Great Reads in Photography: March 7, 2021

Every Sunday, we bring together a collection of easy-reading articles from analytical to how-to to photo-features in no particular order that did not make our regular daily coverage. Enjoy!

The 12 Photographs That Shaped This MoMA Curator’s Career – BuzzFeed News

Sarah Meister has been a curator in the Museum of Modern Art’s photography department since 2009. Meister has been captivated by photography since the sixth grade. In May, she will leave MOMA to become the executive director of Aperture, the international photo magazine, and book imprint.

It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized I had no talent as a photographer, and I’d be better off studying photography as a discipline within art history. – Sarah Meister speaking toBuzzFeed News.

She selects 12 photographs that have influenced her career as a curator.

  1. Danny Lyon, “Washington,” August 28, 1963
  2. Rudy Burckhardt, “Untitled, from an Afternoon in Astoria,” 1940
  3. Sabine Hornig, “Window III,” 2001
  4. Bill Brandt, “London,” 1953

Check out the link above for the remaining 8 and full details.

Sony World Photography Awards: 2021 Professional Finalists Announced – All About Photo

This series of images was taken using wide-angle lenses and wireless triggers. With these iconic wild animals, being in close proximity is too dangerous, so you need to be inventive and innovative. This unique perspective is complemented by an aerial image of a hippo pod, as well as underwater images inches away from wild crocodiles. I have aimed for a unique perspective showing the raw beauty and power of the wild; hopefully, through more empathy with nature, we will learn to preserve it. All animals are wild and free.
After the Battle. This image was taken using a wide-angle lens and a wireless trigger. With these iconic wild animals, being in close proximity is too dangerous, so you need to be inventive and innovative. I have aimed for a unique perspective showing the raw beauty and power of the wild. © Graeme Purdy, Northern Ireland, Finalist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

The World Photography Organization has revealed the finalists and shortlisted photographers in the Professional competition for the Sony World Photography Awards 2021. Now in its 14th year, the Awards’ Professional competition rewards a remarkable body of work for technical excellence and a fresh perspective on contemporary subjects.

Taken in and around his hometown of Ourense in the region of Galicia, photojournalist Brais Couto presents a series of poignant and dramatic scenes exploring local events and issues ranging from the effects of the pandemic to forest fires and carnival season.
Birthday. Taken in and around his hometown of Ourense in the region of Galicia, photojournalist Brais Couto presents poignant and dramatic images exploring local events and issues ranging from the effects of the pandemic to forest fires and carnival season. © Brais Lorenzo Couto, Spain, Finalist, Professional, Portfolio, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

The winner of Photographer of the Year 2021 will be selected from the group of Professional finalists and revealed on April 15.

Over 330,000 images from 220 territories were submitted across the 2021 Awards’ four competitions, and more than 145,000 were entered into the Professional competition’s 10 categories – the highest number of entries to date.

This series is a visual investigation of ceremonial events that bring us together and diversions that threaten to tear us apart. Set against the backdrop of traditional rituals intended for human connection, these images comment on what it means to be present with one another in the context of our increasing addiction to stimulus fuelled by social media and consumerism.
Girl with the Red Herring. This photo is a visual investigation of ceremonial events that bring us together and diversions that threaten to tear us apart. Set against the backdrop of traditional rituals intended for human connection, this image comments on what it means to be present with one another in the context of our increasing addiction to stimuli fueled by social media and consumerism. © Michelle Watt, USA, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

The categories are:

  1. Architecture and Design
  2. Creative
  3. Documentary Projects
  4. Environment
  5. Landscape
  6. Portfolio
  7. Portraiture
  8. Sport
  9. Still Life
  10. Wildlife and Nature

At 23, Quil Lemons is the Youngest Photographer to Shoot a Vanity Fair CoverThe Philadelphia Inquirer

© Quil Lemons, courtesy Vanity Fair

Quill Lemons was presented with a Canon instant film camera when he was in high school, and he used it around Philadelphia to photograph musicians.

Lemons’ career started when he was just 20 yr in 2017. He got national acclaim shooting a series called Glitterboy, which showed men of color wearing shimmering makeup and confronting preexisting masculinity notions. Since then, he has shot for The New York Times, Vogue and even been featured at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Lemons, 23, who shoots exclusively on film, has now shot the March Vanity Fair cover with pop giant Billie Eilish, and according to Condé Nast, he is the youngest photographer to do so.

The Grubby Glamour of Juergen Teller’s Photography – The New Yorker

Bulgarian actress, Maria Bakalova (above), starred in the mockumentary Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which earned her a Golden Globe.

German-born, the London-based Juergen Teller, is one of the world’s leading fashion photographers. His website has no photos on it. In fact, it is a totally blank page (I kid you not) except for his and his gallery contacts.

Teller has shot W magazine’s recent “Best Performances” issue. The Internet is lambasting the imagery as amateurish and in poor taste.

The issue features photos of celebrities like Riz Ahmed, Jacob Elordi, LaKeith Stanfield, Jonathan Majors, Steven Yeun, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Tessa Thompson, and more.

Riz Ahmed was posed on a folding chair in front of a large tree on the street. He tweeted “This @wmag shoot was the fastest of my life. 20 seconds, two clicks. Juergen Teller is the OG.”

How a 90-year-old Photograph is Professionally Conserved – Insider

Monique Fischer is a senior photograph conservator with the Northeast Document Conservation Center.. She shows us how to restore a 90-year-old B&W photograph. This includes cleaning the photograph, mending tears, inpainting, and flattening the photograph.

Converting Letters of the Alphabet to Artistic PhotosBored Panda

© Dasha Pears and Jane Kristoferson

Fine art photographer Dasha Pears, and her collaborator and friend, stylist Jane Kristoferson, have created uniquely interesting photo-illustrations of the alphabet. The project has been shot with a minimal budget between Helsinki, Finland, and St. Petersburg, Russia, where each of them resides.

After two years of collaboration, they have finished twenty-three letters. The remaining three will be photographed when the borders between Finland and Russia reopen post-COVID-19.

Pears is a conceptual photographer whose images are dreamlike and whimsical. She always remembered people’s names since she was a kid by associating their initial with a color, which came naturally to her. And the same applies to Kristoferson. This is a form of synesthesia.

© Dasha Pears and Jane Kristoferson

“This is how we found a very cool thing that connected us, and it started from there,” Pears explains to PetaPixel. “We started searching for an idea for an art project, where we could be free from our clients’ will, do whatever we want, and express ourselves fully. [The last three letters] will be awesome, but surely not dramatically different, since the whole alphabet needs to look and feel coherent.”

We wish them all the best in their next endeavor, which, we are told, might be numerals, where we once again expect them to combine real life and surrealism, to stop the viewer in their tracks.

Guide to Reflection Photography – ShotKit

Duplicity. With Duplicity, Barbara Cole’s fifth underwater series, she brings an element of reflection to her work, transforming the strange into otherworldly beauty. © Barbara Cole.

Mirroring reality with a reflection can produce an exciting dimension to an image.

Here are 22 tips for mesmerizing reflection photography.

  1. Go minimal
  2. Use a dark surface
  3. Do vertical reflections
  4. Photograph silhouettes

Check out the link above for the remaining 18 and full details.

The Black Photographers Who Paved the Way for The World We Live in NowBuzzFeed News

Embed from Getty Images

Art institutions in the past have been white-dominated, and perhaps work by black artists and photographers has not been prominently positioned. Also, there was no pressing need to find and preserve African American culture.

The Whitney was recently slammed for buying black photographers’ art indirectly for an exhibition. Currently, Working Together at the Whitney is an unprecedented exhibition that chronicles the formative years of the Kamoinge Workshop, a collective of Black photographers established in New York City in 1963.

Assembled here is the work of over 25 Black photographers who molded our understanding of the past and inspire a new generation of photographers in 2021 and beyond.

As a Blind Bird Photographer, Each Shot I Take Is a Revelation Audubon

Liz Bossoli enjoys bird photography, although she has very limited vision. She is almost totally blind in her left eye and legally blind (20/200) in her right eye from birth.

“I estimate that at least 90 percent of my attempts at photographing birds … are fruitless, but the occasional success makes the time investment worthwhile,” writes Bossoli in Audubon magazine.

Photograph of Artic Fox Selected for a Stamp by Canada Post – Phil Mistry

Arctic Fox (Vulpes Lagopus) on Hudson Bay near Churchill, MB, Canada. Nikon D3S and Nikon 500mm, f/5.6 lens, f8.0, 1/250, 3200 ISO © Dennis Fast 

Dennis Fast is a Canadian wildlife photographer, author, and photo tour leader for over 25 years.

“I took the photo [of the artic fox] at Seal River Lodge north of Churchill in 2013 and submitted it to my friend’s agency a year or two later,” Fast tells PetaPixel. I had no idea that he submitted it to Canada Post until he told me several years ago that it was being considered for a stamp, but I was sworn to secrecy about it.

“Another year went by before he could show me an actual mock-up which he said could be on a stamp within 2-4 years.”

About three times a year, a selection committee sorts through thousands of submissions to Canada Post to select images for inclusion on stamps. The selection is usually made at least 2 or 3 years before the planned stamps are designed and announced often in packages around a theme.

“Imagine my surprise when I found out on February 11 that my image would be on a stamp being launched on February 16!” says Fast.” It was a long wait from the day I took the photo to see it on a Canada Post stamp, but it was an honor to be cherished as a once-in-a-lifetime achievement.”

Fast’s friend serves on Canada Post’s Stamp Advisory Committee. The committee is “blind” to the creatives working on the stamps (designers, illustrators, photographers) to retain objectivity. The details are only revealed to them when the stamps actually launch.

The artic fox is part of a five-stamp series of Snow Mammals featuring five animals found in Canada that are uniquely adapted to surviving in the snowy climate because their otherwise dark coats turn white in winter.

Dennis Fast’s Photos of Polar Bears Frolicking in a Flowery Field
and books: Princess: A Special Polar Bear, and Wapusk: White Bear of the North.

Why MagSafe on MacBooks Should Stay Dead – CNET

The one rumor that has got the whole Apple community very excited is that the MagSafe power connection is coming back to the MacBook Pro models in 2021.

Hurray, no more yanking the new M1 powered MacBook to the ground when I trip over the power cord.

But one reviewer says that that is a terrible idea. What?

Mystery of 60-year-old Alaska Tourist Photos is Solved – CNN

German creative director Jennifer Skupin bought a box of slides at a Dutch flea market back in 2008. She digitized them and tried to locate the people but had no luck.

The photographs were shot by a Dutch traveler in the newly inaugurated state of Alaska in the 1960s. Now after more than a decade, she shared the photos with CNN.

A 71-year-old former elementary school teacher recognized her shy 10-year-old self playing with the tip of her scarf in one of the photos. And the rest is a happy photo history for one lucky family!

Rare White Kite Photographed in Wales, UK – Powys County Times

© Sean Weekly

Sean Weekly takes his bird photography seriously. Rather, too seriously, because whenever I send him a message, he promptly replies that he is in the hide for the whole day. A hide, incidentally, is a camouflaged tent-like device with a peephole where you literally hide and photograph birds.

Weekly, 31, lives in central Wales, UK. He was recently fortunate to capture an incredibly rare white kite playing in the snow. The normal and majestic red kite is usually deep reddish-brown. The white kite is not an albino, but it develops a partial loss of pigmentation and gets icy-blue eyes due to leucism.

© Sean Weekly

“I’m not sure on total numbers, but there are 10,000 red Kites in the UK,” Weekly informs PetaPixel. “However, there are only approximately 10 leucistic Red Kites in the whole of Wales. You do not get Red Kites in the US, sadly.”

Why I Like This Photo – Billie Weiss

BOSTON, MA – MAY 12: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox reacts as a tub of Powerade is poured on him following a victory against the Houston Astros on May 12, 2016, at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

This image of Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts being doused with Powerade following a team victory in 2016 was a fun image to capture and one that stands out for me in my portfolio.

This particular image stands out from the rest, largely due to the emotional appeal it carries. Xander’s expression is priceless and highly visible in the midst of how the Powerade fell around his figure. Actually, seeing the facial expression through the mess of liquid and ice can be a rarity for these types of images.

The blue color of the liquid contrasting against the uniform’s reds and whites gives the image a bold, vibrant color palette, and the way the liquid happened to fall creates a nice frame around the subject. The actual cooler itself fell right behind Xander’s head, giving him a halo-like effect, which draws the eye right to his facial expression. The television reporter, ducking out of the way to avoid taking a hit but still holding the mic to record sound, creates an added sense of drama and chaos to the moment and scene as a whole.

This was shot from approximately 50 feet away with a Nikon D4 and a Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 lens. The exposure was 1/1000 at f/2.8, ISO 1600. Typically, I shoot post-game showers up close with a wide angle, but I couldn’t get there in time because this happened so quickly, so I had to play it safe with my telephoto. The use of the telephoto actually enhances the texture of the liquid droplets and crushes out the background to dark obscurity. So, although not planned, the lens choice worked in my favor in creating separation from the subject to the background elements.

As a sports photographer, I am often drawn to features and emotional images more than the actual game action on the field of play itself. As fans, what we all love most about sport are the emotions it can evoke – the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and everything else in between. This image brings the viewer right into that victorious feeling, and you can’t help but smile when you look at it.

Billie Weiss is based in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is the Senior Manager of Photography for the Boston Red Sox. Since 2012, Billie has documented numerous notable moments in Boston Red Sox history, including the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, David Ortiz’s retirement, and two World Series championships in 2013 and 2018. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he holds an M.S. in Journalism from Boston University.

Quote of the Week (or a Previous Week)

It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter. — Alfred Eisenstaedt

To see an archive of past issues of Great Reads in Photography, click here.

We welcome comments as well as suggestions. As we cannot possibly cover each and every source, if you see something interesting in your reading or local newspaper anywhere in the world, kindly forward the link to us here. ALL messages will be personally acknowledged.

About the author: Phil Mistry is a photographer and teacher based in Atlanta, GA. He started one of the first digital camera classes in New York City at The International Center of Photography in the 90s. He was the director and teacher for Sony/Popular Photography magazine’s Digital Days Workshops. You can reach him via email here.

Image credits: All photographs as credited and used with permission from the photographers or agencies.

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