Monday, July 30, 2007Home

Now Available: CameraArts July/August 2007!

The wait has been worth it—holding the CameraArts July/August 2007 issue in my hands, I have to say that it may be one of our best-looking issues ever! On the cover, our featured photographer Lisa Holden makes an immediate impression with her mesmerizing imagery. Smith Eliot, Cole Thompson, and Richard Quataert round out this edition's roster of photographers, George DeWolfe has contributed Part One of his new article series, The Contemplative Genre, and regular columns from Jim Hughes and Bryan Dahlberg make up our new issue. The Artists' Showcase has returned as well.

Click here to preview the table of contents!
Copies are now available at our Back Issues section.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007Home

Technical difficulties...

You may have noticed that our July/August issue of CameraArts has been "coming soon" for quite some time—for most of July, in fact. We always strive to get each new issue out in time: often after the first week of the first month (July/August in early July; September/October in early September; etc...) for each new edition. Unforeseen technical difficulties have delayed the release of this issue, but rest assured that it will be worth the wait.

We apologize for the inconvenience. While we all wait, a few choice features from past issues of CameraArts are available at our web exclusives section. For example, we have just posted Tim Anderson's interview with Jerry Uelsmann from the May/June 2007 issue. Click here to check it out. Stay tuned for more special features from recent issues of CameraArts!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007Home

July 25, 2007 CameraArts Preview Portfolios

Three more portfolios have been posted in the CameraArts web exclusives section. These Preview Portfolios are meant to give you a taste of works we will be featuring in a future issue of CameraArts.

Dan Montesi has compiled a great deal of nature photography from the Everglades National Park and Big Cypress Reserve. Sandra "Sko" Ogle explores new dimensions of light and color, using dolls as her main subjects,
in her series "The Dark." Tim Schacker places light sources inside of flowers to create colorful, mystifying images.

We want to hear your thoughts about these photographers! Please leave all comments below the fold—they just may make it into a future issue of CameraArts!

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NY Post: A bastion of good taste in its dealings, too

The Photo Business News & Forum has posted commentary on the NY Post's staff photographer "tryouts." Even though they have open submissions, the expectation is clearly implied that applicants should own all of their own gear, as opposed to borrowing or (gasp!) renting like any other mortal.

From The Photo Business News & Forum:

"...photogs continue to feel insulted at the very idea...someone logs the serial numbers of their camera equipment. This is to make sure they have their own pro gear and aren't just borrowing it from other freelancers..." (yeah, right, and I'll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge to boot)...

Perhaps they desire photographers who will submit themselves to any indignity for a better paycheck.

A list of their criteria can be found at PDNPulse:

...the photographers are put in a car and driven up to the Post printing plant in the Bronx. Once there, they must complete three mock assignments:

* Photograph someone through the window of a car.

* Photograph someone leaving a building (as if on a perp walk).

* Photograph a piece of artwork (as if capturing a family photo or other document out in the field).

...I suppose copyright violation is among the criteria. Awesome. Also mentioned is a NY Post article about the "left-leaning" New York Times and the outburst of their Director of Photography Michelle McNally as she was attending a "well-lubricated" party. An epithet for homosexual males was apparently involved.

I was under the impression that, unlike most of us lefty elitists, the NY Post and its readership would file the three-letter term under "playful insult" rather than "slur." Wouldn't they think of this as another case of political correctness run amok?

It's great to see that "conservative" newspapers like the NY Post are upholding their tradition of smear, poorly attempted character assassination, and low-rent written pornography with an expose on name-calling at a party. So much better that it's aimed at a well-respected member of an enduring example of classic journalism.

Oh, and it's terms like "well-lubricated" to describe an office party that keep rags like the Post on the dusty bookshelves (often doubling as milk cartons) of the mentally ill.

7/25/2007, 11:24 AM MT UPDATE: ABC joins this train of shame.

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Monday, July 23, 2007Home

New Release from Lynn Goldsmith

Lynn Goldsmith (CameraArts September/October 2006) is coming out with a new collection of photographs of one of the world's biggest bands. The Police: 1978-1983 is a first-hand account of the trio's peak years, when they released many of the songs that put them at the forefront of an era in popular music. These include "Roxanne," "Message in a Bottle," and the whole of their landmark album
Ghost in the Machine.

Photographs of Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers, and Sting are sorted into individual sections and group photos from some of the most important moments in their career, including the recording of
Ghost in Montserrat. Due for release July 31st, this book is filled with wonderful color photographs, commentary from the band members, and an introduction by Phil Sutcliffe. You can visit Lynn's website here.

7/24/2007 UPDATE: Lynn Goldsmith will prove that she isn't content with having just one new book—Rock and Roll, Goldsmith's myriad collection of photographs from a long career of shooting performers, will be published in October 2007. Read more about it here.

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Tim Anderson's PhotoArts Album

Here are a few more images from the Marketplace floor at PhotoArts Santa Fe. Tim Anderson had his Canon in hand to capture many of the retailers and camera-makers in action.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007Home

LIVE at PhotoArts: Final Round

It's been a wonderfully fun mess that we've gotten into here in Santa Fe. Most of the major booths--the big camera makers, software purveyors, and bag-slingers--are already coming down, as if an eggtimer was set at 3 o'clock. Friends are calling from the Cowgirl Cafe, down the street from our venue at El Museo. Here are a few final images from the floor:

Joe and Karen
Ethridge. Karen actually looked like there was no place she'd rather be.

Baron Wolman and his two trustworthy assistants. You can see more of his photography, including portraits from the birth of Rolling Stone, here.

Dan at photo-eye booklist takes a break from shooting the you-know-what with Market goers.

Photographers and Booth neighbors Alan Dolgins (booth pictured here) and Fernando Delgado.

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Friday, July 20, 2007Home

LIVE at PhotoArts Santa Fe: continued

John "Mac" Read of Santa Fe Camera Center, and Art "Pentax" mentally preparing for the show.

Tim Anderson, looking very suave after being honored at the 21st Century Luminarias and Legacy Project, with Photographer Marc Malin, who has an exhibition at James Hoyle Gallery in Santa Fe.

A neccessary adjustment.

That's it for today! Stay tuned on Sunday for more photos from the Marketplace floor!

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LIVE from PhotoArts: It begins...

Clare Lighton, a photographer for the 21st Century Luminarias and Legacy Project, peruses CameraArts while taking a break from greeting visitors.

Rixon Reed of photo-eye demonstrates the new VisualServer software to Larry Padgett of The Center for Fine Art Photography. VisualServer is a fast, easy website uploading program, designed to supplement the busy photographer. Click here to learn more about their free trial.

Amy from Canon smiles for the camera as a schlepp takes place in the background.

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LIVE at PhotoArts: construction

Here are a few more pictures of the construction, courtesy of Tim Anderson:

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PhotoArts Santa Fe: LIVE at the event

Here we are at PhotoArts Santa Fe, in the marketplace showroom, feeling very much that we're inside the belly of the beast. As photographic displays go up in preparation for the main event, the focus of attention is brought to eye level, away from the slow curve of the ceiling, covered in a quilt-pattern of insulation struck through with air ducts, one of which runs directly over our booth.

...An early afernoon rain has just kicked in, and with a vengeance. Tim and I repeatedly voice our relief and gratitude that we've already eaten lunch. As I begin this sentence, the rush of water on the showroom roof has ceased. Hopefully this will mean a dewy, but pleasant, New Mexican afternoon.

Tim Anderson and Kim Weston with Poser: A sketchbook of ideas for artists and models. Weston is only one of the many photographers who have provided commentary for Tim's new book on fine art nudes.

Here's our man Tim with Rick Weston, fellow photographer and participant in the upcoming "one by twenty" exhibition at Albuquerque's Downtown Contemporary Art Center (website here). Twenty photographers (imagine that) will unite starting with the reception on September 7, 2007. When asked about his impressions of PhotoArts Santa Fe, Rick said "I'm overwhelmed." That makes two of us!

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Thursday, July 19, 2007Home

Gearing up for PhotoArts Santa Fe!

Just a reminder: tomorrow CameraArts Publisher and Managing Editor Tim Anderson and I will be at the PhotoArts Santa Fe 2007 Marketplace, also known as the PhotoArts Market. If you're going, please come and visit us at our booth. We will be raffling fine art photography books from our collection, signing visitors up for discounted subscriptions, and meeting our fellow photographers and industry experts. The PhotoArts Market will take place 5 to 8 pm on Friday, July 20; 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, July 21; and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday, July 22. I will be there Friday evening and for most of the day on Sunday, blogging from the event floor. Check back here for photos and blog dispatches from the event!

Also on Friday night, Tim will take part in the 21st Century Luminarias and Legacy Project, an exhibition of photographs depicting individuals honored by the New Mexico Community Foundation. Tim was one of the photographers chosen to participate—he has photographed Maria Estela de Rios,
Executive Vice President and co-owner (along with her husband, Miguel) of award-winning ORION International Technologies, Inc.

Tim will be available all day on Saturday and Sunday at the CameraArts booth, along with Larry Padgett of The Center for Fine Art Photography.
If you're in the area, this free event, with demonstrations by photographic suppliers and software makers, and free seminars for photographers, is definitely worth the trip!

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A different philosophy for jurying competitions

Darius Himes (CameraArts September/October 2006) has been keeping busy—on top of teaching at the College of Santa Fe, and editing the photo-eye Booklist, he has juried the Newspace Center for Photography's 3rd Annual National Juried Exhibition, "Among Us and Curious." In the brief time that we were lucky enough to work with him, Darius proved that his unique view of photography, and the myriad ways in which the book can be presented, has a tendency to fire the imagination of his readers. On the Newspace web site, Himes offers his unique approach to this recently concluded competition (thanks Swannie!).

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.

The diversity of the entries strikes the viewer immediately, but Himes makes it clear that he's aiming for more than a "Greatest Hits" take on 21st century photographic styles. Instead, we are meant to view these collections in the context of how one progresses to the other. Surely it is not meant to appeal to everyone. Scroll down on this
same page to see images from the winners, and a list of websites for all finalists. Tell us what you think.

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A bill to protect the images of Monroe, Hendrix...PART TWO

Last month I posted news from PDN about a publicity bill being considered by New York lawmakers. The bill would protect the images of deceased celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, creating a kind of post-mortem publicity security. The bill failed to pass at the end of the session.

Now, in California, Senator Sheila Kuehl is rigorously promoting a similiar bill—SB 771—that many, including the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), are saying will give licensing agents like CMG Worldwide greater ability to sue organizations and/or individuals for licensing the image of someone like Marilyn Monroe. The proposed bill is much more specific in its consideration of such parties as CMG, and would tip the scales against photographers with photographic archives, potentially "illegalizing" photographs of the famous deceased..

A Reader writes:

To most people, immortality is a metaphysical concept. In Hollywood, it's a business proposition.

A star who dies young like James Dean or Marilyn Monroe can enjoy a highly profitable afterlife-if they have a good agent.

As it happens, both Dean and Monroe have the same agent: CMG Worldwide, an Indianapolis firm that styles itself as "the premier company for representing the families and estates of deceased celebrities." CMG represents about 250 famous people, most of them dead.

Curiously, the celebrity supporters of California's SB771 are clients of CMG.

From ASMP's website:

The fact of the matter is the recent decisions on Marilyn Monroe by the Federal Judges from the United States District Court for the Central District of California and the Southern District of New York are detailed and well-reasoned and they merely confirm and apply long standing probate, estate and publicity rights laws of the states of California, New York and Indiana.

Worse, this time they are trying to rush it through in stealth mode. They have convinced some members of the Assembly and CA Senator Kuehl to take an existing bill dealing with stem cell research, delete all of its contents, and substitute a retroactive right of publicity bill! The effect of this substitution is to avoid going through all of the normal, preliminary steps that would have been required if the bill had been introduced as a new bill, so that it can be enacted quickly and without notice to interested parties.

The current bill, Senate Bill 771, is being rushed through the state legislature right now by Senator Sheila Kuehl. At this point, it is almost certain to have passed in the State Assembly. It is crucial that you act right away.

Please fax Senator George Runner—a sponsor of the bill. Fax: 916-445-4662

The bill would need to pass both legislative houses and be signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger before becoming law.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007Home

George DeWolfe overload has featured a list of articles by George DeWolfe, CameraArts contributor and teacher of many workshops, including The Digital Fine Print Workshop and The Contemplative Landscape. Click here to read the articles, which are from a ways back but still have plenty of information and DeWolfe's unique brand of photographic wisdom.

A listing of his programs and ongoing projects can be found at his website here. DeWolfe is now hard at work on his new book, The Black and White Master Print. Registration for his workshops is always open.

You can also read a more recent article of DeWolfe's, "The Photoshop Medicine Show," here.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007Home

CameraArts on film: both silver and small screens

It is with considerable pleasure that we announce CameraArts' first cameo appearances! In the last months, we were contacted by a film production studio requesting to use CameraArts magazine as props in an upcoming movie starring Ben Kingsley, Penelope Cruz, and Dennis Hopper. As you can probably imagine, we jumped at the opportunity to be involved with a studio production.

Scheduled for release in November 2007, the film, titled "Elegy," is now in post production. Kingsley plays a 70-year-old cultural critic who becomes romantically involved with a student (Cruz) from a well-to-do Cuban family. Our conversations with the studio's representatives suggest that Kingsley is an avid photographer—you'll be able to see recent issues of our magazine in his apartment, given that the scenes make it into the final cut. Our fingers are crossed.

Also, we have just received a request for the use of CameraArts in a new TV series, titled "Bionic Woman." I'm not sure what role photography will have in a new TV series about a Lee Majors spin-off from the '80s. Perhaps it will be in the form of the inquisitive journalist character (every superhero needs one of those, it seems). The names associatied with the project so far look encouraging: David Eick is executive producer (he helmed the remake of Battlestar Galactica, which is not so much a remake but a comprehensive, and fully addictive, reconstruction). They already have a snazzy website at NBC.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007Home

Black and White's finalists announced for Whats Your Book?

Black and White Magazine (B&W) has announced the vote for its Whats Your Book? competition finalists. 150 entrants ended up submitting their ideas for a photographic book. Self Publishing Solutions’ Director Eddie Ephraums and B&W Editor Ailsa McWhinnie have narrowed the playing field down to three finalists. You can vote on them here.

The three chosen series are as follows: Michael Copsey's "Some Terra: Panoramas 1982-2007," whuch consists of tiny-format copy tranparancies; Trevor Crone, whose "Snapshots of the English Coast" combines images with quotes from well-known authors; and Andy Ilachinski's "Sudden Stillness: Visual Echoes of Timeless Myths," which compiles exotic, mysterious images of nature into four movements: chaos, order, complexity and decay.

Andy Ilachinksi has also been featured in our Preview Portfolios section. You can view a gallery of his images at our site. If you haven't heard of this special hands-on feature at CameraArts, click here for more information about Ilachinski and the other photographers who have been chosen for these online exhibitions.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007Home

More Poser-Related Goodness

To help celebrate the release of Poser: A Sketchbook of ideas for artists and models, Tim Anderson has supplied with a few exclusive features. First, there's a fifteen-page preview of Poser. The sneak-peek includes black-and-white photographs, excerpts from the foreword by photographer Lucien Clergue and Tim's introduction, the complete table of contents, and quotes from photographer Bill Lemon and models Ashley Raye and Kate Taylor. You will also find a sampling of Tim's unique sketches which provide a new way of thinking of the play of light and shadow on the human form. Click here to check it out!

We have also posted a sample model release form for the edification of all future figure artists and aspiring models. Click here and save a copy. You're welcome to edit for your own purposes.

You can purchase Poser here. A great read which I highly recommend for any artist.

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July 11, 2007 CameraArts Preview Portfolios

An additional three photographers have been posted in the CameraArts web exclusives section. These Preview Portfolios are meant to give you a taste of works we will be featuring in a future issue of CameraArts.

Karen Divine uses digital manipulation to create her dream-like images, which can be viewed here. Julio Hardy creates uniquely stunning panoramic images, and his current series is set in Malaga, Spain. Jordan Reeder uses NASA-quality photographic equipment to capture his black-and-white images of Europe on film, then processes them digitally.

We want to hear your thoughts about these photographers! And if you haven't seen the other CameraArts Preview Portfolios, check them out here and here. Don't forget to leave comments—they just may make it into a future issue of CameraArts!

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Net Neutrality: 4 days left!

There are only four days left before the FCC closes its inquiry into the state of Net Neutrality. This is your opportunity to tell the story of how open, equal bandwidth has helped you or your business. For those of us who do business online, and do not have the benefit of corporate sponsorship, this issue is of paramount importance.

Phone companies like Verizon, AT&T, and others are lobbying to put an end to Net Neutrality, pushing instead for a "two-lane" system in which large corporations enjoy faster bandwidth, while everyone else is relegated to the "slow lane." Tell the FCC that all websites are created equal. Click here to submit your story and join thousands of others who have united for this cause.

There's another fine video here. Also, Tim Anderson has given his two cents in the pages of CameraArts Magazine. Check it out.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007Home

Winners Announced: Photos of the Month, June 2007

TIE: Two entries received the same number of votes for Third Place in the Competition.
WINNER: Third Place, Sports and Action

Somewhere on the California Coast
by Fred Reaves
Nikon F3, 180 mm lens Kodak Ektachrome EPP. Just a matter of being in the right place at the right time!

Congratulations Fred!

WINNER: Third Place, Sports and Action

by Dorothy Gantenbein

Congratulations Dorothy!

WINNER: Second Place, Sports and Action

by Ken Fox

Congratulations Ken!

WINNER: First Place, Sports and Action

House vs. Stevens
by Zack Lynch
Jason House gives Marc Stevens something to think about during their Ring of Combat fight.
Despite the brain-jarring punch Stevens outfought Mr. House and won the decision.
Rebel XTI 2007 for

Congratulations Zack!

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The Online Photographer has moved

Heads up to anyone updating their favorites lists: our buddy Mike Johnston has moved his blog, The Online Photographer, to a new location at If you haven't visited this blog yet, you'll find a fine mix of commentary, news, and musings from the site's awesome community. His is the model to which we all aspire.

Also, I can't imagine why he would want to leave Blogger. Is it the fact that you have to use tab-cycling to enter the title of your post (that's why I had "Rest in Peace, John Szarkowskij" on top of the last post for a full day), or the requirement for Google ID's to leave comments? Don't get me wrong, I love Google, couldn't live without it, but what about all the other poor people who must add yet another ID to the list?

All of my site logins were recently erased off of my Palm Pilot, along with everything else. So I've put it to work in scraping my BBQ grill...

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Monday, July 09, 2007Home

Rest in Peace, John Szarkowski

John Szarkowski, curator and pioneer in fine art photography, died last Saturday in Pittsfield, MA from complications arising from a stroke. He was 81 years old. As far as legacies go, the impact of Szarkowski's was unmistakable. He helped bring the works of Diane Arbus, William Eggleston, and Lee Friedlander to international attention, and ultimately, acclaim. He came about in a time when photography was seen as a way of recording happenings and one's surroundings, nothing more. The "New Documents" show of 1967 featured snapshots of everyday objects and scenes, an approach considered radical at the time.

It's easy to forget that even by the early sixties, when John Szarkowski began his curatorial career, that photography had not gained the respectability equated with fine art. The most cursory glance at his career shows that he had no fear of going against the flow to express what he felt about the photographic image. Case in point: Eggleston's first exhibition of color photographs, "William Eggleston's Guide," was curated and promoted by Szarkowski, and almost universally panned by critics who, until then, had only considered black and white to be fine art.

From the New York Times:

As a curator, Mr. Szarkowski loomed large, with a stentorian voice and a raconteurial style. But he was self-effacing about his role in mounting the “New Documents” show.

“I think anybody who had been moderately competent, reasonably alert to the vitality of what was actually going on in the medium would have done the same thing I did,” he said several years ago. “I mean, the idea that Winogrand or Friedlander or Diane were somehow inventions of mine, I would regard, you know, as denigrating to them.”

A retrospective exhibition of John Szarkowski's own photographs debuted in 2005 at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and a national tour followed in 2006. His books about the art and craft of photography are considered modern classics; 1964's “The Photographer’s Eye,” and 1973's “Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures From the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art,” act as great bookends on a period that changed fine art photography forever. Szarkowski will be missed.

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Friday, July 06, 2007Home

Photos of the Month: Voting closed

The voting process for Photos of the Month, June 2007: Sports and Action has concluded. Winners will be announced early next week. Thanks to all who participated!

Remember, this is the last Photos of the Month for a while. There are some technical difficulties that need to be resolved. However, you can still enter our CameraArts ShowCase competition! Click here for your chance to be featured on the cover of CameraArts Magazine!


Thursday, July 05, 2007Home

Art Basel: The MTV Approach?

Everything too fast, too loud, and all at once: if this is your understanding of what MTV has to offer, then you're like me (and probably haven't watched this abominable cable-commuted brain-drain in at least a decade). If, on the other hand, you're one who holds these connotations for contemporary art shows, let me know. I don't know any of this latter group personally.

Quite a few commentators in the art world—like the ones mentioned here—have weighed in on the issue of art fairs and their impact on appreciation of the photographic image. The target in this case is Art Basel, the Switzerland-based annual art show. Reports from the event do everything to suggest a mad rush on the part of newly-minted billionaires to acquire contemporary art from big names: Sigmar Polke, Jeff Wall,
Baldessari, and others.

It doesn't seem to be a significant stretch of the imagination to apply this criticism to fine art photography festivals, which share in common the crowded, fast-paced atmospheres of contemporary art fairs. It is the very nature of international portfolio reviews (often with their concurrent print sales) to be fast-paced, pairing as many photographers with potential clients, business partners, and patrons as possible. This does not detract from the value of creative experience, it only provides a faster, high-density alternative that many seem to favor in this modern world. Who is to say what impact these events will have on the art itself?

From CultureGrrl's blog:

But what most alarms me is that the sea change wrought by the growing importance of art fairs and auctions means that most purchase decisions are now being made under these frenetic, crowded conditions, far removed from the undistracted, unhurried contemplation that subtle, complex and profound pieces require to produce their effect. Under such harsh conditions, works that lend themselves to being easily comprehended in a brief glance are the species most likely to survive and thrive.

We are entering the era of
Snap-Judgment Art.

The general assumption seems to be that the only people who attend and support art fairs like Art Basel are corporate clients
with money to burn, or hedge-fund managers (think the mutated brethren of Thomas Wolfe's brokers in Bonfire of the Vanities). It's true that Art Basel orients itself towards corporate buyers, but it remains a public event. And let's not forget that you have fellow artists interacting with their peers at these events.

Also, isn't it still the "regrettable" status quo that so many people outside of the art industry (mutants or no) have little more than a moment's glance to decide their preference for a piece of art? The experience of lingering around a gallery exhibition, coming back to a piece initially ignored and discovering a new perspective, or meaning, or detail, is one that should be enjoyed by all. The importance of gallery exhibitions and museums has not been diminished, precisely for this reason.

Modern ways of seeing have, on the universal level, more emphasis on immediate gratification. We have TV and movies to thank for that, not "buy-a-paloozas" like Art Basel. It is a symptom, not a contributing cause. If its environment is not supportive to the actual interaction of art lovers, there is a copious amount of alternatives.

Art Basel's sister event in Miami Beach takes place December 6-9, 2007. I'd like to hear a first-hand experience from anyone who plans to attend (or has attended in Switzerland.)

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007Home

Sign up for email updates on Feedblitz

To all of my fellow Yanks, Happy Independence Day! For my British readers, Happy Day of the Culmination of American Aggression! No matter where you're from, or where you call home, it's a wonderful day to get out there and spend time with family and friends. You don't have to miss the latest news coming out of The CameraArts Blog, however. You may have noticed the numbered icon for Feedblitz on the left sidebar of this site (just above the blogroll). It may seem like another RSS service, but it sets itself apart in that it delivers site updates to your email inbox. In layman's terms, it's an easy way to sign up and have the latest posts from this site sent to your email.

Many web users have become familiar with RSS (or Really Simple Syndication), which allows you to see all of the updates from any number of sites without actually having to seek them out. Sites that support this syndication are often marked by those funny little orange symbols. Instead of sending updates from these sites to an aggregator (versions of which are offered by Yahoo!, Google, etc.), Feedblitz works with your current email account.

Click here to sign up. Now get out there and play (or shoot) some Frisbee. Your updates will be waiting when you get back. Brilliant!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007Home

Photos of the Month on hiatus

Due to unexpected technical difficulties, we at CameraArts have put Photos of the Month on temporary hiatus until these issues can be addressed. Apologies to all of you hopefuls that have recently discovered us on SmugMug. The good news is that the June 2007 competition, Sports and Action, will run its course, and the three winners will still receive prizes.

Voting is still open, and will remain so until 12 noon PST on Friday, July 6, 2007. Click here to participate. Thanks to all who have submitted and voted. You have made Photos of the Month a great success, and we hope you will return. This competition surely will, just not for a couple of months.

If you're interested in entering our new competition, The CameraArts ShowCase, click here to see the complete details. This is a one-of-a-kind chance to see your work in the pages of CameraArts, and to be promoted online through The Center for Fine Art Photography's online presence, as well as on

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Rest in Peace, Bernd Becher

A pioneer of the German Sachlichkeit movement, Bernd Becher was a photographer of late industrial architecture. In June 2007, Becher died shortly after undergoing heart surgery. He was 75. The full impact of his contributions to fine art photography aren't widely understood, but they soon will be.

Becher and his wife, Hilla, introduced a new perspective on photography that was more objective than narrative-based. With no apparent action, Becher's images, when taken alone, may seem bland and lifeless. When assembled in grid-like compositions, the photographs illuminate the similarities and differences from one old, isolated building to the next.

The idea that the camera could open up unexpected new ways of seeing permeated t
he Bechers' work—first, through systematic capture from similar angles of otherwise unremarkable subjects; and second, the willful reorganization of pure detail on the part of the artist. The Bechers were a prime example of artists who pushed photography in new directions and caused the medium to gain respectability as a true art form.

Photographer and blogger Joerg Colburg has more on the German perspective of the art form that the Bechers pioneered.

From Conscientious:

It's quite interesting that the word "objectivity" isn't a completely exact translation of the German word "Sachlichkeit"...Of course, I can't come up with a better translation. Maybe you can understand it like this: When you meet a German you'll note that they are almost a tad too deadpan about things. I've noticed that non-Germans think Germans simply have no sense of humor, but that's just a simplifying misconception. I remember I once made a somewhat absurd joke in front of my advisor in grad school—a Brit—and he thought I was being serious. He just couldn't imagine a German would say something like that, with a deadpan expression, and joke at the same time.

The satire of these images may not be immediately apparent to Americans or Brits, but the multi-layered appeal is clear. The Bechers incorporated images of otherwise anonymous industrial conglomerations into new interpretations. Their work, along with that of many others, helped change the interpretation of fine art photography itself.

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