Every Building on the Sunset Strip copyright 1966 Ed Ruscha
Currently OCMA (Orange County Museum of Art) is exhibiting Pop Art Design and included are a few works by Ed Ruscha, but probably the most photographically interesting is a very long display of Ed Ruscha’s 1966 creative photobook Every Building on the Sunset Strip.
This was a deadpan photographic project in which a 35mm motor-drive camera was load with a bulk feed and photographed the adjacent buildings while driving up and then back down Sunset Blvd, which was commonly called the Sunset Strip. The resulting photobook then takes advantage of the street name’s pun by creating a long continuous strip of images. On the top of the page is one side of the street and below this in reverse is the other side of this street.
This photobook design was very innovative for its time with stiff covers and the interior was bound to display as an accordion (also known as Leporello and Concertinas) layout, which is to say each page was connected and continuous. A very long strip of photographic images. My photographs of this exhibit were a grab shot and do not do it very much justice, thus go check it out and see the real thing!
The OCMA exhibition runs thru April 2nd, 2017.
The early-bird registration discount of 20% for my Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop that I will be leading next April over two weekends will be ending midnight this Saturday, December 17th. This creative workshop is sponsored by Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP). So if you plan to be in the Southern California area (aka best-coast), time to check this workshop out and take advantage of this discount.
Could also be a wonderful Christmas present for someone special ;- )
your wonderful Editor.
Copyright 2014 Jason Fulford & Gregory Halpern published by Aperture
While in Santa Fe last month and visiting the photo-eye book store, I had an opportunity to purchase a copy of Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern’s book The Photographer’s Playbook. The subtitle reveals the essentials of this book; 307 (photographic) Assignments and Ideas, which are distilled from 307 photographers, curators, photographic academia and workshop leaders, including Aline Smithson, Mark Steinmetz, Jim Goldberg, Stephen Shore, John Gossage and many more. From my perspective, this book draws heavily on a few photographic academia programs for BFA and MFA photographic degrees.
It appears that the book is focused on young and inexperienced photographers who are searching for the reason to be a fine art photographer (as part of a BFA/MFA program) or for a photographer who is stuck in a dry spell as to how to find conceptual ideas to development next. If you have the technical side of photography down then working through a bunch of these assignments could provide you with an equivalent BFA/MFA education as to the conceptual projects you work on. What may be missing is the group critiques offered in the academic programs and instructors that might challenge you (alternatively a best friend that can continue to say “No, try again, dig deeper”). So find a small group photographic/artist peers that you can count on to be candid and talk/show the work/assignments, a group who can say “Very cool, I see where you are going, keep at it, dig deeper”
To be candid, there are some ideas within this book that are similar to other ideas I have developed over the years to help me consider photographic options and move my concepts forward. I will continue to write about some of them, such as my post earlier this morning about experiment-play (games), a frequent idea (27 different variations) that is recommended in this book. In my case, experiment-play was what I was doing that led me to my Memory Pods project that I have been working on for just about three years. Recently, experiment-play is what inspired me to start the Middle Ground (aka Life in the Slow Lane) project earlier this year.
To be fully transparent, as a portfolio reviewer for LensCulture, we also provide some resource recommendations as part of the portfolio review and this book is one that I recommend to photographers who have a photo technique but appear to looking for a project to apply their process. Recommended!
Douglas Stockdale, Editor
(originally posted on Singular Images)
LensCulture is now offering a FREE download (pdf) for their recent 2017 guide to help with gaining exposure for you fine art photographs, available here
I will have to admit that since I now work for lensCulture, I have a bit of a basis ;- )
Nevertheless, go check it out and I would like to hear back from you as to whether you think if this guide will make a difference for you in 2017.
Your truly, the Editor
To view or download:
I especially recommend the workshop on Photobook Design by our own Doug Stockdale, April 1 and 8, 10-6:
I also have taken workshops with Aline Smithson, Ken Merfeld, Phil Borges, and Nevada Wier; they are fabulous, as are others!
Frida Kahlo – Her Photos will open February 25, 2017.
The Bowers Museum is located at the corner of 20th & Main Streets in Santa Ana – one minute from the 5 freeway, (Main St. South exit) and just minutes from the 57, 55 and 22 freeways. Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 – 4. Closed Thanksgiving. For additional exhibits and further information, please check http://www.bowers.org/index.php.
Ten things I got out of just a few hours of attendance (I highly recommend a more extended visit for future years):
- A useful escape from the tedium of the current election campaign!
- Sharing an informal atmosphere that was very conducive to informal conversations.
- A chance to talk at length about photography and creativity with such super talents as Douglas Stockdale, Susan Burnstine, Barbara Kyne, and others.
- Checking out and purchasing the work of some of the finest creators of current photobooks — see the links in my previous post for details:
- Conversing with the Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park, San Diego.
- Finding out about innovative MFA programs, especially the one at the University of Hartford. Erica Ann Flood displayed and discussed some of the creative photobooks of their graduates. They are given close scrutiny by Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin and Doug Stockdale as shown below.
- Catching up with old friends.
- Making some new friends.
- Interesting presentations and other events.
- A good feeling supporting each other as a photographic community.
Hope to see you there next year!
© Douglas Stockdale; the others © Gerhard Clausing
This year the Medium Festival of Photography will take place October 20-23, 2016, at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego. This week of events, lectures, portfolio reviews, and book signings promises to be an exciting experience!
Registration open now through October 9.
More details at: http://mediumsandiego.org/
Highlights of the Festival Lineup
All events take place at the Lafayette Hotel unless otherwise noted.
Thursday, Oct. 20
9:00 am – 5:00 pm Eye to Eye Portfolio Reviews (by appointment only)
7:00 – 9:00 pm Open Portfolio Walk (FREE!)
Friday, Oct. 21
9:00 am – 5:00 pm Eye to Eye Portfolio Reviews (by appointment only)
6:00 – 7:00 pm VIP Reception (VIP and Big Pass Holders only)
7:00 – 8:00 pm Keynote Lecture with Penelope Umbrico
8:00 – 10:00 pm Book Signing and reception with Penelope Umbrico
Saturday, Oct. 22
10:00 am – 3:00 pm FLASH! Pop-Up Shop
11:00 am Susan Rankaitis lecture
12:00pm Susan Burnstine book signing (FREE!)
12:00pm Michael Lundgren book signing (FREE!)
1:30 pm Patrick Nagatani lecture
3:00 pm Marisa Scheinfeld lecture
4:00pm Marisa Scheinfeld book signing (FREE!)
4:30 pm Vincent Cianni lecture
5:30pm Vincent Cianni book signing (FREE!)
7:00 pm Size Matters exhibition reception at Low Gallery (FREE!)
7:00 pm OpenShow San Diego
8:00 pm Daylight Books Fall book launch and signing (FREE!)
Sunday, Oct. 23
9:30 am Collecting Contemporary Photography (roundtable discussion)
10:00 am – 3:00 pm FLASH! Pop-Up Shop
11:00 am Matt Eich lecture
1:30 pm Wayne Martin Belger lecture
At the August meeting, I briefly discussed the American photographer William Mortensen (1897-1965) as one of the artists who has inspired my work. He was fiercely maligned and ostracized in the second half of his career, especially by Ansel Adams, and generally by “straight,” i.e., less manipulative practitioners, such as Group f/64, labeled “straight” in contrast to the “pictorialist” photographers, and by the East Coast art establishment of the time. This exclusion from important exhibitions and history of photography books drove Mortensen to the point of returning to painting in his last few years. Having published more than a dozen highly popular photography textbooks and instructional pamphlets from the 1930s to the 1960s, he was much less well known after his death, but is now enjoying a revival. Some of you wanted to know more about this innovative precursor of the digital era, and so I thought I would start the discussion here.
Mortensen began his career as a set photographer and mask maker in Hollywood and later ran his own popular studio and photography school in Laguna Beach, California. He was particularly known for his discussions and implementation of various techniques to enhance the final prints in chemical and physical ways (now made so much easier with digital techniques). Since some of his images appealed to popular tastes, such as the pinup style, while others delved into the extremely pictorial subject matter, even toward what we might consider kitsch, and at times included esoteric mythology and grotesque elements, he was highly controversial.
To illustrate the range of his work in just one category, I am showing four items from my collection: An early nude from the 1920s created in his Wescosco Studio period, the cover of the Know your Negative pamphlet (1954), and two of his signature images, “Caprice Vennois” and “Mutual Admiration.”
I especially recommend Monsters and Madonnas. A Book of Methods (San Francisco: Camera Craft, 1936), The Command to Look (San Francisco: Camera Craft, 1937, reprinted and expanded by Feral House in 2014), William Mortensen: A Revival (Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Center for Creative Photography, 1998), and American Grotesque—The Life and Art of William Mortensen (Port Townsend, WA: Feral House, 2014). If you would like me to review any of these, please let me know.
Outing copyright Gerhard Clausing
Day of the Dead Performer copyright Jim McKinniss
SouthEast Center for Photography (SEC4P) exhibition – “Masks”
The exhibition dates are the month of October, 2016 and the opening reception for this exhibition is October 7th, from 6-9pm
Juror for “Masks” is Aline Smithson, photographer and founder of Lenscratch.
Exhibition concept: We all wear masks. Halloween, Mardi Gras, at work we are one person, while at home, another and with friends we have yet more masks to choose from.
Members of the PhotoExchange included in this group exhibition are Jim McKinniss and Gerhard Clausing.
SouthEast Center for Photography is located at 1239 Pendleton St., Greenville, SC 29611