Archive for July, 2007

Agency VII: Call for Portfolios for Membership, deadline September 30

The following has been posted on Agency VII‘s website:

VII is welcoming applications for membership during its forthcoming semi-annual meeting in California in November 2007.

Anyone may apply for membership, but membership will be offered to a small number of motivated photographers who we believe will enhance and strengthen the body of work that we currently produce; to photographers whom we believe we can work with in the management of VII; and to photographers whom we believe have high standards of integrity.

As VII is solely owned by its members, it comes with shareholder responsibility. New members will spend at least one year with VII before full membership is offered. All members will be obliged to purchase shares, attend shareholders meetings and contribute dynamically and responsibly to the business of the agency.

Candidates are considered by the existing members only during the VII annual (or semi-annual) meetings and should submit work on DVD or CD in Jpeg Format compressed at level 8 and at a size no greater than 100 dpi x 16 x 12 inches. No more than 40 images should be submitted and each image should have caption and contextual information embedded in it. Each photographer should submit a brief biography, and tell us what their future intentions are professionally and what motivates them to want to join VII. The submissions should be delivered to one of our bureaus in either New York, or Paris by September 30th, and clearly marked “SUBMISSION FOR VII MEMBERSHIP”

For more information, please visit our website at

The current roster of members includes:
Alexandra Boulat
Lauren Greenfield
Ron Haviv
Gary Knight
Antonin Kratochvil
Joachim Ladefoged
Christopher Morris
James Nachtwey
Eugene Richards
John Stanmeyer.

From the website:


VII derives its name from the number of founding photo-journalists who, in September 2001, formed this collectively owned agency. Designed from the outset to be an efficient, technologically enabled distribution hub for some of the world’s finest photojournalism, VII has been responsible for creating and relaying to the world many of the images that define the turbulent opening years of the 21st century.

Alexandra Boulat, Ron Haviv, Gary Knight, Antonin Kratochvil, Christopher Morris, James Nachtwey and John Stanmeyer were joined in 2002 by Lauren Greenfield and in 2004 by Joachim Ladefoged. Eugene Richards joined in April 2006. Together they document conflict – environmental, social and political, both violent and non-violent – to produce an unflinching record of the injustices created and experienced by people caught up in the events they describe.

On September 9th 2001, VII announced its formation. On the following night, covering for the missed return flight of a colleague, James Nachtwey arrived at his Manhattan apartment close to the World Trade Center. The next morning, he photographed some of the most haunting pictures of the collapse of the towers, at the same time eloquently conveying the destruction of a way of life.

While the stark realities of the battlefield loom large, VII turns its gaze with equal intensity to more subtle forms of conflict and documenting the changes and development of society and culture worldwide. The work of Lauren Greenfield, particularly in her social documentary of youth culture and gender identity, adds a further perspective and depth to the work of the agency

But this is not merely artfully captured, neutral observation; nor is it the doctrinaire elaboration of a political or social position. Each photographer is inspired by an array of often very different motivations, and it is from this breadth of reference that the agency draws its originality and strength. What unites VII’s work is a sense that, in the act of communication at the very least, all is not lost; the seeds of hope and resolution inform even the darkest records of inhumanity; reparation is always possible; despair is never absolute.”

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Carroll T. (“Ted”) Hartwell 1933-2007

Sadly, another of my mentors has died. Ted Hartwell was the founding curator of the photography department at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Ted suffered a major stroke last Thursday and sadly he did not recover; his obituary is posted here. As was the case for other senior members of our curatorial community, Ted was the photographer at the museum, and when a local collector donated a full set of Camera Work in the late ’60’s, they turned to Ted for guidance. Under his direction the collection grew to more than 10,000 objects. I can’t tell you how exciting it was for a young high school kid (me) to see the Richard Avedon portrait retrospective that Ted organized in 1970. Avedon, along with the famed designer Marvin Israel and photographer Diane Arbus traveled to Minneapolis to install the show, tranforming the pillared institution with black and silver paint within the featured galleries. As Ted later told me, this trio of friends toured the “seedier” parts of the city in a black limosine, giving out sought-after invitations to the private black-tie opening for the show. The contact sheets from Ted’s photographs documenting that night’s gala tell the story – the wildest mixed with the museum trustees – a very colorful event. Before heading to Arizona for graduate school I got up the nerve to call and make an appointment to meet Ted, telling him what my plan was and that it was hot in the summers there… might I come home and intern at the museum in exchange for college credit? to which he replied “We’re working on an NEA Publications Grant right now – why don’t we put your name in as a Research Assistant so that if we get the grant, you get a job!” They got the grant, and I scored a job in the department during summer/winter academic breaks. Perfect! I swear it was so exciting going through those doors of the museum to work. My task was to contact the photographers in the collection and update their files towards what was to become “The Making Of A Collection: Photographs From The Minneapolis Institute of Arts” (Aperture, 1984). Those were my ‘formative’ years, gaining real insights into what constituted a body of work, how to consider and talk about photography. Amazingly, Ted let me organize an exhibition of photographs from the MIA collection representing the period 1950-present and travel it to Northlight Gallery at ASU (coinciding with Professor Bill Jay‘s general photohistory seminar period for that last semester of my studies), the catalogue for which became my thesis project, published as an issue of Northlight Magazine. Ted honored me by keeping the exhibition intact and touring it within the midwest for a number of years. It was during this period that I met so many artists, curators, collectors, photo historians and more, not the least of whom was Ansel Adams; MIA had purchased a museum set and the Photographs Council brought Ansel to Minneapolis to give a public lecture in conjuction with that acquisition and exhibition. (Little did I know then, but Ansel was to become my next mentor.)

Ted was not just my first boss in the industry, but I count him as one of my best teachers. I spoke to that within this foreword I wrote entitled “INFLUENCE and INSPIRATION” for the book “Teaching Photography: Tools for the Imaging Educator” (Glenn Rand and Richard Zakia, Focal Press, 2006):
“Our responsibility as teachers and mentors is a serious one, particularly for students who demonstrate sincere interest in professional growth and who seek tutelage. I am fortunate to have been mentored by respected members of our industry, and in turn, to mentor emerging professionals. Carroll T. Hartwell, Curator of Photography, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and later Janet Borden, then Director of the Robert Freidus Gallery in NYC, both helped me understand the full arc of an artist’s career, and the important role curators and gallerists play within this cycle. I strive to provide my interns and students with a professional, well-rounded orientation to our profession and the important roles they can perform as they mature. I urge everyone to bring a sincere commitment to your function in education, remembering those who helped you learn and grow through your life. If an internship program placing your students with professionals does not exist, establish one. Whether they ultimately make their living with cameras or with photographs, this window on professional life in our field will serve your students and program well. ”

Ted developed a real love for documentary photography and photojournalism, heralding the work of Lewis Hine to Jerome Liebling, to Gilles Peress and other Magnum photographers, whom he came to know as the Agency was approaching it’s 40th anniversary and I was planning for books and exhibitions that Ted became involved with. In the past 30+ years Ted had given many midwest photographers their first museum exhibitions. Ted was an early advocate of the computer as a learning tool in museum galleries, and I encourage you to view the departments “Get The Picture” on-line learning component here, and don’t miss the related resources compiled on each featured photographer; additionally, I know you will enjoy the PHOTOGRAPHS section on MIA’s website – click here to view over 4000 images representing the work of over 500 images; it has an “add to my collection” feature for the dreamer in all of us.

In 2003, Ted organized an exhibition honoring the life and work of Werner Bischof, and Minnesota Public Radio did a piece on the show; to read/listen to the piece, click here. It’s ‘classic’ Ted speaking about the value of learning about world history through learning about the life of a photographer, and the value of the CD-Rom as an engaging teaching tool. Don’t miss listening to this piece.

Currently on view in the department is a two-part exhibition celebrating the gifts to the collection of Frederick B. Scheel, entitled “The Search To See.” demonstrating yet again the relationships Ted established with the community and the resulting donations to the collection.

Ted had recently finished selecting work for was a major exhibition and book project on the Minnesota images of Thomas Frederick Arndt, a project I hope will still be mounted at the at the MIA. (You can view 217 images of Tom’s photographs on that link to the MIA Photography Department website).

In 2005 the department’s associate curator Christian Peterson mounted an exhibition entitled “Fabulous Photographic Ephemera” that celebrated the history of our field, but also, the history of the department, putting on view many archive objects and significant correspondence from its then 30+ years. Another wonderful MPR piece can be read/heard here. I hope many of you had the chance to see Christian’s interesting exhibition and congratulate Ted for all he had done for photography in our home town, and beyond. He changed my life for good back in 1970, I can tell you that.

This has been a tough week, made a tiny bit easier by, as Stuart Klipper wrote me this morning, “the circling of the wagons” of old friends. No more mentors are allowed to leave. Not yet. I’m still learning from you.

And, last but not least, as with my remembrance of John Szarkowski from yesterday, photographer Keri Pickett has posted an image of Ted here, looking so happy, surrounded by his beloved books and prints. ©2005 Keri Pickett

PS to my readers: friend and fellow Minnesotan Alec Soth posted his remembrance of Ted on his blog tonight. Not to be missed.

And, today 7/22/07, the Minneapolis StarTribune featured a tribute to Ted; click here to read the article by Mary Abbe.

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John Szarkowski, 1925-2007

Sadly, we have lost one of our greatest contributors to our field.

His obituary , written by Philip Gefter, is a wonderful tribute to John; it is posted on the New York Times website.

I hope all of you had the pleasure of seeing his retrospective exhibition JOHN SZARKOWSKI: PHOTOGRAPHS organized in 2005 by SFMoMA which traveled to the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the Milwaukee Art Museum, MoMA in NYC and ended the tour at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in September of 2006. Bullfinch published the catalogue. I attended a booksigning for John at MoMA during the exhibition and when it was time for him to sign my book, he said “you know, Swanee, if I sign just my name it will be worth more money” to which I replied “I’m buying it for love, John, not for money!”

Keri Pickett, photographer and friend from Minneapolis, was with me that day, and shot this great photo of John. She’s out of the country right now but posted it here. ©Keri Pickett,2006.

I had the good fortune to meet John early on in my career, when I was fresh out of grad school, heading education programs in Carmel, California at The Friends of Photography. I was seated next to John at Ansel’s 80th birthday bash, and as a midwest gal, I knew that talking fishing and our mutual love of lake country would be in order. Later, when he’d retired from MoMA he visited Tucson in the 1990’s to photograph and to research in the Archive at the CCP, he would drop by our humble Swanstock offices (sharing space with Etherton Gallery in those days) and join my colleague Gordon Stettinius and I for lunch next door at Bowen & Bailey. Nothing but the fondest of memories, John. I will miss you.

A few other resources:

David Schonauer wrote a nice piece on John today on the American Photo blog “State of the Art.”

In 1999, Checkerboard Film Foundation produced a documentary on John called “A LIFE IN PHOTOGRAPHY” which is available in DVD and VHS formats.
From the Photo-eye website:
Featuring extensive interviews with John Szarkowski, Joel Meyerowitz, Thomas Roma, Peter Galassi, and Maria Morris Hambourg, this film boasts an in-depth discussion of the influential curator’s life and work covering several of his most essential publications and exhibitions. The first to champion the purely photographic properties of the medium, Szarkowski moved well beyond the age old debate over photography as art, securing instead a rigorous catalogue of twentieth century masters. Rewards repeat viewing. 47 minutes.”

To commemorate the centennial of Ansel’s birth, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art organized the exhibition “ANSEL ADAMS AT 100” by guest curator John Szarkowski. Don’t miss the website for this show, with an interactive feature. From the website: “Saturday, August 04, 2001 – Sunday, January 13, 2002: To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ansel Adams — one of San Francisco’s favorite sons — SFMOMA is proud to present an exhibition featuring over 100 images by the beloved photographer and naturalist. Organized for SFMOMA by guest curator John Szarkowski, Ansel Adams at 100 is the first important critical reevaluation of Adams’ art since his death in 1984; the exhibition presents an aesthetic reappraisal of Adams as artist and working photographer, highlighting his achievement as one of the century’s great modern artists.”

In 2005, Checkerboard Films also produced “SPEAKING OF ART: ANSEL ADAMS, JOHN SZARKOWSKI ON THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF ANSEL ADAMS” a 50-minute documentary film available in DVD format.

On February 10th, 2005, photographer Chris Rainier had a conversation with NPR‘s Alex Chadwick about John’s extraordinary vision; click here to enjoy this dialogue.

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Publishing Workshop: Chris Pichler and Dave Gardner at the Center for Photographic Arts, Carmel (August 25 & 26)

The Center for Photographic Arts is offering an amazing workshop on publishing the photobook, with two of the most gifted individuals in the fine art publishing industry. Dave Gardner has set the standard in fine printing for publication, and Chris Pichler has set the standard in book design and production. I can promise you an extraordinary experience to learn from these two gentlemen.

From the website:
“The workshop will focus on photography book publishing and printing. Chris Pichler, founder and publisher of Nazraeli Press, will discuss methods of putting together book dummies, submitting proposals to publishers, the relationship of images and words, and various types of books and bindings. David Gardner will discuss technical aspects of papers, printing and binding. Both Chris and David will be happy to meet with participants one-on-one to look at their work in the context of book publishing, and answer any questions about publishing and printing the participants may have.”

Don’t miss Dave’s recollections of working with Ansel Adams on YouTube: click here.
Click here to learn more, and register. This WILL sell out!

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5th Biennial APIS Conference in Santa Fe July 19-21, part of PhotoArts Santa Fe

APIS, the Alternative Photographic International Symposium, is a three-day event with speakers and demonstrations on antique and hand-coated photo processes, including the technical, artisti and experimental realms.

Honored Guest Speaker: RONDAL PARTRIDGE.
Kennote Speaker: KENRO IZU.

Additional offering lections, demonstrations and presentations:
Kim Weston, Ron Reeder, Joe Sarff, John Guilder, Dr. Dusan Stulik and Dr. Howard Efner.

On the Bostic and Sullivan website you can find links to download the brochure, see the daily schedule and lodging information, and register.

This event is just one of the components of PhotoArts Santa Fe, July 13-22nd.

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Results: Newspace Juried Exhibition “Among Us and Curious” now on view

Newspace Center for Photography in Portland Oregon has opened the 3rd Annual Juried Exhibition “AMONG US AND CURIOUS” and will remain on view through July 29th.

Juror DARIUS HIMES offered this statement:
“Photography in the early years of the 21st century is a panoply of diversity. The availability of picture-making devices is rampant. Different types of cameras–from the cell phone and the scanner to the view camera, the pinhole device and the hand held 35mm–are within the reach of anyone with an inkling of artistic interest. Independence of individual thought and action–that child of the moral revolutions and technological innovations of the 2oth century–permeate the Western world and have made in-roads to more closed societies. The sheer variety of images that we witness today is due more to a belief that ALL voices have a rightful place in the world than anything else. Filters and “the critical lens” are a necessity, now more than ever, when it comes to imbibing and coercing meaning from the sea of work out there.

Thirty-five images from thirty-two photographers are included in this show, culled from over 2,000 images. My approach to jurying this show was neither to survey the field and present a cross-section of “what’s happening” nor was it to award artists for the “Best Images in Show.” Rather, I looked at the work in front of me and allowed a loose narrative, an unspoken and enigmatic script to emerge. Each of the photographs included have their own merit and play a contributing role in the unity of the show. I chose the work of John Mann, Alex Emmons and Takako Kido to be the award recipients based on the strength and coherence of the 5 images they submitted, rather than just on the strength of the image(s) I decided to include. By excluding some photographs and including others, I sought to strengthen this overall group of images into a cohesive unity. Playfulness, mystery, fauna, fancy and the presence of others among us–these are all words that I hope will resonate in your minds as you view these wonderful, diverse pictures.”

The Newspace website lists all aphotographers included in the show, with links to their websites if available. Don’t miss the chance to see this interesting selection of images:

Kai Aitchison

Portland, OR

Aly Su Borst
Oakland, CA

Jessica Burko
Jamaica Plain, MA

John Caserta
Providence, RI

Andrew Cross
San Diego, CA

Grant Ernhart
San Francisco, CA

Martine Fougeron
New York, NY

Margo Geddes
Durango, CO

Jim Golden
Portland, OR

Jon Gottshall
Portland, OR

Patti Hallock
Brooklyn, NY

Sarah Henderson
Portland, OR

Amy Herman
Beverly Hills, MI

Nicole Jean Hill
Eureka, CA

Bridget Lacey
Crescent City, CA

Laurie Lambrecht
New York, NY

Dan Larkin
Rochester, NY

Monika Merva
Brooklyn, NY

Daniel Milnor
Costa Mesa, CA

Brad Moore
Laguna Beach, CA

Elaine Sakiris
Boston, MA

Betsy Schneider
Tempe, AZ

Julia Sherman
Los Angeles, CA

David Spagnolo
Sacramento, CA

Maura Sullivan
Brooklyn, NY

Ka-Man Tse
New York, NY

Daniel Traub
New York, NY

Alyssa Taylor Wendt
Brooklyn, NY

Bil Zelman
San Diego, CA

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Multimedia? It’s on the WWW – TODAY – LIVE EARTH

If you have had any doubts about the value of multimedia tools towards engaging new and diverse audiences, today’s broadcast of the Live Earth concerts should close the door on that discussion. It is incredible – the mix of music, information, and community involvement is outstanding. The short films too are not to be missed.

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PIX Digital Imaging Contest #13: Deadline August 1

PDN‘s annual Pix Digital Imaging competition recognizes excellence in any and all stages of the digital workflow, from cature and scanning to manimpulation and output. Submissions are judged on the basis of creativity, photographic quality, and their effectiveness in expressing the contest theme. Prizes include publication in PDN’s November 2007 issue, a digital camera for the winner in the New Talent category, and a special People’s Choice Award.”

Click here to see the gallery of 2006 winners.

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ONE CITY, MANY DESTINATIONS™ travel photography competition has been extended until 11:59 p.m. EST on JULY 31, 2007!

The ONE CITY, MANY DESTINATIONS™ competition boasts the ultimate grand prize: CITY Magazine’s cover shot. Amateur and professional photographers from around the world are invited to submit images for juried competition and a chance at landing on the cover of CITY’s Fall ‘07 Travel issue, on sale September 25, 2007.

Photographers are asked to submit images that best capture the essence of a city or other travel destination. The grand-prize winner will also receive a LEICA M8 professional camera with a Leica Elmarit 28mm f2.8 lens; a 4-day, 3-night stay at any W Hotel in the continental U.S. or Canada, including round-trip airline tickets for two; and a $500 gift certificate to Calumet Photographic. The 15 runners-up will also win a LEICA C-LUX 2 compact camera. The work of all 16 finalists, including the grand-prize winner, will appear in a special travel photography portfolio inside CITY’s Fall ‘07 Travel issue.

To find out more, and to enter, go to

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Happy Birthday CONSCIENTIOUS – “a weblog about fine art photography (and more) – 5 years young!

Hats off to colleague Joerg M. Colberg, photographer, curator, author (and more)!

His influential blog CONSCIENTIOUS was launched 5 years ago this week, ahead of the curve. Named one of American Photo‘s “Innovators” in its first annual roundup of the innovators who are changing the art and business of photography (2006), Colberg was heralded as a part of “…A new generation of thought leaders has emerged to give photographers and photography fans new avenues of information.”

Conscientious is an amazing resource, rich with ideas and images. Make reading this blog part of your routine and you will be stimulated and grow!

Another of Colberg’s recent efforts, currently on view at Jen Bekman Gallery:

A New American Portrait” is a group exhibition of photographs featuring artists at the vanguard of contemporary portraiture in America.

Artists featured in this exhibition: Christine Collins, Jen Davis, Ben Donaldson, Amy Elkins, Peter Haakon-Thompson, Todd Hido, Alec Soth, Brian Ulrich and Shen Wei.

Co-curated by Jen Bekman and Joerg Colberg, editor of the fine art photography blog Conscientious, the exhibition will be on view from June 22 – August 3, 2007 at the Jen Bekman Gallery, 6 Spring Street, New York City.

To read the press release, click here.

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