“He was training to be a surgeon when we got married. One night he came home from two days straight on the job, and I’d cooked him dinner. Right before he fell asleep in his plate of food, he asked me what movie I’d like to watch. I thought it was so sweet.”
Category Archives: portraiture
The stunning wildlife portraits of Nick Brandt
Abrams Books/Big Life Editions, 2010. 192 pp., 90 illustrations
Nick Brandt is a Los Angeles based videogapher who has followed his passion for photographing the wild animals of East Africa for the past 14 years.
With his medium-format film camera in hand, Brandt spends weeks following and becoming accepted by his subjects, before waiting for favourable combinations of lighting and behaviour.
The resulting photographs are nothing short of spectacular.
Sally Mann, “Ponder Heart” (2009)
In the late-winter afternoons for half a decade, I photographed my husband of forty-two years. With the weak sun coming through the studio windows, we were warmed by the woodstove and his two fingers of bourbon. I loved it, this work: the quietude; the muted burble of NPR; the exposures sometimes so long that he fell asleep. In this picture, a relatively short exposure, he was braced against the glass, holding still for the counted-out minutes. You see that slight movement at the tips of his fingers? That is the beating of his heart.
From the series “Proud Flesh,” exhibited at Gagosian Gallery/Courtesy Gagosian Gallery and Edwynn Houk Gallery.
JoAnn Verburg, “First Day Back in Italy (Pisa)” (1998)
Why, after all these years, do I keep wanting to set up my tripod and camera when I’m with Jim?. It’s a puzzle. What impulse is it that he—and only he—brings out in me, that has lasted seemingly forever, and goes as deep as it does? It’s a miracle. At this moment, we’re on the road, driving west, squinting into the sun. My camera is in the back seat. I can’t wait to stop in one of these little motels and watch him fall asleep: watch his arms, legs, and torso give in to gravity, see his breathing become slower and even, and watch as his face loses all traces of expectations and judgment. It’s one of the great gifts I get when I look in the ground glass: a gift Jim gives me. I lose track of time and our two bodies no longer separate us. What he is, I am, and what I need dissolves into a single, concentrated act of seeing.
Courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery.
Angelo Merendino, from “My Wife’s Fight with Breast Cancer”
In September, 2007, I married the girl of my dreams; five months later Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer. Throughout our battle, we were fortunate to have a strong support group, but still struggled to get people to understand the difficulties we faced daily. I began to photograph our everyday life, hoping to show the reality of living with this horrible disease. As time passed, trust grew, and at a certain point Jen stopped feeling like she had to pose, she was just Jen…happy, sad, silly, or whatever she was feeling at that moment. Now that Jen has passed, I look at these photographs and I feel our love.
Photography and theatre – Maleonn’s amazing mobile photo studio
Shanghai-based artist Maleonn (aka Ma Liang) has travelled around 25 Chinese provinces, photographing 200,000 people in a mobile photo studio.
It took him seven months to prepare for the project, which included painting the sets and backgrounds, preparing costumes, purchasing a truck, and arranging locations – and collecting old photographs, papers, posters, certificates, letters, receipts and notebooks for props.
Over a period of 10 months, in a battered truck and a minivan, Maleonn visited 35 cities in China, taking 1,600 portraits of people in fancy/fantasy dress.
He established a set of guidelines, such as a minimum of eight people per city who would provide him and his team with food, somewhere to stay and a space to work.
The subjects dressed either in clothes from Maleonn’s van or brought their own outfits. Subjects ranged from tank drivers and police officers to Tang dynasty scholars. People from all walks of life turned up to be photographed.
Maleonn launched the project after losing his studio in Shanghai’s Weihai Road 696 arts community, following a government eviction of artists, and getting divorced. Having completed the huge project in China, Maleonn suggested he might next be taking the roadshow to the UK. ‘I have friends in Swansea,’ he said.
Here are some more examples of Maleonn’s work which melds photography and theatre with remarkable results…
Inspiring black and white environmental portraits from Junku Nishimura
Born in a small coal-mine village in 1967 in Yamaguchi prefecture, western Japan, Junku Nishimura lived there until he was 18.
After studying Latin American affairs at college in Kyoto, Junku worked as a club DJ, a construction worker and later got a job with a cement manufacturing company, working in tunnel construction sites across the country as a concrete expert.
With a Leica in his hand, he started photographing the places where he worked. After 18 years, Junku quit his job, travelling the world to make photographs. Today he is a freelance photographer based in Nagoya and Yamaguchi.
Of his intimate environmental portraits and street photography, Junku says:
Be inspired by smartphone photographer Dilshad Corleone
Take three minutes to check out this inspirational, well-shot video featuring some great advice from smartphone photographer Dilshad Corleone about shooting, composing and telling a story with an image.
Of his practice, Dilshad says…
Is that Proust playing air guitar?
Is the late, great French novelist also the progenitor of every wannabe rock star’s favourite pastime?
Marcel Proust was a man ahead of his time. His innovative novel Remembrance of Things Past is, of course, well known. But did he also revolutionise air guitar?
This 1891 photograph suggests he deserves some of the credit. That’s the famous author, kneeling at centre, ripping off some wicked imaginary riffs on a catgut racquet.
Was Proust the first?