Independence Day

Fourth of July  (2009)

Call for Work

Experience it Here (2010)

Call For Documentary Photography of Today’s Economic Hard Times

The current economic hard times Philadelphians and other Americans are experiencing share many features with earlier times like the Great Depression. In other respects, today’s problems are very different. During the Depression era, there was great interest in discovering how the hard times affected real people, which led to the rise of programs such as The Farm Security Administration, whose Photo Department became famous for thousands of images that profoundly changed how Americans looked at themselves and at the poor in their midst.

This upcoming photography exhibition evoking today’s economic hard times will be a backdrop to a five-part series of educational programs called Class Warfare In Philadelphia, which is being held between September 8th and November 3rd. There will be an official opening for the exhibit as part of the September 8th Forum on Foreclosures being held at Moonstone Arts Center, 110A South 13th Street in Philadelphia. Topics of additional forums will include vacant land; public unions; financial institutions (a la “Inside Job”); community organizations involved in local class warfare; and a debate by candidates for Sheriff of Philadelphia.
Deadline for photography submissions for CLASS WARFARE is 7/31/11. Photographers should email low-resolution jpegs to curators Eric Mencher ( and Ted Adams ( for consideration. Forty photos will then be selected for the exhibit; they will also be included in a slide show along with images from the many other submissions.
Photography selection will be completed by 8/15/11. All photos must be framed and delivered to Moonstone Art Center, 110A South 13th Street, between 8/29/11 and 9/2/11, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Information: or 215-551-6149.

Recent Acquisition

Lonely Boy Mag. (No. A-2)
Boys & Their Cars
Featuring Todd Hido, Peter Davidson, Chad States, Alec Soth
Little Brown Mushroom (2011)
Edition of 1000

Little Brown Mushroom Books

Patricia van de Camp

Back to Nature

Looking at these images by Patricia van de Camp, I am reminded of my own experiences in the woods and wilderness. How often nature and wilderness presents itself as surreal to those who venture into it. Patricia van de Camp explores the tension between timelessness and temporality in her work. The sense of slight confusion and disorientation in a world unfamiliar, this is the experience of the first few days of living in true wilderness, and also the experience upon returning to civilization after an extended stay in the forest. This feeling is captured perfectly in her work. Be sure to click the link to Patricia's web site at the bottom of this post to see her previous work which is also quite stunning.

Back to Nature. Patricia van de Camp (2011)

Patricia van de Camp  (b.1969) grew up in UtrechtNetherlandsHer parents took her to the magic of photography. She studied social legal services followed by a study at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Academy of Art in Kolding Königliche Dänisch. After several years in which they essentially photograph for a freelance editor, in 2007 she was asked to participate in an exhibition. This gave her the key to fully focus on her passion, art photography. Since 2008, Patricia is solely concerned with photography and art. She follows masterclasses  with Tessa Posthuma de Boer in Amsterdam

Patricia van de Camp website

The human element

I do not consider myself a people photographer. My most focused project work to date has been exclusively centered on the traces and remnants of humanity... architecture, roads, signs, landscaping, agriculture, etc. I spent several years documenting the locations of human death in a series of Roadside Memorials. None of these series include any people in the photographs, even though the work I do is always a reflection of humanity. The man-altered landscape, the anonymous poetry of nowhere, the ghosts of road culture victims. My images represent the visual experiences of the individual in the paradoxical loneliness of a human saturated environment. We are always in the shadow of humanity.


My personal goal/challenge for the coming years is to include people in my projects. I began with a first step this week, photographing a woman on Rising Sun Avenue. Rising Sun is a series that evolved out of Hard Times and Poetry of Nowhere. An old roadway in Northeast Philadelphia, Rising Sun Avenue runs from Broad Street to Cottman Avenue.I've always been fascinated with the old roads. The diagonal and winding roads in Philadelphia that pre-date the grid system. Roads like Germantown Avenue, Oxford Avenue, and Ridge Avenue, these roads are among the oldest in the city and were the pathways of commerce and travel into and out of Colonial Philadelphia. The original courier routes, many of these roads pre-date European settlers, who simply adopted existing Native American trails when establishing roads. The more modern grid system of city streets were built around these older pathways. Passing through the neighborhoods of Hunting Park, Fairhill, Olney, Lawncrest, and Cheltenham, Rising Sun Avenue reflects a widely diverse history of the city, both past and present. I've been fascinated with these old roads dating back to the 1970's when I delivered flowers all over the city. I knew the city like the back of my hand mostly because of the simplicity of the grid. It was the quirkiness of the old diagonals that would baffle me. It is easy to know that the 2200 block of Chestnut Street is near 22nd Street, but where is the 4800 block of Germantown Avenue? (This was the seventies remember... no cell phones, no GPS. Driving around the city making deliveries was a totally different experience than it is today)

It is important to me that people in my photography be connected to the context of the project. The woman in the first Rising Sun portrait is a tri-athlete named Kristen who runs and trains along these neighborhoods as part of her daily routine. Regularly running ten miles a day, this portrait of Kristen was taken at 6AM during the middle of her run. As soon as we finished the shoot, she was off down the road. That type of context is what I am after in this series. I am looking for people who live and work along Rising Sun, individuals and families who are connected to the physical and historic nature of the road itself,  and eventually want to make portraits of people from the entire length of the road and include all the neighborhoods.

This thought process reminded me of a small series I did a couple years ago that did involve people. At the 2009 installation of Zoe Strauss' I-95 show I decided to make some portraits of people who were connected to her, standing beside a photograph  from the show. One of the unique features of all the I-95 shows was that at the end of the day, visitors to the show are allowed to take a photograph off the wall to keep. Near the end of the day, people tend to camp out and claim the territory around the photograph they intend to take home. Using that context, I asked people with a personal connection to Zoe to choose a photograph to stand next to. Most of these decisions were made on the spur of the moment, and weren't necessarily the image that person intended to go home with, but I later found myself fascinated with some of the pairings in these portraits. There is some level of subconscious connection between the person and the photograph in many of these images. They are all personally connected to Zoe the photographer, and to the Zoe Strauss photograph as well.







Words That Annoy...

Most annoying art words

Medium Specificity
Pictures Generation
Late Capitalism

... and some great additions to the list here


Hands That Feed Us

Hands That Feed Us
Photographs by Albert Yee

July 1, 2011 (6:30 - 10 PM)
Gravy Studio
2212 Sepviva Street
Philadelphia, Pa

Hands That Feed Us: A peek inside our foodshed.
Knowing the people who cultivate the raw ingredients you eat can and will make a difference in your life. Presented here are or some of those people and their pastoral places of work in and around Philadelphia.

Albert Yee is a good dude, great photographer, and very passionate about food and the local foodshed. This will be a show that is worth a visit and careful study. Looking forward to seeing it.

Albert Yee

Gravy Studio

A New American Picture

Detroit, MI.      Doug Rickard  (2009)
Click to enlarge

Doug Rickard
A New American Picture

In the footsteps of Walker Evans, William Eggleston, and Lewis Baltz, and setting new paths in contemporary art photography with images of American realism, Doug Rickard"s work is mesmerizing. Dare I say painterly, evoking Edward Hopper. New Topographics meets Impressionism.

Doug Rickard

American Suburb X

Silicon Gallery... Scanning Pros

I recently sold a print of the image below to someone looking for a view out of a window. I took this from inside the Aperture Gallery in Chelsea, NYC a couple years ago. The only copy of the file I had was from a scan I made at home directly from a 4 X 6 print I made in the darkroom. I have an Epson 4490 Photo scanner with a non functioning film scanning head so I have to scan everything from the flat bed. I've been putting off buying a new film scanner because I just don't shoot enough film to make the investment. When I sent the file down to Silicon Gallery Fine Art Prints so they could make the print for the buyer, they told me the file wasn't quite big enough to make a decent 16" X 20" print. They also didn't like the bluish cast of my file.

Aperture Gallery (Home Scanned)
Click to enlarge

I told Colleen at Silicon about my scanner woes, and she informed me that they could drum scan my negative. Of course I know that drum scanning is a great way to digitize analogue film, but I had never had any of my work professionally scanned before, so I jumped at the chance to finally do it. Within a couple hours of dropping off my negative this morning I had an email with my hi-res scanned file for me to clean up in photoshop (dust, etc).

What an improvement! Detail and tones are so much better. No more color cast from my crappy home scanning. And now I have a file that will print out even larger than 16 X 20 if I ever want to. Makes me re-think the  possibilities of shooting more film.

Aperture Gallery (Drum Scanned)
Click to enlarge

Silicon Gallery Fine Art Prints
139 North Third Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19106

Street Photography & Exploitation

I've always felt uneasy about street photography and it's potential to exploit unwitting subjects. The issue is as old as the genre, however now that the streets are full of would be street photographers and videographers, it has become a problem that I think needs discussing among the photographic community.

Obviously not all street photographers are as blatantly obnoxious as Bruce Gilden, but watch this video for a lesson in how to exploit people on the street..

Zine Fair II

The Second Annual
Zine and Self-Published Photo Book Fair

July 16-17th

The Camera Club of New York
The Arts Building
336 West 37th Street, Suite 206
New York, NY 10018-4212

CCNY presents the Second Annual Zine and Self-Published Photo Book Fair on July 16-17th at CCNY.The zine and self-published photo book is a contemporary approach to photography in its published form, celebrating the book as well as offering artists a vehicle to spread their art and ideas.The public will be invited to come, browse, purchase and meet the people involved with the burgeoning zine and self-published art world.


Artists and small publishers are welcome to submit up to 3 different books or zines (limited to 3 copies of each). There is no fee to submit, and all proceeds will be returned to the artist or small publisher. To submit your zine or self-published book please mail or drop off your book during our gallery hours, Monday-Saturday, 12-6pm.

To submit your zines or self-published books please mail or drop off your book to:
The Camera Club of New York
Attn: Zine Fair
336 West 37th Street, Suite 206
New York, NY 10018-4212

Full Details


C & C Dairyland.  Feasterville, Pa. (2011)

Recent Acquisition

Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before
by Michael Fried
Yale University Press
ISBN 9780300136845
Hardcover 409 Pages

From the late 1970s onward, serious art photography began to be made at large scale and for the wall. Michael Fried argues that this immediately compelled photographers to grapple with issues centering on the relationship between the photograph and the viewer standing before it that until then had been the province only of painting. Fried further demonstrates that certain philosophically deep problems—associated with notions of theatricality, literalness, and objecthood, and touching on the role of original intention in artistic production, first discussed in his contro­versial essay “Art and Objecthood” (1967)—have come to the fore once again in recent photography. This means that the photo­graphic “ghetto” no longer exists; instead photography is at the cutting edge of contemporary art as never before.

Among the photographers and video-makers whose work receives serious attention in this powerfully argued book are Jeff Wall, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Cindy Sherman, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky, Luc Delahaye, Rineke Dijkstra, Patrick Faigenbaum, Roland Fischer, Thomas Demand, Candida Höfer, Beat Streuli, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, James Welling, and Bernd and Hilla Becher. Future discussions of the new art photography will have no choice but to take a stand for or against Fried’s conclusions.

Jörg Schmiedekind

German photographer Jörg Schmiedekind , known as S. Dekind on Flickr where I first started following his work, is trained in architecture and was drawn to photography as a means towards photo realist painting. He has an eye for the ordinary views, avoiding the over photographed and spectacular side of Berlin because he simply believes that the ordinary is spectacular enough. I completely agree with him and find his work beautiful.

Jorg Schmiedekind.    Berlin  ( 2011)

Born 1963 in Ludwigshafen on the Rhine, Jörg Schmiedekind lives and works in Berlin. Check out his website and Flickr stream via the links below.

Jorg Schmiedekind website
S. Dekind  flickr

Zoe Strauss 1986-87

Broad & Olney . Zoe Strauss 1986

Zoe Strauss has posted work from a high school photography class during the years 1986 and 1987. Very interesting to see the early development of her signature style showing through on black and white Tri- X Pan film. Great stuff, and I love seeing the contact sheets. See the whole set via the link below.

Zoe Strauss 1986-87

The Future of Photobooks

The Future of Photobooks: Panel Discussion
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Flash Forward Festival Boston


Andy Adams, Editor + Publisher,
Miki Johnson, Consultant + Writer,
Shane Lavalette, Publisher, Lay Flat,
Michael Itkoff, Daylight Magazine,
Bruno Ceschel,
Alan Rapp, Book Designer,

Moderated by: Stephen Mayes, Managing Director, VII Photo Agency,

Harper's Books.... Lonely Boy Magazine

If it wasn't a four hour drive out to the end of Long Island, I'd be there today for this opening. I'm hoping this exhibit will travel somewhere closer to Philly at some point. But for those in the Hamptons, do not miss this.

Exhibit details

Less is More.... Robert Rutoed

A few weeks ago when I was browsing the books on display in the Indie Photobook Library at NYPH11, I happened upon Robert Rutoed's Less is More. I knew some of Rutoed's work via the Flak Photo Network on Facebook, and I like it quite a bit. Having a chance to hold the work in my hands and spend some time with the images is totally different than seeing them over the internet. I don't care how far we go with electronic media (and I do love it), the internet will never replace the experience of seeing and holding a book or print in real time. Do I need to compare the difference between sitting in front of a screen versus curling up on the couch with a good photo book? Sorry, curling up with an ipad doesn't count.

Robert Rutoed's work is subtle and connected in unique ways that become evident with each new viewing. This is work that can be returned to over and over, receiving a fresh perspective at each visit. Well worth checking out and a great book for the collector.

Robert Rutoed.  Less Is More.  (2010)

Less is More by Robert Rutoed

Robert Rutoed    website

Robert Rutoed    bio