These are my favorites... (cont'd)

U.S. 10, Post Falls, Idaho by Stephen Shore (1974)

I'm not really sure I can explain exactly why this is one of my favorite photographs, it just is. The open car doors, truck door and door to the building all give an impression that everyone left suddenly and mysteriously. There is more to the story and we are left to wonder what just happened or is about to happen. The vintage signage and graphics really appeal to me and the cut off images around the perimeter add to the overall tension of the photograph. It's always been my favorite Stephen Shore photograph, and is right up there with my all-timers.

Here's a re-cap of the list so far...

Windowsill Daydreaming by Minor White (1958)
The Fork by Andre Kertesz (1928)
Alfred Stieglitz & Georgia O'Keeffe by Arnold Newman (1944)
Hamburger Grin by John P. Aikins (1968)
Provincetown by Joel Meyerowitz (1978)
U.S. 10, Post Falls, Idaho by Stephen Shore (1974)

Roadside Memorial
series... I will be discussing this project tonight at Basho Gallery in Philadelphia.

I am trying to get into the stock photography market. I have barely scratched the surface with a couple agencies.(iStock and Photo Shelter) It is a slow and painful process for me with so many rejected files, I feel like I am learning photography all over again. But that's a good thing...and I am going to stick with this. I just got myself a Light Tent from B & H so that I can work on product and food photography.

Here is an attempted Silo of my Hasselblad... the edge detail is terrible...

I don't know where this pink tone came from on this shot of my Rollei... my white balance skills are non existant...

I'm reasonably happy with these tomato images....although the bluish backgrounds are frustrating...

It's always nice to get good news! I was notified that this photograph won 1st Place in the JAG Fine Art Photography Contest. The theme of the contest was Philly to New York: New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania Fine Art Photography

The selected images will be exhibited at the

John Andrulis Gallery
52 N. Union Street
Lambertville, NJ

From August 7-31, with an opening reception on August 9th
Last week Modern Art Obsession had a neat post about an upcoming photo auction being presented by Daniel Cooney Fine Art, that includes the work of Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Edward Steichen,George Tice,Helen Levitt,Bruce Davidson,andHenri Cartier-Bresson to name only a few. This online auction ends on July 29th, so there is still time to check it out and place a bid.
What really caught my eye in the MAO post was a small mention that the auction includes several lots of vintage Aperture Magazines, and the note... "FYI, they are the next hot art collectible!!"
I hear that! About a month ago, I was looking at my measly collection of 6 issues of Aperture Magazines, and thought it would be a great idea to start buying up old issues. Of course the first place to check is Ebay, and off I went in my search, naively thinking I could snap up issues at no more than five dollars a piece or so.Wrong! I was totally deflated to see how hot the market already seems to be.

Here are a few examples of current Aperture items up for bid on Ebay....

Boxed set of Issues 178-185
This box set was released in conjunction with the exhibition On the Wall: Aperture Magazine '05-'06 (Aperture gallery in New York City, January 12-March 8, 2007), all eight issues from 2005 to 2006 are presented in an archival drop-front box. Every issue is signed by at least one featured artist.Only 20 sets were made available, this is the last set in the edition. Number 20 of 20.Signed by the following artists:
Martin Bell,Marilyn Bridges,Adam Broomberg,Keith Calhoun,Chandra McCormick,Jen Davis,Elena Dorfman,Lalla Essaydi,Eirik Johnson,Antonín Kratochvíl,Laura Kurgan,Sze Tsung Leong,Mary Ellen Mark,Polixeni Papapetrou,Eugene Richards,Kerry Skarbakka,Joel Sternfeld,Katherine Wolkoff.

This auction ends on July 28th, and at the time of this post high bid was $152.50. I'll post the final winning bid amount at the completion....(edit- The final winning bid for this was $204)

Aperture Magazine:1957-1962
For sale by a former student of Minor White (founding editor of Aperture) - a full run of the magazine from Volume 5 issue 4 (1957) through Volume 10 Issue 1 (1962).

Issues are in exceptional condition, there is a minor bend to one corner of one cover, and a little minor foxing/age colouring to covers (worst is the Edward Weston issue pictured 2nd - squint hard - it really is minor!). Otherwise, no bends, tears, marks, wear. These have sat in a closet wrapped in paper for years.
The issues are:
Vol 5 Issue 4 (1957) - cover Walter Chappell, inside Henry Holmes Smith, Philip Hyde, Walter Chappell
Vol 6 Issue 1 (1958) - cover Edward Weston, inside Edward Weston edited by Nancy Newhall
Vol 6 Issue 2 - cover Harry Callahan, inside Harry Callahan & Minor White
Vol 6 Issue 3 - cover Dwain Faubion, inside John Ciardi, Paul Caponigro, Erick Solomon
Vol 6 Issue 4 - cover Le Corbusier, inside Architectural Photography
Vol 7 Issue 1 (1959) - cover David Rowinski, inside Oscar Bailey, Beaumont Newhall, Larry Colwell
Vol 7 Issue 2 - cover Minor White, inside Minor White, Paul Caponigro
Vol 7 Issue 3 - cover Brett Weston, inside Alfred Monner, Ruth Bernhard, Imogen Cunningham, Aaron Siskind
Vol 7 Issue 4 - cover Van Deren Coke, inside Brett Weston, Ralph Eugene Meatyard,Van Deren Coke
Vol 8 Issue 1 (1960) - cover Alfred Steiglitz, inside Alfred Stieglitz by Dorothy Norman
Vol 8 Issue 2 - cover Frederick Summer, inside MOMA abstraction, Nathan Lyons
Vol 8 Issue 3 - ccover Dorothea Lange & Pirkle Jones, inside Death of A Valley
Vol 8 Issue 4 - cover Paul Caponigro, inside Gerry Sharpe, Nathan Lyons, Walter Chappell
Vol 9 Issue 1 (1961) - cover Jack Franks, inside Robert Frank, Walter Chappell
Vol 9 Issue 2 - cover IIT, inside Five Students, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Tech
Vol 9 Issue 3 - cover Carl Chiarenza, inside Clarence John Laughlin, Frederick Sommer, Wynn Bullock, Don Worth
Vol 9 Issue 4 - cover Robert Brown; inside The Workshop in Photography, Ansel Adams
Vol 10 Issue 1 (1962) - cover Laura Gilpin, inside Lotte Jakobi, William La Rue

This auction also ends on July 29th, and the high bid at the time of this post is $803.00. I'll update this one as well.(edit- The final winning bid on this was $803)

This is a fourteen issue lot being offered on the current Dan Cooney/iGavel Auction... current high bid is $121.20 including the buyer's premium. (edit- the final winning bid on this was $121.20)

Gas Station Parking Lot (2008)

I was doing a photo shoot at a local gas station, and people started to gather around to see what was going on. Some of them became part of the story I was documenting by virtue of interesting conversation and their fascination with the event. I wish I had spent more time on the bystanders.
These are my favorites...(cont'd)

by Joel Meyerowitz (1976)

Maybe my all time favorite color photograph, this image is every road trip, every summer vacation, every sticky August evening all rolled into one. It's that moment of gloaming, when the sky is still an ethereal blue but the lights have been switched on, and you can just barely hear the start of the Red Sox game on a radio in the distance.
July 31st at 7PM I will be presenting two projects at Basho Gallery in Philadelphia, as part of the Night For Emerging Photographers series.

First up will be a continuing discussion of my Roadside Memorials series, and the new direction this is taking. I presented this project for the first time at First Person Arts on May 14th, and as a result of some great feedback from that salon, I have moved ahead on a whole new point of perspective. At Basho I will present some new images and a discussion of project details.

Following that discussion will be a short presentation of my new Collected Horizons series.This project consists of a series of minimalist and abstract horizons taken in a variety of locations, both indoors and outdoors. It is a study of layers, textures, depth, and perspective.

Project Basho
Les photographies par Zoe Strauss...

Zoe Strauss has been in the South of France for her first(?) international exhibit... a very intriguing 3 part presentation consisting of a slide show, a push pin installation, and photos in shop windows along the main Rue in Lectoure, France.

Zoe has been posting updates on her blog and on flickr. Here is one she posted of my favorite all time Zoe Strauss photo on display in one of the shop windows.... the photo is Daddy Tattoo

...and she has posted several cool studies of the fields of Sunflowers so synonymous with the South of France...and Van Gogh & company.

... the Sunflower...the symbol of the free-spirited artsy persona...

... not bad for a South of Philly girl... Rock on Zoe!

Zoe Strauss in France

Don't miss checking this out....Today's New York Times Metro section, has a really nice feature story on Alix Dejean, the unofficial photographer of Harlem. For nearly 30 years, Mr Dejean has wandered the neighborhoods of Harlem photographing street scenes, block parties, night club events and celebrities, becoming somewhat of a celebrity himself. Local residents refer to him as "a legend"... "the 'hood photographer"... and ... "if he hasn't taken your picture, you're a nobody".

The photo above is Alix Dejean by Chang W Lee for the New York Times. And the wonderful photo below is Gil Scott-Heron at the Felt Forum Theatre, taken by Alix Dejean in 1975.

Gil...We miss you!

Alix Dejean Story

Gil Scott-Heron
These are my favorites.....(cont'd)

Hamburger Grin by John P Aikins, 1968

Regardless of it's technical failings, this is easily my favorite child portrait ever. Did McDonald's ever use this in a marketing campaign?. I tried a Google search of John P Aikins today and came up with nothing. Maybe this was his one and only great photo? Total iconic 1960's Americana.

Here's two very interesting hybrid Polaroid Films....Chocolate and Viva. Both are produced in very limited quantities and can be difficult to find. For the past couple years I have been buying this film from Lord Of The Lens, but they stopped selling it. Now I am getting it from Unsaleable. They are located in Austria, so prices are in Euros, and with the current exchange rates, this means fairly expensive film. Chocolate film is currently 28 Euros for a twin pack (20 prints) and Viva is 14 Euros for a single pack (10 prints)

I'll discuss Viva film in the near future. This post is all about Chocolate film and the gorgeous results that make it a worthy extravagance. I use this film in my 1965 Automatic 100 and I get results ranging from deep chocolate tones to vivid pinks. These shots were taken on the beach in New Jersey within minutes of each other...

This is the official description of the film's properties from the Unsaleable web site...

This unique film has rich dark chocolatey Dmax's and soft, slightly mottled, lightly red / pink Dmins. The film is a hybrid product using Colour negative, colour developer and B+W positive. The silver in the colour negative activates the B+W positive as normal but the additional dye release from the colour negative gives the B+W positive and additional chocolate coloured tone. The interesting mottle effect visible in lighter areas comes from an interaction of the developer and the texture of the positive. As the film is based on colour negative it should be exposed, processed, imbibed and peeled apart as normal for colour peel apart film.

Here are some other great examples of Chocolate film from some very talented photographers...

Wallclouds by J Craigen

LA by Shimoto

Viola in Chocolate by Micaela
New additions to the Collected Horizons series...

Collected Horizons
These are my favorites...(cont'd)

Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe by Arnold Newman (1944)

So simple, and yet overwhelmingly powerful. Even if one knew nothing about the subjects of this portrait, there is no mistaking their importance and aura. Newman used his gift of placing artists within the context of their artistic style to the fullest in this beautifully crafted arrangement.
I first saw the work of Alen MacWeeney at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in late 2007...(or so I thought). The PMA's exhibit Particulars of Place showcased six artists who had created portfolios that had captured a sense of place, and MacWeeney's work contained the only portraits among the exhibit. I was captivated by the images of rural Irish itinerants known as Tinkers, or Travellers.

(Bernie Ward, Cherry Orchard by Alen MacWeeney)

As soon as I got home I searched the internet for Alen MacWeeney....found his website and discovered he had a book soon to be released....
Irish Travellers: Tinkers No More
I ordered the book and even emailed MacWeeney to compliment him on the portfolio and how compelling the images were. He was good enough to answer back and even offered to sign the book the next time I was in New York. (which I still need to have him do)

The book is a gorgeous portrayal of the vanishing culture and daily life of these Travellers that MacWeeney documented while living among them for over five years, and I have enjoyed it immensely.

Which brings me to the "or so I thought" aspect of never having seen MacWeeney's work prior to the PMA exhibit. Just this week I was browsing through some of my set of the 1971 Time-Life Library of Photography. I have the complete set of 17 and I consider them the foundation of my photo book collection. I grew up with these books, and my love of photographic art is largely due to this series.

While turning the pages of Photographing Children I was pleasantly surprised to recognize the work of Alen MacWeeney. A portrait titled Gypsy Child in the Time-Life book is identified as Nell Ward in the Irish Travellers book...

And a photograph titled I can see you, but you can't see me is used on the cover of the Irish Travellers book...

So I had seen MacWeeney's work before. I studied every page of every volume of the Library of Photography dozens of times in the mid-1970's, and yet I had no recollection of these portraits when I saw them again in 2007. I do wonder if my strongly positive reaction to seeing them last year had anything to do with subconscious memories of this work. Regardless, I am very happy to be reacquainted with such remarkable portraiture.

Particulars of Place exhibit details

Alen MacWeeney's web site
Yale MFA Photography 2008
Gallery 339
Opens July 11th
July 11- Sept 6

I went to see this exhibit on July 12th at Gallery 339. This is the work of the nine photographers who completed their Masters in Fine Arts in the Photography program at Yale University for 2008. The show originated in New Haven, moved to Danziger Projects, and now finishes up at Gallery 339 in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia based photographer Sarah Stolfa is represented by Gallery 339, and while her work is presented on the first floor, I completely missed it on my first walk through because of the enormous color prints by Richard Mosse depicting emergency training exercises. Their sheer size overwhelms everything else on the first floor, especially the quiet and thoughtful work of Stolfa...(the following two photos are by Sarah Stolfa)

It is interesting how many of the photographs in this exhibit resemble the work of Gregory Crewdson, who teaches at Yale. That isn't necessarily a bad thing... I like Crewdson's work.... it's just fascinating to me the similarity of styles among these nine photographers, and how much influence Crewdson must have in that MFA program. Among those who really capture the Crewdson style are Samantha Contis, Suyeon Yun, Jen Davis, and Bradley Peters

I thought Bradley Peters work was the best of this exhibit, with interesting and creative use of light(as a subject) and blur as a repeated theme among five or six really gorgeous images...(the following two photos are by Bradley Peters)

There were two other photographers in this show that caught my eye. Bryan Graf presented some very unusual collage work consisting of digital, silver based, and polaroid snapshots that worked really well together in my opinion, and his was the one unique and even rebellious style among the group. Bravo to Graf for daring to be different. The other photographer was Marley White who presented several photographs with vintage photos as subjects, something that just appeals to me. Her work was lighthearted and not as overly serious as the rest of the group...(below is a photograph by Marley White)

Yale MFA Photography 2008

Gregory Crewdson
These are my favorites....(cont'd)

The Fork by Andre Kertesz (1928)

This image is abstract perfection by the poetic and thoughtful Andre Kertesz, who I consider to be among the list of most under appreciated masters of photography. This image is the absolute text book study in composition, lighting, tonality, and minimalism. No doubt about this being in my all time top ten.

Bernd & Hilla Becher: Landscape/Typology
May 21- August 25 @ MOMA
Bernd & Hilla Becher

From the 2004 Hasselblad Award...

"Bernd and Hilla Becher are among the most influential artists of our time. For more than forty years they have been recording the heritage of an industrial past. Their systematic photography of functionalist architecture, often organizing their pictures in grids, brought them recognition as conceptual artists as well as photographers. As the founders of what has come to be known as the ‘Becher school’ they have brought their influence in a unique way to bear on generations of documentary photographers and artists".

This is a wonderfully presented show, and walking through the photography gallerys of MOMA never fails to inspire and elevate my spirit.
My favorite thing about the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, even more than it's magnificent collection of art, is that you can walk around with your camera and they don't give a damn what you take pictures of. Why can't all museums do this? Are you listening International Center for Photography? (by the way.... the biggest irony EVER is the fact that you have to leave your camera at the door when you enter the International-Frickin-Center-for-Photography!!)

June 28th was the opening of Daesha Devon Harris' show at Yo Darkroom, a series of photographs on the theme of urban gentrification as it relates to African American teens.On exhibit are gorgeously presented diptychs consisting of a portrait of a young adult paired with a scene representing urban development...abandoned row houses for sale, construction sites, etc. Harris shot these with a Hasselblad, and the resulting square format images are hauntingly beautiful. There are very subtle color and compositional connections within the chosen pairs of photographs, such as one pair that consists of a young man wearing a yellow trimmed basketball jersey along side an image that includes two brightly painted yellow traffic barriers.

Harris did all the framing of these presentations herself, and the work is meticulously crafted. Each pair of photographs is mounted within a shadow box frame and screened over the glass of each set are the lyrics to a traditional Negro Spiritual. In the right light, the words of the lyrics cast shadows across the images, adding to the mood of the project.

This exhibit runs through August 24th, and should not be missed.

Yo Darkroom
113 N. 23rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 789-9032
Daesha Devon Harris : Until I Reach My Home.
Exhibit Details
June 28th to August 24th
These are my favorites....

Window Sill Daydreaming, By Minor White (1958)

A few days ago I wrote a post about Minor White's 100th birthday, and included this image with a note that it was among my all time favorite images. That got me I really know exactly what my favorite photographs are?...If someone asked me, would I be able to name ten or twelve images right off the top of my head? The answer is no, and so I am going to develop my list. I think this is an important thing for any photographer to do, if only to help understand your own style and how it developed, whether consciously or subconsciously. These will be in no particular order of preference....I will just start with this image because it is the one that triggered the idea.

This image is pure poetry, and perfectly captures the "conversation with light" that White had used to describe the work of his artistic mentor Alfred Stieglitz. The absolute essence of photographic art.
I caught the opening of Photo West Gallery's current show...You Go Girl back on June 20th. This show runs through July 20th, and is worth a peak if you are in Philly's Western Art Gallery area. This exhibit was assembled by Jessica Imhoff, her first as a curator. Culling the work of 8 local and national artists representing modern girl culture, Imhoff's message was "trying to show different viewpoints of women, how we view ourselves and how we want to be represented".

I particularly liked the photography work of Anita Totha. (but deduct points for presentation... is it asking too much that photos not be sliding out of their mats on opening night?) Below is the display of Untitled C-Prints by Anita Totha. Very nice sensual and dreamy imagery.

and the mixed media work of Sarah Everton.I love the use of vintage photographs in collage work.Below is her piece titled Bloody Order

The show also includes the work of Brian Blomerth, Sarah Bloom, Maiko Sembokuya, Christine Jones, Emily Glatt and Cecilia Corrigan.

Photo West Gallery
3625 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa 19104
Exhibit Details
Photo West Blog
You Go Girl
June 20th- July 20th