A few weeks ago, while on the Brick Lane, Backyard Market we bumped into Fotolateras, two brilliant women, Marinela Forcadell and Lola Barcia, who have been travelling to a wide number of different countries such as Berlin, Paris, Valencia, Rome, to document the life there using only an array of handmade tin pinhole cameras, as well as developing the paper negatives they produce in their hotel rooms while on their travels. So far they have been to over at least 30 different locations and it is still growing! Their ethos is that: ‘We do not shoot photographs, we ‘cook’ photographs.’ 

‘From our first cooked image from a tin, our madness about our work and the practise throughout these years, have helped us to be an artistic and technical team which work in the same direction. We obviously know what a digital camera is, the huge amount of storage that a memory card can have, the chances of the light, focus, the finishing touch, the very first moment of the last technique. But, even knowing all these things, we love cooking each image choosing the correct background, taking our time developing them. In a few words, we really enjoy spoiling each image we take, like spoiling a baby.’

We were able to catch up with Maniella and Lola to discuss their fascinating work:

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3rd November 2012 – 5th January 2013

Cynon Valley Museum & Gallery
Depot Road
Gadlys
Aberdare
Mid Glamorgan
CF44 8DL

Opening Times:Monday – Saturday 9.00 – 4.30

Admission: FREE

For more information: 01685 886729/cvm@rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk

 

 

From the 3rd of November, dedicated black & white street photographer, Dan Wood, will be displaying a number of his hand printed photographs that documents life in Wales. Dan says: ‘My documentation of Wales, through my photography, has quite naturally led me to explore what it is that makes my subjects, my landscapes and my visual scenarios…..Welsh.

Whilst ‘the camera never lies’, our preconceived notions do, and this is a juxtaposition that I find fascinating; the idea that Wales, like any other westernised place, is a cultural mishmash – the idea that diversity dictates that I must assign the title of ‘Wales’ to a group of images, in order to make them Welsh. I could take a picture of someone standing by a bilingual sign, just outside my house, and the assumption would be that this is a Welsh person, and it’s this type of presupposed thought that I am keen to explore. Themes that I constantly visit, be it through chance or endeavour, are: Diversity, Subculture, Generations, Individuality and Patriotism.

Does the tacit nature of patriotism make it inferior to individualism, or superior? This is an interesting question that allows me to document Wales in a manner that does away with the typical restrictions of a theme. It allows me to uphold my sensibility that each photo I take, first and foremost, stands alone as a separate entity – a singular piece of art. I want my photos to debunk the notion that to be Welsh and patriotic is to be rural and insular. I want my photos to depict a Wales that is as cosmopolitan and diverse as any other place.To explore what it is that makes people Welsh is to explore what it is that makes people unique. As I continue to document Wales I am drawn towards the paradox that is apparent within each and every person’s quest for individuality. I want my photos to highlight the need to belong, which exists alongside everyone’s need to be unique.

I was born in Bridgend, South Wales in 1974, and still reside there today.
After leaving school at 16 with very few qualifications, I went straight into the family business, and continued to work there for 19 years. I became interested in photography in 1994 whilst I was a semi-professional skateboarder and started taking it seriously 2 years later. I was predominantly a skateboarding photographer, but slowly became interested in street photography and documentary photography.
Around 2001 I committed myself to black and white photography, a decision that I feel has defined me as a photographer with an ethos centred on the use of film and traditional darkroom techniques, as opposed to modern, digital alternatives. I started travelling extensively in 2003, and still do to this day – combining my love of photography and travel has become paramount to me. Exploring other countries and observing other cultures has sharpened both my eye and my outlook, helping me to consider aspects of my own country and my own culture that I had previously overlook.’

 

We were able to catch up with Dan to talk to him about his work and the exhibition:

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November 14th – January 2nd

 

 Chris Beetles Fine Photographs Gallery

3-5 Swallow Street
London
W1B 4DE

Opening Times -Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm

Admission: FREE

For further information: 020 7434 4319/ gallery@chrisbeetles.com

A major London retrospective of work by the world’s greatest living landscape photographer. Kenna’s 1st exhibition in London for seven years, showcasing innovative new work and timeless classics.

From the 14th of November Chris Beetles Fine Photographs Gallery will be displaying an exceptional collection of Michael Kenna’s timeless landscapes. Kenna is one of the most popular and influential landscape photographers of the last 50 years. With the use of unique minimalist imagery, which has managed to inspire many, and earned him a huge and loyal following.

Michael Kenna looks for interesting compositions and arrangements within the natural landscape. He is drawn to certain times of day and night, preferring to photograph in the mist, rain and snow – clear blue sky and sunshine do not inspire him. He only photographs his work in black and white, as he believes that: ‘black and white is immediately more mysterious because we see in colour all the time. It is quieter than colour.’

Kenna likes to photograph on his own, in silence, creating a sense of calm, solitude and tranquility in his photographs. As he said in an interview in 2009 with Fine Art Photography magazine:

 ‘I prefer suggestion over description. The world is pretty chaotic, seemingly always speeding up and getting louder and more visually dense. I am interested in finding and/or creating calm shelters from the storm, places where quiet and solitude is encouraged and inner contemplation possible. I think we could all use a break from time to time…’

Kenna currently lives in Seattle with his family and continues to travel the world producing new work. His photographs are held in permanent collections at the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The work that Chris Beetles Fine Photographs Gallery will be showing is a unique and mesmerising retrospective of Kenna’s work, which includes landscapes, architectural studies, cityscapes and other key images from his extensive and remarkable archive.

Information Courtesy: Chris Beetles Fine Photographs Gallery 

18 October 2012 – 27 January 2013

Somerset House (East Wing Galleries)
Strand
London
WC2R 1LA

Opening Times: Daily 10.00-18.00

Admission: FREE

Supported by: Mulberry/ Represented by the Michael Hoppen Gallery and Art & Commerce.

 For Further Information: +44 (0)20 7845 4600/  info@somersethouse.org.uk

‘Sometimes when you’re taking a picture an extraordinary sense of luck and chance takes over and propels you to make pictures that you couldn’t in your wildest dreams have imagined. This is the magic of photography’. Tim Walker, Story Teller. Pg 112

On the 18th of October Somerset House will be revealing an exciting major new exhibition by Tim Walker who is one of the most visually exciting and influential fashion photographers of today, who shoots entirely on film using mainly a Pentax 6×7 and ambient lighting.

Walker’s fascination with the make-believe world of fashion photography started early. As a 19-year-old intern at Vogue he established its Cecil Beaton Archive before studying art and photography at Exeter Art College. On graduation he worked briefly as a freelance photographic assistant in London before moving to New York as full-time assistant to Richard Avedon. At the age of 25 he shot his first Vogue fashion story. He was the recipient of the second ‘Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator’ at the British Fashion Awards (2008) and the following year he received an Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, New York, for his fashion photography. In 2011 his short film The Lost Explorer premiered at Lorcano Film festival and went on to win the Jury Award at the Chicago United Film Festival. He is also well known for his advertising campaigns for Mulberry, Hèrmes, Valentino and many others.

This greatly anticipated exhibition is supported by Mulberry where Tim Walker has brought the last four Mulberry seasons to life as part of ethereal, beautiful campaigns and shares the brand’s love for juxtaposing heritage appeal with English eccentricity; finding the fantastical in fashion and telling the unexpected fairy tale. Mulberry continues their support of Tim Walker’s creativity through supporting Story Teller, the exhibition.

“We have long been inspired by Tim’s uncompromising creative vision – his aesthetic and narrative approach is particularly British, at once whimsical, romantic, clever and seductive – the perfect creative partner for Mulberry, the quintessentially English luxury brand” Georgia Fendley, Brand Director, Mulberry

“I was thrilled when Mulberry offered to lend their support to Story Teller. After their help with The Lost Explorer, which came about in somewhat of a serendipitous way, this time around it felt like another piece of our relationship had fallen into place. Mulberry understand the stories I tell through my photography and share my enjoyment for celebrating the fantasy in life” Tim Walker, Photographer

Tim Walker is extravagant in scale and ambition and instantly recognisable for their eye-opening originality, Walker’s photographs dazzle with life, colour and humour. His recent work is drawn from the pages of the world’s leading magazines: British, French, American and Italian Vogue, Vanity Fair, W and The New Yorker among many others.

Walker’s photographs will provide the focus of the exhibition, but the camera, he claims, ‘is simply a box put between you and what you want to capture’. Everything in Walker’s pictures is specially constructed and in a glimpse behind the mechanics, there will be installations and a selection of the extraordinary props and models on show: giant grotesque dolls for Italian Vogue and an almost life-size replica of a doomed Spitfire fighter plane!

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of events that feature many of Tim Walker’s long-time collaborators and uncover the influences and stories behind his work. There will be workshops for all ages offering visitors the opportunity to work with some of the set designers and prop builders who have worked with Tim Walker throughout his career and talks will include Tim Walker in Conversation with Penny Martin (sold out). Throughout the exhibition there will also be the opportunity to see a series of films specially curated by Tim Walker. Made up of films that have inspired and influenced many of his images, they will include cult movies such as La Belle at la BeteThe Red ShoesA Matter of Life and Death and Tim’s own first feature The Lost Explorer.

To coincide with this highly anticipated exhibition, Thames & Hudson have agreed to publish Story Teller by Tim Walker (£45) . The book features over 175 inspirational images, collages and snapshots from Walker’s personal archives, many on display in this exciting exhibition.

Working with the biggest names in contemporary fashion and culture, in Tim Walker Story Teller you will encounter Alber Elbaz sporting a pair of rabbit ears; Karen Elson up against it with a giant crocodile; Agyness Deyn in the sand dunes of Namibia; Tilda Swinton in Iceland; Alexander McQueen and a memento mori of skull and cigarettes; Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton turning an Essex garden centre into a danse macabre; Stella Tennant in a pink cloud among the rhododendrons of an English country garden and a visitor from outer space surprises a foxhunt in Northumberland.

With an imagination that knows no bounds, Walker turns fashion shoots into fairytales or, in his own words, ‘daydreams into photographs’. He constructs flamboyant worlds that unfold, page after page, like a series of stills from unrealised films. The photo shoot begins to resemble the film set: hair and make-up artists, fashion stylists and costume fitters, model makers, set designers, builders, producers and painters, prop suppliers and a cast of models playing out imagined roles. At the centre is Walker harnessing creative and technical talents to conjure up the harmonious whole in a singular picture.

This iconic photo that is recognise throughout the world to be one of the oldest known ‘war’ photographs ever taken entitled ‘Valley Of The Shadow Of Death’, which was taken by British photographer Roger Fenton in 1855. The only issue with the image is that two photographs where taken of the same scene depicting different outcomes, meaning the historic photograph might be one of oldest known examples of a staged photography.

Errol Morris, who is a well known documentary filmmaker has spent a significant amount of time investigating this mysterious photograph over the past decade. The main question for Morris was whether the scene was as Fenton found it, or whether he purposely placed cannonballs along the path himself to make the photograph more visually pleasing.

Shown below are the two images, the second photograph by Fenton, which is of exactly the same scene, yet there are no cannonballs scattered across it! The next question was therefore a “chicken or the egg” problem: which of the photographs were captured first? If it was the empty road one, then the scene was probably staged. If the iconic one, then it wasn’t.

After Morris read a book by Susan Sontag titled ‘Regarding the Pain of Others’ Morris became interested in the case, in which Sontag insinuates that the photo is a fake:

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