Tag Archives: Photographic Community

Julia Dean: Forty Years Behind the Camera

A dozen years ago, photographer Julia Dean changed my life by asking me to teach at her photography school, The Julia Dean Photo Workshops in Los Angeles. Over the past thirteen years, Julia has taught hundreds of classes, thousands of students, and exposed the Los Angeles community to photographic luminaries and educators such as Keith Carter, Duane Michals, Mary Ellen Mark and many others too numerous to count.  Her school has created a photographic community in Los Angeles, a place to share portolios over a glass of wine, a place to hear lectures, experience wonderful exhibitions, and take a broad array of classes (160 offered each year). Julia’s desire to open our eyes, to see one world, and to bring attention to those who have no voice has been remarkable.  Her generous and enthusiastic spirit is infectious and I feel so lucky to be her friend.  So today I celebrate a woman who has spent a lifetime engaged, enthused, and involved in photography.


Julia has spent the last year revisiting negatives and spending month upon month in the darkroom creating beautiful silver prints in preparation for a 40 year retrospective of her work that opens at the Julia Dean Gallery in Los Angeles tomorrow night, December 15th.  I am featuring work from her General Stores project today — she recently rediscovered the negatives and printed the images for the first time for the exhibition.  Julia is also offering photographs from the exhibition for sale online at a special anniversary price on her site.


Forty Years Behind the Camera: A Retrospective

When I worked as an apprentice to Berenice Abbott’s in 1978, I was 23 years old. Berenice was 80. 


She taught me how to print, among many other photographic skills. She taught me about life in Paris in the 20s, about working with Man Ray, about meeting and photographing people like Eugene Atget, James Joyce, and Jean Cocteau. She even taught me how to do the Charleston. 


I remember using an 8×10 camera with 8×10 film and an 8×10 enlarger. The film had to be processed in complete darkness, one sheet at a time, in 8×10 trays that you lined up just right so you knew what to do in the dark. 


images from General Stores

I learned how to bend light with my hands under an enlarger, how to add light, how to subtract light, how to make a print look just like our eyes saw the subject when the picture was taken. I learned that photography renders 10 tones compared to the hundreds of tones that our eyes can differentiate. I learned that it can take hours to get one good print.

I also learned how to flatten the prints, how to retouch the dust spots, and the patience it takes to produce one beautiful black & white fiber base print.

 I was asked recently what the difference is between the traditional role of film and the digital era. It is very simple. It is much easier to be a photographer today than it was in the past. (Photographers before me would say the same thing!) Though today’s cameras are much heavier than my Leica M6 and have more buttons, once you learn your tools, digital photography makes life quicker and easier.

I don’t look down on those who didn’t learn the hard way. I wouldn’t have minded an easier path myself. But I am grateful for knowing what I know about photography that digital shooters will never know: the craft of the black & white print. 

To me, there is no more beautiful craft in photography than the black & white print from a black & white negative. I learned from a master and for that I am eternally grateful. Printing is a dying art that I hope I never give up, even if I, too, have embraced digital. This retrospective exhibit is in honor of the beautiful black & white print.

Daido Moriyama printing show @Tate Modern, London

Our Associate editor, Brad Feuerhelm on the rare opportunity to create his own limited-edition, photo book with legendary Japanese photographer, Daido Moriyama.

I was lucky enough to get to the Tate Modern last week to take part in making a book with Daido Moriyama along with a bevy of other photography aficionados. The idea of the printing show has been successfully resurrected by curator, writer and Goliga Press head Ivan Vartanian for the Tate’s current show Klein + Moriyama, which in itself is a great behemoth of a dual retrospective.

Mr. Vartanian has taken his cue from the original printing show that Moriyama did in New York City in 1974 wherein he notoriously and, in perfect participatory harmony, assembled a small workshop in the commercial gallery and invited interested parties to become part of the performance of book arts selection. Members were allowed to pick an amount of Moriyama’s images to collate into their own book. A highly probable gesture to the unique and collaboration bereft of the pressures of commerce normally associated with a commercial gallery endeavour. This seemed to be a kind of citizen artist project with a nod to the happenings of the 60’s. Collaborative. Inspirational. Effective. 

On the sixth floor of the Tate Modern with its expansive views over a lovely sunny London, participants were asked to repeat the process whereby they are allowed to pick through a pre-selected amount of Moriyama’s works to collate and produce their own book on the spot with other members allotted the same time. It was a hubbub of friendly, weekend activity with museum curators milling about with the public and of the photographic enthusiasts on the same level, the level of artist. The sort of open experience is one of the many reasons the London photographic community has been greatly enabled by the Tate’s push towards photography under the tutelage of Simon Baker, chief in staff of bringing photography howling down on London, the beast tamed and now sharply in the spotlight.

Before entering the sanctity of the Tate, I had already decided to reduce my knowledge of Daido Moriyama into one image and to repeat it over and over, making a repetitive, yet completely unique object barring any other paraphoto nerds had not beat me to it in 1974 at the original staging or at the recent Tokyo happening. At $40,000 for an original copy of the 1974 book, I think I will decline to pursue its possibility. In selecting an image of lips, I felt that I selected an iconic summation of the desire in Moriyama’s work. My ultimate choice would have been the ‘stray dog’ image, which I can still envision as a single image book.

Moriyama, ever the provocateur, was clever to exclude ‘stray dog’ and the famous tights image for his pre-selection of works available in the book making process. I remember chuckling on the way in when I realised it was not there, knowing he had got the best of me under his controlled and fairly so, tyrannical application of what we could choose. The images on display were gorgeous and the second-guessing about making it a more straightforward book still swayed to repetition and the single idea/image.

After selecting your images on a card (all cleverly organised), you give the selection to a printing assistant who then goes through the process of stapling the images to a pre-made screen printed cover of which there are two choices to pick from. I went blue. The title… Menu

I waited while my book was assembled to have my number called out to retrieve it from Simon Baker. My Menu served, a deserved light chuckle from him at its insistence to be different and I was sent off to wonder in the big smoke for the rest of my Sunday, feeling that the experience was well worth the obscenely cheap £20 ticket. Whether I felt I collaborated or parasitically stole myself into a vain collaboration with Mr. Moriyama is another matter entirely!

Brad Feuerhelm

Lauren Henkin, Displaced 1

Lauren Henkin, Displaced 1

Lauren Henkin

Displaced 1,
Nova Scotia, Canada, 2007
From the Displaced series
Website – LaurenHenkin.com

Born in Washington, D.C, Lauren Henkin grew up in Maryland and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. She states, “My work focuses on answering the question, What will last? I work from the inside out, using internal narrative as the foundation in which to produce objects that reinterpret space, light and form found in the external.” Henkin is an educator, reviewer, writer, frequent speaker, photolucida advisory board member, author of numerous books, and active member in the photographic community. Her work is widely collected by private collectors as well as institutions such as Southeast Museum of Photography, Yale University and Dartmouth College. Her work has been published in numerous journals on photography and the book arts. She is a Px3 multi-category winner, Oregon Regional Arts & Culture Council grant winner, with other award nominations in both the Brink Emerging Artist and Contemporary Northwest Art Awards."

Lauren Henkin, Displaced 1

Lauren Henkin, Displaced 1

Lauren Henkin

Displaced 1,
Nova Scotia, Canada, 2007
From the Displaced series
Website – LaurenHenkin.com

Born in Washington, D.C, Lauren Henkin grew up in Maryland and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. She states, “My work focuses on answering the question, What will last? I work from the inside out, using internal narrative as the foundation in which to produce objects that reinterpret space, light and form found in the external.” Henkin is an educator, reviewer, writer, frequent speaker, photolucida advisory board member, author of numerous books, and active member in the photographic community. Her work is widely collected by private collectors as well as institutions such as Southeast Museum of Photography, Yale University and Dartmouth College. Her work has been published in numerous journals on photography and the book arts. She is a Px3 multi-category winner, Oregon Regional Arts & Culture Council grant winner, with other award nominations in both the Brink Emerging Artist and Contemporary Northwest Art Awards."

Frank Armstrong

There is something remarkable about a photographer who has been looking through the lens for almost 60 years.  Frank Armstrong has a heightened way of seeing – capturing the nuances of found tableaus and exploring objects that have patina and remain to tell a story. He looks at the ordinary and sees beyond it and brings a beauty and poignancy to a landscape that many would overlook. At 77, he is truly a treasure in our photographic community.

His portraits reveal a sensitivity to humanity and the quiet dignity of simple moments of being.

Frank spent much of his life in Texas, but found himself on a small island near Alaska while serving in the Navy.  It was there that he picked up a camera in order to share his experiences with his family.  Frank has had a long career, in and out of academia (currently “in”, teaching at Clark University in Massachusetts), and rubbing shoulders with photographers who inspired and encouraged him along the way, including Russel Lee, Garry Winogrand, Oliver Gagliani, and most recently, Stephen Di Rado.  He was awarded a double Paisano Fellowship, has created three monographs, and has work in significant museum collections across the county. Though Frank lives and teaches in Massachusetts, he still prefers to make work in familiar territory: the southwest and Texas.  He currently has work in the exhibition, Trains, Planes, and Automobiles, at the Panopticon Gallery in Boston.
I am featuring select images of Frank’s color work from his series, Color.

My perfect day, week, month, or more, is to load the cameras into the truck and head out.  I’m in search of images that speaks of man’s influence on the landscape, and the effects of time.  My subjects are at times whimsical, obscure, and transitory.  They are not hidden, but they are seldom noticed by the passer-by.  I seek that which has been abandoned and allowed to decay with the passage of time.  

Through these symbols of man interacting with the ever-changing symbols of nature, I find a rather enigmatic representation of life, a study of our culture past and present; what Walker Evens called modern cultural artifacts.  I am incurably curious, and many of my images come from things that make me do a double-take. 

I question what I’m seeing and feeling, and try to answer those question by making an image.  I want the viewer to have some measure of my feelings and thoughts when I first viewed the scenes represented by my images.

Write your letter of support for Noorderlicht Photo Organization — today please!

The Dutch photography organization Noorderlicht is under risk of closure due to a major cutback of financial support from the national government, which will make it impossible to keep the organization running.

Noorderlicht is a platform, a gallery, festival, and publisher that hardly needs introduction. It is well known for its groundbreaking exhibitions and publications. Noorderlicht also organizes educational activities ranging from masterclasses for professional photographers to visual literacy courses for schoolchildren. With this wide variety of activities, they are well known within and outside the photographic community. Noorderlicht’s programming is among the most intelligent and thought-provoking in the world today (in the opinion of Lens Culture).

There is a possibility the government decision will be reversed, and Noorderlicht is preparing a new application, to be sent to the Advisory Board on Culture of the Netherlands. To support this new application, they hope to present the Board, and the government, with national and international letters of support for Noorderlicht. They have asked all relevant institutions in the Netherlands to express their support, and we are asking you to write your own letter of support.

Would you be willing to write a letter on the letterhead of your organization and send a scan of it directly to [email protected], and the original by mail to the Noorderlicht office?

We would like you to express in as few or as many words as you want what the value of Noorderlicht is to you and the photographic community.

As the new application is to be sent in within the next two weeks, they hope to receive your letter of support by email before 4 June, if possible. Should this be too tight, they would still like to receive your letter, before 18 June.

Email your scanned letter to: [email protected]

Send via post your original letter:

Noorderlicht
Akerkhof 12
9711 JB Groningen
The Netherlands

Throughout the years, Lens Culture has featured many projects that were initiated and created by Noorderlicht. You can see these in our archives: Metroplis — The City in the Urban Age, Land — Country Life in the Urban Age, Warzone, Human Conditions, Picturing Eastern Europe: an overview of photography — before and after Communism, and photobooks they co-published: Soul and Soul 1969-1999, and Cruel and Unusual.

You can also show your support via Facebook and Twitter, and by sharing this message with all of your colleagues. Thanks!

Delpire & Co. Opens @ Aperture, Throughout NYC

540true
dots
under
390true
false
800http://www.aperture.org/exposures/wp-content/plugins/thethe-image-slider/style/skins/frame-white
  • 5000
    slideright
    false
    60
    bottom
    30

    Slide1

  • 5000
    slideright
    false
    60
    bottom
    30

    Slide2

  • 5000
    slideright
    false
    60
    bottom
    30

    Slide3

  • 5000
    slideright
    false
    50
    bottom
    30

    Slide4

  • 5000
    slideright
    false
    60
    bottom
    30

    Slide5

  • 5000
    slideright
    false
    60
    bottom
    30

    Slide6

?

Aperture Gallery was abuzz Wednesday evening, hosting the much-anticipated New York City launch of Delpire & Co., the citywide, multi-venue retrospective of the life and work of legendary editor, curator and publisher, Robert Delpire. Following presentations in Arles and Paris, Delpire & Co. arrives to New York City with representation at six venues throughout Manhattan.

Aperture’s Wednesday opening was the first of the week (followed by Thursday night openings at the French Embassy, and Gallery at Hermes), welcoming a strong roster of photography legends and pillars of the photographic community. Sarah Moon, Mary Ellen Mark, and Josef Koudelka were in attendance, standing alongside their own seminal works on view, as well as celebrated photographers Bruce Davidson and Susan Meiselas. Multiple films by filmmaker/photographer Sarah Moon were on screen, including 1970’s TV spots directed by Moon for Cacharel (7 min), as well as “Le Montreur d’images (The Go-Between)” (2009), her feature length documentary on husband Robert Delpire.



Peter Barberie
, Curator of Photographs for the Philadelphia Art Museum was in attendance Wednesday evening, as well as Jeff Hirsch of FotoCare, and Wendy Byrne, former designer for Aperture Foundation. Special thanks to exhibition producer Mike Derez, and Project Coordinator Agnès Gagnès of Idéodis.

Delpire & Co. runs through June at venues throughout the city. Like us on Facebook to view a full album of photos from the opening.

›› Click here for details on all the exhibitions and events.
›› Join the conversation on Instagram and Twitter using #Delpire
›› The New Yorker presents a stunning and concise slideshow summary of books and photographs from among the displays at Aperture, Hermès, Pace/MacGill, and Howard Greenberg.

DEVELOP Tube: A Photographic Resource Grows

Available on both YouTube and Vimeo, DEVELOP Tube is a video channel that offers resources for photographers. Each project featured on DEVELOP Tube is carefully curated from the photography-related selections of the two video services, with the goal of reflecting and informing some aspect of the photographic community. Thousands of videos are showcased there, from behind the scenes looks at the editing process to trailers for photography-related films. There’s a discussion with photographer Stephen Shore, who helped popularize color photography, about working with Andy Warhol, as well as a multimedia piece about the U.S. economy. Elsewhere, there’s an interview with war photographer Joao Silva, who was wounded in Afghanistan in 2010, about “the biggest fight of the photographer.”

DEVELOP Tube on Vimeo

DEVELOP Tube on Vimeo

But DEVELOP Tube is only a small part of a larger project.

DEVELOP’s founder, Erica McDonald, is an American photographer, curator and teacher, whose career has taken her into magazines, newspapers, galleries and schools around the world. But, she says, she had come to recognize that her geographic location and her connections were giving her a leg up on other photographers, those in isolated regions or just beginning their careers. She wanted to change that.

“I see people around the world who maybe don’t have the same foundation or connections or even opportunities or time or whatever it is, to know what’s what, what grants are available or where they could show their work,” she says. “I felt like I could do something to contribute to our community this way.”

That contribution is DEVELOP Photo, a website slated to launch as the next phase of McDonald’s project. Working as a “one-man band” except for back-end web engineering, she has also built the whole thing from scratch. She says DEVELOP Tube is just a teaser for the larger initiative. “Little did I realize it was going to be about two years later and I would’ve been working around the clock,” she says.

The project took on a life of its own and will, in its final iteration, include an online resource library, education workshops, a magazine aspect and more. Even now, the video channels are a rich source of photographic information. A few weeks ago, DEVELOP collaborated with other photography organizations (like Daylight Magazine and Slideluck Potshow) to host a “Women in Multimedia” night in Bologna, Italy, to showcase the work of many multimedia artists from around the world. Some participated as solo artists and some were part of a group multimedia piece. The event was the source of the works in the gallery shown above, and was part of a larger exhibit called Uncommon Intimacy, which was co-curated by McDonald and is on view now through March 15. And McDonald also is working on collaborating to produce a documentary photography workshop, to be held in New York City this coming June.

McDonald isn’t quite sure what the future holds once the full site launches. “I don’t want it to become a commercial endeavor per se, but I’m not sure I want it to become a non-profit,” she says, but the project continues to expand. “Whoever we work with, it should be in the collaborative spirit. It’s a really interesting, vibrant, alive confluence of pieces.”

Erica McDonald is an American photographer based in New York City. Find out more here.