Monday, June 15, 2009

Frank Wark: Social Documentray Photographer

At the moment, friend and fellow photographer is traveling through Asia. Frank has a few extremely beautiful websites. One site that I have been following since he began posting to it is: The Coruscating Camera This site is very insightful and gives the reader an extremely unique insight into a world of social and documentary photography. The content that he regularly features highlights photographers who's images make a difference. The current site that I have been following is his newest blog. Asia Central A blog that he has set up to make posts to while he is traveling. He began using the blogger format to make the ease of posting go smoother and quicker, with uploads and travels through the country side, wordpress was acting up.

As Frank is traveling through the country sides with his wife. He is making photographs of the people, places, and culture. Frank is no stranger to making photographs in Asia. You can find his work on the JPG website. It was this past winter, when I was away in Boston that one of his photographs from his large view camera was published in the pages of JPB. I had come across it without knowing it was being published. I was taken by surprise, but yet thrilled to see the image in the pages of the publication.

New media outlets such as blogging, even thought blogs have been around for quite some time, is still providing people with new and exciting outlets for documenting and publishing some amazing content. Forexample, Frank makes regualr posts showing his readers where in the world he is currently photographing. I have a sincere appreciation for his ability to make images while he is traveling and still maintain the ability to publish them online.

This photograph reminds me of an Henri Carte Bresson image. But with the asthetics of a 21 century.

Some of my favorite images though, are from a post he made titled: Silk and Clay these photographs show a part of the culture that is so ancient and historical yet, at the same time it is a practice that is not widely done. The words that accompanies these images give you a sense of just grueling it is to be a part of this trade. I think he did a fanominal job putting together a post with images and words that really tells the story of what this traditional practice entails.

The next photograph that I find to be very compeling is this image of a young man embracing the camera as Frank photographs him. For the people that know me and know my interests with photography know just why this image speaks to me. For those of you who do not, photographing people is a large part of what I do and a large part of what my portfolio consists of. The expression that is on this young mans face begs for questioning. It is apparent that he has a tool in his hands, perhaps a broom. Is he unhappy with the daunting task of cleaning up the space he is in? Is he turned off by the camera being pointed in his direction? or perhaps he has had a bad day? There is a text above the image, "This is the guy who orchestrates the beating to a pulp." Without seeing ad reading this text, we are left with an image that compels the viewer to read and inturprt the image. If this image was haning in a gallery or possibly in a book, there might not be any text to accompany it, thus forcing us to come to our own conclusion of what the expression on his face means. This is an image the commands your attention as well as an image that speaks to me. It is more than just a portrait.

Frank has two more sites you can view his photographs at:

His Photoeye site and his page on Social Documentary which has a Bio of him. I strongly recomment taking a few minutes to educate yourself more by reading his blog, his images, and his bio.

Thanks for posting your photographs as you are traveling Frank. Your images give me inspiration as well as the strong desire (more than I have already had) to travel the world with my cameras.

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