Thursday, December 6, 2012


What I would call, "provocative". Photo: Albert Watson

What I would call, "kitsch". Photo: David Lachapelle

What I would call, "theatrical". Photo: Adolph de Meyer

What I would call, "playfully patriotic". Photo: William Hundley

What I would call, "chic". Photo: Constantin Joffe

What I would call, "a sense of place". Photo: Robert Frank

What I would call, "sweeping and momentous". Photo: Henri Cartier-Bresson

What I would call, "transcendent". Photo: Sarah Moon

What I would call, "pushing boundaries". Photo: Sally Mann

What I would call, "moving". Photo: Philip Jones Griffiths

What I would call, "a great example of conceptual". Photo: Steven Meisel

What I would call, "a brilliant observation". Photo: Diane Arbus

What I would call, "elegant and regal". Photo: Erwin Blumenfield

What I would call, "definitively sexy". Photo: Phil Poynter

To be continued ...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

I look at this photograph and have to ask myself, why?  Why do I find that a random group of passersby with dull, lifeless expressions in a rather ordinary, mundane environment, a sidewalk, is somehow, strangely captivating if not compelling?  I have no idea why!

Philip-Lorca diCorcia does this and other equally disconcerting shots.  I get the feeling of being off-balance, unsettled, uncertain.  I'm not sure what I'm seeing.  Are his images real life documents or theatrical stagings?  Snap shots or cinema clips?  There is a filmic quality to them yet a static quality, as well.  Something frozen in time, whether it be the pedestrians on the sidewalk, the wealthy women and boy at the dinner table, the women adorned with chandeliers ... whether it be the banal or highly decorated.  Is it real or is it fiction?  One thing is for certain, his lighting and technique is key to making the inconsequential seem important.

Above, an example of diCorcia's fashion advertising work.

To see Philip-Lorca diCorcia's work in the Museum of Modern Art's collection, click here (MOMA).  Here is a bio and slideshow and another bio that also references a court case of interest.  And, here is an interview with diCorcia about his series called, "The Hustlers" which resulted in a book featuring male prostitutes in Los Angeles, California.  The portraits of the men were then published with their name, age, place they were from, and the dollar amount they were paid to model which was a payment equivalent to the payment they would have received otherwise for their services. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Last night I gave my son my first Nikon for his photography class.  Ahh, to hold a film camera again.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Photographs from Kazakhstan / Sergei Ivanovich Borisov

I was looking up something on Kazakhstan and came across these beautiful photographs.  The photographs were taken between 1911 and 1914, and they are the work of Sergei Ivanovich Borisov (1867-1931), a Russian photographer.  More than 1000 of his images from his trek across the mountain areas of Altai were used as postcards for the Russian Empire.  They appear to be black & white photographs that were then hand-coloured, but I have not been able to confirm that.  Meanwhile, Sergei Prokudin-Gorski, another Russian photographer from that same period, had a few patents for his colour technique.  [Source]  So, indeed colour images were being produced at this time, but, these shots by Borisov still look to me to be hand-coloured b&ws.  Whatever they are, I hope you enjoy them! 

Kazakh woman in traditional wedding dress

Kazakh man on horse with Golden Eagle

 Inside a Kazakh Yurt

View of Cherga Village

Chuya Trakt on the Slopes of the Boma Kyngrar

POSTSCRIPT:  As it turns out, two days prior to this post without my having seen it, there was a post on The Photo-Eye Blog featuring the work of John Delaney and his series of photographs on the nomadic people of Kazakhstan and Mongolia and in particular, their training of Golden Eagles.  Uncanny timing!  I am happy to now have a context for the shot of the man holding the Golden Eagle.  Now we have a story behind it.  You can read an interview with John Delaney and see some of his work on the Golden Eagle Nomads by clicking here.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Andrew Eccles and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

I am thrilled to say that in exactly one month, I will be seeing the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform.  Since it is currently on my mind, I am sharing some photographs of the dance company shot by Andrew Eccles.  Interesting reads are this very brief bio on Eccles and this interview from 2010 in which he talks about his having assisted Annie Leibovitz.  Hope you enjoy! 

I've added tags such as "conceptual" and "portraiture" because Eccles shoots more than just dance.  Check out his website to see more of his work. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day ... VOTE!

Robert Frank gave us, "The Americans", a book that was originally issued over 50 years ago.  I thought this photograph from the book would be a fitting image for today.  (Here is a link about the re-issued book and his background, here is an editorial piece from a blog I found, and here is an NPR article, all worth reading.)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

WW II Kodachrome Photographs

My son sent me a link to Pavel Kosenko's blog which showcases 4 x 5 Kodachrome photographs from World War II.  I am posting some of the images by Alfred T. Palmer, several of which were shot for the Office of War Information.  For me, these photographs feel like glamor shots - for some reason, they make me think of George Hurrell's Hollywood portraits!  Maybe I am just responding to the time period and how that may have influenced this style of shooting. 

I am also posting a shot from this same time frame by Howard R. Hollem that shows not just the vivid colour of Kodachrome, but the exceptional detail it rendered - check out the fuzz on the woman's pink sweater.  I encourage you to check out Pavel's blog to see more of these beautiful, vintage photographs replete with captions.  Enjoy!

This next shot is by Howard R. Hollem (see what I mean about the pink fuzz?)