A human crib sheet, Bacons model wrestlers, and crime scenes real and imagined a new show at the Michael Hoppen gallery examines documentary photography in all its complexity
There is a quiet power to Simon Norfolks black-and-white study of what looks like an ordinary staircase in a nondescript house. What strikes you first in this photograph which features in a new exhibition called ? The Image as Question is how the light plays on each polished surface: the gleaming handrail and pristine skirting board, the gloss-painted wall. It is then you notice that the surface of each stair is not straight but gently curving, worn by the footsteps of those who have walked down them over the years.
The French thinker Roland Barthes identified what he called the punctum: the crucial, often accidental, detail of a photograph that reveals something deeper. The curve of the worn stairs is not an accidental detail in Norfolks photograph, but the crucial element in the composition that, as Barthes put it, rises from the scene with a force that makes it suddenly seem like a new photograph. Those who walked down these stairs, leaving the imprint of their vast numbers, were heading towards their deaths in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. It is a photograph that evokes horror in the most subtle and affecting way.
The winners of the Red Bull Illume Sports Photography Contest were announced this week, and they include some stunning perspectives of action and adventure sports.
Photographer Lorenz Holder won top prize for his colorful image of BMX Pro Rider Senad Grosic.
“In my photos, I like to show the viewers the beauty of the environment where athletes perform. I think a great location is one of the key elements for a great action picture, Holder said.
In the image (embedded below) Holder was able to capture the mirrored scene on the water surface as the full color-spectrum of the autumn leaves acts as a frame for the image.
The winning images represent the best from the world of action and adventure sports photography. The contest, celebrating its 10-year anniversary, attracted photographers from 120 countries who submitted 34,624 images.
The winning photographers images will be unveiled in Wrigley Square in Chicago as the first stop of the Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour a nighttime photo exhibition where the photos will be illuminated on 2x2m lightboxes. The Wrigley Square exhibit is free and open to the public every night until Oct. 9.
Following the two-week exhibition in Chicago, Red Bull Illume will travel to its next world tour stop Toronto, Canada. The exhibition will be open to the public at Torontos Union Station from Nov. 18-27.
The internet is full of beautiful and amazing photographs, but do you ever stop and wonder just what went into that perfect shot? I’m not just talking about the digital manipulation side of the process, although there’s certainly plenty of that involved. No, I’m talking about the physical hard work combined with the often super-creative approaches that photographers employ in order to ensure that their final shot is the very best it can be.
Show Full Text
Take a look at these behind-the-scenes pictures to see what we mean. Compiled by Bored Panda, they’re sure to give the budding photographer some fresh ideas while giving the rest of us an enlightening glimpse into the reality that hides behind many a perfect picture.