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December 7, 2008



© Henri Cartier-Bresson (Pierre Bonnard, assis 'Deville' 1944)


Bonnard used to say “what are you after?.. why this instant?.. why press the shutter just then?”

I just answered “why did you just put this stub of yellow?”

He laughed. We knew sensibility cannot be explained.

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pinhole is cool

November 7, 2008


For all those enjoying the pleasures of a pinhole camera, or even better, for those who always wanted a reason to try, click here for a Corbis link to five cool and funky designs of a pinhole camera. Download and print them for free :)

Don’t forget to check out the gallery as well. Are you surprised by the power of the pinhole photography? To add one more example,  I have included here a photo by Steve Gosling (below), which was the winner of the ‘Places’ 2006 competition by the journal Black & White Photography (Issue 66)


© Steve Gosling

This photograph made by a pinhole camera revealed the ‘eerie formations’ of Yorkshire’s Brimham Rocks – formed of a tough sandstone known as millstone grit, a task that was not easy to capture with a standard camera.

According to the photographer, “it’s very difficult when using a standard camera to find a composition that works, because the rocks are very scattered. But the pinhole camera accentuates the texture of the rocks in the foreground in a way that a standard camera wouldn’t.” He also explains that the long exposure, because of the pinhole’s f/138 aperture, and the resulting movement in the tree and the clouds gives a picture a lift.

think different: the new american

November 5, 2008

The night when Barack Hussein Obama was elected as the new U.S. president, adding new meanings to the American identity, I prefer to look at some photographs from the past. And then accompany them with few comments of scepticism.


Lee Friedlander (Paul Tate, Lafayette, Louisiana 1968)

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fast & changing world (part I)

October 25, 2008

Keith Loutit employed and combined ’tilt-shifting’ and time-lapse photography in order to create the video below. The method of tilting the lens of the camera helped him to control the orientation of the plane of focus, and select an area of focus that deviates from the usual case, which is parallel to the camera. A large aperture was also used to achieve a very shallow depth of field. The images were manipulated so that they look like photographs of a miniature scale model and, given the high vantage point too, the scene seems much smaller than it actually is.

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Unleash your potential

October 3, 2008

There is a time when not knowing what day it is feels very wrong, particularly when you end up buying the stale bread from the shelf. But most other times, it seems just fine.


© Christos Stavrou (untitled, 2008)


There is a poem by Charles Bukowski claiming that…

there are worse things than
being alone
but it often takes decades
to realize this
and most often
when you do
it’s too late
and there’s nothing worse
too late

There is a time when, despite being surrounded by so many people, someone feels their own body freezing out and the spirit turning into a statue from inside out. Suddenly, this time, one cannot simply move away or keep walking backwards and forwards, eagerly compensating for the time running out. In fact, those with the higher antennas might be the first ones left out; amateurs, angels, and professionals altogether… All this despite, again, that we all need – in the end – a certain level of emotional superficiality… And despite how everyone is aware that the sound of petrified legs hardly echo the most wanted and abused word at the moment, ‘friend’.

How could a body like this have a big love anyway!


© Christos Stavrou (untitled, 2008)

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October 2, 2008

© Anne Turyn, 12-17-1960, from 'Flashbulb Memories' (1986)

“Colour expands a photograph’s palette and adds a new level of descriptive information and transparency to the image. It is more transparent because one is stopped less by the surface – colour is more like how we see. It has added description because it shows the colour of light and the colours of a culture or an age. While made in the 1980s, the palette of this image by Anne Turyn seems to date the picture a generation earlier.”

From ‘The Nature of Photographs by Stephen Shore (Phaidon 2007) p.18.


Yet, while I was recently watching The Genius of Photography (Episode 4) it came as a pleasant surprise to hear how William Eggleston was described as unreadable. This is the photographer of course, who brought serious colour photography into the mainstream art world (see for example a review by Photo Book Guide).

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Highlights from the Archives

October 1, 2008

"Always happy" (10.07.2007). Exploring the relationship between photography and authority. The GDR authorities insisted that their citizens should always be depicted smiling. Read more...

"The right background: new freedoms" (11.09.07). The need to choose the 'right' visual background reveals the increasing anxiety felt by those representing our malleable reality, from the Taliban to the White House. Read more...

"More photography = more democracy?" (15.06.07). Recent violent incidents in Hyde Park, Leeds' student area, raised questions about controversial methods of policing and the alleged democratic potential of photography. Read more...

But how photography managed to become critical and subversive within GDR’s political setting? Read more in the post “Do not refreeze” (27.07.2007). Considering how our context and definitions are different now, could photography claim a similar social and political role?