Saturday, February 20, 2010

Intended Consequences

This has to be one of the most devastating things I have ever seen. The work is by Jonathan Torgovnik and it is so incredibly powerful and sad, I'm left wondering how things like this happen and how it can never happen again. I can't imagine this in my world and and it pushes me even more to want to do something, something more.
Intended Consequences
During the 1994 genocide, Rwandan women were subjected to massive sexual violence, perpetrated by members of the infamous Hutu militia groups known as the Interahamwe. Among the survivors, those who are most isolated are the women who have borne children as a result of being raped. Their families have rejected both them and their children, compounding their already unimaginable emotional distress.

An estimated 20,000 children were conceived during the genocide in Rwanda, and many of their mothers contracted HIV during the same encounters that left them pregnant. They feel they have lost their dignity, are alone and utterly powerless.

Intended Consequences chronicles the lives of these women. Their narratives are embodied in portrait photographs, interviews and oral reflections. Watch it now.
In Rwanda, in 1994, Hutu militia committed a bloody genocide, murdering one million Tutsis. Many of the Tutsi women were spared, only to be held captive and repeatedly raped. Many became pregnant. Intended Consequences tells their stories. See the project at

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Epson Printers

Fotocare is becoming one of my favorite destinations these days, not only am I surrounded by photography equipment and know how but they continue to offer great free seminars. Today, Todd Schneider held two sessions of "Seeing the Fine Print", all about printing technique. The seminar focused on printing with an Epson printer, which I sadly don't own but learned more about both printing specifically with Epson and information on workflow from file to print.

Some of the information surprised me and will definitely be useful in the future. The resolution a file is when it is sent to print can be a factor in the print speed and quality, which I'm sure everyone realizes, but the resolution being a larger number, like 300, might not lead to as nice of a print as a lesser resolution, like 240. The reason for this involves the mathematics in the conversion of pixels to dots, numbers divisible by 1440 that result in a hole number are better for printing, like 240, 360 and 480.

Another interesting piece of information involves the length of time to let a print dry before framing it. If you are framing a print behind glass, and you do so too soon after it has been printed, the gas emitted by the inks will obstruct the view of the image by effecting the glass, so time is needed for the print to dry before framing. Leaving the print out with a piece of paper on it, like brown craft paper, will shorten the time needed for it to dry. He said that an image left out 24hrs with the paper on it will be more set then one left our 6 days without the paper on it.

There are a couple tips for you! Todd did a great job explaining a lot of the information, from LAB and color profiles to print settings and printer maintenance. After the seminar, my friend Corey and I spoke with him a bit. Turns out he's a RIT Alum as well! We chatted about the differences on the campus and the facilities they have now versus when he attended. It's always fun to realize you have some kind of connection with someone you just met.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Artist vs Photographer

Today I enjoyed both the beautiful fluffy snow in New Jersey and the slush and puddles of the city.

This morning I had a meeting with the program coordinator at a center for active seniors in New Jersey. We discussed photographing the center, the members and the variety of activities the seniors enjoy there for a fundraising calender and photos to display within the center. I'm really excited to begin working with them in March and I'll keep you posted on the progress.

After that there was some routine errand running and then a trip into the city for an event held at the Aperture Foundation, "Zoe Crosher and Jan Tumlir in Conversation". Here's the brief description of the talk:
On the occasion of Aperture magazine, issue 198, featuring Jan Tumlir's article, "Femme Fatale: Zoe Crosher's reconsidered archive of Michelle duBois," Aperture is hosting a conversation exploring self-invention and role-playing as told through personal photographs, and what comes of the great "archival theme" in the digital era.

It was an interesting discussion based on Zoe Crosher's work, which I haven't seen but would like to. She showed slides of her work and the installations, but regretfully that is never the same as actually seeing it in person. The subject of this art is a woman named Michelle duBois. Hearing Zoe speak about her made me wish I could know her. The work tells a story of her life, one really lived to the fullest with few regrets, complete acceptance of each aspect of life, and zero judgment of others.

There were a lot of pieces to the installation that were discussed, one portion I found interesting involved photos of Michelle where the people surrounding her, always men I believe, were blacked out of the image. This brought up a number of interpretations and concepts but Zoe said the main reasoning was to keep the focus on Michelle, to show how interchangeable the others surrounding here were and, on a practical note, due to lack of permission from the men to use their image.

During the question and answer portion at the end, a comment was made that was slightly off topic of the specific work she'd done but I found to be really interesting. It was touching on the idea of identity and was something along the lines of people being offended by being labeled as either an artist or a photographer when they identity as the other. For example, if you consider yourself to be an 'artist' and I introduce you to someone as a 'photographer' there may be some level of offense.

I think this peeked my interest because I identify as both. I consider myself a photographer based on my photo work and an artist based on my drawing and painting. I can't imagine anyone who considers themselves a photographer to mind being labeled an artist, but I can imagine someone who considers themselves an artist, who uses photos in their work, to be insulted by the label of photographer. Photographer is a title that can possibly come off in a way that describes someone that captures reality and doesn't necessarily delve into concept and interpretation in their work. I know photographers that truly think about and inject meaning into the images they create, but I'm speaking about the interpretation of the title.

I definitely feel that photography is an art, but I don't think it would ever occur to me to introduce myself as an artist when speaking of my photography. What are your thoughts on the this? Do you think their is a difference? Do you identify as artist, photographer or both?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Portrait of a Food Stylist

Photographed the lovely Lauren LaPenna today. I've been wanting to start a small project, simply photographing my friends, and Lauren was looking for a picture for her website, so it was good timing! Here's the first one I edited.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Apple IPad

Originally I didn't think much of the concept of the IPad, the newest piece of technology out by Apple. I haven't used one yet but this short post from 1ProPhoto has me looking at it in a new light. I really want to get my hands on one now!
iN the future the iPad will replace the traditional print portfolio.
by JamesNYC 27. January 2010 08:10
iN the future photographers, and other graphic and media artists will be will delivering iPads to art directors, photo editors and clients rather than traditional portfolios for the following reasons.

It will cost less than a traditional print portfolio.

it will weight less than a traditional print portfolio.

it will be in a universal format that will make it easy for viewers to navigate. (unless the photographer gets crazy and creates some goofy Nav system. Not that that could ever happen...)

No more spending money on new prints for the book.

No more spending money to replace acetate pages.

Faster turn around time for adding new images to portfolio.

iPad will allow you to display both images and video in 1 easy to use presentation.

A lost or stolen iPad will cost less to replace than a new portfolio.

Everyone picking it up will know how to use it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Photography and Social Change

Last night my friend, Maelynn Kruckow, and I attended a seminar at the SoHo Apple Theater on Prince street, where a variety of workshops are scheduled. APA was hosting Stephen Shames, as a part of their lecture series, to discuss 'Photography and Social Change'. Stephen Shames is a well renowned photographer for his continuous work photographing social issues, usually focusing on children and families, and bringing problems to light. A lot of the lecture focused on his current project, L.E.A.D. Uganda, which is based on educating AIDS orphans and former children soldiers.

It was interesting to hear about where he started and how his work has progressed. Photography and video are mediums that are continuously involved in how society views issues, like the Vietnam war or the earthquake in Haiti now, and their importance to exposing truths people may be unaware of. I'm incredibly interested in using photography in a way to benefit society and it's inspiring to hear about other people who have.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tribute to Irving Penn

I was going through a pile of magazines in my room and came across a Clinique advertisement in the December 2009 issue of Vogue. It was a simple one, which Clinique seems to have perfected, and it honors Irving Penn in a two page spread. I thought the quote was beautiful and wanted to share it:
Irving Penn gave us the truth and made it so inviting we never needed the fantasy.

He transformed beauty for us, and for the world.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Phase One Photo Gallery

Phase One seems to offer a gorgeous gallery on their website: Phase One Photo Gallery

I wish I could go through the images but for some reason none of them want to load, they're taking 2 minutes each at best. Hopefully it's a temporary thing because I'd really love to view the images there!

Capture One at Fotocare

Fotocare hosted Drew Altdoerffer, Phase One Technical Supporter, to demonstrate the uses of Capture One software. He reviewed everything from basic functionality to more advanced options and tools. He employed a number of analogies to teach the information that seemed to help everyone really connect the concepts. One such analogy was in reference to output options or 'Recipes' and compared the different options to ingredients for muffins. I might not be able to do the comparison justice, but I assure you it made sense! There were a couple interesting aspects of Capture I was previously unaware of, like 'eip' files and the ability of Capture to create html contact sheets. I'm glad that I was able to attend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Copyright Alliance

I just came upon the Copyright Alliance's blog post on Pilfered Magazine. No surprise, they don't seem to be fans of the magazine either.

Affordable Art

Who doesn't like beautiful artwork? I love to be surrounded by new pieces, but I also can't justify a large budget for art, though I wish I could. A while back I was told about a website called 20x200, a Jen Bekman project, by another photographer, Nicole LaCoursiere.  The slogan for the site is:
(limited editions × low prices) + the internet = art for everyone

I recommended checking it out, at 20x200, and revisiting often. I've purchased a couple prints for myself and as gifts. New art is posted on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And there is quite a variety of interesting work.

Do you want your work Pilfered?

Here's an idea to think about, that is also stirring up a bit of trouble.

A magazine made that is based on the idea of "a place where artists, photographers, designers, and the inspired can submit their favorite visuals pilfered from the web to share with one another." It's called Pilfered.

The trouble I mentioned is from the lack of permission for use of images by their creator and a lack of credit given. Maybe people don't understand that these images are people's livelihood? There is a "Credits" page but it's more than a little unsatisfying. On the flip side there are a lot of interesting images on this site and it seems like a good way to gather inspiration. I just don't think I'd be happy if I came upon an image of mine there that was uncredited, and I don't think many people I know would either. There's a lot of dialog about the site and its concept on the "About " page, some of the wording is a bit strong, but the debate is interesting. I didn't read through all of it but here's two responses I liked:

David Says:

Dear Patrick, Nate and Mia,
A credit byline is not a license fee. Everybody in the publishing business (online and offline) knows this. That’s why If I see that you use/publish one of my images here I will instruct my agent to invoice you accordingly. If I see that you use images taken by any photographers that I know I will ask them and their agents to invoice you accordingly. In the same way If I see that you use any images that are stock available from photographers or agencies that you should be licensing from them, I will report the usage and suggest they invoice you accordingly.
I strongly encourage everybody who reads this to do the same. The only thing that I have a problem with, is that to check the published images I’ll have to browse and click through this website, and therefore I will increase it’s traffic, which I believe it doesn’t deserve.
Also, if any photographer, after being consulted, is fine with no fee and accepts the credit byline, I suggest that this credit byline is published as a hyperlink to the photographer’s website adjacent to every image. I also suggest that if any photographer kindly let’s you publish the images with the credit byline, you stop branding them with the word PILFERED printed across.
Think Human Rights, think Intellectual and moral rights. Especially you.

Aaron Says:

I love the idea of random collecting stunning images, and the design aesthetic is excellent, but why would you not credit the photographers? It’s hard enough to make a living as an artist these days without people taking your work and not acknowledging you. It’s not about democracy, it’s about supporting the creative community so we can continue to do what we love — create more art.
I work damn hard as a photographer and I struggle to support my family. If you used one of my images without any credit or recognition, how could I not be upset? Would it hurt to give me credit and boost my work? Creatives should be supporting, not undermining, each other.
The internet is great in many ways, but the use of unattributed images is hurting photographers and artists everywhere — if you truly value art and photography you won’t do it.

What are your thoughts? I find that I'm siding with the opinions in the quotes above. I guess we had to see this coming with the internet, an amazing tool but there's less accountability, everything is viewed as open game.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hasselblad Cameras & Phocus Software

Fotocare has been hosting helpful workshops, which I and others appreciate. I attended one today on Hasselblad's digital medium format cameras and Phocus Software lead by Paul Claesson, a field application specialist for Hasselblad. Some of the newest features of the H4D were shown, like true focus. We were shown menu options for the cameras, how to have the digital back and camera body communicate most effectively, shortcuts, troubleshooting and numerous functions of the software. Definitely equipment worth checking out.