Beatrix Von Conta

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 - Nicholas Calcott

Beatrix von Conta, from the series “Tel Quel”

Zoum Zoum has a brief (oh so brief) write-up of Beatrix von Conta. I hadn’t seen her work before, but the samples on the blog are lovely. Inspired by this, I did a quick search for her other work and I have to admit I’m impressed. She has a lovely grasp of landscape and photo history.

In Archive News…

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 - Nicholas Calcott

Veruschka in chemise, by Horst P. Horst, from Cond√© Nast’s online store.

Biblioth√®que de Toulouse just joined Flickr’s commons.

And Shoot blogs about Cond√© Nast’s online store.

Ruining Photos

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 - Nicholas Calcott

No words can describe this.

Ever seen Style Wars? That great documentary, set in 1983, is an overview of graffiti culture. The whole thing is presented as a kind of Eden, until about halfway through, when the “bombers” show up. Previously, most graph was these huge, glorious murals, intended to showcase the artists skill and get his name out through sheer artistic ability. When the bombers pop up, their M.O. is to basically tag as much as possible, as quickly as possible, frequently over other graffiti writers’ work.

The same thing is (kind of) happening with photography.

PDNPulse reports here.

Asylum, via The Moment, reports here. [The Moment also, incidentally, links to a gallery of photos of Charleton Heston’s underground gun bunker. It feels very Taryn Simon.]


An Assistant’s Tale

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 - Nicholas Calcott

Given that I currently gain a large portion of my income from assisting, I get a kick when the old timers start going with the tales. Reciprocity Failure has one such tale that starts (in my imagination) “When I was your age, Sonny, we had to walk 50 miles through the snow, uphill both ways…”

All kidding aside, though, I can’t count the number of times I’ve wanted to pull a stunt like this:

So I smiled at his self satisfied mug as I repositioned the office typewriter from his desk onto my shoulder (that’s right kids, computers were just a gleam in your mother’s eyes), walked out the studio, and slept soundly every Sunday morning since.

Read the full story here.

Provincial Japan

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 - Nicholas Calcott

Guido Castaglioni, from the series “Provincial Japan”

Over on Foto8, Guido Castaglnoli has a glorious slideshow of work he’s done on small town Japan. I can’t help but find my own creepy parrallels with places like Coney Island and the strip malls that go for miles as you approach American cities.

What Is “Good” Art?

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 - Nicholas Calcott

Ed Winkelman on his so-good-it’s-depressing blog has opened up a can of worms by opening a thread on “how we, collectively, conclude an artwork is ‘good.'” He goes over some interesting points, and what he misses his commenters pick up on. From one, Jonathon T.D. Neil:

Anything “collective,” consensus or otherwise, requires strong communicative channels with low entropy, and narrative offers one of the most enduring forms of this. Within the narratives or stories we tell ourselves and one another about works of art, there will always be stronger and weaker players or characters. The strength and weakness of those characters might have to do with their purchase on originality, or their (excessive) exchange value, or some other thing. Whatever it is, what matters is that it’s able to take root within an enduring narrative; indeed, it plays a part in making the narrative itself enduring. So, I think judging a work of art “good” depends upon the strength of the story it can either generate or in which it can take up residence (and so augment).

Go over there now to join the argument or just soak it all up.

Toru Aoki

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 - Nicholas Calcott

Toru Aoki

Following with the generally morbid tone around here today, here are Toru Aoki‘s ghostly images, featured on i heart photograph a while back.


Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 - Nicholas Calcott

Evelyn McHale

She was right on target. Soaring from a thousand feet up, she hit the bull’s-eye, landing on top of the roof of the car, her long legs demurely crossed. I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

From the NY Times article, “Crashing To Earth, Again And Again.” [via The Constant Siege]

Color Management In Firefox

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 - Nicholas Calcott

If the above image looks like the four parts are four different colors, you don’t have color management enabled.

This has bounced around a bit but I’m going to go ahead and repost it because it’s absolutely essential if you look at photos on the web using Firefox.

The long-awaited Mozilla Firefox 3 for Mac and Windows, which emerged from beta at 10AM Pacific today, is the latest web browser to support the colour managed display of photos with embedded ICC profiles. That’s the good news. The bad news is it’s turned off by default.

Rob Galbraith has a tutuorial and you can download the necessary plug-in from Firefox’s plug-in page. If you have trouble with that (like I did), you can also find it on the developer, Sean Hayes. [Shoot and Photoaddict]

Look At Me

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 - Nicholas Calcott

Stumbled across this wonderful gem of a site, which I oddly had not seen before. Worth a quick tour, or a longer one.