Observing the Crowd

An interesting display of work by photographer Bob Collins, who captured the spirit of London and Londoners in the 1950’s through to 1990.

From major events to candid reflections on daily life in the city, discover how Collins turned to crowded places to make captivating images. This exhibition is still running at the Museum of London.

There is a nice review of this exhibition on the BBC website, so I won’t bother covering it any detail here – I just wanted to share a few of my favourite images…

Bob Collins 3

Bob Collins 1

Bob Collins 2

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Burnt Generation – Gohar Dashti

There is an interesting exhibition of Iranian photography at Somerset House (running until June 1st). The series from Gohar Dashti is quite unique and well worth seeing (in large format).

“In her most recent series of photographs, Gohar Dashti has presented a counter-narrative of her homeland, in both form and substance. In Iran, Untitled, there is a sense of unity of place, which fosters the emerging narrative—the title of the series itself develops an even deeper narrative—but here is a place that has lost its locality. It is a desert in the middle of nowhere.”

Gohar 1 Gohar 2 Gohar 3 Gohar 4

There is more information on the Somerset House website.

Golden Lane

The Golden Lane Estate is a 1950s council housing complex in the City of London. It was built on the northern edge of the City, in an area devastated by bombing during World War II.

The maisonette blocks are faced with panels in primary colours (red and blue on maisonette blocks and yellow on the tower block). There is less use of unfaced concrete than in the Barbican. However, some of the concrete surfaces which are today painted were originally unpainted as they suffered early on from staining and streaking from iron pyrites in the aggregate.

The architects kept to their brief of providing the high density within the 7 acres (2.8 ha) available. The visual anchor of the design is the tower block of one-bedroomed flats, Great Arthur House, which provides a vertical emphasis at the centre of the development and, at 16 storeys, was on completion briefly the tallest residential building in Britain. It was the first residential tower block in London that was over 50 metres in height, and also the first building to breach the 100 foot height limit in the City of London.

Golden Lane 1Golden Lane 2 Golden Lane 3Golden Lane 4Golden Lane 5Golden Lane 6Golden Lane 7

You can find the full set over on Flickr.

Professional Inspiration – Catherine Henriette

Catherine Henriette is a French photographer based in Paris. I’m particularly drawn to her ‘Frozen River‘ series.

I came across her portfolio last year in a TGV magazine. I couldn’t make any sense of the French article, but the photos really jumped out at me! They are particularly effective on a white background and also have a kind of Fargo feel about them that I like.

These photographs come from the Frozen River series, which also seems to go by the name Conte d’hiver (Winter Tale).

Catherine Henriette 1 Catherine Henriette 2 Catherine Henriette 3 Catherine Henriette 4

There is a contrasting set from the same river in the summer, Conte d’été, available on her website.

To the Red Planet

This is a great visualisation that I spotted in WIRED magazine. This is an excellent technique for summarising a reasonably detailed data set in a very clear and immediately digestible way. A great example of what can be achieved with a bit of careful thought and some good design.

Mars Viz
Paul Butt

The 60s space race to the Moon was a mere sprint compared to the decathlon to Mars. Using Nasa’s archived data of both US and international missions, Paul Butt’s graphic illustrates the history of Mars exploration by robotic probes, and the many successes and failures along the way. “For each launch, I read through the mission planning and execution to interpret what the mission hoped to achieve, and what it actually did,” explains Ipswich-based Butt.

The result is a story of how these mission objectives grew more ambitious: ranging from the US Mariner 4’s first successful fly-by in 1964, which took 21 pictures, to landing rovers on the planet — something the Americans, again, recently achieved with Curiosity. Although the Americans dominate the successes, the graphic also shows the determination of the Soviets in the face of repetitive failure. In December 1971, two years after the US conquered the Moon, the Russian Mars 3 was the first to manage a landing; sadly, it malfunctioned after 20 seconds. “[The Russians] were remarkably ambitious,” Butt says. “They were trying to drive rovers across the Moon’s surface in the 70s — it took the Americans another 20 years to be able to do that on Mars.”

You can read the original WIRED article here. Credit to Stephen Kelly and the guys at WIRED for this content.

Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2013

Now in its seventeenth year, the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 rewards a living photographer for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which has significantly contributed to photography in Europe.

I visited the exhibition at the excellent Photographers Gallery in London earlier this year, but never got round to posting my thoughts.

The highlights for me were;

Mishka Henner

Image

No Man’s Land represents isolated women occupying the margins of southern European environments. Shot entirely with Google Street View, Henner’s method of online intelligence-gathering results in an unsettling reflection on surveillance, voyeurism and the contemporary landscape.

Watch a video interview with Mishka Henner

Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin

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War Primer 2 is a limited edition book that physically inhabits the pages of Bertolt Brecht’s remarkable 1955 publication War Primer. Brecht’s photo-essay comprises 85 images, photographic fragments or collected newspaper clippings, that were placed next to a four-line poem, called ‘photo-epigrams’. Broomberg and Chanarin layered Google search results for the poems over Brecht’s originals.

Chris Killip

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British born Killip has been taking photographs for nearly five decades.What Happened – Great Britain comprises black and white images of working people in the north of England, taken by Killip in the 1970s and 1980s. After spending months immersed in several communities, Killip documented the disintegration of the industrial past with a poetic and highly personal point of view.

I have to add this other Killip photo of the same street. I’d love to know what year this follow-up was taken? The ship, incidentally, was the Tyne Pride. You can read more about her here.

chriskillips-1024x818

Some of the text from this post was taken from the following website;

http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/deutsche-bo-rse-photography-prize-2013

Vincent’s Vortices

A NASA animation of changing ocean movements. This visualization shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through December 2007. The visualization does not include a narration or annotations; the goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.

The size and shape of the flows are influenced by wind, density, gravity and temperature.

This visualization was produced using model output from the joint MIT/JPL project: Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II or ECCO2. ECCO2 uses the MIT general circulation model (MITgcm) to synthesize satellite and in-situ data of the global ocean and sea-ice at resolutions that begin to resolve ocean eddies and other narrow current systems, which transport heat and carbon in the oceans. ECCO2 provides ocean flows at all depths, but only surface flows are used in this visualization. The dark patterns under the ocean represent the undersea bathymetry. Topographic land exaggeration is 20x and bathymetric exaggeration is 40x.

This visualization was submitted to the SIGGRAPH 2011 Computer Animation Festival, but it wasn’t selected by the jury.

[1] http://tinyurl.com/8xdcy35

First read in WIRED (UK) magazine, credit to original authors.