Archives

January 2008

SELECT A MONTH:

Jan 31

No but yeah but no but1… It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’m on Cara’s side, for similar reasons (even though I don’t quite see the elite aspect). I personally would like to add some of my thoughts to this complex.
Read more »

Jan 31

Giorgio Barrera’s series “Through the Window” is somewhat more complex than it appears at first: Inside each of the rooms seen in the photos, the artist put flash lights - with the consent of the people living in those apartments - to trigger them and take a photo whenever he decided to: Smile!, you are on camera (but you won’t know when).
Read more »

Jan 30

Germany’s conservatives - the people who’d later claim they never saw anything coming - allowed Hitler to form a coalition government with them, with Hitler as Chancellor. Lest we forget how this started. Update: A truly wonderful commentary with a bit of the bigger picture why/how this anniversary concerns us today by Scott Horton.
Read more »

Jan 30

Found via The Sonic Blog: The portraiture of Julieta Sans. I’m not so sure whether her Well Read really works for me, though.
Read more »

Jan 29

This via bldgblog: “Unsold copies of ROBBIE WILLIAMS’ latest album will soon be used to resurface Chinese roads. The solo star’s record label EMI has confirmed that over one million copies of RUDEBOX will be crushed and sent to the country to be recycled. The products will be used in street lighting and road surfacing projects.” (story)
Read more »

Jan 29

I really like Victoria Hely-Hutchinson’s “English Boarding School” project.
Read more »

Jan 29

The makers behind the Pause to Begin competition - centered on “the process of art-making/working/living/seeing/being.” - have started a blog, which already contains quite a few interesting posts. Check it out!
Read more »

Jan 26

On a regular basis, I receive emails with requests to look at someone’s photography and then to provide feedback. I strongly believe that for feedback to be useful it has to be thought about for a while, and it has to be based on viewing more than just a handful of photos - essentially a portfolio review. Over the past couple of months, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about this, and I now want to offer portfolio reviews. Needless to say, I have no idea how much interest there is in something like that, so this is going to be quite interesting. Also with time there might be modifications to the whole process, we’ll see.
Read more »

Jan 26

“Thousands of negatives of photographs taken by Robert Capa during the Spanish Civil War, long thought to be lost forever, have resurfaced.” - story
Read more »

Jan 25

“Helmut Schmidt, former German chancellor, former minister of defense and co-publisher of the influential weekly newspaper Die Zeit, is being accused of breaking the law — for violating Germany’s new ban on smoking in public places. Committed smokers Helmut Schmidt and his wife Loki - aged a lung-cancer-defying 89 and 88, respectively - are being investigated by Hamburg public prosecutors under suspicion of breaking the smoking ban and endangering public health” - story
Read more »

Jan 25

I like Martin Klimas’ series of porcelain pieces, caught in the moment when they break when hitting a hard surface. Some of those work really well. Some of his other work is quite nice as well, even though the shtick of a vase exploding when hit by a bullet grows a bit old after you’ve seen two or three.
Read more »

Jan 24

“George W. Bush is famous for his attachment to a painting which he acquired after becoming a ‘born again Christian.’ It’s by W.H.D. Koerner and is entitled ‘A Charge to Keep.’ […] in Bush’s view […] the key figure, with whom he personally identifies, is a missionary spreading the word of the Methodist Christianity in the American West in the late nineteenth century. […] Bush’s inspiring, prosyletizing Methodist is in fact a silver-tongued horse thief fleeing from a lynch mob.” - full story
Read more »

Jan 24

“Why doesn’t Spencer Tunick get any respect?” asks Mia Fineman. Yeah, I really wonder why…
Read more »

Jan 24

I really like Kathrin Kur’s Smoke and Mirrors - in fact much more than any of her other projects.
Read more »

Jan 23

I’m not sure I really understand the description of Richard Learoyd’s photographic process (nor do I understand where on his website one can find these images), but I really like some of the portraits and nudes, for example this one or this one. Not so sure about the squid.
Read more »

Jan 23

Today’s Man is a documentary that I just watched twice (on the two different PBS channels “basic” cable has to offer in Western Mass). I can only recommend it - it’s about a young man who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (“People with Asperger’s, which is a form of autism, tend to be highly intelligent - often geniuses in certain subjects - but are unable to pick up on social cues.” If you’re wondering why I’m so interested in this subject matter, have a look at this page).
Read more »

Jan 23

Lydia Panas writes her series “The Mark of Abel” is “about relationships, the connections and distances between us.”
Read more »

Jan 23

… come photos of the Public Schools Book Depository (ignore the somewhat kitschy HDR look of some of the photos if you can, and find a text about this here). I haven’t been to this country long enough not to be appalled when I see stuff like this.
Read more »

Jan 22

I want to call Karin Bubas’ photography quiet - there are lots of details that can easily be missed.
Read more »

Jan 21

A great photography book is more than just a collection of photographs, regardless of how compelling those might be. It might ask questions, or it might present insight into a world unknown, or it might show the presence of a passionate vision - and it makes you want to come back to the images, so that you can re-immerse yourself. There is no doubt that Joakim Eskildsen and Cia Rinne’s The Roma Journeys easily satisfies all of these criteria.
Read more »

Jan 21

This is an updated version of a post I wrote almost five years ago, I updated it a little. I must have looked at hundreds thousands of websites lately, trying to find good links for this weblog. And it’s quite amazing to see how many web pages suffer from very simple problems. I’m sure there are web sites devoted to design aspects of web pages. From my personal experience I compiled a list of my personal do’s and do-not’s. Needless to say, you might disagree with me here and there.
Read more »

Jan 21

Unless you are familiar with the name “Garzweiler” you won’t know that the locations of Andreas Fragel’s photography are in an area people had to leave so that the whole place could be strip mined for brown coal. Basically they’re destroying the environment twice - first literally and then by burning brown coal, which creates huge amount of carbon dioxide.
Read more »

Jan 18

You might have heard about Michael Murphy’s apartment being broken into, Michael being the mastermind behind the blog 2point8. There now is a fundraiser to help him recover.
Read more »

Jan 18

“Banksy attracts the press attention, but around him is an increasingly influential movement of political artists operating outside the mainstream” - story
Read more »

Jan 18

Andrew Hetherington just published his first interview - check it out!
Read more »

Jan 18

For his series Correspondence Paul Greenleaf re-photographed scenes found on old postcards.
Read more »

Jan 17

“Top photo agency X17 says a good Brit[ney Spears] shot can fetch over $100,000 (£50,000). They say her pictures account for 30 per cent of their total revenue. Last year they sold a total of $2.5 million (£1.25m), including those bald pictures of the her head-shaving session for $500,000 (£250K) alone. The agency’s competitors Splash say the singer makes up to 15 per cent of their total business. In total, the singer’s pictures account for an astonishing 20 per cent of the paparzzi business. And why is Britney on the cover of every damn magazine? Because she sells on average 1.28 million copies per issue, 33 per cent more on average than covers featuring other stars.” (story)
Read more »

Jan 17

In the foreword to Chris Coekin’s Knock Three Times, David Campany calls Chris’ work “archeology of the present”, and I can’t think of a better phrase. In fact it could be applied to a lot of contemporary photography. The term archeology implies that someone is unearthing something, and while actual archeologists dig up yesterday’s people rubble and trash to then infer something about those people, photographers do it with what’s hidden in plain view. Of course, ‘hidden in plain view’ sounds like such a terrible cliché, but isn’t it also quite appropriate for what many people see but not notice?
Read more »

Jan 17

Via Colin Pantall’s blog I found Zoltán Jókay’s work. Very nice portraiture, and a website that could serve as an example for how not to do one (it also appears to be quite slow, at least from here in the US).
Read more »

Jan 16

Tim Davis’ portfolio contains a very large set of great projects - and what is there not to love about My Audience? (updated entry)
Read more »

Jan 16

Over the most recent holiday break, I did a lot of thinking about this blog and about where I can/might take things. I wish I could say that when I started out blogging I had a master plan, which included reaching thousands of people interested in photography all over the world, but that’s simply not the case. But not having such a plan, in fact not having any plan, meant that this blog has grown organically (a weird word to use for something that only exists as bits and bytes) and that I had to figure out on the fly what I would like to do.
Read more »

Jan 15

“Twenty subjects tasted five wine samples which were distinguished solely by their retail price, with bottles ranging from $5 to $90. Although the subjects were told that all five wines were different, the scientists had actually only given them three different wines. […] Not surprisingly, the subjects consistently reported that the expensive wine tasted better. They preferred the taste of the $90 bottle to the $10 bottle, and thought the $45 bottle was more delicious than than the $5 wine.” (story) - Leicas take better photos?
Read more »

Jan 15

Some good portraiture in Tealia Ellis Ritter’s two new projects.
Read more »

Jan 15

Conscientious’ correspondent in Dubai had this to say about getting a visit from Mr Bush: “The government closed down literally every bloody road, so that he could travel around safely without getting blown up. Then they realized that it would be chaos, so they declared a day off for everyone, which was great, apart from the fact that you couldn’t leave your house!”
Read more »

Jan 14

Check out the work of John Lehr.
Read more »

Jan 14

Scott Klag sent me this following story (thank you!), which contains quite a few interesting aspects: “A single newspaper photograph has triggered a debate over logging practices in the Northwest. The photo shows a clear-cut hillside that slid into a creek during last month’s Pineapple Express storms. Mud and debris in streams and rivers helped contribute to devastating record floods in Southwest Washington. A University of Washington professor and timber giant Weyerhaeuser faced-off Thursday at a legislative hearing.” (source)
Read more »

Jan 11

“Oxford University reports idea of upper class forming cultural elite no longer valid” (story; also see this commentary, which actually pointed me to the article).
Read more »

Jan 11

Via one by four by nine comes the photography of Christopher Harris - landscapes of the American West.
Read more »

Jan 10

A few of weeks after embattled Hesse Governor Roland Koch, a conservative, decided to put some starch into the old brown shirt in an attempt to lift his prospects of re-election (ranting against “criminal young foreigners” - which promptly drew a round of applause from Germany’s neo-Nazi party), German immigration groups have now decided to fight back: “In an open letter addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel and to Koch - both of the conservative Christian Democrats - an association representing some 100 immigrant groups in Germany expressed its frustration at the populist tones coming from Koch” (story). “One wonders how far along integration [of foreigners/guest workers] might be if the country’s politicians found a more constructive way to discuss those who helped build modern, postwar Germany.” notes Charles Hawley
Read more »

Jan 10

More portraiture, via The Sonic Blog, not all of it entirely convincing, though: Stephen Ledger-Lomas’ work.
Read more »

Jan 9

Jenny Riffle’s website contains a lot of nice portraiture.
Read more »

Jan 8

I’ve received some emails from people who can’t comment while many others don’t appear to have a problem at all. From the little research that I just did, there appear to be several possible problems. First, there appears to be a problem with “Internet Explorer”. Second, there might be a problem with MACs. As for the former, no comment (I mean: Internet Explorer? Please!) As for the latter, I’ll have a look at things as soon as I can find the time, using my wife’s MacBook.
Read more »

Jan 7

Over at Exposure Compensation, I found this very interesting interview with Sze Tsung Leong.
Read more »

Jan 7

I often hear from Germans that one of the reasons why there is so little German participation in the international photo blog scene is because it’s in English, implying (or often actually uttering) that if everybody started to speak English that would basically be the end of German culture (this really wants to get me play that good old Götterdämmerung again). This argument is quite seriously flawed in many different ways; and even though my fingers have been itching to finally write down why, I have never found to the time to do so (especially since those Germans would never bother to read, let alone deal with it anyway since I would write it in English!). But now I came across this dumb article, written by a biophysicist, who argues that the German “academic language is on the verge of atrophy”, published - of course - in Germany’s major conservative newspaper. There’s really no point in taking this piece apart - an anecdote from my own academic career might suffice: Back in Munich, I once attended a seminar series, which, as far as I remember, was held at least partly in German. In my field - theoretical astrophysics/cosmology - there are no good German equivalents for many, if not most of the scientific terms, but one of my colleagues tried nevertheless. He had a hard time getting his point across, and the audience finally erupted in laughter when he suggested that when (translated back) two galaxies made love new stars would be born.
Read more »

Jan 7

It’s too bad that the images on Simone Eberli & Andrea Mantel’s website are so tiny, since the work is very nice. You can find some slightly larger examples here.
Read more »

Jan 4

Very soon, Chinese translations of my Conversations will start to appear on the website of Chinese Photography magazine (and hopefully also in print). I am very excited about this.
Read more »

Jan 4

I saw this before, but Art Threat just had an update: “Had you been watching Czech Television on June 17, 2007, you might have seen what appeared to be a nuclear explosion on your television screen. A mountain resort in the Krkonose region of the Czech Republic appeared to go up in a mushroom cloud of smoke. The video was a hoax, cleverly perpetrated by Ztohoven, a local art group. […] The performance, entitled “Media Reality” sparked controversy throughout the country. The Czech National Gallery awarded the group with the newly created NG 333 prize for their work. […] According to Dusan Ondracek, state prosecutor, six of the members of Ztohoven group have been charged with scaremongering and spreading false information. The members, if convicted, could face up to three years in prison.” This appears ironic/absurd, given the statement of the group: “We are neither a terrorist organization nor a political group, our aim is not to intimidate the society or manipulate it, which is something we witness on daily basis both in the real world and in the world created by the media… We hope our action will become an appeal for the future and remind the media of their duty to bring out the truth.” But then, the circumstances of their event makes it a bit understandable, since they “hacked into television broadcasting”: “On June 17, viewers of a Czech television channel watching a Web cam program monitoring weather in various Czech mountain resorts could see a nuclear explosion taking place in the Krkonose or Giant Mountains in the northern Czech Republic.” (source)
Read more »

Jan 4

I like Julia Sapir’s portraiture.
Read more »

Jan 3

Ditte Harløv Johnson’s portfolio contains quite a few very interesting projects.
Read more »

Jan 2

I quite like James Ball’s project Bring Me Sunshine.
Read more »