30 April 2003

Architecture, a new body of work by Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, is currently on exhibition at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. Shot distinctly out of focus and from different angles, it includes some of the most landmark architectural structures of the 20th century, ranging from the Eiffel Tower, the Barcelona Pavilion, and the Empire State Building to buildings by Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando, and Frank Lloyd Wright, among others in Europe, North America, and Asia. Until 1 June.

Sugimoto is interviewed by Mathew Herbert on Eyestorm. He comments on the Architecture series, originally commissioned by the LA Museum of Contemporary Art for their much acclaimed survey exhibition of 20th century architecture: "The concept of time applies - I'm trying to recreate the imaginative visions of the architecture before the architect built the building, so I can trace back the original vision from the finished product. All the details and all the mistakes disappear; there's a lot of shadows, melting."

Seen in Japan in the 2001 Yokohama Triennial, Sugimoto is perhaps best known for his larger than life Portraits series. "They are not portraits of the original subjects (though their images survive), but portraits of wax figures, rendered with powerful theatricality and superb technical expertise."

Jesse Alexander created perfectly composed images which capture the spirit of car racing in the 1950s and 60s, including the Grand Prix in Monaco and France (via Coudal).

Photomatisme is a playful online art project, taking its inspiration from the photobooth. Click the 'photomatisation' button on the right, and you can construct your own face by selecting a forehead, eyes, nose and neck (via Newstoday).

29 April 2003

A truly exquisite video artwork with a captivating soundtrack that made me stop everything until I'd played it back three times, Densha (1:33, 16 MB) by Terry Green and Nori-Zso Tolson shows us footage of the moving trains, crowds, interiors and platform of JR Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. The detailed graphic overlays--route mapping and station names of the five main JR lines in Tokyo as well as times of departure/ arrival--are based on conway-life pattern sequences and other cellular automata programs (Thanks for heads up, Jason).

In a new photography book published by Aperture, Daughter of Art History, Japanese artist Yasumasa Morimura assumes the identities of the subjects of famous works of art, painstakingly recreated with costumes, hair and makeup design, and inserts himself in the final scene to be photographed. Morimura last exhibited in Tokyo at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in 2001 in the sumptuous Morimura Self Portraits: An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo.

Inspired by the work of French Cubist painter Robert Delaunay, Thomas Kellner presents fragmented images of cultural and architectural icons Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and London's Tower Bridge using special cameras that photograph with eleven pinholes on one negative in his Deconstructions series. An excellent feature article and selection of his work appears in the Aperture Spring 2003 edition.

Currently on exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York is Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle (1994-2002), "a self-enclosed aesthetic system consisting of five feature-length films that explore processes of creation. The cycle unfolds not just cinematically, but also through the photographs, drawings, sculptures, and installations the artist produces in conjunction with each episode. Its conceptual departure point is the male cremaster muscle, which controls testicular contractions in response to external stimuli." Indeed! The Guggenheim is screening all five Cremaster movies, in sequence, on Fridays. Since I'll miss this show (I've been trying to see the Cycle in its entirety for years), I'll just have to be content with his Cremaster Cycle book beckoning from my Wish List. Until 11 June.

Tabloid Pictures from the LA Herald Express between 1936 and 1961 with priceless captions: how about Dragged into court, called insane, or Drain of death, or Mrs Melba Karnes: cult member (via Sharpeworld).

Look At Me, a project started with a few photos found in a Paris street in 1998, have just published fifty-six new reader-submitted found photos (256 to 312).

28 April 2003

The Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive (PYMCA) contains thousands of stock photography images of the younger generation at clubs, raves, festivals, and street parties, into mod, goth, punk, hippy, hip hop, fetish and reggae scenes (via thingsmagazine).

In another instance of media digital photography manipulation, The Memory Hole and the Independent Media Centre comment on the doctoring of a photo depicting a jubilant crowd in Iraq celebrating their new found freedom (via thingsmagazine).

On 10 May, the worldwide May Day Project encourages photographers to submit self portraits, landscapes or macros, candid or posed, snapshots or something more creative to illustrate a day in their life.

Photote is a beautiful photoblog by Emese Gaal who regularly posts strongly composed and richly coloured images for his Photo Friday entries.

Olaf Blecker is a German photographer whose beautifully lit portraits reveal a candid side to his subjects.

My first entry in The Mirror Project appeared today. Shot while on a day safari trip in the Gauteng region of South Africa last year, this is me *NOT* spotting any cheetahs or lions to speak of, but definitely capturing the scenic beauty of the Pilanesburg National Park.

27 April 2003

From 12-18 May, America 24-7 is coordinating a project event that will capture pictures of everyday American life during the course of an ordinary American week, where they are inviting thousands of amateur and professional photographers to share in creating a 'national family album'.

Last weekend, I found a copy of the wonderful Height of Fashion book by Lisa Eisner and others. It features more than a hundred reader-submitted photographs of people remembering the day they felt at their 'most special' - a perfectly coordinated outfit, a long-remembered event, the moment when the subject felt 'themselves' more than any other time in their lives. Embarrassing fashion faux pas aside, this book makes you smile the whole way through. Highly recommended!

Philip-Lorca diCorcia spotlights faces in the crowd on the streets of New York, Tokyo, Calcutta and Mexico City, making an 'instant celebrity' of his subject as they walk into the path of a single overhead hidden light.

Currently on show at San Francisco's MOMA is a major exhibition by one of my favourite photographers, Andreas Gursky, documenting contemporary world culture and global commerce. His work is held in a number of important art museums around the world. Until 1 June.

25 April 2003

Tokyo's Hunkabutta is featured on Photojunkie's 300 exposures project--the third round to spotlight 10 images by 30 bloggers in 30 days.

Given the high penetration rate of mobile phones with cameras in Japan, it was only a matter of time before bloggers started posting photos from their phone cameras (or PDAs) directly to their sites via email. Tokyo's Bastish has written a nifty little Movable Type plug-in which does just that. Local bloggers who have started photo moblogging include nej (Tokyo Boy), hmmn (Wandering Muses), Based on a True Story, and Domo Domo (Do-Moblog). I am currently test-driving one myself, and am working on a concept piece that I'd like to make public next month.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on this growing trend of using camera phones to capture the minute details of every day, and share them instantly with friends. Alasdair Foster, director of the Australian Centre for Photography, says: "Picture messaging" is a natural extension of the compressed language of text messaging. "It's about the transmission of an idea, or a moment, at that moment." While this is an interesting article reflecting on the current cultural zeitgeist, I would argue that their suggestion that "camera phones could also sound the death knell for the photographic film industry, already struggling with the onslaught of digital technologies and the decline of film and processing revenues" is a major over-reaction to a new imaging technology that is still very much in its infancy (via Based on a True Story).

Today's Photo Friday challenge is 'Shadows'. Last week's theme, 'Skin', prompted a beautiful nude submission by Shutterbug.

Jimmy McGrath's flash portfolio features some dynamic fashion, celebrity and lifestyle photography, presented within a unique and innovatively designed site, where each photo has been reworked with a playful sliding illustration complementing the original image (via k10k).

Life Through a Polaroid has posted some wonderful new images for April.

24 April 2003

My post on 22 April on Yuji Saiga's photography of an Gunkanjima has led to some interesting discussion between Kurt and I about the 'fetishization of nostalgia', so today I continue this thread visually by focusing on photographers who take their inspiration from nostalgia of the past.

The first of these is Jeff Brouws, who photographs roadside views of highway America. He comments on his own work:

[It got me] "thinking about the cultural ramifications of what I was looking at, i.e., the history that fostered roadside development as well as the myths American society tells itself about the road...As the final segments of the Interstate system fell into place, effectively choking off the last remnants of two-lane roadside culture across America, I felt the urgent need of the visual anthropologist to get it down on film. Each road trip became a hunt for the obscure and overlooked. I was seeking what I considered to be a more authentic experience of place and situation".
(via indigoblog)

Another fan of roadside America iconography, Troy Paiva documents the abandoned roadside west at night. He also features some great shots of discarded aircraft bodies, and was interviewed about his work on POPcult.

Crossing the Frontier: Photographs of the Developing West, 1849 to the Present was an exhibition held in 1997 at the San Francisco MOMA which explored the ways in which 'the West' has been documented and idealised over the past 150 years. The website galleries feature more than fifty images from the exhibition and an interesting discussion thread on railscapes, photography and western nostalgia.

Nancy Martha West has written a book, Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia, on the evolution Kodak's advertisements and the way that shaped the development of personal snapshot photography by emphasising the importance of the preservation of personal memories. KodakGirl features images of female photographers, many published by Kodak in their advertising campaign of the same name, and also of women actively taking photographs.

My Amazon Wish List fairy godmother has been doing a little shopping for me on the sly - your presents have been MOST gratefully received! Thank you my friend, you know who you are ;-)

23 April 2003

Ernst Haas was a highly-regarded photographer who travelled widely and lived from 1921 to 1986. The impact of his beautiful work has been greatly enhanced by this attractively designed website (via Spitting Image).

The following four links come highly recommended from Tamara Voninski, a fantastic Sydney-based photojournalist (see her photo essays on Sydney's occasional drag queens and the City of the Dead in Cairo), via the inimitable fashion-kitty extraordinaire, Chairman Meow.

Currently based in New York, Ilkka Uimonen is a photojournalist from Finland with a stunning flash portfolio who has travelled extensively to document the world in turmoil, visiting areas such as East Timor, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Kashmir.

in-public explores the art of street photography, featuring artists who "see the unusual in the everyday".

Visual Diaries speaks for itself: photo essays which chronicle the photographers' social/urban landscapes and living environments.

Network Photographers is a London-based independent agency for creative photographers specialising in photojournalism.

Osaka's Pallalink is exhibiting in real space at the Lim Gallery next month - a must-see for Osaka residents. 13 May - 1 June.

Another round of mentions on photography sites today; this time by Mark Goldstein of the ever informative film-digital-global-personal PhotographyBLOG and 990000. Thanks!

22 April 2003

Norio Kobayashi documents his everyday life by photographing the kitchen in his home in great detail. His work is included in an exhibition, Japan: Contemporary Ceramics and Photography between Tradition and Today currently on display in Hamburg at Deichtorhallen. Until 4 May.

Yuji Saiga captured the little-known Gunkanjima (or Battleship Island), located off the coast of Nagasaki, in this ghostly black and white photo essay, Views of an Abandoned Island. The island was used for coal-mining in the 19th century, and at one point housed 5300 residents living in low-rise apartments, until it was deserted in 1974. Student Hiroyuki Kawamura also photographed the island.

Naoya Hatakeyama photographs the beauty of vast Japanese urban cityscapes. This images of Shibuya's underground sewerage tunnel system are moody and ethereal (Thanks for reminding me, Witold!)

Masahisa Fukase prolifically and obsessively photographed Tokyo's much-despised crows from 1975 to 1985. Fukase also participated in a group exhibition with Hatakeyama, Out of Japan, at the V&A in London in 2001.

ArtPhoto is an online contemporary art magazine from Romania, which includes a number of well-considered columns and essays, as well as a high-quality selection of portfolios.

Collaborating with Terry Green and Nori-Tzo Tolson, Jason Koxvold of bubble&squeak has created an supremely beautiful and visually arresting short digital video artwork of the colourful parrots found in the Yuen Po bird park in Hong Kong. The soundtrack is scored by master Japanese electronic musician, Susumu Yokota (whose albums, Grinning Cat, Sakura and Magic Thread, I am particularly fond of).

Three more favourable mentions of esthet on other blogs today: greg.org shares my interest in Thomas Walter; Jim from Wirefarm, another Tokyo blogger, announced my 'official arrival' on the blogging scene; as well as Conscientious, a photography enthusiast from Pittsburgh.

To my great consternation, I experienced *serious* Movable Type headaches today (my fault, not theirs), but MJ came through for me and sorted it out, like the true gem that she is! MJ, YOU are a star!!

21 April 2003

Photobetty is an online 'zine focusing on women in photography, with single image galleries and portfolios. Unfortunately, this interesting site doesn't appear to have been updated since late last year.

Jeanne Hilary's Gentleman, where are you going is a visually stunning flash gallery documenting the artist's first time visit to Calcutta, Dehli, Varanasi, Agra and Bombay.

Rotterdam-based photographer Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek share an interest in the dress codes of different social groups and have systematically documented numerous identities over the last eight years in this striking photographic study, Exactitudes (via thingsmagazine.net).

Yet another innovatively designed flash site, Jorn Tomter's portfolio features beautiful colour travel photography (via 990000).

Yuko Ogura provides an unusual solution to the Tokyo map challenge: she photographs the journey made on foot from Daitabashi Station on the Keio Line in Tokyo to the Nanba Gallery, documenting all of the visual landmarks and reference points passed along the way. Those living outside Japan may not be aware that Japanese streets are not usually named (unless they are major ones), and directions usually consist of "turn right at the big red house" or "go over the bridge past the convenience store, and take the first small alley opposite the double mirrors".

One of my daily reads from the Japan blogging community, nej: Digital diaries from the Tokyo front aka Jean Snow, posted about esthet today. Another of my frequent reads, consumptive, also favourably commented on 19 April (archive link not working) about my site's official launch. Thanks for your support, Jean and James, and welcome to new readers visiting from their sites!

The Cross Atlantic Report has been updated with the February and March media report with photos and videos by Frederic Bonn, Zoe Deleu, Julien Donada and Gregoire Romefort. The calendar view gives access to the individual works by each photographer.

Junichi Sato gives a skewed perspective of life in Tokyo. The train images are particularly disorienting.

20 April 2003

I Photograph to Remember by Mexican photojournalist Pedro Meyer is a moving journey documenting his parents' younger days up till the time of their death (via The Daily Report).

A visual catalogue of the objects (exceeding 170,000 pieces) allegedly stolen during the Iraq Museum looting, although there is not yet any detailed information on which exact objects have gone, which have been damaged, and which have been saved (via dangerousmeta!).

First Photographs: William Henry Fox Talbot and the Birth of Photography is currently being exhibited at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. Until 15 June.

Photo essay on the evolution of Japanese women's fashion in Face to Face: Shiseido and the Manufacture of Beauty 1900-2000, previously exhibited at the Grey Art Gallery (via MeFi).

Three interesting modern/contemporary art and visual culture blogs, with a fantastic collection of links to artists, art events, exhibitions, articles and online discoveries: thingsmagazine.net: new writing about objects, artnotes by Ariana French, and Modern Art Notes, Tyler Green's modern and contemporary art 'fanzine' (via Gabrielle De Montmollin).

Mental Photography is Johanna Thompson's sumptuous, beautifully presented photography portfolio. Select from a range of bold colours in the left menu to view each colour-themed series.

Delve is an online magazine created to explore visual culture through experimentation in design, photography, illustration, and other related visual arts. High Tension, a photo essay by Kevin Cooley, captures empty landscapes spanned by power lines (via thingsmagazine.net).

19 April 2003

Next week Pinhole Photography Day will be celebrated in more than thirty-five countries. In Japan, workshops will be held in Tokyo and Kita Kyushu (via harrumph).

Tips on making a pinhole camera from a Holga, or where to buy one, for the less DIY-inclined.

brownglasses.com is the new online incarnation of long time Netherlands-based photoblogger Rachel James. Her new site innovatively uses beautifully cropped,colourful thumbnail images on the calendar to display her recent entries, instead of the traditional plain text hyperlink used on most sites.

Hand-coloured and alternative-process photographs by Jill Enfield, author of Photo-Imaging: A Complete Guide to Alternative Processes.

George Smith makes infrared images with Kodak and Konica film. I like the ghostly quality of this riverside photograph.

Sebastiao Selgado is showing his breath-taking Exodus series at the Barbican Gallery in London. This emotionally over-powering collection of images of people forced into migration, shot in forty countries between 1994 and 1999, was exhibited at the Bunkamura Museum of Art in Tokyo last year, and was fortunately able to visit. A must-see for London residents. Until 1 June (via PhotographyBLOG).

The Photographers' Gallery is an independent space (a rarity in Japan) in Shinjuku-2-chome, run entirely by photographers. It has just released its second press volume documenting its annual exhibition activities (in Japanese).

Old Japan specialises in photographs of Japan taken in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Mysterious Japanese Girl in Winter Dress and Tattooed Japanese Labourer Drinking Sake are my highlights, as well as the earliest-known photograph in the history of Japanese photography.

18 April 2003

The funeral for Kaveh Golestan, the Iranian photographer who was killed in Iraq when he stepped on a landmine earlier this month, was attended by hundreds of mourners and documented by five photographers.

Other news in the world of photography this week: baby photographer Penny Gentieu had her case dismissed against Getty Images by a judge who accused her of "trying to claim a monopoly on photographs of babies. He called her lawsuit an enormous waste of resources, and chalked it up to Gentieuís 'overexaggerated sense of self-importance'". In essence, she claimed that Getty had directed photographers to copy her best-selling images, whereas the judge countered that "copyright protects the expression of a subject, not the subject itself. '[P]oses are not copyrightable elements where they follow necessarily from the choice of the subject matter or are otherwise unoriginal,' he said."

Quite by accident, my blog has begun trading twice on Blogshares (with a backslash and without). Mr Antipixel seems to think there's something dodgy about it all, but I swear, I can't explain it! All the same, snap 'em up while you can!

Witold Riedel, a prominent blogger with a beautifully designed site who regularly posts his exquisite collection of hand drawn illustrations, also has a diverse collection of images, all sized to 600 x 250, on his site.

Consumptive features an intriguing collection of found photographs.

Robert Schramm, a member of the Dauguerrian Society, shoots modern day daguerrotypes.

Tokyo Style photographer Kyoichi Tsuzuki is currently exhibiting his work in two galleries in Paris. Until 18 May.

Prolific Beijing photoblogger, Ziboy, shows that not everyone in the city has succumbed to SARS hysteria, and have still kept their sense of humour.

17 April 2003

Nabhal Amin, deputy director of Iraq's National Museum of Antiquities, mourns the losses and damage that the museum in Baghad has suffered at the hands of looters.

More images of the plundered museum. Antipixel has a very interesting thread about this devastation to Iraq's cultural heritage.

Tatsumi Orimoto, or better known as Bread Man, has documented his performance art practiced since the 1970s where he binds baguettes to his face and then interacts with the people around him. His work featured in the Yokohama Triennale 2001 and the 49th Venice Biennial.

Stereoscopic views of small-town America, captured between the 1850s and 1910s. In addition to showing buildings and street scenes in cities, towns, and villages, the photographs show farming, industry, transportation, homes, businesses, local celebrations, natural disasters, people, and costumes.

Photo essays by Shaun Boyle on modern ruins. The girls' orphanage, the Arsenal, and Salem Jail are particularly fascinating.

hmmn: musings from the far east(erwood) gave my blog a very complimentary plug yesterday. Welcome to new visitors who are making their way here from hmmn!

Shutterbabe has just posted a new photo series of colourful, beautifully composed images of doors in Mexico and Arizona.

Photography festivals worldwide in 2003 and 2004. The next FotoFest will be held 12 March to 12 April 2004 in Houston, Texas.

16 April 2003

More than six months after I first created a blog and took these humble first steps, I'm delighted to finally unveil esthet (v2). Thanks to MJ, we've given this blog a giant-sized and much-needed facelift, so that I no longer have to be embarrassed about visitors arriving at my site and finding a bland, generic Movable Type template blog. And if you're one of those people who regularly visit esthet, but have resisted linking to me because I asked you not to, then consider this site finally open to the public--link away! For the first time, we have also enabled the comments feature, as I have been receiving feedback that some visitors are frustrated that they haven't been able to leave a comment.

MJ and I still need to tweak the overall presentation and finish applying the layout across secondary areas, but I think we're getting there. We've tested it in IE 5.2 and Mozilla 1.2 for Mac, but we still need to do more cross-platform testing. So if you come across anything a bit odd-looking in the presentation, feel free to let me know.

In case you were wondering, the header image comes from a 1940s photograph that I found about three months ago at an antique fleamarket in Harajuku, Tokyo, a regular source of images for my Japanese pre-1950s found photography collection. There's no shortage of studio and war photography, but, taking my inspiration from collector, Thomas Walther, my selection leans towards snapshots or family photos capturing regular people in western dress and depict every day life, those unposed moments, spontaneous living--in other words, the vernacular.

15 April 2003

Famed war photojournalist James Nachtwey went to Baghdad on assignment for Time and recorded what he saw (via photodude).

Tom Lindsay documented his second bout with cancer through a pinhole camera (via WitoldRiedel).

Tatsuya Sato has updated his black and white portfolio with new images.

The Independent features an article on the photographs that have defined the war in Iraq (via t-melt).

Interview with Japanese artist Miwa Yanagi on her Elevator Girls and My Grandmothers series.

14 April 2003

Acclaimed Japanese street fashion photographer Shoichi Aoki is currently exhibiting his work from his Fruits: Tokyo street style series at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Until 27 July.

Australian interview with Shoichi Aoki on Radio National explaining how he started Fruits, a Japanese magazine dedicated to documenting street fashion, and later a book of the same name.

Fans of Fruits magazine can order back issues on CD-ROM through the Fruits website.

Street photography in and around Tokyo by Akira Sudoh. There are special galleries for Odaiba, Daikanyama and Harajuku.

George Eastman House provides 148 selected images of nudes, marketplaces, canals, and street life in Paris by prolific turn-of-the-century Parisien photographer Eugene Atget.

Gerald M Panter recently completed a project where he travelled to Paris to retrace Eugene Atget's footsteps and photograph his findings. He also photographed contemporary street scenes in Paris.

Japanese fine art photographer Miwa Yanagi visualises several young women who were asked to imagine what type of woman they would become fifty years from now. The resulting series, My Grandmothers, dedicated to all of the grandmothers of the future, was exhibited at the International Triennale of Contemporary Art in Yokohama in 2001 (via jeansnow.net).

Launched last month, Neon Sight is a new Japanese design portal focusing on contemporary art and design.

13 April 2003

As I've been dying to get rid of this Movable Type template design for a while now, I spent yesterday afternoon with MJ collaborating on a new blog design. We will finish tweaking it over the next few days so expect to see a brand new look and feel for esthet which better reflects its photography theme before next weekend.

Stunning sepia-toned photographs of ice forms, made by pouring water into household objects like bowls, vases, and balloons, and then freezing them. They were shot in a pitch black room, using only a flashlight to illuminate the ice (Thanks, Kurt!)

12 April 2003

Todd Hido's beautifully lit landscapes, interiors, and houses at night, mostly void of human presence, have a certain surreal quality to them (via Shift).

Andrew Faris, a self-titled visual thinker, has a lovely collection of polaroids, examining composition, light, perspective, and texture and colour, featured on his site (via Shift).

11 April 2003

The wondrous and unique Pallalink from Osaka has taken his beautiful architectural photography to new abstract extremes this month, although his April 11 post represents a return to his earlier experiments. Buy his blogshares!

Group f/64 was formed in 1932 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area photographers, including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Willard Van Dyke, and Imogen Cunningham. The group was named after the smallest aperture setting on a camera which creates an image with the greatest depth of field, where both the foreground and background are in focus, "in response to the 'artistic', soft-focus, pictorial type of photography which was popular at the time. Emphasis was placed on 'pure' photography, sharp images, maximum depth-of-field, [and] smooth glossy printing paper". Group f/5.6 in Seattle is a playful response to this.

New Zealand fine art photographer, Christine Webster creates stunning large scale cibachrome prints, often focusing on the body, and a masquerade of identity, gender, fantasy and desire.

Another New Zealand photographer, Peter Peryer, produces beautiful black and white images. Neenish Tarts, a popular sweet from Australia and New Zealand, is one of my favourites (I even have this as a postcard on the wall of my office).

In creating mesmorising manipulated images which explore the frontiers of science and technology, Australian artist Patricia Piccinini invites the viewer to question what is real and what is not.

Skin is a photo series by Tariq Dajani of a group of young people in Sweden who have decorated or modified their bodies with tattoos, piercings and scarification (via k10k).

10 April 2003

NTT DoCoMo have just announced the first megapixel camera phone, with Japan's largest supplier of camera-equipped mobiles, J-Phone, countering that it will launch a similar phone in May. The DoCoMo camera phones will have resolutions from 310,000 pixels up to 1.3 million pixels, and will use memory sticks or SD memory cards. This is a big step up from my current model, a J-Phone Toshiba J-T51 keitai which takes pictures at a resolution of up to 288 x 352 pixels, and has an add-on mobile flash unit (via Webmonkey).

The new issue of Scene360 features two lovely photo projects by Markus Shaefer, documenting an installation made by an unknown artist, and Aaron Rintoul, showing a darker side to models.

Outstanding photojournalist and documentary photographer, Ami Vitale, recently won the NPPA's Magazine Photographer of the Year in the Best of Photojournalism 2003 awards for her compelling portfolio depicting ethnic violence in India and the disputed region of Kashmir.

Feature article on Kashmir-based photographer Ami Vitale in The Digital Journalist.

A selection of Ami Vitale's images from her eight month stay in Kosovo, documenting the plight of refugees.

Ami Vitale in Mauritania, where she documented a community whose lives are dominated by the fishing industry.

"There's freedom in allowing for imperfection". Jen Friedberg is a keen enthusiast of the Diana, a cheap medium-format plastic toy camera made in China in the 1960s.

9 April 2003

Photo galleries of the Iraqi War, hosted by The Digital Journalist, selected by senior photo editors at Associated Press, Reuters, Getty Images, Agence France, Corbis, and The New York Times (via kottke.org).

Two helpful Photoshop tutorials on Luminous Landscape: a guide to the digital workflow involved in image processing for more experienced users, and a quick start guide for beginners.

The Pulitzer Prize winners for 2003 have just been announced: the Breaking News Photography division was awarded to the staff photographers at the Rocky Mountain News for their coverage of the Colorado forest fires, and the Feature Photography division went to Don Bartletti of the LA Times for his sensitive portrayal of Central American youths who migrate north to the US in search of their families.

blogg photo is a German photoblogging community which regularly posts some really beautiful work in both colour and black and white.

Brian Walski, the recently fired LA Times photographer, has an extensive track record of awards and publications prior to this incident. These include stories on Kashmir on foto8, the California Press Photographer Association's Photographer of the Year 2001 for a photo essay on violence and hatred in Northern Ireland, and first prize in the General News Division of the 54th Pictures of the Year International, as well as an Award of Excellence in the 59th POY, again for the Northern Ireland series.

A Holy Land, Divided is a powerful black and white photo essay by Kenneth Dickerman, profiling both Israelis and Palestinians; two peoples who've learned to live with daily conflict.

8 April 2003

In Northern Exposure, photographer Olivier Mirguet presents an intriguing view of North Korea, published on foto8. This photo essay, originally shot for Le Monde2, won second prize in the general news division of the World Press Photo 2003 competition.

Photos of the Pyongyang Metro, a North Korean military nuclear installation disguised as a subway, taken in 1998 by Simon Bone.

The traveller behind Around the World in 80 Clicks visited North Korea in 2000, and found that their freedom was extremely limited, that it was problematic to photograph the street life, but that they were encouraged to document its monuments.

London-based photojournalist, Simon Roberts, has an extremely beautiful flash site, which showcases his extensive work in the field, such as the Last Lepers of Mutemwa and AIDS/Children of the Apocalypse, as well as personal projects, including a photo essay on cranes in the London skyline.

Jiri Rezac photographed the Shipbreakers of Chittagong in Bangladesh, where up to 5000 labourers completely dismantle a medium-sized ocean-going vessel of 50,000 tons in less than three months.

Wall of Silence is a study of street youth in Cabramatta (a western suburb in Sydney, Australia) by Tiet Ho.

7 April 2003

The Canon EOS 10D digital SLR camera has been reviewed and discussed on several digital camera and photography sites since its launch last month: photo.net has some useful comments for the new user, Go Inside finds it to be an excellent camera in this class and price range, Digital Photography Review notes that it has a stronger body and feels like a better quality camera overall than the D30 or D60, Steve's Digicams gives it a big thumbs up, especially given its street price of US$1500, and Digital Camera Resource Page gives it a favourable review, although notes that images are too soft at the default sharpness.

Bloggers who have begun a love affair with their new 10D digital SLR include Sushicam from Japan, PhotographyBLOG from the UK, and Roger Cavanagh from Ireland.

Robert Lewis Smith, a mid-career fine art photographer, has some beautiful iris prints and gold and selenium prints online in his two projects, 'The West of Ireland', a recent landscape series, and 'Mimi & Liam's World', a collaboration between the photographer and his two youngest children (via k10k).

Check out German fashion photographer Julia Christe's stunning flash portfolio. Great crisp images, subtle colour palette, and bold composition.

A collection of street photography from France, Italy, USA and the Netherlands on Editorial Photography. The medium format images on the second and third pages are the most striking.

6 April 2003

Several days ago, the war in Iraq claimed its first photojournalist fatality. Acclaimed Iranian photographer and cameraman, Kaveh Golestan, on contract for the BBC, died immediately when he stepped out of his car onto a landmine. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage in Iran in 1988 where he documented the Iranian Revolution and the gassing of the Kurds during the Iran-Iraq War (via consumptive).

An interesting selection of photoblogs from around the world: Nippongraphica from Japan, ziboy from China, f80mm from Brazil, Quarlo from USA, Lightbox from the Philippines, Exposur3 from Germany, Alltm/Ali's Art from Kuwait, Visualmente from Portugal, Apparently Nothing from South Africa, and pixelkitty from Australia.

5 April 2003

At last night's Kohshin Satoh Autumn/Winter Collection fashion show, held in the basement of a public parking building in Azabu Juban, I spotted Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki of Tokyo Lucky Hole infamy in the front row of the audience wearing trademark specs and wild professor hair, attracting a steady stream of autograph requests and souvenir picture takers.

4 April 2003

The Lomographic Society is now selling the Seagull twin lens reflex camera. Originally hailing from China, this low-budget medium format camera has a fixed focal length 75mm coated glass lens with a metal body and manual aperture/shutter speed controls.

Naked is a beautiful photo and interview project featuring sixteen regular people, both clothed and undressed. The subjects examine their own attitudes to their bodies, how they feel being naked in front of someone, and why some of them chose to hide their faces (via MeFi).

The April issue of 28mm.org is now online. The Roads Without Cars polaroid series by Brian Utley was taken near Las Vegas.

Aperture recently re-published Ba ra kei: Ordeal by Roses, featuring the work of famed Japanese photographer Eikoh Hose. In Ba ra kei, Hosoe captured the great modern writer Yukio Mishima nine years before his ritual suicide death in 1970.

Seamus Conlan, director of World Picture News, writes from Iraq about his search for Molly Bingham, the photojournalist who was taken from her hotel on 25 March but turned up more than a week later in Jordan, in April's edition of The Digital Journalist.

PoynterOnline columnist Kenny Irby reports on the digital manipulation incident at the LA Times which led to staff photographer, Brian Walski, being fired.

3 April 2003

Missing American photojournalist Molly Bingham has turned up safely in neighbouring Jordan, after a week spent in custody with three other journalists, including Newsday photographer Moises Saman.

Aidan Kelly's icanphoto flash portfolio site has a lovely collection of images from New York City, Paris and Tokyo (under 'Two'). The camera and film icons which display while the photos are loading are a well used design feature.

Infamous former geisha apprentice, photographer and musician Hanayo (see previous post) is exhibiting her brightly coloured photographs at the agnes b. Ginza store until 8 April.

Stuart Isett's black and white series entitled Kyotoland is one of this month's photo essays on ZoneZero.

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times fired news photographer Brian Walski for digitally altering two news photographs shot in Iraq, and combining them into one image which had a stronger overall composition. ZoneZero's Pedro Meyer provides a commentary on this incident.

2 April 2003

Just to keep things moving along, I've uploaded new images of Shanghai and Suzhou on my temporary splash page. These were all taken with the Polga on Polaroid 84 and 89 medium format film, and are slightly smaller on-screen than actual print size. They're certainly nothing to get excited about yet, especially due to the unremedied light leakage problems and print imperfections, but they do convey the general feeling of street life in eastern China.

Meiji Jingu, Tokyo's largest shrine in Harajuku, is one of the QTVR images on Cyber Shrine.

QTVR images of Setagaya Ward, my local city in Tokyo. This one was taken about three minutes from my apartment, near my local train station on the Keio Inokashira Line (in Japanese).

Nagoya at night and daytime in full screen QTVR.

BlogShares, the fictional blog shares market, has several notable photobloggers' sites steadily increasing in value, including Photojunkie, A Life Uncommon, and Photo Friday. Some of Japan's more prominent bloggers also feature: Antipixel, gmtPlus9, Hmmn, and pallalink.

The Morning News hosts J Geoffrey Badner's beautiful gallery of photographs of life in New York City.

Photojournalist Erik Refner has a new flash portfolio. I particularly like the Rockabilly series (via buffoonery).

1 April 2003

Susan Sontag revises her viewpoint (NYT registration required) from 1977, originally presented in On Photography, in her latest book, Regarding the Pain of Others (via consumptive).

PDN Online features dispatches from the Gulf by photographers covering the war in Iraq and the surrounding regions. The first installment contains updates by New York Times photographer Vincent Laforet, Agence-France Presse's Patrick Baz and Newsday's Moises Saman.

Photojournalist Molly Bingham, on assignment for World Picture News and Esquire, has been missing for six days in Iraq. She may have been expelled from Iraq with several Newsday journalists, but her whereabouts is still not known.

Genyosha publishes the latest photography trade news from Japan in English, including updates on new camera models and lenses introduced into the Japanese market (subscription required).

Right now, for the next ten or so days, the cherry blossoms or sakura in Tokyo are in full bloom, and the entire city is awash with pink candyfloss. Jeremy Hedley waxes lyrical on their fleeting splendour and "voluptuous exhibitionism", calling them the "Mae West of trees". Tokyo Shoes' Nadine is lucky enough to live right next to the beautiful Aoyama Cemetery, a favourite spot for hanami revellers.



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