Tag Archives: photography

Sally Mann on the Thrill of Photography

In her memoir Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs“>Hold Still, Sally Mann writes about the thrill she gets from photography.

There is nothing better than the thrill of holding a great negative, wet with fixer, up to the light. And here’s the important thing: it doesn’t even have to be a great negative. You get the same thrill with any negative, with art, as someone once said, most of what you have to do is show up. The hardest part is setting the camera on the tripod, or making the decision to bring the camera out of the car, or just raising the camera to your face, believing,  by those actions, that whatever you find before you, whatever you find there, is going to be good.

And, when you get whatever you get, even if it’s a fluky product of that slipping-glimpser vision that de Konning celebrated, you have made something. Maybe you’ve made something mediocre–there’s plenty of that in any artist’s cabinets–but something mediocre is better than nothing, and often the near misses, as I call them, are the beckoning hands that bring you to perfection just around the blind corner.

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Mario Testino: your camera phone is good enough

The New York Times asked fashion photographer Mario Testino what camera he uses for personal shots when he travels.

NYT: What advice do you have for travelers who want to make sure they get the best pictures from their trip? Are good shots about having the right camera?

Mario Testino: You don’t need a fancy camera to be able to capture anything. The one on your phone is good enough; that’s what I use when I’m not working. Getting the right pictures is about opening your eyes to see what’s magical about a place. I just photographed the city from a window on this floor and saw all these buildings lit in a beautiful way, which is so New York. But the magic is different depending on where you are. It could be the people, the landscape, the animals or even the candle in the room. You just have to be curious, and you’ll find it.

Through a Lens Sharply

Dominque Browning says she was late to fall in love with photography.

That’s why people take their own pictures when they travel. But I never did — I was intimidated by the equipment — and now it is one of my life’s regrets. Then, a couple of years ago, a friend stuck a camera in my hands, and told me to lose my fear. Today, I cannot leave my house without my simple, no-nonsense Canon point-and-shoot, small enough to fit in an evening bag. And I cannot begin to count the ways in which this little miracle of memory has changed the way I travel.

 

 

Thomas Hawk Ditches Getty Images

Photographer Thomas Hawk explains why he is leaving Getty Images to join Stocksy, the photographer co-op.

I don’t care how you look at it, for me, 20% is not fair. It’s too low. I’ve been complaining about it for years, but have just grumbled along because Getty felt like the only game in town for stock photo sales.

Artists and photographers deserve more than 20% payouts. I understand that Getty has the buyers, that Getty is the 800 pound gorilla, but still, photographers deserve a better split than 80/20 against them.

There are other reasons why I’m quitting Getty Images too, though.

How do you pack your bag for a seven-year, 22,000-mile international reporting assignment?

Paul Salopek is starting Out of Eden, a seven-year narrative trek “that anthropologists believe was the first path humans took out of Africa to populate the rest of the world,” says Nieman Lab.

But what will likely make the journey more immersive is the multimedia component. Using his video and audio equipment, Salopek said he wants to create a kind of continuous portrait of the world at this point in time. “I’m calling it a narrative transect: Every 100 miles, I’ll methodically take a series of narrative readings that do not vary along the path of the walk,” he said. The plan, as he envisions it, is to stop to take six samples: Ambient sound, photos of the earth and sky, a panorama of his current location, a minute or so of video, and an interview, all in the same method in each location. He sees it as almost a scientific approach, one that can show the changes and similarities in terrain, but also culture and people. And while these transects will make for good multimedia, Salopek said their real value will be as an archive of what the world looked like from 2013 to 2019.

“By the end of seven years, I’ll have created an enduring portrait of a storytelling transect around the world at the end of the millennium,” he said.

 

Street Life through the Nanny’s Eyes

Is Vivian Maier the Emily Dickinson of photography? The New York Times in a slideshow of prints from her previously undeveloped rolls says:

Even to those who knew her, Vivian Maier was a cipher. To the children she took care of on Chicago’s wealthy North Shore, she was Mary Poppins, if Mary Poppins carried an old Rolleiflex. To the amateur historian who unearthed thousands of negatives at an auction in Chicago in 2007, she was a revelation: an undiscovered Diane Arbus, whose work captured the grit and elegance of city life.

Takeshi Shikama (WSJ)

In this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, William Meyers briefly reviews Takeshi Shikama‘s exhibition at Alan Klotz Gallery.

Mr. Shikama is a resident of Tokyo who built with his own hands a mountain lodge in a forest with trees he felled. For the past decade, he has sought refuge there to commune with and to photograph nature. Most of these dark, haunted images of trees, woods, fields and flowers are exquisitely printed on 11-by-14-inch hand-coated platinum palladium Gampi paper. The thin, ecru paper is also handmade, and so transparent the images seem to float. Some, like “Mt. Kuromori 6” (2006), show a dense forest, and some, like “Landscape 18” (2009), a lone tree. “Landscape 3” (2009) shows just the shadows of trees. In the “Lotus” series, Mr. Shikama presents this culturally important plant in several aspects; sometimes the flower in different stages, sometimes the leaves, sometimes just the stalks, but always with reverential delicacy.