Some consider it to be art, others call it vandalism. I definitely belong to the first group. At least when it’s not just scrabbling but when there’s a message behind the whole image, when some style or at least some effort can be recognized. I’m talking about street art.
Martha Cooper is almost a celebrity in the street art and graffiti scene – and this although she doesn’t even belong to the Urban Artists. The 77-year-old woman has been taking photos since her childhood. She claims that she always knew that photography is her calling. In the 1970s she achieved what many can only dream of: She worked as a photographer for a renowned newspaper. One morning, on her way to work, she noticed the New Yorkan trains decorated with graffiti and she began to take pictures of them. Her fascination with the New York behind the scenes, the underground and the visible decay of the city increased every day and finally she quit her job at The New York Post. In the 1970s, New York was going through an economic and mainly a social crisis. Large parts of the population were almost left to themselves with only few perspectives. Martha thinks that the “make something out of nothing” typical of the graffiti and hip hop culture at that time fascinated her in particular.
It was these photos – soft blue tones, ice and water, the Arctic – about which I’ve recently happened to come across again. Photographs taken by a New Yorkan photographer and environmental activist called Diane Tuft . Since 1998 she’s been reporting on the beauty and fragility of our planet and environment with her camera. Before that she’d rather been focusing on multimedia.
Today I’d like to show you some works created by Australian photographer Murray Frederick. Only recently I’ve come across his name, but I’m absolutely thrilled by his creative work. He studied economics in Sydney but after five years of traveling (mainly in the Middle East) he began to finally focus more on photography and he mainly taught himself a large part of this art.
Frederick, however, isn’t only known for his photographic achievements. His first 30-minute documentary film “Salt” received 12 awards and international fame at film festivals in his country and abroad.
Over the years his movie took him again and again to Lake Eyre in Central Australia.
As you could read in one of my previous articles, I’m a great fan of everything related to space. Planets, stars and galaxies – all this has been fascinating me ever since and it always will. Many of my favorite photographers (no big surprise) are those focusing on taking pictures of the nocturnal sky. One of them, whose photos keep fascinating me in particular, I’d like to present you today.
The American Jack Fusco is really traveling a big deal and mainly at night because he primarily takes pictures of the starry skies. For this he climbs on mountains, waits for hours in the cold and travels to the remotest places on Earth. Many of his works have already been published in renowned magazines and newspapers and his time lapse videos have become a hit on the World Wide Web. And deservedly so, because in my opinion his photos are incredibly amazing and compelling at first sight.
The experience that transforms an astronaut’s perspective of our planet Earth and mankind’s purpose and place upon it is referred to as the overview effect. The term was first used by Frank White in 1987. Astronauts, who were lucky enough to make this incredible experience, mentioned a shift of perspective related to our planet Earth and the importance of the actions of human-beings. They spoke about the emergence of a profound understanding of how valuable life and our planet really are and they mentioned a deep sense of connection and a newly discovered responsibility towards Earth and everything it offers.
Almost everyone interested in photography sooner or later comes across the name Peter Lindbergh. The German belongs to the very big and influential fashion photographers of the past 1940s. His employers are nobody less important than Vogue, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair or the Rolling Stone. He considerably took part in establishing supermodels in the 1990s and the celebrities he took pictures of included Tina Turner and Mick Jagger.
As I already mentioned wildlife photography in my opinion counts among the key disciplines in photography. Animals hardly ever stand still, they don’t care about how you’d like them to pose, they’re unpredictable and mostly don’t want to cooperate. That’s particularly true with wild animals as, besides the above mentioned facts, they also tend to escape from photographers or even attack them.
Photographers specializing in wildlife photography fascinate me for this reason. You often read interviews about photographers using their own tricks and techniques to get very close to the animals without disturbing them in order to take pictures in really natural scenarios and behaviors. Wildlife photographers often say that it doesn’t matter how often they track an animal in the wilderness as the moment when they take the picture and face the animal is always something exceptional and awesome.
A recent and much-discussed video by National Geographic makes us understand the special and magical experience of a wildlife photographer in a better way. The video is about Michel d’Oultremont, a Belgian photographer who explains the pursuit of the perfect photo of a wild animal. The video makes clear that excelling as a wildlife photographer means hard work and a lot of patience in particular. Solitary hiking at daytime and at night and waiting for hours in the cold or in the heat, not knowing whether, at the end of the day, you’ll be rewarded with a great photo or not…
In any case this video has increased my respect for all those who dedicate themselves to wildlife photography!
You can find more pictures taken by Michel d’Oultremont here.
Surveillance, big data and the Transparent Man – keywords that have been popping up very often in the media in recent years.
They are often accompanied by articles on Facebook, Google & co who keep observing all our moves and collecting data in order to make profits in the best possible way. Names like NSA and Edward Snowden are also known to most of us and do not really make us feel that good.
I still remember it as if it had been yesterday. Even though I’ve never been affected myself as somebody who grew up in Austria and who had the privilege of going to the sea twice a year. To the sea in Yugoslavia. Even I feel strange writing this name although I never really came to know Yugoslavia and the war there happened at a time I can hardly remember. I was young and didn’t really have much interest in news and in wars. Yet I remember clearly how I was having breakfast with my parents and my sister in Rovinj and my parents kept discussing a bit nervously to consider returning to Austria earlier from our holiday.
“[we] come from nature.…There is an importance to [having] a certain reverence for what nature is because we are connected to it… If we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves.” – Edward Burtynsky
Photo credit: Edward Burtynsky
When you think about how little a human-being is compared to the size of our planet it’s only hard to imagine what great impact we still have. For millennia human-beings have exploited the resources of nature. In the course of time mankind has developed more and more modern methods to reach even more resources. To achieve this new technologies and machines have been created. The number of the natural resources people need for their constantly changing lifestyle is also increasing. We keep changing our planet and leaving traces every day, even if we may not really be aware of it.