I’ve been working through how to give meaningful feedback to other photographers about their work and in the course of that I realize that our reaction to work tells us more about ourselves and less about the photographer. That was certainly the case with my initial intersection with Wynn Bullock. Bullock is generally regarded as one of the most significant photographers of the mid-twentieth century. He was a close friend of West Coast photographers Ansel Adams and Edward Weston and a peer of Minor White, Aaron Siskind and Frederick Sommer. I remember seeing his famous photograph Child in the Forest from the 1955 Family of Man exhibition curated by Edward Steichen and dismissed him as not doing something that I was interested in.
I was recently given a copy of ‘Wynn Bullock: Revelations‘, a comprehensive look at his entire body of work that was produced to support the exhibition now showing at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. Of course there are a good number of nudes included in the book which was where he was as a photographer early in his career but then there are a large number of images such as the one above that reflect his interest in how to represent time in a still image. There are a large number of abstract color images that I also find very interesting.
In listening to the interviews with Bullock below much of what he has to say about his photographic explorations resonated with me. Well worth a look.
I was thrilled to be accepted into the exhibition ‘What I did on my summer vacation‘ curated by Jim Fitts, Founder of PhotoWeenie.com and Anne DeVito, Co-Owner of Panopticon Gallery. The exhibition opened in the private room at the Panopticon Gallery September 12 and runs until Jan 14. So there’s still time left to look at the selected images.
I really liked where the photo was placed in the room, in a little alcove as shown below.
The opening was quite a scene. A couple of artist talks and tons of people. Really overwhelming.
The people that I feature in these Friday Inspiration posts are artists whose work I enjoy looking at and so it’s natural that I follow what they doing. I particularly enjoy Thomas Joshua Cooper’s seascapes and was quite pleased to find a longer video of him talking about his atlantic basin project. Check it out below:
While I was looking for videos of Cooper talking about his work I found another video, a conversation facilitated by Roger Wilson between Chris Wainwright & Thomas Joshua Cooper about their work, the journeys that they take and what it is to be an artist. Well worth a look.
I’m back home again after a a family holiday at the beach. I don’t know how you travel but for us we always have somewhere to be and while our trips may take us through gorgeous parts of the country we’re always too time crunched to stop to explore. As we zipped across Shelter Island, somewhere I’d like to explore further, the image at the top of the page came to mind. It’s a view across Crescent Lake. I was obviously drawn to the reflections in the mirror smooth lake. At the time I was zipping down to Forks but decided that since there wasn’t any pressure to be in Forks at a particular hour I’d stop. I spent probably 20 or 30 mins photographing at this spot, working out of the back of my car with the music blaring. Most certainly a good time. I never saw the lake flat enough any other time during my visit to the Olympic National Park for this kind of reflection. If I’d done what I was thinking which was to ‘get it on the way back’ the shot wouldn’t have been there.
What was also cool was another photographer pulled in behind me and introduced himself – Jack Graham – a very familiar name to me. I’d looked at his guide to photographing in washington state and at his workshops as part of my researching potential ONP workshops. At the time I ended up going with Art Wolfe but having met Jack and emailed him a few times afterwards I’d recommend his workshops any day.
This experience not only underscores the need to get the shot when you can but also that by getting off the usual rails that we run on we may stumbling into interesting opportunities.
I’m reading a book of Gerhard Richter’s letters at the moment. It’s imaginatively called ‘Gerhard Richter: Writings 1961 – 2007‘. I’m not sure what the best way to read a book like this is and I’ve found myself reading whatever catches my eye rather than sticking to strict chronological order. Having read pieces from the early ’60s and also the early 2000’s it’s interesting to see that his interviewers still tie him back to statements that he made as a younger artist and that while he still supports his original position he has clearly moved on, become more sophisticated and nuanced in his thinking. I suppose it’s natural for people to continue the connection to who you were, even when you’ve moved past that stage but it would drive me insane.
I also recently came across what was to me at least a new documentary of Richter at work. His abstract work particularly appeals to me and I found it interesting to see how they’re are created, destroyed, reworked and made over again. I must admit that there was a point where I was happy with the painting that he’d created, would have been quite happy to see that hanging in my office, and then he was off again with the squeegee. Nooo!