Archives for the month of: April, 2013

Maruyama’s career in photography began in his native Japan. Born in Nagano, in 1968, Maruyama recorded images of this wondrous mountain region. Later he joined Hakuhodo Photo Creative, an advertising company, where he honed his skills. In 2001, Maruyama published two books, The Spiti Valley and Spiti, both dedicated to documenting life in Tibet. This direction shifted his creative interests from the material to the spiritual, fueled by his ability to harness new technological developments.

Maruyama has been involved in many worldwide advertising campaigns, utilizing his expertise in ice, liquid/splash, and specializing in movement in his works. Years of lighting research and the advancement of retouching have made it easier to have a strong idea of exactly how a photo will look even before the shoot begins. However in photographing liquid and subjects in movement, it is impossible to foresee what the end result will be, and it is this spontaneity that enables Murayama to have more fun creating his work. Specializing in splashing and energetic movements within shots, Shinichi Maruyama’s work is subconsciously influenced by a Japanese sense of beauty. For me Murayama’s work resembles an almost modern day sumi-e artwork.

The works, which are so impressive, are reliant on leading technologies capable of capturing this phenomenon at a 7,500th of a second. Maruyama takes full advantage of a recent advancement in strobe light technology, which can record physical events faster than the naked eye can perceive them.

Above all, Maruyama’s photographs are about taking risks, risks in using the ink and water, risks with photographic techniques, and risks with a new approach to art. It is encouraging to see that taking risks can be a beautiful thing. Murayama’s work was a direct influence upon me wanting to develop the techniques I had been experimenting with, pushing myself to ambitiously create a stop motion video, the techniques in which I have no experience.

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Eshel Ben Jacob, a professor of physics at Tel Aviv University, beautified photos of bacteria growing in Petri dishes with a bit of color and shading to create an amazing collection. They illustrate the coping strategies that bacteria have learned to employ, strategies that involve cooperation through communication. The bacteria in their struggle to defeat our best antibiotics use these selfsame strategies. Thus, if we understand the mechanisms behind the patterns, we can learn how to outsmart the bacteria – for example, by tampering with their communication – in our ongoing battle for our health.
In a sense, the strikingly beautiful organization of the pattern reflects the underlying social intelligence of the bacteria. The once controversial idea that bacteria cooperate to solve challenges has become commonplace, with the discovery of specific channels of communication between the cells and specific mechanisms facilitating the exchange of genetic information. Retrospectively, these capabilities should not have been seen as so surprising, as bacteria set the stage for all life on Earth and indeed invented most of the processes of biology. As we try to stay ahead of the disease-causing varieties of these versatile creatures, we must use our own intelligence to understand them. These images remind us never to underestimate our opponent. They are also perfect examples of naturally occurring fractals.




Alberto Seves0  is an illustrator and graphic designer from Italy. In his latest series A Dui Colori, Alberto photographs plumes of ink underwater. The textures, detail and organic shapes are absolutely incredible. Alberto Seveso   creates these mesmerizing underwater landscapes, rich in detail and color by taking high-speed photographs of ink mixing with water. The fluidity of the ink creates a the visual deception of a material that is virtually unrecognizable, almost suggestive of billowing fabric. Ribbons of color swirl and unfurl in stunning, kinetic formations that call to mind coral and other flora and fauna upon the ocean floor. Alberto Seveso underwater ink photographs exhibit vibrantly saturated color and texture… romantic yet otherworldly, upon viewing the images I have a deep desire to touch it.

For me however the talent and creativity Alberto Seveso in making something as simple as ink in water look so captivating. Each photo, in his latest series, captures duos of vibrant pigments, entwining in the most breathtaking and sensual way. It is this aspect of the work that I feel will take influence most upon my own, regardless of the similarity of techniques and methods. Although Seveso’s images are dramatic and impressive, the overall aesthetics aren’t right for my own work. The images are high in texture and detail giving the images an almost sculptural aesthetic,  however I envisage my own works to be far simpler with the focus within my ink images drawn away from texture and details, however with more emphasis upon shape and colour.

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This series of the dispersion of ink in water when shown in exhibition were printed in massive scales. The impact of which must have been genuinely dominating. Although many of his works are indeed poorly lit, out of focus; some even contain scratches and blemishes I still find them completely intriguing. On the other hand, he has a keen compositional eye, often making visual patterns out of everyday objects that most people would overlook. Tillmans provides few signposts in aid to reading his images, and establishing links between them and unlike the great photographers and artists, he has no individual, recognizable style. Tillmans for me is an experimenter, a dabbler, and a trait I am coming to see within myself. Considering this I feel we should consider Tillmans less a photographer as such, yet more an artist working through the medium of photography, which may help explain his disregard for conventional photographic norms. His work is not so much based on content or the photograph as a referent, as the way in which a motif is depicted. He experiments with the possibilities of representing the world through the photographic image. For me  the images themselves are beautiful and one of the original inspirations into my experimentations with ink.

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With no horizon line to anchor the picture or the viewer, they have no ‘up’ or ‘down’ creating a strange sensation of disorientation and abstraction. Stieglitz said “I have a vision of life and I try to find equivalent for it sometimes in the form of photographs” he later said “equivalent of my most profound life experience drawing on the symbolist notion of synthesis the possibility of suggesting one thing by meaning of another”.

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He made his series of Equivalents as a response to a critic who believed that he had some kind of hypnotic power over his subjects, and claimed therein lay his photographic talents. Affronted, he set about to prove unequivocally that he could take good pictures of other things, things that couldn’t be hypnotized by his lens. He turned his camera upwards and looked to the sky, to the clouds.

Stieglitz wrote that “I have a vision of life and I try to find equivalents for it.” In good times and bad, he photographed clouds to express his emotional states. He felt that his cloud photographs had the power to transport viewers into the same emotional state he was in when he made the photograph. This is definitely an influence upon my work as I stated in my proposal the desire to communicate the emotional ideals and evolvement with the concept, similarly to Stieglitz.

The patterns of the clouds provide a feeling of passive relaxation and serenity, even though there is a great amount of contrast in shades from light to dark. In his “Equivalent” from 1930, the clouds give the viewer the impression of relaxing flames that are rising from the bottom left corner and are reaching toward the right. They tend to balance the photograph, in that since the cloud formations are angled; there isn’t a portion of the picture that seems too heavy. The photograph, in fact, seems balanced because this creates movement within it. This also frames the photograph on the right, although there are no actual objects there. The movement is what gives the illusion of a frame on the right. The clouds in the photograph are also in sharp focus, as the viewer can see every detail in the sky.

Although Stieglitz has used a differing source of natural forming shapes the main principal behind the desired visual outcome is incredibly similar. It was this work of Stieglitz that drove me to my experimentation with other sources of natural forming shapes, in which I will be shooting smoke under studio conditions.

Ansell Adams once said regarding the equivalents series:

“One can hear great music in the environment of nature with almost religious devotion”