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Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo Christian Michael Filardo selects The Iceberg by Giorgio Di Noto as Book of the Week.
The Iceberg By Giorgio Di Noto.  
Edition Patrick Frey, 2018.
Christian Michael Filardo selects The Iceberg, by Giorgio Di Noto, from Edition Patrick Frey, as Book of the Week.

"We exist in a world in which we constantly consume. A complex and intricate global economy built of numbers and figures, constantly morphing and changing. Within our world, there are sub-worlds and cultures in which we may, or may not, choose to participate in. Often, if we choose not to participate in these worlds they become abstract and distant from our understanding. These subcultures form their own languages and communicate in a way foreign to those who exist outside of their realm of thought. In Giorgio Di Noto’s The Iceberg, we turn our gaze to the dark web where individuals push beyond the surface of the Internet as basic users know it. They communicate in the shadows, generating their own economy, disappearing and reappearing from the murky obscured networks in which they exist.

In Di Noto’s monograph we are presented with a plethora of mostly blank white pages, occasionally some black text, and grey subdued clip art style images. It all appears rather inconspicuous on the surface. However, Di Noto offers us the ability to take a closer look via a companion Ultra Violet flashlight that comes with The Iceberg. When the light is shone upon the pages of the book, colors are revealed along with many latent images and ghosts that seem to emerge from between the pages. While it might seem like a gimmick, the production of the book is a nice conceptual work in and of itself. The images are interesting as a language even if they aren’t always interesting as pictures.

Really, what Di Noto is doing is using photography as a vessel to represent vanishing and fleeting communication from an environment that few rarely see. These pictures represent private transactions, secret dialogue, and illegal activity. Most of all, they give emotion to the online experience that few often associate with World Wide Web. Drab stock photos are morphed into secret portals that could mean anything and hold an infinite number of consequences and possibilities.

The Iceberg feels limitless and while it isn’t what many tend to perceive as photography, it adds a much needed conceptual armature to the conversation of contemporary fine art photography. Di Noto grasps his knowledge of a subculture and uses it to propel often meaningless images into the realm of high art. It’s as if he’s turned fool’s gold into real gold and in doing so, he pushes the boundaries of the way we see. He gives us access to codes we didn’t know existed and opens our eyes to something foreign and beyond us. If you’re interested at all in photography as a visual language, then The Iceberg is a book you must experience." — Christian Michael Filardo

Purchase Book

The Iceberg By Giorgio Di Noto. Edition Patrick Frey, 2018.
The Iceberg By Giorgio Di Noto. Edition Patrick Frey, 2018.



Christian Michael Filardo is a Filipino American photographer, curator, and composer living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This year they released their second book The Voyeur’s Gambit through Lime Lodge. Currently, they help run the gallery and performance space Etiquette and write critically for photo-eye and Phroom. Filardo is the current shipping manager at photo-eye Bookstore.

photo-eye Gallery Behind the Photo:
Field Notes from Steve Fitch
In this Behind the Photo segment, we share an excerpt from Steve Fitch's new monograph Vanishing Vernacular where Fitch lends context to images also included in his exhibition.

Vanishing Vernacular by Steve Fitch, installed at photo-eye Gallery

As our Vanishing Vernacular exhibition by Steve Fitch enters its final week, we are excited to share an excerpt from the epilogue of Steve's new monograph. In this passage, Fitch offers a collection of his field notes corresponding with a number photographs he's made over the last 38 years. Each of the works listed below is in the current exhibition.

Vanishing Vernacular will be on view through Saturday, May 19th; please feel free to stop by the gallery for a last look at this comprehensive body of work. photo-eye Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:30 pm or by appointment.

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper Forrest Soper selects The Pigeon Photographer by Nicoló Degiorgis and Audrey Solomon as Book of the Week.
The Pigeon Photographer 
 Edited by Nicoló Degiorgis and Audrey Solomon
Rorhof, 2017.
Forrest Soper selects The Pigeon Photographer by various pigeons with the assistance of Julius G. Neubronner from Rorhof as Book of the Week.

"The Pigeon Photographer is a wonderful book that examines a unique and bizarre chapter in photographic history. Composed of three volumes, it explores the history, imagery, and ephemera surrounding the use of homing pigeons as photographic tools, and as a result, the history of early areal photography. From the early 1907 patent by Julius G. Neubronner to the final experimentation of pigeon photographers in the 1930s this book not only examines the history of this phenomenon, but it also it contemplates the future of automated photography. With acclaimed photographers Nicoló Degiorgis and Joan Fontcuberta paving the way, this book is a beautiful and intimate look into an overlooked chapter of history.

The first volume of The Pigeon Photographer is a hardbound book containing images taken by the pigeons themselves. Attached with either a one or two-lensed camera, these birds would fly towards their coop, with the camera mechanically taking pictures along its jouney. Once the bird arrived, the camera and harness was removed and the images developed. As pigeons flew at their own pace, it was nearly impossible to predict precisely what the birds would photograph on their journey and as a result, there was a large element of chance involved in pigeon photography. This volume, largely devoid of text, shows beautiful and romantic areal photographs through early 20th century Europe. Experimental, pictorial, and historical, these images rival many taken by human counterparts.

The second volume is a newsprint publication that contains a collection of vintage articles, advertisements, and graphics relating to pigeon photography. Here pigeon photography is viewed as cutting edge technology rather than a bizarre relic from the past. Photographs of birds strapped into photographic harnesses are paired with early newspaper clippings, as readers are able to gather information on this phenomena as it was reported in the 1920s.

The final volume is an essay written by Joan Fontcuberta entitled Dronifying Birds, Birdifying Drones. In this essay Joan Fontcuberta details the history of pigeon photography, and uses it to draw parallels between modern military drones. Fontcuberta details how the early experimentations by the Germans and French were used to see if pigeons — already used to transmit messages past enemy lines — could be used as surveillance tools. As pigeons were not able to manually trip the shutter themselves, this form of surveillance was quickly outdated with more advanced technologies, however, areal photography and surveilance only continued to expand. Fontcuberta questions what photography means when humanity is stripped from its core as he traces areal photography the evolution from Nadar, to pigeons, to military drones. When cameras are used as tools or war, rather than tools of art, does photography suffer?

In the end, this book is one that is sure to appeal to all audiences. Beautiful images, a spectacular story, and profound reflection all combine to create my one of my favorite photography books, The Pigeon Photographer." — Forrest Soper

Purchase Book

The Pigeon Photographer Edited by Nicoló Degiorgis and Audrey Solomon. Rorhof, 2017.
The Pigeon Photographer Edited by Nicoló Degiorgis and Audrey Solomon. Rorhof, 2017.


Forrest Soper is an artist and photographer based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Forrest is the editor of photo-eye Blog, a former photochemical lab technician at Bostick & Sullivan, and a graduate of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

Book Review Lost + Found and Good News Photographs by David LaChapelle Reviewed by Collier Brown It’s finally here, David LaChapelle’s highly anticipated two-part retrospective, Lost + Found and Good News. And good news it is. The two volumes from Taschen, lavishly produced, boxed in high gloss, and unsparing in bubblegum hues, gather mostly uncollected material from work spanning the breadth of LaChapelle’s thirty years in commercial, fashion, and pop-celeb photography.
Lost + Found (Part I)
Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.
Lost + Found and Good News
Reviewed by Collier Brown

Lost + Found (Part I) and Good News (Part II)
Photographs by David LaChapelle.

TASCHEN, Los Angeles, USA, 2017. 556 pp., 11x14"

It’s finally here, David LaChapelle’s highly anticipated two-part retrospective, Lost + Found and Good News. And good news it is. The two volumes from Taschen, lavishly produced, boxed in high gloss, and unsparing in bubblegum hues, gather mostly uncollected material from work spanning the breadth of LaChapelle’s thirty years in commercial, fashion, and pop-celeb photography.

LaChapelle’s monographs often advertise as striking “coffee table” books, a rather homely endorsement of any big book. I’ve never quite understood it. Oversized and eye-catching: absolutely. Like a disco-inspired
Good News (Part II)
Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.
diptych, the Taschen set begs to be displayed. But somewhere between your books of Jan Saudek and Annie Leibovitz, on a slightly more exalted shelf.

Lost + Found and Good News retain what we’ve come to expect and admire in previous collections by LaChapelle — a lucid surrealism, satirical humor, and contentious play between disgust and beauty. But followers of the photographer’s career will recognize a maturity in these books that deserve and reward repeated reads.

I say reads because, as LaChapelle has remarked, the books’ four hundred-plus images were carefully arranged to tell a story.

In the first part, we’re presented with the world as-is. Miley Cyrus, kneeling on the cover and metamorphosing on the back, enacts her own tableau vivant of tribulation and transfiguration. She’s Magdalene, reaching toward the light of a prison window, and she’s the Blessed Virgin of Guido Reni’s baroque Assumption, but with butterfly wings, drawn upwards toward Xanadu, as if to say, there is trouble and real sorrow, but if you want redemption, if you want to be “found,” you’ll need imagination and a good airbrush.

Lost + Found (Part I) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

Elsewhere, the Christ child is reborn in the streets of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Icarus crashes into the e-waste seas. The tips of pink sex toys derange Dutch-inspired still lifes, like those of so many seventeenth-century paintings. The fecund Venus of Willendorf precedes the sterile wax nude of Princess Diana by sixty-eight pages and twenty-eight thousand years. The Renaissance plays out its dramas in all places and at all times.

Lost + Found (Part I) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

Among its recognizable celebrities, Lost + Found includes a selection of images from a 2014 monograph called Land Scape. For this work, LaChapelle built a series of miniature oil refineries, installing them at various sites around the world, including his farm in Maui. I grew up in southwest Louisiana where petrol refineries constellate the highways for miles and miles. From a distance, they can look like celestial cities, lit by millions of klieg lights. But up close, they smell, feel, and to a great degree resemble, Dante’s Inferno.

Lost + Found (Part I) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

LaChapelle squints at that less-than-glamorous reality. His installations glow garishly like something out of Tim Burton’s Christmas Town. It’s one of those uneasy contradictions peculiar to LaChapelle’s style. The images never condemn that which obviously threatens our, and the earth’s, wellbeing, whether we’re looking at celebrity portraits or Shell service stations in the middle of the very rainforests we’ve razed for oil exploration.

Lost + Found (Part I) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

LaChapelle reminds me, at times, of the Victorian aesthete who can’t abide anything unpleasant or unhandsome. There must be fresh cut flowers in every room. Even so, the beauty is strategic; it is thoughtful. The refinery’s candied incandescence lures you in. Up close, the installations reveal a strange architecture: plastic cups and plastic straws, the very commodities served up on the other end of the refining process — and not only the commodities, but the ideologies that obscure in attractive ways the great ongoing tragedy of conspicuous consumption.

Lost + Found (Part I) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.
In other parts of the book, airplanes spiral downward through cloudy, rose-tinted fabrics, the bottoms of the planes glittering like stars — images that, on the one hand, indict the luxury of air travel at the expense of the environment; and images, on the other hand, that cannot help but evoke, like elegiac mobiles, one of America’s most horrific historical events.

In Good News, the second volume, we look toward the future, toward what the world could be, what it might be.

Good News (Part II) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

But first, the deluge. LaChapelle is at his strongest when he crosses iconographies from art history, theology, and mythology with pop culture. The biblical flood, the judgment of an angry god against a decadent civilization, submerges our casino showrooms and uptown museums: pandemonium overtakes Caesar’s Palace as the beau monde flee the rising tides, Damien Hirst’s shark tank cracks and shatters, and Louis Vuitton handbags float like bloated seals to the surface (one of the more symbolic changes in LaChapelle’s thinking, given the famous Vuitton-Lil’ Kim cover he did for the November 1999 issue of Interview magazine).

Good News (Part II) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

In what is, to my mind, the most powerful image in the book — I among the Lost — LaChapelle updates Théodore Géricault’s famous painting The Raft of Medusa with mixed media and collage. It’s multi-dimensional and more complex than much of LaChapelle’s earlier work. And it’s an image that (like the airplanes) exceeds the scope of its history and touches crises closer to our time. In that sense, I among the Lost provides critics a larger target. Images that accentuate the beautiful where, in reality, only suffering, discrimination, and disparity exist invite a sober, more judicious kind of scrutiny.

Good News (Part II) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

The political, for better or worse, is not LaChapelle’s strength. When the book exclaims on its final pages, “Behold — A New World,” I can’t help registering the colonial legacy of that cry. In the same way, much of the excerpting from biblical texts, especially when employed optimistically by the titles, can come off as politically and historically tone deaf. Of this much, LaChapelle is well aware. He’s defended in numerous interviews his own desire to re-appropriate Christian gospel from extreme American right-wingers. Given how ingrained the abuses of organized religion have been, and continue to be, in western cultures and nations and timelines, we can only wish him luck.

Good News (Part II) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

Nevertheless, the hope for a world renewed is the privilege (the mandate?) of every imagination, starting with the world of oneself. And that’s the real heart of this book. In 2006, LaChapelle retired to an ex-nudist farm in Maui. The former understudy of Andy Warhol had had enough of the spotlight. Magazine and commercial work demanded more than he could give. Overwhelmed, fatigued, and unsatisfied, he came to a decision: no more celebrity portraits.

Good News (Part II) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

But retirement didn’t last long. LaChapelle returned to work only months later, but more adamant about his own self-determination and the execution of his own vision. From this period, we get the Land Scape series and the Deluge. But we also see themes of Paradise Regained, a reflection no doubt on his own withdrawal to Hawaii. In Good News, LaChapelle remakes the sacred in the image of his own humanistic reveries. The Italian Renaissance philosopher Pico della Mirandola recommended as much some five hundred years ago in his Oration on the Dignity of Man. Ventriloquizing the Creator, Mirandola says, “I have made you neither celestial nor terrestrial, neither mortal nor immortal, so that, like a free and able sculptor and painter [and photographer] of yourself, you may mold yourself wholly in the form of your choice.”

Good News (Part II) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

LaChapelle does exactly that. In this new Eden, Michael Jackson is both Archangel and Dove. Halos enshrine Tupac Shakur, Paris Jackson, and Sergei Polunin. And the models of LaChapelle’s early black- and- white photographs (still exceptional, even in the fullness of his larger opus) stand like seraphic sentinels against the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and the ongoing entropies of time.

On the cover of Good News, the Adam and Eve of LaChapelle’s paradise emit spirals of light from their genitals, an electric whirlwind of sexual energy commingling in the air between them, growing, expanding, becoming brighter and brighter. The breakdown of sexual difference, or the confluence of those differences, has always played a significant role in LaChapelle’s art. The transgender model Amanda Lepore has been, for many years and many projects, a central muse. In 2014, LaChapelle created a poster for the HIV/AIDS charity event Life Ball, in Vienna. At the center of a Bosch-inspired Garden of Earthly Delights, the transgender model Carmen Carrera displays herself, penis and breasts, wholly archetypal. The caption reads: “I am Adam. I am Eve. I am Me.”

Good News (Part II) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

The caption maps the utopian quest of LaChapelle’s career: from the LaChapelle Land of his first major book to the Me, Myself, of his last.

America’s great Myself poet makes a cameo in this second volume. Walt Whitman, lover of all things celebratory, all things perfumed and naked and indivisible, greets us where he left off in his Song of Myself: “Missing me one place, search another; / I stop somewhere, waiting for you.” And not just somewhere—Maui!

Lost + Found (Part I) Photographs by David LaChapelle. Taschen, 2017.

David LaChapelle is calling Lost + Found and Good News his valediction to pop-glamour publication. And it may very well be a final dalliance with a particular genre of pop art, but let’s hope it’s not the last of his photobooks. And if it is, well, it’s a goodbye proffered in true LaChapelleian fashion: with flair, originality, humor, and lots of glitter. — Collier Brown

Purchase Lost + Found (Part I)

Purchase Good News (Part II)

Collier Brown is a photography critic and poet. Founder and editor of Od Review, Brown also works as an editor for 21st Editions (Massachusetts) and Edition Galerie Vevais (Germany).

Read more book reviews


photo-eye Gallery Book Signing
Steve Fitch: Vanishing Vernacular
Saturday, May 12, 2–4 pm
Join us at photo-eye Gallery this Saturday, May 12 from 2–4 pm for a book signing event with Steve Fitch to celebrate the recent release of his monograph Vanishing Vernacular: Western Landscapes, from George F. Thompson Publishing.

Book Signing with Steve Fitch this Saturday, May 12, 2–4 pm
Join us at photo-eye Gallery this Saturday, May 12, 2–4 pm for a book signing event with Steve Fitch to celebrate the recent release of his monograph Vanishing Vernacular: Western Landscapes, from George F. Thompson Publishing. Much like our ongoing exhibition, the Vanishing Vernacular monograph is a comprehensive look at Steve Fitch's work covering more than 30 years of his career.
"In this fascinating and comprehensive account, we are able to join in Fitch’s expansive journey, truly an odyssey, as represented in the book’s 120 unforgettable photographs, all sequenced to mimic the open road—both during day and night. Fitch explains the project in his informative introduction, in which, interestingly, he suggests that the petroglyphs of the ancient Pueblo people have endured far better and longer than anything made during the last sixty years. Curator Toby Jurovics, in his insightful concluding essay, positions Fitch’s work in relation to that of the practitioners of the photographic style known as the New Topographics and Fitch’s own view of photography as a visual form of cultural anthropology. Vanishing Vernacular: Western Landmarks is sure to become a modern-day classic, a book that will be all the more revered as America and Americans move farther away from the highways of the past. That economy and roadside culture are vanishing like endangered species, but Fitch was along for the ride. In sharing that past, he has been witness to his own form of historic preservation."  
– George F. Thompson Publishing

photo-eye is thrilled to offer an exclusive Limited Edition of Vanishing Vernacular: Western Landscapes. Limited to just 60 copies, each hardbound book is accompanied by one of three signed and numbered prints made by the artist. Image size is 8x10 inches on 8½x11-inch Canson Platine Fibre Rag paper from digital files prepared from the original 8x10 color film negatives. Prints are in a protective sleeve and inserted into signed Trade Edition copies of the book.

Limited Edition A: 
Starlite Motel, Mesa, Arizona, December 28, 1980 – $350

 8"x10" Signed Print, Edition of 20 – © Steve Fitch 

Limited Edition B: 
Blue Swallow Motel, Hwy. 66, Tucumcari, New Mexico; July, 1990 – $1050

  8"x10" Signed Print, Edition of 20 – © Steve Fitch   (Only 2 left)

Limited Edition C: 
Motel, Raton, New Mexico; 1980 – $350


 8"x10" Signed Print, Edition of 20 – © Steve Fitch

Steve Fitch in his Studio

Steve Fitch is an American photographer born in 1949. He earned an MFA from the University New Mexico in 1978, and has taught photography at UC Berkeley, the University of Colorado in Boulder, Princeton University, and since 1990, at the College of Santa Fe. Fitch's photographs are included in the permanent collections of such museums as the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and The Chicago Art Institute.



For more information regarding the Vanishing Vernacular Book Signing, and to purchase prints from the series, please reach out to Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x202 or gallery@photoeye.com.


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Laura M. André Laura M. André selects Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado, by Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe, as Book of the Week.
Drowned River: 
The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado
by Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe. 
Radius Books, 2017.

Laura M. André selects Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado by Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe, from Radius Books, as Book of the Week.

In their new publication, Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon, Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe present the results of their five-year project to rediscover Glen Canyon. Drowned River combines the well-known re-photography approach that Klett and Wolfe have perfected in numerous projects and books with Rebecca Solnit's unparalleled writing, which deftly weaves together facts, evidence, personal experience, and photography.

In 1963, the Sierra Club published Eliot Porter's book The Place That No One Knew: Glen Canyon on the Colorado. The book is a photographic eulogy for Glen Canyon — once one of the most remote and spectacular places on the continent. As the Colorado River, impounded by the Glen Canyon Dam, slowly rose to create Lake Powell, it swallowed the canyon's narrow, colorful slots, submerged ancient signs of human habitation, and displaced countless species of flora and fauna.

The Glen Canyon Dam was one of the century's most heartbreaking losses for environmentalists, but Porter's project also marked one of the most powerful instances of an artist using photography as a tool for environmental activism.

A half-century later, the effects of climate change have started to impact the enormous reservoir, and the receding waters are beginning to reveal Glen Canyon's treasures again. At the same time, the Colorado River is returning to the upper reaches of the reservoir, and even carving new routes through the landscape.

Meticulously re-tracing Porter's journey through Glen Canyon and reproducing excerpts from Porter's book, Drowned River is not a straightforward re-photographic project. The three contributors offer a poignant, remarkable, and important visual and textual record that, while it engages with the past and  Porter's work, asks us to stop and consider the present moment — really just a nanosecond in geological time — as well as the unpredictability of the future.

Purchase Book

Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado
by Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe. Radius Books, 2017.
Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado
by Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe. Radius Books, 2017.


Laura M. André received her PhD in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and taught photo history at the University of New Mexico before leaving academia to work with photobooks. She is the manager of photo-eye's book division.



photo-eye Gallery Gallery Favorites:
Steve Fitch's Vanishing Vernacular
Gallery Director Anne Kelly and Special Projects Coordinator Lucas Shaffer select their favorite images from Steve Fitch's Vanishing Vernacular.

Vanishing Vernacular monograph & corresponding exhibition at photo-eye Gallery.
Book signing with Steve Fitch, May 12th, 2–4 pm.

On  Friday, March 30th, photo-eye Gallery hosted a reception for represented artist Steve Fitch in honor of his exhibition Vanishing Vernacular and new monograph of the same title.

Our exhibition of Fitch’s images is extensive, spanning over 38 years of his career, and has prompted many enthusiastic viewers – lovers of photography, classic neon and Route 66 – to share their own road trip stories. The response has been fantastic. If you haven’t had a chance to view the exhibition yet we will be hosting a book signing on Saturday, May 12th, 2-4 pm, when Steve will be signing copies of his new book, Vanishing Vernacular: Western Landscapes, as well as a few earlier titles, such as American Motel Signs and Gone. We hope you can join us.

After the exhibition opening, new Gallery Associate Yoana Medrano shared her favorite image from Vanishing Vernacular, introduced herself and told us what made the image special. Having had time to live with the exhibition, Lucas Shaffer and I are pleased to share our selections, as well.

–Anne Kelly, Gallery Director


Anne Kelly Selects
Greyhound Motel, Tucson, Arizona; December 30, 1980 

Greyhound Motel, Tucson, Arizona; December 30, 1980, 16x20" Archival Pigment Print, Edition of 12, $2,000 
 © Steve Fitch
There are so many wonderful photographs in our Steve Fitch exhibition that it is hard to pick just one! So in an attempt to do so, as usual, I defer to my intuition. I love all of the bright, bold, neon motel signs and drive-in theaters, but the image that is grabbing me during Vanishing Vernacular is a little quieter.

Shot on the side of one of the motels, or so I assume, is a row of carefully manicured cacti that are slightly illuminated by a single green neon tube and framed by the motel wall. Based on the color of the sky, the sun set perhaps about an hour earlier but the moon has yet to rise. For me, this image brings back memories of being on the road and pulling up at little motels like this one and experiencing a quiet, private moment at the end of a day's journey.


Lucas Shaffer Selects 
Radio Tower Near Sudan, Texas; October 18, 2010

Radio Tower Near Sudan, Texas; October 18, 2010, 16x20" Archival Pigment Print, Edition of 12, $2,000 
 © Steve Fitch

Radio Tower Near Sudan, Texas; October 18, 2010 focuses on one of Fitch's later topographical fascinations, the titular radio tower, and is among my favorite images by the photographer. Growing up in a rural midwestern town, I used to adore watching the red flashing warning beacons affixed to a  trio of radio towers float over wide open fields as my family drove by. The effect was most impressive as the sun set. The tower's skeletal structure receded into the sky, leaving the pulsing lights to hover above the ground, seeming to fluctuate in their size and shape as we turned corners or pulled close. Watching those beacons was delightful. 

Of course, what I'm describing is nostalgia. But, what I think is so compelling and fascinating about Fitch's work is how he creates relatability through straight, descriptive, and democratic images – even when they have a perfect jewel-toned ombré sky as a backdrop. Fitch doesn't set out to make nostalgic images, he photographs subjects he finds interesting during his highway travels, and yet, his images often reference our own stories. The connection to my own experience is what draws me to Radio Tower Near Sudan, Texas; October 18, 2010, and what I see as the power behind this body of work.


Vanishing Vernacular is on view at photo-eye Gallery through Saturday, May 19th, 2018.

For more information on Steve Fitch, or to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x 202 or at gallery@photoeye.com.

Print prices are subject to change as the edition sells and were current at the time this post was published.

» View Vanishing Vernacular

» Purchase a copy of the monograph

» Attend the May 12th Book Signing Event








photo-eye Gallery Interview: Beth Moon on Capturing the Emotional Wilderness We are thrilled to announce that photo-eye Gallery is now representing Beth Moon. In order to get to know the artist a little better, we are pleased to share Gallery Director Anne Kelly's recent conversation with Moon, in which they discuss ancient trees, black birds, the artist's inspiration, and her monographs.

Fornax, Archival Pigment Print, 20x30" Image, Edition of 15, $2500 – © Beth Moon

We are thrilled to announce that photo-eye Gallery is now representing Beth Moon. In order to get to know the artist a little better, we are pleased to share Gallery Director Anne Kelly's recent conversation with Moon, in which they discuss ancient trees, black birds, the artist's inspiration, and her monographs.

Next month, a selection of images from Beth Moon's series Night Diamonds will make their photo-eye Gallery debut in a group exhibition of astrophotography. This exhibition will correspond with the First InterPlanetary Festival running the weekend of June 7th and 8th in the Railyard Arts District.

Lyra, Archival Pigment Print, 20x30" Image, Edition of 15, $3000 – © Beth Moon

Anne Kelly:     You studied art at the University of Wisconsin, and as I understand it, explored a variety of mediums, but photography came a bit later for you — and has clearly become your passion. 

Beth Moon:     Yes, I was a fine art major. Classes in painting, life drawing, sculpture, and design gave me an understanding and foundation of basic principles and would set the groundwork for my work in photography which was to come years later.

My artistic journey took a meandering path as I initially worked in fashion, designing clothing, but over time creative limitations became constricting and I wanted to move into a discipline with more expression and freedom.

I became interested in photography and I realized the vast artistic range it offered; so many decisions to make along the way! I thought it would be the best medium to use to record tree portraits.

Odin's Cove 1, Platinum/Palladium Print, 16x20" Image, Edition of 9, $3400 – © Beth Moon

AK:     Who are your influences?

BM:     I am inspired by great literature, certainly music, and many other forms of art, especially painting. I like to visit museums when I need inspiration, one of my favorites being the Metropolitan. I see current exhibitions, but always find new and interesting things in the permanent collection, no matter how often I visit.

AK:     You have previously stated, “Our relationship to the wild has always played an important role in my work” — can you please expand on this?

BM:     Yes, this is a relationship I think of often, whether it is ravens in the wild, how we treat our farm animals, carnivorous plants, etc., this relationship ends up filtering into my work. I have a great appreciation for the natural world, so perhaps it is this emotion that I am trying to capture and share. I am not interested in simply documenting, but instead, I try to record the passion that I feel towards the subject when I take the photograph.

When I began to take tree portraits I consciously tried to show a pristine side of nature without any signs of man. But a year or so into the project, I realized I wasn’t telling the whole story and began to include trees that had doors that were built into the trunk or wooden props that held up ancient branches.

Odin's Cove 36, Platinum/Palladium Print, 11x14" Image, Edition of 9, $2400 – © Beth Moon

AK:     Memory and time also seem to be reoccurring themes in your work.

BM:     Loosely speaking, time and memory are central motifs that run through my images. For me, they all intersect at different points becoming one in the same.

What I find interesting is the effect that time has on nature, be it the age of old trees, or how evolution turned a simple leaf into a container that could catch and digest insects, creating carnivorous plants.
The aging process of trees is especially interesting to me. For example, trees often hollow out in old age, but then they send an aerial root down the center and the tree begins to grow from the inside out! A brilliant survival tactic.

AK:     You have photographed some of the oldest and largest trees in the world. Have you always been attracted to trees — and is there a particular experience that may have inspired the images of trees that you are making today? 

BM:     As a child, I was outdoors from dawn until bedtime and playing in trees was a big part of my day. There were many trees in my neighborhood that were just right for climbing. They made excellent hiding places when playing hide and seek and sitting up on one of the branches was an ideal way to view what was going on below. The world can look different from that vantage point!

So trees were a natural subject choice for me, but I wanted to find the oldest ones because I was interested in their age and their strategies for survival.

Ancient Skies, Ancient Trees, Photographs by Beth Moon. Contributions by Clark Strand and Jana Grcevich.
Abbeville Press, Jackson, USA, 2016. In English. 116 pp., 11x11x¼"


AK:     Your images have been captured on film as well as in digital format. What inspired the transition?  

BM:     Up until two years ago, I was dedicated to shooting film (medium format) until I started photographing under starlight (Diamond Nights project), which required long exposures. Knowing it was not possible to shoot these images on film, I made a transition to digital, which I resisted at first but now I am comfortable with this medium and can appreciate certain benefits. I certainly don’t miss fighting at the airport to get my film hand checked!

AK:     Please share a story about something unexpected that you discovered in the process of making your work.

BM:     I started photographing ravens in 2010, which I titled Odin’s Cove. I first noticed the pair at the seaside in northern California upon a ledge, watching me. Fascinated by their behavior, I found myself watching their movements the entire afternoon.

A few weeks later, I returned to the sea and to my surprise I found the birds in the same place. I returned many times over the next three years to visit the birds, and I believed they recognized me, often flying down to greet me upon my arrival. I think the birds just got used to me being there and I was careful not to intrude on their space.

I began to take pictures of the birds without any clear purpose. It just became part of my experience. It was when I happen to recall a mythological play I had once seen about the Norse god Odin that the title hit me. Odin had two ravens that flew across the land daily to keep him informed of events around the world.

The title seemed to be the structure needed and appeared to speak not only about the birds, but the place itself, and rounded all the elements together in my mind for a photographic series. Many aspects of this experience were unexpected, but none so much as the bond that I developed with these birds over time.

Between Earth and Sky, Photographs by Beth Moon.
Charta, 2013. 96 pp., illustrated throughout, 9½x10".

AK:     You have published four books and are currently working on your fifth. In having the opportunity to speak with many photographers in various phases of publishing it seems that the process of making each book is different. Please tell us about your adventures in book publishing.

BM:     I don’t believe there is any better way to really flush out a body of work than the process of making a book. For me personally, I find it a very arduous and challenging task, but that is what ultimately makes it so gratifying. I tend to work slowly, contemplating the many decisions. I think the shortest time that I have taken on a book was just short of four years (Ancient Skies), with the longest book project taking fifteen years, (Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time). I started work (Augurs and Soothsayers) for my current book in 2010. Within these eight years, I feel the project gained a depth it wouldn’t have had earlier.

I am lucky to have worked with Abbeville Press on the last three books and have learned a lot about the publishing industry, which is an education in itself.

AK:     What is next for you?

BM:     I have a couple of projects simmering but hate to talk about new work until it is completely finished! I hope to carve more time out this year, away from the admin part of the job to be able to devote to new work only.

Beth Moon on Location
Click to Enlarge

For more information about Beth Moon, and to purchase prints from her portfolios, please contact photo-eye Gallery Staff:
505-988-5152 x202 or gallery@photoeye.com

» View Work by Beth Moon

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Prices listed were current at the time this post was published on 4/25/2018.


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper Forrest Soper selects Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs by Diane Arbus as Book of the Week.
Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs 
 By Diane Arbus. Aperture and the 
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2018.
Forrest Soper selects Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs by Diane Arbus from Aperture and the Smithsonian American Art Museum as Book of the Week.

"The photobook world is plagued by a myriad of posthumous publications by notable photographers. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with these publications, as their educational value cannot be understated, many seem cold, distant, and detached. Exhaustive catalogs with pages of academic text place so much importance on formality that the artistic essence of the original photographs seems distilled — almost as if the artist’s original vision had been forgotten. At the very least, few of these publications seem to propel the evolution of the photobook genre.

An Exception can be made for Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs. Published alongside an exhibition of the same name at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, this book highlights one of the most important photographic publications ever made.

During her lifetime, A box of ten photographs was the only physical collection of her work that Diane Arbus personally made for sale. The portfolios were housed in a plexiglass box and contained ten prints, each interlaced with vellum sheets upon which extended hand-written titles for the subsequent photographs were written. Intended to be printed in an edition of fifty, Arbus only completed prints for eight of the portfolios, of which only four had been sold, prior to her death. The subject of the recent Aperture publication focuses on edition #5, sold to Bea Feitler, which included an additional eleventh photograph.

Published as a book for the first time, A box of ten photographs is so beautifully reproduced that it is only one small step below a professionally made facsimile of the original portfolio. The printing quality is impeccable, and the attention to detail in the handwritten titles is commendable. Unless you have access to authentic gelatin silver prints, the reproductions in this book are the closest you can get to viewing Arbus’ work as it was originally intended.

After the initial reproductions, a wonderful illustrated essay by the curator John P. Jacob thoroughly discusses the importance and history of this body of work.

At the end of the day, there is nothing I can say about Arbus that has not already been said. Every living photographer working as an artist is indebted to her in some way. Her work has become legendary and her life has transcended into myth. Her images are forever ingrained in our collective memories and publications of her work can be found in libraries across the globe.

I have many books on Diane Arbus in my library, but A box of ten photographs is the first publication that feels like it was made by the artist herself." — Forrest Soper

Purchase Book

Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs By Diane Arbus. Aperture and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2018.
Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs By Diane Arbus. Aperture and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2018.


Forrest Soper is an artist and photographer based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Forrest is the editor of photo-eye Blog, a former photochemical lab technician at Bostick & Sullivan, and a graduate of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.