June 20th, 2016

LOOK3: Doug DuBois on Creating Images “Based on a True Story”

© Doug DuBois. An image of Shauna and her new baby, from My Last Day at Seventeen (Aperture, 2015).

© Doug DuBois. An image of Shauna and her new baby, from My Last Day at Seventeen (Aperture, 2015).

Over the course of five summers, Doug DuBois photographed teenagers living in public housing in a small Irish city of Cobh, depicting scenes of the kids drinking, carousing and coping with the boredom and restlessness that characterizes the period between childhood and adulthood. Photos from the project, published in his book My Last Day at Seventeen (honored in the 2016 PDN Photo Annual) were shown at the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph alongside Olivia Bee’s images of teenagers in exhibition curated by photographer Phil Toledano. While Bee’s romantic photographs show her friends and contemporaries, DuBois made his images in Cobh by collaborating with “a core group of players” he’d gotten to know and who were willing to act out scenarios or suggest scenes for him to photograph. The project, DuBois told PDN in an interview, was not “documentary” or “diaristic”; it represents his subjective view of the place, the teens and his interaction with them. He likens it to literary nonfiction or memoir.

In all his work, Dubois says, “subjectivity is at the forefront.” His 2009 book, All the Days and Nights, about tensions in his family, included photos he made of his mother reenacting moments DuBois had witnessed. “It’s like the movies say, ‘Based on a true story,’” he says. About his Cobh project, he says, “Invention is too strong a word, but I would say it’s my story based on their lives and how I saw them and what I understood and what I didn’t understand.” But while it is his own story, DuBois felt a responsibility to depict his subjects in a way that they would recognize.

He first arrived in Cobh in 2009 as the recession was taking hold. He had accepted a month-long residency, and had agreed to hold a community photo workshop with some local teens. “I asked them to take me to where they hung out,” he recalls. “I spent one long night encountering 15-year-olds some of whom were very drunk.” Dubois, who shoots with large- and medium-format cameras, got up close to a boy named Lenny and, while other kids joked and teased, asked him to blow smoke from his cigarette. In the close-up portrait, Lenny is bemused and looking tough. DuBois recalls, “I said: This is the image. It’s all about the bravado. You can see his past as a child and his future.”

November 14th, 2014

Nicoló Degiorgis Wins $10k Paris Photo-Aperture First PhotoBook Award

Nicoló Degiorgis received the First PhotoBook prize from the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, the Aperture Foundation announced today. The award, which is given for an outstanding first monograph, comes with a $10,000 prize. Degiorgis’s first book, Hidden Islam (Rorhof, 2014), depicts semi-permanent and makeshift Muslim places of worship in Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

The book is made entirely of gatefold pages. Black and white depictions of unassuming buildings like garages, shops and warehouses open to reveal color images of the interiors of these places of worship.

In other prize categories, Christopher Williams won Photography Catalogue of the Year honors for his exhibition catalogues Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness and Christopher Williams: Printed in Germany (Art Institute of Chicago, 2014).

PhotoBook of the Year went to Oliver Sieber for his book Imaginary Club (Editions GwinZegal and BöhnKobayashi, 2014), an assemblage of years of work depicting the places and people that define various music subcultures.

Vytautas V. Stanionis received a special mention for his book Photographs for Documents (Kaunas Photography Gallery). To create the book, Stanionis printed photographs from negatives his father shot as passport photos for residents in a small Lithuanian town who were applying for Soviet passports.

Judges for the awards were Alkazi Foundation for the Arts curator Rahaab Allana; MoMA chief photography curator Quentin Bajac; designer and director Cléo Charuet; curator Sebastian Hau; and gallerist and publisher Pierre Hourquet.

Via Aperture.

May 15th, 2013

Awards, Book Fairs, Exhibitions and Other Photo Happenings

Exhibitions and Other Happenings:

TOMORROW! Columbia College Chicago is hosting an informal portfolio review for their graduating photography students from 5-8pm tomorrow, May 16. Creative professionals are invited to go check out the work of this group of young photographers. There will be food and drink and conversations about photography. http://www.colum.edu/industryevents/events/photography-review.php

The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center is holding their fourth annual Book Fair. Participants include MACK Books, Printed Matter, Vox Populi, Light Work and Houseboat Press, among many others. It’s a fair of photo books. Nuff said.

An exhibition of the work of 50 photographers selected as finalists in the 2013 Critical Mass competition opens this Friday at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta. The exhibition is curated by W.M. Hunt. http://www.jenniferschwartzgallery.com/critical-mass-top-50-exhibition/

This is very cool: United Photo Industries and New York Waterway’s East River Ferry people are partnering to exhibit photographs on weekday ferries throughout the summer. The project kicked off this week, and it will include water-related photography by Joni Sternbach, Stephen Mallon, David Doubilet, Andreas Franke, Corey Arnold and Eric Prinvault. http://unitedphotoindustries.com/special-projects/drawn-to-water/ (more…)

March 25th, 2013

Google Deeply Cuts Price for Nik Plug-in Suite


Nik’s Silver EFEX plug-in is part of the newly priced bundle.

Perhaps making up for the controversy it created when it discontinued the Snapseed Desktop app, Google today announced a significant price cut for the Nik plug-in suite. The Nik plug-ins have long been popular with photographers looking to expand the power of Photoshop, Aperture or Lightroom. Previously these plug-ins were in the $100-200 range with full six plug-in suites running $300 for Aperture/Lightroom and $500 for Photoshop/Elements.

However, today’s announcement reduces that price to $130 for the “Nik Collection by Google” and includes the Color Efex Pro 4, Dfine 2, HDR Efex Pro 2, Sharpener Pro 3, Silver Efex Pro 2 and Viveza 2 plugins. Perhaps even more exciting is the fact that, according to the announcement, if you have bought any of the Nik plug-ins in the past, Google will be contacting you and offering you the ability to upgrade to the entire suite for free. If you have never tried the Nik plug-ins, you can visit niksoftware.com for a 15-day free trial of the Collection.

See the Nik Plug-in announcement on Google+ here.

September 7th, 2011

Cover of French Edition of Franzen Novel Appears to Rip Off Photog’s Book

Coincidence? The covers of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom (left) and Sanna Kannisto's Fieldwork.

The cover of the French edition of Jonathan Franzen’s bestselling novel Freedom bears more than a passing resemblance to Sanna Kannisto’s photo book Fieldwork, which was published earlier this year by Aperture. The similarity led Aperture publisher Lesley A. Martin to accuse the French publisher, Editions de l’Olivier, of creating a “copycat cover” via Twitter.

Both covers feature photographs of flying birds against white backgrounds, and the covers are also laid out almost identically, with the titles and author names at the centers of the covers.

Somewhere in France a graphic designer has some explaining to do.