Tag Archives: School Of Photography

Paris: 5-day Photography Masterclass w/ Jeff Cowen & Jim Casper


Anonymous, Berlin, 2007 © Jeff Cowen


Location: Central Paris, France
Dates: October 18-22, 2012
Fee: 9900 NOK
Limit: 15 photographers
Full details (in Norwegian and English): Bilder Nordic School of Photography


This masterclass will be a 5 day marathon for photographers interested in making a significant vertical leap in their work. It is geared to fine art photography and reportage as art.

This masterclass is coordinated by Bilder Nordic School of Photography in Oslo, Norway, in partnership with Lens Culture in Paris, France.

– The class will emphasize shooting, editing and the final print. Shooting will take place in central Paris and in the studio. Students will have the opportunity to work with street photography, the nude, still life, and abstraction during the course of the class. There will also be group visits to some photography-based cultural institutions throughout Paris.

– Class members will be expected to bring a body of work in progress to be discussed by the group. Each participant will also receive one-on-one consultations with Jim Casper and Jeff Cowen.

– Mr. Cowen will stress how digital photographers can learn to use new technology while respecting the tradition of analogue-based photography and its position as a medium with respect to art history.

– Career possibilities in photography and the artist’s path will also be topics for discussion. This class offers a unique perspective to create a dialogue with a working artist and an international photography critic, publisher and lecturer.


Jeff Cowen is a New York University honors scholar in Oriental studies. 25 years ago he was the assistant of Ralph Gibson and Larry Clark. His early street photography in New York City and his reportage work of the Romanian Revolution is in numerous collections and has been shown in Museums such as The Filature in Mulhouse and the New York Historical Society Museum.

Mr. Cowen is known for his painterly style. He works with the figure, landscape, abstraction and still life. He is represented by several leading galleries and his work is in over one hundred collections and institutions. His first monograph was published by Paris-Musée, and his galleries have produced books for his many solo shows around the world.

He participates regularly in art fairs such as Art Basel, Art Cologne, Art Bolonga, Arco, Photo Espana, LaArt Fair, Art Paris and others. In the fall 2012, his work will be exhibited at the Grand Palais in Paris in a special museum exhibition by the Huis Marseille Photography Museum during Paris Photo and the Month of Photography.


Jim Casper is the founder and director of Lens Culture, an international organization dedicated to the celebration and promotion of contemporary photography in all of its forms.

Lens Culture publishes one of the most popular online magazines about global contemporary photography (www.lensculture.com), and organizes the yearly Lens Culture International Exposure Awards (www.lensculture.com/awards), and the annual Lens Culture FotoFest Paris international portfolio reviews (www.fotofest-paris.com) in partnership with Paris Photo and FotoFest International, in the USA.

Casper is a curator, writer, publisher and lecturer. He also serves on juries around the world.


Requirements: This course is open to all serious photographers. Digital printing equipment will be available for all participants. If you choose to work with film, we have arranged for professional lab film processing, contact sheets and digital scanning (you must pay extra for the lab work). We do not have a full darkroom available, so we will focus on digital printing for this purposes of this workshop.

Equipment: Bring your own camera, and a laptop if possible.

Price: NOK 9900,- (Maximum 15 persons. Material costs, travel and stay is not included.)

Conditions: Before signing up, please read the conditions and agreement carefully.

How to register: Sign up here.


Keiko Hiromi

I had the pleasure of meeting Keiko Hiromi in Boston at the Flash Forward Festival, and was intrigued by her series of drag queens.  Keiko is from Tokyo, but has called Boston home for a number of years.  She received a B.A. from Suffolk University and graduated from New
England School of Photography in 2005. Much of her work looks at artifice and heightened entertainment, from the dance floor, to the stage, and even to the pulpit.
Her work has been exhibited
nationally and internationally has received recognitions and awards,
including The Griffin Museum Emerging Photographer Award, Project Basho
Emerging Artist Award and “Best in Show” in The Photo Review. Keiko’s photographs are  in numerous private collections and have been favorably
reviewed by Kotaro Iizawa, one of Japan’s most prominent photography
critics. She was a finalist for the Pollux Award 2010, a Julia Margaret
Cameron Award portfolio finalist, and will be exhibiting work at the
2012 Les Rencontres d’Arles in France.  Her work is available through the Panopticon Gallery.

Keiko has been documenting the drag culture in Boston for a number of years.  I am featuring her color work and her series, Jacques Cabaret 2007, Drag Queens 2011 & Jacques in Color.

Jacques Cabaret is one of the oldest drag
queen venues in Boston, MA. I first went to Jacques Cabaret as a
customer with a friend in 2007.  During my first experience at a full
drag show, I recall having to sit uncomfortably with vodka in a plastic
cup at table, surrounded by obnoxious bachelorette parties and really
“tall women”. I felt completely out of place.  As soon as the show
commenced, the performers and their stage presence blew me away. I
became aware of their raw and uncut power.  There was no more
discomfort. Since that time I’ve had to return again and again to
document them.

I worked on Jacques Cabaret 2007 for three months.  During my shooting time, I was often referred to as a Ninja photographer.  I was afforded the opportunity to get to know the queens and people at Jacques Cabaret, not just as subjects but also as individuals. On my first day approaching these entertainers in 2007, I asked them if I could photograph them. Mizery looked me over from the top of my head to my shoes from her dressing room and said “sure, rule with me is no photos while I am changing down there” and winked.

Since then I have garnered that each had a story and history. I feel grateful to have shared in the intimate details of their lives, through photography and intrapersonal relationships.

Jojo, the cross dressing waiter was getting married to a long term girlfriend: Destiny, one of the drag performers, always took very little to get ready for the show, compared to others due to having had sex change operation.  Miss. Kris worked as a large size man’s cloth store as a day job.  When meeting Dahlia Black’s ex girl friend (remain her best friend after coming out), she smiled and said, “ if I was a straight boy, we would probably have been married with a couple kids by now.”

I returned to photograph “Drag Queen 2011” at Jacques Cabaret last March right after the disaster in Japan. I changed my stance as a photographer. Rather than seek to minimalize my own presence as in the past (like a “fly on the wall”), I consciously acknowledged it this time. In 2006 I was afraid of everything. I feared that by being there it would have change the group dynamics of the environment and I would have ruined my “documentary photographs”. I realize now that “I” have to be there to make a picture.  My involvement with these individuals allows an entirely new perspective. I look for color, contrast, shapes, and enjoy putting my Jacques’s experiences into photographs.

Exploring Space and Place with Beate Gütschow, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer

“Through the Lens of Candida Höfer,” interview profile courtesy AsiaAlter

In Lost Places: Sites of photography at Hamberger Kunsthalle in Germany (through September 23, 2012), 20 innovative contemporary photographers respond to the question: ”What happens to real places if a space loses its usual significance and can be experienced on a virtual plane?”

These artists, many who came out of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s renowned Dusseldorf School of Photography, which championed the de-emphasis of the perspective of the photographer and focus on the object’s command over the frame, present the documentation of landscape at a time when traditional notions of “space” and “place,” for better or worse, are rapidly changing.

Artist included in the exhibition are: Thomas Demand (b. 1964), Omer Fast (b. 1972), Beate Gütschow (b. 1970), Andreas Gursky (b. 1955), Candida Höfer (b. 1944), Sabine Hornig (b. 1964), Jan Köchermann (b. 1967), Barbara Probst (b. 1964), Alexandra Ranner (b. 1967), Ben Rivers (b. 1972), Thomas Ruff (b. 1958), Gregor Schneider (b. 1969), Sarah Schönfeld (b. 1979), Joel Sternfeld (b. 1944), Thomas Struth (b. 1954), Guy Tillim (b. 1962), Jörn Vanhöfen (b. 1961), Jeff Wall (b. 1946) and Tobias Zielony (b. 1973).

Gursky, Höfer, Ruff, Struth, and Wall were all featured in Stefan Gronert’s large-format volume The Dusseldorf School of Photography (Aperture 2010). In the fascinating video series “Contacts: The Renewal of Contemporary Photography,” Gursky and Wall describe the methodology behind their work.

In 2005, Aperture also published Höfer’s monograph Architecture of Absence, which features her meticulously composed images of public spaces marked with the richness of human activity, yet largely devoid of human presence.

Gütschow, “who constructs cityscapes and landscapers that are reminiscent of well-known places, but that do not allow any true reference” for her photographs in this exhibition, did a monograph with Aperture as well in 2007 called LS/S.

Work by Joel Sternfeld was featured in Aperture issue 192 and 180. Guy Tillim appears in Aperture issue 193.

Lost Places: Sites of Photography
Exhibition on view:
June 8 – September 23, 2012

Hamberger Kunsthalle
GlockengieBerwall 20095
Hamburg, Germany
+49 (0) 40-428-131-200

Photographer #448: Rania Matar

Rania Matar, 1964, Lebanon/USA, is a documentary photographer who was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the USA in 1984. Her career started as an architect before studying photography at the New England School of Photography. She concentrates mainly on women and women’s issues as identity and religion both in the US as in the Middle East. In 2009 she released the book Ordinary Lives and this spring her second monograph, A Girl and her Room, will be coming out. This series, inspired by her eldest daughter, focuses on teenage girls within their own private spaces. Both the forthcoming book and her younger daughter were the inspirations for her latest body of work entitled L’Enfant-Femme (the Child-Women). She portrays young teens and pre-teens without giving them instructions apart from not smiling. Due to the freedom the girls have to pose in their own way; they portray an array of emotions and clues to their true self. The angst, confidence and/or body language reveal their sense of selfhood and the developing sense of womanhood. As the teenagers still fluctuate between being a child and a women, Rania asks herself whether “they are meant to see themselves as little girls, teenagers or as young women?” Since 2002 she has also been taking photographs of her four children showing the various stages of their lives. The following images come from the series L’Enfant-Femme, Christian Arabs and Family Moments.

Website: www.raniamatar.com

Doug Ness

You never know what is going to happen once your work is on someone’s visual radar. Last October, I met photographer Doug Ness when he took a workshop with me at the Filter Photo Festival. He later went on to share his portfolio with a variety of industry insiders, one of them being Martha Schneider, of Schneider Gallery, during the portfolio reviews.

As Doug recently told me, “Martha, a Chicago gallerist for the last 30 years, was one of the wonderful people who reviewed my work. As a result of that meeting, Martha asked that I display some of my images at a space where she’s responsible for the art, the InterContinental O’Hare Hotel. Happily agreeing, there are currently nine of my images on display there now, and continuing through the next several months, all at the Bistro Museo. All of the prints are 30″x45″ and mounted on plexi. If you’re in Chicago, or even have a long layover at O’Hare, please stop by the hotel and have a look. Art tours are available by contacting the concierge.”

Great news for Doug, who spent 15 years as an Institutional Bond Salesman in New York City and Chicago before discovering his passion for photography in 2008. Since then, he has studied in Chicago, London, Greece, and Montana, where he graduated from the Rocky Mountain School of Photography Career Training Program in 2009. Doug has exhibited on both coasts, and of course, in Chicago.

Walls of Veniceis a series of images from Venice, Italy that are inspired by both Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. As I lost myself in the streets and alleys of that wonderfully unique and timeless city, I found myself more drawn to photographing what was on the walls than the more typical and iconic sights of the city. Each image is a study in composition and my vision of finding the art in the common, everyday scenes that are so often passed by without our noticing them. I find it exhilarating, this adventure, this searching, this quest for discovering the beauty in the ordinary. Ultimately, the pictures are about texture, line, and form, about re-examining the elements of design in images.

Andreas Oetker-Kast, Farmland near Dorf Pries

Andreas Oetker-Kast, Farmland near Dorf Pries

Andreas Oetker-Kast

Farmland near Dorf Pries,
Kiel, Germany, 2011
From the Wunderland series
Website – AndreasOK.com

Andreas Oetker-Kast is a freelance photographer based in Kiel, Germany. Following his studies in sociology he pursued a career in international public relations, first in Germany followed by a work stay in the United States. Upon his return to Germany in 2003 he turned to professional photography, specializing in documentary style and music photography. He was participating in seminars at the Ostkreuz School of Photography, Berlin from 2006-2009, first under the guidance of Michael Trippel (2006) followed by Werner Mahler (May 2007-2009). Since 2006 his work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Germany and internationally, was published in books and catalogs and selected prints are part of private and official collections.

Sergey Novikov

Russian photographer, Sergey Novikov, has a number of terrific series, two that I am featuring here. Sergey was born in Cheboksary, Chuvash Republic, in the USSR and as a teenager began taking photographs with the family cameras. After hitchhiking across Europe, and photographing a huge story about hitchhikers, his camera and all the film were stolen in Poland, so his next trip to Brazil was without a camera, but he still had the urge to capture the visual world. After a move to Moscow, Sergey worked as a video editor and graduated as a photo editor at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. For the last three years he has been making work about Russia, but also finds time to travel the world.

The first body of work, FC Volga United, follows soccer teams named after the Volga River, the second project, Breathless, takes a look at movie theaters in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, many that are now transformed into flea markets, discos, and houses of worship.

FV Volga United: This story, bordered by river banks, is about the places and people beside the longest European river, the Volga. I have looked at them through the prism of soccer there is a common passion here in Russia and particularly in those tiny towns on the Volga. I have travelled along the river and visited the games of 9 teams who took their name from the river. So they are all FC Volga from different russian regions. I have discovered many backgrounds, many interesting personalities.

Breathless: I prefer absorbing movie to fattening popcorn.As well I am ready to shuffle in an armchair to feel atmosphere of an old movie theatre. Unfortunately, movies already quited them, having left buildings for holidays fairs, discos and “Jehovah’s Witnesses” sect. Apocalyptic movies lovers set afire and destroy these buildings day by day. The few remained. It will be possible to buy a large Coke on their place soon. So, some temporarily abandoned movie theaters, Russia.

Irina Rozovsky

All images ©Irina Rozovsky

While looking through our submissions inbox we found this delicate and understated project by Irina Rozovsky. One to Nothing is a gentle body of work about Israel that abandons any preconceptions or prejudices we may hold towards this typically “troubled” place or depiction thereof.

“One to Nothing depicts an Israel we do not see on the news. These images go beyond politics: they do not defend a side or critique the conflict. Here, Israel is seen in an unexpected light, as a mythological backdrop to the age long struggle between man and the dusty, sun bleached landscape of his origin. The score to this existential battle is locked at 1– 0, with no finish line in sight. A loose, subtle, and open-ended narrative One to Nothing describes historic tension with striking and unusual observations.”

Irina Rozovsky, was born in Moscow in 1981 and grew up outside of Boston. She received a BA in French and Spanish Literature from Tufts University and an MFA in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art. 

She was a recipient of the Magnum Expression Finalist Award, juried by Martin Parr in 2010 and her work has been shown in national and international exhibitions. Among these are; 31 Women in Art Photography, curated by Charlotte Cotton and Jon Feinstein, Photo España, Madrid, Les Rencontres d’Arles, and, most recently, she was the subject of a solo exhibition at the New England School of Photography, Boston.

Rozovsky currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and One to Nothing is her first monograph, recently published by Kehrer Verlag.