Recently, to find new photographers to look at, I have been googling "best photographers 2009" or "fine art photography contests". This gives me lots of choices every week. This week I came across Michael Levin. He won the 2009 International Photography Award in the professional fine art category. I know Libby doesn't want us to give a biography...but I found his profoundly interesting. He has only been taking photographs for 6 years. He has no formal training. He went to galleries and looked at photos that were considered good and bought the equipment those photographers used. He specifically looked at Michael Kenna. He didn't read reviews, trying to get the best newest stuff. He uses large format and prints the most beautiful black and white photos.
Now, about the photos. They are stunning to look at and beautifully simple. The content is mostly unimportant when compared to the form and shape the content takes. They are about positive and negative space. The photos seem almost flat, the whites are mostly blown out. The tones are soft and the edges are hard. They are geometric and formal. The content varies widely from water, trees, grass to architecture, bridges, piers, and tunnels. The shapes create a rhythm giving movement to what might seem cold or lifeless. I love his work! And I am not sure I could have found someone more opposite to what I posted last week!