Judy Cooperman: Blog https://www.judycooperman.com/blog en-us (C) Judy Cooperman. All Rights Reserved. [email protected] (Judy Cooperman) Mon, 05 Jul 2021 19:41:00 GMT Mon, 05 Jul 2021 19:41:00 GMT https://www.judycooperman.com/img/s/v-12/u1022680619-o1052228399-50.jpg Judy Cooperman: Blog https://www.judycooperman.com/blog 80 120 Where are we now? https://www.judycooperman.com/blog/2021/7/where-are-we-now The state of the world has really changed over the last year and a half due to Covid-19. Things we took for granted are not readily available or may even exist anymore. People we took for granted may also have been lost. Feelings of isolation and the inability to travel have been issues many of us have had to deal with. This has been something that has affected my personal life as well as my professional life, particularly as a photographer, and with my recent focus on street and travel photography. 

Fortunately, while not being able to travel is disappointing, there was a lot that I still could do from my studio. I went back and renewed my study of photography, working on new skills and delving more into how my relatively new Sony camera operates     (Sony A7R3). It has also given me time to organize my ideas, research future projects I’d like to work on and, more generally, think about what I’d like to do in the future.

Reviewing and selecting photos to add to my website from the thousands I’ve taken over the past number of years of traveling in Italy has given me the chance to relive some of my trips. The memories brought up by these photographs make me smile. And for you, I hope my photos spark an interest in and a desire to travel through Italy - which I can highly recommend, also to learn more about the people and culture, and make you smile with recollections you may have of good travels there.


[email protected] (Judy Cooperman) Covid-19 Italy photography Sony A7R3 Sony cameras street photography travel travel Italy travel photography https://www.judycooperman.com/blog/2021/7/where-are-we-now Mon, 05 Jul 2021 19:35:46 GMT
A New Vision https://www.judycooperman.com/blog/2021/3/a-new-vision When I began my photographic journey, I found myself building upon my interests and concerns as an artist and feminist. The value and importance placed on a woman’s appearance, and the beauty culture in general, struck me as excessive at times. While this has not changed for me, the focus of my present work has changed. I took a trip to Italy a number of years ago and fell in love with everything about it. It became something I had to do as often as possible. Each successive trip made me only want to be there more, to study it, explore it, and photograph it. In a way, this is tougher than it might seem. First of all, my ability to go to Italy is limited by personal, financial and professional constraints. Certainly in the days of Covid-19, this has become just a dream. My work now has been to go back through my many photos that I've been fortunate to take and find those that best express my vision. So needless to say, this is where my work is at present.


Traveling to Italy in the past I was always looking for new places to explore while never abandoning those I’ve already found and have developed a wonderful relationship with. Then I've combined being a “tourist” with efforts to be a “working photographer,” documenting what I see, all the while trying to express how I feel about where I am. My camera is always with me, yet I sometimes miss the shots that I would have loved to get when I’m in the wrong mode. But that is what happens when you’re juggling these somewhat different roles. I’ve learned to live with this and accept it at this stage of life, albeit incredibly frustrating at times. I often wish that my primary role was defined as a photographer so that I could justify taking the time I need to find the perfect location, set up the perfect shot, and wait for the perfect light. But for now I’ve learned not to be so hard on myself, to let go a little, take as many photos as I can when I find my perfect shot, and then work to make them into something great.

At home I sort through and work on my photos, which I do to a minimal degree to keep them authentic. That's when I feel like the trip begins all over again. I really start to feel like I’m standing in front of that spot again, enjoying the people or the little things that make Italy so special, the beauty and serenity that I found in the landscape. Maybe sometime in the future I will be able to be there again.  I hope that people see my images and enjoy them. For me, there is joy in going through the entire process, from capture to print, and know that I’ve brought home for myself, a little bit of Italy.


[email protected] (Judy Cooperman) https://www.judycooperman.com/blog/2021/3/a-new-vision Wed, 31 Mar 2021 01:05:00 GMT
First Steps: The Decision to Study Art https://www.judycooperman.com/blog/2017/3/first-steps-the-decision-to-study-art I remember loving art as a child and throughout my school years. I never felt, however, that it was the subject of serious pursuit. As an adult, I allowed myself to “dabble” in it during my spare time while raising my children. But “dabbling” didn’t seem to be enough. I began to think more seriously about studying art and decided to formally pursue this interest. I went back to college to take art classes and was hooked (I was the old person in the front of the room that I remember from my college days). I attended the required undergraduate classes that allowed me to work towards a graduate degree and then received my Master of Fine Arts in 2001. My graduate work was mostly in painting and drawing, but I never could quite separate myself from the camera, and so my art work eventually turned (or returned, I should say) to photography.


While working on my degree, as I was trying to see what direction I would take in my work, the answer became clear after an ordinary, common place experience. I had gone to do what I thought would be simple - find a magazine that would help me relax while I took a break from work. I realized that, instead, I felt obligated to evaluate every part of my body, my hair color and cut, determine whether my accessories were “in” and whether I knew what the new color choices were essential for the season. Instead of drifting into that place where we don’t have to think about anything serious or pressing, I became concerned as I was bombarded with instructions and requirements for being beautiful and felt the panic setting in.


Having grown up during the rise of feminism, I could not believe that we had not come farther than this. My political and feminist roots were reawakened (I already had an advanced degree in Political Science) and so my art and politics found an outlet. My work became the beginning of an ongoing study, entitled “Visions of Beauty.” In it, my photographs capture real women of all ages as they make their way through the contemporary beauty culture. I was disturbed by the publicity surrounding all of the plastic surgery that was being advertised and the resulting horror stories popping up on the news.  It is a fact of life that women spend a great deal of time attempting to alter or recreate their identities, crossing over at times into obsession. I became interested in the “instructions” and the pressures, the standards and expectations, focusing on how women respond to them. I should say that as I began to investigate these issues I knew that I did not want to be the “angry” feminist, critical of other women, those who seemingly have devoted too much of their time, money and sense of selves to follow the beauty prescriptions. Rather, I have chosen to take a more positive and supportive role, knowing that the beauty culture gets all of us at times in our lives. I wanted to show the reality, the humor, and the ridiculousness of what we do in the name of beauty through my art. I hoped that awareness would lead to recognition, compassion and sound choices for women, and the realization that the right answers may be different for different women.


In “Visions of Beauty” the photographs are not manipulated or staged. I document women of all ages, caught in what is usually a private activity and who have changed their appearance from temporary and minor adjustments to more radical plastic surgery. This reveals the processes and the tools that are part of these efforts, as well as the “essentials” that every woman wants and needs. Additionally, the photographs are in color and generally large-scale to force the viewer to really confront the images. It isolates the little parts of life and lets us see things that we normally might miss. The photographs capture a moment in time and the reality of the experience for these women.  In this way, the emphasis is no longer on the final product and we truly see what women do in the name of “beauty.”



[email protected] (Judy Cooperman) https://www.judycooperman.com/blog/2017/3/first-steps-the-decision-to-study-art Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:48:36 GMT
The Beginning https://www.judycooperman.com/blog/2017/3/the-beginning  

Merriam-Webster defines “passion” as:


  • emotion: the emotions as distinguished from reason
  • intense, driving or overmastering feeling or conviction
  • a strong like or desire for or devotion to some activity, object or concept
  • an object of desire or deep interest


I thought this would be a good place to begin my blog. If I had to think of what in my life fits Merriam-Webster’s definition it would be photography. Even back when I was in high school, in the days of film and darkrooms, I went after school to take photography classes. Unfortunately, I suppose that at the time photography, or even art, didn’t feel like a legitimate career choice, or were paths that women of the “feminist” generation should take. It didn’t reflect our independence and ability to compete with men in the workplace.


However, I never lost this “deep interest or desire” to make art, and more specifically, make photographs. I think I always loved the immediacy of the photographic image - you see it, you capture it, and then it is always there as a reminder of that special or precisely seen moment.


The bottom line here is that I guess if something is truly a passion it stays with you. And, I hate to admit that it took decades to get around to really recognizing this passion and then acknowledging it in my work.


Photographing things that are important to me is one part of my work, and I see that what is “important” continually changes and evolves over time. Writing about my work is the second part, and for me has a dual purpose. I believe that it will provide a context for my photographs, informing the viewer/reader of how I connect to a particular body of work. But I also hope that by putting my interests and concerns into words it will help me to follow this path, keeping me focused and thoughtful about what I’m doing.

[email protected] (Judy Cooperman) https://www.judycooperman.com/blog/2017/3/the-beginning Mon, 13 Mar 2017 03:43:35 GMT