This is a still. And this is the video. I’ve been waiting for some really subtle landscape video, and this one is checking all the boxes.
Thanks, Grant Cornett.
I realize we’ve had a bit of a hiatus lately over here on TPP, but I’m pulled out of retirement by some really staggering work by Manjari Sharma. In this age of instagram, it’s rare to see something truly new and groundbreaking, especially as it pertains to the photographic medium itself.
Enter Manjari Sharma’s Darshan. Named for a Sanskrit word which means “sight”, “vision” or “view, Manjari’s new project seeks to photographically recreate nine classical images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. These icons are deeply connected to Sharma’s spiritual upbringing. By melding them with her reverence and devotion to photography, she is creating altars of her own.
You’ll never believe what goes into making these images. It’s a full-on production of costume designers, set stylists, jewelry designers, carpenters and painters. Sharma believes art is much about the process, and this is one hell of a process.
This is the first image, Maa Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, good fortune, and prosperity.
Here is more about the project, and an amazing behind-the-scenes look at the work as it is created:
PLEASE consider donating to Sharma’s project. These images ought to be created. Click here and help out! You can even receive a signed, editioned print. Totally worth it, this is an excellent use of Kickstarter.
Here is more from Sharma in her own words:
“I grew up in a Hindu home to parents who were quite spiritual, religious and god fearing as they would call it in India. I visited countless temples, shrines, and discourses as frequently as my parents wanted. These discourses circled around unraveling the mysteries locked in chapters of mythological enigma and tales of deities, reincarnations and astrology. The roots of hindu mythology run deep; my own experiences as a child ranged from being fascinated and enlightened to lost and still seeking. Naturally, coming back home still consists of delving back into the same routine of worship and meditation I left behind.
I moved from India to the United States in 2001 in order to pursue an undergraduate study in Fine Art Photography. The frequency with which I visited Hindu temples in what felt like my previous life, gradually got replaced with visits to art galleries, museums and studios, where creativity in all mediums of expression are revered.
This series bridges two parts of my world. Iconography in the Indian religion found in temples and scriptures are ultimately artistic representations of mythological characters. Most hindus have seen the use of painting and sculpture but rarely photography taken to the level of exacting measures with respect to showcasing deities. The creation of these images has become my act of devotion, to art and to religion.”
Go to Manjari Sharma’s site.
Terrible, shocking news today, with the report that much beloved photographer Tim Hetherington has died while covering the conflict in Libya.
Tim was larger than life, and his war work incredibly resonant. His recent Oscar-nominated film Restrepo made real the perils of war as he was embedded alongside U.S. soldiers in intense combat.
A few years ago he spoke with Sebastian Junger about Restrepo:
Here are a few images from Hetherington’s series Sleeping Soldiers:
RIP, Tim. You were loved and respected by your fellow photographers. We are so sorry.
addendum: watch this.
Read more… (via BJP)
Chris Hondros, at work in Libya – The New York Times’ Lens blog.
In Memoriam: Tim Hetherington – The New Yorker.
‘Restrepo’ director is killed in Libya – The New York Times.
Photographer Tim Hetherington killed in Libya – The Guardian.
A Tribute to Tim Hetherington – The Documentary Blog.
Tim Hetherington: In His Own Words – Human Rights Watch.
Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington – BagNews Notes.
Tim Hetherington, HOST Podcast (October 2010) – Foto8.
Chris Hondros: Life Behind the Lens – MSNBC Video.
Tim Hetherington 1970-2011 – Panos Pictures
Remembering Tim Hetherington – Foreign Policy Passport
Oh hello there, reader. We have an exciting announcement about a new feature here at TPP: A JOB FEED!
Do you want to be a beekeeper? A painter? A diva? An eccentric shoe designer?* In that case, you’ll want to contact Todd Selby for your photo opp.
But if you want to work with photographers, studios, magazines, ad agencies, post-production companies, printers, or retouching houses, you should stay right here.
Since we have thousands of visitors from the photo industry a month, it seemed like the logical extension to TPP’s growing community to offer industry specific classifieds and, most importantly, an employment search tool that connects talented, experienced job seekers in the industry with the employers that need their skills.
Welcome to the Job Feed; TPP’s photo-job search tool, designed to link people looking for jobs in and around the industry we love with employers in need of their talent, energy and skill.
Search the jobs now, or add a job, if you have an employment opportunity!
And for your perusing pleasure, here are some of Selby’s greatest hits:
Find A JOB !
Have you heard about the Graflex cameras with the Polaroid backs? A fellow by the name of John Minnicks constructs them, and a lot of cool kids have them. The latest is Mark Tucker. Here’s his note to me from a few days back:
I’m doing this side personal project, where I’m documenting offbeat characters in my town of Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve acquired an old 1942 custom made Graflex camera that shoots 4×5 Polaroid, and I’m shooting that, plus some Nikon, plus some video. I scan the Polaroids and then work with them. The lens is from 1941, and it’s amazing, how you never know how it’s going to render a scene.
I’ve only been working on it for a couple of weeks, but here is where I am at this point:
We’re really digging the results, have a look:
ps: the goat picture was actually shot with the NIKON D3X. still, we love it.
I’ve known Lauren Lancaster and her work for some time, but I just saw her website again recently, and I was shocked by the incredible images she has made. Much like haunting film stills, the images are really unique for photojournalism, and speak to an eerie stillness in places like Kabul, UAE and The Western Front– places not known to be calm.
Have a look.
See much more from Lauren Lancaster.
Thank god for clever thinkers like Andy Adams who keep us on our toes and remind us to be aware of our ever-evolving relationship to image making in this digital age. Adams has a new essay that’s making the rounds, Photo 2.0 — Online Photographic Thinking (Revisited), and we thought we’d republish it here.
The essay is also featured in the FORMAT International Photography Festival catalog and dovetails with a panel discussion he’s contributing to (including Internet dynamos Amy Stein and Yumi Goto) which kicks off next weekend.
Without further ado….
How will digital media impact the future of photography?
For the past five years I’ve been publishing FlakPhoto.com, a website that promotes photographers, book projects, and exhibitions from within the online photo community. This spring I’m heading to the FORMAT International Photography Festival to join a panel discussion that will consider the impact of Web 2.0 on contemporary image-making. In support of the event, I contributed a catalog essay that explores how online publishing and social media are redefining photography so it can flourish outside the realm of traditional publication and exhibition.
The Internet has changed the way we consider photography, and the medium has undergone remarkable transformations at every level. No longer restricted to the gallery wall or the printed page, photography now regularly—and sometimes exclusively—appears on computer screens. In the past decade, photoblogs, online magazines, and digital galleries have revolutionized the way we look at photographs. More significantly, Web 2.0 is influencing contemporary photo culture around the world by connecting international audiences to art experiences, enabling the discovery of new work and presenting never-before-seen channels of expression and communication. These are exciting times for image-makers wishing to publicly show their work: armed with a computer and an Internet connection, the 21st century photographer can share his or her visual ideas with a worldwide audience of peers, fans, and patrons. And these artists are redefining the medium every day.
In his essay, Online Photographic Thinking1, photographer Jason Evans explores the nature of digital media and its impact on the processes of making and experiencing photography: “In the inevitable and frankly tedious digital versus analog debate, my position is one of either/and. Both systems offer distinct possibilities, but I ultimately believe that they are just different sides of the same coin.” He’s right, of course—the way a picture looks is relatively similar in print and online, but seeing an image on an un-calibrated monitor is hardly a substitute for experiencing a book or print as the artist intended. Still, screen-based picture constraints shouldn’t be the sticking point. We instinctively faulted the Web for its deficiencies as an image-delivery mechanism. Instead of recognizing digital media’s distinctive qualities, we cursed its inferiority to perform at traditional standards of expectation. Evans argues for an expansion of “what photography can be” and his plea is significant because it champions the Internet’s unique potential for photographic publication, exhibition and distribution.
Photography has been married to publishing from the beginning. Historically, and particularly before the popularity of galleries and museums devoted to photography, the printed page has been the ultimate venue for viewing a photographer’s work. Until recently, magazines, journals, and books were the primary outlets for circulating photos. But printing photography can be costly, and therefore photobook runs are usually limited. Online publishing—especially blogs, but also social networks and photo-sharing websites—radically alters the relationship between photographers and publishers by empowering the former to engage directly with the public at a fraction of the cost.
This broad access to online publishing has been met with skepticism from some corners of the photo world. Though the stigma is fading, concern still lingers about amateurs compromising the quality of what we see online. It’s true; the barriers to entry are low. But as credible publishers embrace the form, the association of mediocrity with blogs and social networks should be retired. A thoughtful website is as legitimate as any traditional publication, and social media has been embraced by established institutions the world over. If the printed pages of Camera Work functioned as a reputable platform for Stieglitz a century ago, how can a blog or online magazine be any different today?
A natural broadcast and publishing medium, the Internet is also a distinctly social medium. Blogs, for example, are inherently communal. We don’t just look at or read them; we become a part of them by contributing to the conversations they generate. The best photography blogs are collaborative, providing a public venue for lively discussions on all aspects of contemporary image-making. Certainly we tune in because we identify with the author’s editorial perspective, but also because we like posting comments and seeing how peers respond to our ideas. And the widespread adoption of social networks has given each of us the ability to discover and share photography at lightning speed. Who among us hasn’t joined the legions of Facebook or Twitter or Flickr users?
In less than a decade, the online space has become a vibrant public realm brimming with images and ideas. I don’t live in one of the world’s major photography centers, but Web 2.0 has made it possible for me to participate in an ever-expanding ecosystem of visual experiences and photographic relationships nonetheless. The Internet connects the world and in doing so, is fostering the growth of a global online photographic community. Day by day geographical boundaries dissolve as each of us interacts with and learns from each other more spontaneously than ever before. All of this is a click away, easily searchable, and instantly available.
For the past five years I’ve been publishing FlakPhoto.com, a website that promotes photography from within the online community. In December 2010, I co-produced The Future of Photobooks, a cross-blog conversation considering the question, What will photobooks become over the next decade? Our aim was to pool collective wisdom from a variety of photographic disciplines, so we invited practitioners from across the globe to nominate the most exciting contemporary photobooks. We summarized those ideas and hosted three blogger-moderated discussions that explored current innovations in photography book publication.2 The most inspiring part of the project was discovering the sheer volume of photographers utilizing online publishing and multimedia to independently create, promote, and fund their work. And, in many cases, the book was only one facet of a multidimensional photographic experience that blended aspects of traditional and new media publication and exhibition.
What these photographers realized was the unique opportunity the Internet provided for the online community to participate in their photography. Not surprisingly, many have appropriated social media for promotional purposes. But the savviest photographers are publishing blogs and multimedia journals that involve their fans in the creative process; some are mobilizing their communities to finance their efforts with online fundraising tools. What’s more, these photographers have instinctively developed website galleries, multimedia podcasts, and audio slideshows to complement their print publications and physical exhibitions. These formats don’t just present online alternatives to traditional photography; they’re meaningful photographic experiences with the potential to reach a widespread audience across the world.
In some circles, photography remains a predominantly printed medium. Books and prints are highly collectible and their physical presence is still essential for many photographers. But the Internet is transforming photography so it can flourish outside the constraints of traditional publication and exhibition. A thriving online community will most certainly play a vital role in the discovery and dissemination of new work produced by contemporary image-makers. And social media empowers each of us to shape the photographic conversation by participating in its ongoing creation and curation. The Web’s innovations promise important possibilities for photography’s evolution. And we’re only beginning to understand them.
1 Evans’ essay originally appeared in Words Without Pictures, an interactive online publication produced by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2007. Initially issued as a print-on-demand title, the complete collection of essays and responses is now available from Aperture. Find it at Aperture.org/books/books-new/words-without-pictures.html 2 My colleague Miki Johnson does a great job of summarizing our findings at FOPB.tumblr.com. The modes of production have obviously changed, but photobooks are as popular as ever (more so maybe) and with more indie publishers producing small press runs, contemporary print publications are valuable collectibles in their own right.
This essay appears in the FORMAT 11 International Photography Festival catalogue
Andy Adams is the founder and editor of FlakPhoto.com, a contemporary photography website that celebrates the culture of image-making by promoting the discovery of artists from around the world. An online art space + photography publication, the site provides opportunities for a global community of artists and photo organizations to share new series work, book projects, and gallery exhibitions with a web-based photography audience. More about him at AndyAdamsPhoto.com
Hallo, old friends. I’m sorry I’ve been so absent lately. I went away to birth a baby. And then I’ve been busy doing this, except without the smile, the perfection, and the professional lighting.
This picture is by Torbjorn Rodland. and I like it.
This is also not me (Penelope Cruz, three weeks after birthing a child. Maybe she has an assistant do the breastfeeding.)
In other news, today is the end of The Space Shuttle. Last launch is at 4:50 pm. Sad and a half. Let us have a moment of remembrance with Christopher Wahl’s photographs.
Doh, it’s the last launch of the Discovery orbiter. There are still two flights left for Endeavour and Atlantis. Slightly less sad. But still sad.
Chris Leaman is the staff photographer for Washingtonian Magazine, and recently was able to shoot Congress’s freshman class for the magazine. The results are amazing and somewhat hilarious, as many of these freshmen are political newbies and not particularly guarded (or for that matter, groomed).
We chatted with Chris about his process and background:
So the assignment was pretty straightforward – we knew a bunch of the incoming congressmen were going to be attending a conference at Harvard’s Kennedy School on Nov 30th and Dec 1st, and we hoped to shoot as many single portraits of them as possible. For inspiration, I loosely looked to Avedon’s Portraits of Power and Nadav Kandar’s Obama’s People. The plan was pretty loose – set up in one location and grab folks to shoot as they had coffee breaks between sessions. The members were all told on Nov 30th that we’d be there shooting the next day, but otherwise we had no idea what to expect (didn’t know if people would be into having their photo shot or not – we half expected to come away with nothing).
What we got was pretty amazing. Since the conference was fairly casual we got a good variety of looks from each of the subjects (not just blue suits and red ties). And as a result of the whole tea-party situation, many of the congressmen had no previous political experience, and thus were not guarded or at all concerned about their appearance. Most of the folks we shot had never had a proper portrait made of them. The result, at least in my completely biased opinion, was that we were able to get some pretty candid, honest moments out of folks who will, if their careers continue, become increasingly difficult to access in that manner.
As for technical stuff, I wanted a pretty even light that would work on a number of different types of clothing and skin color. I ended up using just one light – a Profoto head/7A into that huge Elinchrome octabank. I had the light coming straight on at the subject, basically a little above eye level. I shot the whole thing on a Canon 5DII, using the 50mm 1.2 and the 24-70 2.8. That’s basically it – I’m into super simple set ups.
As for me, I’ve been on staff here at Washingtonian for 2+ years now. This job was a total career change for me – before here, I was working at the State Department doing really boring/confusing/classified things. However, my father is a photographer, so I grew up shooting and surrounded by photography and kept it up through college. 3 or 4 years ago I got my first digital camera and learned how to make a digital photograph. My wife is a writer at Washingtonian and clued me on to their photography internship, so I quit the State Department and have been here ever since. And since, I’ve felt like the luckiest person in the world. Being on staff is great, because you have a constant stream of work and all types of different work – its been a great way for me to learn how to be a photographer. One minute I’m shooting food for the website, the next I’m stumbling my way through a fashion story, and then I’m in Boston shooting congressmen. It really has been a great way for me to gain experience in super fast forward.
Here are some favorites:
See more from the shoot, here.
See more from Chris Leaman.
See more of the Washingtonian.