Sunday 29 May 2011

The Decisive Moment

The Decisive Moment is a brilliant 20 minute video featuring the legendary Henri Cartier-Bresson talking about photography and several of his images. I love the notion of the photograph as the immediate sketch that cannot be corrected. Life is once... forever.

'The decisive moment, it is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression.'

– Henri Cartier-Bresson

Sunday 22 May 2011

Funny Money

Worth $3,890,500? Nah.

Three million, eight hundred and ninety thousand and five hundred dollars( yep $3,890,500). That is how much a Cindy Sherman print went for at auction at Christies a couple of weeks ago according to information released this week. That is the highest price ever realised for a photographic print.

It's a mind boggling amount that just begs the question.... why???? I haven't a clue! I will admit that I am not the biggest Cindy Sherman fan. Neither am i a huge fan of photographer's doing self portraits continuously - so much out there to explore and photograph, and they photograph themselves over and over again. Hmm... but the Sherman print sale is not about taste. Nope, it's about hard cash.

It does beg the question what is a photograph worth? Personally i would never pay $3,890,500 (or anywhere near that) for a photograph, even if i had Bill Gates/ Steve Jobs' level of wealth.  I would, however, like to sell one of mine for that price or just a fraction of that amount. Wouldn't we all?

A number of photography blogs offer some great insights into the crazy world of art photography. I've linked to them in this post. I especially like the 'second secret sale' moral dilemma  featured on The Online Photographer.  So...would you do it? I would!

Monday 16 May 2011

Remember Me?

What happened to Sinaida?

Sometimes a photograph can hit you squarely between the eyes. With the portraits of children, displaced, orphaned or separated from their families, over on the 'remember me' section of the U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum website, each sad photograph hits home hard.

The museum has launched a project to find out what happened to 1100 children photographed at various locations including the Kloster Indersdorf, a children’s centre established in the immediate post war period by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in Bavaria, Germany.

For me, one photograph stood out among the portraits. Little Sinaida Grussman holding the blackboard placard with her name chalked on, smiling at the camera as though it was for a school award photo. I find it just a heartbreaking photograph to look at. A photograph that bitterly encapsulates the fact that she had no-one. I do hope Sinaida found her family and went onto to have a great life. Hopefully we will find out.

The collection of child portraits can be found HERE. In just seven weeks, information for around 70 of the children photographed has been received. Hopefully many, many more will follow.

Saturday 14 May 2011

Capturing the City

Hell's Kitchen, New York in December 1953: Image by Frank Oscar Larson

If you enjoyed the street photography by Vivian Maier featured on the blog a few weeks ago then i think you'll love the work of Frank Oscar Larson. Larson was yet another photographer who photographed the streets of 1950's New York but wasn't a professional photographer. 

Every Sunday morning Larson would set out from his home to photograph around various New York locales with his Rolleiflex camera. The negatives were discovered in a cardboard box two years ago by his son's widow. The negatives had laid untouched for 45 years following the death of the photographer in 1964.

The photographs are currently featured in an exhibition, “Reflections of New York,” at the Perfect Exposure Gallery in Los Angeles.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Photographing Disappointment

Two photographers photographing an Afghanistan ravaged by war 130 years apart is the compelling story that runs throughout this brilliant 17 minute film from the Tate.

Photographer Simon Norfolk leaves behind modern photojournalistic method and takes a cue from the slower, more considered approach of nineteenth century photographer John Burke who photographed Afghanistan during the second Afghan war in 1878-80.

Norfolk adds a few political comments to his commentary that I can't say I totally agree with. The photographer seems to view the complicated situation over there with a very simplistic eye, however that shouldn't put you off from viewing this well produced film.

A gallery of Simon Norfolk's Afghanistan work can be found HERE