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Blake Andrews

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©Delaney Allen

I browse numerous photography blogs and magazines, probably not as many as some people, but I’m guessing more than the median photography enthusiast. There are plenty of destinations to find quality work these days but I find there are very few that have a distinct point of view, and finding quality writing about photography is still a challenge. Far too many new blogs and magazines simply want to replicate what’s been done already (me too!) or have misguided editorial missions (“we want to expose photography/photographers we love/think is great/deserves more attention/ to a wider audience!”).

These days I can get a bit cranky about internet publishing, part of which comes from my own frustrations with trying to carve out a distinct perspective for LPV, but also I think there’s a shortage of critical discussions about what we’re dong online. Nobody in general is to blame for that, after all, who really wants to talk about social media and publishing? “Is blogging dead?” “How is social media impacting photography?” discussions tend to be short of new observations and generally resort to platitudes and hype, both of which we need far less of online. The critical, combative, engaged discussions generally aren’t very well received online, and in fact the web might not even be the best venue for those type of discussions. Anyway, I digress.

With this list I want to briefly comment on a group of blogs, magazines, destinations, websites, that I have a tremendous amount of respect for at the moment. There are many others that are very good, but these have triggered something in my mind that I think is worth noting. Please feel free to disagree and create your own list! After all, it is that time of the year!

 

About: A website dedicated to contemporary fine-art photography, founded and edited by Jörg M. Colberg

Comment: Next year will be the ten  year anniversary. If there’s one blog that’s on the must read list for fine art photography, it’s Conscientious. I’ve not always agreed with Jorg but I’ve never stopped reading his articles or viewing the work he publishes. He’s simply very good at what he does and doesn’t mince words. He writes about ideas and is a curious curator. You can try to pigeon hole him, but it won’t work. This year, what I’ve respected most are his new initiatives. He jumped back on Twitter and quickly became a must follow. He published a book, “Conversations With Photographers.” He continued his publishing initiative with Meir and Mueller. He experimented with Google+ and sharing photography books on Youtube. He showed his comedic chops in a couple of very funny videos. He does what every good blogger and publisher should do: he evolves and continues the curious pursuit of his passions.

Recommended: Photography is Over

 

About: “…a unique site combining social giving and photography. Its mission is to raise funds to purchase equipment for young, emerging photographers from economically disadvantaged backgrounds from Colombia, and eventually from around the world…”

Comment: The mission statement very clearly announces what you’re to expect and it’s very admirable. Tom Griggs is a savvy publisher, creating features that tap into the active online community with a keen editorial eye. I’ve always thought that the internet was a good place to learn if you can make your way through the noise. Griggs is certainly someone who believes this and isn’t hesitant to put in the necessary work to achieve his mission. I’m very excited to see where he takes things in the next year and can’t wait to view the work from the students he’s collaborating with. This is an incredibly exciting new site and one that I hope others with aspirations for creating photography platforms will learn from in the future.

Recommended: Current Microgrant

 

About: The blog of photographer Blake Andrews.

Comment: Not much to add from what I wrote last year. Every post is still a surprise.

From 2010: You never really know what to expect from Blake.  He operates in a mental space that very few bloggers can access on a regular basis. He taps into the photography web zeitgeist in a way that adds depth to his irreverent posts.  Beyond the hijinks and humor, he’s also a fantastic and insightful writer.  When he decides to challenge an idea, he makes sure he’s thought about the argument, and offers counter points worth thinking about.

Recommended: The Sprig and Optimal Lag

 

About: To joust in the melee of contested meanings in surveillance, fine-art, documentary, amateur, institution, and virtual photographies of prisons and other sites of incarceration.

Comment: Pete Brook gets straight to the point and he’s on a mission. I was fortunate enough to meet with him twice this year and each time I came away believing more and more in his mission. His blog doesn’t ask you to think, it forces you to think. It’s always smart, finely edited and illuminating. The subject matter isn’t for everybody. It’s the type of work and issues that we’d just rather ignore. After all, of all the members of society, prisoners are the mostly likely garner little sympathy from the general public. Pete understands this challenge but confronts it head on. Realistic, honest, funny and passionate. After a few minutes browsing through his blog, you’ll come away thinking and it’ll be a nagging thought you’re not likely to shake.

Recommended: Photographing the Prostitutes of Italy’s Backroads: Google Street View vs. Boots on the Ground

 

About: LightBox, a new blog by TIME’s photo department, will explore how photography, video and the culture of images define today’s world.

Comment: As I’ve heard, LightBox was a clandestine operation by the Time photo editors that didn’t have the sanction of the corporate overlords. Thankfully for us, they’re disobedience went unpunished. It’s really a no brainer, but the cynic in me says, “jeez guys, it took you this long to get started?” Now that they’re here though, we’re exposed to a very tightly edited, engaging dose of photography on a daily basis. They have the resources and access that most independent bloggers and magazines simply never will have, and it shows in the quality and diversity of the work.

Recommended: Merry Christmas from Lee Friedlander

 

About: An independent charitable gallery (Cardiff, Wales) run by photographers Joni Karanka, Maciej Dakowicz, Bartosz Nowicki and a group of committed volunteers.

Comment: I’ve known Joni for a few after meeting him in HCSP. It’s been exciting watching what they’ve done with TFG this year. Actually, it’s pretty fucking remarkable and shows exactly what a group of passionate, intelligent photographers can achieve if they have a vision and dedication to bringing it to fruition. The TFG web presence is pretty straightforward and that’s all it needs to be. They’re able to get the word out to the right people and have been successful in raising the necessary funds to keep them afloat. In their first two years, they’ve exhibited Tomas Van Houtryve, Rob Hornstra, Ben Roberts, David Hurn, Laura Pannack, Chris Steele-Perkins, Peter Dench, and Carolyn Drake. That’s impressive. What more can you say?

Recommended: Support Us

 

About: Wayne Bremser’s Tumblr/Blog.

Comment: My favorite blog on Tumblr. Wayne is smart and the connections he makes between photographs is stimulating (“Bremser Image Telephone.”) He doesn’t write much, but when he does, it’s always very insightful and relevant. The photos run the spectrum from contemporary to historical, and are generally photographs that haven’t been heavily circulated in our visually saturated internet wasteland.

Recommended: How to Photograph the Entire World: The Google Street View Era

 

About: Facebook group of Flake Photo. “My hope is that by hosting online photo conversations in a single place the FPN will make it easier to share ideas and meet photography colleagues using Facebook.”

Comment: Maybe the years I’ve spent in photography forums has made me jaded, and kind of skeptical of these ‘community’ organizing initiatives, but I applaud Andy for his ability to bring together people that might not normally participate in photography forums. There’s plenty of conversation, insights and idea sharing happening on a weekly basis to keep my interest. It can be a great resource and it’s always interesting to read the opinions of people that don’t normally share them publicly.

Recommended: If you can get in…and tolerate the self-promotion.

 

About: The blog of duckrabbit, an award-winning digital production company.  We work with documentary audio, still photography and video to make compelling film and audio narratives for commercial, charity and broadcast clients.

Comment: There are  some blogs you like because of the attitude. duckrabbit is one of them for me. They have their nose to the grind and are tapped into the pulse of what’s happening with documentary photography and photojournalism. They’re opinionated, passionate and won’t back down from a good argument or debate. One to read for sure.

Recommended: Are photography degrees the joker in the pack?

 

About: Bagnews analyzes and reports news and media images. In an ever more visual society, BagNews seeks to better understand the levels of meaning, the underlying story lines and the various agendas reflected in the more prominent news pictures of the day.

Comment: Bag is one of those sites that I’ve said I read but more often than not only skim. Then this year I really started to read it regularly and found it incredibly interesting and insightful. The way photographs are used by media organizations in our hyper saturated, fast paced publishing world is worth taking the time to consider. For that type of analysis, there really is nowhere else to go other than the Bag.

Recommended: Taking it to the Kittens: The Pepper Spray Cop Meme — and What It Means

 

About: A Photo Editor (APE) is edited by Rob Haggart, the former Director of Photography for Men’s Journal and Outside Magazine.

Comment: The online pulse of the editorial and commercial photography world. Great resource for articles that are floating around. Jonathan Blaustein’s gallery and book reviews are long…but well worth the time investment. Recommended reading for anyone remotely curious or interested in the business side of commercial and editorial photography.

Recommended: Why Does Everyone Think They Need A Photo Book?

 

About: I examine how documentary photography and photojournalism work, the opportunities multimedia bring, and the challenges presented by the revolutions in the new media economy.

Comment: David’s thoughtful articles typically get me thinking. His subject matter might not be the most exciting for photographers but if you’re interested in publishing and how the web is evolving, creating new challenges & opportunities, then David’s blog is a must read. Always well researched, timely and engaging.

Recommended: Agencies as publishers: a new approach to photojournalism

 

About: Feature Shoot is run by photographer, photo editor and curator Alison Zavos and showcases work from up-and-coming photographers alongside established photographers who have completed a project or whose work has taken on a new direction.

Comment: Alison’s eyeballs must get really sore because she seems to see just about every photograph that’s published on the web. FS publishes an eclectic mix of work, crossing many genres and styles. What I like most about FS, is that I don’t like everything that’s published, and yet I keep coming back because I know there will be photographs that I haven’t seen before, many of which I’ll likely find interesting. Having chatted with Alison a few times, I have no doubt she’ll introduce new and exciting features in the next year.

Recommended: Parisian twins photographed by Maja Daniels

 

About: Edited by Constantin Nimigean

Comment: From Bucharest comes this serendipitous find. I’m not really sure how it came on my radar but after I subscribed I started to notice that most the photography strongly resonated with me. It was fun to see what was coming next. Sometimes he’d link to work I’d seen on other blogs but more often than not I’d be treated to work that hadn’t crossed my radar. I’m very interested to see how the site evolves in 2012.

Recommended: Valentina Riccardi – NO RENT

 

About: Edited tags from Tumblr.

Comment: It’s brilliant. Tumblr has chosen a group of photography enthusiasts to edit tags and promote work they think deserves more attention. So, what you get from the chaos of Tumblr is some semblance of organization. You can check the ‘portrait’ tag and find what’s ‘popular,’ ‘promoted’ and ‘everything’ else. They’ve made good choices in their editors too.

To show the power of Tumblr, and why I think every photographer should have a presence there, I’ll share an anecdote. I signed up in 2007 and started aggregating work under LPV/Photographs on the Brain. In four years, I gained about 2,000 followers. A few weeks ago I posted this wonderful photograph by Chris Dorley-Brown. In two days, after being ‘promoted’ it accumulated over 10,000 notes and became ‘popular.’ Within five days I’d gained nearly 4,500 followers. If Tumblr can harness this viral power and create a compelling ‘Front Page,’ they could really be onto something very interesting.

Regular reads, recommended: Unless you will, Fraction Magazine, 1000 Words, Eyecurious, Colin Pantall, LENS, New Landscape Photography, The Great Leap Sideways, Two Way Lens, Wayne Ford, dvafoto, Raw File, Shooting Wide Open, lenscratch, DLK Collection, This is the what, Search the Light, Two for the Road,urbanautica, LUCEO, Banana Leaves

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Your arm-chair photojournalist is back… That’s what I feel like anyway at the moment…

I moved house in Brighton a week ago, and still haven’t got internet set up in the new place, so I’ve had to frequent cafes for free wi-fi….. Sitting at Redwood cafe (nice strong Americanos, just as I like them) in the city centre….Anyways, no updates since Thursday, so loads to share….

Let’s start with Egypt….

Dominic Nahr is covering the anti-government protests in Cairo for TIME magazine…. @Panospictures tweeted at some point yesterday that Nahr and Guy Martin, who is covering the events for Wall Street Journal, might have had their memory cards confiscated by the army, but it would seem that not all of them , since Nahr managed to file anyway…

Features and Essays – Dominic Nahr: Turmoil in Egypt (TIME: January 2011)

New York Times has a Egypt gallery up that they are updating daily….the below photo by Chris Hondros shows travellers at Cairo International Airport waiting for flights out of the country…. Which of course is opposite to a lot of photographers, who are trying hard to make their way to the country…Based on Twitter and Facebook messages, a whole lot of freelancers seem to be heading there…

Features and Essays – New York Times (various photographers): Egypt Protest (February 2011)

Guardian’s Egypt gallery…

Features and Essays – Guardian: Egypt Protests Continue (Guardian: January 2011)

VII Photo put up a piece on their magazine of Egypt under Mubarak.

Features and Essays – VII: Egypt Under Mubarak (VII Magazine: January 2011)

Anastasia Taylor- Lind’s Egypt bloggers series, which she shot for Geo Germany last year (see blog), has caught second wind during the current anti-goverment protests, and it has been exhibited both on MSNBC’s and Newsweek’s websites…

Features and Essays - Anastasia Taylor-Lind: Egyptian bloggers ( Newsweek: January 2011) series on MSNBC

Anastasia is the featured photographer of the month on Firecracker, by the way….Firecracker is a site supporting European women photographers…

Ed Ou, who is covering the Egypt unrest for NYT, has been interviewed by James Estrin on the Lens blog…

Interviews - Ed Ou (NYT Lens: January 2011) Egypt

I didn’t manage to listen to this, but according to @anastasiatl, Ivor Prickett was interviewed on Tahrir Square for Irish Radio (part 2 , 3m 55sec in)…

Interviews - Ivor Prickett (Newstalk.ie: January 2011)

Phillip Toledano’s new work…

Features and Essays – Phil Toledano: Kim Jong Phil (Project website: 2011)

Stephen Alvarez’s (@alvarez photo) National Geographic Magazine February 2011 cover story, Paris Underground, was featured on NPR…he put a video on this blog…

Features and Essays - Stephen Alvarez: Paris Underground (Photographer’s blog: January 2011) Read the NPR article here

Financial Times picture desk, Emma Bowkett and co, sent a pretty impressive line up of 10 photographers to cover the new period of economic austerity… There’s Parr, Roberts, Norfolk…Winship…. (found via @Yumi_Goto)

NB. You might need to register to view the link… Free registration is enough though….

Features and Essays – Financial Times (various photographers): Britain: what lies ahead? (FT: January 2011)

Features and Essays – Jeremy Cowart: Haiti by iPhone (Photographer’s website) his Twitter

Features and Essays - Keith Bedford: Hoarding Cotton (WSJ: January 2011)

Features and Essays - Kevin Frayer: Helmand Province from above (SacBee Frame: January 2011)

Features and Essays - M. Scott Brauer: We Chinese (Project website: January 2011)

Simon Wheatley was a huge inspiration to me when I was studying photojournalism, and he still is…

Books / Features and Essays - Simon Wheatley: Don’t Call Me Urban (Project website)

Features and Essays - Marco Salustro: Jasmine Revolution (Corbis Stock: January 2011) Tunisia | Salustro’s website

Features and Essays – Julien Goldstein: Belarus (Photographer’s website: 2011)

Interviews - Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb Q&A (Telegraph: January 2011)

InterviewsThe Archive of Modern Conflict (PhotoEye blog: January 2011)

InterviewsDavid Goldblatt (PDF) Interview with South African photographer David Goldblatt about cultural amnesia.

Articles -NYT Lens: Parting Glance: Lucas Mebrouk Dolega, 32 (NYT Lens: January 2011)

Articles – BJP: Photographer Danfung Dennis wins two Sundance documentary prizes (BJP: January 2011)

Great BJP series continues…

Articles / Tutorials – BJP: 11 Tips for 2011: How to get new clients (BJP: January 2011)

Articles / Tutorials – BJP: 11 Tips for 2011: Ditch that website altogether (BJP: January 2011)

Articles / Tutorials – BJP: 11 Tips for 2011: Refreshing your portfolio (BJP: January 2011)

Articles – Guardian: Greenslade blog: News agencies in peril as freelance rates get smaller (Guardian: January 2011)

Articles - David Campbell: The problem with regarding the photography of suffering as ‘pornography’ (Writer’s blog: January 2011)

About time, people are talking more about this…Blake Andrews on the lack of a happy face in current portraiture…

Blogs/ Articles – Blake Andrews: Portraits : The Space Test (Blake Andews’ blog: January 2011)

Peter Dench has his own Diary on the pages of Professional Photographer magazine…Definitely worth reading…Honest and funny…

Articles – Peter Dench: The Dench Diary : November 2010 / October 2010 (Professional Photographer: 2010)

Articles - Guardian: Featured Photojournalist: Dan Kitwood (Guardian: January 2011)

@AGarciaPhoto: What would you do if someone stuck a wad of $100 bills in your pocket for photos of a Chinese president while on assignment?

Blogs – Trib Photo Nation: The saga of an individual assignment (Chicago Tribune: 2011)

Blogs - Brendan Hoffman: State of the Union for the New York Times (Prime Collective blog: January 2011)

VideosAlec Soth: Birth of an Exhibit (Vimeo: 2010)

Saw this on a Benjamin Rasmussen (@benjaminras) tweet…

Videos - Simon Norfolk on Photojournalism (Youtube)

Videos - In-Sight trailer (Nick Turpin’s blog: January 2011)

Vivian Maier is everywhere….

Articles - CBS: Vivian Maier: Photographer’s Talent Went Unknown Until Death (CBS: January 2011)

Saw David Campbell (@davidc7) tweet this….

Aaron Huey is developing his important Lakota work in collaboration with Ernesto Yerena and Shepard Fairey (Aaron Huey blog: January 2011)

Collectives - Paralaxis

BlogsPontus Hook

Twitter - Benedicte Kurzen

Awards/ ExhibitionsHearst 8×10 winners

Talks - Open- i: Photoblogs Right Here Right Now Seminar - FORMAT International Photography festival, Derby UK 15.00 GMT

Jobs - Slate is looking for a photo researcher (Slate)

And to finish off, a joke…

“Mubarak is very ill. Doctor says, “you must prepare message to say goodbye to people”. Mubarak asks: “why?where are people going?”"

from @peterbeaumont

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“ When you realize that you have been with these women and you have left them and broken their hearts — and look, let’s be real here. I don’t own an apartment. I don’t own a house. I don’t own a car. I don’t have any stocks and bonds. All I own are my cameras. That’s it. And some cowboy boots. If you want to be a success financially, please don’t follow this path. ” – Stanley Greene


©Camilo Delgado Castilla


©Lukasz Wierzbowski


©Kurt Manley


©Brad McMurray


©Simon Kossoff

“But a guy devoting his creative life to art photography? With no immediate recognition or reward? No one has the foggiest clue how to approach that. They know I carry a camera. On some level they know I’m involved in that life, consumed even. But my daily routine and activities are beyond comprehension, beyond curiosity even. I may as well be painting rocks in the driveway or tossing grass seed from an overpass. Just as productive. What’s there to talk about?” – Blake Andrews


©Stevie Dacanay


©Mark Alor Powell


©Luis Torres


©Paul Russell


©Pierre Wayser

“Photography, and our understanding of it, has spread from a centre; it has, by infusion, penetrated our consciousness. Like an organism, photography was born whole. It is in our progressive discovery of it that its history lies.” – John Szarkowski

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