2009-04-05

In the Beginning

There was a photographer (Brent Bennett) whose work I would continually return to for inspiration. Unfortunately, it was on a slow server and it was tedious to iterate through the images. I eventually had the bright idea to download his images so that I could more quickly peruse them offline, and this act of collecting later expanded to include any image I thought was visually interesting. So began my private collection of jpg files of which I now have many thousands. I generally collect with a bias to certain formal qualities rather than subject.

I later decided it was time to return to the Internet the images it had given me, and hence this blog/magazine/curatorial project came into existence. Hopefully this blog exposes some of the amazing images and photographers which are sometimes difficult to discover within the depths of the Internet (at least this was my experience, starting out).

The exercise of selectively collecting the images of these photographers generates a specific view of their practice which is skewed to my own interpretation and is based upon how I would like to remember their practice. In a sense this blog is a collection of “snapshots” I am using for memory, much like a set of vacation or holiday pictures, and are equally as simultaneously authentic and inauthentic to that type of action (a theme found through my other work). I also find this work greatly useful in improving my own répertoire of visual tools.



27 comments :

  1. Fantastic resource! thanks a lot. With the cost of photo books and so many being out of print, this is so useful and inspirational.
    Jon

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  2. Thanks Jon, I think that is definitely a great advantage the Internet provides and is unprecedented. While photo books often have more depth (and further images that can't be found on the Internet), they are no longer the only source for exposure to new images with so many great images on the Internet. I think the potential to learn has greatly increased, especially for people who are broke like I am and can't afford many photo books (though I still buy them whenever I am able; I love books). I'm finding as well that there are many seasoned photographers who have never published a book, leaving the Internet as the only way to view their work outside exhibitions.

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  3. I assume you will link to something about Walker Evans at some juncture ? Just a thought, as he seems to be the primeval soup from which all the work highlighted here will have evolved. This is my ill informed view anyway, so please take with a pinch of salt. I'm working my way through the list ans enjoying every minute.
    best,
    Jon

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  4. Definitely! Atget and many others too :)

    The hard part is that photographers like Evans are quite prolific and so finding, organizing and selecting becomes a very time-consuming task, so I haven't featured as many of those kinds of photographers yet as I'd like. I have been collecting their work though, and as I find the time you can definitely count on seeing their work here as well.

    With regard to Walker Evans, if you haven't yet, check out the digitized Library of Congress archives:

    http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/f?fsaall,brum,detr,swann,look,gottscho,pan,horyd,genthe,var,cai,cd,hh,yan,lomax,ils,prok,brhc,nclc,matpc,iucpub,tgmi,lamb,hec,krb:0:./temp/~pp_LnD1:

    They have many very high resolution images of his work as well as tons of unrestricted high res photographs from other photographers; lots of FSA stuff, etc.

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  5. Quite understand, I look forward to seeing it when it appears.
    re Lib of Con- Will do Levi, thanks. I did have a look through some of their collections of daguerrotypes a few months ago. Some brilliant stuff there. Another amazing resource.
    cheers,
    Jon

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  6. Dude, looking over this blog... it's overwhelming. The tagline "images I wish I had made" cover my sentiments exactly as well. Very inspiring, at the same time... paralyzing as well. I don't know where to start! Write, photograph, share, or simply just enjoy? Or all of the above?

    Maybe cut down my caffein intake first...

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  7. haha thanks suze :)

    I'm surprised at how big it has become actually, and I still have a seemingly endless supply to add to it, I just need to find the time for sorting and selecting. For myself I find it a good resource for when I don't feel like photographing—then I look at a few entries and soon I want to photograph again.

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  8. Awesome selection, instant bookmark. Thank you very much for your precious work!!!

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  9. No problem :) It has been fun to work on.

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  10. Amazing selection. Wouldn't have reached many of these wonderful photographers on my own. In the era of digital explosion aesthetically and intellectually delicate blogs like these are extremely needed. Keep up the wonderful work!

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  11. Hello Levi Wedel,
    Your blog reflects inspiration on big scale. Hope to share anything mind-blowing about photography.

    Robynthepaperboy (from deviantart)

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  12. superb blog, thanks for displaying Sigal Ben David.
    is this series interesting to Images Found?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimaustin/sets/72157614124082098/
    Jim

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  13. thanks Jim! those are interesting pictures but perhaps too conceptual for what I am looking for

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  14. Jewel of a blog!
    Keep up the good work.

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  15. Where's Fred Herzog?

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  16. Hi Levi really great blog.

    I know of a truly exceptional photographer who has not made the cut. His name is Raymond Moore, and following his death sadly almost all of his work is unseen, locked away in a legal wrestle in a big auction house in london. There exists almost next to nothing online or in print.

    What can be seen here at another blog serves as my proof and he would definitely not be out of place among the true greats of photography. There is also a good video interview on youtube.

    http://thoughtsonartandteaching.blogspot.com/2009/12/who-knowes-raymond-moore.html#axzz1ER6mUPiu

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  17. Thanks for the amazing link Tom! It is a shame there is not more of his work to be seen online. I found a bit more here http://www.weepingash.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=96:published-photographs&catid=36:raymo&Itemid=6

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  18. Just a nice idea for a blog, very interesting one, I collect it in my own blog so to be alerted at each addition.

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  19. What a fabulous collection for a visual junkie such as myself, thank you! I can just see my dishes piling up as I become engrossed..."just one more..."
    Deb Young
    New Zealand

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  20. Levi, I discovered a photographer online a few years ago named Andrew Boroweic. I believe he first photographed the rust belt in the seventies or eighties and apparently has been nationally recognized for it. Your aesthetic taste seems identical to his. I'm assuming you know who I'm talking about?

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  21. And I enjoy your blog. It's right.

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