PDN’s 30 2008


General Photography

Announcing its annual list of “new and emerging photographers to watch” has become a tradition for Photo District News, and this year’s list was just published. Congratulations to all those who made it into the list! You might recognize some of the photographers in the list from seeing them on this blog, in particular Shen Wei, one of my Photographers of the Year 2006.

Maybe I’m mistaken but over the past years I’ve also noted a bit of a shift in the styles of the photographers in the list, with more and more work done in the kind of contemporary style, which has come to play a big role in the fine-art world.

I hope this will translate into more magazines being willing to expand the style of photography they carry. With the notable exception of the New York Times Magazine, I can’t easily think of a (mainstream) magazine that has consistently exposed its readers to a wider variety of photography - away from the usual editorial stuff that, at its extreme, features the overly artificial, extremely Photoshopped, gimmicky Lord-of-the-Rings aesthetic, which has a lot of initial visual power, but which provides little - if anything - beyond that: It’s photography to be consumed once, much like a piece of chewing gum.