Tuesday, November 24, 2009

20 Images from Other Blogs

So this isn't so much from other blogs, as much as a collection of 20 truly bizarre images found from this site. 


I chose the twenty that I thought were the most insane, bizarre and sometimes funny. All of them show that people have had such a deep and long obsession with documenting the truly strange from even the days of early camera use. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009


For the emulation project, I was kicking around the ideas of a few different people. I was jumping between Eggleston, Walker Evans and Friedlander. I've already done a post on Friedlander, but I'm going to put up different photos and go into what I dig about them. 

Eggleston (Top Four Photographs): I love the composition of Eggleston's work. He often has so much going on and so many little things that there isn't necessarily a subject to the photo, but more objects that contribute to the tone. The shot under the bed is awesome to me because just from the shoes and the sheets you already have formed an idea of what that person looks like and you have an idea on how they conduct themselves. The yellow curtain one is in Graceland (that's right, Elvis), compositionally, it's mm mm good. The one of the two guys in front of the car is really intriguing to me. Of course you have to ask, is this saying something about race and race relations? I mean is it though? Can it just be photo of a black guy and a white guy? The fact that the white guy is in a black suit and the black guy in a white shirt and the car is white and the white guy is standing in front all contribute to what the message of this photo is even though it could just be a snapshot.

Friedlander is the coolest creeper of all time. You never see him really smiling in his self portraits and in his photographs of other people, he usually is this ominous shadowy presence, as if the dreaded photographer beast has swooped down upon an unsuspecting victim. Whether this was intentional or not at first, it definitely is reinforced in the one of the woman leaving and looking at him. This is a later photograph but I feel a pretty fitting and funny evolution of him as the shadow man. The woman is pretty shocked and seems to be running away and he's totally beyond crouched over and Gollumed out. I dig the fact that he has himself whited out and then JFK right near his head, totally awesome. Then the one with his great big mug hogging up the shot is pretty compositionally interesting. Usually he has himself in his photos and puts in lots of divisions. Here he uses himself as the divided of photos. It looks like two totally different areas on each side of his head. Something about it is really funny, but then again I have a strange sense of humor (The Terminal is my favorite comedy (just kidding (but how funny would it be if that actually was my favorite comedy?)))

Walker Evans just can nail a solid image into your head. I feel like some of his action shots are just done at the perfect planetary alignment. I love the intact and in transit Damaged sign. Bad vibes abound. The shots of the photo place are the original meta in photography. Who knows how cool that building looked then? Maybe Walker Evans was bound for greatness just by knowing that all the stuff around from that era would look damn cool to our futuristic eyes. 

Offensive Photos

When I saw the assignment for offensive photos, I wanted to check other people's blogs to see how far was too far and what was considered offensive in the first place. I was honestly pretty shocked to see that most people had photos of Nazis or the KKK. These two organizations are certainly offensive in their philosophy and the actions that they've done, but photographs of them are certainly not offensive unless they glorify the ideals of these two groups. This then got me thinking about what I would find to be an offensive photograph and why.  I think with photo it comes down more of what the person is trying to say, how much the photo seems to be saying or using it's shock value/controversy to its advantage. There is that famous shot of the starving child being followed by a vulture. Of course the next logical step is to say what was the photographer doing? Why wasn't he taking care of this child? I think he did the more important thing, he froze in time a horrific image, using that shock to help get rid of a problem. The following images are offensive to me based on the fact that I find them to be shocking or controversial but devoid of any substance. 

The Diesel ad is in there for putting all their models in different global warming scenarios and some how finding the sexy side of global catastrophe. There is a series of these but I only have one.

Erwin Olaf did the Princess Diana one. He's a fashion photographer who asks offensive to make love to the camera. I've looked at a few others of his and they are all immediately gripping and perpetually insulting to common decency.

The children crying photo is from a series by Jill Greenberg called the End of Times. She would (With the parents present) offer the kids candy or something and then snatch it back, then snap a nifty shot of tricked and distressed child. 

Tierney Gearon shoots photos that have a definite pedophile feel to them. They are (in my opinion) not particularly well composed, depending more of evoking an emotion through making the viewer understandably uncomfortable. Gearon did the two young kids on the beach, the old man leaning over to the younger kid and the child crying in the field. That last one especially makes me pretty upset with what people are willing to do in order to gain some press.

Terry Richardson Offensive and Effective

I'll be frank and say that I'm a big fan of Terry Richardson's work. Accuse the man of exploiting women, of using sex to sell products, of being shameless, or using all the stereotypes of the photographer/model relationship, because he knows you will. I don't mean to say that I am a fan of sexist photography, I honestly abhor most sex based advertising. I find that Terry Richardson is one step past all that. He knows that there are the accusations of photographers having relationships with their models and makes a damn good show of it. Yeah, the line between art and pornography is pretty blurred with him, but I'd read an essay that helped me to define my thoughts on him. It never appears in his photos that he is forcing someone to do something, there is an underlying feeling in nearly all his photos that all the parties involved are having a pretty good time.  Regardless, the man can usually obtain a pretty great vibe in his fashion photos.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Inevitable Big Ups to Larry Clark

I read a statement from Larry Clark where he talks about how he didn't want to photograph kids doing drugs or having sex to make a statement but merely to document what is going on in their heads, which to his mind was just that they only think in the moment. Can't say he's exactly wrong. There is a starkness to his photos that I really dig. The first one is kind of seedy but in a strange way. It kind of seems as if Clark was just photographing the guy and not asking him to do anything in particular, but it also seems like maybe he had the guy pose for him in a certain suggestive manner. The guy in the car is great. I love his expression. Kind of fearful, kind of confused, kind of dumb. It's also pretty great that you can't see outside the car at all. Then the gun/American flag. Two things everyone loves. Again, it's the composition that really makes this one for me. The  way the American flag overheads Larry Clark, how his body is facing you yet his face is shrouded and again how you can't see outside. All pretty cool stuff. 

Abelardo Morell

Of the Abelardo Morell photos, I liked these very much. The horse photo is great, having the other horse at eye level with the prime horse. He's able to get a lot of emotion out of those old horse. Then there are these two very weird photos of a room painted over to have a city scape on it. Something about them is very cool. The picture is able to express and destroy the illusion of living in an upside down city. Awesome. The wine glass is just very aesthetically pleasing with the glass right in the center of the frame, yet the reflection in the glass and the background lines somewhat change the initial perception of the glass. Then of course the lightbulb photo, something about that one is just very weird, I find there is some kind of macabre air about it, can't quite put my finger on it.