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March 09, 2004

Living Life With Style and Weird Cameras: More Pet Photoblogs

I've said it often, there are many worthwhile photoblogs out there, and it's easy to get lost in browsing through the archives of the many talented folks out there. I have a several that I recommend highly on the sidebar, and try to visit regularly...but I know there are more that I miss out on, simply because of time restrictions.

I tend to go through phases where I hit particular ones regularly depending on what I'm in the mood for. I admit to having a weakness for weird cameras and offbeat perspectives...it really doesn't matter if the image on a particular day doesn't strike me...if there's a mood established over the course of a few weeks or months, I can get sucked in. A personal way of seeing things, even with highly varied subject matter, tends to hook me. If you're looking for the most beautiful and technically clean and sharp and well-lit photographs, the sites I discuss here don't strive for them, and that's good with me...I like the lived in, low-key feeling of these sites, and the photography happens to be pretty special as far as I'm concerned, even though it may not be to everyone's taste.

Making Happy is one that I most consistently visit, because of the quirky and impressive range of photographs, a real eye for detail and texture, and a fun assortment of odd cameras used by Gayla...and as it turns out, she's currently featured at Photoblogs.org, a well deserved (and in my opinion, overdue) honor.

There are clearly days in the life of all photobloggers where the inspiration isn't there, or the occasional detour into experimentation leads to impersonal results, or (most fatally) there's a tendency to "play to the crowd" based on certain images getting a stronger reaction than others. But Making Happy never seems to fall into this trap...you can tell Gayla is making images that she enjoys, and I (and clearly many others) enjoy following along. And her reservations about photography for pay, and fancy equipment as false status-enchancer, are viewpoints I can truly relate to, based on direct experience. More of her compelling work can be seen (along with the work of Davin Risk, who runs his own highly recommended weblog, Low Resolution) at a polished new site, See Feel Think.

I don't follow Unibrow as consistently, simply because the posting is far more infrequent, but I've been enjoying the pseudo-panoramas from Chicago, posted in recent weeks from the Ansco Pix camera, and the occasional Holga image. Apparently, there's a new site coming up, and I hope there will be more consistent entries, because I've enjoyed the photography that's there.

Shutterbabe.org, run by Emily Smith, has the typical photoblog format to lead on the main page, but it also has addictive galleries of pencam images and mirror images. The pencam gallery is wonderful, if dizzying and almost headache inducing...I'd say a gallery is pretty successful when the viewer is made to feel like they *are* the camera being swung around the wrist of the photographer...highly distorted and tilted waist level perspectives of people, buildings, shadows, etc dominate, with all sorts of weirdly amazing and occasionally poetic results, that far more expensive cameras and extensive digital manipulation couldn't begin to match. And the mirror gallery is highly enjoyable, original, and avoids many "mirror image" cliches...rare to see talent and quirky fun combined as well as Em does at her site.

A newer and promising photoblog from pro photographer Jerome Ferraro, 52, that I just came across falls into the more superficially conventional category of portraiture, but it features some outstanding examples of environmental portraiture, and it promises a portrait a week. As it turns out, Jerome is also featured on Conscientious (through a recommendation from Emily), and her entire portfolio is well worth checking out.

Finally, I don't often cross-reference to Conscientious, simply because I feel that anyone who thinks of visiting semi-regularly here should absolutely go there first, and that's usually the case with most of the visitors here. Joerg is back from Germany and has put up his usual collection of outstanding links to websites and thoughtful articles in the last week...but if you haven't checked out everything, I'll chime in with a strong recommendation of Andreas Gefeller's work..the photo essay on Chernobyl Ten Years After is amazing, and the other stuff on the site is just as good.


Gefeller image from Chernobyl Ten Years After

12:49 AM | Permalink


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Thanks for the mention and the kind words.
I am surprised more people don't pick up a pencam...they're cheap and ridiculously fun.

Posted by: Em at Mar 9, 2004 2:23:36 AM

Thanks for the kind words about my weblog!
Just as a little unfortunate update: The Chernobyl site is gone, "under re-construction" or so. I hope it'll come back.

Posted by: Joerg at Mar 9, 2004 9:54:18 AM