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Old 03-10-2018   #1761
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Walker Evans (1903–1975)

Author: Department of Photographs

The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



Walker Evans is one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. His elegant, crystal-clear photographs and articulate publications have inspired several generations of artists, from Helen Levitt and Robert Frank to Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, and Bernd and Hilla Becher. The progenitor of in American photography, Evans had the extraordinary ability to see the present as if it were already the past, and to translate that knowledge and historically inflected vision into an enduring art. His principal subject was the vernacular—the indigenous expressions of a people found in roadside stands, cheap cafés , advertisements , simple bedrooms, and small-town main streets. For fifty years, from the late 1920s to the early 1970s, Evans recorded the American scene with the nuance of a poet and the precision of a surgeon, creating an encyclopedic visual catalogue of modern America in the making.

Born in 1903 in St. Louis, Missouri, Evans dabbled with painting as a child, collected picture postcards, and made snapshots of his family and friends with a small . After a year at Williams College, he quit school and moved to New York City, finding work in bookstores and at the New York Public Library, where he could freely indulge his passion for T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, and e. e. cummings, as well as Charles Baudelaire and Gustave Flaubert. In 1927, after a year in Paris polishing his French and writing short stories and nonfiction essays, Evans returned to New York intent on becoming a writer. However, he also took up the camera and gradually redirected his aesthetic impulses to bring the strategies of literature—lyricism, irony, incisive description, and narrative structure ()—into the medium of photography.

Most of Evans’ early photographs reveal the influence of European modernism, specifically its formalism and emphasis on dynamic graphic structures. But he gradually moved away from this highly aestheticized style to develop his own evocative but more reticent notions of realism, of the spectator’s role, and of the poetic resonance of ordinary subjects. The Depression years of 1935–36 were ones of remarkable productivity and accomplishment for Evans. In June 1935, he accepted a job from the U.S. Department of the Interior to photograph a government-built resettlement community of unemployed coal miners in West Virginia. He quickly parlayed this temporary employment into a full-time position as an “information specialist” in the Resettlement (later Farm Security) Administration, a New Deal agency in the Department of Agriculture.

Under the direction of Roy Stryker, the RA/FSA photographers (Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, and Russell Lee, among others) were assigned to document small-town life and to demonstrate how the federal government was attempting to improve the lot of rural communities during the Depression. Evans, however, worked with little concern for the ideological agenda or the suggested itineraries and instead answered a personal need to distill the essence of American life from the simple and the ordinary. His photographs of roadside architecture, rural churches , small-town barbers , and cemeteries reveal a deep respect for the neglected traditions of the common man and secured his reputation as America’s preeminent documentarian. From their first appearance in magazines and books in the late 1930s, these direct, iconic images entered the public’s collective consciousness and are now deeply embedded in the nation’s shared visual history of the Depression ().

In the summer of 1936, Evans took a leave of absence from the Resettlement Administration to travel to the South with his friend, the writer James Agee, who had been assigned to write an article on tenant farmers by Fortune magazine; Evans was to be the photographer. Although the magazine ultimately rejected Agee’s long text about three families in Alabama, what in time emerged from the collaboration was Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), a lyric journey to the limits of direct observation. Its 500 pages of words and pictures is a volatile mix of documentary description and intensely subjective, even autobiographical writing, which endures as one of the seminal achievements of twentieth-century American letters. Evans’ photographs for Let Us Now Praise Famous Men are stunningly honest representations of the faces (), bedrooms, and clothing of individual farmers living on a dry hillside seventeen miles north of Greensboro, Alabama. As a series, they seem to have elucidated the whole tragedy of the Great Depression; individually, they are intimate, transcendent, and enigmatic. For many, they are the apogee of Evans’ career in photography.

In September 1938, the Museum of Modern Art opened American Photographs, a retrospective of Evans’ first decade of photography. The museum simultaneously published American Photographs—still for many artists the benchmark against which all photographic monographs are judged. The book begins with a portrait of American society through its individuals—cotton farmers, Appalachian miners, war veterans—and social institutions—fast food, barber shops, car culture. It closes with a survey of factory towns, hand-painted signs, country churches, and simple houses—the sites and relics that constitute the tangible expressions of American desires, despairs, and traditions .

Between 1938 and 1941, Evans produced a remarkable series of portraits in the New York City subway . They remained unpublished for twenty-five years, until 1966, when Houghton Mifflin released Many Are Called, a book of eighty-nine photographs, with an introduction by James Agee written in 1940. With a 35mm Contax camera strapped to his chest, its lens peeking out between two buttons of his winter coat, Evans was able to photograph his fellow passengers surreptitiously, and at close range. Although the setting was public, he found that his subjects, unposed and lost in their own thoughts, displayed a constantly shifting medley of moods and expressions—by turns curious, bored, amused, despondent, dreamy, and dyspeptic. “The guard is down and the mask is off,” he remarked. “Even more than in lone bedrooms (where there are mirrors), people’s faces are in naked repose down in the subway.”

Between 1934 and 1965, Evans contributed more than 400 photographs to 45 articles published in Fortune magazine. He worked at the luxe magazine as Special Photographic Editor from 1945 to 1965 and not only conceived of the portfolios, executed the photographs, and designed the page layouts, but also wrote the accompanying texts. His topics were executed with both black-and-white and color materials and included railroad company insignias, common tools, old summer resort hotels, and views of America from the train window. Using the standard journalistic picture-story format, Evans combined his interest in words and pictures and created a multidisciplinary narrative of unusually high quality. Classics of a neglected genre, these self-assigned essays were Evans métier for twenty years.

In 1973, Evans began to work with the innovative Polaroid SX-70 camera and an unlimited supply of film from its manufacturer. The virtues of the camera fit perfectly with his search for a concise yet poetic vision of the world: its instant prints were, for the infirm seventy-year-old photographer, what scissors and cut paper were for the aging Matisse. The unique SX-70 prints are the artist’s last photographs, the culmination of half a century of work in photography. With the new camera, Evans returned to several of his enduring themes—among the most important of which are signs, posters, and their ultimate reduction, the letter forms themselves.


© 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/evan/hd_evan.htm
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Old 03-11-2018   #1762
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Walker Evans


http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/...can-1903-1975/


https://www.moma.org/artists/1777


https://www.icp.org/browse/archive/c.../all/all/all/0


https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibition/walker-evans


https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/evan/hd_evan.htm


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walker_Evans


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Old 03-11-2018   #1763
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An Evening with Sebastião Salgado


Richard Man - Photography and Calligraphy


As one of the most famous documentary photographers of our time, Mr. Sebastião Salgado drew a full crowd tonight at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. My XPanII was loaded with Neopan 1600, and film being what it is, I won’t know if anything comes out until I develop the roll, probably sometimes tomorrow. Meanwhile, a scan of the cover page of the program will have to do.

Ken Light acted as the questioner and Mr. Salgado answered and segued into all sorts of topics. The show then ended with a slideshow of photos from his latest epic project – “Genesis”, with a few questions and answers rounding out the evening. On youtube, you can find an earlier talk circa 2006 between Ken and Salgado at U.C. Berkerley.

We paid for the normal $25 admission. Our seats were most excellent, right in the center section, and with the seats rising each row, we had an unimpeded view. They offered a premium ticket reception for $100, but I didn’t think it would be worth it. We briefly chatted with a woman who was in the reception area, and she was so busy with her texting that she didn’t even know Salgado was standing just 30 feet away talking to other people.

It was also rather odd that they were selling 3 of his books (Africa, Sahel, and Uncertain Grace) autographed. Africa I can understand, since it came out only a couple of years ago, but surely anyone who knows him would have one of the other books already? I have all 3, plus a few more. I had to purchase Migration and Workers used a few years ago. It is too bad that they have not reprinted those two books.

****

During one of the earlier interchanges, Salgado let it be known that he had switched to digital, which drew an audible gasp from some of the audience. He later on explained that he had used Leica at the beginning (both the legendary Leica M rangefinder and also the R6.2 SLR). When he was working on the previous project, “Africa”, he wanted to print big, so he switched to the medium format camera. He chose Pentax 645 because the low-contrast Pentax lens matched the characteristics of the Leica lens he used (he was probably using the earlier generation Leica lens and not the latest high-contrast sharp-as-tack ASPH generation).

For the current Genesis project, he needs to travel all over the world going through multiple countries and airports. His assistant would carry tens of pounds (I believe he said up to 50 pounds) of films, and being post 9-11, this got to be difficult as they requested hand checking of the film. He would carry documents from different agencies and a couple of times he had to call “people in high places” to straighten things out. With the 220 film, if it went through the X-Ray scanner more than 2-3 times, the quality degraded to less than 35mm level. So the assistant said they needed to do something about the situation.

One of his friends suggested that he try digital, which at first he resisted. However, he did try a medium format 645 back and was quite impressed by the quality. Since the medium format back setup was a bit large, he eventually settled on the Canon full frame (1Ds-something?). However, he still uses it like in the film days: his assistant makes contact sheets for him, and his camera is modified to give the same 645 ratio he is used to. He also has the images processed to look like Tri-X. For prints, a lab converts the data into a 645 negative and prints using traditional darkroom process!

He is excited by the promise of the new Leica S2, a camera system that is set to challenge medium format and full frame 35mm digital by having a sensor size bigger than 35mm and with 39 megapixel resolution, quality that will likely best any medium format digital with its peerless Leica glass, with better ergonomics to boot. He looks forward to possibly using Leica again.

****

Salgado has witnessed a lot of human suffering and despair starting with his Sahel project. The Genesis project is a sort of spiritual renewal for him – up to 40% of the Earth is still as it was 5,000 years, 12,000 years ago. He wants to preserve that in photographs. He and his wife started the Terra Foundation, and it is now one of the biggest producers of native plants in his state in his native Brazil. While well versed in socialism and marxism, he doesn’t think that those are the paths of the human communities at large. Our time on this earth has been so minuscule, how could we possibly think we have a solution to all the problems? His only regret is that he won’t live a million years so that he could photograph the world for that long.

Unfortunately, the slide show clearly did not show the photos in the best quality. The projected images were too contrasty and as some of the images are obviously from the “Africa” shoot, I know that the actual images are not as contrasty. In my opinion, his people images are what really sets him apart – the dignity, the eyes, the Uncertain Grace. With the epic subjects, I can’t help but think that the landscape images will look too small except as a large prints. Nevertheless, I look forward to the publication of Genesis.
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Old 03-23-2018   #1764
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Michael Zhang of PetaPixel uncovers some questionable photo contests.

"Martin Stavars, The One Man in a Web of Online Photo Contests

Snip:
The first murmurings of trouble began earlier this month, when a number of photo contest judges publicly sounded an alarm. It turns out the judges recruited for the International Photographer of the Year (IPOTY) contest weren’t asked to judge a single photo before the winners were announced.

It was also observed that the Monochrome Photography Awards had a website structure and contest format that was eerily similar to IPOTY. An anonymous Monochrome representative denied to PetaPixel that the two contests are related (admitting that there was a “partnership” that ended in 2016), but PDN soon discovered that this year’s Monochrome judges weren’t involved in picking the contest’s winners either.

So, we began digging into this mystery in an attempt to unravel the truth behind these photo contests, and one name has continually appeared in every corner we’ve looked: Martin Stavars."

https://petapixel.com/2018/03/23/mar...hoto-contests/



Photo Contest Judges Raise Alarm: We Didn’t Judge Anything…

PetaPixel

There’s something strange going on with the International Photographer of the Year (IPOTY) photo contest. 11 of the 14 photographers listed as judges for the IPOTY 2017 contest say they weren’t asked to judge a single thing before the winners were announced in February (and the other 3 couldn’t be contacted).

IPOTY was founded in 2015 and is a “pay to play” type of competition. The website states that photographers need to pay between $15 to $30 (depending on photographer status and entry date).

Although the list of judges for the 2017 competition has been removed from the IPOTY website, the original list of 14 judges can still be seen on other sites that the contest was publicized on.

https://petapixel.com/2018/03/13/pho...udge-anything/

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Book Review: ‘The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand’
Old 05-03-2018   #1765
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Book Review: ‘The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand’

For a photographer with so many memorable quips to his name, Garry Winogrand didn’t leave much of a paper trail. The four books he made during his lifetime (five if you count the 1976 Grossmont College booklet) consist almost exclusively of pictures. Although they also include some great essays, none are by Winogrand. Nor did he write for any outside books or sources.

The most he contributed to any publication was the pithy half page intro to the Grossmont catalog, insightful but abbreviated. Winogrand also wrote a brief introduction to Stock Photographs, but it was merely a perfunctory passage which said nothing about the photos. Outside of those few instances, the longest surviving Winogrand essay came about only through rote task. That was his much-quoted Guggenheim application written in 1964. You know the one,


I look at the pictures I have done up to now, and they make me feel that who we are and how we feel and what is to become of us just doesn’t matter. Our aspirations and successes have been cheap and petty…I cannot accept my conclusions so I must continue this photographic investigation further and deeper. This is my project…

Until recently I hadn’t read that essay for a long while, and in my memory, it laid out Winogrand’s ideas about photography and planned approaches for the year of shooting. But a fresh revisit belies all of those notions. The essay actually says very little about photography apart from “photography, photographers, photographs deal with facts.” Instead it’s a sort of gateway to the 1960s, as were some of the photos to come.

When it comes down to it, almost none of the famous Winogrand aphorisms we know and love were written by him. Instead they come to us secondhand, transcribed by acolytes:

“I photograph to find out what things look like photographed.”

“Great photography is always on the edge of failure.”

“Every photograph is a battle of form versus content.”

Thank god someone was around to record that stuff. As an oral sage Winogrand’s in fine company, right up there with Socrates and Jesus, at least in the photo world. Like them, his lectures are the main material extant. But Winogrand’s were far more prickly, closer to Confucius than any western prophet. Here’s an excerpt from RIT in 1970:

RIT audience member: I saw a photograph that — there’s a photograph that had “Kodak” and there’s a kid holding a dog —
Garry Winogrand: Yeah.
RIT: — and the people kind of wandering in and out. Now, it might be due to my own ignorance or something, but could you give me like a straight answer as to what you’re trying to say in that photograph?
GW: I have nothing to say.
RIT: Nothing to say? Then why do you print it?
GW: I don’t have anything to say in any picture.…My only interest in photographing is photography. That’s really the answer.
RIT: Why do you print it if it has no meaning?
GW: With that particular picture — ah, I’m interested in the space and I maybe can learn something about photography. That’s what I get from photographs; if I’m lucky, I can learn something.
RIT: Then you’re trying to reveal something about space?
GW: I’m not revealing anything.
RIT: Then what do you think is the purpose of the photograph if you’re not revealing anything.
GW: My education.
RIT: Then what’s the purpose of that? That’s what I’m trying to find out.
GW: That’s the answer. That’s really the answer…

Poor RIT student. Getting critical analysis out of Winogrand was like pulling teeth. And his photos aren’t much help. They’re just as awkward and inscrutable as his lectures.

It’s not that he didn’t give a s**t. Indeed, Winogrand cared and thought deeply about his photos. But he was reticent to guide any specific interpretation. “Photos have no narrative content,” he said. “They merely describe light on paper.” Raw visual description of the world, that was the thing! How might reality translate into a two dimensional four walled box? Here’s how: “When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.” The mutability of such facts, even frozen in silver, was the source of endless possibility, the only motivation needed, and its own answer. No need for art mumbo-jumbo.

But still, would it have killed him to get something in writing?

Continued..
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Old 05-03-2018   #1766
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Fortunately, he had a crack team of writer friends to do the heavy lifting. Helen Gary Bishop, Leo Rubinfien, and Tod Papageorge all contributed introductions to his monographs, each one stellar. Winogrand’s direction to Papageorge (Public Relations) was simple enough: “I don’t care what is written just so long as the photography is not discussed.” But the plea fell on deaf ears. Papageorge’s essay did, in fact, discuss the photography. Oh well. Its verbosity was balanced out by Winogrand’s own contribution to Public Relations. Here it is, in its entirety:

“The way I understand it, a photographer’s relationship to his medium is responsible for his relationship to the work is responsible for his relationship to the medium.”

In other words, if you’re trying to understand what my photos are about, take a hike.

If Winogrand were to codify a relationship to his medium, it centered on process. The daily act of looking and translating the visual world into photographs wasn’t just an obsession, it was integral to his existence. It was his waking state. “I get totally out of myself. It’s the closest I come to not existing.” In the end, shooting consumed his energy to the exclusion of other tasks. Small irritants like developing film, looking at it, and pruning the resulting photos into a cohesive structure — the steps normally necessary to transform exposures into some viable archive — all fell by the wayside.

Normally this would doom one’s legacy. Instead, Winogrand’s myopic devotion has only burnished his. Three thousand undeveloped rolls, or whatever the number is, are now just an element of the myth. Since his untimely death in 1984, his star has risen steadily. A new feature-length documentary bio is about to hit theaters. He is the subject of eight posthumous books and counting. And — despite his sentiments regarding photo theory — these books are chock full of analysis. That’s not to say he would hate them all. But we can probably assume he would be mildly irritated.

Reevaluating Winogrand has become something of a critical parlor game, and since he left such a thin paper trail, the field is wide open. He’s like Vivian Maier, Disfarmer, and Bellocq all rolled into one, a tabula rasa. Better yet, he’s a street photographer (a term he hated), a genre which has exploded in popularity since his death.

The basic formula is to gain access to the Winogrand archives at the University of Arizona (somewhere north of 1 million film exposures, depending on who’s counting), craft a new edit featuring at least a few “unseen” photos, then perform a critical reappraisal of his photography, his life choices, and how he might — or might not — fit into a historical context. There’s a sense of ok, he died with unfinished business, let’s finish it for him. Kinda like Socrates or Jesus.

In the mid-eighties, when curators were still developing and editing his unseen rolls, his archive was a jungle of untapped potential. Szarkowski had a field day with Figments From The Real World in 1988. All the rolls have since been developed and by now every frame seen by at least someone or other, at least by Leo Rubinfien if not others.

In some ways, it’s a spent mine, and curators are now sifting through pre-examined tailings. But new ideas, new edits, and new Winogrand books keep coming, each one taking a slightly different tack. They run the gamut from Alex Sweetman’s , written from an adversarial stance, to John Szarkowski, who championed Winogrand against all doubters and called him “the central photographer of his generation.” Others — Trudy Wilner Stack, Jeffrey Fraenkel, Alex Harris, Lee Friedlander, and Leo Rubinfien — fall somewhere between, bewitched to varying degrees by his spell.

The latest is by Geoff Dyer, author of and occasional New York Times photo critic. His has just been published by University Of Texas Press. Winogrand’s directive — “the photography is not discussed” — may not have worked on Papageorge but it’s found a more receptive audience in Dyer. His essays dance around a variety of topics and tangents including literature, painting, poetry, sex, travel, and television. Yes, they do discuss the photography too, but it has a secondary role, merely a departure point for Dyer’s whirlwind of ideas and speculation. Winogrand’s photos are included too, but almost as an afterthought. A better title might be The Philosophy of Geoff Dyer.

Winogrand was famously averse to analysis, yet Dyer was commissioned to write just such a book. So the whole enterprise is problematic from the get-go. To his credit he addresses the dilemma directly in the introduction: “In my notes, for reasons I can no longer fathom, I kept reminding myself that this should not be a book about photography. Well it is about photography, obviously.” An explanation which may not settle the issue, but is quite Winograndian.


Atget, 2000, John Szarkowski

Dyer’s book is modeled on , the MoMA book published in 2000 by the aforementioned Szarkowski. For that book, Szarkowski picked 100 photos by Eugene Atget, wrote an essay on each one, then laid them side by side in what’s become a classic of the genre. The writing is sharp and the model simple, two traits borrowed by Dyer for his tome.

Dyer’s book sequences 100 Winogrand photos in roughly chronological order (a slight departure from Szarkowski. Atget is not chronological), each sharing a spread with a short essay. The photographs tend to loosen up over time as Dyer traces the course of Winogrand’s career from tidy fifties candids to his final days spewing motor driven exposures all over the passenger seat. Dyer’s writing follows suit. The book’s early essays are fairly conventional, but they begin to shift in tone beginning around the midpoint. The unmooring gathers steam as later essays dip a toe in the stream of consciousness, speculating on phone booths, gender bending, and animal magnetism. This proves the perfect accompaniment to Winogrand, whose late work has always been something of a stumper to critics. Szarkowski, for example, famously dismissed it. Dyer’s assessment is much kinder, helped along by his poetic sensibility.

Poetic or not, I think the word Psychiatry would fit better in a Winogrand book title than Philosophy. He was a street psychiatrist, almost a clairvoyant. As reluctant as he was to analyze photos, strangers he could analyze with penetrating insight. He possessed an uncanny ability to size up people in public, single out the ones dealing with problems, and reveal that internal turmoil in his photographs. Almost all of them depict a central person or group of figures cleanly framed, his photos a hotline into their minds. In photo after photo, he does this, somehow setting aside the extraneous to focus on the interior. According to Friedlander, he was “a bull of a man, and the world his china shop,” yet one with extraordinary sensitivity. China shop be damned, the world was his analyst’s couch.

Part of Winogrand’s psychiatric makeup was his chauvinism. He personified the male gaze. Walking the sidewalks of the 1970s New York, leering through his lens at gorgeous women — Yes, that was him, the predecessor to a small cottage industry of contemporary street voyeurs. Many of Winogrand’s photos seem to be simply about ogling females and not much more. To be fair, he ogled everyone, male or female. But beautiful women were a favorite subject.

To Winogrand’s credit, he owned it. Women Are Beautiful may be a provocative title for a photo book, but at least it’s less sexist that Winogrand’s original working title, Confessions Of A Male Chauvinist Pig. Winogrand made no attempt to hide his leericism. Still, I think the original title would not have aged well.

Dyer addresses Winogrand’s male gaze by curating a selection with a large dose of Women Are Beautiful style photos. Some were included in that book. Others are new. Whether this is an homage to Winogrand’s chauvinism or a reflection of Dyer’s own bias is not clear. But whatever the reason the book’s primary thread is women, and Dyer’s book contains a higher concentration than any of the other posthumous books.

Continued..
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Old 05-03-2018   #1767
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He sprinkles them in a series through The Philosophy, comparing and contrasting the depiction of women as he progresses chronologically through Winogrand’s career, which roughly coincided with the rise of feminism. In one of the opening photos, shot during “the pre-feminist” world, a woman walks demurely with eyes on the sidewalk, “an early example of a classic Winogrand street scene.” By the middle of the book, women strut before Winogrand, highbeamed and brazen, or as a sexpot mannequin, or eating ice cream with a smile, or strolling in full color down Fifth Avenue. Dyer plays with the idea of following the “same” women in various photos throughout the book, although of course each subject is unique.

By the last few pages, the chronology has reached the early 80s, just before Winogrand’s death, and his male gaze has melted into hedonist abandon. A contact sheet of frames from Hollywood’s Ivar Theatre shows a stripper exposing her body — every last inch of it, in a stroke of proud bravado — to a pack of men during the club’s regular camera night. Dyer’s essay is unrestrained,


You glimpse a woman on the street and fall in love for a second and if you’re a photographer that is great, but if you’re lucky enough to talk to her and perhaps go on a date and go to bed with her and make love then at some point, although you want to see her face and feel your love for her reflected in her eyes, you also want this — this crudity…

Hm, so that’s what the photos are about after all? Boy meets girl? They screw. Is it that easy?

Winogrand was a regular denizen at the Ivar, along with many other famous LA photographers of the time. He shot thousands of frames there, some of which have surfaced in the years since. To my knowledge, the frame highlighted by Dyer is printed here for the first time. It’s a curious choice, especially when printed side by side with the full contact sheet. There’s not much to recommend the photo aside from, well, crudity. Maybe that’s the point.

It’s tough to say exactly what drew Winogrand to the Ivar, whether it was naked lust, sheer spectacle, or maybe some combination. Perhaps here his famous aphorism (one of the few he expressed in writing) applies: “There is nothing as mysterious as a fact clearly described.” Here was the mystery of the female fact clearly described, laid open before the camera, the same naked truth which mystifies all men.


Sun. Photo Night — Bring Your Camera (1977 Ross MacLean Collection)

Dyer’s essay on the Ivar is probably my favorite in the book, the closest to a free rambling — and, yes, crude — dream. I can overlook its speculative quality because mysterious facts aren’t the point here. Instead: fantasy. Like any good street shooter Dyer works best when he has room to stretch out and explore, “when he lets himself get deeply, comically weird,” as Jennifer Szalai describes it. For me, that’s the main thing he’s contributed to the Winogrand canon. We’ve had plenty of critical analysis, thank you. But until Dyer, not nearly enough wandering tangents.

If Dyer is an entertaining essayist he’s less successful as a photo curator. The selection is, frankly, a mixed bag. There are several great photos but also some clunkers. Part of the problem is that he’s made a conscious attempt to pull from equally from across Winogrand’s career. Some of the earlier work — made circa 1960 when Winogrand was not yet very good — seems half-baked. Too many are shot with a long lens and short depth of field, techniques Winogrand would later abandon for good reason. The late career photos hold up poorly too in comparison to the sweet spot, roughly 1964 – 1977.

Dyer has explained that some images were chosen more for the essay they might generate than for their inherent visual quality. I suppose that’s a partial explanation, but not completely satisfying. After all, this is a new book of Winogrand! Dyer has access to a million unseen frames. Show us the goods! The selection of color work, in particular, is disappointing. We haven’t seen much of it to date, and perhaps the promise of new color led to unreasonable expectations. But judging by the photos presented here, I can’t help wonder if Winogrand’s small color oeuvre has been mostly picked clean already. It’s hard to know without visiting the archives in person.

One notable exception is a rarely seen color photo of monkeys, pizza, and an open convertible top from 1964. The composition, layering, and general weirdness is spectacular. It’s a top-notch photo, even if somewhat untypical of Winogrand’s style — closer to Huger Foote or Wolfgang Zurborn than a street prowling candid. It’s one of his few with no psychiatric impact. Unfortunately, the publisher has mangled the color palette, or perhaps they’ve just tried to preserve the color cast of crappy old slide film. Hard to tell. In any case, it’s way off. It’s even more unfortunate that Dyer uses this photograph as the basis for an essay about color.

I think Dyer’s main curatorial problem is he’s looking at the photos as a writer, not as a photographer. As I leaf through The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand I can’t help inserting myself into each scene, and the questions come in a flood. Why did he stand here not there? How close could he get? What brought him to that place? Who was he with? What else was happening nearby? Why did he walk down that street? How long did he stay at that scene? Did he notice that stuff off to the left? Why did he shoot it from that angle? Those are the natural questions a photographer might ask. And what makes Winogrand’s photos so wonderful is they are tough to solve. Some photos work just because they work. Period. And most photos don’t, for the same reason. Why? Who knows. But overanalysis — philosophy, if you will — often doesn’t help the process.

The alternate approach, shared by Dyer and most outside curators, is to view Winogrand’s photos as finished products. The emphasis is more on the meaning of the photo than how it came about. What does it express? How does it fit into his career, or into the culture? In this consideration philosophy can be quite helpful. Mandatory, even. But it’s not necessarily the perspective of Winogrand. “I really try to divorce myself from any thought of possible use of this stuff,” he once said of his photos. “That’s the discipline. My only purpose while I”m working is to try to make interesting photographs, and what to do with them is another act…Certainly while I’m working I want them to be as useless as possible.”

Useless indeed, unless publishing posthumous monographs. I’m sure Dyer’s book won’t be the last on Winogrand. Another one will come along in, say, five years or so. But for now, it’s the current gold standard. It’s a big, handsome clothbound production, built to last. If you’re a fan of Winogrand it belongs in your library. In fact, you probably own it already.

If you’re not a fan, I doubt this book will convert you to the cause. Winogrand remains as unapproachable as ever. He was a tough nut, and it takes a while to get beneath the shell, and even then the prize is ambiguous, just a bunch of light on paper.

About the author: Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, Oregon who runs the photography blog B. This article originally appeared

https://blakeandrews.blogspot.com/20...-from-any.html
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Old 05-03-2018   #1768
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Thank you for this book review.

I very much admire Winogrand.

GW was a sloppy mess. The only thing he really cared about was using his Leica being around strangers. His personal life was troubled. He was often in pain following his accident on the sidelines of a University of Texas football game.

You wrote, "But still, would it have killed him to get something in writing?". I think GW just didn't care about writing. Essentially, he was lazy about everything but making photographs. It's fait to criticize GW as being one-dimensional, but perhaps that's how he he succeded.

Practically our only first-hand insight into of GW's ideas and philosophy about photography come from video and audio media. You have probably seen or heard these. There's about half a dozen on YouTube.

A video clip from Bill Moyers Journal episode on GW depicts him quickly photographing a small group of people dining outdoors at a restaurant. Of of the subjects asks him what he's doing and GW chuckles and replies, "I'm surviving". Maybe that's a succinct description of what photography meant to GW.

"Garry Winogrand at Rice University" is about 100 minutes of a Q&A session with students. I think there's some relevant insight into GW's ideas and philosophy there.

The other sources are second-hand accounts from his students and close friends.These are useful as well.

GW's later years were certainly not his best as a photographer. During his fatal illness GW was clearly askew. I'm sure all of us would not know how we might respond intros circumstance. Some people think lingering issues from the football game injuries contributed to GW's problems before his terminal cancer diagnosis.
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Old 05-03-2018   #1769
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A long read but interesting, worthwhile to read. Thanks.

With such an archive, an huge archive I think we can extract a few pictures and develop ideas about them but never be sure if these ideas could be what pushed the photographer to take the photo. Specially in a case like this where the author didn't write much about.

But anyway an interesting process which can help to think, to evaluate ideas...at the end probably a book I'll look for...

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Old 05-03-2018   #1770
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Thanks very much for the Winogrand link. Blake Andrews is a good writer and photographer.

Of the things Winogrand wrote the one that seems key to understand him is the passage from the Guggenheim application. He writes with evident resignation, desperation and not a little nihilism. Yet, at the very end, there is purpose and determination, even as it must have been curiously inexplicable to Winogrand himself. There was absolutely no reason why he should photograph - we are lost anyway - still he had this unending urge (some speak of compulsion) to hit the street. And hit the street he did. I don't think there's any other photographer who attained this kind of kaleidoscopic seeing as fully and as resolutely as Winogrand did. Where there was no meaning, photography itself provided it for him.

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Old 05-04-2018   #1771
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PKR

Thank you for this book review.

I very much admire Winogrand.

GW was a sloppy mess. The only thing he really cared about was using his Leica being around strangers. His personal life was troubled. He was often in pain following his accident on the sidelines of a University of Texas football game.

You wrote, "But still, would it have killed him to get something in writing?". I think GW just didn't care about writing. Essentially, he was lazy about everything but making photographs. It's fait to criticize GW as being one-dimensional, but perhaps that's how he he succeded.

Practically our only first-hand insight into of GW's ideas and philosophy about photography come from video and audio media. You have probably seen or heard these. There's about half a dozen on YouTube.

A video clip from Bill Moyers Journal episode on GW depicts him quickly photographing a small group of people dining outdoors at a restaurant. Of of the subjects asks him what he's doing and GW chuckles and replies, "I'm surviving". Maybe that's a succinct description of what photography meant to GW.

"Garry Winogrand at Rice University" is about 100 minutes of a Q&A session with students. I think there's some relevant insight into GW's ideas and philosophy there.

The other sources are second-hand accounts from his students and close friends.These are useful as well.

GW's later years were certainly not his best as a photographer. During his fatal illness GW was clearly askew. I'm sure all of us would not know how we might respond intros circumstance. Some people think lingering issues from the football game injuries contributed to GW's problems before his terminal cancer diagnosis.
Hi Willie;

The most insightful stuff I've read about Winogrand were things that Lee Friedlander has said about him. I'm sure you know they were close friends. I think, late in his life, Friedlander has taken it upon himself to leave the photo world with some of Winogrand's nonvisual gems. You might watch for them in the rare public appearances that Friedlander makes.

Best, pkr
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Old 05-04-2018   #1772
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Lee Friedlander

Live stream document courtesy of PDN

https://livestream.com/nypl/events/7222359
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Old 05-04-2018   #1773
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Thanks for the PDN link.
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Old 05-04-2018   #1774
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Famous Photographer in the news..

"Le Weinstein de Suède" : Jean-Claude Arnault, ce Français à l'origine du report du prix Nobel de littérature"

(what a great headline, it's why I love the French)

https://www.lci.fr/international/agr...e-2086124.html


Swedish crown princess Victoria 'groped' by French photographer at Nobel academy

Richard Orange, Malmö

The Telegraph | 2018-04-29T20:14+0100

Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria was allegedly sexually harassed by Jean-Claude Arnault, the French photographer at the centre of the crisis roiling the Swedish Academy.

According to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, three sources said they witnessed Mr Arnault groping the then 27-year-old Crown Princess's bottom at an event put on by the body, which awards the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Swedish writer Ebba Witt-Brattström, one of those present, told The Telegraph that Mr Arnault had approached Victoria unexpectedly.
“He came lurking from behind and I saw his hand land on her neck and go downward. It was all the way down,” Ms Witt-Brattström said.

Victoria's female Adjutant, a uniformed aide, had then leapt to her rescue, she said.

“She just flew herself on Arnault. She grabbed him, and ‘whop’, he was gone. The Crown princess turned in surprise. I guess she had never been groped. She just looked like ‘what?’”

Mr Arnault is married to the poet Katarina Frostenson, one of the Academy’s members.

More
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...grapher-nobel/



Nobel literature prize canceled this year, following academy’s own #MeToo scandal

by Rick Noack

Washington Post

Embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal, the Swedish Academy announced Friday that it will not award a Nobel Prize in literature in 2018.

It has declined to award the prize seven times before, in years of war and when the academy determined that none of the nominees deserved it. The last time a Nobel literature prize was postponed was over six decades ago.

“The Swedish Academy intends to decide on and announce the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018 in parallel with the naming of the 2019 laureate,” according to a statement posted on the Nobel Prize website. “The crisis in the Swedish Academy has adversely affected the Nobel Prize. Their decision underscores the seriousness of the situation and will help safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize.”

It added that the awarding of the other prizes would not be disrupted.

The announcement came days after Swedish media reported that French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, the husband of an academy member and a recipient of academy funds, groped Swedish Crown Princess Victoria at an academy event in 2006. Arnault had already been accused of sexual harassment or assault, in some cases on academy property, by 18 women in November. He also allegedly leaked the names of at least seven Nobel winners but has denied all accusations against him.

In connection with the scandal, the head of the academy, Sara Danius, has stepped down, and several other academy members, including Arnault’s wife, poet Katarina Frostenson, have given up their active membership. Eleven members of the 18-person committee remain active.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.5bbc933ce3be
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For Memories Sake
Old 05-09-2018   #1775
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For Memories Sake

Here is a link to an article published in the on-line magazine "The Bitter Southerner". The article starts with a short documentary film.

"Over four decades, [Angela Singer] has shot at least a dozen photographs daily — amassing an archive of her life in Cheatham County [south west of Nashville] that now extends well beyond 150,000 photographs."

Mrs. Singer uses 35mm color film and keeps the prints from forty years of work in photo albums. Apparently she does not keep the negatives. Her compulsion reminds me of Winnogrand and Vivian Maier.

The documentary, by Mrs. Singer's granddaughter, is worth watching for several reasons. But I think the one of most interest here involves why we make photographs.

The film starts with video about the Singer family, but soon transitions to her photography.
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Old 05-17-2018   #1776
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I would like to contribute to this thread with a contemporanean italian photographer, Marta Giaccone.

I find particularly interesting her project "Return to Arturo's island" inspired by the Elsa Morante roman where she discover the small Procida Island through its teenager.

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Old 05-20-2018   #1777
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The Last Days of TIME Inc
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https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...l-history.html
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Old 05-27-2018   #1778
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Love this concept and project.

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/201...pantone-shades
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Old 05-27-2018   #1779
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It's great to see others posting to this thread !
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Old 06-02-2018   #1780
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Edward Burtynsky Instagram feed.

The photo record (snapshots and other) give some insight into how Burtynsky works.

https://www.instagram.com/edwardburtynsky/
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Old 06-07-2018   #1781
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David Douglas Duncan, 102, Who Photographed the Reality of War, Dies

nytimes.com | 2018-06-07T23:15:29.000Z


Under the helmets, the faces are young and tormented, stubbled and dirty, taut with the strain of battle. They sob over dead friends. They stare exhausted into the fog and rain. They crouch in a muddy foxhole. This goddamn cigarette could be the last.

There are no heroes in David Douglas Duncan’s images of war.

Dark and brooding, mostly black and white, they are the stills of a legendary combat photographer, an artist with a camera, who brought home to America the poignant lives of infantrymen and fleeing civilians caught up in World War II, the Korean conflict and the war in Vietnam.

“I felt no sense of mission as a combat photographer,” Mr. Duncan, who was wounded several times, told The New York Times in 2003. “I just felt maybe the guys out there deserved being photographed just the way they are, whether they are running scared, or showing courage, or diving into a hole, or talking and laughing. And I think I did bring a sense of dignity to the battlefield.”



Mr. Duncan, who had lived since 1962 in Castelleras, France, died on Thursday in the South of France, his friend Joel Stratte-McClure said. He was 102.

He was among the most influential photographers of the 20th century, a Life magazine peer of Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White and Carl Mydans. In addition to his war work, Mr. Duncan spent years with Pablo Picasso, creating a pictorial record of the artist’s life, and roamed the world making photographic essays on the Kremlin, the city of Paris and the panorama of peoples in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

A globe-trotting adventurer sometimes likened to Hemingway, he climbed mountains, crossed jungles and was a deep-sea diver, a marine zoologist, a fisherman, an aerial and undersea photographer, an archaeologist in Mexico and Central America and a connoisseur of Japanese art and culture.

His work filled more than 25 books, including eight on Picasso. “This Is War!” (1951), about Korea, was his best-known combat work and brought worldwide acclaim. The renowned photographer Edward Steichen called it “the greatest book of war photographs ever published.”

Mr. Duncan was a Marine officer and combat photographer in World War II, covering the American invasions of the Solomon Islands and Okinawa. He was aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay in 1945 photographing the formal Japanese surrender under the stern gaze of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

He joined Life after the war, and his assignments took him to conflicts in Palestine, Greece and Turkey and to India, Egypt, Morocco and Afghanistan. He was in Japan in 1950 when North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel, igniting a United Nations police action that would leave 36,500 Americans dead.

Mr. Duncan was soon on the front lines, exposed to the same dangers as the allied troops and civilian refugees. He also flew on bombing missions, taking pictures from jets swooping over targets. He wrote the text for “This Is War!,” as he did for his other books, but critics said it was his pictures that captured the essence of war.

“My objective always is to stay as close as possible and shoot the pictures as if through the eyes of the infantryman, the Marine or the pilot,” he told an interviewer in 1951. “I wanted to give the reader something of the visual perspective and feeling of the guy under fire, his apprehensions and sufferings, his tensions and releases, his behavior in the presence of threatening death.”

In Vietnam, where he worked for Life and ABC News, Mr. Duncan again focused on the vulnerability of soldiers and civilians, often against backgrounds of lush jungles and burning villages. His most powerful images were made in the 1968 siege of Khe Sanh. But in contrast to the objectivity he showed in earlier wars, he was critical of the United States’ role in Vietnam, which he denounced in his book “I Protest!” (1968).

Mr. Duncan’s friendship with Picasso began in 1956, when, at the suggestion of a colleague, the war photographer Robert Capa, he went uninvited to Picasso’s home, the Villa La Californie, in the South of France. Admitted by Picasso’s wife at the time, Jacqueline Roque, he found his subject taking a bath. Mr. Duncan stayed for months, and they were simpatico for 17 years, until Picasso’s death in 1973.

Exploring the artist’s daily life and extraordinary creativity, Mr. Duncan’s pictures were collected in “The Private World of Pablo Picasso” (1958), “Picasso’s Picasso” (1961), “Goodbye Picasso” (1974), “The Silent Studio” (1976), “Viva Picasso” (1980) and other volumes.

“You cannot imagine how simple it was,” Mr. Duncan told Le Monde in 2012. “I was there, like someone belonging to the family, and I took pictures.”

David Douglas Duncan was born to Kenneth and Florence (Watson) Duncan on Jan. 23, 1916, in Kansas City, Mo., where he and three brothers and a sister grew up. He was fascinated with photography from an early age.

He studied archaeology at the University of Arizona in 1934, but dropped out to join expeditions to Mexico and Central America. He then majored in zoology and Spanish at the University of Miami, graduating in 1938.

Resolved to freelance, he began deep-sea fishing, diving and photographing aquatic life. On a schooner from Key West, Fla., to the Cayman Islands, he took pictures of giant sea turtles. In Mexico, he photographed Indians, Gila monsters and jaguars, and shot Mayan ruins in the Yucatan. Off Peru and Chile, he caught and photographed swordfish and marlin. His pictures ran in National Geographic magazine and many newspapers.

After World War II, he went to Palestine for Life and covered fighting between Arabs and Jews in 1946, before the creation of the State of Israel.

His marriage to Leila Khanki, in 1947, ended in divorce. He married Sheila Macauley in 1962. She is his only immediate survivor.

Mr. Duncan covered the Republican and Democratic National Conventions for NBC News in 1968. He was just back from Vietnam, and what might have been a hiatus from combat turned violent in Chicago, where National Guardsmen with rifles and police officers with nightsticks and tear gas clashed with antiwar demonstrators outside the convention hall where Democrats were meeting. His photographs showed helmeted troops on Michigan Avenue, protesters with gashed and bleeding heads, and a sobbing girl who pleaded with him, “Please, tell it like it was.” The grim scenes were published in his 1969 book, “Self-Portrait: U.S.A.”

Mr. Duncan’s archives — including thousands of combat photographs, works on Picasso and others for “The Kremlin” (1960), “Sunflowers for Van Gogh” (1986) and other books — were acquired in 1996 by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin.

He went to war with only essential equipment: helmet, poncho, spoon, toothbrush, compass, soap and backpack containing two canteens, an exposure meter, film and two cameras. He used a Rolleiflex in World War II, but preferred a 35-millimeter. He took two Leica IIIc cameras into Korea, and said they stood up well in the rain and mud. He often used 50-millimeter f/2 and 135-millimeter f/3.5 Nikkor lenses.

A 1972 exhibit of his war photos at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York was hailed in The New York Times. “Again and again,” the photography columnist Gene Thornton said of Mr. Duncan, “he approaches and crosses the line that divides the journalist’s interest in the here and now from the artist’s concern with the timeless and universal.”



© 2018 The New York Times Company
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/o...T.nav=top-news

http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/web/ddd/gallery/

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Old 4 Days Ago   #1782
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Quantum Dot lighting.

Quantum dot white LEDs achieve record efficiency

July 12, 2018, Optical Society of America


https://phys.org/news/2018-07-quantu...iency.html#jCp

"Efficient LEDs have strong potential for saving energy and protecting the environment," said research leader Sedat Nizamoglu, Koç University, Turkey. "Replacing conventional lighting sources with LEDs with an efficiency of 200 lumens per watt would decrease the global electricity consumed for lighting by more than half. That reduction is equal to the electricity created by 230 typical 500-megawatt coal plants and would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 200 million tons."

The researchers describe how they created the high-efficiency white LEDs in Optica, The Optical Society's journal for high impact research. The new LEDs use commercially available blue LEDs combined with flexible lenses filled with a solution of nano-sized semiconductor particles called quantum dots. Light from the blue LED causes the quantum dots to emit green and red, which combines with the blue emission to create white light.

"Our new LEDs reached a higher efficiency level than other quantum dot-based white LEDs," said Nizamoglu. "The synthesis and fabrication methods for making the quantum dots and the new LEDs are easy, inexpensive and applicable for mass production."

Advantages of quantum dots

To create white light with today's LEDs, blue and yellow light are combined by adding a yellowish phosphor-based coating to blue LEDs. Because phosphors have a broad emission range, from blue to red, it is difficult to sensitively tune the properties of the generated white light.

Unlike phosphors, quantum dots generate pure colors because they emit only in a narrow portion of the spectrum. This narrow emission makes it possible to create high-quality white light with precise color temperatures and optical properties by combining quantum dots that generate different colors with a blue LED. Quantum dots also bring the advantage of being easy to make and the color of their emission can be easily changed by increasing the size of the semiconductor particle. Moreover, quantum dots can be advantageously used to generate warm white light sources like incandescent light bulbs or cool white sources like typical fluorescent lamps by changing the concentration of incorporated quantum dots.

More at the link above.
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Re: Quantum Dot lighting
Old 4 Days Ago   #1783
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Re: Quantum Dot lighting

Very interesting.

More efficient LEDs will be good for everyone.

By the way InVisage is developing an imaging sensor based on quantum dots. I have no idea if this technology will ever become important for still-photography.
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Lawson Little Portraits From Key West FL
Old 4 Days Ago   #1784
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Lawson Little Portraits From Key West FL

Here's a short piece with portraits of artists and writers who resided in Key West during the 1970s.

I like the photographer's style.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #1785
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Burk Uzzle
new work

https://www.burkuzzle.com/
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Old 1 Day Ago   #1786
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Here's a short piece with portraits of artists and writers who resided in Key West during the 1970s.

I like the photographer's style.
Great stuff Willie.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #1787
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
Here's a short piece with portraits of artists and writers who resided in Key West during the 1970s.

I like the photographer's style.
Thanks Willie, interesting material and links, much to look at. Special portraits.
robert
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Old 1 Day Ago   #1788
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Yes enjoyed that Willie ….
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Old 1 Day Ago   #1789
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Happy you all liked it.

Camera Work is my favorite thread on RFF.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #1790
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Great thread. Thanks for all the info and links.

I had no knowledge of Lawson Little and those wonderful portraits taken in 70s Key West. Man that place has sure changed.
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