December 2009 Archives
December 31, 2009
One of many happy moments in 2009 for photography lovers was the launch of a new blog, Little Brown Mushroom, that includes essays, videos and photographs from Alec Soth and some of his collaborators. It's always a joy to get Alec's intelligent, heartfelt take on photography and new ways to use it and disseminate it. In a recent post, he interviews Monica Haller about the book she just published called Riley's Story, which includes photos and text from a guy who served as a nurse in Abu Ghraib prison and took lots of digital pictures while he was there.
Here is the cover, and below is the informal video interview made by Alec.
The book looks great, and important, and especially timely. You can download a generous PDF excerpt (114 pages!) here, which apparently covers about 1/4 of the whole book. You can get more info about the book here.
December 30, 2009
About five or six years ago, the guys behind the Hamburger Eyes photo happenings in San Francisco (Dave and Ray, and the photographers around them) really opened my eyes to a photo-based lifestyle that was (and still is) so alive and real and super-attractive in an honest, often not so glamorous way. Fueled by passion, and a desire to have fun and document real life, they publish great raw photography in their almost wordless magazine, and they make it affordable. They throw wild kick-ass parties with photography literally covering nearly every inch of wall space. Every person in the crowds at their parties could be living, walking, talking and dancing photographs themselves. This short video just came to my attention and took me on a happy time trip back to the buzzy excitement they created. If you like your photography rough and funky, tough and goofy and honest, check it out.
December 29, 2009
For the second installment of Lens Culture's new video interview series, "Conversations with Photographers", I spoke at length with British photographer Simon Roberts about his work, and in particular about his two remarkable photobooks, Motherland and We English. You can view the tightly-edited interview here.
As always, however, there were bits of articulate insight from that interview that didn't make it into the final cut for one reason or another. So, with absolutely no color correction or smooth transitions or titles or credits, we've decided to share these short "bonus" clips where Simon Roberts talks about why he deliberately made the shift from shooting primarily for magazines to authoring his own photobooks. We thought this might be another welcome point of view in the discussion about photobooks being hosted by our friends at LiveBooks.com.
December 18, 2009
We first discovered these trippy photo diptychs by Australian photographer David Helsham while reviewing all of the entries to our first Lens Culture International Exposures Awards. Even though the jury didn't award a prize to this series, we loved it so much we wanted to publish a feature in Lens Culture.
Here's some of the intro text by Zoë Fargher:
"Bongin Bongin is an aboriginal name, meaning "many shells". And it is the name of a bay in northern Sydney, Australia, where David Helsham swims every morning, all year round, with a group of friends.
"The bay and its surroundings provide the raw material for this magical series of diptychs: Helsham has photographed a small area of the beach and the ocean over several years. In Bongin Bongin, he juxtaposes found objects he discovered on the beach – from discarded toys, to shoes, to skulls – with views of the bay in all weathers and seasons."
See and read more... Also, look for David's Blurb book in 2010.
December 17, 2009
Announcing the newest addition to Lens Culture magazine!
Starting in 2010, every edition of Lens Culture will feature a special section of single images or short series submitted by our readers that perfectly encapsulate a changing theme.
The theme for the first new edition is Celebration!
We’re looking for images that show celebration in all its forms: intimate, grand, impromptu, public, private, exuberant, quiet, personal, traditional or bizarre. These could be festive celebrations, or sports events, birthday parties, sacred, profane, or ... whatever! Your interpretation of “celebration” can and should be wide open.
The submissions deadline for the Celebration! theme is January 15, 2010 at midnight Pacific Time.
Submit one to five images at our online submissions portal: lensculture.slideroom.com
You will be asked to set up an account, and to pay a $35 fee to cover our administrative costs. The editors of Lens Culture will review all entries and make the final selections for publication in Lens Culture. All selected images will include a link to the winners' websites or blogs.
We also accept general submissions for portfolios of any and all themes for future issues of Lens Culture at the same upload site. Read our submissions guidelines for more information.
Thanks for participating, and cheers!
Our friends at LiveBooks.com and Flakphoto.com have initiated a spirited and intelligent online discussion that asks us to imagine the future of photobooks. There are lots of thoughtful ideas and insights to be garnered in this ongoing discussion, and you can take part, too.
Certainly there are two tracks that dominate the discussions: technology and creativity. What will the photobook of the future look like? How will we distribute and receive and store it? And what can a photobook aspire to be, creatively? Can anyone top the inventive, visual brilliance of William Klein's book Tokyo, from 1964? All of these are topics of great interest to people, like me, who are happily addicted to photobooks in all of their forms.
The video above plays out a yet to be realized fantasy about what the magazine of the future will look like, and how it will work. As these researchers and designers point out: the user experience will have to be stellar. And the iconic "badge" of affinity and identity that magazines currently convey about a reader or subscriber will have to be there, too. We can tell a lot about a person just by the magazines they choose to display on their coffee table, or by the magazine they choose to read in public.
I absolutely love the ideas in the prototype shown in the video. The designers seem to have envisioned the best of the best hybrid for the future. What do you think?
December 16, 2009
Listen to this really wonderful 18 minute interview with photographer Roy DeCarava on Fresh Air from 1996. DeCarava died October 27 at age 89. What a soulful, sweet, articulate man.
"Photographer Roy DeCarava, who died Oct. 27 at age 89, dedicated his 60-year career to capturing images of African Americans. His subjects ranged from daily life in his hometown of Harlem to the Civil Rights movement, but his most noted work featured photographs of jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong." -- NPR
For more photos, and to read more of his story, visit NPR.org
December 15, 2009
The “average” visitor stays on our site for 10 minutes and 31 seconds! Maybe they are listening to our library of over 40 audio interviews with great photographers talking about their work – or looking at the several thousands of photographs we have documented in global contemporary photography. Our archives include every article, portfolio, book review and interview we have produced since we began in 2004 – so it is a remarkable online resource for anyone interested in what’s going on in the wide world of contemporary photography.
Since our start in 2004, Lens Culture has always been an all-volunteer effort, with absolutely no commercial revenue or paid advertising. But now we need your financial help so we can continue our day-to-day activities, and to expand our educational and cultural exchange programs in 2010.
For the first time ever, we are asking for financial help (via a "voluntary one-time subscription") to help cover just a portion of our actual expenses.
If you enjoy Lens Culture, and find it educational, entertaining, or inspiring, PLEASE donate some money TODAY to help us keep it going.
We’ve established a simple, secure Google subscription account, so you can make a voluntary contribution with your credit card in just a minute or two.
We will publicly thank every one of you who contributes, and we have special thanks for those of you who can donate $100 or more.
Thanks for your loyalty and support!
Lens Culture needs your support!
December 14, 2009
What makes us who we are?
This is the question that Priya Kambli interrogates with her innovative series of diptychs and triptychs, Color Falls Down.
Juxtaposing personal family snapshots with oblique self-portraits and ambiguous still-lifes, this is elegant, richly textured work that engages with important modern issues. And they're also really beautiful.
We discovered Priya's work as a result of the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards. Although her work was not selected for one of the top four prizes, we liked it so much that we decided to feature her whole portfolio. We'll be featuring a number of other series from the Awards over the coming weeks.
December 11, 2009
If you collect contemporary photography, you’ll be delighted to discover the eclectic, remarkable and affordable prints for sale online at Lens Culture Editions: www.lensculture.com/store.
Lens Culture Editions have been purchased by curators of large international collections in the US and Europe; art directors at world-famous photography magazines; the founder of a top-100 internet site; and many individual collectors and photographers. Serious collectors have acquired 3 or 4 prints at a time, and many return to discover and buy more.
We feature artists from all over the world, including the US, Russia, Germany, France, Poland, Norway, and South Korea. Many of these photographers have had monograph books of their work published recently, and most have shown in solo or group international exhibitions in 2009.
Myoung Ho Lee, from South Korea, had his first solo show in America at the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York City earlier this year. Another one of our featured artists, Ingar Krauss, is represented by galleries in four major world cities: New York (Marvelli), Paris, Milan and Atlanta. His series of portraits of young inmates in Russian juvenile prisons was praised by Vince Aletti of the New Yorker: “Krauss’s adolescent subjects are variously stoic, sad, wounded, and defiant; all are unforgettable."
Lens Culture Editions are original prints by photographers whose work we admire, whose images have been featured in Lens Culture magazine, and whose prints adorn the walls of our very own homes and offices. We live with these photographs, and continue to enjoy and appreciate them every day!
Each archival quality print is created exclusively for Lens Culture. Every print is numbered and signed by the artist (or in the case of the 1920's glass-negative portraits of Stefania Gurdowa, are signed and numbered by the trustee foundation in Krakow). We pack each order carefully and ship it promptly via FedEx.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to invest in wonderful work by important contemporary artists from throughout the globe.
Jim Casper, editor
December 2, 2009
ATTENTION: Registration for this December event is now closed (as of December 10). Please check back for similar portfolio review sessions in early 2010. Thank you.
We are pleased to announce a new program of portfolio reviews in Paris.
Emerging and established photographers will present their work in formal, one-to-one meetings with four experts in the world of photography during this one-day portfolio review on Tuesday 15 December.
The reviewers come from diverse backgrounds (photojournalism, fine art photography, magazine and book publishing, physical and online galleries, business consultants, online marketing expertise) and can supply creative feedback and practical advice to photographers who wish to advance their careers.
Registration includes four 20-minute private review sessions, one with each of the four reviewers, plus ample opportunity for all of the photographers to share their work and insights with the other participating photographers. A generous group lunch is included, as well as coffee and refreshments during the day.
Registration is limited to the first 12 photographers to sign up. The fee for the whole day is 200 euros.
Dimitri Beck is editor-in-chief of the photojournalism review Polka magazine, (www.polkamagazine.com), based in Paris. Dimitri Beck directed for over two years in Afghanistan the agency Aina Photo and Les Nouvelles de Kaboul, an illustrated news magazine in French and English. Previous to this he was editor-in-chief of Reza's photo agency Webistan, and notably has completed numerous reportages in central Asia and the Caucasus as an independent journalist. Dimitri has been a journalist since 1998.
Klavdij Sluban is a photographer based in Paris. In 2009, he won the European Publishers Award for Photography, for his book Transsibériades. The book, from publishers ActesSud, appeared simultaneously in six European countries in October. An exhibition of photographs from the new book is showing at Galerie Taiss in Paris until 23 December 2009. Sluban conducts numerous photography workshops around the world, and is the recipient of many grants and artists residencies. See www.sluban.com and www.lensculture.com/sluban-video.
Marc Prüst is a photography consultant specializing in editorial and marketing advice for photographers. He worked as head of the exhibition department at World Press Photo in Amsterdam. In 2005, Marc collaborated with with curator Christian Caujolle and editor Chris Boot on the exhibition and the award winning publication celebrating World Press Photo's 50th anniversary: Things As They Are: 50 Years of Photo Journalism in Context. In early 2007, he became Director of Cultural Activities at Agence VU’ in Paris. In 2009, he created his own business as an independent advisor to photographers and curator of photography exhibitions worldwide, www.marcprust.com.
Jim Casper is editor and publisher of Lens Culture (www.lensculture.com), an online magazine about contemporary photography. Lens Culture celebrates all genres of photography, and attracts more than 8,000 unique readers each day from all over the globe. Several photographers whose work has been featured in Lens Culture have since earned book and magazine publishing contracts, editorial assignments, art gallery representation, and more. Casper writes and lectures about contemporary photography, and participates in portfolio reviews around the world. He is founder of the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards.
Register via PayPal here:
For more details, contact editor [at] lensculture.com.