Tag Archives: White Film

Looking For Love in 90′s by Alec Soth

Love makes people do strange things. The history of mankind is rife with love producing illogical and oddball behavior. When it comes to photography, falling in love with the medium is hardly an exception. For example, someone painfully shy might find themselves impulsively photographing strangers without asking for permission. Or, they instinctively photograph something without any ability to later explain why. Alec Soth’s newest book Looking for Love, 1996 is, in its way, about both—the search for love guided by the heart and the search of love guided by the eye.

Soth, a Minnesota native, came to national attention in 2004 after his project Sleeping by the Mississippi was featured at the Whitney museum during its Biennial exhibition and consequently released in book form by the prestigious German publisher Steidl to critical acclaim. Rapidly thrust into the worlds of art and commerce he followed up his debut with equally strong and provocative bookworks: Niagara (2006), Dog Days Bogota (2007) and Broken Manual (2010). Looking for Love, 1996 (Kominek Books, 2012) is a look to the past at his early beginnings as a photographer working with black and white film and a medium format camera.

In his brief introduction to the work Soth describes that time as one of working a miserable job (printing photos at a large commercial lab) and retreating to a bar to be comforted by “the solitude I found among strangers.” He began to concentrate on his own pictures, slyly using the lab to make prints which he smuggled, concealed under his jeans, out to his car. He writes of imagining one day “a stranger would fall in love with me.”

The first photographs of couples we encounter in Looking for Love cling possessively to their partners and leer at Soth’s camera as if to ask, “this is mine, where is yours?” While his journey takes us through the outside landscape and various social gatherings—the aforementioned bar; a convention hall that seems to bridge religion, spirituality and dating under one roof; poker games; singles parties; high school proms—we can sense a young photographer eager to hone his photographic instincts for metaphor and craving the fruits of collaboration between artist, medium and world. A photo of a flirtatious blonde cheerleader sits on the opposite page of a lone, slightly gothic teen outside a music club. The prom king and queen stand proudly before an auditorium empty but for a few hidden background observers and a basketball court scoreboard. An older man sits phone to ear at a ‘Psychic Friends Network’ booth while a quaffed blonde with a #1 ribbon pinned to her lapel passes by paying no mind. Alongside the underlying melancholy of some of these pictures is also the excitement of a photographer discovering their talent and seeing an affirmation of life stilled in photographs.

That affirmation makes the parting photograph all the more important. In it we see Soth himself sitting sprawl-legged in a rental tuxedo as if his own prom has just ended. Perhaps it had. I hope the love he may have found, lasts.

Looking for Love, 1996 is available from Kominek Books.

Jeffrey Ladd is a photographer, writer, editor and founder of Errata Editions.

Patty Lemke

Los Angeles photographer, Patty Lemke, has a wonderful series about the hot air balloon culture which seems a great way to celebrate the idea of summer.  She is a third generation Angeleno, received her BA from UCLA, and continues  to use lo tech plastic and digital cameras to create singular and surrealistic images taken on the road far away from the beaches of Southern California.
Patty has exhibited across the US and is currently working a a project documenting the ruins of live animals parks, in addition to continuing her work on hot air balloons.
The photographs for this series were made at the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Albuquerque New Mexico on two occasions; first in October of 1994 and then in October of 2010.

I remember waking up at 4 am that first October in 1994 to the sounds of people, thousands as it turned out, gently moving past our van.  There had been no available hotels and my friend David wanted to be sure we did not miss the morning launch so we parked in front of the entrance late the night before.  Outside the van it was cold and dark.

Inside the park, the children were still asleep and the black sky was turning to shade of deep brown and grey.  Flashes started to pop up.  Long patches of tarp took shape; it was Thursday, the day of the odd shape balloons.  Soon multi-story characters were gliding past on their way up before dawn.

These images made with a Holga camera using black and white film show what that day felt like.  Years later, in 2010, I was finally able to return and once again use the Holga and black and white film.  Many of the earlier balloons were not there that second time through a fair number remained.  New, more animated characters replaced the liquor and cigarette balloons. But the dark deep surreal brown remained.

Leica bets big on monochrome-only digital camera

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Jacob Aue Sobol, from his series “Arrivals and Departures” made exclusively with the new Leica M Monochrom digital camera

In an age where black-and-white film and traditional photo paper and chemicals are disappearing from the marketplace, Leica Camera has launched a risky bet that high-quality black-and-white photography will continue to be in demand in the 21st century.

Their bet? A brand new digital camera that does not take color photos. The Leica M Monochrom camera is optimized to capture the fullest possible tonal range for smooth, rich, super-high-resolution black-and-white photography. I’m not a technical expert, but apparently by creating a sensor that ignores the typical RGB filters, each pixel of the new 18 megapixel camera records a subtle variation of black, white or grey only a technique that is far superior to converting typical RGB color digital photos to black-and-white.

And indeed, Leica camera enthusiasts from all corners of the globe (including many, many high-profile professional photographers) flew in to Berlin last week and cheered loudly as they got the first look at Leicas latest release the worlds first digital camera exclusively for full-frame, 35 mm black-and-white photography.

Lens Culture was honored to be invited to this special event, and to meet the enthusiastic international crowd at C|O Berlin photography gallery in Berlin. Blog Commenting . Links backlinks blog comments . Award-winning Magnum photographer, Jacob Aue Sobol, was one of the experts who got to test-drive the new camera before its public release. Sixty of his stunning new digital photos were on display during the event. We’re including three of those images here. And be sure to look for a great video interview with Sobol in Lens Culture in our next issue.

For more details on the new camera, check the Leica website.

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Jacob Aue Sobol, from his series “Arrivals and Departures” made exclusively with the new Leica M Monochrom digital camera

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Jacob Aue Sobol, from his series “Arrivals and Departures” made exclusively with the new Leica M Monochrom digital camera

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Photographers from all over the world crowd around the new camera unveiled by Leica last week at the C|O Berlin photography gallery

For Valentines Day a Limited Edition Print by Bruce Davidson

Untitled, (Couple on platform) from Subway, 1980

Looking for a Valentine’s day gift for your sweetie?  Why not the beautiful limited edition photograph by Bruce Davidson from his 1980 series Subway, reissued last fall. Untitled, (couple on platform) depicts a public display of personal affection in stunning Kodachrome color–one of his rare forays outside of black and white film.

In this video clip for Aperture, Davidson explains that for the longest time he “found that mostly color is gratuitous, because we have it.”  When he began the project, for about half the time he was shooting in black and white. At one point, he says, “something came over me,” and he loaded that legendary, now-discontinued color film.

To capture the cultural fabric of New York City at that particular time, he needed the extremes of color. “The people in the subway,” he says, “their flesh juxtaposed against the graffiti, the penetrating effect of the strobe light itself, and even the hollow darkness of the tunnels, inspired an aesthetic that goes unnoticed by passengers who are trapped underground, hiding behind masks, and closed off from each other.”

Buy the print here for your sweetheart!

White Shadow (positive/negative) photo series by Tono Stano

All old-school photographers know that black-and-white film typically registers a negative image of the subject of a photograph, which can then be printed as a positive image on paper for final viewing. What looks dark on a negative becomes light on a print. But what happens when an artist decides to play with this paradigm by aiming to make the final image a negative image that looks like a positive image?

Slovakian photographer Tono Stano has been artfully exploring this idea since the 1990s, and the results are wonderful, delightful, surreal, and hard to deconstruct. Wedding Cakes Atlanta . Lens Culture is pleased to present a dozen of our favorite images from Stano’s series titled White Shadow.

The video at the bottom of this blog entry offers an inspiring behind-the-scenes look at the artist at work in his studio. laser spine institute . Cheers!

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From the series White Shadow Tono Stano

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From the series White Shadow Tono Stano

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From the series White Shadow Tono Stano

Anders and that gut feeling

© Michael Grieve / 1000 Words

The 1000 Words Workshop in Fez, Morocco with the Swedish photographer Anders Petersen finished on 1 May 2011, and was an absolute success.

Anders Petersen is a self-confessed fish; once you think you have him in your grasp he will surprise you and slip away. Paradox is taught on an Anders Petersen workshop as an essential ingredient together with the need to embrace our fears in life and not to be afraid of being afraid. Petersen’s personality, charisma and experience make him one of the most vital teachers of photographic practice to those seeking to unlock an expression of themselves from the heart rather than the mind. Such was the experience in Fez, a location that provides the perfect backdrop, bursting with energy to engage the senses.

Petersen conducted a wonderful workshop, directing his students to shoot from the gut and reach the pinnacle as they go about “sharpening their pyramids”.

1000 Words would like to thank Anders Petersen and the vibrant personalities of the participants who, after five intensive days, produced some extraordinary photography,a small snippet of which can be seen below. The concentration of time, perfect location and Petersen’s inspiration conspired to change the attitude and approach of the participants for the rest of their creative lives. They are:

Andre Faccioli (Brazil)

Birgit Vagani (Italy)

Emily Clarke (UK)

Jim Clarke (UK)

Nina Hove (Norway)

Laura Hynd (UK)

Samuele Pellecchia (Italy)

Vanessa Bonnin (Australia)

We would also like to thank Omar Chennafi for his local knowledge and assistance, Vanessa Bonnin for help processing black and white film, and the gracious presence of Stephen di Renza for being the perfect host.

Submissions are open for our next workshop in Morocco with Erik Kessels in September 2011. More information and details on how to apply is available here.

Anders and that gut feeling

© Michael Grieve / 1000 Words

The 1000 Words Workshop in Fez, Morocco with the Swedish photographer Anders Petersen finished on 1 May 2011, and was an absolute success.

Anders Petersen is a self-confessed fish; once you think you have him in your grasp he will surprise you and slip away. Paradox is taught on an Anders Petersen workshop as an essential ingredient together with the need to embrace our fears in life and not to be afraid of being afraid. Petersen’s personality, charisma and experience make him one of the most vital teachers of photographic practice to those seeking to unlock an expression of themselves from the heart rather than the mind. Such was the experience in Fez, a location that provides the perfect backdrop, bursting with energy to engage the senses.

Petersen conducted a wonderful workshop, directing his students to shoot from the gut and reach the pinnacle as they go about “sharpening their pyramids”.

1000 Words would like to thank Anders Petersen and the vibrant personalities of the participants who, after five intensive days, produced some extraordinary photography,a small snippet of which can be seen below. The concentration of time, perfect location and Petersen’s inspiration conspired to change the attitude and approach of the participants for the rest of their creative lives. They are:

Andre Faccioli (Brazil)

Birgit Vagani (Italy)

Emily Clarke (UK)

Jim Clarke (UK)

Nina Hove (Norway)

Laura Hynd (UK)

Samuele Pellecchia (Italy)

Vanessa Bonnin (Australia)

We would also like to thank Omar Chennafi for his local knowledge and assistance, Vanessa Bonnin for help processing black and white film, and the gracious presence of Stephen di Renza for being the perfect host.

Submissions are open for our next workshop in Morocco with Erik Kessels in September 2011. More information and details on how to apply is available here.

William Eggleston: Before Colour

1000 Words is offering its readers discounted copies of William Eggleston´s Before Colour, courtesy of Steidl. To order your copy please contact tim(at)1000wordsmag(dot)com.

Please see below for more details:

William Eggleston
Before Colour

Steidl



All images © Eggleston Artistic Trust

A few years ago in the archives of the William Eggleston Artistic Trust in Memphis, a box was found containing Eggleston’s earliest photography – remarkably in black and white. The photos were subsequently exhibited at Cheim & Read gallery in New York and sold. This book reunites these photos in their entirety, and shows the artistic beginnings of a pioneer of contemporary photography.

In the late 1950s Eggleston began photographing suburban Memphis using high-speed 35 mm black and white film, developing the style and motifs that would come to shape his pivotal colour work including diners, supermarkets, domestic interiors and people engaged in seemingly trivial and banal situations. Now, fifty years later, all the plates in Before Colour have been scanned from vintage prints developed by Eggleston in his own darkroom. In the mid 1960s Eggleston discovered colour film and was quickly satisfied with the results: “And by God, it worked. Just overnight.” Eggleston then abandoned black and white photography, but its fundamental influence on his practice is undeniable.

Edited by Chris Burnside, John Cheim, Howard Read, Thomas Weski together with the Eggleston Artistic Trust
With an Essay by Dave Hickey
152 Quadratone plates
200 pages
22.5 cm x 25.5 cm
Hardcover, with yellow imitation leather, with a tipped in photo
Steidl
ISBN: 978-3-86930-122-8

Original post:

http://1000wordsphotographymagazine.blogspot.com/2011/04/william-eggleston-before-colour.html