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Contemporary Photographers

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Aug 8, 2004

“I stage photographs of teenage girls, imagining they have run away from home, gathered together, forming packs in the woods where they live like wildlife. I imagine a world devoid of men, where girls are independent and free, where perfect moments follow one after another. At the same time I create this narrative, I allow it to unravel, so the pictures have only a trace of my directorial hand. Ultimately these photos are about how the girls interpret my request for paradise.” - Justine Kurland.
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Aug 6, 2004

David Hilliard could easily take the individual photos that comprise the panoramic sets and stitch them together electronically. But he doesn’t do that: “This sequencing of photographs and shifting of focal planes allows me the luxury of guiding the viewer across the photograph, directing their eye; an effect which could not be achieved through a single image.” I think what one could learn from this is that good photography has a lot to do with imagination and not with obsession about techniques.
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Aug 5, 2004

Besides some commercial work, Peter Adams has been doing a very impressive series of portraits of famous photographers.
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Aug 5, 2004

I sense a lot of loneliness in Eunsuk Joo’s photos.
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Jul 27, 2004

Nicholas Nixon can look back on a long career during which he has taken the same photo over and over again. But before you boo and hiss and accuse me of being obnoxious check out his Brown Sisters series - taken over the course of 25 years.
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Jul 23, 2004

I’m sure you have seen some of Platon’s portraits before. Some of them borrow quite heavily from Richard Avedon.
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Jul 22, 2004

Bruce Davidson has been documenting life in New York City over the past decades.
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Jul 22, 2004

Brian Rose is an architecturial photographer. His project The Lost Border shows sights that I remember very well from growing up. Every summer, my parents, my brother and I went on family vacation, and for a long time we went to a region that was very close to what East Germany used to call its “anti-fascist security fence”. When, at the age of 7 or 8, I saw the thing for the first time I had the feeling I had finally got a glimpse of utter darkness for the very first time. I remember that I was amazed that people could build something like that and even justify its existence following their own convoluted logic. I never thought I’d see another wall being built (note how even though it’s called a “fence” it’s actually a wall) and, this time, we are supposed to endorse it.
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Jul 13, 2004

Russell Phillips’ movie theater interiors are exquisitely beautiful.
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Jul 4, 2004

“When I first outlined the direction of this photographic series I decided not to record the vast polished spaces of showy civic buildings or monuments of high culture. For me, those kinds of interiors embody an entirely different brand of public mythology than these more familiar places, and, in any event, they are already well documented. I wanted to investigate spaces which are more generic and would perhaps be seen as archetypal of the way most of us live.” - Christine Welch about her series Commonplace
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Jun 30, 2004

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, 2004

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, 2004

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 21, 2004

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, 2004

Brian Finke - American photographer with very American subject matters.
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Jun 15, 2004

“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, 2004

Mike Slack shoots Polaroids. Excellent.
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Jun 14, 2004

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 10, 2004

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 8, 2004

Mark Kessell uses the daguerreotype process to create his eery photography.
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Jun 8, 2004

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 6, 2004

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 4, 2004

David Graham has a whole series of books out that depict the US under all kinds of interesting angles.
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May 27, 2004

Check out Danielle Thompson’s photography!
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May 22, 2004

“With a camera in hand I at last had license to explore the many wonderful, forgotten corners of people’s lives and the landscape that surrounds us.” - Dave Anderson
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May 20, 2004

Bruce MacNeil’s work resembles Richard Avedon’s quite a bit.
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May 18, 2004

Kyoko Hamada was born in Japan, and she has been living in the US since she was 15. Being one of PDF’s 30 emerging photographers to watch you can be sure to see more of her work all over the place.
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May 17, 2004

David Hlynky sent me email and told me about his work. Apart from Wilderness Camp there are the Communist Store Windows that I liked immediately. I remember when I visited East Germany - before the Wall came down - shops and their windows looked vastly different from what I was used to see. Even though most other things were more or less the same the world of shopping was so different that it felt like being on another planet.
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May 8, 2004

The internet is a bad place for the panoramic photos of Nicholas Miles Kahn and Richard Selesnick. Those fortunate enough to live close to Boston will be able to go and see their upcoming exhibition at Pepper Gallery (20 May - 19 June 2004; “This installation features a continuous ten inch by thirty-six foot long black and white panoramic photograph depicting astronauts from the 1960Â’s traveling to the moon and back.”). All the others - and, quite unfortunately, that includes yours truly - will have to use the internet. More samples here. (thanks, John!)
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May 1, 2004

With people now being obsessed about huge photographic prints Jeff Wall’s work inevitably comes to mind: He has been exhibiting his photos as large illuminated Cibachrome slides. Find an interview here.
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Apr 29, 2004

For a fairly large variety of reasons, April Gertler’s work has some sentimental value for myself. First, she’s spending a lot of time in Frankfurt/Main, which is my favourite (not just German) city. Second, in some of the descriptions that go along with the photos she’s talking about her feelings as an expat - and I can very much relate to those. And lastly, while looking at the night-time photos I was reminded again of what I miss the most about Germany. It’s the way cities look at night: They’re using different lamps for the street lights. Whenever I’m in Germany, I have that “Oh, wow, you’re home again” feeling later at night when everything really looks so different.
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Apr 23, 2004

James Fee’s photography covers a wide range of subjects. I find his “Photographs of America” most intriguing.
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Apr 19, 2004

Hans Neleman “is one of the most successful commercial photographers working today”. Check out his series “Night Chicas” - photos taken in brothels in Guatemala - here or here. PDN/Kodak has a feature on him as part of their “Legends Online” series.
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Apr 19, 2004

Outside of Japan, Naoya Hatakeyama’s photography has predominantly been shown in Europe. Find lots of (somewhat badly scanned) examples here. It will be interesting to see how/if the internet will level the divide between American, European, and Japanese photography. There are many artists whose works deserve exposure to a wider audience - especially since American and European photography are still different enough to make this kind of interaction very exciting. On the other side, I’d hate to see any kind of movement towards a more unified culture. Divisions create friction from which springs artistic creativity.
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Apr 18, 2004

Richard Ehrlich’s photography is immensely rich in colour and very pleasing to look at. His Namibia Sand Houses are a nice variation of the theme “abandoned houses” - a topic that I usually find to be somewhat over-photographed.
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Apr 18, 2004

The panoramic format of and the amount of detail in Ansen Seale’s photos makes them ideal candidates for very large prints - the sample above is just some detail of one of them. To get an idea of how they were done and what’s behind them read his statement.
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Apr 6, 2004

“Yasumasa Morimura’s work consists of computer-processed photographic self-portraits reconstructing masterpieces of the history of arts […] or impersonating Hollywood movie stars.”
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Apr 6, 2004

Mika Ninagawa’s photography is almost overabundantly saturated with colour.
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Mar 26, 2004

Lisa Kereszi’s portfolio contains lots of rather interesting photos. My personal favourites are in the “Projects” section plus the “Eccentrics”.
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Mar 24, 2004

Larry W. Schwarm takes photos of prairie fires, before or after a fire, or while it’s on fire. The Midwest, with its reputation to be utterly boring, never looked this beautiful.
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Mar 23, 2004

Ron Flory sent me the link to Joan Myers’ website. Mrs Myers has lots of fairly nice landscapes in her portfolio. But what really struck me was her series Women of a Certain Age. To quote her from one of those pages: “None of my friends would pose for me. That was my first lesson. ‘My body is not beautiful,’ said one. Another delayed a shooting session repeatedly until she ‘got in shape.’ Where are the images of older women? Who defines what is beautiful? Is ‘beautiful’ part of the definition of who a woman is? We all age daily. The body but records the passing of time. What does aging have to do with being a woman?”
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Mar 23, 2004

Chris Faust’s panoramic photos document the places we live in. You don’t see any people in these places. It’s quite startling to see how empty places start to look without people.
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Mar 23, 2004

Tom Bamberger creates digital panoramas that stretch out quite a bit - which, unfortunately, makes the web a bad medium to show the photos.
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Mar 20, 2004

If there’s any photographic genre that I think is vastly overrated it’s the female self-portrait. Make no mistake: The human body is one of the most beautiful subjects of photography. And we have every reason in the world to be bored if not fed up with most of those photos of the female nude that are usually done by men. But nude self portraits by (usually) young women… I mean really? Francesca Woodman is a particularly “interesting” example in this category.
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Mar 18, 2004

I’ve always wanted to link to Tracey Moffatt’s work but I never found a good link. Well, here is one.
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Mar 18, 2004

Anne Zahalka’s portfolio is quite diverse and you really want to look through all the different categories to discover lots of gems.
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Mar 9, 2004

“PhotoSeen is an ever-changing gallery for an expanding group of independent photographers. It exists to provide inspiration, motivation peer-to-peer critiques and a place to share our photographic passions.”
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Mar 4, 2004

“Philip Kwame Apagya’s formal portraits in front of commissioned painted backgrounds seem to be suspended between realism and a sort of naïvitè, they are both unreal and hyperealistic: the dreams of african people are put on stage - against scenery which praises consumer society.”
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Feb 29, 2004

You might know formerly Tokyo based artist James Luckett through his weblog consumptive that has been the inspiration for me to start working on conscientious.
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Feb 18, 2004

“A self-confessed obsessive traveler, James Smolka’s postcards from the road are hardly boastful, sweeping landscapes. Rather, they document the details of a day - details that you probably would have failed to notice, even were you there: The shape of a bush, a blank sign on an empty highway, an impossibly orange car, the way a power line frames the roof of a cabin.”
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