PHOTOart: Photography in the 21st Century

Photo by Benedikt Pertenheimer. Presented by photo student.

This is not my first encounter with this book, although it is the first time I will be sharing my opinion about it and it’s content.  This book contains over 112 artists and almost 500 pages of artwork.  Naturally, I flipped open to the back of the book and looked at page 468 and to my delight, found a photo of three people in a rowboat, two males and one female, the men are dressed in sailors outfits, the girl in a pink dress.  Nothing is really out of the ordinary if you overlook the fact that they are in the middle of an Olympic sized lap-pool.  I find this to be hilarious, because they’re acting like this is a totally normal thing.  This photo has a long depth of field, which brings both the subjects into focus and their background, a cement wall with windows and writing in another language.  This photo is by an Artist named Yang Fudong, from China.

I’m usually more of a fan of photos that use a shallow depth of field just because I like the effect, but in flipping through, I found the cover photo (depicted above) and studied it a little closer.  My initial reaction is to focus on the closest girl, black bathing suit, dark glasses, scarf around her head, she sticks out like a sore thumb and the other girls kind of just blend into the background until you either A. look for them, or B. read the title of the photo, “Girls at the Pool” and realize there are more.  I like the style of the building, the clothing, the big sunglasses.  These photos keep tricking me, it looks like it’d be old, but it’s from 2005.

I came across a photo by a man named Peter Piller.  It is a photo of a car completely surrounded by tall grass and in the background a moving train emerging from behind bushes is rushing past at a perpendicular angle.  From a small distance, the photo looks like it is drawn, but getting up very close it looks like it is from a newspaper.  It’s in color, but all of his photos have that quality to them, even the black and white.  There’s a dotted effect to the way the color (or black and white-ness?) comes together.  I’m a fan.  I love this photo because it is frustrating me to no end.  I really want to know how the car got there without making a path or mowing down any of the surrounding grass.  I also really enjoy the slower shutter speed that allows the train to be slightly blurred.

The last two photos I’m going to talk about from this book are by a woman named Luisa Lambri.  In each photo, you see almost the exact same thing: a window, with horizontal blinds open ever so slightly, almost to the point of still being closed, revealing trees outside.  I chose these simply because they are somewhat creepy and funny at the same time.  Creepy because there’s a “peeping tom” sort of feel, and funny because it completely reminds me of something I would do while experimenting.


Book information: Oversize TR 655 P48813 2007

As always I’m RJ and, well, you know the drill…


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