← Photographers W-Z
Jeff Wall, 1984 © Pmussler
b: 1946 Vancouver
Wall is introduced in Part 3 of the EyV course, Traces of Time, dealing with the shutter, showing his image Milk, 1984 (fig. 2).
Wikipedia describes his life and career thus,
a Canadian artist best known for his large-scale back-lit cibachrome photographs and art history writing. Wall has been a key figure in Vancouver's art scene since the early-1970s. Early in his career, he helped define the Vancouver School and he has published essays on the work of his colleagues and fellow Vancouverites Rodney Graham, Ken Lum, and Ian Wallace. His photographic tableaux often take Vancouver's mixture of natural beauty, urban decay and postmodern and industrial featurelessness as their backdrop.
Wall experimented with conceptual art while an undergraduate at UBC.He then made no art until 1977, when he produced his first backlit phototransparencies. Many of these are staged and refer to the history of art and philosophical problems of representation. Their compositions often allude to artists like Diego Velázquez, Hokusai, and Édouard Manet, or to writers such as Franz Kafka, Yukio Mishima, and Ralph Ellison. Wikipedia
Jackie Higgins [Foc p. 124] shows his image Picture for Women (fig. 1) and makes three points about it:
1. Although it looks as if it might have been taken accidentally, it is a recreation of Manet's Un Bar aux Folies-Bergère.
2. The viewer usually assumes that the image was taken using a mirror, but there is no actual visual evidence to support that. (A close examination might show information on engraved on the camera lens reversed; if we knew whether the photographer is left or wight handed, his wristwatch might suggest an answer.)
3. When the original image is seen, it will be noted that it comprises two joined transparencies. Wall is quoted as saying "that this enables 'a dialectic between depth and flatness'".
The course book [Cot p. 49] states,
Wall divides photographers into two camps, hunters and farmers, the former tracking down and capturing images, the latter cultivating them over time. Cot p. 49
© Heine Pedersen
b: 1963 Birmingham
Wearing features in Higgins' Why it does not have to be in focus (Higgins, 2013, pp. 28-9).
Wearing won the Turner Prize in 1997 and more recently created the statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square.
The work celebrated in Higgins (ibid.) is her series of portrait recreations of herself in earlier life and as members of her own family, sourced from family photograph albums. For Self Portrait at 17 Years Old, 2003 (fig. 1), Wearing wears a silicon mask to replicate her former self and goes to great lengths to recreate a photobooth image. The other images shown below are in the same vein. She has also photographed herself posing as various photographers, including Arbus, Sander and Claude Cahun.
While this may be considered narcissistic, the notion has allowed Wearing to construct a large body of work that is at once playful and highly regarded. It is both niche and evidence in support of my theory regarding photographers' self portraits.
Wearing is on the list of Nichers.
links - Tate
added - 23Apr19
b: 1899 Austria-Hungary / d: 1968 New York
He was born Ascher (Usher) Fellig in Złoczów, Galicia, Austria-Hungary, now Zolochiv, Ukraine.
Weegee is probably the best, or the best known, or the most renowned photographer of crime scenes, perhaps the first paperazzo, in the modern sense. His family emigrated to the US in 1909 and he worked in various photographic jobs before going freelance in 1935. He gained his reputation by chasing down overnight police stories, aiming to be the first on the scene.
He used a 4×5 Speed Graphic camera and Wikipedia states that his presets were f/16 at 1/200 of a second, with flashbulbs and a set focus distance of ten feet. Despite that, he is often quoted as saying "f/8 and be there" as a recipe for success in this genre.
Some of his scenes were staged, including one of his most famous, The Critic, fig. ?.
added - 5Jan19providing
by Tim Mantoani
b: 1943 Holyoke, Mass.
Is there any mileage in the theory that photographers with alliterative names tend to photograph dogs (or, conversely, that dog-snappers tend to have alliterative names): I only have a sample of two, Wegman and Elliott Erwitt, nevertheless …
I first came to Weman as providing the cover images on all five editions of Barrett's Criticizing Photographs. There can, in my view, be few higher accolades than being chosen repeatedly by Barrett.
A glimpse at those covers reveals that he photographed other things too, but he did favour dogs.
Wikipedia, after mentioning Wegman's rise, including participation in the 1969 exhibition When Attitudes Become Form (which is well worth a look - and here) concentrates on his dogs. First was Man Ray (?-1982), then Fay Ray (1986-?) [and a Polaroid 20 x 24 camera] and her offspring, Crooky, Chundo and Battina who begat Chip (1995) who begat Bobbin (1999) who begat Penny (2004).
links - artist's web site,
added - 15May20
© Stephanie McDermott
b: 1951 Hartford, Connecticut
Welling features in Higgins' Why it does not have to be in focus (Higgins, 2013, pp. 98-99).
The work cited in Higgins (ibid.) is the 2006 Flowers series (fig. 1). Here, he created 8x10" black-and-white photogram negatives of plants, then printed the negatives, sandwiched with coloured filters to create newly coloured positives. This may appear, on the surface to be pointless, but it is an example of camera-less photography that evokes the art's very beginnings with the photograms of Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins
Welling's web site shows a wide array of his output, from the early Polacolor prints (fig. 2) to the most recent example from the Bodies series (fig. 3).
links - artist's web site
added - 24Apr19
by Judy Dater †
b: 1923 Kansas City / d: 2007
I encountered Welpott on an email about a photo auction. I had not heard the name before. He had a great eye and I was particularly taken by fig. 1. His local newspaper, the Point Reyes Light printed a substantial obituary stating,
Jack Welpott, the legendary local photographer whose portraits of small town folk, landscapes and nude women have been displayed worldwide, from the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris to Toby’s Feed Barn in Point Reyes Station, passed away on Saturday November 24. He was 84. Point Reyes Light
† his second wife.
added - 1Feb21
b: 1963 Munich
Wesely is introduced in Part 3 of the EyV course, Traces of Time, dealing with the shutter, as he is an exponent of exposure durations lasting in years rather than fractions of a second.
Wikipedia describes his work as follows:
Wesely employed a self-made special pinhole camera for photographing scenes of profound and quick development such as the reconstruction of Berlin Potsdamer Platz in the years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in the late 1990s. In contrast, he later made pictures of still East German and American landscapes showing wide fields and the sky above. During the reconstruction of New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Wesely took photos recording the change in architecture. This was called the Open Shutter project, shown at the MoMA in 2004. Together with Lina Kim, he later photographed the Brazilian capital Brasília
Wesely's works deal with the subject of time and the change that takes place over time. Due to the extremely long exposure and the special bulb he uses, those elements that move the least dominate his images, while those moving will later be seen as transparent figures or the outlines of newly erect buildings overlapping. The pictures "reveal the passage of time by showing the changing skyline, the skeletons of cranes. the rise of new buildings, and the disappearance of others. Beams of sunlight, the residue of the ever-changing positions (tithe earth and sun, are also evident, like a palimpsest of seasons". Everything that ever happened on the scene during exposure (during weeks, months, or even up to two or three years) will be seen in one single picture. Wesely's photographs have been described as a metaphor on the change of Berlin after 1989 because "at once strikingly energetic and ghostly and uninhabited. This formal paradox aptly describes Berlin, which had only been unified for ten years at the time the images were taken. In that way, the photographs offer a larger commentary on time's passage. wikipedia.org
links - Stefan Klenke
by Calvert Barron
b: 1942 New Jersey / d: 2018 California
In the July 2019 edition of BJP, in a piece on Wessel, Gerry Badger writes about photographers, "who became highly respected figures, yet never quite went on to have the stellar careers of [their contemporaries]" such as Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz.
Badger suggests that the factors determining success include luck and determination, but that in Wessel's specific case, being on the west coast of the US rather than in New York; the distraction of teaching photography courses; and not producing photobooks until later life. Regarding style and subject matter, Wessel retained an intuitive, flâneuristic approach (though he often drives and shoots from the car, rather than walking), not moving with the fashion to 'sociopolitical' themes in the 1970s, but Badger notes that in the longer term, this has served Wessel who is now being reappraised.
At the time of writing, a retrospective exhibition (May-Aug 2019) is at the Paris Maison Européenne de la Photographie.
added - 20Jul19
Edward Weston [V&A]
Edward Weston with Seneca View Camera, 1924
b: 1886 Highland Park, Illinois / d: 1958 Carmel, California
to consult rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravity before going for a walk Weston, E. (1930) ‘Photography – Not Pictorial’
He is celebrated for his images of vegetables, nudes and sea shells in addition to landscapes. Peter Stepan [P50] writes,
Feminist commentators have taken offence at the dispassionate care Weston devoted equally to vegetables and his female models. As a reviewer in Village Voice remarked on a New York retrospective years later, 'Since he was both a vegetarian and a great lover, he also treated them equally as delicacies'. P50 p.57
links - edward-weston.com
Portrait of Garry Winogrand,
b: 1928 New York / d: 1984 Tijuana, Mexico
an American street photographer from the Bronx, New York, known for his portrayal of U.S. life and its social issues, in the mid-20th century. Though he photographed in Los Angeles and elsewhere, Winogrand was essentially a New York photographer. wikipedia
Winogrand has achieved legenday status as a street photographer and was described by Szarkowski as, "the central photographer of his generation" (wikipedia). I just don't get it: they appear quite ordinary to me. The zoo image (fig. 2) is well observed and probably demonstrates the rewards of patience and opportunism, but even so…
added - 23Dec18
b: 1951 Ireland
Wood features in the online BJP for November 2018 in a piece by Marigold Warner,
Almost every Saturday between 1978 and 1999, Tom Wood travelled from his home in New Brighton by ferry and bus to Great Homer Street market, just outside Liverpool city centre in the North West of England. He would spend the morning there photographing the mothers and daughters, kids dressed in matching blue and lilac tracksuits, teenagers chatting away with their curly hair swept up into side-ponies, and grandmothers haggling for of a string of pearl necklaces or a second-hand coat. In the afternoon he’d travel on to either Everton or Liverpool football ground, then back on the bus and ferry, taking pictures every step of the way… Now, the photographs are published in a book, and exhibited this month at Sion and Moore Gallery in London. Marigold Warner, BJP
links - Sion and Moore Gallery
self portrait c. 1977
b: 1958 Denver / d: 1981 New York
Woodman is discussed at some length in C&N Part 3.
Woodman is introduced in Part 3 of the EyV course, Traces of Time Gerry Badger quoted referring to her ‘personalised psychodramas with the temporal and spatial displacements of long exposures and blurred movement’.
Wikipedia's description is,
an American photographer best known for her black and white pictures featuring either herself or female models. Many of her photographs show women, naked or clothed, blurred (due to movement and long exposure times), merging with their surroundings, or whose faces are obscured. Her work continues to be the subject of much critical acclaim and attention, years after she died by suicide at the age of 22.
Wikipedia goes on to state that after training in the arts, Woodman sought a career in fashion photography but failed to find an opening. This combined with a relationship breakdown led to her suicide attempts in 1980 and again, fatally, in 1981. It continues,
Although Woodman used different cameras and film formats during her career, most of her photographs were taken with medium format cameras producing 2-1/4 by 2-1/4 inch (6x6 cm) square negatives. Woodman created at least 10,000 negatives, which her parents now keep. Woodman's estate, which is managed by Woodman's parents, consists of over 800 prints, of which only around 120 images had been published or exhibited as of 2006. Most of Woodman's prints are 8 by 10 inches (20 by 25 cm) or smaller, which "works to produce an intimate experience between viewer and photograph".
Many of Woodman's images are untitled and are known only by a location and date. citation
Jackie Higgins [Foc] writes,
In her self-portraiture, Woodman relied on myriad tactics to conceal and camouflage herself from the camera and the viewer. Firstly, she theatrically conceived all her imagery: staging scenes like a director, stepping into roles and performing like an actress. Secondly, she rarely showed her face; in Self Deceit 1, viewers are offered a glimpse, but it is only an indistinct reflection in a mirror. Thirdly, she would often move during exposure, so that the film registered a blur and she became a ghostly apparition. In Self Deceit 4, she also bounces dappled light off her skin; by mimicking the characteristics of the wall, her body appears to melt into the stone. Why it does not have to be in focus p.14
b: 1852 Manchester / d: 1916 Oxford
Worthington is introduced in Part 3 of the EyV course, Traces of Time, dealing with the shutter.
He is described in Wikipedia as,
… an English physicist and educator. He is best known for his work on fluid mechanics, especially the physics of splashes; for observing those, he pioneered techniques of high speed photography. He also proposed the slug as a unit of inertial mass, and the pound-foot as a dedicated unit of torque. wikipedia
born - died
site - Wikipedia