“Bright”: an Interview and Polaroid Gallery by Jarred Reno

Jared Reno is an artist that we’ve worked with a few times. Did you see the Kickstarter video that led you to buying this Almanac? He was the director. Below is an interview and a gallery of portraits he did.

Jared’s Bio: My great-great grandfather was a Vaudeville escape artist known as The Great Reno. I am also an artist, just not quite that bad-ass. I specialize in film and polaroid photography. I tend to let the edges of light and dark lead the focus of the viewer. I am part of a generation that is looking to the past and clinging to well-intentioned art, process & craftsmanship which can easily be overlooked in this day and digital age.

We are honored he has produced a “Polaroid Gallery” titled Bright this month. You can find more of Jarrod’s work at www.jarrodreno.com

Interview with Jarred Reno:

Do you have a favorite photo you’ve taken? (I’m cheating, I’ve heard this story and LOVE it):

There was a day that I was home with Olive, our oldest but at the time she was maybe 2 years old. She wasn’t feeling well that day and I had been sititing on the couch with her just relaxing and noticed that the light was just pretty amazing coming in from a window. I had also just gotten a really special pack of Polaroid film, it was made with left over chemicals from the Polaroid warehouse when they shut down, this film, after the photo was taken would fade to black within 12-24 hours unless you cut open the polaroid and let it dry out to stop the development. So anyhow Olive was leaning up against a window and for just a second looked right at me, she had a very somber look about her. I hit the shutter and the Polaroid popped out and me and Olive sat there and watched it develop. After about 2 minutes it was fully developed and as I sat there looking at it, knowing that this shot because of this special film, will fade to complete black within the next 12 hours. I realized that I had a choice to make.

Do I cut the polaroid open to stop the chemicals so I can share it with other people?

Its a moment from my precious daughters life I’d be able to look back on for the rest of my life?

Or do I let it fade away and be one of two people that saw and experienced this moment captured?

My eyes filled up tears from the overwhelming feeling I got while looking at it and realizing some important things. To me it was the purest photo I’ve ever taken, I feel like everything that should have been captured, was. And honestly by ‘chance.’ She could have blinked or turned away.

I was soooo torn…. It just looked amazingly beautiful in my hands. The darks so dark, the detail so detailed, the light so perfect, her face, her eyes were speaking to my heart and I had no words to describe it. If I stopped the development I’d be able to show people and hopefully pass on something good in that…. if this thing fades to black… will it just be a waste? will I regret it? Tess, my wife wouldn’t even be able to see it.

This film illustrated something amazing to me. My daughters life, as is ours, is fleeting, something I’ve alway known in my head but now fully realized and felt it in my heart. Our moments in life are fleeting. To most of us, we have moments we wish we could re-live. I bet anything that those moments were FULL of LOVE and emotion. I bet anything! Not to put aside moments of sadness/pain because those are just as important in life and as in art!

I captured a true moment with true emotion. Olive was sick that morning, she was somber and that was shown in the photograph. The image made me FEEL. What I realized was…. the POLAROID in itself was not important and is not eternal, but the MOMENT itself was important and eternal.

The point was the moment! Not capturing it for later. But experiencing it while it happend! I felt so grateful!

We need to seriously stop and experience moments.

So, I let the polaroid fade and found so much joy in letting it go knowing that the moment was what was important and its something I’ll always have:) WOW. Though, I did scan it multiple times over the course of its fading and with getting these printed off and mounted in succession I hope for it to have an impact.

How do you attempt to bring a fresh artistry to portraits? Meaning, your pictures look very unique. What’s your approach that you think makes them such? Do you have guiding principles?

Light. That is the first thing I look for. I’m drawn to where light begins to fall off into shadows or where beams of direct light cut through shadows. It makes for interesting photos. Light reveals shape and dimension… I’m constantly looking for interesting light and that is the basis for all my photos. 2nd, is creating a mood, most of the time I like a quiet, introspective mood in my photos, it creates a bit of mystery, a look into someones spirit.

Where did the passion for photographing people/ weddings come from?

Growing up I’ve always loved sifting through thousands of photos that my parents had taken throughout their lives. I love it. I love seeing and feeling emotions from the past. That is what sparked my desire to shoot portrature and weddings specifically. People and relationships are what life is about and to highlight humanity and beauty is an amazing and important thing.

Why do you choose to use older equipment when camera technology has come leaps and bounds?

I started out with old cameras. When Olive was born I knew it was time to get a camera and just happened to have a really old Polaroid camera on my shelf and figured out that it worked. I loved the sense of timelessness it gave. The toned down colors and the soft focus. It felt more real than sharp digital cameras. It also made me slow down and be really precise with my photography, its expensive to shoot polaroid and film. Ive had a lot of practice anticipating moments and reacting when I need to by pressing the shutter button. I think through shots more than if I shot digital. I love that it forces me to be intentional. Also, the cameras look, feel and sound awesome. Each one of them is so different from the others.

What’s your favorite vintage piece of equipment you have?

Thats hard to say… Polaroid wise is my Polaroid 195 which is from the ’60s but was their professional model. Its amazing. Film-wise is my Mamiya RZ67 which shoots medium format film and gives such an amazing depth and clarity to photos. Its definitly the foundation of my gear

Boston_4th_bday_polaroid101-copy Luca_Venter_Polaroid_v101-web Julian_M_polaroid-v101-web sara_rose_polaroid_10-v1-web

Finding Green or “#findinggreen”

For this ending of March/ beginning of April, Betony and are heading to Iceland. We’ll be celebrating our 10 year anniversary and will, of course, be posting lots of pictures of the adventure.

In keeping with our March Almanac we’ll be tagging those photos with #findinggreen. Because, hey, it’s spring in Iceland too!

Would you like to join us in this hashtag? Imagine how beautiful to go to the tag and see dozens of pictures of spring bursting forth!

Follow Betony on her instagram (betonycoons) if you’d like to see our photos and we look forward to seeing your all’s pictures as well.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

CD Release Party on This Amazing Pi Day!

Giants & Pilgrims are playing their first full-band, live concert ever tonight! We’re so excited.

The event is on Facebook if you want details. And Betony is hosting a “pie-off” as well for this 3-14 Pi Day as well!

https://www.facebook.com/events/419758581502669/

More shows to come, of course. We’ll keep you posted.

Much love,
Giants & Pilgrims

Happy Pi Day!

pie flyer_color

A Wonderful Art Show

Betony Coons premiered her full art series for Almanac No. 1 this last Friday at Atlas Theater’s Gallery in Greeley, CO. It was a wonderful night.

With the completion of the art show we are now also able to complete our own gallery here at this site! Take a look through the art component of Almanac No. 1. https://s28969.p27.sites.pressdns.com/?page_id=20

Great Reviews for the Album “Almanac No. 1”

There are some online reviews available now for our first album, Almanac No. 1. Take a gander and how people are responding. It’s been extremely encouraging.

From Quip Magazine out of Toronto:
http://www.quipmag.com/giants-pilgrims-release-almanac-no-1/

Storyacious.com contacted us to do a feature on “Shimmer No Waves”. They bring story-lovers and storytellers together to celebrate the art, science and skills of storytelling through diverse media.
http://storyacious.com/music-monday-shimmer-waves/

And finally the northern Colorado music publication, the Bandwagon, reviewed us. Jed Murphy, one of Greeley’s best writers, took on the album:
http://www.bandwagmag.com/2014/03/album-review-giants-and-pilgrims-almanac-no-1/

If you haven’t yet heard the album, bring your critical ears here:
giantsandpilgrims.bandcamp.com

Instagram Games: Almanac Alphabet

Build an alphabet or word out of found materials, making an original font all your own. Take a photo of it.

Use #almanacalphabet and share
this creativity.

The alphabet was made by Betony and Lucy. We took a lovely walk around the block and gathered sticks as we went.

 

Follow Betony’s instagram here – http://instagram.com/betonycoons

Follow Tim’s instagram here – http://instagram.com/timcoons

 

Here are some other neat examples found on the web –

6a00d8341ca70953ef0120a67a0b44970c-500wi
Above: Daffodil flower alphabet by 
Vladimir Koncar.

6a00d8341ca70953ef011571161db9970c-800wi
Fresh green leaves make a pretty typeface. By Vladimir Koncar.
6a00d8341ca70953ef011571162d9c970c-800wi
This folded paper font is pretty clever. By Vladimir Tomin.

6a00d8341ca70953ef0120a6229b45970b-500wi
One of our favorites – Pebble Font by Clotlide Olyff. via swiss-miss

Almanac Movement Online: “The Great Texting Campaign”

Giants & Pilgrims are sponsoring an online endeavor to encourage the sending of good words to those we love. We’re calling it the “The Great Texting Campaign”. It will primarily use prompts on Facebook.

Facebook posts will ask people to send out texts of encouragement, congratulations, thanks, apology, empathy, even comic-relief. Right then- the moment you read the post.

When you see the post on Facebook with the official GTC logo, make sure and share it to keep the good words coming. Here’s an example below:

texting campaign_blue post box texting campaign_blurry texting campaign_chalk

“Stop scrolling! Send a text of encouragement to someone who needs it. Right now. Make their day.
Brought to you by “The Great Texting Campaign”, care of Giants & Pilgrims.”

You can’t say it all. You can’t say it perfectly.
But you can say something.

 

Valentine’s Day Playlists

Love songs can be pithy, schmoltzy; full of sentiment and cliche’. We’ve tried to avoid all that with these playlists.

Here are two  playlists full of earnest, beautiful, and creative songs that strike to the core of love in such a way that we can believe it.

The first playlist, “Modern/Soul”, is on Betony Coons’ spotify. We’ll post it on her Facebook.

The second playlist is from just throwing the question out there on Facebook, “What song would you/ did you play at your wedding?” The answers were really beautiful to hear! The long playlist called “Our Song” is on spotify too!

Valentine’s Day Playlist “Modern/ Soul”:

Retrograde • James Blake
This Magic Moment • Lou Reed
Suzanne • Leonard Cohen
Here Comes Your Man • Pixies
Daydream Believer • The Monkeys
These Arms of Mine • Otis Redding
Son of a Preacher Man • Dusty Springfield
Falling Slowly • Swell Season
I Want to Hold Your Hand • Across the Universe Soundtrack
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face • Roberta Flack
Unforgettable • Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole
When a Man Loves a Woman • Percy Sledge
Skinny Love • Bon Iver
I’ve Been Loving you too Long • Otis Redding
Lay, Lady, Lay • Bob Dylan
Anyone Else but you • Moldy Peaches
Someone to Watch Over me • Ella Fitzgerald
Don’t Cry • Edith Piaf

Valentine’s Day Playlist “Our Song” (Curated by Crowd-Sourcing!):

So are You to Me- Eastmountainsouth
Every Day- Jill Phillips
All My Life- David Wilcox
Stay with You- John Legend
These arms of Mine- Otis Redding
Cheek to Cheek- Fred Astaire
At Last- Etta James
Walking After You- Foo Fighters
Come What May- Moulin Rouge
You Belong to Me- Carla Bruni
What a Wonderful World- Louis Armstrong
You Go to My Head- Louis Armstrong
Signed, Sealed, Delivered- Stevie Wonder
Rainbow Connection- Kermit the Frog
The Luckiest- Ben Folds
The Story- Brandi Carlisle
When You Love Someone- Bryan Adams
Home to Me- Josh Kelley
Just the Way You Look Tonight- Fred Astaire
When You Say Nothing at All- Allison Krauss
Northern Sky – NIck Drake
You are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
You Have Me- Gungor
Ten Thousand Angels- Caedmon’s Call
Shower the People- James Taylor
Love Song- The Cure
She Lit a Fire- Lord Huron
Harvest Moon- Neil Young
Pistol- Dustin Kensrue
Out of the Woods- Nickel Creek
I Can’t Wait- Runner, Runner
Secret Message- Rasputina
God Only Knows- Beach Boys
I Wanna Love You at Ours- Bob Marley
Dream a Little Dream- Momma’s and the Papa’s
Canon in D- Pachebel
First Day of My Life- Bright Eyes
La, la, la, Love You- the PIxies
All I Want is You- U2
Me and You- Kenny Chesney
Both of Us Feel the Blast- Waterdeep
Can’t Help Falling in Love- Ingrid Michelson
Children of Our Time- Jason Upton
Heat Wave- Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
A Thousand Years
Our Love in Christ- Kelly Willard
I Will Always Love You- Whitney Houston
All I Want is You- Tristan Prettyman
Forever- Ben Harper
Look After You- The Fray
Dig Down Dip- Marc Cohn
I’ll Be Your Love Too- Van Morrison
Love of My Life- Jim Brickman
Lean on Me- Bill Withers
I’ll Back You Up – DMB
Somebody- Depeche Mode
We Danced to Blue Sky- Allman Brothers
Sunday Kind of Love- Etta James
Fall in Love at a Coffee Shop- Landon Pigg
Marry Me- Train
No Other Place- 77’s
Blue Skies- Ella Fitzgerald
Turning Page- Sleeping at Last
I Remember – Whitly
Between the Raindrops- Lifehouse
Stolen- Dashboard Confessional
Somewhere Over the Rainbow- Iz
To Make You Feel My Love- Bob Dylan
La Vie En Rose- Louis Armstrong
Gymnopodie- Eric Satie
Fields of Gold- Sting
Come to Me- Goo Goo Dolls
We’ve Only Just Begun- Carpenters