December 2012


Dec 31 | By Joerg Colberg

Meditations on Photographs: A Car on Fire at the Mall by JM Colberg

I found myself at the local mall yesterday, at the book shop, to look at magazines. I live in the countryside where not much ever happens. A tornado might come through, or a strip club might explode, but those are very rare events. And regardless, they tend to happen further down south. I certainly did not expect to look up from some magazine to see a car on fire right outside of the building I was in. (more)
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Dec 7 | By Joerg Colberg

Meditations on Photographs: Josef Nowak by an unknown photographer

What you see in this photograph is what I see in it, a man that none of us have ever met. I can say that with certainty because I know just a little bit, albeit not much, more about this man. He is, or actually was, Josef Nowak, an accountant born in what is now the Czech Republic, a citizen of Germany when it was called Nazi Germany, an avid multi-instrumentalist (mostly playing the accordion, though), and, just like millions of others, a soldier, drafted to fight in World War 2. Josef Nowak was killed (“fell”) on 21 March 1942 in what was then the Soviet Union. There was not going to be another spring in his life, and for a long time there was none in his wife’s (now widow’s) who on the very day that her husband died gave birth to their fourth daughter. That fourth daughter is my mother’s youngest sister. Josef Nowak is my grandfather. (more)
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Dec 1 | By Joerg Colberg

How to tell a story with pictures (part 3)

There’s a type of puzzles called connect the dots: A sheet of paper contains a set of dots that have numbers next to them, and when you connect the dots in order you get a simple line drawing. You can tell stories with pictures that way, ideally in a book: One photograph brings you to the next, which then bring you to the next etc. etc., and there is your story! Phrased this way, the connect-the-dots type of photographic storytelling sounds incredibly simple, if not outright simplistic, but usually, it’s anything but. The reason is that unlike in that puzzle what you start out with are just dots or, to stay in the picture developed in previous articles, clouds. Which one is first? Which one will come second? And how do you know that a dot or cloud has to go, in other words how do you edit? (more)
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