Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season filled with much love and laughter!

Patterns and Tones will be back in February just in time to celebrate our 3rd year anniversary of bringing images to you weekly.

All my very best,

Julie Green
December 26, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Home as Hat: Amanda Quinn Olivar

"Amanda Quinn Olivar" from the series Home as Hat

While I was photographing Kim Shattuck for my "Day in the Life of a Rock n' Roller" series back in March, a new body of work emerged. As we were walking around Kim's neighborhood with her sweet pup, we suddenly passed a home with a portico that just begged to be in the background. I ended up positioning her under the distant porch covering and a new series of portraits was born. 

"Home as Hat" consists so far of six lovely ladies and a couple underneath various entryways. The "hats" range from rounded colonial style awnings, and late 40's transoms, to pointed rooftops in the background, which when positioned just right takes on the shape of a hat.

I have spent a long time thinking about how I would emphasis the "hat" in each photograph and came up with the idea of sewing the photographic paper directly with thread.  I felt it was important for the hat to be three dimensional so it would tie the images together and emphasis the architectural shape. The symbology in this body of work can be seen in the stitches binding us together, the home as comfort and security, and the hat as a protective covering from the elements.

It has been fun stitching on paper. I actually created all of my wedding invitations by stitching the information onto card stock. I was facinated with the symbology of "tying the knot" and wanted to emphasis our union. I used silver thread for those invitations and applied it to these images you see here as well. The thread is very fine and doesn't bunch up while sewing it onto paper.

Each of my subjects are very fashion forward ladies who I specifically selected to pose for this project. I knew their distinctive style would add to the fashion element I was trying to emphasis in this series. These are women I look up to and admire, an emotion which I hope comes through as another element in this body of work.

Today I present to you the evolution of my first decorative "hat", featuring the lovely and amazing Amanda Quinn Olivar

With a tip of my hat to all of you, Happy Holidays!

Julie Green
December 19, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Jonnie Green: A Tonup Classic

"Jonnie Green from Tonup Classics No.1"

Rockers, bikers, greasers, ton-up boys... the label may change from country to country but you know one when you see one and hear their motorcycles coming. My Dad was a greaser in Connecticut back in the 5T's. I remember he used to boast about how he had the best DA around and used to roll a pack of cigarettes up his sleeve. 

But in the Bay Area where I grew up there weren't a lot of Rockers around. That changed when I moved down to Los Angeles. This subculture of motorcycle boys and Rock-A-Billy kids where much more prevalent down here. 

Jonnie Green from Tonup Classics, a Rocker I've known, and admitting full disclosure - married, generously sat down for a little chat on his motorcycle restorations, his passion for these machines and thoughts on motorcycle culture.

I've been dying to post these pictures I took of him several months after we met back in 2004. They are pretty timeless, a quality I strive for in my photography. His choice of clothing and period motorcycles go well with my passion for black and white film shot on my mid-5T's medium format camera.

I'm happy to present to you my interview with Jonnie, along some hot shots of him with his custom built Triton and rare Triumph TR5/R factory racer, two of my favorite bikes in his collection.

To one classy ton-up boy, Happy 50th Birthday Jonnie Green!

Julie Green
December 12, 2015

"Jonnie Green from Tonup Classics No.7"

Julie K. Green: When did you start restoring motorcycles?

Jonnie Green: 1992

JKG: Have you always been a Triumph man?

JG: Yes, although I have dabbled with many marques across the globe.

JKG: What other kinds of bikes do you restore?

JG: I specialize in Triumphs but other British bikes are also undertaken. I enjoy Triumphs because I have spent many years researching them and over the years have filled my head with much knowledge on the brand. Not much room up there for much more!

"Jonnie Green from Tonup Classics No.10"

JKG: What does "tonup" mean?

JG: Ton in England is a slang word for 100. Therefore when you reached the hefty speed of 100mph, you are doing the Ton or Ton Up on the Speedometer.

JKG: What are you building right now?

JG: A 1948 Triumph Tiger 100, a 500cc Twin from one of my favorite era's for Triumph. The Post War bikes of the 1940's were really something special.

JKG: Tell us about Desert Sleds. Are they specific to Southern California?

JG: The Desert Sled is a term for a bike converted from standard street trim to that of one capable of handling the harsh terrain of the deserts in Southern California. Scrambling and motocross racing is practiced world wide but it is the deserts of SoCal that were the playgrounds for many a hardened campaigner.

"Jonnie Green from Tonup Classics No.14"

JKG: Tell us about your rare 1956 Triumph TR5R!

JG: The rare Triumph TR5R Factory Road Racer is a bike I purchased 11 years ago from the estate of the original owner. One of a batch of 112 manufactured for 1956. It's a 500cc factory hot rod, fitted with all the latest racing parts. 

JKG: How has the motorcycle scene here in California changed over the years?

JG:cannot speak for the years before I was here but in the last 25 years there has been changed in trends. Motorcycles, like most other good things in life, change with the times. When I first got here in '88, a Triumph twin was very affordable. We used to pay a dollar a c.c. There were plenty of good Triumphs to be had for under a grand. 

Choppers were still quite hip. There were very few Cafe Racers were out there, unlike today. And only a few bobbers were around, which have become very popular over the past 10-years. The scene today seems to be dominated by modern european bikes and a large amount of nasty Japanese Cafe Racers.

"Jonnie Green from Tonup Classics No.15"

JKG: What do you look for in a bike before you restore it?

JG: I look for a machine that retains all of it's original parts if possible, especially it's hardware - the nuts and bolts that held it all together when it left the factory.

JKG: Custom vs. Period. What are your thoughts on how people approach different types of projects?

JG: Whatever floats your boat. Variety is the spice of life, I may not dig every style of bike out there, who would but there is room for all. I prefer to do factory standard restorations but in my time have turned out several nice Cafe Racers as well as other customs.

JKG: Do you think the movie "The Wild One" started the biker movement here in America or was it already going strong by the time Johnny drove into Carbonville in 1954?

JGThere was a strong motorcycle culture way before that movie came out, although it turned a big movement into a huge one. It got a second wind in the late 1960's when it was eventually released in the UK after being banned since it's original US release. 

"Jonnie Green from Tonup Classics No.16"

JKG: Have you ever raced a motorcycle?

JG: No, only bar hopping with me mates after dark.

JKG: You also sell motorcycle items on eBay under Manxtt. What is the coolest item you've ever listed?

JG: That's a hard one. Over the years since I have been selling I have had some super cool items pass through my hands. Some of the Clash Posters I sold for Pearl Harbour come to mind. An original Motor Maids uniform that I sold 15 or so years ago was very cool. I love all the memorabilia that I have dealt with over the years, not to mention rare vintage parts and bikes.

JKG: You attend a lot of auctions and swap meets. How has the motorcycle business changed over the years?

JG: Ebay was obviously the big game changer in recent years, although social media plays a large part in a lot of trading now a days. As far as trends go, original unrestored machines, whether auto or motorcycle, plane or train, are becoming more popular than restored machines. I am 110% behind this trend as my own personal collection reflects. 

They are only original once!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Founding Father of Funk

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I had the great honor of photographing the one, the only "The Godfather of Soul" - James Brown. My dear friend Darren Wong, who was working for Capitol Records at the time, had procured the gig for me.

I am more than happy to photograph bands on stage but as a Rock Photographer, my main interest is in photographing portraits of musicians off stage rather than on. The magic of their talents are still felt in the shot but sometimes you're not sure why. It's that tension that makes the shot timeless for me. But all of that changed the moment I saw Mr. Brown performing through my lens.

There is a reason people are famous. Hard work met with timing and talent are usually the case. That night at The House of Blues on the Sunset strip, I was humbled to capture the founding father of funk, a true performers performer, live on stage and in high gear - Doing It to Death!

Julie Green
December 5, 2015