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July 20, 2012 | By Leah Ollman
"Ideally," Lewis Baltz wrote in commentary accompanying the early publication of some of his 1978-79 pictures of Park City, Utah, "the photographer should be invisible and the medium transparent. " That aspiration was common enough among New Topographics photographers in the '70s, but also slyly disingenuous. If those framing the shots and pressing the shutters were truly invisible, a picture by Baltz wouldn't be instantly recognizable, nor distinguishable from one by Robert Adams or Joe Deal.
February 13, 2014 | By Leah Ollman
Ron Jude's "Lick Creek Line" is an essay in the less common sense of the term: an attempt, or effort. It doesn't build an argument or deliver much in the way of information to do so, but instead issues impressions, propositions toward a loose understanding of its ostensible subject, a fur-trapper in rural Idaho. The constellations of color photographs accumulate a kind of emotional heft, though more so in book form, as originally conceived, than on the wall, as at Gallery Luisotti, where the project is too abbreviated to grab hold.
April 27, 2012 | By Leah Ollman
Alex Prager's recent work at M+B has the proper look to be taken seriously these days. The photographs, in vivid color, are large, self-consciously contrived and assertively cinematic. They are displayed in groupings, mostly pairs. In each set, one big picture depicts a staged accident or disaster of some sort -- a burning or flooded house, a woman caught in power lines, a man hurt in a car crash. The smaller image, hung alongside, tightly frames a single eye, usually a woman's, elegantly made-up, theatrically lighted and generally impassive.
October 22, 2012 | By Leah Ollman
Chris McCaw's stunning photographs start with a small act of defiance: shooting directly into the sun, a basic no-no. Other deviations follow, but the work never strays from its grounding in awe and reverence. The pictures pay homage to photography's essential nature as a record written by light, and they chronicle, with profound beauty and elemental simplicity, what it means to occupy a specific place on earth at a specific time.  McCaw's third show at Duncan Miller extends the "Sunburn" series he launched, by accident, nearly a decade ago when an overnight exposure burned a hole through his negative.
December 24, 2013 | By Leah Ollman
Digital technology has largely dematerialized photography for the general public. Pictures are now shown and exchanged more on screen than hand-to-hand. The work of a growing number of artists counters this trend and re materializes the medium, emphasizing the photograph's identity not just as an image carrier, a vehicle, but as an object. Artists in the late '60s, responding to a different set of stimuli, were among the first to actively exploit the sculptural possibilities of photography (Cherry and Martin held a great show on this subject last year)
December 26, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Can the eyes of photographed crime victims help authorities spot their victimizers? According to new research published Thursday in the journal PLOS One, high-resolution photographs can be "mined" for hidden information. Specifically, the authors said that photographs of faces can reveal enough visual information on bystanders to identify them. In a small sampling of 32 study participants, test subjects were able to spot familiar faces reflected in the pupils of someone who was photographed 84% of the time, researchers said.
September 2, 1997
Santa Monica College will inaugurate a show on the Holocaust Sept. 8 with a display of about 40 photographs by Alfred Benjamin. Benjamin, 81, of Santa Monica, was nearly killed for photographing the Nazi destruction of a Jewish synagogue in Hamburg. "I was interrogated by the Gestapo and told to get out of Germany within 24 hours. I left 16 hours later," he said. He moved to England and then to Santa Monica, where he teaches photography. The show, which runs through Oct.
No charges will be filed against Laguna Beach photographer Marilyn Lennon over photographs she took of a partially nude 12-year-old girl at a professional workshop in Santa Fe, N.M. "There's not going to be a criminal prosecution," said Caroline Bass, an assistant district attorney in Santa Fe. Bass said she made the determination after reviewing a file prepared by investigators with the Santa Fe Police Department.
February 17, 1997 | GALI KRONENBERG, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Gali Kronenberg is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles
Spread across Joe Nolte's desk are photos of scenes that never took place. An old man in South America (long dead) stands next to a grandson he's never met. In another photo, a Los Angeles woman (not an actress) in a negligee sits in Scarlett O'Hara's bed from "Gone With the Wind" and stares into Clark Gable's eyes. A third photo depicts an old man in a bomber jacket hugging a younger man (actually the old man, 50 years earlier).
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