Friday, February 27, 2009

Alec Soth

I'd seen Alec Soth's "Sleeping by the Mississippi" series and enjoyed it,
but it's his "Portraits" series that I am in love with:
he just nails it. I'm a full-fledged fan.
Choice pieces include the following:

Alec Soth portraits
Soth's blog
Essay by Cynde Randall

that zeros in on Soth's portraits.


"Soth considers his photographs to be a record of the space between the subject and himself."

"Soth is most interested in shooting what is new to him. Rarely does he photograph friends, family, or familiar surroundings. His vision is driven by curiosity. He credits his solitary wanderings for heightening his awareness—for his ability to spot the right person, even in a crowd. On a recent assignment in China, he waited at the entrance of a subway. 'I probably watched five hundred people pass by the tunnel entrance,” says Soth. “I knew the instant that I saw this one young man that I wanted to take his portrait.'"

"Certainly Soth’s old-fashioned 8-by-10-inch camera plays a role in his subjects’ experience with him. Physically cumbersome, daunting in its complexity, the large-format camera slows time down. Soth may spend a good twenty minutes under the camera cloth, setting up the shot. 'I can really stare at people under that cloth,' he says. As Soth lingers over the image in the lens, his subjects relax; letting go of any initial need to perform, they become fully incarnate, fully themselves."

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