Tag Archive: Pictures
Pete Marovich recently got in touch to talk about his project, American Journal, an online magazine collecting photos and stories about the United States from a variety of contributors. There’s a lot of interesting work there, including: Michael Webster’s Curious People, Peter Marovich’s Legacy of the Black Cowboy, Andrea Morales’ Extracted Dreams, Implanted Realities, Jennifer Whitney’s Love and the Third Degree, and Jenna Isaacson’s All Thrifty States. The site started as a way for Marovich and his wife to collect work they did outside of their regular newspaper assignments, but grew to include other contributors. They welcome submissions. The goal is to make a sort of general interest magazine about contemporary American life, and I think they’re well on the way.
I’m always fascinated to learn how people outside of the insular photo community interact with and relate to photography, especially photojournalism. This Reddit thread, posted to the AskReddit subsection of the site, offers just such a glimpse into how (a section of) the public reacts to imagery, focusing on “powerful” photos. The gallery presented above collects the 10 most popular images in the thread and the most popular opinion posted in reply to those images. I’ve added caption and photographer information where I could find it.
The initial poster posed the question “Reddit, what is the most powerful photo you have ever seen?” and, to start off the discussion, offered this image of a monk praying for a dead man in a Chinese train station. This Reddit thread is particularly notable because of its popularity: the thread was featured on the front page of Reddit (no small feat for a site that receives thousands and thousands of posts each day), was posted to one of the most popular subsections (with 1.2 million subscribers), and, as of my writing, the thread had a total score upwards of 1200 and nearly 4000 comments. It’s a very popular post, to say the least.
The demographics of Reddit are hard to know, but a few attempts have been made. The site’s users are about 80% male, are 80% American, are middle class, have some college education, and are under 35 (most under 25). That doesn’t mean the respondents in the thread fit into this demographic, but it’s a good approximation.
So, taking a few assumptions, the thread shows us the types of pictures that young, educated, American men find important, powerful, and interesting. This is a demographic for which much of our culture is targeted and which I’m sure many magazines and newspapers would love to appeal to.
This selection is striking to me for a few reasons. One, it’s a pretty interesting collection of images from a community whose stock and trade is usually closer to LOLcats and “fail” pictures (~1.5 million subscribers) than great visual journalism (~400 subscribers). Two, it includes some very subtle pictures, especially those by NASA and those focusing on political tensions. The image of the sunset on Mars, in particular, is a wonderful surprise and a sensitive choice. It’s certainly not an “obvious” picture; the image speaks deeply about humanity’s role in the universe, but in a less clear way than, perhaps, The Blue Marble. Three, there are no images from Iraq or Afghanistan (the boy receiving the flag from his father’s casket comes close) and few from the US. The selection reflects some very contemporary events, but few are directly related the community’s own experience. Four, at least half of the images aren’t the sort that win awards, though a few here are from the canon of photojournalism (including the colorized self-immolation picture). In spite of that, the images communicate quite powerfully. Content is king.
Most of all, this selection gives me hope that strong imagery still has the power to reach out to the public, even sections of the public which may have been written off by publications desperate to hang on to their aging and dwindling audiences. Quiet and emotive imagery still resonates with the young and digital audience raised on the never-not-breaking-news cycle.
There’s nothing I like more than vintage photos from Russia. We’ve seen color photos from the very early 1900s Russia before, and now a new trove of images from pre-revolutionary Russia have been unveiled. The photos, reports the Moscow Times, were taken during a visit to the country by Union Carbide founder Cornelius Kingsley Garrison Billings. Billings was on tour with his prize-winning racehorses, and he brought along journalist Murray Howe, armed with an early Graflex camera, to produce periodic dispatches for The Horse Review magazine. And while Howe’s charge was nominally to report on horses, his pictures prove to be a valuable historical record of daily life in pre-revolutionary Russia. Of the 400 images captured by Howe, 76 have been posted here on flickr.
Make sure to read the anecdotes that appear alongside some of the photos. The story accompanying this photo of the Moscow Thieves Market, for instance, is just wonderful.
Here’s a continuation of the previous roundup of dvafoto’s friends’ and readers’ favorite/best photos of 2010. Keep them coming!
Matt Mallams, Bryan Mitchell, Wendy Marijnissen, Lianne Milton, Noah Darnell, Nathan W. Armes, Clayton Hauck, Shaena Mallett, Todd Spoth, Evan Gilman, Helena Franke, Nathan Weyland, Josh D. Weiss, Pete Carr, Patrick Smith (and part 2), and Luka Knezevicstrika.
Thanks to everybody for sending in their favorites from 2010. Here’s hoping 2011 will bring great light, beautiful pictures, and plenty of tearsheets.
Four of my images (above) from the series Young and Abandoned, portraits of orphans on the verge of institutionalization in rural Jiangsu Province, China, will be included in an exhibition at Fe艺术iv’Art (Feztiv Art) in Shanghai, China, from January 22-26th, 2010. There is an opening on January 22 at 6:30 pm. I’ll be there.
The festival was created by the Artdidact, the Artistic Commission of the French Junior Chamber International of Shanghai, whose aim is “to take part and contribute to the progress of the global community by giving to the young the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, their social responsibility and the necessary solidarity for taking actions to produce positive changes. Members of the JCI identify and realize projects to serve the positive evolution of their city in all fields: arts, social, economics, cultural, community…”
The subject of the exhibition is “China Youth,” and the pictures will be on display at Art + Shanghai Gallery at Fumin Lu, Lane 22, House 2, (Near Yanan Lu). Phone: +86-21 6248 4388. In the off-chance that someone in Shanghai is reading this, I hope to see you there.
Happy holidays from dvafoto. May your days be full of good food, good pictures, and good times with friends and family.
I can’t believe I haven’t linked to lovebryan.com yet. The brainchild of Bryan Derballa, the site aggregates the work of 8 member photographers and an oscillating contingent of less-frequent contributors. The work presented is all over the place, but mostly it’s raw and creative and unexpected and fun. You might find a mushroom-filled trip to a lake, chickens and naked babies, a trip on a cruise ship, the scene behind the scenes of what looks like a horror music video, a visual-psycho-analysis of one’s kid sister, road trips, or nostalgia for the summer you wish you had last year. It’s hard not to get lost in there for hours.
Sorry for the absence of posts here. Haven’t had reliable internet access for the better part of a month. Here are a few pictures from the past couple of weeks along with a promise to return to regular posting on dvafoto. I’m currently in northern Montana, and I can be reached by phone at +1-917-512-3473.
I’ve recently completed a body of work on China’s domestic consumer market. Long dormant, recent years have shown the billion or so potential consumers make an attractive target for the companies throughout the world. Coca-Cola knew this early on, but now companies such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Mercedes-Benz, H&M, Louis Vitton, Pizza Hut, and any other brand you know have opened shops in major urban centers in China.
Politicians in Beijing have been downplaying the severity of China’s share of the global economic crisis. Outlooks remain optimistic and, thanks in part to half-trillion-dollar stimulus plans, the country’s economic growth has not declined as rapidly as some had predicted. Through tax incentives, government-provided shopping vouchers, a lowering Consumer Price Index, and a nationwide “Buy China” movement, consumer spending in China has remained strong throughout recent months and is expected to grow in the near future. While many doubt that the country’s domestic market will bring swift respite to the world’s economies, evidence suggests it has done much to soften the blow to China’s bottom line.
More work from the series can be seen on my website, “Hao shaoxi, hao shaoxi: China’s domestic consumer market”.