Posts

My friend Geoff Livingston, who was featured here in a photography showcase, has a podcast (also available as video) called the “Show me podcast” where he chats with folks about iconic photos and why they work (or not).

We caught up to talk about Robert Frank’s book, The Americans.  And then we talked about the Roadside America project, Infrared photography and some of the thoughts behind PhotoNexus (at the 27 minute point) which I am organizing in Santa Fe, July 26 & 27.

Hope you can find the time to check out the podcast…and yes, a saxophone walks through it.

a few books about photographers, the photograph and the photographic art forum that are interesting gateways to new learnings & photographic appreciation.

Every Photograph Has a Story: The Photograph Itself, The Photographer’s and The Viewers’: Some of the prints available on the website include the story behind them.  For example,  “The Carnival Stopped” is from one of the “Roadside America” trips along Virginia’s eastern shore where I was regularly exiting the highway to check out the villages, sea marsh and fishing boats.  In Wachapreague, Virginia, population 230, the fishing boats were either all out at work or gone forever. I am not sure.  The docks and handling facilities appeared to be in a state of disrepair, worn out or shut down.  But there at the corner of Atlantic Rd. and Ice Plant Street, was the carnival. Not a soul to be seen.  But there it was…a carnival stopped – a place of fun and community gathering but a little eery and ghost-like.  Much like the fishing town itself.

In Henry Carroll’s new book, “Photographers on Photography, How the Masters See, Think & Shoot,”  I was struck by this quote:

“When a person looks at a photograph you’ve taken, they will always think of themselves”    Jason Fulford

Henry Carroll in is commentary notes, “right after we interpret the literal aspects of the image…we enter into a second, much personal meaning.  The second reading is informed by elements such as our memories, personal experiences, tastes and cultural backgrounds…this second reading is unpredictable and entirely outside the photographer’s control.  For Fulford, this gap between what is pictured and what it might mean is where photographs come alive”

There is an image on the website whose owner described it “art that stirs his soul.”  For yet another owner, their print has an intimate feeling, and a nostalgic tone with a sense of timelessness. It is their views that give the images meaning and excitement.

In a related story from Artsy about Keith Haring, they note,

“The quickest way to kill your art, according to Haring, is to rigidly define it. “There is no need for definition,” he wrote. “Definition can be the most dangerous, destructive tool the artist can use when he is making art for a society of individuals.” That’s not to say an artist can’t have certain concepts or themes in mind when creating an artwork. But the “artist’s ideas are not essential to the art as seen by the viewer.…The viewer does not have to be considered during the conception of the art, but should not be told, then, what to think or how to conceive it or what it means.”
This idea went hand in hand with his belief that artists should consider more than just the art world. “The viewer should be able to look at art and respond to it without wondering whether he ‘understands’ it. It does not aim to be understood! Who ‘understands’ any art?.…Nobody knows what the ultimate meaning of my work is because there is none.…It exists to be understood only as an individual response.”
 

Bringing Images to Life with Real Meaning: It is these kinds of personal reflections that turn the literal stories behind the images into your art.  That is what brings an image to life and gives it real meaning.

 

 

Stumbled upon this Epson America video of photographer John Sexton talking about bringing photographs to life through prints.  He notes that he sits with a print and lets it whisper to him.  I, too, often make prints and let them sit for two or three days, going back at them to work on aspects of the image and making sure the vision truly comes to life.

He sees the print as an experience, like a fine meal or theatrical experience.  It is the fulfillment of the photographic image making process and the fulfillment of a photographer’s passion.

You can learn more about my thoughts on prints and about my “small batch” Limited and Personal Exclusive edition prints here.

I hope you too enjoy the video.

In the onslaught of our busy lives – our work, the news, the everyday chores, responsibilities to family and friends, driving from here to there or sitting in traffic, the alerts on our phones – all of these are fragments are part of building a family, career and to get ahead.  People are busy, keeping in touch and moving forward to build and live a life. It can be a world of worries, of fast-paced activities, successes and failures. Life is often busily routine and complex.

But for people/humans, being alive also includes the mystery of emotion, whether that be anger or frustration, or those peaceful reflective times and moments of beauty.  Those quiet opportunities of pensive thought touch our hearts in strange and magical ways. Those times our being is touched and we reflect, even for a passing moment, as we see and feel the quest for meaning and beauty in our lives.

A gorgeous sunset or sunrise, a memory of some event, thing or person, an expansive landscape or a specific place can bring to the forefront moments that are opportunities where we find ourselves pausing to reflect on an aspect of beauty and wonderment in our lives — a moment that evokes emotion and reaches beyond our day-to-day activities to touch our souls and being.

While it is common to base notions of photographic art on capturing that “decisive moment”, BinhammerPhotographs makes and thinks about the photograph as a means of creative expression that is more than just a moment. The image is composed in a manner that turns the familiar into something more. The things we often take for granted have the potential to become a dream and a place where the mind may venture – a journey. The captured moment of reality becomes a place to explore, a path to realization, a spot of quiet solitude, rather than just a specific time and locale. It is that moment of beauty.

Making photographs in black & white with infrared light captures a part of the light spectrum humans cannot see, resulting in different textures and dynamic tones.  These effects beg the question: “what is reality?” Infrared photography reveals the unseen and defeats assumptions about the “reality” in a photograph thus requiring the viewer to respond differently to the image. The infrared image presents a dreamy and new perspective of the known world, creating a new place to visit or imagine.

SaveSave

SaveSave