Tuesday, August 25, 2009

[[ "Ansel Adams talked often about pre-visualizing everything down to the last level of gray, when he was looking out and making all his calculations before he made the exposure. That has not been my experience. You do try to get as much as you can right there on the spot when you make the exposure, but there are a lot of surprises in photography. If you’re not interested in surprises you shouldn’t be a photographer. It’s one of the great enlivening blessings of the medium." ]] Robert Adams

thanks to the la pura vida gallery on tumbler

wish this was my life

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Anders Petersen

Swedish photographer, Anders Petersen, has been shooting nightlife, outcasts, and European counter-culture since the 1960s. In this incredible interview, Petersen talks about how he cannot separate photography from his daily life.

Petersen has a very complex and beautiful outlook on photography. He is complicated, smart, and internalizes the world to such an overwhelming intensity. Please take a few minutes to listen to this interview.

Here is a :: link :: to the audio interview on lensculture. Also, here is a :: link :: to his official website.

Andrej Balco

Andrej Balco lives and works in Pezinok, Slovakia, but shoots throughout Western Europe and the rest of the world. I first heard about him on lensculture in their press on awards he won for a series on domestic servants in Brazil.

His portfolio is very diverse. Some of his early work is multi-layered, rough and organic, in a Friedlander-esque style. Others, like the ones below, align more closely with a more polished up-to-date art-photography esthetic. I love this portrait series of illegal Ukranian migrant workers in Slovakia. The pixilation reminds me of TV stills... You can't see the images well on this page, so visit his website where you can view the whole series.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Peter Funch

Multi-layered panoramas by Peter Funch -- He also has a really nice website. Check it out :: here ::

Photo I took four or five months ago at greenlakes park outside of syracuse, ny.
did not used to be that into it. but looking at it again, it's kinda mysterious...

Proud Flesh

In college, I wrote a thesis on Surrealist photographer/model/muse Lee Miller... I'm going to sound like a raging feminist right now, but I'm totally interested in female artists who examine, or at least address, a long-lived male obsession with taking pictures of really hot women to satisfy/solidify their raging sexual needs. It definitely goes both ways today, there are plenty of women taking pictures of men, but this wasn't always the case. Lee Miller was one of the first female photographers to really receive mainstream press for using the camera to explore what women also find "appealing."

Sally Mann has just partnered with Aperture to print a series of photos on her male muse, her husband. (Seriously) how romantic. (The book is titled Proud Flesh.) Like Miller, Mann tries to flip-flop the classic artistic partnership between model/muse and photographer in a kinda Surrealisty spontaneous and collage-y aesthetic. Gender politics aside, Mann is also just generally interested in exploring the relationship between photographer and subject along with the subject's vulnerability under the camera's gaze.

No matter how much you know about Surrealism, I think you'll find these photos beautiful -- the whole project harks back on the old days of film and an earlier, more gentle and heroic, time in photography. Here are some of Mann's word which appear in the book... c/o joerg colberg's art photo blog. ... I love the last sentence...

"I have looked hard at my husband since the first long strides he took into the room where I was languishing on a ratty chenille couch in some student apartment. My eyes fastened on him with bright interest, squinting to better get the measure of this tall man. Within six months, we were married. That was forty years ago, and almost the first thing I did was photograph him...

But that long history of picture-taking didn't make it any easier to make the Proud Flesh photographs. Rhetorically circumnavigate it any way you will, but exploitation lies at the root of every interaction between photographer and subject, even forty years into it. Larry and I both understand how ethically complex and potent the act of making photographs is, how freighted with issues of honesty, responsibility, power, and complicity, and how so many good images come at the expense of the sitter, in one way or another...

Most of the pictures I take are of the things I love, the things that fascinate and compel me, but that doesn't mean they are easy to look at or take. Like Flaubert, two things are sacred to me in my process: impiety and perfection--the former often hereditary, the latter always hard-won. Beyond the felicitous "unifying accidents" that occasionally grace the work, making art requires tenacity, a temperament born of an ungodly cross between a hummingbird and a bulldozer, and, most of all, practice. Practice looking."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Arnold Newman

[[ "Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world." ]] -- Arnold Newman

When we look back on the work of so-called photo masters of the century, their technique sometimes seems sloppy and amateur . You'll see a lot of weird crops, blur, obvious darkroom manipulation, etc -- mistakes that would not pass today in the world of portraiture. I kept noticing this at an exhibit I saw this summer of Avedon's fashion work at the ICP. Some of his early photos are out of focus or poorly lit with screamingly bad highlights or glares. These faults don't really bother me -- but I notice them, and I'm sure other photographers do as well, which goes to show that the technical standards have definitely changed. For better or worse, these photographers still inspire because of their content, not the quality of their camera.

Anyway, I don't want to use this space to rehash on the "legends," but I think Arnold Newman is totally extraordinary. However weird and silly it is, I can feel my own personality and way of seeing in his images; It's like we like to look at the same things in the same way. I was flipping through this multimedia piece PDN put out on him, and I was once again reminded how he can bring together, with such fluidity, creative/complex graphic design and fascinating content to make a great single image -- even though his technique might not always be right on.

There's just a small sampling of his work below. You should really check out the piece above or The Arnold Newman Archive :: here :: to get a better sense of his career and personality.

I hate when people have a list of the such and such five photographers who have most inspired them and their work, but I cannot deny that I will always look at Newman's images and feel some kind of connection.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bill Armstrong on the blur

Nice little piece -- especially liked his discussion on blur halfway into it.

Bill Armstrong: The Edge of Vision Interview Series from Aperture Foundation on Vimeo.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Poets, if they're genuine, must also keep repeating 'I don't know.' Each poem marks an effort to answer this statement, but as soon as the final period hits the page, the poet begins to hesitate, starts to realize that this particular answer was pure makeshift that's absolutely inadequate to boot. So the poets keep on trying."

-- Wislawa Szymborska (by the way, she writes crazy good poems .... I think the above is also true of photography)

(This is taken from an article by Courtney Queeney :: The Kings Are Boring: Some Thoughts on Women's Poetry)

This seems like a total flashback to sometime pre-1998 during one of my morning swim-team practices as a kid. It feels like I'm looking back at a real moment ...  a screan grab from the movie of my life -- very odd feeling that doesn't often happen. 

You can check out more of this guy's work :: here :: on flicker

© Alan Lund Gard

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mark Borthwick

I mentioned this guy months back, but I've seen his new book, a career retrospective, Not in Fashion, all over the place. The cover is simple but lovely. I just really like it.

I admit, his work now unfortunately appears kinda cliche. His style's been ripped off by Urban Outfitters catalogue types, we've seen it before trying-hard-to-be-young and arty . . . but his organic attitude toward life and art is actually really refreshing and quite beautiful. Here's an article about him, Mark Borthwick, and once again his :: website ::


Howard Schatz is a total photo rockstar. He does everything, seriously everything, from creating his own human-drawn typefaces to more esoteric nudes and classical portraiture. If you go to his :: website :: you will see the incredible, and somewhat overwhelming, scope of his work. It's clear that this guy is so prolific because he just loves to explore with the camera. The downfall is, not all of his images work -- especially the psychedelic dream-like ones, which don't age well (just my opinion).

I am still totally in awe of his technique and a huge fan of his diverse collection of really solid photography. He is no doubt a master at capturing texture and the beauty of the human form.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

found on ffffound ::

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

David Pearson

I want to meet this guy, and I want his job. Designing book covers seems like an awesome way to spend your workday. Check out all of David Pearson's work :: here ::

Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton-Jones

Just because I think these are beautiful.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tamara Dean

Images by Tamara Dean, who is sponsored by Oculi, an Australian documentary storytelling organization. These are from a very lovely series on ritualism. Dean says she seeks to explore "the contemporary quest for purpose, rite in the Australian landscape," and what happens when rituals lose their meaning and become mundane parts of our everyday.

I'm not sure how much these really say about ritualism, but who really cares, because they are just flat out stunning examples of beautiful light, color, and lyricism. I am obsessed with them and wish I was the one behind the camera. Enjoy, and please check out Dean's other work.

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