I’m aware that I’ve been neglecting this blog of late, for which I apologise and will attempt to remedy with quite a few new posts over the next few weeks.
To get back into the groove I’ll start with a fairly easy one. Here are a few contacts on Flickr whose work I’ve admired for quite some time. They each have their own very distinct photographic style and voice, and their work is instantly recognisable.
I think Gavin was one of the first contacts I made on Flickr and I found his determined approach to photography along with his fantastic way with words an inspiration. His subject matters vary from urbex to travels around far flung bits of the globe, from community projects to dressing up like a clown for a series of self portraits. It’s impossible to second guess what Gavin will come up with next, but it is always worth seeing. His unrelenting honesty and intimacy is also very unique.
As a fan of all things urban Ben’s photography is a constant source of inspiration, and, if I’m honest, jealousy. Ben has a fantastic eye for a photograph, using composition and framing to fantastic effect. His post processing is also something to marvel at. I often detect a hint of humour in his work, as typified in the shot above. Kai’s comment is absolutely spot on when he says “Your ability to maintain a consistent style without growing repetitive is impressive”.
A master of medium format and film photography, Richard’s work often takes a sideways glance at the city around him and the peculiarities that the urban environment can throw up. Richard often shoots from low angles and uses depth of field with perfect precision to accentuate the subject of his photographs. Take a look at his excellent Men at Work series for a fine example of his work. Richard also runs the website The Way We See It.
The new look magazine from London Independent Photography landed on my doormat yesterday, and they’ve done a great job on the redesign. The magazine is published three times a year. Each edition has a different theme and submissions are taken from LIP’s members who can interpret that theme as they wish, and always results in an inspiring read. The theme for the most recent edition is Communication.
London Independent Photography has been operating for over 20 years and boasts over 500 members. As their website states,
“Our activities are designed to bring together photographers with different interests and levels of expertise who wish to develop their personal approach to photography, improve their skills and gain recognition for their work.”
LIP organises an annual photography exhibition where members can submit their work. Last year’s exhibits were chosen by the Curators of Photography from the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A Museum. There are a number of satelite groups that run alongside LIP, based all over Londin, where members can meet, discuss their work, discuss ideas and talk about things photographic. LIP also keeps its members up to date with upcoming shows and events, including workshops that may be of interest. If you are interested in joining LIP, more information can be found here
There are a number of excellent series on Dorothee Deiss’ website. The one that stood out for me was the series entitled ‘As If Nothing Happened’, which looks at the areas of Berlin that the wall used to dissect and how quickly they have transformed from an area of secrecy and danger into just another part of the landscape, used for the mundane and everyday. As Deiss says, “The scenes and stories experienced there could be seen anywhere. It is as if nothing happened.” The importance of the Berlin wall during its lifetime (to Germany, Europe and to the wider world) was never undervalued. The scars it left on the landscape and the mindset of those who lived within its reach has never had the same analysis. Diess’ photographs are fascinating for that very reason.
The 50 States Project is a collaboration between photographers in America each interpreting a series of words according to how it represents the state that they live in. Each of the 50 states has a designated photographer and each has to capture the same word, such as ‘people’, ‘habitat’ or ‘landscape’. As America is a huge country of contrast the results are usually just as varied. As well as being a great opportunity to see some great photography, it’s also a wonderful way to travel across America. From the beaches to the back streets, from the malls to the National Parks, all of American life is captured here. It’s a remarkably simple yet brilliant idea. The two examples below are for the word ‘entertainment’.
A similar project is just underway in England, titled What is England? that throughout the course of the year will tackle the interpretation of the words ‘person’, ‘group’, ‘work’, ‘play’, ‘urban’, and ‘rural’.
I’ve added some more free desktop wallpapers that are available for free. Just click on the link underneath the Free Desktop Wallpapers heading over there somewhere —–> or if you can’t be bothered to do that, just click here. They look a bit like this:
On the day that The Impossible Project announced that they had managed the impossible I thought I’d post a few videos about Polaroid I found online. The first is the original television commercial for the Polaroid SX-70 camera. Watching the cheery optimism of this advert makes the decline of Polaroid even sadder.
Here’s a fantastic clip of Perry Como being photographed by actor Don Ameche with a Polaroid Land camera on The Perry Como Show.
And here is a fantastic photo-story by photographer Michael Blanchard on the closure of the Polaroid World Headquarters in Massachusetts. What comes across here is the genuine affection that the staff here have for the company and the product they were making. I hope the Impossible Project can recreate that sentiment amongst their staff, as well as recreating Polaroid film and cameras.
Nils Jorgensen is one of those photographers whose work you just have to admire. He is either incredibly lucky or supremely gifted at finding the right moment for a photograph. His street photography is full of sublime humour, coincidence and anthropology.
The Shashin Collective is a great site where a collection of photographers from around the word present their images around different themes. There are around 60 photogrpahers contributing to the site, all presenting high quality work. Themes range from topics such as vanity, self-portrait, sounds and friction. Each theme throws up different interpretations which all make for interesting viewing.
I came across two bodies of work by different photographers that both deal with the damages inflicted to a community by different types of ruin – one from natural causes and the other from financial collapse.
Daimon Xanthopoulos’ collection of photographs on Detroit is a hard hitting series that brings home the harsh reality of the economic problems the city has faced for years. As Daimon says “Detroit, has been in decline now for thirty years now. Its population has been halved and the people left behind are mostly poor and demoralised. One third of them live below the poverty line and total unemployment runs at 22%.”
Daimon’s photos capture the despair felt by those whose fate has crept out of their own hands. He also manages to catch the other pitfalls that follow for a city once poverty sets in, such as drug use and crime. As Daimon points out, a lot of people have decided to stay in Detroit as it is their home town and they don’t want to leave, while others are financially trapped and have no other option but to stay.
Will Steacy’s photographs of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina deal in similar emotions of loss, destruction and contemplation (When Night Becomes Day). Some of his photos concentrate on the scale of the damage done during the hurricane, while others focus on the damages done to homes and property. Often there are small details leftover from the people that used to live in the houses left standing. Although not as confrontational as Xanthopoulos’ work, Steacy’s photographs are just as hard hitting. To see the situation the people of New Orleans faced and had to confront in order to restore their lives to some kind of normalcy is deeply poignant.
I stumbled across the work of Allesandro Zuek Simonetti today. Allesandro is a well established photographer based in New York City, with his work having been published in magazines worldwide. He has a number of projects on his site that revolve around a sense of belonging to a community or a small group, ranging from skateboarders to fetishists. Each to their own. I was drawn in by his images of New York (having just been there) and also admire his Los Angeles Gun Club series. Check out the Elvis Day series too.