Websites, part 13
Photography is very personal. Not only because it is always executed by a lonely individual, however big the staff around him, but also because it is viewed individually. It might be a group experience, sometimes, when many people assemble to view a slideshow or visit a gallery. But, however the size of of the group we share the space with when we consume a photograph, we are alone. The web just enhances that experience as we tend to surf alone, laptop flipped open, clicking on one link after another as if the world around us no longer existed. And we enjoy photographs as if they were talking to us and us alone. It’s a one on one communication that keeps its secrets in the mind of the viewer. We can share what we have seen, we just do not share what we felt.
1. Michael Leis
Michael Leis is prolific. He shoots a lot and often. His website is a tribute to his voluminous production. This German photographer likes women, colors and water, a recurring theme in his images. He loves form too, which he uses intelligently to extend his vision, playing with the human form and its natural surrounding. He uses light to paint rough markings on his models, defining with exact precision the lines that should be considered.
His on line book is a visual delight which displays a wide range of skills, an acute ability to surpass his influences and a dedication to creative innovation.
2. Gabriela Herman
You might know Gabriela Herman from a recent story she did on bloggers behind their screens. Solely lit by the glow of their computer screen as they were writing their entries, it is an subtile exercise on urban ethnicity. But Herman can do much more which you thankfully see on her website. She has a series, for example, called Endless Summer, that is a pure refreshing take on American summers. It goes beyond the cliches ( you know, barbecues, beaches, semi nakedness..) and creates images that feel like personal memories. Probably because she puts her model so at ease, you almost feel that you were there, with these people, that they are all friends, or family. Like timeless snapshots of every summer you had.
She has, obviously, lots more on her site. Oh yes, don’t forget her blog too.
3. Wired, Raw Files
You can be a super geek who’s only interest is megabits, smart phones, artificial intelligence and video games, that doesn’t preclude you from liking photography. Of course, it has to be a little different than mainstream. After all, you want to keep your “not understood” status. And it doesn’t have to be about computers and nano chips all the time. That is what “Raw File” does. It is the entirely dedicated to photography blog of fame Wired magazine.It’s not about the technology of photography, just photography.
The result is interesting if not fascinating. Rarely do you not find yourself mesmerized by the discovery of what some people can do with a camera . It is a very refreshing site, far from the photo establishment.
4. La Fabrique des Images
Sometimes, we see so many images, we skip on their meaning. We fill our eyes with photographs as if we were starving for more instead of savoring the few that are meaningful. La Fabrique des images ( sorry, just in French for now) is a site that takes the time to rethink the meaning of those photographs we seem to consummate to quickly. Thanks to a voice over a slide show of images, viewers can revisit some of the images they have seen, explained more in details by photo editors, curators, historians, journalist or photographers. It has no other purpose than to reveal a trend, exposed a hidden meaning or inform with a historical background. The shows are short, a few minutes each, just enough to make their point and make us realize what we have missed. A great idea, well executed, that we will hopefully see soon on english speaking sites.
Alex Masi probably has one of the worst sites that I have seen in many years. It is ugly, messy, badly designed. It looks like it was put together by a teenager back in the 90’s. Regardless, he has some of the best images seen in a long time. Once navigated through the mess and into the portfolios, one has the chance to see some pure, 100 % fat free, unalienated photojournalism. The kind that works a story from beginning to end, revealing previously unknown information, mostly using a camera and little text.
Masi is a master in color and lighting, very close to Steve McCurry’s talent, as well as a very talented story teller. His photo essays surf very close to current news but always keeping a safe distance. It’s Afghanistan, yes, but not the war. It’s India with Bohpal, 25 years after. It’s New York, with it’s “freegans”.
Masi doesn’t seem to produce a lot often, but when he does, it is excellent work. Keep an eye on him.