What I Try to Show by Mary Ellen Mark

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Mary Ellen Mark was born in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,  and began photographing with a Box Brownie camera at age nine. In 1966 or 1967, she moved to New York City, where over the next several years she photographed Vietnam War demonstrations, the women’s liberation movement, transvestite culture, and Times Square, developing a sensibility, according to one writer, “away from mainstream society and toward its more interesting, often troubled fringes”. As Mark explained in 1987, “I’m just interested in people on the edges. I feel an affinity for people who haven’t had the best breaks in society. What I want to do more than anything is acknowledge their existence”. Her shooting style ranges from a 2 ¼ inch format, 35 mm, and 4×5 inch view camera. She also uses a Leica 4 for most photographs and Nikons for long-range shooting. Mark loves shooting with a Hasselblad for square format and she shoots primarily in black-and-white,using classic Kodak Tri-X film. This is a first post, another one will follow.

Mary+Ellen+Mark+portrait“I think you reveal yourself by what you choose to photograph, but I prefer photographs that tell more about the subject.  There’s nothing much interesting about me; what’s interesting is the person I’m photographing, and that’s what I try to show….”  Mary Ellen Mark

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Tempted by Poetry by Raymond Depardon

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Raymond Depardon, born in France in 1942, began taking photographs on his family farm in Garet at the age of 12. Apprenticed to a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône, he left for Paris in 1958 He joined the Dalmas agency in Paris in 1960 as a reporter, and in 1966 he co-founded the Gamma agency, reporting from all over the world. In 1978 Depardon joined Magnum and continued his reportage work. Depardon has made eighteen feature-length films and published forty-seven books.

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I’m coming from journalism, but at the same time I’m tempted by poetry, politics, and maybe the idea of being a witness, a belief that you can still change things with the image.”  Raymond Depardon

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The Underbelly of Stockholm by Anders Petersen

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Swedish born photographer Anders Petersen has been snapping the underbelly of Stockholm and beyond for nigh on 40 years. Born in 1944 and responsible for what is considered to be one of the seminal photobooks in the history of European photography, Café Lehmitz (published in 1978), Peterson’s pre-occupation with the grittier side of ’60s/’70s Swedish life (think prostitutes, drug addicts, drunks, homeless) has taken him into mental asylums, prisons and homes for old people. His signature documentary style black & white photography is often excruciatingly personal, with his lens pointing at the darker shades of society we would never normally be privvy to.

An Unusual Hobby for a Woman by Julia Margaret Cameron

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Julia Margaret Cameron (née Pattle; 11 June 1815 – 26 January 1879) was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary or heroic themes. Cameron’s photographic career was short, spanning eleven years of her life (1864–1875). She took up photography at the relatively late age of 48, when she was given a camera as a present. Although her style was not widely appreciated in her own day, her work has had an impact on modern photographers, especially her closely cropped portraits.

Julia_Margaret_Cameron_by_Henry_Herschel_Hay_CameronJulia Margaret Cameron

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For Simpsons fans by Alexsandro Palombo

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Anyway, Simpsons fans, prepare to be thrilled, shocked or profoundly embarrassed. Because for all you Moes out there, here’s a flamin’ Marge. Italian comic artist Alexsandro Palombo, who is well known in the fashion world, apparently, for his satirical depictions of haute couture, has created a 2014 calendar full of extravagant images of Marge – and Homer – posing in sadomasochist gear in the high-fashion style of the photographer Helmut Newton. So you always wanted to see Springfield’s suburban icon in a black leather number slit to the thigh? Or naked with big bazoomas? Get a loada this, playdudes. (Jonathan Jones) Visit Palumpo’s website.

Charged Mystery by Horst

tumblr_l19i5scxj01qzyt4jo1_500Paul Albert Bohrmann Horst is best known for his photographs of women and fashion, but is also recognized for his photographs of interior architecture, still lifes, especially ones including plants, and environmental portraits. One of the great iconic photos of the Twentieth-Century is “The Mainbocher Corset” with its erotically charged mystery, captured by Horst in Vogue’s Paris studio in 1939. Designers like Donna Karan continue to use the timeless beauty of “The Mainbocher Corset” as an inspiration for their outerwear collections today. His work frequently reflects his interest in surrealism and his regard of the ancient Greek ideal of physical beauty. (Wikipedia)

Interesting Marvels by Vivian Maier

56-623The story of this nanny who has now wowed the world with her photography, and who incidentally recorded some of the most interesting marvels and peculiarities of Urban America in the second half of the twentieth century is seemingly beyond belief. An American of French and Austro-Hungarian extraction, Vivian bounced between Europe and the United States before coming back to New York City in 1951. Having picked up photography just two years earlier, she would comb the streets of the Big Apple refining her artistic craft. By 1956 Vivian left the East Coast for Chicago, where she’d spend most of the rest of her life working as a caregiver. In her leisure Vivian would shoot photos that she zealously hid from the eyes of others. Taking snapshots into the late 1990′s, Maier would leave behind a body of work comprising over 100,000 negatives. Additionally Vivian’s passion for documenting extended to a series of homemade documentary films and audio recordings. Interesting bits of Americana, the demolition of historic landmarks for new development, the unseen lives of ethnics and the destitute, as well as some of Chicago’s most cherished sites were all meticulously catalogued by Vivian Maier.

A free spirit but also a proud soul, Vivian became poor and was ultimately saved by three of the children she had nannied earlier in her life. Fondly remembering Maier as a second mother, they pooled together to pay for an apartment and took the best of care for her. Unbeknownst to them, one of Vivian’s storage lockers was auctioned off due to delinquent payments. In those storage lockers lay the massive hoard of negatives Maier secretly stashed throughout her lifetime. Maier’s massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof.

1029Currently, Vivian Maier’s body of work is being archived and cataloged for the enjoyment of others and for future generations. John Maloof is at the core of this project after reconstructing most of the archive, having been previously dispersed to the various buyers attending that auction. Now, with roughly 90% of her archive reconstructed, Vivian’s work is part of a renaissance in interest in the art of Street Photography.

894Have a look at this short but great documentary about Vivian Maier: