Two contrasting yet oddly complementary bodies of work I've come across recently, both of them I think quite excellent, each in its own way:
Retro: Our friend Herman Krieger has posted a set of documentary pictures that were all taken on film with the delightful new Fuji GF670, a camera that's as retro as you please (folders haven't been common since maybe the 1950s, nor au courant since a couple of decades before that). The set is called "Junction City Junction" (Junction City, Oregon, is 15 miles north of Eugene). I find Herman's documentary photography poignant: the settings are usually plebeian but the people look honest and friendly. I feel Herman's presence in his pictures: people seem to face him openly and with good humor. I'd love to see him work. He clearly has a knack.
Futuro: Meanwhile, a project that's been getting some viral mindshare in recent days is Joshua Brown's book Italy. Talk about up to the minute: it was shot on an iPhone, processed with an app (Camera+), and published as a Blurb Book. You can see the whole book at Blurb (looks best in Full Screen). Seems a model of about the best you can do creating a photographic memento of a vacation. (Josh has many sites; for one, he does weddings.)
The two projects seem opposite in many ways: one shot with a camera that's obsolescent even for a film camera, the other with one that's newfangled even for a digital; one documentary, yet with something of the plainspokenness of the hobbyist photographer, the other romanticized, yet with something of the slickness of the professional. One taken at home and the other on vacation. One about strangers, the other, family. Yet together they probably illustrate, more than anything, that good work has more in common than not, and that a project's success has little to do with the medium that's chosen to create it.
(Thanks to Richard Parkin and others)
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.