Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Scott Cochran reviews Mark Tucker

When I first saw Mark Tuckers wet plate portraits I was simply blown away. This was a few years ago before I knew of many other people doing this process and I just loved that he was using such an ancient form of photography. His use of lighting is awesome and well just look at the pictures. He is producing some incredible photos, err, objects, with this process. No editions, no negatives, one of one originals.

Melissa Tristan- Sarah Moon

Sarah Moon was born in 1940 in England.  Her work consists of drawing, lithography, to photography.  She started off as a model who then went into fashion photography.  Her photography work was mainly done in the darkroom where she masters in technique within her photographs.  Moon's style in fashion photographs were dreamy and fantasy like to where she provokes them in a deep emotional way.  Her models sometimes may not always be recognizable with such movement and texture with the softness of the scene.

Such photographs seem more gothic with darkness in the haunting creations of a fantasy. One being the the second photographed displayed above. It shows great structure of a beautiful figure of a female with the internal x-ray aspect of a sort of mannequin view.  This seems to how how perfection is never what it seems. Although Moon created this in such a settled way as opposed to a very dark haunted feel of some others she has done before.

Sarah Moon also has done fashion photography with famous french brands, which includes Chanel, Dior, and many others.  Some argued that she is not a contemporary artist because most of her work are too pretty.  In my opinion Sarah Moon has a way of creating beauty in many ways by putting a romantic feel along with the a sort of pain that lies beneath the surface of the images itself that mourn the decline for beauty in photography for beauty's sake. Her photography lies between many genres which she is undefined which this is what makes her such a successful photographer.

Scott Cochran reviews Alex Prager

I first fell in love with Alex Prager's work in 2009 when I came across "Kimberly" (the first image) as the featured shot to promote Photo L.A. I was fixated on her retro-Americana vibe that somehow felt timeless and went along with my retro interests. 

The LA native who takes cues from 
fashion photography and the cinematic conventions of movie directors such as David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock is a force to be reckoned with. The 33 year old has put out two books ('The Book of Disquiet, The Seven Deadly Sins' in 2005 and 'Polyester' in 2007), debuted her first film entitled 'Despair' (2010) starring actress Bryce Dallas Howard, has been featured in many exhibitions including 'New Photography 2010' at the Museum of Modern Art and the cherry on top - she's done some awesome spreads for W Mag, worked on Bottega Veneta's "The Art of Collaboration" AND shot the 1960s-inspired Missoni for Target campaign
. She has also had numerous shows mostly in New York and L.A. So yes she is a little commercial but I feel that much of her work could easily be right at home in major galleries alone

Amanda Santos, Teri Havens

Teri Havens, a master at darkroom development and printing, was born in 1967 and raised in Lubbock, Texas. Studied photography at the University of Texas, and serving as an intern at Magnum photo agency in New York, Teri honed her printing techniques in darkrooms improvised in kitchens and motel rooms across the country. In 1999 she established an independent studio and darkroom specializing in documentary and fine art portraiture using traditional and alternative printmaking methods. 

Leonard, Slab City 2007 
palladium print

From her series "The Last Free Place" she documents the inhabitants and landscape of Slab city, a community in Southern California, which constructs her narrative through mystery and enigma. Her use of available light gives a natural glow and going towards the the traditional black and white she manages to hone you in not just to look at the image, but to see what is actually there. What you would normally think as a misfit, uninteresting, human outcast - she captures the beauty and underlying character of the subject. I can see in her work that she does not show them as " exotic or other worldly"  just to grab our attention. We see them and question how did they come to exist like this, and therefore, we question ourselves how did we come to exist?

Paul, Slab City 2007
palladium print


Dave, Slab City 2007
palladium print

David Finell reviews David du Chemin

            David du Chemin is A freelance humanitarian and world photographer operating from Vancouver Canada.  His slogan is “Gear is good.  Vision is better.”  He is also a photographic instructor and author.  In 2009 he released his first book “Within the Frame”   It is a unique book that tries to help the reader balance their inner vision  with the inner geek.  I was introduced to David thru Creative Live.  It is truly amazing what David has done with his photography.  He started out as a juggler and performer then changed to photographer.  He strives to use his work for the betterment of others.  He is a self-proclaimed do-gooder and consistently tries to use his photographic skills to improve the world around us making us more aware of the wonders of the earth and its inhabitants.

            I would describe much of David’s work to be in the National Geographic style.  His images of people from around the globe are astounding.  They capture a person’s spirit in each fold of the skin and every wrinkle emblazoned on his canvas.  His scenery images are serene showing nature at its finest without the scarring of man’s influence.  It is becoming harder and harder to find areas unspoiled by man’s presence, but David seeks them out to share these dying spaces with the rest of us for our appreciation.  Man is stripping away nature.  It is believed that nearly 25% of north American inhabitants have never seen the milky way due to light pollution.  David Helps bring these dwindling experiences to people for their enjoyment and also to better make them aware of how we are affecting the planet and others around us.

David is a great photographer and person.  Check out his work.

David Finell reviews Rick Sammon

            Rick Sammon is an Photographer that specializes in not specializing.  He is also a prolific Photographic author and instructor.  He has been hosted on Creative Live as a guest instructor and is a member of the Scott Kelby group.

            I was introduced to Rick’s photography thru one of his books, Rick Sammon’s complete Guide to Digital Photography.  The imagery in his book was very reminiscent of the images commonly found in National Geographic.  I was particularly impressed with his images of the slot canyons in Arizona.  I later attended an on-line weekend seminar taught by Rick through Creative live.  Wow!! What a neat guy. 

Rick is well versed in nearly all styles of photography and is currently unleashing his formidable talent on the HDR spectrum.  I know that many photographers cringe when these letters rear their heads, But HDR is an exciting newer style that will be here with us for a while.  It is common for photographers to specialize in a specific type of photography.  You have wedding and event photographers, product photographers, fine art photographers that further segregate themselves into narrower sub categories and the list goes on.  Rick does it all and to make it even more interesting he is a master at all.  His body of work spans nearly if not all continents and styles.  His photographic talents are consistently superb, and he is a really nice person and outstanding instructor.  I think anyone can appreciate some aspects of some of his photography and I also think anyone can learn something from Rick.  Check out his work or a book and you will see what I mean.

Alyssa Lucero reviews Bruce Davidson

Bruce's latest work being exhibited is the Road to Freedom, where he photographed the Civil Rights Movement from 1956-1968. I find the moments of interaction and emotions that he captures to be very interesting and are why I enjoy looking at this set of work.

Alyssa Lucero reviews Robert Doisneau

ROBERT DOISNEAU - La Dame Indignee, 1948

ROBERT DOISNEAU - Les animaux superieurs, 1954

Robert Doisneau is one of France's most popular photographers. He shot in paris from the end of World War II to 1950's and his work has become very well known as the icons of french life. I love the emotions and the sense of civillity that he captures in each shot.

Abigail reviews France Scully Osterman

France Scully Osterman is an artist, writer, and educator at Scully & Osterman Studio and guest scholar at George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New York.  Recognized for her artistic work and extensive knowledge of early photographic processes, she lectures and teaches throughout the United States, Japan and Europe.France is recognized for her extensive knowledge of early photographic processes including photogenic drawings, wet-plate and dry-plate collodion, albumen and salt print methods. She gives lectures and workshops at museums and universities and teaches in their 19th century skylight studio.This is a silver-gelatin print from collodion negative.

This is a waxed salt print.

David Finell reviews Jerry Uelsmann

            Jerry Uelsmann is a remarkable American fine art photographer.  He pioneered the concept of photomontage and has blended images with such creative mastery that his images can instantly be recognized as unique masters in his style.

            Jerry Uelsmann was born in Detroit Michigan in 1934.  He gained an interest in photography while attending school around the age of 14.  He went on to persue his interest earning BA from the Rochester Institute of  Technology and also completed MS and MFA degrees from Indiana University.  He taught photography at the University of Florida in 1960.  He had his first solo exhibit at MOMA in 1967.  This, he claims, launched his photographic career.

            Jerry’s images dive into the surreal exhibiting imagery detail far greater than the imagination.  Words from Edgar Allan Poe come to mind when he contradicted him self saying “Not long ago the writer of these lines,
In the mad pride of intellectuality,
Maintained “the power of words”-- denied that ever
A thought arose within the human brain
Beyond the utterance of the human tongue”  In a similar respect Jerry’s command of the photographic process allows us to e3xperience the imagination.  His blending of images before the days of Photoshop are mind-boggling.  I have a difficult time fathoming how the images were created.  The juxtaposing of objects command the viewer to take more than a second look, but a third and fourth, etc. to ensure that you are actually seeing what you think you are.  While I greatly appreciate his work; have used Photoshop to achieve similar results, and want to expand my skills in this type of art;  I feel that the narrow-mindedness of local photographic groups would Poo-Poo this type of photography as being more illustrative rather than ph0otographic.  I hope you the reader has a better appreciation for this fantastic original work.

Alyssa Lucero reviews Roger Ballen

Roger Ballen works in black and white photography. He believes that working in black and white is a very minimalist art form and unlike color does not mimic the world, that working with black and white is an abstract way of percieving reality.

39_Three hands, 2006

33_Eulogy, 2004

Alyssa Lucero reviews Mona Kuhn

Mona Kuhn studied at Ohio State University, San Franscico Art Institutue, and then at the Getty Research Institute. Her work is very figurative.

Her portfolio Bordeaux 2011, features black and white images of langscape and architecture and then color images of nude portraits. There are two different sets of imagery in this portfolio and I don't really understand the connection between the two. I am more drawn to the black and white landscape photographs than I am to her portraits.

Abigail reviews Martha Casanave

I came across her work a few months ago and I must say that I appreciate the different take on the food still-life scene. This artist uses various analog techniques, for this particular series titled "Kitchen Kama Sutra"  the black & white nude against the hand-painted food items create tension between the two, bringing the viewer around every image... or is it only that sex sells??

Alyssa Lucero reviews Vee Speers

Vee Speers an Australian artist studied fine art at Brisbane and then worked five years with the ABC television as a stills photographer. Her portfolio, Immortal, features nude portrait photography set against a back drop of an "Eden" type landscape or post apocalyptic desctruction. Her models are beautiful youths that seem to be absorbing in their current setting. The color of the photographs are absolutely beautiful!

David Finell reviews Nancy Breslin

            Nancy Breslin is a Fine Art photographer who specializes in using pinhole imaging.  She works from her home in Newark, Delaware.  She started out as a psychiatrist but later earned her MFA from the university of Delaware.  She has also taught photography and is currently a visiting artist at Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library.

            I found it surprising that I stumbled upon another artist who specializes in using pinhole photography for their work.  One of my first photo instructors also specialized in using this technique.  In her work “Pinhole Meals” her images are reminiscent of those taken by Eugene Atget with ghostly images of the people and movement apparent in each one.  She lists the exposure time with her images revealing shutter times from 10 seconds to 2 minutes.  Many of the images have an extraordinarily large field of view lending me to believe the pinhole is fairly close to the film plane.  That being said, the images exhibit remarkable rectilinear qualities.  All of her images seem to be uncharacteristically sharp from what I am use to from pinhole cameras.  While her work is definitely unique I personally find it somewhat bland.  I do recognize some artistic value in her images but I don’t think I would use the images on any of my walls.  None of her images from these collections are particularly thought provoking to me.  Her work in alternative processes on the other hand yields some imagination that I find engaging.  I like playing with words in much the same way as Nancy plays with images.  Her cyanotype bedspread is an example of this It shows two people under the covers.  This may seem too literal, but I like it.