Author: Brennavan Sritharan

Ordinary Beauty: Revisiting Saul Leiter’s pioneering images

During his lifetime, Saul Leiter (1923–2013) was something of the ignored artist of American photographic history. While his career spanned a time when quintessential New York street photography was defined as swift, sharp and precise, Leiter’s leisured, impressionist style went against the grain. Leiter was a pioneer of colour photography, adventurously using Kodachrome colour slide film well before the likes of William Eggleston and Joel Meyerowitz. As the Guardian’s Sean O’Hagan wrote in Leiter’s obituary, “[his photographs] are as much about evoking an atmosphere as nailing the decisive moment.” A retrospective of the late photographer’s work has just began at The Photographers’ Gallery; the first major public show of his work in the UK features more than 100 works, including early black-and-white and colour photographs, sketchbooks and related materials.     While Leiter’s early black-and-white images were published in LIFE magazine and exhibited in New York and Tokyo, he quickly moved into fashion photography, shooting for Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, British Vogue, Esquire and more. When I speak to Brett Rogers, director of the Soho gallery …

2016-02-26T16:00:03+00:00

The best of CES 2016

The new year opened with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it proved rich pickings for pro photographers, with new flagship cameras from Nikon and Phase One, some welcome long-lens additions designed for CSC cameras, and the usual array of storage devices, action cams and drones. We round up the most intriguing new photography announcements. Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative CES’s one genuine surprise came in an announcement from Kodak, stating it plans to revive the Super 8 format, 50 years after it first debuted. Showing a prototype that “combines the classic features of a Super 8 with digital functionality”, and with a new ‘limited edition’ camera planned for autumn, the company says it has devised a roadmap that includes a range of cameras, film development services, post production tools and more, in what amounts to a new “ecosystem for film”. It comes on the back of resurgence of interest in film within Hollywood, according to Kodak, and the new initiative has the backing of filmmakers including Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg and Star Wars writer/director JJ Abrams. Kodak is …

2016-01-25T13:06:16+00:00

Leica enters the outdoor photography market with the new X-U

Leica have just announced the Leica X-U (Typ 113), a new camera from the German manufacturer specifically designed for the outdoors and underwater. The camera, which was made in Germany in collaboration with Audi Design, is equipped with a Leica Summilux 23mm f1.7 ASPH. lens (equivalent to 35mm in 35mm format) and an APS-C CMOS sensor. Full HD video capture is also offered, with resolution of up to 1920×1080 at 30 frames per second. The camera also includes an integrated flash, placed above the lens. Leica say this X-U was created “for the adventurous photographer” and the camera has been weatherproofed accordingly – it is shock-resistant, dust-sealed, waterproofed and shatter-proof. With an aluminium top plate and high-grip TPE armouring, the camera promises excellent handling and durability that could make it an intriguing choice for those shooting action or underwater, extreme sports, travel, architectural or landscape photography. With the most arduous of projects in mind, the X-U includes a non-slip body, a toughened monitor screen cover, and a failsafe double locking system for the battery compartment …

2016-01-22T14:56:49+00:00

Finding transcendence through the image: the work of Mario Cravo Neto

The work of Mario Cravo Neto has long been under-appreciated on British shores. Despite long being a celebrated figure of contemporary Brazilian photography at home and abroad – having exhibited extensively in South America and the United States as well as at the Recontre d’Arles – the photographer, who died in 2009, hasn’t been exposed to British audiences to the same extent. The first UK solo exhibition of his work has recently gone on show at London’s Autograph ABP, under the auspices of the gallery director Mark Sealy and guest curator Gabriela Salgado. I visited the gallery as the show was being installed as Salgado explained what makes Mario Cravo Neto such an essential figure in Brazilian art. “MY IDEA FROM NOW ON IS TO DEVELOP THAT TRANSITION BETWEEN THE INERT OBJECT AND THE SACRED OBJECT. IT IS SIMPLY A RELIGIOUS POSITION IN PHOTOGRAPHY THAT I WISH TO ADOPT.” – MARIO CRAVO NETO Cultural tastes may have had a part to play in his long absence from these shores, with Cravo Neto’s idiosyncratic studio portraits …

2016-02-12T11:14:55+00:00

BAFTA portraits of the British film industry’s unsung talent

At the end of January, BAFTA will be opening the doors to its historic Piccadilly headquarters to showcase a new photography exhibition. British photographer Phil Fisk was commissioned to shoot BAFTA: For the Love of Film, a series of portraits of the skilled professionals working in the industry today. While the cream of British acting and directing sits for Fisk – including David Oyelowo and Stephen Frears – he digs deeper and pays tribute to the essential cinematic talent behind the camera whose contributions aren’t celebrated as widely. Fisk shoots them in their working environment, giving us an insight into the numerous roles involved in pulling a feature film together. Fisk shoots cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Interstellar, Spectre) with his camera casually slung atop his shoulder; casting director Nina Gold (The King’s Speech, The Imitation Game) is pictured with a pair of pom-poms made from the shredded remains of actor’s headshots; and we see production designer Jacqueline Abrahams (The Lobster, The Look of Love) inside her office, with reference books, magazine …

2016-01-20T16:56:04+00:00

Learn how to break into editorial photography from the experts

British Journal of Photography have teamed up with Magnum Photos to offer a brand new programme of professional development workshops in 2016. Led by leading Magnum photographers and industry professionals, the programme presents incredible training opportunities for early & mid-career photographers. Our first workshop focuses on editorial photography, where attendees will hear detailed, vital aspects of the processes photographers go through with publications. Learn from leading commissioners and a Magnum photographer about portfolio building, winning commissions, approaching editors, building and editing your story, information and captions, syndication and licensing, pricing, rights, contracts. Each tutors will give behind-the-scenes information on their area of expertise. Group portfolio reviews on the second day will review your work in relation to the editorial market, encouraging students to develop skills in building, editing and pitching their story. The tutors are: Jonas Bendiksen – Magnum photographer The acclaimed Norwegian photojournalist began his photographic career in Magnum Photos’ London offices as a 19-year-old intern – returning eight years later as a fully fledged member of the famed agency. Bendiksen, who is based in Oslo, …

2016-01-20T14:12:14+00:00

London Art Fair’s Photo50: The Fascination of Dealing with the Other Sex

Each January, London Art Fair dedicates exhibition space to photography, inviting a curator to select 50 images along one common idea. The 2016 edition of Photo50 at LAF (which runs at Business Design Centre, 20-24 January) is curated by BJP contributor Federica Chiocchetti, whose theme is ‘Feminine Masculine: On the Struggle and Fascination of Dealing with the Other Sex’. She explains her interest in curating an exhibition that grapples with the mysterious dynamics that operate between men and women. – BJP “It is absurd to divide humanity into men and women. It is composed only of femininity and masculinity.” Valentine de Saint Point ‘Manifesto of the Futurist Woman in response to F. T. Marinetti’, 1912 “In the end every definition of male and female is personal, and it’s that idiosyncrasy we value, need and hope to encourage. Who do we think we are? A work in progress ♂♀”. Vince Aletti, ‘Male Female’, 1999 ‘Feminine Masculine’ presents an unfinished and personal exploration of the dynamics between the opposite sexes. This mysterious topic, at times ineffable and immaterial, often seems …

2016-01-18T18:05:40+00:00

Culture of the Confrontation: live from the Ukrainian Revolution

As winter approached in late 2013, the rumblings of political, social and civil discontent in Ukraine was growing louder by the day. When Viktor Yanukovych, the nation’s president, rejected a deal with the European Union for a $15bn aid package from Russia, many citizens were furious. Promising greater political integration and closer cultural ties, lots of Ukrainians saw the EU deal as a new path for the country, whose economic predicament was worsening.  On the 21st November, up to 20,000 protesters gathered in Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) after spreading messages on social media. By the 24th, their numbers had swelled – somewhere between 50,000 and 200,000, depending on who you asked. As pro-EU demonstrators chanted and marched, a small group attempted to storm the Government Building. That’s when the trouble really began. The wave of civil unrest flooded the streets, fuelled by a heady mix of Cold War-era hostilities, far-right opportunism and pan-European democratic idealism. What became known as Euromaidan led to the Ukrainian Revolution, with President Yanukovych being ousted from power in February …

2016-07-08T17:11:49+00:00

Historic photojournalism depicting the growth of Irish nationalism

“The Irish can’t forget their history because the English refuse to remember it,” says Luke Dodd, quoting renowned academic Terry Eagleton. If that’s true, it’s something Dodd hopes to change with an exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery devoted to Ireland’s rebellion against British rule. The Easter Rising 1916: Sean Sexton Collection depicts the growth of Irish nationalism, the uprising of 1916, the subsequent emergence of the Irish Free State, and how it all played out in images. Dodd, who has just edited a book of Jane Brown’s photojournalism, has drawn the images from a private collection of more than 20,000 prints put together by Sexton over the last 50 years. Including press and military photographs, amateur shots and postcards, Sexton’s archive is outstanding, says Dodd, because it’s so comprehensive, but at the same time so personal. “He’s a slightly eccentric character and has searched everywhere – he’s been to every car boot sale, and voraciously collected anything Irish,” he says. “That means there’s a lot of obscure stuff, but that’s also its great strength. “There aren’t …

2016-01-12T17:34:56+00:00

IPA 2016: Announcing the Single Image runners-up

Last month we announced the winners of the 2016 International Photography Awards, with Juno Calypso winning the Series Award for her project Joyce, and Felicity Hammond winning the Single Image Award for her image Restore to Factory Settings. Competition in the Single Image category was fierce, with over 1500 entries from 92 different countries spanning from portraiture to photojournalism, landscape to fine art. As entries were whittled down to the final few, there was spirited debate among the judging panel, which included TJ Boulting’s Hannah Watson, Magnum Photo’s Emily Graham, Tate’s Emma Lewis and photographer Ewen Spencer. This week we’ll be announcing the runners-up, starting with the Single Image category.   Vincenzo Montefinese Indelible images documenting the ongoing migrant crisis has gripped the world in the past 12 months, so it came as little surprise that this year’s IPA received several strong entries depicting scenes of broken borders and desperate families fleeing conflict. Yet Italian photojournalist Vincenzo Montefinese’s approach was different. His shortlisted image was taken in his hometown – the southern Italian city of Taranto, in which …

2016-01-12T14:06:29+00:00

BJP Staff