Results tagged “photography”

Not So Brief After All?

Ok so shoot me. In the last few days I've managed to take a small step back and breathe a little, there is light at the end of the tunnel after-all. So without further ado I am going to ramble on for a few sentences, my apologies to both my readers if you came here for something scintillating?

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I mentioned recently that I'd been in the hills for a few days, photos on flickr to come, it was a small school excursion, that had me in the hills. Whilst there, I had a "discussion" with another photographer regarding, craft and image making with a camera, and the resulting images, or rather prints.

Basically the photographer felt that the image was paramount, the act of making the image or capturing the moment, the only motivation needed all else was secondary.

Being a camp and a weekend, I was in no mood to try and get him to think any other way.

This particular photographer is prolific, perhaps too prolific. He carries his 35mm film camera everywhere, a good thing I might add, he makes a lot of images, also a good thing. What he doesn't do is take the time to print his images in a way that makes them exceptional. So today I then wondered why not just use a 2 mega-pixel point and press, or a mobile phone? Why lug around a camera tha requires extensive input, pre-exposure and post exposure to make an image? Lo-fi cameras such as my Sony Ericsson Mobile Phone camera and my wife's Minolta 4 mega-pixel camera, now do an adequate job of representing the world placed in front of them, under the right conditions.

This then got me thinking about cameras and our relationship to them. Understanding how these machines work and appreciating their limitations forms a major part of the process of image making. If someone can let go of the technology and understand what a camera is and isn't capable of this act can potentially lead to images that push the boundaries of what a photograph is and what a photograph says.

After nearly 20 years of image making using a variety of film formats from 126 through to 5 x 4 inches, as well as several pro-sumer digital formats, I've come to appreciate the things I've learnt about light and surfaces and composition. I've come to learn the limitations of film, paper, Charged Coupler Devices, digital files and lenses. I've also come to appreciate the way the camera, hides, lies and distorts. Nothing gives me greater joy than to see a well printed image of something that I think I can recognise, as most definitely a photograph of something, but needs a second look to understand exactly what it is.

Only superb craftsmanship can produce this kind of image, and my understanding of image making is that there is a whole chain of inter-relationships that depend on each other to produce quality images. Once one of these links are broken, the results are cut loose and float uncontrollably.

Narrative - Story Telling

An interesting approach to story telling, and narrative is used on this Website of Tim Hetherington 's work

Urban Landscapes

Born in 1969, Isabelle Hayeur lives and works in Montreal. She completed a BFA in 1996 and a MFA in 2002 at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Since the late 1990s, she has been known for her large-format digital montages and her site-specific installations while she also produced public art works, videos and net art projects

Also, here is a bad interview by some one who doesn't REALLY appreciate Tom Wait's music. Either that or they just edited it poorly. I have to confess, I've talked about music and art in the past, if I WAS to align myself with a musician Tom Waits would probably come in first, followed by TISM.

Not sure if listing TISM is a good thing though?

Speaking of contemporary edgy punch in the face imagery.

Double edged Sword

I really appreciate and am conscious of the sense of community provided by sites like flickr, and jpgmag, but in a noise to signal ratio world [where the signal is low] it's often difficult to get noticed, and noticed for the right reasons.

Sites like jpgmag, seem to have come from that need of recognition that so many folks hanker for. I wish I could say that I don't really suffer this, but hey I'm human and being ignored is something many humans don't shine to very well. So in the spirit of the online community that has developed over the last couple of years around photography, I ask both my readers to vote for my images on jpg mag.

While we're at it, please vote for barb, charlie, donina, gil hamish, mike.

Trends

With the social season beginning to amp up, and with a State Election looming, the sad yet inevitable pending departure of this years crop of students, at PIC is somewhat pushed out of my mind. A welcome relief really. Despite the pressures of teaching in a creative field that I also practice, it's always a sad time to see students move on. What perhaps is the most burdensome though is the workload of administrative tasks that predominate my day of late. In fact really it is a constant juggling act that is shared by many in the arts.

Take Tod Papageorge for example an Artist I'd been exposed to in Art School, but had forgotten about. It turns out that he has been teaching for some time at the Yale School of Art.

I am pleasantly surprised by his re-emergence.

One of the reasons his re-surfacing is surprising is that he was a 35mm street photographer in the 70's and the current mood these days is far removed from the idea, that you can follow intuition and wander around and stumble upon photographic gems and 'moments' and then produce a meaningful body of work.

To quote Tod Papageorge:-

...there's a failure to understand how much richer in surprise and creative possibility the world is for photographers in comparison to their imagination.

This idea has turned into a quest for me, using film and the meditative process of reflection after wandering around camera in hand simply 'looking', then allowing a certain amount of time to pass before really examining my proofs and 'thinking' about what is going on.

After all who was it that said… “ seeing comes before thinking”

Kent Johnson

Megan Megastar

Kent's photography is one of those rare, photographers who can firmly plant a foot in each camp. No genre or subject matter escapes his clever eye. His appreciation for and understanding of light is up with the best of them.

Of course I might need to make a small disclaimer here in that, I too have met this fellow flickrnaut, and we hit it off like a house on fire.

Despite this, his imagery reflects his enthusiasm for photography as a whole and his pedigree in the fashion world of the 80's has stood him well with his current work using digital cameras and flickr.

Kent's fashion work has a kind of honesty that seems rare in some ways these days, the models and their poses are somehow timeless, and his attention to detail just right, not to much not too little.

Fashion though isn't only where he excels, his appreciation of, and for light itself, as well as architecture, and the more cerebral aspects of art photography are truly humbling, a rarity in commercial photographers, or the ones I've met anyways.

Woot

I have been accepted in to a small artist run space for a solo show in 2007. The space is called Trocadero Artspace, and the show dates are, 21 March to 1 April 2007.

The question now remains, use which 12 images from 'Across the River Styx'.

Ziz

illuminated but blank

A week or so a ago I started writing about some of my fellow photographers on flickr, here again is another of Flickr's under-appreciated gems. Ziz's sharp eye is matched by his sharp wit. His imagery delights in the details and the mundane. His work suggests that Melbourne is either a cafe soaked metropolis or an apocalyptic desert, a relationship I'm sure many could relate to in this fair city of Melbourne Australia.

He also is not afraid to push the boundaries of how and why an image is made. Using Toy cameras to make charming yet edgy observations about his place and his time.

Ziz, not his real name, appreciates form line and light in a way that often only many seasoned professionals can, and this was all before he even acquired a DSLR, [considered wrongly by many serious amateurs to be the pinnacle of camera gear], now with his DSLR in hand, his witty and poetic body of works just goes from strength to strength.

The Hidden Joys of Photography

lartigue thumbnail

On a recent trip in a car as a passenger, over an extended period of time, I had another go at making images using my Sony Ericsson K610i 2 mega-pixel camera. The results reminded me of the now famous image by Lartigue, and I decided to try and produce a body of work while in the car.

I was happy with about 12 or so of the shots. They now form my first series based around the idea first popularised by Lartigue with his image entitled, ‘Car Trip, Papa at 80 kilometers an hour 1913’.


Lartigue's Lament

This of course gives rise to the idea that photography can still surprise and delight with the way it freezes and captures time.

Technically I think that the reason the poles and verticals look slanted in the images captured by a mobile phone camera pointed at 90 degrees to the direction that the vehicle is travelling is because it is a leaf shutter. The objects that are closest to the camera show the effect the most, with the speed of the vehicle is a determining factor also.

The real magic here is that the images themselves were a real surprise, and a little difficult to predict bringing back that real magical feeling that goes with the act of using a simple machine to freeze/capture/distort the world as it passes.

Writers Block

Not that I really call myself a writer, so here, enjoy this new set, all thanks to analogue.

Be sure to check the slideshow out, the work itself is nearly resolved, [sequencing is an ongoing and never ending process really] unless I find more walls and concrete.

Action.....

Things have begun to go into warp drive around here soon, keep an eye on my old blog to see what may pan out.

Things are being made worse by a lack of interwebs at work, thanks to technical problems from our ISP, what did we do before computers and the internet became so pervasive?

Disaster As Art?

Joerg Colberg over at conscientious, is pondering the issue of imagery made of disasters which is then paraded as Art in Galleries.

Robert Adams has an answer or two here, in an essay about Frank Gohlke's photographs of the storm that swept Wichita Falls, on April 10 1979, that ranked 4 on the Fujita Scale, he talks about form and meaning, and of metaphor.

“ His composition implies a belief in the endurance of meaning within an apocalyspe.”1

In the same book he also writes a lengthy article on “ Photographing Evil”, which I'll quote here, in an effort to offer some explanation as to why Photographers need to do this kind of work.

“ The point of art has never been to make something synonymous with life, however, but to make something of reduced complexity that is nonetheless analogous to life and thereby clarify it.”2

Not being the articulate writer that Mr Adams is I am unable to argue at length about the ideas being discussed in his books or offer much but to offer these couple of small snippets of hope for Joerg. Not to mention that I am not one to have the balls or temerity to go to the kinds of places such as war zones or sites of disaster and make images.

1 pg 100 Beauty in Photography, Essays in Defence of Traditional Values,
pub. Aperture 1981
ISBN 0893810800

2ibid page 68

Donina

what she wants, she will have

Donina is one of the few flickrnauts I know who had prior to signing up to flickr an existing online presence.

Her stream therefore serves a different function to mine and several other flickrnauts I've mentioned. She uses it as a testing ground for new projects and ideas, the final images then making it to her photo-blog.

What an intriguing, emotional and contemplative body of work it is that forms her experiments. Donina is a flickrnaut who has a true understanding of the emotional power of an image, who pours her heart and soul into each and every image she produces.

Her titles like, “ the hollowness of brevity” and, “ fury and tears for the philistines”, are poetic and poignant, and offer some clue as to her motivations, yet offer no real answer to the question or questions posed.

Donina's approach to her image making is rare for places like flickr and the internet, her output while not prolific as is often the case with digital photography, is deliberate, thoughtful and dramatic.

I'm proud to list her as a contact and to have socialised with her in person, gladly I've yet to play her at pool.

I Don't Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry... Or...

...or, “ There's only one thing worse than being talked about and that's NOT being talked about.”

According to the Age, the public are getting on on the act of the Paparazzi by using their mobile phones to snap Celebrities in action on the streets.

"The paparazzi are now everywhere," declares The Sunday Times, reporting on a new British photo agency called Scoopt.com that deals in camera-phone snaps of celebrities picking their noses and otherwise trying to get on with their lives.

I have mixed feelings about this. Do celebrities have the right to privacy or would they rather be ignored?

If they have hit the big time and are milking the gravy train then why shouldn't some humble Jane or Joe, cash in on it as well?

Fame, or is that infamy, in the 21st century is a complicated thing, something sought by many, look at Big Brother for example and Australian Idol, yet lasting fame is not easy to achieve, who were the others who didn't win the first BB in 2000 for example?

shy

Personally I enjoy my mobile phone's camera for the creative potential it offers me, if I try and make a portrait with it for example, I'm usually upfront and people I point it at are aware of it's limitations and act accordingly. The whole reason I use it for portraiture. The ability to quickly and easily record fleeting moments is also a bonus for me, coupled with it's limitations in exposure and focus and D.O.F, I'm more than happy to admit that rarely a masterpiece will come from it. But there is still something intriguing about an image made this way.

Creative ideas aside, it has the potential to become a real cultural issue.

iView Media Pro

Archiving 101.001

As part of my submission to the discarded object poster project, I went trawling through my archives for about a dozen or so images that it had been suggested would work.

A task, that ordinarily would have sunken to the bottom of the pool if it weren't for flickr and iView Media Pro.

After setting up a special set of the suggested images using tags, I then tracked down the dates that I had shot them, by year. Then I loaded up that year's catalogue in iView Media Pro, and based on the dates taken from my flickr stream, I quickly, easily and accurately found each image. Then after locating the physical disk, I archive my work to CD roms, it was a simple matter or control clicking and transferring the file to the appropriate location on my hard drive.iView Media Pro is even polite enough to ask me, how I want to handle this process.

Archiving 101.02

All up a 45 minute job to track down about 13 images spanning 3 years of photography, not sure I can even do it that quick with proof sheets, as it is often a case of relying solely on memory of when an image was taken to find an image, my proofs are filed chronologically.

Currently my workflow involves, creating a catalogue of images every-time I download from the camera, then assigning keywords and any other meta-data that I see fit. Once that folder contains roughly 500 to 700 meg of data, I burn it to a CD, after creating a catalogue of the contents of the entire folder. Then each time a new catalogue is created I import the entire catalogue into an existing catalogue file organised by year. The advantage of importing catalogue files is that all keywords and meta-data is imported as well, so so long as I add the meta-data at the initial download that follows through to the final catalogue each year. Date of course are handled automatically and I assume are based on Camera meta-data and exif files.

All in all an elegant piece of software, which I am still learning the intricacies of, that is making my life and workflow much easier

Meanwhile...

…elsewhere on the web, barb and myself have contributed to an online project called discarded object project

Annene

“ I think that fidelity and originality are actually inseparable for an artist, because he or she must be faithful not only to the unchanging qualities in life but also the the inexhaustible newness in life, and to convey that newness requires originality”
Robert Adams 1

Let me begin this entry on another outstanding flickrnaut with a disclaimer. Annene's work often draws copious quantities of superlatives from me. So forgive me if I ramble on in some sort of incoherent way with a mass of adjectives.

If you were to plan a trip to L.A. Annene's home town, where she makes most of her images, you could be forgiven that the city she lives and works in is devoid of people. Despite the lack of humans in the majority of her work, her images are bursting with life. Life that 'has just happened', scenes that are full of tension, like a crime scene without any obvious visual evidence. Her images are bursting at the seams with formality, yet they often seem at first glance casual and off the cuff, this is one of her many strengths.

Not only is she a strong photographer of her own urban environment, but she is a committed experimenter of all forms of cultural image creation, polaroids, and TV and screen images for example all speak volumes about her vision of her own culture.

Annene's influences shine strongly through all her work, David Lynch, Gary Winnongrand, just to name a few. Ultimately though what makes Annene such a worthy contact is her ability to sequence a body of work that expresses and idea, even if on the surface that idea seems bleak, it's the kind of truth that Robert Adams mentions that we need more of in our lives these days.

1page 20 Along Some Rivers Photographs and Conversations Pub Aperture 2006 ISBN 1-59711-004-3

Lonely Radio

IMG_5656

Flickr is full of ego, and to quote TISM "stinking bravado", myself included, but when it comes to unassuming visions of the world around them, Lonely Radio takes the cake, he is the quiet achiever of Flickr.

What I like about Andrew's work is the detail, he sees so much in the minutiae of our suburban lives that when isolated from it's surroundings it becomes interesting.

Signs and graffiti on their own are good fodder for the photographer, but after a while it becomes less than interesting. However Andrew's work has a quirkiness about it that makes you do a double take, the strong use of wide angle lenses and tight cropping make his images really stand out.

For example he has a shot of Banksy graf somewhere in Prahran in his stream, the use of framing just proves my point, this image is a poignant moment in 21st century living, 21st century suburban living. Made as much so by Banksy's graf as Andrew's composition.

Not to mention his insights into the contemporary Rock/Music scene in Melbourne

Again a wonderful photographer and must have in your contacts, if you have a Flickr account.

You do have a flickr account don't you…

Bill Owens

A 70's photographer whose work I've always admired

My little project on blogging fellow flickrnauts has ground to a halt; sadly. I wanted to use images from their streams, but it seems a lot of folks want to protect their images and copyright. Fair enough; so I guess I'll just link to their streams, and just talk about their images without actually displaying them.

Digiboy

In my, 23 months or so on flickr I have been fortunate to encounter several photographers, whose style and approach I admire, digiboy is one of those people, who I happen to have known before.

Warship.

One of the aspects of digiboy's work is the way he uses the simplest of cameras to produce remarkably evocative images that are inherently dark and moody. If I was to ever wander the streets of Japan where a lot of of digiboy's work has been shot, I would be constantly looking over my shoulder.

Digiboy's understanding of light is superlative, his appreciation of the most mundane details outstanding.

Some people find this kind of bleak vision difficult, but I prefer images that I consume, to ask more questions than provide answers.

Even though I knew digiboy, before signing up to flickr, he is also one of my contacts who delights and surprises me on a regular basis.

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