Beltra Offers First IRIS Nights Lecture for WATER Exhibit

Daniel Beltra kicked off the IRIS Nights Lecture series for the WATER: OUR THIRSTY WORLD exhibit last night with a wake-up call of a lecture.

A very soft-spoken but decidedly NOT timid man, Daniel took us on a virtual tour through the hills of Patagonia, Alaska, the Ross Sea and the Amazon Rain Forest.

Through the process he was able to address glaciers shrinking, ice caps melting,

animals being threatened with extinction,


drought,


flooding,

logging,

mining,

massive fires


and all the other fun stuff you'd expect to hear about on a Thursday night out.

It was pretty intense stuff - A perfect match for our current exhibit.

Thank you, Daniel, for a great launch.

(All photos © Unique for the Space)

David Butow Brings China To IRIS Nights

Last night POYi award-winning photojournalist David Butow was our guest lecturer at the Space, speaking on the subject he has covered for much of this decade - China.

China's economy and culture have been rapidly changing over the last 10 years and David has been there to document those transformations every step of the way. During that time, he's made at least one annual trip to the Middle Kingdom.

David presented three photo essays for his IRIS Nights lecture. First, was the deadly Sichuan earthquake that struck the region in 2008.

Second, was his documentation of the Uighur people, an ethnic minority who live mainly in the Northwestern part of the country and who are largely of the Muslim faith. A Uighur uprising in 2009 threw the region into turmoil.

And lastly was David's look at China's trendy twenty-something culture. He explained that while the largely 'only-child' youth face desires, expectations and obstacles that are unique to their country, they are still essentially just like every other young person in the world.

At one point David asked the audience how many of them had recently visited China and was surprised to see how many hands shot up.

David took questions at the end of each of the three sections so the audience could discover more about each individual body of work. This was the first time IRIS Nights deviated from its format of a sole Q&A session.

Through David, we got a special window through to the many different faces that populate a country with a population of 1.3 billion people and growing.

We can't wait to see more photos from David documenting his future travels to China and elsewhere around the globe! Travel safe!

You could learn more about David's work on his official Website.

(All images © Unique for the Space)

George Steinmetz Documents The World From The Sky

Those of you who suffer from acrophobia may want to proceed with caution while reading the rest of this blog post. That's because the breathtaking images of the world's deserts you're about to see have been taken by last night's IRIS Nights lecturer, photographer George Steinmetz, from high up in the sky...

...on board his own motorized para-glider!

As George explained to the audience, for him to really understand the desert, he needed to get high above the ground. His para-glider is lightest powered aircraft in the world.

His method of photography is certainly not all that safe. He shared a photo of himself that showed injuries he'd received when his glider once crashed during take-off in China. Several busted teeth and 17 stitches didn't stop him from getting back into the pilot's seat!

George told the audience that he has always been a very curious man. The camera is his excuse to explore the world and share his knowledge with the rest of the world.

Don't just think that the deserts are located in hot climates. George gave us all a geography lesson by reminding us that Antarctica, which he has beautifully documented with his own camera, is the largest and driest desert on the planet!

Stropping by to hear George's lecture was his friend Art Streiber, a very talented photographer in his own right.

But George's most important visitor last night was his own mother who watched him with great pride throughout the entire lecture.

Congrats on a great talk, George! Fly safely!

Click here to watch George's IRIS Nights lecture online. For more information about him, visit his official website.

(All images by Unique for the Space)

Viewfinder

We have heard a lot of great chatter amongst our Annenberg Space for Photography attendees. After compiling some quotes, listening to what visitors thought about the Space and our lecturers, here is what they had to say:

The Andrew Southam lecture

"Loved it! It was so nice to listen to someone talk about art and communicate it so well... instead of just telling stories he got into how he did it and why." "I love the space. It is such a dream for photographers to not have to pay a lot to see such wonderful photos. I need to come and spend a couple hours here."
(Amy Cantrell, photographer, attending 2nd IRIS Nights lecture)


"It was really inspiring. I loved that he was so real about everything."
(Madison Enloe, aspiring photographer, attending her 2nd IRIS Nights lecture)

"[The Space] is an extraordinary gift to LA for both professional photographers and non-photographers. It allows them to interact. We are really gifted to have Annenberg here. Everything is really on the mark."
(Chad Slattery, regular attendee)


"I loved it! I am a non-photographer, unlike my husband. But that is the gift. There are a range of subjects and you don't have to be a photographer to love it - just a human being."
(Donna Lee Slattery, non-photographer, regular attendee)

The next time you're here tell Viewfinder what you think.

Spotted At The Space: Janice Dickinson

Model Janice Dickinson was one of the thousands of visitors to the Photography Space this past weekend during the final days of BEAUTY CULTURE. Dickinson, whose image by Greg Gorman was in the show (see it here in the print exhibition slideshow), was kind enough to pose in front of the Digital Salon which used her face as its entryway. Thanks, Janice, for stopping by the show and thanks to all of you who made the show such a great success!

Blurb Workshop Makes Publishing Hands-on Easy!

This past Saturday we had three great, free workshops with the folks from Blurb.com. Chad Jennings, VP of Design and founding employee at Blurb came down to the Photography Space with Blurb Marketing whiz Suzanne Caballero and shared tips, trade secrets and publishing discounts. picture-41Three classes of two hours each were held. Chad offered basic instruction on the two ways of making a book through Blurb - using their layout tool and using Adobe InDesign and uploading the layout. © Unique for the Photo Space - Chad Jennings Chad showed printed samples of different layout options...and also show on the workshop screen how to approach different formats. © Unique for the Photo Space - Chad Jennings Workshop attendees got hands-on advice an examples and also got special discount vouchers for their own future publishing efforts! © Unique for the Photo Space - Blurb Workshop Attendees The Photo Space was a perfect setting - giving arriving and departing students of all ages a chance to see our current exhibit and explore the possibilities. picture-266 We even had a special guest visit by one of our POYi IRIS Nights lecturers, the amazing photographer Colin Finlay! © Unique for the Photo Space - Chad J., Guest, Colin Finlay, Suzanne C. The Blurb folks were totally engaging and supportive. They left us a number of sample books and promised they would come back and do it again soon. We hope to see you there.

 

Balazs Gardi returns to the Space

POYi winner Balazs Gardi, who was one of the featured photographers in the 66th POYi Exhibit last year, returned to the Space to present an insightful and heartfelt lecture on marginalized communities facing water crisis.

Balazs, whose works are mostly independent, started his presentation with his images documenting conflict situations in Afghanistan. His presentation also covered communities experiencing water related crisis in Australia, Dubai and even Las Vegas.

Balazs is known for using photography as a base but layering it in way that reaches out to people. His unique presentation was a multimedia feature that included audio, still images and motion graphics.

At the end of the lecture, Balazs shared his views on modern social utilities, such as Twitter, as an independent voice and alternative to traditional media outlets. Social media is a new way for like minded people to share experiences on water related issues that won't appear in traditional media sources.

The lecture was followed by some very pointed and interesting questions from the audience, fielded by an unflappable Balazs.

Despite the gravity of the discussion, the lecture was well balanced with fear, hope and even some humor.

One question in particular focused on the frustration of solving the problem of water crisis and whether an actual solution exists.

Balazs answered very adamantly with "I think every problem has an answer to it...

...I am a very optimistic person with a lot of cynicism."

(All Photos © Unique for the Space)

We'll Miss You Herman Leonard!

We heard the news yesterday...very sad.

Over the weekend the great legend of Jazz photography Herman Leonard passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center here in Los Angeles.

Herman had been living here in LA since Hurricane Katrina flooded his home in New Orleans in 2005 destroying thousands of his priceless prints. The good part of that disaster was that it brought Herman to our city where we had the incredible opportunity to meet him and enjoy his company here at the Photography Space.

Herman was 87 when he passed, which means he was a spry 85 or 86 when he came to our W Opening party last year on March 27, 2009.

He was vibrant, funny, sharp as a tack and had many of us in sheer awe.

After bonding with Wallis on the red carpet, he praised our Space and hung out with other photo-luminaries (like Douglas Kirkland) the whole night through!

We knew we were in the presence of many greats that night and we hope we won't have to say goodbye to any more for a long time to come.

We hope you have a continuing journey of cool Mr. Leonard - we know that many of your photographic subjects are waiting on the other side to greet you!

(All photos © Charley Gallay)

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Recent Developments: Steve McCurry's Farewell To Kodachrome

It's the end of an era.

In 2009, Kodak announced it would cease production of the chemicals needed to develop its popular Kodachrome film. Dwayne's Photo, located in rural Parsons, Kansas was the last lab in the entire world to develop Kodachrome. They took in their very last roll December 30, 2010.

Kodak gave its very last roll of Kodachrome (and rightfully so!) with 36 images to none other than Steve McCurry, who you may remember was featured in our Pictures of the Year International: The World. In High Resolution and was a lecturer for our IRIS Nights series in 2009.  Steve says that Kodachrome was the mainstay film of his enduring and prolific career in photography. What a fitting way to say adieu!

The images from that roll have now been made available and they're just as impressive as you would think. Frame 23, that of an elderly Rabari woman, is above.

Here is a snapshot of Steve from his IRIS Nights lecture last year talking about his iconic image, which was, of course, shot on Kodachrome film.

And below is frame 36, the very last frame Steve shot on that final roll of Kodachrome. It is of a statue located inside of a cemetery in Parsons, Kansas, not far from Dwayne's Photo.

It's like a final salute to Kodachrome!

Take a peak at some other images from Steve's roll on his blog.

Everything Is Beauty: Lecture With Fadil Berisha

What a treat it was to have fashion photographer Fadil Berisha present during our IRIS Nights lecture series yesterday evening.

Fadil has had a global influence throughout his career. He has not only worked with such figures as Tyra Banks, President Bill Clinton, Snoop Dogg and numerous Miss America contestants, but he also played an incredible role in campaigning against the Kosovo massacres.

During his presentation, Fadil explained that his work stems from a genuine love for beauty.

"Beauty is what I really love... I like to live happy and see pretty things all the time. With photographers it has to do with how they feel on the inside and that's what comes out on the photo," proclaimed Fadil during the lecture. "I love to feel happy."

Fadil took a moment during his lecture to speak about his experience photographing the horrific war in Kosovo. Since the topic wasn't related to beauty itself he placed his visual slideshow on pause because he felt it was important to take some time to talk about his experiences with the conflict.

About 10 years ago Albanian photographers contacted Fadil asking him to help promote their cause in the Kosovo war. He told the audience that the pictures they sent him changed his life. He then spent the next couple years raising money and campaigning for awareness. His work and the photos he took made an international impact and helped pressure the United States to get involved.

Fadil told the audience about his first time working with the stunning Carmen Dell'Orefice, the legend who was his inspiration for a Rolex campaign. He said he fell in love when he realized how she stayed young at heart and continued to exude beauty throughout her whole life.

Fadil also gave shout-outs to models Beverly Johnson and Nikki Haskell, who were both in attendance. He raved about how they each possessed that same confidence and beauty he found so alluring in Carmen.

Johnson took the microphone during the Q & A session but she didn't have a question for Fadil. Instead, she took the time to praise the photography by calling him "brilliant" and telling the audience she could not wait to work with him again.

Thanks for an outstanding lecture, Fadil! For more information about him, check out his official website. You can also watch his IRIS Nights lecture online.

(All lecture images by Unique)

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