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Friday, 16 January 2009


Nah, can't smell the carpet. The pic is broken. :-) I can see only the bottom third, the rest is black.

[quote]Several people have accused me, in the aftermath, of an intolerance for fantasy, which might be true. But there's good and bad in every genre,[/quote]
There was a time I was the subject of angry replies in a photography thread when I spoke out against landscapes with plasticized rocks, electric-blue skies, 5-year old kids who looked 65 - all the result of over-photoshopping. Meaning, I agree the Romulus and Remus photo collage was not pleasing.

I would say, that the photo of the man looking under the sofa, is a good one.

Thanks. I really enjoyed that.


No need to apologize the picture was horrible. I am reading Brooks Jensen's book Letting go of the Camera. Bad art is bad art. We are so afraid of saying that nowadays. We are told that it shows that we are intolerant and no one wants to be labled that anymore! I believe that we should be intolerant of bad art, especiallly when it is displayed to the world as the work of a great artist.

I read your site because you are willing to make a stand even if it isn't popular. Like your calling the Canon 5D MkII the camera of the year. You have gotten bashed for that too. I won't be purchasing that camera either (micro 4/3 is likely my new format) but I respect how you arrived at that decision through careful evaluation of it's long term impact on photography. Overall it is likely a leap of change whereas the others are just great examples of incremental technological evolution.

Keep up the good work, it's the only reason I come here.

Photographs like these are eye candy no doubt and I'm sure we all have great photographs in our head. The problem I have and it keeps me awake the odd night is that is the shot only skin deep? I can just about live with staging the truth, I've taken some portraits that are very interesting visually (says me) but I struggle to use them if I feel the shot's more about invention then my intention. My intention is usually to show something in its true light (as best you can in a photograph) as those are the photographs I enjoy viewing most. That’s not to say that all invention in photography is bad, it’s just most of the photographs that I have seen of that nature lose there appeal quite quickly. But then I’m a Cindy Sherman fan so go figure.

I, for one, don't think you need to apologize for your comments on the Annie Leibovitz's "Romulus and Remus" image. Where, at one time long, long ago, I would look through the fashion magazines for great images now whenever I occasionally do that I find the photography uninspiring to say the least. I have considered that in my vintage years I am just being cranky but ... last night I was flipping through a copy of Vanity Fair making comments such as , crap, overexposed, no composition, scare a dog off a gutwagon, when I said, Ah! finally a good image, then started to laugh. ... Reading the caption it turned out to be an image of Josephine Baker shot in 1929 by George Hoyningen Huene.

I guess I am not getting cranky after all.

I found the personal work to be a little bit thin. The commercial stuff, imo, is MUCH better.

I think that tends to be the case with most photographers who try to present "personal work" while they are deeply involved in running a commercial business. most.

This guy's website just bugs the crap out of me..jumpy thumbnails always make me go bye bye, which I did because it's annoying.

Absolutely no need to apologize for the Liebovitz criticism, it was wholly warranted and fully justified.
That really was a picture with no redeeming value, none-zip-nada.

Lemoigne's pictures look very interesting, but after 2 minutes I had to close the page because the scrolling flash website was driving me crazy. So many photo sites are like this, and it really takes away from enjoying the pictures.

I agree that Annie Leibovitz's "Romulus and Remus" photo is just plain bad, but this photo comes in a close second. I visited Jean-Yves Lemoigne's site and have to say that his photos lack any real imagination.

I know I've seen some of this fellow's work before this. Some very clever, humorous stuff. Yes, fantasy, but no more so than so much of today's ad work. While concept and lens work are certainly laudable I can't avoid thinking that there is at least one uncredited expert Photoshop guru that performs much of the creation.

Great photography, but that must have been the slowest site I've ever visited. I gave up after 5 frames, since each would tale about 6-10 seconds to load.

I like some of the images on his web site--although not the particular image you selected. I "get" it, I think, but it doesn't really appeal to me.

On another note, I saw one of the images from that Leibowitz shoot on a billboard in Toronto. It was the one with the model photoshopped in front of Trevi fountain. They cropped it pretty heavily, so that you can only see the model and just enough of the fountain to recognize the image.

Thanks Mike. I think I may have seen some of Jean-Yves's stuff before (without knowing it), as the style looks familiar, but it was great to spend a few minutes browsing through his site, which is easy to use despite Flash. Kudos to him just for that.

I simply *LOVED* his series of photographs with the black man (literally "black") directing people's actions. It's simply superb, sending a message much stronger than any 1000 word essay could. Looks like the old saying might be right after all.

There are some very nice pictures on his site. I wonder how he made the floating light-ball pics.

Lemoigne is amazing, thanks for the link!

I won't get into babies dressed as daisies (or ladybugs). That could get a lot more heated.

I thought your comments were quite brave, and true. I used to like Annie's work but now it represents the worst direction photography can go in....Just shoot it and fix it later, I see this as a pro photographer when I have photography students on work terms.
My best photos were taken when I had to save for a roll of film and count my shots. Who ever thought post production would get so crazy, come to think of it the designer and production people get more than I do for an Annual Report.

Inventive, surprising and humorous. Thanks for the link.

Indeed, I'm not seeing see any appreciable difference between Lemoigne's personal portfolio vs his commercial portfolios as presented on his web site. (In fact one or two images seemed to be shared.) I can see how that can be a good thing, but I felt just a little let down by that; not by the work itself, and not even by the consistency of style... I think it was more to do with the consistently high, commercial-caliber production values. Is that just grumpy of me?

No, Mike, your comments were not intemperate. In fact I think they were well-chosen words that his the nail squarely on the head. No question that Leibovitz is one of our reigning greats in photography--a fine portraitist and inspired documentary artist. But this image is a waste of her talents and time--I hope she made a bundle for it!


Reminds me a great deal of Gregory Crewdson's photography.

I don't like the Liebowitz shot....it is heavily photoshopped and looks just what it is...a blend of disparate elements that supposedly "subvert" a mythological story. Check out the winner of the International Aperture Awards this year...Jamie Oliver hanging amongst some carcasses ina butchers shop...funny? I don't think so. Maybe that's just me. Great photography? Once again I don't think so.


The Liebowitz shot is an unimaginative display of hubris. The image lacks the power of the original. The original piece of Etruscan art was later modified to add the babies. Here's what Gardner's Art Through the Ages writes
Nothing wrong with using great art as a springboard, as Picasso said, "Good artists borrow, great artists steal".
This is an example of how great talent can still produce crap.
I'm sure the money was good.

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