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Posts tagged: still life photography

Celebrate the Legacy of Irving Penn with “Centennial”

Irving Penn, American, Plainfield, New Jersey, 1917–2009, New York.
Pablo Picasso at La Californie, Cannes
1957, printed February 1985 Platinum-palladium print
Image: 18 5/8 x 18 5/8 in. (47.3 x 47.3 cm.) Sheet: 24 15/16 x 22 in. (63.3 x 55.9 cm.) Mount: 26 x 22 in. (66 x 55.9 cm.) Overall: 26 x 22 in. (66 x 55.9 cm.)
Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation IP .123

Irving Penn, American, Plainfield, New Jersey, 1917–2009, New York.
Three Asaro Mud Men, New Guinea
1970, printed 1976 Platinum-palladium print
Image: 20 1/8 x 19 1/2 in. (51.1 x 49.6    cm.) Sheet: 24 15/16 x 22 1/16 in. (63.3 x 56 cm.) Mount: 26 1/16 x 22 1/16 in. (66.2 x 56 cm.) Overall: 26 1/16 x 22 1/16 in. (66.2 x 56 cm.)
Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation IP .154

“Photography is just the present stage of man’s visual history,” Irving Penn (1917-2009) sagely observed, recognizing the infinite possibilities of the human animal to create technology that would advance our ability to document, represent, and re-envision the world. As a master of the form, Penn understood that the only thing that limits us is imagination.

For seven decades he worked, becoming a master of studio photography with the ability to craft pictures of anything he wished. Here was a man who could transform his very first commission for Jell-o pudding into a resounding success, even though, as Penn realized, it was, “a abstract nothing, it’s just a blob of ectoplasm.”

Yet with that formless glob of goop crafted in a laboratory, Penn was able to entice consumers to buy and serve the product en masse. It’s precisely this ability to transcend the particulars that made Penn a master of whatever form he chose to shoot, be in portraits, fashion, still life, food, nudes, or flowers. He understood that the photograph was an invitation to engage, to gaze upon the world without actually having to interact with it.

This Photography Program Empowers Kids Living with Cancer

Red and Blue Steps, 2017 © Aralyn Lopez, age 6

Ascending into the Night, 2016 © Joshua Randman, age 18

In 2008 and 2009, as he was going through cancer treatment, a boy named Pablo took tons of photographs: self-portraits in the mirror, portraits of his dogs, and still lifes of his toys, arranged in particular ways for the camera. “We didn’t realize was how important that form of self-expression was for him while he was in treatment,” Pablo’s mother, Jo Ann Thrailkill, told me over the phone. Pablo passed away in June 2009, thirteen months after he was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer. “But he left us these incredible gifts,” Thrailkill explained, referring to the photos saved on all their phones and computers.

Behold these bold minimalist interiors made of paper and light

While street and architecture photographers are reducing their urban environments to their bare elements and seeking line, light and shadow, London-based still-life photographer Stephen Lenthall and paper artist Owen Gildersleeve have combined efforts to recreate this aesthetic in the comfort of their own studios. Shadow spaces was conceived as “an exploration of the play of light in simple architectural spaces” writes the photographer.

Call for Entries: The RPS International Photography Exhibition

Rose in a Fox Mask © Melanie Eclare

Abrigo Corner 1 © Tom Blachford

The International Photography Exhibition by The Royal Photographic Society has been a fixture of the photography community since 1854, just fifteen years after the invention and introduction of practical photography. Now in it’s 160th year, the IPE is the single longest-running photography competition of its kind, allowing contemporary photographers to follow in the footsteps of early exhibitors like Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Steichen, and Roger Fenton.

For this year’s worldwide call for submissions, the RPS has once again opened its doors to photographers of all backgrounds, working in all genres. As always, there is no fixed theme, making IPE one of the most consistently diverse photography exhibitions in the world.

The Carney Kid Who Grew Up to Be a Photographer

“Life on the carnival growing up looked different every single day,” photographer Ciara J. Alberts remembers of the first decade of her life, spent on on the road with Reithoffer Shows, “I mostly bounced around and wreaked childhood terror with other carney kids on the midway. We would bounce from ride, to cotton candy stand, to ride again.”

Hunting Culture Revealed in Honest and Unflinching Photos

andreatese_the-hungry-moon

The Hungry Moon © Andrea Tese

jesseburke_bone-saw

Bone Saw © Jesse Burke

michaeltummings_hermannstadt-l

Hermannstadt I © Michael Tummings

Take Aim, a photographic exhibition exploring hunting culture, isn’t meant to be comfortable. For curator William LeGoullon, who is neither for nor against hunting, it’s a study in contradictions.

Hilarious Instagram About the Best and Craziest DIY Camera Rigs

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“Lego Technics Follow Focus. D300s + 85 1.4” © Remco Pronk

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“Gimbal support for under twenty bucks! Two driveway markers ziptied to an old backpack frame with some nylon webbing to hold the rig.” © @dlmoody

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“We need like a kaleidoscope kinda looking shot”….easy” © Matthew Thompson (@shotbymatthew)

Eve Arnold famously said “The instrument is not the camera but the photographer.” Long before that, Edward Steichen claimed “A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”

It’s a beautiful sentiment, one that appeals to writers, but as any photographer knows, it only tells part of the story. Shitty Rigs, a submissions-based website and Instagram account dedicated to ingenious things photographers do in a crunch, tells us about the importance of gear and what really happens when it falls apart.

Intimate Photographs of Tiny Creatures in Human Hands

Tamara Lischka

Tamara Lischka

When I first saw these photographs by Portland artist Tamara Lischka, I wasn’t sure if what I was looking at was real. I wondered how these images were made, how the artist had access to the bodies of these creatures, which looked to me at times human, animal, alien, and even manmade or sculptural, perfectly formed and packed with detail.

New Photo Book Challenges Every Stereotype about Blindness

Gerardo-Nigenda

Multi-Looks in Corporal Ascension © Gerardo Nigenda

Satvir-Jogi

Untitled, India, 2011 © Satvir Jogi

“Photography must belong to the blind,” philosopher Evgen Bavcar writes in The Blind Photographer, a new book featuring 150 images created by artists without eyesight, “who in their daily existence have learned to become the masters of camera obscura.”

Marvel at Fleshy Nudes Made Out of Foam

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Imagine a perfectly fleshy pre-Raphaelite bottom, rendered not in paint but in pastel-coloured foam. This is the work of fine artist Etienne Gros, whose series Les Mousses sculpts polyurethane foam around wire skeletons to form undulating chunky forms, uncannily like human bodies but completely inert.

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