Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘photo essay’

Photo Essays on the Web, May 2014

Every month, I try to highlight some of the best, beautiful, mindful, and provocative photography from around the world, both from contemporary and historical perspectives. For example, the more I read about photography, the more I believe questions asked in the late 19th- to early 20th-century still have great relevance in the 21st-century.

1. Vivian Maier: American Street Photographer

Vivian Maier was a full-time nanny to a number of Chicago families. But unknown to them and many, Maier was an avid street photographer. As the primary story goes, her work was shelved and forgotten, until rediscovered by accident in a garage sale. The Slate’s Behold describes the latest documentary on this enigmatic person.

2. “The Place We Live”

With his photographs, American photographer Robert Adams highlighted the large expanse of the central plains in his home nation: the big skies, the big vistas, and our continuous, if not insidious, urban “creep” into these landscapes. Through his photographs, Adams asked questions about where we live, and what we do with where we live.

3. The Double Take

One of the emerging trends on Image Source for 2014 includes “The Double Take”. Does touching or interacting with a mobile or tablet screen make that transaction seem more “real”? A new language has clearly developed, where the combination of sliding finger gestures combined with timed taps on the screen produces a set of actions. Where else might we go? Do we go freely into a brave new world? Check out the article and the included video. The fifth video down reminds me a lot of Radiohead’s bleak futuristic landscapes, and frankly, the video gives me the creeps … but in a thoughtful way …

4. A Look Into the World of Arab Israelis

Jewish-Israeli photographer, Natan Dvir, wanted to understand what happens to Israelis, particularly Arab-Israelis, when they turn 18 years of age. I think Dvir’s photos show perceptiveness, intimacy, and eloquence about a segment of the population that’s not well understood by people within Israel, the Middle East, or around the world.

5. Three of VII: current state of photojournalism

On National Geographic’s PROOF, Janna Dotschkal interviewed three photographers from the agency VII (as in the Roman number ‘seven’) about their continuing desire, motivation, and inspiration with photography and photojournalism.

6. Do Dogs Copy Us, or is it the other way around?

What’s life without both the tragic and the humorous; what Shakespeare might have written had he lived in the 20th- and 21st century. With that, there’s a risk at including yet another “cute” photo-essay about pets or animals. But the following series by Sophie Gamand reveals something very interesting the photographer seems to have captured in fortunate moments. The expressions of the wet dogs seem to mirror our own and very human expressions.


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Photo Essays on the Web, April 2014

A third of the year that is 2014 has gone. How did that happen? How have we seen and photographed things thus far?

1. El Bulli: How To Make Perfect Food Every Single Time

A seven-volume book series, “elBulli 2005-2011”, has been published to highlight the famous Spanish “El Bulli” restaurant, how “perfect food” was constructed, and how “perfection” was reproduced for the dinner table night after night.

2. People and stories, by Nan Goldin

The first time I saw Nan Goldin’s photography was in Berlin; seeing a retrospective of her work blew a hole both in my brain and in my soul. Whatever you think of her work, the choices she’s made, and the inevitable changes over the years, I believe her themes and stories have remained: they’re about family, friends, and how close she gets to intimacy, truth, and honesty with her photography.

3. Palestinians Are Ordinary People

It’s easy to minimize, belittle, or demonify any group of people who are the “other”; we are all universally guilty of “binning” people into the “us vs. them”. It’s why I think the following photographic work, “The Rarely Seen Lives of Palestinians“, by Tanya Habjouqa is important to highlight the universality of the daily human experience, our needs and our desires.

4. Blending Images from Different Locations

Do images represent merely the moments in which they’re taken? Or can they mean more? Have they always meant more? What happens when individual images from opposite sides of the planet are blended, whose result is posted on Instagram? Does the meaning, if any, of the individual images change when merged? What does that have to say about the resulting blended images?

5. The Cypriots’ Turkey-Greece Divide

It’s been 40 years since Cyprus was separated into the Turkish north and the Greek south. Neil Hall’s photographs examine how moments within the UN Buffer Zone have been frozen in time, going back fully four decades.

6. In Memory of Anja Niedringhaus

Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed in early April in Afghanistan. She was in country covering national presidential elections. She is best known for photography in war-zones, but she also covered major sporting events (e.g., The Summer Olympics). Several online venues showed her work in tribute to her courage, compassion, dedication; to her craft and work. I think these attributes clearly show up in her portraits and photographs.


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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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