Tim Richmond takes a bite of “English-ness”.

Love Bites is a terrific name for a series of photographs. Tim Richmond’s photographs are just as terrific. After seeing the series on Tim’s website, I had a few questions. My questions and Tim’s answers are below.

From Tim’s website:
“… Love Bites series (2010-onwards) continues to document a fading strand of ‘English-ness”…

Tim Richmond

PW: What was the genesis of the series?
TR: I started the series Love Bites in 2010 and decided to concentrate on a geographical proximity to my country house in the West of England. The area is a part of the Bristol Channel. I shall shoot for another year or so.
PW: In your write-up about the series you mention ”English-ness”. Could you please expand on the term for our American audience?
TR: The “English-ness” that I am documenting is my “filter” on the region that encompasses landscapes, interiors, portraits from pole dancers to boxers to cross dressers, and shop fronts…in fact anything that goes across my radar with the idea that these images combine to create a version of the truth about a part of England today.
Love Bites is the English word for “hickey” that I imagined when I started the project that two teenagers would be wearing proudly at a bus stop sheltering from the rain whilst sharing a bottle of cider. As I said photographs for me are an extension of cinema and the ability to trigger ideas of a narrative possibility.

You can see more of Love Bites and other great work by Tim here.

There is much more to see and read on photoweenie.com.
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“Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective” wins PDN best photo book of 2013 award

I  (Jim Fitts, Head Photoweenie) am very proud to announce that a recent book project I worked on has been chosen by PDN Magazine as one of the best photo books of 2013. The book is Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective.

To complete the book took several years of dedicated work, and a terrific team. Jason Landry, Phillip Prodger, and, of course, Harold and the Feinstein Dream Team (Judith and Cherie) were the core drivers of the project.

PDN best photo book 2013The story behind how it came about is quite unique and I wrote about it in my foreword to the book.

“I’m driving back from Merrimac, Massachusetts to my home in Boston and my head is swimming. I’ve just seen hundreds (perhaps it was thousands) of prints and contact sheets taken by a photographer that until a few months ago I knew nothing about.

The photographer’s name is Harold Feinstein.

Is Harold’s work as remarkable as I think it is? Are the photos as important as I think they are? How can I insure that people get to see them?

I’ve collected fine art photography for over 40 years and I think my judgment of quality is pretty sound, but I’m smart enough to know that it’s prudent to have someone you trust confirm your opinion. One week later I am back in Merrimac looking at Harold’s black and white prints with the one friend whose eye I trust emphatically.

This time, on the drive back to Boston, both our heads are swimming. It turns out we both saw the same brilliant qualities in Harold’s work.

A few years have passed and a dedicated team of Harold’s admirers has worked hard to put together the book you are holding. This book is not meant to be an all-inclusive catalog of Harold’s six decades of black and white work – it would take a much larger and heavier volume to accomplish that – but we hope that these 80 images will give you a sense of the wonder and inspiration we see at the heart of Harold’s work.”

A select number of Harold’s images will be in the Summer Salon exhibition in the private room at Panopticon Gallery from July 12 – September 10th.  They also have a limited supply of signed copies of Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective.

You can see the entire list of PDN’s best photo books of 2013 here.
You can see a list of this year’s judges here.
You can purchase a copy of the book here.
You can see more of Harold’s work here.

The facts:
TitleHarold Feinstein: A Retrospective
PublisherNazraeli Press
Creative Team: Jim Fitts, Jason Landry (Panopticon Gallery) and Chris Pichler (Nazraeli Press)

There is much more to see and read on photoweenie.com.
Photoweenie.com - The Classiest photography blog on the web

Danny Lyon’s Documerica Color Photos from the 1970s

I am a huge fan of Danny Lyon’s photography.
In my collection, I have three original prints, including one from Conversations with the Dead – a book that changed my perception of the nature of documentary photography. Recently, I ran across these images he shot in the 1970s for Documerica. I was not aware of this work and I love the fact that the reproduction of the images includes the edges of the slides as well as more than a bit of surface dust. They also have that wonderful otherworldly 1970s color.

I suggest you check out the work of the other photographers who worked for Documerica on Flickr.

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Just the Facts:
From the Documerica – Danny Lyon page on Flickr:
While on assignment for Documerica, Danny Lyon captured striking images of inner city American life of the early 1970s, including neighborhoods in El Paso, Houston, Galveston, Chicago, and the boroughs of New York City.
Photos are from between April 1972 & July 1974.

From the U. S. National Archives page on Flickr:
For the Documerica Project (1971-1977), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired freelance photographers to capture images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life in the 1970s. 

The U.S. National Archives digitized more than 15,000 photographs from the series Documerica (Local ID 412-DA) and included them in our online catalog.

As always, there is much more to see and read on photoweenie.com.

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The Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II

In 1909, Russian chemist and photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) set out on a journey to capture all of Russia in color on behalf of Czar Nicholas II. One of the early pioneers of color photography, Prokudin-Gorskii systematically documented the vast empire with the unprecedented technique he had developed—a method in which he used color-sensitive glass plates—decades before the widespread availability of color film. His color images were not only meant to document the diverse citizens, ethnicities, settlements, folklore, and landscapes of a vast empire, but to create nothing less than a common identity for its populace.

 Prokudin-Gorskii’s know-how and his skilled eye make his images especially vibrant and timeless. A century later, they have not lost any of their original beauty and intensity.

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Over 250 of these early masterpieces of color photography, which have recently been laboriously restored by the Library of Congress, will be also showcased in the exhibition “Nostalgia”, and shown in Europe for the first time at Gestalten Space.

Just the facts:

Nostalgia – The Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II
The Russia of Czar Nicholas II in laboriously restored historical color photographs by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
Format: 30 x 27 cm
Features: 320 pages, full color, linen hardcover, landscape format
Language: English
Price: $88.00
More information about the book here.

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Because the Night

I met Wendy Paton several years ago at a portfolio review weekend. Her portfolio of black and white nocturnal portraits immediately impressed me. The images were consistently strong and possessed a decidedly gutsy execution. They were rendered with black blacks, white whites, and a smattering of grainy grays in between.

I am overjoyed to see the work in print in Wendy’s new book, Visages de Nuit. The book is beautifully designed and produced and presents the images in a manner that accurately reflects the boldness of the original prints. The text by Simon Van Booy, Karen Sinsheimer, and Xavier Canonne describe Wendy’s photos in an eloquent manner.

Wendy’s images bring me back many years. In my 20s, I walked Boston’s streets and hung out in small rock clubs (most often at night) fixated on its alternative music culture. The nocturnal characters I saw were not the stylish figures that inhabit Wendy’s images, but the beautifully cruel ambience of the city at night sure is.

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From Wendy Paton’s website:
VISAGES DE NUIT IS A PORTFOLIO OF WORK CONSISTING OF A SERIES OF BLACK AND WHITE CANDID, NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES THAT ARE INTENDED TO PROVOKE COMPELLING, MYSTERIOUS EMOTIONS OF UNCERTAINTY.

INTRIGUED BY THE ABSTRUSE AND EVER-CHANGING NATURE OF HUMAN PERSONALITIES AND THEIR INDIVIDUAL CHOICES OF EXPRESSION, I CHOOSE TO PHOTOGRAPH AT NIGHT. THERE AMIDST THE OBSCURE CACOPHONY OF LIFE IN VARIED SETTINGS, I ATTEMPT TO CAPTURE THE MANY LAYERS OF THE HUMAN PERSONALITY; HOW IN THE DARKNESS OF NIGHT WE EITHER ATTEMPT TO COVER UP, OR ALLOW THE LAYERS TO BE PEELED BACK AND EXPOSE THE EMOTIONS WITHIN. THE IMAGES’ DARK, GRITTY CHARACTERISTICS PURPOSELY CONVEY THE SURREAL QUALITIES OF WHAT I FEEL IS HIDING BEHIND WHAT WE NORMALLY VIEW AS REALITY.

The facts:
Visages de Nuit
Wendy Paton
Published by kehrer
Hardcover with dust jacket
9 ½” x 11 ½”
104 pages
51 tritone images
English / French
www.wendypaton.com

A (darkly) Delicate Balance

Timeline: Learning To See With My Eyes Closed

In Tom Young’s superbly designed and printed new book, Timeline: Learning To See With My Eyes Closed he presents a series of images that incorporate the fundamental elements of both photography and design. Color. Scale. Balance. Proportion. In the 60 images included in the book, Tom combines his objective and nonobjective photographs into a single, harmonious composition displaying his refined mastery of the visual language.

That said, Tom’s images are not just examples of striking design, they are visual tone poems that posses an abundance of emotion. To me, this emotion is markedly dark and pensive. Many of the images (even though they were shot in color) give the immediate impression of being rendered in black and white. The greens and blues are minimal, often hidden in large areas of black and grey. The palette is dark, but the images have an intense, otherworldly beauty.

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The images are mostly vertical in format and give the viewer a sense of gazing out (or in) a window. His framing of the photographs with solid black heightens this impression. Tom plays conspicuously with the scale of the photos. Some photos command a large portion of the overall image, while some are hardly noticeable at all. In each of Tom’s pieces, the photos are expertly composed to create an elegant balance of image, design, and introspection.

The facts:
Timeline: Learning To See With My Eyes Closed
Tom Young
9 x 12 in.
Hardcover
 128 pages, 60 four-color photographs
GFT Publishing
You can order the book here.
You can read more about Tom’s book and see additional images at photoweenie.com.

A Naked Circus

Undisclosed – Images of the Contemporary Circus Artist

My friend Jason Landry, owner of Panopticon Gallery in Boston, shared a remarkable photo book with me. The title of the book is “Undisclosed – Images of the Contemporary Circus Artist” by Bertil Nilsson. Jason explained to me that he first saw Bertil’s work, as well as the book, at this years’Lens Culture FotoFest Paris portfolio review.

The book, naturally, contains Bertil’s photographs of the circus artists. What makes this book unique is the fact that the artists are photographed entirely in the nude. Bertil shoots the artists mostly performing in empty rehearsal studios. The artists are performing with – at most – a pole or a rope hanging from the ceiling. Their bodies spin, swirl, and fly with amazing grace and fluidity all the while executing a variety of near-impossible acrobatic movements. Bertil’s photographs freeze the action at a crucial moment that captures both the incredible strength and sensuous flow of the artist’s bodies in motion.

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It is to Bertil’s credit that he chose not to shoot the artists hiding under elaborate circus costumes and makeup. The fact that the images are shot in black and white and that the settings are so spartan allows the viewer to appreciate the naked, athletic beauty of the artist’s bodies and the wondrous things that they can do with them.

From Bertil Nilsson’s website:
This book is the result of my work with 47 circus artists throughout Europe and North America over the course of 5 years. The black and white images of the performers, all naked, working on their skills in empty training spaces, are accompanied by an essay by photography writer and gallerist Laura Noble and a foreword by acclaimed circus creator Daniele Finzi Pasca.

Just the Facts:
Undisclosed – Images of the Contemporary Circus Artist
Bertil Nilsson
Text in English and French
29 x 25 cm / 11.5 x 9.75 in.
Hardcover
 140 pages, 92 black and white photographs
Printed in The Netherlands in duotone offset
Canalside Books

You can see more of Bertil’s work here.