Monday, March 14, 2011

After Midnight Before Midday

Photo © 2011 by Ciara O'Halloran. Used by permission.

Last week I stumbled upon some pictures online by Dublin photographer Ciara O'Halloran and was immediately drawn to her imagery. I found several photos from her project After Midnight Before Midday—an ongoing series of 365 rigidly-posed, daily self-portraits that began on January 1, 2011. The images quickly got under my skin; I was mesmerized.

While each photo is certainly interesting on its own—beautifully composed and lighted with both natural light and fill-flash at various times of day and night—it's in the slow accretion of detail and variation as you move from photo to photo that the series really begins work its magic.

The effect is both evocative and moving, and hints at something profound about how our lives unfold over time against our own personal background of places and things.

I am a fan and will be following closely for the rest of the year. Have a look.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Accident

These photos were taken 6 days apart in two different cities (January 2 in Providence, and January 8 in New Haven, respectively). When I pulled the negatives out of the developing tank, I was amazed to see how closely the lines of the two photos echoed each another. 

© Joseph Gerhard. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's now officially over

The last place on the planet to develop Kodachrome film—Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas—will process its last roll today. Goodbye Kodachrome.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Film vs. Digital

I'm fairly devoted to film and shoot with film almost exclusively. That said, I've always been kind of uncomfortable with the position that there is something about film photography inherently superior to digital. Very often, that argument sounds to me most like the painters of the late-19th and early-20th centuries who claimed that photography wasn't art because it was made by a machine that anyone could operate. In other words, it's an argument that sounds defensive and retrograde.

Art lies more in the intentions of the maker than in the technical difficulties of the medium. I still mostly use film because it slows me down and makes me more awkward in a way that's good for the type of photography I do. I feel there are advantages in the way that film responds to light—especially when working in black & white. I also like working within a square format and unfortunately there are still no affordable square-format digital cameras. But I still scan my film, post-process with Photoshop and print digitally. I haven't gotten my hands wet to make a print in many years, and I don't intend to ever again. Like it or not, digital is here to stay, and to take the position that there is something more virtuous, more aesthetically pure, and more essentially artistic about film strikes me as just plain silly.

© Joseph Gerhard. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Strange Truth About Those "Simple" Cameras

I use lots of different cameras. Film cameras—a Hasselblad 503cx and SWC, and a Leica M6; and for most digital work, a Nikon D200. But by far, the most difficult camera to use that I own, and the one I've worked the longest trying to figure out the mysteries of, is my "simple" Canon SD880 point & shoot.

Taking a good photo with the point-and-shoot is infinitely more difficult and infinitely more complicated than with any of the so-called "professional" cameras. (By the way, I don't mean to imply that this is a "Canon" problem. Canon makes the best point-and-shoots out there, imho.)

And of all the tricks to taking better photos with a point-and-shoot, the number-one, most important thing to know is this: turn off the flash and leave it off. The flash on those cameras is useful about 10% of the time; the rest of the time it's there to ruin your photos and to make everyone and everything in those photos look like crap.

© Joseph Gerhard. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 22, 2010

From the Highline

From a recent walk on The Highline.

© Joseph Gerhard. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Katie's Office (revisited)

A slightly different framing than this one that I posted on Motelrodeo in July—and in color.

© Joseph Gerhard. All rights reserved.