The Old School photographers I appreciate the most work with a variety of styles. Some make their living with their cameras, some do not. Sometimes their images are breathtaking, sometimes disturbing, sometimes playful. But one quality distinguishes them all: these are creative personalities who are exploring, stretching themselves, seeking more. These are people with a passion for making images.
Allow me to share the work of three people who have this quality.
Main Site: Silvia Ganora Photography
Blogs: Sunny 16 rule, My Expressions (colour), Achromatic (B&W)
Sil--rather incredibly--describes herself as an amateur. 'Several years ago,' she says, 'photography went along with writing short-stories. I had a few stories published both on paper and online. Then my writing inspiration went totally dead… and photography became my preferred way of expressing myself.'
What stuns me about Sil's images is their versatility. She pays attention to the broadest vistas and the smallest objects. She is equally at home shooting black & white or colour. She has imbibed and absorbed the many languages of visual art: Vermeer, Van Gogh, Hopper and a host of others.
Sil's photos have earned remarkable plaudits in a short amount of time. She remains active as a writer, though, devoting at least three photo weblogs to chronicle her relationship with photography. It promises to be a long and healthy relationship indeed.
Bruno Taddei official site
LensModern: Bruno Taddei
Flickr: Bruno Taddei
Bruno, based in Varese, is a professional through and through. I recommend viewing images at his official site. Follow the link to his Gallerie pages.
The power of his black & white images floored me the first time I saw them. Those first images I encountered may be seen in the 'Black' set of his Gallerie. The series features human faces and everyday objects in stark, single-source lighting against a black background.
Sometimes things take on a mysterious, abstract quality, as when an clay pot looms out of the blackness like some strange new world discovered in the Oort Cloud. Other times emotions get an intensification that is almost unbearable for the image's refusal to blink at what it shows, as when a woman hides her anguish in her hands.
Spain / The Netherlands
Flickr is my autobiography.
Carmen, stage name solea, is best known for her confident self portraits. This is a collaboration between model and photographer that has proven enormously fruitful. One result is a level of traffic and commentary that can sometimes upstage the images as such. That's too bad, because these are images that reward attention.
Carmen's success rests on much more than the eroticism to be encountered in many images. The photo-viewing world has no shortage of good-looking people willing to reveal a great deal more personal real estate. But few come close to capturing viewers' imaginations as Carmen does. Here is a photographer with a solid technique who possesses a gift for myth.
Carmen is a natural storyteller whose images communicate on a symbolic level. When she shows us a woman in a white dress standing in a boat, the woman is not just a woman and the boat is not just a boat. Her self portraits--like her other specialty, landscapes--display a variety of textures and treatments. You'll find colour, black & white, and every treatment of hues in between. Some images are realistic, some cinematic, some surreal. Now the narrative is Gothic, now classic, now Victorian storybook, now MTV, now film noir, now documentary.
All have an iconic quality. She has studied the archetypal feminine in all her aspects. Regardless of the voice Carmen chooses for her narrative, she slips into and out of each role easily even as she directs the scene.