Sunday, February 28, 2010

Courtney 2/28

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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!


  1. I find his work to be very aesthetically appeasing. His images are yummy!!! i enjoy his minimalist approach to photography playing more with the concept of relationships between shapes. As well as a play on negative and positive spaces. His attention to contrast is mostly appreciated. I feel like this photographer brought us back to the basics of art 101 with the knowledge of a 10+ year photographer. Brilliantly simple!

  2. which is the beauty of finding all of these photographers. Ahhhh sweet inspiration, where will you come from today???

    So here is my challenge with Mike Levin...and others like him...Michael Kenna really put a lot of time into finding his style and making his images amazing. He has been pretty open about his "tricks" during exposure and goals with composition and such. So really, it isn't that big of an accomplishment for Levin to copy the Kenna image style. You could too now that you have some time logged with the 4x5...especially in some of the outlying areas here. I will have to go look more into his images to see what makes him own the style as his instead of just pretty knock offs.
    The images are indeed lovely and subtle.