• /the-shot-blog/susan-andersons-illusion-womanhood

    Susan Anderson, an internationally known photographer and expert on the High Glitz culture of child pageantry, recently gave us her take on the industry at our Iris Nights Lecture.

    Although she abstained from giving any formal opinion on the controversial subject of beauty contests, she did claim that this is not a new issue we are dealing with. Anderson put on the screen a classical painting of Aphrodite and the golden apple and posed the question, "could this have been the first beauty pageant?"

    Her question was meant to explain that society has always idealized women and we have always been fascinated with the fairy tale ending.  The fake eyelashes, the artificial tans, the thousand dollar hair dos, and the sparkly dresses all play into a preexisting culture that we are all partially responsible for creating.

    Anderson admits that the most popular responses to her work are either to moralize or to laugh.  But she offers a different response: to just present.  She suggests that the little girls collaborate with her, that they have fun with it and it is their way to act, play a role and take a reality and make it their own.

    She offers and interesting perspective because from where she stands it is simply art, it is fascinating and it is visually stunning.

    To see more of Susan Anderson's work click here

  • /the-shot-blog/what-age-beauty-carmen-dellorefice-turns-80

    Carmen Dell'Orefice has been giving us images of perfection since she was 15 years old - that's 65 years of working as a model...65 years.

    Carmen turned 80 this week, breaking every boundary between age and beauty that anyone might be holding.

    This is what 80 looks like:

    Well, to be totally honest this is what 78 looks like - it was shot as part of an ad campaign for Rolex in 2009. This photo by Fadil Berisha is so stunning that we used it as one of our street banners that promote the BEAUTY CULTURE exhibit.

    The image below was shot a month or so ago - so this is what 79 years and 300 some odd days looks like:

    ...and another one a few months before that:

    Just shy of 80 folks. I'm just saying...we can all but pray that 80 will be so kind to us.

    What's even more amazing than how young she looks now, is how mature she looked when she was 15 and posed for her very first Vogue cover. I know one thing - she didn't look 15.

    See images below that follow her teenage debut and demonstrate over and over how Carmen has remained a timeless fashion plate and style icon...not to mention a muse to photographers such as Avedon, Horst, Parkinson...and the list goes on.

    Don't hate her because she's beautiful...and Happy 80th Carmen!

    May you have many more.

  • /the-shot-blog/jill-greenberg-launches-iris-nights-beauty-culture-version

    Opening up the BEAUTY CULTURE season of IRIS Nights last night was award-winning photographer Jill Greenberg. Jill has shot for such magazines as Time, Wired, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly - the list really just goes on and on and on.

    Jill has been taking photographs since she was a little girl. She showed us this adorable photo of herself holding a toy camera, portending things to come in her adult life!

    Jill's photographic work has a strong feminist point of view. One of her series features the United States Olympic synchronized swim team wading in a swimming pool - all while wearing heels!

    Jill has quite a bit of experience photographing some of Hollywood's most famous beauties. She's shot her signature style of portraits for a slew of female celebrities including Hollywood stars Drew Barrymore, Jada Pinkett Smith Lindsay Lohan (above).

    Jill has found herself under criticism for her "End Times" series in which she photographed several two-and-a-half and three-year old crying children. During the shoot, Jill took candy away from the kids in order to make them cry.

    Jill defended herself explaining that the toddlers's tears don't mean that they were in any sort of pain during the photo shoot or will have any kind of permanent damage. As she said, her own kids cry when they refuse to go to sleep at bed-time!

    Jill's been photographing animals pretty often these days. She's taken portraits of bears, horses and monkeys. Art collectors all over the world have been buying up prints for her popular monkey series.

    The local NBC affiliate in LA came down to cover the exhibit and interview Jill about her IRIS Nights lecture. You can watch that news clip here.

    Thanks to Jill and everyone who attended the lecture for making the first BEAUTY CULTURE version of IRIS Nights such a big success!

    Watch Jill's entire IRIS Nights lecture here and learn more about her on her own website.

    (All lecture images by Unique for the Space. Childhood photo by Jill Greenberg)

  • /the-shot-blog/beauty-culture-opening-gala-event

    Last night, the Annenberg Space for Photography hosted the opening gala for our newest exciting exhibit BEAUTY CULTURE, an event which represented beauty in many different forms. Here are photographers Paul Lange and Tyen starting their initial tour of the exhibit.

    Hundreds of party-goers enjoyed the photography inside and outside of the Space amidst a crowd filled with photographers, celebrities, supermodels and everyone in between.

    Annenberg Foundation Executive Director Leonard Aube took to the stage to thank all of the photographers whose work is included in the exhibit, such as the three of the four featured photographers; Tyen, Melvin Sokolsky and Lauren Greenfield. The fourth featured photographer in our exhibit - Albert Watson - unfortunately couldn't make the party. He was definitely missed!

    One of the highlights of the evening was a special surprise performance from burlesque beauty Dita Von Teese. At the start of her show, Dita emerging from a giant sparkling compact!

    Her act, which wowed the guests, brings back glamour from a bygone era in a big way.

    Supermodels Gisele and Alek Wek, both featured in photographs in BEAUTY CULTURE, looked twice as stunning standing next to one another.

    Annenberg Foundation Chairman, President and CEO Wallis Annenberg excitedly greeted featured photographer Tyen at the event. It was Wallis's initial vision that made the Space available to the public.

    Actress Sophia Bush takes in the iconic Herb Ritts photo that greets guests at the entrance to the exhibit.

    Lawrence Ho, who was one of the 11 featured photographers in our inaugural exhibit L8S ANG3LES, seen here with fellow guest and "Pictures of the Year International" contributor (and recent Pulitzer Prize winner!) Barbara Davidson.

    Photo Space Talent & Content Director, Patricia Lanza, is seen here with Matthew Rolston, who has several of his images in BEAUTY CULTURE.

    Two Hollywood beauties: Halle Berry and Katie Holmes.

    Photographer Susan Anderson poses in front of one of her photographs. Those of you who live in Los Angeles may have seen this image all over the city as it is as part of our street banner campaign.

    Melvin stands in front of one of his images of model Peggy Moffitt.

    Moffitt was at the event and posed alongside Alek Wek: beauties from two different generations!

    Exhibit consultant Manon Slome poses inside of the Space.

    Lauren chats with "The Pink Lady," the subject of several of her photos and one of the people interviewed for the BEAUTY CULTURE digital feature.

    Thanks to everyone for a terrific celebration of this great new exhibit. BEAUTY CULTURE runs now through November 27. Come see it and find out what beauty means to you!

    All images by Chris Weeks.

  • /the-shot-blog/coming-space-summer-beauty-culture

    The Space has been open for over two years now and our seventh exhibition will be here sooner than you think - May 21st to be exact. We couldn't be more excited!

    BEAUTY CULTURE is a photographic exploration of how feminine beauty is defined, challenged and revered in modern society. The exhibition will include images from some of the most highly respected and world-renowned photographers in the beauty and fashion world.

    © Felicia Webb

    BEAUTY CULTURE will feature 170 images in our print show and over 500 in the digital one - one of our largest shows ever!

    Quick note: Keep in mind that BEAUTY CULTURE does include graphic images, such as those of explicit medical procedures and nudity, and may not be appropriate for all ages.

  • /the-shot-blog/donna-omeara-make-your-own-dreams-come-true

    Donna O'Meara is the last "Extreme Exposure" featured photographer to participate in our IRIS Nights elcture series. You may remember that her husband (and fellow volcanologist) Stephen O'Meara was the very first lecturer for the exhibit. Donna delivered a terrific, inspirational lecture about volcanoes, passion and the journey of life.

    Donna, who lives on top of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, started her lecture by reciting a traditional Hawaiian thank you chant - a first at IRIS Nights.

    She showed the audience photos from her wedding to Stephen, which took place on top of Kilauea. You can't tell in the photo above, but they both wore sneakers during ceremony - just in case they needed to run for their lives!

    Donna recounted the time when National Geographic first hired her and Stephen for a photo shoot. The magazine let them choose the volcano they wanted to photograph. The two eventually decided on one located in Stromboli, Italy where they camped out for 39 days and survived 534 eruptions.

    This expedition led to her and Stephen's own National Geographic television special titled Volcano Hunters!

    Donna's theme of accomplishing what you want no matter the obstacle carried over to her story about her journey to Antarctica in 2009. It was on that trip that she met Barbara Jones, the 94-year-old only living child of Edward Nelson, the explorer who was part of the first official British exploration of Antarctica.

    Donna became close to Barbara during the trip. She explained that she had always wanted to see the place where her father worked on the continent. Tragically, Barbara passed away during the trip.

    Donna's volcanologist boots have been on display during the entire run of "Extreme Exposure." She said that even though she has a new pair, she wants her old ones back because they are so comfortable.

    Donna ended her talk with words of inspiration and encouragement. No matter how old you are, make sure your dreams come true!

    She stuck around to sign copies of the several books on volcanoes she has written over the years.

    Thanks for the motivational talk, Donna. And don't worry,  your boots are on their way back to your home in Hawaii!

    Watch Donna's entire IRIS Nights lecture here and learn more about her on her own website.

    (All lecture images by Unique for the Space. All others are by Donna O'Meara)

  • /the-shot-blog/paul-nicklen-chills-out-polar-regions

    "Extreme Exposure" featured photographer Paul Nicklen's photos of wild animals in the polar regions have awed many who have seen this terrific show. Last night, it was Paul's time to awe IRIS Nights lecture attendees with his amazing stories of what went into capturing those images.

    The Space was jam-packed! Over 200 people attended the lecture, which sold out in a matter of seconds when tickets first went on sale a couple of weeks ago.

    Paul's message is clearly one of environmental conservation. He cares passionately about the environment and explained that if the polar caps lose their ice, they will also lose polar bears an absolutely frightening thought!

    One of the many death-defying moments he recounted in his lecture was the story related to the photograph above. During a trip to the Arctic, Paul's lightweight aircraft experienced engine trouble though he still kept taking pictures during the entire incident! According to Paul, it was all worth it because being able to photograph thousands of narwhals in the Arctic is not all that common!

    Why does Paul enjoy taking so many close-up images of animals? He does it because he feels people would care more about them when they are seen in a more intimate light.

    During his talk, Paul played several "on location" video clips of himself photographing in the wild. It was great to see how someone in the situation above...

    ...could end up with this amazing photo!

    Paul also recounted the story of his four-day interaction with a female leopard seal who repeatedly attempted to gift Paul a penguin while both were underwater. Despite their sharp teeth, Paul insists that they are very gentle, kind animals.

    Paul re-iterated his message of environmental protection throughout his lecture but he managed to inject quite a bit humor into his talk with a his funny deadpan delivery.

    How can you help the environment? Paul wants us all to "chill out."

    Before he left for the night, Paul stuck around to sign copies of his book, Polar Obsession. The cover of the book features one of his favorite photos - that of a polar bear and his reflection in the clear, glassy waters!

    Thanks for sharing the incredible stories and the worthwhile message, Paul!  You can watch his entire IRIS Nights lecture here and learn more about him on his official site.

    (All images by Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/tyler-stableford-finds-dramatic-moment

    "World's Greatest Adventure Photographer." "Explorer of Light." These are the names of just some of the awards that Tyler Stableford has won during his distinguished career as an outdoor/adventure photographer. Those are titles just about any adventure photographer would be more than happy to have.

    Sitting front and center at Tyler's lecture last night were regular IRIS Nights attendees, Vaughn Hart and Jack Weiss. The two have each been to over 47 sessions of the lecture series since it began two years ago!

    Tyler presented his lecture, titled "Out There: Capturing the Dramatic Moment," and the rock-climbing enthusiast, explained just how he goes about capturing those dramatic images.

    One technique he prefers is to aim his camera directly into the sun. Take a look at the breath-taking shot above!

    Tyler loves using wide lenses in his photographs and has a lot of fun framing his subjects in his photographs.

    Tyler spent some time talking about his experience photographing a coal mine in Colorado. Tyler recounted incredible stories  of harrowing near-death episodes from the miners he photographed. Mining isn't just a dirty job, but a dangerous one!

    Tyler touched upon the impact his photography has had on his personal live revealing that he and his wife, Megan, recently adopted a 9-month-old orphan from Ethiopia, a country in which he's shot some brilliant images.

    Tyler screened the trailer to his short film, The Fall Line, which is about an injured Iraq War veteran whose mental and physical recovery involves the skiing slopes of Aspen, Colorado and his membership in the 2010 Paralympic ski team.

    Tyler further lives up to his adventure reputation by photographing f-16 fighter jets and their pilots. Taking pictures in the sky - now that's adventurous!

    Thanks for a great lecture, Tyler! We can't wait to see you capture more exciting images in the sky, below the ground and everywhere in between!

    Watch Tyler's IRIS Nights lecture here (where you can also see the full trailer for The Fall Line) and learn more about him on his official site.

    (All images by Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/recent-developments-julius-shulman

    Juergen Nogai ( R) seen here with his wife, Jeannie ( C) and POYi/Water photographer and lecturer Gerd Ludwig ( L)

    When we caught up with Juergen Nogai (Julius Shulman's shooting partner) at our last opening, he told us about an amazing retrospective of Julius' (and also Juergen's) work. It was planned well in advance to celebrate Julius' 100th birthday. Sadly, Julius passed away in July of 2009 at the age of 99 leaving us with an impressive life-time of amazing work (see our tribute to him here).


    It was decided that 'the show must go on,' and the exhibit, which is the most complete collection of Shulman's work to be shown in one place, opened in October of last year (Julius' 100th birthday would have been 10/10/2010). It's called "Cool and Hot" and it will run until February 27, 2011 at the ZEPHYR Gallery in Mannheim, Germany.

    While it might not be likely for you to see this exhibit before February, Juergen did mention that it is likely to hit the road for a mini-tour. We can hope that it makes its way across the pond to us, but so far it doesn't look like that's in the cards. We'll keep you posted.

  • /the-shot-blog/mark-moffett-and-his-adventures-among-ants

    One of the featured photographers in "Extreme Exposure", Nick Nichols, has been rightfully nick-named "The Indiana Jones of Photography," so it's only natural that we include the so-called "Indiana Jones of Entomology" as part of the exhibit's IRIS Nights lecture series. Mark Moffett has been photographing ants and other insects for the magazine for years.

    During his lecture last night, Mark delivered what could be described as a science and photography lesson - one with his characteristic flair for engaging and intelligent humor. He had the audience in stitches!

    The Space is just one of the many places in which Mark regularly finds himself speaking in front of a large audience. He lectures to thousands of people across the country and has even appeared on The Colbert Report and Conan O'Brien's show. That's certainly no ant-sized audience!

    Mark's sense of humor mixed with education kept those in attendance roaring with laughter throughout the entire lecture. His story of how he once photographed a frog boogie down (a la a disco-era John Travolta) led to a re-enactment of the dance for the entire audience! For more about that particular story, read this piece about his lecture on The Huffington Post.

    After his presentation, Mark signed copies of his book, Adventures Among Ants. The book as entertaining to read as it is hearing him speak. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy for yourself.

    Here's a nice shot of Mark with his partner in life, his wife Melissa Wells. Check out some gorgeous pictures from their unorthodox and charming wedding on Easter Island here.

    Watch the first few minutes of Mark's IRIS Nights lecture here and learn more about him at his appropriately named site, doctorbugs.com.

    (All images by Unique for the Space)

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