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Category Archives: Photography

“Bodies in Question,” After Photography in French

I have just curated the New York Photo Festival exhibition “Bodies in Question,” concerning human and virtual bodies, the ailing planet, and the troubled body politic, with fourteen artists represented. An excellent analysis of the exhibition by Leo Hsu appears on, focusing on Marc Garanger’s 1960 identity photographs of Algerian women made for the [...]

For Greater Image Credibility

In my After Photography book I outline a number of ways to employ the digital image differently, including ways to be more explicit as to the origins and possible meanings of the image. Given the never-ending discussions about digital retouching and a growing disbelief as to the authenticity of the contemporary photograph, I will repeat [...]

Zen in the Art of HCB

Erica McDonald filed a response that I found moving to the post below, “Famous Photographers Tell How,” which is about a rare 1958 vinyl recording of several photographers explaining their approaches. She decided to transcribe the entire section where Henri Cartier-Bresson speaks and make it available on her website along with transcripts of several other [...]

Blowing Up “Blow Up”

I am a longtime fan of Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow Up about the swinging fashion photographer played by David Hemmings who becomes a witness to the aftermath of what may or may not have been a murder. Blowing up his negatives he sees fuzzy things which seem to point to a crime, things that only [...]

Famous Photographers Tell How

There is a 1958 vinyl record entitled “Famous Photographers Tell How” with the voices of a number of photographic legends: Weegee, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Philippe Halsman, Bert Stern, Tana Hoban, etc. Ted Barron put up MP3 excerpts by Weegee and Cartier-Bresson talking about their photographic processes that can be heard here. It is well worth spending [...]

“Blind Prom” and “Beauty Pageants”

As with the previous post, here is an exhibition opening next week on the subject of those with problems seeing, this time from the point of view of a photographer witnessing prom night at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In “Blind Prom,” Sarah Wilson evokes a sense of teenagers struggling with [...]

Sights Unseen

“Though I’ve lost my sight, I haven’t lost my vision,” says Alice Wingwall, one of the artists in the exhibition “Sight Unseen” at the University of California, Riverside. Working off of sounds, smells, memories, the heat of the sun on one’s face, the artists in this show are all without or with very limited sight. [...]

Mother/Son in “Progeny”

There are not many parent/child combinations where both have distinguished themselves as photographers (one thinks of the Weston clan), and even fewer mothers and sons. And how many of the latter have ever exhibited together?
Deborah Willis, my colleague at New York University, and her son, Hank Willis Thomas, a graduate of the department in which [...]

Talking with Don McCullin

Recently I had the privilege of sitting down and talking with Don McCullin about his new project on the ruins of the Roman Empire, the wars he covered, and his aspirations and regrets as a photographer and a man. McCullin, now in his seventies, is the undisputed dean of photographers who have covered, and in [...]

Documentary’s New/Old Models

I just moderated a panel discussion “Access to Life,” revolving around the effort of a number of Magnum photographers to help the Global Fund raise considerable amounts of money so that millions of HIV-positive people can not only stay alive but, in many cases, prosper when provided with the right medications. Gilles Peress, representing his [...]