Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Amazing slideshow in The New York Times of work by French “photograffeur” JR, who  has been awarded this year’s TED prize for placing huge photographs in poor neighbourhoods around the globe.

Just as cool as his photographs – he gets to donate the $10,000 award to a humanitarian project of his choice.

(JR/Agence VU)

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“Henry Cartier-Bresson’s images, many plucked from the everyday whirl of his beloved Paris, had the power and poetry of Zen and particle physics–smashing the atom of the present, bottling its spark, and generating flashes of life and light.”

David Friend, Vanity Fair’s editor of creative development

New York’s  Museum of Modern Art first planned a “posthumous” exhibition of photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson 60 years ago when they thought he had died in World War II.

However he survived until 2004 and thanks to  a very good friend, I was lucky enough to attend a preview of MOMA’s new Cartier-Bresson exhibition:  The Modern Century. The title is appropriate as not only did Cartier-Bresson survive but he went on to define modern photography though capturing the decisive moments from ordinary life and his photo-journalism.
I had no idea he had spent so much time in Asia and particularly enjoyed the stunning pictures of India and Indonesia. Although he was in India in the 1940s, the images seem to be from a far-gone age and I wish he was around now to give us his unique insight into how the country is adapting to the 21st century.
Cartier-Bresson said:
“It is through living that we discover ourselves, at the same time as we discover the world around us.”
His photos of the world around us truly help us discover ourselves.

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The New York Review of Books has a piece on A Shadow Falls, the beautiful new collection from Nick Brandt, who has photographed wild animals in East Africa, without a telephoto lens, for the past decade.

Brandt says:

“My images are unashamedly idyllic and romantic, a kind of enchanted Africa. They’re my elegy to a world that is steadily, tragically vanishing.”

His pictures are truly enchanted.

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National Geographic Traveler’s feature on Buenos Aires has this photo of the stunning Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid – a bookshop set in a 1920s theatre : (hat-tip: novelwhore.com). It makes me want to go and buy books there despite not being able to read Spanish.

In more Latin American-related reading, The Millions has an essay on earthquake literature in Chile. Back in 1835 Charles Darwin experienced a quake on the outskirts of  the town of Valdivia and he subsequently wrote in The Voyage of the Beagle :

“A bad earthquake at once destroys our oldest associations: the earth, the very emblem of solidity, has moved beneath our feet like a thin crust over a fluid ….If beneath England the now inert subterranean forces should exert their powers…how completely would the entire condition of the country be changed!”

Luke Epplin, the author of the essay, brings us up to date by describing when he lived in Santiago in 2004:

“I learned the Spanish word for earthquake before the word for thunderstorm. But that’s not uncommon for someone who learns the language in a country where thunder rumbles infrequently but the earth shakes every few months.”

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