My Hungry Heart

Photography in New Jersey

Posted by shermancharles on December 11, 2007

Photography and related exhibitions currently happening in New Jersey.

Montclaire Art Museum

Dulce Pinzón: The Real Stories of the Superheroes
September 16, 2007 – January, 2008

Newark Museum

INDIA: Public Places, Private Spaces: Contemporary Photography and Video Art
Now – January 6, 2008
Comprised of over 100 works that vividly reflect the interior and exterior realities of today’s India.

Princeton University Art Museum

Beloved Daughters
Photographs by Fazal Sheikh
Sep. 29 – January 6, 2008

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Portraiture

Posted by shermancharles on December 6, 2007

© Sherman Charles

I love portraiture. I love images that capture a sense of a person. A mood, a feeling. When photographing people I tend to “go in”, focusing on the face and and torso. Not to say I do not do environmental portraiture. I really enjoy it. I take any opportunity I can to do such portraits. As circumstances and opportunities have it, the close-in stuff is what I am doing right now.

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To check out

Posted by shermancharles on November 29, 2007

I haven’t posted to this blog in some time. I thought I would begin my return with some links I think are worth checking out.

Ovation TV – Week long special about photography

Behind-the-scenes look at a how an advertising promo can be made. Brought to you by the talent at Bruton Stroube Studios in St. Louis, MO.

If you’re into creative photography, especially portraiture, checking out the premier issue of Nutopia Magazine .

New York Times review of the “New Photography 2007” installation at MOMA.

If you’re an Ansel Adams fan and you live in NJ, check out Ansel Adams, Moonrise: Pride the Legend, currently exhibiting at the Princeton University Museum

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Wedding Photography Offer

Posted by shermancharles on November 1, 2007

Read Here

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Fazal Sheikh Exhibit

Posted by shermancharles on October 29, 2007

© Fazal Sheikh

If you’re near Princeton University anytime soon check out the exhibition of Fazal Sheikh’s work at the Princeton Art Museum . Incredibly sad, tragic and utterly beautiful at the same time.

Read more here

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Isabel Munoz

Posted by shermancharles on October 17, 2007

Photo is a French photography magazine that I peruse through and sometimes purchase at my local b&n. My French is pretty terrible so I can’t read/understand most of the content. The photographs however: wow. Amazing. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that it usually publishes images that would not normally be published in an American mag.

This issue highlighted a project by the Spanish photographer Isabel Munoz . Isabel is a very talented artist whose work I would best describe as fine art reportage. Her projects range from photographing Capoeira dancers of Brazil to remote tribes of southern Ethiopia. Her images have a strong, intimate detail to them. They contain a richness and presence that is hard to overlook. For this current Photo issue, she photographed members of the Mara Salvatrucha gangs (see cover image).

For more insight into her work read this article from lens culture. On the very bottom of that page is an audio link where she describes her working process.

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New portfolio website

Posted by shermancharles on October 7, 2007

I have finally launched my new website – www.shermancharles.com. Since I have started an official website a little over a year ago I have launched at least 4 separate versions. I can never seem to be satisfied with my site. I find myself asking the same questions:

Are the images loading fast enough? Does it look professional? Do I look professional? Do my images “sell”?

I obsess over these question and many more as I view the site. I then come to the conclusion that my images are terrible and that is the main reason I do not like my website. I do not like my work. Then I read other photographer blogs, and speak with other artists and I learn a curious thing: many artists do not like their own work. We’re overly critical of ourselves. We are impatient. We compare ourselves to others and ask why does X’s work look/sound so much better than mine. I think it’s because of the fear of the one true thing. The fear and realization that no one can really “tell” you what to do. You can be guided, instructed, mentored ..but you cannot be told. You can copy the work of others, imitate style, read, study, stare. But ultimately that telling, the creation of your style, your work – is wholly your endeavor. It is a labor that only you can undergo. It is a deeply personal process, that is both painful and rewarding. And it is not easy. But it is worth it.

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Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Posted by shermancharles on September 27, 2007

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© Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

I was introduced to Timothy Greenfield-Sanders at my local Barns & Noble. During one of my frequent visits to the Art & Photography sections I came across his book of portraiture,
Face to Face . I was amazed at the elegant beauty of his images. Unlike so many of his contemporaries his portraits are not overly stylized. His subjects are not doing anything weird or animated. There is the sense that his portraits are more so of his subjects that of himself. To me there is a natural intimacy in his work, the sense that you are looking at an individual, a human being, and not simply a fabrication of publicist, stylist, make-up artist, creative director..and so on.

The portrait above is of Jake Schick, an American soldier injured while serving in Iraq. Timothy photographed 13 soldiers for a HBO documentary – “Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq”.

“This documentary surveys the physical and emotional cost of war through soldiers’ memories of the day in Iraq when they survived near-fatal wounds. In a war that has left 22,000 wounded, with more than half the injuries too severe to permit a return to active military service, the documentary looks at the advances in military medicine that allow soldiers to return home and celebrate what they call their “alive day.” James Gandolfini conducts interviews in which the soldiers share their feelings on their future, their severe disabilities and their devotion to the country.”

Read more on Timothy’s website

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Photography & Dignity

Posted by shermancharles on September 23, 2007

I don’t like visiting a photographer’s travel section and seeing images of naked or half naked African children, bellies distended, snot-nosed, with big hungry eyes staring into the camera. Photojournalism telling a story is one thing. Some photographer from California displaying “Africa’s poor” on his website is another. I think plenty of those images exist. If you are privileged enough to travel to Africa and share in these people’s lives then the least you can do is treat them with some dignity. There are plenty of images of Africa that show the beauty of it’s people, the richness of it’s culture, commerce, progress – why aren’t those being taken?

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Making portraits

Posted by shermancharles on September 21, 2007


© Sherman Charles

Jeff Singer made an interesting post on his blog about what a photographer’s images say about him/her. For Jeff, specifically, how he tries to make his portraits subjects look cool.

That immediately got me thinking how do I try to make my subjects look in a portrait. When I am photographing someone what would make me happiest? Do I want them wild and crazy? Maybe that aloof, disconnected look? (think contemporary fine art).
Quirky? I really thought about this because there are definitely ways that I would prefer my sitter to be. Namely relaxed, a little contemplative – what I call the “soulful look”. Ultimately themselves. But maybe themselves make for a not so interesting picture (terrible thing to say). I sometimes say, “if you can’t be who you are….be who you want to be..” If that makes any real bloody sense. Ultimately a portrait really says just as much about the photographer as the person. As the photographer you are imposing your own vision, your sense of a person, onto that person. It’s similar to meeting someone new, someone you like and to whom you are really drawn. Without really knowing that person, are we attracted to who that person truly is – or who we would like/hope them to be.

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