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November 14th, 2012

Sandy Fundraisers: Great Photographers Selling Prints For Sandy Relief (Updated)

© Wyatt Gallery

A print sale fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy relief featuring $50 prints of iPhone photographs from a great list of photographers will take place this Monday, November 19 at Foley Gallery in New York.

Organized by Wyatt Gallery, Michael Foley, Ben Lowy and Ruddy Roye, and curated by Jun Lee, the show includes photos by Lowy, Roye, Gallery, Ed Kashi, Stephen Wilkes, Hank Willis Thomas, Michael Christopher Brown, Craig Wetherby, Yosra El-Essawy, Sam Horine, Nicole Sweet, Dylan Chandler, Brent Bartley, Stanley Lumax and Erica Simone.

Gotham Imaging is printing the photographs for the exhibition. And according to the event page they are working on enabling online purchases for those who can’t make the event.

For more info and to RSVP, check out the event page here:

http://www.facebook.com/events/377613858994356/

UPDATE: Prints from the show are also available for online purchase, here: http://sandyrelief.bigcartel.com/

Fine-art photographer Isa Leshko, a native of New Jersey whose series Thrills & Chills was largely shot on the Jersey Shore, is contributing in two ways to the rebuilding of the area.

She is donating archival pigment prints of her image “The Wave” from Thrills & Chills to a fundraiser organized by the Richard Levy Gallery . From Dec. 4-9th they will be exhibiting at The Miami Project, a new art fair. Richard Levy Gallery is dedicating a wall of their booth to artwork donated by their artists for Sandy relief. 100% of sales go to the Red Cross. Leshko will be selling 4.5 x 4.5 inch prints of “The Wave” for $100.

“The Wave,” © Isa Leshko.

“In addition,” Leshko says, “from now through the end of the year, I will be donating 20% of any income I derive from sales of gelatin silver prints from my Thrills & Chills series to the following two organizations:

1. Architecture for Humanity’s Restore the Shore fund

2. Rebuilding Together

Feature Shoot also assembled a list of other charity efforts, which you can check out here.

UPDATE:

We received word that the folks at Slideluck Potshow are hosting an event on November 20th at White Box Gallery in New York. The event will raise money to benefit charities that are helping members of the Red Hook, Brooklyn community recover. For more info on the event and to RSVP check out the event page, here.

UPDATE:

TIME and online print retailer 20×200 are collaborating on a sale of 12 prints by noted photographers that will benefit six charities in the New York area that are helping people effected by the storm. Joel Meyerowitz, Alfred Eisenstaedt and Stephen Wilkes prints are part of the collection, which was selected by TIME’s photo editors. Prints will be available until December 16. For more info or to purchase a print visit Art for Sandy Relief.

October 23rd, 2012

FotoDC Presents the 5th Anniversary FotoWeekDC Festival – November 9-18, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

What began in 2008 as a week-long local photography festival has grown into a year-long, international commitment to the medium. While the venues, categories, and events offerings have evolved with each year, dedication to the FotoDC/FotoWeekDC missionremains constant: to provide exposure for photographers and make diverse, high-quality photography accessible through exhibitions and collaborations.

Now in its fifth year, the 2012 FotoWeek DC Festival features a new platform of events, exhibits, partnerships, and learning opportunities all over the city. FotoWeek Central, homebase for all things FotoWeek DC, comprises 40,000 square-feet of exhibit space in our nation’s capital and will host the Benefit Launch Party, the FotoWeek Central Lecture Series, the FotoBooks exhibit, and more than ten full-scale exhibits by the 2012 International Awards Competition finalists, Uncover/Discover 2012 winners, Photo Philanthropy, Flak Photo, and Reporters Without Borders/Magnum Photo Agency, just to name a few. Festival passes cost just $5 and offer unlimited entry to FotoWeek Central (tickets at the door will cost $7).

The Goethe-Institut will be the home to the Portfolio Reviews, a festival mainstay, FotoWeek EDU, a new series of seminars, and the winners of the FotoBook competition.  Portfolio reviews offer the opportunity for photographers of all levels to receive critical feedback and insight on their best work from experienced professionals during a 25-minute session. Registration costs $75/session and is now open – take a look at the reviewer bios and select the best match for your own style and photographic goals.FotoWeek EDU Seminars bring industry experts and photography leaders to share their knowledge, techniques, and unique approaches in the areas of photojournalism, storytelling, presentation, self-publishing, marketing, and more. Tickets for each session cost $165 and include access to evening meet-and-greet cocktail receptions that follow each seminar. Then, it’s a wrap! Review and unwind at the Closing Party on Saturday, November 17, held at the former Spanish Ambassador’s Residence, and toast the close of another successful festival.

Want to come to FotoWeekDC from out of town? No problem! FotoDC’s new partnership with Destination DC, the official tourism corporation for Washington, DC, includes hotel packages starting at $94.99 per night for the duration of FotoWeekDC (November 9-18, 2012). The ten participating hotels gift each room occupant with an extra incentive to explore the city: a $10 Metro SmarTrip card. Participating hotels include: Comfort Inn and Suites near Union Station, Helix, a Kimpton Hotel, The Dupont Circle Hotel, and The St. Regis Washington, D.C., and more. Please visit FotoWeekDC.org for more information.

Stay tuned for more information on FotoWeek By Night and even more events and programs as they are finalized and added to the new-and-improved festival calendar.

 (Sponsored Post)

September 28th, 2012

On Sustainable Business Models, and Comparing Apples to Oranges

The American Society of Media Photographers’ program, “Sustainable Business Models: Issues & Trends Facing Visual Artists,” held September 27 in New York City, can be viewed online via ASMP’s video library. Speakers and panelists provided useful context and insights into the current marketplace for photography, as well as thoughts on how professional freelancers might adapt their marketing and licensing in today’s economy. A warning, however: Along with provocative insights, the afternoon panel also included the predictable, banal observation that photojournalists have no role to play now that “everyone has a cellphone,” and statistics on how many images are uploaded to Facebook or Instagram each day or each hour or each minute. If you’re like me, you find these comments irritating. Because the first comment is untrue, and the second is irrelevant to any discussion of the professional photography business.

Yes, news editors trolled Instagram to get images of the aftermath of the Empire State Building shooting, but those image sales had no impact on the market for photos by professional news photographers: If amateur cellphone users hadn’t been on the scene, we simply wouldn’t have had any images of the carnage. Yes, a zillion snapshots of cats, babies and plates of food are shared on social media every day. What bearing does that have on what a professional photographer offers to clients or their audience? (more…)

September 21st, 2012

W. Eugene Smith Grant Winner to be Announced October 17

The W. Eugene Smith Fund will announce the winner of its 33rd annual W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography and the Howard Chapnick Grant for the Advancement of Photojournalism at a ceremony on October 17 in New York City. The Fund has extended an open invitation to attend the event.

The program will include presentations of photo essays by this year’s grant recipient and fellowship winners, a tribute to the work of W. Eugene Smith, an announcement of the grant finalists and the presentation  of the 2012 jurors’ discretionary grant.

The keynote speech will be given by Kimberly Dozier, correspondent for AP and author of Breaking the Fire.

The ceremony takes place at 7pm (doors open at 6:30) at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in New York. For details on the ceremony, the Smith Grant and Howard Chapnick Grant, visit the Smith Fund blog: http://smithfund.org/blog

September 21st, 2012

Aleppo Photo Festival Holds “Symbolic Opening” in War Zone

On September 15, the day the 11th annual Aleppo International Photo Festival was scheduled to open in the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria, founder and organizer Issa Touma held a “symbolic opening” at his gallery. Weeks after PDN first tried to reach him, Touma emailed PDN and posted a statement on the festival’s Facebook page announcing that he had held a small opening in his gallery, LePont, to send a “message” about the survival of “civil society” in Aleppo. The northern Syria city has faced constant shelling by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and pitched street battles between the Syrian Army and rebel fighters, forcing thousands to flee their homes. Touma writes, “Today the festival give[s] a message to all, which is: whatever happened in Syria, the photo festival will not stop.”

This year’s festival was supposed to exhibit 870 works by almost 50 international photographers, including Amanda Rivkin, James Whitlow Delano, Sean McAllister, Corinne Dufka, Khaled Hasan and Liu Jinxun. Instead, Touma says, he showed 40 images in his gallery. People who attended were “relaxed and happy,” he says. He adds that if the fighting in Aleppo wanes, “I still hope to show the festival all in big opening, but its seem[s] hard for the moment.”

Touma, a self-taught photographer who opened his gallery in Aleppo in 1993, has endured frequent harassment from the country’s ruling Baath Party, which has tried to shut down the festival, censor his exhibits and, in 2003, briefly shut off electricity in order to end the workshops and lectures. Until this year, however, he has persevered, drawing international visitors.

Last year, before the regime of al-Assad began military action against the popular uprising around the country, Touma announced that this year’s festival would be the biggest yet, with exhibitions taking place in Aleppo’s old Electricity Company. But as he says, “No one expect[ed] Aleppo will be a war zone.”

In the last month, the city was without communication for 25 days, the Post Office is not functioning, “most of the City shops are close[d] including frames workshops and many print house[s],” and movement within the city is dangerous. While some residents have fled to Turkey, Touma says, many have moved closer into the heart of the city, and this displacement makes it impossible to reach organizers.

Touma says, “I will wait a few day[s] to see what direction” the fighting goes in, and he hopes still to hold a bigger opening or post the festival images on the Le Pont web site.

“Art and Culture do not need [a] visa to make nations to meet to each others –in Aleppo.”

 

September 17th, 2012

Luminance: On the Intersection of Business, Technology and Photography

Photoshelter’s two-day symposium Luminance, held at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center in Manhattan on September 12 and 13, brought together imagemakers and creative industry professionals for half hour TED-style talks designed to address both current trends and the future of photography.

Presenters were grouped in threes under themes such as the Manipulators, the Storytellers, the Futurists, the Merchants, the Instigators, the Time Warpers, and the catchall category, Everyone’s a Photographer.

The trio of presenters grouped under the theme of The Merchants offered an insightful look at the current landscape in three markets: commercial licensing, fine art auctions and the sale of editioned fine art prints.

(more…)

August 7th, 2012

Do You Have To Move to New York to Succeed? Here’s Patti Smith’s Advice.

When we hold PDN 30 seminars at art schools around the country, students sometimes ask me if they should move to a big –and expensive—market like New York or Los Angeles to get work as photographers. I’m never sure what advice to give: Is there a benefit to being part of a big artistic community that outweighs the need to slave away to pay the rent?  Imagine my surprise when I heard performer and writer Patti Smith offer a very clear opinion on the matter during a reading and book signing in Brooklyn Bridge Park last night.

As the setting sun turned the sky over the East River shades of pink and gold, Smith read several poems and two excerpts from Just Kids, her award-winning memoir about living and making art in New York in the late Sixties and Seventies with her friend photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. One passage described how they survived by eating at the Horn & Hardart Automat, where 65 cents could buy a chicken sandwich, and how Mapplethorpe cut a deal on a Brooklyn apartment by promising to paint the blood-spattered walls and clean the mold and old syringes out of the refrigerator.

Smith then took a question from a member of the audience seeking advice for artists trying to move to New York.  Smith said she regrets that the economy has changed so much, then added that though she can understand why someone would want to live in what she called a “great” city, she recommends that artists keep their eyes on what really matters:   “Do the work.”  Doing the work, she said, might require moving back with your family and “working out of the garage” for a while. Consider your temperament, she advised.  “I always worked 9 to 5 jobs,” and managed to draw and write in her spare time, but “Robert found it harder” to work full time and take photos. Smith, who grew up in South Jersey and lived in Detroit after she married her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith, said there are cheaper, roomier places to live in Philadelphia and Detroit. But where you live, she said, is less important than what you do.  Success, she said, isn’t determined by landing “a big gallery,” it’s determined by the quality of what you produce. “Do the work,” she repeated. The crowd of New Yorkers applauded.

Smith’s reading was part of the Books Beneath the Bridge series, which supports independently owned bookstores – that is, the few that have not yet gone the way of Horn & Hardart.

July 17th, 2012

Why Do You Love Photography? Win Tickets to PhotoShelter’s Luminance 2012!

(Sponsored Post)

Andrew Fingerman, PhotoShelter CEO

Why do you love photography?  Tell PhotoShelter and win tickets to Luminance 2012, a two-day event focused on the trends, innovations and opportunities in our industry — in a nutshell, the future of photography.

A first-of-its-kind event, Luminance will tap into conversations being held among photographers, creatives, designers and entrepreneurs alike.  At its core, Luminance strives to spark the new ideas and networks that will push photography, as an industry, to the next level.

We’ve got an amazing lineup of speakers: leading innovators behind Lytro, 20×200, and Hipstamatic, tech visionaries from Facebook to Google, the founders of Behance and Blurb, and award winning photographers who are changing the way we see the world. Renowned photographers Joe McNally, Zack Arias, Corey Rich, and Robert Seale will also host a limited-attendance photography workshop to help you hone your technique and gather new inspiration.

It’s all taking place in New York City from September 11-13.

And don’t miss our killer #ilovephotography party to bring everyone together to celebrate image making. Check out the full rundown on Luminance 2012.

Get Your Free Tickets

Simply answer the question “Why do you love photography?” in the comment section below. Then tweet, Like or share this post on Facebook. Every week, PhotoShelter will pick 3 lucky winners with the most inspiring and creative responses. They’ll win 2 tickets to the event, plus the #ilovephotography party on September 12th. Don’t worry if you don’t win: PhotoShelter is offering PDN readers a $25 discount to the event. To take advantage, use code PDN2012 when you register.

See PhotoShelter’s blog for full contest rules.

We can’t wait to read your responses!

July 16th, 2012

Open Society Announces Photogs for 20th “Moving Walls” Exhibition

Open Society Institute, the human rights non-profit founded by George Soros, has announced the photographers who will be showing work in the 20th edition of its “Moving Walls” documentary photography exhibition, which will open in 2013. The selected photographers and projects are:

Katharina Hesse, on North Korean refugees who crossed the border into China
Fernando Moleres, on young men and boys imprisoned alongside adults and awaiting trial in Sierra Leone
Yuri Kozyrev, on the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa and their aftermath
Ian Teh, on the changing landscape of the Yellow River Basin in China
Donald Weber, on police interrogations in Ukraine

Photographers selected for the exhibition receive a $2,500 honorarium.

In addition to being the 20th iteration of “Moving Walls,” the exhibition will be the first in OSI’s new ground-level office space in Midtown Manhattan, which looks set to raise the profile of the exhibition. The new space “gives us opportunities to engage with the public in a different way,” noted OSI documentary photography project director Amy Yenkin in her announcement on the organization’s Web site.

For more visit the OSI site here.

Related: The Year in Photography: Yuri Kozyrev on the Arab Spring
Yuri Kozyrev Wins POYi’s 2011 Freelance Photographer of the Year
State Power: Donald Weber’s Interrogations

June 10th, 2012

Look 3 Report: Alex Webb on His Creative Process, Kodachrome, and Magnum

Magnum photographer Alex Webb’s conversation with author and photography critic Geoff Dyer at the Look 3 photo festival provided a sweeping retrospective of Webb’s career, from his earliest black and white work through his development as a revered master of color photography on projects from Haiti to the US/Mexico Border, Florida, Cuba, and beyond.

Throughout the presentation he described his methods of working and ways of seeing, while giving credit to the happy accidents that resulted in several of his most iconic images.

But the program began on an emotional note for Webb: he told the audience that he was dedicating the presentation of his work to his mother, who died “somewhat unexpectedly” two and a half weeks ago, shortly after being diagnosed with leukemia. Webb went on to say that his mother, a sculptor, was “courageous in her art,” and taught him and his siblings “how to be committed artists.”

Webb’s conversation with Dyer proceeded chronologically through his career and work. Webb’s start was ordinary: he got his first camera at the age of ten, but a passion for photography didn’t ignite until he was about 15. The first two books that captured his imagination were Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment and Robert Frank’s The Americans. “When I started of course serious photography was black and white,” Webb said. “Color was sort of crass.”

By about 1975, he was photographing the American landscape in the spirit of Lee Friedlander and Charles Harbutt. By the age of 22, he was a Magnum nominee, which Webb downplayed as less of a big deal than it might seem now because there was a lot less competition back then, and nobody was talking about the death of photojournalism. Despite his early success, however, Webb said his work “wasn’t really going anywhere.”

Between 1975 and 1978, he realized that he needed to photograph “far away from New England, where I was from.” He made his first trips afield–to Mississippi, Haiti and the US-Mexico border.

The change of scenery “really shook me out of something,” he said. “I grew up in what felt like a slightly complacent world” of New York intellectuals (his father was a book editor and publisher, who worked with several famous writers.) The new places he was exploring were strange without being completely divorced from his cultural experience. “Some semblance of the world I understood intersected with this other world [he wasn't familiar with.] I can’t fully explain it, but clearly there are certain places that have gotten my photographic juices going.”

Initially, he continued shooting black and white, but soon realized his images were missing an element essential to Haiti and the US-Mexico border: color. By the late 70s, he was shooting in color because it “was the emotional photographic response to the places I was working in. If I had stayed in New England, I don’t know whether I would ever have started photographing in color,” he said.

The transition was awkward, however. While he was still shooting black and white personal work, he occasionally shot color when an assignment demanded it. “It was lousy, it was shit,” Webb said of his early color work.

But he explained to the Look 3 audience that he gradually developed a sense of color, including the color of light and how it can change so quickly outdoors. “Color is about emotion. That’s what I began to see and understand as a photographer,” he said. “On a trip to Haiti in ’79, all of the sudden I started to see in color,” he recounted.

Webb worked on numerous projects for years, many of them simultaneously: Haiti, the US-Mexico border, Florida, Cuba, the Amazon, and Istanbul. He also showed images from shorter projects and assignments in France, Germany, and Spain, and other places.

His Haiti project, for instance, began in 1975 and continued until 2000. He finally completed his US Mexico border project with the publication of his book Crossings in 2003. He made his first trip to Cuba in 1993, but didn’t begin shooting there in earnest until 2000, continuing that project through the publication of Violet Isle in 2009 (the book is collaboration with his wife, photographer Rebecca Norris Webb, whose images are interspersed with Webb’s throughout the book.)

Webb says it takes him a while–sometimes several years– to figure out whether exploratory trips to a new place will turn into a project worthy of a book. For that reason, he tends to have several projects percolating at the same time.

“I don’t always know a project is going to be a project until I’m well into it,” he said. Later in the presentation, he elaborated:  “A project is like stepping off onto journey, but you don’t know where it’s going to take you or where it’s going to end,” he said. “As Rebecca [his wife] says, one’s photographs are wiser than one’s self.”

Lately, he’s started exploring a project about America’s industrial heartland, and expressed optimism about the prospects of that project at his Look 3 presenation. He’s visited cities including Eerie, Pennsylvania, and also Rochester, New York, to explore the demise of his film of choice: Kodachrome.

The discontinuation of the film has forced him to start shooting digitally, which raised questions from the audience about how the change has affected his work. Webb compared the difference between digital and film to the difference in sound quality between CDs and vinyl records. Digital “is a little cleaner than the world. Film feels like the messiness of the world,” he said.

But he’s resigned himself to the change. Had Kodak continued making Kodachrome, he said, “I probably would have been happy to photograph in Kodachrome until I died.” But the market is requiring him to switch, and he says, “I realized I can be a bit of a dinosaur, and stick with things too long. I thought that maybe it’s time to move into the 21st century.”

Describing his approach to his projects, Webb said he doesn’t do much in-depth research in advance. “I’ll read some fiction to get a taste of the place, and maybe read some guidebooks,” he said. “I bring books with me, and read them while I’m there. I want my visual knowledge of place to grow at same rate as my intellectual knowledge.” The danger of knowing too much before he goes, he says, is that it primes him to make images that represent aspects of the place, according to what he’s read, at the expense of what he might experience.

That approach of limited research, he noted, “is different from how most photojournalists [work],” but he added that he does more advance research before he travels to new places for assignments.

Webb says he prefers to shoot alone. “For me it’s a very solitary process. First of all, hanging out with me while i’m photographing is really boring. I’ll be here, I’ll be there, I’ll circle around, and come back.” (There are occasions when he needs to hire a fixer, and he’s worked along side Maggie Steber and other journalists in the Haiti when political tensions made it particularly dangerous there. “Another photographer or writer can pull you out if you run into trouble,” Webb said.)

Webb’s is capable of making images of enormous complexity, with shadows and light, reflection, color, optical illusions, juxtapositions, symbolism, and multiple layers of content. (See some examples here.) Not all of his images work so hard (and challenge viewers in the process) but almost every project includes notable examples.

When Dyer reminded Webb that the photographer has questioned the meaning of some of his own complicated photographs of Haiti, Webb responded, “I like photogoraphs that ask questions and open up possibilities. I certianly don’t have answers,” so his pictures shouldn’t pretend to have them.

One other noteworthy topic Dyer raised was Magnum. “How does it suit you being a Magnum photographer?’ he asked.

Webb said he was closer to other Magnum photographers earlier in his career. “But we all have gone different ways. We have families. Our work is going in different directions. Some aspects of Magnum are really great, some are problematic. Every Magnum photographer has gone through, ‘Im going to leave this fucking agency. I can’t stand so-and-so.’ It’s not an easy place, but anyone at any agency would say something similar.” He then added, “There’s a real question about whether Magnum is needed…The reason for its existence when it was formed sixty years ago isn’t there anymore.”

Related Articles:

Look 3 Report: Donna Ferrato on Philip Jones Griffiths, Don McCullin, and Complicated Relationships
Look 3 Report: Stanley Greene on Luck, Film, and Supporting Young Photographers