Author: BJP

Vivian Maier, the secret photographer

She cradles a Rolleicord camera to her breast, her eyes staring into her reflection. Until recently, the woman behind the camera was unknown, living a quiet life as a nanny in Chicago and dying, alone in a nursing home, in 2009 at the age of 83. When Vivian Maier’s cache of 100,000 images were unearthed, her work was compared with the greats of street photography. A film was made, Finding Vivian Maier, which introduced a new generation to her work. But Maier herself was the draw; who, exactly, was the mysterious French nanny? What drove her relentless imagery, and why did she keep it so resolutely hidden?

Maier was a private but eccentric Mary Poppins-like figure, who spoke with a delicate French trill and was never without her medium format camera. She took thousands of photographs from the 1950s to 70s, but squirrelled them away in a room she forbade anyone to enter. She was poor, and in 2007 her possessions were auctioned off to recoup her debts – her archive of photographs among them. John Maloof, an estate agent and president of his local history society, discovered them at an auction and took a punt, hoping to find images for a book he was writing on the Portage Park area of Chicago. He found nothing relevant, and put the whole lot into storage for two years.

2018-12-11T10:34:22+00:00

Michał Siarek on Alexander the Great and Macedonian national identity

Pasko Kuzman wears four watches because he believes they help him travel through time. He’s an archaeologist who works in an office called Troy, searching for the burial site of Alexander the Great, and other elements of Macedonia’s Classical past.

Kuzman is one of the many characters Michał Siarek met while photographing Alexander, an exploration of Macedonian national identity by way of ‘Skopje 2014’. Set up in 2010 (and originally slated to end in 2014), the Skopje 2014 project hopes to make Skopje a tourist attraction by drawing on its history – Macedonia was once part of Ancient Greece, and shares its name with a Northern Greek province, but is now so far removed from its heritage that its neighbour lobbied for it to be called the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

2018-09-03T12:19:35+00:00

On show at Foam – Senta Simond’s Rayon Vert

“Tu sais qu’est-ce que c’est le rayon vert?” Marie Rivière’s listless character Delphine asks, her legs swinging, in Éric Rohmer’s 1986 film Le Rayon Vert [The Green Ray]. The film – a portrait of its main character’s halting search for summer romance – was based on Jules Verne’s 1882 novel of the same name. While in theory its title refers to an optical phenomenon – in which the appearance of the sun as it rises or falls beyond the horizon creates a brief flash of green, and with it a supposed moment of mental clarity for all those who see it – in reality its subject matter is far more elusive. “I related the ‘rayon vert’ phenomenon to the process of photography – this special and quick moment that happens rarely,” Swiss photographer Senta Simond explains, referring to her project of the same name. Her series, which will be published by Kominek and shown at London’s Webber Gallery soon, adds a new, compelling layer to the meteorological event/Jules Verne/ Éric Rohmer mix of references. Indeed, Simond, a former student of ECAL, University of Art and Design Lausanne, from which she graduated last summer, first encountered the concept via the 1986 film.

2018-11-23T11:52:38+00:00

Photo London: Another Kind of Life explained by Barbican curator Alona Pardo

“They’re all driven by motivations that are both personal and political to a degree, and they are all self-initiated projects,” says curator Alona Pardo of the photographers in the show Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins. “Some may have started as commissions, but very early on took on a life of their own. It was interesting to think about the role of the photographer, because often the photographer hides behind the camera as a facade. There is also an interesting subtext of the photographer occupying the position of an outsider within mainstream society. They are there, assertively documenting the world.”

2018-05-16T12:16:00+00:00

Photo London: Léonie Hampton’s Mend at the Italian Cultural Institute

For Léonie Hampton, photography is a tool to connect with the present moment. “I use it to explore the experience of being in a place, and being in that moment in time,” she says. Most recently this approach inspired Mend, her project for the 2017 Rome Commission which will be on show at the Italian Cultural Institute as part of Photo London this week. “Rome is a great place to explore the idea of being in the present,” says Hampton, “because everywhere you go there are layers of time, visually and architecturally”.

2018-05-15T16:11:33+00:00

10 of the Best Submissions from the Intrepid Film Photography Award

Today we’re sharing 10 of the best submissions we’ve had to the Intrepid Film Photography Award, in which each photographer tells us about their strongest film work, and what it is that brings them back to film time and time again. All you need to do to enter is choose your strongest photograph shot on film and tell us what it is exactly that brings you back to using film, time and time again. You only have a few days to enter! The Intrepid Camera Co. is a young start-up enabling a new generation of photographers of all kinds to put down their digital cameras and embrace the world of film with their affordable large-format cameras. Scroll down to the bottom of the article to find out how to submit to the competition and win one of Intrepid’s large-format cameras – it’s free to enter and only open until Sunday 11 June, so don’t miss out! Catherine Hyland The Photographer I am a female photographer whose work is primarily landscape-based and rooted in notions of fabricated memory, grids, enclosures, and national identity …

2019-01-07T12:08:23+00:00

Photokina News: Introducing Sony’s new full-frame camera

Sony has introduced a new flagship SLT using the company’s A mount, breathing some new life into a system that many thought was finished. The new a99 ll will be a full-frame camera that features a 42-million-pixel sensor, and which will be capable to shooting at an incredible 12fps at full resolution. The company has developed a new hybrid AF system that combines 399 on-sensor contrast detection points with a standard phase detection system that features 79 cross type sensors. The result, Sony says, is a system that is both fast and accurate, which covers a very wide area of the viewfinder and which can operate at brightness levels of -4EV. The sensor in use is a newly developed unit that uses backlit technology to maximise the amount of light getting to the pixels and which replaces aluminium wiring with copper to speed up transmission and to enhance the camera’s ability to move data. The maximum ISO speed will be 102400, and the in-body 5-axis IS system will offer up to 4.5-stops of stabilisation. The …

2016-09-26T11:18:54+00:00

George Melly (c) Brian Griffin

Meet the experts: Offspring returns to east London

BJP

Martin Parr is the headline speaker as Offspring Photo Meet returns to east London later this month for its third – and most ambitious – edition yet. Its new venue at Space Studios in Hackney will host two days of talks, seminars, networking events and portfolio reviews with industry experts, kicking off on 16 May (ahead of Photo London art fair, which runs 19-22 May) with a workshop led by legendary portrait photographer Brian Griffin, and finishing off in the evening with Parr’s ‘Photobiography’. The following day concludes with Gary Cohen’s Photo Quiz, prizes for the best portfolios, and a party. Portfolio sessions run throughout the event from 10am to 6pm on both Monday and Tuesday, with experts drawn from the worlds of editorial, commercial and fine art practice. Reviewers include Andrew Sanigar, commissioning editor for Thames & Hudson books, Aine Donovan, production director and partner at BBH, Kate Edwards, picture editor at The Guardian Weekend Magazine, gallery director Katrin Weber of Galerie f5,6 in Munich, curators Kim Knopper (Foam), Karen McQuaid (The Photographers’ Gallery) …

2016-05-05T10:40:22+00:00

How London’s new buildings show how the city is facing terminal decline

Cities are places of constant change. It’s the nature of them, and it’s what makes them attractive. But not all change is equal; change can be organic, but it can be pernicious and abnormal. London has always been a city in flux. But, for anyone living in London, the transformations of the past few years are impossible to ignore. Huge swathes of the city have been redeveloped, remarkable buildings demolished, long-standing communities displaced. This current period of activity is unique, for it is is undoing many of the things that make the city unique. As social housing becomes luxury flats, as their inhabitants are forced out to the suburbs, the inner zones of the city become ever more homogenous, expensive and dull. This issue is what underlies Metropole, a project that aims to visualise the changing skyline of London, to imagine how the city will come to look in the future and, most importantly, seeks to recreate the sensation of feeling lost in a city that was once familiar. It’s a project partly inspired by the city symphony movies of the 1920s, films …

2016-02-12T11:21:43+00:00

Leica SL (Typ 601)

Exclusive test: first impressions of Leica’s brand new professional system camera

BJP

In a world where we expect quite different things from a compact system camera and a single lens reflex camera, it might seem a little odd to name one of the former in remembrance of one of the latter. But perhaps we need to learn not to expect the expected from Leica – a company that seems to ignore what the rest of us consider logical. The new Leica SL (Type 601) is indeed a mirrorless camera, much in the style of the Olympus OM-D, the Panasonic GH and the Fuji X-T bodies, but while other brands do all they can to distance themselves from the ‘old fashioned’ SLR, Leica seems to be embracing it. By using the name ‘SL (Type 601)’, Leica suggests that this 2015 body is in some way a descendant of the Leicaflex SL – a film SLR born in 1968 that in turn fathered the R3 in 1976. The camera is substantial indeed, lacking all hints of the miniaturisation that we have come to associate with compact system cameras. None-the-less, …

2015-10-20T18:14:31+00:00

BJP Staff