Agencies and Collectives
It’s not even December yet, but some Best of 2012s are out already….
VII: Best of 2012: Highlights of a Year in Pictures | ‘VII photographers present their best images, shot or released in 2012′
Best Pictures of the Year from Agence France Presse (Whittier Daily News)
European Pressphoto Agency: The Year in Images (EPA)
Reuters’ best pictures of the year is pretty cool as it includes comments by the photographers and even technical info…
Reuters: Best Photos of The Year 2012 (Reuters)
Prime Collective: Newsletter November 2012
NOOR: Evelien Kunst becomes NOOR’s new Managing Director | news on BJP
Magnum event at Frontline Club in London : Magnum Revolution: 65 Years of Fighting for Freedom : Thursday December 13, 2012 7:00 PM
Trailer to the upcoming McCulling documentary…Very much looking forward to seeing the film at some point…In the mean time I’ll be reading his autobiography Unreasonable Behaviour.
Trailer to the documentary ‘McCullin’ (Guardian) ‘Watch the world exclusive trailer for David and Jacqui Morris’s documentary on British photographer Don McCullin, whose acclaimed work for the Observer and the Sunday Times in Vietnam, Biafra, Cyprus and Lebanon produced some of the defining images of war. McCullin describes the ‘moral sense of purpose and duty’ behind his work. McCullin is released in the UK on 1 January 2013′
Somewhere to Disappear with Alec Soth
Looks like Contrasto has pushed the publication of James Nachtwey’s Pietas forward until September 2013… Was supposed to come out late October… Shame. Was on my wish list for Santa…
Reckoning at the Frontier by Eros Hoagland (Kickstarter crowdfunding) ‘Reckoning at the Frontier is an upcoming photography book that explores the drug war in northern Mexico.’
Workshop : Photographic storytelling with Sebastian Meyer and Anastasia Taylor-Lind : 7 December, London(Guardian) ‘Two eminent, widely published and very different photojournalists give a Guardian Masterclass in telling stories with images.’
Laura Pannack new website
Mark Hartman on Verve
Paul Taggart on Verve
Pavel Prokopchik on Verve
Philipp Spalek on Verve
Daniel Hartley-Allen on Verve
Linda Dorigo on Verve
Regardless of where we grew up, most of us spent many of our formative years sitting in a classroom. Four walls with colorful pictures on them and a teacher at the front. The language, customs and native dress might differ from place to place, but British photographer Julian Germain, who has spent eight years photographing students in classrooms around the world, found the experience of going back-to-school is universal.
His collection, which spans Brazil, Nigeria, Yemen, Russia, Taiwan, England, America and others, provides a window inside the classrooms of the world. It also represents a new vision of the traditional class photo. “Every year, your class is photographed; a photographer comes in, lines you up in almost a military fashion, but in those pictures you never see the classroom,” says Germain. “They are usually made against a brick wall or a curtain or something so you never really get a look at the space. I had this idea to examine the space where kids learn, and at the same time, examine the kids.”
Germain began taking photos of classrooms in 2004, not long after his daughter started school. He started by photographing a handful of schools in the northeast region of England where he lives. The following year for a trip to Argentina for a separate assignment his project took an international turn. “It had not been planned in advance, it’s something that happened very organically,” he says. “At a certain point it became clear it would be interesting to photograph schools anywhere I could.” Some of those schools are now part of a book aptly titled, Classroom Portraits.
Education, as Germain notes, is not often the subject of art. “It’s amazing, if you look around museums and things, school is never there,” he says. “Artists frequently go into schools to make art with the children, but never really to make work with education as the theme.” To that end, Germain carefully choreographed each class, just as he would any other subject. He took his photos in the last 15 minutes of the lesson. He made sure each child was visible, but otherwise left the room just as it was. Since he was dealing with often squirrelly children, he didn’t have much time. In the days of film, he says he would only shoot between two and four exposures. Now, thanks to digital, he takes about 10. “They just can’t concentrate for longer than that,” he says.
Unlike your typical school photographer, Germain never yelled, “say cheese.” “I don’t tell them to do anything,” he says. “I just tell them that the exposure is quite long and they need to be ready. I never tell them to smile or adopt a certain mood. I just tell them they need to be ready.” The result is a classroom full of students who appear just as they would to a teacher standing in front of the class delivering a lecture. In fact, Germain thinks of the camera as the teacher. “It’s not that they don’t look happy, they just aren’t grinning like a cheshire cat—they are paying attention to the ‘teacher’,” he says. Which is why you won’t find a teacher in his photos—he prefers to only photograph the students. “I found if teachers are in, they dominate,” he says. “I like the idea that the images are very democratic. I give everybody space. As soon as the teacher goes in there it kind of messes that up. I wanted to make it all about the kids.”
Making the students the focus gives them a sort of power. Because he photographed the children at eye level, when flipping through his book hundreds of eyes stare back at you. “I find that quite challenging,” he says. Indeed, he says, the whole world children inhabit has been built by adults—the education system they are in, the clothes they’re wearing, the textbooks, their notebooks, pencils, pen, the blackboard, the furniture. “It says to me, we are responsible for the world they’re in,” he says. “There’s a lot of mumbling and grumbling and despair about what young people are like, but who’s responsible for that? We are.”
Classroom Portraits was published this summer by Prestel.
Kayla Webley is a staff writer at TIME.
SIGHTLINES AND PASTORAL MOMENTS
The third solo exhibition of new artworks by the British photographer Helen Sear is on until 26 October at the Klompching Gallery in New York. Two new series will be presented as the gallery’s opening exhibition for the 2012–2013 season, accompanied by the US launch of the monograph charting a more than 25-year practice.
“Sightlines and Pastoral Monuments continue Sear’s commitment to conceptual applications, integration of photographic process, historical reference and visual allure. Sightlines is an exquisite set of 21 photographs, partially concerned with ideas about the unique object and the copy. The images themselves depict a portrait of a woman whose face is obscured by a mass-produced, but hand-painted figurine of a bird. Sear alters the final photograph through the application of several layers of white primer—gesso.
“The images, then, are also about photographing paint and painting photographs. This convergence of the unique and/or the copy is further implicated by notions of her concern with identity.obscuring the face of the woman, Sear interrupts the gaze of both sitter and observer. The spectator of the photograph is unable to know the sitter’s identity, in a similar way that she/he can’t know the identity of the person(s) who hand-painted the bird. These small-scale photographs confound our expectations in the most delightful way, and are a testimony to the conceptual and visual strength of Sear’s practice.
“Showing alongside Sightlines, is Pastoral Monuments, which expands an underlying theme of the real and the re-presentation of it. In this case, Sear references the historical photographs of the botanist and photographer, Mary Dillwyn, whose photographs from the early 1850’s depicted wild flowers arranged in domestic crockery. Sear has sourced more than 80 wild flowers from the same Welsh field and photographed them in jugs and vases from around the world.
“Through handling the resulting prints and rephotographing them—evidencing this handling—Sear believes that “the flowers and their containers become connected in a material sense, across the surface of the image.” Further, we see in the photographs familiar ideas associated with flowers—youth, beauty and mortality. In some ways, these photographs become monuments to flowers.” Press release.
Legendary British photographer Cornel Lucas has photographed some of the most powerful and captivating film stars of the 20th century. With a career spanning 70 years, one can safely assume Lucas has ‘seen it all’ when it comes to stars—his glamorous portraits immortalize the iconic actors of the golden age of film. But it wasn’t always a piece of cake. The photographer—who celebrates his 92nd birthday on Sept. 12—fondly recounted some the highlights of his career for LightBox, including his shoots with names like Hepburn, Peck and Bardot.
When movie star Marlene Dietrich arrived at Denham Studios for her portrait shoot with Lucas in 1948, she found a nervous photographer awaiting her arrival. Lucas had the idea to turn on a radio to break the ice for the star when she arrived—an idea quickly shot down by Dietrich’s publicist. “I was now more nervous than ever,” Lucas said. And it didn’t help his nerves that the publicity director announced to the photographer that her client was wearing a $40,000 coat.
But the Dietrich shoot went on without a hitch, save for the star’s creative direction. “She explained that she knew exactly where to sit, how to be lit and that her best pose was looking straight at the camera,” he said. “She was directing me!”
A day later, Dietrich arrived at the studio to examine Lucas’s contact sheets. Examining them with “an enormous magnifying glass”, she began marking the shots she liked most. Lucas then re-touched the images Dietrich chose and, the next day, showed her the final product.
“Pleased, she turned to me, shook my hand and said, ‘Join the club, Mr. Lucas!’,” he recalled. Perplexed, he asked the star’s publicist what she meant. His reply?
“Mr. Lucas, it means you’re on the road to success.”
And indeed he was. The photographer’s career eventually took him to the grandest film sets and studios across Europe and the United States. The style and glamour of his work ensured that his portraits became the iconic image of the stars he photographed.
This makes it surprising that Lucas’ work has never been exhibited in New York until this month. A retrospective exhibition of his work is showing now at Fiorentini + Baker, the flagship store of the Italian shoemaker. Lucas’ work is also part of the permananet collections at the National Portrait Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Media Museum and London’s Photographers’ Gallery.
Congratulations to British photographer Michael Marten. His remarkable new photobook Sea Change: A Tidal Journey Around Britain was just published by Kehrer Verlag. The book features diptychs taken from the same point during high tide and during low tide (often just 6 hours and 20 minutes apart).
He met his publisher last year at Lens Culture FotoFest Paris portfolio reviews. And, coincidentally, earlier in 2011, Marten won the Grand Prize in the Portfolio Category of the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards.
He also has a one-man show coming up at [email protected] in London on 26 September. Cheers!
Salmon fishery, Solway Firth, Galloway. 27 and 28 March 2006.
Low water 5.20 pm, high water 12 noon.
YOU can still enter your photographs and multimedia to win one of Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2012: lensculture.com/awards. Deadline is September 16, 2012.
AND you can still register for portfolio reviews in Paris (November 12-13-14, 2012): fotofest-paris.com.
Great work deserves to be seen all around the world!
Elliott Wilcox is a London based, British photographer who recently graduated from the University of Westminster, MA Photographic Studies program. He has been the recipient of several awards including a Judges Award at the Nikon Discovery Awards, a New York Photo Award and a Lucie Award for the Discovery of the Year at the International Photography Awards. He has exhibited internationally and in the UK, his first major series Courts was part of the show PRUNE – Abstracting Reality at FOAM Gallery Amsterdam with guest curator Kathy Ryan, editor of the New York Times Magazine. Wilcox was also part of the BBC’s documentary series School of Saatchi. Wilcox's second major series Walls was shown at the Bau-Xi Photo Gallery Toronto, Canada earlier this year. Elliott hopes to continue developing his photographic practice and pushing the boundaries of his medium. He is currently working on his next major series.
On Thursday night, the book Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs by Weston Naef and Christine Hult-Lewis, from Getty Publications, was named the winner of the 2012 Kraszna-Krausz Best Photography Book Award at the Sony Photo Awards in London. The book presents more than 1,000 photographs by Watkins, a 19th-century landscape photographer of the American West, along with essays and research. Jem Southam, a British photographer and a professor at the School of Art and Media at Plymouth University, sat on the judging panel; he spoke exclusively to LightBox about the process of judging photography books.
Southam says that when the panel met together to narrow the list of books down to five, and then to one, after spending weeks on their own with the nearly 200 contest submissions, the process—meant to take two hours—took five. “Each book that we shortlisted, each of us could have happily stood by it as a winner, and each was an utterly different kind of project,” he says. But the Kraszna-Krausz award has a very specific criterion for recipients, that they make a significant contribution to scholarship in the field, and with that standard in mind the Watkins book stood apart from the rest.
“One of the things that this book has done is bring an immense amount of labor to create a catalogue raisonné the likes of which, for a 19th-century photographer, I’ve never seen,” says Southam. He says that many of the judges were of a generation for which the 1975 New Topographics exhibit at the George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y., was an important event, and—at least for European photographic scholars—the first time they were introduced to landscape photographers from Watkins’ era, a category that Southam says is still under-examined. This book, Southam says, will be the resource to which future generations of scholars turn when they are writing essays about Watkins and his compatriots—and, as such, the book fulfills the prize’s mission.
The book also accomplishes a scholarly task by showing Watkins’ work in great volume. “He was solving photographic problems for the first time,” says Southam of Watkins’ work from the Yosemite Valley, in which the photographer confronted a landscape that had never before been photographed. “You develop an understanding [with a book] of the photographer’s process that wouldn’t be possible with one print.”
Nevertheless, Southam cautions any photographer against making a book that is intended to do well in competitions. “I’m not very keen on judging. Books aren’t made to be judged,” he says. But it helps when a book is as much of a stand-out as the one in question this time around. “One of the things that one’s looking for is an object that’s captivating as an object, that has presence, that the hands and the body and the mind get a pleasure from the holding and the turning and the looking at, that the whole has an integrity that comes from the vision of the author. This book, every page you turn to is as engrossing as the next.”
The Sony World Photography Awards Exhibitions and World Photo London takes place April 27 – May 20. An exhibition of the winning and shortlisted books from the Kraszna-Krausz book awards 2012 is at Somerset House, London, during that time. More information is available here.