Super Images By Super Photographers; A Webful Of Images And Photographers Page 2
In a site designed to exploit widescreen monitors, Patrizio Battaglia showcases his crisp, monochromatic documentary images, showing that black and white is alive and well, thank you very much. His images take you around the world and, rather than producing a colorful travelogue, provide an introspective look into the face of humanity. Nowhere is this stronger than in his gallery entitled “Portraits,” but there’s more here than pictures of people’s faces. Battaglia has, as some aboriginal people fear, captured their souls—albeit for totally benign purposes—helping show the interconnectivity between us all. We have seen these kinds of direct portraits before, but here they are presented without artifice but with artfulness and a tremendous grasp of technique and craft that in fact makes it invisible and subjugated to the subject. This is masterful work and doesn’t need the accompanying soundtrack (you can turn it off, I did) to move you.
The diverse and wonderful photographs of Japan in “Oriental touch” share much with the images in “My Chicago,” in that the subject of his photographs is the space inside the frame and you get the impression that the people who appear are merely supporting characters in a study of textures and light. In both collections it’s as if the images from “Portraits” have been turned inside out, now focusing instead on the external rather than the internal. There is much more here with a site design that encourages thoughtful exploration and provides images large enough to fully enjoy. And while occasionally you will hear the sonar pings of W. Eugene Smith in some of these photographs, Patrizio Battaglia has made them uniquely his own.
This month’s Reader’s Homepage proves that you don’t need a fancy website to appear in Web Profiles, just great photographs. PBase is an inexpensive photo-sharing site that charges $23 per year for 500MB of space and provides a way for talented photographers such as Julie Powell to have a web presence at a modest price. Mostly Powell photographs flowers along with her “Other” collection that contains a few images of insects. Her flowers are collected into galleries based on type from anemone to poinsettia, but because she photographs them in the dark, all the light you see on them comes from her flash. There are many amazing photographs on this site but let’s pick a category: poppies. The photos displayed here range from the scientifically accurate with every possible edge and line as tack-sharp as the lens designer dreamed it could be to super macro shots that look like extraterrestrial landscapes.
Both approaches are infused with her unerring sense of color and design, producing images that turn most notions about “flower pictures” on their head. Forget van Gogh’s collection of sunflower paintings, Powell has staked her own claim to this subject, so much so that you won’t look at these flowers in the same way again. Here they become objects of mystery and mood with deep, saturated colors that have more in common with Anne Rice than van Gogh, yet are, at the same time, uniquely Julie Powell. In these collections she has tackled an oft-photographed subject—flowers—and shows a mastery of lighting and aesthetics to produce a colorfully eclectic and beautiful collection of images that belie the humble pages upon which they appear.
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