Tag Archives: photography

Shravan Gupta: The Bike Riders

The Bikeriders is an iconic work of modern photojournalism that gives a raw and lively insight into the biker culture of the 1960’s, captured between 1963 and 1967 when the young Danny Lyon immersed himself completely into the lives and culture of the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club. ATLAS Gallery, London, will be exhibiting 40 modern prints from The Bikeriders series from 19 June – 16 August 2014, marking the first time these prints have been shown in the UK.

Lyon’s approach was to document his subjects intimately from the inside, rather than simply observing as an outsider. He spent four enthralling years with the Club’s members on long distance rides, at meets, races and informal gatherings across the United States, in locations including Milwaukee, Long Island New York, Chicago, New Orleans and Detroit.

By befriending his subjects, Lyon photographed and recorded interviews along the way, creating an extensive archive of black and white photographs that reveal the diverse characters and strong narratives of this hugely-stereotyped sub-culture. The body of work was instrumental in demystifying preconceptions surrounding biker culture and it remains a seminal work on the non- commercial face of 1960s America.

Lyon, born in New York in 1942, first started photographing in the early 1960’s as a staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at the University of Chicago. His earliest photographs were published in a book on the Southern Civil Rights Movement, and during his career he has studied and photographed death-row inmates, street kids and the transformation of the urban make-up of lower Manhattan. A fascination with humanitarian issues and the grittier communities on the edge of society has always formed the basis of his work, and today he is regarded as one of the most important documentary photographers of the last 50 years. Contemporary photographers including Nan Goldin and Larry Clark count Lyon as a huge influence in their work.

The Bikeriders was first published in 1968, and the exhibition at ATLAS Gallery ties in with the re- issue of a journal-size book published by Aperture.

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Shravan Gupta: New updates on photography

Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of color photographs by Mexican-born, British-American artist Sze Tsung Leong from his series Horizons.

Sze Tsung Leong’s Horizons is his vast and unique picture of the world. Composed of broad, encompassing photographs of this planet’s diverse terrains, this series is connected by a common horizon line to form a continuous landscape that suggests an unfurled, and potentially limitless, view of the globe’s surface. Collectively, these images expand our range of vision by transcending familiar boundaries and forming unexpected relationships: Kenya’s open savannah extends into the tidal basins of northern France, a desert development in California continues as a pasture in Flanders, while the salt flats of Bolivia expands into Japan’s Ise Bay.

Mr. Leong began Horizons in 2001 and exhibited the series at the gallery for the first time in 2008. The upcoming exhibition presents more than a decade of work, including new images that depict widespread locations, such as La Habana, Cuba; Cádiz, Spain; Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium; Tsavo West, Kenya; and Odoi, Japan. The exhibition consists of 29 analog chromogenic prints arranged in a sequence by the artist and is the first significant presentation of the larger edition size, measuring 28” x 48.”

The exhibition coincides with the release of the monograph, Horizons, published by Hatje Cantz. The 160-page book contains 144 images along with essays by Leong; essayist and novelist, Pico Iyer; Director of the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Duncan Forbes; former Head of the Department of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Charlotte Cotton; and a conversation between the artist and Chief Curator of the Center for Creative Photography, Joshua Chuang. As Mr. Iyer writes in his essay “Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Unreal”:

Sze Tsung Leong takes the fractures and disruptions of our post-modern floating world and weaves them into a seamless flow in which distances dissolve, history fades away and we are asked what to make of the often disembodied sense of unearthliness that result.

Major installations of Horizons have been exhibited at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the Herzliya Museum in Israel and at a solo show at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey in Mexico.

Sze Tsung Leong’s work has been exhibited internationally and is included in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, among others. He is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and his series of photographs, History Images, was published by Steidl in 2006. The artist is based in New York and Los Angeles.

Shravan Gupta: Life Series Going Indie – Metadata and Keywords

As you have probably observed in the sequencing of this series, I have attempted to bring the discussions forward as might be required in actual application.

You might ask: “Why not discuss metadata and keywords at the very onset as this is one of the first activities we do after making the image?” If you considered that question, you are absolutely correct. However, it is very much a case of the chicken-and-egg dilemma.

The fact remains we should tailor out metadata and keywords based on the search engine we have decided to incorporate. The metadata and keywords interact with each other when the client in cyber world is doing a search.  Many, many times I have observed photographers write the description text in that window, and then copy and paste the same text into the keywords panel. More often than not, this redundancy isn’t necessary. Many search engines, but not all I am told, search both the description fields and the keyword field during the search function.

One of the challenges I face in writing this entry, is that I leave myself open to correction. I accept that, with the knowledge that there are many variances in accepted practise due to there being no clear industry-wide standard What I will suggest is that in my experience I have found IPTC  (International Press Telecommunications Council) to be the most widely accepted by the photo industry, and as such its adoption should serve you in good stead for years to come.

How you incorporate your IPTC metadata field will have a large bearing on your keyword-application policy.  Not only is the IPTC metadata critical for web-based image searches, it is also an essential “tag” attached to that photography that describes, identifies and tracks the photograph for its life. This metadata, in its most simplistic terms, is the birth certificate and social insurance number all wrapped up in one neat little package. Without this package, you have no benefits.

I could regurgitate everything from the IPTC Photo Metadata standards, but you would be better served by reading and downloading the document directly. This document should be on your desk and thoroughly understood. Much of the field content does not change, and thankfully Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop have adopted IPTC as its standard application; consequently you can populate the fields and save them as a preference for future batch actions.

How you develop your workflow will be a result of trial and error. Personally, I can tell you all of my shots are brought into Lightroom as DNG files to save space. Once those files are imported and placed in the correct catalog, the first function I do is Select All and embed my “Base IPTC” which I have previously established and saved as such. This base data includes each required field that has fixed content; remaining data—such as yjr description field—is applied only to those images that are destined for distribution.

Once all the fixed data is input and the image has been adjusted as desired, or required, only then do I complete the description field. When doing so, the best way to proceed is to think of the Who, What, When, Where and Why. Input this data very carefully as this field will also, more than likely, be “hit” when a keyword search is initiated by a potential client. There are also several rules-of-thumb that should also be entered in brackets following a flora or fauna entry: the complete Latin name and, if an animal might be under human control input the phrase “Captive Animal.”  Again, according to NANPA, if the image is a derivative of several images, the phrase “Composite” should also be entered as metadata.  A potential advertiser may not find this information has any bearing on their final use; however, a natural sciences magazine or educational publisher will most certainly appreciate this knowledge in advance.

And finally, once the metadata has been completed, you are left with applying the appropriate and applicable keywords so a potential client might find the image. Many books have been written on this topic and I certainly can’t do it any justice in a few paragraphs. Suffice it to say, tagging your image with accurate keywords is extremely important, and you would be well advised to research this topic as thoroughly as any you have studied up to this point. Some photographers find this component so critical they contract the work to a third party that has experience working in this field. Only you can decide whether you should contract a service provider—if you do, ensure that you test them with a sample batch before entering into any contracts.

Just to get you thinking about keywords and its nuances, consider this: Is it grey or gray? Is it colour or color? Photographers say horizontal and vertical, while designers say landscape and portrait in describing an image’s orientation. Is an iceberg considered part of global warming, Arctic, clean, pure, pristine, and so on?

The bottom line, when applying keywords, is that you have to think like a potential client. Your keywords should expand on what you have already included in your descriptive field and not repeat those same words. Think back to our discussion of concepts and include phrases, such as: reach for the top, ladder of success, and tip of the iceberg.

As previously mentioned, the interplay between the description field and keywords is critical. Be generous but not verbose; you will want a client’s search to reveal all of the images that may fit the search parameters, but you will also not want to alienate the same client for including too many images that have no relevance. Understanding the importance of accurate and methodical tagging of keywords will have a very direct bearing on your success. By comparison, poor keyword application would most likely translate to lost sales, and that is something you want to avoid.

Once you have made it this far, you should be ready to start offering your images for sale—more on that in the next entry.

Now get to work.

Shravan Gupta: Altered Images

After extensive European travel and time spent with Man Ray at Fregene, Italy, Makos moved to New York to witness the great changes of the period. Fascinated mostly by the emerging punk scene, the American photographer created a series of portraits that are unique in the history of photography: Tennessee Williams, Halston, John Paul Getty III, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Patti Smith, Richard Hell, Tom Verlaine, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Divine are just some of the celebrities captured in his shots and collected in his debut book White Trash, published in 1977. He meets Andy Warhol, who was so impressed by his book, that he bought one thousand copies.

Warhol commits him the artistic direction of his book Exposure, that will be the beginning of their friendship and artistic partnership.

Inside the father of Pop Art’s late Factory, Makos captures extravagances, excesses, behind the scenes and many moments of “extraordinary” daily life of Warhol together with many superstars such as Mick Jagger, John Lennon and the young and talented artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Makos collaborated with many magazines, like Interview, Rolling Stone, House & Garden, Connoisseur, New York Magazine, Esquire, Genre and People. His works have been exhibited at the Tate Modern in London, The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid. Among his publications: Andy Warhol in China 1982 (2007), Warhol/Makos In Context (2007), Christopher Makos Polaroids (2009), LADY WARHOL (2010).

The exhibition presents a selection of 62 photographs, recalling the artistic scene of the 70s and 80s in New York. There will be presented also 8 pictures, large size images, of the Altered Images series, realized in collaboration with Andy Warhol, to represent the changeable identity of the human being, as an homage to Man Ray’s shots, portraying Marcel Duchamp’s alter ego Rrose Selavy.