2014 was a very good year for photoweenie.com.

My website, photoweenie.com, ended the year with over 500,000 hits. In fact, it was just under 550,000 hits.
Fine arts photography fans from all over the world visited the website and viewed the work of photographers that they most likely would not be able to see anywhere else.
Click here to see photoweenie.com for yourself.

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Bryan Schutmaat

I am very impressed with the color work of Bryan Schutmaat, particularly the series titled “Grays the Mountain Sends”.

From Bryan’s website:

“Grays the Mountain Sends
”

This project combines portraits, landscapes, and still lifes in a series of photos that explores the lives of working people
residing in small mountain towns and mining communities in the American West. Equipped with a large format view
camera, and inspired by the poetry of Richard Hugo, I’ve aimed to hint at narratives and relay the experiences of strangers
met in settings that spur my own emotions. Ultimately, this body of work is a meditation on small town life, the landscape,
and more importantly, the inner landscapes of common men.

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You can see more of Bryan’s work here.
Photo: © Bryan Schutmaat. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

There is much more to see and read on photoweenie.com.
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Rahi Rezvani

I found these hauntingly beautiful photographs by Rahi Rezvani on the web. I’m impressed by Ravi’s strong, simple compositions and his haunting use of color.

I’m not sure I understand all of it, but here is a little background on Rahi from his website:

The fantasy work ‘Rahi Rezvani’ is willful, but not stubborn and self-assumed. Without being based on the theories of the twentieth century and the various accompanying ideas, it corresponds harmoniously with a similar path in another way. It is based on the principals and systems of visual art.

It appears as if he is taking a ‘detour’, and not along the historical process of predecessors in the Art, but his creations belong to an exception, even along an extraordinary and unusual way. The result remains an exception, uniform and in harmony with the rules.

The expertise of Rahi Rezvani in the other genres of the Art is another motive for his visual strength: portraits, fashion, still lives, realistic scenes: Wonderful to interpret. He speaks the language of comparison and allegory. The scene is fantasy. Space is fantasy. Colour is fantasy. The composition is fantasy. Everything is fantasy. But there is no place for lies and forgeries. It is false, but not a lie. He has nothing to do with ‘reproduction’ based on the ideas of Aristotle on the imitation of nature, or with ‘speculation’. He has his own interpretation of portraying his fantasy. A picture which is not present in time – as in a story -, but in space.

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You can see more of Rahi’s work here.
Photo: © Rahi Rezvani. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

There is much more to see and read on photoweenie.com.
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Photographer Eirik Johnson didn’t travel far to find the subject of this terrific series.

From Eirik’s website:
For two years I spent my early mornings walking the streets of my neighborhood of West Oakland. It is a place steeped in history and diversity, from ship workers to blues musicians, Portuguese fishmongers to Black Panthers. Yet, as freeways were built and factories moved in, the neighborhood was bisected from the rest of the city, left isolated and marginalized by many. Over my many walks through West Oakland, I began to find intimate moments of strange beauty and ritual born out of the neighborhood’s very isolation.

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From Eirik’s bio:
Seattle-based photographer and mixed-media artist Eirik Johnson has exhibited his work at spaces including the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Aperture Foundation in New York.  He has received numerous awards including the 2012 Neddy at Cornish Award in Open Medium, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in 2009, the Santa Fe Prize in 2005, and a William J. Fulbright Grant to Peru in 2000.  His work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY.  His second monograph Sawdust Mountain was published by Aperture in 2009. His first bookBorderlands was published by Twin Palms Press in 2005.

Johnson’s editorial work has appeared in publications including the New York Times Magazine, Metropolis, Dwell, Audubon, GQ, and the Wall Street Journal.
Johnson is currently a visiting faculty at the University of Washington, Cornish College of the Arts, and the Photography Center Northwest.

Photo: © Eirik Johnson. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.
There is much more to see and read on photoweenie.com.

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Martin Usborne’s color portraits

From Martin’s website:

Martin’s key interest is man’s relationship to (other) animals. Although his imagery is sometimes dark – capturing the way in which we silence, control or distance ourselves from other animals – his pictures strive for a subtle humour.

Martin often undertakes editorial or commercial commissions and his work is regularly featured in international magazines and has been seen in group and solo shows around the world as well as in the National Portrait Gallery London. He has had four books published.

Martin lives and works in London. He studied philosophy and psychology and then 3D animation before finally settling on photography.

He is currently spending a year to see how many animals he can save in 365 days. Read the ongoing blog here. He hopes for this to become his next book.

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Photo: © Martin Usborne. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.
There is much more to see and read on photoweenie.com.

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Laura Pannack’s “Young British Naturalists”

I strongly suggest you visit Laura’s website to see additional images from the series.

From Laura’ website:
Nakedness is usually reserved for the private realm. We make sure the curtain is pulled before we undress. On the beach, we wiggle awkwardly behind towels to preserve our modesty a dropped corner is cause for deep blushes. We keep our private parts hidden from view, known only to ourselves or given as a gift to a lover. It is about more than just skin. Nakedness is a concept as much as it is a state of being, and one wreathed in paradox. With it are bound notions of privacy, self possession, jurisdiction. It can connote innocence or sexuality, purity or depravity. It can signify both power and vulnerability, used to liberate or humiliate.

We arrive in this world without a stitch on our backs, raw-skinned and unadorned. In infancy and childhood, nudity is still considered natural, a sign of prelapsarian purity, untainted by the unseemly connotations that begin to attach themselves as we draw nearer to adolescence. As newborns we are free, unencumbered with the societal expectations of clothing, the delineations of style, the consumerist pressures of fashion. All these are yet to come.

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About “Young British Naturalists” from Laura’s website:
In order to full understand my subject and gain the trust and respect of the people I wished to photograph I felt it was essential for me to cross over to their side and be naked. By placing myself in a vulnerable situation, the connection with my subjects was one of mutual understanding and equality.

Photo: © Laura Pannack. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

There is much more to see and read on photoweenie.com.
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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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A Couple of Comments About Portfolio Review Events

I recently spent a weekend in Boston at the New England Portfolio Reviews. My good friend Paula Tognarelli of the Griffin Museum and I ran the reviews years ago when I served as Executive Director of the PRC. So, whenever Paula asks me to serve as a reviewer, I am more than happy to oblige.

A photographer I have known for many years drove up from New York City to attend the event. It was the first time he had his work reviewed at a portfolio review event. Over lunch, I asked him for his impressions. He said, “It reminds me of kindergarten, everyone is running around like their hair is on fire.” It’s true; there is generally a great deal of hyper activity during the event.

As usual, I saw a wide variety of work on many different levels of sophistication. Many of the people I reviewed (like my friend from New York City) were attending for the first time.

Since the weekend, I’ve been thinking about what kind of advice I could give to photographers that may be planning to attend their first review event. Here are a couple of thoughts. It’s a short list and it’s in no particular order. I’m sure if you asked the other reviewers, they would have more than a few of their own.

Finish all of your homework
Do a little research on your reviewers. It makes for a better review if you know something about the reviewer’s background. I’m sure you will better understand my comments about your work when you know a little bit about my history. I learned this incredibly valuable lesson during my 30+ years presenting advertising concepts to potential clients. You can never know too much about your audience.

Don’t follow me into the men’s room
Don’t laugh, it has happened. I appreciate that you want to maximize your investment, but approaching reviewers during breaks will not win you any extra points. Most review events book reviewers with a very, very full schedule. We need a bit of breathing room after each review to reset our brains.

You shouldn’t argue with me – I’m always right
You paid a fee to hear the reviewer’s perspective on your work, and the review time goes by very fast. I may not be right, but at least have an open mind. And, oh yes, take notes.

Please, please work hard on your craft
Only about 20% of the prints I reviewed were exhibition quality prints. If I recommended that you take a printing workshop, do it. It means that even if I were knocked out by your work, I would not be able to include it in an exhibition. The prints just didn’t come up to exhibition quality.

I consult with photographers on a regular basis about portfolio development and there are a large number of additional points I could include. These four were taken from the notes I made during the review event.

In the photo below, Jo Sandman is having her recent work reviewed by Dalia H. Linssen PhD. I’ve been a huge fan of Jo’s work for many years. Her work is totally unique. You can see more Jo’s incredible work here.

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