Friday, May 04, 2007


1: of the same or a similar kind or nature
2: of uniform structure of composition throughout
3: having the property that if each variable is replaced by a constant times the variable the constant can be factored out

This word comes to mind more often than any other as I look at most of the photographic work being done today.
I have been following Joerg Colberg's website, "Conscientious" since I came across it while looking for photographers to invite to participate in the 2006 auction at HCP. Joerg does an outstanding job of updating his site with links to new work, or at the very least, to work I've not seen.
Maybe it's his personal taste but somehow all of the contemporary work seems very much the same. I really think that there is something in the water that's leading all these people down the same path. Even the lady who won the Santa Fe Center's prize last year is very much out of the that mold.
The photographers are looking at their world and the pictures come out looking like they could have been made by one person. The wide angle lens is used a lot, all the work is in color and shot in natural light at what appears to be roughly the same time of day. There is a great emphasis on the immediate family or home surroundings.
This same situation seems to be true for sites like "" with the exception that there are many more sunset, sunrise pictures.
While many of these photos appear to be very well made, I can find very little that sets them apart from one another. The lady that won the Santa Fe Center prize had gone to the expense of printing the pictures very large, maybe 40 inches square.
I come back to Walker Evans, "evocative, mysterious, and at the same time, realistic."
I conclude that it is very hard to make original, unique work that doesn't look like all the other work that's being done today.
More later...

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