"In America, the chasm between rich and poor is growing, the clash between conservatives and liberals is strengthening, and even good and evil seem more polarized than ever before. at the heart of this collection of portraits is my desire to remind us that we are all equal, until our environment, circumstances, or fate molded and weathered us into whom we have become.
I photograph what I love about my country, which is the American. By that I mean the individual who is shaped from more than 200 years of liberty and independence missed with all the successes and failures that America has experienced in its short life. So here is a collection of these creatures. Tragic and wonderful, great and ordinary, they stand proud and ready for scrutiny." - Mark Laita
I was inspired by Joseph Rodriguez before I realized I was looking at a Joseph Rodriguez photograph. Several years ago I picked up a copy of The Beat Within, Illustrations from the Inside, which along with artwork included a few photographs from Joseph Rodriguez. It would be a few years as my interest for photography grew before I started to connect the photographs I'd stumble across on the net to the name, Joseph Rodriguez. This text Juvenile is a work of art... an incredible collection that tells a powerful story of the lives represented through Rodriguez's lens along with Rodriguez's own life as well. Below is a link to the Amazon location for purchase and the quote included at the beginning of the book by James Baldwin, source "Autobiographical Notes".
"One writes out of one thing only - one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art. The difficulty, for me, of being a Negro writer was the fact that I was, in effect, prohibited from examining my own experience too closely by the tremendous demands and the very real dangers of my social situation." - James Baldwin
Recently caught an episode of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on Fernando Valenzuela, titled Fernando Nation by filmmaker Cruz Angeles. In the 80s I collected sports cards for basketball, football, and baseball. I got rid of most of my card collection hanging on to some of my favorite cards of the time. These two are my only Fernando Valenzuela cards. Quite a story. The first card covers statistics between the years of 1980-85' and the second Upper Deck card covers years 1986-90'. 1990 was his last year as a Los Angeles Dodger. The entire Fernando Nation documentary can be viewed on YouTube: click here.
"I asked for a writing/photography job. I showed them a few things I'd published - in my high school newspaper, for Cal State's MEChA newspaper, a letter to the editor. They seemed impressed. People poised towards writing were rare finds. They also asked if I'd work the darkroom, developing film and operating a halftone camera, a large mechanical contraption that resided photos and made halftone reproductions for the layout editors. I said sure, I wanted to learn.
With a camera and a notepad, I covered car accidents, gang shootings, weddings, and graduations. I overworked at this job, which paid hundreds of dollars less a week than I had made in industry. As the only photo developer at EGP, I also spent many hours a week in the darkroom, set up next to the layout room. I developed rolls of black-and-white film in canisters. We used the old method with chemicals - developer, fixer, running water. I made contact sheets that Jonathan used to pick out the pictures I then developed for the newspapers."
Maria Varela says, "I never considered myself an artist... I had a job to do, and I couldn't affford the luxury of being an artist... But there was a reason I was shooting in the first place... And basically the theory behind my shooting was these are strong beautiful people that are not seen in this country. They are not paid attention to. They are not icon material, you know, but here they are." Not exactly what you learn in the photojournalism class where the pursuit of the icon, the completely self-referential image, is defined as the goal that protects the photographer's "objectivity." Varela says, "I knew you not only had to use the words of local people about how they did something, you had to also use pictures showing them taking leadership roles in their own communities."
Article: Getting Past the Icon - Should Photographers Depict Reality, or Try to Change It?
A Vibrant History: Colorizing the Archives of History Source: Time.com | To view imagesclick here*
"The photo archive of Abraham Lincoln, the subject of this week's cover story, is a much smaller set
due to the technological limitations of the time; most of the existing
photographs of the 16th president are posed portraits, the majority of which
only show Lincoln from the chest up—and all are black-and-white.
But TIME commissioned Sanna Dullaway to create a more vibrant document of
Lincoln through a series of colorized photographs produced in Photoshop. After
removing spots, dust and scratches from archival Lincoln photographs, Dullaway
digitally colorizes the files to produce realistic and modern versions of the
portraits, which look like they could have been made today.
The 22-year-old Swedish artist began colorizing images in January 2011, when
she was listening to the debut album by rock band Rage Against the Machine. The
self-titled album’s cover art is a black-and-white picture of a self-immolating monk taken by AP photographer Malcolm Browne.
“I thought the normally fiery flames looked so dull in black and white, so
I…looked for a way to make them come alive,” she says. Dullaway colorized the
flames, and eventually, the entire picture. She then posted the image on Reddit,
and it instantly went viral."
I decided to mess around with the Panorama function for the first time today. This my first Panoramic shot. I was thinking about that Apple iPhone photo commercial. Gonna read on how to shoot these a lil' better and post/print a few some day.
At my nephew's b-ball game today I noticed my neice rockin' the SLAM socks that my bro says they found at Ross. In our family, SLAM is the official b-ball magazine. Was subscribed since issue Number 2, "Shawn Kemp SuperFLY!". I hit the shutter button on my camera a little more than 500 times this week. This shot is one of my favorite ones.
"Malcolm X Ahead of His Time In Understanding the Power of the Media"
Full Article: click here | Source: Atlana Blackstar
"Malcolm X often carried a camera, his way of 'collecting evidence', as Gordon Parks once observed. When photojournalists visited the community, he tried to steer them towards the kinds of affirmative images - shots of contended family life, children at play and school, and thriving business and institutions - that might subtly ameliorate the negative texts that he knew would inevitably accompany them.
In the end, i twas the same precision and high level sophistication of Malcolm's self-presentation that reads most vividly in Flora's photograph. His fashionable, well tailored cloths, chic eyeglasses, relaxed yet formal posture and refined hand gesture were important details meant to convey both compsure and authority.
No matter Flora's motivation for taking the picture, his subject, much as always, succeeded in getting his message across."
Chance as a Photographer's Tool, 'Shooting from the Hip in Chicago':click here
Article by John Makely of photographer Scott Strazzante | NBC News
"Strazzante started with the "shooting from the hip" method as a way to avoid that camera awareness of his subjects. "No one is putting on a show, even though they are in public, they still have a reality to it. There's not any kind of influence from me because I'm just another pedestrian," he said.
Additionally, Strazzante discovered a path to a newfound creativity along the way. "I came to realize that the compositions that I made that were more happenstance are more interesting than the ones that my brain could put together. I really enjoyed that suprise of, oh, this leg is in there framing this or, I got low enough for this, all this was in the frame."