Category Archives: Photography

Chaung Tha Beach, Burma (with a new Fuji X100 camera)

What does one do when on an exotic beach in Burma, facing the Bay of Bengal, new Fuji X100 compact camera in the backpack? The answer is of course, very little – it’s far too hot and bright to move around, with the obvious exception of the first hour or so of the day. Stumbling around in my longyi, I came across these fellows each morning:

Felice Beato

Continue reading »

WAR against WAR!

Kanadische Apotheke. Unterstützung Rund Um Die Uhr. Weltweite Lieferung (1-3 Tage). Online-Drogerie. Jeder Site-Besucher Möchte Wirklich Günstig In Der Drogerie Zu Hause Unten [URRLL] Bestellen! Und Erhalten Sie Kostenlosen Versand. Am Wochenende Tolle Rabatte.
On The Web Pharmacy If You Don`t Have A Doctor Prescription. A Canadian Pharmacy Providing Special Discounts On Cheap Prescriptions Drugs. Pleasant Support And Very Best Offers. Worldwide Shipping And Delivery (one-three Days). 24h On The Web Support. They Wants To Get Low-cost In The Nearby Pharmacy In Houston On The Internet hop over to here Just. And Get Free Shipping. The Very Best Support On The World Wide Web.

There has been much debate in recent years as to the value of traditional frontline war reportage. One of the primary arguments is that this kind of warzone imagery is so lacking in context as to serve as little more than  documentary evidence of isolated events within limited geographical locations. It neither informs nor stimulates us to think about the causes of war, the immediate effects of war on anyone outside of the frame of vision, nor the longer term impacts after the killing has stopped. If we add to the mix the highly technical nature of modern warfare where much of the activity occurs within computers potentially thousands of miles away, changes within news organisations with the new media possibilities, and broader geopolitical factors in the complex web of contemporary international relations, it’s perhaps understandable why many people perceive traditional war photography to have past its sell-by date.

By a similar measure, if we look back into photobook history we find relatively few examples of practitioners pushing the medium in trying to explore the broader context of war within their productions. There are notable exceptions of course – Philip Jones Griffiths with his famous work on Indochina, perhaps Stanley Green with his work in the Central Caucasus, Simon Norfolk with his work on Afghanistan and modern warfare generally, and Susuan Meiselas and her work in Central America immediately spring to mind – but one can’t help feel that photographically there has been somewhat of a failure to tackle the full vista of war with all it’s complexities, absurdities, and horror.

One individual who definitely transcends these criticisms is the German pacifist anarchist, Ernst Friedrich, who in 1924 produced one of the first (and arguably, still the best) photographic attempts at scrutinising warfare in his seminal photobook, WAR against WAR! Since its publication in 1924 there have been as many as a million copies in circulation, translated into forty languages. It’s a book that should be well known, however the majority of people I know with a deep interest in photography have never heard of it nor him. I first became aware of Friedrich last year at a Tate symposium on Violence and Representation. In a somewhat unusual scenario, a presentation was made which included some of WAR against WAR’s more horrific images. Such was their power the proceeding speaker (Susan Meiselas) was visibly shaken and struggled to make it through her own presentation, breaking down in fact during the Q&A that followed.

Continue reading »

From Here On…

Sie können aktuelle Medikamente gegen bipolare Störungen in Leipzig online Seroquel vorbehaltlos erhalten … und die besten Angebote für bipolar disorder medications erhalten. Kaufen Sie günstige Medikamente online ohne Rezept. Zum Beispiel Atypische Antipsychotika, die sich von klassischem Neuroblastom eine sanfte Wirkung auf die Psyche haben.
This manifesto was launched recently at the Les Rencontres d’Arles festival:

Representing Amazonia

Kaufen Sie Billige Medikamente Online Ohne Rezept. Zertifizierte Apotheke Online. Lizenzierte Und Generische Produkte Zum Verkauf. Jeder Kann In Der Apotheke Im Internet Problemlos Einkaufen. Mit Tollem Rabatt. Seien Sie Glücklich Und Erhalten Sie Kostenlose Pillen Wie Ich.

Even though Amazonia is now the focus of much international attention, and is often considered in a metaphorical sense as the embodiment of humanities assault on the natural world as part of the globalisation frenzy, it is fair to say it remains pretty much off-limits to all but the most committed of travellers. Lingering metaphors of “green hell,” including rampant caricatures of wild Indians and apocalyptic images of environmental devastation are such that whilst there is a greater interest in the region than there has probably ever been it is still a place few people would endeavour to spend much time in.

Amazonia is of course much written about in both specialist and non-specialist publications but much of how people perceive the Amazon is as a direct consequence of the imagery that has emanated from the region during the past century or so. This blog post aims to briefly discuss the history of such imagery, including some key examples from the realms of anthropology, photojournalism, travel, and the fine arts.

Probably the earliest serious attempts to render the Amazon visually came via mid-19th century Victorian naturalists such as Bates, Wallace, and Spruce, independent explorers and commercial scientists focused on the regions flora and fauna. Bates’s 1863 publication, The Naturalist on the River Amazons contained “…a record of adventures, habits of animals, sketches of Brazilian and Indian life and aspects of nature under the Equator during eleven years of travel.” Based upon their extended periods in the field, such naturalists provided the first systematic and widely disseminated accounts of “green hell” the legacy of which remains popular.


Continue reading »

Las Dos Lo Dejaron Seco

Following on a recent post about Useful Photography and vernacular style I present these beauties.

A creative uses of heads and bodies from certain types of magazines if there ever was one.

Continue reading »

Classic Film Set Photos

We all love a bit of film nostalgia. So here’s a few images taken on the sets of classic films.

The Shining, Stanley Kubrick (1980)

The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock (1963)

Godfather, Francis Ford Copolla (1972)

Continue reading »

Useful Photography

That resulted in a change in strategy for drug developers. Currently under development are a number of agents known as monoclonal antibodies against CGRP which have shown promise in the treatment of migraine headaches.

One of the strangest experiences I can recall in photography was being advised to take images out of an edit because they contained humour. The rational was that serious photography couldn’t be in any way funny and that inducing people to laugh or chuckle diminished the artistic merit of a work. I hear similar comments around photography focused on the natural world (landscape, wildlife, etc.) which for many so-called “fine art” photographers would be considered seriously off-limits lest it be consigned to the coffee-table book genre which in the present day seem to have little or no artistic credibility.

In relation to humour though, the assertion that it kills meaning is not only unfair but is belied by significant evidence to the contrary. What about Rimaldas Viksraitis’s Grimaces of the Weary Village and the work of Martin Parr and Duane Michels? All these photographers use humour as a conduit for evoking deeper truths.

And then there is the photography that is actually loaded with humour, but which may not have been consciously produced with it in mind. Does that make the work any less funny or worthy of serious consideration? This is where Kessel Kramer Publishing come in with their superb publishing programme, in particular their occasional Useful Photography magazine. Useful Photography is the generic name for the millions of ephemeral images, which are used daily and with a purpose all of their own: practical photography, often made by amateurs that has a clear function where the makers remain anonymous.

Useful Photography #008 celebrates the opening images of pornographic photo shoots. Pornographic films, websites, and magazines all plough the same furrow: the repetition of the same act, in all its variations. Where they differ is in their opening sequences, the patently fake and false scenarios, which are often afterthoughts to the main event. UP #008 commemorates these opening scenes, often clichéd, sometimes bizarrely inventive, but always supremely fake. Taken out of context, (without the pornographic scenes that follow) they tell a different story. Humdrum scenes of chess playing, coming to the assistance of a fallen roller skater, or a job interview take on supposedly sexual (but ultimately comical) overtones when the viewer is supplied with the knowledge of what is to come.

I recently showed these images to a friend who is studying Visual Anthropology who like me thought there was far more to them than meets the eye. Aside from being embodiments of the various cultures they were produced within (which is in itself a fascinating guessing game) there’s also an intriguing off-hand fantasy element to them that could only reveal itself within the context of ‘afterthought’ images which though produced for public consumption don’t actually have to be any good as they’re mere accompaniments to the ‘main event’.

Anyway, to the actors, actresses, and art directors involved in these photos and of course Eric Kessels and his team I salute you all for making me laugh whilst making me think.

Continue reading »

World on a Wire

Canada Viagra. Pharmacy Without Prescription. Fast Order Delivery. She Needs To Purchase Cheap In The Drugstore At Home Below find out this here Reliably. And Get Free Shipping. It Says About 24h Online Support.
Photographs I took during a trip to Western Ross, Scotland in April 2011.

Additionally, see a HD Quicktime movie with music by Pantha du Prince here.

All images © Craig Ritchie.

Beat Presser and the Conquest of Dreams

Friendly Support And Best Offers. Buy Generic Medications. Worldwide Delivery. They Would Like To Purchase Reliable Inside The Local Pharmacy From Your Own Home Here resource Simply. You Don’t Need A Prescription To Buy The Pills. Now I Know The Site With True Information About Drugs And The Opportunity Purchases Of Them.

In Werner Herzog’s 2004 journal, Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo, photographer Beat Presser is described as a “long-time Herzog collaborator.” In view of the length of Herzog’s career and the sheer amount of films and documentaries he has produced it’s a significant statement. Spread across the books 300+ pages, in and amongst descriptions of the projects infamous day-to-day problems, including the frustrations of working with Klaus Kinski and grappling with almost every perceivable catastrophe one could imagine, Beat Presser crops up regularly. It’s clear he was an integral member of the Fitzcarraldo production team as well as the ensuing Herzog films he was associated with.

As with Peter Beard, the subject of a previous post, Beat Presser is a photographer less well known in the UK than he should be and like Beard once you become aware of him it’s surprising how often you see his images and hear his name mentioned. Born in Switzerland in 1952 he trained as a photographer and film cameraman in Basel, Paris, and New York and in the mid-seventies became editor of the magazines Palm Beach News and The Village Cry. In 1981 he began his collaboration with Herzog hooking up with him on three major films, two of which I include amongst my favourites of cinema: Fitzcarraldo and Cobra Verde, both starring the famous German actor and hothead Klaus Kinski. The author of more than ten photography monographs on diverse subjects he remains highly active as an international photographer producing and exhibiting almost constantly.

Via a long series of coincidences and events I first met Beat Presser in Cambodia during 2008 having been given the opportunity to work with him on photographic workshops for local students, which formed part of the educational program supporting his touring Oasis of Silence exhibition at the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. We quickly became good friends though our shared love of photography and adventure, activities central to our independent beings, and have remained in regular contact. It’s true say he is a constant source of inspiration to me through my unfolding knowledge of his prior work and travels and also his continued striking out in search of new horizons. Approaching 60 years of age, he seems to be speeding up and it’s nigh on impossible to keep track of his various projects and activities.

He is perhaps best known for his work on Fitzcarraldo, acting as both assistant cameraman and still photographer, producing striking images of Herzog, Kinski, Italian actress Claudia Cardinale, and Matsiguenka and Campa Indians that have become some of the most iconic in the history of cinema. In view of the projects grand scale the production unit and budget on Fitzcarraldo was only a fraction of what they should have been which occasionally shows in the films low key lighting. Not so with his images though which he consistently gets absolutely bang on. And what about THE seminal image at the start of this post? Few photographers would have had the courage to position the  aggressive  and egocentric Kinski in miniature to the bottom right of the frame.

Fitzcarraldo 1.jpgKinski.jpgKinski-2a.jpgc96-herzog-and-kinski.jpg

But there’s much more to Beat Presser than his Herzog work, which within the context of his career equates to a small proportion of his output. The majority of his personal photography is grounded in travel and his experiences of heterogeneous culture and elemental nature. His Oasis of Silence project for example was produced in monasteries in Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, India, and Korea where he travelled extensively over four years capturing the essence of Theravada Buddhism with his trusty Leica lenses. His ALPenTRAUM work (arguably his best book) is a documentation of the wild winter mountain landscapes of Switzerland. His most recent endeavour is an exploration of Dhow history and culture in East Africa, which involved six months sailing one of the ancient ships along the coast of Kenya and Tanzania.

Much of Beat Presser’s work is bound up in chance in so much that though he carefully chooses the places he travels to and carries with him outline ideas of the possibilities available to him (often as a result of extensive prior research) when he is insitu he lets fate/karma run their course embracing the opportunities that present themselves and developing them to the full, normally over extended timeframes. This is a method of working I mostly adopt myself (albeit less ambitiously) and is the primary method of almost all the great travel photographers and writers. Whilst his work is broad and varied he mostly considers himself a travel photographer, which I find refreshingly unpretentious in view of the cynical connotations often associated with the term.

The photobook is central to his output where through sophisticated design techniques, often in collaboration with his wife Vera Pechel who is herself a highly regarded book designer, he produces thematic monographs often shot over many years. He’s on book eleven and counting which is a fair return when one considers how much time he invests in obtaining the actual images.

I like Beat Presser. I like his books, I like his photos, I like his method of working, and I even like him as a person. I hope that through this post you’ve discovered something about a photographer you may previously have known little of but who has had the kind of rich and successful career all but the best photographers can really only dream of.

You can view Beat Presser’s website here, which is a combination of commercial and personal material. You can see his dedicated Klaus Kinski website here.

All images © Beat Presser.