Don't let anybody tell you differently, film photography--especially
black and white--isn't dead. Nowhere is this more evident than in
the monochrome images captured by Paul Shelasky with rangefinder film cameras.
Yup, the guy is seriously old school. Beyond the fact that Shelasky lives in
Providence, Rhode Island, you won't learn much about this humble photographer
from his website other than a good look at his work. That work is collected
into five main galleries plus a couple of "PAW" collections that
feature a Picture of the Week.
I started in the politically incorrectly named "Junkyard" (they're
all salvage yards now) gallery to see not wrecked cars but actual "junk"
captured in the no-nonsense photojournalistic style Shelasky applies to all
of his work. His unblinking lens is on display in the "Ballpark"
collection, featuring a local Little League diamond, not Kaminski Field. Some
collections contain a single image, such as the Cartier-Bresson-esque "Downtown."
I would love to see more of those and if you go to the "PAW" galleries,
you'll find similar photographs displayed in a different format with healthy-sized
thumbnails that open into screen-filling images. They all show the depth and
character of Shelasky's vision. Time was, there were lots of American
photographers working in the ironic reportage style exemplified by the best
of Shelasky's work, but the siren song of instant digital gratification
has seduced younger shooters. Look and learn.
2006, Paul Shelasky Photography, All Rights Reserved
Prepare--as they say--to be amazed. Tarun Khiwal is an Indian fashion
photographer whose chic site design (that's easy to say but difficult
to describe) takes you into a world that many of us never knew existed. Race
your mouse to "Fashion in Palaces" to see fashion photography redefined
in style and sense of place. The directness and universality of images in the
"Chanel" collection is truly universal and could have just as easily
been made in Paris as Delhi. You can even zoom the already large images to screen-filling
sizes to appreciate Khiwal's craftsmanship and vision.
Unpredictability surfaces again in the "Neopolis" collection filled
with jet-setter images that leap off your screen. The editorial fashion images
in "Fashion" (which houses two collections) are nothing short of
mind-blowing and represent a master's class in fashion photography. His
masterful portraits combine color or monochrome that capture the subject in
studio and on location, revealing a breathtaking sweep of talent that not only
depict a person but also redefine the genre. Khiwal's personal work includes
nature and abstract still life and realistic nudes done with a distinctly non-Western
approach that in one case shows just a hand. While Khiwal works in monochrome
and color, even his color work contains a strong black and white sensibility,
infusing his images with a sense of gritty realism that's shaken not stirred
with fantasy. Note: The site can be slow to load, even on a
broadband connection but the impressive images and unique site design make it
worth any delay.
2006, Tarun Khiwal Photography, All Rights Reserved