Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Street Hipstography: Where Voyeur Meets Social Media

April 24, 2014

This article was originally published in The Times of Israel.

Bruce (photo credit: Sheldon Serkin)

Bruce (photo credit: Sheldon Serkin)

If you are in New York, don’t be surprised if you appear in one of Sheldon Serkin’s photographs. But there’s no way to know he’s taken your picture: He never holds his camera up to his face, and he never makes eye contact — let alone speaks — with his subjects

Serkin is part of the growing mobile phone street photography trend in which images are surreptitiously captured of daily lives, oblivious to the lens pointed at them. It’s a democratic kind of photography, enabled by the advent of the iPhone and digital photo apps that let anyone try their hand at becoming the next William Klein, Henri Cartier-Bresson or Robert Frank. The genre is often referred to as hipstography, after the Hipstamatic app, which became popular in 2010 and gave the trend a huge push.

“I like being able to do it undercover. I like that I don’t draw attention to myself, because I don’t like confrontation,” Brooklyn-based Serkin tells The Times of Israel.

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


Tel Aviv photo shop freezes a changing Israel in its frames

March 13, 2014

This article was first published in The Times of Israel.

Nurit Wahl (photo credit: Rudi Weissenstein/Courtesy of Ian Sternthal)

Nurit Wahl (photo credit: Rudi Weissenstein/Courtesy of Ian Sternthal)

In 2006 Ian Sternthal wandered into the legendary Pri-Or Photo House on Tel Aviv’s Allenby Street and never really left. Although he has come and gone on visits to Israel from his Montreal home, he has been unable to get the thousands of portraits taken by the studio’s co-founder, famed photographer Rudi Weissenstein (1910-1992), out of his head.

Sternthal, owner of Sternthal Books, an art group and publishing company, decided to curate and produce a coffee-table book of some of the portraits. He plans to also create an e-book with digital footage, as well as a traveling exhibition. The project, which he has named “Zalmania” (Hebrew for photo house), is moving ahead following a successful Kickstarter campaign.

“I came across the zalmania when I was doing research on old photos of Tel Aviv for a project on Zionism I was doing,” Sternthal, 33, tells The Times of Israel. “People are always interested in Rudi’s folkloric, scenic and event photographs of Israel’s early years  but I was captivated by his studio portraits.”

Click here to read more, view some of the portraits, and watch a video.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Yeshiva University Nixes Edgy Photography Project

January 31, 2014

This post first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.


Yeshiva University is reportedly not interested in having its students wear their hearts on their sleeves—or faces, for that matter.

According to an article written by Debra Nussbaum Cohen for Haaretz, YU administrators put the kibosh on plans by YU and Stern College students to bring Sacramento,California-based photographic artist Steve Rosenfield to campus for his “What I Be” Project. Rosenfield, 38, has visited half a dozen other universities for the project, in which he photographs young adults after they have written a word or phrase expressing their greatest vulnerability on either their face, arm or hand (in some cases, all three).

Rosenfield’s portrait of Ben Faulding, a 30-year-old member of Crown Heights, Brooklyn’s Chabad community, has recently been shared widely on social media. Faulding, who has a black father and white mother, chose to have “SHVARTZE” (Yiddish for black, and used in a derogatory way) written on his forehead. He wrote a post about the experience and gave it the title, “I Hate This Word And So I Let A Man Write It On My Face.”

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.