The Online Photographer

Check out our new site at!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Deadman Update

A couple of years ago I came across some of the best street photography I'd ever seen, by a mysterious character named Johnny Deadman, later revealed to be filmmaker John Brownlow. John was kind enough to let me use a choice selection of his work to illustrate one of my articles.

Now he's up to something very--well, almost perversely--different. To check it out, click the title above, which is a link.

Personally I have to say I don't care for some of his latest work quite as much, decaying woods and random building fronts in color being subjects most photo teachers have seen quite enough of, but I guess man cannot live by street photography alone.

"Umbrellas," above, taken with a Noblex, has John going back to his roots on the street. It's a picture that's like an accordion, going in and and out, up and down, coming at you and then receding again, and I love the "virtual frame break" created by the nearest lamp-post, and the quasi-stochastic smattering of umbrellas broadcast across the frame holding the whole thing together. A stunningly great shot, I think. By the way, you can click on these images to make them larger.

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON (with a nod to O.G.)

The End of Copyright?


New Federal Bill

New federal bill to allow artists to deduct value of donated artwork

Please take a minute and visit this link to support a federal bill that would allow Artists to deduct the value of donated artwork instead of just the cost of materials.

(You can click on the title of this blog entry for a direct link.)

All you have to do is enter your zip code and it will automatically give you a written letter and the correct legislators to email it to. You just have to fill in your name, etc.

Americans for the Arts urges the U.S. House and Senate to enact legislation that would allow artists to take a tax deduction for the fair market value of works that they create and subsequently donate to arts organizations. Under current law, artists can deduct only the cost of the materials used to create the works, whereas non-artists can deduct the work's full value.




I have a peculiar affinity for Scandinavian artists, as well as a slight but detectable preference for female artists, so the work of Iceland's Louisa Matthiasdottir appeals to me. Tangentially, photographers have a lot to learn from painters (almost as much as the other way around), but not from every painter. See more of Matthiasdottir's work at the link.

Oh, and "Sjalfsmynd" means self-portrait in Icelandic (compliments of an English-Icelandic auto-translation site. Ain't the internet wunnerful?)


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Nick Nixon and the Sisters

Nicholas Nixon, famous for making immediate and in-your-face documentary snapshots with an 8x10 view camera and wide lenses, photographs his wife Bebe and her three younger sisters every year. There are 31 pictures in the series now--it certainly dates me that the first time I ever saw the series, the total was six, perhaps eight. "For 31 years, he's chosen one black-white shot of the sisters," writes Carl Hartman of Canadian Press, "always in natural light and always in the same left-to-right order--Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie. The photos usually are taken on a lawn or beach." The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. will be showing all 31 through Feb. 20th of 2006. "It's a small, stark show: a single wall in a single room, three rows of 10 photos each, with an additional one at the end of the middle row." The show is in the west building.


Featured comment: Salva (apologizing for his English) writes, "
I've seen this show in Seville (Spain) last year, and I felt so impressed with the time-passing feeling."

Somali Kiwis

There isn't a whole lot that hasn't been photographed these days, but a show that opens on Dec. 3rd at New Zealand's Waikato Museum, in Hamilton, claims to be the first to document the small, secretive Somali community in N.Z. The show, curated by Crystal Ardern, is called "Rare View" and features (among other things) recent pictures by photographer Mark Hamilton. The Kiwi Somalis (or would that be Somali Kiwis?) have been in the news because they've been subjected to persecution recently, presumably because they are muslims in a non-muslim country.



I miss obsessing! I used to enjoy coveting things which had been around for a long time but were expensive; now, virtually everything I covet doesn't even exist, but is prospective, planned to be released in the future.

This would include the Intel Macintoshes (rumor has it that the Intel Mac Mini will be here in January) and especially the coming "super-printers" from HP. The HP 8450 on HP's dedicated "Premium Plus" paper is just a wonderful device for slooooow letter-sized printing, but HP is wrapping up a $1.5 billion R&D push. Its new photo printers, due in 2006, have a recirculating ink system for zero ink loss and lay down many times as much ink in a single pass, which will make them far and away the fastest inkjet printers around. We're talking a top-quality 8x10 in under 10 seconds.

And as for cameras, K-M's Anti-Shake in the body is such a wonderful feature that its absence pretty much rules out any camera that doesn't have it. With every new Wunderkamera that comes around, from the Sony R-1 to the Nikon D200, I find myself thinking, "If only it had anti-shake...."

The only "old" thing I covet any more is a big CRT monitor. I still find them superior to LCD monitors for photographic work. Despite the fact that LaCie no longer even makes them....


Monday, November 28, 2005


Greetings, and welcome to "The Online Photographer" photography blog. This is a moderated presentation of comments in passing by myself and some of my photographer friends. Each posting is to be self-contained, and concerned exclusively or chiefly with photography. Actually, other subjects may creep in...but no politics.

Please bookmark it, and I hope you'll return from time to time.