Tag Archives: Foregrounds

A Year of Photographers in the Picture

A little shy of a year agowith the world’s attention focused on a change of power in North Koreaa photo of Kim Jung Il’s funeral, released by KCNA (North Korean Central News Agency), sparked controversy. The image had been manipulatedless for overt political ends, more for visual harmony. Blog Submission . The photo’s offending elements, photoshopped from the image, were not political adversaries or top secret information, but a group of photographers who had disturbed the aesthetic order of the highly orchestrated and meticulously planned occasion.

KCNA/Reuters

Dec. 28, 2011. A limousine carrying a portrait of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il leads his funeral procession in Pyongyang.

In an age where seemingly every occasion is documented through photography from every conceivable anglean estimated 380 billion photographs will be taken this year aloneit’s not only North Korean bureaucrats who are wrestling to keep hoards of other photographers out of their pictures.

Photographers frequently appear in news photographs made by others. Banks of cameras greet celebrities and public figures at every event; cell phones held high by admirers become a tribute in lights, but a distraction to the viewer. Amateurs and professionals, alike, appear in backgrounds and in foregrounds of images made at both orchestrated events and in more candid moments. squido lense . The once-invisible professional photographer’s process has been laid bare.

On occasion, photographers even purposefully make their fellow photographers the subject of their pictures. The most difficult picture to take, it seems, is one without the presence of another photographer either explicitly or implicitly in the frame.

Everyone wants to record their own version of realityironically, it turns out, because by distracting oneself with a camera, it’s easy to miss the true experience of a moment. At a recent Jack White concert, the guitarist requested that audience members stop trying to take their own photos. “The bigger idea,” his label noted in a statement, “is for people to experience the event with their own eyes and not watch an entire show through a tiny screen in their hand. We have every show photographed professionally and the pictures are available from Jack White’s website shortly after to download for free.”

The abundance of camera phones and inexpensive digital cameras has changed the photographic landscape in countless and still-incompletely understood ways, and it’s not just the North Korean government trying to find ways around the hoards of photographers making their way into everyone else’s shots. Here, TIME looks back on the past year to highlight an increasingly common phenomenon: the photographer in the picture.

” Boring Landscape” series by the italian…

” Boring Landscape” series by the italian photographer Marco Citron,  features in german magazine PhotoNews, with a review about the work written by Martin Parr :

“The photos of Marco Citron from ex-soviet countries look strangely familiar. They remind us of the images of Utopia, so beloved by Communist block photographers in the 60’s and 70s. These can be found in postcards, propaganda books showing the bright new cities they depicted and many other forms. Yet somehow we also know
they are different. Not only are these taken by a artist of some sophistication, but just the way he arranges the cars, and the foregrounds,for example, in the photographs has a real wit to them.
It is both playful and very subtle. The photographs have a humour to them which is almost a contradiction, given the dry and pedestrian nature of the subject matter.
That little ambiguity is  what makes these photographs really work.”

A part of Food For Your Eyes Slideshows presented during  Month of Photograhy in Vienna last november ,  “Boring Landscape” is exhibited at the 5th Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie