Category Archives: Photography

1.17.2014 – Geeking Out: On Cameras

Screen shot 2014-01-18 at 12.40.38 AM While I love looking at photographs and taking photographs, I’m not a very good technical photographer.  Long ago in the time of actual film photography, I liked to totally disregard anything technical (fstops, white balance) and  make photographs by leaving the camera aperture wide open in a dark room and use a flashlight to illuminate my subject.  This example, above, is the only one I could find tonight, and dates from 2000.  Looking at it now, I see that is it a selfie taken before we even knew what a selfie was.  I still love how weird but beautiful these photos were, with the flashlight reflections almost looking like reflections of water. Continue reading

1.09.2014 – Seen: Dona Schwartz’s Photographs of Empty Nesters

Lollie and Alan, 3 months.

It only took me five years, but I think I’ve gotten the hang of Twitter (or at least, who to follow). Whenever I check Twitter these days in those odd moments when I should be making eye contact in an elevator or chatting with my cab driver or rolling over and going back to sleep (read depressing/enlightening article all about our digital destiny),  there is now always something interesting to read or look at.  Some of the Twitter accounts I read and enjoyed in last 24 hours:  @wsj, @slate @WNYC and @brianlehrer @bookbinge @TheAtlantic  @TheWire @evencleveland.

In any case, @slate recently tweeted a link to Dona Schwartz’s photographs of empty nesters in their children’s rooms.  For those of us who like to look (voyeurs!) this is a bonanza.  Especially poignant to me since we just cleaned out my husband’s childhood bedroom (so much history gets embedded in our interior spaces (constructed environments), whether  we like it or not).

Carol and Charles, 9 months.

 

1.08.2014 – Seen: Mary Jo Hoffman’s Photography Blog

gems-by-color-mjh

A few months ago I came across Mary Jo Hoffman’s amazing photography site.  She takes a walk every day (mostly in Minnesota) and takes a picture of what she finds (or of natural objects in her home, such as the gems above).   As you can see, the images are nothing short of miraculous and both the blog, Still, and Mary Jo’s instagram have quickly become some of my favorite spots on the internet.

 

wasp-nest-1

Scouting: ‘The everyday stuff we normally don’t see or pay attention to’

 

Dutch-Amsterdam Students Kitchen

 

Dutch photographer Erik Klein Wolterink  makes these composite portraits of kitchens; the voyeur in me can’t get enough. The more you look, the more you see.   My favorite is the third image down, where the oven is packed full of dirty dishes.  The Slate article quotes Wolterink “I can’t cook, for example,” Wolterink said. “And I’m not really into kitchens. I’m interested in the way we live, our daily environment, what surrounds us, the everyday stuff we normally don’t see or pay attention to.”  Click over to Slate to see more and larger images.

Surinam-Amsterdam Kitchen

Erik_Klein_Wolterink_4 Jewish-Amsterdam Kitchen (part 1)

Brown Paper Packages

One of my favorite parts of NYC is the laundries in every neighborhood that wrap up clean laundry in brown paper packages.  I’m always catching a glimpse of neat rows of packages waiting to return to their rightful owner out of the corner of my eye.

Lorna Simpson at Brooklyn Museum

On my list of exhibits to go see is Lorna Simpson’s exhibition Gathered at the Brooklyn Museum.  In one of the works in the exhibition, Simpson juxtaposes images of a young woman who posed for pinups in Los Angeles in 1957 with self-portraits in which she replicates with precise detail the poses and settings of the original photographs. Simpson bought the album on Ebay and then spent nine months thinking about how to incorporate the images into her work (the video below gives more detail!).  The exhibition seems to explore ideas about photography and memory, fact and fiction, and identity and history.

 

Inspiration In Hats

Unknown Artist, American School, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks Selling Liberty Loans During the Third Loan Campaign at the Sub-Treasury Building on Wall Street, New York City, 1918, Gelatin silver print, 19.4 x 24.1 cm., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1996 (1996.246).

Currently on view as part of the Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand exhibition up at the Metropolitan, through April 10.  I was obsessed with Charlie Chaplin movies when I was little.  We’d didn’t get any TV reception (I grew up in the sticks) and cable was a distant technological dream.  So we watched a lot of Charlie Chaplin on VHS.  I also think its interesting that Charlie Chaplin was selling Liberty Loans;  Today that would be sort of like having Adam Sandler sell Treasury Bonds.  Funny.