For more stories like this, please subscribe to The Phoblographer.

The Sigma fp L is arguably one of the most innovative mirrorless cameras on the market. It’s a stripped-down camera that, with accessories, allows photographers to build back only what is needed. It’s got a lot: from grips to viewfinders and a hot shoe slot. Carrying on with the same body style as the original fp, the Sigma fp L adds a higher-resolution 61-megapixel sensor. The autofocus also gets a boost, and the camera houses more color profiles, along with other smaller tweaks.

But, while innovative, has Sigma stripped away too much? The mirrorless camera lacks a physical, mechanical shutter, relying instead on only an electronic one. It lacks in-body optical stabilization. If you want a hot shoe flash, you can’t add on a viewfinder. And where many companies are making autofocus systems that require three digits to count the

Read More

Game Boy: The Box Art Collection doesn’t leave you guessing about its contents with its title. It is a 372-page book (also comes with a PDF copy) about showing you high-quality photos of Game Boy box art, and it just feels like a premium product. It’s hardcover with thick pages and sewn binding for better preservation with use, and anyone who sees this bad boy on the coffee table is going to flip through it. Likewise, anyone who approaches this book with strictly a deep appreciation for art will probably walk away quite satisfied. However, there are bizarre oversights in how Game Boy: The Box Art Collection is organized that ultimately leave it a deeply frustrating book, despite how pretty it is.

The bones are strong

Game Boy: The Box Art Collection starts off with an innocuous foreword from Jean-Jacques Calbayrac, or “Gameboycameraman,” before delving into a pretty

Read More

Of course, photographers and artists recognized the aesthetic merits of photography before the 1970s. Alfred Stieglitz began exhibiting photographs in New York in the early 1900s as part of his project of introducing modernism to America. Out West, Ansel Adams invested in the purity of the photographic image as he used his camera to capture landscapes in ways unique to the medium. In the aftermath of World War II, however, painting and sculpture were paramount, and artists’ efforts to express the inner world rather than depict the outer one left little room for the mechanical work of cameras. When Grundberg arrived in New York in 1971, that had begun to change. Andy Warhol was famous by then; artists like Robert Rauschenberg had been using photo-based techniques in mixed-media work for some time; the Museum of Modern Art’s 1972 posthumous retrospective of Dianne Arbus was a landmark event.

And something new

Read More

Installation of “Tad Beck: Eyes of” at Grant Wahlquist Gallery in Portland. Courtesy of the artist and Grant Wahlquist Gallery, Portland

In 1970, conceptual artist Mel Bochner created an art piece called “Misunderstanding (A Theory of Photography).” For this work, Bochner, who enjoyed nothing so much as interrogating modes of representation in art, commented specifically on assumptions about photography. The piece consisted of quotes regarding the medium from well-known figures and reference books, each handwritten on a 16-by-20-inch notecard. Marcel Proust’s bruising observation, for instance, was “Photography is the product of complete alienation.”

Another assumption came from the Encyclopedia Britannica: “Photography cannot record abstract ideas.” While not the actual impetus for “Tad Beck: Eyes of,” the current photography show at Grant Wahlquist Gallery (through June 12), this notion metaphorically throws down a gauntlet that Beck has been challenging for years.

The series of abstract portraits was conceived before the

Read More