tim johnson PICN
Lenny Gilmore

Lenny is a good example of a body of work you might get as a photo major at columbia.  His work goes in a lot of different directions but is all nicely executed.  I thought it was nice to see that you can get a job and make money if you need to based on technical skills learned here.  It was also nice to talk to someone closer to our own age about how they felt after graduation and how they went about getting a job.  Overall, I thought he didn’t seem very passionate about the artwork side of photography…it seemed very “for class.” He does however enjoy making images and there’s nothing wrong with that.  

America On Line

• pphotographybblog - This blog was an inspiration collection.  Blogs are a good tool in this way.  You get to search and see images in specific categories or searches.  Get inspired without leaving the comfort of home.  

•this is a photo blog -

 This blog was a collective of many photographers all doing their own seperate things and coming together in blog form.  They all have their own interpretation of a photo idea and it’s a place to compare/contrast online. 

•jmcolberg conscientious - This blog seemed more of a news source for people to learn about photographers who wouldn’t be getting major gallery shows or other publications about their work. 

Overall, it seems there are a few different routes for the photo blog.  Blogs like conscientious and “this is a photo blog” are probably the most useful.  They are both more professional than the random blogging style of someone posting on tumblr every 10 minutes.  The way I see it, the internet isn’t changing the photo game entirely, just adding another aspect for people to learn to get amungst.  There are a scary and growing amount of images on the internet and that isn’t the best thing, but that doesnt mean you have to or will see them all.  


This blog serves as the home base for a global print exchange.  The creator has posted his address on the blog and you send him a print.  He scans both sides and posts it.  Other participants now have your address and can send you prints and you can pull address’ from others photos and send to them.  It is a never ending exchange and a cool way to get involved with photographers from other states and countries.  

chuck shotwell

When looking through Chuck Shotwell’s website, I was very impressed by his commercial/assignment work.  One of the hardest things for me to do is make something original and creative come out of direction from someone else.  Being given an object that I have to take photos of is a mental road block for me.  Chuck on the other hand seems like a natural.  When comparing his commercial work to his personal work I felt that his personal work could be improved by taking a step away from his commercial studio practice.  I thought he had some interesting ideas that fell short because they were photographed in the studio the same 5 ways over and over again.  For example, the paper shredder series could have been better as sculptures and the dumpster series would have been better as it was found or scanned or something besides photographed in the studio. 

Intimacies @ 400 gallery

We ended our tour at the older photographs and that was where I was able to start in my head.  People like Nicholas Nixon, Sally Mann and Ralph Eugene Meatyard were some of the first to take a step back and analyze intimacy (whether they meant to or not) in terms of the camera.  

The rest of the show’s work was more of variations on a theme and each had a different investigation of intimacy.  With a show like that it’s impossible to conclude anything about what the curators were trying to say.  But the fact that they told us that all they had in mind was a broad concept for a starting point it makes more sense.  

My favorite piece in the show was Laurel Nakadate’s video piece which was located opposite the masterbating man.  It had an interesting take on the viewpoint of photographer compared to “weak” female subjects.  If there was a man filming these women and saying things and acting like Laurel was behind the camera it would have been considered creepy and assumably pornographic.  It was interesting to have the behavior of a creepy directer which is a male role 99.9% of the time and have it switched to a female roll. 

Antonio Perez

I think photojournalism and photojournalists are very interesting.  This is because it takes such a different personality than my own to love the job.  I just couldn’t be on call every day… didn’t Antonio say something about being prepared to sacrifice your personal life for photojournalism?  However, I respect the determination and love for photography present whenever I get a chance to meet a professional photojournalist.  Antonio was no exception in that sense. He was super hard working and passionate about photography and that is why he has a coveted slot on a PJ team for a big city newspaper.  

Photojournalists are related more to documentary photographers than anything - they  both use the camera to show something as it exists in the real world.  There is no deeper meaning, just an important subject shown via photography. When it comes to fine art photography, I think of a study of art, ideas and the world through pictures or the study of our world through its existing images.  Even if a fine art photograph is not staged and depicts something as it exists in real life, it is most likely something larger than just the subject of the photograph that is visible through the whole series.  Appropriating images in art from the never ending, daily sources can reveal a lot about our culture and lives and can be used to prove powerful points.  However, to most editorial photographers like steve gross, appropriation is the worst photographic sin.  During our visit to Steve’s studio, he mentioned how the Zhou brothers  had recently used his image in a painting he saw at their studio and his first reaction was to call his lawyer. 

Barthes & Steven Gross

It’s always strange to reflect on death and the dying and Photographs are an important part of that reflection.  A photograph of someone is just a little taste or a whiff of the past.  When you see a picture of someone familiar it sparks your brain and you relive the remembered event or feel the subjects presence. The object of the photograph seemed important to Barthes and I was wondering how this writing would differ in terms of the digital age and the internet.  

Visiting Steven Gross studio was a good experience.  Although he was a little out there, he worked hard to get where he is and shared some valuable advice.  Basically everyone we see at Columbia who has made it as a photographer or artist tells us about constant diligence and hard work.  Shore was no exception.  Bust your ass and good things will happen.  

Kelli Connell

It was very nice to be able talk to an artist in a gallery in front of their own work.  I feel we got to pick apart every part of her series as well as her thought process and physical process.  The photoshop work she did was subtle and did not go overboard which kept this from being a series relying on the “cool-looking” photoshop work.  The believability of this relationship Kelli created is, in my opinion, getting better with age.  Also, I appreciated being able to see into the process of making these photos.  Not only did she talk about the way she worked to us, she had her collage samples hanging on the wall for everyone to see. This informs viewers that this is not process driven work and helps to have a clearer mind when thinking about the photograph’s true meaning. 

Kelli’s use of the same woman twice for two different genders and personalities made the think of the TV show, United States of Tara.  The main character has a disease called dissociative identity disorder which makes her slide in and out of different personalities.  The “alters” range from a teenage version of herself, to a 50’s style house wife, to a red neck man.   You get to see the same actress slide in and out of different age, personality and gender all in one episode. 

When it come’s to other artists the first in my mind was Nikki S. Lee.  Her work isn’t the same when it comes to the digital technique, but many of the idea’s are similar.  Kelli questions gender roles and how you or others might identify yourself in a relationship. Nikki  questions how we identify ourselves based on the groups we belong to.  She has many different series of photographs where she is depicted as an insider with many culturally different groups of people.  She explores race, class and gender while being depicted in groups ranging from an urban hispanic to a country white and beyond.  

art institute visit

Ralph Eugene Meatyard’s exhibition was amazing!  The photographs dark and small which makes the viewer get very close to examine what is going on.  The small size also relates to the family snapshot aspect of the work (which made me laugh because it reminded me of Sally Mann’s work). One thing I noticed but didn’t put together until later was Meatyard’s use of motion blur.  It re appears in several photos and didn’t quite make sense to me until I saw the series of the same boy repeated several times in the same pose with different masks on and one with a motion blurred face.  The motion blur acts as another way of concealing the individual identity to generalize humanity.

I was disappointed while looking at the “Exposure” group shop.  Matt Keegan’s project was just a mash up of average urban pictures which were mounted on material that represented the city which they were taken. Also, I didn’t feel the connection between the History of New York book that was next to the photographs.  I think you just had to try too hard to understand what was really going on in this project and the idea fell short after you took the time to figure what was going on. 

I wasn’t fond of Katie Paterson’s “History of Darkness” photographs either.  She made photographs of “pure blackness” from points in space 13 million years old which are so far away that no light exists there.  She states that they have no scientific function and are supposed to act as a thinker.  I thought that this idea has been somewhat worn out and everyone has most likely already pondered the far reaches of the universe.

I liked Heather Rasmussen’s work the best of the three artist’s in this show.   Her pictures were simple and made me question what was going on without reading about her work.  The juxtaposition of geometric, pretty pictures with the terrible accidents they represented was nicely beautiful and grotesque at the same time.  

Finally, I liked Ana Mendieta’s work.  Her sculptures and paintings used natural elements to get her ideas across very well.  The video footage and photographs of these goddess like sculptures were nice because the viewer got to see the sculptures in their natural habitat.  

Our Origins

This theme left a good amount of room for open interpretation which made for a wide variety of work.   I enjoyed the photography that showed remnants of a younger earth through footprints or plant life.  Seeing something existing today that existed in another age of the earth has a way of bringing you back there.  

My favorite piece was called 7626057 Suns from Flickr by Penelope Umbrico.  It is a compilation of photographs that people took of the sun at varying times of the day which ended up on flickr.com.  The photos were printed and laid out in a grid with different size and color orbs in the center of each.  All the vibrant colors pulled me in and had the same affect a sunset might have on me.  This collage of suns is an examination of the draw of photographing the sun.  This made me think that photographers are somewhat like old civilizations who worshipped the sun.  When I thought about this piece in relation to the show’s theme, I thought about the fact that the sun has been growing the earth from it’s beginning and that in a way we are all babies of the sun. 


Hello, class. 

I am Tim Johnson.  I found photography and art through skateboarding.  Since I got my first camera at 16, I have been compulsively shooting my friends at home and on road trips.  

^ photo from a trip to new york this summer^

All of the other artwork I make stems from this lifestyle.  For example, I work with photo/print-making in a project about the relationship between skateboard culture and big companies and their advertising methods.  

^ screen print onto archival ink jet photograph^

Also, breaking a few bones lead me to think about the potential that x-rays had as a photographic material, I developed a few projects digitally collaging scans of x-rays and cat scans and photographs to make surreal, human-like beings. 

^ silver gelatin print^