14 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS FROM PROs, Vol. 1

14 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS FROM PROs, Vol. 1


(upbeat piano music) (upbeat music) – First, become comfortable
with the techniques and understand the techniques,
master the techniques. (upbeat music) And once you’ve done that
throw it all out the window and just start exploring.
(upbeat music) – Nobody gets there the same
way as the person before. Everybody struggles as an artist to survive and make money. Making money off of what you love to do is probably one of the hardest things. There’s gotta be some give
and take and sacrifice there. (upbeat music) – Constantly be learning. You will never be there. Just keep learning and keep growing. And ask people who are smarter than you, who have been in the industry
longer than you have. To just be humble and to
seek advice and knowledge, that’s my biggest advice. (upbeat music) – Don’t ever try to be someone else. Just be yourself. Try to find your own path. Don’t copy anyone. (upbeat music) – But, you know, no one
person knows it all. You kinda jump in and figure
it out, get your feet wet. – You should always have a
little bit of fear and panic with whatever project you’re trying to do. You wanna be outside your comfort zone. – Grind hard and work
hard every single day. Little by little, step by step, shoot by shoot. – And you want to learn from that. You want to fail as hard as possible, learn from it, and you’re gonna grow. If you’re not a little bit nervous then you’re not learning. – Every little detail is very important. And the devil is in the details. Just pay attention to everything. (upbeat music) – You gotta definitely love what you do, on a consistent basis. (upbeat music) – Focus on the lighting. It’s very important. You can use any girl, like anything but if you’re messing up with light. (tongue clicks) You’re done.

20 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS FROM PROs, Vol.2

20 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS FROM PROs, Vol.2


(hip-hop beat) (jazzy uptempo hip-hop beat) – [Mila] In the beginning, I recommend to get exposed to art in any available forms. Such as printing, old and new movies, poems, photographs. To find inspiration in
architecture around you. In dreams, take part
in deep conversations. – Be very clear with
everybody on your crew, like what you want and
what you want to achieve. And always plan for any emergencies, because they happen. Always have a backup plan. – [Kelly] Charge your batteries. Don’t forget your memory cards, I’ve done that before. And it’s the worst
feeling, your heart drops. – [Zuzanna] Tell your crew to come earlier than you actually expect to shoot, because some people will be late and you don’t want to
have that on your set. – [Kelly] Be okay with messing up. No one’s good when they first start, and it’s okay to mess up. I still feel like, insecure all the time about what I’m doing, even though someone from the outside might not think so. So just don’t be afraid to ask for help, and find yourself a mentor. Find someone’s who’s been
doing it for a while. And just let go of all of the negative people who are gonna tell you that you’re not gonna be able to do it, because if you really want to, just focus on it and it’ll happen for you at some point. – The best example of using a backup plan is actually today. And well, my makeup artist didn’t show up and we still have to do the shoot so, fortunately the model and I had some makeup accessories so we can basically do it on our own. – [Kelly] Leave your ego at the door. Because you’re not gonna
get anywhere with it. – You don’t need a fancy camera to shoot a good picture. Concentrate on your lighting skills, on your composition and design. I know a few photographers who do a full-time living from photography. The world is really competitive though, but if you have a passion for it, I’m sure you can make a full-time living. – Always make sure that
you have a document that protects your own rights, and your own work. – The artist is a sponge who absorbs all the things they really love. The more diverse is this collection, the more sources of inspiration will then become available to you.

4 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS! WE ASKED PROs, ep 4.

4 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS! WE ASKED PROs, ep 4.


– Back up your files. Back up your files in
three different places. Back up your files in as many
different places as you can. I’ve had to do reshoots and I’ve had to do extra
things, spend extra money, to recover files, so back up your files to avoid a headache. That’s it. That’s the biggest one I think. (lively music) – So for a newcomer,
I think it’s important that they have some, some
aspect or some passion that they’re also excited
about besides photography that lets them build
a strong body of work. So say, you’re very into skateboarding, but you’re also into photography, so get really serious into
the skateboarding culture, and create your style, and create your body of work that way. This way, that it’s, it’s more of an organic development. You’ll very easily know what, what resonates with you in terms of style and because it’s something
that you’re excited about, that you’ll naturally
be motivated to do it. (lively music) – So it’s important to
always go in the direction of the things that you like
and represents you the most. Be careful about which magazine
do you want to be published. You have to choose the really ones that you think that
corresponds more of who you are or what do you want to
show with your pictures. – For newcomers, one
of the biggest pitfalls for most newcomers from
a photography standpoint is they don’t become
an expert at something. So they’re generalists. And so they pick up the camera. They’ll do landscape work. They’ll do photography, modeling work. You know, they’ll do fashion work. They’ll do commercial work. But they never become a
subject matter expert. You know, they take the shotgun approach. And unfortunately, they’re
not known for anything and not being known for something, you won’t get hired. You have to be known in the industry as an expert at what you do. So my advice to any photographer is pick the genre that you wanna be the subject matter expert for, and work on that exclusively. (lively music)

14 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS FROM PROs, Vol.3

14 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS FROM PROs, Vol.3


(electronic piano music) (hip electronic piano music) – Even though I’ve been shooting, I consider myself a newcomer, and I think it’s a really tricky thing because everybody tells you
that you need to be a specialist and in my life what I have
learned is that actually– and anybody else is
teaching you, they go like, don’t put all your eggs into one basket. That’s like the life lesson
that I’ve learned here yet everybody else wants
to tell you in photography that you should specialize. I think what you need to do is photograph what
you’re passionate about, whether it’s micro, or macro photography, or landscapes, whatever that is, do what makes you happy. I think from that figure out
what it is that you can do and do it well and create
a job from that point on. But, I do feel that you should try a whole bunch of different things. Action, from action
sports to other things, because photography is an art and it also has technical aspects to it. I think you should learn
a lot about your equipment and other peoples’ equipment. You should learn a lot about
different genres and styles to figure out what you really want. (hip electronic music) – There’s this thing called
fake it ’til you make it. There’s some truth to it. You don’t keep the drama to yourself, you don’t tell everyone
about the negative parts of your job, any job, you know, your work. But I think being genuine
about your artwork like being, showing your
true self through your work and also to the people
you meet is very important in this industry;
timeless is the new cool. I really believe that. – I would suggest finding friends and people that you feel comfortable with and starting there so you show up with some confidence until you can build your confidence in photography and expand. (mid-tempo electronic classical music) – And another advice to anyone who’s trying to build a business: photography, although
a lot of it is creative at the end art, it’s still a business and you still wanna grow it. We started in 2014 and we
really didn’t feel the break until like three years after and we’re still working
towards a certain goal. Give it a few years. Give it at least five years, I would say to see if it’s something really for you. The growth is always exponential I think in anything;
especially in business. – I think it’s important to
listen to your own heart. Maybe, it’s important for the artist, for the photographer to be alone, to be in solitude, so you can experience, you can dig deeper in your
heart and your soul and see what is inside, what is
it what you wanna do. ♪ You wake me up and yet you ground me ♪ ♪ Ain’t nothin’ gettin’ in my way ♪ – I have found that it’s really helpful to start with what you know. Since I started as a dance major, I knew dance, I felt confident in dance, I felt confidence working with
dancers, so I started there. They’re inspiring for that helped us all. So you’re walking into the shoot knowing something about what you’re shooting and not brand new to the photography and the subject you’re shooting. – In some times, we’re
distracted by too much noise. Too many people, too many
opinions, and points of views. It’s really important to escape and see and just look inside of you. (chill electronic hip-hop beats)

6 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS on HOW TO WORK WITH A MODEL

6 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS on HOW TO WORK WITH A MODEL


(upbeat music) (groovy music) – The top one is probably
that they’re really nervous so I just tell them to not be nervous, cause there’s really, like
there’s literally nothing to be nervous about. I have photographed so many people, I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to make people look good. They can’t, I just tell them that they literally cannot
(shutter clicking) it up! Sorry, I don’t know if I can swear, but they can’t (shutter clicking) it up! ♪ Feels so good ♪ ♪ I want to ♪ ♪ Feels so good ♪ (energetic music) – [Steven] I think it’s
critically important as a photographer to, early on, connect and to develop the
chemistry with the model, because you’re looking for a certain move, you’re looking for emotions. You’re looking for the
artistry with the model, so for me it’s critically
important to develop that chemistry. A form of relaxation, if you will. So, when the model comes in, she’s relaxed. She’s prepared to work, her emotions come out, and the end result is
you’ve got a great shoot. (upbeat music) – You have to make sure that your model not only looks, I guess attractive, but you have to make sure that you’re capturing their essence, and that’s the most important
part of a photograph is capturing the model’s essence, and not just a subject. (upbeat music) – I prefer to get very close with the model, with the subjects I’m working with. It has a very special connection. It’s just more relaxed. (funky music) – [Steven] I do a lot of work before. I meet with the model, I speak with the model, I get a sense of what the model is about. I give her usually a cue card of how to prepare for the shoot. Bring your A-game, because if it’s the B-game, I’m not interested. It is gonna show up in the work. Don’t go out partying until
3 o’clock in the morning where you have bags under your eyes. Have your nails done, have your makeup done in advance. (groovy music) – I guess another thing is people don’t know what to do. That, my friend, is your
job as a photographer. You’re supposed to tell them what to do. You can’t just expect someone to be on the other side of the camera and know where to put
their limbs to look good. You’re going to be in
charge in the situation, and you are going to let
them know what to do. They’re gonna totally relax, ’cause they trust you. (funky music)

Conor Horgan talks about Queen Of Ireland and Photography: Out of the Darkroom with Ruth Medjber

Conor Horgan talks about Queen Of Ireland and Photography: Out of the Darkroom with Ruth Medjber


Hello and welcome to Out of the darkroom
on AdoramaTV. I’m Ruth Medjber and joining me on the show today is
photographer and filmmaker Conor Horgan. AdoramaTV presents, Out of
the Darkroom with Ruth Medjber. Conor, thank you so much for joining me today.
So you have a film out at the moment, isn’t that right? Yes, my first feature documentary
The Queen of Ireland, which is the story of how one man and a dress is
changing the world. Yes, it has been in Irish cinemas for a while and is out on DVD as well. Fantastic, now I haven’t see it yet but I am absolutely dying to see it, because it was filmed over a time that was amazing in Ireland where we brought in a new equality law. So what was it that drew you to that story? I’d known Rory, who’s the man behind the woman, Panti is the woman and Rory is the performer behind Panti, I’d known Rory for this
stage of my life for twenty years. Because we’s gone back, we did all of the
posters for this amazing event that he ran every year called the alternative
Miss Ireland, so for 18 years and February, we would all get together and we do
these amazing photographs, which would be turned into fantastic posters
of Panti in various guises. So I think the very first one was wearing an up Mayo
t-shirt and a pair of hot pants, surrounded by all these flying pink pigs, for a reason I
still don’t know why, but it looked good. So it came out of photography in a way and when I approached Rory I knew
that Rory was always going to be very engaged politically, always very active politically, a kind of keen to help out, anything to do with social justice and then Panti was always going to be wildly entertaining. I think because we
had a pre-existing relationship he was used to me pointing a camera at him
basically. So it was kind of a natural thing. He’d turned down a lot of people before us but when we came to him and well because I’ve been a fashion photographer and I knew about
lighting and a knew how to flatter people, I think he kind of felt, well it will look good. You mentioned
that you came from photography I mean that was your main background right? Is
that what you trained as originally, a photographer? I did, you know when I was a kid, 12 or 13, I really want to be film director I didn’t really know what that
meant, just you know I love’d the way the film’s affected me, you know I thought
I’d love to be able to do that, I’d no idea where to start and I kind of thought about
maybe starting off as a clapper loader and working my way up through through
the ranks and various other things happened, I ended up in London, after running away from home and buying a Pentax ME Super off some guy in a cafe somewhere, and became
totally obsessed with photography like almost immediately and you know I was
working at the time in a really badly paid job and my one piece of disposable
income a week would go to getting the one row done in the local pharmacy and if I got kind of two frames out of the 36 that was a good week. So were you just
kind of teaching yourself as you went along? Did you have a mentor? I thought myself, I never went to college or art college or anything like that. I did know of this guy
called Tony Higgins who was kind of like Ireland’s Richard Avedon. He was the
first independent fashion and advertising photographer. He started in the 60’s, he’d been a carpenter and then he’d fallen into photography. And then again became totally obsessed with it. And I’d known him because he had used me and my sister as child models
when we were little blonde mop tops. And I went back
knocking on the door and you know he didn’t have a job I just kind of kept
knocking, I started being his second assistant, I’d borrow photography books
off him, so I’d have a reason to go back and give them back, and go Hi! It’s me again. And eventually his assistant left, and I was the guy who knew where all the lightbulbs were and he took me on! I did 2 years working for him which was
just the most amazing education because as well as learning so
much about lighting and about photography and how to deal with people he told me how to run a small business which was invaluable. So when you came into your own as a
photographer, I mean you’ve worked for some really big clients right? I mean
British Vogue and also it’s a lot of commissioned portraits for a lot of the
big magazines if they had something that they need doing here, they’d often get in
touch with me. I did a lot of those kind of things and it was
great. You’d often spend you know a day or two traipsing across
the country and bringing assistants, and lights and backdrops and stylists and makeup and
hair, and, you know you’d be the circus coming town. So I was always a really fun thing to do,
you can make the space your own when you arrived and some way and get the best out
of people.Tell me a little bit more about those high production type shoots, I mean even in terms of where the initial idea comes from. I mean would you sit down with you know the magazine
and say this is what I want to shoot or did they come to you with an idea. How does that work. The editorial thing was often left really up to me, which was kind of great
you know because you know editorial doesn’t pay as well as advertising. You know this
seems to be a sliding scale and in advertising you never have the idea, you are
basically executing somebody else’s idea. It’s also the part of photography that
pays the best so in some ways you can bring your skills, bring your technique
bring all your experience, to bringing somebody else’s idea to life. The thing
is I always felt even though I was fashio photographer, I was an
advertising photographer, I did you know for years I’d go over to Miami and shoot
kind of catalogues and and shoot kind of lingerie catalog’s every December and I be
born across the Atlantic on waves of jealousy from my male friends. But I
always felt that my thing was really portraits. It was just people, and
people on the street or friends of mine or whatever, it was you know, if, if was a
successful fashion photograph, it was a good portrait first and foremost and the clothes were always secondary. So portraits really are your thing, I can tell that
from your work, it seems you get you get a look out of people that I don’t think a lot of photographers, I couldn’t get even thinking about photographing the President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, you’ve got her giggling in a picture, How does, how does that work you know it’s something like a really professional portrait. And there she is laughing away. I don’t know.. I can’t remember there was a fashion programme on RTE for years, it was called Head to Toe, and they kept asking me, can we come and film you doing a shoot. I just said no because in a way I didn’t want to
see what I was like those taking pictures because you know I’m very much in the moment but something as I’ve grown older and as I’ve kind of got
better at what I do and I think just a grown a bit as a person, there’s
some kind of intimacy that happens between me and the other person, and I
know that I’m playing a large part of that I don’t know exactly know how it happened but there’s some engagement some level of communication that then comes across
in the picture and I find that absolutely joyful I mean there is something and I know
that the people, when they see the pictures or are often very taken with that as well because there’s
communication going on. You get something out of them that they probably aren’t willing to give but when they do they’re quite happy about it, Yeah quite possibly, one of the things that I do when I’m photographing people is I almost invariably make some kind of a fool of
myself very early on because you know in some ways because it happens. Intentionally? Well if I don’t do it intentionally it will probably happen. The thing is basically letting everybody in the room everybody on the set you know… it’s ok to get it wrong. It’s not
about we have to get something right here you know, it’s what kind of happens..happens. Maybe I should try that…ha ha.. And people are like thank god.. Maybe that’s why things are good as well as you really get to know people, and they are at ease with you. So they’ll be more
comfortable in the camera, I hope so, I certainly you know, we, we spent five
years chasing Panti and Rory, around, some of the time, at the beginning, when there was
no money, cause for most of those five years there was no funding whatsoever, you know, at
the beginning there was me on camera, and you know and in turn, waving a microphone
vaguely waving in the same direction as where the camera was pointing and you know, we were lucky to get anything, but we did, and then as things came along we we started
getting production funding, there were more camera crews and stuff like that. But I think you know
there is a quality to being a very attentive and present photographer, without
imposing yourself on the situation which I think really helps in that kind of
documentary situation, where people know that you’re there butt they don’t know what you’re trying to get, so you know so they’re just happy
to do whatever is that there they want to do, you’re not saying here do that
again, you know, you’re just… you know, you’re watching, you’re there, you are very much paying attention to what’s happening It’s almost like a dance in some ways, like you are kind of dancing with them, you know they go there, you go there, and they
can feel that and they know that you know whatever they do, you will just match it. You know
so that I think that gives them the confidence as well, and that makes for good
material. Maybe I need to come and film your work, so I can see this magic dance in play and try and mimic it myself and see how I go. Another thing mentioning dance… I think my favorite piece of yours is not actually a photograph, which it should because I am mad about photography. Is a film you did… A short piece that you did with the deep end dance with is the mother and the son, the choreographer son, underwater. This looks like a logistical nightmare in terms of shooting it. It’s funny, it actually is the making-of video on vimeo as well,, it’s funny, the making of video is about twice as long as the actual video. It would have to be. And there’s all kinds of stuff like cutting out lead sheet in the weight In the template of the shoes and
weights in the shoes, he is wearing a divers belt at one point, but you know he’s
dancing at different levels of the water, at some point he’s kind of walking on the
floor of the swimming pool, at other points he’s on part of the surface, so he’s differently weighted
differently buoyent and for all of those different levels. I just thought it was magic. Well it is magic and that’s the great thing, this is the magic of film because we’ve had some really clever people that
really thought about it would not be asking us these questions, like how did he hold his breath for six minutes? Because it just feels that it’s a continuous movement, and the cutting is
kind of invisible, and they don’t know that every 20 seconds, David is coming to the surface and going (inhale)… I can even from my And then going back down and picking up the action. I felt that – I felt kind of stressed towards the end of it. I was like .. he needs to breathe, he needs to breathe..let him go… It was fantastic .. really Even from a camera point of view… how’s that work? Well it while I started off above with a remote feed from one of the cameras, in the
pool we had a safe diver with two underwater cameraman.1st AD, the safety guy and the two underwater guys were both wearing suits and masks and everything. And I was up looking at this in the monitor and it just wasn’t working for me, so I put on the suit, as well and aqua lung and went down and I was directing by you know kind of saying.. widen it.. move in.. move in. Of course
cause you can’t hear. So I was hovering over Richard Kendrick who had the main camera looking down and he had a little kind of monitor on the top of the camera, so I could see what he was
shooting, so that I was able to communicate with them and then I would go up direct David, then David would come up for air and
go back down again, but I needed to be in the space, and that is his sixty
eight-year-old mother in the pool with him and they are in the pool, where she was a
swimming instructor for many years and indeed where she taught him to swim when
he was two years old. That’s the same pool. My god there’s so much involved in six minutes..it’s incredible I love that piece. But I had been taking pictures, when I got the little Fuji, the XD 1 first, and I got a convertor from my old Nikon lenses. Because I haven’t be able to let them even though I hadn’t shot film in years. And I just started taking all these pictures of people, people I had just met, friends. I’d go for coffee and I’d take pictures of people and there was some quality to these pictures that I really enjoying, and other people seemed to be really enjoying and I’d post them online just for kind of fun and my friends saw them and just
liked them, and It just kind of helped inspire an idea in her, to get me to do 50 portraits of 50 of her closest, her nearest and dearest people. To mark her 50th birthday which
is just a wonderful idea and then as the thing progressed of course, she said we have to put so and so in, and so and so.. it ended up being 122 people. And I travelled all over the world, 122 of them and I interviewed them all as well. I interviewed them all and taped it all on
my phone and then the interviews became the captions for the photographs as well, and then created the book alongside your sister. So it’s a big thick book. Straight off when you see the portraits they are very beautiful and rich colors and tones, there is also if I am right, some light thrown in here? Occasionally but you know I’m kind of, you know where I used to arrive, as I said, you know with the
entire circus, I have a little kind of Hand Basher And I got one of these, like it’s about a meter and a half wide.. this huge umbrella with a white softener in the front and it’s silver inside and it’s kind of like this size yeah it’ll go up pretty quick I’m sure. it goes up really quick and the light is just gorgeous off it. It is just the most painterly kind of light you could possibly imagine. And to be able to just carry that onto
a plane, yes it’s just remarkable. That’s the thing when dealing with portraits you have to kind of be quick so that you don’t lose peoples attention. Cause you want to talk to them. You don’t want to be fiddling with lights.If you are visiting 122 people you need something that pops us quite easily. They are gorgeous portraits. But this isn’t your first book sure it’s not. I did a book on, I spent a winter in New York, I got a little that’s when I first came across the Fuji Camera, was like a little Fuji x10. I put together this book It was about and A4 size book, the
pictures just printed up beautifully. They are gorgeous. I put it out on self publish and we sold like 150 / 200, loads of prints, people are still buying prints from my New York adventures. It’s totally your New York adventures, we are walking through the streets of New York as you, it’s your point of view and I love
that. I mean it’s not just like a street photographers book, there is everything in there. There’s portraits. And form and shape. Everything. It’s like a little narrative of NY, it’s almost a portrait of New York. Thank you so much for coming to chat with us today. I could talk to you for hours and hours but we have to end at some point Conor. Thank you, I look forward to seeing more of your work. Well thats it for this episode, I hope you enjoy the show. If you want to start the conversation then please feel free to leave a comment below. Ireally do appreciate the feedback, if
you’d like to brush up on your own photography skills then check out the
Adorama Learning Center and as always if you want to see more videos Subscribe to the AdoramaTV channel. Thanks and I’ll see you again soon. For great-looking prints at low-cost be sure
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4 Lessons in Creativity | Julie Burstein | TED Talks

4 Lessons in Creativity | Julie Burstein | TED Talks


Translator: Joseph Geni
Reviewer: Morton Bast On my desk in my office, I keep a small clay pot that I made in college. It’s raku, which is a kind of pottery that began in Japan centuries ago as a way of making bowls for the Japanese tea ceremony. This one is more than 400 years old. Each one was pinched or carved out of a ball of clay, and it was the imperfections that people cherished. Everyday pots like this cup take eight to 10 hours to fire. I just took this out of the kiln last week, and the kiln itself takes another day or two to cool down, but raku is really fast. You do it outside, and you take the kiln up to temperature. In 15 minutes, it goes to 1,500 degrees, and as soon as you see that the glaze has melted inside, you can see that faint sheen, you turn the kiln off, and you reach in with these long metal tongs, you grab the pot, and in Japan, this red-hot pot would be immediately immersed in a solution of green tea, and you can imagine what that steam would smell like. But here in the United States, we ramp up the drama a little bit, and we drop our pots into sawdust, which catches on fire, and you take a garbage pail, and you put it on top, and smoke starts pouring out. I would come home with my clothes reeking of woodsmoke. I love raku because it allows me to play with the elements. I can shape a pot out of clay and choose a glaze, but then I have to let it go to the fire and the smoke, and what’s wonderful is the surprises that happen, like this crackle pattern, because it’s really stressful on these pots. They go from 1,500 degrees to room temperature in the space of just a minute. Raku is a wonderful metaphor for the process of creativity. I find in so many things that tension between what I can control and what I have to let go happens all the time, whether I’m creating a new radio show or just at home negotiating with my teenage sons. When I sat down to write a book about creativity, I realized that the steps were reversed. I had to let go at the very beginning, and I had to immerse myself in the stories of hundreds of artists and writers and musicians and filmmakers, and as I listened to these stories, I realized that creativity grows out of everyday experiences more often than you might think, including letting go. It was supposed to break, but that’s okay. (Laughter) (Laughs) That’s part of the letting go, is sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t, because creativity also grows from the broken places. The best way to learn about anything is through stories, and so I want to tell you a story about work and play and about four aspects of life that we need to embrace in order for our own creativity to flourish. The first embrace is something that we think, “Oh, this is very easy,” but it’s actually getting harder, and that’s paying attention to the world around us. So many artists speak about needing to be open, to embrace experience, and that’s hard to do when you have a lighted rectangle in your pocket that takes all of your focus. The filmmaker Mira Nair speaks about growing up in a small town in India. Its name is Bhubaneswar, and here’s a picture of one of the temples in her town. Mira Nair: In this little town, there were like 2,000 temples. We played cricket all the time. We kind of grew up in the rubble. The major thing that inspired me, that led me on this path, that made me a filmmaker eventually, was traveling folk theater that would come through the town and I would go off and see these great battles of good and evil by two people in a school field with no props but with a lot of, you know, passion, and hashish as well, and it was amazing. You know, the folk tales of Mahabharata and Ramayana, the two holy books, the epics that everything comes out of in India, they say. After seeing that Jatra, the folk theater, I knew I wanted to get on, you know, and perform. Julie Burstein: Isn’t that a wonderful story? You can see the sort of break in the everyday. There they are in the school fields, but it’s good and evil, and passion and hashish. And Mira Nair was a young girl with thousands of other people watching this performance, but she was ready. She was ready to open up to what it sparked in her, and it led her, as she said, down this path to become an award-winning filmmaker. So being open for that experience that might change you is the first thing we need to embrace. Artists also speak about how some of their most powerful work comes out of the parts of life that are most difficult. The novelist Richard Ford speaks about a childhood challenge that continues to be something he wrestles with today. He’s severely dyslexic. Richard Ford: I was slow to learn to read, went all the way through school not really reading more than the minimum, and still to this day can’t read silently much faster than I can read aloud, but there were a lot of benefits to being dyslexic for me because when I finally did reconcile myself to how slow I was going to have to do it, then I think I came very slowly into an appreciation of all of those qualities of language and of sentences that are not just the cognitive aspects of language: the syncopations, the sounds of words, what words look like, where paragraphs break, where lines break. I mean, I wasn’t so badly dyslexic that I was disabled from reading. I just had to do it really slowly, and as I did, lingering on those sentences as I had to linger, I fell heir to language’s other qualities, which I think has helped me write sentences. JB: It’s so powerful. Richard Ford, who’s won the Pulitzer Prize, says that dyslexia helped him write sentences. He had to embrace this challenge, and I use that word intentionally. He didn’t have to overcome dyslexia. He had to learn from it. He had to learn to hear the music in language. Artists also speak about how pushing up against the limits of what they can do, sometimes pushing into what they can’t do, helps them focus on finding their own voice. The sculptor Richard Serra talks about how, as a young artist, he thought he was a painter, and he lived in Florence after graduate school. While he was there, he traveled to Madrid, where he went to the Prado to see this picture by the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. It’s from 1656, and it’s called “Las Meninas,” and it’s the picture of a little princess and her ladies-in-waiting, and if you look over that little blonde princess’s shoulder, you’ll see a mirror, and reflected in it are her parents, the King and Queen of Spain, who would be standing where you might stand to look at the picture. As he often did, Velázquez put himself in this painting too. He’s standing on the left with his paintbrush in one hand and his palette in the other. Richard Serra: I was standing there looking at it, and I realized that Velázquez was looking at me, and I thought, “Oh. I’m the subject of the painting.” And I thought, “I’m not going to be able to do that painting.” I was to the point where I was using a stopwatch and painting squares out of randomness, and I wasn’t getting anywhere. So I went back and dumped all my paintings in the Arno, and I thought, I’m going to just start playing around. JB: Richard Serra says that so nonchalantly, you might have missed it. He went and saw this painting by a guy who’d been dead for 300 years, and realized, “I can’t do that,” and so Richard Serra went back to his studio in Florence, picked up all of his work up to that point, and threw it in a river. Richard Serra let go of painting at that moment, but he didn’t let go of art. He moved to New York City, and he put together a list of verbs — to roll, to crease, to fold — more than a hundred of them, and as he said, he just started playing around. He did these things to all kinds of material. He would take a huge sheet of lead and roll it up and unroll it. He would do the same thing to rubber, and when he got to the direction “to lift,” he created this, which is in the Museum of Modern Art. Richard Serra had to let go of painting in order to embark on this playful exploration that led him to the work that he’s known for today: huge curves of steel that require our time and motion to experience. In sculpture, Richard Serra is able to do what he couldn’t do in painting. He makes us the subject of his art. So experience and challenge and limitations are all things we need to embrace for creativity to flourish. There’s a fourth embrace, and it’s the hardest. It’s the embrace of loss, the oldest and most constant of human experiences. In order to create, we have to stand in that space between what we see in the world and what we hope for, looking squarely at rejection, at heartbreak, at war, at death. That’s a tough space to stand in. The educator Parker Palmer calls it “the tragic gap,” tragic not because it’s sad but because it’s inevitable, and my friend Dick Nodel likes to say, “You can hold that tension like a violin string and make something beautiful.” That tension resonates in the work of the photographer Joel Meyerowitz, who at the beginning of his career was known for his street photography, for capturing a moment on the street, and also for his beautiful photographs of landscapes — of Tuscany, of Cape Cod, of light. Joel is a New Yorker, and his studio for many years was in Chelsea, with a straight view downtown to the World Trade Center, and he photographed those buildings in every sort of light. You know where this story goes. On 9/11, Joel wasn’t in New York. He was out of town, but he raced back to the city, and raced down to the site of the destruction. Joel Meyerowitz: And like all the other passersby, I stood outside the chain link fence on Chambers and Greenwich, and all I could see was the smoke and a little bit of rubble, and I raised my camera to take a peek, just to see if there was something to see, and some cop, a lady cop, hit me on my shoulder, and said, “Hey, no pictures!” And it was such a blow that it woke me up, in the way that it was meant to be, I guess. And when I asked her why no pictures, she said, “It’s a crime scene. No photographs allowed.” And I asked her, “What would happen if I was a member of the press?” And she told me, “Oh, look back there,” and back a block was the press corps tied up in a little penned-in area, and I said, “Well, when do they go in?” and she said, “Probably never.” And as I walked away from that, I had this crystallization, probably from the blow, because it was an insult in a way. I thought, “Oh, if there’s no pictures, then there’ll be no record. We need a record.” And I thought, “I’m gonna make that record. I’ll find a way to get in, because I don’t want to see this history disappear.” JB: He did. He pulled in every favor he could, and got a pass into the World Trade Center site, where he photographed for nine months almost every day. Looking at these photographs today brings back the smell of smoke that lingered on my clothes when I went home to my family at night. My office was just a few blocks away. But some of these photographs are beautiful, and we wondered, was it difficult for Joel Meyerowitz to make such beauty out of such devastation? JM: Well, you know, ugly, I mean, powerful and tragic and horrific and everything, but it was also as, in nature, an enormous event that was transformed after the fact into this residue, and like many other ruins — you go to the ruins of the Colosseum or the ruins of a cathedral someplace — and they take on a new meaning when you watch the weather. I mean, there were afternoons I was down there, and the light goes pink and there’s a mist in the air and you’re standing in the rubble, and I found myself recognizing both the inherent beauty of nature and the fact that nature, as time, is erasing this wound. Time is unstoppable, and it transforms the event. It gets further and further away from the day, and light and seasons temper it in some way, and it’s not that I’m a romantic. I’m really a realist. The reality is, there’s the Woolworth Building in a veil of smoke from the site, but it’s now like a scrim across a theater, and it’s turning pink, you know, and down below there are hoses spraying, and the lights have come on for the evening, and the water is turning acid green because the sodium lamps are on, and I’m thinking, “My God, who could dream this up?” But the fact is, I’m there, it looks like that, you have to take a picture. JB: You have to take a picture. That sense of urgency, of the need to get to work, is so powerful in Joel’s story. When I saw Joel Meyerowitz recently, I told him how much I admired his passionate obstinacy, his determination to push through all the bureaucratic red tape to get to work, and he laughed, and he said, “I’m stubborn, but I think what’s more important is my passionate optimism.” The first time I told these stories, a man in the audience raised his hand and said, “All these artists talk about their work, not their art, which has got me thinking about my work and where the creativity is there, and I’m not an artist.” He’s right. We all wrestle with experience and challenge, limits and loss. Creativity is essential to all of us, whether we’re scientists or teachers, parents or entrepreneurs. I want to leave you with another image of a Japanese tea bowl. This one is at the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C. It’s more than a hundred years old and you can still see the fingermarks where the potter pinched it. But as you can also see, this one did break at some point in its hundred years. But the person who put it back together, instead of hiding the cracks, decided to emphasize them, using gold lacquer to repair it. This bowl is more beautiful now, having been broken, than it was when it was first made, and we can look at those cracks, because they tell the story that we all live, of the cycle of creation and destruction, of control and letting go, of picking up the pieces and making something new. Thank you. (Applause)

“FROM ACTOR TO PHOTOGRAPHER” with  Molly Pan

“FROM ACTOR TO PHOTOGRAPHER” with Molly Pan


(rhythmic music) – Think of Naomi Campbell. (rhythmic music) – Whoo! (rhythmic music) I want to show people that they’re beautiful. (rhythmic music) Wow we’re getting deep. (faint dialogue from assistant) Some deep, some deep stuff. (laughing) (rhythmic music) (camera clicking) (rhythmic music) Hi, my name is Polly Pan and I am a professional
portrait photographer from Minnesota but I live in LA. (rhythmic music) I’ve been doing photography professionally for about seven years. I grew up with my dad. My dad had a lot of cameras, so. And he’s a pretty good
amateur photographer so I learned stuff from him. And I picked up some stuff from friends. (rhythmic music) I’ve always liked taking
pictures of people. I’ve never really been into landscapes or like cityscapes or anything like that. I just think that we’re so interesting. And I’ve always felt that way. So, when I got into acting, I was looking for a headshot photography and I was like, well, I could either spend $500 to get headshots or I could spend $700 to get myself a kit and do it myself. And so like I’m like super you know, DIY, do it yourself kind of person. So that’s what I decided to do. And that was like the beginning of this you know, seven, eight,
nine year long journey to where I am now. (rhythmic music) It’s very important to know what it’s like on this side of the camera. The different ways that
you feel about yourself all comes out at the same time. It’s venerable and I
think as a photographer it’s just really important to make your clients feel comfortable and feel like they’re there to have fun and that you know, great
pictures are gonna come out but the most important thing
is to have a good time. (static whirring) I’m sorry, I didn’t answer your question. What was your question? (laughing) – [Assistant] Uh. (laughing) (rhythmic music) As an actor I spent lot of time on the front side of the camera and I think it’s really
important to know your angles and to pose correctly I guess. And so I bring that to the
back of the other side, the back of the camera, I don’t know… (rhythmic music) I think it’s really important to me that people know that they’re beautiful. And to celebrate that beauty. Because I think a lot of
people go through life hiding and hiding behind the camera. And basically like oh
I’m gonna lose 30 pounds and then you know you
can take a picture of me. I find beauty in all types of people. All sizes, all ages, all skin colors. And I think that’s the message. I want to show people
that they’re beautiful. (rhythmic music) I have wanted to work
with Claudine for so long because she’s gorgeous and you know, she’s got the white hair. And she’s aging gracefully. And I don’t get a chance to work with a lot of older people. The process of aging is just so. (screaming) Beautiful. And you know, now that I’m in my 30’s, I’m starting to go through that process and I’m really looking
forward to getting older. (rhythmic music) I use my Canon 5D Mark IV. And my favorite lenses
is my 85 millimeter 1.2. It’s really, it’s been
my favorite lenses ever. I tried those tele zoom
lenses and you know, I’ve tried a 50. I just don’t like them as much as the 85. It’s got such beautiful mocha and just like micro
contrast, it’s beautiful. (rhythmic music) I guess the one that
really comes up a lot is back up your files.
(loud punching) Back up your files in
three different places. Back up your files in
as many different places as you can. I’ve had to do re-shoots. And I’ve had to do extra things and spent extra money to recover files. So backup your files to avoid a headache, that’s (laughing). That’s the biggest one I think. (police car sirens) (horn honks) They’re coming for you. (rhythmic music) The top one is probably
that they’re really nervous. And so I just tell them to not be nervous ’cause there’s really like, there’s literally nothing
to be nervous about. I have photographed so many people and you know, like, I
feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to
make people look good. And like they can’t, I just tell them like literally cannot (camera clicking) it up. Sorry, I don’t know if I can swear but. They can’t (camera clicking) it up. (rhythmic music) I guess another thing is like people don’t know what to do. That my friend is your
job as a photographer. You are suppose to tell them what to do. You can’t just expect someone to be on the other side of the camera and like know where to put
their limbs to look good. You’re going to be in
charge of the situation. And you are going to let
them know what to do. They’re gonna totally relax
’cause they trust you. (rhythmic music) Keep doing it, do it a lot. Do it every day. And always keep learning. Even if you start out not so good, you’re gonna get better
if you keep doing it. So just shoot every day. (rhythmic music) I think I would have to say is I think hmm, oh man that’s a tough one. That wasn’t on the sheet. (laughing) (faint dialogue from assistant) You’re throwing one at me. Um, I, um. Oh, nice to meet you, where are you from? Even like when someone
I’m not photographing and then sometimes I’ll
be like Photoshopping their face in my head. Don’t worry, I’m not
Photoshopping your head. (rhythmic music) Just kidding. Um.

LIVE Q&A with MoMA Photography Curator Sarah Meister (May 23)

LIVE Q&A with MoMA Photography Curator Sarah Meister (May 23)


Hi, I’m Sarah Meister. I’m a curator here in the Department of Photography
at MoMA and we’re thrilled to be bringing you a live Q&A on MoMA’s YouTube channel. We are gonna begin here on the collection
storage while people get settled. This is where we store a huge percentage of
our collection. And we thought it’d be fun to pull some photographs
to show you a few before we get going with the real Q&A. And while we do that, I’ll not only try to
answer a few of the questions not formally, but a little informally, starting with, say,
show me a surprise, something that’s a little lesser known treasure
in the collection. So we also thought it would be a nice thing
to show you how we store the photographs, why we store the photographs, and to share
a bit of our best practices. So most of the collections are in cabinets
like this. It keeps the water off. If the sprinklers go, that would be bad. It keeps them nice and cold. And we keep them in boxes, usually whenever
we can, unless they’re too big. So here’s a box that has some works that we
acquired a little more than a year ago. We try not to carry the boxes long distances,
so we don’t risk dropping them, because that would be terrible. And then when we open them, these are all
archival materials. We try to keep everything sort of neat and
calm. We try when we’re handling photographs to
like focus on the photograph and not focus on, say, talking to you all. So we don’t damage anything. So this is a box of works by a Brazilian photographer
named Gertrudes Altschul. She’s one of my current favorites, although
I can’t say all time, because that’s just not fair. And the one I thought I would show you is
here on the bottom. It’s a photograph of a papaya leaf. It’s pretty awesome. What I love about it is that it looks a little
bit like a photogram, almost like you could see through it. Like she was squishing it flat onto the paper. Except that when you see the stem, you realize
that this is actually like a three-dimensional object in front of the camera. So I like this one a lot. This is a little bit of a surprise. It was on view last year if you came to New
York in a show that my colleague Starr and I organized called “Making Space: Women Artists and Post War
Abstraction.” But other than that, I’m sure no one had…well,
unless you lived in Sao Paolo, you had not seen it before. So this is how we keep them. This is fortunately not too heavy, some of
them get really heavy, and then we have to have a colleague come help us take them down
off the shelf. Okay. So this is not the official Q&A, but we thought
we’d answer a few questions while we’re in here anyway. The first question, unofficially, is from
Victoria on Instagram and Danny on YouTube, who both asked, basically, “What is the temperature in there and why? Or why is the collection storage space so
cold?” So it’s about 50 degrees in here, 40% relative
humidity. And yesterday when I was getting ready for
this, I asked our conservator. I was like, “How do I describe why it’s so
cold?” And her answer was…I was thinking she was
gonna give me some complicated chemical or something. She’s like, “Everything goes more slowly when
it’s cold.” And so if you think of the photographs having
active particles in them, the more you slow it down, the longer they live. So this is true for color photographs, especially,
but also for gelatin silver prints, like most of what we’ll be looking at today. So it’s cold to keep everything lasting as
long as possible. And that’s also why we use archival materials. I just washed my hands. So if you see me handling a lot of things,
I wouldn’t do that unless I had just washed my hands. So that’s question number one. We have another question that says…and this
is from Chris on Instagram. And he writes, “What is your collection policy? And Alfred Stieglitz, please.” So excellent choice, Alfred. No, Alfred Stieglitz. Excellent choice, Chris. I pulled a few extra, a little bit like a
cooking show because sometimes if you have to take them down, we have to go too far and
it takes too long. So I pulled three other photographs, including
the Stieglitz just to show while we’re here in collection storage getting warmed up. The first one of these, I mean, I’ll say,
everything I’m showing, I love all these photographs, but this one is pretty great. Now you’ll see there’s a little bit of a reflective
surface on this, and I’ll lift it off to make it easier to see. This is called Mylar. It protects the surface of the picture in
storage and we actually attach it with tape at the top, but it’s a special low tack tape. So this is a photograph by Berenice Abbott
and it’s called “New York at Night.” She made it in 1932 right after the Empire
State Building opened. And she made it on one of the shortest days
of the year, so in sort of mid to late December. And she did that because she wanted the city
to be dark, but she wanted everyone to still be in their
offices so that all the thousands and thousands of office lights are on. So it’s almost like you couldn’t make this
picture in the summer because it would be light too late. And by the time was dark, everybody would
be gone home for the day. I hope. So this is a terrific one and I can’t remember
who but somebody definitely wanted to see Berenice Abbott. So that’s one. And then, you know, again, like I was saying,
you just wanna handle them carefully, slowly because, of course, the worst thing
you could ever do to a photograph is damage it. That would just be the worst. The next photograph I wanted to show you,
again, thanks to Chris asking for Alfred Stieglitz, “this terrific image of Stieglitz’s made?” I’m just gonna do this because Stieglitz really…although
Berenice Abbott was a little more forgiving about the presentation, Stieglitz was very
precise. So here’s a photograph he made of his wife
Georgia O’Keeffe and her car. And what I love about this one. This is at his house in Lake George. And to me, he’s very well known for the group
of portraits that he made of Georgia O’Keeffe. But to me, this is sort of a symbol of her
independence, how by 1935 she was definitely a mature artist in her own right, had much
more of a sense of autonomy. And I think there’s something almost sort
of wistful about this thinking of her hopping in the car, and maybe going back to New York
City. And so even though the photograph is so beautiful,
and you’d see the sky reflected on the paint finish it still makes me think there must have been
something about this car that made him feel a little wistful or makes me feel wistful,
please. So, again, the other thing I try not to do
is to actually, and this is super easy to do at home, don’t talk over your photos, because everybody
spits when they talk. And especially if you’re standing right over
it, you should be careful. Because spit is not a good friend to photographs
as you might imagine. All right. And then the last one I pulled for us to look
at today is this huge, beautiful print. Well, kind of gritty, maybe beautiful is the
wrong word. I’m gonna leave the Mylar on it because it’s
too complicated to take this one off. This is by a photographer named Gordon Parks,
and it’s from a photo story that he did for “Life Magazine” called “The Atmosphere of
Crime” in 1957. It’s actually, I learned more recently, a
color photograph. But it was super difficult to print in color
back in the 1950s. It was very expensive. So even though in the magazine, a lot of his
photographs are reproduced in color, the print we own that we acquired from Gordon Parks
is actually in black and white. And so it’s something I think is really interesting
to think about, like, what makes photographers make the choices they do? And sometimes it can be an incredibly practical
thing. Like, it’s way too expensive to make a color
photograph in the ’50s. So instead, you kind of heighten the graphic
quality and you make it in black and white. So I also thought it would be fun while we’re
here to look for one last picture, to look at a recent acquisition. And these are…if we’d been here a week ago, I wouldn’t be able to show this to you because
it would have been a secret because our committee on photography wouldn’t have approved it yet, but now it’s all approved so I can show you. So we saw a few things framed and these are
the framed ones, but sometimes something so big, it’s here only temporarily like for an
acquisitions meeting. Super careful. Now, for those of you at home, this is not
part of the photograph, this is just a string to make sure it doesn’t fall off. That would be terrible. But this is an incredible photograph by Deana
Lawson that was in her exhibition, not that long ago at Sikkema Jenkins. It’s really an incredibly powerful and, you
know, even bordering on scary photograph. And I love also that a new aspect of her work
is she has included the sort of image that’s affixed to the outside of the Plexiglas, so
this is a new aspect of her work. She was actually honored last night as one
of the honorees at the Gordon Parks Foundation Gala. So that was nice to see her and celebrate
her there. And I thought to myself, “And we just acquired
it.” So let’s get out of here. It’s cold. I’m sure there are enough people. We’ll go do a real Q&A in the study center. Thanks for joining me. All right. Here we are in Collection…no, now we’re
out of Collection Storage. My hands are cold, my face is cold, but we
are going to have fun out here. I have a whole pile of questions to answer. We got so many great ones from the trailer,
both on Instagram and on YouTube. We picked some of my favorites. And I’ll apologize in advance that we won’t
get to do everyone’s, but we’ll really do our best. If you have any other questions, we’re also
gonna try to work in some questions that are submitted live. So there’s a little live chat section. And I have some colleagues here who are gonna
write down your questions and give them to me, and then we’ll try to answer those as
well. All right, let’s get to the questions. Okay. The first one is from Anastasia from YouTube
and she writes, “What aspect of the work should we focus on first, when we visit a photography
exhibition?” And I think that’s such an excellent question. It’s like, what do you think about? You walk in, let’s say, you don’t know the
work, what are you gonna look at? How are you going to think about it? I like to see an exhibition…at first, I
like to just look at the work. So you try to do sort of a sweep through and
you think to yourself, “Let’s look at what this artist is doing. What are they doing in terms of scale, what
are they doing in terms of subject matter? Do there seem to be important things about
the materiality of what they’re doing?” And you kind of just get a general feel. If I’m at a gallery or at a museum, then I
usually go up and I try to read the wall text. I would recommend not doing that first because
it kind of opens up a little bit more what your experience can be, if you’ve had a little
time with the art first. And then after that, chances are, I’ll go
back again and maybe the second time around, you pick fewer pictures, but you just dive
in a little deeper. When I go with my children, I call it a surgical
strike. So with them, I might skip the first and the
second parts and just say, “Okay, we’re gonna look closely at three pictures. And that’s it.” And, you know, that can be a really rewarding
thing, too, is just sort of slowing down enough to look at just a couple of things. But that’s an excellent question. Thank you. Carrying on. Okay, Mac J. on Instagram wrote, “Are there
specific steps one can take to become a curator of photography?” Another good question. I would say, yes, there are typical ones and
then there are less typical ones. The typical one might be an art history major
in college. And then you might try to get some practical
work experience. So let’s say you go work in a gallery, or
an auction house or a museum and you try to sort of get some experience working with real
works of art. And then most photography curators go to graduate
school. I happen to be an exception to that, but it’s,
particularly this day and age, much, much more common. So I would say it’s a combination of school,
work experience. And then the nice thing is, and the way I
feel here at MoMA is like, your learning goes on and on. So although I’m not specifically in school
anymore, I always try to go see as much art as I can. I try to read a lot. I try to have conversations with my colleagues
to try to understand the way they see things. And traveling is also a really wonderful way
if you’re able to, to try to understand how people see things
and do things differently in other parts of the world, which can be hard, but that’s optimal if you
can do that. We’re okay? All right. So A. Wiedler wrote on Instagram, “I love
Helen Levitt’s work and saw some online at MoMA’s website.” So guess what, we pulled one. I love Helen Levitt too. The first one we pulled is this, one of Helen
Levitt’s most famous images. And this photograph was actually…came into
the collection in… well, officially accessioned in 1941, but
it was a photograph of Helen Levitt that she made in 1940 on the streets of New York. So you have to imagine that’s a super short
time. It’s actually not…unlike the Deana Lawson,
where it’s a recent work and we’re just acquiring it, that happens less frequently, I would say,
than sometimes a little more time passing. But so Helen Levitt made this photograph in
1940, in December of 1940. We actually exhibited it here at MoMA in the
first exhibit of the formal department of photography. Oh, I forgot to mention that. So we have a Department of Photography and
we have had a Department of Photography ever since December 1940. The museum started in 1929, so the museum
was just 11 years old when we established a department of photography. And it was a great moment and the show that
they organized was called “Sixty Photographs: A Survey of Camera Esthetics.” So it was setting forward that photography
was an art form with its own set of aesthetic concerns. And this actual print, not just this image,
but this actual print was included in that exhibit. And one of the things I love is that now on
MoMA’s website, you can actually go on to the exhibition history
and see images of this picture on the walls at MoMA, which is really cool. So sorry, to turn to the question, “What qualifies an artwork to be on the website
as opposed to an exhibition at the museum, who, and, most importantly, what makes that decision or difference?” So there’s a super practical question really
about the website, which is that for us to put something on the website, it has to have an image and we generally try
to have permission from the artist or to have it be copyright free. So that’s how it gets on the website. To be in an exhibition requires more deliberation
usually…no, actually almost exclusively on the part of the curators. So the curator say, “I really wanna put this
work on view. I’m gonna put it on in view in this context.” So this one, for instance, when they said,
I want to pick “Sixty Photographs” that represent camera aesthetics for MoMA’s public in 1940. So that’s how that happens. I’m gonna answer a live question now. This one just came in. Okay. This is from Alexander on YouTube. “Does MoMA archive a digital copy of all those
photographs?” Super great question. And the answer is, yes, really. Whenever we get a new acquisition, and we
also work backwards to make sure we have an image of everything that’s old, we make a digital copy with our…we have
a great photo studio and they make an image. It’s the sort of digital version of what we
used to have in doing an analog way, which was we had a copy negative of every work in
the collection. And we use those digital copies to make reproductions
in books and to share if somebody requests them from us. So, yes, we really, really try. Sometimes if it’s a work that’s super big
and super complicated to install, until we install it for the first time, we
might ask for an image from a gallery or from an artist, but we really prefer and try to make them
all our own. One more from YouTube before I go back to
some of the ones that came earlier. “Does MoMA…” and this is from Daphne, also
through YouTube. Oh, I guess they’re all through YouTube now. Okay. If it’s a new one, it’s from YouTube. “Does MoMA collect Polaroids?” And the answer is, absolutely yes. Our conservator calls them internal dye diffusion
transfer prints because we try to not use brand names. We try to refer to the actual chemical process. But really, it’s a Polaroid and actually we’ve…our
compromises that we call it an internal dye diffusion transfer print (Polaroid). So, yes, we do. The reason we didn’t pull any of those is
that we keep those in a super cold part of the storage that to take them out of there
you have to let them acclimatize overnight, and we really try to do that only when we
really need to. We have plenty of other stuff to show you
today. All right. Another one on YouTube. This one’s from Nicholas. “Is forgery ever an issue…” Wow, great question. “Is forgery ever an issue in photography,
the same way it is in painting? Why?” Yes, it is. There have been some really fascinating forgery
stories in the history of photography. And well, I would say, I don’t wanna…oh,
shame it…you know, the thing is photography is a reproducible medium so that carries with
it a whole host of complications. And this is not to say that people can’t detect
forgeries, and they can, but actually, the thing that has helped photography for
most of its history is that photographs were never really worth that much. So if it wasn’t worth that much, who would
bother to make a forgery? A little bit later, we’re gonna talk about
Dorothea Lange. And when we do, we’ll get to the idea of an
original and a copy, which is not the same thing as a forgery. But certainly, forgery can be an issue. I don’t want to out anyone though on YouTube. That doesn’t seem nice. Okay. One more from the live ones and then we’ll
go back to some of the earlier questions. This is from Katherine Ellington. Oh, and I’m hoping I’m allowed to say this. Katherine is a mentor in our course, online
Coursera, seeing through photographs, which means that she helps sort of lead group discussions
and things like that. So thanks, Katherine. So, Katherine asks, “How do you decide on
frames for photographs?” That is a really good question and it’s something
that I actually…it takes a while to learn how to pick the right frame for a photograph. The way I learned how to do it was to spend
a lot of time looking, of course, and listening to Peter Perez in our frame shop. He is the foreman of our frame shop and he
is just brilliant. So he helps me think through, will this picture
look better in a dark frame or with a light frame, with a walnut frame, or a metal frame? And you want a frame that sort of helps you
focus on the work. But you may have noticed when we were in storage,
we looked at that Deana Lawson picture, she picked a frame that has this gilded front. So sometimes artists pick their own frames. And in that case, we respect that and we really
just try to take care of those frames carefully. But certainly, how we decide to frame things,
you may not even notice when you come to the museum. In fact, we hope you don’t notice the frames
when you come to the museum. We want you to look at the photographs, but
we do try to make selections about those frames that help you focus on those. If we had all different frames in all different
ways, it might be confusing and might not help the art look as good as it can look. Okay. Back to some other questions. Oh, this was a tough one, but I decided I
wanted to answer it anyway. This is from Bill Gubbins on YouTube, and
he wrote, “In the ’80s, MoMA photo curator, John Szarkowski called Garry Winogrand, ‘The
central photographer of his generation. ‘Who do you believe is the central photographer
of the current generation?” And people ask me this a lot. And I’m not being lazy when I say, I think
the world today has reached a point where it doesn’t really make sense to think of a
central photographer of a generation. They’re too many really great artists working
in too many different paths to conceive of themselves as essentially as a generation
of artists. And so every time we organized a photography
show that features a lot of the photographers who we think are important and doing new work. And certainly, if you look at the artists
where we do a one-person show, we have a Stephen Shore retrospective on right now on view on
the third floor. These are certainly central figures of their
generations. But we really…I don’t know. I don’t like to answer that question in the
singular, so, sorry to answer your question with not an answer, but there you have it. Oh, here’s a good one. So this is from Instagram, and Jane Mordini
writes, “Doesn’t WPA…” and by that I think she is referring to the Works Progress Administration
and/or the government. “Doesn’t WPA own Dorothea Lange photos? How can you make copies?” So this is super interesting. I’m gonna put away our Helen Levitt and I’m
gonna take out some Dorothea Lange photographs. So the first one is Lange’s iconic “Migrant
Mother.” And yes, Lange made this photograph while
working for the U.S. Government. She was actually working for the Resettlement
Administration in 1935, which became the Farm Security Administration in 1937. But if you just think of it as the alphabet
soup of government planning under FDR, she was one of those. And the WPA was also one. So yes, Dorothea Lange made this photograph
while working for the government, which means that it has always been throughout
its life available for anyone to use with no copyright restrictions whatsoever. And in fact, if you go on to the Library of
Congress’s website today, you can download a file made from this negative and print your
own. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not illegal. It’s not a forgery. It’s just what it is. Now, I happen to be writing a book about Dorothea
Lange’s “Migrant Mother,” so stay tuned, it’ll come out this fall. And there was another question. Yeah, this is from Lou on Instagram, who writes,
“What is the airbrush technique? And how can you recognize it on a picture?” So, Lou, we thought it would be interesting
to pull together not only a classic very early print of Lange’s “Migrant Mother.” This is one that came into the collection,
probably in 1949, so it’s not one of the earliest prints, but it’s an early print. And I thought it might be interesting to look
at this one next to this. So this is a print of Lange’s “Migrant Mother”
that came to us from the “New York Times.” It has heavy, heavy airbrushing on it. So if you look, for instance, you see…and
the way you can tell airbrush is, unlike up here where you can see that the paint has
been like wash, like painted on. You can kind of see the brushstrokes in it. When you have airbrushing, it’s a super even
look. And when you look at it under a microscope,
you can actually see the little, little dots from the way that the paint has spat on to
the surface of the picture. But it makes for a much more dramatic contrast. So when you paint in the dark parts, like
the spaces between their fingers, and then you airbrush other parts to make
it look smoother, you can see how, if you were reproducing this in a newspaper,
let’s say, how this photograph would reproduce much more cleanly than this. And, since I sort of promised we would do
this, we…and remember I said I washed my hands, so if our conservator is watching,
I promise I did. The other thing that’s great about this photograph,
if we take it out, is that on the back…now, of course, I’m being so special with this. You understand that before this photograph
came to MoMA, thousands of people probably held it with the dirtiest hands you can imagine. It was circulated. Every one of these stamps on the back suggested
or tells a time when it was reproduced in the “New York Times.” So the earliest one that I found is here,
July 26th, 1936, and that is the earliest. But it actually was reproduced up through
1976. That’s the most recent stamp. So this is a photograph that even though now
that it’s here at MoMA, we treat it super precious and we’re taking very good care of
it. It lived a long very active life in the “New
York Times” photo morgue before it came here, and it’s a really good example of a lot of
retouching and airbrushing on a photograph. So put that back carefully. We also have a preparator in our department
who helps us make these things like these little very a special origami-like photo corners. And that’s because one of the principles of
how we store the collection is that we try to make everything as reversible as possible. So we try whenever we do anything to a photograph
to allow it to be undone. We try not to hinge it whenever we can. We use photo corners instead. And so those are decisions that you can make
with your own photographs. Like if you put a lot of tape on the back
of your picture, if you ever have to remove that tape, you are gonna have problems. So keep that in mind. All right, I’m gonna keep going. Oh, this is a super complicated question,
but I really liked it. This is from Ken on YouTube, Ken Spencer. And he wrote, “I have never understood the
reasoning or logic behind the photographer, Sherrie Levine, who has made outright copies of the work of
Walker Evans and then displays the prints as her own with a credit line like this, ‘Sherry Levine: After Walker Evans.’ As a professional photographer all my life,
this seems like an outright copyright violation. What am I not understanding here?” So, Ken, you are really getting to the heart
of it. So let’s dig in. We talked a little bit about forgeries. Hold on. This one is safe. We talked a little bit about forgeries, and
we talked about how you can make a Dorothea Lange picture yourself, which is not a forgery,
just by downloading the file. But I thought what we’ll do is actually show
you a Sherrie Levine. And MoMA doesn’t own the series that you were
talking about “Sherrie Levine: After Walker Evans,” but we do own this “After Rodchenko.” So the “After Walker Evans” pictures were
from like 1981. These were from a few years later, maybe 1987
I think. But it’s really interesting when you get the
opportunity to see them both up close and together. So I wonder if I can fit these both. I’m gonna hold on to this one. Okay, so this is a Sherrie Levine and this
is an Alexander Rodchenko. Now if you look at the Rodchenko up close,
I’m gonna open the mat, it’s a super delicate picture. This is a photograph of his mother. And you see the little inscription below. It’s attached asymmetrically to this beautiful
old mat. It’s a beautiful, it’s sort of a tender poignant
picture of his mother struggling to read holding the glasses up to her eye. And then you look at it next to the “Sherrie
Levine: After Rodchenko.” Well, there are a couple things you’ll notice
immediately. One is that it’s reversed. So Sherrie Levine is making her photographs
from reproductions of those photographs. And she is not trying to make you think…well,
she isn’t trying to make you think that it’s a Rodchenko. She wants you to be able to recognize the
image, but she’s really poking at the question of, like, what’s an original and what’s a
copy, have originals historically favored reputations
of male artists, where the idea of multiplicity of lack of
originality might be something new that she and artists
of her generation in the ’80s were exploring. And so she’s not trying to imitate the tonality,
and she often includes little cues that help you understand that what she’s making isn’t
the same as the original. It’s her version of it. So it is a really complex question. There was an artist, not that long ago who
actually made copies of Sherrie Levine’s photographs. I think, if you google it, you’ll find it. Adding another layer to this idea of what’s
considered appropriation. And it is perfectly permissible to appropriate
work in pursuit of making another work of art. And so this fall pretty squarely into that
category, which is why they’re okay. So, close it up. Okay. So, excuse me. I’m sure I’m going to butcher this name. I’m sure I’ve butchered other ones earlier,
apologies. But on YouTube Chirag Wakaskar wrote, “Is
there an effort by MoMA curators to have a more diverse group of photographers archive?” By which I understand you mean in the collection. And yes, absolutely. We pursue this through a lot of different. And this is not just unique to my photography
colleagues, these are my colleagues from all different departments. So we definitely want to have the collection
represent the diversity of artistic production. And that means having photographers of different
genders, of different races, from different places, from different times. Because the idea is that, well, how much more
of an interesting reflection of not only our time, but of historical times, if we can understand
a more diverse area of practice. So I’m actually going to Cuba tomorrow. We have these wonderful research groups at
the museum that are called C-MAP, Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives. And what those C-MAP groups do is to try to
help MoMA curators develop a deep familiarity with artistic practices that might be less well known in the U.S.
and in Western Europe, and to try and say, “How can we really better
understand what’s happening in Latin America, in Asia, in Central and Eastern Europe, in
Africa?” And these are, you know, partly why I feel
so lucky to be a MoMA curator, is that parts of our job is to try to develop
that expertise and we’re given incredible tools to do that. So yes, diversity is an important thing for
MoMA curators and it’s also an important thing all the way up to the director and our trustees. They’re the ones who really make all of that
research and study possible. Good question. Oh, okay. So Matt Spaul wrote on YouTube. “I’ve read that Man Ray made photograms without
a camera. How was this done? Does MoMA have any examples in the collection?” Oh, do we? So I’ll put away this Rodchenko. We are so lucky that in 1941, a collector
named James Thrall Soby gave to the museum a group of photographs by Man Ray. Now, by the way, I was talking about how we
store them before. This is a good example of when we’re really,
really, really being careful. So this one has not only Mylar, that’s that,
but it also has a sheet of what we call photo text, because these are super fragile and
a photogram means that it’s unique. So take down the Mylar, remove the photo text. I’ll leave this open like this. So yes, when Man…and I’m gonna actually
talk behind it, because God forbid, I should spit on that photograph. So, Man Ray, when he made these photograms. This is a unique contact print, which means
that he took little glass stoppers from maybe crystal bottles and a little bit of gauze and a little piece of wire that he put in
a cube and two other things that I can’t quite figure out what they are, but he placed all of those things directly
onto a piece of photographic paper and then he turned on the light, and then turned off
the light. And in that exposure, anywhere where the light
could get through to the paper, it became dark. And anywhere the light was blocked, it remained
white. So this is something that’s opaque. This is sort of semitransparent, like the
glass. And then the black was where the light shone
straight through. So, yes, the photograms actually are unique,
and they are not made with a camera, which is partly why they’re so precious and we wanna
take care of them. And thanks to James Thrall Soby, when these
group of pictures came to the collection in 1941, these were the pictures that were used as
the plate, most of them, for the plates in a book that Man Ray published right around
that time. Well, actually, the book was from ’32…actually
’34. But anyway, it doesn’t matter. They are really special things and we feel
very lucky to have them in the collection. Thank you, James Thrall Soby. Moving on. Okay. So this is from Instagram, somebody whose
name couldn’t be this, but we’ll answer it anyway, from Optoomistic writes, “Please discuss in detail your preservation
best practices and procedures.” So we’ve been talking about that a little
bit all day basis. Basically, the preservation is like, you wanna
be sure to have your hands clean, you wanna be sure to try to have archival
materials around the photographs whenever possible, you wanna keep them as cold as possible, and
to not have your humidity fluctuate greatly. So that’s what our collection storage does. You know, it’s an ongoing effort. If you’re trying to do this at home, certainly
not having your photographs in direct sunlight is a really good place to start. And then every other little step that you
can do to preserve your photographs, you know, we all want them to live a long
time, whether it’s a family photograph or something in MoMA’s collection. So I hope that’s detailed enough. It’s probably not. But actually, we could do a whole other session, maybe I should suggest this on photography
conservation because we have lots of great colleagues in conservation who can help us
do that. Okay, well, this is a little similar. This is from Mury Hamilton, Mury, also on
Instagram. Oh, I’m gonna answer Mury’s because it’s actually
related. And then I see there’s a whole pile of other
ones that a magic little birdie, namely our producer brought to me. But Mury wrote, “What are some restoration
challenges with the photographs you have in your collection? And/or what are the common restoration practices?” So some of the challenges have to do with
physical damage to the print like cracking and things like that, edge damage. And to help address those, we definitely try
to store them carefully. Our conservators can actually rework things,
reinforce things pretty magically. You know, but the one thing that we really
can’t do is when like a color photograph fades. That’s pretty much it. So that’s why we try to store everything so
cold in Collection Storage. So we’re working on trying to share what we
call our conservation practices, our storage practices more broadly, because the truth is, we don’t wanna just
hoard that information for ourselves. We want everyone to know it. So now I’m triply convinced that we should
do a conservation session. This is a live question from Kathy and Lim
on YouTube. And she wrote, “What is the percentage of
film versus digital prints collected by MoMA?” It’s a terrific question and it’s ever more
important today. So I would say the thing you have to keep
in mind is that digital prints didn’t exist until, say, the last 20 years. So before then every photograph we have before
the mid-’90s is not a digital print. So by the numbers, the percentage of digital
prints is quite small. But if you look more recently, if we’re just
taking into account, let’s say, the last 20 years, one of the interesting things that I found,
especially in the last decade, is that you can’t always tell, and that is
because the technology has caught up to the point where whether you have a print from
a film negative or a print from a film negative that has been
scanned to become a digital file or from a file that was actually born digital, captured
digitally. All three of those things…well, the first
one, you can’t make a digital print from that, but it might be virtually indistinguishable
from the second and the third, which is the great part. So I guess partly, what I would say is, in
more recent years, maybe if you can’t tell, it doesn’t matter as much. We’re more concerned with what inks are you
using? How should we store it? How should we preserve it? So, still, film wins out over digital, but
just mainly because of the history, more and more and more current photographers
are making prints, either from scanned film negatives or from digital files. Interesting now. The world is changing. So, sadly, this one means that we’re reaching
the end of our time. I really enjoyed your questions. I wish I could answer them all day, but everybody
here has to go home. I just wanna tell you where some of the people
have been tuning in from. We have people from Spain, Iran, Honduras,
Colombia, Argentina, Germany, Hong Kong, you must be so tired, Bulgaria, Brazil, Serbia, San Francisco, Reno,
Nevada, Columbus, Ohio, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Moscow, also must be tired, Croatia and the Ukraine. That’s so terrific. I love seeing how many people tuned in from
all over the world. So we hope you enjoyed this. If you did…sorry. There are a few things I’m supposed to remember
to say as we wrap this up. There are other live Q&A sessions on MoMA’s
YouTube channel, check them all out. They’re all really terrific. I learned a lot through them. You can also look through, we have a special
photography playlist, which includes a lot of the videos that we
made for an online course called “Seeing Through Photographs” on Coursera. And to those of you who are our Coursera learners,
thank you for taking the course. Your enthusiasm means so much to us and we’ll
keep doing these activations. There’ll be a link to the scenes for photographs
in the comments saying if you wanna do that. And if we didn’t get to your question, I know
I have a stack here, I know there were others that came in. First, I’m sorry. We’re doing our best. I was trying to rip through them, but we’ll
also try to continue answering them in the coming days. So thanks for tuning in. Keep sending us questions. Let us know if you wanna see more of these
live Q&A’s and what you’d like them to be about. And also, most importantly, subscribe to MoMA’s
YouTube channel so you don’t miss another one. Thanks a lot.

4 PHOTOGRAPHY STYLES FROM 4 PROs

4 PHOTOGRAPHY STYLES FROM 4 PROs


(upbeat music) (mood music) – The type of photography I’m most inclined to shooting would be, I guess, color theory. I love to photograph people in front of red backdrops, yellow backdrops, blue backdrops, all primary colors. Eventually, I’ll venture into darker portraits and use dark red, but mostly color. – I like a lot of colors, not unsaturated color, I kind of view colors and light like foam, like soft foam that has a little bit of texture and a little bit of wave. – The best way to stand out when shooting with color is most importantly your choice of model, your props, and what message you’re
trying to send out. – My favorite shots are just the ones that truly just show the person, and they’re right in the eyes. It’s great. It doesn’t matter what the clothes are. It doesn’t matter what
the hair looks like. It’s just… It’s all about them, and you’re like, “Wow. I wanna get to know that person. “I wanna work with that person.” Those are my favorite types
of head shots, for sure. (gentle instrumental music) – Our style is very… dramatic, I would say. With photos we like to show mood. We like the moody feel. We like shadows. We like contrast in our photos. We like props of color even though there’s still some shadows in them. And we love photographing details. – I approach my subject a lot from a distance where they’re in their own environment, so almost like a little bit of voyeurism. (upbeat music) (techno mood music)