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A Conversation About Photography

written by: Robert Hirsch, A. D. Coleman

We asked two of our favorite writers and well-respected critics of photography to get together to talk about photography. Here are some topics, thoughts and talking points from their discussions. On their personal introduction to photography. Robert Hirsch: I learned the rudiments of photography from my dad in his basement darkroom at age 11. This set me on the path of earning my BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and MFA from Arizona State University and pursuing a life in the field as an imagemaker, curator, gallery director, professor and writer. A. D. Coleman: My introduction to photography as a Read more »

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Seeing the Life in Which We Live

written by: A. D. Coleman

Harold Feinstein is a true photographer’s photographer, and one of the most seriously under-recognized senior figures in U.S. photography. Until the beginning of this new century he was best known as a highly respected independent teacher of photography whose private workshops (conducted mostly in his Manhattan studio) influenced hundreds of people in the field, including Mary Ellen Mark, Ken Heyman, Mariette Pathy Allen and others. Yet at long last, now past the age of 80, Feinstein’s work has become familiar to an increasingly wide audience. Feinstein was considered by the photo world as something of a child prodigy. Born in Read more »

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“Beneath Even the Old Adam” The Photographs of Robert Stivers

written by: A. D. Coleman

. . . the evolution of Stone-Age man entailed a gradual dominance of vision over the other senses . . . beneath our visual selves, beneath even the old Adam, lies buried that mammalian and pre-mammalian self, which feels and smells and intuitively or instinctively apprehends. When the dominating eyes are blunted, these “older” senses again become the masters, and to that extent a new persona is born. — Patrick Trevor-Roper, The World through Blunted Sight Photographs, by their very nature, ask us to experience the world through someone else’s perceptual system, to consider it as seen with someone else’s Read more »

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Animal Longings

written by: A. D. Coleman

Kate Breakey’s sensuous, sumptuously colored, riveting pictures depict once-living things—birds and flowers, mostly, but also a lizard, a dragonfly, a butterfly, a moth— that have died and found their way into her studio, to lie beneath her lens and undergo what might be described as a solemn, protracted rite of passage. Some of these she herself comes across in her peregrinations; some reach her by other paths. (“My friends…give me small dead things as gifts,” Breakey writes.) In their original form, these images generally measure 32 inches square. The substrate of each is a gelatin-silver print, a considerable enlargement of Read more »

Kenneth Josephson, A.D. Coleman, photo technique, photo mag

Photographic Seeing

The Camera Work of Kenneth Josephson
written by: A. D. Coleman

A bare suspended lightbulb illuminates four black & white Polaroid prints of images of (presumably) that same lightbulb, taped to a wall. The reflection of a French mountain range in the roof of a car appears to sprout an actual rock formation. Another car, in Stockholm, leaves a perfect silhouette of its profile in a dusting of snow on the pavement. A crouching woman, mostly obscured by a little girl, makes a close-up portrait of the girl’s face with an amateur camera. Attached to a black & white print of that image with family album-style photo corners is a second Read more »

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A Form of Joy

The Photographs of Wynn Bullock
written by: A. D. Coleman

In Wynn Bullock we have the curious case of a recognized American master photographer whose work is included in over 90 major museum collections around the world, who received substantial critical acclaim during his lifetime, who published numerous books, whose name appears in all the standard histories−and who has slipped, at least temporarily, into obscurity. The time is surely ripe to rediscover and reconsider him. Born in Chicago, Illinois on April 18, 1902, Bullock grew up in California, where his family had moved during his childhood. He came to photography a mature adult, after a successful career as a concert Read more »

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In the Face of Forgiveness

Steven Katzman’s Epiphanies
written by: A. D. Coleman

If God had a face what would it look like? / And would you want to see if seeing meant that / you would have to believe in things like heaven and in Jesus and the saints / and all the prophets?— Joan Osborne, ‟One of Us ˮ Photographers have photographed believers in all the world’s major religions and many of its minor ones while engaged in the act of worship. Often they have done so as outsiders to those creeds, with attitudes ranging from the respectful and curious to the skeptical or even critical. But more than a few Read more »