Archives

November 2007

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Nov 30

Check out Ka-Man Tse’s work - especially How to build small boats.
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Nov 29

“Bilal Hussein began his Associated Press career with a burst of jarring pictures from Fallujah. The first photo with his credit on it, dated Sept. 12, 2004, shows masked insurgents holding RPG launchers and posing with a downed U.S. military drone. The next day, he photographed the wreckage of a Red Crescent ambulance, identified in the caption as being destroyed in a U.S. air strike. Later that week, he took photos of wounded children said to be victims of a U.S. attack. ‘His pictures were stunning and honest, but completely at odds with the U.S. government portrayal of conditions in Iraq at the time,’ says Jim MacMillan, a former AP photographer who, like Hussein, was part of the Iraq photo team that shared the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography.” (story) Also see this story: “Under U.S. military interrorgation, Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein was blindfolded for nine days, given an offer to become a paid informant within the AP, and told, ‘Your photos pose a threat to us,’ according to a report by his attorney.”
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Nov 29

Martine Fougeron multi-part series “Tête à Tête” is an extended portrait of the photographer’s sons.
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Nov 29

“It is said that the camera never lies, but according to new research published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, the camera not only lies, but those lies can lead to the creation of false memories. In the study […] participants viewed photographs of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing or the protest against the Iraq war which took place in Rome in 2003. Some of the participants were presented with digitally altered photographs, while others were shown the unaltered, original images. It was found that manipulation of the photographs influenced the participants’ memories of the events very strongly. […] The findings have important practical implications. They demonstrate clearly the power that the mass media has over how we perceive and remember public events, and the ease with which misinformation and propaganda can be used to manipulate public opinion.” (source)
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Nov 28

You might remember my post about AP photographer Bilal Hussein, or you might have seen his case mentioned elsewhere. The Digital Journalist just published an editorial Help Free Bilal Hussein, providing further information about the case here. There also is a website, which already shows an impressive list of photojournalists from all over the world petitioning for Mr Hussein.
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Nov 28

When trying to deposit fake money, make sure that the bill(s) at least exist(ed) at some stage: Man Tries to Deposit Fake $1M Bill.
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Nov 28

I haven’t linked to much “alternative photography” (let’s call it that, lacking a better term), simply because most is just not very interesting (to say it diplomatically - I realized my original phrasing was a bit too harsh). Curtis Mann’s work I like a lot. In a day and age where you can do everything with Photoshop, it’s great to see someone transform actual photos with stuff like bleach. And it’s particularly noteworthy to see how his approach does succeed to make connections to more traditional art forms - where digital photography often fails miserably (by producing kitschy video-game aesthetics).
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Nov 27

There’s an interesting interview with Philip Jones Griffiths here.
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Nov 27

Found at The Sonic Blog: The work of Nicolai Howalt.
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Nov 26

For me, Beatrice Minda’s portfolio is a mixed bag. I do like the interiors (“Innenansicht”) quite a bit, whereas some of the other stuff (such as “ephemer”) …
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Nov 26

I recently saw a show of work by Milton Rogovin, and I was impressed by the power of his work. By today’s standards his prints are tiny, but as I said before bigger is not necessarily better. Find another page with his work here.
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Nov 22

Guido Mieth’s website contains quite a bit of nice work. Check out “Silence Stills” and “Satori”.
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Nov 21

I quite like Brigitte Bauer’s photography (also see this page).
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Nov 20

“The U.S. military says it will turn over an award-winning Associated Press photographer to an Iraqi court, accusing him of having links to terrorist groups. The military is refusing to disclose what evidence or accusations would be presented, and an AP attorney on Monday strongly protested the decision, calling the U.S. military plans a ‘sham of due process.’ The journalist, Bilal Hussein, has already been imprisoned without charges for more than 19 months.” (story) Regardless of whether Bilal Hussein is guilty or not, it’s very hard to disagree with what AP President and CEO Tom Curley has to say about the case: “The steps the U.S. military is now taking continue to deny Bilal his right to due process and, in turn, may deny him a chance at a fair trial. The treatment of Bilal represents a miscarriage of the very justice and rule of law that the United States is claiming to help Iraq achieve.” (my emphasis) Update (21 Nov): Scott Horton adds more information: “A Pentagon source who requested anonymity advised me that the Pentagon has prepared a total of nine charges against Hussein. All but two of the charges are ‘make weight,’ the source said. The two ‘more serious accusations’ are that Hussein promised to help an individual suspected of involvement in insurgent activities to secure a false I.D., and that his photographs - disseminated internationally by the A.P. - demonstrate that Hussein is a propagandist for insurgents. The source said all of these allegations, excepting perhaps the claims about the I.D., were ‘extremely weak’ and ‘lacked any meaningful evidence to support them’ but noted that ‘after more than a year and a half of holding this man in prison, it was not possible simply to release him, because that would mean admitting that a mistake was made.’” (source)
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Nov 20

I had been aware of Stéphane Couturier’s work for a while (see, for example, this page), but it was really his latest series of images (find more of them here) that caught my attention.
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Nov 20

The bulk of Alan Ostreicher’s work explores shapes and textures in the context of black/white photography.
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Nov 19

Found at things magazine: Karl-Hans Janke spent the final 40 years of his life in a psychiatric hospital, suffering from paranoia, schizophrenia, and possibly autism. His doctor noted the main symptom of his illness was “manic inventing”. You have to see the catalogue of a show about his work to believe it - note that most of the German texts appear in English translation a few pages later (unfortunately, the quotes by Wernher von Braun - which make you question his sanity - aren’t translated).
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Nov 19

Timothy Briner has lately been working on Boonville USA, an exploration of a series of small towns, all of the same name. Find a nice interview with him here.
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Nov 16

I think one of the biggest attractions of the photo blog scene is not this blog or that blog, but the simple fact that there is so much variety. We have long known about the many different voices in the art photography community, and now plenty of them are making themselves heard, offering their personal take/angle. It can’t get any better than this! The latest addition is James Danziger’s The Year in Pictures, “a record of photographs that have captured his imagination.” Already up are some outtakes from the Milton Rogovin show, currently up at James’ gallery and a must-see (the exhibition will show you why size does not matter, but quality does).
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Nov 16

Takashi Yasumura’s series “Domestic Scandals” possesses a quiet beauty, even though at times, it’s a bit too quiet for me.
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Nov 15

James Frank Tribble & Tracey Frances Mancenido specialize in portraiture. I especially like their series “Pillow Talk”.
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Nov 15

If you haven’t visited the blog A Photo Editor, yet, you should. The blog is being written by “a Photography Director based in New York City” who “would like to remain anonymous so I can keep my job and blog” - so “editorial” (or “commercial”) photography it is. I have severe reservations as far as anonymous blogs are concerned (for a large variety of reasons), but I have to say that A Photo Editor has been consistently interesting, and it has attracted a devoted community of photographers who comment regularly on the various topics. Now, there even is a side project called Photo Rank, where you can submit your work, comment and vote for your favourites.
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Nov 15

It’s one of those ironies that the person who represented the Marlboro Man - the tough, rugged cowboy and face of the cigarette brand - died of lung cancer. In fact, there were two actors and both suffered from the same fate (see, for example, this page or this page). And it’s an added irony to read that James Blake Miller has had lots of problems, too. Mr Miller has been known as the “Marlboro Marine” from a photo Luis Sinco took - a terrible cliché war photograph if there ever was one.
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Nov 14

Can you guess which link to click on Annett Zinsmeister’s website to see her work? If so, you’ll see some interesting work - part photography, part digital art.
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Nov 14

My new job entails a commute of about an hour, a little more than half of which is spent on a bus. Well, my choice of residence - Northampton instead of Amherst (where I work) - is responsible for this; and I don’t mind the commute at all, since I like to read. I am currently reading Alex Ross’ The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, which I couldn’t recommend more - provided you have an interest in either the (cultural) history of the 20th Century and/or “classical” music. If you want to get an idea of the style and contents of the book, check out Alex Ross’ article about Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, which also appears in the book.
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Nov 13

I like Scott Eiden’s work, especially “Atlantic City”.
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Nov 12

Jane Tam’s portrait of her own Chinese-American home is very interesting.
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Nov 12

It’s no secret that big prints are all the rage these days, and it’s not hard to see why that would be the case. It’s an entirely different matter whether bigger is really better - that’s a discussion that I’ve seen here and there, and people often ask me about this when meeting me. One aspect of big prints that is rarely discussed is the actual quality of the prints. A badly printed photo is a problem. A badly printed big photo is a big problem, especially since it allows you to see a lot of detail if you get close.
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Nov 8

“Journalists often call publicists ‘flacks’ and publicists call journalists ‘hacks,’ though rarely in earshot of one another. But the gloves came off last week after Chris Anderson, the executive editor of Wired magazine, chided ‘lazy flacks’ who deluge him with news releases ‘because they can’t be bothered to find out who on my staff, if anyone, might actually be interested in what they’re pitching.’ (story) You can find an interview with Chris Anderson about the story here. Highlight: “I was particularly amused when PR people attempted to organize a class-action lawsuit against me - in my own comments! That’s in addition to publishing my home address and hacking my Wikipedia entry. Turns out that PR people can be very effective when they want to be - I only wish they’d targeted me so efficiently on behalf of their clients, rather than just for themselves.” And then there’s a discussion about the situation in commercial photography here.
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Nov 8

If you turn over your couch cushions and happen to find US$436.95 and if you don’t know what to do with your spare time (if you have time to turn over your couch cushions you do have spare time obviously), you might as well spend the money on the 3,540 Lego pieces needed to build an Executor model. For those not in the know (I had to look it up, too), that’s one of the space ships from one of the Star Wars movies. BTW, the dedication to detail on this latter page, the willingness to discuss in excruciating detail something that only exists in a movie, is nothing but amazing (and quite scary at the same time!).
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Nov 8

Werner Amann’s portfolio contains quite an interesting mix of work.
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Nov 8

I’m a bit torn about Eric Klemm’s photography. Maybe best if you just look (and decide for yourself) whether you like it or not.
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Nov 8

Getting a lot of email as become part of me running this blog, and I do appreciate the opportunity to look at and discover new work. I actually do look at each and every link I’m being sent, and if you send me email you’ll get one back. Having said that, I now get a lot of requests to comment on people’s work. Other requests run along the lines of “I saw this photographer on your blog and I can’t remember the name. Can you help me?” or “I’m working on this project about this and that and I’m looking for photographers.” As much as I’d be happy to help out, unfortunately, the day only has so many hours available, and since I am running this blog (which is way more work than most people probably realize) while also having a full-time job in a field that has nothing to do with photography I cannot possibly deal with each and every request. For example, finding photographers on the blog is very easy - there’s a “Search” box, which works really well. So please keep this in mind when sending email.
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Nov 7

“The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has filed a negligence suit against world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, charging that flaws in his design of the $300 million Stata Center in Cambridge, one of the most celebrated works of architecture unveiled in years, caused leaks to spring, masonry to crack, mold to grow, and drainage to back up.” (story)
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Nov 7

Patricia Neligan’s portfolio contains quite a bit of interesting photography.
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Nov 6

“Every moment we are confronted with new technologies to master and comprehend. This is the reality of modern live, so should art not also be challenging? Artists can choose how they wish to reflect the world. I personally am not as interested in work that is exclusively reliant on form, and at this moment, photography should concern itself more with how it can capture the enormous changes in world, and not focus so much on itself. However, being so quick to dismiss a typology of larger color prints which may indeed have something new to say, is just as wrong as those who dismissing [sic!] Thomas Demand & Jeff Wall for ‘making’ their images.” - from a very interesting post over at Cara Phillips’ Ground Glass.
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Nov 6

Found over at The Sonic Blog: Benja Weller’s work.
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Nov 6

Lili Nahapetian’s projects (for two of which she won a “Kodak Young Talent Award”) cover an interesting range of subject matters.
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Nov 6

Somehow, it seems as if attaching ever simpler labels to things has become today’s modus operandi. It certainly makes life easy for journalists: German photography = deadpan (here’s a most recent example - my old Latin teacher usually called something like that the drilling of a hole in a particularly thin board of wood: something that doesn’t require much of an effort). I’m planning to explore this whole complex - German photography and its aspects - in much more detail over the next few months. But just to give people an idea of what I’m after let me take the prevalent stereotype of German photography and transpose it into the American context: Imagine someone said that American photography basically was little more than snapshot photos of tricycles in a suburban setting. Somehow, that doesn’t feel very satisfactory, does it?
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Nov 5

“In October 2002, German photographer Kai-Olaf Hesse initiated Topography of Titanic; an extensive photographic survey of Queens Island sites related to the making of the Titanic; the historic marks, remaining buildings, and suggestive blanks left by rapid demolition and transformation.” (source, with many more photos of the project)
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Nov 4

There’s something profoundly wrong with blockbuster art/archeology shows, and you just have to go to one of them to know why. In fact, if you have a reasonable amount of common sense you don’t even have to go, but then you have to live with people telling you that you can’t judge the show since you haven’t seen it - a curious argument in itself, but that’s an entirely different matter.
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Nov 3

Jan Faßbender’s website contains two projects, which I find very interesting, both dealing with how landscapes are changed through human activities: Architektur der Landschaft and Passstraßen (not, that’s not a typo).
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Nov 3

“Photographers in the Group M35 documentary agency were fed up with unpaid bills, missing prints and failed plans. It was time to storm the castle. On the morning of May 18, 2007, five photographers, along with the agency’s main investor and a friend, rode an elevator to the fifth-floor Manhattan apartment of Group M35’s founder and managing director, Charles Clark. Clark made them wait in the hallway, according to several people who were there. From inside the apartment […] Clark handed the photographers their prints through a crack in the door. […] Group M35’s collapse is a cautionary tale for anyone involved in a small photo business. A sense that money was secondary, with agreements made on a handshake, left the start-up agency vulnerable.” (story)
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Nov 3

We live in a culture that reveres youth. That’s because on the average young people display the largest amounts of restraint, discipline, experience, and wisdom — all properties our culture thrives upon. On second thought, in the previous sentence “because” might not be the right word. In any case, if you want to find out about the lives of young people, you will not have to spend a lot of time on research. In fact, you won’t have to make any effort, since the lives of young people are on display everywhere.
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Nov 2

Kathryn Hillier’s details of museums nicely expose the atmosphere of those places.
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Nov 1

As a comment on my rant about unbelievably badly designed websites Eugene Scherba provided a link to an article entitled How Not to Display Your Artwork on the Web, which - if you haven’t seen it already - you might want to check out.
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Nov 1

Ralph Schulz’s photography of theaters/operas - showing the spaces above the stage - is very nice.
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Nov 1

Check out Chris Felber’s work! Great stuff!
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