As we all do, but particularly as a black and white film photographer, I walk a fine line between acute nostalgia and the uncomfortably intimate. My images meld the artistic voices of Ray Metzker and Elliott Erwitt to explore the stark familiarity of our shared life-wanderlust.
Stanley Kubrick was a writer and director famous for movies such as Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. Before he began directing, he was a photographer for LOOK Magazine between 1945 and 1950. The Museum of the City of New York and VandM have recently chosen 25 of Kubrick’s photographs out of 10,000 negatives to sell, with the majority of the proceeds going to the Museum of the City of New York.
This is exactly as described: a wonderful ambiguity. In cityscapes with oblique lighting and long shadows, almost lit like a film noire set, strangers are caught going about their business but in such a mysterious way that the pictures throw up curious narratives. They are nearly all black and white, and some are by the masters of reportage. But there are also many great photographs by people you would never have heard of.
We like this blog, Silent Cities. We like seeing images of some of the most noisy and crowded places in the world momentarily bathed in silence. There is something both serene and eerie about these scenes. The images above and below are from London, Sydney and Detroit.
Will McBride is responsible for some of the most beautiful and honest photographs I’ve had the chance of encountering. His work collected in, ‘I, Will McBride’ is really fascinating and spans his career from iconic shots of JFK to reprinted telegraph correspondences with legendary Indian filmmaker Satijit Ray. My favorite photographs of McBride’s seem to capture a rare and unadorned, if not very momentary, kind of beauty.
David Jo Bradley is an Australian documentary photographer based in London. Of this confronting photo series, Cabbage Patch Politics, he says: ‘It’s an autobiographical documentation of my experiences with the cultural phenomenon of Bogans. I suppose you could say it’s a love story: I’ve always had a timid fascination for these rampant beast-people. As a small boy I lived in a rural town in Western Australia: going to school with Bogans meant I learnt their culture’.
Who needs a digital camera when you could be processing your portraits right there on the beach, with the subjects looking on? This is the approach taken by Joni Sternbach with her Surfland series, using a technique unchanged since the 19th century.
Photographic images by Bruce Davidson capture the essence of life spanning the late fifties and sixties to today. This is a beautiful retrospective of a creative and imaginative mind.
Dmitry G. Pavlov is a photographer from St. Petersburg with a liking for strong black and white contrasts and gloomy color settings. His fashion photography is quite evocative. I’m particularly moved by the full body portrait of the woman in veils.
Six post war photographers, including Lisette Model, Louis Faurer, Ted Croner, Saul Leiter, William Klein and Robert Frank, as well as their predecessors and contemporaries, are featured in this excellent book, Street Seen: The Psychological Gesture in American Photography, 1940-1959, published by Prestel. [Photo above by Weegee]
Asger Carlson’s intentionally overexposed and blown-out photos all involve many layers of visual puns and optical illusions. For his Wrong series, Carlsen adds bug eyes, wooden legs, and second heads to the subjects of what appear to be found photos, confusing the images sources and the artist’s hand.
Award-winning photojournalist James Mackay’s latest project comes at a time when the world’s eyes are fixed on Burma and the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi. By photographing former political prisoners displaying the names of their colleagues and friends who remain behind bars, Even Though I’m Free I Am Not exposes the enduring pain faced by Burma’s opposition movement. Over 2,100 activists, journalists, lawyers and politicians languish in prisons across the country, and on Friday Aung San Suu Kyi will likely join them.
‘I love awkwardness. Some honest, little fleeting moment’, says photographer Erica Shires. ‘This could be anything from a detail of a bent wrist or a subtle personal gesture, to a look the model gives me. I am a quiet shooter, giving minimal direction. Many of the images evolve as my model settles into this quietness. I am inspired by creepy stories, ghosts, old children’s toys, doll heads – things with scars and past lives. Memory’.