August 2009 Archives
August 31, 2009
There's a short, sweet story on NPR's "All Things Considered" about a woman who recognized herself in a photo she saw in an exhibition of the photos from Robert Frank's The Americans. In Jack Kerouac's introduction to the book, he wrote, "That little ole lonely elevator girl looking up sighing in an elevator full of blurred demons, what's her name and address?"
Robert Frank/Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art
50 years later, Sharon Collins, the girl in the photo, spoke with NPR about her discovery which startled and pleased her, because she didn't remember Frank taking the picture (although his contact sheet shows her hamming it up for his camera in several frames of film after this iconic shot). You can listen to her interview by clicking on the link below. And, be sure to check out the full written article at npr.org.
August 30, 2009
"Many of my interiors give evidence of a frugal life, of inhabitants who are able to make their personalities known with only a few means. In my work I concentrate on this authenticity and dignity. My pictures tell a story about these people, a story that reaches beyond material reality."
— Marrigje de Maar, from her introductory text to her photo-essay
Photos of the insides of places where people live are often more intimate and telling than portraits of the people themselves. To be allowed to enter anyone's home, and to photograph it exactly as it is, is an honor and a privilege. These photos offer views into other ways of life, other cultures, and insights into personal needs and priorities.
Marrigje de Maar has been photographing all kinds of interior spaces since 2002. To see more photos from this series, and to read her entire text, visit her feature article in Lens Culture.
August 29, 2009
© Reinaldo Loureiro
"This body of work portrays the social and economic landscape of the Spanish greenhouse plains of Almeria. Once a deserted land and traditionally an impoverished territory, today the Almeria fields represent the largest concentration of plastic greenhouses in the world."
— Photojournalist and documentarian Reinaldo Loureiro
© Reinaldo Loureiro, April 2008.
Agricultural businesses are proud of their high-tech hydroponic production methods which can generate 3 seasons of vegetables in one season. The laborers in this massive, massive plain of white-plastic-covered facilities are mostly illegal immigrants from northern Africa.
Read more, and see 20 images from the photo-essay here in Lens Culture.
August 26, 2009
Henri Cartier-Bresson, whom many consider the father of modern photography, was born in 1908. To celebrate the centenary of his birth, the Maison Européene de la Photographie has been showcasing more than 300 photographs from their own collection, built up over several decades. The collection has two key themes: "Paris" and "Europeans".
The exhibition closes August 30th 2009 – that's this Sunday, photo lovers!
Never mind if you consider yourself a Parisien, a European, or simply a citizen of the world – don't miss this priceless opportunity to experience the work of one of the 20th century's true greats.
August 20, 2009
© Dana Popa, from the new photo book, "not Natasha"
Photographer Dana Popa travelled to the Republic of Moldova to document, through photography and collected stories, the experiences of sex-trafficked women and their families. ‘Natasha’ is the nickname given to prostitutes with Eastern European looks. Sex trafficked girls hate it.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moldova is one of the main trafficking source countries for women and children. It is estimated that between 200,000 and 400,000 women have been sold into prostitution abroad – up to 10% of the female population. In Moldova, Popa worked with the International Organisation for Migration Shelters and Winlock International where she was given access to photograph and document the experiences of 17 women who had been trafficked.
Read text by Dana Popa, and see more photos from her series, in Lens Culture.
This work was commissioned by Autograph ABP, and won the Jerwood Photography Award. It is currently on display in London at Photofusion Gallery through September 18, 2009. You can also buy the book, with more insightful essays about this worldwide problem.
August 11, 2009
We're thrilled to announce several, new, valuable prizes for the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2009 photo competition.
In addition to the cash prizes already announced — and the prominent global exposure all of the winners will receive when they are featured in Lens Culture — each of the four top winners will win $1,000 credit toward a professional, custom designed portfolio website by liveBooks.
PLUS, every winner, including all 25 Honorable Mention winners, will be able to make a free 8x10 or 10x8 Blurb photobook of their own photos, up to 120 pages, on premium paper (value 50 euros or $70).
So, now you can win fame, cash, free photobooks, and a custom-designed website!
For complete details about the Awards competition, go to: lensculture.com/contest. Enter your photos today! Deadline is September 15, 2009.
Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2009 Prize Sponsors:
August 4, 2009
Detail of #1075 (2008), London, recorded time: 46 seconds, full image size: 26 x 240 cm
Hungarian-born artist Adam Magyar (now living in Berlin) creates magical, long, thin, stretchy images that look like parades of people all moving in the same direction.
The technique behind the images is almost as interesting as the wonderful images themselves. Magyar, a former computer programmer, designed and built his own slit-scan camera that connects to his laptop and stitches together several hundred individual one-pixel-wide vertical scans of busy urban streets to create the illusion of a panoramic snapshot with slight fun-house-mirror distortions.
The camera operates much the same way as your typical flat-bed office scanner works, but because his camera stays fixed on a tripod while pedestrians and vehicles move in front of it, he achieves effects that are not quite real. For instance, everyone appears to be always walking in the same direction, no matter which way they were facing when the camera scanned them.
This is what Adam Magyar writes about this series:
What you see in my images is not space but tangible time.
I took these photos with a self-developed digital slit-cam; they are not the results of a digital photo manipulation.
With the slit-scan technique, a fraction of a moment is recorded through a 1-pixel wide slit several hundred times per second. The time and space slices recorded this way and placed right next to each other generate an image without a perspective; it is the passing of time itself that turns into space by moving forward in time from the right side toward the left in each image.
In other words, the events recorded on the right side of the image took place earlier than the ones on the left, also meaning that the people in the photos never existed together in the form shown by the image. So the people in the right-hand side of the image had grown several minutes older by the time the people seen in the left side passed my camera.
As a result of this time-space connection, all the people and vehicles in the photos are heading in one direction. The time indicated beside the images is the time it tool to record the image.
This method is capable of recording movement only. All the static objects appear as stripes and lanes, like the windows of city buildings in the background.
Photo-finish cameras operate based on the very same principle, so I could also say I took photo-finishes during the preparation of this series in an urban environment without a finish line and ranks.
Be sure to check out all the images on his beautifully designed website, www.magyaradam.com, which allows you to drag your pointer to magnify any detail of each image.
with his self-designed scanner camera
It's ironic that I met Adam at a four day event titled (tongue in cheek?) "Photography is Dead" at the Rhubarb-Rhubarb photo festival and portfolio review in Birmingham, UK. As far as I can tell, his full-scale images (almost 9 feet wide) have never been exhibited outside his native Hungary, and festivals in Rome and Shanghai.
August 3, 2009
This photo is so "meta" lens culture: A photo of a government-owned surveillance camera in front of a giant billboard photo of a baby's eye, with the billboard promoting the idea of photographing your kids with your mobile phone camera and sending them via the phone carrier's system to share with grandma and grandpa far away...
The photographer, David Dunnico, is just one of the fascinating people I met at the always stimulating photo festival and international portfolio review sessions at Rhubarb-Rhubarb in Birmingham UK. I met lots and lots of interesting people, and I'll report back on many more of my findings and delightful discoveries over the next few days and weeks.
In the meantime, check out Dunnico's Flickr photostream of all things CCTV in the UK, plus his website. Dunnico's note about this photo: "Council owned camera and advertising hoarding for the mobile phone network 3. Lever Street, Manchester. This was the first photograph I took in this series."
August 2, 2009
The front page caption on the International Herald Tribune reads: "THE JPEG REVOLUTION Images of the June uprisings in Iran, captured by amateur photographers. The protests unsettled not only the hard-liners in Tehran but also the Obama administration, which has to make policy for a situation that changes as frequently as a Twitter feed."