Archives

July 2003

SELECT A MONTH:

Jul 31

Most people don’t know that apart from being a fascinating filmmaker Wim Wenders is a photographer, too.
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Jul 31

Ami Vitale has some very interesting photojournalistic work on her website. For each subject she offers a brief introduction to explain the circumstances people are living in. Her “Kashmir” project has some stunningly beautiful photos.
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Jul 30

If you like music/concert photography check out Ami Barwell’s site.
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Jul 30

photo-genetic.com is a very cool photo site which has its own online magazine plus lots of links.
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Jul 30

I just thought I’d say thank you everybody for looking at Conscientious. For the very first time, there were more than one hundred visitors yesterday. With so many people looking I guess I have to make sure quality here will be high. Fortunately, there is a lot of photography out there waiting to be looked at. If you have comments, suggestions, advice, … please don’t hesitate to send email any time.
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Jul 28

Check out Christian Schmidt’s landscapes.
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Jul 28

The grandmaster of absurdly bad taste, Jan Saudek, has his own website. Recommend. Not safe for work. Actually, not even in such a category as “work safe”.
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Jul 27

Erik Refner’s photography is mainly black and white, using stark contrasts. I especially like the “Rockabillies” section.
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Jul 27

Having looked at many hundreds of websites of professional (advertizing) photographers I made an interesting observation: Lots of European, especially German photographers have sections with cars in their portfolio. Lots of Americans have sections with what they usually call glamour - girls in bikinis. What an amusing world it is!
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Jul 25

“Kraftwerk are one of the few bands in history who genuinely bear comparison to the Beatles. Not because of their sound or their image, but because, like the Beatles, it is impossible to overstate their influence on modern music. It’s the five albums they made between 1974 and 1981 that really matter: Autobahn, Radioactivity, Trans Europe Express, The Man Machine and Computerworld. In their clipped, weirdly funky rhythms, simple melodies and futuristic technology, you can hear whole new areas of popular music being mapped out. Kraftwerk were so far ahead of their time that the rest of the world has spent 25 years inventing new musical genres in anattempt to catch up. House, techno, hip-hop, trip-hop, synthpop, trance, electroclash: Kraftwerk’s influence looms over all of them. It’s difficult to imagine what rock and pop music would sound like today if Kraftwerk had never existed.” (story) PS: That thing about the Düsseldorf accent is just not true. Kraftwerk never used it.
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Jul 25

For this single portrait of a child alone, Christian Coigny deserves to be linked to. Make sure you look through all the different sections - incl. the “Commercial Vitra” one.
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Jul 25

Wolf Biermann, a Jewish communist German singer-songwriter, survived the bombing of Hamburg in 1943. He lived in East Germany until the mid Seventies when, during a tour of West Germany, East German authorities refused him re-entry. His songs and poetry had become too critical of the situation in East Germany. In the recent edition of Der Spiegel he is being interviewed about his experiences in Hamburg in 1943 and about dealing with that aspect of Germany’s past. As the interview was in German, I translated most of it - please bear in mind that all typos and errors are mine. In most instances, I decided to stick to Biermann’s fairly poetic way to speak German.
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Jul 25

I had shown this poster in an earlier entry. Elena Kachuro-Rosenberg sent me email and told me the story behind this poster which is so interesting (and amusing) that I’d like to share it. Elena writes “note that most of the images at the Pitts U. site are of POST-Soviet product labels and posters. The second one - ‘Seksa u nas net / We have no sex [in Russia]’ - must date from sometime in the late 1980s to early 1990s. It’s a pity that no publication references or specifics are provided on the site. Anyhow, most likely, it is a reference to the famous incident that took place in 1987, when the American Phil Donahue co-conducted one of the first TV-‘bridges’ with Russian and American audiences. He had asked the Russian audience a question about sex, and a Russian woman (from somewhere within St. Petersburg’s city gov’t hierarchy) got up and declared ‘U nas v strane seksa net’ (‘In our country there is no sex’). Both audiences laughed and the phrase became an infinite source of puns for years to come, and in general, became immensely popular as well as applicable. There are reasons to believe that along with other developments, it propelled the proliferation of sex-talk and sexualization of the public sphere in Russia, in the 1990s. Incidentally, recently, while visiting some relatives here in the US who receive Russian TV via satellite, I saw this woman appear on a program commemorating St. Petersburg’s 300th anniversary. She was asked to elaborate on what she meant by her phrase in 1987, to which she responded that she merely implied that in Russia a more elevated and refined form of human interaction is practiced, that of romantic love. :o) Whatever the intention, the original statement clearly reflected not so much the individual prudishness (x ridiculousness) but the unspoken gap between public and private spheres that existed in pre-perestroika days. During the 1990s this catch-phrase was used and abused to amuse and enlighten innumerable times. Scholarly studies on contemporary pop culture, and on public health and sex education developments have utilized it as well. “Regarding the above image — the neutered couple’s facial features evoke a combination of generic faces in the depictions of ‘average’ Russians in Soviet-era poster art. For examples, see this poster or this one (‘Come, comrade, to our collective farm!’)”
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Jul 24

Morten Nilsson’s portraits are very well done (and they’re so amusing!). Also don’t miss his landscapes.
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Jul 24

Czech photographer Michal Macku uses a technique he calls “Gellage” to create his photos.
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Jul 23

“The London Photographic Awards reveal an exciting, new program of web-based photographic competitions open to photographers world wide. […] Now in its sixth year the 2003 London Photographic Awards (LPA) is faster, more transparent and easier to enter. What’s more the competition format has been designed specifically to enable photographers’ work to be seen by curators, commissioning editors and art buyers. The London Photographic Awards is unique inasmuch as EVERY ENTRANT, unlike any other awards, will have their work displayed in the entrants gallery within 24 hours of entry, making it visible to an international audience. At the end of the competition the entrants’ gallery will be archived and used as a picture resource for industry professionals.” And they mean it! Check out the gallery of the PhotoArt competition.
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Jul 23

It’s about time to point to two photologs. Zabriskie Pt. is a pure photolog with lots of quite unusual photos. deFocused is a photolog for all those who love it blurry, and there also is the occasional link to other sites. Check ‘em out.
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Jul 22

I like George Kavanagh’s landscapes.
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Jul 22

German senior citizens write about World War II. - I’ve always asked myself how people could continue their lives as they did. My parents must have grown up in ruins. 70 percent of my hometown were destroyed. How do you deal with something like that? The more I read about it, the more I think the answer is “not at all”. My parents never wanted to talk about their experiences and only today, this chapter of German history is being opened, with long-lost literature being rediscovered. To get an idea of life in those days see Heinrich Böll’s “The Silent Angel” and “Group Portrait With Lady”. Siegfried Lenz’ “The German Lesson” does not touch the destruction of war but the notion of “duty” and all its implications. “The German Lesson” and “Group Portrait With Lady” probably come as close as you can get to get an overview of what Germans were thinking in those days. Hans Erich Nossack’s “An Offering for the Dead” describes the destruction of a German city - Nossack was a witness of the firebombing of Hamburg. I haven’t read the latter, yet - from all I’ve heard it’s an almost unbearable read.
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Jul 21

German photographer Stefan Hanke has plenty of interesting portraits in his portfolio. Unfortunately, the titles are all in German. Click through them anyway, it’s quite interesting.
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Jul 21

Alexey Tikhonov has some very interesting photography online.
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Jul 19

If you want to take creative photos of animals and humans and you need some inspiration go and see Tim Flach’s website.
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Jul 18

“Seamless City is a continuous visual image of the city made up of sequential photos of a walk through the city shot from a pedestrian point of view.” (thru j-walk) The most interesting aspect of this is to see how boring those streets, in fact most of those cities we live in, really are!
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Jul 17

Christopher Wray-McCann’s site Rotten Oasis has a bunch of very good galleries to look through.
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Jul 17

It’s hard to find photos by Uta Barth online. No seriously, the one above, hairs and all, is what I managed to find. This page - an article about “In Between Places” - has some. Here are a couple more. What really got me interested, though, was this interview.
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Jul 16

Nadav Kander’s photographs are nothing but breath-taking. I personally like his portraits - including very honest portraits of old people - the best.
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Jul 16

I did a little search for photos shot with a Polaroid SX-70 camera. The film you use for those allows you to manipulate the photos while they develop. As with most photographic techniques, mastering the technique is the easy part. It is much harder to create an image where the actual technique adds another dimension and is not just some technical gimmick. Anyway, earlier I posted a link to Chris Usher’s site. Cynthia Davis has a nice gallery., as have Michael Going and Gordon Montgomery. Klaus and Elke Wolfer’s website is partly German and partly English but, you know, you really just want to click on the images coz the translation is not that great.
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Jul 16

If you’re into Japanese animations you shouldn’t miss the new Weebl and Bob episode.
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Jul 15

Mark Tucker is a commercial photographer and occasional blogger.
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Jul 11

Photojournalist Raffaele Ciriello calls his website “Postcards from Hell”.
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Jul 10

Johannes Backes’ style reminds me of the Düsseldorf School photographers. His projects/topics are very interesting. Most of them have English descriptions to give you an idea what you’re looking at. Unfortunately, one doesn’t and that’s the one I like the most. Bundesstrasse Nr. 1 follows what the Nazis called “Reichsstrasse Nr. 1” - a motorway (note: it’s actually not an autobahn) which originates in Aachen, cuts through Berlin, and ends in what used to be East Prussian Königsberg.
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Jul 10

It’s hard to pick a sample photo from Roxann Arwen Mills’ portfolio - simply because there are so many different styles, all of them done very elegantly, that picking one at the expense of others just doesn’t seem to be fair.
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Jul 10

“Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher’s lifelong commitment to photographing the vanishing rituals and customs of tribal African cultures culminates in their monumental masterwork, AFRICAN CEREMONIES. Ten years in the making, this definitive work contains nearly 850 full-color photographs covering dozens of ceremonies that span the human life cycle.” (gallery) (thru dublog)
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Jul 9

Glen Allison’s website has lots of very nice photos taken while traveling.
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Jul 9

Phyllis Tuchman reviews Thomas Struth’s “Museum Photographs”. (thru artkrush)
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Jul 8

… Amy Arbus, Tillman Crane, Michael Kenna, and many more on John Paul Caponigro’s website.
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Jul 8

p.o.v. - a Danish journal of film studies has a whole issue on Wim Wenders’ “Wings of Desire”. (thru incoming signals)
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Jul 8

Pascal Houdart’s work has also changed a lot since I first linked to it.
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Jul 8

Valerie Archeno shoots interesting portraits.
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Jul 8

iconomy has a large collection of links for photography done with “Gameboys”. As a little appetizer, check out The Game Boy Camera, especially Airstrike. Oh, and while you’re at it keep browsing through iconomy’s stuff. There are lots of gems to look at.
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Jul 7

Check out nifty web magazine ventilate.ca - the current issue has an interview with Sacha Dean Biyan.
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Jul 6

I know lots of amateur photographers1 who complain about a lack of inspiration or about a lack of ideas what to take photos of. Here’s an idea. It’s called 26 Things - The International Photographic Scavenger Hunt. The idea is very simple. 26 things are twentysix subjects, some of them fairly obvious (“a sunset”), some of them less so (“new”). The idea is to take a photo for each of the subjects throughout the month of July 2003 and then, on 1 August 2003, to send them the link with the page that contains the photos. For anybody looking for a project this is ideal: There is a deadline which is not too tight (procrastination, be gone!), there are topics to shoot, but the topics are defined broadly enough for everybody. I already started working on mine - I’ve got eight so far. 1 Amateur photographers very often aren’t really amateurs. Maybe it would be better to call them non-professional photographers.
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Jul 3

Herbert Böttcher combines pinhole cameras with digital manipulation to create his semi-abstract photographs.
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Jul 3

Classic photography by Cornell Capa. (thru iconomy)
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Jul 2

There are tons of stories by H.P. Lovecraft online, incl. The Call of Cthulhu, The Colour Out Of Space, and At the Mountains of Madness (note: there are also pdf version of the stories).
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Jul 1

“In spite of the massive impact of cultural and economic Americanization, the rest of the world, even the capitalist world, has so far been strikingly resistant to following the model of U.S. politics and society. That is probably because America is less of a coherent and therefore exportable social and political model of a capitalist liberal democracy, based on the universal principles of individual freedom, than its patriotic ideology and Constitution suggest. So, far from being a clear example that the rest of the world can imitate, the U.S.A., however powerful and influential, remains an unending process, distorted by big money and public emotion, a system tinkering with institutions, public and private, to make them fit realities unforeseen in the unalterable text of a 1787 Constitution. It simply does not lend itself to copying. Most of us would not want to copy it. Since puberty I have spent more of my time in the U.S.A. than in any country other than Britain. All the same, I am glad that my children did not grow up there, and that I belong to another culture. Still, it is mine also.” (text)
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