Tag Archives: Still Photographer

Eric Breitenbach

Today, and leading up to and after November 6th, LENSCRATCH will be featuring work that looks at our election process. 

We start today with work by Eric Breitenbach, who has created a series, Election 2012.

Eric  has been a still photographer for over thirty years and a filmmaker for more than fifteen.

His still photographs have appeared in such publications as The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Details, Doubletake, Information Week, Labor’s Heritage, Essence, and Orlando magazines. He has exhibited widely. In 2012 he had solo exhibitions of his photography at The Third Eye Gallery in Varanasi, India, and at Florida School of The Arts in Palatka, Florida. Eric Breitenbach is also a Senior Professor at The Southeast Center For Photographic Studies at Daytona State College, teaching courses in photography, film, and video.

ELECTION 2012 
 For as long as I’ve been a photographer I’ve been compelled to make pictures of people. My goal is to discover something universal about a person—something viewers can recognize and even identify with. The trick is to then depict that successfully in a photograph. In early 2011, as events surrounding the 2012 presidential election began to unfold, like many Americans I was astonished at the heat of the political rhetoric. It seemed as if angry extremists were running the show.

Dismayed but still curious, I began to attend and photograph campaign rallies, political conventions, memorial services, group meetings, demonstrations, festivals, and other politically relevant events. There were thousands at the largest of these, sometimes less than a dozen at the smallest.

My goal wasn’t to document or explain anything; that, I think, is best left to the journalists. 

I set out with my usual strategy in mind—to attend, observe and make photographs. The role may be considered to be like that of an explorer, a finder and provider of artifacts that might one day be useful in comprehending, in this case, the cultural, social, and political mindset of 2012 America.

Eric Breitenbach

Eric Breitenbach has had many years behind a lens; he’s been a still photographer for over thirty years and a filmmaker for more than
fifteen.  In that time he has accrued a roster of exhibitions around the world and films and videos that have appeared on National Geographic Explorer, The Sundance Channel, The Sci-Fi Channel, Lifetime Real Women, America’s Health Network, PBS, and Florida Public Television. His still photographs
have been published in The
New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Details, Doubletake, Information Week,
Labor’s Heritage, Essence,
and
Orlando
magazines. In addition, his photographs are held in many public and corporate collections. Eric is a Senior Professor at The Southeast Center For Photographic Studies at Daytona State College, teaching courses in photography, film, and video.

So what does this remarkable resume reflect?  It reflects a person that sees the world in a profound way, with photographic projects that range from the Election of 2012 to the Cows of India, to films that explore cultures and communities (be sure to take a look at Little Monks on his site).  His work reminds us of our humanity and our connectedness.  I am featuring two of Eric’s series, Portraits and the Rural South.


Portraits
For as long as I’ve been a photographer I’ve been compelled to make portraits. My
goal is to discover something universal about a person—something someone can
recognize and even identify with. The trick is to then depict that successfully
in a photograph.

Every photograph is a test–of both intellect and
aesthetics.

Rural South 
Observing the landscape and architecture of the rural south, I learned that beauty
can be found not just in things that are shiny and bright, but also in things
that are dark and decomposing.

A black basketball goal in a landscape of winter
weeds and bare trees—now that’s beautiful.

Didier Massard

As I continue to feature photographers that work in miniature or constructed realities, I would be remiss if I didn’t include French photographer, Didier Massard, who is also included in the Otherworldly exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. Didier works slowly, completing only two or three images a year.

Born and raised in Paris, Didier received his Baccalaureate degree in art and archaeology from the University of Paris in 1975. “For twenty-five years he executed commercial work as a still photographer for clients in the world of fashion and cosmetics, photographing for labels including Chanel, Hermes, and many others. He launched his artistic career with the completion of his series Imaginary Journeys, a project that took him over ten years to complete. Now working exclusively on personal projects, he conceives of his works from the recesses of his imagination while drawing from our collective romantic and touristic notions of nationality and place.

He has created many exotic locales within his studio, evoking the lands of Ireland, China, India, Holland, and the cliffs of Normandy. Massard works for long periods on each of these tableaux, and ruminates that “each image is the completion of an inner imaginary journey.” Roberta Smith wrote of his work in The New York Times, stating “color and space combine with fastidious detail to create a sense of illusion and artifice that is more usual to painting, Magic Realist painting in particular…one’s willingness to suspend disbelief is a measure of Massard’s skill.”

The work below comes from three bodies of work, Territories 2003-2011, Artificial Paradise 1999-2003, and Imaginary Journeys 1993-1999.

April Garden, 2009

The Gate, 1997

Spring Tree, 2002

Waterfall, 2001

Underwater Garden, 2005

November, 2007

Rhinoceros, 2004

Caravan, 1996

Mangrove, 2003

Glacier, 2005

The Marsh, 2006

Massard rose to success and notoriety in the world of Photography, as far back as 1975. Starting out as an assistant to Henri Langlois, he gained a most impressive commercial clientele, including Chanel, Vogue, Elle, Cartier, and many more. But Massard wanted something else, so he turned the page on his commercial career.
Around 10 years ago, Massard began working on his own dreamy projects. He wanted to travel the world and photograph the landscapes he dreamed of in far off places. He came to realize that these places did not look as he had imagined them. He decided to build these visions in models he would carefully craft in excruciating detail, and photograph them.