A New Year And A New Start; Featuring More Readers’ Websites This Year!

“I never think of the future—it comes soon enough.”—Albert Einstein

What lies ahead this year in photography? Even Hogwarts’ Professor Sybill Patricia Trelawney would have to admit that the noble art of divination isn’t 100 percent perfect, so what chance do I have with a rusty crystal ball, or maybe it’s just an old ball bearing? During 2010 the one sure thing for this column is that I’ll try to feature more Shutterbug readers’ websites and Flickr pages, so keep those e-mails coming to joe@joefarace.com. If you want my view of what lies ahead for photography, you can always keep up-to-date with the rantings and ravings appearing in my blog (www.joefaraceblogs.com) that are mixed in among the photo tools, tips, and tricks. For bilingual readers, most of the posts are available in Spanish in my Blog en Español and if when reading it you find my syntax is a bit off, please bear with me; I studied French in school.

Keith Trumbo’s photographic career began in London working for Barry Lategan and he then moved to the U.S.A. where he was Irving Penn’s studio manager. He’s currently in New York City shooting a provocative oeuvre of images as can be seen in six portfolios covering subjects from children to flowers and leaves. “Children” covers a wide age range with kids featured into their teens. They’re also a sophisticated lot and sometimes shot in a snapshot style that’s quickly bracketed by something
editorial and then all of the sudden it’s elegant portraiture. Trumbo clearly doesn’t want to be pigeonholed.

Similarly, “Portrait” includes conventional portraiture, such as a wonderful studio shot of a young Kurt Russell, mixed with some highly charged editorial images that owe a debt to Arnold Newman’s portrait of Alfried Krupp and contain a mixture of social commentary and, what appears, to me, comments on a decadent lifestyle, but then he quickly bounces to something lighter, constantly refusing to be stereotyped.

© 2009, Keith Trumbo, All Rights Reserved

Trumbo’s “Beauty” collection offers traditional editorial beauty images liberally sprinkled with fashion and (Nudity Advisory) occasional tasteful nudity. His “Lifestyle” images feature gritty reality and humor, along with flashes of elegance that are often overwhelmed by stark black-and-white photos of urban haute bourgeoisie that could have been made on the set of Whit Stillman’s film Metropolitan, but this is the real deal and serves as a Rorschach test for different opinions from different viewers. “Flowers & Leaves” takes off in other directions and includes photographs of flowers (and leaves) made at varying stages of their life, often wilted, but more often elegantly photographed in a style that’s at once formal, studied, and yet offhand. Like all of Trumbo’s photography, these images are not merely content to be pictures of what they seem but are metaphors for something else and that “something else” is up to you.

The first Reader’s Homepage belongs to Cindy Sperko from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She specializes in nature and travel photography and constructed the site using BetterPhoto.com. Her Gallery displays a collection of still life, architectural, floral, and nature images that she photographs in a way that tells people that she’s “different.” I’m not sure what that means but Sperko has a handle on the craft of photography and, looking at the quiet and subtly colored landscapes in her “Lancaster County Scenics,” I appreciated not only the large images but the fact that her captions provide insight into how each of the images was captured. Thanks, Sperko.

© 2010, Cynthia L. Sperko, All Rights Reserved

By contrast, her images of the Blue Angels flying in Annapolis, Maryland, provide a bigger technical and aesthetic challenge, yet Sperko was able to handle the challenge, it seems, almost as easily as her photograph of a horse-drawn Amish buggy leisurely clopping down a Pennsylvania road. My favorite images in her Gallery are the seascapes in the “Beaches, etc.” collection that exude the same quiet elegance that pervades her best landscape images but somehow, here on the beach, there’s something extra besides sand and sea. The site has a link to Sperko’s well-designed blog entitled “My Photo Journal” that was created through Blogger (www.blogger.com) and well worth a visit because it shows and tells what she’s currently photographing.