Category Archives: street photography

Guest Blogger 3 – Join Hotshoe Blog’s conversation On the Move: Mobile Photography at World Photo Organisation

TheGreatEscapeJanineGraf

The Great Escape © Janine Graf

Ansel Adams said it best: “There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept”. Janine Graf from interview

EXCERPT FROM WPO BLOG:

Welcome back to my fourth post leading up until Christmas. Today I turn to the world of mobile photography with the help of Joanne Carter from The App Whisperer to find out more. What’s clear is that mobile photography is here to stay; it’s fun, there’s a growing community of like-minded people getting involved and it allows people to shoot and edit on the go, giving them greater freedom than using a DSLR.

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(L-R) Joanne Carter and Miranda Gavin Hotshoe Blog at the mObilepixatiOn show. Image by Dilshad Corleone (Columnist for theappwhisperer.com)

Before this, there are two things to mention. The Sony World Photography Awards, which is judged in late January, is viewed on screen and it makes no difference what type of equipment is used to produce submitted photographs. However, the competition asks photographers to note the cameras used in their submissions. One of 2011’s finalists, Balazs Gardi followed Afghani troops and edited his work with hipstamatic. I’m trying to get stats as to how many submissions are produced on mobile devices as I would like to monitor this in relation to international photo competitions. Also, I have a suggestion for the Sony World Photography Awards. What about adding a Mobile Photography category to next year’s awards?

Secondly, as it’s the lead up to Christmas, here at Hotshoe magazine we’re offering one person a year’s subscription to the magazine, plus a free copy of the Oct/Nov 2012 edition of the magazine sent to your home. All you have to do is go to the Hotshoe International Facebook page and LIKE the magazine by the end of the week. That’s it. The team at Hotshoe will select a winner at random from those ‘liking’ the page this week and I will announce the lucky winner next week on this blog. Happy Christmas.

To read interviews with some of the key players in the world pof mobile photography and photo art click on this link On the Move – Mobile Photography, to the rest of the post. You won’t be disappointed, there are some very interesting points made by the interviewees.

Filed under: Mobile Photo Art, Mobile Photography, Photographers, Portraiture, street photography, Visual Artists, Women Photographers Tagged: Janine Graf, Joanne Carter, Miranda Gavin, Mobile photo art, Mobile Photography, mobilepixation, The App Whisperer

Robert Rutoed: Right Time Right Place

The photographs of Robert Rutoed appeared on my visual radar
several years ago when I was introduced to his project, Less is More. The images made an impression that kept his name and photographs
in the forefront of my mental Rolodex – not an easy feat, as I look at a lot of
images on a daily basis. 
Robert is part of that wonderful European street shooter legacy that is so important in a world where technology keeps our heads down, where cell phones remove us from truly being engaged with each other.  And it’s this heads-down mentality that disassociates our connections with a world rich with small dramas. We need Robert’s photographs to make us realize what we are missing, and allow the levity of his work to not only see ourselves with amusement, but to simply, see ourselves.

What Robert brings to the contemporary photographic dialogue
is that intangible ability to see the world with a skewed lens – a lens that is
compassionate and at the same time, unkind. It is a lens that is the stuff of
operas and nightmares, comedies and slapstick. Robert finds that split second
of humor or truth telling and that instant of social documentation or absurdity
that makes us not only laugh at ourselves, but also laugh and feel embarrassed
all at the same time.  Or should I
say, at The Right Time.
Robert has a new book, Right Time Right Place, that releases this week, and I have the privilege of writing the foreword to this publication.
Robert  was born in Vienna and is a photographer and filmmaker. He created numerous
short feature films with screenings worldwide and his photographic work has been exhibited throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Robert was recently the winner of the
New York Photo Award 2012 in the category Fine Art. His books included: Less Is More
(2009), grayscales, early b&w photographs (2010), Right Time Right
Place
(2012).
Right Time Right Place
Being at the right place at the right time is usually associated with
happiness and success. But what happens when we are at the right place
at the wrong time? Do we even know that this is the right place? And
what if it turns out that it is the wrong place after all? But the right
time!” – Whoever loses his orientation over this thought will get a
feeling for Robert Rutöd’s latest pictures. The Vienna-born photographer
wandered for five years through Europe and has proven to be a keen
observer with an often tragicomic view: The blind man who finds
orientation by putting his stick in a tram track, the helpless swan that
finds itself frozen to the vast stretch of ice, or the amputee operator
of a shooting range set up in a ruined building. It gets macabre with
the portraits of the Pope, Hitler and Mussolini decorating the labels of
wine bottles.


Eric Breitenbach

Today, and leading up to and after November 6th, LENSCRATCH will be featuring work that looks at our election process. 

We start today with work by Eric Breitenbach, who has created a series, Election 2012.

Eric  has been a still photographer for over thirty years and a filmmaker for more than fifteen.

His still photographs have appeared in such publications as The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Details, Doubletake, Information Week, Labor’s Heritage, Essence, and Orlando magazines. He has exhibited widely. In 2012 he had solo exhibitions of his photography at The Third Eye Gallery in Varanasi, India, and at Florida School of The Arts in Palatka, Florida. Eric Breitenbach is also a Senior Professor at The Southeast Center For Photographic Studies at Daytona State College, teaching courses in photography, film, and video.

ELECTION 2012 
 For as long as I’ve been a photographer I’ve been compelled to make pictures of people. My goal is to discover something universal about a person—something viewers can recognize and even identify with. The trick is to then depict that successfully in a photograph. In early 2011, as events surrounding the 2012 presidential election began to unfold, like many Americans I was astonished at the heat of the political rhetoric. It seemed as if angry extremists were running the show.

Dismayed but still curious, I began to attend and photograph campaign rallies, political conventions, memorial services, group meetings, demonstrations, festivals, and other politically relevant events. There were thousands at the largest of these, sometimes less than a dozen at the smallest.

My goal wasn’t to document or explain anything; that, I think, is best left to the journalists. 

I set out with my usual strategy in mind—to attend, observe and make photographs. The role may be considered to be like that of an explorer, a finder and provider of artifacts that might one day be useful in comprehending, in this case, the cultural, social, and political mindset of 2012 America.

Taking His Time: A Look Back at 50 Years of Joel Meyerowitz’s Photographs

The 1939 edition of Robert Frost’s Collected Poems contained an introductory essay that wasn’t in the first edition. In that article, entitled “The Figure a Poem Makes,” Frost wrote, “Like giants we are always hurling experience ahead of us to pave the future with against the day when we may want to strike a line of purpose across it for somewhere.”

Though he didn’t know it at the time, acclaimed photographer Joel Meyerowitz began hurling his own experiences ahead of him in 1962. While working as an art director at an advertising agency, Meyerowitz met photographer Robert Frank who was shooting a clothing brochure. Meyerowitz watched Frank move while he photographed, and he had an incredible epiphany. On the way back to the office, Meyerowitz walked the streets of New York for more than an hour. “I felt like I was reading the text of the street in a way that I never had before,” he says.

When he returned to the office, Meyerowitz told his boss, Harry Gordon, that he was quitting. He wanted to be a photographer. Gordon then asked him a crucial question: did he have a camera? The answer was no, so Gordon lent him a 35mm camera and Meyerowitz embarked on the great journey of his life.

Over the next 50 years Meyerowitz exhibited at the MoMA, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, published books and taught photography at Cooper Union. But there was always one place where you had a chance to run into him and become immortalized in his gargantuan body of work. Meyerowitz is, first and foremost, a street photographer. Though he has shot street scenes in France, Germany, Atlanta, Ohio and dozens of places in between, the chaotic streets of New York City make up his favorite studio. “Fifth Avenue is my boulevard,” he says. “No street in the world, and I’ve traveled a lot, has for me the kind of sexy, improvisatory collisions between elegance and lowness. You can see bike messengers and models, billionaires and hustlers, and it’s all out there every day.”

That first day with Robert Frank served as more than just a catalytic inspiration; it laid the foundation for how Meyerowitz would record street life. He bobs and weaves through the throngs of people, searching for that serendipitous moment that becomes a great photograph. “The way someone makes a gesture on the street or the way couples react to each other or the simultaneity of two things happening at the same time and the relationship between them,” are some of the elements he looks for. “It was the wonder of human nature and this incredible capacity for things to keep showing themselves to me,” he says.

Image: Joel Meyerowitz: Taking My Time (Phaidon Press, November 2012)

Phaidon Press

Joel Meyerowitz: Taking My Time (Phaidon Press. Limited Edition including signed print, November 2012)

When he is shooting on the street, there isn’t much time to contemplate each moment. “Photography takes place in a fraction of a second,” Meyerowitz says. “There isn’t a lot of time to think about things. You have to hone your instinct. You learn to hone that skill and timing so you’re in the right place at the right time.” Although he has made images that have moved audiences for decades, that has never been his true motivation. “I’m not out there to make another ‘great picture,’” he says. “I’m really out there to feel what it feels like to be alive and conscious in that moment. In a sense, the record of my photographs is a record of moments of consciousness and awareness that have come to me in my life.”

This year, the 50th anniversary of when he first took up the camera, Meyerowitz compiled hundreds of his favorite images for the two-volume collection, Joel Meyerowitz: Taking My Time (Phaidon Press). The project isn’t just a greatest hits collection. “It’s easy to make a book of your very best things and not necessarily have a narrative arc,” he says. “I wanted to stick strictly to the chronology as precisely as I could and show my own development.” The result is a visual biography of an artist who for half a century has snapped moments–fractions of seconds–and preserved them forever. Each tells a unique story that Meyerowitz has used to pave his life. Through the images of people and places and tiny moments in time, one can see a remarkable line of purpose he has created, one that runs fluidly across the experience of his life.

Joel Meyerowitz is a New York City-based photographer. Beginning Nov. 2, his work will be displayed in a two-part solo show at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York.

LightBox previously featured Meyerowitz’s photographs of the destruction and reconstruction at Ground Zero.

Matt Licari

On October 26th, The Kiernan Gallery will host an evening for photographer, Matt Licari in his studio in Richmond, Virginia. Earlier this year, Matt unfortunately lost nearly all of his photography equipment in a robbery, so The Kiernan Gallery Presents: Matt Licari will be part fundraiser, part salon, as Matt’s
studio transforms into an alternative gallery space to display his work. I am featuring one of his series, Ride, about the experience of day to day travel on the NYC subway system.
Matt  received his BFA in photography from the School of Art +
Design at SUNY Purchase in New York. Inspired by street photography,
his work explores urban, suburban, and rural subjects. The work –
primarily in large format – has been exhibited widely, including Sasha
Wolf Gallery, Kris Graves Projects, and The Neuberger Museum of Art.
Licari has worked for the Guggenheim Museum and the Richard Avedon
Foundation, and currently serves as the Programs Chair of ASMP. He currently lives, works and travels between Richmond, Virginia and New York City. 
Ride is a series of images I have made in the New York City subway system. I’m a native New Yorker and have ridden the train since I was young, so the images didn’t start as an attempt to create a series, they were simply made in transit as I rode from place to place. I’m particularly fond of the el (elevated) lines due to the unique cityscapes they offer and the flickering, dappled light that the interior of the car receives. I also love the crowded midtown trains, where you often find every type of person in the same space. 
And of course, the elements provide another dimension to the rail system, which rarely seems to shut down even in inclement weather. It is not a conceptual series in the least – it is rather visceral – it is a place where people cram into a small space for a short time, and for the most part, deal with it quite gracefully. And then there are the people who don’t act so gracefully or ordinarily, which becomes a spectacle and sometimes a fun diversion for the rest of the travelers. The images are, in essence, about the experience of riding the train and seeing the city and it’s people through in that context. All images were made between 2008 and 2012 and are Untitled (Ride), year created.


Harlem Revisited: A New Look at Dawoud Bey’s New York Portraits

Present-day Chicago is not Harlem in 1979. Present-day Harlem isn’t even Harlem in 1979. But at the Art Institute of Chicago’s new exhibition Dawoud Bey: Harlem USA, some things have stayed the same. The show comprises the 25 original prints from Bey’s noteworthy 1979 exhibition of the series at the Studio Museum in Harlem, plus five previously unpublished prints from the same era.

Dawoud Bey

Smokey, 2002

The impetus for Harlem USA, which was made throughout the 1970s, was Bey’s visit to the Harlem on my Mind show at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1969; it took him ten years to start and finish the work. And although the images in the show don’t superficially resemble Bey’s later work—they are small, made with a handheld 35mm camera, impromptu and monochromatic, unlike the later work seen at right—the photographer says that the series contains the seeds of his later work. “They gave me my initial sense of how to engage people in front of the camera,” Bey told TIME in an email. “I first learned how to translate the physical experience of the human subject into compelling photographic form during the years I spent making pictures in Harlem.”

He is not the only one who sees the thread running through his work. Matthew Witkovsky, a curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, says that some artists show from their first work a strong sense of who they are and what they want to do. Bey, according to him, is one of those lucky people.

Dawoud Bey

A Boy in Front of the Loews 125th St. Movie Theatre, Harlem, NY, 1976

And Witkovsky says that the photographs, though they remain unchanged, are still fresh. “[Bey] managed to take that ability that cameras have to give you total specificity and imbue it with some kind of other-time-other-place quality,” he says, pointing out an example: in Bey’s picture of a boy outside a movie theater, seen at left, the clothes are quintessential 1970s but the pose is a classic contrapposto. “It’ll always be timely,” says Witkovsky, “because it’s a little bit out of time.”

Bey, who now lives in Chicago, says the photographs themselves are not the only constant. “My feelings about the work haven’t really changed,” he says. “I am still concerned with trying to make resonant photographs of ordinary people.”

Dawoud Bey is a Chicago-based photographer and professor. See more of his work here.

Dawoud Bey: Harlem USA will be on view at the Art Institute of Chicago from May 2 – Sept. 9. The Renaissance Society in Chicago will also present a retrospective of his work, entitled Picturing People, which includes the later work featured in this post, from May 13 – June 24.

California Dreaming In 1964: Arthur Tress’ San Francisco

In the summer of 1964, Arthur Tress, a world traveler at all of 23 years old, took a bus from Mexico to San Francisco to visit his sister Madeleine. Tress’ journey had taken him from Paris to Egypt, where the young photographer shot images of a country evolving under former President Gamal Nasser. “I began thinking of it intellectually as a visual anthropology,” Tress told TIME, “to try and hint at the different layers of culture that were existing simultaneously.”

Tress took this same approach with him to San Francisco, trying to create a collection of images that would reflect the old and new aspects of the city. “I was thinking as a kind of amalgam, all these little bits and pieces, almost as if you’re making a collage—a symphony of the city,” he says.

The summer of 1964, it turned out, was a fascinating time in San Francisco. The beatniks had left; it would be three years before the Summer of Love would come to the City by the Bay. The country was still reeling from the Kennedy assassination, and Tress arrived just in time for the 1964 Republican Convention, where Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater was transforming the conservative movement. In August, The Beatles returned to the U.S. for their second American tour, and San Francisco saw its first Civil Rights marches, challenging the status quo. “I didn’t photograph the demonstrations so much as the people watching the demonstrations,” Tress says. “They were kind of frozen in this very beautiful Northern California, light. Almost like a stage set. I was focused on different kinds of people—more liberal; more conservative; different classes of people in one photograph.”

The images Tress made that summer went on display in California and Mexico, but were then largely forgotten. He went on to garner acclaim for his staged surrealism, showing collections at museums such as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of Art, as well as the Center for Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. When Madeleine died in 2009, Tress found the cache of prints from his youthful summer among her possessions. The collection, Arthur Tress: San Francisco 1964, will be shown at the Fisher Family Gallery of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco from March 3 to June 3, 2012, and James A. Ganz, curator of the Meuseums’ Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts has published a book of Tress’ prints along with an interview with the photographer.

The photographer says that the viewer can see a youthful Tress, “trying to go beyond mere photojournalism and make a larger statement about changing American values and culture” in the images. He certainly succeeded, capturing history as it moved across fault lines during one summer in San Francisco.

Arthur Tress: San Francisco 1964 is on view at the Fisher Family Gallery of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco from March 3 to June 3, 2012.

Nate Rawlings is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @naterawlings.

Photo Stroll through Prague – The Green Scene

I’m in Prague until Saturday, catching up with friends, students I taught back in 1995, and visiting a couple of photo shows. I’ll post about one of them tomorrow with a preview and some press photos followed by photo stroll through the actual exhibition later in the week. Na shledanou.

Filed under: Art shows, Photographers, street art, street photography Tagged: Miranda Gavin, Prague, street scene