Here are a few interesting posts from over the holidays. The first is from J.Wesley Brown at We can shoot too and he asks what is a portrait. Is it a head and shoulders shot, can those pictures of random figures in the background be a portrait and what of pictures of pictures or screens or posters...
Not sure I know the answer to any of that, but I suspect it is something where the elements of the picture contribute something to the subject being portrayed or vice versa.
The other interesting post was by Elizabeth Fleming guest-posting on A Photo Editor. In this post she asks whether photographers should be held responsible for the recontextualising of their images, on the internet in particular. She also said that the pictures struck her "...as distressingly sexualized and, frankly, unsettling. Jonathan puts it best in his piece when he says that: “even in a world of moral relativity, these images transgressed some basic taboo.”
There is a whole can of worms to get oneself into here (not least the twists of Sturges' own life) but I don't think the photographer (or the film-maker, writer or poet) should be held responsible for the recontextualisation of their work. I'm not interested in Sturges' work but I would defend it from charges of criminality. I also think that Sturges pictures are more de-sexualised than anything else - his models might be attractive, skinny Europeans, but barring the lack of clothing in his pictures, it seems to me that he goes out of his way to avoid the sexually suggestive.
Finally, it's over to Blake Andrews for an interview with Joni Karanka about the Third Floor Gallery in Cardiff - another example of people who are just getting on with it despite minimal funding and the immense time and effort involve..