In the 1930s, a small group of California photographers challenged the painterly, soft-focus Pictorialist style of the day. They argued that photography could only advance as an art if its practitioners exploited characteristics inherent to the camera’s mechanical nature. This small association of innovators created Group f/64, named after the camera aperture which produces great depth of field and sharp focus. The exhibition revisits this debate and includes images by photographers in Group f/64 such as Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Sonya Noskowiak, and Willard Van Dyke, as well as images by such Pictorialists such as Anne Brigman, William Dassonville, Johan Hagemeyer, William Mortensen, and Karl Struss. With 90 works by 16 artists, Debating Modern Photography offers a feast for the eyes while illustrating both sides of a high-stakes debate. Outstanding examples of the clean edges and bold forms of Group f/64 stand in sharp contrast to the romantic, hand-crafted Pictorialist work that includes elegant portraits, tonalist landscapes, and allegorical studies.
The exhibit is open (Mon-Fri 9-7) through Dec 5.
Learn more at Maine’s Portland Museum of Art.
In 2000, CMCA mounted the most comprehensive exhibition of Maine photography ever: Photographing Maine: 1840-2000. The project was presented in two parts: photography from 1950-2000 in August and September and earlier historical work from the 1840s to 1950 in mid-October to mid-December.
During the past decade, the activity among Maine photographers has grown exponentially. In this digital age there are more and more people seriously committed to fine art photography using both new and traditional darkroom techniques. The goal of the invitational exhibition Photographing Maine: Ten Years Later is to pay homage to the two exhibitions in 2000 by showing a sampling of works by 150 Maine photographers created between 2000 and 2009. Each photographer is exhibiting a single work in the invitational exhibition. In addition, four images from each of the 150 photographers are part of an online exhibition (see below), which is also available to view on computer at the exhibition.
The exhibit in Rockport, Maine runs from October 02 – December 05, 2010.
300 million are photos taken each day generating over 100 billion a year. While 20 years ago 10% of photographs made were printed, today less than 1/10 of 1% are ever printed! Historically, what’s printed lasts; what’s not, doesn’t. Has this changed?
Find out about my digital prints here.
Find out more about printing in my free Digital Printing Lessons.
Learn more about printing in my Digital Printing Workshops.
Since it’s invention, photography has played an important role in history. It not only records history, it also has its own history. America knows itself in part through photographs. So what are the most important American photographs?
Here are the top 25 according to Mastersdegree.net.
What other photographs would you include?
My assistant, Charles Adams, spent this years Maine Fall Foliage Workshop photographing with the iPhone. Below he talks about his experience.
“Making images with an iPhone can be a terrific creative exercise. If you regularly shoot with a DSLR, the iPhone can simplify things and offer a new experience. I found this to be the case during this years fall foliage workshop. I left my Canon in the car along with all of the photographic requirements and responsibilities that I usually attach to it. It was a freeing experience. Suddenly the pressure to make the best photographs of my life was no longer there. I was free to play.
Being able to process your images seconds after shooting them is also key to the iPhone experience. The many apps available make it possible to shoot, edit, share, and get feedback before even getting back in the car. In my case, apps had a direct effect on which pictures I chose to make. I knew I was going to apply water color and oil painting filters to my images, so I tried to shoot accordingly. I set out to find good compositions with strong “bones.” “Bones” meaning solid structure that could benefit from the addition of dramatic effects.
The resulting images were fun to create. Changing the tools you use to make your images can offer new insights into your own photography. I strongly recommend allowing yourself to play.”
Visit Charles’ website here.
Find out about my digital photography workshops here.
Paul Tornaquindici (top) and I (bottom) walked together many times in Namibia.
Standing a few feet apart, we made very different images.
Walk with someone and photograph together.
Then compare the results.
You’ll see a different way of looking at the world.
You’ll also have an opportunity to see how you see more clearly.
Even when the images you make are the same, you’ll learn that some results are driven by convention and this can prompt you to push further, to find something new, and to make your images more personal. Sometimes these differences can be found in context with your other images.
The comparisons and contrasts you’ll see by photographing with someone else can be extremely useful.
To truly touch your viewers you may have to touch someone or something else first.
We have many intelligences (intellectual, emotional, physical, etc), but when it comes to making images we often leave many of them out of the mix. Try energizing your creative process by using all of you.
Get physical. The power of touch can reveal volumes. Imagine how much and how quickly an extended hand or a pat on the back can say. This doesn’t only apply to interacting with people and animals. If you physically make contact with any subject, even inanimate objects, you’ll come to understand it better; its scale, texture, density and much more. You may even decide to make contact with more than your hands. Press your face up against a window. Step into the currents of swift-flowing waters. Lay down in shifting sands. Experience your subjects from many perspectives. Doing this will lead to many new ideas. It will also inform old ideas. As your understanding of your subjects grows, your images will take on new dimensions and new depths.