Websites, part 16
Sometimes it’s what is not seen that is important. Some of the most iconic images fail, on purpose, to show us the source of the action and focuses rather on the reaction. It’s all about consequence rather than cause. Think about the images that have marked you the most and you will realize that many of them never show what is going but rather how people react to what is going on. These images are stronger because they force us to read human reaction in order to understand what is going on : you know, that 95% non verbal communication.
It also forces us to complete the image in our minds, forcing us to use our own experience and knowledge to fill in the major missing piece. The past week has been a perfect example. From the White House released images of president Obama and staff watching what we suppose is a live feed of the attack on Osama Ben Laden compound to the absent image of the Al Qaida leader dead, it is all about what is not seen. Ironic for a medium that pride itself in capturing reality.
1. These Americans
How to best describe These Americans ? Like this : THESE AMERICANS explores the vast records of the American photographic archives. Archive sources include the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, FSA, New York Public Library and Documerica Archives along with many other City, State and Local archives. ? It would be limited. Rather, this site is a love affair with america via its photographic archive. It’s America the beautiful but also America the ugly. Its luxury and extreme poverty, pin ups and criminals. It’s historical and current. It is also impossible to not get lost in the hundreds of galleries of images, sipping through historical photographic documents that best describe this complex nation.
2. Agnes Dherbeys
Agnes Dherbeys is not only the most recent recipient of the Robert Capa award, she is also an excellent photo journalist. This french photographer who lives in Bangkok, Thailand, has a degree in political science, as well as a masters in communication. In a time of instant snapshots, she prefers working on stories for a long time so that she can report on her topics with the most accurate vision. Her portfolio is a testament to her dedication and her passionate involvement of her reporting. There is much more than a thousand words per image here, along with a a sensual and intimate relationship with her subject. There not be much of Capa’s style in her images, but there is certainly the same dedication to reporting deeply and fully.
Eric Guth is a lucky man. He gets to travel a lot. As he explains : “I currently work aboard an expedition style cruise ship that plies the world’s oceans in search of memorable people, places and animals. Despite limited formal education in photography my current role as Photo Instructor comes from 6 years of work with the company, Lindblad Expeditions (www.expeditions.com) “ . That company happens to be closely associated with The National Geographic foundation, which has put Eric in contact with some of the most talented nature photographers in the world. Thus, along is numerous trips, he has gathered some amazing images of nature’s landscape and wildlife. And he doesn’t appear to be finished. His website could certainly use a little bit of redesign to make his image pop out more intensively, but his image are well worth the visit, and the dreams.
4. Women’s Wear Daily
Not often do you get to hear, or read the thoughts of a working photo editor on an image. Never do you get some of the top photo editors all talk about the same images. Thanks to the raid on the Ben Laden compound , that has changed. WWD ( Women’s Wear Daily ), a fashion magazine website of all people, offers his viewers a rare glimpse into the thoughts of photo editors. Using the now iconic images of President Obama and his staff watching the raid on a live feed in the situation room taken by Pete Souza, the site asked many photo editors their thoughts. Not about the event itself, although it is obviously an integral part of the image, but rather of the quality of the image. The result is great and powerful insight of some of the most influential people in photography today. Not only a must read but a must archive is well. Hopefully WWD, or others, will do this often.
5. Sky Survey 360
Last but not least for this week : an image that is not only fascinating by it beauty, but also how it was made. It took astro photographer Nick Risinger, a 28-year-old native of Seattle, 37,000 images put together to create a full image of the sky above us. It also took him over 60,000 miles of traveling, from the USA to South Africa, to capture each and every single element of our sky, the way no one has ever seen it. Because of his sophisticated approach, one can see the sky at its fullest, 3,000 brighter than what currently see. The result is an amazing landscape of stars, Milky way, planets, galaxies and nebulaes in which one can get lost for hours as you zoom in and out, scroll around. It is an amazing performance that shows that photography has yet to show its limitation.