I would be remiss if I let the birthday of Ansel Adams pass without paying homage to him and his contributions to this art form I enjoy. After all these many years, and technological advances, I still find the Zone System his is credited with pioneering, the best way to achieve tonal range, or values, in an image. I could go on and on about his contributions to photography, but I thought it would be interesting to look at one of his famous images - Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.Read More
I have written a couple of posts about Vivian Maier. However, for those of you new to Ms. Maier’s name, she was a street photographer shrouded in mystery because her work went unseen until boxes of negatives, prints, and unprocessed film was acquired by chance. There is a documentary, “Finding Vivian Maier”, which was nominated for an Academy Award, that explores a little more about the photographer if you are so inclined to explore her story further. But, I feel like she is a mystery, and perhaps, that is the way she wanted it. We will never know for sure what her thoughts or wishes might have been, but that has not deterred the surge of interest in her work.Read More
The Artist Spotlight for December is Yousuf Karsh (December 23, 1908 - July 13, 2002). I am particularly fond this Yousuf Karsh quote, so I wanted to share it with you as we celebrate him. For me, this quote sums up the difference between TAKING a photograph and MAKING a photograph. Anyone can “take” a photograph, but the alchemy of “making” a photograph is an entirely different skill set that employs art, science, light, creativity, emotion, story ... As I learn more about Karsh, this quote also reflects his personal style and approach to photography. But who was Yousuf Karsh…Read More
VAQUERO EXHIBIT AT THE BELL COUNTY MUSEUM
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the Bell County Museum in Belton, Texas. I planned my visit specifically to see the current exhibit, Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy (September 8 through December 29, 2018). This exhibit is a traveling exhibition featuring William D. (Bill) Wittliff’s photography.Read More
Several years ago, I watched a documentary that has fascinated me, and haunted me for years. The 2011 documentary, directed by Trisha Ziff is The Mexican Suitcase . It tells the story of the recovery of over 4,000 film negatives of the Spanish Civil War captured by photographers Robert Capa, Gerda Toro, and David 'Chim' Seymore. The negatives were considered lost since 1939 so their discovery in a suitcase in Mexico in 2007 is quite the story. I know the documentary is available to rent through Amazon, and is well worth the rental fee.Read More
Last year, I read about a retrospective exhibit of the American photographer, Irving Penn (June 16, 1917 - 2009). The retrospective was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in conjunction with The Irving Penn Foundation as a celebration of the artist’s 100th birthday. For those of you visiting, or living in, Germany, the Centennial exhibit is now on view at the C/O Berlin (March 24 - July 1, 2018). If you are lucky enough to visit the exhibit of over 240 works created by this prolific artist whose photographic career spans seven decades and encompass multiple genres, I am going to admit, right up front, I am several shades of green with envy.Read More
Let’s add another strong, independent, talented, female photographer to our Artist Spotlight for June. Today is American photographer, Margaret Bourke-White’s birthday (6/14/1904 - 8/27/1971). I remember hearing Margaret Bourke-White's name in photography courses, but I do not remember that her work was shown. Nor do I remember that her life, accomplishments, and work were discussed at length. I decided to remedy that for myself by actively seeking out books and other information about Bourke-White. I managed to secure a used copy of Margaret Bourke-White A Biography by Vicki Goldberg last year. But, even before reading the biography, I can tell you that she was a determined, disciplined woman who knew how to create a public persona in order to open doors traditionally shut to women of her generation. The barriers she broke, the places she went, and the subjects she photographed are pretty amazing in and of themselves. But, then there are her images … This quote makes it all sound so much easier than it actually is and was.Read More
Today is British photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron’s birthday (06/11/1815 - 01/26/1879). Cameron is known for her dreamy, soft-focus, photos; usually with an allegorical theme derived from literature and religious subjects. But, boy, what a photographic legacy she left in a relatively short “career”.Read More
Since Margaret Bourke-White is the featured artist for the Artist Spotlight this month, I thought it would be fun to see if any movies have been made about her. I found a 1980's era television movie, starring Farrah Fawcett; BUT, since it is only available on VHS tape, I chose a "runner-up". I thought I would share a movie about a female war photographer which might tie-in nicely with our Margaret Burke-White "theme" this month.Read More
In April, we discussed Eadweard Muybridge and his contribution to photography and cinema. Now, after what we learned about Muybridge and his photography experiments, doesn't this quote have more meaning?
Happy birthday to American photographer, Dorothea Lange (05/26/1895-10/11/1965)! Lange traveled the country documenting rural America after the Great Depression as part of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) project. Her most famous photograph from this time is sometimes referred to as "Migrant Mother". I am sure you have all seen this haunting image of a woman, with three of her children "framing" her. Personally, I find this image both beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time. That image is what I consider “catching lightning in a bottle”.Read More
Today is the birthday of American photographer, Richard Avedon, so I thought I would give you a brief overview of Richard Avedon just in case you are not familiar with his work.
I admit, I never really paid attention to fashion photography, until recently. Naturally, as part of this “discovery”, I began seeking out Avedon’s images to study. Avedon is highly regarded for his work in the fashion industry. He was a photographer for Harper’s Bazaar (1945-1965)and Vogue (1966-1990) so you can readily find his work if you search. I find myself appreciating his clean, elegant compositions, rich tonal range, but, usually, his images include a surprising twist. The iconic photograph, “Dovima with Elephants” comes to mind. (Click HERE to see the image on MoMA’s website.) Who would think of featuring a famous model, wearing a Dior evening gown, positioned between two elephants? Richard Avedon, that’s who.Read More