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May 24, 2004

Worthwhile Online Photoforums, Haiti, and More Contemporary Women


Odds and ends to start the week:

* I used to spend a lot of time on photography forums a few years ago for photo sharing, but started running out of time and patience with many of them, for reasons I discussed early on when I started this blog. I've since come across three communities that I enjoy visiting periodically for offering an alternative to stock photography-styled, camera club forums with mechanical rating schemes: ALTphotos.com, PhotoSeen, and the unfortunately named Digital Sucks, which is highly partial to plastic camera and pinhole photographs (substituting one type of affectation for another, basically). These sites have their own way of seeing the world, which doesn't make them superior to other photo-sharing sites, but their content and the talented photographers that form the respective communities seem refreshing to me, especially in comparison to the run of the mill coming from photo.net and other similar forums.

* One amusing feature of Digital Sucks is their Photo of the Day, which is definitely one of the most unique POTD "competitions" online. It reminds me of this wise advice dispensed on a forum a few years ago from a very talented photographer regarding the dangers of aiming to win such contests. I thank my friend and talented photographer Ed for reminding me of the value of Furrukh's words.

* Blue Eyes Magazine is an online web photography zine featuring very high quality color photojournalism. The latest issue (April/May 2004) has a wonderful feature on Haiti turning 200 with three photoessays from different photojournalists. Though I don't go out of my way to seek out photojournalistic links, this one really grabbed me for the quality of the work presented online.

lyttle_haiti_1

Melissa Lytle image, from A Sea of Tears photoessay

* Katie Murray is the latest in a line of women from Yale to achieve early visibility as a contemporary photographer on the gallery circuit, with an exhibit that's just started at the Jan Bekman gallery. She has many environmental portraits and scenarios shot in muted (almost washed out) color with people typically forming a very small part of the frame, and the landscapes frequently have a wild or disheveled quality about them. I'm guessing that these are being displayed as fairly large C-prints...the web images lack for detail, unfortunately, that might make them resonate. I prefer the outdoor shots to the interior ones, personally.

murray_Crossbay_BLVD

Katie Murray image

* At the same gallery, Mara Bodis-Wellner has a fascination with overlooked interiors, and has her own quirky understated ways of exploring them. Her images, oddly, are reproduced much larger online than Murray's, and feature very nice use of color and off-kilter compositions.

mbodis-wollner_toothbrush

"Toothbrush" Maria Bodis-Wellner image

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