Robert Santangelo 3/26/15
In 1932, George Hammond Publications discussed Pictoral Photography: “…Telling a photographer how to compose his
pictures is like telling a musician how to compose music, an author how to write a novel, or an actor how to act a part.
Such things can only grow out of the fullness and experience of life. The musician must learn harmony and counterpoint. The
novelist must know the rules of grammar and the proper use of words. The actor must study elocution…All these things are more
or less exact sciences that can be taught and their application is entirely individual.”
Photography allows me to record what I see. My personal vision of reality is captured as I explore the
capabilities of the many cameras I have purchased and owned over these past 54 years. I have built with the theory and
application of exposure, photographic processing, and the handling of adjustable film cameras and various lenses,
a portfolio of camera images since 1950, which have slowly begun their transition to digital records. My travels and
my explorations using film capture equipment and current digital capture cameras have advanced from basic
experiences to an advance in photographic and concept difficulty.
Vivianne Moos 1/29/15
PAI presents award winning International Documentary and Fine Arts photographer –Viviane Moos -- Please join PAI and share the way Viviane sees the world and experienceher impassioned and unique photographic work.Viviane writes:As a photojournalist with the ability to create a genuine connection with people, my work is mypassion and my passion is telling stories about the world we live in.Raised in Brazil and Europe and traveling since childhood, I became a photographer so that Icould share the way I see the world; using my camera as a communication tool, my heart, myeye and my experience guide me.Better than speaking about my work, allow me to share the words of two noted colleagues:"Viviane Moos takes you down the street less traveled by showing images from her "BrazilianStreet Diary" a brilliant account of child street gangs in Brazil she shot over 21 years ago. Shotin the tradition of Bresson’s gritty black and white, Viviane documented a much different worldthan the typical North American street photographer could capture. Passion, evocative, andemotional are just three words to describe the project of this acclaimed journalist.-- David Brommer, Photographer & B&H Event Space Director"Viviane Moos' photography provides an x-ray of society's soul."-- Peter Mann, international coordinator World Hunger Year/Harry Chapin Media AwardsPlease come meet Viviane Moos on January 29, 2015, and hear in her own words her deepconviction that nothing is impossible.
Peter C. Brandt 12/17/14
One day I wondered “what if”? I considered and dared to paint some part of myarchitectural photographs. Digitally painted by mouse ! I hadn’t seen anyone do such athing. What was the message of the idea? By a distortion of the reality, our eyes need tostop to have a thorough look. Will we notice what is there without any unusual colorpainted on it? Does this not force us to examine what architecture there is? Did we evernotice the texture of the buildings, ..the shape of the of the graphics, ..the curves ofcurvilinear architecture? An unusual detail draws our attention and makes everythinglook different. My Painted Architecture hi-lights this idea.
Meryl Meisler 11/20/14
Meryl Meisler is the author of A Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick. A Tale of Two Cities juxtaposes Meryl’s disco andBushwick photographs with the writing of authors who grew up amongst the rubble. Meryl's photographs of Bushwick inthe 80s, taken while she was a public school art teacher in the neighborhood from 1981 - 1994 are the largest knowndocumentation of Bushwick during a disparate decade. The accounts of Bushwick historians and educators, Disco Divas and Dickens’ narrative contribute to this true-life story and remind us that many of the same issues reverberate today.A Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick is receiving international acclaim including reviews in The New York Times http://tinyurl.com/kwfn9cbThe New Yorker http://tinyurl.com/lnbzrmg PBS: Metro Focus- http://video.pbs.org/video/2365343667/Meryl will share the journey and decision to juxtapose her images of the Disco Era withBushwick in The 80s, exhibit and publish her first monograph as well as self-promotionstips that have helped the book receive great exposure.A Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick will be available for sale and booksigning.Meryl has received fellowships and grants from New York Foundation from theArts, The Puffin Foundation, Time Warner, Artists Space, C.E.T.A., the China Institute and the Japan Society. She has exhibited atthe Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Historical Society, Dia Center NYC, MASS MoCA, The NewMuseum of Contemporary Art, and The Whitney Museum of American Art and in public spaces such as Grand Central Terminal, The South Street Seaport and throughout the NYC subway system. Her work is in the permanent collections of AT&T, Brooklyn Historical Society, Library of Congress, Islip Art Museum, Metropolitan Transit Authority, Pfizer, Reuters, ColumbiaUniversity, American Jewish Congress, and within artist books in the collections of the Whitney, MOMA, Metronome, Carnegie Mellon, Chrysler Museum and the Centre Georges Pompidou.
Craig Semetko 10/29/14
Craig Semetko was recently chosen by LeicaCamera as one of ten photographers from around theworld to be in its “10x10” exhibition celebrating 100years of Leica photography and the grand opening ofits new headquarters in Wetzlar, Germany. His 10 x10 project became his secondbook, INDIA UNPOSED. Elliott Erwitt wrote the foreword for Semetko’s first book,UNPOSED, and called him “…the essential photographer. That is, the one whosees what others could not have seen.” The current issue of Esquire magazine’sBig Black Book calls Semetko a “noble torchbearer” to Henri Cartier-Bresson,Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand and Sebastião Salgado, among others. Semetkohas had solo exhibitions at the Leica Galleries in NYC, Los Angeles, Miami,Frankfurt, Salzburg and Solms, and has co-exhibited with Cartier-Bresson at theOpen Shutter Gallery in Durango, Colorado. He recently returned from Europewhere he taught Leica Akademie Master Class weekends in Milan, London, St.Moritz and Frankfurt, and was selected to be the first guest lecturer at the newLeica Camera headquarters in Wetzlar. His work has appeared in numerouspublications and his prints hang in private collections in the US, Europe, Asia andAustralia. Semetko is originally from Detroit, MI, graduated Northwestern Universityin Evanston, IL, and currently resides in Los Angeles
George Tice 9/18/14
George Tice - Sixty Years of Photography Our September 18, 2014 meeting will have a presentation by George Tice.PAI Members, mark your calendars. !!We are fortunate to have George Tice as our speaker for the September meeting of PAI.George Tice is one of the most important fine art photographers in America today. Hisfocus over the years has been primarily on the American urban landscape and, inparticular, his beloved state of New Jersey.Tice is a true master of his craft. Master of the photograph – he can coax visualharmony out of the most ordinary of settings; Master of the printing process – his skill inthe darkroom is legendary. From the actual taking of the photograph to the making of thefinal print, he does it all flawlessly and beautifully.Over a dozen books of his work have been published, including UrbanLandscapes and Fields of Peace, a breathtakingly beautiful portrait of the world of theAmish people. The most recent is Seldom Seen published in 2013 by Brilliant Press.Come and enjoy George Tice: Sixty Years of Photography. A book signing will followthe presentation. Remember cash or checks only.Cynthia MatthewsGeorge Tice is a quiet genius who can capture the heart of a portrait and renderextraordinarily the mundane and the commonplace, from small-town communities tosuburban buildings to neighborhoods that are often in decline.
Len Speier 6/19/14
A native New Yorker, Len Speier was taken with photography from the time his
late uncle Sam gave him a primitive film developing kit for his 13th birthday.
College, a stint in the Army with the First Cavalry Division, followed by Law
School and a private practice didn't prevent him from returning to his first love,
the photography arts, which has thoroughly engaged him for over forty years.
Speier describes photography as the art of exclusion where the photographer
has the power to create in the camera what he chooses to exhibit. "It is a heady
power. It is the serendipitous confluence of the eye, brain, sensitivity and the
action of the finger on the shutter release. Cartier-Bresson, William Klein, Robert
Frank and others have that gift. It has been my goal."
Len has photographed extensively in his home town and also in various parts of
the world; China, Spain, Portugal, France, Denmark, Surinam and Japan to name
some. His work has been reproduced in textbooks, compilations, even
advertisements and book jackets. He has taught photography for many years in
various venues: The New School in NYC; Art Department at New York University
and for over 16 years as Assoc. Prof. at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
in NYC. For ten years, until 1999, he mentored children of color in photography
for the NAACP program entitled, “ACT-SO." He retired in 2006.
His work is in the Permanent Collection of the International Center of
Photography (ICP),; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Museum of the City of New
York; Photo Archive of the NY Public Library and numerous professional and
Be sure to come to the June meeting where you can greet and hear Len Speier,
a compassionate humanitarian and photographer, and see his work.
PAI Meeting JUNE 19, 2014
Raissa Venables 6/21/13
The photographs of New Yorker Raissa Venables portray distorted rooms with intoxicatingcolors in a surrea lmanner.Despite the absence of people in her photographs,we still feel their presence in the rooms. Although her work is contemporary,involving the engagement of the latest technology, Venables is influenced byimportant artistic innovations in history. This includes the usage of perspectives and colors ofthe classical Renaissance, the Expressionist exploration of the relationship between colors andemotions, and the Cubist experimentation of depicting an object inmultiple viewpoints oncanvas. The result is a mesmerizing impact Venables’s photographs have on us the viewers,allowing us to imagine the dreams, and events that took place in those spaces.Venables’ exposure to European traditions as well as trainings at various academic institutionsresulted in the shaping of her philosophy and style.While Venables was a student at Bard, shediscovered her artistic style when she revisited the house of a childhood friend who was anolder woman that had died. Venables had magica lmemories of the house and everything in thehouse, including the smell and sound, it remained exactly the same as when she was a child.Although the friend, an artist as well,was not physically present, the way she decorated her housereflected her artwork and herself. Thus taking photographs of the house from different anglesare portraits of the friend and of Venables’ time revisiting her world.Her goal was to connect hermemories with the present physical space. This was the defining style of Venables’ future work.She is deeply influenced by Early Renaissance Flemish painters like Jan van Eyck and Rogervan der Weyden particularly the use of color and lighting in their works. She splits and dissolvesobjects and space and then reassembles themtogether.Dr.Matthias Harder, Director of the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, wrote aboutthe artist’s reason for taking this approach: “Venables’ real intention is to open up unfamiliarperspectives and to transform real spaces into imaginary ones with realistic traits.” The artist
creates surrealistic, digitally composed images of everyday spaces with no people in it, which allows us to
observe how we inhabit our environment and vice versa.Raissa s’ work has also been often compared to Alfred
Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick particularly with her manipulation of perception, and setting of the photographic
works.The rooms seem to be alive and anthropomorphic,as Raissa aptly describes her work.Her photographic
technique requires taking picturesof multiple perspectives with long exposures. Seemingly the photographs inadvertently records the passage of time, which intensifies the metaphysical characteristic of the space.The final works of art we see is a result of a long
procedure that involves employing the latest camera and computer technologies. Venables is willing to go through
the process because she wants her “photographs to convey the effort of feeling a space and just not be a
documentation of the room.”She achieves that by exploring different interiors, from bedroom to camping tent and elevator.How she
decides which spaces to visit involves both conceptual thinking and intuitive process.Once she finds a location
that she wants to work with, Raissa goes back with her camera and takes pictures from different angles. She is
always aware of how her view of the room changes as she moves around. And by taking pictures of all possible
angles, Raissa has a more intimate understanding of the three-dimensional space she is in. She successfully
conveys this awareness in her final production.Venables shoots with film camera instead of digital,
because the digital camera simplifies the colors.Venables wanted color to be a special element that
invites the viewer into the image. She creates a psychedelic effect by using high-saturation color.
After taking multiple photographs, Venables prints the contact sheets, cuts them up, and then physically
Charles Chessler 5/22/14
Charles Chessler.In his own words, Charles Chessler, is a New York City based photographer wholoves shooting everything from the landscapes, birds and flora of Central Park todaily city life to portraits of actors, working folks and agreeable strangers. Bornand raised in New York City, he never went into Central Park though he did a lotof cycling and rode around the Park more times than he can possibly remember.But when his father had a quadruple bypass at Mount Sinai Hospital on the Eastside of Central Park, Charles started walking back and forth across the Parkduring his visits. He also started carrying a digital camera every day and startednoticing and photographing things he’d never noticed before.For Charles, who started out as an actor, photography is "being alive to what’saround you, alive to the moment…acting truthfully in the moment in one andtrying to capture the moment in a way that is pleasing or evocative to the eye inthe other.""I run around a lot. I love taking pictures because it forces me to slow downand to be present and alive to the moments around me."Come see his work and hear him speak at the April meeting. You will lovehim and his work.Charles Chessler's photos can be viewed on his website:http://www.charleschesslerphotography.com/Leonora GoldbergPresident, PAI
Randy Duchaine 5/23/13
The speaker for our May 23 meeting is Randy Duchaine.
We all know Randy as the recently retired,mover-and-shaker presidentof PAI. He has steered us through some particularly turbulentwaters these last years and before that,was a longtime, active memberof the PAI Board. He is responsible for our first website,our beautifullyredesigned on-line newsletter and for bringing in so many talented guest speakers.What you may not know is this gregarious, funny, extroverted born leader is also a very fine,successful and prolific photographer, especially in the genre of environmental portraiture.He hastraveled the globe shooting for international clients and multinational corporations such asMicrosoft, IBM,Bristol Meyers plus dozens more and yet he doesn’t hesitate,when asked, to pitchin pro bono for a local school or community project.
Raised in Connecticut, Randy graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography in SantaBarbara and is now a longtime resident of Brooklyn. Often described as a great “people person,”he can chat up, put at ease and coax a brilliant portrait out of just about anyone. Possessed of ahighly proactive and disciplined work ethic, when not traveling on commercial assignments, heis working on personal assignments, seeking out and photographing an amazing panoply ofinteresting characters in and around Brooklyn.
Combine all that with his innate sense of curiosity, and you can better understand why he writeson the opening page of his website: “The camera is my entrée to people who do interesting things.”One compilation of people doing interesting things around the New York waterfront has alreadyresulted in his book New York Waters :Profiles from the Edge,published 2007.Work from this projectis included in the group exhibition Sea Drift, currently on view at the Brooklyn Arts Council Galleryuntil May 24.
And opening in June he will have a solo exhibition of his latest collection of photographs calledBrooklyn Creates at the Grand Army Plaza Library in Brooklyn. This exhibition is the result of 24years of photographing talented people creating unusual products or doing interesting things inand around Brooklyn. Also throughout the summer, Randy will be giving lectures at the libraryon various entrepreneurial programs which relate to the subjects in his photographs.Come on May 23, grab a seat and hang onto your hat, for this will be a fast-paced,witty whirlwindof a presentation
Nir Arielli 3/27/14
Nir Arieli launched his career as a military photographer for the Israeli magazine Bamachane, before receiving a scholarship to pursue a BFA at New York’s School of Visual Arts; he graduated with honors. Nir's photographic passion is within the portraiture and dance fields. He is an admirer of beauty and gentleness, these qualities are the heart of his work .Nir received the Silas H. Rhodes Scholarship (2009-2012), SVA's Photography Department Award (2009, 2011) and the 5th Year Award by Gotham Imaging andFotoCare (2012). He was chosen as one of the 2013 talents to watch by "Next"magazine, won 1st place in the PDN "Faces" portrait contest, and the Curator Award in Rolling Shutter Film Festival (both 2012). Nir was nominated for the Tierney Fellowship(2012) and PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers (2013), was a finalist in the Google Photography Prize (2012) as well as in W. magazine's “In A Fashion Minute Video Contest” (2010) and a semi-finalist in the Adobe Design Achievement Awards (2012). His work has been published and exhibited in the USA, Europe and Israel, and his New York clients include the Juilliard School, The Alvin Ailey school, The School ofVisual Arts, Time Out NY, Pontus Lidberg Dance, MADboots dance, Company XIV and The People Movers Dance Company, among others.Nir is represented in NYC by Daniel Cooney Fine Art gallery and in North Carolina by MoNA gallery. His solo show "Inframen" will open on January 16th 2014 at Daniel Cooney Fine Art gallery in NYC. Leonora Goldberg
Peter Godlis 4/18/13
David Godlis (pronounced god-less)has been an avidphotographer for as long as he can remember.Trained as a photographer in Boston,he migrated toNew York City in 1976 and shortly thereafter foundhis first niche photographing nights at CBGB, groundzero of theemerging punk rock scene. There his hand-held, available light, long exposures yieldedgritty black and white images of some of the greats :TalkingHeads, Johnnie Rotten ,PattiSmith, Blondie, the Sex Pistols among others.Working as a modern sort of Brassaï, hiscamera also caught candids of the clubs’ celebs and clientele as well as the late-late showwhen they spilled into the streets of the city’s dark netherworld.Godlis moved from rock to film and began covering the early Indie film scene.When theNew York Film Festival opened in the late 1980s he was ready. His portraits of filmdirectors range from a first look at them early in their careers to portraits of some of thelegends in the field. His images appear regularly in Film Commen tMagazine and a largeselection of his director portraits can be found in the recently published New York FilmFestivalGold.A street photographer by nature, Godlis has a fast eye and a quick sense of humor. Hecontinues in the tradition of Winogrand, Frank, Friedlander and Arbus to shoot thestreets of NewYork. Spanning the analog and digital eras,he shoots with everything fromhis treasured Leicas to iPhones. Published under the photo credit GODLIS, his streetphotographs have been widely exhibited inmuseums and galleries, published in booksand included in documentaries worldwide.Come, reminisce or be surprised as David Godlis shares his tales and pictures from hisCBGB days and other things since. This portends to be a fun and lively evening.
Philip Trager 3/21/13
Philip Trager is one of the most important contemporary photographers of architecture and dance. His photographs of buildings are regarded as landmarks in architectural photography. Trager’s expressionistic photographs of dancers cause theviewer to rethink the field of dance photography. Trager’s ten monographs, regarded as modern albums, have received exceptional critical acclaim. Four of his books have been Editors’ Choice selections of The New York Times Annual Review of Books. His books have received various awards including Finalist for the Grand Prix Award of Les Recontres Internationales de la Photographie, Book of the Year of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and inclusion in the Best Books selections of Interview, Vanity Fair, The Times (London), New York Magazine, Los Angeles Times Book Review and others.The Library of Congress, which cooperated with the National Building Museum to present a retrospective exhibition of Trager’s work, has acquired a definitive collection of his photographs and will house his archives. In New York, his work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, New York Historical Society as well as the New York Public Library, which is exhibiting his photograph from October 2012 to February 17, 2013. Steidl has published his most recent books, Faces and Philip Trager, a major retrospective.Philip will delight you and inspire you. His images, strong yet delicate, exude a quiet elegance in a style uniquely his own. This is a presentation not to be missed. See you there.
Peter Blachley 10/18/12
The story of the Morrison Hotel Gallery begins on the West Coast in Henry Diltz’s San Fernando Valley bungalow. Besides being a renown rock’ n’ roll pho- tographer, Henry is a collector. Piles of magazines, books, record albums, CDs, posters and other random stacks of rock memorabilia have taken up permanent residence on nearly every horizontal surface in the house. It is here in the Spring of2000 that Peter Blachley and Richard Horowitz struck a partnership deal with Henry to take his unique rock n’ roll photographs to the public in a traveling gallery exhibit.Both Horowitz and Blachley were from the music business but had never met until that day. Richard had owned one of California’s biggest independent record stores but had moved on to the gallery business while Peter who had spent years with Capitol Records had moved on to video production and had just finished a documentary for PBS on Henry. They were the perfect duo for this project.They booked hotel exhibit spaces up and down the West Coast and were successful. When the San Jose show was so packed opening night that Michael Nesmith (formerly of the Monkees) was left cooling his heels out in the hallway, they knew they were onto something. By 2001 the destination was New York City.Soho was the locale of choice but the rents were unaffordable. However, Peter knowing all he needed were walls, lights and paint, called the broker of a vacant space and offered to rent it on a temporary basis for a much lower price until a full lease client was found. It was agreed that the broker could keep a “for lease” sign in the window and Peter would vacate with a 2-week notice.The gallery continued moving around Soho—three times in all—creating a media buzz and attracting celebrities. With exploding sales, they were finally able to afford a permanent location at 124 Prince Street and we are pleased to hear their story of music and photography along with the talented people who created it.
Sean Kernan 9/20/12
Sean Kernan is a photographer, writer, and teacher who came to photography from theater. He is the author of two monographs, The Secret Books (with Jorge Luis Borges) and Among Trees. He has exhibited at galleries and museums accross the US and theworld, including: Centre Regional de la Photographie, Duchy, France; Biblioteca Alexand- rina, Egypt; Photosynkiria, Thessaloniki, Greece; William Benton Museum; Museo de la Ciu- dad, Queretaro, Mexico; Friends of Photography (San Francisco); Wesleyan University, Connecticut; Whitney Museum (New York), and has created media performance pieces at MASS MoCA, Guggenheim Projects in New York, and Poftland Performing Arts Festival. He is currently working on a theater/dance/multimedia piece, The Drowned Man. He has pro- duced and directed two documentaries, The Kampala Boxing Club, about boxing in Africa, and Crow Stories, about the Crow Tribe of Montana, and contributed the concept for the CBS film, To America, and served as Associate Producer.His photos have been published in the New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, New York, Harpers, Bloomberg, Communication Arts, Graphis, Polyrama (Switzerland), Photo World (China), as well as magazines in Iran, Greece, Italy, and Switzerland, and has done a wide range of advertising work for clients such as AT&T, Amex, GE, Pratt & Whitney, Dow Jones, Harvard, and Knoll, He has taught and lectured at the New School/Parsons, Art Center (Pasadena), Yale Medical School, International Center for Photography, University of Texas, Wesleyan University, and has won numerous awards, most recently from the Center in Santa Fe for teaching, as well as a Doctorate (HC) from Art Center in Pasadena. He writes and lec- tures about creativity, the arts and commerce, with articles in Communication Arts, Graphis, and Lenswork, among others.
Melanie Dunea 4/18/12
Renowned portrait photographer, Melanie Dunea travels the world on assignment photographing the most cele- brated and powerful people in the public eye. Her pho- tographs are regularly published in Vanity Fair, Time, Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook and People.In addition to her editorial clients, Melanie shoots for some of the most influential commercial clients worldwide including: Sony Music Corp, Universal Music, Estee Lauder, Discovery, CarmenMarc Valvo, P&G, Ogilvy & Mather and NBC Universal. Melanie is the recipient of many photographic awards from American Photography, PDN,Communication Arts, Graphis, Society of Publication Designers, International Photography, Lucie Foundation and Gourmand International.In 2010 Operation Smile, honored Melanie with the Universal Smile award for her pho- tographic and charitable contributions as an Ambassador.In 2012 Melanie was invited to join the Food Bank NYC Marketing Advisory Committee as a member.Melanie’s photography can also be seen in her published books. Her first book Precious (PowerHouse Books) represents a collection of intimate and artistic celebrity portraits. Her second book, A Journey of Smiles, is a collection of images she photographed from her global missions with Operation Smile. Her best selling third book, My Last Supper (Bloomsbury), explores the world of top chefs and their ultimate final meals. Her fourth book, My Country: 50 Musician’s on God, America & The Songs They Love is her in-depth look into the world of today’s top Country Music stars, published by Rodale Books in October of 2010.Rodale Books published her latest and most highly anticipated book, My Last Supper: The Next Course in September 2011, capturing 50 more chefs and their ultimate final meals.From the success of her My Last Supper series, Melanie was invited to host her own celebrity chef food show on Martha Stewart Radio on SIRIUS/XM 110. She has also been a guest on various shows including Charlie Rose, Rachael Ray, Top Chef, VH1 Big Buzz and The Chew. Dunea resides in New York City and is represented by Creative Photographers Inc.
Duane Micheals 3/16/12
Duane Michals has just turned 80 and is celebrating his long creative life in photography with a new book, The Lieutenant Who Loved His Platoon: A Military Memoir published by Antinous Press. The book shares Michals’s experience with signing up for ROTC and joining the college corps with an instant officers commission.Second Lieutenant Michals was sent to West Germany where he was assigned to a platoon at Baumholder in Germany. He talks about letters from his college date Helen McDonald and to friend Richard McFadden. Duane documented his military experience with the men under his command and the harsh reality of war along with the daily duties of military life. We begin to see his visual skills emerge and Duane gives us another view of looking at the world. As an added delight, he will share some of his most interesting assignments from his long career. Duane will jar our assumptions about life.
John Loengard 2/16/12
John Loengard has gone full circle in a visual career from photographer, photo editor for LIFE & PEOPLE magazines and now he has just published his ninth book The Age of Silver Encounters with Great Photographers.John learned early on in his teenage years that working on a newspaper as a journalist allows you access to other people’s occupa- tions and lives. “It’s like being from the cable company—they are happy to see you. It gives you great freedom to do a variety of things.” John became one of the distinctive LIFE staff photographers that included Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White, Peter Stackpole, Thomas McAvoy, Carl Mydans, Ralph Morse and Andreas Feininger.When working on assignment he tries not to have an expectation and loves to be surprised by what he has to deal with in terms of subject matter and location. He has photographed Bill Cosby, Margaret Mead, Walt Disney, The Beatles, Louis Armstrong and a host of others. In his new book, The Age of Silver, John shares his creative encounters with such photo greats as Avedon, Bresson, Brassai, Man Ray, Eugene Smith, and Jacques-Henri Lartigue, to name a few. Loengard has photographed them posed and candid and holding their iconic negatives.Photographs should inform the audience and he is looking for photographs that are not just well made technically but havesomething interesting to say about the subject. What makes a photograph interesting? It can be entertaining, amusing, emotional, something new, and it can ask questions of us. Loengard’s photographs of “Georgia O’Keefe” and “The Shakers” are classics that are great examples of his philosophy.As a photo editor, he was adept at matching photographer and subject, encouragingphotographers to come up with something new and distinctive to surprise the audience. He notes that the best photographers are good at casting the right subject matter for their camera, which greatly increases the success of a great photograph. We are fortunate to have cast a huge talent to present his tome, The Age of Silver, to PAI.
Jay Maisel 1/19/12
Jay Maisel turned 81 this month and sat down with Randy Duchaine to share personal stories about his career, how he got started, what influenced him, teaching, and his philosophy and approach to photography.Jay was raised in Brooklyn and is a devoted Dodgers fan. He went to school at a Yeshiva and then to Lincoln High School, studying with Leon Fried and then on to Cooper Union and Yale University. Here is his conversation with Randy Duchaine.
Randy Duchaine: Let’s talk about how you started your career and the gradual move from New Haven to New York.
Jay Maisel: I stayed in New Haven and was working at Bond Bread. I worked at a lot of places, but I stayed at Bond Bread for awhile, it was kind of fun. One night, that would’ve been an amazing film, we mixed bread in 1400 lb. batches and someone put in a 100 lbs. of yeast instead of flour, so the rest of the night, all we did was try to get rid of the yeast...it was crazy...we didn’t bake another loaf of bread that night and we still don’t know who did it.... not me guaranteed.
RD: Was your major at Yale painting or graphic design?
JM: It was painting, which meant they would not let me use the darkroom. It was the same thing at Cooper—if you were a painter you couldn’t use the darkroom. So after I graduated from Yale, I went back and made a deal with the night watchman, so I could work and use the darkroom. I worked at Bond Bread from 4 pm to midnight or midnight to 8 am. One night, on the midnight shift, the night watchman came to get me, at 8 am, and I had not made a single exposure. I mixed the chemicals and fell asleep in the darkroom. Later, I met the guy who ran the lab and I told him what I had I done, and he said we all knew about it.
RD: Was your dad influential to your career?
JM: Oh yeah, he would have encouraged me no matter what I did. It’s what I try to do with my kid. Early on, I called my dad who always said how he was saving money to send me to school.I said listen, I’ve gotten scholarships to every school, what I want you to do is loan me money so I can get started in business. He said how much do you want, $50 bucks a week? I said that’ll do it and he gave me the $50 bucks a week and that’s how I got started. I mean you’ve got to understand that my apartment was $53.17 a month up from $35 a couple years before Yale.
RD: What was it like in the 50s when the market was young and people were accessible?
JM: People were very accessible. Some- body said “how do you see, what do you think you’re going to do to own the market?” I got lucky, I got the name of a guy to see, a guy who was from Yaleworking at Ciba. He said “we’d like to have you do these brochures but the problem is this is 1952, and in 1953 in Traverse City, Michigan, there was a guy who was experimenting with mental patients and giving them drugs that Ciba had come out with and for the first time in years people who were catatonic over a long period of time, could now function. They wanted to advertise that, so I had to make the scene look like a mental institution. I shot it on weekends in New York City Public School buildings because they had bars on the windows, making it look institu- tional. I hired actors and actresses—I never hired models, and it seemed to me that actors knew how to move and models just stood there.
RD: Is this when you learned how to direct people?
JM: That seemed natural to me. If I learned about acting I would be a better director. It was a very important lesson for me because the guy who auditioned actors said “alright tell me about yourself and I did, and then the next guy did the same and so on down the line and then he said “do you all realize how negative you are about yourself...you’re too fat, too thin, too tall, too short. He said, “you’re all you’ve got—if you don’t use what you have in a positive way, you’ve got shit.” It was a wonderful lesson...a really good lesson.
RD: What was it like to show your portfolio? In today’s world it’s almost impossible to get face time with anyone.JM: Well, I always got good reception from people and I never kidded myself that it meant I would get work. You have to learn to keep your mouth shut when you’re showing work. I remember showing work to Patricia Caulfield at Modern Photo and she looked through my portfolio like it was a phone book— actually faster than that—and when she finished and closed the book, she said “how would you like to have a spread in the magazine?” So I learned something that day—people in business don’t have to spend a lot of time on looking at your work.
RD: Did you ever have trouble negotiating money, standing up for your rights?
JM: I would tell them I really wanted to do the job and the money was secondary but at some point I would say, if I’m going to work for you, money is going to change hands, so let’s not waste time. The line “money has to change hands” is a very sobering thought for people who think they are going to walk all over you.
RD: Tell us about shooting Miles Davis.
JM: That’s no big deal. I shot that long before the album was recorded. I shot Miles in performance—they called around—they wanted pictures of Miles Davis. I sent them and that big deal finished 45 years later. I sued them because they used my shot on a CD.I can’t tell you how much I got but it was a significant amount.
RD: You always defended photographers and took a stand.
JM: Why not ...with my big mouth. It seemed to me that we had the upper hand and we gave it away. They couldn’t go to a shoemaker and have this done.They need photographers—remember Walt Kelly?—he did Pogo and he had a line—“I have met the enemy and he is us.” We’re our own worst enemy. I would get involved in all these causes and I would be leading the cause and going “come on guys” and I’d look behind me and I was fucking alone— there was no one there. A perfect example was the A Day in the Life of America. It was Bill Allard, David Alan Harvey, Greg Heisler and myself. I complained about the rights to the photographs—they wanted to give the rights to the sponsors, with permission to use them wherever and however they wanted—and I said no. So they offered to give the photographers Apple com- puters and a bunch of other toys or keep the rights and not get any toys. So we refused the toys and many of the others took the toys, so of course they used what they got for free.
RD: Tell me what the ideal client is for you.
JM: Hah—the ideal client will give you a lot of freedom. Basically it does not take anything but a great photographerto take great photographs, but it not only takes a great photographer to take commercial photographs, it takes a great client. You don’t have a great client if they are going to pick the wrong pictures, or they give you a shitty brief to go out with. If you manage to make good pictures out of it, they will pick the worst one of them—so the client is important.The client—the ideal client—was Gordon Bowman United Technologies. That was the ideal client. He would send you out to do what you could do— he never never dreamed of coming along with you—it never occurred to that man in a million years.I had a client named James Morales— ever hear of him? You knew him? I worked for him once and never worked for him again. He was wonderful, asking me to do this thing in which I neededto do research on spider webs and flowers...dandelions, and all these different things—robins eggs. And he said, “So you’re going to set all this up yourself,” and I said aren’t you doinga film on this? He said yes, but we are shooting it in Oxford, England. I said it would make more sense to go to England and use the back-up staff rather than hire everybody again? He said, “That’s a good idea.” So we went out there and they had a big movie studio—I worked in the parking lot with a dumpster and whatever I could find—I made a studio out there, and at one point I had to do something with people and I set things up and I asked James...“Listen, I’m doing a shoot at 11:00. Do you want to be there? He said “Why?... you know what you’re doing.”
RD: Tell me about the Space Gallery.
JM: 1978 or 79 when we started the Space Gallery and this may be hard to conceive of, but there was not a single gallery in the United States that would show color. So we all worked in color— it was me Ernst and Pete. We tried to get other people to join us—we didn’t want to do it ourselves ’cause we knew it was going to be a lot of work—so we called on Harold Sun...you know Harold Sun?...he was still living with his mother...he was about 38 at the time. We called Art Kane—Art said no—“I got nothing,” he said. “You think I have alotofworkbuttheonlyworkIdois the work that is reproduced—that’s it, there is nothing else.” So he did not have personal work he wanted to show, so it ended up being the three of us and it was hell. Ernst was always coming back from the Himalayans somewhere; Pete and I were both on jobs. Reign had to do all the work—it was crazy, very crazy.
RD: How long did the gallery last?
JM: I think we stopped when other galleries started to show color.
RD: I love the sign downstairs over the door.
JM: Do you know where that came from?RD: “When you come to Jay you come to pay”...where?
JM: There was a guy—I can’t remember his name, who used to sell stock and somebody came to him and asked him to do something and he gave them a price and they said “Oh shit, we could get it cheaper at Jay Maisel’s and he said that’s bullshit “When you go to Jay, you go to pay.”RD: Was that Al Forsyth?
RD: Let’s switch gears. What is your approach to teaching and what do you get out of it? JM: Well you can’t help but learn when you teach. Its impossible not to learn, but more than that, it articulates things for you when you mention them. For instance, if I am spending the whole week telling somebody what to do, I can’t go out and do the opposite. I’ve got to adhere because I have convinced myself as well as them. But to analyze what I teach—I...I can’t do it—its...its intuitive. If I had to put it in a sentence, I would say I try to tell people there aren’t any rules and to go out and enjoy themselves. If they aren’t enjoying themselves they should not do it.
RD: But you also challenge them— you hold up the mirror, shake up their perceptions.
JM: I criticize them, I criticize them very honestly and the word has gone out that I am a fucking monster, and that’s fine— that does not bother me at all. Actually, I was not that tough on them. I never said that I would be that tough on them, but they got that impression. One of the first things I say to the class is that I ama sadistic person and I’ll shred your pictures and ruin your ego and that’s not true—I am not that nice—but I try to explain to them they are paying money and they deserve the truth. If I blow smoke up their ass, what’s the point?
RD: Is there a consistent thing that you see from generation to generation that is always prevalent and familiar— that’s consistent with students?JM: Most of them don’t know what the hell is in their pictures. They literally don’t know what they’re photographing and I am trying to make them aware of what they’re photographing. There is no real mystery or complexity to it— they don’t take responsibility for their images and I am trying to get them to take responsibility for their images.
RD: Lets talk about your approach. What is your photographic philosophy? You have this incredible range, very prolific—and your creative capacity is amazing for seeing them, recognizing them, where does it come from?
JM: I don’t know—I don’t have any idea. I think if anything, I have arguments with people who want me to talk about the pictures—well they’re self evident. I am delighted to talk about it, but there is nothing I can add to them. I don’t think they are in any way, convoluted or symbolic of something else. They are out there—to look at—that’s it. I think that one of the things I teach in my class, which might relate to this, is that photography is not about Daguerre— it’s about cave paintings...it’s about ivory scrimshaws...it’s about Persian miniatures...it’s about all the things that have been done for the last 50,000 years in art...and the more you immerse yourself in it, the more range you have.
RD: Tell us about people having to take responsibility for informing themselves and broadening their base...looking at things. Could you talk more about that?
JM: Well I think if you study photography and only photography, your pictures will be empty—there will be no frame of reference to the world. No reference that gives you compassion or depth. You’re just going to have well done pictures technically. People come to me andIsay,“Idonotcareifyouhaveno photo training.” I do not care—your life is your training for taking pictures. I am not dealing with kids. Mostly I am dealing with people who have spent their life doing something, and in an osmosis-like way, they will come into their own work. Look at Howie...Howard Schatz...you know, he has an incredible work ethic. He’s one of the hardest working people I know and it comes from the fact that all his training came from medicine.
RD: What has photography given you?
JM: Ah...a license to steal experiences... the awareness of how ignorant I am... ’cause you learn something every day, especially if you do commercial work. Jesus Christ—one day you’re dealing with an economist and the next day you’re dealing with a scientist who has discovered something about the function of the eye—and the next day you are dealing with a dance. You’re not good at any of these things—I think its wonderful.RD: Is photography an act of love or is it life affirming?
RD: How does passion versus intellect, tenacity versus talent, discipline versus persistence?
JM: You’re loading the gun—you know how I feel about it—I don’t feel talent isimportant at all...I really don’t. I think talent is fine and it’s nice and makes it a little easier. But persistence and deter- mination really take it over. You can have passion and have talent—you can have intellect, but if you don’t have persistence, than you don’t have a real degree of putting in time. To me then, it’s bullshit. Talent is fine if it works, but if you don’t work it, it does not mean anything—and everybody I know that is successful works very hard. A lot of people are interested in it for the wrong reasons. They’re interested in it for money, fame or power They are not really interested.
RD: Would you do it again if you could start over again vs. 1954?
JM: I don’t know if I could start over today. I don’t really think the business is rewarding. Photography is rewarding but I no longer think the business is rewarding. I don t know what I would do. I certainly would not be the business model they want. I am a prick from the word go—that would not fly at all.
RD: Are you process oriented vs. results oriented?
JM: I am process oriented.
RD: Digital must have expanded your range and palate.
JM: It has opened doors in situations I would never carry the camera before.
RD: The more equipment you take the less pictures you take.
JM: Well, one of the things I tell them they cant take more than one lens.I don’t care if it’s an 18-3000, but they can’t take more than one lens with them. Some of them fight on it, but I try to point out that they can do whatever they want the following week, but this week try working with one lens—try working with a system that enables youto be light on your feet, because there is only a certain amount of energy you have and if your energy is spent carrying around 40 pounds of equipment, it ain’t that good for you.
RD: Why don’t more people support photography by buying more books and prints?
JM: I do not know what people do. I know they don’t buy enough of my prints. I do not buy prints anymore—most people want to trade and I don’t want to trade with most guys, but the thing is, one of things I should have done is bought more prints. Oh God yeah, I missed lots of deals and many, many, many, many, prints. I am remembering one of the prints was $1,500 and now it’s $15,000. Investment in prints from an investment point of view as compared to putting money into the market, which has turned to shit—but photo prints have done very well 5000%.
RD: Thank You!
JM: I enjoyed it.
Bill Farrell 11/10/11
Bill Farrell was chosen by Joseph Albers to study painting at Yale in 1955. In late 1957, he bought his first camera, a used Leica IIIg, with an F2 50mm Sumicron lens. The following July and August, he traveled to five countries in Europe for the first time. With sixteen rolls of film he produced the ninety-five images presented here. In his forty years as a photographer, he has been on assignment to over thirty countries, shooting on approximately four thousand locations for over five hundred companies, corporations and institutions. In the process, he has received many awards for his photography as well as graphic design. In the last ten years he has de- voted his time to painting, which includes a large work on display and in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum. Farrell is a native New Yorker, father of three, and lives in Manhattan.
Herb Fixler 10/20/11
Herb Fixler is a semi-professional photographer as well as a full-time practicing trusts and estates attorney. He is also a member of PAI as well as a member of its board of directors._A largely self-taught fine art photographer, Herb’s interest in photography dates back to his childhood and his fascination with cameras and how they work. One of his earliest memories is his parents’ Argus C-3 and playing with its numerous dials and settings._In and following law school, Herb worked almost exclusively in black and white and primarily did street photography. However, as time constraints, resulting from a busy law practice and parenthood, eliminated much of his free time, he packed up his darkroom. But in 2002, after his children were grown and Herb had become acquainted with the world of digital photography, he soon began to work exclusively with digital imagery. The digital darkroom allowed him once again to do the post-capture work that he had done years before._These days, although Herb has a wide variety of subject matter in which he has interest, his concentration of work tends to be landscapes, cityscapes and informal portraiture. And, his interest has broadened to both color and black and white depending on subject matter._His work is included in numerous private collections and a growing number of corporate installations. Although Herb’s work has been featured in a number of group shows, his fourth single artist show opens in New York City on October 18. The show features all new work and will run into the spring, 2012._
You can see more of Herb’s work at www.herbfixlerimages.com
Bill Perlmutter 6/16/11
Bill Perlmutter, a New York City native, began his career with a BA in Motion Picture Techniques from The City College Film Institute, learning his trade from teachers Hans Richter, Leo Seltzer and Arnold Eagle. In 1954, a graduate of the United States Army Photography School, he worked as a staff photographer for the U.S. Army newspapers in West Germany. From 1978-1997 his career path lead him to become the Vice President of Rainbow Chromes, a company specializing in photographic and digital retouching._His work covers over 50 years of photography with classic 20th century images and contemporary work in the community of New York City. His images have been collected and exhibited by fine art galleries world-wide and are in the permanent collections of MoMA, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian and the Museum of the City of New York. His work has been published in the New York Times, US Camera, Modern Photography, Life and other prestigious publications._Perlmutter’s series of images documenting the life of Portuguese fishermen, Heroes of the Sea, was published in 2002 by the Portuguese Center of Photography. Also to his credit are: Central Park Shadows and Light, his unique point of view of the world’s most famous park; New York One More Time, images of the structural icons in Manhattan; The Sky’s the Limit, abstracts of the city’s skyscrapers; and Return to Ground Zero, documenting visitors paying homage to those who perished on 9/11, now in the permanent collection of the September 11 Memorial Museum._Currently he is working on Turnstyles, a proposed book on New York subway life.
Duane Michals 5/19/11
Duane Michals knows no boundries—he likes to take on a variety of challenges with a broad range of subjects and topics. His work is heavily influenced by the surrealists—especially Magritte, Balthus and de Chircio. His work is widely collected and has been featured in hundreds of exhibitions all over the world. Michals likes commercial work and enjoys the travels and variety of projects that has provided him a way to earn a living. He works simply, with little camera equipment—uses available light most of the time, has no agent, no studio, does his billing on plain paper without stationery, has no website or e mail, still shoots film, writes letters and answers the phone. His approach to personal work remains uncomplicated: Create your own stories, cast your friends, work in your living room and use available light. He likes blurs, double exposures, surprises and jarring the viewers assumptions about reality. Duane will jarr our assumptions about life._He will be selling his books and signing them for the lucky ones who buy them. An opportunity not to be missed!
Nigel Parry 4/11
Nigel Parry began his photographic career in London in 1988 and moved to New York City in 1994. Since then, he has been commissioned by the most distinguished publications, advertising agencies, entertainment, corporate and music companies worldwide. He has been privileged to photograph not only celebrities but also the most important and influential figures of our time. Some of his many accolades include: The European Magazine Award, The Award of Excellence from the U.S. Society of Newspaper Design, The American Society of Magazine Editors Portrait Award, Hasselblad Master Photographer, Communication Arts, ASME, Graphis, Photo District News, Art Director’s Club, International Photography and American Photography Awards among others. His work has been exhibited worldwide at various art galleries, museums and festivals including; The National Portrait Gallery in London, The National Galleries of Scotland, a show at The National Museum of Film & Photography, Le Festival Pour image Perpignan, and the Premier exhibit at the NY Photo Festival. He has also had the pristine honor of being the first portrait photographer to be invited to exhibit his work at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Parry is involved in several global children’s charities including the Starlight Foundation and Operation Smile. He has donated his time attending several missions on behalf of Operation Smile photographing children in the far remotes of China, Brazil, and India. His powerful photographs help to create a further awareness of the charity. In 2010, Operation Smile honored him with the Universal Smile Award for his photographic and charitable contributions. His first book, Sharp was published in December 2000 and is considered to be one of the most exceptional celebrity portrait books. His second book Precious was published in the fall of 2004. His third book, BLUNT was published in the fall of 2006 with multiple exhibitions following its release in New York City. Today, BLUNT is still one of his most successful exhibitions. His fourth book A Journey of Smiles, was published in 2007 on behalf of Operation Smile to benefit the charity with an exhibition following its release in New York. All books have received worldwide critical acclaim. Parry’s iconic style can also be seen in his directorial video work. He is currently working on a series of video projects to compliment his print work. Nigel Parry resides in New York City and is represented by Creative Photographers Inc. (CPI).
- D. Coleman has published eight books and more than 2,000 essays on photography and related subjects. Formerly a columnist for the Village Voice, the New York Times, and the New York Observer, Coleman contributes to ARTnews, Art On Paper, and Technology Review. His syndicated essays on mass media, new communication technologies, art and photography are featured in such periodicals as Juliet Art Magazine (Italy), European Photography (Germany), La Fotografia (Spain), and Chinese Photography (PRC). His work has been translated into 21 languages and published in 31 countries.Since 1995, Coleman has served as Publisher and Executive Director of The Nearby Café (nearbycafe.com), a multi-subject electronic magazine where his widely read blog on photography, “Photocritic International,” appears at photocriticism.com. He also directs the Photography Criticism CyberArchive (photocriticism.com), the most extensive online database ever created of writing about photography by authors past and present. With John Alley, he publishes The New Eyes Project (k12photoed.org), a resource for those who teach photography to young people, and Teaching Photography (teachingphoto.com), a resource for post-secondary educators. Coleman—who lectures, teaches and publishes both here and abroad—has appeared on NPR, PBS, CBS and the BBC. A Getty Museum Guest Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Scholar, and a recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Hasselblad Foundation, he was honored in 1996 as the Ansel and Virginia Adams Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Creative Photography. American Photo named Coleman one of “the 100 most important people in photography in 1998.” In 2002 he received the Culture Prize of the German Photographic Society— the first critic of photography ever so honored. In 2010 he received the J. Dudley Johnston award for Lifetime Achievement in Writing on Photography from the Royal Photographic Society (U.K.) He received a Pushcart Prize nomination for poetry in 2008. Coleman’s books include The Grotesque in Photography; Light Readings: A Photography Critic’s Writings, 1968-1978; Critical Focus: Photography in the International Image Community; Tarnished Silver: After the Photo Boom; Looking at Photographs: Animals, a work for children; Depth Of Field: Essays on Photography, Mass Media and Lens Culture; and The Digital Evolution: Visual Communication in the Electronic Age, Essays, Lectures and Interviews 1967–1998. Critical Focus received the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award for Writing on Photography in 1995). Wired magazine called The Digital Evolution “required reading for today’s media-savvy or information-obsessed artist.”Coleman curated the traveling exhibition SAGA: The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Photographs 1970-2005, and edited the accompanying monograph. This show toured to museums in the U.S., Canada, Slovakia, Rumania, Finland, and Italy. A smaller ver- sion appeared at the Lianzhou International Photography Festival (2006) and See+ Art Space/Gallery in Beijing (2008). He then co-curated (with Gu Zheng of Fudan University, Shanghai) China: Insights, a selection of contemporary documentary projects from mainland China, which began its U.S. museum tour in 2008.Beginning with the Minkkinen show, Coleman has curated a series of exhibitions by distinguished photographers from the west for See+: Jerry Uelsmann, Maggie Taylor, Wynn Bullock, Arthur Tress, Ralph Gibson, Mary Ellen Mark, and George Tice, among others. His current curatorial projects include “heart of the Matter,” a museum-scale retrospective of the work of Harold Feinstein.
Albert Watson 2/17/11
Albert Watson has made his mark as one of the world’s most successful fashion and commercial photographers during the last four decades, while creating his own art along the way. Over the years, his striking images have appeared on more than 100 covers of Vogue around the world and been featured in countless other publications, from Rolling Stone to Time to Vibe —many of the photographs iconic portraits of rock stars, rappers, actors and other celebrities.
Albert also has created the photography for hundreds of successful ad campaigns for major companies, such as Prada, the Gap, IBM, Levi’s, Revlon and Chanel, and he has directed more than 200 TV commercials and shot dozens of posters for major Hollywood movies. All the while, Albert has spent much of his time working on personal projects, creating stunning images from his travels and interests, from Marrakech to Las Vegas to the Orkneys. Much of this work, along with his well known portraits and fashion photographs, has been featured in museum and gallery shows worldwide. The photo industry bible, Photo District News, named Albert one of the 20 most influential photographers of all time, and he won the 2010 Centenary Medal from the Royal Photographic Society.Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, Albert studied graphic design at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, and film and television at the Royal College of Art in London. Though blind in one eye since birth, Albert studied photography as part of his curriculum. In 1970, he moved to the United States with his wife, Elizabeth, who got a job as an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles, where Albert began shooting photos, mostly as a hobby.
Later that year, Albert was introduced to an art director at Max Factor, who offered him his first test session, from which the company bought two shots. Albert’s distinctive style caught the attention of American and European fashion magazines such as Mademoiselle, GQ and Harper’s Bazaar, and he began commuting between Los Angeles and New York. In 1975, Albert won a Grammy Award for the photography on the cover of the Mason Profitt album “Come and Gone,” and in 1976, he landed his first job for Vogue. With his move to New York that same year, his career took off.
Despite the demands of his commissioned assignments, Albert devotes much of his time to extensive personal projects, and he has published five books: Cyclops (1994, Bulfinch Press); Maroc (1998, Rizzoli); the retrospective Albert Watson (2007, Phaidon); UFO: Unified Fashion Objectives (2010, PQ Blackwell/Abrams); and Strip Search (PQ Blackwell/Chronicle). In addition, many catalogs of Albert’s photographs have been published in conjunction with museum and gallery shows. Since 2004, Albert has had solo shows atthe Museum of Modern Art in Milan, Italy; the KunstHausWien in Vienna, Austria; the City Art Centre in Edinburgh; the FotoMuseum in Antwerp, Belgium; the NRW Forum in Dusseldorf, Germany; and the Forma Galleria in Milan. Albert’s photographs have also been featured in many group shows at museums, including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, the International Center of Photography in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Germany. His photographs are included in the permanent collections at the National Portrait Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Albert has always been a workaholic. The archives at his studio in Manhattan are filled with tens of thousands of images and negatives, on which world-famous magazines and companies can be read. His studio, also used as a personal gallery, is filled with extraordinarily large-format photographs takenin Las Vegas. At first glance these landscapes, interiors and portraits take the viewer by surprise with their soft, filtered range of colors. But even in his new creations, Albert stays true to himself. The photographs create an aura that takes the viewer into the image but simultaneously demands a reverent distance.
Albert’s visual language follows his own distinctive rules and concepts of quality. With their brilliance, urgency, even grandeur, his photographs stand out so clearly against the world of today’s images. His way of lighting subjects, especially the fetish objects and portraits, creates a nearly meditative atmosphere in the photographs.
Without a doubt, Albert Watson is an artist who greatly enriches our perception with his unique photo- graphic view. Though the wide variety of his images reflects an effortless versatility, they are nevertheless identifiable as Albert Watson photographs by their sheer power and technical virtuosity — whether it’s a portrait of a Las Vegas dominatrix or a close-up of King Tutankhamen’s sock. This single-minded commitment to perfection has made Albert one of the world’s most sought-after photographers.
Mary Engel 1/20/11
What to do with all the photographs? That’s the question Mary Engel, daughter of Ruth Orkin and Morris Engel asked herself upon inheriting the responsibility of archiving her parents collection of work.Mary’s mother, Ruth Orkin, was an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker, who passed away in 1985. Famous for her photographs of celebrities, personalities, writers, musicians, and New York City, she was also voted one of the “Top Ten Women Photographers of the United States” in 1959, along with Margaret Bourke-White, Berenice Abbott, Dorothea Lange, and others. Ruth worked as a freelancer for Life, Look, and This Week, authored several books, collaborated on films and was also a teacher.Mary’s father, Morris Engel, who passed away in 2005, was a photographer and filmmaker, known for his early documentary photos of New York City. He was a member of The Photo League, on the staff of PM,and was a US Navy photographer during WWII, in Combat Photo Unit 8, under Captain Edward Steichen. He was recognized internationally as an innovator for his groundbreaking classic independent film, Little Fugitive (1953), shot with the hand-held made, 35mm camera, that he built.Mary Engel embraced the challenge of archiving her parents’ work and is now responsible for sales, licensing, contractual negotiations, marketing, legal issues, promotion, publicity and also works with many photography galleries in the United States and abroad representing her parents’ work. She has published three catalogs of photography: Ruth Orkin A Retrospective (1995), Morris Engel Early Work (1999) and Ruth Orkin Above and Beyond (1999). In 2006 she formed the Orkin/Engel Film and Photo Archive, which combines the work of both of her parents, Ruth Orkin and Morris Engel. She is the founder of the organization, American Photography Archives Group (APAG), a resource organization for individuals who own or manage privately held photography collections. APAG represents many master photogra- phers of the 20th Century including: Esther Bubley, Ted Croner, Jerry Dantzic, Ernst Haas, Milton H. Greene, Phillippe Halsman, Arthur Leipzig, Arthur Rothstein and many others. The group meets several times a year to discuss the business- side of managing archives— organizing inventory, cataloging collections of photographs and film, copyright infringement laws, and fulfilling requests from pub- lishers, museums and individuals.In addition, Mary Engel is an award-winning filmmaker. Her film Ruth Orkin: Frames of Life premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, in 1996, and went on to other film festivals in Aspen, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Nantucket and London. Frames of Life wasselected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as one of the most “Outstanding Documentaries of 1996.” Her later film, Morris Engel: The Independent, recently premiered on the Turner Classic Movie Channel. She recently co-produced a shortdocumentary that accompanied the cross-country exhibition titled A World History of Women Photographers, and is currently working on a feature length documentary on The Photo League to accompany a future exhibit at the Jewish Museum of New York City.
To learn more about APAG please visit www.apag.us. For further details about the archives she managesvisit www.orkinphoto.com, www.engelphoto.com, or e-mail Mary at email@example.com
Garry Gross 10/21/10
Here is the tail of how Garry Gross went from fashion photography to the dogs. For 30 years Gary photographed the covers of magazines like GQ, Cosmopolitan, and New York Magazine and celebrities like Calvin Klein, Gloria Steinem, Whitney Houston, and Lou Reed. That, after apprenticing with Francesco Scavullo, Lisette Model, and Richard Avedon.
Unexpectedly the bottom dropped out of his career and it served as a warning to all photographers that signed model releases are no guarantee of protection. In 1975 Gary photographed a nude 10-year old Brooke Shields. Despite two properly executed releases, Shield’s mother sued him in civil court. Fortunately the judge in the case concluded that
“Garry Gross is not a pornographer but a photographer of extraordinary talent.” That should have settled the matter, but the tremendous publicity in the case caused his previous employers to turn away. That effectively ended his fashion career.
What does a man do at such a juncture in life? Look for something that he would really, really like to do. So he wrote on a piece of paper things that excited him. As a child he loved animals. He had fish, cats, hamsters, and lots of dogs. The dogs won out.
In 2002 Garry attended and graduated from the Animal Behavior Center of New York as a certified dog trainer. It was only natural that Garry joined his two loves, dogs and photography. Looking at his detailed, beautifully lighted portraits on his website, I am reminded of the exquisite images of the Canadian portrait photographer Joseph Karsh. Garry’s images have an inherent intimacy.
The dogs look out at you as if expecting you to whisper some secret. The techniques he has developed in working with dogs are based on his deep love and understanding of them. Older dogs in particular have a message in their eyes.
How Garry works with his subjects I leave for the luncheon. A combination of the methods of the psychologist BF Skinner and the lighting techniques he used with cosmetics. As well as a generous helping of patience.
Dan Burkeholder 11/18/10
If you define an alchemist as someone who tries to turn base materials into gold, what would you call someone who turns exotic metals such as palladium, platinum and gold into images? You might start by calling him Dan Burkholder.In the early days of photography, Salt and Albumen were used in making images. Even later when Platinum printing came into use it wasn’t possible to make prints larger than those the camera produced. The light sensitive emulsion was so slow that only a contact print could be made under very strong light. It wasn’t until 1992 that Dan Burkholder perfected a way to make larger Platinum prints in his breakthrough book Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing. Of course, now we can make beautiful ink jet prints, any size, any color balance we want. So why would anyone spend hours in a darkroom hand coating emulsions? There must be some latent fascination lurking there. Dan Burkholder doesn’t stand still. He moves from present to past and back again. After perfecting ways to work with platinum printing in Photoshop he embarked on a journey combining the lush black and brown tones of platinum with the controllable colors of ink jet printing. His image of “Flatiron Building in Spring” with subtle color tones contrasts with his image of an old abandoned car, just it’s body in shocking orange. Then there were the gold leaf prints. He printed the images, “Amish Carriage on Farm Road” and “Sharpdahlia” on vellum and then backed them with gold leaf, giving them a glow seeming to come from inside the images themselves. A second book appeared in 2008, The Color of Loss: An Intimate Portrait of New Orleans after Katrina. These images were produced using HDR (High Dynamic Range) technique. No platinum here. They were bracketed by exposures, more and less than normal, and then combined to give unprecedented detail in the shadows and highlights. Lest you think these are cold technical images, let me quote from Andrei Codrescu of NPR:
“The wonder of these photographs is that they look like paintings, yet the objects within them are not idealized. They have been captured on their journey to becoming indistinct trash. At the moment of their capture, they still looked like what they used to be, but moments after they were photographed, they no longer were anything. Their last breath of life is in these photographs; their only other existence is in the memory of their owners.”
What will Dan Burkholder do next? Who knows. Not even he.
Saul Leiter 6/17/10
At The Howard Greenberg Gallery they say Saul Leiter's images are the most requested. They call him “Their hot old man!” And they say Saul loves it.There have been times in Saul's life when he was not so well known, so popular. But he took that with equanimity too. Saul says, “I spent a great deal of my life being ignored. I was always very happy that way. Being ignored is a great privilege. That is how I learned to see what others do not see and to react to situations differently. Photography teaches you how to look and to see. If you're able to look and to see, you're very lucky because many others don't do that. Nowadays they're usually talking on their cell phones.”
Saul almost became a rabbi. His father was a Talmudic scholar, one of the greatest of the day. If he didn't become a rabbi he was told, he was doomed. Doomed. So when he was in the Pittsburg Rabbinical school he spent his time in the library looking at art books.Most interviewers say Saul went to New York to paint. came to New York to get away from his rabbinical future.
But he was unprepared for the world in which he lived. He painted but he didn't make any money. His friend Richard Pousette Dart, an abstract expressionist who repaired cameras and puttered around said photography could earn money. So he tried it. People told him he couldn't do this, couldn't do that, he couldn't do fashion. But he did. W. Eugene Smith the noted photojournalist pushed him to see Alexey Brodovitch the legendary art director at Harper's Bazaar. He became close friends with Henry Wolf who published his work in Show, Elle, British Vogue, Queen and Nova. It was quirky, original work. A bag lady dressed in furs. A large brim hat shot with outdated color film.
Saul took to roaming the streets with a Leica, capturing striking frozen moments of tension and color. He did color in the late 40's before it was popular. “Some people,”he said, “had an aversion to color. Walker Evans spoke against color, but then took a lot of time walking around taking color Polaroids. So much for Walker. You shouldn't take too seriously what artists say.”“Photography,” he says, “is the moment one catches, but one doesn't get the moment of truth from that. A photograph is a photograph. You ask too much of it if you want it to tell the truth. When I was 14 I wrote a little poem that began, 'The truth, there is no truth...”Bob Sharpe
Marvin Newman 5/20/10
I first met Marvin Newman a half-century ago at the formation of a group of ambitious 20-somethings that called itself “the Wednesday Ten.” The idea was to break out of our career boundries to get to know professionals in otherfields; in that way a doctor, a banker, a lawyer, a scientist, a restauranteur, an adman, a politician, an executive, a priest, a psychologist, a designer, and a writer could meet monthly to argue with and help each other. In that exercise in pioneer networking, Marvin was our photojournalist.Although more modest than most of us, he was soon a leader in that field. Action color photography was gaining momentum, and he became a star in the medium because he showed how a still photo need not “freeze” action but could give the impression of fluid movement. Life, Look and Smithsonian were his frequent outlets, and Sports Illustrated later billed one of his historic shots as “our famous of the century” (not the swimsuit issue). It was his perfectly composed 1957 photo of the Texas Christian University locker room during the Cotton Bow). His color photo of the San Gennaro parade in New York from on high was a stunner, and another picture taken from a great height - looking down at the geometric pattern of trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange - gave an original dimension to the teeming action.What those of us looked on upward mobility did not immediately realize in our friend’s commercial success was his growing reputation in the cultural world as photo-artist. His eye for human facial expression - in delight, or twisted in the agony of athletic triumph - as well as his nose for newsworthy architectural abstraction, had been recognized early by Edward Steichen. that legendary photographer, as curator, featured Marvin’s work in a survey of young talent and potential genius at the Museum of Modern Art. Over the years, his striking images - now considered part of “the Newman oeuvre” - became part of MoMA’s permanent collection, as well as that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Eastman House museum in Rochester, and the International Center of Photography in New York. Today, when the octogenarian successes of the Wednesday Ten gather every few months, we turn for cultural and artistic enrichment to the recognized artist in our midst.(Excerpted from a 2009 New York Times article by William Safire)
Bill Wadman 4/15/10
Bill Wadman - gregarious, energetic, talented, disciplined, and prolific - was April's guest speaker. The heart of his presentation was his images from his “portrait-a-day” for 365 days. No easy trick considering his having to schedule, shoot, prep and post a new portrait on his blog each day for an entire year.A dizzying array of subjects included an English Lord, an astronaut, a priest, park ranger,pornstar,physicist,photographer,artists,agirlfriendortwoand a homeless man. For every portrait Bill offered a few entertaining words of who, where and often how and what obstacles had to be overcome. A very touching moment was his story of the homeless man's son who had finally found his father through Bill's blog.In conclusion, we were treated to a few nuggets from another of his projects, “Drabbles” – a brilliant title and defined by Wikipedia as “an extremely short work of fiction exactly 100 words in length.”This was a wonderful and marvelously inspiring presentation; if you missed it be sure to check out his blog http://www.ontakingpictures.com as well as his web site http://www.billwadman.com
Joseph O. Holmes 3/18/2010
His first name is not Sherlock but his last name is Holmes, Joseph O.Holmes, and he is a bit of a detective, a pre-eminent street photographer who will study a neighborhood until he knows its secrets. In a recent interview in PetaPixel by Michael Zang,Holmes said, “New York has an infinite number of unique neighborhoods, each one its own small town.What I seek out, in New York, or anywhere are streets that reveal the people who live and work and play there. In NewYork, people’s lives and work are right there in your face – in the storefronts, in the machine shops and bakeries that roll open their back doors in the warm weather, in the handpainted signs and facades, in the small industries glimpsed through windows, in the groups of people who pull up chairs on the sidewalk to hold court orbarbeque.” Joe’s blog, updated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, can be seen on joesnyc.streetnine.com/index.html. You willask yourself, why didn’t I get that shot? And the answer is that you weren’t there and if you had been you probably wouldn’t have had your camera. Joe feels naked if he doesn’t have his camera with him. “I’m not a photojournalist,”he says – “I have no obligationto document a scene or an event.My job is to look around for an image that will make me happy. Sometimes I will come home with a wonderful picture that’s 180 degrees from what I thought I’d be shooting. Sometimes I come home with a corny or sentimental image that I love. Sometimes I come home empty handed. It doesn’t matter. That’s not what its about. ”He doesn’t do much classic or traditional street photography anymore. These days he’s more interested in urban landscapes or mircoscapes. In recent years he has accepted requests to shoot all sorts of things including some very routine jobs – events, installations, art reproduction, posed headshots. “No matter how simple or boring or elementary the task appeared to be, I’ve taken something away and become a betterphotographer in ways I didn’t predict.” Joe is represented in Manhattan by Jen Beckman.Getting representation is a long andoften frustrating task. “Show your work.Don’t give up. No matter how long you’ve been working, there’s always another rejection around the corner. It’s just a part of the landscape. ”Advice for people starting in photography.Don’t start with a digital camera. Start with film.Film will teach you discipline. You won’t be able to shoot a thousand pictures on a weekend. 36 exposures to a roll. You will have to make better choices. A few other things about Joe, a man of many hats. He is an attorney as was one of our other PAI speakers, ArnoldCrane. And he was and is a writer.He wrote for computer magazines, he wrote screenplays and fiction. Keep your eyes open Joe O.Holmes could pop up anywhere. —Bob Sharpe
Stephen Mallon 2/18/10
How does a two-time "Lucy winner for Industrial Photography" start? In a sandbox of course.
As a kid Stephen Mallon was fascinated by bulldozers and dumptrucks, the kind that spilled sand between your toes . As he got older he'd watch earth-movers and front-loaders at airports and construction sites. When he was 10 he got a Kodak instamatic, then a Kodak disc camera, A Canon AE-1, eventually after college, a Rolleiflex, a Hasselblad,and a Toyo, and finally a Canon digital . All the while capturing what he saw, the intricate, powerful machines men used .
In New York he spent 4 years as an assistant to other photographers like Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Mark Seliger, Hashi and many others doing Portraits, Fashion, Commercials, but not much industry. In 2000 he had enough clients to go out on his own, always gravitating towards that childhood fascination with industry.
You might say he made his "bones" with the crash of Flight #1549 in the Hudson River. note the front cover, the plane suspended like a frozen humming bird. His images resulted in "Brace For Impact, the Aftermath of Flight 1549" exhibited in numerous solo shows as well as Vanity Fair, NBC , New York Magazine , MSNBC, CBS News , and many others.
An ongoing project is "American Reclamation" the recyling culture and industry in America. Not an expose of the world of waste , but an optimistic celebration of innovation in the unpublicized worlds of salvage. Stephen is a former President of ASMP NY.
Arnold Crane 11/19/09
Like Charles Ives , The American Composer who supported himself as an insurance executive, Arnold Crane spent 27 years as a trial lawyer supporting his love of photography, He worked as a soda jerk in his fathers pharmacy while going to Law school and sold pictures to the Chicago newspapers and National magazines : funerals , murders ,accidents, fires and 600 weddings on the side .What had started out as a childhood fascination with a hand-cranked Pathe movie Camera turned into an abiding love of photography and photographers.
In 1995 Arnolds book " On the Other Side of the Camera"was published after years of chasing an elusive breed, the great photographers of the twentieth century. Among them , Bernice Abbott, Bill Brandt, Walker Evans, Andre Kertesz, Eugene Smith,Edward Steichen, Paul Strand,Imogen Cunningham and many others. The only two who eluded him were Henri Cartier-Bresson and Margaret Bourke-White, overtaken by Parkinson's disease. His picture of Man Ray sticking his tongue out is a classic.
Among Arnold's personal projects were female nudes he called Landscapes of the female body" He still has every camera he has ever owned . The transition to digital was difficult. His memory for explicit settings is not easy. He needs a checklist. Regarding the current state of photography, "You can't miss with the point and shoots. Everybody is a photographer, the only thing needed is an eye". Arnolds next dream project is the Marine Corp, He has a letter from the commanding general for total access. After the great photographers of the century, That should be a cinch.
Arnold Crane will be flying into New York from Chicago to speak at our November Meeting.
Doug Munuez 10/15/09
Doug Menuez is a man for all seasons. His work ranges from photojournalism to fine art, from Ugandan orphans in “Transcendent Spirit” to the history of Mexico’s national drink Tequila in “Heaven, Earth, Tequila”. Doug’s early work as a photojournalist began in 1981 as an intern for The Washington Post. That began his career freelancing for Time, Newsweek, Life, USA Today, Fortune and many other publications world wide. His subjects included the Ethiopian famine, the Olympics, and the AIDS crisis. He gained exclusive, unprecedented access to record the rise of Silicon Valley and daily lives of its most brilliant innovators, including Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Bill Joy and John Doerr during an era when more jobs and wealth were created than at any time in human history. Rather than record such a diffuse and intellectual subject with dry technical images, Doug captured it in highly human terms, elation, weariness, despair and triumph. The period will be captured in Doug’s upcoming book Fearless Genius. His many portrait assignments range from Mother Tereza to Robert Redford and President Bill Clinton. His work has won numerous awards, been exhibited in solo and group shows andbeen featured in nine of the bestselling Day in the Life books. His advertising clients range from McDonalds to Microsoft, fromGE to Samsung. Doug’s interest in photography began as all ours did when his father gave him a camera when he was ten.
Howard Greenberg 9/17/09
Howard Greenberg, owner of the New York City-based Howard Greenberg Gallery on 57th Street, is one of the world's top photographydealers. He is an authority on 19th and 20th century photography, and has been an acknowledged leader in establishing its value on thefine art market. Employing his keen eye for artistic value and a unique historical perspective, Greenberg has built a reputation forrediscovering significant photographers from the past and establishing a market for their work. He represents and exhibits photographs by many of the acknowledged masters, including Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, Eugene Atget, Walker Evans, Brassai, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Greenberg also represents the estates of Edward Steichen, Imogen Cunningham, Andre Kertesz, Roman Vishniac and others. His collection exceeds 20,000 prints. Greenberg began his career as a photojournalist when he moved from Brooklyn to Woodstock, New York in 1972. Prominent newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Woodstock Times published his work. It will be interesting to hear from someone who has achieved success on both sides of the fence -- photographer and gallery owner.
Bob Krist 6/18/09
A Freelance photographer who works regularly on assignment for magazines such as National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian and Islands, Bob Krist has traveled to all seven continents on assignments and has won awards in the Pictures of the Year, Communication Arts, and the World Press Photo competitions. He has been stranded on a glacier in Iceland, nearly run down by charging bulls in southern India and Knighted by a cutlass during a Trinidad Voodoo ceremony, and consequently won the title of " Travel Photography of the year" from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1994, 2007 and again this year In 2000 his work was honored at the Eisenstadt Awards for Magazine Photography in New York City. Bobs Books Include "In Tuscany" ( Broadway Books , NY ) which features 270 pages of his photographs of the region and is a collaboration with author " Frances Mayes . It spent a month on the New York Times Bestseller list. He also photographed the coffee table books " Carribean" and the " Portrait of the Carribean" and "Low Country: Charleston to Savannah" ( Graphic Arts Center Publishing), A Photo tour of New York ( Photo Secrets Publihing, San Diego), and Impressions of Buck County ( Old Mill Productions , New Hope PA. ) . An Accomplished writer as well as photographer, Bob is a contributing editorat both National Geographic Traveler and Outdoor Photographer, where he writes a travel photography column, His how-to book "Spirit of Place: The Art of The Traveling Photographer" ( Amphoto Books, NY) was hailed By American Photographer Magazine as "the best book about travel photography we've ever read". His newest book "Travel Photography: Documenting the Worlds People and Places " was recently published in the Digital Masters Series by Lark Books
Harry Benson 5/21/09
Friends, Members, Shutterbugs … you’re in for a real treat if you attend PAI’s May luncheon meeting. We will be entertained and enlightened by internationally acclaimed photographer, Harry Benson, our featured speaker, who will join us at National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, in Manhattan. The luncheon meeting is open to PAI members and your guests. Benson will discuss his fabled career, from traveling to America with the Beatles in 1964, to becoming the most published photographer for LIFE Magazine. He has been featured in forty one-person exhibitions and has published thirteen books highlighting his photography. This year, he was named Commander of the British Empire (CBA) by Queen Elizabeth, and he will be featured in a new book, “Harry Benson: 60 Years; A Retrospective,” to be published this December by Powerhouse Books.
Fred Stein 4/16/09
Fred Stein, a pioneer of the hand held camera and renowned photo journalist, died in 1967 at the young age of 58. His work will be shown and discussed at our April 16th luncheon meeting by his son, Peter Stein, ASC, a cinematogrpher and devotee of his dad's work and accomplishments.Displaced from Germany by the Nazis, Fred Stein found himself in an atmosphere of artistic ferment in pre-war Paris. Young and idealsitic, he was a pioneer of the hand-held camera, taking his Leica into the streets to capture scenes of life with a fresh naturalness. He was fascinated with people in all their diversity, from the very fashionable to the suffering poor. His photographs often touch on the cruelty and injustice of the existing social order, and just as often revel in the elegance of a patrician figure. Above all, his sense of beauty and sophisticated composition shine through and elevate the everyday moment. His portraits of intellectuals, artists, and statesmen reveal the unique character of the men and women who shaped the political and cultural events of the 20th century. Stein, whose works were recentlly on exhibtion at the International Center of Photography, is represented in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the ICP, the Center for Creative Photography, the Musee Carnavalet (Paris) and museums, galleries, and private collections around the world.
Harvey Stein 3.19.09
Harvey Stein, speaker for our March Luncheon Meeting, is a professional photographer, teacher, lecturer, author, and curator based in New York City. He currently teachers at the International Center of Photography and in the Master of Professional Studies Program in Digital Photography at the School of Visual Arts. Stein is a frequent lecturer on photography both in the United States and abroad. He has also been a member of the faculty of the New School University, Drew Unitversity, the Rochester Institute of Technology and at the University of Bridgeport and is the recepient of a number of major fellowships and artist in residency grants. His first of many books was published in 1978; his newest tome Movimento: Glimpses of Italian Street Life, was published in December of 2006 by Gangemi Editore (Rome). Stein's photographs and portfolios have been published in numerous newspapers, periodicals, and all the major photo magazines.
Stein's photographs have been wideely exhibited in the United States and Europe with 71 one -person and 135 group shows to date. He has also curated over a dozen exhibits, and his photographs are in more thtn 50 permanent collections. Online, Stein's work can be seen on his web site, www.harveystein.com and at: www.junebateman.com, www.brucesilverstein.com, www.maryannfahey.com, and www.forrestscottgallerey.com.
Lori Grinker 2/19/09
Lori Grinker began her photographic career in 1981 while a student at Parsons School of Design when Inside Sports published her photo-essay about a young boxer as its cover story. During that time she met another young boxer, 13 year-old Mike Tyson, who she documented for the following decade. Since then, in addition to her reportage of events such as the destruction of the World Trade Center, she has delved into several long-term projects, and published two books: The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (Jewish Publication Society, 1989, 6 editions), and Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict (de.MO, 2004). Published in major magazines, her work has earned international recognition, garnering a World Press Photo Foundation Prize, an Open Society Institute Distribution grant, a W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund fellowship, the Ernst Haas Grant, The Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Grant, and a Hasselblad Foundation Grant, among others. Her photographs have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around theworld and are in many private and museum collections including: The International Center of Photography (ICP), The Jewish Museum in New York City, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Between editorial assignments, commercial jobs (represented by MEO Represents), and personal projects, Grinker lectures, teaches workshops, and is on the faculty of the ICP in New York City. She is represented by the Nailya Alexander Gallery in New York and has been a member of Contact Press Images since 1988.
Lou Manna 1/22/09
Lou Manna has spent over thirty years creating images of all things edible. A recognized expert in the field of food photography, Lou’s award-winning photographs have appeared in over forty cookbooks, in marketing campaigns for Kraft Foods, Dannon and the CulinaryInstitute of America, as well as leading industry publications such as Wine Enthusiast and Food Arts. Lou has also shot for many celebrity chefs, including Bobby Flay, Jacques Torres and Lidia Bastianich. A pioneer in using digital imaging technology for food photography as early as 1995, Lou is committed to exploring cutting-edge techniques that convey the vibrant colors and sensual pleasures of food.Growing up in an Italian neighborhood of Brooklyn, Lou developed an early love of food that was soon matched by a passion for photography. After shooting freelance for several Long Island newspapers in college, Lou worked for fifteen years as a photographer at the New York Times. He covered feature stories including many articles with renowned food writer Craig Claiborne. In the 1990s, Lou opened up his own studio on New City’s Fifth Avenue and was honored as an Olympus Visionary photographer in 2002. His numerous television appearances have included segments on Food Network and ABC-TV’s World of Photography. Manna’s acclaimed book, Digital Food Photography, published by Thomson, is in its third printing. This is the first book about food photography to focus exclusively on digital technology. Lou is currently working on another book, which will be available in the fall of 2009.
Jeff Liau 11.20.08
There's a real treat in store for our November meeting. Our principal speaker, Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao is an extraodinary photographer whose credits would require more space than we have available. Taiwanese-born and educated in the U.S., Jeff is now based in New York City, where he earned an MFA from the School of Visual Arts and BFA from the Pratt Institute. He is the first prize winner of the New York Times "Capture the Times " photo contest. Liao's work has been featured in several solo and group exhibitions, and is represented by private and public collections, including JGS Inc. Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Queens Museum of Art in New York, J. Paul Getty Museum, George Eastman House, Norton Museum of Art and Deutsche Bank. His photographs have been widely featured in publications, including Art in America, Art News Camera Art, Photo District News, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, and the village voice. His new Monograph, Habitat 7, is published by Nazraeli Press in 2007. Liao's work is collected in Yeshiva University, Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Howard Stein Collection, Kodak George Eastman House, Deutsche Bank, and Norton Museum of Art.
George Schaub 10.16.08
Our speaker, George Schaub, is the editorial director of Shutterbug magazine. He has taught photography and printing at the New School in NYC since 1986, and also teaches workshops in the US and Abroad. He has reported on the imaging industry since 1984 in magazines such as Popular Photography, Industrial Photography, Popular Mechanics, and Travel & Leisure, and in the New York Times. He has written 20 books on photography, his most current being A Digital Guide to Black and White Landscape Photography.
Vivian Cherry 9.18.08
Photographer Vivian Cherry began her career in the 1940's while working as a dancer in Broadway Shows and nightclubs. Cherry supported herself partly as a darkroom technician for Underwood and Underwood, a prominent photo service to news organizations. She began shooting the world around her during this time of change. As a street photographer she combined informal portraiture with city scapes of the Lower East Side, the Third Avenue El (and its ensuing demoliton), the streets of Harlem, Hells Kitchen, and the Meat Packing District. Searching for more skill as a photographer, Cherry joined the Photo League, where she studied with Sid Grossman, who had a profound influence on countless photographers of the 1940s and 1950s. Vivian Cherry's work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, and the New York Public Library, New York; the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; Microsoft, Popular Photography, Life, Sports Illustrated, Redbook, and Ebony, as well as the famed magazines of yesteryear: This Week, Pagent, Colliers, Amerika, and Sinclair Oil. She made several short filmls and worked with photgrpher Arnold Eagle as a still photographer on a film about Lee Strasberg and the Lee Strasberg institute.
Arlene Gottfried 6.19.08
Arlene Gottfried is a photographer with an eye and a mind on the city streets - an insider with an ability to capture images of life that are raw, hard -edged and caustic and at the same time affectionate, and loving. She is a photographic collector of secret intimacies, ecstatic moments, and the common occurrences of ives lived close to an abyss and very near joy. A scavenger for bright colors, the tellling gesture, and the wandering glance in the interactions of people at, and outside the margins, she is the funky, casual observer of life's everyday happenings. Deceptively like snapshots, her photographs always speak from the perspective of a best friend, an invited guest, a member of the wedding. The heat, the energy, the ethnic flavor, the hip-hop style and the fun of a vibrant,What's happening, Man? New York City radiate from here images. Gottfried seems to see everything with a unique vision that captures the spirit, the play, the love, the action, and the energy of those around her. She knows people and they let her in; she's able to share her subject's pleasure and the hidden secrets of their llives in a way that is comlpassionate and revealing. Her pictures give her audience and entree it might not otherwise have into the lives of people it could not otherwise know.
Peter Aaron 5.15.08
Peter Aaron is a pioneer in combining cinematic style with architectural photography techniques. His digital images are lively and luminous, and certainly worthy of interest by PAI members.
Aaron studied organic chemistry at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University. He received a BA in physics from Bard College and an MFA from New York University Insititute of Film and Television. He worked as a film cameraman prior to deciding to concentrate on architectural photography, a specialty at which he has excelled for more than 35 years.
His experience as an assistant to Ezra Stoller was "transformational." He followed his mentor's techniques and integrated dramatic camera angles and theatrical
lighting into his work, emerging as a contributing photographer with Architectural Digest, and other prestigious magazines and several books. Aaron has documented a number of projects by architect Robert A.M. Stern, and his work is featured on two websites: www.ramsa.com and www.esto.com
Lois Greenfiled 4.17.08
PAI is indeed fortunate to have had a roster of extraordinarily talented speakers for our luncheon meetings over the past year. May will be no different. Our meeting will feature a legendary photographer whose specialty is both intriguing and exciting. She captures the world of dance as few of her genre have done in recent times. We look forward to sharing her images and her thoughts with her.
Lois Greenfiled began her career as a photojournalist but was drawn to the graphic potential of dance. For twenty years she covered the experimental dance scene for the Village Voice. In 1982, she decided to open a studio where she could not only control the lighting, but could also direct the dancers in her exploration of movement's expressive potential. Her unique approach to photographing the human form in motion has radically redefined the genre, and influenced a generation of photographers.
Greenfield has created signature images for most of the major contemporary dance companies. Many of these can be seen in virtually every major magazine, her 1992 monograph, Breaking Bounds (Chronical Books), as well as in her volume, Airborne (Chronicle Books, 1998). Her work is exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, and commercial clients have picked up on the potential of her unique vision. Her newest venture has taken her career full circle, collaborating and performing around the world with the Australian Dance Theater in "Held" a dance inspired by her photography in which she shoots the live action as part of the performance. The latest exhibition of Greenfiled's work, Resonationg Fields, brings together a collection of her pioneering work in dance photography with images of the beauty and strength of the human body. For more imformation on Lois Greenfiled, visit her on the web at www.loisgreenfiled.com.
Frank Paulin 3.20.08
A background as a fiashion illustrator and a stint as an army photographer served as a strong foundation for Frank Paulin's success in his later years. He attended Chicago's Art Institute as a teenageer and earned enough in his field to support both his mother and him. Like many young men in the early 1940's Frank's life was interrupted by the draft, and he found himslef in Nuremberg, Germany where he was assigned the task of photographing displaced persons for identification purposes. This is where his interest in photography took off... with a Kodak 35 and a Leica in hand, he captured the images of people he encounterd who were affected by the ravages of war. After the war, Frank returned to Chicago, studied with Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, Frank Callahan and Arthur Siegel. He resumed his career as a fashion illustrator, photographing the hustle bustle of New York street night life. His work has been exhibited in the famed Limelight Gallery and is in the permanent collections fo the Museum of the City of New York and the University of Arizona, Tuscon. The Bruce Silverstein Gallery is his exclusive representation for his vintage and current photographs.
Cynthia Matthews 2.21.08
Cynthia Matthews has traveled the globe for corporate and editorial clients most notable Town & Country magazine, where she has shot over 50 feature stories, capturing the moods and lifestyles of the sporting world.. often with cameras flying, she has sailed over fences with foxhunters, galloped through velvety French forest behind staghounds and chased bird dogs across the sorghum fields of the deep South. "I do the country part of Town & Country," she said. From horse racing with corporate moguls, to bird dog trials over sloppy, wet terrain, she has photographed the top-hatted and the mud -splattered, and she has captured the esence and exitcitemkent of the event in the process. Cynthia shoots much of her personal work in black and white and finds certaiin joy in printing and toning her own prints the old fashioned way - in the "wet"darkroom. One of her on-going projects is explorinig the quiet drama of New York City in the snow.
Rebecca Lepkoff 1.17.08
Rebecca Lepkoff has been photographing New York City since the late 1930's. The Lower East Side by the 1930's had become a vibrant multithnic community full of families and friends. The residents congregated on stoops, street corners, sidewalks, fire escapes, and rooftops of the neighborhood tenements and shared the unique languages, food, and festivals of their various cultures.
Rebecca Lepkoff, herself a child of immigrant parents, grew up in this community. The faces of the Lowere East Side became her muse and through the lens of her camera she captured the lives of a spirited neighborhood: Photographs by Rebecca Lepkoff, 1937-1950, was the first monograph of her work highlighting the area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges from the Bowery to the East River. They uncover a forgotten time and place and reveal how the Lower East Side remains both unaltered and forever changed.
Born in 1916, she bought her first camera in 1938. With a background in modern dance and art history she had a strong sense of light and action. Her exquisite prints, which she made herself, are rich in tones and subtleties of light and dark. She was associated with the Photo League from 1947 to 1951. Her work, which continued through the 70's and 80's, is included in such prestigious collections as The National Museum of Art (Washington, D.C.), the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of the City of New York, the Bank of America, and the Consolidated Freightways, Inc. collection. She is represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery.
She still creates beautiful photographs today as well as ceramic art and wonoderful quilts (which are not for sale!). Her time is divided between her SoHO loft and country home in Vermont. Books will be available for signing.
Peter Turnley 11.15.07
Peter Turnley, an internationally renowned photo journalist and consummate observer and photographic reporter of most every major world event of the last two decades, will offer a lecture and presentation of his work entitled, "Moments of the Human Condition 1972-20078" at our monthly luncheon meeting on November 15th. Through the magic of his images, Turnley will cover many of the most important geo-political and human themes of the past 35 years.
Former assistant to the great photographer Robert Doisneau, Peter Turnely is currently a contributing editor for Harper's magazine for which he creates eight page essays on pertinent national and international themes in "the grand tradition of visual authorship." He has documented major world events including the revolutions in Eastern Europe, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 1991 Gulf War, the Balkans, Somalia, Rowanda, Hati, South Africa, Chechnya, the Israeli-Palestime confilict, Kosovo, 9/11 and the present war in Iraq. He has photographed and reported on many of the world's most influential people from Arafat to Mother Theresa, and worked as a contract photographer for Newsweek where his images appeared on 43 covers. The author of several books, Peter Turnley teaches overseas workshops for the Maine Photographic Workshops. He currently resides in New York and Paris. An overview of Peter Turnley's career may be found at www.peterturnely.com .
Bruce Davidson 10.18.07
Bruce Davidson is one of America's most respected and influential documentary photographers. His love of the medium began in Oak Park, Ill. when, at the age of 16, he won his first prize in the Kodak National High School Competition. He went on to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University. After Military service in 1957, Davidson worked as a freelance photographer for Life Magazine and in 1958 he become a member of Magnum Photos, the international photography agency.
Davidson continued to photograph extensively from 1958 to 1966, creating such bodies of work as "The Dwarf," "Brooklyn Gang," and "The Civil Rights Movement." In 1963, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) included a number of the Civil Rights images among others, in a "One Man" show.
Bruce Davidson's work has been described as "... extraodinary for the depth of feeling and their poetic mood," and in 1966, he was awarded the first grant for photography from the National Endowment for the Arts. The next two years were spent documenting one block in East Harlem, a compilation that was published by Harvrad University Press titled "East 100th Street." The work became a solo exhibition that year at MOMA.
He received a second Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1980, the same year he was awarded an Open Society Institute Fellowship.
Davidson's work has been shown in the finest museums and institutions in the world, including ICP in New York; The Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis; Museum de Tokyo, Paris, France; the Smithsonaianm Institute, Washington, D.C.; the Museum Ratuu, Arles, France; and the New York Historical Society, among a host of others. He continues to work as an editorial and documentary phtographer, appearing regularly in publications all over the globe. He lives in New York with his wife and has two daughters.
Amy Arbus 9. 20. 2007
Amy Arbus almost didn't become a photographer. She almost became a multi media artisan. She almost became a muscian. Anything but a photographer.
Amy's mother Diane Arbus and father were famous photographers. It seemed they had done it all. There was nothing left to do.
So she turned to other things. She spent years studying painting, pottery and weaving. She went to the Berklee College of Music and played wind instruments. If she hadn't fallen and broken two front teeth she might still be playing flute and saxophone.
It wasn't until her mother was gone and her father became an actor that in a moment things changed. With a friend's borrowed camera in hand, Amy visited a local park, saw a baby in a bonnet, and photographed the child. The result sowed an image that looked like a little old man. She was entranced. She sensed she could see things in a different way.
She studied with Bill Burke and Linda Conner in Boston, Came to New York and worked for Jean Pagliuso a fashion photographer for two years. For the next ten years she worked for the Village Voice on a series called "On The Street", street fashion as portraiture.
The tag line was "There are eight million fashions in the Naked City and Amy Arbus is going to photograph them all". Not quite. But you can see 70 of them in her new book "On The Street 1980-1990". In the book and on the cover of the Imagist is The Clash, a British band in 1981 standing out on the sidewalk and with hopeful extras waiting to get into Martin Scorcese's "King of Comedy". She took it as she passed.
Her work now is quite different. She switched from 35mm to medium format which gives her better texture and more detail. Her subjects are posed in a way to make them appear spontaneous.
Amy Arbus, now in her 26th year as a photographer, contributes to New York Magazine's theater section. Her work has appeared in over 100 periodicals world wide including The New Yorker, Aperture, ESPN, and the New York Times Magazine. Her commercial clients include American Express, Nickelodian, Saatchi & Sastchi, etc. She has published three books. She teachers portraiture at ICP,
The Toscana Photographic Workshops and The Fine Arts Work Center. She has had 15 solo exhibitions world wide and is in the collections of MoMA and the New York Public Library. So much for not beiing a photographer. Bob Sharpe
Gregory Heisler 6.21.07
Gregory Heisler is a New York - based photographer who is renowned for his technical mastery and thoughtful responsiveness. His enthusiasm, curiosity, and drive are maniftested in his hands-on approach to all aspects of the image making process.
His iconic portraits and innovative essays have often graced the covers and pages of many magazines, including Life, Esquire, Gentleman's Quarterly, Geo, Sports Illustrated, Espn, and The New York Times Magazine, yet he is perhaps best known for his more that seventy Time cover portraits. He has also photographed advertising campaigns for such clients as American Express, Benson & Hedges, Dewar's, Merrill Lych, Nike, and Zocor.
Private portrait commissions are another important focus of Gregory's work. The first photographic portrait for New York's City Hall was his lithographic print of Mayor Edward I. Koch. The New York Public Library followed suit, commissioning a portrait of Marshall Rose which is presently exhibited in the Library's Main Branch at Forty-second Street and Fifith Avenue. Most recently, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg comissioned a portrait by Gregory which now hangs in the atrium of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.
As a sought-after speaker and educator, Gregory has taught at the Internantional Center of Photography, the New School for Social Research, The School of Visual Arts (Master of Fine Arts Program), Parsons School of Design, The Smithsonian Institution ( Masters of Still Photography Series). and the National Geographic Society , as well as scores of workshops and seminars throughout the country and overseas.
Among kudos he has received are the Alfred Eisenstadt Award , and the Leica Medal of Excellence. Gregory had been profiled in American Photo, Communications Arts, Esquire, Life and numerous industry periodicals
Randy Duchaine 5.17.07
There's an elegantly meticulous quality to the enviormental portrait work of Randy Duchaine, but don't assume a tremendous amount of planning goes on beforehand. In fact, on many of Duchaine's corporate assignments, which take him to boardrooms, tequila factories, and wind farms around the world, he may have only five minutes to shoot.
"it's like spontaneous combustion," this Brooklyn -based photographer says from his home in Windsor Terrace section of the borough. "Basically you jump in and just avail yourself to a higher authority. It's fun, thrilling, and scary , all at the same time." This is not to say Duchaine is some kind of "seat-of-the pants" photographer. In fact, he's extremely prepared and professional, with a client list that includes American Airlines, Anheuser-Busch, IBM, and Microsoft. It's just that when you're dealing with the CEO's of international corporations, their time is at a premium. As Duchaine puts it, you've got to be "fast, flexible, and nimble."
Take a recent assignment in Mexico to photograph the head of Jose Cuervo Tequila company for an annual report. Duchaine had originally planned to photograph him in Guadalajara, where they make the Tequila. But like a lot of the best -laid plans of mice and men, and environmental photographers, that idea had to be scrapped at the last minute. "We ended up photographing him at the end of
a bar at the Cuervo headquarters in Mexico City." Duchaine says. "It took us two and a half hours to set up, and we had five minutes to shoot, which is actually fairly typical."
Influenced by the landmark portrait work of Duane Michals and Arnold Newman, Duchaine sees enviormental portraiture as an attempt to create "a visual narrative" of a person. Because he never knows what environment he's going to photograph his subjects in, which is the very core of environmental portraiture, Duchaine has to prepare in other ways.
"I do reserach, lots of research," he says, "I learn about their personal lives, their hobbies, even where they went to school.....I find out not only who they are, but how they might react to being photographed. I encourage my subjects to get involved."
Duchaine says, "I'm passionltely crazy about what I do. I'm gaining entry to places most people never get a chance to go. Photography is basically a license to steal experience."
Excerpted from an artiicle in Studio Photography and Design by Dan Havlik. www.danhavlikindustries.com
Duane Michals 4.19.07
Excerpts "Tattle-Tales From The Land of Fauxtography" By Duane Michals
Editor's Note: Duane Michals last spoke to PAI in April of 2005. His irreverent and scatological new book "HOW PHOTOGRAPHY LOST ITS VIRGINITY ON THE WAY TO THE BANK" Says what many think but may be too timid to say. Timidity is not one of Duane's characteristics. For more, see and hear him on Thursday, April 19, for now, here's a taste of Duane.....
-Photography has never been about money, it had always been about phtography. Now that the Haute Kunsters have deemed it art, it's all about money and not photography.-if a photography is labeled a mere photograph it is only worth $3, 000; if a photograph is labeled a conceptual piece, it fetches $300,000.
-Never trust any photograph so large that it can on ly fit inside a museum. Color is the new black and white.-The announced demise of the decisive moment is premature.
-Garry Winogrand was a snapshooter. A snapshooter is a voyeur who loves the act of taking pictures but doesn't necessarily care about the photographs. He left 7,000 rolls of undeveloped film.-Diane Arbus is authentic. Cindy Sherman is unauthentic.
-Museums should never exhibit photographs of visitors looking at art in museums to visitors who are looking at art in museums.-The menage a trios of the symbolic relationship between dealers, critics and museums defines contemporary art. The imprimatur of this art-industrial complex informs the hedge fund arrivistes how to decorate their walls with trendy conspicuous consumption.
-An eight -by-ten inch photograph by Robert Frank can be herioc. An eight-by-ten foot Gursky is just a bill board with pretensions.-This year's Speedo Prize for Cultural Malfeasance is awarded to MoMa for its sophomoric juxtaposing of a glorius Cezanne bather painting with a Dijkstra nerdy teenage bather. Despite the superficial similarities of the subject matter and size, they had nothing in common except embarrassment. Proximity cannot bestow pedigree.
-Fashion photography is often artful but seldom art.-A critique of Representation claims that Representation happens when someone believes that a depiction is adequate to its referent,but is deceived in that belief, or deceives others about it, or both. Representation occurs in the process of self-deception, and so it becomes the object of deconstruction.
-Jeff Wall, Jeff Wall, Phaidon, now showing at MoMa(PAI bears no responsibility for interpretation of the above.)
Bob Sharpe 3.15.07
Bob Sharpe has offered to fill in for Amy Arbus with new images called SILENT CITY, his 141 image slide show of Manhattan at night. Shot over 13 nights in 2005-2006, it is an eloquent, different kind of look at Manhattan from Harlem to Alphabet City. He describes it as follows:
"At certain times the city is overcome by a quiet stillness. The store fronts are dim and grated, the mannequins alone, the subways quiet, restaurant chairts stacked, parks closed. All await another day."
"When I walk from Grand Central around Manhattan the mood shifts from block to block. The windows and what's behind them take on a life of their own. Fleeting images expand from the darkness. As I walk I try to capture that. When the sun rises i know it will be gone."
Bob has been a photographer since he was ten when he developed and printed his work in the bathroom. Some 20 years later he was doing his own "C" prints (thats when it took 50 minutes for a test}. His work has been published in the Chicago Tribune Magazine, Popular Photography, Leica Magazine and The New York Times. His work is in the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Museum of Art and The Baltimore Museum.
As a writer-director he worked for such television programs as OMNIBUS with Alistar Cook, The SEVEN LIVELY ARTS with John Houseman and Andy Rooney, the NBC Special Projects Department, and THE TWENTIETH CENTURY series with Walter Cronkite during the Golden Age of Television. His feature documentary BEFORE THE MOUNTAIN WAS MOVED, about the devastation strip mining inflicted on people's lives in Appalachia, was nominated for an Academy Award. Bob currently listed in WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA and WHO"S WHO IN THE WORLD.
James Estrin 2.15.07
I would see James Estrin's photo credit in the New York Times frequently. The thing that attracted me was the diversity of subject-matter he tackled. The Times has many specialists who do spot news or sports or war or art or human interest . Jim Estrin seemed to do them all with equal finesse. Most photographers would be insulted if you called them generalists. Not Jim. An example of this is the picture on the front cover of this issue. The first anniversary of 9/11 on the moment the first building fell. More than 50 photographers were on the rooftop covering the event, but Jim was the only one to get this shot with the swilrling dust that looked like some medieval ritual. The photo of Sheik Rida Shata, an Egyptian-born Muslim is among many Jim took of the sheik, his Family and his congregation in Brooklyn and Middletown, New Jersey. This image was one of six that were credited to Jim in a two -part series on the world of Muslims in America in The New York Times Magazine.
Jim Estrin considers himself a story-teller. He first sensed that at the age of 16, using his father's old Exacta camera. He knew he wanted to be a photojournalist, but he went on to college to give himself other options. Photo jourmalism won out. He hit the job market when newspapers were in recession and ended up at the Jackson Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, run by a young man just out of journalism school who brought in marvelous new talent. When Gannett took over the Clarion-Ledger, Jim moved to New York, freelancing for all of the NY papers for four and half years until the NY Times put him on staff. Now a Senior Photographer, Jim often proposes stories such as the series he did in 2004 and 2005 on assisted suicide and dying in Oregon.
His advice to young people who want to enter the field is simply, "Don't expect to be a photo journalist and just take pictures. If that's what you want, be a fine art photographer." He points out that to be a photo journalist, you have to look ahead. The newspaper business is changing, he notes, and the internet is upon us. Media such as the Times have their own sites and talented people are going to fill them. Jim Estrin has been doing audio slide shows on the side, and we're fortunate to have the opportunity to see one of them at our February meeting. Bob Sharpe
John Dominis 1.18.07
John Dominis, like many of his contemporaries, came up the hard way. He joined the Air Force in 1943, serving in Japan until his discharge, when he continued his career as a freelance photographer for the Saturday Evening Post. He joined the staff of LIFE in 1950 and remained at that publication until the magazine closed its doors in 1972. During his stint with LIFE, his assignments reflected his versatility, as he covered the Korean , Loatian and the early years of the Vietnam wars, riots in Japan, a plethora of sports events including five Olympic Games, and the White House, where he won the White House Photographers Award for his coverage of President Kennedy. In 1966, John was named "Magazine Photographer of the Year" by the University of Missouri, the nation's highes thonor in magazine photography. He later served as Picture Editor at PEOPLE MAGAZINE and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, before he returned to his first love, shooting pictures as a freelance magazine photogapher.
Jason Eskenazi 12.21.07
Jason Eskenazi is a photo journalist who likes to look into the abyss. Born in Brooklyn he went to Moscow two months before the coup that led to the fall of the regime. Later, through his friendship with Zana Briski who made the Academy Award film on the children of Calcutta prostitutes, he went to Israel to organize Kids With Cameras in Jerusalem's Old City where Jewish and Arab children live in the midst of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Jason chose 12 children from each side. The Jewish kids through a community center, the Arabs through fliers and off the streets. Neither group knew about the other. Some of the Jewish kids knew English, others needed a translator. He communicated with the Arab kids by teaching them a few words of English, the rest through trial and error. They were all given point and shoot cameras, all the film they needed, and encouraged to photograph whaterver they wanted. This in the midst of a raging conflict. And what did they photograph? That is what we will see. This I will tell you, when they finally saw some of the pictures taken by what they felt were their sworn enemies, after initially scorning them, they asked questions. What is that little curl the Hasidim wear? Is that what the inside of a mosque looks like? What is that they're eating? Questions any tourist might ask. They would never talk to each other in the street, but this was somehow different. The real test has yet to come,. Jason says. That will be when enough money can be raised to print and mount exhibitions that can be seen by many on both sides. Perhaps it could be the beginning of understanding. Jason Eskenazi is a photographer in his own right. He has had a Guggenheim grant, a Fullbright Fellowship, a Dorothea Lange award and others. That he had the facility and drive to bring this off is an achievement to be admired. He halso has a book coming out in two or three months on Russia.
Eric Meola 10.19.06
We're lucky that Eric Meola didn't become a brain surgeon. His father weas a doctor and wanted Eric to be a doctor too. But that was the last thing Eric wanted. Instead he became an English Literature major at Syracuse University. One day, to get Eric out of his hair, his dad told a patient who was an engineer to give Eric a photography lesson, take him into the darkroom, make a print, whatever. When Eric saw the image emerge from blank white sheet of paper, he was hooked. Magic was one of his great passions and what he saw in the developer tray was, indeed, magic. The rest of his life was preordained.Back in the mid 60's photography was a profession, but not like it is today, drawing students to courses around the country. What he found in the Syracuse Journalism School was not too productive. So before graduation he contacted Pete Turner, one of the great photographic stylist,for and interview. He subsequaently worked as Pete's asistant for 18months, immersed in images of highly saturated color and powerful compostion. Images that would shape his work when he opened his own studio in 1971.Among his early clients were Life, Travel & Leisure, Esquire and Time. They must have had the same reaction to his images as I had. The phrase "Cut to the chase" comes to mind. There is nothing extraneous in Eric Meola's images. No extra detail, no loose composition, no wandering eye. Everything is tightly composed, often in close-up, often highly saturated.At this point Eric had to decide whether he wanted to be a photojournalist for National Geographic or continue in the commercial world. Thinking 30 years ahead and what his security might be, he chose the money. His commercial clients included Canon, Nikon, IBM, Kodak, American Express, United Technologies, Porsche and BMW.The interesting thing is, in his travels for clients to Africa, Burma, India, New Guinea and other places, he always took time on his own to do his own thing. He had his cake and ate it too. His passion for photography never cooled. And his awards are too numerous to mention.Eric's first book Last Places On Earth was sponsored by Kodak. A second on Bruce Springsteen taken in B&W 30 years ago will be out soon. Hopefully we will see work from both and much more.The question is, if Eric had not seen that image magically appear in the develping tray in a pre-digital age, and had seen digital moitor instead, would he have been hooked on photography. Bob Sharpe
Ross Lowell 11.30.06
If you are in the photographic industry, at one time or another you have probably heard of or used Lowell -Lights, an Academy Award honored light weight lighting system. There is a first name associated with that....it's Ross. Ross Lowell ...inventor, cinematographer, author, teacher and gifted nature photographer...our next PAI speaker. His accomplishments in so many areas make this a difficult piece to write. As cinematographer and often director Ross has done films for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery, PBS, ABC television, filmed behind the scenes with John Houston, Richard Burton, Deborah Kerr and Ava Gardner, and documented Otto Preminger working on the Catdinal. His work has garnered Academy Awards, Peobody and Emmy Awards and others at world film festivals tooo numerous to mention. In-between he has done hundreds of commercials. On his return from the Navy after W.W.II as a stills and film camerman he joined a New York documentary film union as an assistant, but he was such a poor assistant he quickly decided he could never make a living that way. So he become a cinematographer. Good decision. In 1980, at the peak of his career he bought 3 1/2 acres of beautiful wooded land with a pond in Pound Ridge, NY. Thinking to save money building his house, he decided to be his own contractor. Big Mistake. If he wasn't around, nothing got done. So Ross spent the next three years guiding his dream house into being. This brings me to what Ross is going to show us at the luncheon. that house and the land surrounding it become Ross's studio. At first, using an early 2 megapixel camera, he started recording what he saw. In the beginning there was no theme. But he came to be fascinated by the rocks and the trees. The battle for turf between them. Decaying wood returning to nature. That became the title of the book he is working on Rocks & Trees: Reflections on Four acres. Many of the images Ross captures now with his 8 Megapixel Olympus (modified of course) are different. They have a freshness of vision I have rarely seen in nature photography. Often they are close-ups, sometimes aided by mirrors or silvered spheres, often abstract so you're not really sure what you're looking at, microphoto or aerial. Their color and composition are fascinating. Come to the luncheon on November 30 and judge for yourself. Bob Sharpe
Jerry Dantzic 9.21.06
Since 1999, Grayson Dantzic has been dedicated to re-establishing the photographic legacy of his father, two-time Guggenheim Fellow, Jerry Dantzic,and to the doucmentation and preservation of the work taken during Jerry Dantzic's 50 year career.A PAI board member since 2002, on the Photography Committee of the National Arts Club and Steering Committee of ASMP-NY, Grayson will be completing his Masters degree in Archives & Records Management at the Palmer School of Library & Information Science in December 2006. He is currently an intern at the institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University.Among the many facets of the elder Dantzic's career was his mostly unknown images of Jazz Legends such as Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Billie Hiliday & Dizzy Geillespie.Jerry Dantzic shot record album covers for Bethlehem, Coral, Columbia, Decca, Epic, RCA Victor, Roulette, and Tico in the 1950s & 60s. He also captured performance images of many jazz icons in their prime at concerts, clubs, sessions & during television appearances. In a 1959 Salon Magazine article "Close Up Portraits," Jerry Dantzic said "If truth is the last refuge of scoundrels then the extreme close-up serves that purpose for the photographer".Through Jerry Dantzic's jazz photography, Grayson has been privileged to work with many highly respected members of the jazz community such as the late George T. Simon, producer, writer, and music consultant, Phoebe jacobs, Executive Vice President of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Lewis Ricci, Director of the International Jazz Collections at the University of Idaho and Tad Hershorn, Archivist at the Institute of Jazz at Rutgers University.Hoping to also follow in his father's educational footsteps, Grayson has given seminars on various aspects of Jerry Dantzic's photography at Universities, Public Libraries and High Schools.In the summer of 2006, Grayson curated an exhibition of his father, Jerry Dantzic's Jazz Photography at the Public Radio Station WBGO's Gallery in Newark, NJ and also arraanged for images by Jerry Dantzic and Hugh Bell to be included in the Torneau Gallery's "Dizzy Gillespie Exhibition of Rare Photographs and Memorabilia." Grayson was also invited by 2006 Shanghai International Photo Week Committe to curate a Jerry Dantzic exhibition of 35 photographs at the Shanghai Art Museum.Just last week, Grayson gave a presentation of his father's rare 1957 Billie Holiday photographs for ASMP-NJ. Jerry has been a member of ASMP-NY since then.
Ray Fischer 6.15.06
Ray Fisher is associated with portraits of entertainers, celebrities,and other notables, and always in black and white. The pictures he's now presenting are in color. He calls them "Universal Designs" - since they are universally observed but not really seen. He's been doing theses photos over the last thirty years, combining his love for flea markets, garage sales, boot sales as they are called in England, antique markets, and New York Street Fairs with his profession of photography. These photographs were made all over the world, including London, Paris, Budapest, Miami. and New York."What has intrigued me at these places is the variety of items that are displayed and the manner in which they are presented to the public. I always have found these displays wonderful examples of design that are displayed to make them most attractive to the eye, so that they will sell."He's usually photographed these displays with a macro lens. He always asks the dealer permission to photograph his merchandise. Occasionally the dealer says no for a number of reasons, so Ray passes on to the next display.Ray staarted his photo career while still in high school by landing a summmer job at NBC'S New York Photography Department. After he graduated from Miami Beach High School (which recently inducted him into their hall of fame), he entered the Army and trained at their photography school in Astoria. (Three of other PAI Signal Corps members were stationed there at various times - Frank Wolfe, Paul Katz, and Al Francekevich). Ray documented Patton's advance through Germany. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a commendation for his efforts in getting stained glass windows returned to their rightful owner - the Strasbourg Cathedral in France.After college he turned down an offer from Life Magazine to work in New York to stay in Miami. There, he spent 16 years at the Miami Herald, becoming chief photographer and picture editor.He struck out on his own as a free-lancer and in that role continued to do portraits and annual report work for many of the companies in the Fortune 500. His awards are too numerous to mention. His portrait work is available through TIME/LIFE (now a part of Getty) and his fine art work is represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery.
Chester Higgins 5.18.06
If you have been reading the New York Times in recent weeks, you may have seen in the Metro section, LENS, a series of portraits by Chester Higgin Jr. of distinguished African Americans, a CEO, a sculpture and an editor. They resemble in style some of the great portraits by Yousef Karsh of Ottawa. If it were not fo an accident Chester would not have been with the New York Times for almost 31 years. He would have taken his degree in Buisness Management from Tuskegee University in a far different direction.By accident he saw some photographs by his mentor at Tuskegee, P.H. Polk (Booker T. Washington's offical photographer), of southern African Americans farmers from the 30s. They were portrayed with great dignity. He had never seen anything like it before, the portrayal of poor blacks with such compassion. He was overcome with a need to capture his great aunt and uncle in that way. He used to spend hours listening to his uncle, learning from his life experiences. To capture him in a photograph would be an act of love. And that is what photography became to him, an act of love, an attempt to capture the dignity and potential of black people.When he finally had the mosney to buy his own camera and learn to use it, he wrote to every photography editor in New York. The great photography editor Arthur Rothstein of Look spent endless hours critiquing his work before he even worked for the magazine. After he was hired, Look closed down after two months. Shortly thereafter he was freelancing for The New Times and went on staff in 1975.Chester Higgins photographs have appeared in Life, Look, Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Ebony, Essence, and Black Enterprise. He has had five books published with a sixth about to come out. His work has been exhibited in museums around the world.In his book Elder Grace: The Nobility of Aging, the poet Maya Angelou said of the portaaits, "Their resoulute faces attest to the mountains climbed and the rivers forged. The somberness of their eyes is evidence of ....demons....faced down....and despair....overcome...." Chester Higgins is still in love with his subjects and phtography - Bob Sharpe
Builder Levy 4/20/06
Builder Levy is a documentary photographer in the tradition of Lewis Hine and Dorothea Lange. He has been photographing for almost a half century. His photographs certainly fulfill the documentary goal of increasing public awareness, and at the same time they are beautifully crafted artistic objects in their own right. He believes in making all of his own prints as part of the creative photographic process. His recent book Builder Levy, photographer (A.R.T. Press,2005) is printed in the tritone process and the reproductions display much of the true photographic quality of his prints.Builder's subject matter ranges from the gritty streets of the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, where he was a teacher of inner city at-risk adolescents until his retirement from teaching in 2000, to Mongolia, Cuba, and the coal mines of Appalachia. In addition, he has photographed many civil rights protests. (I can identify with Bushwick- I grew up there. However, it changed a lot after 1960 when I left the neighborhood, but it was nostaligic to recognize the streets that Builder portrays.)Levy's photgraphs have appeared in more than 170 exhibitions worldwide, including more than 40 solo shows. His work is in more that 60 public and private collections throughout the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Levy received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in photography (in 1981) and a Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship to revisit coalfield apalachia in 2004.Levy has a Masters degree in art education from New York University, and a Bachelors of Arts from Brooklyn College where he studied painting with Ad Reinhardt and photgraphy with Walter Rosenbaum. He attributes much of his informal education to his friendship with Helen Levitt and Paul Strand. -Al Francekevich
Arnold Newman 3/16/06
Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, Jackson Pollack, Lyndon Johnson, Isaac Stern, Truman Capote, Marilyn Monroe, Otto Frank, Francisco Franco... most anyone of note, whether artist, performer, president, dictator or Nobel Prize winner was photographed by Arnold Newman, each in his own way. No two alike in what later became known as enviormental portraiture.The seeds of that style were sown in 1938 in the middel of the Great Depression whan Arnold Newman quit school out of financial neccessity and switched from painting to photography. "I worked in a chain of inexpensive portrait studios where everything was done by the numbers. But I got tired of doing it the same way. The same pose, the same background, the same lighting, the same expression. You couldn't tell the difference between somebody who worked in a factory assembly line and the guy right next to him on the wall of the display room who owned the factory. They never even met but looked the same. You wouldn't know what they did, what they were about. I wanted to say something about the people. It was that simple.""The portrait." Arnold says. "is a form of biography. Its purpose is to inform now and to record history.....I work the way I do because of the kind of person that I am - my work is an expression of myself. It reflects me. My fascination with people, the physical world around us. I do not claim that my way is the best way or the only way, it is simply my way. It is an expression of myself, of the way I think and feel."From the time in 1941 when he was "discovered by Beaumont Newhall of the Museum of Modern Art and Alfred Stieglitz he has been exhibited and collected by every major museum in the world. Twelve books, nine honorary doctorates, lecturer at the institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton,N.J., none have lessened his quest fo that look, for the image that captures that one individual.PAI is honored to have Arnold Newman as our next speaker. -Bob Sharpe
Jill Freedman 2/16/06
Ever sleep in a firehouse? Ever ride with cops to a murder scene? Ever travel with a circus? Ever hang out with famous jazz muscians? Ever sing for your supper? Jill Freedman did all that. When she was a child, she always dreamed of being carried off by gypsies. That never happened, but her quest for adventure never left her. After studying Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh she moved to London and did sing for her supper in nightclubs around Europe and at the BBC. She worked for a big ad agency in New York and after Martin Luther King's murder quit to pursue her passion - photography. For seven weeks she lived in the mud with the Poor Peoples Campaign. Her first book."Old News: Resurrection City" based on that appeared in 1970. For "Circus Days" she spent seven weeks of one night stands traveling with the Clyde Beatty - Cole Brothers Circus. Although there were some women, it was primarily a man's world. Her ability to penetrate that world was always one of her greatest strenghts. (A footnote--her favorite elephant was beautiful "Pete".) After that she slept in a firehouse in the South Bronx. No not in a dormitory. In the back seat of the Captain's Car. Did she ever slide down the pole? When she was in nursery school they visited a firehouse. The boys slid down the pole, but the girls in their dresses were not allowed to. So much for sex descrimination. It never seemed to bother her. Not in the "Firehouse", not in "Street Cops", where she traveled with the police to every kind of crime in a tough Manhattan district. There is another book "Jill's Dogs", (non discriminatory), but of the seven published, I think her last , "Ireland Ever", published in 2005 is my favorite. In her quote below, I think her great humanity is revealed, "I think of my work in Ireland as a love poem: a celebration of the beauty of the land, the warmth of her people, the simplicity of the old ways and traditions, the humor and conviviality, the sharp wit and black moods, the kindness....It is an older, gentler Ireland I am documenting, a wild and passionate beauty that feels like the last place on earth. For whatever changes time brings, Ireland will welcome you home with fiddles, pints, and a cow in a field"
Howard Schatz 1/19/06
I just spent the better part of the morning going through Howard Schatz's web site, www.howardschatz.com, the most extensive I have ever seen. It encompasses Beauty, Fashion, Dance, Portraits, Kids, Couples, Newborns, Still Life, and Advertising amont others. Each one full of astounding images. That may give you some idea of the diversity of images we may see when Howard appears at our next luncheon. In November, you may remember, Mark Andrus spoke of teaching photography to the visually impaired. It's interestiing that Howard Schatz was a physician,a retinal specialist helping to prevent blindness. It was only on Saturdays that he devoted himself to photography, strictly as an amateur. But when his daughters went off to college he converted the dining room into a studio and got serious. he bought photography books, called the authors to ask how they did things, took a course with Sally Mann in Marin County and one with Jay Maisel in Aspen. His wife bought him an hour of tutoring with a portrait photgrapher. Incredibly, within eight years he had 10 or 20 gallery shows and around a half dozen books published. That was working on Saturdays only. Then in 1995 he decided to take the plunge. He took leave from his medical associates for just a year and moved from San Francisco with his wife Beverly Ornstein to New York. At first work was scarce, but he did a dance book, Passion & line. They were having so much fun that he decided to give it a second year. By the third year he didn't bother asking his medical associates. They knew he was a goner. Since 1995 he has done an amazing amount of work, trying to cram it all in as he was getting older. I guess cramming is an appropiate word. He has 15 books published, another six in the works, clients ranging from Gatorade to De Beers Diamonds, Epson and Sony to the Alvin Ailey dance company. The subjects that seem to have a special attraction for Howard are motion and water. His favorite subjects are dancers. Dancers because of their physical flexibility, water because it allows dancers among others, a freedom of motion unobtainable on dry land. Welcome to the amazing world of Howard Schatz.
Mark Andres 11.17.05
Mark Andres teaches the blind. He does not teach them Braille. He does not teach them how to use a cane. He does not teach them how to organize their closet. He teaches them how to take pictures. Mind numbing as that may seem, the images they produce are as remarkable as visions from another world. The world of the blind. Using an old 4"x5" speed Graphic, Polaroid negative/positive film and a flashlight in a darkened room he helps the blind and visually impaired create images that exhist in their minds. The totally bllind, who could once see, may try to recapture some image held in memory. Those who have impaired vision may be unable to process the rapidly changing images in the world around them. An image frozen in time allows them to concentrate, to work around their impairment. Amazingly, the totally blind are drawn to the darkroom. They can't adjust and focus the enlarger, but they can insert the paper in the easel, set the timeer, run the paoer through the bathes. Mundane to others, it is an act of creation to them. The pictures are taken in a dertened room with an open shutter. The "photographer" outlines or defines the subject with a flashlight, painting it with light as an artist might paint it with a brush. The "photographer" may use his or her hands to show Mark the area to frame in the camera. Mark is a technician in service of the artist, an enabling collaborator. Nineteen years ago Mark replaced a friend who had been teaching photography at The Lighthouse. He has been at it ever since, giving courses and lectures in Rottendam, Arnhem, Omaha, Nijmegen, The Metropolitan Musem and The Horace Mann School among others. The book of his collaborations is SHOOTING BLIND: by the visually impaired, published by Aperture in 2002. Mark's background is as a commercial photographer who still occasionally takes assignments for the sighted world.-Bob Sharpe
John Loengard 10.27.05
John Loengard is a modest man. This, despite being one of the great Life magazine photographers and its picture editor from 1978 to 1987 as well as founding picture editor of People magazine. He has a new book coming out, AS I SEE IT (seven others preceded it). Among its images are some captions as fascinating as the images themselves. "I am bigger than a fly. As soon as I walk through the door with a camera, I affect people's behavior. I cannot watch what they do from a spot on the wall, unnoticed. I must draw them out." "Often if something is imperfect in a photograph, I think it makes the picture more real. Photographs that are too smooth and perfect seem less than honest." " I like to use the peculiarity of the moment to make a photograph, the way an oyster takes in a greain of sand and makes a pearl." "I often daydream of pictures before I take them. Although I've never found exactly what I've imagined, such dreams give me a point of view. When I spot something as interesting as what I've dreamt, I start to work." "The reason I like being a photographer is that I do it all myself. Architects need patrons and composers need orchestras. Actors, singers and musicians require audiences , and a writer may be rewritten by editors. But there is not much anyone can do to improve a photograph when it leaves my hands. Photographers are a bit like sculptors, in this way." I asked John if he had a favorite photograph. He said no, but he did have a favorite subject. Georgia O'Keeffe. He felt her husband Alfred Stieglitz had a hand in how she instinctly addressed the camera. I asked John if he had advice for a young person intent on going into photography. "Don't," he said. And if they didn't take his advice? "They must be crazy. But if they're crazy enough they will succeed." -Bob Sharpe
Kathleen Fitzgerald-Davis 9/15/05
Kathleen Fitzgerald says of her book DIVAS,DAMES & DOLLS "This collection of portraits and verbal snapshots is a celebration of the 'female spirit' and a tribute to the diversity and strength of women'. It salutes the ordinary yet remarkable lives of fifty-seven older women. As individuals, they couldn't be more different. Some stand out because of their actions in life; others. because of their attitude toward it. Some stood behind a man; others, in front of one. Some remained single by choice; others by chance. Some gave birth to children;others, to ideas. Some worry about money; others seldom think about it. some have overcome serious health problems' a few have never been sick a day in their lives. Some are quiet and shy; others, feisty, gutsy, and always the life of the party. Some stayed happily married for sixty years; others married six times." This remarkable photographic and journalistic journey is the result of a "girls night out"five years ago discussing"what to expect as we grow older". This,by a women married over 30 years with two grown daughters who didn't take up photography until she was 40 (who on her first venture to the darkroom turned on the light). She subsequently studied at The Center for Arts in Pittsburgh, the ICP and The School of Visual Arts in New York. So how does Kathleen find time to speak to the PAI? Our good fortune.-Bob Sharpe
Joe McNally 6/16/05
When Joe McNally last spoke to the PAI February of 2002, 87 of his giant 40"x80" Polaroids of fireman, policemen, medical workers, searchers and survivors of 9/11 still hung in Grand Central Station's Vanderbilt Hall. Certainly one of the most moving and memorable documents of that time. Joe has just returned from following the New York City Opera to Japan. From tragedy to entertainment. His career spans it all. From a picture of a hulking body builder with a 15 foot python slung across his shoulders to a portrait of Gorbachev. From his 32 page cover story "The Future of Flying" for National Geographic (its first all digital story) in 2003 to his recent major portfolio on young, upcoming, athletic players,for Golf Digest, he seems to have seen and done it all. When I asked him how he approached each new subject he replied,"As a novice. I try to approach each asignment with a fresh eye...the way a reader might see it. If I can approach it with a sense of enthusiasm and discovery I feel I've done my job." Joe McNally became a contract photographer for Sports Illustrated in 1985. Then went on to shoot cover stories for Time, Life, Newsweek, National Geographic, Fortune, New York Magazine and GEO. In 1994 he became the first staff photographer hired by Life in over 23yrs, which lasted three years, longer than he thought it would. It is ironic that Life sponsored the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for outstanding magazine photography which Joe won in 1998. That very same week Life fired him. Such is corporate life. And what is freelance work like now? There are "tons of outlets" he says. But the time is called by time, money, preconceptions and fear. People are afraid to gamble. They want to see the pictures before they are taken. They hire you because of your ability, and then want to know exactly what you're going to do and how long it will take. Creativity doesn't work that way. We are privileged to have Joe McNally speak to us once again and show his work. I could go on to list the awards he has won but we haven't got enough pages.-Bob Sharpe
Vincent Laforet 5/19/05
If you look at the front page of The New York Times or the front page of any section, be it Metro, Sports, Buisness or Art, you may well see a multi-column picture with the by-line Vincent Laforet. One of the Times' youngest photographers, hovering around the age of 30, he is one of their most accomplished. Be it a long lens shot of the Queen Mary seen down a building lined street, a terrific basketball action shot, or a straight down aerial view of summer strollers in Central Park, they bear the same fresh sense of drama. Vincent was born in France and came to America with his mother when he was five. His father, a professional photographer with Gamma in Paris, handed him a Nikon F3 and some rolls of Tri-X when he was 15. He tried it out at the Louvre and from then on he was hooked. He went to Northwestern University where he followed and photographed Michael Jordan on their winning football team, freelanced for Agent France Press wire service, the LA Times, the Miami Herald, and Reuters in Washington D.C. He joined the New York Times five years ago at the age of 25. He has a restless spirit and never likes to take the same picture twice. He likes being a "generalist", likes the varying assignments of a newspaper. He takes them as they come and tries to bring something new to each. From the White House to the Olympics, his work has been published in The Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Time, Life, Stern, and paris Match. His work has been recognized in the Pictures of the Year Competition. The Overseas Press Club, The national Headliners Awards, The Professional Hall of Fame. He and four other photographers were awarded the 2002 Pultzer Prize in Feature Photography for their post-9/11 coverage overseas. He has a one year old son and somehow manages to teach photojournalism at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. That he is able to squeeze in a PAI appearance is our good fortune.-Bob Sharpe
Duane Michals 4/21/05
Duane Michals is never one to follow trends, though he started many. In the 60s he began writing in longhand on his prints, even before Robert Frank. Because he has no faith in the decisive moments of Cartier Bresson, he often does images in series. Note,"Chance Meeting" a six image series of two men passing each other in a noarrow alleyway, turning to look back at each other in successive frames. Or a radical way of dealing with Nobel Prize winner Heisenberg's theory of uncertainty for French Vogue's issue on physics. He used a mirror, much as Lewis Carroll might have done, to reflect a young woman's face. Except the mirror reflects her face with progressive distortion until it completely disappears. As the writer Rosa Olivares comments in her interview with him, "It is his imagination and ability to use what we see to enter a world which cannot be seen."
Duane Michals was born in Mckeevesport, Pa. the son of a steel worker, whose father before him was a steel worker. He says, "I have done everything in photography, absolutely everything. I once made my living as a commercial photographer but I've never been a business, never had a studio, I have no staff, I do everything myself. I didn't want to be Richard Avedon. I didn't want 20 employes. But doing jobs has given me the luxury to do what I wanted." He has exhibited every where and has created over 20 books. He will challenge our assumtions and snap us to attention.-Bob Sharpe
Alan Dorow of Tango Interactive created SiteWelder to give creative talent an opportunity to display their works 24/7 on the web. Site Welder allows artists, gallery owners, and illustrators to create their own web site from any computer with the flexibility to change images, type fonts, and create image galleries, and bios as needed.
The great news is now you do not have to be a web designer or know html, and you can build your own site with over 250 graphic templates/themes and variety of colors to suit your needs. No special software is needed - you can log on from your Mac or PC.
You can showcase your work at a modest price and gain access to the world wide internet selling your talents any where efficiently. if your inclined to sell prints of your work - a pay pal account can be set up for credit card sales almost instantly. SiteWelder is hosted by secure servers at Equinix.net, one of the premier hosting facilities. Your site can be indexed in Google, Yahoo, and MSN. . Another feature - random page gallery display changes on every new visit giving your site a new look. Multiple type fonts enable you to choose the type size and style. The bottom line is you are in control of the content and appearance of your site. Your logo can be integrated into your site and changes can be made securely as needed. There will be a follow up Q & A session after Alan's presentation. This program is brought to you as a response to our members questions and suggestions on marketing their work. Tango Interactive has created web projects for PDN Online, Kodak, Musarium, ASMP-Philly, ASMP Western NY, DC Photographers, ASPP and others.-Randy Duchaine
Tony Vaccaro 2/17/05
During World War Two Tony Vaccaro carried a rifle and a camera. The camera was his own as he was just an infantry man. He killed with the rifle and recorded what he saw with his Argus C-3. He saw both Germans and Americans fall. Those images were burned in his memory and helped shape his future in photography.
For four years after the war he walked in isolation, unable to make close contact with others, unable to forgive himself. Until he fell in love with a woman who helped transform him into a human being again.
Strange as it may sound he left the 9,000 war scenes he had captured and turned to fashion. Fleur Cowles, founder and editor of Flair Magazine saw his combat images and hired him as her chief photographer. but instead of photographing the Ford models in the studio, he took them to locations around Manhattan. Instead of the cold, remote images of haute couture, he photographed them as human beings, as wives and mothers. For several years he brought his warm, human look to images for LOOK and QUICK, the other Cowles publications.
In 1953 he moved to LIFE magazine and was sent to Rome where he photographed De Sica, Fellini, Anna Magnani, Sophia Loren as well as artists like Burri, Afron and De Chirco.....all in the same spontaneous style he had developed at FLAIR. But the demise of LIFE and LOOK in the early 1970's forced his career in another direction.
Tony 's career has led to books, uncounted awards, France's Legion of Honor among them, as well over 100 exhibitions throughout Europe. Space prohibits more about his prolific career.-Bob Sharpe
Jay Maisel 1/20/05
If you "Google" Jay Maisel, you'll come up with 8100 hits! This is a man with many honors to his name. Among his awards are the ASMP and PPA Life time Achievement awards. ASMP Photographer of the Year, and International Center of Photography's Infinity Award. He is also in the Art Directors Hall of Fame. He conducts workshops and lectures around the world, and his pictures are in both corporate and museum collections. Two of his recent books are Jay Maisel's New York and A Tribute, about the World Trade Center.
I met Jay in 1955, at Columbia Records office. We were both shooting record covers. Jay started a little earlier working for DANCE magazine and he also did a memorable pharmaceutical assignment by gathering his friends as models and shooting in an abandoned public school to simulate an insane asylum. Jay's strength as a photographer is his terrific eye and the ability to discover new meaning in scenes that we've all seen but never captured in the same way. He shoots constantly and talks about the necessity of doing visual pushups every day.
Jay will show us his new work, which for several years has been totally digital. His transition from film to pixels has been seamless, because his concerns have always been light, gesture, and color and not that much concern for technical nuts and bolts. It promise to be a good show.-Al Francekevich