Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eye Candy at AIPAD

The AIPAD show was like a walk through Dylan’s Candy Shop, filled to the brim with fantastical, historical, sometimes absurd and mostly wonderful treats. Picture strolling through Beaumont Newhall’s History of Photography. Galleries and collectors exhibited vintage gems from Margaret Cameron, Bernice Abbott and Man Ray, next to electrifying examples of contemporary work by Pierre Cordier, Jim Campbell and Julie Blackmon.
© Julie Blackmon
© Pierre Cordier
Look beyond some repetition, occasional mediocrity and feast your eyes on sweet treasures. We were pleased to be introduced to artists new to us and here we share our favorites:
Verve Gallery of Santa Fe represents veteran lensman Misha Gordon. His stunning dramatic work of staged series uses pattern and light to reflect a moving serenity and intelligent wit. The filmmaking duo, Charbonneau/French, create elaborate and fantastical sets that utilize daylight and shadow, props and people in real time.
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, located a block away from the Armory, showcased Raphael Dallaporta’s huge color images detailing the grand church organs of Paris. Also available were his beautifully printed and haunting series of life-sized land mines, now a book, Antipersonnel.
© Raphael Dellaporta
The NYT article reviewing the show highlighted several Asian artists and we noted one donating proceeds to victims in Japan.
Hyperion Press Limited introduced us to the elegant and painterly images of Qin Wen. His subdued use of color illustrates allegory in layers using traditional ritual and current culture.
© Qin Wen

Gallery 339 of Philadephia showed work from Ephemeral Existence by Tetsugo Hyakutake, featuring his ephemeral large scale industrial landscapes of Japan.
The Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica CA carries noted social documentary photographer Sebastiao Salgado. His exquisite images offer rarely seen remote areas of undeveloped countries.
© Sebastiao Salgado

Lastly, more than one dealer featured the work of Beth Moon. Using traditional film and a medium format camera she shoots moody portraits in lush natural settings. Her images are hand coated in platinum and palladium metals on heavy French watercolor paper.

© Beth Moon

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Science, Poetry and the Photographic Image at SPE

Imagine someone who is highly educated, passionate about their art, dedicated to teaching and happy to share their ideas with others. This last week Eric and I not only found one of these rare individuals but an entire conference full. This amazing reunion was the 2011 national conference of The Society of Photographic Education, SPE.

This amazing conference started for us with keynote lecture by old friend and legendary photographer and educator Abe Morell. Always understated, funny, and thought provoking, Abe’s talk inspired and amazed everyone. He shared many stories about his camera obscura work; we especially enjoyed his new body of work. We also got a great insight into Abe as a teacher from his former student and fellow Guggenheim recipient and SPE Board Member Joann Brennan  who gave a wonderful introduction, but I have a bias.

We would have liked to attend many of  the others lectures but we had work to do. On the exhibition floor we had a great time making new friends such as: Ann Simmons-MyersAngela KellyVesna Pavlovic the Crew at Bostick & Sullivan  and many more who we hope to see at SPE 2012 in San Francisco!

We also saw many old friends: Justin KimballJohn WillisWilliam DuBois.  This is a very incomplete short list and if you didn’t make it that means you didn’t buy us a drink!

We left the 2011 SPE Conference, Science, Poetry and the Photographic Image, enlightened, feeling good, and secure in the belief that the future of photography is in great hands. If you are a photography or film educator you need to be part of this amazing community, they throw one heck of a party.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Earth Now - American Photographers and the Enviornment

© Carlan Tapp
© Joann Brennan

Two of our western friends, Carlan Tapp & Joann Brennan will be showing at the New Mexico Museum of Art along with such notables as Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter. The Show is titled "Earth Now" and is curated by Katherine Ware and features the work of 12 photographers. The exhibition opens April 8 and runs through October 9, 2011. It has a great website that is worth a visit.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WPPI - The Take Away

WPPI was an amazing event and a tremendous learning opportunity. We experienced WPPI mostly from the trade show floor, a place where you can get the real story of being a professional photographer at least 100 times a day if you listen carefully. We talked to a lot of great people and these are 5 things we heard time and time again.

1. Be unique. Create your own style. Today anyone with a DSLR can be your competition… if you let them. However, if you develop an individual identity, an original look to your imagery, a special service or services that differentiate you from the crowd clients will find you. Our friends Walter van Dusen and Bob Coates push a fine art side of their business to attract new clients.  A group of photographers from Maine has started the Maine Photographer Coalition to help promote their businesses by selling more fine art images.

2. Don’t make price a factor. The top professionals we talked to didn’t figure cost into their success equation. Don’t ask yourself “what is the other guy charging,” but ask “what is the value of my talent and services.” When you know what you are selling, and that your talent and services are something of value, you will know what pricing model is right.

3. Quality matters. Time and time again we were complimented on the excellent quality of our printing. If you take pride in your photographic abilities why settle for an inferior print? To quote a photographer at the show, “There are a lot of beautifully bound albums here (at the WPPI trade show), with some really badly printed photos inside.” The wrapper may be gorgeous but it’s the print that defines your ability as a photographer.

5. Use your resources. Why limit yourself to just a few options. If you need a special lens, camera or piece of lighting equipment why not rent it. Our friends LensProtoGo have just about any piece of equipment you need in stock now. Tired of the same old look get some new backdrops. Need a cool website but don’t have the funds to pay a web designer? Try BluDomain for an extensive selection of websites at great prices. And most important, if you have a question ask your vendors, like Digital Silver Imaging, we know what’s out there and we can help you find it.

We love going to photo events like WPPI because every time we connect with a photographer we learn something. Check in with us in the coming weeks and find out how we put what we've learned into practice. Keep shooting in black and white, and maybe we’ll see you at the SPE Conference in Atlanta March 10-12!