Three months ago, I posed for my college graduation photo—the official one in front of an American flag, diploma in hand, ready to face the world. Since then the photography company has emailed me almost weekly, offering discount upon discount and before-it's-too-lates. But when the picture was taken, just seconds after I had crossed the stage and shaken hands, I was too delirious to smile, so instead I bit my lower lip. I mean I almost swallowed it. I don't know how it happened. Normally, I have no trouble smiling. But I remember at that moment that the muscles would not contract into a casual, triumphant smile, that my [...]
For this coming Sunday's New York Times magazine, Jeff Koons has apparently provided photographs of two bunnies. Just two days ago, the Times reported on the decline in work and income for professional photographers. After claiming that amateurs and their low pricing were hurting professional photographers, a claim that is total baloney-newspapers and magazines changed their rates and the amount of work they commissioned, is actually what happened!-the Times started to make sense: "Professionals are also being hurt because magazines and newspapers are cutting pages or shutting altogether…. And while magazines once sniffed at stock photographs, which are existing images, not original assignments, shrinking editorial budgets made them reconsider." [...]
Are you following this Errol Morris investigation into the photography of Walker Evans and pals? A new installment, part 3 of 7, went up last night and it is BONKERS. Basically it is about alterations-suspected or proven or even wildly obvious, in retrospect-in 1930s documentary work of the FSA photographers (Evans, Dorothea Lange, et al). Essentially, much of what we view now as documentary-and what we see in our minds as the visuals of recent American history-was actually pretty close to propaganda.
"It seems like folks these days would rather look at a bloody car accident or a nauseating crime scene than a glorious sunset or a pretty English garden. Shock value used to be what the talentless with low budgets resorted to, like in terrible William Castle movies or those tabloids in grocery stores. You know â€˜Oh darling what a lovely evening gown! It just cries out to be photographed on a homeless man buried under garbage in a yucky dumpster.' But I'm not sure I understand anything about fashion anymore. You know, the piss stains in your Levi's crotch, or how many rips, and how worn and faded, are [...]
You've seen a lot of photos that Jim Marshall took. Johnny Cash, flipping the bird on his way off stage at San Quentin Prison, Jimi Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire at the Monterey Jazz and Pop Festival, The Allman Brothers sitting on their equipment outside the Fillmore East. He is generally regarded as rock n' roll's greatest photographer and his work graced the covers of more than 500 albums. "Jim's pictures of the music makers are extraordinary for many reasons," wrote his friend, the actor Michael Douglas, in the forward to Marshall's 1997 book, Not Fade Away. "As a human being and as an artist, [...]
I've been on record with my dislike for most of Annie Leibovitz's work, but even I figured it was a good value in the photography market. Her auction record is something like $57,000; today, you can actually buy prints for like $8 grand. But what are you getting? When she got into deep financial trouble, her arrangement with Philips resulted in a "Master Set" of 150 photographs, in an edition of 7; three of the set are broken up for solo sale. So, right: oh, look, a brand new edition! There's World Cup soccer photos in monster editions of 50; photographs, in an edition of 40, and sized [...]
You know what's not getting enough attention? The insanely messed-up case of Jonas Lara, a former Marine and actually very good photographer who goes before a jury on May 11 on charges of… photographing people doing graffiti. While documenting the work-he really is an actual professional photographer!-the taggers were arrested, and he was accused of aiding and abetting. (His earlier charge of felony vandalism was thrown out.) If you would like to read commentary from the stupidest people imaginable, read the comments on the Photo District News story all about how photographing a crime actually is a crime. YES AND THAT'S WHY EDDIE ADAMS [...]
It's so good that different people are equipped to do different things. If I was to try to assemble my own motorized paraglider and fly over the Sahara Desert taking pictures, I would die probably ten minutes into the assembly part. Luckily, there's folks like National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz in the world, so I can do what I do best: sit at my computer. Breathtaking photography is here.