Tag Archives: Composition

Photobook review: You Look At Me Like an Emergency

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Flood Tide, Self Portrait.
Mangrove Bay, Bermuda, 2005
Cig Harvey, from “You Look At Me Like An Emergency”

Cig Harvey is a photographer driven by conceptual work that vibrates with super-saturated color and careful premeditated composition. See more images, and read the review, in the latest issue of Lens Culture.

A tribute to: Lauren E. Simonutti (1968-2012)

Lauren E. Simonutti, 1968, USA, passed away last week due to complications from her illness. On March 28th, 2006 she started hearing voices and was diagnosed with “rapid cycling, mixed state bipolar with schizoaffective disorder”. She felt she was going mad and spent her last years almost in isolation. She turned the camera on herself and the space she was living in. She has left us with an impressive, honest and strong body of work. With her photographs she gave a voice to those that suffer in isolation.
“Over (five) years I have spent alone amidst these 8 rooms, 7 mirrors, 6 clocks, 2 minds and 199 panes of glass. And this is what I saw here. This is what I learned. I figure it could go one of two ways – I will either capture my ascension from madness to as much a level of sanity for which one of my composition could hope, or I will leave a document of it all, in the case that I should lose.” – Lauren E. Simonutti
The following images come from the series The Devil’s Alphabet and 8 Rooms, 7 Mirrors, 6 Clocks, 2 Minds & 199 Panes of Glass.

Website: www.edelmangallery.com & www.lauren-rabbit.blogspot.com

Karen Divine

I don’t own an iPhone…yet, so I was excited to juror the recent call for entry by the Kiernan Gallery, iSpy: Camera Phone Photography to see how photographers are approaching this new tool. I was wowed by the array of images and stellar examples of technology’s newest tool. The exhibition opens on today, March 6th, and runs through April 7th. A catalogue of the exhibition is also available on Blurb.

The image I selected for the Juror’s Award was by created by Karen Divine. I had seen her images elsewhere, but had no idea that they were created with a cell phone.

Juror’s Award image

Born in Texas, Karen is a self-taught photographer, who has attended workshops and studied with a long roster of image makers. She was introduced to photography during a career as a model in NYC, and later discovered the possibilities of Photoshop. “I view the world in layers, stacking colors, textures, forms and stories onto each other as if one were walking through their day with blurred vision, not taking in specifics but piecing together various parts and overlapping them. Images that tell a story are important to me, images that are suggestive, a reflection of one’s inner turmoil and dreams, a personal documentary, images where the boundaries are somewhat obscure. I want to look at an image and be forced to look again and again. A sense of structure and design is important of course but behind my shapes and colors, there is usually another order of meaning, however abstract that may appear.”

Karen has created the project featured below, Shooting the Nude, where she explores the idea “Do women shoot the nude with a different vein of intention than the male?” She states, “Being the genesis of the greatest art, I wonder if the viewer of the image perceives the nude differently depending on the gender of its maker! Are we shooting the female form for it’s lines and shapes that make any composition visually appealing or is the image a reflection of our own sensuous or objective being? In answering these questions, I discovered a woman, playful, sinuous, provacative, a bit off in her antics and movements, confident, doubtful but always wanting to present herself in freedom.”


iSpy: Camera Phone Photography

Tom Paiva

Los Angeles photographer, Tom Paiva, often finds himself working in another reality, creating his photographs long after our heads have hit the pillow. Tom received his BFA from the San Francisco Academy of Art, and for the last 15 years has worked as a freelance photographer specializing in large format photography of industrial and maritime settings, as well as architecture and interiors. Tom is passionate about night photography and is a co-founder of The Nocturnes, an organization dedicated to night photography, and has recently started a blog that celebrates twilight and night photography. What I love about Tom’s work is that his night images elevate industrial structures to epic proportions, the same structures that seen during the day don’t get a second glance.

Tom has a new project, Closed Auto Dealerships, that shot at twilight bring a strange beauty to a sad subject.

Closed Auto Dealerships: Over the past year I have been working on this project of the closed auto dealerships in Los Angeles. Well over 3500 dealerships have closed nationwide, laying off an estimated 200,000 people. This presence is felt in these acres of empty asphalt and boarded up buildings.

This impact was an obvious indicator of the ailing economy and inspired me to take the project on and both document and try and capture that feeling of loss. It is particularly powerful when shot at night. While I was scouting and shooting this project, I thought about the people who worked there and the thriving businesses they once were.

Early on, I decided to shoot this project in 8×10, which gave me the discipline to really study the subject and be very deliberate about composition and lighting.

Bruno Dubner at MAMBA (Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires)

A last post for 2011 and maybe a last post from Argentina for awhile as I’m now traveling in Chile and soon to head to Peru again. On my penultimate day in Buenos Aires I visted a small show of photographs by Bruno Dubner at the MAMBA [great name]. The work is called Ajeno, which means foreign, distinct or alien. The show consists of a long line of about 30 photographs of sidewalk views, looking down and to the side, usually depicting different sorts of entry ways in the more urbanized neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.

Ajeno – Bruno Dubner

Bruno Dubner – Ajeno

There’s a brochure with a long, fancy text that’s beyond my skills in Spanish and, probably, my English too, if it were translated. Beyond the conceptual conceit of the work, I appreciate the photos for evoking the urban skin of Buenos Aires. The photos themselves are simple and unpretentious, shot with a 35mm camera and printed small but lusciously [C-prints!]. There’s an overall chromatic harmony within the work and an obsessive attention to certain details, like the near total exclusion of litter, graffiti, or any sort of text–something that becomes clear when viewing the full series. Unfortunately the work isn’t on Dubner’s site just yet [although do check it out as he’s got some other interesting work].

The installation of the show is also nicely done, echoing the composition of the photographs themselves.

Bruno Dubner at MAMBA

I totally stole all these photos from a post on the website Juanele, about this show. I’d go over and read that as well because the writer, Gabriela Schevach, delves more into the conceptual elements of the work and knows her stuff!

One of our artists to teach a class at the Santa Fe Photo Workshops!

“Finding your voice as a photographer.” – taught by Michael Crouser.


Michael was an ideal teacher: generous, kind, extremely well versed in photography, and incredibly creative. recycled glass products . Alesandra Zsiba, former workshop participant

Finding your photographic voice can be a lifelong quest. With Michael Crouser as your guide, begin the journey to developing and honing your own personal aestheticthe point of view that is uniquely your own. We start by examining the works of well-known photographers and review the choices they make in producing their images, and how they present a unique and personal voice as a photographer. We examine the choices that we make when producing a photograph, the choices that separate the image from a mere snapshot and make it a photograph we can call our own. These elements include composition, lighting, subject, perspective, black and white versus color, and a myriad of other choices.
Our stimulating and thought provoking classroom sessions are followed with field sessions every day, to put into practice our insights, develop our eye and our voice, and to draw inspiration from the beauty of Santa Fe.
We begin to see photographs differently and learn to identify the aspects of our work that are uniquely ours, as well as the aspects that we need to discard. Its not just the techniques that make the difference. Most importantly, its the point of viewyours. Ultimately, we lay a foundation to build upon and develop, which becomes the voice that is uniquely you.


More info on the class here: http://www.santafeworkshops.com/photography-workshops/workshop/804

One of our artists to teach a class at the Santa Fe Photo Workshops!

“Finding your voice as a photographer.” – taught by Michael Crouser.


Michael was an ideal teacher: generous, kind, extremely well versed in photography, and incredibly creative. Alesandra Zsiba, former workshop participant

Finding your photographic voice can be a lifelong quest. With Michael Crouser as your guide, begin the journey to developing and honing your own personal aestheticthe point of view that is uniquely your own. We start by examining the works of well-known photographers and review the choices they make in producing their images, and how they present a unique and personal voice as a photographer. We examine the choices that we make when producing a photograph, the choices that separate the image from a mere snapshot and make it a photograph we can call our own. need an attorney . These elements include composition, lighting, subject, perspective, black and white versus color, and a myriad of other choices.
Our stimulating and thought provoking classroom sessions are followed with field sessions every day, to put into practice our insights, develop our eye and our voice, and to draw inspiration from the beauty of Santa Fe.
We begin to see photographs differently and learn to identify the aspects of our work that are uniquely ours, as well as the aspects that we need to discard. Its not just the techniques that make the difference. Most importantly, its the point of viewyours. Ultimately, we lay a foundation to build upon and develop, which becomes the voice that is uniquely you.


More info on the class here: http://www.santafeworkshops.com/photography-workshops/workshop/804

Kay von Aspern

When you think of Vienna, one doesn’t immediately think of quirky street photography, but Kay von Aspern has a gift for finding it. Born in Germany, now living in Vienna, Kay is a “Collector of Moments”. A member of the German-Austrian street photographer collective seconds2real, Kay looks for those unique juxtapositions that can only be found with the heightened visual acuity that comes from split second observations.

“Sometimes he’s a magician. He makes something visible, the others remain hidden. The puzzle pieces of city life creates a single picture in front of his lens. Then he presses the shutter button and keeps the moment in a unique composition. This photo does not form a situation from what it is, but as only he can see them. A bit of luck is occasionally in the game: On bad days the road seems to want to reveal anything and even for hours photographic stroll remains unrewarded. On good days, it gives the photographer a special light or a unique meeting right from your own front door. For these moments, he makes repeatedly on the way to the special in the ordinary noted.”

Images from Faces

Images from Street