“Covering Photography” Project and Website Celebrates Imagery on Book Covers

Graphic designers and art directors have been featuring exceptional photographs as book jacket illustrations for many years. In 2005 The University of Otago in New Zealand offered an exhibition entitled “Straight Jackets The Art of the Book Jacket” which is a wonderful historical overviewer and is viewable online here. Swanstock, the agency I founded in 1991 was at the leading edge of featuring contemporary photographs as illustration, offering a resource for creatives to source great material to license as cover art. The talented designers at the Knopf and Vintage divisions of Random House were among our first steady clients in this market, producing award-winning designs incorporating the photographs of fine art photographers as the central elements of their project. Needless to say, that trend has continued; I venture to guess that every reader has admired the imagery featured on contemporary books, and even wondered how to place their own work on jackets. Indeed, I hope some of you have seen (or perhaps even entered) the annual competition sponsored by AIGA entitled “50 Books/50 Covers.” Don’t miss seeing the archives of this great series of exhibitions on the link just mentioned.

And, I hope you are aware of a very interesting and ambitious web-based archive founded and organized by Karl Baden entitled “Covering Photography” which is a terrific resource for the study of the relationship between the history of photography and book cover design. The site contains a listing by photographer noting books featuring their images, who the publisher, author and designer were on the project. Read Baden’s overview on the project here. Today the fifth “Cover of the Month” has been announced, with an email to those who sign up on the mailing list; all are on the website

Baden has created a valuable resource that I encourage you to visit often, appreciate, share. I for one hope the archive will grow and grow for all to enjoy.

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23rd Annual PHOTO REVIEW Competition entries due between 5/1-5/15

The 2007 Photo Review Photography Competition is accepting entries between May 1-15th. The Juror will be Toby Jurovics, Curator of Photography, Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. This year The Photo Review will reproduce accepted entries in its 2007 competitions issue with an audience of thousands. Also, the prize-winning photographers will be chosen for an exhibition at the photography gallery of the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and posted on The Photo Review website. Additional awards include equipment, gift certificates and cash.

An entry fee of $30 for up to three prints, slides, or images on CD and $5 each for up to two additional images entitles all entrants to a copy of the catalogue. In addition, all entrants will be able to subscribe to The Photo Review for $34, a 20% discount.

For a prospectus and details, send a self-addressed, stamped business-size (#10) envelope to: The Photo Review, 140 East Richardson Avenue, Suite 301, Langhorne, PA 19047. The prospectus may also be downloaded from The Photo Review website,

For further information call 215/891-0214.

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NOTES from Jeff Curto’s presentation at SPE ’07 on PODCASTING

SPE has ended, and as promised here are Jeff Curto’s handouts/resources from his excellent presentation on podcasting (which he podcast):

Check it out, and be sure to subscribe to Jeff’s personal podcast “Camera Position” at

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PODCASTS! Jeff Curto’s History of Photography Podcasts, and more!

Long-time colleague photographer JEFF CURTO, professor and coordinator in the department of Photography at the College of DuPage (IL) is a pioneer in podcasing. His History of Photography class podcasts have a world-wide listening audience among the thousands of subscribers. You can sign up here, or go to the itunes store Camera Position: A Podcast About The Creative Side of Photography” has an even larger number of subscribers! Subscribe on the Camera Position website, or go to the itunes store to subscribe. I love listening to these podcasts on airplanes! Perfect companions.

Jeff wrote me recently to suggest other podcasts to check out:
“A good podcast I found is from Zoom-In; they’ve done interviews with John Sexton, Eric Meola, Martin Parr and Brian Paul Clamp from ClampArt Gallery in Chelsea.
They mix up a variety of “new media” items in the podcast so sometimes it’s photo, sometimes film, sometimes technology.
They’re also on the iTunes store (click here). Another podcast of note that I thought was interesting was “Making a Living in Stock Photography.”

Another interesting podcast comes from The Candid Frame: also available on iTunes: It’s hosted by Ibarionex Perillo; he did a FABULOUS interview with Joel Meyerowitz a few months ago… here’s a direct link to the .mp3:

Speaking of Meyerowitz, he did a really nice piece on the WGBH “Morning Stories” podcast. Here’s a direct link to that download.
The WGBH podcasts are really good, though rarely about photography.

And last, but not least, there’s TED Talks… podcasts from the TED conference. If you’ve not seen/heard these video podcasts… I’m tellin’ ya… TED is about Technology/Entertainment/Design. Phil Borges, Gregory Colbert, Edward Burtynsky, and then also non-photo but completely relevant ones like this one… my favorite of the bunch from Sir Ken Robinson:”

Thanks Jeff! If you are heading to SPE in Miami this week, be sure to catch his presentation/demo on Friday March 16th at 9:00 a.m.:

“Teaching the World: Using Podcasts in Photo Education”

Description: Through podcasting (distribution of audio files over the internet for “anytime” playback) my History of Photography course, I have opened the door of my classroom to the rest of the world and started a “class discussion” that is not constrained by the classroom walls or by the cultural, educational and personal backgrounds of my physical students. I’ve also been able to help my “live” students learn by providing them with asynchronous delivery of course content. I will offer a brief overview of podcasting and discuss and demonstrate tools needed to produce podcasts and get them uploaded to a server space for distribution.

Jeff has agreed to allow my posting of the handouts following this presentation – I’ll happily post the links during the week of the 19th.

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JILL FREEDMAN featured in the current issue of Prophecy Magazine (#10)

Prophecy Magazine, a beautiful publication from NYC has a profile on photographer Jill Freedman, whose street work from the past few decades inspired the work of countless young photographers. The feature on Jill starts with “A photojournalist known for her passion, humor, and facination with human relationships, here, she shares rare NYC moments that have moved her, accompanied by her own evocative prose.” Don’t miss it! Visit Jill’s website to be reminded of her important books and images. And, visit, the website for her seventh and most recent book of the same name published by Abrams, with introductions by her old pals the McCourt brothers, Frank and Malachy. Jill Freedman says the book is, “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.”

Malachy McCourt sums it up best when he writes, “Any collection of Jill’s photographs, indeed any one of her works should be treasured and proudly displayed.”

Jill is living in the NYC area and if you ever get the chance to hear her speak and see her work, don’t pass it up.

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SAVE THE DATE: May 11th – Griffin Museum Portfolio Reviews (Boston)

With the PowerHouse reviews now completely filled, as are other spring events PhotoLucida and Review Santa Fe, the next opportunity photographers will have to meet with professionals and share their work will be at the Griffin Museum in Winchester (very near BOSTON) on May 11th. Watch their website for registration details! Join their e-list here. I can’t underscore the value of getting feedback on your work from industry professionals and your peers.

I’ll be doing a 1/2 day seminar at the Griffin on Saturday afternoon, April 28th and will best advise participants on how to make the most of their investment in attending portfolio review events. Registration details are on their website now.

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Photo-Eye Booklist Announces “Best Books of 2006″

The Photo-Eye Booklist, the international magazine of photography books has posted its “Best Books of 2006” on the photo-eye website. The current edition (Spring 2007) of the Booklist expands on these selections; on page 56 you will find “The Best & Sleeper Books of 2006″ including picks by four VIP guests: Vince Aletti, Tim Davis, Molly Logan and Rixon Reed.

In our regular column on “Publishing the Photography Book,” my co-author (and Booklist editor) Darius Himes and I discuss extending the life of your project. For this installment, Darius interviewed Leigh Anna MacFadden of Chronicle Books, and I interviewed photographer Michael Kenna. Remember that you can now find the Booklist at Border’s and Barnes & Noble magazine stands.

Don’t miss the Booklist’s new MySpace page, too!

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ART FAIRS in NYC this weekend – more info!

A more comprehensive listing for those of you lucky enough to be in NYC this week:
The Armory Show Friday – Monday, Pier 94, Twelfth Avenue @ 55th Street
The Art Show (ADAA) Thursday – Monday, 7th Regiment Armory on Park @ 67th Street
Diva Thursday – Sunday, Embassy Suites Hotel, Battery Park
LA Art Friday – Sunday, Altman Building/Metropolitan Pavilion, 125-134 West 18th Street
PULSE Thursday – Sunday, 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue @ 26th Street
SCOPE Friday – Monday, The Scope Pavilion at Lincoln Center, Damrosch Park, 62nd Street @ 10th Avenue

HAVE A GREAT TIME! Note the language of collecting, of editioning. Observe, listen and LEARN all that you can by being at these these art fairs.

This great roster was provided in the regular e-mail from Subscribe!

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“Can Photographers Be Plagiarists?” Article from Slate Magazine

Slate Magazine has posted an interesting slide show with commentary on the case of the nearly identical photographs of Nanpu Bridge that is worth a read. Don’t miss the other interesting articles in the “Photography: From Daguerreotypes to Digital” section, such as “Exploit and Click: The fuss over the Photographer who makes kids cry” concerning Jill Greenberg‘s recent series of portraits. Other articles focus on Diane Arbus, Thomas Struth, David Levinthal and more. Check this area of often!

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February issue of Digital Journalist spotlights Contact Press Images at 30

The February issue of The Digital Journalist, the monthly online magazine for visual journalism, is now online at

As Dirck Halsted, Editor and Publisher tells us in his monthly email to announce the launch to each issue, Robert Pledge launched his agency Contact Press Images 30 years ago and has become one of the premiere agencies documenting social change and unrest. DJ’s Marianne Fulton puts Contact’s achievements into context, and this issue presents a gallery of many of the incredible images made by Contact photographers. A second feature showcases what some young Contact photographers are doing to carry on the agency’s traditions, but cast in a mondernistic light. Robert Pledge introduces the work of Kristen Ashburn and Stephen Dupont, who are going bact to a traditional style of portraiture, using medium-format cameras, to give us a fresh look at global conflict. And don’t miss the many terrific regular features available in each issue. Join the mailing list to be advised when each month’s issue is posted.

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