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Snapshots on Photography
Anonymous Was a Photographer
Arts Story October 16, 1998, by Rebecca S. Cohen
"...A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (October 2, 1998) identifies a hot new category of collectibles: "vernacular photography." According to the Journal, collectors are paying $1-450 for snapshots -- photographic snippets of stranger's lives taken by anonymous amateurs. The first ever "Vernacular Photography Fair" has already come and gone this year, and the established New York Photography Fair opening at the Puck Building October 16 will feature vernacular photographs...."
“The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip” at the Blanton
Aperture Foundation’s survey is a portrait of what we find with our cameras when we travel
Arts Review January 4, 2018, by Robert Faires
"...Instead, what consumes almost half the frame – and all our attention – is a car's side mirror in which is seen a sizable chunk of the driver's head leaning out the window, the camera held to his lone visible eye, wide open under a heavily furrowed brow as he works to get the shot. As much as any single image in "The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip" – an exhibit as expansive as the country we love to criss-cross by auto – this one by Lee Friedlander sums up our complex relationship with cars and cameras...."
Kickstart Your Weekend With Pinhole Photography
Deaf Austinite uses new technology for an old invention
DAILY Screens November 1, 2013, by Monica Riese
"...But Austin-based Clint O'Connor has a better way of combining one of our favorite century-old pastimes – photography – with the latest and greatest technology. Instead of turning to Instagram for your artfully blurred still lifes and landscapes, why not pinhole photography?..."
The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography
Film Review July 21, 2017, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Although the film doesn’t dwell on individual photographs, these images of cultural luminaries will be of interest to students of the period. Dorfman describes how she fell into her photography career, and how she developed as a commercial portraitist, both as a resourceful tactic to meet the expenses of the large-format equipment and materials and as a practical avenue for someone who didn’t have the ambition of becoming a gallery artist..."
"Look Inside: New Photography Acquisitions"
An image of New Orleans taken by Doug Rickard is emblematic of the quality in this exhibition at UT's Ransom Center
Arts Review March 24, 2016, by Sam Anderson-Ramos
"...Among the most menacing, disturbing, and beautiful photographs I have ever seen is one currently on display at the Harry Ransom Center as part of its "Look Inside: New Photography Acquisitions" exhibition. In this image from Doug Rickard's series, A New American Picture, four young black men walk down a dilapidated New Orleans street, bare save for some distant cars..."
Photography, History & Accounting 101
Learning with Henry Rollins, us the shareholders.
DAILY Music November 3, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...You spend a few grand and you get a camera that you can really move things around. She gave me some lessons that were completely intimidating, because you’re looking at the real math of photography..."
Art and Photography Books
Books Story December 15, 1995
"...It is sheer coincidence that the bulk of the photography books I
have are by women; it would be comforting to think of that as an indicator of
some sort of balance (it certainly wouldn't be true in the graphic art world).
The Last of the Nuba by Leni Riefenstahl (St. Martin's Press, $40
hard) is an assemblage of her color as well as b&w images from her
time spent intermittently in Africa's Nuba (not Nubian) tribe in Central Sudan
Art and Photography Books
Books Story December 22, 1995
The Ransom Center captures photography's history with striking breadth and focus
Arts Story October 1, 2010, by Robert Faires
"...And the legendary photographic cooperative Magnum Photos has never been headquartered here. But that hasn't stopped the city from developing into one of the major centers for the study of photography on the planet..."
This year, for whatever reasons, Dick Holland writes, we have been blessed with photography books of great beauty and intelligence. Several of the leading figures in the canon of 20th-century photography are represented in this season's unusually rich outpouring, among them Eugéne Atget, Walker Evans, and Edward Steichen.
Books Story December 15, 2000, by Dick Holland
"...Here's a modest suggestion that will help save your shopping trip: Facing this ocean of mediocrity, cast your eyes a bit to the left or right, where you may see a separate section titled "Photography." Go there; it will restore your sanity. And particularly this year, because, for whatever reasons, we have been blessed with photography books of great beauty and intelligence..."
Framing the Border
Photography of the Region Between Mexico and the U.S.
Arts Story May 1, 1998, by Rebecca S. Cohen
"...Snapshot of a moment in the cultural life of Central Texas. On a sunny Thursday morning in a gallery in Austin's Uptown Cultural District, a handful of people who all share a passion for photography and for the region encompassing Mexico and the southwestern United States gather round a table for a conversation..."
Give Me Those Nice, Bright Colors
Scholar John Rohrbach shows how color photography developed
DAILY Arts March 28, 2014, by Rod Machen
"...Many consider the arrival of William Eggleston's Guide to be the beginning of color photography, including – at least initially – John Rohrbach. But the senior curator of photographs at Ft..."
How is our obsession with photography changing an entire industry?
Screens Story February 28, 2014, by Joe O'Connell
"..."People are communicating through images," says Kira Pollack, Time magazine's director of photography. "That's different..."
A World Slowly Liquefying
Rocky Schenck comes home for celebrations of his dreamlike art photography.
Arts Story November 7, 2003, by Katherine Catmull
"...The photographer says, "My approach is rather simple: I record on film what I see and what I feel as I travel through life." Whether this claim is disingenuous or alarming is for you to decide when Dripping Springs native Rocky Schenck returns home this week for two area exhibitions of his work -- at the Stephen L. Clark Gallery in Austin and the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography in San Marcos -- and the release of Rocky Schenck: Photographs by University of Texas Press...."
Texas Photo Roundup
Austin photography icon Dan Winters headlines three-day confab for photo pros
Arts Story February 1, 2013, by Robert Faires
"...Thanks to the Austin Center for Photography and the Austin/San Antonio chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers, Roundup attendees will have the chance to have their photographs reviewed by representatives from agencies such as Pentagram, TracyLocke, JWT, Wonderful Machine, GSD&M, and Razorfish, and magazines such as Smithsonian, Dwell, and Fortune; hear masters in the field discuss the challenges of the profession and how they overcome the problems of camera-shy subjects, demanding art directors, and never having enough time; and even shoot with some of the pros and get their advice directly. Some of the weekend's big events – an all-day road trip to Lockhart for barbecue and shooting with the prime documentarian of Texas BBQ, Wyatt McSpadden, as well as a two-day workshop with Arnold Newman Portrait Prize winner Chris Buck – are already sold out, but you can still catch some great discussions of the state of the field: a panel discussion on pricing your work, keeping your business sustainable, and nailing the creative call, featuring Austin-based photographer Adam Voorhes, Jess Dudley of Wonderful Machine, Allen Murabayashi of Photoshelter, and Kaia Hemming of JWT, moderated by Allegra Wilde of Eyeist; and a conversation between Monte Isom and Andrew Hetherington on building a career in photography, from the basics of portfolios to whether or not you need an agent to how to take a meeting (all this knowledge, plus free breakfast tacos!)...."
Some Unspeakable Beauty
Don't call it magic realism: Josephine Sacabo's photography and Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo make a powerful pair.
Books Story November 8, 2002, by Belinda Acosta
"...Now, viewers all over the world have been saying "wow" to Sacabo's photographs. While New Orleans is now home, Sacabo was recently in San Marcos for the opening of her newest one-woman show, "The Unreachable World of Susana San Juan -- Homage to Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo" at the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography..."
Film Review December 17, 1993, by Pamela Bruce
"...Directed by: Ron Fricke. Taking the ancient Sufi word ÒbarakaÓ (translated as blessing, breath, or the essence of life from which the evolutionary process unfolds), the director of photography, co-editor and co-writer for Koyaanisqatsi takes on directorial and cinematographer duties in his New Age tone poem that serves as a challenge to the late philosopher Joseph Campbell's work The Power of Myth..."
Art Review: 'Blog Reblog'
Randomly paired photos yield serendipitous imagery
DAILY Arts May 28, 2014, by Rod Machen
"...What is "Blog Reblog"? A gallery show? An event? A comment on our modern forms of photographic dissemination? I suppose it’s all of those, but for lovers of contemporary photography, it’s worth a trip to the Big Medium galleries...."
Film Review March 21, 2014, by Marc Savlov
"...With its brief running time and revelatory story, this neat, fascinating documentary ought to be required viewing for art history students everywhere. Directed by Teller and narrated (on- and off-camera) by Penn Jillette, the film follows Tim Jenison, the San Antonio-based tech inventor (Video Toaster, among others) and all-around curious fellow, on his quest to solve the mystery of how Dutch master Johannes Vermeer painted photo-realistically 150 years before the invention of photography..."
A pair of new visual-arts showplaces gives the art of the camera its due
Arts Story April 1, 2011, by Robert Faires
"...Earlier this year, Austin lost one of its rare galleries that focused (no pun intended) on photography. But in less than two months, two more have risen in its place..."
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus
Film Review December 8, 2006, by Toddy Burton
From the director and writer of Secretary comes this odd fictional biopic about this photographer's impulses.
"...Photographer Diane Arbus is known for her unconventional portraits, often of carnival performers, nudists, transvestites, or prostitutes. Somehow managing to be both comforting and unsettling, her photography makes the grotesque seductive and the familiar fantastical..."
The Notorious Bettie Page
Film Review April 21, 2006, by Marc Savlov
"...So much so, in fact, that they both pulled disappearing acts at what should have been the height of their careers, only to turn up later, just in time to be rediscovered by a culture that has only recently caught up with them. Mary Harron's The Notorious Bettie Page (co-written with Guinivere Turner) is a splendid visual treat – Mott Hupfel's crisp black-and-white photography evokes both seamy noir and Eisenhower-era American naivete, while occasionally switching to some of the most gorgeously supersaturated color stock this side of Douglas Sirk)..."
March of the Penguins
Film Review July 15, 2005, by Marrit Ingman
"...When the crew of this painstaking documentary captures the death of an egg, the spectacle is genuinely heartbreaking, for these penguins are not the biological curios of your everyday nature movie. The photography is so intimate, and the story of their mating is so carefully crafted into a sustained and satisfying narrative, that they become heroes of an epic character: brave, if not fearless, and stalwart fools for love..."
Film Review March 1, 2002, by Marrit Ingman
"...Now, though the film's political context has changed, its power as a cinematic document is undiminished. As is typical of the films of Iran (writer-director Mahkmalbaf is based in Tehran, as is his wife, filmmaker Marzieh Meshkini), the story is simple and true-to-life, and the technique is naturalistic, using nonprofessional actors, photography that emphasizes the characters' environment, and deliberate narrative pacing that mimics real-time events..."
Snapshots of EAST ’17
Five East Austin Studio Tour stops where you can see photography in a new light
Arts Story November 9, 2017, by Robert Faires
"...486. Adrian Whipp, Lumiere Tintype Photography
The Austin Center of Photography comes to an F stop
DAILY Arts March 19, 2014, by Rod Machen
"...After five years, the Austin Center for Photography is closing up shop. Citing economic conditions and financial woes, the organization will cease to exist after finishing its final slate of events later this year...."
Focus on Larry Fink
'Icon of Photography' delights and surprises with ACP talk
DAILY Arts March 4, 2014, by Rod Machen
"...Larry Fink's work speaks for itself, but last Friday night the famed photographer was more than happy to do the talking. As the latest Icon of Photography in the Austin Center for Photography ongoing lecture series, Fink delighted the crowd with stories that spanned a half century and ideas that show he is as scrappy as ever...."
Books Gift Guide
It's Complicated: The American Teenager
Books Story December 14, 2007, by James Renovitch
"...Use It's Complicated as a segue to "the talk" with your teen or preteen. Whatever "talk" you might want to have, it's covered here.
Also recommended in Photography ......"
Film Review November 17, 2017, by Kimberley Jones
Another ho-hum entry to the DC Extended Universe
"...The film falls in line with the grim color palette and gritted-teeth course director Zack Snyder has set for the DC Extended Universe. After a family tragedy last spring, Snyder stepped away from the film, and Joss Whedon directed additional photography in the summer (reportedly in part to beef up Wonder Woman’s role)..."
Film Review September 22, 2017, by Marc Savlov
"...Aronofsky previously directed the Oscar-nominated bad dream Black Swan and the utterly desolate Requiem for a Dream, both of which contained more than their fair share of disturbing imagery and thematics, but Mother! takes the audience through an entirely new circle of hell, one tailor-made for our stressed and apocalyptic modern mindset. It is, from start to finish, a wholly unnerving exercise in distress, realized with explosive, exceedingly visceral panache by director of photography Matthew Libatique and production designer Andrew Weisblum, as well as an entirely game cast that ratchets up the slow-burn vibe of the movie into the realm of the mind-glowingly crazed..."
“Taste of Black Austin” Explores Cultural Foodways
New photography exhibit showcases Austin’s African-American chefs
Food Story January 26, 2017, by Jessi Cape
"...Austin may not have as many black-owned restaurants as Houston and Dallas, but the Central Texas timeline is rich with African-American involvement in the food industry. A new photography exhibit, "Taste of Black Austin," aims to showcase the past, present, and future stories of Austin's black chefs by exploring cultural foodways..."
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Film Review December 20, 2013, by Kimberley Jones
"...A mild-mannered Life magazine photography editor capable of astonishing feats of derring-do in his dream life, Walter Mitty (Stiller) – in real life – can hardly make eye contact with his lady crush (Wiig) or say boo to his bullying new boss (Scott). Still, the three-act structure demands that even the most indecisive character must come to a crossroads and choose left or right, and so it goes for Walter when he’s tasked to find a missing photo negative that may or may not be located on the other side of the planet..."
Alec Soth’s American Dream
Magnum photographer presents work and process to UT crowd
DAILY Arts October 24, 2013, by Rod Machen
"...Alec Soth’s journey as an artist has been a long and illustrious one, one he shared with a packed audience at the University of Texas Wednesday. He began shooting photography in large format in the style of Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, and Robert Frank, a take on the everyday world that found beauty in unexpected places...."
Film Review September 14, 2012, by Marjorie Baumgarten
The director of Baraka returns with this wordless tone poem filled with stunning images and scant meanings.
"...I’m not a big fan of this style of vague, imagistic filmmaking. It seems to me that since Koyaanisqatsi in 1982, for which Fricke served as the director of photography, every other film of this sort has been repetition..."
Film Review April 27, 2012, by Kimberley Jones
The Planet Earth filmmakers turn their cameras on an orphaned chimp.
"...As with other Disneynature documentaries, Chimpanzee (coproduced with the Jane Goodall Institute) excels as a super-immersive, visually breath-catching entrée into a world little seen by humans. The stunning aerial photography, the time-lapse footage of nature alive and in flux, the macro lens on the chimpanzees' quotidian claw toward surviving and thriving, and a dramatic bonanza when an orphaned chimp is uncharacteristically adopted by the community's alpha male: great stuff, all of it, made cheap by a jokey narration that reeks of America's Funniest Home Videos and an editorial edict to frame these animals as hairier humans, assigning them heroes and villains and pop-song accompaniments edited to imply the chimpanzees are mugging for the camera..."
Film Review March 19, 2010, by Marc Savlov
"...For all its political backstory, Green Zone is, most importantly, rip-snorting entertainment along the lines of the Bourne films. Greengrass is by now the undisputed master of action-suspense films, and his director of photography Barry Ackroyd (The Hurt Locker) hits the ground running and doesn't stop for breath until the final shot..."
Film Review April 24, 2009, by Kimberley Jones
"...release, with a nice mix of gravitas and playfulness (as when he plays wingman to a preening bird of paradise: “How could a girl resist?”). Earth tracks the migration patterns of a trio of mothers – elephant, polar bear, and humpback whale – and their newborns, as well as provides a snapshot of animal and plant life in various ecosystems around the world, oftentimes via time-lapse photography as gorgeous and surreal as anything you’d find in a Michel Gondry film..."
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
The director of Doom takes on another video-game franchise, this time one about a female martial artist seeking justice.
Film Review March 6, 2009, by Marc Savlov
"...Van Damme is nowhere to be found here; his career's back on track now that somebody finally figured out the man can do more than high kicks and low comedy (e.g., JCVD). Director Bartkowiak has had some previous experience helming video-game-inspired crap action films (Doom), but the former director of photography on Terms of Endearment and Prizzi's Honor must be hanging tough with Uwe Boll these days, because Street Fighter is laden with such godawful dialogue (and worse line readings), a lame vendetta plot that was ancient prior to the Khmer Empire, and such a witless and scattershot narrative sense that it makes Capcom's original arcade game seem a paragon of verisimilitude..."
Film Review February 6, 2009, by Marc Savlov
A generic creeper that does nothing to improve upon the South Korean original.
"...UK siblings the Guard Brothers (working from a script by Lost alumnus Craig Rosenberg and Doug Miro) have got the eye, although it's not quite that of the Pang Brothers. And, to be fair, The Uninvited benefits from some outré cinematography courtesy of director of photography Dan Landin, who gets a real frisson out of the Vancouver-for-New England locations..."
Film Review December 12, 2008, by Marc Savlov
"...It may be drenched in the saffron and violet palettes of its Mumbai setting, but it plays like a classic Hollywood rags-to-riches love story, albeit one with Bollywood roots and a fully globalized desire to survive, succeed, live, and love within the teeming megalopolis formerly known as Bombay. It's a natural fit for Boyle and director of photography Anthony Dod Mantle..."
Film Review January 25, 2008, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Filmed in Argentina during U2’s Vertigo tour, U2 3D is a landmark film for its creative use of the medium. For once 3-D is being used not for wowwy effects and startling nature photography but in a way that complements and enhances the performance..."
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
Uwe Boll, the Timex watch of contemporary filmmakers (he takes a licking but keeps on ticking), strikes again.
Film Review January 18, 2008, by Marc Savlov
"...That said, his films (excluding the atypical Postal) continue to be notable for their sheer badness – it's as if someone had thrown a whole lot of money at Ed Wood and let him go wild, minus the angora. The sword-and-sorcery suckiness of In the Name of the King is primeval Boll material, rife with casting choices so inscrutable (Burt Reynolds?!) you'll be wondering who slipped the LSD in your Coke, cheesily bad CGI effects, and enough frenetic, semiepic battle sequences – expertly staged by Tony Ching but inexpertly shot by Boll's longtime director of photography Mathias Neumann, who apparently welded his camera to the end of a broadsword in a fit of cinema vérité – to give Spartacus a run for his money..."
Film Review July 27, 2007, by Marrit Ingman
"...Boyle relishes the moving parts of his spaceship; they groan and tumble like giant gears in a cosmic clockwork, ticking away the lives and the oxygen of his characters. The film is never less than beautiful, with sumptuous photography of the ship’s quilted, womblike passageways and an observation room drenched in hot, sudden light..."
Film Review November 24, 2006, by Marjorie Baumgarten
Like some epic figure of yore, writer/director Aronofsky has allowed his hubris to get the better of him: The Fountain is a dry well.
"...Sounds good, I suppose, and maybe it’s true. But why then do the characters in each of The Fountain’s time periods search for the Tree of Life (or fountain)? His characters can’t even be certain if it’s life or death that they seek – and Aronofsky wants us invest in their outcomes? Okay, so the movie doesn’t make too much sense and the characters are only shells, but at least (thanks to Aronofsky’s regular director of photography Matthew Libatique) The Fountain is a stunner to look at, even if the narrative entryways into each of the three time periods can prove rough passage..."
Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul
Film Review August 11, 2006, by Marrit Ingman
"...Akin and Hacke rarely pause to ruminate on any of their discoveries, and ultimately the movie doesn’t deliver a strong statement about what unites the different sounds of Istanbul. Though its photography is keen and vibrant and its concept elegantly simple, the movie doesn’t quite add up beyond its performances...."
Film Review July 28, 2006, by Marc Savlov
Perhaps vice isn't what it used to be, or maybe Crockett and Tubbs don't belong in this new time slot, but Michael Mann's movie turns out to be dreary and monochromatic.
"...Very nearly as electrifying as one of South Beach's ubiquitous pastel-peach beachfront cabanas or, alternately, an iridescently deceased jellyfish stranded at low tide and awash in sand fleas, Mann's edgy (read: underlit) take on the vacuous Eighties television cop-opera takes perhaps one too many cues from its cathode predecessor. For one thing, it's all style and precious little substance, drowning in a chromium murk (courtesy of Collateral's director of photography Dion Beebe), which manages to make this most garish of Floridian playscapes into a dreary, overcast hellscape, alternately queasy and threatening..."
End of the Spear
Film Review January 27, 2006, by Steve Davis
Members of the violent Waodani tribe of Ecuador kill five Western missionaries, but as a result they choose to abandon their kill-or-be-killed ways.
"...Objectively speaking, End of the Spear is not without its many faults, the most troublesome of which is its tendency to veer from the subtle and head full tilt toward the mawkish. (For example, the filmmakers have no qualms about cutting to a shot of ominous, dark clouds just before the unsuspecting men are massacred.) Even for the least cynical, it is easy to poke fun at the film simply based on its production values, though some of the aerial photography is spectacular..."
Into the Blue
Film Review September 30, 2005, by Marrit Ingman
"...Lurking in the turquoise waters is, of course, a fortune in cocaine submerged by a plane crash – and quite possibly the aforementioned buried treasure Jared and Sam are seeking. But when Bryce gets the gang in too deep (this is, after all, an unofficial remake of 1977’s The Deep) with the nose candy’s rightful owners, will they all wind up floating? You don’t need me to tell you what the draw is here – the MTV-ready principals undulating in their skimpy swimwear through big-ticket aquatic photography – but Into the Blue is better than it has to be..."
Film Review September 2, 2005, by Marc Savlov
"...(Well, actually updating that forgotten Sixties TV also-ran might have been slightly more out there, but you get the point.) Far from being groovy, November is a dense, dark head-trip of a movie that snakes in and around its own storyline like a Buddhist python: It’s the bastard offspring of Memento and Mullholland Dr., and initially it’s just as challenging (some might say annoying) as either. Cox, looking an awful lot like Saturday Night Live’s Tina Fey, plays Sophie, a photography professor whose boyfriend, Hugh, has recently been shot to death in a botched convenience-store robbery..."
Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids
Film Review March 18, 2005, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...What became more evident in this light were the vast numbers of children in the district, born to prostitutes and facing certain futures in servitude to the sex trade. Briski begins teaching photography classes to some of the children and provides them with cameras and instructions on how to channel their perceptions into photographic images..."