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Book Of The Week Hiroshima 1965 Photographs and text by Kenji Ishiguro Reviewed by Laura M. André Printed in an edition of 900 signed and numbered copies, Hiroshima 1965 is a haunting reminder of the lingering impact of devastation and photography's role in our attempts to picture something incomprehensible.

Hiroshima 1965 By Kenji IshiguroAkio Nagasawa, 2018.

Hiroshima 1965
Selected as Book of the Week by
Laura M. André.

Hiroshima 1965.
Photographs and text by Kenji Ishiguro.
Akio Nagasawa, Tokyo, 2018. 160 pp., black-and-white illustrations, 9½×8¼×¾".

Last week marked seventy-three years since the atomic bomb attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (respectively, August 6 & 9, 1945). The two events and their impacts have figured prominently among the most unforgettable photobooks ever produced: Ken Domon: Hiroshima (1958), Shomei Tomatsu & Ken Domon: Hiroshima-Nagasaki Document 1961, Kikuji Kawada: Chizu/The Map (1965), and Shomei Tomatsu: 11.02 Nagasaki (1966).

Another title fit for that list is Kenji Ishiguro's Hiroshima Now (1965)which was originally to have been only the first volume in a set of three. Composed of photographs made in Hiroshima during 1964 and 1965, copies of Hiroshima Now are quite scarce and carry a hefty price tag. However, Akio Nagasawa's latest release, Hiroshima 1965, is effectively a new, updated edition of that classic book, and is printed in a signed and numbered edition of 900 copies.

Hiroshima 1965By Kenji Ishiguro. Akio Nagasawa, 2018.

Hiroshima 1965 is a reminder of how consistently we rely on photography in our attempts—both successful and failed—to comprehend the incomprehensible. A similar problem exists in language. For example, in Ishiguro's afterword, "Mystery Hiroshima," he recalls how, upon his first visit there, he sensed he could actually smell something burning. But then he elaborates that it was more "like being wrapped entirely in some kind of burned air." That same, oppressive sensation fell upon him again when he returned to Hiroshima in 1965 to shoot a "twenty-years-later" photo essay for the now defunct Nihon Dokusho Shimbun newspaper.

Hiroshima 1965By Kenji Ishiguro. Akio Nagasawa, 2018.

Ishiguro's intent was to eschew the kinds of evidentiary images of destruction (melted bottles, frozen timepieces, scarred flesh, charred concrete) that Shomei Tomatsu, Ken Domon, or Kikuji Kawada made famous. Instead he wanted to photograph a city and its people reborn, back to work and school and play, in sleek, mid-century modern offices and trains, on lively urban streets and in verdant parks.

Hiroshima 1965By Kenji Ishiguro. Akio Nagasawa, 2018.

Hiroshima 1965By Kenji Ishiguro. Akio Nagasawa, 2018.

And, while many of these images seem to convey the streets of any modern Japanese city of that time, our knowledge that we're looking at the specific city of Hiroshima, and our understanding of what happened there twenty years earlier, powerfully impacts what we see. It's as if we are indeed seeing the blanket of "burned air" that Ishiguro describes.

Hiroshima 1965By Kenji Ishiguro. Akio Nagasawa, 2018.
Far more than the images of the now iconic Hiroshima Peace Memorial (the Atomic Bomb Dome)—Hiroshima's most prominent ruin—or the museum, cenotaph and other memorial markers in the Peace Memorial Park—it is Ishiguro's general street photographs that capture a palpable anxiety, or a future-past tense sort of looming doom.

Hiroshima 1965By Kenji Ishiguro. Akio Nagasawa, 2018.

Nearly three-quarters of a century have passed since Hiroshima was leveled on the morning of August 6, 1945. In that instant, at 8:15 am, 70,000 people died. Another 70,000 would die from the bomb's effects in the days, weeks, months, and years later. In the face of this, Ishiguro concludes, "[t]o capture Hiroshima in photographs seems to be impossible..."

Hiroshima 1965By Kenji Ishiguro. Akio Nagasawa, 2018.

Ishiguro's Hiroshima may look toward peace, but I can't help feeling like he might as well be talking about today's global political and social instability when he asserts, "there is 'something' that is getting more and more intense. That mysterious, invisible air can smell like unrest, solitude, melancholia or absurdness..."

Hiroshima 1965By Kenji Ishiguro. Akio Nagasawa, 2018.

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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 photography books. She is the manager of photo-eye's Bookstore.

photo-eye Gallery LIGHT + METAL:
A Conversation with Michael Jackson
photo-eye Gallery speaks to British photographer Michael Jackson about his dynamic luminograms and why he creates one-of-a-kind photographs.

Michael Jackson's luminograms installed at photo-eye Gallery as a part of LIGHT + METAL

LIGHT + METAL is an extensive exhibition and many of the artists and artworks included in the show are making their photo-eye Gallery debut. To introduce our readers to this diverse collection, and its 14 practitioners, we've created a short series of conversations with the artists aimed at understanding how and why they make unique work. We are proud to lead this series off with Michael Jackson, who's luminograms are incredible abstract expressions of light, form, and tone.

Michael Jackson, Yellow, November, Luminograms, 20x16" Image, Unique, $4000

photo-eye:     What inspired you to create the pieces that are included in LIGHT + METAL?

Michael Jackson:     I have two types of luminograms in the exhibition - the portraits and the response to a color (Yellow). They both use the same process but have completely different thinking behind them. When I started to work with the luminogram process I realized that silver gelatin paper is as adaptable a medium as oil paint or sculpture. It has so many hidden depths and features that are yet to be explored. I feel that in the same way that oil paint can be adapted to paint abstract or reality, silver gelatin paper can be controlled to do the same. So I initially used the process to record a mirror to my response of a subject (any subject) - a color for example. But I also wanted to stretch myself and began to adapt what I had learned to try and represent something based on reality - and the portrait seemed to be a perfect subject to study. For some reason the human head fascinates us - and it has been represented in nearly all other mediums. I wanted to see if the luminogram process could give a unique mark and create portraits that could only have been made by that process - something new. And I feel it can.

Michael Jackson printing luminograms in the darkroom.
pe:     What type of work did you make prior to the work you are making today, and what inspired the change?

MJ:     Before I worked with luminograms I used standard film and cameras. I moved to Wales where it was cheap to live and beautiful. I latched on to a single place - a remote beach called Poppit Sands - and studied that one place for over eight years. It was a reclusive life but eventually, if you study a place to that extent, you start to think in different ways and you begin to understand yourself and your response to what you see. I think of it as a type of understanding that you don't really fully understand. It was this time at the beach that gave me the momentum and knowledge to move forward and break into making luminograms.

Michael Jackson, Mrs. S, Luminograms, 20x16" Image, Unique, $4000

pe:     Is the fact that you are creating unique photographs important to you?

MJ:    It is a feature of the process that the results are unique. The same as drawing or pottery - each piece is a direct record of numerous decisions. I like the fact that you are always making something new - never seen before. I used to hate printing editions from shots made years ago - it was as if I was going backward. Now it always feels as if I am going forward.

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is an acclaimed avant-garde photographer based out of North Dorset, England. He is best known for his many years photographing a single beach in Pembrokeshire, Poppit Sands and is now regarded as a leading exponent of the luminogram process. Jackson works with uniquely developed techniques involving controlled directed light on silver gelatin paper in the darkroom. In 2017 his pioneering luminogram work was paired with theologian Edwin A. Abbott in a book published by 21st Editions, titled after the author's famous work 'FLATLAND' and premiered at the Grand Palais in Paris. His work has been exhibited internationally. He is also a three-time Hasselblad Masters Award finalist.

"A true avant-garde of photography, he is on his way to becoming one of the most renowned contemporary fine art photographers." - Lomography Magazine

For more information on Michael Jackson, and to purchase prints, please contact photo-eye Gallery Staff at 505.988.5152 x202 or


» See previous work by Michael Jackson

» Read "Three Works We Love from LIGHT + METAL"

» Visit the Gallery
    541 S. Guadalupe St. 
    Santa Fe, NM 87501
    –click for map–

photo-eye Gallery Three Works We Love from LIGHT + METAL Gallery Staff highlight three notable works from our group exhibition LIGHT + METAL, on view at photo-eye Gallery through September 15th.

LIGHT + METAL installed at photo-eye Gallery
Featuring sixty unique works by fourteen artists, selecting three objects to feature from LIGHT + METAL was a daunting task. Perhaps more than usual, this exhibition with its diverse array of photographic techniques, intents, and expressions has captured our attention and imagination. More than a year in the making, producing LIGHT + METAL was a labor of love and each of us have a strong investment and interest in every work installed at the Gallery. To truly cover our favorites, our lists could have easily run ten or more artworks long. It's possible we may return to highlight a few additional images and artists during the run of the show, but for now, please enjoy our discussion of three unique pieces we find notable and compelling from LIGHT + METAL.

Anne Kelly selects Molecule by Anne Arden McDonald

Anne Arden McDonald, Molecule, 2017, Cameraless Gelatin-Silver Print, 24x20" Image, Unique, $2400 Framed 

Anne Kelly - Gallery Director
505.988.5152 x121
The image from METAL + LIGHT that I keep returning to is Molecule by Anne Arden McDonald.   I had a chance to discuss the making of this image in detail with Anne when she was in town for the reception- and learned that it was created by placing soap bubbles directly on top of silver gelatin paper in the darkroom prior to being exposed it to light. I love how playful the process of creating this image was, and every time I pass by this piece I see it differently. Sometimes Molecule appears simply as an abstract image and other times it's a powerful combination of elements capable of making oceans and atmosphere.

Lucas Maclaine Shaffer selects For Anna Vol. II, Plate 31, by Meghann Rippenhoff

Meghann Riepenhoff, For Anna, Vol. II. Plate 31, 2017,
Dynamic Cyanotype, algae and shoreline debris, 12x9" Image, Unique, $3500, Framed
Courtesy of EUQINOM Gallery

I've adored Meghann Riepenhoff's Cyanotypes since Anne first made me aware of the work a few years ago, and am incredibly excited to feature four of her works in LIGHT + METAL. As an artist and collector, I respond to the print's unique nature, physicality, and purpose. En mass, Riepenhoff's work questions the nature of our relationships to the landscape, images, time, and permanence – given the impact of her images, it is no wonder she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship this year.

Lucas Maclaine Shaffer
Special Projects & Client Relations
505.988.5152 x114
For Anna Vol. II, Plate 31 is part of a larger series paying homage to prominent 19th-century cyanotypist Anna Atkins and a response to her influential book Photographs of British Algae – widely considered to be the first published using photographic illustration. I've read that while viewing a copy of the original publication, Riepenhoff became fascinated with a progression of impressions left by a previous reader. Here, Riepenhoff witnessed a lasting interaction, a dialogue of sorts, with Atkins work left for consideration by future readers and has responded by creating a series of dynamic cyanotypes printed on location, exposed by the sun and developed in the ocean. Unlike Atkins' traditional photograms produced with dried manicured specimens, Riepenhoff's images are made with wet seaweed on location,
Pre-Order Meghann Riepenhoff's upcoming
monograph, Littoral Drift. Signed Hardbound: $60.00
creating an impression of both the object and its environment. Although the print is unique, it's naming convention indicates it is part of a larger single volume, a new edition of blue photographic drawings for the 21st-century, here Riepenhoff is able to also include a subtle statement about contemporary culture.

As for the print; it's gorgeous. It's deep pervasive blue surface possesses a patina that transforms from a smooth solid at the top to a translucent and granular liquid at the bottom. The central algae impression radiates with a glowing white border and its dark jagged form creates a kind of portal, or nexus, in the surface of the image. For me, the object is delightfully paradoxical, at once exhibiting abstract aesthetics while presenting an utterly exacting representation of a specific object from a specific location. For Anna Vol. II, Plate 31 is a stunning and complex addition to any collection.

Yoana Medrano selects Rose by Kate Breakey

Kate Breakey, Rose, Hand-Colored/Encaustic, 25x27" Image, Unique, $2000 Framed

Yoana Medrano – Gallery Associate
505.988.5152 x 116
I’ve become a fan of Kate Breakey’s: she makes a lot of different work that is constantly inspiring me. While getting ready for the LIGHT + METAL show we received many boxes, Kate sent a large box with two pieces. As I peeled back the cardboard, I was stunned for an unexpected moment and then felt like I wanted to cry: delighted and nostalgic tears. I knew the moment that I saw it that it would be my favorite pick and instantly called dibs.

As I looked at Rose, a hand-colored encaustic print, I could only think of my mother. My mother’s hobby and passion are taking care of her rose garden and if I could capture the essence of her this image would be it. There is something about the encaustic wax that just softens the entire piece as well as giving it dimension. I’m pleased to say that I have the luxury of having a perfect view of Rose for the duration of the show as it hangs directly in across from my desk.

LIGHT + METAL is on view through September 15th, 2018 at photo-eye Gallery.

For additional information, and to purchase works from the exhibition, please contact Gallery Staff at 505.988.5152 x202 or


» Read More about the Exhibition

» Visit the Gallery

541 S. Guadalupe St. 
Santa Fe, NM, 87501
-click for map-

Book Of The Week Borderless Photographs by Wang Yishu Reviewed by Forrest Soper Printed in an edition of 800 copies, Borderless is a book that truly needs to be experienced personally to fully comprehend its impact. Wang seamlessly interweaves photographs from China, Japan, Mongolia, Thailand, Canada, and The United States to create a body of work with a captivating and engaging flow.
Borderless By Wang YishuJiazazhi Press, 2018.
Selected as Book of the Week by Forrest Soper.

Photographs by Wang Yishu.
Jiazazhi Press, Ningbo, China, 2018. 104 pp., 61 color illustrations, 8½x10¾x¾".

"Borderless by Wang Yishu is one of the more spectacular Chinese photobooks I have seen published in the last five years. Originally trained as a photojournalist, Wang abandoned his traditional journalistic practices to focus on the fine art aspects of photography. Rejecting straightforward photographic essays, Wang began to view each photograph as its own aesthetic entity. These individual elements could then be used with others to create a communicative experience that superseded the impact of his traditional work. In doing so, Wang has become a masterful editor as he leaves the viewer to find their own meaning between the otherwise disparate images.

Borderless By Wang YishuJiazazhi Press, 2018.

Printed in an edition of 800 copies, Borderless is a book that truly needs to be experienced personally to fully comprehend its impact. Wang seamlessly interweaves photographs from China, Japan, Mongolia, Thailand, Canada, and The United States to create a body of work with a captivating and engaging flow. Sometimes images are paired by form, as the arching back of a jumping kangaroo is paired with the curved shape of tangled foliage. Other times, Wang focuses on color when the head of a goose preparing to jump into a body of water is mimicked by a woman in a polka-dotted dress looking out from a bridge. Motifs, such as surveillance and dissociation make their subtle appearances, as Wang Yishu invites the reader to find their own meaning in this work devoid of text. It becomes clear that Wang has been critically looking at the changing world around him, and he invites the reader to do the same.

Borderless By Wang YishuJiazazhi Press, 2018.

In three years of working with photo-eye, I have had many people asked me how to make a successful photobook. Should the cover have an image on the front? Which publisher is best? How many images should my book have? What paper should I use? I’ve never seemed to have a satisfactory answer to any of these questions. People appeared to be looking for a formula to success, a recipe that they could follow. After much thought, I’ve come to believe that there are just four simple elements that come together to form a successful photobook: the content of the imagery, the quality of the photographs, the sequence of the book, and the design of the publication. All four of these components require good editing in order to be successful. Much like a traditional novel, which is composed of a mere twenty-six letters and a handful of special characters, a photobooks success is often determined by how the individual components interact with one another on the page. To make a successful photobook it is essential that you learn how to edit if you wish to create the greatest impact in the mind of the viewer.

Borderless By Wang YishuJiazazhi Press, 2018.

At the end of the day, the fact that Borderless has such a skillful edit leads me to recommend this book. The images themselves are beautiful, but the interrelationships between them transform the work into something truly remarkable and personal.

Borderless By Wang YishuJiazazhi Press, 2018.

Zhang Jungang writes in the afterword '[Wang] doesn’t emphasize on any intention or topic when it comes to exhibitions or publications, but rather takes photographs as material to construct a space that is dedicated to observation and perception. Hence, the viewers are encouraged to find their own way out.' I believe that Wang’s philosophy is truly emblematic of the art of photography. By using the camera, one can freeze time in order to make sense of an ever-changing world, and through editing, the photographer can impart that understanding into the mind of the viewer. Some will see beauty, some will find deeper meaning in life, but all will be better for having engaged with the work.

Borderless By Wang YishuJiazazhi Press, 2018.

Borderless is a prime example of photography in its purest form. I can't recommend this publication enough." — Forrest Soper

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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.

photo-eye Gallery How It's Made:
The 14 Techniques Used in LIGHT + METAL
Gallery Director Anne Kelly introduces a brief overview of the 14 photographic processes used in our current group exhibition, LIGHT + METAL

LIGHT + METAL Installation View, West Wall
Left to Right: Julie Weber, David Emitt Adams & Claire A. Warden, Heather Oelklaus, Anne Arden McDonald
Historically, the key elements to any photographic image have been light and metal, and while the photographers in our LIGHT + METAL exhibition all use traditional materials, none of them are creating entirely traditional works. These artists are experimenting, pushing the materials to make original, unique physical objects that return to the medium's original magic. Most photographers who came up working in the darkroom recall the delight and fascination of developing a photograph for the first time and watching as an image slowly appeared in the tray. They were hooked. That is how I fell in love with photography – I used to spend hours in the darkroom after school contact printing images over and over,  just doing things to see what the results might look like.

The introduction of digital technology dramatically altered the photographic landscape and created an approachable, flexible, and prolific means of creating images in the 21st century. For the most part, I think the digital process is excellent, high-definition capture is more portable than ever, and images can be printed in the light on a heroic scale. While digital technology is complex, its practice is understandable and doesn't elicit the same sense of wonder as chemical photography.

In reaction to, and in some cases liberated by, the elevation of digital photography, the artists in LIGHT + METAL are a part of a resurgent movement playfully exploring the possibilities of traditional processes like cyanotype, platinum, silver gelatin, and wet-plate collodion, among others. Here, we've constructed a process glossary for the myriad techniques seen in the exhibition in order to explain more about how the works were made. In the following weeks, we'll be delving deeper into the artists' specific contribution to the show, revealing more about their practices and intentions.

LIGHT + METAL is a passion project, and we are extraordinarily proud of the exhibition. The work is installed at photo-eye Gallery through September 15, 2018; please feel free to contact the Gallery if you have any questions regarding the artists, artworks, or techniques used in the show.
– Anne Kelly, Gallery Director

LIGHT + METAL installation view

Cameraless  – (Anne Arden Mcdonald) A cameraless image is produced on photographic material without the aid of a camera or lenses.

Chemigram – (Anne Arden McDonald, Heather Oelklaus) A Chemigram, from "chemistry" and gramma – Greek for "things written," is a photographic practice where an image is made by painting with chemicals directly on light-sensitive paper. In LIGHT + METAL, both artists pre-coat the paper in varnish to prevent chemical action, subsequently scraping away at layers of the varnish to allow areas of the paper to develop. Chemigrams were invented in the 1950s by Belgian artist Pierre Cordier.

Collage (Vanessa Woods) Collage (from the French: coller, "to glue" is a technique where a new image is created from an assemblage of different forms, such as vintage photographs.

Cyanotype(Meghann Riepenhoff) Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print. The process uses two chemicals: ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, and uses water as a developer.

Meghann Riepenhoff's Dynamic Cyanotypes, courtesy of EUQINOM Gallery, 
and Kevin O'Connell's Platinum Printsinstalled for LIGHT + METAL

Digital Enamel Transfer – (Nissa Kubly)
A digital enamel transfer is an image printed on a clear substrate in archival pigment and placed
directly on top of an enamel, at which point it is heated up to 150° F., at which point the enamel liquefies
and absorbs the pigment.

Encaustic Print (Kate Breakey, Lori Vrba) Encaustic printing employs the addition of heated beeswax, and occasionally pigment, to the prepared surface of a photographic print, giving the object a unique tone and texture.

Hand-colored (Kate Breakey, David Emitt Adams & Claire A. Warden) In a hand-colored image, paint, pencils, and pigment are typically applied to a processed black-and-white photograph to add color and texture.

Lumen Print –  (Vanessa Marsh, Anne Arden McDonald)
A printing process using traditional silver gelatin paper, heat, and sunlight to expose the paper. Gold toner is used as a fixer instead of traditional sodium thiosulfate.

Vannessa Marsh's Lumen Prints Installed for LIGHT + METAL

Luminogram – (Michael Jackson)
A cameraless process pioneered by László Moholy-Nagy in 1922, the Luminogram is simply light, directed onto photo paper in the darkroom. Using their hands, a Luminographer uses gestures and intensities that yield a direct result of their actions on the paper, molding light as a sculptor might mold clay. Gottfried Jäger described it as "the result of pure light design; the rudimentary expression of an interaction of light and photosensitive material… a kind of self-representation of light."

Photogram – (Julie Weber, David Ondrik
A photogram is a cameraless photographic image made by placing objects directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material, such as photographic paper, and then exposing the material to light.

Pinhole Camera – (Nissa Kubly)
A pinhole camera is a simple camera without a lens, but with a tiny aperture, a pinhole – effectively a light-proof box with a small hole in one side. Light from a scene passes through the aperture and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box, which is known as the camera obscura effect. These cameras can take nearly any form.

Michael Jackson's Luminograms installed at photo-eye Gallery for LIGHT + METAL.

Platinum Print  (Kevin O'Connell)
Platinum/Palladium is a black-and-white contact printing process in which the image is formed of metallic platinum or palladium in the fibers of the paper (instead of an emulsion coating on the surface). The hand-coated images are known for their luminosity, extraordinary detail, beautifully rich tonal range, permanence, and stability. Platinum and Palladium printing has enjoyed a revival in recent years as well.

Positive Film – (Nissa Kubly)
In LIGHT + METAL, positive film refers to a silver-nitrate-based black-and-white emulsion suspended on a celluloid base, yielding a unique direct positive image

Wet-Plate Collodion – (David Emitt Adams)
The collodion process, mostly synonymous with the "wet-plate collodion," requires the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed, and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes, necessitating a portable darkroom for use in the field. In photography, collodion is a syrupy solution of nitrocellulose, alcohol, ether, and silver nitrate, used for coating things, chiefly in surgery and in a former photographic process. The emulsion is typically applied to a prepared glass or metal plate.

Over the next seven weeks, we will continue to explore the work included in LIGHT + METAL.  

LIGHT + METAL is currently on view at photo-eye Gallery through September 15, 2018.

For additional information regarding the artists in LIGHT + METAL, or to inquire about purchasing artwork, please contact Gallery Staff at:
505.988.5152 x202 or

» VIEW our Gallery of Installation Images

» VIEW Artwork from LIGHT + METAL

» READ a write-up of LIGHT + METAL published in Pasatiempo

» VISIT photo-eye Gallery

    541. South Guadalupe Street
    Santa Fe, NM 87501
    (click for map)

Book Of The Week Phantom Skies, Shifting Ground Photographs by Byron Wolfe Reviewed by Blake Andrews After being acquitted for the murder of his wife’s lover, Eadweard Muybridge spent a year photographing along the Central American Pacific Coast. In 2007, photographer Byron Wolfe tracked down, cataloged, and eventually rephotographed every known Muybridge Central American photograph. Through photographic collage, interpretive rephotography, illustrations and essays, this book examines a rare series by Muybridge.

Phantom Skies and Shifting Ground By Byron Wolfe 
Radius Books/Temple University, 2017.
Phantom Skies, Shifting Ground
Selected as Book of the Week by Blake Andrews.

Phantom Skies, Shifting Ground. Photographs by Byron Wolfe. 
Radius Books/Temple University, Santa Fe, NM, USA, 2017. 228 pp., 130 color and black-and-white illustrations, 9¼x12".

"Bryon Wolfe is no stranger to rephotography. In the 1990s, he cut his teeth as a major contributor to Mark Klett's Third Views, Second Sights project. Klett pioneered the field in the 1970s with Third View's predecessor, Second View, a re-examination of historic western landscapes.

Klett's methodology was straightforward. He and his team would locate original photo sites, rephotograph them from the same camera position, then present the new images with the originals as side-by-side diptychs.

Phantom Skies and Shifting Ground By Byron Wolfe Radius Books/Temple University, 2017.

As time went by, Klett expanded the possibilities, shifting the presentation as he collaborated with Wolfe. They added color images and used modern digital tools to combine historical and contemporary versions into collages and panoramas. This created a more interactive and vibrant relationship between the two timeframes.

Phantom Skies and Shifting Ground By Byron Wolfe Radius Books/Temple University, 2017.

These techniques all appear in Wolfe’s own rephotographic project, Phantom Skies and Shifting Ground, a collaboration with Scott Brady recently published by Radius Books and Temple University Press. Eadweard Muybridge captured the original photographs, but they are not the California landscapes or animal locomotion series which built his reputation. Instead, Wolfe was drawn to an obscure set of photos that Muybridge took in Central America in 1875. Muybridge had just been acquitted of murdering his wife and needed a reset. He shed his identity, adopted an alias (Eduardo Santiago Muybridge), and headed south.

Phantom Skies and Shifting Ground By Byron Wolfe Radius Books/Temple University, 2017.

On his trip, Muybridge shot over 250 photos, but the album he produced never attracted much attention. Only a limited number of copies were published, each one unique. Eleven are believed to survive today. The negatives are now lost and none of the photos are very well known.

Phantom Skies and Shifting Ground By Byron Wolfe Radius Books/Temple University, 2017.

For Wolfe these circumstances were like honey to a bee. After stumbling on a well preserved Muybridge volume, Wolfe became intrigued, then gradually obsessed. He catalogued every known photo from the trip, then sought them out in person. In 2005, he visited Central America to search for the original photo sites. More trips followed, with his colleague Scott Brady joining the hunt.

Phantom Skies and Shifting Ground By Byron Wolfe Radius Books/Temple University, 2017.

Wolfe quickly realized that most of Muybridge's original photographs were photo-montages composed of multiple negatives. 'What first appeared to be straightforward photographic representations of a thriving post-colonial society,' Wolfe writes, 'eventually emerged as highly romanticized constructions.' The bulk of the constructions consisted of clouds inserted into open skies —Phantom Skies— a common enough practice in the 19th century.

Phantom Skies and Shifting Ground By Byron Wolfe Radius Books/Temple University, 2017.

Muybridge, however, also took liberties with landforms. He sometimes added extra mountains, ridges, water bodies, and impossible permutations. Wolfe found a photo early in the book particularly confounding. It shows a rock form with clouds inserted improbably in the center, 'so completely surreal and implausible that I was unprepared for the mental smack in the head.'

Phantom Skies and Shifting Ground By Byron Wolfe Radius Books/Temple University, 2017.

A rephotographer's task is tough enough when encompassing static changes over time. When the initial scenes aren’t attached to reality in the first place, the challenge grows. Wolfe initially struggled to come to grips with the situation. 'Is it possible to rephotograph something that may never have existed?' he asks in the introduction, before settling on the only answer that would allow him to move forward: 'Yes, I think it is.'

It would still be interesting if Wolfe stopped here, but the book he produced goes beyond rephotography. Some photos are presented on their own. For others, Wolfe combines historical and contemporary vistas into multiple-image collages, a technique he first used in the Third Views series.

Phantom Skies and Shifting Ground By Byron Wolfe Radius Books/Temple University, 2017.

Taken as a whole, Phantom Skies, Shifting Ground is a gorgeous production. However, there's a bonus! Attached to the inside cover is a facsimile version of the book Muybridge originally published in 1876. Holy cow! It's the next best thing to visiting Stanford's library, a delicious treat that honestly deserves its own publication. I get the sense the publishers have pulled out all the stops, creating a must-have book for anyone interested in Muybridge, rephotography, or general photo history." –BLAKE ANDREWS

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Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at (Ed. note: Blake Andrews also writes reviews for photo-eye Blog. Read them here.)