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Friday, 31 March 2017

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Glad that you like the Freed in your incipit. Bought a signed print at Leica Gallery in NY twenty years ago. Happily looked at it on my walls every day since!

As a quasi-misanthrope, my affection for cities has always been a bit paradoxical, but having recently spent a few years in Asheville, NC, I realize that I need more concrete, more density, more dynamics. Consequently, I’m trying to relocate to Chicago, having already lived in NYC, Tokyo, Bangkok, Boston, and DC (which is not really a city—-don’t be fooled). Tokyo will forever remain my favorite.

As for photography, I love shooting within an urban environment, because I love walking around in an urban environment. As such, I generally shoot, perhaps inevitably, “street photography,” which has drawn increasing scorn these days. Too many hipster types going out firing multiple rounds of recklessly random shots of folks, posting them all over the place without any editorial restraint, or so the complaints go.

However, while I can find something interesting to photograph almost anywhere you place me, I cannot think of anywhere outside of cities that interest me in terms of photography. When I lived in NYC, I found Central Park an annoying obstacle separating the upper east and west sides. While I made a few earnest attempts, I think I took only two or three photos in the obstructionist plain. I also found the whole of NYC increasingly immersed in plutocratic sterility, but that’s another discussion.

Anyway, the Leonard Freed photo is not one I’ve previously seen, but it does well to illustrate why ‘street’ remains my favorite genre, at least in the ambiguous term’s broadest sense. And it underscores why my favorite period of photography generally falls between the mid-1920s to the early-1970s, although I certainly love a number of photographs and photographers before and after this stretch. And no, I don’t have a ‘nostalgic’ bias for the period—-for that, look to the late 70s/early 80s…such great music.

It would be great to visit the Magnum Photos exhibition but only to look, of course, since the prints would still be out of my price range. Still, great to see that they are offering silver gelatin prints.

Good grief! Did no one pay any attention to the lighting? Looking at the picture of the exhibition - and even allowing for the possibility that they might not have enough spots to have one per picture - they are all focused at different heights, and have different colour temperatures. Get me a step-ladder, someone...

Hi Mike
This show is covered at the Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/photography
They have excellent photography content and the site remains free.
John

Seems like there are quite a few "collectables" for mere mortals there - and some good images, not just also-rans by famous names. Glad you picked out that Freed image - but something odd about the catalogue - it's listed as a 4x5 ratio print, but that image, and the one on the website clearly aren't

I don't get the pricing for the James Dean picture. $4,500 for the picture alone. $9,500 for the signed version. Is the signature worth more than the picture itself? Strange at least to me.

"Wall Street, New York City", by Leonard Freed has the layered look of Sam Abell's work.

Magnum recently published a guide:"Wear good shoes, advices from Magnum Photographers " . It's free to download:
https://assets.lensculture.com/static/Magnum-Guide-2017.pdf

A true gem, like so many of their images.

I posted about another Magnum exhibition in 2013.

Radical Transformation: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=7965

I went to see this approximately 300 photo Magnum photo exhibition at the University of Texas at Austin today:

http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/2013/magnum/

Excellent and the presentation was good too. The prints were of various sizes by many Magnum photographers. I am sure lots of the internet yahoos would have hated almost every single photo though because even many of the smaller prints (5x7, 6x9) were not eye cutting sharp when viewed at 3 centimeters. :lol: There would have been screaming and derision by the dogmatic extremists with their 10x loupes. Not sure about CA, distortion, and all the other things that so many people are obsessed with since I didn't even bother checking. They were wonderful viewed from a normal viewing distance. Very nice exhibition. If you happen to be in the area the exhibition runs until 2014/1/5.

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