Real Life Photoshop Workspace


Real life Photoshop Workspace

This may seem unfamiliar but you’ve seen it before. You’ve seen it but not in this form. It’s an analogue version of the Photoshop desktop. The toolbar, menus and control strip are all in place, but in physical form, made out of paper and cardboard. It’s a great joke in dragging digital back to the analogue era (and that was only 23 years ago).

Click on the image and it will fill your screen, like the real Photoshop.  “Real” Photoshop? Photoshop is really virtual.

As far as I can tell from a search, it was made by this talented team:

agency : Bates141 Jakarta
creative director : Hendra Lesmono
art director : Andreas Junus & Irawandhani Kamarga
photgrapher : Anton Ismael


Greg Wayn

Greg Wayn Stanley 01

Greg Wayn, Stanley 01, 2013

Look at the precision in these fine photographs by Greg Wayn. Although they were taken recently in Tasmania, that doesn’t necessarily matter because their special interest is composition not subject matter.

Greg is an expert compositional photographer whose images often display the push-pull between the 3D subject and 2D design. His is a highly descriptive photography, the subject is always sharply rendered. But despite this realism, his main interest is the formal qualities of picture-making, the design, tones and lines.

Notice the quadrant of sky in each image and how it pops out as a positive space in the picture. It’s not a hole in space above the horizon but a thing with its own mass. In the image above, the sky is a horizontal pattern contrasting the vertical pattern of the shed. In the one below, the dark cliff recedes to the background making the light sky come forward in space.

Greg exerts precise control over small elements of his compositions. See below how that tiny sliver of sea peeps over the concrete wall? It separates the tones of the wall and sky, it underlines the sky, and it subtly denotes the picture as a marine subject.

You can see many more images on his blog, Photoworks, and on his website

Greg Wayn Stanley 02

Greg Wayn, Stanley  02, 2013


Finding Vivian Maier


Poster for the documentary Finding Vivian Maier

Vivien Maier’s posthumous odyssey continues with the completion of a feature length documentary on her life . John Maloof bought a cache of prints and negatives at a Chicago auction for a few hundred dollars. Their creator was then in a nursing home and she died before he figured out who she was. It’s one of those stories, and it has become one of the sensations of the photography world. There have been exhibitions around the world, a book, much press interest and many blog posts such as this. Now there is a documentary.

Or see the trailer on You-tube


Vivian’s new website


Vivian Maier, 1953, New York, NY

The strange case of Vivien Maier continues. Her discoverer John Maloof has set up a new website for her work: Now New York’s prestigious  Howard Greenberg gallery is representing the late photographer and she’s in good company, sharing the gallery with Eugene Atget and Alfred Stieglitz amongst others. It indicates her canonization as a Significant Photographer.

There is plenty of argument about wether she deserves this level of attention and artistic status. Her fateful story has mythical ring to it – reclusive artist has life’s work rescued in the nick of time by unknown hero. Can it be too long before a movie is made of her life, perhaps with Kate Winslet in the starring role?


Gottscho and Googie

SHORPY Gottscho

August 13, 1957. Greenfield Park, New York. “Tamarack Lodge. Sharp view.” .Large-format acetate negative by Samuel H. Gottscho.

This prime example of Mid-Century Modern was taken in 1957 by Samuel H. Gottscho. The Googie-style architecture meets the dart-sharped muscle car  in the blazing sun of postwar prosperity.

Gottscho (1875-1971) was a very industrious architectural photographer in New York who didn’t go professional until he turned 50, after 23 years as a lace salesman. Now that’s a career trajectory that gives you hope. He even claimed his best work was done at 70, which gives me hope.

See how he organizes the picture in a tightly structured design: the sweeping diagonal white lines contrasted with the static dark of the car; the sense of movement, and that summery brightness. For more of his excellent photographs see this Museum of the City of New York site which shows a very disciplined and intelligent photographer.

The subject of this photograph is Tamarack Lodge, a hotel in the Catskills which burnt down in 2012. Its new owner was charged with arson soon after.


Gottscho’s order


Samuel H. Gottscho, Vista under elevated railroad at Coenties Slip c1930

From all the evidence, Samuel H. Gottscho was a neat photographer. He certainly knew how to organize a picture. Look at these tidy compositions of New York city taken well back in the 20th century. The sweeping lines of elevated railway are framed by the girder at left and top edge, and by the line of shadow at the bottom edge. This is careful photography. It’s the sort of precision that comes with using large format where the image is upside-down on the screen, therefore abstracted.

Something like that can be seen in the image below of the Chrysler building where lines of shadow frame the city at left and bottom. The rectilinear shapes of the buildings are preserved by his accurate view camera adjustments; they seem to bring out the underlying geometric order of the city.

Why are these images so dark? They were clearly not intended to look this way for the client. It may be because they are negative scans or poorly scanned prints taken from Gottscho’s archive. They are from the extensive pages on the Museum of the City of New York website. Have a look, Gottscho is a discovery.


Samuel H. Gottscho, 42nd St from Tudor City, no date