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Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin

I’m start­ing a new cat­e­gory in this blog for pho­tog­ra­phers that I think are worth check­ing out. I’ll start off with pho­tog­ra­phers that have been around awhile and I’ll write a few para­graphs, show a few pics and offer addi­tional links to whet your pho­to­graphic appetites. Let’s start off with Nan Goldin.

Nan Goldin is a con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher born in 1953 cur­rently liv­ing in NYC, USA and I’ve been fol­low­ing her work for a over 2 decades. If I were forced to describe her work I’d write that Goldin is a ‘moment-photojournalist’. She both cap­tures and cre­ates inti­mate moments of the peo­ple in her life and it’s hard not to have an opin­ion about her pho­tog­ra­phy. If you have never heard of her, research her two most famous photo books (The Bal­lad of Sex­ual Depen­dency, Aper­ture, 1986 and The Devil’s Play­ground Phaidon 2003) in order to form your own impres­sions. One thing you will notice pretty quickly is that a lot of the work breaks the rules. A lot of images are out of focus. A lot of the images are not safe for work.

What I really like about Goldin’s work are the moods she cre­ates in her images. She real­ized early on that like life itself, ’ life’s moments’ as cap­tured through the lens don’t always need to be sharp to be pow­er­ful. The moments of life that Goldin cap­tures, like life itself are often imperfect.

 

Greer and Robert on the bed, NYC 1982

Greer and Robert on the bed, NYC 1982 © Nan Goldin

 

Nan and Brian in bed, NYC, 1983

Nan and Brian in bed, NYC, 1983 © Nan Goldin

 

Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, NYC 1991

Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, NYC 1991 — © Nan Goldin

 

Bruno smoking a joint (valerie's legs) Paris 2001

Bruno smok­ing a joint (valerie’s legs) Paris 2001 © Nan Goldin

 

Swan-like embrace, Paris 2010

Swan-like embrace, Paris 2010 © Nan Goldin

 

Addi­tional Nan Goldin resources and links:

Wikipedia -  Nan Goldin
Nan Goldin inter­viewed by Adam Mazur and Paulina Skirgajllo-Krajewska
Goldin’s Years By Lisa Lieb­mann, orig­i­nally pub­lished in Art­Fo­rum, Octo­ber, 2002
Nan Goldin: ‘I wanted to get high from a really early age’ — Inter­view with Sean O’Hagan — 2014

129 — How to Photograph Strangers

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #129 talks about how to pho­to­graph strangers in pub­lic so that your images are stronger and more inter­est­ing. I offer up 4 easy tips on how to make this process eas­ier so that your shots have more punch at the end. These pho­tographs were mostly taken over a period of 1 week. In the pod­cast I dis­cuss the dif­fer­ences between when the sub­ject is aware and unaware of the photographer’s presence.

Thanks to The Cam­era Store (The largest cam­era store in Cal­gary, Alberta, Canada)  for spon­sor­ing the Photography.ca podcast.

Click the player at the end of this post to lis­ten to (or down­load) the 11ish minute podcast.

Tens of thousands of cyclists lining up to start the Tour de L'isle. All it took was me waving my hand, and cyclists did the same. There is much more engagement than if I had not waved my hand and all the cyclists were looking in random directions.

Tens of thou­sands of cyclists lin­ing up to start the Tour de L’isle. All it took was me wav­ing my hand, and cyclists did the same. There is much more engage­ment than if I had not waved my hand and all the cyclists were look­ing in ran­dom direc­tions. I was not an offi­cial pho­tog­ra­pher for the event. I had the same access as every­one else.

 

I shot Raphael Aubry from the band Waiting Game at the Montreal Jazzfest. I had the same access as everyone else. I just waited patiently for this moment of eye contact while I was framing the scene.

I shot Raphael Aubry from the band Wait­ing Game at the Mon­treal Jaz­zfest. I had the same access as every­one else. I just waited patiently for this moment of eye con­tact while I was fram­ing the scene.

 

Every Sunday in Montreal, thousands of people gather at Mont-Royale for drumming, dancing etc. This image has no eye contact, but a strong gesture which for me, carries the image.

Every Sun­day in Mon­treal, thou­sands of peo­ple gather at Mont-Royale for drum­ming, danc­ing etc. This image has no eye con­tact, but a strong ges­ture which for me, car­ries the image.

 

I asked 5-6 people walking down the street if I could take their portrait. 100% of them said yes.Take a deep breath if you feel shy about this, people are flattered and tend to agree.

Just as a test for a group of adults i was giv­ing a course to, I asked 5–6 peo­ple walk­ing down the street if I could take their por­trait. 100% of them said yes. Take a deep breath if you feel shy about this, peo­ple are flat­tered and tend to agree over 90% of the time when I sim­ply ask them for permission.

 

The boy in this image never knew he was being photographed. The second I saw him engage in this behaviour I saw a story.

The boy in this image never knew he was being pho­tographed. The sec­ond I saw him engage in this behav­iour I saw a story. (click to enlarge this image)

 

Links /resources men­tioned in this podcast:

Pho­tog­ra­phy forum assignments

If you liked this pod­cast and want to review it on Itunes, this link gets you to the main page

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If you are still lurk­ing on our forum,
feel free to join our friendly :)  Pho­tog­ra­phy forum

Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Many thanks to Nuno C., Bare­foot and Christo­pher Steven B. for their com­ments from the last pod­cast. Thanks as well for the emails and wel­come to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board.

If you are look­ing at this mate­r­ial on any other site except Photography.ca — Please hop on over to the Photography.ca blog and pod­cast and get this and other pho­tog­ra­phy info directly from the source. |Sub­scribe with iTunes|Sub­scribe via RSS feed |Sub­scribe for free to the Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast — Photography.ca and get all the posts/podcasts by Email

You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player.

Thanks for lis­ten­ing and keep on shooting!