Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Future of Photography Books

I am an avid (probably obsessive) collector of photography books and catalogs - investing a fairly high percentage of my income each month to add to the collection. And there is a reason why I spend hours each month perusing new releases and scouring used outlets for classic older releases. Like many photography lovers, I would kill to have a collection of actual photographic prints that would rival the Getty or MOMA collections, but I will never have the financial resources to match my enthusiasm for collecting.

What top quality photography books offer me and many other photography obsessives is the opportunity to own the next best thing to the actual photograph.

There are books in my collection that include reproductions that rival the actual printed photograph on occasion.

The editor of Fraction Mag mentioned a much treasured copy of Alec Soth's Sleeping by the Mississippi. I cherish a copy of this book too and several others that Soth has released. I would love to have some of the original prints, but I will settle for a well crafted book... and Soth's books are certainly well crafted.

Another treasured volume is a limited edition of the work of Manuel Alvarez Bravo... it is a marvel of publishing and elegance and quality. And the work of Todd Hido, Guy Tillim, Lee Friedlander, and hundreds of other photographers are part of my daily life because of well crafted books.

They look good, they feel good, they smell good - and yes, each of them is treasured.

They don't come cheap these days with more limited quantities being printed, and for that reason each is carefully selected.

Since Photo-Eye is just a half mile from my home (a fortunate situation), I spend hours looking through the stacks of new books. For some this might be a boring activity... for me it is an absolute delight.

Now I also spend hours on the net with an equally voracious appetite to discover new work. There are many marvelous and hugely talented photographers who may never publish, although I wish that more could publish (even using POD as it emerges).

I really don't see that printed photography books will disappear... in fact, my own research indicates that there are more titles being released than ever... not all will make a splash, nor will all make a profit.

But the many new options for publishing that are becoming available will continue to give many talented artists an opportunity to show their work even if that work never reaches a gallery or a major publishing house.

Most of us already know that not all fine art photographers are well represented in the still limited fine art market, but they still wish to show their work - whether it be in a self published book for limited distribution to a few friends and admirers or whether it is on the Internet in digital form where many more people might see it than if it were in a major gallery.

In fact, many emerging photographers are finding an opportunity for success with the addition of the Internet to their printed portfolios. And POD books are offering an opportunity to them that did not exist just a few years ago.

The digital music industry has shown us that self published work need not be an inferior product. In fact, the music industry has grown exponentially with the myriad of channels open to composers and music makers. And some of that creative work rises to the top and sells more copies than might have been sold through traditional channels.

I plan to keep on collecting books from the major publishers and from niche publishers like Photo-Eye. I am one of those collectors who found the new very limited editions of Photo-Eye Editions to be very exciting and well crafted (and desirable)... have bought their first release and am paying off a copy of the second release. These are beautifully crafted books (and portfolios). They set me back a few dollars to be sure, but some treasures are worth the investment... and some treasures like these are worth passing on to future generations.

Radius is another one of those niche market publishers who have caught my attention, and many of their books are now in my collection. The quality of the work makes them very desirable to this collector and book lover.

Perhaps the industry is changing and perhaps some photography books will find their way to reading devices instead of being issued in a paper edition. These reproductions on a digital screen may never rival the original prints or reproductions in book form, but they give us an alternate way to exhibit (or enjoy) the work.

But as long as beautiful books are being made, there are many of us that will add the best of them to our lives (and to our collections).

Will I spend $50.00 to $200 for a book when I can see the same photographs on the Internet... you betcha... and one form of media will supplement the other....

Personally I encourage photographers to use all forms of media to share their work. And I encourage collectors to use and enjoy all forms of media.

The more sharing the better.

Our artists have to eat, to pay the rent... and some just want to share the work no matter if the sharing brings them a living or just brings the thrill of creative effort shared with others.

So yes, I am only a small fish in the book collecting world, but there are many others like myself who get their kicks (and pleasure) from spending hours in a bookstore, hours at home surrounded by a collection of brilliant publications, and who supplement their interest through online discoveries each and every day.

I will keep on buying books because I love them... and I will follow the best of them on the Internet as well... and maybe even purchase a few future releases to enjoy on some type of portable reading device.

And frankly I will continue to look for talented photographers on Flickr, since I believe that being a purist is the quickest way to lose sight of an art form that is in transition.

Photographers have dozens of new ways to show their best work and not be limited to a book or to a gallery....

And those of us who cherish the work in any of its forms will continue to support them.

Is there a future for photography books? Is there a future for fine art photography in all of its emerging forms?

You betcha.

Check out what other book lovers are saying about the Future of Photography Books on the Resolve Blog .

Sunday, November 8, 2009

from a wonderful day on the Plaza

Originally uploaded by santafeez

Budir Iceland - David Bram

Budir Iceland
Originally uploaded by dbram

Running through November 28 at Photo-Eye in Santa Fe - an exhibit of excellent photographs by Albuquerque photographer - David Bram.

David Bram Bio (courtesy of Photo-Eye) :
Artist David Bram was born and raised in New York. He moved to New Mexico in January of 2000. Following a short stint in software development, he followed his heart and began to study photography again after being away from it for several years. His work has been included in many group shows in New Mexico and is in the collection of the Palace of the Governors, as well as many private collections. He is the editor and founder of Fraction Magazine, an online venture promoting and exploring emerging photographic artists. When not traveling around New Mexico seeking out the new and unexplored, he can be found in a few coffee shops, enjoying a latte and playing with his one-year-old daughter.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Short Track - Jake Mendel

Previewed the photographs that will be included in Jake Mendel's "Short Track", soon to be released by Powerhouse Books. Jake gave an overview of the project during the October First Wednesday Salon at Photo-Eye in Santa Fe last night. The project and the photographs received an enthusiastic reception. In fact, Jake's presentation was one of the highlights of an evening filled with highlights. I predict that Short Track may just become one of the Best Photo Books of 2009. There is just something endearing about this easy going Santa Fean (originally from Alabama). And there is something about the work that will inspire me to return to it over and over again.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Portrait - Laura Galley

, originally uploaded by Laura Galley.

Discovered on Flickr (and not in a gallery). A mother's exquisite portrait of her son.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Familiar Moments > Mistress - Waiting for a Married Man

Familiar Moments-20, originally uploaded by bdiener.

Added this photograph to my collection last night. Have been lusting after it for several weeks now and finally put in a request for a copy of it.

Attended an opening of Barbara Diener's work at the Photo-Eye Bookstore in Santa Fe. She is an emerging (and exciting) young photographer that we're likely to see a lot more of in the coming years.

Much of the work is edgy, challenging - and most definitely endearing.

Carlos Galvan

DSC_0662, originally uploaded by Carlos Galvan ☂.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

River Boy

River boy 1, originally uploaded by Enrique Romero.

A beautiful photograph by Enrique Romero from Chiapas

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

MIT TechTV – Metropath(ologies)

MIT TechTV – Metropath(ologies)

Thanks to friends on Twitter, discovered this exciting multi-media installation.

Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Frederic Desmots' Exquisite Portraits

., originally uploaded by frederic.desmots.

I am always amazed by the quality of work that Frederic Desmots shares online. May I suggest that you explore what he has to share with all of us on Flickr.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Josef Tornick - Photography

Discovered an amazing photographer during my weekend at PhotoArts Santa Fe 2009.

Josef Tornick took me on a tour of some of his recent work, and I was amazed by every photograph that he shared with me.

I suggest a visit to his website -

Being stylish in Kabul

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Round, originally uploaded by martien van asseldonk.

Another excellent photograph by Martien Van Asseldonk on Flickr.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

July 25, 2009

July 25, 2009 Flak Photo

Lisa and Spencer, Ithaca, New York, 2004 — from the series All the Days and Nights by Doug Dubois

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Habitat Machines released by Photo-Eye Editions (Santa Fe)

Got a peek at Habitat Machines this past weekend. This is an amazing first release by Photo-Eye Editions (Santa Fe). The prototype is a thing of beauty (in fact it is downright elegant). Kudos to Rick and to his team at the gallery and bookstore.

Photo-Eye Gallery brought David Trautrimas to
our attention this summer, and now they will highlight his work in this limited edition release (just 50 copies).

I mortgaged the farm within minutes of seeing the work, and look forward to adding a copy to my collection later this Fall.

Photo-Eye Books and Gallery

and we won't be back til it's over, over there - a prayer that it will soon be over

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bruce Davidson - Jackson Fine Art 2008

I am looking forward to the release of Davidson's 3-volume box set of 800 photographs - Journey of Consciousness - Steidl Photography International, 2009. It's due out in October 2009, and it should be an amazing collection.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

ms. antoinette conti

Another recent photograph from Zoe Strauss on Flickr.

I am a big fan of her recent publication - America - and I look forward to her frequent Flickr uploads.

Faces of Santa Fe

Spent the last few weekends on the Santa Fe Plaza - capturing some of the beautiful faces of locals and visitors that gravitate to the park on Saturdays and Sundays.

There was something magical and mystical about this young child.

There is something magical and mystical about Santa Fe.

Beyond the Forest - Clare Richardson

Another new addition to our collection this weekend, thanks to a recommendation by Ben at Photo-Eye, (who continues to introduce me to some amazing books) - Beyond the Forest by Clare Richardson.

- from the Publisher (steidlMACK):

"The name Transylvania translates literally from the Hungarian into Clare Richardson's title, 'beyond the forest.'

Richardson uses photography to enter into the world of a small farming community there, a historical region high on a plateau, believed to be the home of the descendants of the children who were led out of Hamelin.

The community relies on hard work and patience to survive in a land where weather and crop cycles set the pace, and where the landscape, not coincidentally, looks not just like Hamelin's fairy tale scenes might have, but like pre-industrial, pre-enclosure England."

Mirrors, Messages, Manifestations - Minor White

Thanks to Nick at Nicholas Potter Books, I added a very special book to my collection this weekend - Mirrors, Messages and Manifestations - a wonderful introduction for me to the photographic work and writing of Minor White.

From the dust jacket -

"the ultimate medium of any artist is the mind and the psyche of those eating his images"

Friday, June 5, 2009

mother & child

Flickr - mother & child, originally uploaded by Urban Angel.

The Last Days of W - Alec Soth

Courtesy of Magnum

The poignant photograph of a young soldier
eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
resonated with me - haunted me.

Familiar Moments - B Diener

Another Santa Fe photographer to watch - Barbara Diener.

JoJo - Cori Chandler-Pepelnjak

JoJo - Cori Chandler-Pepelnjak

Center (formerly Santa Fe Center for Photography)
2009 Project Comeptition First Prize
, Santa Fe, NM

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Flickr - originally uploaded by frederic.desmots.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Beautiful child - originally uploaded by santafeez.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Afghan Dreams

Afghan Dreams - Tony O'brien / Mike Sullivan
at the Verve Gallery - Santa Fe


Education, originally uploaded by martien van asseldonk.

I recommend that you explore the photojournalism that Martien Van Asseldonk is sharing on Flickr - especially his recent series on Afghanistan.

"2009-04-20 Today he keeps to his schoolbooks, and is not carrying his father's kalashnikov in Uruzgan, Afghanistan. B is for Bagh (garden). P is for Pak (Clean)."