Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘My Modern Metropolis’

Photo Essays on the Web, March 2014

As we breeze past the quarter-pole in 2014, the following photo essays from the web highlight Instagram, doodling, black-and-white format, 19th-century Paris, and finding life in the town called Death.

From chaos one finds order, and I often moments of stillness in the noise …

Is Instagram Helping to Democratize Photography?

Love it or hate it: Instagram has been a part of a huge wave worldwide making photography far more accessible to an ever increasing number of people. The World Photography Organisation takes a “insta-look”.

Bored Commuting: Doodling on the Train

What happens if you’re a commuter on a train and you’re bored? Draw caricatures of your fellow passengers, and photograph the very funny results. Here’s the hilarity from October Jones, who’s also the creator of the very funny “Text From Dog” tumblr website.

Alex Webb’s view of the world

Magnum photographer Alex Webb has a wonderful way of viewing a world in black and white. When asked how he views the relationship between ‘documentary or journalistic content and purely aesthetic concerns in your work’, he says they’re both ‘simultaneous and inseparable, both in vision and the world, of form and content.’ He always asks questions through his photographs, his experiments with form are sometimes by themselves the literal process of asking those very questions.

Mastering What You Have

There are good reasons why I made tens of thousands of clicks on my old camera. One of those reasons was how I’d get used to the camera until it became second nature. That when it was time to make a shot, I wouldn’t have to think about what to do, or what button was where. Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more, so that getting the shot was 1st nature, and making the shot became 2nd nature. It’s what photographer David duChemin writes in his latest article, about mastering one’s own camera gear, whatever gear you might have.

Glories of 19th Century Paris

In the second half of the 19th-century, the French capital city of Paris experienced massive urban transformation, and Marville was charged to document these changes. His photographs are now seen as a “standard” to urban documentary photography and as historical documents to what Paris was like before redevelopment. I’d seen some of his work over the past few years in exhibitions in Hamburg and Essen, and the fascination is just as fresh as the first time I laid eyes on these beautiful photographs.

Welcome to Death! (in Finland)

“Welcome to Death!” That’s the sign you’ll see outside the town of Kuolema in Finland. Swedish photographer Eva Persson was captivated by this, and spent time in town to photograph ‘life in Death’. I also laugh at the “simple” contrast she draws between Swedes and Finns about life and death in general. To Finns: you’re born, you suffer a long time, and then you die. To Swedes: you’re born, all is “Jätte bra!” (very good), then you disappear … to somewhere warm, preferably the Mediterranean.


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Photo Essays on the Web, February 2014

I highlight a number of photo-essays not only for their content, but also for the unique perspectives photographers bring to their photographs. I think there are also many ways to view the world, and sometimes, we go through our cameras. Does what we see always come into focus? Not always, but often it’s the attempt that matters most.

Cynicism Illustrated

Funny and simple, Eduardo Salles highlights his own cynical (and frankly, universally 21st-century) view of the world through his illustrations. What makes his work very effective is how he gets to the point directly and brilliantly (My Modern Met).

Photographing an African Safari

A lot of people dream about going to Africa, experiencing a safari, and seeing and learning about the special animals which live in a very special place on our planet. Photographer Essdras Suarez spent 2 weeks in Kenya and Tanzania in 2013, and some of his experiences are highlighted here (Boston Globe).

Fukushima: How Emergency Becomes Normalcy

After the devastating 2011 Tohoku/Sendai earthquake, part of the everyday conversation in eastern Japan still involves recovery, radiation, and rebuilding. Photographer Kosuke Okahara set out deliberately with a large format camera to highlight how the “abnormal” has become “normal.” The camera choice required time to prepare each of his photographs (Lens Culture), and forced him “to only take pictures of things or situations that were slow-moving” so he could “(effectively) convey some of the impact of the disaster”.

Greenland: Where Ice and Population Are Thinning

It’s easy to forget ice-covered Greenland has a population of over 50000 people. But the ice is thinning, and so too is the population. Slovenian photographer Ciril Jazbec spent two weeks with Uunartoq Lovstrom in a remote settlement with a population of 250. Jazbec’s photographs (NY Times) highlight the effects of climate change on “traditional” ways of life, how current residents cope with the changes (or leave), and what they mean to the people of Greenland.

Black and White Simplicity

Paul Outerbridge once said “in black and white you suggest; in color you state”. There is a quality, an air of mystery surrounding black and white photography. The work by Derek Toye is no exception, and there’s a wonderfully somber mood to his photographs (My Modern Met): a loneliness to be found in wide open spaces.

The Cassini Spacecraft Orbiting the Planet Saturn

I’ve always been fascinated by the Solar System, ever since I saw those first images transmitted by the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft as they passed by and photographed the outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus. Subsequent spacecraft, like the Cassini probe, allows us to study the outer planets, particularly Saturn, in greater detail to provide more insights about the creation of the Solar System and about why there’s a difference between the terrestrial planets (like our own Earth) and the gas giants (like Saturn). Frankly, these photos (The Atlantic) are absolutely stunning.


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Photo Essays on the Web, 24 January 2014

The following photographic essays, including various “best of 2013” series, help kick off the new year.

54 Reasons Why There’s Love for Photography

Photoshelter CEO and photographer Allen Murabayashi wrote an essay describing why he loves and continues to love photography. He lists 54 reasons, and they’re all plenty good to last you a good chunk of time.

Goodbye, Madiba (Two)

We said goodbye to Nelson Mandela who died on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95. Two examples of photo-essays highlighting his long eventful life are from The Atlantic’s In Focus and from Slate’s Behold; both offer

… an in-depth examination of photography in South Africa from apartheid’s adoption as official policy in 1948 until 1994, when the election of Nelson Mandela as president ended the country’s system of racial segregation.

One of his legacies has to be “the struggle and striving for peace through perseverance, unity, and forgiveness.”

Simple and Creative iPhone-ography

Minneapolis artist Brock Davis produces iPhone photography of constructed scenes using everyday objects. They’re wonderfully simple, and they’ll make you wonder why anyone didn’t think of that before. Check out his profile and photos on My Modern Metropolis, and previously from 2012.

50 States of Lego

Based in Nova Scotia, artist and photographer Jeff Friesen constructed small dioramas of each U.S. state, made entirely of LEGO pieces. He’s also done the same to Canada’s provinces & territories. Also, read Friesen’s interview by Phoblographer here.

The 2013 Year in Review

Given the ubiquity of year-end essays and reviews, I’ll share these four:

* The Big Picture on Boston Globe,
* In Focus, on The Atlantic,
* National Geographic, and
* New York Times’ Sunday Review: The Year In Pictures,


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