A Head In The Clouds; With Down To Earth Photography Page 2

Bill Gillette is a photographer who makes images of men working, including “oil roughnecks, miners, and cowboys,” and it’s these images that form the bulk of the portfolios on his site. The “Cattle, Cowboys, Colorado” portfolio shows images that combine John Ford’s West with the life of a modern cowboy and contain romantic, nostalgic photographs that could have been made 100 years ago—or today. This is the West of myth and is captured with skill and appreciation for a vanishing lifestyle. While the cowboy’s life is far from glamorous, nothing compares to the hard-working oil field roughnecks working under all kinds of weather conditions that is captured by Gillette in all its gritty reality, with color to add a touch of poetry to what would otherwise be bleak imagery. For some reason the “Oil and Mining” portfolio is combined with “Cabin and Café” images that, while featuring beautifully executed interiors of a lavish lifestyle, could not be further from the miner’s life unless you mean geographically, which just might be Gillette’s point.

“Horses, Spring Roundup, Iowa Agriculture” contains sweeping images of cowboys heading horses, combined with images of agriculture in Iowa. None of these images were made while Gillette was sitting in the shade with his camera on a tripod; he had to be there in the middle of the heat and cold to capture these images. That they are so wonderfully rendered is both a tribute to his photographic skills and physical stamina. The last collection features travel photography of Mexico, displaying the same dramatic composition and use of color that are highlights of Gillette’s imagery. His website is powered by liveBooks (www.livebooks.com).

© 2008, Bill Gillette, All Rights Reserved

With a clean interface clearly focused on his stunning images, Yuri Dojc’s website is your ticket to a place where fine art collides with reality. Nudity Advisory: The “People” section contains two collections of tasteful nude images. The “Portraits” collection also includes monochrome portraits of people with their clothes on and in a style that mixes environmental portraiture with photojournalism in fresh ways you haven’t begun to think about until you see Dojc’s vision. The “Places” section offers views of three cities and “Urbanity,” but I was especially taken with the color photographs of Prague and the monochrome musings of Rwanda because they offer the most differences in his stylistic approaches to the two locales. Dojc’s two monochrome images of lovers in Prague could have been made in the ’40s, while his color photographs are as fresh as tomorrow’s newspaper. The black and white images of Rwanda celebrate both the people and the land of this tiny African nation.

Be sure to visit the “Special Projects” section and view the gallery of portraits Dojc calls “Veterans” for his insightful and honest portraits of men and women from many countries’ armed services and while the first image is what you might expect, the rest are a glorious surprise. The photographs in the “Special Projects” section called “What Remains” are structured like a separate website that’s filled with haunting images of people and places of Hanishar that pay homage to Slovak Holocaust survivors. These sensitive images resulted in the Slovak ambassador to the US presenting Dojc with a well-earned medal for his photography.

© 2008, Yuri Dojc, All Rights Reserved