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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Photolucida 2011

After 5 days and over 50 portfolios looked at, I leave Portland and Photolucida with laryngitis from all that talking. I had a wonderful time, saw some spectacular work and hung out with great people. I want to write a more in-depth review for next week, but I thought I'd just go over some of the highlights.

It was a real treat getting to see actual prints from Jamey Stillings of his Hoover Dam project. I've been in love with this project since I first saw it online. Add to that the amazing B&W soldier portraits Louie Palu showed me and that was enough to make me happy to be there.

I also got to meet several photographers in person--people I've hired in the past, or had spoken to before, including Jeffrey Sauger, who showed me a great B&W project about Black farmers.

I was very moved by Nancy LeVine's project about senior dogs as a way to explore America and it's aging population. "It's my version of The Americans," said Nancy. This is such a fully realized project, beautifully shot in both color and B&W. All I could say was wow.

David Pace brought his project documenting the end of the week dance parties in Burkina Faso--shot only with a strobe. I loved this! It's a slice-of-life that we rarely get to see from Africa., and it's joyous, colorful, fun, and of Burkina Faso, a country we hear nothing about in our media.

The teenager portraits by Rania Matar show us girls in their bedrooms, and allow us to see into these young women in such a fully developed way it's almost like a sociological study. The young women allow us to know them through their poses and by showing us the environments they have created. Mixing western and eastern portraits, we see the true nature of globalization through the similarities in objects and imagery these young women choose as their own.

Gordon Stettinius' hilarious project, "Mangini Studio Series" where he photographs himself as different characters (including perfect hair and wardrobe styling) is wonderfully inventive. He embodies everyone from a cookie-cutter politician to a psycho killer. Such a cool project, and a sense of humor I almost never see in photography: smart, sophisticated, and making a point.

I plan on writing more about Photolucida next week talking more about the experience in greater detail, and some of my impressions, so stay tuned.

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