Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Keeping with the theme this month of photography, I’m taking the opportunity to mention more photographers whose work I enjoy:

Margaret Bourke-White — she was a documentary photographer who not only was the first female photographer for Life Magazine, but was also the first female war correspondent, taking photos in war zones.  She was the first Western photographer to document Soviet industry, as well (which might not sound like a big deal in 2014, but back in the 1930s, this was a big deal).

Dorothea Lange — she was a photojournalist and documentary photographer.  She’s probably best known for her photos done for the FSA (Farm Security Administration) during the American Depression.   Her techniques were a huge influence on the development of documentary photography .

Both of these women documented the Dust Bowl and the Depression, and their images helped bring the attention of the nation to what was happening to people, and influenced the government’s decisions on aid, as well.

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange

Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White


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A lot of us take photos with our phone, so it’s easy to use tools from things like Instagram to make any modifications or changes.  But what if you want to use a digital camera and you don’t have access to Photoshop?   I take a lot of photos with my digital cameras, and since we don’t have Photoshop at the library (and I don’t have it at home, either), I’ve discovered some other tools that are free and easy to use.

For example, iPiccy is a free, web-based tool that is super easy to use, and which has a ton of different effects (my original photo is in the upper left):

Collage-spiky 1

I’ve also used PicMonkey .   And, if you’re looking for free software to download and use, there’s always Picasa or GIMP.    If there are any other you’d like to mention, please feel free to put that in a comment below!

If you’re looking for tips on photography technique, we’ve got a wealth of books in our collection.   Here are a few examples:

The art of iPhone photography : creating great photos and art on your iPhone by Bob Weil (778.8 WEI)
Complete digital photography by Ben Long (770 LON)
Gimp 2.8 for photographers : image editing with open source software by Klaus Goelker (006.686 GIMP 2.8)
Digital photographer’s handbook by Tom Ang (770 ANG)

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One of things I find really interesting about photography is that it can reveal things that have been hidden, or might not appear right away on the surface.   For example, photographs of abandoned places not only show the instant that the photo was taken, but also can tell something about the past.   A photo of a person might look like one thing when you glance at it, but if you study it, you see more happening.   Sometimes, photographs are discovered long after they have been taken, bringing not only the past into the present, but also some context to history.

For example, we have a book in the library titled Pictures from a Drawer: prison and the art of portraiture by Bruce Jackson (779.2 JAC).  In November of 1975, the author acquired a collection of old ID photos from a state prison farm in Arkansas, and published them for the first time in this book.  Looking at these photos, you see the images as they are, unconnected to any kind of narrative or description, and bringing some of the past into the light.

Another example is one of my favorites, Asylum : inside the closed world of state mental hospitals – photographs by Christopher Payne ; with an essay by Oliver Sacks (362.21 SAC).   ” From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, over 250 institutions for the insane were built throughout the United States; by 1948, they housed more than a half million patients. . . Architect and photographer Christopher Payne spent six years documenting the decay of state mental hospitals like these, visiting seventy institutions in thirty states.” (courtesy of Goodreads)   These photos document not only the exteriors of the buildings, but also the interiors.   I find them to be fascinating and haunting at the same time, and it’s an interesting way to look at history, as well.


“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
– Dorothea Lange

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There are tons of photo blogs on the Web — and I would love to know what yours are, so please feel free to leave a comment!   Today, I’m sharing a few that I enjoy browsing:

Broken Light photo collective

Broken Light: A photography collective — I found this site through a “like” on one of the posts on this blog, and now, I’ve added it to my reader so I can see everything that’s new.  There are a variety of photographers, and photos, and the collective is defined as “We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time.”   Definitely some interesting perspectives.

Around Anchorage, Alaska — I found this blog through Wordless Wednesday, and I enjoy seeing the daily life in Anchorage.  I get a kick out of the occasional moose photo, I admit.

Scouting New York

Scouting New York — I have an interest in architecture, and Nick Carr’s site documents his adventures as a movie location scout.  He is always discovering really interesting places, and takes great photos.  I especially like it when he documents an abandoned place that he’s found.

Around Anchorage


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Wordless Wednesday

I couldn’t go through this month’s theme without mentioning one of my favorite things: Wordless Wednesday.    You can find it HERE every week, and what I love about it is not only that it’s simple (because it’s just a page, where people can put their links), but you can visit so many blogs, and see a lot of variety of photography.    Wordless Wednesday is a weekly meme that allows bloggers of all kinds of share their Wednesday post: a post that is just a photo and nothing else (more or less).    I have posted my own blog’s photos from time to time, which is fun, but what I really like is the opportunity to see what kinds of photographs other people around the world are taking.   I’ve discovered some great blogs this way and some wonderful photos.

Here are some examples from last week’s list:

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This month’s feature allows me to share not only some of what the library has to offer for photography, but to also mention some of my favorite photographers and photo blogs.   Today, I’m focusing on a few photographers:  Annie Leibovitz, Diane Arbus, Mary Ellen Mark.    I’ve included photo collages for each of them — 3 photos they’ve taken, and a photo of the photographer.

Annie Liebovitz is an American portrait photographer, and even if you didn’t know it, you probably know some of her photographs.    She took a lot of photos for Rolling Stone magazine, and recently, did a series for Disney.    We have several of her books in the library, which you can find under 770.92 LIEBOVITZ, and we also have a DVD about her, called Annie Liebovitz: Life Through a Lens.

Diane Arbus was also a portrait photographer, although her work is quite different than Annie Lievovitz’.   The library has a few of her books, including Diane Arbus: Revelations, as well as a biography of her.

Mary Ellen Mark is known for her portraiture and photojournalism.   The library has a new book of hers, Prom (770.92 MARK).

Diane Arbus

Mary Ellen Mark

Annie Liebovitz

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