Archives

January 2004

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Jan 31

Same question, different solution: Richard Burbridge
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Jan 31

How do you sell what is called “fashion” to people who have everything and, worse still, have seen everything? Terry Richardson’s solution is fairly simple - as you can probably guess from the image above. If you’re squeamish about naked bodies you probably don’t want to go and look at the images and interview.
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Jan 30

I almost did not link to this interview/presentation of Ruven Afanador because I’m not at all impressed by the Torero photo series. But then I saw the other photos, mainly fashion shots.
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Jan 29

Enjoy Jason Fulford’s website. Just keep clicking…
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Jan 29

How about some photography using a neat do-it-yourself pinhole camera? Too lazy to work it out? Well, look at the Dirkon paper pinhole camera. How cool is that?! And while you’re at that site, there also is some technical info about pinhole cameras.
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Jan 29

Funny how what little respect I had left for Adobe just went out of the window (and I’m talking about the real window - just in case you were wondering): Proper use of the Photoshop trademark.
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Jan 28

Toni Hafkenscheid’s work is a curious mix of model landscapes and somewhat odd portraits. Very neat!
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Jan 28

sublimate is one of those weblogs that I should have linked to a long time ago.
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Jan 28

Museale Unterwelt is a project by Oliver Wachenfeld for his diploma thesis in “design of communications” at the university of Wuppertal, Germany. It shows stock rooms of museums, stuff that’s not being shown but, instead, stored away in the underground. You can look through the photos by clicking on any of those “Serie” links at the bottom.
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Jan 27

I like Bharat Sikka’s work.
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Jan 27

Hans Gissinger made a book about sausages. Sure, why not?
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Jan 26

I find Cindy Sherman’s photography utterly fascinating. There’s an old Salon.com article here and a fascinating interview here, the latter from Tate’s magazine.
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Jan 26

The photos of Robert and Shana Parkeharrison remind me of songs by Tom Waits.
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Jan 26

I like Carl de Keyzer’s photojournalistic projects (under “Stories”).
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Jan 25

While the BBC boldly declares that “digital cameras don’t only eliminate the cost and hassle of film processing, they should help do away with bad holiday snaps and see us all become better photographers.” (dream on, BBC; find the whole story here), NPR ponders The Fate of Photography in a Digital Age. (thanks, Stan, for telling me about the NPR show!)
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Jan 25

Mark Tucker recommended Mike and Doug Starn’s work. Very cool. I admit I find the interface a tad puzzling, though. Thanks, Mark!
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Jan 25

I like Robert Mirani’s photography weblog coincidences a lot. It has easily become my favourite photography weblog with tons of interesting entries. Make sure you re-visit it if you haven’t done it already.
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Jan 23

After my ill-fated short venture into the mysterious world of (more or less non-existing) reader interaction I decided to keep the idea but changing the way it is done. What I’m presenting here are my three Photographers of the Year 2003. Of course, there is no objective criterion for picking three persons over all the other people out there. But then, this weblog contains my very subjective choices anyway and I would be lying through my teeth in a very presidential manner if I claimed that I got equally excited about all the photos I linked to. I do like them all. But I also remember a few instances where I was thrilled to find some photos. So my three Photographers of the Year 2003 are the top of that list. Without further ado, here they are (in alphabetical order). Herbert Böttcher This choice might come as a little surprise to purists (and photo fundamentalists) as Herbert Böttcher uses combinations of pinhole cameras and digital manipulations. I have never been squeamish about using digital techniques to enhance photos where I think it’s necessary and I think Herbert is able to achieve fantastic results. Gregory Crewdson More somewhat unconventional photography. Gregory Crewdson uses elaborately staged sets for his Hollywoodesque photos. Mark Tucker Mark Tucker’s various Road Trip portfolios are simply gorgeous. Not that this is some real competition - no prizes and such - but I want to honorably mention Thomas Ruff for his Nudes. I still can’t decide whether they are completely idiotic or genius.
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Jan 23

Susan Dobson’s work is almost a sociological project. I like her Home Invasion, about those Mao-uniform-style town houses that are so popular in North America.
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Jan 20

People like to talk about the “painterly qualities” of photographers. So why not talk about the “photographerly quality” of painter Eric Fischl? OK, “photographerly” doesn’t sound as good as “painterly” but you know what I mean. BTW, I read that the paintings are based on actual photos that Eric Fischl took, using hired actors as props.
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Jan 19

The falsification of photographs in Stalin’s Russia
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Jan 18

Mark Tucker wrote me an email and pointed out his new work Miami Road Trip. Not to be missed!
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Jan 18

Time to look at the old masters again: André Kertész, at the time of this writing featured at SK Josefsberg. More samples here and here
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Jan 17

Sounds like a silly question, doesn’t it? Except that the photo above, taken by Viking 2 in the late 1970s, is Mars. So is Mars red (HST image) or cream-coloured (some Mars orbiter)? Viking 2 shows it less red, Viking 1 more red, and that silly robot they got there now makes it pretty red. Thing is those cameras are all digital and anybody who has a digital camera knows about colour-balance issues. And those scientific cameras usually record images in black and white, with colour being added afterwards. PS (18 Jan 2004): This entry needs a little clarification. It’s about the calibration of the digital cameras used by the various scientific instruments mentioned above. It’s not about conspiracy theories that claim that NASA is systematically hiding information about life on Mars. To make it very clear, I think those “theories” are utter nonsense. My interest in the calibration problem originates from an article in New Yorker magazine that wrote “The digital images radioed home by the Viking lander in 1976 were notoriously ‘over-pinked’; if you actually stood on Mars, you would see a landscape whose color resembled not cotton candy, but butterscotch.” (The New Yorker, January 5, 2004, p.27)
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Jan 16

Joel Sternfeld is one the most prolific and influential American photographers of his generation.
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Jan 16

Alright, with all those boring Mars images in the news here’s some *cool* astronomy: Conventional wisdom has it that you can’t see Black Holes and stars move so slowly that you have to wait a long long time to see them change their positions. While all that is true for most stars it’s not true for those that are in the center of our galaxy. We now believe there’s a Black Hole lurking there with a mass of a couple million solar masses - that’s not as spectacular as what we find in other galaxies, btw. And there are also lots of stars that orbit around that Black Hole like the planets orbit around our sun. If you wait around ten years and take images you can make a nice movie (actually, the movie was just the icing on the cake; they actually got the mass of the Black Hole out of this). The movie is around 6MB but it’s well worth the wait. Note how fast those stars move! It’s really the very center so that’s why there are so few stars. And note how nicely symmetric their orbits are! Also note how you can’t see the Black Hole - that’s where they have that red cross - because, after all, it would hardly be a Black Hole if you could see it.
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Jan 15

Seems like for the current administration space science basically has two main reasons: “Bush’s new space policy had a partly political genesis, with presidential advisers saying that it emerged from a White House search for a bold goal that would help unify the nation before Bush’s reelection race and portray him as visionary. […] Officials said the lunar and Mars program will have a military component, noting that the Pentagon will be consulted and may help with launches.” (full story) So astronomical research is basically only good if it helps to detract from a miserable presidency and to get the military into space? Not that this is any news. Scientists have for decades said that manned space stations orbiting Earth are a waste of money as the research you get out of them is pretty much negligible. But here we are, building a space station…. Disclaimer: I’m an astrophysicist.
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Jan 14

It doesn’t really seem to say anywhere on his website but Scott Irvine’s photos look like they’ve been taken with a toy camera. The ones from the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia look quite creepy.
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Jan 12

Maybe it’s just me but, you know, when I think of a “startling glimpse of an alien world” something that looks like one of those rocky deserts on Earth is not really what would come to my mind. What that boring panorama did remind me of, though, was Philip K. Dick’s excellent book Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.
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Jan 12

Ray Carofano’s photography is quite beautiful. Unfortunately, there seem to be some technical problems with his website - some of the photos show fairly large compression artifacts.
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Jan 12

The Salt Mine is an online photography magazine with a lot of interesting stuff.
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Jan 11

“This portfolio of images documents vernacular churches in the inner city neighborhoods of Houston and Los Angeles. The multiplicity of churches, temples, and congregations has produced a religious architecture very close to popular art, a sort of religious ‘Folk-Art’”. - Claudette Goux
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Jan 10

There are thousands of galleries online that show photos taken with Holga toy cameras. I have a couple of those, too, but I personally don’t like them as much as the older Diana. Anyway, those plastic cameras can yield some pretty amazing results… and, of course, also some pretty bad ones. In the end, it’s always the photographer who’s most responsible for the photo and not the camera (the photographic industry is going to hate me for this statement). Some people might feel that there has been somewhat of a shortage of Holga photo links here. Is is tempting to conclude that the author of this weblog thinks that most Holga photography does not fall into the “amazing” category but into the other one. He might also think that many Holga photographers spend too much time on trying to be cool. And maybe he’s convinced that many people who scream “Digital sucks!” would gladly trash their plastic cameras if they had the money to buy a Leica. Who knows? Anyway, I recently received a huge list of links from Tore Halvorsen - thanks so much! - who discovered this weblog and thought he’d share his treasures. From these, I pulled a bunch of fairly nice Holga work. The above photo is from Bill GrimshawÂ’s pemichangan.com. There are some really nice photos there. Millicent Harvey also needn’t hide her photos - somewhat different subjects. And the same goes for Craig Sterling whose galleries page features the utterly modest quote “A master-printer in the tradition of Ansel Adams and George Tice.”
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Jan 9

“The goal of this essay is to explore the challenges posed to our sense-making apparatus by three stages in the life of found photographs: their original context in the family photo album, their loss and discovery, and their recontextualization in the museum exhibit.” - The Found Photograph and the Limits of Meaning (thru consumptive.org)
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Jan 9

David Lachapelle is one of the big names in contemporary commercial photography. I’m sure people will disagree with me but I think that his stuff is mostly Pierre et Gilles minus the sheer gaudiness and fun.
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Jan 8

Well, that was then. But what do we get now? Karen Lehrman argues fashion photography is in decline. And she can prove it. PS: Funny, I thought I had linked to this already…
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Jan 8

“Noting the image of Barbie dolls is ‘ripe for social comment,’ a three- judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected toymaker Mattel Inc.’s appeal of a lower court ruling in favor of satirizing the popular doll. […] The artist had argued that the photo series, which also included a photo of Barbie dolls wrapped in tortillas and covered in salsa in a casserole dish in a lit oven, was meant to critique the ‘objectification of women’ and ‘beauty myth’ associated with the popular doll.” (full story)
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Jan 6

Due to the wide variety of his work, picking a sample of James Welling’s work is tough.
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Jan 6

You will need to spend a little bit more time looking at Bill Peronneau’s photography as it’s quite diverse. The above photo is from ‘The Cabin Series’: “As a photojournalist documenting the Civil Rights movement in Philadelphia, Bill Peronneau became a good friend of the town’s most famous resident: Muhammad Ali. After much pleading, Ali granted Peronneau rare access to his private cabin retreat in the nearby Pocono Mountains, where he would hole up to ‘center himself’ while in training - hence the contemplative nature of this series. The year was 1974, and Ali was preparing for the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in Zaire with George Foreman.”
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Jan 3

A Picture’s Worth is a website/project by David Chin ” that aims to highlight the inspiration that can arise from a photograph and to capture it in the form of words which in turn can reveal the true beauty of a photograph”. It’s an interesting idea and you can participate by emailing David. Check it out, it’s a nice idea.
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Jan 3

Nice article about the exquisite mayhem of Benedikt Taschen. (thru ashleyb.org)
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Jan 2

I filed this under “Culture” but it’s as much “Architecture” and “Photography”: Have a look at this splendid display of Chinese rural architecture.
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Jan 2

A Happy New Year 2004 to everybody!
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Jan 2

iTunes Music Store - Facelift for a corrupt industry explains what’s wrong with Apple’s much hailed iTunes.
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