Fotografía

Jusqu’où retoucher ?

Prise à Gaza, l’image du Suédois Paul Hansen, photo de l’année 2013 du prix World Press Photo, montre une foule pleurant deux enfants palestiniens tués par une bombe israélienne. Elle semble conforme aux canons du photojournalisme. Mais les couleurs désaturées de l’image, telle qu’elle a été soumise au jury, soulignant son côté cinématographique, suscitent des critiques. Si la retouche a toujours existé en photographie pour rendre les images plus lisibles, elle a été facilitée par l’arrivée du numérique, au point que certains rehaussent systématiquement les couleurs et les contrastes. Teintes fluo et cieux d’orage, plus esthétiques et dramatiques, se sont multipliés.…  Seguir leyendo »

Very few women went to Vietnam as journalists, and even fewer as dedicated war photojournalists. In fact, for most of the 1960s, there were only two: Dickie Chapelle, who was killed by a grenade in 1965, and Catherine Leroy.

Leroy was widely considered the most daring photographer in Vietnam. She almost certainly spent the most time in combat — in part because she had no money, having traveled from her native France to Vietnam as a freelancer in 1966 with no contracts and a short list of published work. Living with soldiers meant that she could eat rations and sleep in the countryside.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hemos pasado de ser sujetos que ocupan un espacio –sujetos que pertenecen por un tiempo determinado a un espacio determinado—, a ser sujetos que colonizan el espacio y lo proyectan, difunden esa colonización.

No es lo mismo llegar a un lugar y estarse ahí disfrutándolo o sufriéndolo (como haría cualquiera de nuestros antepasados), que llegar a un lugar, hacerse un selfie y publicarlo en las redes sociales (como hacemos ahora). En nuestro caso, nos apropiamos del espacio y lo convertimos en parte de nosotros, lo integramos en la publicidad de nosotros: lo colonizamos para nuestros intereses.

Primero, tal vez, el ser humano dio un paso: el de apropiarse del lugar por medio de la pintura, pero solo unos pocos tenían el talento para hacerlo y la colonización de los lugares era escasa.…  Seguir leyendo »

Staged hunting scene with the son of Mass’oud Mirza Zell-e Soltan, circa 1890. Kimia Foundation.

Few of the representations of late-nineteenth-century Iran that are currently on display at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World would win any prizes. Part of an exhibition called “Eye of the Shah: Qajar Court Photography and the Persian Past,” they have for the most part been composed with little wit or imagination and show individuals or small groups in not very inspiring locations. A number of them were shot in portrait studios with backdrops of classical balustrades and rotundas; some of them are badly faded. For harmony, crispness, and grandeur, they suffer in comparison to the commercial work done by Victorian photographers in the Middle East, such as Francis Bedford’s majestic, lonely studies of the Holy Land from 1862.…  Seguir leyendo »

A scene from the Bogside in Derry in 1971 taken by Don McCullin. Photograph: Don McCullin/PA

A picture, the old saying goes, is worth a thousand words. Yet photography – especially the reportage variety – is said to be losing its allure. Since 2010, several photographers have voiced concerns about the future of photojournalism, citing a crisis of confidence, weak support within the media industry worldwide, technological change and visual overload.

The American photographer Eros Hoagland divulged recently on CNN: “I don’t believe photojournalism is a very important job. My pictures and the pictures of my colleagues, they don’t really change anything. So let’s not pretend they do.” Photographers Patrick Chauvel and Don McCullin expressed a similar view during a panel discussion in 2013.…  Seguir leyendo »

El verano pasado, los lugares emblemáticos de las ciudades más turísticas registraron la aparición de una forma de certificación de la experiencia del viaje que, doce meses después, se ha popularizado de forma sorprendentemente exitosa. Turistas armados con un palo en la mano y, en el extremo, el teléfono móvil para hacer una fotografía en formato de selfie.

La fotografía compulsiva de los lugares visitados como turistas fue un tema habitual de los trabajos paródicos de un fotógrafo tan mordaz como Martin Parr, que nos dejó el testimonio, a menudo sarcástico, de esta necesidad cartografiada, ahora hace casi un siglo, por Walter Benjamin, el primero que adivinó el cambio que se estaba produciendo en nuestros hábitos visuales, acostumbrados a mirar las cosas directamente, por influencia de la fotografía, que ponía, entre nosotros y las cosas, la mediación de un visor.…  Seguir leyendo »

The recently released images from a cache of 55,000 photographs depicting emaciated, strangled and beaten corpses — allegedly taken in the jails of the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad — are terrible to view. They are also bewildering. The photographs, which document the deaths of some 11,000 detainees, were taken not by the opposition but at the behest of Mr. Assad’s regime. Wouldn’t such a government — wouldn’t any government — want to hide its crimes rather than record them?

Though this trove of photographs was not meant for release — it was reportedly smuggled out of the country by a defector — these are not the first images of savagery produced by the Syrian regime.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las vidas interesantes son las que encierran en sí mismas muchas vidas. En sus años de plenitud, el fotógrafo Oriol Maspons, que murió en Barcelona la semana pasada, tuvo una vida más que interesante dominada por una pasión al servicio de la cual subordinaba todo lo demás: la curiosidad. Si uno tiene la gran suerte de ser curioso no se aburrirá nunca, siempre encontrará algo divertido e interesante que hacer, ya que el objeto de esta curiosidad, por su propia naturaleza, es inacabable. A Oriol esta curiosidad le ha durado 84 años.

Como instrumento de trabajo profesional, para saciar este imperioso afán que agitaba su espíritu, Maspons utilizó, sobre todo, la cámara y el revelado, es decir, la fijación en imágenes de su mirada sobre el mundo que le rodeaba.…  Seguir leyendo »

Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard lies on his side in the Afghan earth, his gun still clutched in his hand. The air is speckled with the dust thrown up by the rocket-propelled grenade that has just been fired from a grove of pomegranate trees, blowing off one of Bernard’s legs.

As the camera shutter clicks, two other US Marines, blurred in their frantic efforts to save his life, are shouting: “Bernard, you’re doing fine. You’re gonna make it.”

The 21-year-old soldier did not make it.

This photograph of the dying Marine, taken by the Associated Press photographer Julie Jacobson on August 14, moments after a Taleban ambush outside the village of Dahaneh, has provoked fury in America.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cuando se conmemora el 170 aniversario del invento de la fotografía, oficialmente aceptada por la Academia de las Ciencias de París, sigue vigente la discusión sobre la veracidad o no de la fotografía ‘Muerte de un miliciano’ de Robert Capa, que se convirtió en el icono principal de nuestra Guerra Civil.

Desde su invención, la fotografía ha conocido un largo recorrido tanto técnico como temático, supeditado este segundo recorrido al primero, porque al principio la novedad de la fotografía fue la perfección de su imagen considerada como el dibujo perfecto y el dominio del espacio a través del encuadre de la cámara.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Isabel Hilton (THE GUARDIAN, 27/09/08):

Federico Borrell García, a young Republican militiaman in the Spanish civil war, died, it now seems certain, on September 5 1936, shot by Francoist rebels on a hillside in Cerro Muriano near Cordoba.

His death might have gone unremarked, except that the image of that moment was celebrated for 40 years as one of the most famous war photographs of the 20th century. It was not Borrell’s name that was famous – his identity was established only relatively recently – but that of Robert Capa, whose reputation was made by the photograph. Then, in 1975, came the suggestion that Capa had faked the picture.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Errol Morris, a filmmaker who writes the Zoom column for The Times online (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 13/07/08):

Newspapers and blogs are once again filled with a story about a digitally altered photograph. A picture of missiles launched by Iran. A picture that purports to show four missiles being fired rather than the three shown in other photographs of the launching. Are we to infer that no missiles were launched? Or just three? Or maybe only two? Take several steps back. Are we being tricked into thinking that Iran is a bigger threat than it is?

Oddly enough, the effect of all this publicity — including this essay — is to draw further attention to the missiles.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Peter Preston (THE GUARDIAN, 21/04/08):

It is the eyes that haunt you: young, wide eyes full of innocence and hope; narrowed, blank eyes filled to the brim with despair. They are the eyes of times past, but still they follow you round the room of a remarkable new exhibition (in a remarkably unlikely place). They are the eyes of a continent betrayed.

In 1961, fresh down from university, my friend Tom Sharpe (creator of Wilt and Porterhouse Blue) left England to work and teach in apartheid South Africa. Thank God for TB, they told him in Jo’burg: so many blacks were dying in the squalid sea of shanty towns around the city that white rule looked set to go on and on.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Mark Lawson (THE GUARDIAN, 15/02/08):

It’s always a poignant moment when technology once cutting-edge begins to be edged out. Dealing recently with a company that still insists on taking orders by fax machine felt like being in one of those Edwardian shops where money and receipts pinged around the eaves in cylinders on wires. And now, this week, we read the obituaries of the Polaroid.

The special smelly, sticky film that made scenes and faces appear magically in your palm – or, in lower temperatures, under your armpit – will no longer be produced because cleaner, even quicker digital has stolen the market for instant images.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Daniel Giralt-Miracle, crítico de arte (EL PERIÓDICO, 06/01/07):

Por su forma de ser, por su actuación y por su proyección nacional e internacional, no hay duda alguna de que Carles Fontserè encaja perfectamente en lo que Josep Pla llamaba homenot. Más aún, Fontserè es, a mi parecer, una de las personas más significativas de la Catalunya moderna. Personalmente, debo reconocer que es uno de los seres más atractivos e interesantes que he conocido jamás, tanto por su imponente presencia física, como por la energía personal que irradiaba y la libertad con que se expresaba. Coherente con sus convicciones, vivió huyendo de posiciones dogmáticas, y aunque cambió de países y de oficios, nunca dejó de ser un aventurero y un individuo que, por encima de todo, defendía las libertades personales y colectivas.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Richard Cohen (THE WASHINGTON POST, 26/09/06):

Thomas Hoepker’s photo “Brooklyn, New York, September 11, 2001” has achieved a kind of notoriety. It shows five young New Yorkers on that vividly beautiful late summer day, seemingly sunning themselves on the Brooklyn waterfront as the collapsed World Trade Center smolders in the background. The photo appears to catch the five chatting, ignoring the horror on the other side of the river. It has been interpreted as yet another example of indifference or the compulsion to return to normal even though, as anyone can see, there is nothing normal about what is happening.…  Seguir leyendo »