Nouvelle Vague "Love Will Tear us Apart"

Nouvelle Vague have always been extremely popular with readers of this blog, so for this weekend's video here's their version of "Love Will Tear us Apart" by Joy Division. There are a lot of covers of this song out there, but I definitely like this one best.

"Three Hundred And Seventeen And Counting" "twinning"

For fans of fashion photography in general and Steven Meisel in particular, "Three Hundred And Seventeen And Counting" - a complete collection of all the covers Meisel has shot to date for Italian VOGUE - should be something to swoon over. The brainchild of Michel Mallard, former art director of VOGUE HOMME, and the organizer of the Hyeres Photo Festival, the book illustrates the extraordinary collaboration between the magazine and Meisel - who has shot every single cover since July 1988!

Launched in conjunction with a display of the covers at this year's Hyeres Festival, that's Mallard in the middle of the exhibition, above, and the book cover, below.

What's particularly interesting is the freedom given to Meisel to explore his own interests. Unlike American fashion magazines where the cover is an essential sales tool and the bigger and more timely the celebrity the better - Meisel's Italian covers play with all kinds of narrative references, are a place for him to promote his latest unknown discovery, are often obsessed with "twinning", and are frequently the opposite of what would be considered a good cover at American VOGUE. So there's much to analyze and enjoy. It's the visual beach read of the summer!

The book has a very limited run, but if you're interested, you can browse a little further and buy the book here.

Military Humor from Ron

These snaps were passed on to me by Michel Mallard from an e-mail that's on its way to going viral titled "Military Humor from Ron". He did not know who Ron was, but they show the kind of humor that troops get up to when they're bored or being silly. In any case, in their goofy inoffensiveness, they're a welcome respite from the Abu Ghraib photos.

Dutch Seen

I had been looking forward to the exhibition “Dutch Seen” at the Museum of The City of New York since I first heard about it. The show celebrates the 400th anniversary of the Dutch arrival in Manhattan by featuring the work of 15 contemporary Dutch photographers, and the hook is that these photographers have all created work about New York – most of it done expressly for the show.

Curated by Kathy Ryan, The New York Times Magazine’s always brilliant Director of Photography, and under the auspices of FOAM (Photo Museum of Amsterdam), the show promised to be a strong and original one, but what impressed me most was the clarity of the concept and cleanness of the layout. It’s refreshing to come into a show that’s simply laid out with one interesting body of work after another.

The Museum of The City of New York can be a tricky space but the north ground floor gallery has been opened up so that it’s just a wooden floor, white walls, and the pictures. The only design flourish is the simplest use of orange construction webbing (as you can see in the picture above) used sparingly to float the exhibition title in the entrance to the main gallery and elsewhere as punctuation. Anyway, it’s one of the shows not to be missed this summer and it runs through September 13.

One of the highlights of the show is a series of portraits by Hendrik Kerstens of his daughter with a series of New York related objects on her head. She’s always had a remarkable Dutch Old Master face which her father has taken full advantage of, but here he plays with us by using things like a napkin and a plastic bag as well as a Yankee cap, to go back and forth between modern and classic, past and present.

Other highlights include a small series of landscapes by Misha De Ridder (below) who set out in search of "the qualities that made New York such an ideal place to settle 400 years ago".

Danielle van Ark set about photographing more than a hundred art openings as a way of observing a particular social structure in the city. That's Chuck Close and Peter MacGill chatting it up below with someone I presume is a collector or patron.

Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin weigh in with a grid of famous people illustrating the beauty and star power of the city. That's Shalom Harlow below.

Erwin Olaf created an entire construction inspired by Frances B. Johnston's famous turn of the century photographs of middle class African Americans.

Rineke Dijkstra - described on the wall as "the matriarch of today's generation of Dutch photography" is included with a group of her early 90s portraits of Coney Island bathers. It's a testament to the quality of the work that they seem as fresh as though they were just taken.

Charlotte Dumas - another interesting pick - has concentrated on photographing animals in a unique style that's part documentary, part conceptual. For her New York project, she chose to photograph some of the stray pit bull and pit bull mixes found in so many New York shelters. An interesting and astute metaphor for New Yorkers!

Hellen van Meene, meanwhile, continues her study of adolescent girls but these are her first pictures of American subjects.

Lastly, Wijnanda Deroo looks at New York through it's many and varied restaurants - from Papaya Kings to The Tavern on the Green. Her colorful interiors from what has to be the eating out capital of the world again serve as fitting metaphor for the city's energy and diversity.

Michael Jackson "moonwalk"

It’s been fascinating to hear and read so much about Michael Jackson in the wake of the sad news of his death – the balance of commentary between his strange acts v.s. his contribution to music and culture at large, the questions about his attitude to race and his own color.

Dying prematurely is like reading an obituary of someone who passed at a ripe old age but is pictured in their prime. It's a time disconnect and revision warp. His "moonwalk" will clearly be a large part of his legacy, hence the video above. But the most poignant aspect of his work for me was that for the last two decades, in a hip-hop environment of what were, shall we say, not the nicest lyrics - Michael Jackson's refusal to get nasty and to steadfastly focus on love and justice and harmony was a surprisingly courageous and hopeful stand.


Ever since last week's announcement that Kodak was discontinuing production of Kodachrome film, professional and amateur photo-
graphers alike have been busy mourning its demise. Kodachrome was known for its rich color saturation and was widely used by professional print photographers since it's introduction in 1935.

Depending on how you see and process the world, Kodachrome can either look very realistic or not. I happen to find it pretty accurate but to many people it does seem oversaturated.

Unlike other color films, Kodachrome, is purely black and white when exposed. The three primary colors that mix to form the spectrum are added in the development steps rather than built into its layers. Because of the complexity, only Dwayne’s Photo, in Parsons, Kan., still processes Kodachrome film. The lab has agreed to continue through 2010, Kodak says, but the reason the film's demise has been getting so much attention is that it's yet one more sign that the pre-digital world is irrevocably behind us.

For the record, I'm a big fan of digital - mostly because it's so easy to manipulate and control. However, I also love the look of Kodachrome, so here are a few gems. An early shot of Marilyn Monroe, above, by Andre de Dienes. Below, a group of pictures from the archives of FORTUNE Magazine kindly sent to me by their deputy photo editor Scott Thode. (For the full FORTUNE album click here.)

This shot of caddies from the Pinehurst Golf Course in North Carolina in 1957 was taken by Walker Evans!

From the same year, W. Eugene Smith caught this moment at the headquarters of the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company.

The celebrated French photographer Robert Doisneau was commissioned to shoot a story on Palm Springs where he grabbed this shot.

And lastly, it should come as no surprise to any regular followers of this blog that my very favorite story shot on Kodachrome was of course Paul Fusco's "RFK Funeral Train". Below, one of my favorite images from the series.

Humor pictures-Wishful thinking

Arthur Buliva took this picture in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, where the warning appears to be more wishful thinking by town planners.


Funny pictures-Marked!


Humor with children-Funny t-shirt


Funny pictures of people-How much is too much?


Humor photos-Amateurs


Men are so simple..cheerz!

The attached diagram demonstrates the process in a female and male brain during the simple question: "Shall we go for a drink?

No need for further explaination, I guess. ;-)

Hay crop in Kakheti / Heuernte in Kachetien, originally uploaded by Henning(i).

Old cinema, Telavi / Altes Kino, Telavi

The entrance-hall of the old cinema was used by a ballet-school during the last years. Now it´s going to become a cinema again (as far as I´m informed). My friends Gotscha and Ulrich already made plans, when we heard the building was sold. These are pictures of 2005. As you can see, the building is in a bad shape, but a lot of original elements were preserved. And where else can you still find this athmosphere of an old cinematograph?

Note that the photos from the inside were shot with ISO 3600 - so please excuse the quality.

Muse at Tbilisis Philharmonia

(The old lady was selling sunflower-seeds.)

Summertime in Gremi / Sommer in Gremi

North Germany is cold, rainy, windy - (almost) no sign of spring yet.
This picture of Gremi (province of Kakheti) gives a little warmth. It was shot in July 2005 and - yes, it was hot there!

Oh, by the way: Thanks for visiting caucasus-pictures. There´ve been more than 7000 visitors by now!

Sno-Valley / Sno-Tal

I think I´ve published this pictures a few months ago. Never mind, this is a new version created with Photomatix Pro 2.4 out of a single RAW-file. While results with many other pictures weren´t overly successful, this one is IMHO.
There are a few more to follow.

Schweinehirte in Kachtien / Pig herding in Kakheti

Schweinehirt in Kachetien / Sommer 2005
Wie man sieht, handelt es sich nicht um die übliche rosa Rasse, der unsere auf Hochleistung gezüchteten Hausschweine angehören. Vielmehr paaren sich die Schweine oft mit den Wildschweinen im Wald. Manchmal sieht man kleinere Schweineherden ohne Ferkel auch allein im Wald.
Man kann sich vorstellen, dass diese Halb-Wildschweine, die den ganzen Tag durchs Grüne streifen, weitaus besser schmecken als die europäischen Mastschweine, die nur immer in ihren Boxen bleiben.

As you can see, this is not the usual pink, over-breeded pig-race, that we are used to in the middle of Europe. These pigs mate with wild boars in the forests, where the elder ones often ramble all by themselves.
They run through the greens all day long - so can you imagine how delicious they are? I admit, my sympathy for these pigs is somewhat malicious...

Ein Video aus 2003: / A video from 2003:

South-Ossetian Conflict

Heute wurden Wehrpflichtige und Freiwillige am Stadion in Tbilisi registriert und mit insgesamt sechs Bussen an die Südossetische Front geschickt. Einige Frauen weinten; die meisten Menschen aber sahen gefasst aus. Mein Eindruck war, dass viele Freiwillige darunter waren.
Einer, mit dem ich auf Englisch sprach, war voller Hass und meinte, es sei ihm egal, ob er selbst getötet werde, er hoffe nur, dass er möglichst vorher möglichst viele "motherfuckers" töten würde. Insgesamt hatte ich den Eindruck, dass viele dieser Jugendlichen noch nicht begriffen hatten, was Krieg bedeutet. Sie sahen eher aus, als würden sie ins Sommer-Trainingslager fahren:

Today, six busses with draftees and volunteers were sent from the stadium in Tbilisi to the South-Ossetian front. Most people seemed calm; only a few women were fighting with tears. One of the volunteers, with whom I could speak in English, was full of hatred, saying this conflict could only be solved by force. It didn´t matter to him if he was killed as long as he´d kill many "motherfuckers" before. All in all, I had the impressions that many of these youngsters didn´t realize what war really means.
They looked to me as if the went off for a summer-camp:

Segnung durch einen orthodoxen Priester
Blessing by an orthodox priest

Eltern verabschieden sich.
Parents waving good-bye.

Mehr Informationen:
Spiegel online
Zeit online
Deutsche Welle

More information:
Civil georgia
Guardian unlimited

Abgesehen von all den humanitären Fragen - Krieg ist das Letzte, was Georgien jetzt gebrauchen kann. Die ökonomische Situation hat sich in den letzten Jahren für einen großen Teil der Bevölkerung deutlich verbessert. Politische Unsicherheit würde das Ausbleiben
von Investitionen und Touristen bedeuten.

War is, apart from all the humanitarian issues, the last thing Georgia needs. During the last years, the economic situation has improved for a great part of the population. With instability
rising, investers will avoid the danger just like the tourists...