Archives

June 2004

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Jun 30

I don’t think I ever linked to toycamera.com. Toy camera enthusiasts often are as snobby as Leica camera or digital fanatics. Needless to say, the correlation between camera quality and photo quality is non-existent. Having said that, there are quite a few nice galleries on toycamera.com. They recently had a panorama theme there - I don’t think any one of the photos there reaches Susan Bowen’s perfection, though.
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Jun 30

Michael Schmelling’s photography reminds me of Martin Parr’s. I’m wondering what it says about our times when photography like this is popular. And I’m also wondering what we’ll think about this kind of photography in, say, 20 or 30 years.
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Jun 29

“I think it’s interesting that in England three-hundred years ago, people at the bottom of society were called ‘unfortunates.’ Interesting word, ‘unfortunates.’ Nowadays they’re called ‘losers.’ That tells us a lot about how things have changed.” - Alain de Botton
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Jun 29

Continuing the small series of photographers who very do unusual photography: Gregory Gorfkle produces 360 degree panoramas that are quite interesting to look at (and that, unfortunately, are also a bit too small online).
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Jun 28

Susan Bowen uses a Holga to produce her stunning photos. The ideal is simple: She advances the film by less than a full frame to create panoramic composites. I think getting this done well is much harder than people believe. She clearly has mastered the effect very well; especially the colour photos are absolutely fantastic. I’d love to see the prints - the samples on the web just barely convey the actual beauty of the photos.
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Jun 27

I watched Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 last night. Even before going I was sure that most of the criticism about it can be dismissed easily. People who rely on such people as Bill O’Reilly or, even worse, Ann Coulter shouldn’t really complain about “partisan propaganda”. But there has been quite a lot of valid criticism and, unfortunately, the movie makes it relatively easy for almost anybody to do that - including intellectual embarrassments such as Iraq war cheerleader Christopher Hitchens who feels he can finally show off what he thinks is his stunning intellect again, after having been silenced by the utter failure of the adventure he was supporting.
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Jun 26

Have a look at vintage jazz LP covers. That’s from a time when music came in nice packages.
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Jun 25

The Branding of Polaroid is a weblog by Paul Giambarba, “the man responsible for Polaroid’s identity and packaging back in the sixties and seventies.”
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Jun 24

“If George Washington could see the current state of his generation’s handiwork and assess the quality of our generation’s stewardship at the beginning of this twenty-first century, what do you suppose he would think about the proposition that our current president claims the unilateral right to arrest and imprison American citizens indefinitely without giving them the right to see a lawyer or inform their families of their whereabouts, and without the necessity of even charging them with any crime. […] “What would Thomas Jefferson think of the curious and discredited argument from our Justice Department that the president may authorize what plainly amounts to the torture of prisoners - and that any law or treaty, which attempts to constrain his treatment of prisoners in time of war is itself a violation of the constitution our founders put together. “What would Benjamin Franklin think of President Bush’s assertion that he has the inherent power - even without a declaration of war by the Congress - to launch an invasion of any nation on Earth, at any time he chooses, for any reason he wishes, even if that nation poses no imminent threat to the United States.” Speech by Al Gore, the best president this country never had (even though he won the election)
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Jun 24

If I had the money I would buy one of the photos from Nathalie Grenzhaeuser’s series Omaha Beach (which has now disappeared from her website).
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Jun 24

The photography of Ilya Rabinovich shows the places humans live in, mostly without the inhabitants present. Very stark, almost abstract.
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Jun 24

Sonja Braas’ new work Forces fascinates me on many different levels. Her older work is, I think, hard to look at on the computer screen: These images of museums of natural history or zoology don’t come across well when presented as small sample images.
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Jun 23

Check out today’s post on coincidences for a fairly interesting set of photographers doing alternative (non-standard) photography.
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Jun 21

It seems there are two categories of photographers embracing digital tools: Photographers who use the computer as some sort of digital darkroom (even though what some of them do goes way beyond what you could do in an “analog” darkroom) and photographers who use digital manipulations to create artificial/surreal imagery. Margot Quan Knight definitely belongs to the latter category. I’m not sure I like all her work but it’s definitely interesting and, occasionally, entertaining (for example that big worm).
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Jun 20

Brian Finke - American photographer with very American subject matters.
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Jun 18

Norwegian photographer Bjørn Sterri invited me to look at his work. His work comprises lots of very personal photos and I was quite impressed by some of them.
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Jun 15

“There are many incompetent people in the world. Dr. David A. Dunning is haunted by the fear that he might be one of them. Dunning, a professor of psychology at Cornell, worries about this because, according to his research, most incompetent people do not know that they are incompetent.” (story - this isn’t necessarily a new article but it’s quite timeless)
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Jun 15

“At a recent show I eavesdropped on some students who were critiquing one of my bubble pictures. The students thought my Photoshop skills were excellent because the grain structure was seamless throughout the photograph. Pretending to be a spectator I joined the conversation and reminded him that Photoshop did not exist in 1963.” - Melvin Sokolsky (one of the few fashion photographers whose work I really like)
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Jun 15

Mike Slack shoots Polaroids. Excellent.
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Jun 14

In her latest work, Barbara Cole, who has previously done some amazing work with SX-70 manipulations, explores underwater photography. The results are as impressive as her very subtle SX-70 work.
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Jun 13

With their selected areas in focus, Olivo Barbieri’s photos look like photos of artificial model train worlds.
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Jun 12

Ramune Pigagaite’s portraits have almost disappeared from the web - shame, I like them.
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Jun 11

It seems I managed to find the roots of my last name. There is a Polish city called Kolobrzeg that used to be German: Kolberg/Colberg (in 1891, they changed the C to a K - during World War II, the city gained some notoriety because of a propaganda movie made there). Interestingly enough, the original name Colberg (first mentioned in 1255 or so) apparently is derived from the Polish “kolo brzegu” which means (crudely translated) “city by the banks of the sea”.
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Jun 11

Otto - whose last name is not given - was a German soldier who participated in World War II at the German-Russian front and who wrote his own photo diary. (thru The Cartoonist)
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Jun 11

Krista Päffgen she was a model - before she became The Velvet Underground’s Nico. (thru The Cartoonist)
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Jun 10

Don Hong-Oai - whose photography incorporates elements of traditional Chinese painting - died on June 8.
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Jun 10

Larry Sultan’s The Valley (check out the photographer’s statement (pdf)) is currently on display at SFMOMA. I’m not quite sure what to make of this especially when I read descriptions like this one: “The Valley is by no means a documentary on porn filmmaking. Rather, it is a dense series of pictures of middle-class homes invaded by the porn industry. Sultan’s lens focuses on pedestrian details […] that offer clues to a bizarre other-world.” Note the phrasing here: Homes are being “invaded” instead of rented out, and it’s a “bizarre other-world”. In a sense, it is somewhat of a bizarre world. On the other hand, billions of dollars are being made every year with pornography and a lot of that money is coming from the very same people who live in those middle-class homes. (thanks, E!)
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Jun 9

Andreas Magdanz’s website features a set of fairly amazing projects. He took photos of the formerly top secret Cold War underground bunker of the federal German government. And then there are his colour photos from Auschwitz. I can’t remember whether I’ve ever seen colour photos from there; usually, people seem to prefer b/w. It’s tempting to use b/w to increase the starkness of the place. But it also creates some sort of additional separation - beyond the mere geographical and historical ones. I think I never really knew what the place looked like even though I had seen those b/w photos. Seeing it in colour is quite an experience.
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Jun 8

Mark Kessell uses the daguerreotype process to create his eery photography.
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Jun 8

Clifford Ross’s photography shows many fascinating aspects of water. He has also invented a high-resolution camera that will allow people to see even larger photo in galleries. I’m not sure what to make of that, though.
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Jun 7

“Mike Epstein is not a terrorist, but if a proposed ban on photography on New York trains and buses goes into effect, he might very well find himself treated like one.” - story
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Jun 6

It’s, well, anniversary time here at Conscientious with a total of 1,000 entries so far - at least that’s what my computer says. I yet have to go through the uncategorized entries and maybe do a bit of pruning here and there but 1,000 entries are still 1,000 entries. Thanks are due to everybody who has contributed one way or another to Conscientious. I’m sure that if I attempted to compile a complete list of those people I’d forget some. So let me just thank James for the inspiriation, Mark, Jimmy, and many others for the support, and Stan and especially Tobias for sending in suggestions and links.
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Jun 6

I had seen Lenswork magazine at the book store before but because of its relatively high price - one magazine costs $10 - I had so far refrained from buying it. The latest edition - no. 53 - caught my eye the other day so I decided to splurge and buy it. It’s a very mixed bag. While the photography (portfolios by Andrew Beckham, Aaron Huey, and Neil Folberg) is quite stunning I am not at all impressed by the editorial contents. So be warned - especially if your interest in photography stretches beyond standard fine-art b/w photography.
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Jun 6

It is very hard to pick a representative sample of Aaron Huey’s work for a variety of reason. For his “walk across America” project he walked from California to New York.
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Jun 5

Having been very busy with a visitor this past week I almost missed the big fire that destroyed “a vast swath of British art spanning the past half century, including more than 50 major works by the great abstract painter Patrick Heron.” (story) There are photos of some of the lost art work here. You can read about Tracey Emin’s reaction here, and Jonathan Jones argues that “we have lost at least one irreplaceable masterpiece”.
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Jun 4

David Graham has a whole series of books out that depict the US under all kinds of interesting angles.
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Jun 1

There is a new and very promising photography magazine on the web called AK47.tv. A few weblogs reported erroneously that I am associated with AK47.tv but I’m not.
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