Monthly Archives: July 2008

Through the Looking Glass: Photographer Interviews

Through my blog, I have had the good fortune to interview a number of interesting, accomplished photographers. (A big thanks to all of them.) The links were scattered across this blog, however, and anyone new to the series would have been hard pressed to find and read them in one place. Interviews that appeared in several parts can now each be read on a single web page.

In the hopes of giving them a larger audience, I am planning on pulling the interviews together for an online book. If you know a small press publisher who might be interested, please let me know. I have also toyed with the idea of collecting the interviews as a publish on demand (POD) book (which would sell at cost) or an ebook (which would be freely downloadable) on something like Lulu.com. Versions of this blog entry will serve as my placeholder as I continue working on the book.

Through the Looking Glass: Photographer Interviews
Introduction
Jon Anderson (Interview and Photo Tips & Techniques)
Velibor Bozovic
Hal Buell
Kitra Cahana
Nana Chen
Alan Chin (profile)
James Whitlow Delano
Hugo Infante
Andy Levin
John Loomis
Brad Mangin
Jessie Mann
Allen Murayabashi
Jason Pagan
Stefan Rohner
John Vink

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Francis Hodgson on the Prix Pictet Short List

Prix Pictet jury chairman Francis Hodgson recently wrote about the photography prize’s short list in the Financial Times.

There is a word in all of this upon which I would like to rely more than I can. It is a word that hardly construes as a proper verb. It’s also difficult to translate. The word is “matter”. The vast majority of pictures just don’t matter. The photographer had nothing to say, or has been unable to say something meaningful. Photography is demotic and vernacular, and much of it is of no great interest. Yet it is only within that deep mulch that the few major exceptions can be seen to flourish. At the same time photography remains a perfectly ordinary cultural activity in that it responds to analysis. A picture should be demonstrably good or bad for coherent reasons. But not everybody’s mattering is the same. The pictures presented here are very different. But every one of them matters.

DoubleExposure profile of Erik Tomasson

DoubleExposure profiles dance photographer Erik Tomasson, the resident photographer for the San Francisco ballet. He notes that he generally uses existing lighting and that he tries to capture the dancers in their natural environment during rehearsals or performances.

I have never directed a dancer to do a specific action.  Everything I shoot is totally in the moment.  I try to respect their work and stay out of the way as much as possible.  I have never liked images of dancers when they are set up or even in a studio.  To me, the emotion is lost when dancers are shot in a studio and posed and it just feels too contrived for me.  Its kind of the same to me as if someone told David Beckham to pose shooting a goal in studio.  He may be able to recreate how he would shoot a goal, but the energy of the game would be lost.  It’s the same with dancers. There is an energy there that I’m trying to capture that can only be caught when they are in their environment.