Studio Photography

The SCAR Project

The SCAR Project

Photographer David Jay is both an incredible portrait photographer and sensitive to the intimate psychological and physical details of breast cancer surgery. This is one of the most incredible collections of photographs I’ve seen on any subject. These images need to be seen printed as they’re large: exhibition schedule.

Check out the documentary: Baring It All.

The SCAR Project is a series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. Primarily an awareness raising campaign, The SCAR Project puts a raw, unflinching face on early onset breast cancer while paying tribute to the courage and spirit of so many brave young women.

Dedicated to the more than 10,000 women under the age of 40 who will be diagnosed this year alone, The SCAR Project is an exercise in awareness, hope, reflection and healing. The mission is three-fold: raise public consciousness of early-onset breast cancer, raise funds for breast cancer research/outreach programs and help young survivors see their scars, faces, figures and experiences through a new, honest and ultimately empowering lens.

[via Boing Boing]

LaPorte, Indiana: A Documentary Film

LaPorte, Indiana Trailer from Joe Beshenkovsky & Jason Bitner on Vimeo.

My wife’s a Hoosier (from the Evansville at the other end of the state) but this documentary is something I’d be interested in anyway. Thousands of images from a local studio photographer rebuild the history of a town much like a Ken Burns film (it seems).

The trailer reminded me of the movie A Christmas Story which somehow seems like it was filmed or supposed to take place somewhere in Indiana, the middle of middle America.

Browse around and order the DVD here: LaPorte, Indiana: A Documentary Film.

[via Coudal Partners]

Macworld iPhone 4 Cover Photo shot with iPhone 4

Macworld iPhone 4 Cover

I’ve always thought it would be cool to photograph the cover of Macworld magazine using an iPhone as my camera. When the new iPhone 4 was released with the 5MP camera, the editors at Macworld were excited to see if it could be done. What better way to showcase the phone’s new camera than to have an iPhone take the photo of the iPhone on the cover?

Look at the fantastic jig he’s got for the shoot. Great documentation.

[via Daring Fireball]

Steve Korn shoots the Chamber Dance Company

Chamber Dance Company

My friend and Seattle photographer Steve Korn posted this image which he was contracted to shoot with the following caption:

I was contacted last night for an urgent photo session this morning. The shot is for an article about the up coming series presented by the Chamber Dance Company at the University of Washington. Because of class scheduling, I had 30 minutes to set-up and execute the shot. We managed to enter the room, set up my gear and get the whole thing done in 20. I then raced home, processed the shot and sent it off to the editor.

The dancers are: Matthew Henley and Catherine Cabeen.

The image is the header on this page: University (of Washington) Week and is used in this article.

Not only is Steve an excellent photographer but he shares most of his various studio processes in his flickr stream. Given that I’m a rank novice with studio lighting and flash I can imagine being his apprentice for a few shoots like this and learning a lot.

Photograpy and politics merge

The well known photographer Jill Greenberg was asked to do a portrait of Senator John McCain for the cover of The Atlantic. She did the job and gave them the image they wanted. Jill has a distinctive style that is unmistakable: heavily processed images with harsh lighting making them look airbrushed.

Some background on Jill and her work: Jill Greenberg, The Manipulator, Jill Greenberg’s images through google search, and Jill Greenberg on youTube.

Understand that had Jill given The Atlantic the image they wanted and left it at that, none of this would have happened. The Atlantic is happy with the image and no matter what Jill’s political leanings (she’s a Democrat with on the record hatred of The Bush Administration), this uproar is not about the Atlantic cover, it’s about Jill’s comments to PDN.

In an interview that Jill gave to Photo District News she commented in a way that let it be known that she had not gone out of her way to make Senator McCain look good. Read her comments here: How Jill Greenberg Really Feels About John McCain. Take some time and read the comment thread that follows, fascinating stuff.

What’s interesting is that it seems Jill was discussing an image that was not used by The Atlantic. You can see it in the collection here.

Jill’s comments and the entire situation have been discussed in various places: Fourteen Questions about the Greenberg/McCain mess, Photo Change We Can Believe In (?), Vincent LaForet: Jill Greenberg & McCain, About that McCain Photo (Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic, Out-Takes: Behind The Atlantic’s McCain Cover, and UPDATE: Atlantic Magazine has Responded to Greenberg/McCain Ambush (the guy to track in this thread is “kirkinaustin,” he’s brilliant).

I think the Atlantic cover is exactly what they wanted and John McCain and his aids knew what they were getting into (or should have) being asked to be on the cover of The Atlantic. The bigger issue is how a professional photographer allows politics to creep into their work, even political work. Or, even if it doesn’t creep into the actual work, the fact that Jill voiced an opinion publicly makes people question her work. This is fascinating stuff and no doubt will be the topic of conversations for months to come.

Few question the fact that Irving Penn didn’t always make his subjects look the way they wanted. Many famous portrait photographers have attempted to channel what they (the photographers) saw as the essence of the subject and that essence might be less than flattering.

I’m not defending Jill Greenberg here, just attempting to put this entire situation in a larger context.

There is no generic portrait of John McCain, Barack Obama, or anyone else. A photographer like Jill Greenberg was given some direction by the art department of The Atlantic and no doubt was told about the type of writing that was going to be in the issue. They no doubt asked her for a certain look that might accompany the article. Or, they knew her lighting techniques would produce that look.

This is a fascinating issue and my guess is it will be discussed long after this election is over. Maybe Jill did us all a favor by forcing us to think clearly about how we take jobs and what baggage we bring or don’t bring to them.

Steve Korn: photographing dance

Another studio shot of a dancer from my flickr contact Steve Korn who shot this at the University of Washington for the Chamber Dance Company.

I found links in the comment thread of Steve’s shot to two more photographers who specialize in this type of photography: David Cooper, and Lois Greenfield who are well known professional photographers.

But, I must say, my friend Steve holds his own, this image is stunning, perfect in every way and to make an image like this takes skill with exposure, lighting, and timing, not to mention working with the dancer and a director and/or choreographer who knows what they want. But, considering that a dancer can’t pose, the photographer really has to know what the director wants and then time the shot correctly to get it. I can’t even get people to pose for a still portrait let alone freeze this kind of action. I’m incredibly impressed by this.