Books, Exhibits, News & Products
By Lindsay Comstock and Libby Peterson
The Deeper Spirit of Portraiture
In today’s world we are often subjected to an influx of portraits with every refresh of our
smartphones. Although the definition of a portrait may be changing, there are still photographers who take the genre very seriously. “About Face: Contemporary Portraiture,”
on view at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, explores how
some of today’s best portrait photographers are choosing to capture the human face,
and in it, revealing deeper issues about gender, identity and human expression.
“Some portraits emphasize the construction of identity through race, gender and class,
while others question the relationship between individuality and typology, or the impact of the
media on self-presentation,” says April M. Watson, co-curator of the exhibition and associate
curator of photography. “At the core is the relationship between the photographer and his or
her subject and how that interaction translates in the final portrait.”
The exhibition includes 36 works made after the year 2000 by 29 artists from around the
world including Pieter Hugo, La Toya Ruby Frazier, Alec Soth, Jocelyn Lee and Lise Sarfati.
The exhibition runs concurrently with an online digital exhibition titled “Making Pictures
of People,” curated by FlakPhoto.com creator Andy Adams, and comprised of images
culled from the web-based photography community.
“About Face” is on view from August 9 through January 9, 2014.
Untitled (Julia and Greenery), 2005.
PHOTO © JOCELYN LEE
Sony’s New Compacts
Doubling its Cyber-shot RX line to four cameras, Sony released the RX1/R and the RX100 II
this past July, both of which offer Triluminous color support for Sony’s Bravia TVs. Designed
with landscape photographers in mind, the RX1/R promises optimal resolution and sharpness.
Though seemingly similar to the full-frame 24-megapixel RX1, Sony built the RX1/R without
an OLPF, or optical low pass filter, which calls for better resolving power. Those who shoot in
low light settings will appreciate the RX100 II, which promises a 40 percent improvement in
sensitivity with a new 1-inch back side illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor. The RX100 II will also
have built-in wireless connectivity and a new tiltable LCD screen, Auto Object Framing and the
ability to record HD movies in 24p.
Price: $750 (RX100 II), $2,800 (RX1/R)
Ever grow tired of searching for
the perfect shoot location? Dar-ren Johnson was, so much so
that he developed ShotHotspot.
com, a search engine that
makes scouting much easier.
“About six months ago I got fed
up with feeling like Columbo
trying to piece together scraps
of information on forums as to
good photo locations to visit,”
he explains.” ShotHotspot.com
uses the geolocation information
from images posted to sites like
Flickr and Panoramio to populate potential photo shoot location hotspots. “[ShotHotspot]
allows the database of hotspots
to grow organically as people
find new places, and the search
engine will become even more
accurate with time,” he says.