Monthly Archives: February 2017

Lorna Simpson

lorna-simpson-507345-1-402The photographer I chose was Lorna Simpson. She is considered the most acclaimed artist of her generation. She was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1960 and attended High School Art of Design and the School of Visual Arts.

After earning her BFA, she traveled Europe and Africa, shaping her skills for her photography. She wanted to reach the viewer in ways that was not done before, therefore she earned her Master’s of Fine Arts Degree from the University of California in 1985.

She developed a signature stye called “photo-text”, in which graphic text is inserted into studio-like portraiture, bringing new conceptual meaning into the works.

Through the 1980’s and 90s, she worked on solo work all over the nation. She was awarded such merits as the 1985 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the 1989 Artists’ Space Board of Directors, the 1990 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation,. 1994 Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work, College Art Association, and 2014 Shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014 for her self-titled exhibition in Paris.

 

by Anthony Quinn24a6bc6963c950db7195f0ee91002190 85838ded425f4a9b6130 lornasimpson_inst_geuter_08_630x355_01

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Cecil Beaton

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Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980)

(sir) Cecil Beaton was a British photographer known for his fashion photography and war photography in the 1920’s and 1930’s. His early success was largely due to his skills in fashion photography, however Cecil had also been known in later years for his contributions to theatrical work and became a well known costume designer for various stage productions.

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Portrait of Queen Elizabeth ii with Prince Andrew in her arms.

Perhaps one of the more notable examples of Cecil’s brand of photography is the above picture, taken by Cecil of Queen Elizabeth ii; since any photos of the Queen are naturally expected to be of high quality and a great degree of trust must be put into any photographer taking any such picture of British royalty. Cecil is known for taking photos of British royalty, and was even invited to take photos during Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953. There are actually two influential figures in the portrait above, one of them, Prince Andrew, just hasn’t had the chance to grow up yet. The proper name for Cecil Beaton is Sir Cecil Beaton; as he was knighted in 1972 by Queen Elizabeth.

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Marilyn Monroe as shot by Cecil Beaton

The fashion photographer is also known for his portraits of celebrities, notably the above photograph of Marilyn Monroe. A quote by Cecil which is relevant to this particular photograph would be “How imperceptibly, but quickly, our views on beauty fluctuate!” (Cecil Beaton) since this particular photo by Cecil is portraying a woman who arguably changed society in regards to the common perception of beauty.

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Dame Julie Andrews (1959) by Cecil

Cecil became known in fashion photography for capturing detailed and interesting portraits that show the personality of the subject. The previous photos were examples of his work in fashion, however, Cecil is also known for his war photography.

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Photo of Flight Lieutenant David Donaldson taken by Cecil

Cecil began taking photos of World War 2 while working for the British Ministry of Information. During this time he observed the battles in England, Africa, and the Middle East in an effort to document the war. He was especially known for his photo of Elaine Dunne- a hospitalized 3-year-old air-raid victim. This particular photo even made it to the front page of the Life magazine in September 23, 1940. (as shown below)

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While his photography generally consisted of  war and fashion genres, Cecil had a passion for the theatre, or more accurately, all forms of art. Cecil was a known diarist, amateur home interior designer, painter, as well as a costume and stage designer. For his costume work, Cecil had even received Tony Awards for his contribution to shows such as My Fair Lady (1957). Sadly, his career ended when he suffered a heart attack January 18, 1980, at his mansion in Wiltshire England. I find it personally fascinating that he was a man of so many talents, and was in fact so awesome that he was respected even among British royalty. I believe that photos taken by him would be highly interesting to those who are fascinated by history and historical figures; since the majority of Sir Cecil’s photography features notable figures and events in British and world history alike. Cecil’s photographs have the ability to show viewers a truly lively amount of detail and personality from the subjects he uses, and it is because of this that I was inspired to write about this photographer.

Author: sszramka

 

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W. Eugene Smith’s “Jazz Loft” Project

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W. Eugene Smith was a very well-known photographer from the 1940s to the 1970s. His work with Newsweek and Life Magazine gave him a great reputation, but this stand-alone project is what really gave him the attention he deserved.

1127jazzloft03Starting in 1957, Smith spent eight years at 821 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, New York, the home to a five-story jazz loft. Hundreds of bands and musicians traveled there and performed as W. Smith took photos and recorded music.

82131002_lgBy 1965, W. Eugene Smith had taken about 40,000 photographs, and recorded 4,000 hours of audio from the eight years at the loft. These are all from the bands playing or rehearsing, as well as photos taken from the windows of the building, looking out into the streets of New York City. e56r86_19_lgIn September of 2016, WNYC Studios released a hour-and-a-half long documentary titled “The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith”. This focuses not only on the photos and tapes during the project, but also the stories that go with them. The documentary, directed by Sara Fishko, sheds light onto the characters portrayed in the photographs. Fishko explains, in great detail, what these people were going through during the time, and the dark side of these musicians’ careers. 82128027_lg

 

Learn more about The Jazz Loft Project

Learn more about “The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith”

Check out the cast, crew, trivia, and more from the documentary

Rent the documentary through Amazon Video

 

Brenton Wiseman

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The Reality that Transcends Surface Reality

 

Photographer Jerry Uelsmann puts a twist on traditional black and white photography. Committed to using film, Uelsmann relies on the darkroom to create his masterpieces. Uelsmann photographs have noticeable contrast, striking mid-tones and greys and paints fantastical realities in the minds of viewers.

Born and raised in Detroit, Uelsmann was attracted to the art of photography from an early age. In his early high school years he began photographing weddings. After high school Uelsmann attended Rochester Institute of Technology in the late 1950s where he received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts. He then transferred to University of Indiana to further his education. He attributes his professor Henry Holmes Smith as being an inspiration as well as Minor White.

Uelsmann’s intent is for viewers to have some sort of emotion invoked or story created in their mind when they glance at his work but his audience often look at Uelsmann’s photographs and wonder how did he do it without a computer?

Instead of tinkering with digital photography, Uelsmann retreats to the darkroom to practice his mastery skills. Using photo manipulation to channel his creative concepts into his photos, he is constantly adding new elements to his photos as they come to life in the developer of his darkroom.

-Haley Myles

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Muriel Knudson

Muriel Knudson is an Emmy nominated videographer and photographer previously based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She now currently resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana with her best friend, and focal point of many photos, Lauren Sanderson.

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She recently started a campaign titled #TakeMorePicsOfUrFriends, in which she encourages those in the photography industry, as well as those who just dabble with it, to get more candid shots of their friends living life.

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Knudson features many of these photos on an Instagram she created for this “project”. She also has created merchandise, such as stickers, as a way to spread awareness. Because of this project, she is known now in the community for her portraits.

instagram screenshot.PNG Besides this, Muriel Knudson is just very big on candids. While she does still take staged photos, her forte is definitely more candid, original pictures. She likes to find the beauty in just living life, and that beauty shows so strongly in the photos she shares.crowd

She has been hired by a lot of public relation specialists for musicians and bands to take photos of concerts as promotion of the artists, which gains her access to a different, per-say “genre” of photography.

Personally I think that she will make it very big in the photography world. The way she takes her photos is so natural and beautiful, which makes them visually appealing to many types of viewers.

– Diana Powell

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Controversy in Black and White

      “I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them”-Diane Arbus

The contained environment of studios never interested photographer Diane Arbus. Her unusual, intimate, and controversial black and white photographs are far from the standard magazine cover. Born March 14, 1923, in New York City, Arbus lead a modest but pampered childhood as the daughter of the owner of the Russeks department store on Fifth Avenue. At age 14, she met her then 19-year-old future husband Allan Arbus who she married in 1941.

Arbus worked alongside with her husband as his photography assistant shooting fashion photographers. Their first project was for the May 1947 issue of Glamour but Arbus felt dissatisfied working in the shallowness of the fashion industry. Her true love and artistic abilities shined when photographing family and friends.

Throughout the 50’s, Arbus was drawn to the misfits of society. Photographing nontraditional subjects lead her to leave the team her and her husband Allan had built up. He continued to operate their fashion studio solo while Arbus continued to experiment with her concept of nontraditional subjects.

Photographing the unusual, her photos began to focus on circus images, “freaks” and sideshow subjects. Then she transitioned to photographing nudist and strangers. She had no boundaries.

On July 26, 1971, Arbus committed suicide in her apartment in New York City. She had struggled with bouts of depression her entire life. Her work has been featured at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in magazines, books, galleries and other places. She won countless awards such as the Robert Levitt Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers. Daring to go where very few went in her time, Diane Arbus’s career can be summed up in one word-courage. Without photographers like her, people would never see the “other half” of society.

-Haley Myles

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Mike Miller

Mike Miller is the photographer for many celebrities, he has taken some of the most iconic portraits of music legends and even actors. Mike grew up in Santa Monica on the West Coast. Miller states that his entry to photography was a fluke, he was trying to date models and through taking pictures of them, he found he had a gift and passion for taking photos. Soon after, Mike was taking pictures for Cacharel and other major fashion outlets.

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Above is one of Mike Millers famous works of hip hop legend “Tupac” Mike said that Tupac was one of the most genuine people he’d met and that he knew exactly what kind of photo he wanted Mike to take. He was even willing to go deep into the “projects” to get great photos of Tupac.

Mike has a good notoriety in the celebrity world, he has a whole portfolio full of celebrities and not just rappers.

 

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He has also taken pictures of James Franco and many other actors including Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, and Cameron Diaz.

Mike also takes picture of new wave hip hop artists.

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A portrait of Asap Rocky above is one of my favorites by him, with expensive jewelry to flex on his teeth and his fingers. He has also photographed and directed other rappers such as YG, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Jeezy.

Some of Miller’s has been added to the Getty Black Book which has been acquired by the Smithsonian and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Mike Miller has also written two books:

Michael Miller Photography, West Coast Hip Hop: A History in Pictures

and his newest book :

Love West Coast Girls

Check out Michael’s Instagram

Also go to his website and porfolio

Even check out some more in depth information about his LA Hip Hop photography

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