Week 29 Course Update – HDR, Photobooks, New York Photo Festival

Week 29 was the quietest week in my first year in the MFA program.

In Digital Imaging, we talked about HDR Images…you know, those weird, gimmicky, plastic looking photos that lots of people post on flickr. I’m not saying I would never use HDR, I’m just not working on anything where the technique would be in service to the project and not just tarting up a mediocre photo.

I’m open-minded, so if anyone has any examples of great, successful HDR images that show the careful, considered use of the process, shoot me an email.


In History of the Book, we had to present a rough idea of our final projects. My project is comprised of four books containing photos I made in Azerbaijan. All four books have the same photos in the same layout, but each book contains appropriated texts from different sources: Government speeches and propaganda, human rights organizations, travel guides and finally, Azerbaijani poetry.

Click on the images to view larger:

Government aphotostudent
james pomerantz
aphotostudent human rights
james pomerantz
aphotostudent Travel
james pomerantz
poetry aphotostudent james pomerantz
james pomerantz


In Visible, Invisible we had our final class and students who hadn’t shared all of their projects yet had an opportunity to do so.


In Right Here, Right Now the topic was death in images. Sadly, I was unable to be in class but I’m sure it was an upbeat, feel good subject.


Like I said, a quiet week. So, news and reminders:

The New York Times Online Global Photo Project takes place on May 2nd. learn more about it HERE. It looks like a cool idea and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.


I’m excited to be included in Fred Ritchin’s exhibition “Bodies in Question” at the New York Photo Festival taking place from May 12 – May 16.

Artists in the show:

Benjamin Busch
Robbie Cooper
Luc Courchesne
Raphaël Dallaporta
Tina Enghoff
Marc Garanger
Jessica Ingram
Alexandre Maubert
James Pomerantz
Joseph Rodriguez
Linn Underhill
Deborah Willis
Michael Wolf
Lim Young Kyun

Additionally, there are three other main exhibitions curated by Vince Aletti, Erik Kessels and Lou Reed. Learn more about the curators and artists HERE.


This week, it’s more final projects and then next week I have my year-end review: I have to present my work from this past year along with a few paragraph statement about it to my crit instructor for next year and a few members of the faculty.

But, for all intents and purposes, for year one, we’ve just about come to the end of the road.

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9 Responses to Week 29 Course Update – HDR, Photobooks, New York Photo Festival

  1. Hi Thomas,
    Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the info!

    There you have it Hans,
    neither Michael or Thomas used HDR.
    Carl de Keyzer, however, did use HDR, but now is mostly using a high end digital back with a lot of range.


  2. Hi James,

    Since you were wondering if my project Office 2000 was made with HDR – here the answer:
    I started the project in 2002, and I don’t think the term HDR existed at the time. The project is shot on negative film (one exposure), and then scanned in one shot. I did some adjustments in photoshop by reducing the contrast via individual selections. So in a way kind of a pre-HDR technique…


  3. Well, I pretty much hated it too….

  4. Thanks Kenneth!
    That’s made me not hate HDR so much. You are the big winner!

  5. DeKeyzer seems to be doing it with interesting results?


    “From the outset, de Keyzer shot High Dynamic Range (HDR) images, combining different exposures to form one single image. “I wanted to get the last image before it turns to hell. It’s more like the ‘before’ moment, with the atmosphere of a big threat coming our way,” he explains. “For me HDR is just a practical way to get the high contrast in. But it adds to the atmosphere of something coming from the sea that doesn’t look good. I’m shooting on a 60‑megapixel Phase One P65+ back, either
    hand-held or on a tripod, and I combine the images in Photoshop. The P65+ is just a tool for making landscape images that are incredibly sharp. It’s like running around with an 10 x 8 camera hand-held.””

  6. Pumpkin says:

    I heard of a guy (Japanese) taking some really excellent “HDRI” night photos with a “modified Holga camera”.

    His name is 中東正之, this is his interview in Japanese:


    His blog:


  7. Hi James,

    I occasionally do real estate photography for apartments rented out to tourists. I often use HDR to show the interior and the view at the same time. It’s easier than setting up strobe lights. It looks a little unreal and cheesy but the owners like it [and they’re the ones paying me].


  8. Hi Hans,
    Not sure about Thomas, but Michael doesn’t use HDR.


  9. Hans Ning says:

    Not sure he explicitly says so, but I’m pretty sure that Michael Wolf uses HDR techniques in his Transparent City series, but much more reasonably. Also, Thomas Kneubühler probably uses it for his Office 2000. Can’t imagine how else they would achieve the tone range, but without it, neither projects would be nearly as interesting.

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