Friday, October 4, 2013

Photographers of Fashion Week: Youngjun Koo

i'm koo gq the cut ny mag
Here's the second installment of my Friday, "Photographers of Fashion Week" series. Youngjun Koo is the photographer behind the blog I'm Koo. He also does the street style pics for New York Magazine's The Cut and contributes images to GQ among other places. Fairly or not, I think of Koo as belonging to the "School of Blur," that set of New York-based photographers that includes Adam Katz Sinding of Le 21ème, Wataru Bob Shimosato of An Unknown Quantity, Ryosuke Sato of As Usual, and, arguably, Michael C. Dumler of On Abbot Kinney. They are all excellent photographers, who run in the same circles at Fashion Week, often shooting right near one another, even occasionally taking pictures of one another (Shimosato, for instance, has a shot of Koo up on his site right now). They all dress more or less entirely in black, focus their attention on high end looks, and prefer to shoot fragmented, often strangely composed shots of runway show attendees in motion, the aperture on their (generally 85mm) lenses set as wide open as possible. This creates a dense background of blur, known in photography circles as "bokeh." It lends the image an aura of mystery and often creates the impression that the various models, editors, and style stars in their shots are about to walk into a fog bank. I'm fond of the style myself, and a lot of my own work has been influenced by it. In fact, this shot of Koo has been influenced by it. Lately, however, I've been going for something else, something crisper and more composed, something that reinforces the illusion of realism. But what I like about the School of Blur is that they seem so uninterested in realism. Their images ooze with romanticism. They feel edgy and anxious. In Koo's work, which, on his website at least, largely takes the form of portraits cut up into multiple shots, fashion becomes a series of oblique stylized gestures, cinematic stills of some imaginary film noir.   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.