Nick Knight

Look for pictures at http://www.nickknight.com.

‘Nick Knight is among the world’s most influential and visionary photographers, and founder and director of award-winning fashion website SHOWstudio.com. As a fashion photographer, he has consistently challenged conventional notions of beauty ‘, (Knight, 2017).

His pictures have a bit of absurdism or sci-fi or fantasy-elements in them, are very stylish. Nick experiments continuously with new technologies. He is a progressive image maker. I’m glad he uses the word ‘image’, as in my opinion some images are no longer pictures because of extensive digital manipulation. I like his work best when the digital manipulation isn’t too obvious (to me).

I like his use of dark and desaturated colors very much. The thoughtful use of colors is something I’d like to implement in my own photography when I start photographing more studio or still life work.

Bibliography

Knight, K. (2017), At: http://www.nickknight.com (last visited 17-05-2017)

Giovanni Gastel

Giovanni Gastel is an Italian photographer, famous for his fashion and still life photography. His pictures are very balanced, structured, a bit formal, sometimes complex. Perfect selection & composition.

On his website there is a series of pictures (http://www.giovannigastel.it/portfolio/elle-decor-destinazione-filicudi/) where he searches for that balance in his surroundings. All of Giovanni’s fashion and still life pictures are organised, but in these pictures the picture elements seem random. These pictures are more spontaneous.

I like it very much when his pictures become more complex, but still show a clear order, a clean & tight composition. I like to include that in my pictures, the tightness.

Bibliography

Gastel, G. (2017), At: http://www.giovannigastel.it (last visited 17-05-2017).

Katy Grannan

Google-search: katy grannan central valley

Anonymous, Bakersfield, California, 2011. Shirtless tattooed father with blond daughter in bikini on his lap, hand grabbing his neck. He is holding a cigarette.

The series are social photography, but for me the portraits are art as well. It is Katy’s style that grabbed me. The portraits show vulnerability & sadness. People with things on their mind. Beautiful portraits of people without hope.

Katy’s photos inspire me.

Bibliography

Miller M., S.  (2016), ‘Diary’ In: Aperture 226 pp. 80-89 (last visited 2 May 2017)

Mark Neville

To look at side by side, juxtapose these two links:

North Hills High School Prom, 3, 2012

Woodland Hills High School Prom, 1, 2012

Interesting is that the Prom 1 picture in the Aperture magazine is different from the one on internet. A choice made by the photographer, curator or publisher?

Difference: focus on internet photo more on the girls bumping and grinding and their expression doing so. On the photo in the magazine the boy in the left below corner is aware of the camera and pretends to slap the girl in the purple dress on her bottom.

‘In 2012, Neville was commissioned by the Andy Warhol Museum, in Pittsburgh, to produce a body of work for the group exhibition Factory Direct: Pittsburgh (2012)’, (Wolukau-Wanambwa, 2017). The usual social themes are included: wealth, poverty and the racial dividing line.

The two different versions of the photo made me think about the power of the photographer. Recently I read again about Steve McCurry and the by-gone-times-way he portrays India and his unethic methods. History of photography was written from white man’s perspective undervaluating woman and with colonial views of other cultures. Like there is a big vigilance for journalists, never trust one source, there should be a vigilance for photo-reporters. I think the way to deal with the “alternative facts”, to use a popular term, in speech, writing and photography is to keep asking questions.

After realising this I looked again at both pictures:

Prom 3

  • Where are the black men?
  • Is it a group of close friends or is black culture more open?
  • Is this scene as ‘natural’ as it looks? Are the girls being themselves?

Prom 1

  • Are the whites only busy with themselves?
  • Are they being themselves, or copycats?

General

  • In which group is social pressure highest?
  • What is the influence of the photographer?
  • Are supposed differences not ‘created’ by the choice of B&W and color?
  • Are we shown a truth that is to one-sided?
  • Isn’t the photographer to prejudiced?

Mark Neville later juxtaposed some pictures from this project with pictures from other projects. Apparently he keeps asking questions as well!

Bibliography

Wolukau-Wanambwa, S. (2017), ‘Mark Neville Braddock/Sewickley’ In: Aperture 226 pp. 56-63

Baron, J. (2015), What’s Next for Pittsburgh, At: http://www.nextpittsburgh.com/events/londonpittsburgh-first-solo-exhibition-western-pa-international-artist-mark-neville/ (last visited 2 May 2017)

The Guardian (2017), People power: Mark Neville’s documentary photography – in pictures, At: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2017/jan/06/mark-neville-documentary-photography-in-pictures (last visited 2 May 2017)

Peter Marlow

Link to criticized picture: Michael Schumacher, 2001

From a personal project of photo journalist and war report from Magnum, Peter Marlow. ‘exploring not necessarily the things that were happening, but the everyday time time between the events. That aim is clearly evident in this picture of a champion’ (Koch, 2009). This picture can be seen as an expension of the discussion on the decisive moment in part 3 of the course.

Michael Schumacher sits in race overall at a table waiting for a meal. He is observing his surroundings, so it seems. The picture transmits serenity, calmness and patience. The eating place looks like a cantine or fast food restaurant. It could be anywhere in the world. No glamour.

The picture is in B&W what adds to that tranquility. The composition adds to the static feeling of the picture as well. I like this picture. It captures perfectly the ‘nothing happening’ idea.

Bibliography

Koch, R. (2009) Photo:box New York: Abrams

Magnum photos (2001) Peter Marlow At: https://pro.magnumphotos.com/image/LON23555.html (last visited 2 May 2017)

 

Finbarr O’Reilly

Link to critized picture (Second picture in slideshow): A Senegalese woman cools off in a swimming pool, Dakar, 2007

The picture shows the blue of swimming pool water, a black woman in a red bikine, a laugh with visible white teeth,  and no eyes. The photo is framed without the eyes. The first time I saw the picture it was in portrait style in a book, only on the internet I saw it presented in landscape style. And without the eyes that’s possible. It didn’t look strange. It might also have to do with the fact that the woman is in the water.

I can read this picture in three ways:

  1. The photo represents joy. The woman is enjoying herself. I think this is the way the photographer intended it. I read about the photographer and on his website the photo is presented under ‘daily scenes’.
  2. A more abstract interpretation. It’s the colours and contrast I like. Without the eyes I can overlook the fact that I’m looking at a body in water.
  3. An object of lust.

Finbarr O’Reilly is a british/Canadian photographer that is not only interested in stories of suffering in Africa. He also likes to show everyday life in Africa, the beauty of its landscape and strength of its people.

Bibliography

O’Reilly, Finbarr (2007 ), At: http://www.finbarr-oreilly.com/gallery/senegal-scenes/ (last visited 3 May 2017)

Koch, R. (2009) Photo:box New York: Abrams

Kathya Maria Landeros

Link to picture criticised: Leslie, Elk Grove, California, 2015

Kathya’s pictures are posed, like a family snapshot. In this particular photo a girl is sitting on a fence. She looks of camera.

After a couple of times going through some of Kathya’s pictures I noticed the snake around the girls wrist on this particular photo. I had looked at this picture a couple of times before, but hadn’t noticed the snake. Suddenly it became a different picture. I went through some other pictures of Kathya again to see if I missed more clues, but I didn’t.

I see Kathya’s pictures more as documentary than as art photography, but still they end up in galleries. In all my freshman thinking about photography and art it is something I still can’t comprehend. I’m working on it.

It’s not this stand alone photo, but the series that give Kathya’s pictures a value beyond the snapshot. As I have commented before, for me the learning point is to work projects, to photograph an idea over a longer period of time.

Bibliography

Cisneros, S. (2017), ‘West’ In: Aperture 226 pp. 90-95

Landeros, K.M. (2017), At: http://kathyalanderos.com/west/sixteen.html (last visited 2 May 2017)