Photographers


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It was lovely to have the opportunity to attend the NYU Photography and Imaging thesis students' portfolio review recently. I saw the work of five of the most confident youngsters I've ever critiqued, each with something interesting going on. I connected with all of them, but it's Andrew who has followed up on my request for a copy of the cheese couch from his cheese-melted-on-plastic-toys series... We discussed the unlikely nature of the American cheese slice and its reluctance to melt at the edges. 

His thesis project, however, is about human interaction with LCD screens, as seen below in this panorama of the artist's parents. Love the art work!

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Dead Man's Island © Fleur Alston

Fleur Alston, reporting from the UK's south east county of Kent. According to Wikipedia, Kent's location between London and continental Europe has led to it being in the front line of several conflicts, including the Battle of Britain during World War II. East Kent was known as Hell Fire Corner during the conflict.

Fleur has made a project out of photographing her local historic sites of former gore.

"The wonderfully evocative named Dead Man's Island is the site of a mass grave. Prisoners were kept in the hulks on the Thames estuary and when they died they were buried on Dead Man's Island. The bones of Napoleonic prisoners as well as cholera victims are supposedly lying on the shore. It is difficult to get there though; unfortunately I do not have a boat and even if I had one it is a bird preservation and the wardens are not particularly friendly."


Gallows Hill

"Possibly self-explanatory, this was the site of a gallows. The extraordinary thing is you can almost mark the spot the gallows stood still today. The photograph is of the ancient path the prisoners would have more than likely walked to there final destination. Out of all the places I have visited so far this was the most strangest and atmospheric! It was a very spooky place."


Deadman's Point


Deadman's Bay

"Deadman's Bay has an ominous history; due to tidal currents, numerous bodies have been and possibly still are washed up on its shore. There is also a folklore that two fish-like creatures with legs have been found on two separate occasions. There is a tiny strange museum close to the bay.

Deadman's Point, however, not more than 200 yards away, is named for an entirely different reason. It is a Roman burial site, now the home of a holiday caravan park. Not sure it's somewhere I'd want to stay knowing all the history of that area."

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Blood Point

Blood Point was the scene of King Alfred`s famous defeat of a Viking invasion force and a bloody battle took place there.


Slayhill Marshes. All images © Fleur Alston

Slayhill Marshes is the site of a Roman battle which took place before the marshes were formed.



Artist Bill Westheimer's current project: "Ascent - an art installation exploring the evolution from analog man to future digital man - revealing who we are about to become."

Using photograms, sculptures and ultimately, 3D printing, Bill suggests how as "Man descended from apes, now humanity ascends to the digital future."



Here's another post from my guest contributor Elyse Weingarten. 

The surprising discovery of previously unknown street photographer, Vivian Maier, has been ubiquitously reported internationally for the past two years. Maier, who worked on and off as a nanny in Chicago for almost forty years, prolifically photographed the city's streets on her days off, ultimately creating a body of work that has been compared to such twentieth-century masters as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Weegee and Diane Arbus. 


In just a short time, Maier's work has been in exhibitions throughout the world and curated in two book published by CityFiles Press, with another book set to come out later this year; a documentary about Maier and the discovery of her work, 'Finding Vivian Maier,' is also currently in production. John Maloof, a local historian in Chicago, uncovered Maier's work when he bought a trunk full of prints and negatives at an auction house selling off Maier's belongings from a storage locker she'd left unpaid. Part of Maier's meteoric rise in popularity is undoubtedly due to the spectacular nature of how her work was uncovered. This, and the narrative of Maier's life, overshadows her photography; like many touted artists, she is known more as a personality than for her work. 


In Maier is the unraveling of one of our most necessary social myths. In the name of societal order and reason, we must live with the illusion that the external self presented is the veracity of one's entire character, a near reflection of their interior being. That anyone could hide such a significant piece of their life brings us to a state of wonder and awe. It seems so anomalous that it, like a good piece of gossip, becomes a story to be told over and over, juicier with each telling. 


It is interesting to note that this division between the private and public selves rests at the foundation of photography. If we walk around with only our outsides showing, the camera, in gifted hands, is a device to illuminate our emotional exoskeletons. So glued in place are our facades, it takes an artist to raise them. - Elyse Weingarten.



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© Chris Grammer

Photographer Tom Griscom teaches at The Nashville Art Institute. These images are a selection from his recent location lighting class, which contains just six students. Tom says "I created this class as if we were a working studio. I booked a bunch of shoots, we scouted the locations, came back and looked at the clients' past photographs as well as samples of similar shoots. We designed the light and tested in the studio, then on the dates the shoots were booked, we went on location."

They spent three days photographing The Roller Girls and their coaches and refs - 40 people in all, and they will get to use some of the students' images for promotion. I wish I'd had more opportunities to photograph things like this when I was in school, it all seems very dull in hindsight.

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© Daniel Babcock

This is the kind of teacher I wish I had. "I cannot stress how immensely proud I am of this group. I am entering my 7th year as a teacher, and this is probably my most memorable class as well as being one that is probably going to transform my whole approach to the classroom. The Roller Girls are an amazing bunch of ladies. It is interesting, theirs and our story is very similar. I stressed to the students that when it comes to working in the world of photography, that this type of work is so dependent on being a team. It is somewhat analogous that we became a team while photographing an amazing team." Tom Griscom

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© Daniel Babcock

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© Amanda Lynch


© Brandy Coke


© Amanda Lynch

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Much-adored, multiple-award-winning, all-singing, all-dancing, writer-speaker-educator-photographer Louie Palu made this great broadsheet recently. It is extremely well executed, if you'll pardon the expression.

"This is a concept newspaper; it has no headlines, competing articles or advertising. Instead, it is an editing project that uses photographs from Mexico. These photographs were taken during fieldwork and research on the drug war in Mexico. The newspaper can be dismantled and reedited to your view of what you thin the story should look like. It is also an exhibition that can be displayed anywhere you choose, You are the editor and curator. On one side of each page there is a drug- or violence-related image and, on the opposite side, is an alternative view of Mexico covering a broad set of subjects. Explore the possibilities. This concept was inspired by Will Steacy's 'Down These Mean Streets.'"
Louie Palu.

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20 year-old Hungarian student David Nemcsik emailed me with some of his work and I liked these the most, but don't let that detract from some of his other projects, like the Levitation Project, apparently featured by Samsung, Discovery Channel, and more (is he really only 20?).

I like these a lot. They remind me of the first time I saw an image printed onto something unusual; I think it was Adrian Boot's portrait of the Eurythmics, printed on a large stone, and it sat in the office of the agency in London where I worked, back in 1990.

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"I take portraits on 35mm film then develop them. After that I 'paint' black and white photo emulsion on the skateboard. After it dries it works just like a single photo paper. Then I put the film and the deck to the enlarger and develop the deck as a black white photo. After I dry them and pour some chemical on it to be sure to fix it; it is finished." - David Nemcsik.

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© David Nemcsik

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'American Bagpipers' is Ashok Sinha's series of portraits of an Indian-American bagpipe band based in a Hindu temple in New Jersey. It seemed so odd to me at first but then I thought about the tones of traditional Indian music and now it seems obviously harmonious. Ashok says they play traditional Scottish music, traditional Indian, and Bollywood!

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All images © Ashok Sinha



Word in from (previously featured) Brian Shumway. "I covered Hurricane Sandy for People Magazine, shooting in Breezy Point, Queens and Coney Island."

Great work - thanks Brian!

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All images © Brian Shumway

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Couple in Venice, © Michael Weschler

At the ASMP NY Fine Art Portfolio Review last week I was thrilled to see both familiar and new faces, and (mostly) new work. Michael Weschler is a name I recognize from my editorial licensing days, he was one of those golden photographers who were signed to the premiere agency, Outline. 

Michael presented a body of work exploring "Redefining Men," just simply challenging male stereotypes. The series includes celebrity portraits as well as regular people. I, of course, adore these romantic holiday-makers. What's Italian for 'buff'?

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