautiful new book has been released of Finlay's latest work, comparing photographs of the drought in the Sudan with images from Antarctica. The name of the book lists the latitude and longitude of both locations, 12 Degrees North by 23 Degrees East, 64 Degrees South by 60 Degrees East. It's a spineless, accordion-folded book, where the separate pages are folded together in a zigzag fashion and enclosed between two covers. When unfolded, the book is around four feet long and 10 inches high.
“You'll have a ‘walkular' experience as you traverse it,” explains Finlay. “The book reveals different aspects of each terrain as you circle the pages.” Finlay is clearly invested in reaching out to an audience with important social and economical issues. He feels it can make a difference in the modern world. “Having your work in magazines is great, but today it's about reaching a wider demographic and informing them of issues in the world,” he says. “I'm driving content, information and photography from as many great artists as I can. It's not about my singular work anymore. It's about how we can affect change in the world.”
To see more of Colin Finlay's photography, visit www.colinfinlay.com.
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