Saturday, March 31, 2007


I subscribe to Mental Floss for fun and here's today's post (Sadly I cannot get the links to work for the citations). I love the idea of shoefetti and it brings to mind the fabulous poster What Does It All Mean by Chicagrapher Jonathan Gitelson. I guess I fall into the category of photolurker on celephotoblogs or a (drum roll please) celephotolurker. I had just considered myself a blurker; def. one who regularly reads photoblogs, without commenting.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Photocentric 2007

Surface series, Sonja Thomsen

My friend, teacher and mentor Sonja Thomsen's work is included in the Minnesota Center for Photography's Photocentric 2007 this weekend through May 31. This juried biennial has an amazing group of midwestern photographers showing that make me proud to be from the geographic "center" of the country. If you can get to Minneapolis to enjoy this, do it.

Photocentric 2007 helps us develop a better picture of the circle we're the center of, a circle that offers a new view of what constitutes the "Midwest."

Jon Naiman

Joerg at Conscientious has posted that we must make up our minds ourselves about Jon Naiman's work, he doesn't know what to make of it. I am particularly taken with the Plain Air and Flatline projects, although I'm not sure that Plain Air isn't a one or two time punchline as opposed to a project. As Joerg said, go look for yourself.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

There is more than one way

to get your work hung in a museum. Bypassing the whole acquisitions struggle this toy takes your images from flickr and puts them in a museum setting of your choice. I may mount a major retrospective. These folks are certainly taken with my diptych. Notice the women's heads leaning in as they make appreciative, and no doubt pithy, comments. I have every confidence they are going from here directly to the gift shop for the beautifully printed catalogue. I feel better about my portfolio review already! Use this whenever you're feeling down about your own work.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What makes a great photo

soldier: Claxton Suzanne Opton
I've asked nicely in the past but now you MUST follow this link and go to Joerg Colberg's Conscientious. Also see what Amy Stein and Christian Patterson and Mrs Deane have weighed in with. Good lord it's days like this when I love the web.

For me it is when those things the artist can control and those he/she can't come together there is something that happens that upon viewing, is palpable. As Lovejoy would say a gong goes off in your chest.

"It won't sell."

I had my first portfolio review Saturday. The good news is I wasn't planning on making a living at this. Also, if Thomas Kincaid is the most successful artist in the country with 2.4 billion dollars in work and licensed product sales, I guess I feel pleased.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Good prices, good service

I was in need of portfolio boxes and wasn't happy with the shipping charges at the place I have usually used. I did a Google search and found Archival Methods and have been very impressed with their prices and service. The items I ordered were shipped same day and two day shipping was only $8. Plus they have the wonderful portfolios pictured above, sadly they're only 1 inch deep. Just thought I'd pass it along.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

These kids today...

"While it has been my observation
that art photography is more about presenting the collected (hunting) while
photojournalism is more about collecting the presented (gathering), this may be
an overly simplistic reduction; I do not mean to imply that art photographers
only hunt and photojournalists only gather. Such a statement would be ignoring
some of the best photography out there, as some of my favorite photographers
possess the distinct ability to marry the two."

Megan Bigelow, The fStop

And they say these kids today don't know anything. Go read for yourself.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Nearly 4 feet

The CineMassive MasterPlex 21T. Now this is my idea of a monitor. There's no such thing as too much space.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A day late

Land Between the Lakes 2006

I missed the first day of spring. We don't have flowers yet but the thunderstorms yesterday and last night have turned the grass green overnight.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Deutsche Borse Photography Prize

Walid Raad/The Atlas Group has won the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize for 2007, the largest prize in photography offered, at $60,000 give or take depending on the exchange rate. Black and white. Interesting.

"Undertaken between 1989 and 2004, The Atlas Group is a project to research and document the contemporary history of Lebanon. In this project the authenticity of photographic and video documents in the ‘archive’ are queried leaving the viewer uncertain as to how history - in particular one marked by the trauma of civil war - can be told and visually represented. Appearing to be based on one person’s memories, it also draw on cultural fantasies constructed from the material of the collective memory."

When you're not looking

is when you find things. A post on the aforementioned the fStop took me to a blog regrettably named I heart photograph. However there is interesting work to see so I'll overlook it (Look who's talking. When I tell most people my blog name they look at me as if I drown kittens and eat babies. But then most people aren't into my brand of irony). I found this post which caught my eye as I am counting down to my first portfolio review this weekend. With my horse project in tow. If you don't make it through the links all of the above is the work of Catherine Sundqvist, an award winning Swedish fashion photographer. The work is commentary on the objectification of women in the fashion industry. It's a bit interesting to me that the horse in the images is an Arab. I don't know about Sweden, but in the United States the most objectified horse is the Arab. They actually put make-up and hair extentions on them to show. Ironic.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Back to school

Class started last night. I am taking another 8 week continuing education class at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design; Shoot and Critique. 8 weeks of needing to produce 10 new pieces of work each week. This is the third time I have taken it and two other students (who have become friends) who are on their third and fourth sessions and I were joking last night that it's a little like reincarnation. You have to keep coming back until you get it right. Daunting? You betcha! Satisfying? Ditto. It is an extraordinary opportunity to stretch, a great form of discipline, and a strong exercise in editing. The instructor is the unfailingly amazing Sonja Thomsen.
After all the classes I have taken there I am starting to feel right at home. I"m beginning to realize the undergraduate experience is a little difficult for Art School students. School colors? All of the above? Mascot? The Fighting Erasers? Hail alma mater, smocks off to you?
There is a possibility this means I will begin posting more of my own work. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March Madness

Sadly the Badgers just lost their NCAA bid for the Sweet 16. Amy Stein and Alec Soth have both posted this bit of distraction from Chad Muthard. Alec can't get past Nixon vs. Mann in the first round, Amy is picking Sternfeld, Evans, Wall & Arbus for the Final Four. I'm going to print out the PDF and ponder my picks.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


the f-Stop, a group blog by photography students, pointed me to Dashwood Books today. The post spoke of a nice visit to the East Village, New York store. The good news for most of us, however, is a wonderful web site for browsing or purchasing. It isn't nearly as satisfying a shopping trip, no doubt, but at the end of the day you still have the opportunity to own one or several of these beauties. Michael Kenna, Larry Sultan, Jason Fulford... I even found Traffic by Jean Christian Bourcart which I presume would include the portrait that has haunted me. This is a site to bookmark.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Shelby Lee Adams

Shithead the Pony with Noble family, '03

"My greatest fear as a photographer is to look into the eyes of my subject and not see my own reflection."

In the midst of ongoing computer mayhem I am horrified to discover that I cannot find the blog entry that called the work of Shelby Lee Adams to my attention. I apologize. I want to give credit where it is due and at the very least don't want to mislead that I have made discoveries when I haven't. This blog so far has been more of a conduit to bring what I am finding to those that don't have the time or inclination to do the looking.
The respect and honesty with which he seems to have made these pictures is palpable to me. Perhaps it's my father's Southern roots but looking through them I can hear the bugs singing and feel the humidity.
The image above from his Shelby's new work really grabbed me. I very nearly had several fingers taken off, and ended up having to have my wedding ring cut off, after being bitten by a pony with the same look in its eye. Shithead indeed.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Tip of the Tongue

If you are, like me, schooled in the magic of
photography's willful embrace of luck, mistakes, and happenstance, you view the
art world's partial endorsement of this bastard form with some suspicion.

Charlotte Cotton

Tim Atherton and Joerg Colberg both posted last week about a new site, Tip of the Tongue. I encourage you to check out this fairly new foray into contemporary photography as fine art. Essays, lively discussion, a diverse group of collaborators. The web as a repository for knowledge, stimulating thought, and discussion never ceases to amaze me.

This month's essay by Charlotte Cotton, author of "The Photograph as Contemporary Art", is titled The New Color: The Return of Black-and-White. It is also available as a PDF for download and printing.

This looks to be a venture well worth keeping an eye on.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


It seems I have entered a vortex of electronics mayhem. Is it the Y2K effect of the early Daylight Saving time adjustment? Is it sun spots? Is it a coincidence?
Friday my husband tried to get a new music system up and running at his office. The smell of burning plastic is not a good thing coming from one's amplifier. Saturday, new bigger, better, more expensive amplifier...smoke. I purchased a new, big fancy monitor...4 calls to tech support later it is back in the box and going back to the manufacturer. I am on a deadline and need to just get 3 more prints computer seems to have once and for all developed schizophrenia. I went to pull the laundry out of the washer and move it to the dryer and it seems to have stopped mid cycle. Much button pushing and finally pulling the plug (the appliance version of a hard shutdown) later it finished the cycle. Let me say I was at this point a little fearful of getting on the treadmill.
I hope to have a better week and get back to regular posting. I am being very very nice to my laptop.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I am so excited when...

I am introduced to the work of a photographer I am unfamiliar with. Be Still Please is a wonderful blog and today he introduced me to Todd Hido. Be sure to follow the link (Be Still Please) to view the short video of Todd working by KQED. I am particularly captivated by the Homes at Night photographs. The poem by A.M. Homes (above) is from his site under information>writings. What a pleasure.

Friday, March 2, 2007


Brian Ulrich invented "agraphy" with Chicagraphy about a month ago. If I weren't so lazy I would go and check to see when the actual first post was, but if you're looking for accuracy you may go look yourself. Since then there has been a storm of "agraphers" from Minneagrapher to Alaskagrapher. Amy Elkins is an amazing young photographer and blogger who has determined that there must be a home for the up/un rooted and has established

Take a moment to check it all out. It is remarkable work and remarkable fun all at once. It is also heartening to see the "collective" notion floating again.