f100: Ray Mortenson, Ángel Franco, Tammy Mercure, Greg Miller

© Ray Mortenson, Untitled, 1983

fototazo has asked a group of 50 curators, gallery owners, blog writers, photographers, academics and others actively engaged in photography to pick two photographers that deserve (more) recognition - the underknown, the under-respected as well as not-appreciated-enough favorites. A little more information on the project is available in the first post in the series here.

Today we continue the series with responses from Daniel Echevarría and Natalie Minik.

We began the series with responses from Nicholas NixonMatt JohnstonBlake AndrewsJohn Edwin MasonAline SmithsonColin PantallMichael WernerLiza FetissovaLaurence Salzmann, Bryan Formhals, Richard Mosse, Shane Lavalette, Amy Stein, Amani Willett, Wayne FordS. Billie MandleLeslie K. BrownGordon StettiniusMarc Feustel, Hin ChuaAdriana Rios MonsalveDaniel AugschoellLarissa LeclairElinor Carucci and Pieter Wisse.

Respondent: Daniel Echevarría is a photographer and the co-founder and co-editor of One, One Thousand | A Publication of Southern Photography. He lives and works in New Orleans.

Selections: Ray Mortenson and Ángel Franco

Ray Mortenson
In recent years in the United States, we've seen a proliferation of photographs of urban blight (symptomatic, perhaps, of the nation's anxious psyche during this increasingly long recession). Photographs of depressed cities from across the Rust and Bible Belts have been both praised and derided as "ruin porn." Call them what you will, these kinds of photographs aren't going way - and they shouldn't. However, I do think many photographers would benefit from taking a more retrospective approach to this subject matter. Here's a good place to start looking: Ray Mortenson's photographs of the South Bronx from 1982-1984. Mortenson wisely refused to engage in nostalgia, instead focusing on the Bronx's textures, shapes, and shades.

© Ángel Franco

Ángel Franco
From 1979 to 1984, Ángel Franco photographed crime scenes in the Bronx's 46th Precinct. Comparisons can easily be drawn between Franco and Weegee, but Franco's naked city is undeniably more violent than his predecessor's. These are raw and powerful photographs that deserve a much wider audience.

Respondent: Natalie Minik is a photographer and the co-founder and co-editor of One, One Thousand | A Publication of Southern Photography She currently lives in Durham, NC where she attends Duke University for her MFA in Documentary and Experimental Art.

Selections: Tammy Mercure and Greg Miller

© Tammy Mercure, Pigeon Forge, TN, 2009

Selections: Tammy Mercure does an excellent job of capturing the kitsch people find interesting about the South. She is able to see past the prefabricated photo-op moment and get to what is most interesting about these tourist destinations. Most of all, she is respectful and accurate in the way she handles the subject matter. That's why I think she deserves more credit.

Whether Greg Miller photographs a country fair or Ash Wednesday, he captures the interior life of his subjects. His fair stance on people makes his photographs regal yet lonely. This is why I never tire of looking at his images.

© Greg Miller, Untitled, from the series "Ash Wednesday"