Paul Melcher: The websites, part 8
It seems important to most that small variations in a subject could have major impact on everything else. It is, after all, the premise of the Chaos theory. Photography could be included in those small variations because 1/100 of a second can have unimaginable consequences. Not just in a forgotten bloody war, but also on your kitchen table or the dark alleys of power. Truth, after all, has nowhere to hide. And great photography always chases truth. This is what we see in this week’s selection of websites to visit.
1. The White House News photographers Association
Created by the prestigious White House News photographers Association, the “Eyes of History” yearly contest is a celebration of photojournalism at its best.
Members of the this organization do not have the privilege of being exposed to colorful, lively, attention grabbing events. Instead, day in day out, they are confined to people behind a podium to people behind a desk, with the occasional people behind a microphone. Yet, using the full power of their art, they produce some of the most amazing, the most passionate and story telling images one can see. They have to use every single one of their skills along with the little time/little space they are given to produce our historical vision. Not every speech is the same, not every bill signing is the same ; each contain all the power of their intentions in these frames.
The “Eyes of History” is a tribute to these soldiers of history that document with so much precision and love the political events that ultimately will affect all of us. Visit the gallery of the 2011winners and you feel that you have learned everything about Washington DC. You probably did.
2. The Daily Mail and Eva Braun
While we are visiting history, why don’t we go back a few decade ? The Daily Mail has just published some never seen snapshots of Eva Braun, Hitler’s infamous girlfriend/wife. These images come from Eva Braun’s private album and shows her life prior and during her romance with the Nazi leader. No big revelation here but rather a rare glimpse into the life of a young woman who seemed oblivious to the devastation around her and that maybe she could have affected. It’s truly a snapshot photography voyage that we encounter here from, what we assume to be various unknown photographers. No art here, rather raw photographic history .
3. Johann Rousselot
We have seen a lot of images from Tunisia, Egypt and now, Libya. Unfortunately, it is almost the same ones that come out of the pipelines of the four wire services, Getty , AP, Reuters, AFP. Not that they are bad images, not at all, but rather, it seems that we see the same images over and over again. It is too bad because a lot of independent photographers have taken upon themselves to go and cover these events.
Belgian photographer Johann Rousselot is one of them. Instead of looking for the “money shot”, that one image that will be published everywhere, he has been concentrating on telling a story. Taken individually, his images might not stand out . But as a narrative, they are compelling. He writes with his camera, as a photojournalist should do. The multimedia ( Photo, Video, Sound) that he posted on his website is as informative, intelligent and powerful than any reporting done by a team. You feel that you have been there with him and that you have finally a better understood the situation.
4. The British Sport Journalist association
Sometimes, it’s good to walk away from all the noise and violence of the news cycle and spend some time in the less bloody world of Sports. Some of the best photographers in the world shoot only sports. Not unlike their brotherhood of the White House (see above), sports photographers are also confined in one place, with one light, and a repeat scenario. Yet they are capable of the most beautiful images, capturing some amazing moments that event a TV camera cannot portrait so well.
The British Sport Journalist association has just released their winning pictures for 2011 and it is a great batch.
5. The New York Times, Modernist Cuisine
Finally, we visited this site already but it is always full of refreshing surprise. This gallery is no exception. One of the hardest field of photography is food. Why? Because it is extremely difficult to make it appetizing as well as real. Good food doesn’t always look good . So photographers have to juggle with lights, artifacts and the debilitating lack of smell to make something look appetizing without looking too plastic. And if this wasn’t enough, every shoot has to be different than the precedent; Think about it, how many ways can you photograph a steak.
The image from Ryan Matthew Smith of The Cooking Lab LLC for “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking’’ a self-published six-volume go beyond the call of duty. They are images that you would hang on your walls as art pieces and not what you expect from a cook book.