Monday, August 23, 2010

Taylor Loftin


It is such a pleasure for me to write this post about Taylor Loftin. I met him on Flickr, and I really esteem him. Taylor is a photographer, traveling around the world. From street photography to staged self-portraits, he's able to do anything he wants with any kind of camera, and the result is always incredible. He also experiments a lot with pinhole and Polaroid cameras. I'm sure you'll hear about him in the future. Here are his answers:


1. Can you tell a little something about you?
Taylor Loftin: I’m seventeen, I’m from Jackson, Mississippi, but I live in Slovenia, and I’ve been taking pictures for a little under two years. I like folk music and making pancakes.

2. How did you get into photography?
T.L.: Well, when I first moved to Russia, about two years ago, I didn’t have many friends and I was too scared to go outside or talk to people. I was pretty bored. So, I found my moms camera and started taking pictures of things just to have something to do. And as things progressed, I realized I was really enjoying myself. I think I’ve always had some kind of underlying photography influence. My dad used to take pictures when he was younger, and I always enjoyed looking at them. Maybe that’s where I got an appreciation for the art. Just needed the right amount of boredom to get me started.

3. What does photography mean to you?
T.L.: I’ve been trying to figure that one out for a while. It means a lot of different things to me because it’s used for so many different things. To document, to influence, to show, to remember. I guess for me, it’s a way to stop and notice where I am. It’s taught me to appreciate the little things that are going on all the time. And at the same time, it’s a way of self expression. “This is what I see.”

4. Do you use/like Photoshop?
T.L.: I’m not against it, but I think being able to take a photograph that doesn’t need any enhancing takes skill and you become a better photographer not relying on digital post processing. I avoid using it. However, scanners can take a lot out of a photo, so sometimes I try to retain the look of the original print with some touching up. Nothing you couldn’t do without a little darkroom knowledge.

5. Are you a self-taught?
T.L.: Yes, I am.

6. How would you describe your work?
T.L.: Umm.. I don’t think I have a consistent type of work, so it’s hard to describe everything I’ve done and what I’m doing with just a few words. Sometimes it’s conceptual, sometimes I just carry my camera around and keep my eyes open. I like to photograph those things that are different. Stand out in a subtle way. Things that are unusual and sometimes go unnoticed. It changes a lot, so I can’t really say.

7. What inspires you?
T.L.: Really just the everyday. Waking up, walking down the street, deer in the driveway, old women sitting on their porches, children playing, fruit falling from trees, eyes meeting, street musicians, saying “good morning” in another language, taking your time, café sitting, sunrises, sunsets.. As well as Russian Orthodox churches, Life magazine photojournalism, a number of French films, and of course, my Mississippi roots.

8. If you had a time machine, when and where would you go?
T.L.: 20’s? 40’s? 50’s? 60’s? 70’s?
I can’t make up my mind, so I’d try them all out.

©Taylor Loftin

If you like pancakes too, take a look at Taylor's wesbite!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

19. All alone


Larry Sultan

Mark Cohen

Venturi Scott Brown

Friday, August 20, 2010

18. Primary colors part.2

Mark Cohen

Nick Waplington

Louise Rosskman

 Roger Minick

Part. 1 is here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

17. Workers dreaming

"Workers dreaming", by Elin o'Hara Slavick.

Jim Mortram


Jim Mortram is a photographer from England. He's my brother-in-law, and when I first got to know him, I realized how much he liked people and taking care of them. You can see it through his wonderful portraits and street photography. He finds inspiration in the persons he meets. Some people say that when you take pictures of people in black and white, the images have a soul. Then, I think we can all confirm that while looking at Jim's photographs. Jim's answers:


1. Can you tell a little something about you?
Jim Mortram: I work as a Carer and in the spare time I have I make social documentary portraits and photographs.

2. What does photography mean to you?
J.M: Everything. It's a way of documenting everything from stories, visual history, moments and lifestyles. Images resonate so profoundly and can last beyond both the photographer and the people portrayed. I see every portrait as a message in a bottle thrown into the future for people to discover, understand and connect with people from now.

3. How did you get into photography?
J.M.: When I was very young I found within an abandoned house a box filled with images of a family long departed. Hundreds of images were collected together and I marvelled at the story of this forgotten family and that chance discovery stayed with me forever and was my first introduction to the power of photography.

4. Do you use/like Photoshop?
J.M.: Yes... and yes. It's just a tool much like a flash or a filter. The use of it depends on the tastes of the user. I tend to apply the same techniques as I would do in a traditional darkroom. Lot's of dodge/burning.

I have a preference for darkroom work because of the sensory thrill of seeing an image be born by light and chemical reaction but I've no snobbery to preferrence of film over digital. They are incomparable to me so I never compare the two mediums. Both have pro's and con's... film is expensive, chemicals expensive whereas I can shoot a 4GB card for nothing... digital, depending on the camera/lens you have can be constrictive in low light situations which is often an issue for me as I love to shoot natural light but there are always techniques and ways to combat any shooting condition.

5. Are you a self-taught?
J.M.: Yes.

6. How would you describe your work?
J.M.: It's all about the person in front of the lens and nothing to do with the person behind the lens.

7. Do you prefer film or digital?
J.M.: Both have their place I feel. Some wonderful images can be made with both. It's very hard to say either way as there is so much more to the process than just the end result... with film you have developing and the feel of making a shot, of commiting it to film... digital is great for it's immediacy, the ability to share an image with a person instantly and relative low cost. Ultimately, both have their merits and benifits. It's the moment and the image that count more to me over the tools made to get it. 

8. What inspires you?
J.M.: People and their lives, stories and emotions.

9. If you had a time machine, when and where would you go?
J.M.: 1960. The whole world. It was such an exciting time socially, politically and the chance for a photographer to get work was vast.
I would have loved to photograph the 1960's... but that I am here, now both in my personal life and making the images I do... I really could not be happier!

©Jim Mortram 

You can see Jim's work on Flickr / Jim's website

16. Trees

Paul Herbst

Joseph Zorn

Ron Jude

Frank Gohlke

Monday, August 9, 2010

15. Found

Unknown photographer.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mando Alvarez

I am a fan of Mando Alvarez, one of these great emerging photographers, from Texas. He sure is an inspiration for most of his followers. He has the talent to turn everyday life scenes into tremendous pictures. His photographs are all full of magic, greediness and fun. What I love the most about his photographs is that you can see how important it is for him to keep on shooting film. I had the chance to ask him a few questions, to which he nicely replied to:


Besides your name and city, it is hard to find informations about you. Can you tell a little something about yourself?
Mando Alvarez: I have lived in South Texas for most of my life. I am a husband and a father of two beautiful children. I love to read, draw, play acoustic and electric guitar, and shoot pictures on analog cameras.

Do you have a favorite place to shoot?
M. A.: I don't have a favorite place to shoot. I will try to look for a photograph anywhere I can.

Did you study photography or are you a self-taught?
M. A.: I have never had any formal photography training. I learned everything I know by hands-on experimenting and also by reading old photography books. Old photography books are a great way to learn because they teach you how to use a camera. The photography books of today teach you how to use the computer to fix the photographs you take. The best way for anyone to learn is to get out there with an old manual film camera and jump right in. There is no substitute for that.

What does photography mean to you?
M. A.: Photography is a big part of my life, but it is not the main thing in my life. Sure, it means a lot to me, but it also allows me to capture what goes on around me--the important things. It is certainly not an obsession, and recently I took a step back from it to pursue other interests, but I am about to start again.

Do you usually edit your pictures?
M. A.: I do not usually edit my photos. I am not totally against it, but I try to avoid it at all costs. There is a certain pride involved in making a beautiful exposure, and that is a big part of the fun for me. Once in a while I'll have to clean up dust on a scan, and if absolutely necessary, I'll make minor adjustments to the contrast of a photo, but only if it will make a photo better. Obviously the scanner also has something to do with it, but about 99% of my photos on flickr are straight scans.

Do you like it when people use Photoshop?
I don't dislike photos where photoshop is used, but I do not like photos that have changed the reality of a scene. The best photos in my opinion are those where you can't tell that post-processing has been used. When the post processing overtakes the photo, that cannot be a good thing.

When you are taking a picture, do you have it in mind?
M. A.: Sometimes I'll have an idea in mind for a photograph and other times I'll just shoot something that I like. It is much easier and fun for me when I see something that is worth photographing as opposed to having to think of things to photograph all the time.

What inspires you?
M. A.: I'm definitely inspired by my family, and motivated by great photographs and photographers. I like photographs that make me want to go out and shoot. My favorite photographer is Stephen Shore, but I also like Eggleston, Parr, and Erwitt. No one compares to these guys.

To finish, if you had a time machine, when and where would you go?
M. A.: I would love to go back into the 1950s and live the "Leave it to Beaver" lifestyle. Too many bad things going on in this world today.

© Mando Alvarez

Check out Mando's website, it is definitely worth it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

14. Red

Stephen Shore

Matilde Viegas

William Eggleston

Laurie Simmons

Lars Tunbjörk

I'm hooked, hooked on red.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

13. Quote.

"My generation might be the last to have believed in any form of photographic truth. People are now surprised if they find out an image hasn't been altered in some way." -Bradley Peters
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