Roger Newton: The DIY Lens Guy

One artist that really interested me is Roger Newton. He is a photographer who creates large abstract images and whose determination to create nonrepresentational work has lead him to create his own camera, lenses and film. He originally became interested in photography when he was attending art school in New York during the 1980s. It was during this time he discovered the pinhole camera and was at once drawn to the blurry and unpredictability of the images created. He would eventually go on to make numerous pinhole cameras eventually branching out to create lenses made of mineral oil, corn syrup, water, glycerin, or other refracting liquids. At one point taking a break from his photographic practice in order to research and develop the kind of black and white film he desired (Margarett, 2001). In his artist statement Newton goes to say that, “by designing and fabricating my own lenses I can control the quality of the light collected, the size and shape of the image field, and the colors in the scene. This allows me to work more directly with fundamental problems in the processes of seeing and perception, and ultimately the ontological problems of the thing and or scene depicted” (Foundation for Contemporary Arts, n.d.). He fabricates his photographs by layering up various liquid substances to create a lens. The lens purposely made to “exists out of the normal range of our visual faculties”. To reject standard photographic imaging systems and photography as a medium of representationalism. Instead focusing on the optical experience of looking.

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bomb_59_newton1_body

It is Newtons rejection of photo-representalism and focus on the methods of imaging making that interests me when looking at my own idea for the final project. The reason I say this is because for this project I will be continuing my role as art researcher, and focusing on unearthing photographic practices; removing all subjective interpretations and limiting definitions. Instead focusing on the facts, presently that means understanding photography as the use and manipulation of light to maintain an image. An image which as author and curator Lyle Rexler points out isn’t always based on realism (Rexer, 2013) . With this definition in mind I intend to conduct several experiments ones which like Newton’s will circulate around methods of light manipulation to produce what can be describe for all intensive purposed as undisclosed images. Always keeping in mind my definition of photography and excluding anything from this experiment which would distract or hinder it. A second reason I am interested in Newtons work is that his use of liquids to create lenses has given me another possibility to consider in my own experimentation and manipulation of light for this project. Other methods/ elements I’m looking at include (but not limited to); types of light sources, the chemical composition of types of light and things that give off light, Photographic paper manipulation, reflection/ refraction, filtered light, aperture, shutter speed/ exposure, light wave lengths, energy, Inference of light.

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References

Foundation for Contemporary Arts. (n.d.). Roger Newton. Retrieved from Foundation for   the Contemporary arts web site:       http://www.foundationforcontemporaryarts.org/recipients/roger-newton

Margarett, L. (2001, June 8). Photography Review; Reinventing the lens for large   abstraction. The New York Times.

Rexer, L. (2013). The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography. New York:   Apature.

Additional Sources

https://collectordaily.com/the-edge-of-vision-abstraction-in-contemporary-photography-aperture/

http://www.lpwalliance.com/publication/43/

http://www.photoeye.com/BookteaseLight/bookteaselight.cfm?catalog=TR222&image=1

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Micheal Paul Smith

About The Artist:

Micheal Paul Smith is an artist whose work concerns small toys in the place of real life objects, therefore, making realistic scenes through the use of plastic toys and thoughtful placement. He then photographs these scenes in a way that makes them look very convincing. He makes these photographs by creating a 1:24 scale ratio to recreate everyday scenes from the mid 20th century to -mid 60s America.

How did it begin?

Smith started off with an interest in making scale models of objects as well as an interest in photography. This combination later grew into something magical. He used his sculptural skills and photography skills to create convincing photographs of olden day scenes. Smith wanted to recreate the town in which he grew up in which was a town in America in the 20th century to mid 60s. His work is not an exact replica of the town he grew up in but it does what he wants it to do and that is to create the feeling of the town he grew up in and bring back his childhood memories.

How is it made?

The buildings are constructed of resin-coated paper, styrene plastic, and basswood, plus numerous found objects. The vehicles are from Michael’s collection of 300+ commercially produced, diecast models.

These photographs were all made through the use of placement. No Photoshop was used in these images; they’re all composed in the camera. He refers to it as  the oldest trick in the special effects book: lining up a model with an appropriate background, then photographing it.

How does his work relate to my work?

I am interested in a similar idea that Smith uses within his work. For my final project I am interested in taking recognizable items/objects, constructing a sculpture and then using photography to make the objects look like much more then they really are. Through photography I will change the reality of the object so it is seen as something different then what it is seen as in person. This relates to Smith’s work because he builds structures and then uses photography to change the structure he built into realistic photographs of a fictional town.

Progress photos vs final photos :

 

His Links:

https://vimeo.com/116577464

http://blog.flickr.net/en/2013/10/04/crafting-scenes-of-iconic-americana/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/24796741@N05/

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/automobiles/collectibles/14SCALE.html

http://hooniverse.com/2010/03/10/mps-interview-pt1/

 

Photography III: Final Project

Idea:
The idea for my final project will stem off of Experiment #1: What is colour. Through this project I identified colour as a tangible object, that I was able to manipulate through photographic digital media. I would like to continue this experiment in order to develop a technical, and conceptual focus through the use of digital, and analogue practices. Inspiration has been identified from the following four artists: Jessica Eaton, Keith Rankin, Holly Roberts, Alex Mcleod. I found that each artist has contributed to my idea appropriately, and operate through a range of different photographic elements. I am interested in creating conflicting environments, subjects, and objects in my composition, which will contradict their physical spaces in their environments.

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These are the images that were produced previously for Experiment #1

Influences:
I hope to create surreal images based off the influences below.

Jessica Eaton

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cfaal 519, 2015. archival pigment print 40 x 32 inches

eaton_jessica_09_0

Jessica Eaton, cfaal (mb RGB) 18, 2010, archival pigment print, 50 x 40 inches

Capture

cfaal 505, 2015. archival pigment print 40 x 32 inches

images

  • Great technical attention
  • Ability to create and identify conflicting colours, shapes
  • Experimentation with different ways of abstraction
  • Presentation quality

Keith Rankin

Rankin8Orange_Milk_Records_-_Giant_Claw_-_Dark_Web_LP_1180_1200_75igN3NP7g_400x400a3717034932_16download

  • Integration of different gradients through the use of digital media
  • Interesting, compelling, confusing composition
  • Inspiration for the surreal

Holly Roberts

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Horse Resting (2014)

boybarefoot_rider-48x45_2013

Boy Barefoot Rider (2013)

Holly-Roberts-8

A Bird I Saw Walking (2007)

  • Use of photographic elements which contribute to its creation
  • Interesting uses of imagery to explain the anatomy of nature
  • Inspiration for the photographic element of the project
  • Difficulty in the surreal

Alex Mcleod

ax77

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Distant Lands (2011)

 

  • Environments created from digital media
  • Attention to colour composition, detail in each object
  • Compositions that are grand in detail and size

Julian Schulze

Julian-Schulze-Photography-Top4

Photographer and artist based in Berlin who focuses on geometric abstraction and minimalistic compositions. His shots are often made up of one or two colours or elements and are of every day scenes, mostly architecture.

In his latest series Some Thoughts on Composition he states, “Whereas I think that these “rules” can be a useful guide for the beginner, I think that strictly following them (as suggested by the term “rule”) can seriously impede your success in finding interesting angles, interconnections, and the true character of a picture”. Relates to how I try to come up with new ideas, ignore rules in order to get better sense of certain aspects of a medium.

https://www.julianschulze.com/

Julian-Schulze-Photography-P13-4

Technical:

  • Takes images of geometric shapes with interplay of colors, turns image in order to create further abstraction.
  • Taken in natural setting in daylight.

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Conceptual:

  • Thinking outside the “rules” of photography can expand the possibilities even within the most common subject matter.
  • Giving viewer a different perspective on familiar subjects.

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Methods:

  • Each shot is composed using light, shadow, and color to create the illusion of a 2D scene within a 3D subject.
  • Minimal detail as well as unorthodox lines/angles give different perspective on familiar subjects.
  • Often little content within image in order to emphasis obscurity.
  • Shot frontally to emphasize 2D plane.Julian-Schulze-Photography-P13-6I feel that his work is a prime example of breaking the boundaries of what makes up photograph and creating something new out of familiar subject matter. This is the goal of my final project, to demonstrate a larger subject whist only providing minimal details. 

     

    Photogrist stuff. (2016). Geometric Abstraction and Minimalistic Compositions by Julian Schulze. Retrieved from https://photogrist.com/geometric-structures-julian-schulze/

    DL Cade. (2017). 13 Beautiful Examples of Minimalist Photography by Julian Schulze. Retrieved from https://petapixel.com/2017/04/26/beautiful-examples-minimalist-photography-julian-schulze/

    Julian Schulze. (2017). Julian Schulze Photography. Retrieved from https://www.julianschulze.com/work/

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

Matthew Brandt

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Matthew Brandt is an American artist, born in Los Angeles, California in 1982; and is known for creating large-scale photographs through “labour-intensive processes” that elicit the origins of 19th century photography. The question Brandt most often refers to in his art is the questions of “What is a photograph?” A question we are very familiar with from our class work. Brandt calls his approach, “A little bit messy and experimental”, as he believes that in order to create distinctive images, he must first separate his work from the rest. His approach often incorporates the use of found materials from the locations in which he captures his images to further represent what he sees in front of him. This is evident in his series “Lakes and Reservoirs” (2011). Experimentation is a notion Brandt is familiar with as he states, “Only through experimentation can you arrive at something new” (Paginton, 2011).

Matthew Brandt has showcased works throughout the United States as well as Europe, and in November 2016, produced his third solo show at the Yossi Milo gallery titled, “Night Skies” (2016). Often combining methods of image-making, such as painting, silkscreen and photography, Brandt successfully creates innovate and experimental pieces that capture the attention of the viewer. Methods of alternative photography are often used by Brandt, as in his series, “La Brea” (2014), where he explored archeological subject matter through the use of a heliograph. (What is a heliograph?)

I am drawn to the work of Matthew Brandt because similar to him, I often use outside materials as a way of physically altering film to convey meaning. In my personal practice, I frequently manipulate the physicality of the image to further enhance the message, and question “what really is a photograph?” and “when does an image stop being a photo?” I enjoyed reading about Brandt’s similar approaches and am interested in his use of alternative photography as a way to create images.

Technically, Brandt uses a wide range of materials and resources to create his works as a way of deepening the meaning and relationship between the piece and the message it is trying to convey. Through the incorporation of natural material, Brandt is also able to create a unique relationship that physically connects the image to the place.  Conceptually, Brandt is attempting to create a physical connection between photo and place, and examines the overall notion of photographic materiality. Through the intentional destruction of the image, Brandt is undoing the process of photography and ultimately exposing hidden meanings that can exists between the photo and the place. This methodology is something that I would like to try and incorporate in my final project.

Paginton, F. “Matthew Brandt”. Dazed. 2011. http://www.dazeddigital.com/photography/article/11080/1/matthew-brandt

“Matthew Brandt”. Artspace. 2017. https://www.artspace.com/matthew_brandt

“Matthew Brandt”. Yossi Milo Gallery. 2014. http://www.yossimilo.com/exhibitions/2014_03-matthew_brandt/

“Process”. Harry Ransom Center. N.d. http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/permanent/firstphotograph/process/

Experiment #2(part 1): Environmental portraiture

parr-bird-attack

The Original Papparazzo: WEEGEEWeegee
Weegee, Murder Is My Business
The Weegee Exhibition is coming to Ryerson Image Centre from October 14-December 13 (Toronto field trip, anyone?)

 

GARY WINOGRAND

Garry Winogrand (American, 1928–1984) New York, 1968 Gelatin silver print; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, (GW.SFMOMA.003) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/645534

Garry Winogrand (American, 1928–1984)
New York, 1968
Gelatin silver print;
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, (GW.SFMOMA.003)
http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/645534

Exhibition at the MET | check out the video in the middle of the page

At National Gallery of Art (Washington,DC)

Questioning the ethics of street photography
Excellent perspective on Winogrand’s portrayal of women

Fraenkel Gallery | Winogrand’s In The Street portfolio

10 Things Gary Winogrand Can Teach You About Street Photography

 

HELEN LEVITT
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Great audio interview with Helen Levitt (images too)

Helen Levitt at MOMA
Helen Levitt: The New York Streets 1938-1990s

7 lessons Helen Levitt can teach you about street photography

MARTIN PARR

parr-bird-attack the-last-resort-martin-parr-2 the-last-resort-martin-parr-7

Martin Parr | The problem with The selfie stick

Too Much Photography?

The Facebook Problem!

Twin1 Twin2

These images are from the Behold :The Photog blog at SLATE magazine. The first two images are portraits by Maja Daniels who was commissioned by New York magazine to photograph french identical twins, Monette and Mady. The project won the Contour by Getty Images Portrait Prize.
More images + Article

RINEKE DIJKSTRA
Rineke Dijkstra | Tate Modern | Cruel and Tender | Guggenheim | MORE Guggenheim

ALEC SOTH
Sleeping By The Mississippi | A conversation with Alec Soth

AUGUST SANDER
MOMA | Amber Online | August Sander. com

LAUREN GREENFIELD
Girl Culture | THIN

SHIZUKA YOKOMIZO
Museum of Contemporary Photography | Google

HELEN VAN MEENE
A Conversation

TIMOTHY ARCHIBALD
A conversation | portraits

ARNOLD NEWMAN
The portraits | PDN gallery

JOEL STERNFELD

 

LARRY SULTAN | Pictures From Home

PFH37_SULTAN_My_Mother_Posing_for_Me_1984-700x571
TINA BARNEY
(an interview)


Mary Ellen Mark
Streetwise

BILL OWENS | Suburbia

STUDENT WORK | Andy Huckle

MISC

24 hours; 90 years (good environmental portrait example)

 

 

NIKI S. LEE
Museum of Contemporary Photography | The Creator’s Project, overview
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nikki_s_lee_original

Museum of Contemporary Photography | The Creator’s Project, overview

 

Toy Stories by Gabriele Galimberti

Anyone doing environmental portraiture for their final? Mostly Lauren, because you’re working with people and their possessions! This artist traveled around the world and photographed children with their most prized possessions over the course of 18 months. These might be nice images to look at in terms of arrangement people with objects.
(click the image to see the rest of the project)

 

A FEW BLOGS
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a start. Please add your contributions in the comments.

Fans in a Flashbulb
A blog from the folks at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NY

APERTURE magazine | Aperture Magazine | blog | The library has the print version. Go there, you can check out books for free, it’s like a torrent but psst, it’s legal.

FOAM magazine

British Journal of Photography

Daylight

Prefix The latest copy is usually in the lab. Headquartered in Toronto.

Conscientious (daily content)  and Conscientious Extended (longer articles/interviews)

LensCulture

Behold: The photo blog of SLATE magazine The photo blog at SLATE magazine

Photo Booth: The view from the photo department at the New Yorker magazine

PHOTO at the Atlantic Magazine at The Atlantic

St. Lucy

Ain’t Bad: started by the students at SCAD

 

 

 

SATURN!

In Photo I we often discuss how photographic seeing is fundamentally different from biological seeing. This is a great example of how photography extends our figurative and literal/scientific vision. 
Image of Saturn from The New York Times article, 100 Images From Cassini’s Mission To Saturn

More about Cassini and the end of it’s mission on Friday, September 14, 2017 when it vaporized into space. The Internet’s boyfriend Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium) tweeted:

 

Photo I : Pinhole Cameras and Photograms

GENERAL HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAMS
From Man Ray to Thomas Ruff—article
Good description with images
WILLIAM HENRY FOX TALBOT
Latticed_window_at_lacock_abbey_1835 LatticedWindowAtLacockAbbey| Photogenic Drawings | Arts Connected
ANNA ATKINS
2006AG1356_anna_atkins_grasses_camera-less_photography_custom_290x413_06200883

Festuca grasses from ‘British and Foreign Flowering Plants and Ferns’, c.1854
Brief Bio | The Getty | University of Texas, Austin

 

MAN RAY-Rayograms
DP106472
Metropolitan Museum of Art
At Aqua Velvet
General description of photography and surrealism

 

 

LASZLO MOHOLY NAGY
At MOMA | At the Getty Musuem

 

*CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS

ADAM FUSS
Adam_Fuss_-14-271x420

• At Cheim & Reid
• At Fraenkel Gallery
• At Artists and Alchemists
• Good article with terrible formatting
Interview in BOMB magazine.

 

ALISON ROSSITERGuilleminot-Riviera-ca30-diptych 516dcd9059f80photo_high_8690

• Represented by Stephen Bulger (Toronto)
Yossi Milo (NY)
• Canadian Art profile
Article in Le Rencontres d’Arles
Video at Gallery Intell

 

GARY FABIAN MILLER2010_002_night-cell

Artist Website
Video and images at Victoria and Albert Museum
At Ingleby Gallery

SHADOW CATCHERS at The Victoria and Albert Museum
• Camera-less photo
techniques at Victoria and Albert Museum
A History of Camera-less Photography at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
A listing of all of the artists plus video interviews in the Camera-less Photography exhibit.

 

SUSAN DERGES

Susan Derges
Prix Pictet
Paul Kasmin Gallery
Video, commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum.
At Oxford University
At Danziger Gallery

 

ABELARDO MORELL
photogram01_flashlight

Flashlight and Salt, photogram on 8×10 film
More of his photograms

 

 

THOMAS RUFF
Ruff06_phg.06_2012
Photograms for the new age (interview in Aperture magazine)
See more work at David Zwirner gallery

 

 

More about Erik Kessels

Erik Kessels, 24 Hours of Photos One day of  upload to photo sharing sites, printed.

We’ve talked about Erik Kessels work in various photo classes. Aperture magazine started an Instagram account in conjunction with Kessel’s upcoming exhibition and book. So, that’s right, it’s a social media account displaying photographs from an artist who selected the images from photo uploading sites. It’s great!

Instagram: the.many.lives.of.erik.kessels