Random Sights and Diversions

Photography Media Reviews Commentary

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What I’m Reading … Landmark: The Fields of Landscape Photography

If you like landscape photography as I do, this new book by William Ewing, Landmark: The Fields of Landscape Photography, should be a very rewarding and stimulating read. Ewing surveys the current state of landscape photography. More than 230 images are included by 100 photographers. Most of the images have been produced since 2000.

Ewing positions current landscape photography in ten theme areas: Sublime; Pastoral; Artefacts; Rupture; Playground; Scar; Control; Enigma; Hallucination; and Reverie. By and large, the photographers whose work Ewing presents are most interested in the lived-in landscape, the landscape as altered and inhabited by humans, and the images brilliantly portray the landscape as a subject for human reflection, imagination, play, recreation, inspiration, or – sadly – exploitation.

It is impossible to read this book and not see landscape photography as a vital and fertile area for many of the best contemporary photographers.

landmark

 

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Sebastaio Salgado: “The Salt of the Earth”

“The Salt of the Earth” is a new documentary film about Sebastaio Salgado.

If you have been following this blog, you may recall that I wrote very enthusiastically about Sebastaio Salgado, the brilliant Brazilian/French photographer whose black-and-white images of lands, nature, and peoples around the world have created a remarkably moving vision of humanity and Earth and all of the Earth’s creatures. Salgado’s most recent book, Genesis, is a magnificent record of his travels to some of the most remote lands, documenting the beauty of the planet.

The New York Times “Lens Blog” is featuring an interview with Salgado that makes for great reading. We get Salgado’s reflections on how he got into photography, his views about photography and art, the importance of photography, and a host of other insights.

The interview comes on the occasion of the imminent release in theaters of “The Salt of the Earth,” a documentary film on Salgado’s life and work, coproduced by the German director Wim Wenders and Mr. Salgado’s son Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. Here is a trailer for the film.

“Salt of the Earth” is being released by Sony. There are galleries and much more here.

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Hong Son Doong (reposted)

(Link to video corrected.)  I have in the past posted links to videos, particularly videos featuring exceptional outdoor and nature photography. It has been a while since any posts. I recently came across this extraordinary video shot largely with drones, in HD resolution, in what is sometimes considered the world’s largest cave, Hang Son Doong in Vietnam. (Make sure HD is on and watch fullscreen.)

This video was shot by Ryan Deboodt (click for Ryan’s website), who has apparently been filming in this area for a while. The photography and cinematography is excellent. The images of the cave are mind-boggling, but the views of all the flora are just beautiful. I was particularly impressed by the views which show (tiny) people exploring the cave, which helps to define the awesome scale of the place. With the added music, the video (about 6 min) is very relaxing.

Here is a terrific website about the Hong Son Doong cave with a wealth of information and information. Ryan Deboodt’s website features extraordinary still photography from the cave.

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Hong Son Doong

I have in the past posted links to videos, particularly videos featuring exceptional outdoor and nature photography. It has been a while since any posts. I recently came across this extraordinary video shot largely with drones, in HD resolution, in what is sometimes considered the world’s largest cave, Hang Son Doong in Vietnam. (Make sure HD is on and watch fullscreen.)

This video was shot by Ryan Deboodt (click for Ryan’s website), who has apparently been filming in this area for a while. The photography and cinematography is excellent. The images of the cave are mind-boggling, but the views of all the flora are just beautiful. I was particularly impressed by the views which show (tiny) people exploring the cave, which helps to define the awesome scale of the place. With the added music, the video (about 6 min) is very relaxing.

Here is a terrific website about the Hong Son Doong cave with a wealth of information and information. Ryan Deboodt’s website features extraordinary still photography from the cave.

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T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot, who died this weekend in 1965, was one of the 20th Century’s most important poets. Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948. Among his major works are The Wasteland, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Ash Wednesday, and (my favorite) Four Quartets. Eliot has been a favorite of mine since college days (don’t ask; too long ago).

Flavorwire (a great website to follow on all aspects of culture) published this week “20 T.S. Eliot Quotes for Better Living and Creative Inspiration.”  Here are to selected examples that I especially like.

“We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

And a statement about plays but that seems quite applicable to photography as I understand it.

“A play should give you something to think about. When I see a play and understand it the first time, then I know it can’t be much good.”

 

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Ghost Ranch Country at Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

In the midst of editing and posting images of the area around New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch. where Georgia O’Keeffe painted and lived for many years, I have stumbled across this announcement from Santa Fe that the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum has just opened an exhibition of O’Keeffe paintings of the country in and around the Ghost Ranch.  (Museum website here.)

Georgia O’Keeffe, Ghost Ranch [“Untitled (Red and Yellow Cliffs)”] Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe New Mexico. Published in the Albuqerque Journal, December 7, 2014.

 This painting [“Untitled (Red and Yellow Cliffs”)] and others like it have long inspired me. Scenes like this abound in the Ghost Ranch area, but I can imagine that O’Keeffe was painting cliffs much like the ones pictured in the background of my image for the December One Four Challenge.

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