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Monday, 01 May 2017


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No politics. And, nice snaps.

But, the thing that first struck me when seeing the photos on his site was.. Man, those pictures look digital!

Maybe it's his taste in post production adjustment?

Some really arresting images there. I like the high contrast style and the voyeuristic approach of many of the shots. Some feel processed to 11 but overall a really nice set.

These are historic times so I've been in the streets since the weekend after Election Day, capturing the images and sounds of our time. In the big rallies, I am one of thousands of photogs. But in the smaller gatherings, noticeably in my home Congressional District, I am often the only one documenting the proceeding, fancifully thinking that 100 years from now some historian is going to value what I've done.

I am also gathering photos of "The Resistance" on Flickr and we have over 2,000 photos from 100 photographers from around the country and world.


Of those, I've curated what I have found to be the most interesting and compelling images:


As the saying goes, may you live in interesting times...

Agreed. Let's try to limit the political spin kids, whenever possible.
I know it's hard for some folks to adjust to a new day in America, but as Sonny & Cher once sang, " The beat goes on...

Brad, gotta second the emotion- great content and compositions, but the 'digital effect' sometimes lessened the experience for me. Couldn't help but think how much better still the outdoor shots would've looked with the extended tonal values (in the shadow areas) inherent with film. Then again, perhaps the indoor shots may not have looked quite as dramatic...

On the first day of the previous administration, I got a photo that seemed to sum up Washington's mood at the time. A smiling, uniformed, black DC cop was dancing in the street to music on the PA while we awaited Obama's inaugural parade.

Very nice work, Stephen.

As in generations past one needs to have a distinctive style to establish a visual identity. That's what many amateurs don't understand. You usually don't get hired to make works of art or the "best" portraits. You get hired to stop eyeballs, usually in ways constructive to the accompanying story. So I can clearly get a sense of when Stephen's portraits would work by looking at his samples. They draw a strong, consistent outline.

While I found some images interesting, I was turned off by the processing. To me, the processing became the focus of the series, harsh, dark, overdone. Just my opinion of course.

I appreciate the dark contrasts of Stephen's images.

"... adjust to a new day in America...".

That's one way to put it.

I quite enjoyed the photos and think the processing treatment was spot on for the mood he created. On the negative I thought the photo of M Rogers was a cheap shot.

Kudos to Stephen V. The images are arresting, powerful, moving, thoughtful, sad, twisted...in short, great photographs.

Thank you for posting the link, Mike.

I too found the processing distracting and a little overbearing.

Congratulations on the work being published Stephen!

Best Regards,


Wonderful images, but I really, really dislike the soot-and-chalk digital image style.

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful comments on the work. I think Ken Tanaka said it better than I could regarding the look and feel of these images. Just as we used to make film+processing choices to complement and enhance the photographs we were after, I spent a long time working through various post-production options before settling on this look to achieve the mood of what I was after.

I too really liked the processing and was wondering whether Mike chose Mr. Voss not only for the politics, but also the B&W tonality, which has been a recent topic.

I also started wondering whether Mr. Voss, since he is a TOP reader, might offer to talk about his influences, shooting style, gear, processing method and so on?

[I'll pass your request along. --Mike]

Reminds me of W. Eugene Smith both in the tonality and the point of view.
This image more aligned in subject than style.

Brad says
" Man, those pictures look digital!"

Hugh says
" Man, those pictures look Rodenal*! " with a dash of cyanide perhaps?

*Actually HP5 in d19 if it were me.

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