In this latest body of work from Gregory Crewdson we see a departure from his signature images. There are none of his familiar suburban scenes: no supernatural settings, ghost towns or abandoned streets. The series, entitled Sanctuary, is a set of black and white photographs taken in Italy. The photographs were shot in Rome’s legendary movie studio, Cinnecità, were such films as “The Life Aquatic” and “La Dolce Vita” were shot.

This series sees Crewdson taking a significant technical break from his earlier work, as all the photographs were shot using a digital medium-format camera – quite a change to the somewhat cumbersome 10 x 8 film camera he has used in the past. This is Crewdson’s most classical work yet, very much grounded in the traditional landscape framework. Despite this, there are still echoes of his earlier ideas and techniques – expect this work to feel like a hall of mirrors.



I saw this series of images for the first time when I was at university and even today it still captures my imagination, so much so that I recently created my own camera obscura in my bedroom. The principles involved are the very foundation of photography: this technique was used by Vermeer when he was painting, and went on to become an aid to drawing outdoors. This idea of projecting an image interested Nicephore Niepce, and indeed Louis Daguerre, to the point that they decided to work towards capturing an image forever on a sheet of paper.

Morell has taken a different approach to this subject matter, by photographing the projected images themselves. Anyone who has made or seen a camera obscura will know that the usual image is projected upside down. Morell uses a lens to improve upon the clarity of the image in terms of both sharpness and brightness. In a later series of this work he introduced a prism to turn the image the right way up.

A fascinating piece of work for anyone interested in the early techniques of photography!


This blog is run by American Willson Cummer. I came across this site only a few weeks ago and I keep finding myself going back to it. There are some golden nuggets of work on that site. For instance, the work of Margaret Inga Wiatrowski, Sherif Elhage, and Claire Harlan – all definitely worth checking out. And the list goes on…

The blog posts interviews with photographers and showcases many photographs that are in-keeping with the site’s theme. For those interested in new photographers who explore this subject matter there is an extensive list of artists. Click on the names to visit their personal webpages.