Sallie Harrison, LA based UI designer and photographer, infects her work with a tonal simplicity that is characteristically LA. If you’ve ever been to LA, it’s got almost none of the beauty any magazine cover would allude to. However, what it lacks in beauty, the city makes up for in a unique and again, characteristic, charm. I think of all the American cities, none is more self-aware than the great and sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, California and i’ve found the photography of Sallie Harrison to capture the exact representation of a city that LA needs.
Pastel colors, sharp and angular lines, and the overall feeling of sunshine act as an accent and compliment to the plain asphalt and broken pieces of concrete you can find in LA. It’s a beautiful blend of surrealism and realism that really does well to create a beautiful representation of the cheap architecture of the city. Harrison’s color pallet alludes to the open desert while also acknowledging how man-made each of these structures are. This, to me, is the overwhelming satisfaction that comes with these photos of Los Angeles. That, while it is subjectless, there is a message and a worldview that speaks through each photo.
John R. Pepper is an Italian photographer renowned for his black and white street work and most recently a collection of isolating desert photos he calls Inhabited Deserts.
John grew up as a photographer, having his first photo published at only 15 and studying under the wings of Ugo Mulas. His early sense of direction gave him the opportunity to craft his own unique style and philosophy for photography. In an interview with Monovisions, Pepper described his process before taking a photo. Briefly speaking; there is none. To Pepper, being a photographer is an open-minded pursuit that discourages planning. He says it is akin to falling in love and to fall in love is to have an open mind about things. His photographs as a street photographer benefit from the process.
As a street photographer, Pepper catches these intimate moments in moving time. Often the subject will linger in the background seeming to be stuck amidst a scene. It’s almost as if each subject of each photograph seems preoccupied. This is especially the case in photos where the subject acknowledges the camera where then they seem to be either caught off guard or momentarily framing themselves.
However, it’s his photos of deserts that really got my attention. The styling is the same as his street photography being composed of either noisy foregrounds or absolutely clear lines of contrast. What I find is that despite the collection’s title, Inhabited Deserts, there is a very authentic and palpable human loneliness to them. I don’t mean to say that the photos make me feel lonely, quite the opposite. Inhabited Deserts feels familiar and, as I said, human.
Pieter Bruegel is to painting what Massimo Vitali is to photography. Through his photographs Massimo presents a harmony between humans and whatever environment they inhabit. And like Bruegel, the moments Massimo captures invite the audience to speculate the relationship between humans and environment. Massimo does this by utilizing traditional geographical landscape photos and adding to it flocks of people. While prominent features like beachside cliffs and lavish landscapes dominate each photo, it is the spattering of people who provide the contrast and commentary. People, who fill the negative space, provide each photo with a visual metaphor and encourage the audience to muse as to why these two subjects seem to cooperate so cohesively.
true, unsaid little virtues what common things i’ve yet to grasp mysteries, survive me what lies below a lake do you gasp from fathom of discovery while lungs fill with water, best do my breathing where the air is decidedly yours
here are some of my favorite photos from Italian photographer, Franco Fontana:
franco fontana turns landscape shots into something that feels more like a matte painting with vibrant oily pastels and he does this by utilizing what he calls the concept of line. basically he has posited that the relationship of geometry and color is the basis for good color photography. moreover vibrant color and strict geometrical shapes brings out the best in natural rules for beauty. like an extreme taken extremely. the colors in his photos are what you would assume are the most basic form of each color. a yellow is at it’s most yellow and it should be accompanied by it’s complimentary blue.
i like this, i especially appreciate the concept of aggressive adherence to the rules of geometry and color. in my own photo i wanted to bring out the earthiness of certain yellows and blues while also maintaining their complementary nature. a little brown in the yellow adds to a little white in the blue. the green in my photo serves as a less harsh line between them softening the line of the horizon.
i decided to call my photo pomeriggio sulle colline which means ‘afternoon on the hills’.