Monday 26 July 2010

Anna Strand

All images © Anna Strand

"I work with staged photography and text to examine the elusive parts of existence, the unreal aspects of reality," says Anna Strand by way of introduction to her brilliant project Never complain, never explain. Elaborating a little, she says that her photography "deals with our way of seeing by routine and our habit of using words and concepts by routine. In that way I want to come closer to what’s beyond the describable."

I must admit, hers is not the best artist statement I´ve ever read but Swedish photographer Anna Strand is definitely onto something here. I like the irreverent sense of humour present in the work which coupled with the enigmatic quality and clean aesthetic assures its success as both individual images and a methodically built up collection of pictures.

Strand works around the subject rather than addressing it directly; her method of enquiry is not aimed at solving problems, but at undermining uncertainties: "Lately I more specifically have been focused on the contradiction concerning the desire to disappear and at the same time wanting to be somebody. To be somebody is necessary in our world but at the same time it confines us in a frustrating way. The persons and objects in my images can be understood as performers, examining the world in and how to be a part of it in their own way."

To see more examples of her work, and to read her biography go to

Payback 2010

Every photographers deserves Payback

DACS has now launched Payback 2010 and this year we have a share of over £3 million of royalties to pay to photographers whose work has been reproduced in UK books or magazines or on certain television channels. Photographers have until 17 September 2010 to make their claim.

DACS negotiates these royalties on behalf of photographers and other visual artists. In 2009, DACS paid out a share of £3 million to 11,628 visual artists.

Did you know?

-In 2009, the average Payback claim was £300
-Last year the highest payment of £5600 was made to a photographer
-Every photographer who makes a successful Payback claim is guaranteed a minimum of £25

Where does the money come from?

Payback royalties come from revenue generated through collective licensing schemes. Collective licensing is used in situations where it would be difficult or near impossible for photographers to licence their rights on an individual basis, for example, when an individual wishes to photocopy a page of a book or magazine which features their work.

"It’s a win-win situation. All they need to do is fill in a Payback claim form telling DACS which books, magazines and television programmes their work has featured in. Once they’ve had a successful Payback claim, they can claim for the same published work every year, so the size of their claim could increase if they have new work." says Nicolas Watkins-Wright, DACS Payback Manager.

Photographer Betsie van de Meer also has some advice for photographers claiming for the first time:

"I hadn’t heard of Payback before last year. A photographer friend told me about it and so I contacted DACS. Initially I had a lot of questions about what work I could claim for. DACS were really helpful, they explained what I needed to do and it became very simple after that. Getting the first royalty felt great. It came just before Christmas and I was really surprised by the amount."

In order to make a claim photographers need to provide up to three examples of both books and magazines where their work has featured. We just need to know the publication title, ISBN/ISSN or barcode number, plus the cover date, issue number or year of publication. Photographers can also claim for all work which has featured on any of the following TV channels in 2009 only - BBC 1, 2, 3, 4, BBC News 24/ Parliament, CBBC, CBeebies, ITV1, Channel 4, SC4 and Channel 5.

The easiest way to claim is to fill in the form online at Alternatively they can request a claim form to be sent to them by post or email. For further information about Payback or to request a claim form contact the Payback team on 020 7553 9062 or email payback(at)dacs(dot)org(dot)uk

Established by artists for artists, DACS (the Design and Artists Copyright Society) is the UK’s leading visual arts rights management organisation. As a not-for-profit organisation, DACS translates rights into revenues and recognition for a wide spectrum of visual artists. DACS exists to generate and distribute money to artists, which in turn, helps to sustain their practice and livelihood.

DACS offers three rights management services – copyright licensing, Artist’s Resale Right and collective licensing – in addition to lobbying, advocacy and legal advice for visual artists. In 2009, DACS distributed over £6.1 million of royalties to artists and their beneficiaries. DACS takes a small administration charge on the Payback royalties collected on behalf of artists in order to cover the costs of running the service. Since 2008 this charge has been reduced from 25% to 22% in a continued effort to pay out even more to visual artists.

Thursday 22 July 2010

William Klein: Out of Necessity

Want a lesson from a living legend? Thought so. Sit back and watch this rare interview with William Klein. Enjoy!

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Fernanda Montoro

All images © Fernanda Montoro

Fans of the Polaroid will hopefully revel in these pictures that have been sent in by Fernanda Montoro. I, for one, was bowled over by the dreamy and poetic nature of her images. Some may indeed argue that the Polaroid simply offers yet another form of processed nostalgia but there is no getting away from its singular ability to convey the intimacy and melancholy beauty of things; in other words, a "thereness".

Fernanda Montoro was born in Uruguay, in 1974. In 2002 after 10 years working in the scientific field, Fernanda moved to London where she studied film-making and set up Satori films. During the process of making short documentaries Fernanda discovered her passion for photography. Today she lives and works as a freelance photographer between London and Montevideo, using mainly vintage Polaroid cameras. Her limited edition archival giclée prints and original Polaroid work has been exhibited in galleries around the world and published in numerous magazines and books.

Talking about the photographs shown here, Montoro says:

"Two years ago I made the decision to shoot, almost exclusively, with a Polaroid sx70camera. I had fallen madly in love with the way Polaroid magically captures light, with the distinctive quality that a polaroid photo has. Also, I am interested in telling stories and expressing myself through visuals and Polaroid and its dreamy, blurred quality is the perfect means for me to do that. I called this selection of photos Time Zero.Time Zero is one type of film that Polaroid produced until 2006. It's become harder and harder to find, but that only makes it even more special. For me, the texture, saturation of pictures taken with Time Zero film equals none."