September 2009 Archives
September 28, 2009
“When you are suspended by a rope you can recover, but every time I see a rope I remember. If the light goes out unexpectedly, I am back in my cell.”
— Binyam Mohamed, Prisoner #1458
Photographer Edmund Clark has made a series of photographs that examine various aspects of the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay. He explores the facilities for the prisoners, and for the Americans who live there at the naval base. Then he visits and photographs at the homes of some of the detainees who have been freed. Clark’s text illuminates his ideas about the lives of the people involved — detainees, their families, American guards and their families, and life after prison and torture.
This is a book-length project, and we're very happy to present an excerpt here in Lens Culture. The photos that you see here are edited and sequenced in a way that is different from the presentation Clark intends for the book.
Clark originally wanted to eliminate the captions to the photos, reducing them merely to one of three consistent captions: base, camp, home. I argued that the information in many of the captions helped me understand exactly what I was looking at, and provided context that seemed essential. After some back-and-forth emails, we agreed to keep the captions here.
I encourage you to look at these photos and text, and to discover more from this project on his website.
In addition to sharing this important work with you, we’re interested to know what you think about the necessity of captions with photographs like this. Please add your comments to this blog!
September 24, 2009
Korean photographer Bohnchang Koo creates wonderfully quiet, elegant photographs in two related series, Vessel and Interiors. The photo above shows a detail of a ceramic vessel from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), which was a long period of relative peace and prosperity in Korea, guided in large part by Confucian ideals and doctrine.
Bohnchang Koo's work is featured in a solo exhibition in Paris through October 10. See more photos here in Lens Culture.
September 22, 2009
Photoquai, the biennial festival of photography based in Paris aims to to raise the international profile of artists previously unexhibited or little-known in Europe. It also aims to foster cultural exchange — and the vibrant interchange of different world views.
This year, the Guest of Honor at Photoquai is Iran. The festival has been directed by Anahita Ghabaian Etehadieh, an Iranian gallerist and founder of the Silk Road Gallery in Tehran, a space specifically dedicated to photography.
Etehadieh has organized an intriguing exhibition, focusing on the themes of politics, society and poetry, and featuring the work of 50 contemporary photographers from around the world.
The festival opens today. You can enjoy a generous selection of 60 preview photos here in Lens Culture. Enjoy!
September 18, 2009
We're thrilled to announce a phenomenal response to our first global photography competition — and it has proven to be really global:
Photographers from 48 countries on six continents submitted more than 6,000 images to the competition.
Entries were received from such diverse countries as Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Peru and South Korea. The competition also received submissions from 24 European countries, and a strong showing from North America.
The stellar international jury of photography experts is now reviewing and assessing all of the submissions.
Lens Culture will announce the Award winners on October 15, 2009.
We're really excited to see the winning photographs. Thanks to everyone who has participated!
For more details, see Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2009.
September 14, 2009
Take advantage of this opportunity to have your photography appreciated worldwide! Enter your photos today in this prestigious new global competition:
Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2009.
A stellar international jury will select winners to receive cash prizes, free websites, free photobooks — and best of all — every winner and honorable mention will gain vast international exposure to an enthusiastic audience of photography lovers, curators, art gallery owners, festival directors, publishers, art directors, and other professional and aspiring photographers from all around the world.
Deadline to submit your best work is September 15, 2009.
Do it today!
Entry fees range from $35 to $75. Complete details are here: lensculture.com/contest.
September 13, 2009
Japanese Street photographer Daido Moriyama is one of my personal heroes. I love his gritty, contrasty black-and-white photobooks of cluttered street scenes in Japan, stray dogs, bits of trash, and photographic mistakes that he also recognizes for their beauty, as well.
In this cool 10 minute video he talks about some of his working methods, his desire to take "nasty" pictures, and his claim that photography "is a medium and a habit that is ... quite seductive."
September 12, 2009
French photographer Willy Ronis died today in Paris, apparently lively and active until the end. His work captured the romance of French culture of the mid-20th century with classic, poetic beauty.
Here's a short biography, from SKJ Studio, one of his galleries:
Willy Ronis was born in Paris on August 14, 1910, the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Lithuania. Ronis learned photography with his father in the family portrait studio. The business offered three primary services: portraiture, retail and retouching of prints for other photographers. A gifted draughtsman at school, he was recruited to assist in retouching portraits. Despite this early training and influence, Ronis’ primary love was music.
From the time he was a boy, Ronis studied piano and he planned on becoming a composer. His parents, however, urged him to study law instead—which he did for a year at the Sorbonne—but maintained his musical studies and paid for them by playing the violin in a restaurant orchestra. These paths were severed when his father fell ill to cancer, and Ronis had to play a greater role in the family business.
At his father’s shop, Ronis met other photographers of his generation, including David “Chim” Seymour who would become a good friend. In the 1930’s he also came to meet Robert Capa (then known by his given name André Friedmann) and Henri Cartier-Bresson. The four of them, along with George Rodger, founded the, now celebrated, Magnum agency. By 1936, his father’s studio was closed and Ronis went free-lance, continuing with commercial commissions and beginning reportage. His bourgeoning career would be put on hold with the onset of WWII.
In 1946 he joined Robert Doisneau, Brassaï and others at the Rapho Agency. Willy Ronis was the first French photographer to work for LIFE Magazine. In 1953 Edward Steichen included his work in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art titled Five French Photographers—the other four having been Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Izis and Brassaï. Ronis was also included in the famed Family of Man exhibit in 1955. In 1957 Ronis was awarded the Gold Medal at the Venice Biennale.
Ronis began teaching part-time in 1957, due primarily to the growing competition within the field of photo reportage. By 1968 he was teaching full time and over the next eight year taught at the School of Fine Arts in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Saint Charles, Marseilles. In 1979 he was awarded the Grand Prix des Arts et Lettres for Photography by the Minister for Culture.
Since 1983 Willy Ronis’ work has been published and exhibited with modest regularity. His blue-collar pastoral images of rural France and soft-spoken images of bustling Paris, primarily of the 1940’s and 50’s, have enchanted a new generation.
You'll find more information, a bibliography, and links to lots of his images in Wikipedia.
September 11, 2009
Great news — we've just added even more inspiring contemporary photography to our latest issue of Lens Culture!
PLUS, the deadline to enter your photos in our first international photo competition is September 15 — only a few days away!
Award winners will be featured prominently in Lens Culture — to be discovered by you and the rest of our influential worldwide audience of photography collectors, curators, publishers, art directors, agents, gallery owners, and other photography enthusiasts.
Don’t miss this chance to get your photos shown around the world. There are also some great cash prizes, free website designs, and free photobooks to win.
And, there's still more to come in our latest issue. We're adding new portfolios, book reviews, and other new features every few days. So, check back often.
Jim Casper, editor
Enter your photography today in this prestigious new global competition:
Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2009.
September 10, 2009
American photographer Karen Glaser has spent lots of time in, around, and under the waters of lush, exotic areas of the Everglades in Florida, translating her visceral experiences into stunning works of natural beauty. See more photos, and read her text, in the latest issue of Lens Culture.
September 9, 2009
Professional photographers, aspiring photographers and students should enter this competition today! Winners will earn cash prizes, free websites and photobooks, and — best of all — worldwide exposure to a very influential global audience.
Deadline for entries is September 15, 2009.
Lens Culture International Exposure Awards discover, recognize, reward, and promote talented, new, emerging and established photographers from around the world.
We’re looking for exciting images from every continent, and from diverse points of view: documentary, fine art, photojournalism, street photography, poetic, personal, abstract, and human.
Full details at: www.lensculture.com/contest.
Prizes will be awarded, and all winning photographs will be exhibited online, prominently, to coincide with Lens Culture’s extra-special Paris Photo Edition in November 2009.
A stellar international jury of photography experts will review and judge every photograph submitted:
Stephen Mayes, director of VII Photo in New York, and former chair of the World Press Photo competition.
Sujong Song, director of several international photo festivals, curator, author, and editor based in Seoul, South Korea.
Xavier Canonne, director of the Musée de la Photographie, in Charleroi, Belgium.
Stefanie Braun, curator at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, and organizer and curator of the annual Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
Jim Casper, editor and publisher of Lens Culture.
And thanks, too, to the American Society of Media Photographers, for helping to craft and refine the rules for the competition.
About Lens Culture
Lens Culture is one of the most popular and influential online magazines about contemporary photography today. The site attracts 7,000 to 8,000+ unique visitors every day, from more than 50 countries (over 2 million visits each year). Our audience includes photography collectors, photo editors, book publishers, museum curators, art gallery owners, agents, critics, journalists, festival directors, and other passionate lovers of photography. Several artists whose photographs have gained attention as a result of their exposure in Lens Culture have won book publishing contracts, solo and group art gallery shows, museum exhibitions, participation in international photography festivals, and commissions from around the world. Select artists are offered the opportunity to sell limited editions of their work through Lens Culture Editions, earning them thousands of dollars from sales to international art collectors.
So, enter today, and good luck!
September 6, 2009
Sujong Song — one of the esteemed jurors for the upcoming Lens Culture International Exposure Awards — is curating several significant contemporary photography exhibitions opening soon in Korea. Here is a small preview of < Eco - left >, one of the main exhibitions at the 2009 ULSAN International Photography Festival. Looks like a very interesting, eclectic mix.
September 4, 2009
An all-new issue of Lens Culture is now online featuring great contemporary photography from all over the world: Vietnam, Spain, Guantanamo Bay, Istanbul, Moldova, the UK, Mongolia, Argentina, and more. We will be adding more portfolios, essays and reviews to continue to fill out this new issue, so be sure to check back every few days for more great discoveries.
And, if you're serious about boosting your career as a photographer, be sure to submit your best work to the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards photo competition. We're seeking the best in global photography for 2009.
DEADLINE is September 15!
September 3, 2009
French photojournalist and filmmaker Christian Poveda, age 52, who filmed a hard-hitting and controversial documentary movie ("La Vida Loca") about a violent street gang in El Salvador, was brutally murdered this week. Police say that Poveda was driving back from filming in La Campanera, an overcrowded ghetto that is a stronghold of the Mara 18 gang, when he was apparently ambushed and shot four times in the face.
According to the Chicago Tribune, "Poveda's body was found alongside of his car; none of his expensive cameras or equipment was missing."
"Christian is just one of the 10 who will die today," photographer Edu Ponces wrote on the Salvadoran Internet newspaper El Faro. "If you look long enough down the throat of the lion, he will eat you."
A brief article about the murder in the Times Online has more details, and includes a link to some gut-wrenching clips from "La Vida Loca". The video below has no violence, but features an interview with Poveda made by the LA Times in April 2009:
Some of Poveda's photos on Flickr: http://bit.ly/1oJEx
September 1, 2009
Ara Güler (born 1928) is a native "Stamboulite", who has been documenting his home city's cultural and domestic life since the 1940s. Initially a reporter for TimeLife, Paris Match and Stern, as well as Turkish dailies and magazines, he has been a member of Magnum Photos since meeting Marc Riboud and Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1961.
We're very pleased to present this article with photos from the 1950s and 60s in Lens Culture. A full exhibition will open in Paris at the Maison Européene de la Photographie on September 9.