Round Up Week of September 30

1) How We See: Photobooks by Women

 How We See - Photobooks by Women, edited by Russet Lederman, Olga Yatskevich, and Michael Lang

How We See - Photobooks by Women, edited by Russet Lederman, Olga Yatskevich, and Michael Lang

10x10 Photobooks' latest project presents 100 historically significant photobooks by women, as selected by female photography experts

History confirms it – the first photobook was made by a woman, with British photographer Anna Atkins publishing Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions in 1843, a year before Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature. Still, many historians, including Allan Porter in his introduction to The Photobook: A History, dismiss Atkins’ work as “photographic prints” rather than photography.

“Unfortunately, this is far too often emblematic of the uphill battle women photobook-makers still encounter when we talk about their history,” says Russet Lederman, co-founder of 10×10 Photobooks. “As we conducted research for the How We See project, we discovered that although women photographers produce relatively equal numbers of photobooks to men, their representation in the higher-profile sectors was, and still is, disappointing.”

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2) Why David Butow’s Image of Jeff Flake Stands Out

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Both position and timing matter in capturing a compelling and visually descriptive photo. Last week’s explosive SCOTUS confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh provided another interesting opportunity to explore this concept as a small group of photographers trained their cameras on the Senate Judiciary Committee members before the key vote on a motion to proceed to the full Senate.

Backroom negotiations between Jeff Flake and Chris Coons led to a dramatic scene where Flake returned to discuss his request for an FBI investigation with the panel.

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3) Images of Truth from Christine Blasey Ford’s Testimony and What They Mean

 Dr. Christine Blasey before the US Senate. Image sourced from Wikipedia; originally from C-SPAN.

Dr. Christine Blasey before the US Senate. Image sourced from Wikipedia; originally from C-SPAN.

Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate regarding sexual assault allegations made by Ford against Kavanaugh, based on events nearly 30 years ago, while both were in high school. Two images in particular, by Win McNamee, made the rounds: photographs of Ford raising her right hand before testifying. As with many other viral images, they have inspired many remixes.

In this post, I join fellow visual image analysts Ray Drainville and An Xiao Mina to discuss its compositional significance, from Wes Anderson films to depictions of the Pentecost.

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4) Kavanaugh Hearing Highlights the Power of Photo Editors

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The front page of Friday’s New York Times is dominated by two impressive photos: Brett Kavanaugh, the nominee to the Supreme Court, on the right, and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, on the left. The images are technically beautiful, and striking in their contrast.

Ford is shown standing tall and composed, her hand raised in oath as if to underscore her trustworthiness, and she is heroic (a woman on the left side of the photo is literally looking up to her). Kavanaugh, on the other hand, is seated, neither distinctive nor distinguished except by his angry expression; a woman looks at him from the audience wearing a look of derision or bershon.

This is masterful storytelling on the part of the Times’s photo editors. It’s rare we see a national political figure in such aggressive visage—not to mention a possible justice of the Supreme Court—and the photo, in this case, could portray the contrasts in the testimony in a way that text couldn’t.

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5) American Photographer Open 2018 - Meet the Finalists

The voting is done.

 The winning image by  Stephen Hikida , “Zander and the Polar Bear,” was taken during a visit to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio, where Hikida lives.

The winning image by Stephen Hikida, “Zander and the Polar Bear,” was taken during a visit to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio, where Hikida lives.

The finalists of the American Photography Open 2018 contest have officially been announced. Congratulations to Susan Cannarella (Connecticut); Jose Maria Perez (Argentina); Stephen Hikida (Ohio); Alessandro Mercello (Italy); Debdatta Chakraborty (India); Chee Keong Lim (Malaysia); Mauro De Bettio (Spain); Zay Yar Lin (Singapore); and Kristofer Dan-Bergman (New York City).

Nine of these finalists receive prizes, including a Tamron 35/1.8 VC lens, a SanDisk SD card, a ProMaster Specialist tripod, a PhotoShelter 1-year Standard Account, a custom 16x24 Museum Quality print in a contemporary wood frame from Digital Silver Imaging, and the chance to participate in a Photo Walk conducted by Jonathan Thorpe, a Tamron Image Master, in New York City during PhotoPlus Expo on October 25. Their winning work will also exhibited at the PhotoPlus show in the Digital Silver Imaging booth. We will be announcing of the $5,000 grand prize winner there on Friday, October 26.

The American Photography Open 2018 competition was open to all photographers at any level. The work of the finalists, which we spotlight today, was remarkably varied in subject and style but consistently creative and executed with great skill.

Read more and view the images…


6) The Rise and Rise of Contemporary African Art

Podcast:

On the eve of the 1-54 fair for contemporary African art, The Art Newspaper talks to an artist, a curator, an art fair founder, a gallerist and an auctioneer about the long overdue recognition of the diverse art of a continent. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793.

Listen…

 Athi-Patra Ruga's Night of the Long Knives I (2013) was on display at last year's edition of the 1:54 fair in London © The artist and WHATIFTHEWORLD

Athi-Patra Ruga's Night of the Long Knives I (2013) was on display at last year's edition of the 1:54 fair in London © The artist and WHATIFTHEWORLD