Jesse’s book review, Exiles by Josef Koudelka
Jesse’s next book is one that is personally very important to me. This is my favourite photo book and a body of work that is important to me. This is my go-to book for anytime I am looking for inspiration, or when I want to learn more about how to see. I hope that you enjoy this one as much as I do.
Another strong piece by Jerome Arfouche
In a continuation of his submissions for this site, Jerome Arfouche talks to us all about the the aesthetics of non-aesthetics. Please comment and share your thoughts.
Having recently been in the darkroom again after a long period of absence, I was fortunate enough to have the chance to produce about 50 contact sheets of my recent work. I had quite forgotten what a thoroughly rewarding and wasteful experience this was. Rewarding in that you can clearly see what you have been doing and how you have been evolving, wasteful in that you realize most of what you have done is rubbish, and that these sheets will never be seen by anyone but you.
Which is what this video is about, I have found a series of videos by great photographers talking about their contact sheets and how they use them. This is a deeply personal insight into the work of people that we have created an image of in our minds. I think we forget that it takes a great many shots to find that truly great one, and the shots you see in the gallery or the magazine have been carefully selected from a great many shots that didn’t work. This is especially true now in the digital age, where you can just junk things that you don’t like. We rarely get to see how the photographer actually selects what they have taken, so this is a nice insight into the mind of a great photographer.
Leonard Freed (1929-2006) was an American photographer born to Jewish immigrant parents in New York. After studying arts in New York, in the 1950′s he travelled around Europe and photographed the Jewish communities that were recovering from the holocaust. working as a photojournalist, he found his direction during the sixties whilst traveling with Martin Luther King, Jr. And following the American civil rights movement. During this time he produced his book Black and White America, which became a considerable talking point during this turbulent era.
Freed Joined Magnum in 1972 and continued to work in difficult and often dangerous environments including Israel, Lebanon, Turkey. His work with the New York Police dept led to another book Police Work, published in 1980.
All in all a great photographer with a unique view on times of great upheaval and change.
Hope you enjoy this one.
I first came across the work of William Albert Allard when I was a teenager, as I was given a monthly subscription the National Geographic for my 13th birthday. For me NatGeo was a photographic revolution, I could not get over how people could capture such moving and inspiring images. Although I was not aware of his name at the time, Allard’s work piqued my interest, I found his use of colour and light to be unconventionally interesting.
Allard has been working either directly or as a freelancer for NatGeo for over 50 years, producing a massive body of work. He has also contributed to the Magnum Agency during his career.
Perhaps his most well known work ‘Amish Folk: Plainest of Pennsylvania’s Plain People’ was actually done when he was an intern at NatGeo, before he even had a full time position!
I think what really sets Allard apart from the rest of the photographers of his generation is the fact that he uses colour almost exclusively in his work. I think my favourite body of work that he has produced is ‘Vanishing Breed – Photographs of the Cowboy and the West’. This is an outstanding body of work that does not sugar coat the West, but really shows us the hardship and the happiness that he felt and saw. There are 100 pictures in the book, taken between 1965 and 1980, from New Mexico through to Montana. They give us a vivid and moving view of the real Wild West, which is something precious few can do.
If you have the chance to own this book then I suggest you do so, you will not regret it. In the meantime, check out the video and get some inspiration.
The final installment in the Josef Koudelka series that I started posting last week. His work ins comedic, timeless, melancholic and everything inbetween. I just wish I could afford to own his books.
The second installment in the Josef Koudelka series of videos that I have promised to post.
Koudelka’s images are incredibly inspiring, it is hard not to be moved by his work. I particularly like his statement “I want to see everything, look at everything, I want to be the view itself”.
A nice little short film about the beautiful work of Elliot Erwitt. He talks about the city that he loves and shares his pictures.
An mini documentary on the stunning and iconic work of the great Elliot Erwitt.
This guy has been around forever, and has been a member of the Magnum agency since the beginning. In this documentary he talks a little bit about his work, influences and what he enjoys. A great insight into a great photographer.