The Two Sides of Eolo Perfido

At first glance Eolo Perfido is a good example of the contemporary photographer - a little edgy and experimental, with clear influences from current fashion and art cultures, but focussed principally on traditional studio photography of slender ethnic women in slightly bizarre textile creations. His exceptionally charming website takes you through five galleries of very standard, formulaic work - very well executed, to be sure, but subject to the old caveats on the worthiness of fashion photography as an artform. The sixth, without warning, changes setting completely. The last gallery, the largest of all, is a portfolio of photographs of the desert region of Morrocco.

Vibrant with colour and sensitively-handled light, they also represent a feat of photojournalism and the flexibility to adapt to the highly distinct demands of studio and field photography. The Extras section also incorporates a fascinating and equally well-shot selection of behind-the-scenes photographs for several shoots and images of layouts in which has work has been incorporated. This French-born photographer has a lot of warmth, passion, and talent.


A. Murat Eren

Hi. I am just another photographer from New Orleans and this is my small photography web site to share some of my works, but not the best ones (kiddin').

A. Murat Eren may not be pushing the hard sell on his images - as he states on his website he is, by profession, an open source software developer, which is a reasonable explanation for the nice light, simple album layout - but with a more selective approach to showcasing his work, he probably could. An engineer's technical curiosity is quite clear in his more misguided experimentation; combining the ridiculous novelty technique of tilt-shift photography - the product of which is a focus distortion which makes the environment appear like a model or toy set - with the agonisingly tired setting of...a cemetery. Perhaps there was potentially some irony in the concept; A. Murat Eren neither recognised nor employed any. The result is a boring mess of blurs.

Tilt-shift photography, it should be noted, really has very limited creative potential. The images are striking, but their novelty - 'that looks like a model of a city....but, no, what is this caption here...oh god, maybe we're all the pawns of some higher race...' - wears off very rapidly, and the technique is now easily and very frequently emulated using Photoshop.

Another failed experiment, producing two vague images, employs pinhole photography. Clearly the restriction of the medium should drive its creative application, but Eren again fails to produce anything but the most frustratingly straightforward compositions.

Still, experimentation is admirable and, of course, the right of the amateur photographer. The quality, warmth and gentle humour of his standard work is beyond reproach, with only the occasional touch of over-sentimentality :

This, for example, is just a well-lit Lolcat template.

His blogs, his personal There is no silver bullet. and his photography blog Meren's Wall, make the prima fascie case for his endearingly askew grammar; since they are both exclusively in Turkish, I'm bound to judge the former from the three Cradle of Filth songs and embarrassingly geeky cartoon tacked to the sidebar, and the latter from the generally high standard of new photographs, with the exception of a few more lolcats :

Overlooking the rather sinister accidental composition, I can't tell you why Eren selects his photographs the way he does. Also, my Turkish is rusty but from the amount of jargon I would guess that he's rather in love with the technical aspects of photography over its aesthetics; but there are a number of outstanding images in his collection.

Also, the man likes cats. That must count for something.

Joe Baran

It would be easy, and maybe fair, to assign Baran's work to the Gothic Suburbia category in the Lynch-Crewdson vein of seedy, plastic surrealism. Many of the images resemble nothing so much as a trade-off between Crewdson's subject matter and Jeff Wall's compositional style - empty environments with a charcoal gloss. From this perspective they lack the studio melodrama of Crewdson and the unjudgmental naturalism of Wall and occupy an insignificant niche.

This would be, however, a unreasonably pretentious aproach to a rather glorious collection of cold, beautifully shot images with a sensitive veneer of cross-processing that as a collection compose a quiet, almost dystopian landscape. The light balance has a strange, fractal flatness - reminiscent of Wall's style in the holistic multi-point focus that disorientates by refusing to imply the camera's sense of perspective, creating a perceptual labyrinth of lines - that evokes the ethereal aura of an altogether softer brand of surreal and grittier tone to the environment. His online portfolio includes some more misguided composition work, but as a whole represents a unifying sense of style and purpose. Derivative or sublime, depending on whether his technique is enough to separate him from his more prestigious rivals.