Month: October 2014

IdeasTap and Magnum Award announces finalists

IdeasTap has named the photographers who will go through to the next round of its annual competition, which it runs in partnership with Magnum Photos. Of the 18 photographers selected from three categories for the 2014 IdeasTap and Magnum Photographic Award, a jury of industry professionals chose nine to go through to the next stage of the competition. They are: Albert Elm; Jack Latham; Sophie Green; Karolina Jonderko; Magda Rakita; Sarah Amy Fishlock; Adél Koleszár; Álvaro Laiz; and Vasantha Yogananthan. On the judging panel were: Lucy Davies, commissioning editor of photography at The Telegraph; Peter Marlow, Magnum photographer; Jonathan Bell, editorial and publishing representative at Magnum Photos; and Souvid Datta, 2013 IdeasTap Photographic Award winner. The Award, now in its fifth year, aims to showcase and celebrate emerging photographers who are working within documentary photography. Each of the nine shortlisted photographers will receive £1500 to shoot a new project, and will also be mentored by a member of Magnum Photos. The three overall winners will be announced in May 2015 and awarded prizes that include £5000 in cash and paid internships at the Magnum Photos offices in either London or New York. To find …

2014-11-26T21:54:36+00:00

Remembering David Redfern, the king of jazz photography

David Redfern, one of the most influential and revered music photographers of his generation, died last week, aged 78, three years into a brave struggle with pancreatic cancer, writes Leon Morris, a long-time friend. In the pantheon of music photographers – and particularly in the uber-hip niche of jazz photography – Redfern ranks as a pioneer. He was, until his passing, the undisputed elder statesman of jazz photography. Many of Redfern’s images have already achieved iconic status; many more will achieve that status as his archive continues to be unearthed. In Whiplash, the 28-year-old debutant director Damien Chazelle’s multi-award winning independent film released early next year, Redfern’s image of drummer Buddy Rich, head turned, mouth wide open, hands ablur, is taped to the wall above the young student drummer’s practise kit. It is a recurring talisman for the film’s theme of physical and emotional tension in pursuit of the elusive perfection (or imperfection) of jazz genius. That image, about as close to perfection as a live image of a jazz drummer can be, was taken side stage at …

2014-11-26T21:55:09+00:00

Grimaldi Gavin’s inside job

“The number of people we’ve had in to see this show have been unbelievable,” says Julie Gavin, co-director of Grimaldi Gavin on the gallery’s new show Fuel present: Russian Criminal Tattoo Police Files, which opened on 17 October. “We had 50 people in on Monday morning alone,” chips in her partner, Camilla Grimaldi. “And our audience has been interesting,” adds Gavin. “We’ve had our established collector base come and find it interesting, but we’ve also had some very different, much younger people who maybe we wouldn’t ordinarily attract.” It’s easy to see why – curated from the archive of criminal tattoo photographs held by the Fuel design group and publishing house, this exhibition is an extraordinary insight into the Russian underworld’s inky symbolism. Collected – and often shot – by expert criminologist Arkady Bronnikov between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s, the images were originally put together to help break the convicts’ code and have a stark formalism, and often palpable tension, that makes for very interesting viewing. Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell, the directors of …

2014-11-26T21:55:35+00:00

View of the first curves of earth, on sale now

One of the first cameras used to photograph earth from space is to go on auction. The camera, a Hasselblad 500c with a Zeiss lens, was bought by astronaut Wally Schirra at a Houston photo supply shop in 1962. Schirra was one of seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, America’s first effort to put humans in space. He flew the six-orbit, nine-hour Mercury-Atlas 8 mission on October 3, 1962, becoming the ninth human to ride a rocket into space. The project cost today’s equivalent of $1.73 billion. While orbiting the earth at about 2,000 kilometres, Schirra took some of the earliest pictures of earth. They created a huge amount of excitement at home, as we’d never seen the beauty of earth before. Schirra’s pictures weren’t the first. In February, 1962, John Glenn – the first American to reach orbit – used a 35mm camera to photograph the earth from space. But Schirra’s Hasselblad, which retailed at $450 at the time, was capable of capturing the Earth’s curvature. Schirra and his fellow astronaut Gordon Cooper installed a 100-exposure film container on the shop-bought …

2014-11-26T21:56:22+00:00

Remembering David Armstrong

The cult photographer David Armstrong, who died at his home in Los Angeles on Saturday night after a long battle with liver cancer, had a few near misses in the sixty years he spent on earth. His boyfriend died of AIDS in 1983. The following year, he returned to his native Boston to try to kick a heroin habit that was fast becoming a problem. “You’d see someone one day, and they were dead the next. I shut down,” he reportedly said of the time. He stayed clean for 17 years, but tacitly commented, throughout his life, that one never quite gets clean. He started using again in 2002. “Am I a functioning addict?” he said in an interview with The New York Times. “I’m functioning enough.” But maybe that allowed Armstrong to capture, with such an authenticity of experience, the marginal characters, the dissolute youngsters, the anything-but-a-normal-lifers. Armstrong almost exclusively photographed young men. But there was something different, distinct, about the way he captured another’s masculinity through a lens; naturally lit, but smooth-edged, almost-staged. Sexual, even voyeuristic, but …

2014-11-26T21:56:47+00:00

Eye of a master

Many photographers will hold off having a retrospective of their work for as long as possible, often out of fear that looking back on their career will in some way spell the end of it. Stephen Shore – whose work has been exhibited many times in various ways over the years – is one such photographer, but even he has given in to a retrospective, although he is making work as fervently as ever. Simply titled Stephen Shore, the current exhibition at Madrid’s Fundación Mapfre claims to be the first retrospective of the American photographer’s work. Featuring some 320 photographs, many of them original prints, the exhibition stretches across two levels in the gallery and is loosely divided into themed sections encompassing the photographer’s earliest work, his most famous colour photographs, images from his lesser known black and white, and conceptual periods, right through to his most recent digital colour work shot in Ukraine, and in Winslow, Arizona, some of which has barely been seen. The show, which continues in Madrid until 24 November 2014, and is due to tour to Arles, Berlin, Turin, and Amsterdam, takes what it refers to …

2014-11-26T21:57:24+00:00

River Deep, Mountain High

To my mind, it’s the greatest wildlife photograph ever taken. This is Planet earth, but not as we know it. And that’s what I’m looking for in a photograph that celebrates the natural world – an instant reminder that truth is stranger, and more fantastical than fiction. Cherry Alexander’s picture of Chinstrap Penguins sheltering on a blue iceberg was the 1995 winner of the Wildlife Photograph of the Year award, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Shot just off the coast of the South Sandwich Islands in Antarctica, the mountain’s of ice look like they’re torn straight from a book of fairytale; you wouldn’t believe the scene before you were it not for the gull flying overhead. Likewise, Fabien Michenet’s Little Squid (a finalist in this year’s Underwater Species category) captures life in a form that verges on abstraction; so alien to our minds, we can barely comprehend it. And to imagine, the photographer floating 20 metres below the surface in complete darkness, silent except for the occasional call of far off dolphins. And if the overall winner of this year’s contest …

2014-11-26T21:57:52+00:00

Photojournalist Thurston Hopkins dies at age of 101

The great British photojournalist Thurston Hopkins has died at the age of 101, after a short illness. An unsung hero in British photography culture, few people captured the spirit, character and contradictions of Britain in the years immediately following the Second World War. “We have lost one of the few remaining photographers with a direct link to the so called ‘golden age’ of reportage. Born during the Great War, Hopkins leaves a photographic legacy that will undoubtedly continue to be an inspiration for generations of photographers to come,” says Matt Butson, Vice President of Getty Images’ Archive, who now hold the archival rights to Hopkins’ images, in an interview with British Journal of Photography. Born in London in April 1913, Thurston Godfrey Hopkins originally trained as a graphic illustrator at Brighton College of Art. While he was there a teacher advised him to: “Watch those shadows, they give black-and-white illustration weight and balance where it is most needed.” “This became something of a leitmotif in my visual thinking,” he later commented. “Not only when I was making pen …

2014-11-26T21:58:16+00:00

Grand visions

Eerie and unsettling yet strangely mesmerising, Noémie Goudal’s photographs demand attention. From her 2012 series Haven Her Body Was, which we featured in our October 2012 print issue, to the recent Observatoires series, included in an exhibition at The New Art Gallery Walsall, Goudal has never shied away from interrogating photography’s potential to trick the eye. “I really like this play between what we know and what we can see,” Goudal told BJP in 2012. “I like having this kind of game where you’re not sure if [what you’re looking at] is constructed or found. I try to give some clues but not too many so there’s a space for people to come in and invent their own stories and links between the pictures.” Two years on, Goudal’s landscape-inspired images continue to keep viewers on their toes. The Paris-born London-based photographer currently has new work on show at Edel Assanti in South London as part of In Search of the First Line. At the exhibition’s core are images from Observatoires, a series of imposing black and white images inspired by geomorphic architecture – constructions that draw on nature – among other work. In these …

2014-11-26T23:32:15+00:00

AOP Awards and Expo

The annual AOP Photography Awards returns in December, but with a difference. This year, The Association of Photographers has partnered with New Events Ltd to launch a joint Awards and Expo event, which will take place at The Business Design Centre in Central London from 11 to 13 December 2014. The new venture will take the shape of a three-day industry trade fair, which will include an exhibition of winning images from the Awards amid a 50-exhibitor strong trade show. Approximately 200 images will be on display across two floors in The Gallery Hall, alongside stalls showcasing cutting edge photographic equipment, services and technology. “We have been working closely with the board at The AOP on the floorplan and we have come up with a great arrangement where industry and art will come together in a unique ‘fusion event’,” says Rob Saunders, director of New Events Ltd. The annual Awards Ceremony will take place during the trade show on Thursday 11 December. AOP members were invited to enter 21 categories, which included ‘Commissioned Advertising Series’, ‘Commissioned Editorial Series’, and ‘Non-Commissioned Portraits Single’. ‘The Open Award – Stills’, and ‘The …

2014-11-26T21:59:21+00:00

BJP Staff