Posts filtered by tags: Random Excellence[x]


 

Three Things That Are Good to Look At

'What you lookin' at?'Inge Morath, A Llama in Times Square, New York, 1957 ($2,000) 1. Llamas. Magnum is having a sale of New York prints by its members that includes Inge Morath's "A Llama in Times Square." The prints are signed and editioned, signed, or estate stamped, and prices range from $1,250 to $15,000. Included are some very famous pictures indeed: Dennis Stock's iconic (I use the word advisedly!) portrait of James Dean in the rain, Elliott Erwitt's fabulous picture of the man/bulldog...
Tags: Photography, New York, London, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, James Dean, NICK, James Joyce, Jonas, Around The Web, Elliott Erwitt, Michael Johnston, George, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Erich


Random Excellence: Giants?

Might call this "random interest" rather than excellence, but it's curious. You might want to look at the picture carefully before reading on. We were talking about the novel Giants in the Earth the other day, and I ran across the old snapshot above on a site called Ipernity. The original poster, Alan Mays, was given it as a Christmas present. A few different elements conspire to create a visual illusion. The small size of the tractor and the boy driving it, the looming hill in the background, ...
Tags: Books, Photography, Earth, Giants, Leonard Cohen, Michael Johnston, Wayne, Cohen, Michael C Johnston, Solomon, KJV, Efren Reyes, Random Excellence, Lawrence Durrell, Durrell, Alan Mays


Random Excellence: Benoit Paille

William Gibson. Photo by Benoit Paillé. Or not so random—this is the portrait of William Gibson that adorns the article I quoted yesterday. It breaks every rule of portraiture, and it's brilliant. It looks splendid as a full page of the New Yorker print magazine. I can't stop looking at it there. The head is placed just subtly northwest of dead center in the frame; the flash implies a brief moment of lucidity in gloom; the heavy foliage in the lower right anchors the picture in chaos from whi...
Tags: Photography, William Gibson, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Gibson, Benoit, Paille, Random Excellence, Benoit Paillé


Random Excellence: Jason Lindsey

Photo by Jason Lindsey From photographer Jason Lindsey's campaign for the Wyoming Office of Tourism and Travel Wyoming. If you can read the text, you'll see why it's a cowgirl instead of a cowboy. Who knew that Wyoming was "the Equality State"? Not I. It's a classy, nice-looking ad that doesn't try too hard—that being a good thing. Jason Lindsey was a photojournalist and agency art director before becoming a commercial assignment pro. He says, "I love shooting in water up to my neck, swimming...
Tags: Photography, Michael Johnston, Random Excellence


Random Excellence: Photographer Unknown

I thought I'd try something a little different for "Random Excellence" today. This isn't an expressive photograph; it's a descriptive one. That's its purpose. It's not "authored" in the sense we usually think of. It's an auction house catalog photograph of an object for sale. For some reason I was struck by this Garry Winogrand comment, at the outset of the new documentary: Winogrand: "Well, what is a photograph?" Background voice: "I don't know. You tell me what they meant to you." Winogrand (...
Tags: Photography, London, Los Angeles, Pink Floyd, Manhattan, Rolling Stone, Rudy, Volvo, Reflections, Christie, Michael Johnston, Soho, Martin, Mike, Ben, Michael C Johnston


Random Excellence: Nathan Benn

Nathan Benn, Gatorland, 1981. Edition of 15, $2,800. Remember our friend Nathan Benn? He has a new book out. First, you can see an engaging little mini-portfolio of his Florida pictures over at Photo-Eye. They're JPEGs of prints for sale in limited editions. The book is called A Peculiar Paradise: Florida Photographs. Here it is at Amazon UK and The Book Depository. Photo-Eye has it too, although TOP doesn't get a spiff there. There are some more of the pictures at the Amazon page, including ...
Tags: Amazon, Books, Photography, Florida, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Nathan, Amazon UK, Nathan Benn, Random Excellence, Gabriele Basilico, Bord de Mer, Fulvio Senore, Nathan Benn Mike


Random Excellence: Frank Stefanko

Frank Stefanko, Corvette Winter From what I read about it, this is one of the most famous pictures of Bruce Springsteen, showing the singer as a young man with the Corvette he bought with the proceeds from Born to Run (and still has). It was taken by his friend Frank Stefanko, and is also one of Frank's best-known photographs. Strangely, I had never seen it before the other day, when I happened across it while researching Southside Johnny's Hearts of Stone. Frank Stefanko took the picture for...
Tags: Photography, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Frank, Michael Johnston, Springsteen, Michael C Johnston, Johnny, Frank Stefanko, Stefanko, Morrison Hotel, Morrison Hotel Gallery, Random Excellence, Frank Stefanko Corvette Winter From, Paul Nowosadko


Random Excellence: Ralph Striewski

Every time I research a camera I make discoveries. Ralph Striewski is an airline pilot based in Munich, Germany, who practices as a dedicated street photographer during his ground time. (Ground Time happened to be the title of the first book of photos I came across by an airline pilot, the late Kent Reno. We have several commercial airline pilots among TOP's readership.) Photo by Ralph Striewski These come from an 99-picture Flickr album called "People in Dhaka / Bangladesh." Shot mostly with ...
Tags: Photography, Panasonic, Dhaka, Eugene Richards, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Munich Germany, Ralph, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Random Excellence, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, Ralph Striewski, Kent Reno, Ralph Striewski Check


Random Excellence: Jimmy Katz

Ornette Coleman by Jimmy Katz Since we were talking about Ornette Coleman the other day, here's the best picture of him I know of. Photographer Jimmy Katz is well known for his photography of jazz musicians—he won the Award for Excellence in Photography from the Jazz Journalists Association in both 2006 and 2011. He tells me it's not even his favorite shot from the session, which was done in Ornette's apartment in front of some of his art in 2005. Jimmy likes this 4 x 5 even more: "I think of...
Tags: Photography, New York City, Paris, Moscow, Ornette Coleman, Dena, Music Notes, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Jimmy, Amazon US, John McKee, Bowdoin College, Ornette, Amazon Canada


Random Excellence: Thelma Pepper

Christina Driol, who lives in long-term care but still wearsan apron out of habit. Photo by Thelma Pepper. Really the perfect Monday morning story: your spirits are going to be lifted by reading about 98-year-old Thelma Pepper of Saskatchewan, Canada, arguably the purest of pure photographers. Sure lifted mine! From CBC.ca. Have a great day out there— Mike (Thanks to Mitch Krupp) Original contents copyright 2018 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserve...
Tags: Photography, Photographers, Peter Wright, Cbc, Michael Johnston, Lee, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Lee Friedlander, Current, William Eggleston, Random Excellence, Bob Cook, Jim Simmons


Random Excellence: Thelma Pepper

Christina Driol, who lives in long-term care but still wearsan apron out of habit. Photo by Thelma Pepper. Really the perfect Monday morning story: your spirits are going to be lifted by reading about 98-year-old Thelma Pepper of Saskatchewan, Canada, arguably the purest of pure photographers. Sure lifted mine! From CBC.ca. Have a great day out there— Mike (Thanks to Mitch Krupp) Original contents copyright 2018 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserve...
Tags: Photography, Photographers, Peter Wright, Cbc, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Current, Random Excellence, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, Thelma Pepper, Christina Driol, Thelma Pepper Really, Thelma Pepper of Saskatchewan Canada, Mitch Krupp


Random Excellence: Jimmy Katz

Ornette Coleman by Jimmy Katz Since we were talking about Ornette Coleman the other day, here's the best picture of him I know of. Photographer Jimmy Katz is well known for his photography of jazz musicians—he won the Award for Excellence in Photography from the Jazz Journalists Association in both 2006 and 2011. He tells me it's not even his favorite shot from the session, which was done in Ornette's apartment in front of some of his art in 2005. Jimmy likes this 4 x 5 even more: "I think of...
Tags: Photography, New York City, Paris, Moscow, Ornette Coleman, Dena, Music Notes, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Jimmy, Amazon US, John McKee, Bowdoin College, Ornette, Amazon Canada


Random Excellence: Jimmy Katz

Ornette Coleman by Jimmy Katz Since we were talking about Ornette Coleman the other day, here's the best picture of him I know of. Photographer Jimmy Katz is well known for his photography of jazz musicians—he won the Award for Excellence in Photography from the Jazz Journalists Association in both 2006 and 2011. He tells me it's not even his favorite shot from the session, which was done in Ornette's apartment in front of some of his art in 2005. Jimmy likes this 4 x 5 even more: "I think of...
Tags: Photography, New York City, Moscow, Ornette Coleman, Dena, Music Notes, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Jimmy, Amazon US, John McKee, Bowdoin College, Ornette, Amazon Canada, Jazz Journalists Association


A Hello from Peter

Peter Turnley, At the office, Paris, Sept. 20, 2018 Our longtime friend Peter Turnley asked me to pass along his greetings to all his friends among the TOP readership. He's in Paris, doing well, working hard, and preparing future books and future workshops.  Carl Westergren, Peter Turnley on his Paris Balcony, September 2018. "I continue to photograph every day with joy," Peter writes, "and feel very much in stride with my vision and in touch with what I want to communicate visually and op...
Tags: Photography, Paris, Peter, Michael Johnston, Peter Turnley, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Random Excellence, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, Carl Westergren Peter Turnley


Random Excellence: Valerii Iavtushenko

Valerii Iavtushenko, A crumbling concrete elkin an abandoned Soviet pioneer camp Apologies if people didn't like the link to the Atlantic's "Abandoned Russia" portfolio. One person objected that it was stock-sourced and not commissioned, and another objected that it doesn't have single authorship or coherent focused meaning. Those are valid points of view and I'm not arguing with them. I didn't see it that way, however...I thought they were thought-provoking and good to look at anyway, despit...
Tags: Photography, Russia, Atlantic, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Random Excellence, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, Valerii Iavtushenko


Random Excellence: Roy J. Feldman

I'm a fan of the work of TOP reader Roy Feldman, a working photographer from Detroit whose pictures I've seen in bits and pieces over the years. Check out ten of his pictures of Hamtramck, a two-square-mile city bounded on all four sides by Detroit. To me the set seems unfinished; I'd happily look at ten or twenty more, or even thirty. Of course I imagine he's fitting this work in around his day job, which must be more than full time. He told me he's having a show of the work soon. Maybe he can...
Tags: Google, Photography, Michigan, Detroit, Lightroom, Nik, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Feldman, John Camp, Hamtramck, Amazon Canada, Roy Feldman, Random Excellence


Random Excellence: Roy Feldman

I'm a fan of the work of TOP reader Roy Feldman, a working photographer from Detroit whose pictures I've seen in bits and pieces over the years. Check out ten of his pictures of Hamtramck, a two-square-mile city bounded on all four sides by Detroit. To me the set seems unfinished; I'd happily look at ten or twenty more, or even thirty. Of course I imagine he's fitting this work in around his day job, which must be more than full time. He told me he's having a show of the work soon. Maybe he can...
Tags: Photography, Detroit, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Hamtramck, Amazon Canada, Roy Feldman, Random Excellence, Amazon UKAmazon Germany


Random Excellence: Kai Plews

Kai Plews, Dex and Gus 'Daddy Goggles': I got this note the other day from TOP reader Mike Plews, about the photograph above, which was taken by Mike's son Kai: This is an example of a person’s critical faculties completely deserting them. Kai sent me this shot he took with his phone on Sunday. It is of Dex carrying his kid brother Gus back to the van after a play in the park. I completely love it but this is a case of double-thick daddy goggles at work. A picture taken by my son of two of my...
Tags: Photography, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Gus, Amazon US, Kai, Dex, Amazon Canada, Mike Plews, Random Excellence, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, Kai Plews, Kai Plews Dex, Gus Daddy Goggles, Kai Mike Dex


Random Excellence: Lawrence Schiller

Described as a "Limited Edition Headshot of Marilyn Monroe by Lawrence Schiller," this is for $4,500 at the (I think) decidedly creepy size of 26x30 inches. (The seller advertises on AllMusic, which is how I encountered the photograph.) I've only ever seen Marilyn Monroe in one movie—Asphalt Jungle, one of my favorite noir films—and I don't think I'm big on celebrities, especially deceased ones—although I have not interrogated that. But I question who would want this ever-so-slightly motion-b...
Tags: Photography, Hollywood, Brooklyn, Marilyn Monroe, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Marilyn, Norman Mailer, Amazon US, Schiller, Oswald, Mailer, Ken Tanaka, Richard Avedon, Amazon Canada


Random Excellence: Petri Juntunen

Petri Juntunen, The Ship Called Night, 2014 Finnish photographer Petri Juntunen's creepy-spooky explorations of darkness are not always straight photography...he uses "novel methods of imaging and representation including 3D scanning, laser engraving and projections." He is extremely proud that his first monograph, At the Heart of It All, has just been published by Hatje Cantz. "Half a decade of work distilled into 88 pages!" he says of it. The book is available for pre-order at Amazon US, an...
Tags: Books, Photography, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Random Excellence, Hatje Cantz, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, Petri Juntunen


Richard Kelley: Francois Cevert on the Day of his Death

Richard Kelley, François Cevert, 1973 Introduction: The tragic death of of the talented French driver François Cevert at age 29 was one of the epochal events in Formula One history, documented in books and in films such as 1: Life on the Limit and The Quick and the Dead. It ended Cevert's meteoric rise, caused Jackie Stewart to miss his last race, and crippled the then-dominant Tyrrell team. Richard Kelley, at the beginning of his 45-year career in photojournalism, was there.  Portrait and wor...
Tags: Chuck, Photography, US, Indianapolis, Ap, ISO, Photographers, Nikon, Richard, Asa, Jackie, Ayrton Senna, Derek, Helen, Indiana University, Michael Johnston


Random Excellence: Frédérick Carnet

Frédérick Carnet, from Le fragile équilibre d'être (the fragile balance of being) Frédérick Carnet is an interesting photographer in that he works in series—Andrew Molitor, who drew my attention to him, wrote that he "sequences...with real genius." This requires more on the part of the viewer. To look at them, I suggest picking a series and scrolling through it slowly, letting each picture stop in front of your eyes for a brief "soak," then moving deliberately to the next, paying special atten...
Tags: Photography, Michael Johnston, Mike, Andrew, Michael C Johnston, Frederick, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Random Excellence, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, Andrew Molitor


Random Excellence: Els Vanopstal

Photo by Els Vanopstal, from her website I was delighted to learn a few days ago that in the first photograph I chose for last Friday's "A Baker's Dozen: Large Format Contact Prints" (right), the model is none other than Belgian photographer Els Vanopstal, an accomplished photographer herself.  In her formal work she works within a very narrow range, but she is the master of it, finding variation and modulation both emotional and visual. She uses color with great sensitivity. In a more documen...
Tags: Photography, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Els, Amazon US, Johan, Amazon Canada, Huw, Christophe, Random Excellence, Mike Thanks, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, Els Vanopstal, Johan Verhulst


Random Excellence: Gyda Henningsdottir

Gyda Henningsdottir, White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) As I've mentioned before, sometimes a "Random Excellence" post is just about the one picture, and sometimes it's about the photographer's work as a whole. Gyða Henningsdóttir , born 1973, is one of the latter. Iceland has gotten to be a popular destination for landscape and nature photographers from other places in the world; Gyda is one of the leading Icelandic photographers of Iceland. Her "about" page says she grew up photogra...
Tags: Photography, Iceland, Reykjavik, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Bald Eagle, Amazon Canada, Random Excellence, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, Gyda Henningsdottir White, Gyða Henningsdóttir, Eurasia Many, Mike R


Random Excellence: Judy Dater by Ernst L. Wehausen

TOP is a two-way conversation, and many of the things it turns up are an ongoing pleasure. After I posted Judy Dater's picture of Graham Nash the other day, Ernst L. Wehausen sent me this great portrait of Judy herself that he made in the mid-'70s. I've always had a keen interest in portraits of famous photographers, so this was right down my alley. "This is a scan from a print," Ernst writes. "The print was handy; I need to dig out the negative. This was around 1976 or 1977 at a workshop in Ro...
Tags: Photography, San Francisco, Judy, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Graham Nash, Ernst, Judy Great, De Young Museum, Random Excellence, Rockport Maine, Judy Dater, Ernst L Wehausen, Wehausen


Random Excellence: Judy Dater

Judy Dater, Graham Nash, 1978 Even if you don't know the name Judy Dater, you probably do know her most famous picture, "Imogen and Twinka at Yosemite" (there's an "art nude" at that link, just so you're warned), one of the most famous American photographs of the 1970s. This picture of musician Graham Nash was in the section of Judy's website titled "Photo World." Aside from being one-third of the famous '70s folk-rock group Crosby, Stills & Nash (and one-fourth of CSN&Y), Graham Nash is a lo...
Tags: Photography, Yosemite, Photographers, Graham, Judy, Richard Benson, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Graham Nash, CSN, Nash, Crosby Stills Nash, Haight Street, Imogen, Buena Vista Park


Random Excellence: John Sarsgard

I'm really looking forward to getting back to the office and into the driver's seat again—I've been back in Boston this week helping with my "Aged P" (as Dickens put it in Great Expectations). My Mom is not too terribly aged, but she has Alzheimer's. Fortunately my stepfather is home from the hospital and doing well, care is in place for the next period going forward, and I can get back to work. I took a short walk from the house yesterday, through Harvard Yard and into Harvard Square, where The...
Tags: Books, Photography, Boston, Cuba, Michael Johnston, Mike, Dickens, Michael C Johnston, Stoner, Harvard Square, Harvard Yard, Random Excellence, John Sarsgard, John Sarsgard John


Random Excellence: Ruth Orkin

Ruth Orkin, Couple in MG, Florence, 1951 Of course there's no one standard of the "excellent" in photography. In aesthetic appreciation there is general rough agreement but also a wide range of opinion. And no sort of unanimity. We all like what we like. I'm reminded of the late comedian Mitch Hedberg talking about the heavy metal band he and his friends had when they were teenagers: "People either loved us or they hated us. Or they thought we were OK." I laughed as soon as I saw this. In the...
Tags: Europe, Photography, Hollywood, New York City, Italy, Photographers, Florence, Historical, Ruth, Michael Johnston, School Of Visual Arts, Michael C Johnston, Artnet, Stefon, Mitch Hedberg, Random Excellence


Random Excellence: Saroyan Humphrey

Photo by Saroyan Humphrey / Road & Track "Random Excellence" means excellence encountered randomly, in homage to the roundabout way we come upon pictures (especially now, but in the past as well). My path to this one was an example: I got a promo email from Flyin' Miata in Colorado, which led me to their website, which led me to their description of a suspension package they sell that was originally used on a Miata privately owned by a guy named Richard Dekker from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. ...
Tags: Photography, Colorado, San Francisco, Sam Smith, Michael Johnston, Central California, Michael C Johnston, Sacramento California, Mazda Raceway, Miata, Penn Yan, Laguna Seca, Flyin Miata, Tarek, SCCA, William Saroyan


Random Excellence: Lori Swadley's '52 Addicts'

The June 5 & 12 issue of The New Yorker features a long "Reporter at Large" article by Margaret Talbot called "The Addicts Next Door: West Virginians fighting to save opioid abusers—and their town—from destruction." It's a long, engrossing article, if one that's difficult to read. The article includes a series of mini-profiles of a number of people, and one of the first ones featured is Lori Swadley, a successful wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer from the Martinsburg, West Virginia area...
Tags: Photography, Photographers, New Yorker, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Lori, Katelyn, Martinsburg West Virginia, Jenni Vincent, Martinsburg Journal, Current, Websites and links, Random Excellence, Lori Swadley, Margaret Talbot