Magnum Editors recognize BSG’s jellyfish image:”Ascension” from his FLOW series in their Magnum Photos Award Competition Gallery 2016
Magnum Photos is historically, one of the most well respected names in photography. It is an international photographic cooperative owned by its photographer-members, with offices in New York, Paris, London and Tokyo.
According to its co-founder (and one of the great photoraphers of our time), Henri Cartier-Bresson “Magnum is a community of thought, a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually.”
The iconic Robert Capa, Cartier-Bressson and a few other founding members created Magnum http://www.magnumphotos.com/ in Paris in 1947. Over time it has continued operating by its roster of members who are some of the greatest names in the history of photography, such as Ansel Adams, Eve Arnold, Cornell Capa, Bruce Davidson, Elliot Erwitt, Ernst Haas, Dorothea Lange, Mary Ellen Mark, Steve McCurry, James Natchwey, Martin Parr, W. Eugene Smith, Alec Soth and Sebastio Salgado, to name a few.
For the Editors of this hallowed institution, who deal with such incredible photography each day, to recognize my work and prominently display it, is a great honor for which I am truly grateful.
St. Louis Fine Print Fair – May 6-8, 2016
Touch the Sky, 30 Rock
Cab Ride in the Rain, NYC
This weekend, from May 6 through May 8, is the 10th annual St. Louis Fine Print Fair http://bit.ly/R5eI8K. Stop by the booth of photography addict/rep, Jeff Appel of Photography Past & Present, Missouri http://www.photographypastandpresent.com/ to see the work of some highly respected photographers as well as some terrific emerging artists.
Jeff works with many prestigious photographers such as Roger Ballen, Paul Caponigro, John Sexton, Jock Sturges, Roman Loranc and Alan Ross, who was Ansel Adam’s photographic assistant. Other artists such as Cole and Kim Weston, whose father was the famed 20th Century photographer Edward Weston, have created great work themselves. Finally, Jeff works with some talented emerging and/or mid-career artists such as Camille Seaman and…yes, Barry Steven Greff. The four images above will be available at the fair and many others can be viewed at http://www.barrystevengreff.com. So, “Meet me in St. Louis” (sort of) this weekend. Anyone interested in getting on the guest list can reach Jeff through his website or on FB at http://bit.ly/1WECQN7. Friday night is a Silent Auction and Preview Party from 6-9 pm.
So if you happen to be in Ole St. Lou, stop by and see Jeff…and tell him Barry sent you.
(Cropped portion of people and bird from- Niagara, 2006)
The discussion as to what makes a Fine Art photograph is one for the ages. I have long respected the genre and have worked diligently to hone my craft. Although there are various definitions of what makes a photograph fine art, I subscribe to a more tradional theory that such an image is created with an aesthetic intention, that the value lies primarily in its beauty, rather than for journalistic, editorial or commercial purposes. I also believe that the image should tell a story, be unique, iconic, powerful…or all of the above. As beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, so goes a fine art photograph which usually entails vetting by those respected in the field. Knowing this, I fearlessly spent my early years placing my work in front of some of the most well respected photographers, gallerists, curators and collectors in the business. With the help of their support, the work was widely published in fine art magazines, exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and over time, a significant resume was built.
I believe that one of my signature images, Niagara, clearly exemplifies these equalities (shot from atop a hotel two miles away to capture this angle)… It has countinously been singled out by many of those alluded to above, in that the composition juxtaposing the grandeur of the falls with the minutia of the toursists indicates just how small we humans are in comparison to the forces of Mother Nature.
After getting past the composition (and then lighting, both of which cannot be adequately discussed in a blog post, if at all), I personally take significant pride in capturing the exacting details of a scene, whether it be the people in this image or the fine feathers in one of my close-up animal portraits.
Then, finally, and consistent with the teachings of the great Ansel Adams himself, capturing the image is only one half of the process. The printing (again, not something that can be covered here), is crucial to the creation of a fine art photographic print. Being true to the process, I hand print each of my images (up to 17″ x 22″) on a professional Epson 3800 printer using Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl paper and I personally oversee the larger prints to make sure they are color correct (again, another significant concern for another day) and that they print without a single unexpected blemish.
Finally, I pride myself on the key details of my images being “tack” sharp, as exemplified by the enlarged cropped portion of the image above. Although some of the older images can go only so far, as a perfectionist, I have gone through an entire roll of paper (athough thankfully not often) in order to ultimately create a single large print for a collector, and to my exacting standards. When a gallerist who regularly sells the work of masters such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston calls my prints “magic,” I know that I am doing something right.
Hence, there are many sources by which one can obtain a Fine Art print. I simply offer one that is created in my mind’s eye…and always from my heart. It is universally accepted that the first rule of collecting fine art photographyy is to actually enjoy the work. Hence, I strive to create images that make the viewer not only think…but feel, and I have been honored to have satisfied a wide array of selective collectors, and look forward to doing so for many others in the future.
Cab Ride in the Rain, Radio City Music Hall, NYC 2009
Tonight Belongs to Phantom, NYC 2008
Don’t Let the Lights Go Out on Broadway, NYC 2012
As a photographer, even one whose first love is nature, I never could walk around the streets of Manhattan at night without a camera. The constant motion of the yellow cabs, the continuously changing mega screens in Times Square and even the lit billboards, create a canvas of possibiities to make a great image come to life. Cab Ride, shot from the back seat of a Yellow Cab as the CNN cast scrolled by, took several drives around the corner to get just what I was looking for.
Phantom was much easier to shoot as long as I avoided being run over by any one of the various forms of NYC’s transportation vehicles such as taxis, limos, or tricked out bicycle chariot/rickshaws.
Finally, being able to spread out tripod legs and use a long lens allowed me to capture an electrician repairing a single light amongst millions in the heart of Times Square. Timing the capture was critical to its composition because the images on the screens changed every few seconds. Clearly, this man’s job was to make sure… the lights don’t go out on Broadway (nod to Billy Joel).
30 Rock, Touch the Sky, NYC, NY 2009
Atlas in Snow, Rockefeller Center, NYC 2009
Essex House, NYC, NY 2012
Although my first love is creating images of nature, even in the City, I can’t put my camera down. Notwithstanding, I tend to bring some nature into my Cityscapes, to contrast the natural elements with the man made subjects
Cases in point, the first two New York City images were created during some beautiful weather (fog, then snow) while the third was shot through Central Park trees after closing hours of one of my exhibitions in NYC.
Hence, whether I’m movin on out, or movin on up, there is always something to shoot when you keep your eyes open …and don’t put your camera away, no matter how bad the weather gets (just make sure it’s covered if required.)..That’s for another story