Photocritic International etc

Another blogger who has been reviewing his year is critic and photo-historian A D Coleman, whose work on-line I’ve often mentioned here, most notably in recent times his epic series dismantling the Capa D-Day legend – and as he reminds us in his 2014: That Was The Year That Was there are still a few loose ends to be cleared up.

There is of course a lot more than this, and he starts the piece – as I also did the other day – by looking at his web site statistics. I can only comment that he deserves a much higher readership, and perhaps the new website on which he is planning to publish more of his work will give him this (and there is some more detail in his December ‘Birthday Musings‘.) He is also asking for support, both financial and “in-kind services from volunteers” and if I wasn’t far too busy I would be tempted to help. There is also a review of the main topics his blog has covered, and it is worth checking if there is anything you have missed.

His previous Year-End Ends and Odds is full of acute observations, some of which may amuse you. I don’t always agree with him (wouldn’t life be dull…), but if you like your thoughts being provoked this is a site worth adding to your favourites. One thing I don’t share is his apparent enthusiasm for the work of William Mortensen (see those ‘Birthday Musings’), though of course he should not be written out of the history of photography. We do need bad examples (a thought I sometimes console myself with.)

Whenever I find myself forgetting how bad a photographer he was I reach down my copy of his ‘The New Projection Control‘ (3rd edition 1945 – a gift, I didn’t buy it) and look at the examples he used there. And it would be hard to find a better guide to how to destroy the integrity of your images. My copy even came with a small print of a kitten between its pages as a bookmark. I doubt it was made by Mortensen but it is bad enough to have been. His “Le Chatte” included in the book is even worse, though it could well be the same animal.

For yet more looking back at the year that was, I’d recommend another site I’ve often mentioned, where you can see The Best of LensCulture in 2014 as selected by the Editors of LensCulture.

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