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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cityscapes

I took a photography class several years back which taught me not only how to develop my own film but gave me a good grounding in photographers to draw from. A stranger in Athens, I am taking inspiration from the documentary-style, urban photographs of Berenice Abbott who might be best known for her series "Changing New York."
Between the years of 1935-1938 she photographed the city as it underwent a transformation into a leading metropolis. Her intentions in the creation of this project was "to preserve for the future an accurate and faithful chronicle in photographs of the changing aspect of the world's greatest metropolis, ... a synthesis which shows the sky-scraper in relation to the less colossal edifices which preceded it, ... to produce an expressive result in which moving details must coincide with balance of design and significance of subject."
More on "Changing New York" can be found here, and more of Berenice Abbott can be ascertained here.

Fashion editorials taking place in an urban setting have a really nice contrast. There's nothing like the mundane and industrial to make a frivolous outfit that much more intriguing and lovely. Exhibit A: US Elle September 1999, "Urban Planning" shot by Steve Hiett. Found here.

25 comments:

Brigadeiro said...

Ah! You took photography classes! That explains your amazing photos. What are you currently studying? And may I ask what you plan to do 'when you grow up'? :)

Aimée said...

Oh a photography class! After I move back to the eastern parts of the US I want to take one. I love that you have inspiration in mind when taking photographs.

lopi said...

"There's nothing like the mundane and industrial to make a frivolous outfit that much more intriguing and lovely."

So true! There is nothing like a good opposition to bring a whole new perspective on the parts involved. And that applies to photography, fashion and architecture alike.

penelope said...

The spreads are amazing! Enjoy yourself in Greece!

AlicePleasance said...

I loved the Changing New York project and I always find so interesting to look at old photos not only of metropolis like NYC but also photos of places we know and we lived in. It's so beautiful and also strange to look at pictures of the places where I grown up, from those years, and indulge seeing all the differences with today...

Imelda Matt said...

There's nothing quite like learning how to develop your own film. I took a photographic course and we weren't allowed to shoot in digital until our third year. I was shite with developing colour film.

miss milki said...

There are people who say photography isn't art?! Crazy! We just developed our first roll of film in my class last night - its really exciting waiting to see if it comes out ok. I had a bit of trouble with the part in the complete dark - getting the film out and onto the spiral - the teacher had to do it for me in the end - but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it eventually. Can't wait for printing next week!

These old photos are really cool - I'd never heard of Berenice Abbott before but I really like the project! Thanks for more photography inspiration!

Pratishtha Durga said...

I have been reading this book on photography and I do believe that it has helped me change my perspective. My photographic influences are certain Indian photogs whose work I have always admired.

In fact, in March, I am headed for London where my short course in fashion Journalism will also cover photography.

Emily said...

no wonder your photographs are so wonderful all the time!

Juliet said...

I am longing to get my own camera. Good one.

juliet xxx

Susanna-Cole said...

Ah amazing pictures and great inspiration! :)

And oh in reply to your comment, I am often the same! While I am TRYING to fall to sleep I am constantly plagued with thoughts and words that I just HAVE to write down, and well that repeats and in the end it takes me some time to actually get to the sleeping part of going to bed! ;)

And I agree with what you said, even though I'm open to suggestions for my blog, things are still going to be done the way I like to do them... otherwise I wouldn't be being me anymore! ;)

xoxo,
S-C

NonchalantMod said...

It's pretty awesome..
I like the 4th one...

the Yellow Elephant said...

Now I finally know why your photos always get fantastic! Besides the fact that what you write always is interesting, I love your blog because of the photos. Rebecca - AMAZING!

IRIS and PIETER said...

talented! i love it!
thanks for the sweet comment! :D

Eleh said...

such beautiful photography. now now, if only my guy would teach me a thing or two about it.

Copycat Sasha said...

I love the city, and that first set of photos is beautiful!

beccajanie said...

Amazing photography skills explained! I have long wanted to take a photography class.

I love the second set of editorial.. lovely

Miss Karen said...

I really wished I had paid more attention when I did photography in High School. I don't even think I developed a single roll of film :S

It's fascinating to watch a city like New York go under such an schematic transition. To think that a century ago, buildings contained next to no steel and people were getting around on horse and cart seems impossible in such a metropolitan jungle!

enc said...

Thanks for these photos, R. I've always loved Berenice Abbot's work, but hadn't looked at any for awhile. It was nice to see it again. I'd love to see some of your documentary-style photos of Athens, if you care to share.

Dana (MODAna) said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOW I get it
photographer eh? :)

KD said...

Love that editorial! And yeah, NY is the greatest metropolis in the world, but I'm biased.

S.Elisabeth said...

I love the look of old New York.... I wish I had been born then!

moderndream.blogspot.com

jayne said...

oo thanks for sharing, those are really inspiring photos

Nay'Chelle said...

I like the first group of photos. And I also like urban seeting photo shoots. Thanks for the mini phographer lesson.haha

Nice post.

Songy said...

That's why your photos have certain flair. Great finds, R.

I,too, would like to see some more shots of where you live at the moment. Maybe you could open a flickr album?

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