Last year I experimented with sending out a weekly Newsletter that contained a round up of LPV features as well as links to interesting articles and work I found on the web during the week. A few hundred people signed up and I kept up with it for about two months but then I stopped doing it. It was one of those things where I simply couldn’t muster up the motivation to put it together each week and knew only a handful of people would miss it. Trial and error is the way of the web.
For the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about how I can revive the round up and incorporate the aggregating I do through Twitter/FB/Tumblr into something a bit more substantial. The Photographs on the Brain series does this to some degree but that’s really focused on showing photographs and highlighting interesting quotes (next installment soon!), it’s not really an timely reflection of the content I view during the week.
I’ve often toyed with the idea of a Sunday column of sorts but don’t really feel like rambling for the sake of rambling so I’ve never done it. Then last week I put two and two together and thought a weekly digest mixing opinion, images and links might be interesting for people. As this is a new feature, it might take me a few installments to get my bearings and refine the process. I’d like make it a weekly feature but I know myself well enough not to make those kind of promises!
Words of Wisdom
I think the most appropriate way to start the round-up is with this quote from Nick Hornby that Soth posted to the LBM Tumblr. It’s a nice reminder about trusting your intuition. It’s certainly something I need to remind myself when it comes to this LPV adventure.
One of the things that did me no good at all in the formative years of my career was prescriptive advice from established writers, even though I craved it at the time. You know the sort of thing: “Write a minimum of 15 drafts.” “A good book takes five years to produce.” “Learn Ulysses off by heart.” “Make sure you can identify trees.” “Read your book out loud to your cat.” I cannot tell an oak from another tree, the name of which I cannot even dredge up for illustrative purposes, and yet I got by, somehow. Walk into a bookshop and you will see work by writers who produce a book every three months, writers who don’t own a TV, writers with five children, writers who produce a book every twenty-five years, writers who never write sober, writers who have at least one eye on the film rights, writers who never think about money, writers who, in your opinion, can’t write at all. It doesn’t matter: they get the work done, and there they are, up on the shelves. They might not stay there forever: readers now and way off into the future, make that decision. – (via Little Brown Mushroom)
In photography, there are roughly three camps: insular photographers who do their own thing and don’t outwardly interact (I’m cool with them, I respect that), photographers who hoard everything and consider everything to be proprietary (I don’t get them), and those like myself who are pretty much open-source, who love photography and having a network of peers and want so badly to see others succeed, cause it’s such a pleasure to see friends you love so much making rad, progressive, excellent work for great clients. – [via Jake Stangel]
Links of Note
Jeff Harris: ’4,748 Self-Portraits and Counting.’
The video caught me off guard, so be sure to watch it all the way through. It’s a moving and inspirational story and displays how embedded photography can become in an individual’s life. – via [Time Lightbox]
Eve Arnold: April 12, 1912—January 4, 2012:
“Photographer Eve Arnold, who died Thursday morning at the age of 99, is probably best remembered for her celebrity photographs of Marilyn Monroe, made over the span of a decade from the early 1950s to those taken on the set of the movie star’s final film, The Misfits.” – via [Time Lightbox]
A Stranger in a Strange Land: The Iowa Caucus by Lars Tunbjörk
I always enjoy looking at assignment work from photographers I generally think of as book photographers. These photos from Tunbjork display his sense of humor and eye for the absurd but for me I think the edit is a bit too long. It’s a good reminder that all great photographers make mediocre work and that it’s bloody difficult to put together a really compelling photoessay in just a few days of photographing. – via [Time Lightbox]
The Firecracker Photographic Grant for European female photographers
“Established in January 2011 by Fiona Rogers, Cultural and Education co-ordinator at Magnum Photos in London; Firecracker is an online platform dedicated to supporting and promoting European female photographers through a series of monthly online gallery features…” – via [Wayne Ford]
The unseen chromes of legendary American photographer William Eggleston
A nice overview of the three volume Chromes put out by Steidl with many excellent quotes form Szarkowski:
“In Eggleston’s images, form and content are indistinguishable, writes Szarkowski, ‘which is to say that the pictures mean precisely what they appear to mean. Attempting to translate these appearances into words is surely a fool’s errand, in the pursuit of which no two fools would choose the same unsatisfactory words.’ – via [Wayne Ford]
‘Anonymous Tributes to Anonymous People’
Photographers Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman have been working “on a project using location coordinates to combine Twitter messages with photos from the places where the posts originated.” Does it work? I think so, but it’s a bit melancholic. I think I’d prefer something a bit more absurd and surreal. I suspect we’ll see many more projects of this sort in the coming years, especially with tools such as Facebook Timeline. – via [LENS]
Publisher Q&A: David Bram of Fraction Magazine
David Bram answers a few questions over on fototazo. Having been in that position I know it’s incredibly difficult to say anything insightful about these things and my feeling is that most of us choose our words carefully as to avoid offending anyone. BTW, take a look at the most recent issue of Fraction if you haven’t already. David makes a good point here about perseverance in the online world:
“Every couple of months it seems, a new online magazine appears and then a few months later, after the publishers, editors and content providers realize how much time and work this takes, it is gone. There are just a few of us online magazines or sites that continue to push on and show work that excites us.” – via [fototazo]
Grey Villet, Interracial Love, and Drag Racing, 1965
A great story from John Edwin Mason about confronting his preconceived notions about the culture of drag racing:
“I’ve discovered that drag racing is unique among motor sports in the way that, from the very beginning, it has accepted and often welcomed women racers and racers of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.” – via [John Edwin Mason]
The Photobook Review
“The PhotoBook Review is a publication dedicated to the consideration of the photobook—focusing on the best photography books being published, from the coffee-table book to the handmade artists’ edition, and on creating a better understanding of the ecosystem of the photobook as a whole.”
The Triumph of Kodakery: The Camera Maker May Die, But the Culture It Created Survives
An insightful article from Alexis Madrigal about gadget culture, Kodak, snapshots, memory and social media. Some pretty cool vintage Kodak ads and posters too!
“Snapshots were a kind of social media: they were designed to be shared in the once-ubiquitous albums of yesteryear. As with Facebook Timeline, the photo album was supposed to begin as soon as one was born and should continue until they day one died.” via [The Atlantic]
The Best Photobooks of 2011
photo-eye’s monster end of the year list including selections from Shane Lavalette, Gordon Stettinius, Alec Soth, Martin Parr, Gerry Badger, Darrius Himes, John Gossage and sever others. – via [photo-eye]
Photos Are The New Killer App
Every App maker wants a piece of the photo sharing space. Photos are everywhere and if you look, most social media sites are built around sharing photographs to some degree. I fully suspect some people in photoland will punch themselves in the face after reading this article.
“Photography’s renaissance rests on a few unbeatable advantages. Compared to other kinds of content–songs and movies–photos are, technically and legally, much easier to share and mash up. If you come up with a great, unexpected new site centered on TV shows, you need to get huge servers and pay for expensive bandwidth and licensing deals. If you’ve got a fantastic new take on photos, often all you need is an app. That app lives on a smartphone, which is the world’s most popular point-and-shoot camera.” – via [Fast Company]