Are adventure photographers inherently selfish people? Maybe we are. For the last few weeks I have been enjoying climbing, hiking, paddling and biking all over New South Wales, Australia, but you don't see any photographic proof of that here. Did I make any photos while I was out, a few, but most of the time my hands were full of sweaty bike bars or trying to
Yesterday I wandered the halls of the Art Gallery in New South Wales in Sydney to view the current free photography exhibit "Photography and Place: Australian landscape photography 1970's until now". The exhibit shows the work of 18 photographers including works by Australian photo luminaries I have long admire including Bill Henson and Ricky Maynard. The photography is by art photographers, but their approach to photographing the Australian landscape is not what I expected to see. What I expected to see were lots of arty-type concept works. What I did see were often simple representative images of the landscape. The photographers approach in these works was to record the landscape as would a historian or documentary photographer. I better stop there or I'll start sounding like a critic and not like a photographer.
The prints are often very big, like the 100x148cm images of wind swept ice in the Antarctic (is that in Australia?) by David Stephenson. You'll find mix of Black and White and the color prints. None of the photography in color was the easy to digest over saturated bright color landscape photography that is popular today. What I enjoyed most in this exhibit were Lynn Silverman's Horizons series she did in 1979 and Paul Ogier's new work from the Emu Field Atomic Test Site. In the exhibit are a couple of Rosemary Laing prints from her Heysen series from 2005, I don't like those as much as her earlier work.However, A couple of floors below are some Laing prints that might be for a new installation-the room was blocked from entry. The Laing prints I could see include #2, of the burning car in the desert, are from her 2003 series titled "One dozen Unnatural Disasters in the Australian Landscape".
It was also nice to see some prints from the NSW Art Gallery collection that I have only see in books. Like the Perisher Valley prints by Ingeborg Tyssen.
If you have time you really should check out Photography and Place at the NSW Art Gallery.
I usually don't like frames around prints and if I use frames I figure the simpler the better-white mat with a thin black frame. I got to thinking about photo frames while working on an order for framed prints. This led me to thinking of iconic Frames. Do you remember the Polaroid Land camera? It was a clever orange camera that snapped open and made instant photos. The photos were washed out, but the frame of the photo became an icon in itself.
I don't own a Polaroid Land camera, but my modern equivalent for making instant photos would have to be my iPhone.The photos below are some recent photos from my iPhone and if this blog background were not so white you could see the Polaroid frame better . If only making iconic photos could always be so easy.
Over a thousand photographers are planning to attend a protest rally organised by Arts Freedom Australia (AFA) on Sunday 29 August to make a stand for photographers rights.
If you are in Sydney area or even if you're just here for a visit come on down to the waterfront for some good clean fun. This is a chance to meet fellow professional photographers and show your support for an important cause. Showing up demonstrates your concern about excessive photography permits and restrictions when photographing on public lands and in public spaces, for example the Sydney Harbour where this rally will take place.
More info can be found on the AFA blog site (here) Don't forget to bring your camera! See you there on Sunday.
Winners of the Doug Moran National Portrait prize and the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize were awarded last night in Sydney. The former is the prizes painting category. The Moran prize awards $80,000 to the wining photographer and $150,000 to the wining painter. This makes the Moran prize by far the wealthiest photography prize in Australia.
You can click on Dean Sewell's winning photo image above to view all 45 Moran finalist.
Yahoo news reports, "For the second consecutive year, Sydney photographer Dean Sewell was awarded first prize in the Open section of the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize for his work titled Cockatoo Is. Ferry. He wins $80,000 for the black-and-white work, out of 45 photographs that made the final judging.All the works are on display in the Moran Prizes exhibition at the State Library of NSW until September 5. Entry is free."
Dean Sewell is a photojournalist and member of the Australian photography collective Oculi.
The photography judge for this years comp is the Australian photojournalist Stephen Dupont. You might remember his remarkable video account of his close call with a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan (here).
Once every two years Sydney becomes the stage for the art extravaganza known as the Sydney Biennale. This years art event will be showing 440 works by 146 artists from around the world. The Biennale will be held at several locations around the city from 12 May until 1 August 2010. The Biennale has been credited with exposing the city as well as Australia to contemporary art from around the world. Wikipedia had a really cool thing to say about the Sydney Biennale on this page.
This year the theme of the Biennale is THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age. The artistic director of the Biennale is David Elliott who has lots of experienced around the world in the installation and exhibiting of contemporary art. David Elliot also happens to be a writer, curator, broadcaster as well as a museum director and lecturer. The Biennale will host works by hundreds of artist from around the world. Last year the event drew crowds of nearly half a million.
Typically the art for the Biennale is not revealed until the opening day. This year however the center piece for this event, located on the front lawn of The Museum of Contemporary Art near Circular Quay in Sydney, was installed this week. It is a very large sculpture of welded tubular stainless steel titled "Nueron" and created by artist Roxy Paine from New York City. I spent a couple of days shooting photos and watching this sculpture take shape. It is a large sculpture (1100x1070 cm in diameter) and required several days to install. The installation crew included two welders and the studio manager from the Roxy Paine Studio flown in from NYC, an installation expert from the James Cohan Gallery in NYC, and the installation staff from the MCA. This team with the help of a couple of cranes, man lifters, welders and grinders moved "Nueron" into position from two 40 foot shipping containers. The team completed the assembly during one jet lagged all nighter plus two more days. Unfortunately the artist was not able to make it over for the installation. Watching the sculpture go up was a very cool experience. I have followed Roxy's work, especially admiring his Dendroids work, for several years so it was a great experience to see one of his newest works installed in Sydney.
Here are some words about this work that I took from an artist statement posted at the site. The "Nueron" is part of a series of works by Roxy Paine called Dendroids (an example is his exhibit "Maelstrom" on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC last year). This new work continues his focus on the idea of dendrites and synapses, the means by which information, knowledge and experience are electrically transmitted through the body.
Since this is a photo site I am obliged to give some technical data on this photo. The photo was made before sunrise on the final morning of the installation.
nikon D3s handheld with a 16-35 f4 vr lens the light is from a Elinchrom Quadra with two A heads at full power.