Tag Archives: Point Of View

‘No Place Like Home: Foreclosures in America’ by Bruce Gilden

Bruce Gilden’s photo series about foreclosed homes, which will be presented this weekend by the Magnum Foundation as part of the Photoville 2012 festival, is a departure from the photographer’s usual working style—and not just because this exhibition is going to be held in a shipping container.

“It’s the only piece I’ve ever done that could be considered photojournalistic, because I work generally like a poet,” Gilden says, meaning that he went into the project with a point of view rather than just looking for people or things that caught his eye. “I take pictures of what I feel, but this is a direct thing: I’m going to photograph houses that are foreclosed.”

Gilden got started on the topic in 2008, as part of a Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund effort to revisit a 1960s project; the idea was that President Obama might present a parallel to President Kennedy, and that it was a good time to look at the state of the country. Gilden intended to go to Florida and photograph the people of Miami Beach, but his wife suggested that foreclosures might be a more appropriate subject. “I didn’t even know really what foreclosure was,” he remembers. “But I went down and did foreclosures, and as I started to do it I started to get annoyed, because I saw it’s like legalized thievery.”He subsequently began to study up on the topic—he says he has now read 20 books on the topic, throws around words like “tranche” and can cite foreclosure rates by state—and the annoyance turned to anger. That anger became the message of the photographs. “I’m not on the one-percent side,” he says.

Video about the project from Gilden’s Kickstarter page

Some people do take advantage of the mortgage crisis as a scam, he says, but mostly it’s the bankers who he sees benefitting. “This just showed me how people in our country get used and abused,” he says. He cites one woman he met in Las Vegas, who earned $40,000 a year and received a $360,000 mortgage; “I mean, you must be kidding me,” he says. He admits that it’s not smart to take such an offer, but in a scenario where banks can get rid of bad mortgages rather than suffering from them, he sees incentive for those in power to convince individuals to take loans they can’t handle.

In the time since Gilden began photographing foreclosed houses, he says the problem has gotten worse. The original photographs of Florida have expanded to include several other states, including Nevada, which he recently visited on a Kickstarter-funded trip. The people he’s met along the way, people who feel taken advantage of, are eager to tell their stories in the interviews he conducts along with his photography. But he says he doesn’t plan to work on this series indefinitely. Next, he’d like to capture the step that sometimes follows foreclosure, life as a long-term resident of a motel. And he doesn’t see improvement coming any time soon: if the people capable of changing the situation benefit from the status quo, he says, why would they ever make those changes?

So even though this recent work is a departure from Gilden’s typical style and process, his interest is consistent when it comes to what he calls the dark side of life. “It’s great to wake up every morning because the world is great,” he says, “but it’s not a wonderful place for everyone.”

More information about Bruce Gilden’s No Place Like Home is available here, through the Magnum Foundation. The Photoville exhibition will be shown June 22 – July 1 in Brooklyn, New York; more information about the festival is available here.

Natalie Krick

I recently reviewed portfolios of photographic educators at the SPE National Conference in San Francisco. This week I am featuring some of the terrific work I got a chance to see….

Natalie Krick has captured some terrific portraits. On the verge of completing her MFA from Columbia College Chicago in May of 2012, she continues to explore the idea of portraiture with her new series, Natural Deceptions. Natalie was born in Portland Oregon and grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado. She earned a BFA in Photography from School of Visual Arts in 2008 and have been exhibiting in national and international exhibition, and has recieved numerous awards for her work.


Mom wearing lipstick in bed

I asked Natalie about the experience of photographing her mother and this was her reply:
“The photographs of my mom are often my favorites. She lives in Colorado, so I have been flying back a few times a year to photograph her and spend time with her and the rest of my family. We have also made a few of the photographs in Chicago when she comes to visit me. She participates because she knows it is important to me, but I wouldn’t say that it is any where close to her favorite thing to do. She does not like to wear a lot of make up (and I usually have her wearing heavy make up for the photographs). I am rather slow when I photograph but we spend most of the time laughing until she gets fed up with how long I’m taking. I think what is considered beautiful and flattering needs to be examined. My mom understands my point of view but since she is the one in front of the camera the experience is different for her. The photographs harshly reveal the fact that she is aging and I know that this is difficult for her. We have conversations about the emphasis our society puts on appearance and although we are able to critique and analyze culture, this desire to be desirable and attractive still remains.”


Mom in gold

NATURAL DECEPTIONS: The colorful seductive nature of cosmetics act to mask, conceal and deceive while drawing attention to the surface and the superficial. By emphasizing both the façade of glamour and the physicality of the body I am interested in what can be revealed through these surfaces.


Mom with skittles in her shirt

The women depicted in my photographs perform certain tropes used to visualize female beauty and sexuality. These photographs expose an awkwardness and tension in being looked at and scrutinized while also implying a longing to be seen as desirable and beautiful. By creating images that can be perceived as both garish and seductive, I question the fantasy of idealized beauty and what culture designates as flattering and desirable.


Mom in front of the shower curtain


Mom with her finger on her lip


Mom on a gold couch


Mom as a virgin


Mom as me


Mom in a blue robe


Mom on the red stairs


Mom as a blonde


Mom’s neck

Early Master of Color Photography: Ernst Haas

haas_1.jpg

Route 66 1969 Ernst Haas

Bored with obvious reality, I find my fascination in transforming it into a subjective point of view. Links backlinks blog comments . Without touching my subject I want to come to the moment when, through pure concentration of seeing, the composed picture becomes more made than taken. linkwheel . Without a descriptive caption to justify its existence, it will speak for itself less descriptive, more creative; less informative, more suggestive; less prose, more poetry.

Ernst Haas from About Color Photography, in DU, 1961

Read more about this ground-breaking photographer, and see more examples of his work, here in Lens Culture.

Frank Yamrus

Tonight at the ClampArt Gallery in New York, Frank Yamrus will open a solo exhibition of I Feel Lucky, which runs through March 24th, 2012. As someone who just celebrated another, sigh, birthday, I felt a connection to the idea of taking stock of oneself and was especially interested in understanding a male point of view on the subject. This self-portrait series was originally inspired by Frank’s forward motion into middle age, as he “stared down the barrel of his 50th birthday”. He wanted to explore his changing body image, looking at the ravages of age and time through skin and mass, but instead he became interested in examining his inner self. The project spans from childhood memories to current life, a visual journey that resulted in an appreciation of the person he has become, and for life itself.

Frank has exhibited work internationally over the past twenty years, and his photographs are held in many public collections. He has produced a book of this series, with essays by W.M.-Bill-Hunt and Sunil Gupta.

Images from I Feel Lucky

untitled (Cake)

untitled (Daybreak)

untitled (Sandman)

untitled (Brooke)

untitled (Stone)

untitled (Cemetary)

untitled (Float)

untitled (Nap)

untitled (Box)

untitled (Jerk)

untitled (Window)

untitled (Cross)

untitled (Kiss)

untitled (Smoke)

Photographer #408: Stephen Gill

Stephen Gill, 1971, UK, is an experimental, conceptual and documentary photographer. In 2005 he founded his publishing company in order to gain maximum control over the publication process of his books. He has released an impressive amount of books. For him a book is not merely a vessel or a shell in which to house and show his photographs, it should be the finished expression of the images. Various techniques are used as cut printing, spray paint or rubber stamps are used to what he considers “the key final stage in the production of his photographic works.” The images for the series Outside In were made in Brighton where he featured objects found in the local surroundings that he literally put inside of his camera and started making images of street sceneries. To finish the images he used a magnifying glass to concentrate the sunlight onto some of the negatives in order to create markings. Other negatives were dipped into the sea hoping that the finished series would become something like the regurgitated contents of a giant vacuum cleaner. For his series Billboards he photographed the backsides of these large objects taking us to strange places that are normally hidden from our point of view. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout the world. The following images come from the series Outside InBillboards and Hackney Flowers.


Website: www.stephengill.co.uk

Outer Space: Thomas Ruff’s Altered Reality

The themes that have defined the more than 30-year career of Thomas Ruff were born while the influential German photographer was studying under famed photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Düsseldorf Art Academy from 1977 to 1985. Known for their typology work of water towers in which they photographed with a straightforward point of view, the Bechers believed that images which were photographed objectively were more truthful. Bernd Becher criticized Ruff’s student work, faulting his photographs for not being his own. They were simply clichés, Becher argued, mimicking fictionalized images in magazines. Ruff turned the criticism on its head—he began to make images that questioned the very methodology of image making.

“Most of the photos we come across today are not really authentic anymore,” Ruff once said. “They have the authenticity of a manipulated and prearranged reality. You have to know the conditions of a particular photograph in order to understand it properly.”

It’s easy to see these ideas in Ruff’s space work, the topic of a new exhibition and book called Stellar Landscapes, which premiered at the Frankfurt Book Fair last weekend. In his book, Ruff includes appropriated imagery of space that he has collected over the last 20 years. In some of the photographs, Ruff used images made from NASA satellites, which he downloaded for free online. Ruff often took images that seemed to be abstract renderings of the surface of a planet and used color to abstract them further. Other times, the photographer hand colored the NASA photographs to make abstract scenes more realistic. Ruff has always had a fascination with the dialogue between photography and context of a photograph. It seems only natural, then, that Ruff translated this idea into reworking existing NASA images of to present another—and equally important—view of space.

Stellar Landscapes is on view at the Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster through January 8. The book is available now through Kerher Verlag.

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