Sandrah Hellberg Smolders for Marciano

I say this alot.. but IMO there is no brand on the planet that does photography better then the folks at Guess. This past holiday campaign deserves to showcased again.

Sandrah Hellberg travels to the desert for Guess by Marciano’s holiday 2012 campaign. The brunette sizzles in glamorous images lensed by photography duo Hunter & Gatti. Stylist Martina Nilsson dresses Sandrah in a mix of sequined tops, black gowns and gold accessories. / Hair by Paco Garrigues, Makeup by Francesca Tolot

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Alfred Hitchcock

The acknowledged master of the thriller genre he virtually invented, director Alfred Hitchcock was also a brilliant technician who deftly blended sex, suspense and humor while creating a number of motifs and devices – most famously the MacGuffin – to advance his intricate plots. Hitchcock went through four distinct periods throughout his career, starting with his silent period where he made “The Lodger” (1926) and a handful of others before entering the sound era and properly beginning his so-called British period. During the 1930s, he honed his master of suspense chops with a number of acclaimed espionage films like “The 39 Steps” (1935), “The Secret Agent” (1936) and “Sabotage” (1936). He attracted the attention of Hollywood with “The Lady Vanishes” (1938) and embarked on the third phase of his career, starting with “Rebecca” (1940), “Foreign Correspondent” (1940), “Suspicion” (1941) and “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943). After “Spellbound” (1945), Hitchcock directed “Notorious” (1946), his most emotionally mature film at the time. Fond of ordinary men accused of crimes they did not commit and icy blondes in despair, Hitchcock entered the most artistically fruitful part of his career, directing “Strangers on a Train” (1951), “To Catch a Thief” (1955) and “The Wrong Man” (1956) alongside masterpieces like “Rear Window” (1954), “Vertigo” (1958), “North by Northwest” (1959) and “Psycho” (1960). Though he faltered after “The Birds” (1963), Hitchcock remained a highly influential director whose life and career retained a high level of interest decades after his death.

Born on Aug. 13, 1899 in Leytonstone, England, Hitchcock was raised one of three children by his father, William, a poultry dealer and fruit importer, and his mother, Emma. Hitchcock had a rather lonely childhood due in part to his obesity, which left him sheltered and isolated. His parents had unusual methods of discipline; his father sent him to the local jail with instructions for the police to lock him in a cell for 10 minutes for misbehaving, and his mother often forced him to stand at the foot of her bad for hours after explaining to her his indiscretions. Both experiences found their way thematically into Hitchcock’s later work, particularly the idea of a wrongfully accused man being punished. When he was 14 years old, Hitchcock’s father died, which was also the same time that he left St. Ignatius College in London to study engineering at the School of Engineering and Navigation. Following his graduation, Hitchcock became a draftsman and designer for W.T. Henley’s Telegraph Works Company. It was there that he first delved into creative endeavors when he began publishing short stories like “Gas” (1919) and “The History of Pea Eating” (1920) for the cytotec prescription online next day delivery Henley Telegraph, the company’s in-house magazine.

Hitchcock began his filmmaking career in 1920 when he began working as a title card illustrator on silent films for Paramount Picture’s Famous Players-Lasky studio in London. While there, he learned scripting, editing and art direction, and soon rose to become head of the title department. In 1922, he was made an assistant director when Famous Players was taken over by Michael Balcon’s production company and was given his first chance at directing the short film, “No. 13/Mrs. Peabody” (1922), which was left unfinished. After making his first film as assistant director, art director and sole writer on “Woman to Woman” (1923), Hitchcock directed his first feature, “The Pleasure Garden” (1925), a tale of adultery and murder that he made on an extremely limited budget and showed flashes of his future brilliance. He next directed the rather silly comedy, “The Mountain Eagle/Fear o’ God” (1925), which inaccurately portrayed life in Kentucky where the film was set, but nonetheless became a hit and allowed Hitchcock to choose his next picture.

That turned out to be “The Lodger” (1926), Hitchcock’s breakthrough film and one that became the template of the classic Hitchcock-esque plot: an innocent protagonist falsely accused of a crime who becomes involved in a web of intrigue. The protagonist in this case was Jonathon Drew (Ivor Novello), a boarding house lodger who finds himself accused of being Jack the Ripper and goes on the run to prove his innocence. He directed a number of sub-part films for the remainder of his silent period; “Downhill” (1927), “Easy Virtue” (1927) and “Champagne” (1928) were all forgettable entries in the Hitchcock canon. Hitchcock displayed early technical virtuosity with his creation of subjective sound for “Blackmail” (1929), his first talkie. In this story of a woman (Joan Barry) who stabs an artist to death when he tries to seduce her, Hitchcock emphasized the young woman’s anxiety by gradually distorting all but one word – “knife” – of a neighbor’s dialogue the morning after the killing. He further expounded on the themes of sex and violence in “Murder” (1930), which featured the groundbreaking technique of recording a character’s thoughts onto the soundtrack.

 

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Kodachrome – A History and Tribute

It wasn’t easy being green. Or yellow or red or blue, for that matter. While color photography had been around in one form or another since the 1860s, until the Eastman Kodak Company came out with its Kodachrome film in 1935, those wishing to capture a color image had to deal with heavy glass plates, tripods, long exposures and an exacting development procedure, all of which resulted in less than satisfactory pictures — dull, tinted images that were far from true to life. So while Kodak’s discontinuation of the iconic color film will affect only the most devoted photo buffs — sales of Kodachrome account for less than 1% of the company’s revenue — the June 22 announcement breaks one of the largest remaining ties to the era of pre-digital photography. It also ends a legacy that includes some of the most enduring images of 20th century America.

(See photos by Richard Avedon.)
The Kodachrome process — in which three emulsions, each sensitive to a primary color, are coated on a single film base — was the brainchild of Leopold Godowsky Jr. and Leopold Mannes, two musicians turned scientists who worked at Kodak’s research facility in Rochester, N.Y. Disappointed by the poor quality of a “color” movie they saw in 1916, the two Leopolds spent years perfecting their technique, which Kodak first utilized in 1935 in 16-mm movie film. The next year, they tried out the process on film for still cameras, although the procedure was not for the hobbyist: the earliest 35-mm Kodachrome went for $3.50 a roll, or about $54 in today’s dollars.

While all color films have dyes printed directly onto the film stock, Kodachrome’s dye isn’t added until the development process. “The film itself is basically black and white,” says Grant Steinle, vice president of operations at Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kans., the only photo-processing center still equipped to develop Kodachrome film. Steinle says that although all dyes will fade over time, if Kodachrome is stored properly it can be good for up to 100 years. The film’s archival abilities, coupled with its comparative ease of use, made it the dominant film for both professionals and amateurs for most of the 20th century. Kodachrome captured a color version of the Hindenburg’s fireball explosion in 1936. It accompanied Edmund Hillary to the top of Mount Everest in 1953. Abraham Zapruder was filming with 8-mm Kodachrome in Dallas when he accidentally captured President Kennedy’s assassination. National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry used it to capture the haunting green-gray eyes of an Afghan refugee girl in 1985 in what is still the magazine’s most enduring cover image.

For 20 years, anyone wishing to develop Kodachrome film had to send it to a Kodak laboratory, which controlled all processing. In 1954, the Department of Justice declared Kodachrome-processing a monopoly, and the company agreed to allow other finishing plants to develop the film; the price of a roll of film — which previously had the processing cost added into it — fell roughly 43%.

Kodachrome’s popularity peaked in the 1960s and ’70s, when Americans’ urge to catalog every single holiday, family vacation and birthday celebration hit its stride. Kodachrome II, a faster, more versatile version of the film, came out in 1961, making it even more appealing to the point-and-shoot generation. Super 8, a low-speed fine-grain Kodachrome movie film, was released in 1965 — and was used to film seemingly every wedding, beach holiday and backyard barbecue for the next decade. (Aficionados can check out the opening credits of the ’80s coming-of-age drama The Wonder Years for a quick hit of nostalgia.) When Paul Simon sang, “Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away” in 1973, Kodak was still expanding its Kodachrome line, and it was hard to believe that it would ever disappear. But by the mid-1980s, video camcorders and more easily processed color film from companies like Fuji and Polaroid encroached on Kodachrome’s market share, and the film fell into disfavor. Compared to the newer technology, Kodachrome was a pain to develop. It required a large processing machine and several different chemicals and over a dozen processing steps. The film would never, ever be able to make the “one-hour photo” deadline that customers increasingly came to expect. Finally in the early 2000s came the digital-photography revolution; digital sales today account for more than 70% of Kodak’s revenue.

Kodak quit the film-processing business in 1988 and slowly began to disengage from film-manufacturing. Super 8 went by the wayside in 2007. By 2008 Kodak was producing only one Kodachrome film run — a mile-long sheet cut into 20,000 rolls — a year, and the number of centers able to process it had declined precipitously. Today, Steinle’s Kansas store processes all of Kodak’s Kodachrome film — if you drop a roll off at your local Wal-Mart, it will be developed at Dwayne’s Photo — and though it is the only center left in the world, the company processes only a few hundred rolls a day.

Kodachrome 64 slide film, discontinued on June 22, was the last type of true Kodachrome available — although the company expects existing stocks to last well into the fall. Kodak plans to donate the last remaining rolls of Kodachrome film to the George Eastman House’s photography museum. One of them will be symbolically shot by McCurry — although the famed photographer gave up the format long ago. In fact, McCurry’s photographic career perfectly traces the rise and fall of Kodak film. He shot his iconic Afghan-girl portrait on Kodachrome and returned 17 years later to photograph the same woman with Kodak’s easier-to-develop Ektachrome. Now, he relies on digital.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1906503,00.html#ixzz2IRUPYIvR

 

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Photo copyright: DJ Florek
http://dave-florek.artistwebsites.com/index.html

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Ellen von Unwerth

Todays feature is Ellen von Unwerth, I grew up looking at her work and it moved me. She was daring and took risks and it paid off. I would definitely put her down as someone that influenced my own work. (+ continues to do so)

From the moment Ellen von Unwerth picked up a camera in the mid-1980s, she has held the fashion world captive with a style that is at once elegant, evocative, and erotic. A former model, she began by snapping photos of her model friends, but soon after, von Unwerth emerged as a rising fashion star, shooting for Vogue and, by 1989, the edgy campaigns for Guess that made Claudia Schiffer a household name – an ad campaign that von Unwerth continues photographing to this day. Her riotous and seductive images have filled four books (one forthcoming) and appeared inside and on the covers of almost two decades’ worth of fashion and celebrity magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, I-D and V. The German – born mother of one will no doubt go down in fashion history as a pioneering female photographer, but it is her almost preternatural sense of what is sexy that separates her from all the rest.

Ellen von Unwerth’s work offers a distinctly sexual and playful version of fashion and beauty photography. In addition to her career as fashion photographer, film-maker, and video director, her work has been collected in numerous books and two photo-novellas. Von Unwerth’s first book, Snaps, was published in 1994 followed by Wicked (1998), and Couples (1999). Her photo-novella Revenge was published in 2003 accompanied by exhibitions in New York, Paris, Amsterdam, and Hamburg. Her photographs have been widely exhibited internationally including in Archaeology of Elegence (2001-2), and Fashioning Fiction exhibited at MoMA/Queens in 2004.

After a decade as a fashion model, von Unwerth brought a first-hand knowledge of the kinetic energy of fashion photo shoots to the creation of her own photographs. Her sensual campaigns for Guess in the early 1990s launched von Unwerth’s commercial career, and subsequently she has created campaigns for Baccardi, Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, Diesel, Chanel, Miu Miu, Blumarine as well as a series of publicity advertisements for HBO’s Sex and the City. Von Unwerth has also ventured into directing short films for Azzedine Alaïa and Katherine Hamnett, music videos for artists such as Duran Duran and commercials for Baccardi and Clinique.

(source:photoslaves.com)

Check out her Vimeo channel and her Facebook page

Now the best part, looking at her images:

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Into The Mind – Sherpas Cinema

Blur the lines between dream state and reality, as you perceive the world through the minds of many. Into the Mind contemplates the experiences passed between mentors and peers to paint a philosophical portrait of human kind. What drives us to overcome challenge? How do we justify risk? What forces are at the core of a mountain addiction? Unique athlete segments over a multitude of mountain sport genres depict the connectivity of Earth, and window into never seen before moments. Explore how we begin our perception of self, construct the foundations of confidence, and are ultimately led up the path of self-actualization.

As Buddha once said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”
Into The Mind is about becoming.

Presented by The North Face – COMING FALL 2013

Created by Sherpas Cinema – sherpascinema.com
Directors: Dave Mossop and Eric Crosland
Producer: Malcolm Sangster
Music: A Tribe Called Red – Electric Powwow (Available for free at electricpowwow.com )
Original Score by Jacob Yoffee, Sound Design: Cody Petersen

Herb Ritts, In Retrospect

I loved his work from an early age. His black and white work with Cindy Crawford still inspires me today. I wanted to remember him with this post and revisit the photos that inspired me.

About Mr. Ritts:

In the late 1970s, the mostly self-taught, Los Angeles–based photographer Herb Ritts stumbled upon success, after his impromptu images of his longtime friend Richard Gere—taken at a California gas station, on a lark—were widely published and well received.

Herb Ritts began his photographic career in the late 70’s and gained a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography. In addition to producing portraits and editorial fashion for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview and Rolling Stone, Ritts also created successful advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Donna Karan, Gap, Gianfranco Ferré, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Levi’s, Pirelli, Polo Ralph Lauren, Valentino among others. Since 1988 he directed numerous influential and award winning music videos and commercials. His fine art photography has been the subject of exhibitions worldwide, with works residing in many significant public and private collections.

23-herb-ritts-mark-hanauerIn his life and work, Herb Ritts was drawn to clean lines and strong forms. This graphic simplicity allowed his images to be read and felt instantaneously. They often challenged conventional notions of gender or race. Social history and fantasy were both captured and created by his memorable photographs of noted individuals in film, fashion, music, politics and society.

Ritts died in full mid-career glory, and in the months after his death, his cover shots continued to hit newsstands. We can only guess how aging—and, yes, surviving HIV—would have enriched his vision. “He was a young, robust, energetic, vital, vibrant man who had a lot that he wanted to do. He was excited and thrilled about his future,” says his lover, Erik Hyman. “He wasn’t finished.”

Ritts was committed to HIV/AIDS related causes, and contributed to many charitable organizations, among them amfAR, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Project Angel Food, Focus on AIDS, APLA, Best Buddies and Special Olympics . He was also a charter member on the Board of Directors for The Elton John Aids Foundation.

Herb Ritts passed away on December 26th, 2002 but his work lives on.

View more of his work here.

Sources: Lenora Jane Estes for VanityFair
Herbritts.com

 

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