Super Images By Super Photographers; A Webful Of Images And Photographers
“Get your pretty little portfolio off my desk before I go into a diabetic coma.”—J. Jonah Jameson to Peter Parker
In case you forgot (or maybe didn’t know), Peter Parker a.k.a. Spiderman is a freelance newspaper photographer; one of the highlights of the movies to me is the off-handedly whimsical way his editor, J. Jonah Jameson, treats him, but it never stops Parker from trying to make great photographs. Join me this month as I introduce four photographers with four completely different visions who should inspire you to move your own photographic pursuits out of the doldrums and away from your comfort zone to try something different. Winter may be coming for some of us but Julie Powell will show you dramatic flower photographs made indoors while Kort Duce shows what he photographs in the snow. All the while Patrizio Battaglia and Ian Pool will illustrate their dramatically different views of the world. Let’s begin this tour in Canada…
Toronto-based Ian Pool has two websites but I wanted you to visit his “super” site first. In what could be easily subtitled “the secret life of superheroes,” Pool has created a series of elaborate tableaux placing them in mundane situations. My favorite is Batman taking a break at an all-night donut shop, Batmobile causally parked outside. Like all the too-few images in this series, it’s executed with a sense of hyperreality, along with impeccable attention to detail and photographic craft. Also a sense of humor as can be seen in The Hulk taking his dog for a walk in a lovely mist-filled park or Wonder Woman showing what she does with her golden lasso when off duty. Don’t miss Darth Vader (OK, so I guess his series includes super villains, too) in the loo clearly demonstrating how in these situations it’s hard to look evil. If that’s not funny enough, hanging on the wall outside is a flowery decorative plaque that reads, “May the dark side of the force be with you.”
Pool’s photography is funny, clever, and subtle, but there’s more to his impressive talent than pictures of superheroes. Be sure to click the link to ianpool.com to see his other work showcased in two “books” of images. In “book 1” you’re treated to a series of elaborately staged and fanciful images that, for some reason, also includes the superheroes photographs. They’re worth another look. All of these images took an incredible amount of imagination, logistics, and raw technical expertise to pull off, but also started with a concept. The photographer’s vision never wavered as he set out to create these seemingly simple but complex-to-execute photographs. In “book 2” he moves that vision more to a real-world grounding, featuring a combination of editorial images that bear his unique signature as well as what appears to be a few fashion images, although with Ian Pool one can never be sure.
Kort Duce specializes in motorsports photography but he doesn’t photograph cars. Instead his site explodes with images of snowmobiles and motorcycles captured in action with a freshness and originality that moves beyond mere kinetics into art. But he’s not just a motorsports photographer either as can be seen by the images found in the “Recent Work” collection. It opens with some spectacular snowmobile images, some of which are made really close and with wide-angle lenses, giving you a participant’s view of the action. Here’s where you’ll also find a few images of trucks in off-road and camping settings; I especially admired how the long-lens shots of a truck in what appears to be a desert proves an interesting counterpoint to the snowy images that precede it in Duce’s Portfolio. Here his style adjusts based on the subject matter, moving from the high key images with splashes of bright color to warm-tone images captured with longer focal length lenses.
His next images feature choppers (motorcycles), ranging from a portrait of a bike builder to one in action demonstrating different techniques and skill sets; each are executed as perfectly as any client could ask. These are followed by a color photograph made inside a hospital operating room and a monochrome series of a football team inside a bus getting ready for a game. Just when you’re ready to declare Duce a master of the documentary photograph he tosses in a few studio portraits. Keep in mind this is all found in his “Recent Work” collection. The Portfolio section of this cleanly-designed site bulges with collections of other images and other kinds of images, each of which shows the extraordinary vision and talent that Kort Duce brings to his work.