Local WECC member Nick Bedford has published another huge post of B&W Kodak TRI-X street and personal doco photos. He's been shooting with the Nikon FA but just got his Leica M7 back.Read More
As we enter into our sixth year of the annual Student Prize competition, we at Lenscratch find ourselves truly amazed at the quality of work that passes through the submission inbox year after year after year. Aline Smithson and myself were joined by previous Student Prize winner Shawn Bush as we sat down with nearly 200 submissions from all over the world. It is with great pleasure to announce the first-place winner Zora J Murff, recognizing his body of work Re-Making The Mark, and also celebrating his excellence as an MFA graduate from University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
In his body of work Re-Making The Mark, Zora navigates iconography that is structured upon historical and cultural racial profiles. It is hard for me to articulate themes of race and violence when looking at the breadth of Zora’s work because my privileges have allowed me to slip by in life without addressing either. This is why the work that Zora does is truly important. It facilitates conversations that are hard to have, and it provides representation when there is lack thereof. Re-Making The Mark highlights the beauty and normality that should be seen within people of color and their communities, though emphasizes the realities of how racism is rooted in signifiers regardless of the time of day.
Zora’s work is currently on view at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Fransisco from July 5 – October 28.
Zora J Murff is an MFA Candidate in Studio Art at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Zora attended the University of Iowa where he studied Photography and holds a BS in Psychology from Iowa State University. Combining his education in human services and art, Zora’s photography focuses on race, identity, and how images are used to reinforce social and cultural constructs. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and featured online including the British Journal of Photography and The Guardian. His work has also been published in Aperture Magazine, VICE Magazine, GOOD Magazine, and The New York Times. Zora was the Daylight Photo Award Winner in 2017, a Lensculture 2017 Top 50 Emerging Talent, and a Joy of Giving Something Fellow through Imagining America in 2016. Zora’s first monograph, Corrections, was published by Aint-Bad Editions, and his second monograph Lost, Omaha was published by Kris Graves Projects. Zora is also a Co-Curator of Strange Fire Collective with Jess T. Dugan, Hamidah Glasgow, and Rafael Soldi.
How has studying photography changed the way that you think and create photographic imagery?
My educational background isn’t in art, and I wasn’t exposed to much art growing up. I graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2010, and that led me into the human services field. I picked up photography as a hobby and eventually decided to study it. When I began my first series Corrections, I was still pretty naive to what could be accomplished with photography, but I think my experiences with–and inherent drive for–working with people was highly influential on the work that I make.
As an undergraduate student, I worked closely with Jeff Rich and Margaret Stratton at the University of Iowa, and their leanings towards documentary photography was influential in how I conceptualized my own photographs and thoughts on photography. As a graduate student, I was still very interested in documentary photography, but I became more interested in how the genre could be expanded—how I could tell a story without being so directly tied to truth. That was a special thing about going to graduate school. I had time and resources to try different approaches to photography and broaden my thoughts on it.
by PETE LITTLEWOOD
The Ausseerland, in the geographical middle of Austria, is an area of outstanding natural beauty with its crystal clear lakes and impressive mountain backdrops. Beneath its picture-postcard appearance, the region and its inhabitants preserve a strong sense of tradition and heritage, while equally embracing change and progression. Austrian Leica S photographer Armin Walcher explores this fascinating region in search of the hard-to-pin-down sense of local identity via 30 in-depth encounters with local craftspeople, musicians, and artists. The personal stories are told via images and text in the beautifully compiled book “Zeitlos in Bewegung”, while an interactive website includes compelling videos, offering more insight into the 30 individual stories. Here we feature just a few of these local characters and speak with Armin about the challenges of capturing such an elusive concept as local identity in photographic form.
You used to be a professional athlete before you became a photographer, how did you transition from one career to the next?
It was more or less by accident. During my career as a professional athlete, I wanted to update my website with better photos. So I bought a better camera. I immediately fell in love with the feeling of photography, which I had not been able to imagine before. I really got obsessed and started to do more and more and more…
How did your passion for photography develop? Is there anyone in particular, who influenced or inspired you along the way?
The development went from nature to sports, then to commercial, people and documentary photography. It was a process, I would say. I had to grow as a person to go more into people and documentary photography. I could not imagine that when I started to shoot. It took me some time.
Nature photography is still a learning process for me. I gain new insights each time I shoot, I keep discovering new things and I appreciate it if situations have meaning in an honest way, not in a spectacular one.
I learn a lot from each kind of photography, which keeps my life and my life as a photographer in fascinating movement. I don’t want to stand still. I want to develop. I can’t say who influenced or inspired me in particular, but my dad is a big part of my career in photography. He loves photography and always has honest feedback.
BJP meets with the giant of British photography to discuss his new book - the re-edited NW1 - his career and his approach to life itself
If you’ve heard Tom Hulce’s laugh in the film Amadeus, you’ve got an idea of how David Bailey’s laugh sounds – high-pitched, explosive, and very infectious. I’ve met him before at a press breakfast and he seemed like a bit of a handful; this time it’s a one-to-one in his studio, and he’s on affable, charming form. “What’s your story?” he asks at the end of the interview, then he introduces me to his team.
Still, he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. We’re here to talk about NW1, the recent re-edited version of his 1982 book showing largely deserted streets in the London postcode; when I venture he’s better-known for portraits, he snaps he “can’t help other peoples’ lack of curiosity”.
“They think I live in Devon, I’ve never lived in Devon,” he expands, warming up to his theme – his studio manager later clarifies that he has a house and visits it, but doesn’t live there. “Kate Moss is not going to come down to Devon to get her photograph taken. You can only live in London, New York or Paris doing what I do.”
Many moons ago I stumbled upon this great website www.camerabag.tv. It consisted of a collection of short films on several Photographers, some famous and some not so. I don't know much more about the site as without warning the uploads stopped an as of about a year ago ... it has seaced to exist.
Although the website has gone I have included below what images I was able to grab before it's demise. We will indevour to upload the remaining 10 shorts over the next 12 months or so
Source (this video originally appeared on www.camerabag.tv)
Photographs by Alex Webb
Review by Sean Sheehan
Since joining Magnum Photos at the age of 24, Alex Webb has certainly kept himself busy. This latest volume, a handsomely produced book containing 86 photographs, gathers together work produced by Webb over the course of his numerous trips to Mexico between 1975 and 2007.
For those unfamiliar with Webb’s oeuvre, the book contains eight uncharacteristically black-and-white photographs—surprising, given Webb’s love of color. Yet these are important examples of Webb’s early work, the kind that first attracted the attention of Magnum when he was beginning his career. Despite their simplicity, it is not difficult to see what caught their attention: take his 1978 shot of a graveyard, with a boy in the foreground addressing the camera and two riders on one horse cantering by in the background. Fresh floral wreaths indicate memories of those buried here, but a cross is slowly collapsing into the ground and an old shack looks disused; memories also die, in time, and the realm of the eternally departed is framed by the temporality of the two riders and the boy who questions the viewer’s intrusive presence.
Leica Camera meets enigmatic artist Roger Ballen on his travels in Poland. During a visit to a flea market, we get an insight into Ballen's artistic process and the multitude of steps that he takes in creating his photographic art.
Source (Leica Camera Vimeo)
Well, I finally shot my sixtieth roll of almost entirely Kodak TRI-X 400 black and white film since starting all this film nonsense at the start of 2017. What a ride. I just picked up some Kodak Portra 160 35mm to shoot with my M7. Me and colour film have never quite jived because of things like scanning logistics and my penchant for crisp colour digitals, but I'm determined to duke it out and win.
In other news, I enrolled in a two day NIDA acting course (a boot camp more like it). Life is weird at the moment and I need to run off the graded track for a bit. #yolo?
I work predominantly with the photographic medium, and recently with analog photography almost exclusively. The analog process has been a great source of learning to me, and I find it has a certain depth, a weight, that digital images don’t carry in the same way. Adrien Blondel
It is a common thing to think about the bedroom in which one grew up, scattered memories of a time cherished or loathed, but essential, the private space of self-development.
Most people move out and away from their childhood room, and seldom keep a link to this space, other than in their memory or photographs, where space itself is often just the background.
For some, the room has barely changed since they lived in it, and it is as if the memories settled, like dust, the room remains suspended in time, a personal museum. For others, the room has been entirely remodeled, keeping almost no traces of the memories evoked.
This series is a playful attempt at reversing the concept of photography as the representation of something that is no longer, by presenting people’s memory of their childhood bedroom, collected as an interview, with a photograph of what the room is now, creating an image that contradicts the memories evoked, and the visualization that comes from hearing them. The photographs were taken after the interview, in the hope that, consciously or not, the image will reflect on the memories that were evoked, and point at how a human presence in a place possibly leaves it changed. This process tries to acknowledge the layers present in a room, the never-ending creation of memories linked to a given space and the multitudes that pass through it, and maybe the sum of all of those memories tells us about the essence of a space.
Born in Catalonia, but raised in Madrid, Ramón Masats was one of the founders of the “La Palangana” group, the seed of the so-called Escuela de Madrid. From the end of the 50’s he worked in the most prestigious graphical magazines of the time, such as Gaceta Ilustrada and La Actualidad Española. In the sixties, he published some of the most significant books of the historical Palabra e Imagen collection, Neutral Corner (1962), Los Sanfermines (1963) and Viejas historias de Castilla la Vieja (1964). Over the following years, he left photography aside to work on movies and TV, media for which he carried out many documentaries, such as El que enseña, the Conozca usted España series and Raíces and the feature film Topical Spanish (1970).
Later, he left his television work to retake his profession as a photographer, thanks to the publishing house Lunwerg, for whom he carried out works such as España diversa (1984), Desde el cielo. España (1989), Toro (1998) and La memoria construida (2002). He has been awarded with the Bartolomé Ros award (2001) to his photography career and the National Photography Award (2004). In 1999 he carried out a great retrospective of his works, the catalogue of which was edited by Editorial Lunwerg. Since then he has published several catalogues and has taken part in books and collective exhibitions, such as Fotografíes catalanes dels anys cinquanta (1985), Fotógrafos de la Escuela de Madrid (1988), Fotografía y Sociedad en la España de Franco (1996) and España. Diez Miradas (2005). Since 1999 he has exhibited his photos in some of the world’s main exhibition halls.
Source (PROMOCIÓN DEL ARTE Vimeo)
BY MARC HORNER
Over the last few years, Fujifilm has invited professional photographers from around the world to meet with the product planning and R&D teams to discuss current and future products. Names you may or may not have heard of such as Zack Arias, David Hobby, Bert Stephani, Kevin Mullins, Gianluca Colla, Tomasz Lazar, Damien Lovegrove, Knut Koivisto, Chris Weston and more have all given their feedback and input into the “kai-zen” development mentality of the Fujifilm X system.
However, this process has actually been going on for longer than that.
Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to meet with Yukio Uchida, a famous professional photographer from Japan who had been speaking about Fujifilm cameras at the CP+ show in Yokohama. Yukio was one of the world’s first “X-Photographers”; his feedback has been instrumental in the development of the Fujifilm X system. I was able to get 10 minutes of his time to ask him a few questions about his involvement with Fujifilm R&D, and also his own photographic style.
MH: Thank you for taking some time meet me and talk about you and your photography.
Is this your first time presenting at CP+?
YU: No, this is my fourth year. Every year it gets better than previous. Four years ago very few people used X series but over time the amount of users has increased, and also the amount of people that come to watch me speak has increased.
Ryan Neilan talks about the freeing experience of film
Deep blacks, blown highlights, contrast heavy. Heavily influenced by the Are-Bure-Boke style from Japan, Ryan Neilan’s images are often out of focus, blurry and feature lots of heavy grain. Having shot his first roll of film back in 1999, Neilan would take pictures of his friends’ band playing in a local community center. And as he would describe it, the process of knowing how to obtain a good image got him hooked and he has been doing photography ever since. He shares his experience of changing 100% back from digital to analog and how Leica has played a key role in this unraveling process.
What approach do you take with your photography or what does photography mean to you?
I’ve always enjoyed art and music, but I have never been able to draw, to really learn an instrument well. It just didn’t click with me. But when I look at a picture, a good photograph, there’s just a feeling you get. It just clicks. I’m sure it’s the same for guitarists and painters, they just have a connection with that art form. For me it just happens to be photography.
My approach is perhaps a little different to most. I shoot film and shoot a lot of film. I shot forty rolls in five days in Tokyo. When I go out to shoot I walk quickly. I like to move quickly through the streets and people. I stop for a split second to press the shutter, barely breaking stride before moving on. I rarely talk to the people I photograph, usually I’m long gone before they have a chance to react. I can easily shoot three to five rolls in an hour and thanks to the 35mm I’m trying to get closer as I shoot.
I have stopped going out to randomly shoot as I used to and am now really focusing on projects. After the Tokyo project, my next project is based in Ho Chi Minh City. The images you see of the city are usually the over done, overly pretty tourist shots. I don’t think anyone has ever really shot this city in this darker black and white style before. I have another project in the works on the growing hardcore punk music scene that is growing here in Saigon.
My name is Ashley Comer and I’m a photographer and teacher living and working in England. I am interested in photography as a tool for communicating a story. I typically shoot using a Canon 5D mark ii, 50mm lens though have done projects with 35mm film (pentax k1000) as well as with large format. Most recently I finished working on a “photo a day” project which started January of 2016 and ended in November of 2017.
What began as a New Year’s Resolution turned into a visual documentation of my thoughts and emotions as they travel throughout the days. As the year evolved as did the photographs. Feminist revolts, political dismay, unrequited love, the experience of living in New York City, are all woven into the quilt of my 2016. Alone they are snapshots of my thoughts and experiences in my day-to-day life, but together they create a whole new snapshot. Capturing this year in the romance, the struggles, the fun and games, the protests, and the people trying to find their place in the world.
Why did you get into photography?
I first joined photography club when I was 15. I just happened to notice my crush had an interest in it so wanted to learn more. At that point, I was shooting a lot of macro stuff and just figuring it all out. I didn’t realize the power of photography until my first University photography class in which I was shown the work of photographers like Diane Arbus and Gregory Crewdson. I was blown away and ever since that day thought of photography differently.
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thomas schwab: On my way to your place, I ran into a friend. When I told him I was en route to interview you, he got really excited. “Ask him about his relationship with the models on his sets. He is the master of erotic photographs! To me, he’s like the ancestor of Terry Richardson.” I actually don’t think of you in that way. I associate you more with Tom Wesselmann, Allen Jones, and other sensual pop artists.
harri peccinotti: (Laughs) Yeah, I suppose. I don’t consider myself a so-called erotic photographer. I take pictures of girls with no clothes on because I like them with no clothes on. I just like the look of them. I think of it more in a painterly way. I’m never thinking in a vulgar way when I’m taking those pictures.
ts: Have you ever been considered a pornographic photographer?
hp: Well, I hope not! “My father, the pornographic photographer,” my son always says. He’s joking because he knows I’m not.
ts: Have you taken “sexy” photographs from the beginning? It feels like you’ve always had your set style.
hp: Only a small amount of the photography that I’ve done is sexy. They’re the ones that people remember, though, so maybe they’re the more successful ones. Or maybe other people are more interested in it than I am. I didn’t start with a goal to take sexy pictures, or not-sexy pictures. I just like women, really—women of all sorts.
Interview by Helena Lee
Olivia Arthur is a British documentary photographer and member of the Magnum photography agency. Originally studying mathematics at Oxford University she later studied photojournalism at the London College of Printing. .. Wikipedea
Bazaar: What draws you to photojournalism?
Olivia: It’s photography with more story telling. A single image can be amazing and dramatic. I started out shooting individual images for Cherwell [Oxford’s student newspaper], but I found I wanted to have more of a voice: to actually say something. I wanted to do something more personal over a long period of time, with more authorship.
Bazaar: What’s the story you are most proud of telling?
Olivia: Jeddah Diary is my first book, so I am proud of that. It was also the first time I’ve worked with both words and photographs successfully. Saudi Arabia is so conservative. At first there were photographs of women I took that I couldn’t publish – of women without their abayas [the cloak they must wear in public]. So I started writing out little anecdotes about things I couldn’t photograph and wove it in with a more obscure picture and called it “moments that got away”. I realised these worked as well as the photographs by themselves. There are a lot of photographers who feel the story is all in the photographs but I really believe in weaving in complementary words with the pictures.