Tag Archives: Pathos

Greg Miller

Greg Miller is a photographer’s photographer.  He captures the American Experience with an 8 x10 camera, but also with pathos and realism and beauty. In 2008 Greg received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and his website reflects why–he has numerous stunning projects that reveal a curiosity about a range of cultures and an ease with strangers that combine to create a feast of light and color and intimacy. And today just happens to be Greg’s birthday, so a little celebrating is in order.
Duck River,2008, from Nashville

Born in Nashville, Greg works as a fine art and editorial photographer, with work appearing in publications such as The New York Times Magazine, TIME, People, Fortune, Life, and many more.  He exhibits worldwide, teaches at the International Center for Photography in New York, and gives workshops across the country.  Today I am featuring his project, Waiting For, about that disappearing summer pastime in the back of a pick-up truck watching a movie with someone you love.
Images from Waiting For
Waiting For…
I found this project in my backyard, at the drive-in movie theatre near my house. While waiting for a movie, I fell in love with what has happening all around me: cars full of friends, kids on dates and married couples with children well beyond the romance of earlier years.

I photograph in the time before the movies begin.  By the time the projector’s silver light illuminates the night sky, my job is done.

Review Santa Fe: Daniel W. Coburn

Over the next month, I will be sharing the work of photographers who attended Review Santa Fe in June.  Review Santa Fe is the only juried review in the United States and invites 100 photographers to Santa Fe for a long weekend of reviews, insights, and connections.  
When I first started writing about the genre of Photographing Family some years back, there were only a handful of image makers capturing the pathos of domestic interactions in a significant way.  Phillip Toledano, Doug DuBois, and Elizabeth Flemming, to name a few, brought a sensibility to telling stories that were at once personal, yet universal.  Photographer Daniel W. Coburn is following in those footsteps with his beautifully executed project, Next of Kin.  Daniel gives us a sense of place and of people. His proximity allows for an ability to be a participant observer where he is able to capture the intangible essence of family, interpreting those he loves with a lens that honors, explores, and understands.

Daniel received his BFA from Washburn University and is currently an instructor and graduate student at the University of New Mexico.  His work his held in public and private collections, and he has published and exhibited widely.
In Next of Kin I use craftsmanship and beauty to engage my viewer in
a dark family narrative.  After a
yearlong hiatus from my hometown, I returned to reexamine my relationship with
immediate family. I use the camera to describe the powerful personalities of my
parents, and the complexities of their relationship. I photograph the children
in my family to revisit my own childhood, which exists only as a set of
fleeting, enigmatic images in my aging memory.

 Next of Kin records the interaction of a working-class family living in Middle America, and the anxiety that occurs within the confines of suburban dystopia. The viewer is encouraged to contemplate the complexities of these relationships in dialogue with their own family experience. How the imagery functions in conversation with the viewers personal family narrative becomes paramount and its value is ultimately determined by its transformative potential.

Boston Week: Asia Kepka

While I am enjoying the Focus Awards hosted by the Griffin Museum and the Flash Forward Festival hosted by the Magenta Foundation in Boston this week, I featuring Boston photographers, today with Asia Kepka.  


I love Asia Kepka’s work, but also her person. David Hilliard took this amazing photograph of her:

In Asia’s words: 

The day I was born my grandmother cried.
The tears were not tears of joy, she cried because she had never seen such an ugly baby.
Many years later, I became a model and a whole new world opened up to me. It was fun, but even more fun awaited me when I landed in NYC 20 years ago. I arrived with $100 in my pocket but my boundless enthusiasm was priceless. My friend greeted me at the airport and gave me my first point and shoot camera. Things were never the same.
I felt like a dog hanging its head out of the window of a fast moving car. With camera in hand and very little English, I embarked on a career as a photographer. I was lucky to start with the best clients imaginable: Wired, Time, Fortune, and the NY Times.

Her work has pathos and humor and I am sharing her series, Bridget and I.


Bridget and I: In 2004 I found Bridget on Craigslist . I was  intrigued and decided to spend $100 not knowing really what will I do with her.

One day I took her out of my basement, dressed her up and started to set up a portrait. She looked bit stiff and the photo needed something.. never before I was a fan of doing self portraits but I decided  to jump in. Suddenly  I found myself in the midst of my most exciting project-don’t get me wrong- taking photos always brought me incredible rush and joy. 

Working as a photographer I feel like a dog with it’s head out of the window of a car on the way to the park. This project is even more exciting. It became my visual diary- place where I record  my dreams, my past, my everyday life .

My hope was to create a fairy tale that is timeless, independent of place, hermetically sealed from the outside world. This cathartic process has allowed me to explore issues of my identity as a woman and as an immigrant. Quite often images of me are reflection of my Mother and Grandmother back in Poland.

 “I feel like i’m watching Fellini’s movie” -said an onlooker  at the site of  Bridget and I in a hotel pool in Arizona. At times dragging mannequin in public places draws quite an attention and “being in a moment” is a challenge but seeing reactions of bystanders is always positive and at times priceless.

 All images are self portraits taken with 4×5 camera. The only exception are water shots. 


 This adventure can be physically challenging  – Bridget is heavy and rigid , she endured being shipped via Fedex and  immersed in many bodies of water.She got slammed by the wind in a sand storm ,which caused her big cracks on her head and she is missing a toe.   I hope she lasts few more years as I plan on continuing this project for a avery long time. 




‘Lakes, Trees and Honeybees’: Matthew Brandt at Yossi Milo Gallery

When photographer Matthew Brandt started studying for his MFA, he began with the earliest forms of photography, immersing himself in the history of the process. Studying at UCLA also allowed him to return to his hometown and catch up with friends and family members; it was only a matter of time before the photography and friendship collided in a series of portraits.

And then the collision furthered: one day, a friend who Brandt was photographing started to cry. Brandt asked for her tears. “I know it seems a little mean but at the time it seemed to make sense,” he says. He had been studying salted paper prints, a very early form of 19th-century photography that requires just salt solution and silver nitrate to add light sensitivity to a piece of paper. The sight of that naturally occurring salt water triggered an idea. He used the tears to create a portrait of his crying friend. “It was like this ‘eureka’ process in the dark room,” Brandt says. “I was like, ‘oh my God, this actually worked.’”

Brandt, whose work will be featured starting May 24 in an exhibition at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York City, finished his degree in 2008 but has continued to make photographs using the physical matter of the subject in the development process. The upcoming exhibition Lakes, Trees and Honeybees will include work from three series. For Lakes and Reservoirs, Brandt soaked photographs of lakes in water collected from the subjects, creating unpredictable colorscapes. In Trees, photographs of the title vegetation are printed on paper and with ink made from branches fallen from those very trees. The Honeybees photos are pictures of bees printed with a gum-bichromate process that required using a solution of the bees themselves in the developing process.

These photographs, of their subjects in both senses of the word, also share a certain degree of pathos and a somber tone, says Brandt. Each of the three series is imbued with its own particular sense of loss, a feeling that something is changing, maybe for the worse. The moment captured is one of crisis.

Lakes, for example, while also addressing the more obvious meanings of wetness, highlights the obsolescence of wet photography; color negative paper was becoming hard to get. The Trees series was made right around the time that Brandt graduated from UCLA and George W. Bush left office. The trees photographed are in George Bush Park in Houston; Brandt says he didn’t want to make an overtly political statement but rather to capture a sense of ambivalence about what the future could hold, an uncertainty that he felt in himself and observed on a national level. And Honeybees was made when Colony Collapse Disorder was making news, prompting the photographer to think of the bees as a clue that something was going wrong in the world.

But not everything is changing. The old-fashioned photography processes Brandt uses—not to mention the work involved in making his own paper and ink—are extremely labor-intensive, but Brandt has no plans to take it easy. The photographer, who cites classic American landscape photography as an influence, still sometimes goes hiking with a large-format camera, frequently returning to Yosemite with Ansel Adams in mind. “The guys who would travel with their wagons through these crazy hills—if they put that much work into making a picture, I should do the same,” he says.

Matthew Brandt is a California-based photographer. Lakes, Trees and Honeybees will be on view at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York City from May 24 – June 30. More of his work can be seen here.

Marisha Camp

I am in love.  Deeply in love. and you’d better get a cup of coffee because I am sharing a bumper crop of photographs today.  Marisha Camp is an amazing portrait photographer, creating full blown operas with her camera. Each photograph has power, has beauty, has pathos and her body of work is so rich that it is hard to know where to begin.
You see this and think it can’t get much better….
and then you see this…

and this….

and then you exhale a little and are flattened by this…
I’ll let Marisha tell you her story:
I grew up in a small town in Connecticut.  I was too sensitive.  I felt everything deeply.  I lived in my head.  One of my grade
school classmates was nicknamed “The Cow.”  When she entered a room, the
room burst into moo’s.  Every day for five years, maybe longer, this poor
girl was profoundly set apart, taunted, tormented… And she stoically endured
it all and simply said “kids can be cruel sometimes” when I asked her how she
survived inside.  I tried my best to
fight for her then, and in some strange
way I have been fighting for her ever since.

In high school, we read Nickled and Dimed, we embraced
multiculturalism, it was all so well meaning, but I’ll never forget the school
assembly where we were told not to wear baseball caps because baseball caps were
for uneducated men named Billy Bob.  As
soon as we could drive, my brother and I hit the road.  We went looking
for Billy Bob.  Billy Bob driving down the turnpike as fast as his
battered car would take him, feeling for a brief moment as though he could fly,
the weight of constant struggle and crushed dreams and hard living miles
below…  Hi ho silvero, deliver me from nowhere…  Years later I still
hadn’t picked up a camera.  I was sitting in an interview for the sort of
dirty, thankless, hopelessly underpaid job that, when you’re lucky, leaves you
with just enough left over at the end of the month for a few hours of reckless
driving with the radio cranked all the way.  The manager asked me what I
wanted to do with my life.  I don’t know where the answer came from, but I told him I wanted to be the Bruce Springsteen of photography. 

           
I went back to school.  I started to take photographs, photos of people,
photos steeped in the mythology of Billy Bob and “The Cow,” photos of
strangers, photos of so many people who would become close friends…  I am
always drawn to the moments where people are able to escape their realities,
where there is space to transform oneself, a space to dream…  Of all the
things I am grateful for, I am most grateful for the many chances I’ve had to
step into other people’s worlds.  I shoot democratically- I light everyone. 
I try to find the light that shines in everyone I meet.  Most of the time
I succeed.  I still live in my head.  I don’t imagine I’m making
objective documents.  I know that every portrait is, to a degree, a
self-portrait.  I don’t fight it.  I need to believe that deep down,
we are all the same.  

The Beach
I began shooting the portraits that would become “The Beach” during a
long and sweltering August when I was down and out in New York City.  Coney Island saved my spirit. I wandered up
and down the beach every weekend sheepishly asking strangers if I could take
their picture, and I soon found myself fully immersed in the lives of new
friends, immersed in their sorrows and joys instead of my own. 

On Coney Island, I experienced a sort of generosity that defied every prevailing notion of big city life, of merciless competition and soul crushing anonymity.  I was invited onto towels and blankets and offered endless amounts of food and beer. And stories. Wonderfully sad, touching, harrowing, funny, happy, beautiful stories… Four years have passed since then. I still wander up and down the beach each summer. 

 Every year I’m terrified it will all be over soon, that Coney Island’s fading amusement parks will give way to hotels and Disneyfication. Everything I love about Coney Island is threatened by development and ignored in debates about blight and eminent domain. But this is no graveyard for lost dreams- the beach is vibrant and alive. A colorful wonderland on a hazy summer afternoon, Coney Island is as much an escapist’s dream world as it is gritty and urban and real. And now I shoot and shoot and shoot so some little part of its magic can never fade away.

Images from Pagents

Andi Schreiber

Andi Schreiber is what one might coin as a domestic Martin Parr. She turns her camera on her life, her children, family and friends with a glaring lens that is full of color, reality, and the details of our humanness. There is humor and pathos in her seeing, and her skills as a photojournalist bring domestic life into sharp focus.

Andi graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA and was a photojournalist in Boston Before moving New York City to work as a magazine and newspaper picture editor. In 2002, she traded in city life for suburbia and lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and sons.  Recently Andi’s work was featured in the Kiernan Gallery’s exhibition, Family Dynamics, and she was an award recipient in PHOTO/arts Magazine’s book and online exhibition, My Own Wilderness.

In 2010 and 2011, Andi’s books Lush Light and WonderLust were each awarded Honorable Mention in Blurb’s Photography Book Now competition.

WonderLust is a visceral response to my immediate surroundings – a world where I’m at home yet hovering on the periphery, an insider and outsider at once. Through these images I find my place within my family’s framework and that of a larger existence.

A sense of wonder and thrill of attraction is at the core of this project. These photographs are made at home, at poolside, at parties and in parking lots, of family and friends, and people unknown to me. They are pieces of my world and a manifestation of inner life. I fight the urge to pre-visualize; my process is random. I’m struck by the accidental image: a flash of color, a passing gesture. Details make me tingle. I need to experience deeply what is here, right now. The camera enables me to vanish into moments before they are gone.
This ongoing body of work, WonderLust, embraces sensation and a passion for what’s unseen. It’s as if I have no choice but to turn that irresistible desire into something tangible, into a photograph. I want to seduce the viewer to feel as I do – to know pleasure, to be alive.

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2300393

Great Performance: Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer discusses relaxing in front of a camera and his own lack of pathos.

2011 Performances: Beginners, Barrymore, Priest

Nominated: Best Supporting Actor for Beginners

THE PERFORMERS SPEAK:

 

To view TIME’s Oscars portfolio photo gallery, click here

To see more of TIME’s Oscar coverage, click here