Saturday, July 28, 2012

Terry Richardson: No Controversy

Some photographers have reached a controversial status because of the sensitivity of their subject matter. Artists like Sally Mann have gone through intense media scrutiny for the nudity in their photographs, but after the initial uproar, most critics agree that their work bears immense artistic value. One contemporary photographer however has gained famed not just for his photographs, but also because of the way he makes them. That photographer is Terry Richardson. (WARNING: This post contains NUDITY).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sally Mann: The Beauty of Family

Every so often, a photographer will find himself embroiled in scandal because of the sensitivity of his chosen subject. Photographers like W. Eugene Smith and Lewis Hine experience some criticism for their photographs many decades ago, but these days it seems the most innocent subjects can be the most controversial. When portrait photographer Sally Mann began documenting the beauty of her own family, she found herself in the middle of a heated debate on what exactly passes for natural and indecent in the medium. (WARNING: This post contains NUDITY).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dali Atomicus by Philippe Halsman and Salvador Dali

If you thought Li Wei's unphotoshopped photographs of levitating men looks impressive, you probably haven't seen the most epic of all jump shots: Dali Atomicus by Philippe Halsman and Salvador Dali.

This image is just one of 28 attempts by the artist and photographer duo at creating a true instance of suspended animation. This was made around the time that Halsman was working on his Jumpology project where subjects where asked to pose for him in one of the most unorthodox ways: the jump shot. Here, the pair took it a step further by involving flying cats, cascading waters, and a jumping Dali.

There's more information about Dali Atomicus on its Wikipedia page. Iconic Photos also has a nice write-up on the collaboration between Philippe Halsman and Salvador Dali, including outtakes on their several attempts at this one epic shot. If you're looking for more jump shots, be sure to check out the previous entry on Philippe Halsman's Jumpology project as well.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Li Wei: Unphotoshopped Photoshops of Flying Men

In this age of awesome Photoshop manipulations, it can be easy to look at unrealistic photo images and chalk them up to simple photo editing. The majority of photographers have no qualms using photo editing software to enhance their photographs, but a few others do it the old way and resort to more back-breaking methods to achieve their vision. Artist and photographer Li Wei has become famous for his seemingly unphotoshopped Photoshops showing men flying and cars floating through the air.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Irving Penn: 20th Century Portrait Master

While W. Eugene Smith was busy capturing the unflinching honesty of people, another photographer was busy photographing the compelling beauty in people. Irving Penn moved seamlessly from portraiture to fashion and back again, producing some of the most striking portraits of his time and proving that he was undoubtedly the 20th century's master of portraiture.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

W. Eugene Smith: Unflinchingly Honest Photojournalism

Photojournalists can sometimes receive flack for taking visceral photos on assignment. Where is the line between decent, objective reporting and shockingly explicit imagery? Photojournalist W. Eugene Smith didn't seem to care much when he published his unflinchingly honest photojournalism in the pages of America's most popular magazines.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Omayra Sanchez: The Eyes Photographed by Frank Fournier

This haunting image shows 13 year old Omayra Sánchez neck-deep in flood water and debris caused by 1985 eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Armero, Colombia. Her pasty-white shriveled hands and bloodshot eyes are the result of nearly 60 hours of exposure, having been trapped in the same position since the lahar and melted ice-cap water reached her town. She died a few hours after this image was taken.

The photograph was made by Frank Fournier, a photojournalist, and was almost immediately surrounded by controversy when it was published. Some criticized the photographer for acting like a vulture, preying on the victims with his camera, but Fournier defended his actions saying that he believed it was his duty to report on "the courage and the suffering and the dignity of the little girl". The image, titled the "Agony of Omayra Sánchez", won the World Press Photo in 1985, just one of the haunting images captured by Fournier that day and included in his entry for Spot News stories.

Wikipedia has a good entry about Omayra Sánchez and the photographed captured by Frank Fournier if you want to know more.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tim Hetherington: The Face of War

When photography first developed into something portable, documenting the front lines became a reality and war photography became a reality. Nowadays, the world has become saturated with images of armed conflict, so much so that it's not uncommon to find people desensitized by the images. Still, war images have their place in photography, with the likes of Tim Hetherington showing the world the true face of war.