Tuesday, November 28, 2006

photoshoot: andrea's two faces

all photos by ryan burke

November 5th, 2006

The final portraits for my "Young Americans" portrait series involved andrea strackbein done up in two different yet similar styles. One style was supposed to be dark and the other light. For the dark we used heavy make-up, feathers, dark clothing, and a viney background. For the light we used powder and white sheets to create a very innocent, brighter feeling. What resulted was a mixture of both but the basic concept is still there. These are behind the scenes photos of the shoot. As always, the final photos are viewable on my deviant art page linked at the top.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

a many-sided moment

Exposure #30: NYC, 249 West 34th Street, 11.20.02, 2:27 pm

Exposure #18: N.Y.C., 498 7th Ave, 02.26.03, 13:29 p.m., 2003

There are many ways to do a photographic series. Barbara Probst creates sets of photos out of a single moment. She magnifies the definition of a photograph being a captured moment by showing several sides of that same point in time. Her work also demonstrates the many different ways of framing the same image.

Exposure #6A, N.Y.C., Central Park, 06.04.01, 2:44 p.m., 2001

Probst uses radio control to coordinate the shutters of her cameras as she sets up her shot(s). She then takes her captured moment multiplied and blows the photos up to a huge size so that they take up a whole wall. The photos, when put together, absorb you in their immensity and also their subject matter. You feel like you are part of that moment more than ever because of the multiple angles you can see.

Barbara Probst, German Photographer 2001 - Photographed by Oskar C. Neubauer

Exposure #20: N.Y.C., 122 Duane Street, 05.12.03, 4:37 p.m., 2003

Exposure #31: NYC, 249 West 34th Street, 01.02.05, 4:41 pm

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The art of not pushing the button

1974, Paris, "Shoe and the Eiffel Tower

I haven't posted on other photographers in awhile so here we go:

Frank Horvat, Italian fashion photographer and photojournalist, believed in control. It is important for a "real" photographer to not just snap away and hope that a good photo will come out of the massive heap of average or poor ones. Horvat believed in waiting for the right shot; taking the time and focus to make a perfect frame. Some of this theory probably came from his meeting Henri Cartier-Bresson who preached his coined-term "the decisive moment." Frank Horvat was a contemporary of Cartier-Bresson's who seemed to live for that moment. To me, his perfect pictures have the beautiful quality of fine paintings. The lighting, pose, color, contrast, and overall composition show wonderful control similar to the effect of a well-planned painting.

Here are a few of his photos from three different publications: British Vogue, L'Officiel, and some of his beautiful Vraies semblances portrait series:

British Vogue

In the 50's there was only one fashion magazine with editions in different countries, Vogue. British Vogue was the first to give Horvat the freedom to use his own style in taking photos. The only drawback to working in Britain, says Horvat, was the weather. He therefore decided to bring the models inside the studio instead of out on the streets. Horvat requested many strange props such as babies and horses in order to add something new against the plain grey background. The picture to the right was taken in 1959 in London and shows model Judy Dent with a baby. Dent is wearing a british high fashion evening dress.

1959, London, British ready-to-wear with horses / 1961, London, model Simone D'aillencourt in british high fashion, with designer Hardy Amies


L'Officiel is an old French monthly with "a small budget and modest ambitions," as Horvat said. This magazine has been the last fashion magazine he has worked for.

The picture to the right was taken in Paris, 1988. The model, Carol, is in a French high fashion cocktail dress.

1989, Paris, French high fashion evening dress / 1986, Paris, African fashion

Vraies semblances

The meaning of the title is "both true semblances and verisimilitudes." The main theme here is women and the emotions they convey. Each photo took weeks of preparation and hours of shooting. These portraits are all important women in the life of Horvat. A second theme to this set is history which can be seen in the style of the photos and the dress and posture of the subjects. He often used famous paintings as a reference for this series of photos. The third theme is that of portrait photography in and of itself - the intimacy involved in capturing a person's spirit forever in a single frame.

The photo to the right is simply titled "Anne."

Isolda / Sarah

For more information on Horvat as well as an online portfolio please look to my links section on the right side of this page.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Queen of the Twenty-Fifth Hour

all photos by ryan burke

Photoshoot: The Many Personas of Laura
Date: November 4th, 2006

This was a 4-hour photoshoot where we tried out a variety of new things on Laura Errington. The original idea was just a picture of her in her houndstooth jacket but it moved on to more creative shots in a few different outfits.

I decided not to post many of the pictures on here this time because I didn't want to give away the shots i will be posting in deviant art later. Suffice to say, this has been one of my best photoshoots so far. check out the pictures from the shoot on my deviant art site linked at the top of this page.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Question of Equality (photoshoot)

all photos by ryan burke

Photoshoot: "The Bold Statement"
Date: Novemeber 4th, 2006

The sixth character in the "Young Americans" photoshoot, Daniel Burke represents the bold statement of our generation and any other generation when it was young over the past 60 years. For this shoot, Daniel painted a sheet with various religious symbols and then made an equal sign out of an oversized art pad. We used a spotlight in order to emphasize the feeling of the resulting photo (which can be accessed through my deviant art linked at the top of this page).

Daniel is a very bold character. He likes to stand out and he likes being an individual. He is also very devoted to supporting the equality of all people. This picture is meant to represent those things and also raise questions about why equality has always been so difficult. I feel like it also expresses a hope for a more optimistic future.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Party People (Scenes)

all photos by ryan burke

Our school recently had the wonderful opportunity to host the works of Barry Moser, engraver. Moser now teaches in Massachusetts and is a successful artist. His work is on display at many galleries including the Metropolitan Museam of Art, the National Gallery, and other national galleries in Europe and Australia.

Mr. Barry Moser

Moser gave an interesting workshop/lecture before the reception where he explained the process of engraving. I've never really been a fan of this particular medium but his lecture was quite inspiring. Moser is truly a master of the medium and his works are beyond amazing. I have a hard time even drawing negative forms so to meet someone who could conceptualize and engrave a piece only made up of negative forms is awe-inspiring. His pieces (both reliefs and watercolors) now range in price from $100-$7,500. I asked him about pricing and this is what he told me: "I was comissioned by a dentist once to paint a golf hole. When I told him the price, he had to take a minute to adjust to the idea of it. He thought it was too expensive. Well, I'd like to know how he thinks he can charge more for a root canal which he can do in one day whereas my work could take a month."

Following the workshop were two receptions. The first reception was the president's reception and (mostly) the point of this post. I have picked out a few of the pictures i took of the reception to upload. The reason I am showing these is because I feel that they contrast from most of my other work and they are interesting to look at because they are voyeuristic scenes from a semi-formal party. As such, there is a lot of life involved in them despite the shmoozing and fake friendliness.

I love pictures like this one where there is more than one thing happening. There is a conversation on the right and a woman standing alone on the left. The woman on the left was warming herself at the fireplace. She was my favorite at the party. At one point she approached me with one of the hors d'oeuvres and asked "I'm sure you have a well-refined palette, can you tell me if there is chipotle in this?" I am pretty sure she was at least a little bit tipsy off the free wine.

The pictures above and below show one of my other favorite types of shots: five people in a line, all looking in different directions. I love it because your eyes can just move back and forth all over the picture through all the leading lines.