Rod McNicol is currently exhibiting "Momento Mori" at MGA. It's running till the 31st August so please pop in and take a look.
Rod McNicol's portraiture is quite amazing. His very unique style makes for photographs that draw you very deeply into the gaze, yet the amount of information is kept to a very bare minimum. His sitters are generally sitting square to the camera in a head and shoulders frame, and stare blankly and very directly into the camera. There is a sensation in almost every image that you the viewer are peering into the eyes trying to find a connection, the sitter in the image is doing the same to you. You walk the exhibition space and start to feel a little paranoid about these people staring directly at you, not speaking and just observing. The images seem to have a 'cruel tenderness' about them. By that I mean there is a 'cruel' hardness and formalness in the image. The sitter not smiling and square to the camera having their image taken like they were to appear as a mug shot on television; then you look deeper into the image and the 'tenderness' of the sitter starts to come through and steals your breath just slightly as you connect to them.
Please visit the gallery and take a closer look for yourself. These images will stop you in your tracks.
In something that could only be described as brilliant, the wonderful Martin Parr has been unanimously voted in as President of Magnum Photos International.
“This is an exciting time for Magnum. We have consolidated and increased our photographer base with a very talented group of people coming from diverse photographic and cultural backgrounds. We have launched several initiatives to engage further with the worlds of digital and social media, while at the same time strengthening our relationship with our estates. Finally, we have managed a leadership transition. Giorgio Psacharopulo arrived at Magnum in a difficult time and, through his efforts and dedication, put us on the right path. I am confident that David Kogan’s experience as a successful media executive and entrepreneur, and his sensitivity as an important collector of photographs, brings the right mix of competence and vision to open this new chapter of Magnum’s history.” (M.Parr, Magnum, http://www.magnumphotos.com) You can read the full blog post here.
When we take digital photographs we always end up with a dilemma, Black and White or Colour?
Is there anything wrong with either? Well no, but sometimes a photograph can 'feel' like a black and white image yet not really make it.
This is the same image (yes i know the crop is slightly different) with the same RAW processing. Even though it's the same image, do we get a different emotional response from the colour to the black and white? Do they feel exactly the same, but one is aesthetically more pleasing to look at thank the other?
These seem pretty important questions to most photographers. Sometimes the work just doesn't have the 'punch' to go black and white, and as a colour image has a touch of the 'ABD' (Already Been Done). I know I only took this image yesterday, but I have been slowly picking it apart critically for most of the night and this morning and have come to the same conclusion as I did when I took it which is it's a pretty good image, but lacks punch. Something is missing from this image in both versions, and I can't think what it might be. They are both just kind, well boring to be honest. I love my work most of the time and really enjoy the act of taking photos, but in this case I think the image in my head has missed the image shown in the camera.
I was a book I have based on my Semester one folio idea of the recurring fear we have that can still haunt and upset us in our adult life. We know these things can never hurt us, they are only toys, but we have a unusual irrational fear of them.
Do I plan on doing a proper book of them later on.. Yeah I might. I do keep my eye out for crazy old toys every time I walk past a second hand store, so I do think this will be a very long and open ended project for me.