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Old 02-28-2018   #1721
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Outstanding!
Yeah, he has a very good eye and has been at the same subject matter for quite some time. Those villagers are his friends and look forward to his visits.

That's a great lesson in how to gain visual access and not have your subjects looking self conscious.

https://is.ambafrance.org/Interview-...on-photographe

http://www.emptykingdom.com/featured/ragnar-axelsson/




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Old 02-28-2018   #1722
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Yeah, he has a very good eye and has been at the same subject matter for quite some time. Those villagers are his friends and look forward to his visits.

That's a great lesson in how to gain visual access and not have your subjects looking self conscious.

https://is.ambafrance.org/Interview-...on-photographe

http://www.emptykingdom.com/featured/ragnar-axelsson/




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When you photograph people, visual access is everything. It trumps all the gear you can stuff in your bag or your forum I’ll take ‘trust’ over a summicron any day of the week.
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Old 02-28-2018   #1723
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When you photograph people, visual access is everything. It trumps all the gear you can stuff in your bag or your forum I’ll take ‘trust’ over a summicron any day of the week.
I went looking for a really good interview RAX did in the Guardian, I think it was. It seems it's no longer on the web. I've seen a lot of stuff vanish lately. I copied the text of the Koudelka interview (above) for fear it would vanish too. So, now.. if they're good, they get text coverage, with all credits and links attached. Any others posting text material of value, please do the same.

emraphoto, yeah, anyone who's seen the great photos that can come from embedded work know that the time invested is returned ten fold in friendships and images. It's hard to get some to invest the time today, with the reported attention span of younger folks measured in under ten minutes. The TV Web culture has fostered this kind of thinking. Hardware won't fix this. It's not the nature of the process.

RAX cites Gene Smith as one he looked to as an example of how to do it. Smith was the example for many on image pay offs for time invested.

I know that we both know about this, but we are hard pressed to convince others of the value. Bob Michaels had this figured out long ago. Hopefully some others will catch on.

Here's another great example: Susan Bank, a good eye, one M body and a 28 ..that's it. And, a huge investment in time.
http://www.susansbank.com/

http://lenscratch.com/2016/11/susan-...-the-darkness/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQIAS-b7IsQ

Edit: the YouTube with Bank is long. I found her very honest and pretty funny. Her comments on various workshops were very interesting and in one case really funny.

best to you emraphoto, pkr
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Sally Mann Exhibit
Old 03-01-2018   #1724
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Sally Mann Exhibit

Sally Mann has a new exhibit in the National Gallery of Art starting March 4. Here's a review and commentary.

Here's the National Gallery of Art link.
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Old 03-01-2018   #1725
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Sam Abell

When it comes to color, photographers like Sam Abell, Bill Allard and David Harvey are to my taste..

Bill Allard
http://www.williamalbertallard.com/
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Love WAA, especially his “Time at the Lake” book, all images from MN lake life. When I got a copy of the book, I was floored to see my uncle in one of the photos.


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Old 03-01-2018   #1726
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Love WAA, especially his “Time at the Lake” book, all images from MN lake life. When I got a copy of the book, I was floored to see my uncle in one of the photos.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Bill is a really good photographer and a great guy. It was Bill who helped get David Harvey recognized for his work, and I think his job at NatGeo.
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Old 03-01-2018   #1727
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William A Allard has always been at the top of my list. Even though i never photograph in color...I always see the perfect composition of his photos above all else.
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Old 03-01-2018   #1728
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Sally Mann has a new exhibit in the National Gallery of Art starting March 4. Here's a review and commentary.

Here's the National Gallery of Art link.
Love much Sally Mann's work, thanks for the link!
robert
PS: unfortunately too far away !
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Old 03-01-2018   #1729
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I keep coming back to this thread - enough viewing and reading here for many years. Thanks to the OP and contributors.
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Old 03-01-2018   #1730
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I went looking for a really good interview RAX did in the Guardian, I think it was. It seems it's no longer on the web. I've seen a lot of stuff vanish lately. I copied the text of the Koudelka interview (above) for fear it would vanish too. So, now.. if they're good, they get text coverage, with all credits and links attached. Any others posting text material of value, please do the same.

emraphoto, yeah, anyone who's seen the great photos that can come from embedded work know that the time invested is returned ten fold in friendships and images. It's hard to get some to invest the time today, with the reported attention span of younger folks measured in under ten minutes. The TV Web culture has fostered this kind of thinking. Hardware won't fix this. It's not the nature of the process.

RAX cites Gene Smith as one he looked to as an example of how to do it. Smith was the example for many on image pay offs for time invested.

I know that we both know about this, but we are hard pressed to convince others of the value. Bob Michaels had this figured out long ago. Hopefully some others will catch on.

Here's another great example: Susan Bank, a good eye, one M body and a 28 ..that's it. And, a huge investment in time.
http://www.susansbank.com/

http://lenscratch.com/2016/11/susan-...-the-darkness/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQIAS-b7IsQ

Edit: the YouTube with Bank is long. I found her very honest and pretty funny. Her comments on various workshops were very interesting and in one case really funny.

best to you emraphoto, pkr
Bank is who I look to when considering what can be done with a 28. She amazes me with how close she is to her subject matter yet in her work she seems to vanish. We are left with people and their own chaotic spheres. A gifted visionary
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Old 03-01-2018   #1731
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Bank is who I look to when considering what can be done with a 28. She amazes me with how close she is to her subject matter yet in her work she seems to vanish. We are left with people and their own chaotic spheres. A gifted visionary
I work with a 28 a lot when doing b&w work. I often prefocus and put a piece of tape on the focus ring to lens barrel meeting point, to keep my setting from moving (non auto focus). The camera becomes a point and shoot kind of rig. It was interesting to hear Susan Bank talk about problems with her vision and the use of a 28 in the same manor.

Also, Axelsson talks about using lenses from 50 through 21 on his M camera. Both of these people handle the information delivered from wide lenses really well. It takes more processing power (for me anyway) to frame well, quickly, with a wide lens, than something long. For the past 7-10 years, my favorite portrait lens has been a 50-60mm. I often use my old 60 Micro AFD on both film and digital cameras. The few remaining long lenses I still own, just collect dust.

I don't know if it's visual growth or just that my taste has changed over the years; I use a 35 and wider for most everything but portraits and, am attracted to imagery done with similar choices.

It's funny, writing this got me thinking of Larry Towell.
https://pro.magnumphotos.com/CS.aspx...MN2I&POPUPPN=8

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/y...ournalists-519

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Old 03-01-2018   #1732
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I know that bearded fellow. Lives down the toad a bit from me and his advice has been very helpful. I reckon a lot of folks don't know that about him... many bodies of work have gone through edits on the Towell table.
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Old 03-01-2018   #1733
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I know that bearded fellow. Lives down the toad a bit from me and his advice has been very helpful. I reckon a lot of folks don't know that about him... many bodies of work have gone through edits on the Towell table.
He seems a good guy from his interviews. Yeah, guys like that can be of great value. Paul Fusco helped me tremendously when I was young. I haven't seen him since he moved back to NYC some years back. I hope I've been helpful to the few who have asked for help.

When you see your friend, please tell him he likely has a lot of knowledgeable photo people, maybe unknown to him, who have great respect for who he is and what he does with a camera.

pkr
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Old 03-01-2018   #1734
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He seems a good guy from his interviews. Yeah, guys like that can be of great value. Paul Fusco helped me tremendously when I was young. I haven't seen him since he moved back to NYC some years back. I hope I've been helpful to the few who have asked for help.

When you see your friend, please tell him he likely has a lot of knowledgeable photo people, maybe unknown to him, who have great respect for who he is and what he does with a camera.

pkr
i gave a signed copy of the mennonites to my oldest son for the last christmas. inspiring another generation
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Old 03-01-2018   #1735
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i gave a signed copy of the mennonites to my oldest son for the last christmas. inspiring another generation
That's really cool.

People who are interested in making photographic images (I won't use the word photographer..it's too broad) can benefit greatly from someone who's "been there" many times and on levels that are unimaginable to someone with little experience.

Paul, looked at my portfolio and asked what my day rate was. I told him and with out a pause he said, double it. On his advice alone, I did. None of my clients complained and I got more work as a result. He showed me his lighting gear. Small and light for the time. I bought the same stuff. In working locally, two photographer friends had the same lighting (I didn't have a lot of photographer friends and few had lights). We three all were after the same jobs from the same publishers, design firms and in my case AD Agencies. We were mature enough in our working style that our work differed greatly from one and other. We three knew we were being hired for the way we saw. So, with all of us just getting started, we loaned each other lighting gear if it was needed. It benefited us all. I think Paul gave me the confidence in my ability and imagery to not be afraid of competition. Years later, I found myself competing with Elliott Erwitt, Jay Maisel and Paul for annual report work. Much of this was because Paul unselfishly told me things I didn't know and couldn't have imagined about the photo business.

pkr
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Old 03-02-2018   #1736
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Sally Mann has a new exhibit in the National Gallery of Art starting March 4. Here's a review and commentary.

Here's the National Gallery of Art link.
Sweet! I will make sure to go. Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2018   #1737
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Originally Posted by PKR View Post

Here's another great example: Susan Bank, a good eye, one M body and a 28 ..that's it. And, a huge investment in time.
http://www.susansbank.com/

http://lenscratch.com/2016/11/susan-...-the-darkness/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQIAS-b7IsQ

Edit: the YouTube with Bank is long. I found her very honest and pretty funny. Her comments on various workshops were very interesting and in one case really funny.

best to you emraphoto, pkr
Really enjoyed the video. Never heard of her before. I really like her work. Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 03-03-2018   #1738
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I just finished to watch the Susan Bank video, great photos and great interview.
Once again a demonstration it's not so much the gear or the amount of lenses one has (mamma mia, what she did with a 28 !) but the idea, the project, the determination to work hard on it.
Thanks for the link
robert
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Old 03-03-2018   #1739
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I just finished to watch the Susan Bank video, great photos and great interview.
Once again a demonstration it's not so much the gear or the amount of lenses one has (mamma mia, what she did with a 28 !) but the idea, the project, the determination to work hard on it.
Thanks for the link
robert
That sane Youtube channel has a bunch of other similar videos from other photographers. I've been binge watching them for the past day.
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Old 03-03-2018   #1740
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That sane Youtube channel has a bunch of other similar videos from other photographers. I've been binge watching them for the past day.
Post some links and reviews......?
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Old 03-03-2018   #1741
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That's really cool.

People who are interested in making photographic images (I won't use the word photographer..it's too broad) can benefit greatly from someone who's "been there" many times and on levels that are unimaginable to someone with little experience.

Paul, looked at my portfolio and asked what my day rate was. I told him and with out a pause he said, double it. On his advice alone, I did. None of my clients complained and I got more work as a result. He showed me his lighting gear. Small and light for the time. I bought the same stuff. In working locally, two photographer friends had the same lighting (I didn't have a lot of photographer friends and few had lights). We three all were after the same jobs from the same publishers, design firms and in my case AD Agencies. We were mature enough in our working style that our work differed greatly from one and other. We three knew we were being hired for the way we saw. So, with all of us just getting started, we loaned each other lighting gear if it was needed. It benefited us all. I think Paul gave me the confidence in my ability and imagery to not be afraid of competition. Years later, I found myself competing with Elliott Erwitt, Jay Maisel and Paul for annual report work. Much of this was because Paul unselfishly told me things I didn't know and couldn't have imagined about the photo business.

pkr

I want to respond to this as I believe there is important information for new comers buried in there.

Engage with other photographers if you are interested in photojournalism/documentary work. Go to gallery shows, say hi or start a conversation online. If you can afford it, attend a workshop or portfolio review. Buy a book. Often, when photographers see that you are out producing work and engaging in the community they will become wellspings of help and/or advice. Sometimes, if the planet's are aligned in your favor, they may even recommend you for a job. I've slept on couches, been suggested to editor's, borrowed body armour, helped edit bodies of work and had the favor returned, participated in shows and everything in between as the end result of engaging with other photographers. In particular, peers and mentors. Don't know what goes in a grant application? Go see a photographers show and ask if they have experience with it. That's the sort of stuff most of the photographers I know wil be talking about. How to keep rolling forward.

So in the spirit of what I just wrote, I wanted to share a link to a young photographer I know. He has a great eye, attitude and work ethic. He is also VERY engaged.

http://www.westlandgallery.ca/blog/d...ll-my-backyard

@baipin on instagram
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Old 03-03-2018   #1742
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I want to respond to this as I believe there is important information for new comers buried in there.

Engage with other photographers if you are interested in photojournalism/documentary work. Go to gallery shows, say hi or start a conversation online. If you can afford it, attend a workshop or portfolio review. Buy a book. Often, when photographers see that you are out producing work and engaging in the community they will become wellspings of help and/or advice. Sometimes, if the planet's are aligned in your favor, they may even recommend you for a job. I've slept on couches, been suggested to editor's, borrowed body armour, helped edit bodies of work and had the favor returned, participated in shows and everything in between as the end result of engaging with other photographers. In particular, peers and mentors. Don't know what goes in a grant application? Go see a photographers show and ask if they have experience with it. That's the sort of stuff most of the photographers I know wil be talking about. How to keep rolling forward.

So in the spirit of what I just wrote, I wanted to share a link to a young photographer I know. He has a great eye, attitude and work ethic. He is also VERY engaged.

http://www.westlandgallery.ca/blog/d...ll-my-backyard

@baipin on instagram
If you knew me well, you would know that I'm fairly shy. The last thing I would have done back then was knock on Paul Fusco's door. When showing my portfolio to a designer at what is now Pentagram, she asked if I knew Paul. I said no. She said, you should talk to him. Paul worked for that design firm a lot and with this women in particular. She called Paul and told him that I might be calling. When I finally did, he was gracious and invited me over to his home one afternoon. That's how I met him. My photographer peers at the time (one is a long time friend still) were people I met at the local "small" camera store we helped keep alive. It was near the local big name Art school and attracted an interesting bunch of working photographers and photo students.
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Old 03-03-2018   #1743
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Roger Deakins

I learned the use of "Practicals" through studying Roger's work. He's a master of their use. His friends have put up an instagram page.

https://www.instagram.com/rogerdeakins/?hl=en

If you're not into using them, you might see what you can find in your local hardware store. Changing a few interior lights (bulb swapping) can aid greatly when working indoors, with or without speed lights.

I've been looking at this one. It looks pretty interesting and won't give off much heat (my experience). I favor Cree made lamps to others for their build quality.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Westingh...6600/300958121

Place that 400W corn-cob in a China Ball (Chinese paper lantern) and suspend it.. and you have a soft bright light that will fill a small to normal size room. Big room, add more of them. With LED lighting, the heat won't likely catch the ball on fire as incandescent lamps like photo bulbs could. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora...-lighting-hack

http://www.filmtools.com/30whitpapchi.html

Film tools along with JCX Expendables are my first choices when looking for hardware. Great people in both places. http://www.jcxex.com/

"Some customers use up to 1000 watt bulbs in the 24" and 30" China Balls. If you do use higher than recommended globes be sure to never leave them unattended due to the threat of spontaneous fire. Filmtools is not responsible for any damage or injury caused by the use of higher than recommended lamp wattage."

This is inexpensive hardware that is easily packable (the whole thing will fit in a grocery bag) and is very effective, quality light. A great fill light!


Cree 100W 5000K LED. Great for color balancing an interior with window light, for color work.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Cree-100...1-11/207169063

Edit:
I found this innovative fill light that Kirk Tuck built for working in a fluorescent environment.
https://visualsciencelab.blogspot.co...012-about.html

Kirk can be creative with tools.. I recall he has a BSEE and became a photographer.



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Old 03-04-2018   #1744
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Mitch Dobrowner

New website:
http://mitchdobrowner.com/



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Old 03-05-2018   #1745
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...
If you're not into using them, you might see what you can find in your local hardware store. Changing a few interior lights (bulb swapping) can aid greatly when working indoors, with or without speed lights.
So true. Some people even use dimmers and, or cut fixture specific gels as well

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... a China Ball (Chinese paper lantern) and suspend it.. and you have a soft bright light that will fill a small to normal size room. Big room, add more of them...

China balls produce lovely light, with very natural soft shadows (if any). Plastic balls work well with strobes for smaller spaces. Hiigh-end videographers use China balls extensively. The 19" ikan Lightstar China Ball Soft Light will handle a 1000 watt bulb, but it costs $600. Numerous DIY solutions can be found. As you point out, any DIY approach must prioritize fire prevention.

Anyway. diffuse light is good light.

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Cree 100W 5000K LED. Great for color balancing an interior with window light, for color work...
I shot interiors with digital so I had the luxury of using selective color-temperature rendering during post-production. For higher budget gigs I made several test shots with a gray card placed in different regions before taking the final photographs.
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Old 03-05-2018   #1746
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I learned the use of "Practicals" through studying Roger's work.
All talk, no pictures.
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Old 03-05-2018   #1747
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Peter;
Did you look at Roger's instagram page? Want more pictures, post some sites please!



Willie;
Thanks so much for the comments. There is little discussion of lighting on RFF. Feel free to do it here any time. Add examples if you can.

This thread is primarily about photography .. or that's what it's evolved into being about. And, we trade comments now and then..

pkr
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Old 03-05-2018   #1748
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Sally Mann on her process:

https://aperture.org/blog/letters-sally-mann-process/


https://art21.org/read/sally-mann-collodion-process/


https://www.npr.org/2011/02/17/13359...tures-her-love


Note: I went looking for a really great article I once read on Mann's print process. It was interesting because it's pretty uncommon. It's apparently long gone. If you find a good piece on how Sally Mann works, from camera to print, please post it.

Thanks, pkr



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Old 03-05-2018   #1749
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Originally Posted by PKR View Post
If you knew me well, you would know that I'm fairly shy. The last thing I would have done back then was knock on Paul Fusco's door. When showing my portfolio to a designer at what is now Pentagram, she asked if I knew Paul. I said no. She said, you should talk to him. Paul worked for that design firm a lot and with this women in particular. She called Paul and told him that I might be calling. When I finally did, he was gracious and invited me over to his home one afternoon. That's how I met him. My photographer peers at the time (one is a long time friend still) were people I met at the local "small" camera store we helped keep alive. It was near the local big name Art school and attracted an interesting bunch of working photographers and photo students.
Fascinating stories from PKR, Emraphoto, others, on making it in the field. Pentagram is a fantastic creative office and must have some interesting projects. Would love to hear about the career trajectories of people pursuing commercial work, the insider's view of the industry, warts and all.

Also would be very interested in hearing more about emraphoto's experience in shooting Syria and other conflicts. But this thread is probably not the best venue for that. (Unless you're willing to share here, emraphoto!)
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Old 03-05-2018   #1750
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xixi_gelly View Post
Fascinating stories from PKR, Emraphoto, others, on making it in the field. Pentagram is a fantastic creative office and must have some interesting projects. Would love to hear about the career trajectories of people pursuing commercial work, the insider's view of the industry, warts and all.

Also would be very interested in hearing more about emraphoto's experience in shooting Syria and other conflicts. But this thread is probably not the best venue for that. (Unless you're willing to share here, emraphoto!)
Hi xixi;
emraphoto may choose to discuss his work here. It's certainly fine with me. He and i traded a lot of email during one of his trips. Pretty scary stuff.

As for me, I'm not interested in talking about myself much on this forum. Past experience has lead me to not post my photos or talk about myself. If you have a specific question, send me a PM and I'll try to answer it.
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Old 03-06-2018   #1751
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
Sally Mann on her process:

https://aperture.org/blog/letters-sally-mann-process/


https://art21.org/read/sally-mann-collodion-process/


https://www.npr.org/2011/02/17/13359...tures-her-love


Note: I went looking for a really great article I once read on Mann's print process. It was interesting because it's pretty uncommon. It's apparently long gone. If you find a good piece on how Sally Mann works, from camera to print, please post it.

Thanks, pkr



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There was a documentary on Channel 4 (UK) called What Remains where you saw her photography process
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Old 03-06-2018   #1752
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Jeff Bridges

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Site update ..
http://www.jeffbridges.com/photojan10a.html



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Old 03-07-2018   #1753
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Lee Friedlander

Lee Friedlander quit giving interviews a few years ago. This is one of his last. He did a video on book making that I'll add soon. Friedlander is a really funny guy, to my thinking. I laughed a lot reading the interview. J.P. Caponigro takes himself very seriously. Go have a look at his work. pkr

johnpaulcaponigro.com

Lee Friedlander, born in 1934 in Aberdeen, Washington, began photographing the American social landscape in 1948. His photographs bring to the surface the juxtapositions of everyday life that comprise our modern world. The awkward, offhanded “snapshot” quality of his work disguises its considerable sophistication. Beyond the vigorous outward eye he turns to the world around him, Friedlander is also recognized for an investigation of self he began in the 1960’s, reproduced in Lee Friedlander: Self Portrait. Many additional monographs on Friedlander’s work exist, among them, Like a One-Eyed Cat, Nudes, Lee Friedlander Photographs, Letter From the People, and The Desert Seen. Friedlander was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowships in 1960 and 1962 and an NEA individual fellowship in 1972. His work can be found in most of the major photographic collections internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitain Museum of Art, and the George Eastman House.

Learn more about the history of photography including individual artist's histories at www.luminous-lint.com.

This conversation was first seen in the Aug/Sep. 2002, issue of Camera Arts magazine.

JPC What was it about photography that interested you enough to devote a lifetime to it?

LF Everything.

JPC Confirmation? Immediacy? Directness?

LF Directness. The fact that anything that has light on it can be exposed and becomes information. Unlike any other medium, you get the tree or the forest all at once. That is pretty amazing.

JPC It is! I like it because it’s a ticket to go out into the world and look, to look a little more closely than I ordinarily would, every waking minute.

LF You can’t make a picture in New York or Los Angeles without being there. You have to be there.

JPC This can be a very interesting idea. I think the truth value that we ascribe to the photographic document rests with the witness rather than the medium. Now, with new technologies, we are able to make photographs that don’t involve human witness—footage shot remotely off of robots, satellites, or missles.

LF Yeah, but it was still witnessed by the camera.

JPC Can a camera be a witness?

LF Why not?

JPC Well, I wonder if the camera can give us anything more than raw data as opposed to processed information. No meaning has been drawn out of a situation, consciously, without a witness. Rather than using the camera to confirm our experience, we might then be forced to go out and verify the camera’s experience. In our legal system a great deal of emphasis is placed on witnesses in addition to data. The type of document that a photojournalist or straight photographer includes implicit statements. I have seen this. Or at the very least, I have been there.

LF Photographs also show the way that the camera sees. It’s not just me or you or anybody else. The camera does something that is different from our own setting. I don’t know about you, but whenever I get a new camera, it might take years before it and I are really in tune.

JPC That’s a great point. It may be one of the reasons many photographers like to strip their equipment down to a single lens and camera. They learn to see the way it sees and use that to better portray the way they see.

LF If I am used to the camera and I know a scene, I know where to stop and look, because I am used to what it shows.

JPC And if you put another camera in your hands you would find a different place?

LF Yes. I never understood carrying four lenses and changing them all the time. That would drive me crazy.

JPC I like zoom lenses, they offer the versatility of more than one lens in a lens.

LF That would be even worse.

JPC You think?

LF For me it would be.

JPC I like the arrangement. If I’m standing on the edge of a cliff or with my back up against a wall, I don’t have to move to frame an image. But keeping it simple works best for you right now?

LF Yes.

JPC Always has?

LF Yes.

JPC You once wrote, “The camera is not merely a reflecting pool and the photographs are not exactly the mirror, mirror on the wall that speaks with a twisted tongue.”

LF It does sound right doesn’t it?

JPC It does. Do you think we get a reflection of what is our there, in here, or both?

LF I try to forget that one. It is part of learning how to jump over a hoop I suppose. I find that I don’t think much about photographing.

JPC Before, during or afterwards?

LF When I am making photographs. It’s just a physical reaction.

JPC I can appreciate that this might help side-step conventional ways of thinking and the concerns of ego.

LF Richard Benson said that if an idea bit me in the ass I still wouldn’t be able to recognize what it was.

JPC Until after the fact?

LF Not even that.

JPC You’ve had plenty of ideas spread out over a long career.

LF Anything that looks like an idea is probably just something that has accumulated, like dust. It looks like I have ideas because I do books that are all on the same subject. That is just because the pictures have piled up on that subject. Finally I realize that I am really interested in it. The pictures make me realize that I am interested in something.

JPC I like to let the work tell me what it is about and vicariously what I am about. It’s important to do the work spontaneously first, isn’t it?

LF As I say, I hardly ever think about doing work. I think about going somewhere that might interest me.

JPC I wanted to talk about self-portraiture. You’ve done some very interesting work in this vein. While photography can represent the way we see, it can also show us how we look. The photograph can be a mirror. What do you find particularly interesting about self-portraiture?

LF I was curious what I looked like in certain situations. I’m also curious what the photographs are going to look like, because you are not standing behind the viewfinder. One of the things that is curious is, are you able to do it? Are you going to hit the bull’s eye? It’s quite strange that it works. I once read about a Zen archer that looked at a rabbit running, turned his back, fired an arrow, and hit the rabbit. I suspect a little of that is true with photography.

JPC I think you’re right. That gets right back to the not thinking about the process while you engage in it. You just get in the way of yourself after all that practice. There may be a lot of thinking before and afterwards, but thinking about while you are doing it may produce problems.

LF I am not a big thinker. It keeps me out of mischief. Or it is the only mischief that I have.

JPC The self-portrait is very telling about both the photographer and photography itself. Give two people the same equipment and perhaps the same vantage point and it’s likely that they will come back with two different pictures.

LF Clearly.

JPC By turning the lens back on us, we highlight the subjective nature of photography. We can point the lens inward at the same time that we point it outward. Do you think that is true?

LF You can probably make me believe it.
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Old 03-07-2018   #1754
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Friedlander continued:



LF You can probably make me believe it.

JPC Many of your self-portraits turn the camera not just toward your body but also toward the residues that your body has on the surrounding environment – all manner of traces and residues, particularly shadows and reflections.

LF That is part of the game.

JPC The photograph itself is a residue.

JPC Edward Weston said, “Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph. Not searching for any usual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.”

LF Or vice versa. It doesn’t have to be exotic. Let the commonplace be commonplace. That works too.

JPC In certain kinds of photographs, I think there is a deadpan quality, for lack of a better word. They’re very direct. Like the dry humor of a yankee or a cowboy, there is a minimal, bottom-line quality to them as they are presented without embellishment, unpolished.

LF Sometimes just the facts of the matter make it interesting. Do you know Jimmy and Jessie McReynolds? They’re bluegrass singers. They have a song. “I’m in love with a girl wearing nothing but a towel and a smile on a billboard in the field by the old highway.” That is pretty deadpan, the way it is said and what is said about is a complete picture. The same thing is true of photography I suppose. That is the kind of same material that we use.

JPC The particulars can tell the whole story.

LF Look how beautiful Walker Evan’s pictures are. If you will, they are deadpan. I don’t find them deadpan because they are so beautiful.

JPC Right. That gets me to the follow-up question. Often there is an impulse to make pretty pictures. I think beautiful might be different than pretty. There is a difference between photographs where the image itself is beautiful for aesthetic reasons (light and form) and images that are beautiful for other reasons (the more ephemeral qualities they contain).

LF You are over my head. I never think about things like that.

JPC What do you think about?

LF Not much.

JPC You try not to.

LF It is not a matter of trying. It’s indigenous.

JPC You and Harry Callahan have a lot in common.

LF I take more to the subject than to my ideas about it. I am not interested in any idea I have had, the subject is so demanding and so important.

JPC So you let it tell it’s story?

LF I don’t know what I do. I know I am more interested in the subject than my idea about it.

JPC True of photography too?

LF I don’t spend as much time thinking about it. I just do it all the time. I think when you do something for a long time it shows. Have you ever seen an old carpenter who you have asked to do something and you go to talk to him and he is nailing nails and he is looking at you and he doesn’t bang up the wood? Any kind of craftsman, it seems to me, once they have established that they know how to do something, they do it so magically.

JPC Barishnikov reminds us that the audience doesn’t come to see an artist sweat. The great ones make it look easy—deceptively easy. After an accumulation of hours and hours of effort, one makes it seem effortless. And possibly, in the moment, it is.

LF That is the ideal—to be invisible. It’s not to be prince of a medium.

JPC I think that is a particularly photographic interest.

LF I don’t know. If you are a painter or a writer, you can go back and redo something. With photography, you can go back and try but it is probably going to be different because you only get that one shot, that hundreth of a second.

JPC There are only so many decisive moments.

LF I don’t even mean it’s as powerful as a decisive moment. It is impossible to go back, in the exact sense. A fraction of a second makes it work. Perhaps a second later, it is something different.

JPC What do you think is the great value of getting out of the way?

LF It is just the perfect way to be a photographer—invisible. There are lots of scenes that you see in which you would like to be invisible. Come back with the picture.

JPC To better understand it, the least amount of influence. It’s scientific in its own way. Yet what was it Siskind said, “We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there.”

LF I think that is good. Garry Winogrand said a lot of good things like that too.

JPC Photography is tied to memory.

LF Except it’s not your memory. It’s the camera’s memory.

JPC How much does that differ?

LF I think a lot.

JPC Do you think that the camera’s “memory” ever becomes a substitute for our memory? I think at one time or another we have all turned to a photograph to verify something we had previously experienced. Often we revise our understanding of the moment based on what we find there. There’s so much information in a photograph, more than we can process in the same 125th of a second.

LF That is because photographs are so loaded with information. They’re remarkable. As I said, you get both the tree and the forest. I don’t think photography had anything to do with memory. I don’t think it has to do with personal memory. It is just what it is. It stops time.

JPC It has a lot to do with history, or the memory of a culture, don’t you think?

LF I think it does.

JPC Yet, history, even personal history, is constantly revised. We see the past from the present. We constantly revise based on our present point of view, which is constantly changing.

LF Yes.

JPC Would you edit the body of work that you have done differently now?

LF I think so. Not from that point of view though. I’d do it merely by whim. I do my editing. Life is just my whim. It is the one thing that I have that nobody else has. I can choose to do that. It’s a luxury.

JPC You have different whims today than yesterday?

LF Yes.

JPC What’s on your current list?

LF I have nothing on my list. My list is blank.

JPC That sounds pretty good actually. It leaves you clean, unencumbered, ready for the next moment. What is the advantage of that? And had photography helped you get there or have you always approached things that way and photographing just seemed appropriate?

LF Photography is so entwined in my life. I would be happy to say yes—a big yes. It’s like anything else. You have got all that stuff our there and you only allow so much into your frame. It’s the same thing. Every word in the world is out there and somebody puts 15 of them together and makes something that somebody else wouldn’t make.

JPC So every picture, every shape in the world is out there, and you have to put it together in your own way. If you have a blank sheet, blank canvas, blank piece of film, with no preconceptions you might be able to get it a little quicker?

LF Maybe.

JPC I like the sense of maybe.

LF When you take a picture you haven’t a clue that it is going to be what it is. Maybe you have a clue but you don’t really know. There are too many possibilities. Part of the game is how many balls you can juggle. It is to me. When you are 12 you can juggle two. Maybe when you are 50 you can juggle five. That is an interesting concept to me: how much I can put in and still make it pull together?

I don’t even know if it is artful. If he is able to do what he wants to do and make it look like it is a simple possibility, then he solves his problem. Art is too big a word for me. It has too many letters in it.

JPC What joys would be particular to a life of photography?

LF I think it’s the same answer to what joys would be particular to a life. And that is personally I suppose. My particulars might not meet yours. I have had a lucky life, a good life, it seems to me. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe that’s my fantasy, but it seems to me that I have been able to have a lot of fun passing the years.

JPC It seems that in the kind of photography you do the focus is placed on the particulars of your immediate environment—self-portraits, portraits of your wife, portraits of your environment. George Tice has spent the greater portion of his life photographing his home, New Jersey, and is now rephotographing his New Jersey. Photography then becomes one piece in the fabric of our lives, perhaps the thread that binds it all together.

LF I’m also interested in what cities look like. For the last ten years I have been interested in landscape. I photograph the same stuff that I did 40 years ago. It just comes our differently. I know something different about it or it looks different now. It has aged. Or there’s a new version of it. I don’t think there is much new to do. The only thing you have is your own circa.

JPC We have an active hand in creating our environment. The work we do create is the environment that we find ourselves in. If one decides one is going to photograph sacred sites, then one starts traveling the world. If one decides one is going to photograph one’s family, then one stays home.

LF I do both. I like hands that work, so to speak. I need to keep busy. So if I am home, I work. If one really knew what one was doing, why do it? It seems to me if you had the answer why ask the question? The thing is there are so many questions. I wonder what it is going to look like if I stand here or if I stand there. I don’t know. If 50 years of doing it meant that every time you picked up the camera you made a good one you wouldn’t have to take many. I make a lot of stupid pictures. Most of them are stupid because I’m trying to figure where to be or where to focus. I don’t think the problems area any different now. I grow wiser as time passes only because I know a little bit more about what is possible, only because I’ve done it for so long. I am used to being a craftsman. But maybe it’s not that. Maybe it’s infatuation. Age has no patent on infatuation.

JPC And then, there are times when too much passion or too much control can be a liability.

LF I can be fooled as anybody else by what I believe is wonderful.

JPC I’m curious about your book The Desert Seen. I find a very unusual sense of composition and light at work there.

LF It’s the place. The place is different. It’s in Arizona—the Sonora desert. It’s the desert with the giant saguaro cactus. It is the only place in the world they grow. I kept going back there for about 11 years. I think the desert is an elegant looking place. It is an amazing place. It is the place.

JPC I was interested in tangled, almost Giacommeti-like compositions. They defy the classic standards of composition. A bit like Pollock’s work, they emphasize the field more than clear figure ground relationships as opposed to a vision like Mapplethorpe’s, who often stripped things down to a solitary object in a very simple space. I go to the desert to find the vastness of space and bring back minimalist compositions. You go to the desert and you find these marvelously intricate and unconventional compositions.

LF No. You are wrong. The desert looks like that. It’s a tangle. You could isolate elements. Take portraits of cactus. The place to me looks like that. I mean not just to me. I think it looks like that and that is what I simply tried to make photographs of—what it looks like.

JPC Clearly there are many deserts and many ways of seeing the same desert, so there must in turn be many photographers, perhaps even many photographies.

Is there anything else on your mind?

LF Nothing.



© Copyright 2018 Caponigro Arts. All rights reserved.
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Old 03-08-2018   #1755
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Richard Benson

I didn't realize that Richard Benson had passed on. Benson, was the world's greatest printer.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/a...o-printer.html
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Old 03-08-2018   #1756
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From the above link: "Mr. Benson also produced the halftone negatives used in the museum’s four-volume history of the French photographer’s Eugčne Atget’s work". Some of Atget's work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYFdUeIdmJg
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Old 03-08-2018   #1757
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Lee Friedlander

Full text of "Toward a social landscape"
https://archive.org/stream/towardsoc...0lyon_djvu.txt

MoMA
https://www.moma.org/artists/2002?=u...e=1&direction=

Lee Friedlander: America By Car & The New Cars 1964 – review
https://www.theguardian.com/artandde...ography-review

Surrealism U.S.A.
The enormous Lee Friedlander retrospective shows us America in all its garish glee.
http://nymag.com/nymetro/arts/art/reviews/11997/

NYPL Interview
https://livestream.com/nypl/events/7...deos/158540414


PDN How Lee Friedlander Edits His Photo Books
https://pdnpulse.pdnonline.com/2017/...oto-books.html


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEYE_nzWvUM


The Whitney
Lee Friedlander: America By Car
Sep 4–Nov 28, 2010
https://whitney.org/Exhibitions/LeeFriedlander


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


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I2asDXS0h8


Atget Photo
http://www.atgetphotography.com/The-...iedlander.html


Fraenkel Gallery
https://fraenkelgallery.com/artists/lee-friedlander

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Old 03-09-2018   #1758
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Thanks very much, PKR, for the Lee Freidlander resources, and especially for the interview above!
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Old 03-09-2018   #1759
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Diane Arbus Gets NY Times Obituary 46 Years After Her Death

Diane Arbus was honored with an obituary by the New York Times today, 46 years after the renowned American portrait photographer died. It was one of 15 obituaries published today as part of a project titled Overlooked.

Overlooked will regularly feature new obituaries of people in the past that never received them for one reason or another. Today, on International Women’s Day, the project features the lives of accomplished women.

“Looking back at the obituary archives can provide a stark lesson in how society valued various achievements and achievers,” write Times editors Jessica Bennett and Amisha Padnani. “Since 1851, The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries. The vast majority chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones; even in the last two years, about 20% of our subjects were female.

“This series recalls the stories of those who left indelible marks but were nonetheless overlooked.”

The Times describes Arbus as “a photographer whose portraits have compelled or repelled generations of viewers.” Here’s an excerpt of the new obituary:


Diane Arbus was a daughter of privilege who spent much of her adult life documenting those on the periphery of society. Since she killed herself in 1971, her unblinking portraits have made her a seminal figure in modern-day photography and an influence on three generations of photographers, though she is perhaps just as famous for her unconventional lifestyle and her suicide […]

After decades of intense examination of her work and life, perhaps there is room to understand Arbus as a woman driven by artistic vision as well as personal compulsion, and her photographs as documents of empathy as well as exploitation. Arbus herself hinted at the difficulty of understanding and interpreting images.

“A photograph is a secret about a secret,” she said. “The more it tells you the less you know.”



Image credits: Header photograph by Stephen A. Frank and courtesy The New York Times.


Copyright © 2018 PetaPixel
https://petapixel.com/2018/03/08/dia...6-years-death/



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Old 03-09-2018   #1760
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Years ago I bought Diane Arbus "Revelations" with many full page photos, many texts and other interesting documents about Arbus's work. Still one of my favorites photography book.
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