Advice for young photographers

David-Alan-Harvey

A few days ago I stumbled upon a very interesting post by Erik Kim: “35 Magnum Photographers give their advice to aspiring photographers.” Useful for young, not-so-young, curious, and transposable for non-photographers.

Full post here:

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2011/09/26/35-magnum-photographers-give-their-advice-to-aspiring-photographers/

Here’s the one by David Alan Harvey (image above also to his credit) :

“You must have something to ‘say’. You must be brutally honest with yourself about this. Think about history , politics, science, literature, music, film, and anthropology. What affects does one discipline have over another? What makes ‘man’ tick? Today, with everyone being able to easily make technically perfect photographs with a cell phone, you need to be an ‘author’. It is all about authorship, authorship and authorship. Many young photographers come to me and tell me their motivation for being a photographer is to ‘travel the world’ or to ‘make a name’ for themselves. Wrong answers in my opinion. Those are collateral incidentals or perhaps even the disadvantages of being a photographer. Without having tangible ideas, thoughts, feelings, and something almost ‘literary’ to contribute to ‘the discussion’, today’s photographer will become lost in the sea of mediocrity. Photography is now clearly a language. As with any language, knowing how to spell and write a gramatically correct ‘sentence’ is, of course, necessary. But, more importantly, today’s emerging photographers now must be ‘visual wordsmiths’ with either a clear didactic or an esoteric imperitive. Be a poet, not a technical ‘writer’. Perhaps more simply put, find a heartfelt personal project. Give yourself the ‘assignment’ you might dream someone would give you. Please remember, you and only you will control your destiny. Believe it, know it, say it.”

Lewis Baltz: Common objects

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Lewis Baltz, “Fairfax”, 1973, from series “The Prototype works”.

Le BAL is currently hosting a major exhibition of Lewis Baltz, most notably touching on the influence of cinema masters like Godard and Antonioni in series like “The Prototype Works”, “Ronde de nuit”, “Candlestick point”, among others. On display until the 24th August!

Further info:
http://www.le-bal.fr/fr/mh/les-expositions/lewis-baltz/
http://www.loeildelaphotographie.com/2014/05/28/exhibition/24988/le-bal-lewis-baltz-common-objects
As well as a preview of the catalogue:
http://www.lebalbooks.com/collections/frontpage/products/common-objects-lewis-baltz

Vanessa Winship: she dances on Jackson

Vanessa Winship travels Through The Ruins of the American Dream.

US-Winter-Raw-Scan-2081
The varied and stark landscapes of America’s heartlands—and the isolated figures that reside within them—are exposed in today’s series of images from photographer Vanessa Winship’s new exhibition and book, she dances on Jackson. Based in the British seaside town of Folkestone, Winship and her husband, fellow photographer George Georgiou, had been based in the Balkans and Turkey for a decade when she won the prestigious 2011 Henri Cartier-Bresson International Award, which funded the long journey around the United States documented here. The resulting pictures, shot on a large format camera over little more than a year, expand on the artist’s more familiar portraits to reveal not only the vastness of the North American continent, from Oregon to Kentucky and Georgia to Colorado, but also the corroded ambition of what we have come to know as the American Dream. Winship, who studied cinema and photography at Westminster University, has exhibited at museums and festivals including the Rencontres d’Arles, the Kunstall Museum of Contemporary Art in Rotterdam and the Photographers’ Gallery in London. This most recent book’s unusual title was inspired by a moment that got away from her while shooting in Jackson, Mississippi, when a young uninhibited girl began to dance to a band at a train station evolved into a narrative about the intimacy between mother and daughter. “My desire was to be part of it, to ask who they are, where they’re going,” Winship has explained. “But I know instinctively not to do so. I’m never close enough to hear what they say and I don’t want to invade this perfect space.”