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Book Review Magnum Photobook: The Catalogue Raisonné. By Carole Naggar and Fred Ritchin Reviewed by Blake Andrews The current photobook renaissance has been ongoing for more than a decade now. So it was perhaps inevitable that at some point its head would begin eating its tail.
Magnum Photobook: The Catalogue Raisonne. 
By  Carole Naggar and Fred Ritchin. Phaidon Press, 2016. 
 
Magnum Photobook: The Catalogue Raisonné
Reviewed by Blake Andrews.

Magnum Photobook.
The Catalogue Raisonné.

Text by Carole Naggar and Fred Ritchin.
Phaidon Press, London, England, 2016. In English. 272 pp., 1500 color & 100 black-and-white illustrations, 8½x11¾x1¼".  

The current photobook renaissance has been ongoing for more than a decade now. So it was perhaps inevitable that at some point its head would begin eating its tail. Judging by several recent compilations, we're now well into that meta realm. Photobooks about photobooks have become fairly common. In the current millennium, there have been all sorts, from Roth's The Book of 101 Books to the three Parr/Badger volumes to Errata Editions' photobook facsimiles. There is a photobook for Dutch photobooks, one for Japanese photobooks, one for Chinese photobooks, and one for Latin America. At this rate, there will soon be one covering each country, and we'll need a catalogue raisonné to track all of the photobooks about photobooks.

Magnum Photobook: The Catalogue Raisonne. By  Carole Naggar and Fred Ritchin. Phaidon Press, 2016.

Such a book may eventually happen but we're not there yet. In the meantime, publishers can tackle the task of comprehensive annotation in small chunks. Or large chunks, as the case may be with Magnum Photos. Now in its seventieth year, Magnum is a titan in the world of documentary photography, representing luminaries such as Cartier-Bresson, Erwitt, and Koudelka. Collectively its members have published over a thousand photobooks. Why there's enough material for a photobook about their photobooks.

Into the breach step Fred Ritchin and Carole Naggar with Magnum Photobook: The Catalogue Raisonné. As the title suggests, the book systematically annotates every single photobook by Magnum authors. That's right, Every. Single. One. There is also a large section profiling selected photobooks in depth, and a brief chapter Making Photobooks with short example-based contributions from Magnum photographers.

Magnum Photobook: The Catalogue Raisonne. By  Carole Naggar and Fred Ritchin. Phaidon Press, 2016.

We'll get to those in a moment. But first let me discuss the working engine of this book, which is the comprehensive listing of all Magnum photobooks: the catalogue raisonné. The books are listed by author, each one with a small icon of the cover and publishing information. It's not a lot of information per book, but when taken as a whole the scope of this project is mammoth. The cataloging —in microscopic font— consumes over fifty pages of the book's last chapter. For librarians, archivists, photobook collectors, Magnum buffs, and anyone else in need of a definitive publishing record this section of the book alone is worth its weight in 4 pt lead type. There is nothing else like it that I know of.

Interspersed between the comprehensive index and Fred Ritchin's oddly dispassionate introductory text, The Catalogue Raisonné is filled out with two other sections. The primary body of the book is The Photobooks: In Detail 1938 - 2016. This section follows the now familiar format pioneered by Roth, Parr/Badger, and other photobooks on photobooks mentioned above. A facsimile of the book's cover is spliced into an attractive layout with a few interior spreads and a brief written analysis. The images are scanned from original copies with yellowing pages, scuff marks, grease stains, and shadows, inferring them with book-like tangibility. You almost feel you could lift the books off the page and hold them.

Magnum Photobook: The Catalogue Raisonne. By  Carole Naggar and Fred Ritchin. Phaidon Press, 2016.

Note, the In Detail section does not list every book by Magnum authors. That's the job of the comprehensive index. Instead, the selections highlight well-known Magnum photobooks in depth, no more than one per author. They are sequenced chronologically from Capa's Death In The Making (published in 1938, before Magnum was established) to Michael Christopher Brown's Libyan Sugar published just last year. In between is a heavy smattering of the usual suspects, along with several titles which will be new to most.

The texts (primarily written by Naggar) give a nice overview of each photo book. For those hungry for more, eight of the books are expanded on further in the brief middle section Making Photobooks. In this chapter, the original Magnum authors write from first-hand experience about how their photobooks were made, illustrated with early drafts, notes, and ephemera. This is a fascinating section but unfortunately not very long. It's the briefest chapter at just fifteen pages.

Magnum Photobook: The Catalogue Raisonne. By  Carole Naggar and Fred Ritchin. Phaidon Press, 2016.

Taken as a whole, The Catalogue Raisonné fills any number of niches. It's a beautifully illustrated browsable book in the mold of Parr/Badger. It's an exhaustively researched catalog. It even has a bit of how-to bookmaking instruction. Finally, it's a loose history of photojournalism and photobook design. Since Magnum has played such a dominant role in documentary photography, the chronology of its books can't help but tell some of that story. How, you wonder, did we get from The Three Banners of China to Hotel Afrique? This book illustrates the rough progression. If a catalogue raisonné is ever published which tracks photobooks about photobooks, this book will surely be highlighted. — Blake Andrews

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BLAKE ANDREWS is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com.

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Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christopher J Johnson Christopher J Johnson selects Tu Me Dis by Titus Simoens as Book of the Week.
Tu Me Dis. By Titus Simoens. Art Paper Editions, 2016.
Christopher J Johnson selects Tu Me Dis by Titus Simoens from Art Paper Editions as Book of the Week.


Book Review Girl Plays with Snake. By Clare Strand Reviewed by Adam Bell Consider the snake—hold it, drape it over your shoulder, or simply run, look away, and close your eyes. Snakes, like many misunderstood and maligned creatures, tend to provoke strong reactions.

Girl Plays with Snake
By Clare StrandMack, 2016.
 
Girl Plays with Snake.
Reviewed by Adam Bell

Girl Plays with Snake.

Photographs by Clare Strand.
Mack, London, England, 2016. 128 pp., color and black-and-white illustrations.

Consider the snake—hold it, drape it over your shoulder, or simply run, look away, and close your eyes. Snakes, like many misunderstood and maligned creatures, tend to provoke strong reactions. I Love Snake. I Hate Snake. The refrain echoes across the front and back of Clare Strand’s new book, Girl Plays With Snake, and highlights the ambivalence and humor central to the work. On the one hand, Strand’s book fits nicely within a growing category of art books that compile, rearrange and recontextualize found photographic imagery. But, like the titular snakes, looks are deceiving. For a project that began with fear and aversion (in this case Strand’s own towards the reptile), it is also playful and humorous, hinting at the obviously culturally loaded imagery of women and snakes but ultimately pointing to the unstable meanings of all imagery. Peppered throughout the book are textual fragments, written by algorithmic poetry bots, that push meaning to absurd places, forcing us to return to the images, look closely, taking them apart, playing with them until they sliver away inert—beautiful, strange and funny.

Girl Plays with Snake By Clare StrandMack, 2016.

It seems appropriate that the book opens with its most ferocious image—a snake, mouth open, poised to strike. I Hate Snake. From there it moves on and the snakes are coiled, draped and docile, at peace with their handlers. I Love Snake. Drawn from tabloid press photos and other vernacular sources, the appropriated photos show happy women holding snakes—smiling they address the camera calmly. Hold the snakes close or gingerly handle them with poles. Despite the tortured and ambivalent refrain of the cover, these women seem to enjoy themselves as they embrace the snakes. Strand dislikes snakes, but was obviously compelled enough to gather all these images, collecting them over years. In interviews, she admits that the work first began when her daughter informed her that she had held a snake in school. Disgusted and intrigued, Strand initially drew on her own archive of imagery, but then began actively seeking out images of women and snakes. As an artist, Strand has long utilized archival or appropriated imagery in smart but playfully humane works and this is no exception.

Girl Plays with Snake By Clare StrandMack, 2016.
Girl Plays with Snake By Clare StrandMack, 2016.

Bound in a faux-snake leather cover, the book fits comfortable in the hands—its size suitably intimate. Combining dramatic full-bleed images with full-size reproductions, the book moves in and out of the images—drawing us close and then pulling away. Love. Hate. In the close-ups, we see the grainy lines of a transmitted press photo, but also get the beautifully mottled skin of the snake and manicured nails. Thick outlines of a retoucher’s paintbrush silhouette the arms and snake, drawing our eyes to the curves and lines of entwined hand, body and serpent. Throughout the book are half-page fragments of disjointed verses that play off the title of the book, Girl Plays With Snake. Fed into poetry bots and tweaked by Strand, the title gave birth to nonsensical verses that defy easy interpretation. Like the snake itself, their unstable meaning wriggles out of our grasp.

Girl Plays with Snake By Clare StrandMack, 2016.
Girl Plays with Snake By Clare StrandMack, 2016.

Whether natural, performed, or coerced, the gestures and poses enacted by the women in Girl Plays With Snake all seem to cater to our cultural assumptions while simultaneously tossing them aside. Repeated over and over, like the phrases on the front and back, they become absurd, lose meaning, and then become somehow profound. From the beginning it is obvious that Strand is the girl playing with the snake, but if we look beyond the girl and the snake, we can see Strand is inviting us to play along. —Adam Bell

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ADAM BELL is a photographer and writer. His work has been widely exhibited, and his writing and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Afterimage, The Art Book Review, The Brooklyn Rail, fototazo, Foam Magazine, Lay Flat, photo-eye and Paper-Journal. His books include The Education of a Photographer and Vision Anew: The Lens and Screen Arts. He is currently on staff and faculty at the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at the School of Visual Art. (www.adambbell.com and blog.adambbell.com)



photo-eye Gallery Michael Kenna: 5 New Works photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to present five new works from represented artist Michael Kenna.


Capodacqua Lake, Capestrano, Abruzzo, Italy. 2016 – © Michael Kenna 
photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to present five new works from represented artist Michael Kenna. Photographed in 2016, these exquisite images from Italy and Japan are indicative of Kenna’s dynamic minimalistic aesthetic as well as his desire to showcase beauty from around the globe.

Toned silver gelatin prints are hand made by Kenna and available in two sizes: 8x8 inch prints in an edition of 25 starting at $3000 and 15.5 x 15.5 inch prints in an edition of 4 starting at $10,000, with the exception of Thirty-One Snow Fences which is only available in the smaller size.  The larger 15.5 x 15.5 prints are rare for Kenna, who has generally favored a tighter intimate viewing distance in the past, and the prints are vast, rich, and exceptional. At the time of this post, all prints are in their 1st tier, but the prints are limited and prices are subject to change – please contact the gallery for up-to-date information.

For more information about Michael Kenna, and to purchase prints, please contact photo-eye Gallery Staff at 505.988.5152 x 202 or gallery@photoeye.com.

Poplar Trees, Fucino, Abruzzo, Italy. 2016 – © Michael Kenna

Folded Beach Umbrellas, Montesilvano, Abruzzo, Italy. 2016 – © Michael Kenna

Thirty-One Snow Fences, Bihoro, Hokkaido, Japan. 2016 – © Michael Kenna
** Not Available in 15.5 x 15.5 inches **

Thirteen Beach Umbrellas, Montesilvano, Abruzzo, Italy. 2016 – Michael Kenna


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo Christian Michael Filardo selects After the Funeral by Jordan Sullivan as Book of the Week.
After the FuneralBy Jordan Sullivan Jane and Jeremy, 2016.
Christian Michael Filardo picks After the Funeral by Jordan Sullivan from Jane and Jeremy as Book of the Week.


Books photo-eye's Bestsellers of 2016 photo-eye's 11 best selling photobooks of the year.
1.     Inherit the Dust
By Sally Mann
Abrams

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4.     Intimate Distance
By Todd Hido
Aperture

Purchase Book Here










5.     2017 Michael Kenna Wall Calendar
By Cristina De Middel
This Book Is True

Purchase Book Here













8.     Black Box
By Hiroshi Sugimoto
Aperture and Fundación MAPFRE

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9.     Adrift
By Richard Misrach
Photographers’ References

(Tied for 10th place)
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10.      The Time Between:
The Sequences of Minor White.

By Minor White
Museum of Photographic Arts

(Tied for 10th place)
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Book Review stills By Katrien De Blauwer and Danny Clay. Reviewed by Christopher J Johnson Though repetitive, engaging with a Katrien De Blauwer photo-collage is something more like engaging with a memory than a work of art; and that is a very fine thing — really an ideal outcome.
stills. By Katrien De Blauwer and Danny Clayiikki books, 2016.
 
stills.
Reviewed by Christopher J Johnson
 
stills.
Photo-collages by Katrien De Blauwer. Music by Danny Clay.
iikki books, Plouër-sur-Rance, France, 2016. 112 pp., 75 illustrations, 11¾x8¾".

When I engage with stills there is nothing that comes to mind more strongly than the Bauhaus photo-collagists Xanti Schawinsky, Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy and Marianne Brandt. Despite the fact that the majority of their work was created from photographs that they took themselves, the Bauhaus approach to this style of work and De Blauwer’s approach are very similar, it is the perspective and use of line and the use of other shapes that puts them in close proximity despite the wide gap of years separating the bodies of work.

stills. By Katrien De Blauwer and Danny Clayiikki books, 2016.

I think it also goes without saying that the Bauhaus photo-collagists were masters of the craft and that, like them, so is Katrien De Blauwer — actually, she’s more of a master which might be expected since the Bauhaus artists didn’t really specialize; they dabbled in everything from stage sets and furniture design to painting and manifestos — photography was only a minor category in their enormous nebula of talents.

Katrien De Blauwer, on the other hand, seems to have made photo-collage her sole focus and this intense engagement keeps her ever improving, even expanding what her otherwise limited form can achieve. Though repetitive, engaging with a Katrien De Blauwer photo-collage is something more like engaging with a memory than a work of art; and that is a very fine thing — really an ideal outcome.

stills. By Katrien De Blauwer and Danny Clayiikki books, 2016.

stills has a two-fold function, it works as a retrospective look at some of the different series Katrien De Blauwer has done in recent years, but also as a stand-alone work in conjunction with the experimental musician Danny Clay for which the sections of the book have been divided with tracking markers for the music so that both are experienced together as the two artists intended for this publication [the Limited Edition is a book and an LP, while the trade edition comes with a digital download of Clay’s album. Both book and LP share the name stills].

I should say that the images and the music are both very nice works of art that can stand-alone; together they are nice also, but I can’t shake the sense of being in an art gallery. I prefer art not to remind me of anything like an institution, but rather the world that surrounds: the faults that we have, our natural environments and, well, my memories. It is when the experience of art removes us from a sense of its surroundings (whether a studio, a museum, a gallery or an online image cache) that it is truly great, but the idea that engaging with art makes you feel as though you are in an art museum or gallery is, quite frankly, unappealing to me.

stills. By Katrien De Blauwer and Danny Clayiikki books, 2016.

All of De Blauwer’s images are sensuous, if she had a secondary subject matter it might be water, but water is tributary to heat and moisture, in short, that which is sensuous. Her use of old photographs and old paper is expertly handled so that one never feels as though they are engaging with something from antiquated sources, but rather something fresh and eternal and new; a scene that has unfolded in the history of human nature and continues to unfold, unchanging, as the world changes and our desires as an en masse culture change — De Blauwer stick with what does not change, a human desire for intimacy and contact and the erotic.

I recommend this publication highly, both the book and the album, but suggest that you engage with them together at least once and then decide for yourself how you will engage with them again, either separately or as a piece. — Christopher J Johnson

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CHRISTOPHER J. JOHNSON lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a resident writer for the Meow Wolf art collective. His first book of poetry, &luckier, has been released by the University of Colorado. He is Manager of photo-eye’s Book Division.

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photo-eye Gallery photo-eye Gallery: Artists in the News - Jan 2017 Recent press coverage, awards, and new releases from photo-eye Gallery artists including Brad Wilson, David Emitt Adams, and David H. Gibson.

Great Horned Owl #1, Espanola, NM, 2011 – © Brad Wilson


Brad Wilson

Brad Wilson and the Wild Animals
Annabelle Magazine

Well, look who's on the cover of the German language magazine Annabelle from Switzerland! A selection of Brad Wilson's peering owls, with their direct gaze and striking appearance, illustrate this special 'Night' edition of the European lifestyle magazine. We have a few spreads from Annabelle, provided by Wilson, for your enjoyment. – Read More


















 

Santa Fe New Mexican – Pasatiempo 

A crop of Brad Wilson's Pasatiemo December 2016 Magazine cover

Shooting from the Heart: Wildlife Photographer Brad Wison
By Paul Weideman

Paul Weideman's December 2016 interview with Brad Wilson for the Santa Fe New Mexican's Pasatiempo arts magazine – released the week AFFINITY opened at photo-eye Gallery.

"The hard part is finding that moment of greater visual connection, because the world doesn’t need another tiger photograph or chimpanzee photograph. There are millions out there. My challenge is to try to find something that’s a little more connected, a moment that’s more powerful." 
– Brad Wilson, from the interview with Paul Weideman 

The Clarence John Laughlin Award
New Orleans Photo Alliance



2016 Grantee – David Emitt Adams: POWER
New Orleans Photo Alliance Grant Awards

photo-eye Gallery Represented Artist David Emitt Adams received the prestigious Clarence John Laughlin Award from the New Orleans Photo Alliance in 2016 for his series POWER. For the series, Adams traveled cross-country and created images directly on 55-gallon oil drum lids using the wet plate collodion process. He hand-built an ultra-large-format camera and used a mobile darkroom so that the photographs could be developed on site. – Read More

photo-eye was proud to represent two other finalists as well – Richard Tuschman's Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz and Photographer's Showcase artist Patty Carroll's Anonymous Women. 

View Conversations With History by David Emitt Adams a previous series of Western landscapes on found objects using a similar process.


David H. Gibson

Images, Panoramas, Sequences

Nazraeli Press



We are incredibly proud to showcase this gorgeous new publication by Nazraeli spanning some thirty years of David H. Gibson's prolific career. Comprised of three cloth-bound volumes presented in a custom-made clamshell box and Limited to 500 hand-numbered copies, Images, Panoramas, Sequences is a long-overdue survey of Gibson's highly-acclaimed photographic output.

“In this day when the art market and museums herald artists who address contemporary cultural issues, David Gibson focuses on the splendors of nature. Amidst a photographic community often preoccupied with the medium's digital mechanics and opportunities, he cultivates the medium's language of light and slowed time.”
 — From the Introduction by John Rohrbach, 
     Senior Curator of Photographs, 
     Amon Carter Museum of American Art 

Purchase a copy of Images, Panoramas, Sequences

David H. Gibson has also created a number of exquisite hand-crafted artist books – many of which are available from photo-eye.

View hand-made artist books by David H. Gibson


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper Forrest Soper selects 3DPRK by Matjaž Tančič as Book of the Week.
3DPRKBy Matjaž TančičJiazazhi Press, 2016.
Forrest Soper selects 3DPRK by Matjaž Tančič from Jiazazhi Press as Book of the Week.


Book Review Signs of Your Identity. By Daniella Zalcman Reviewed by Forrest Soper Working under a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Zalcman spoke to 45 individuals in the Saskatchewan province, who were placed in the Indian Residential Schooling System as children. Many of their stories are told in Signs of Your Identity.
Signs of Your Identity. By  Daniella Zalcman
FotoEvidence, 2016. 
 
Signs of Your Identity.
Reviewed by Forrest Soper.

Signs of Your Identity.
Photographs by Daniella Zalcman. Text by Marlene McNab. Cree Translation by Doreen Oakes.
FotoEvidence, New York, USA, 2016. In English and Cree. 120 pp., 56 black-and-white illustrations, 8¼x8¼".

For roughly 120 years Canada operated numerous institutions under the guise of the Indian Residential Schooling system. Thanks to the Indian Act of 1876, officials were legally allowed to take indigenous children into their custody and place them in predominantly catholic boarding schools. Here children were subjected to horrific living conditions. Countless reports of physical and sexual abuse plagued these facilities. Disease was rampant, and due to poor living conditions and inadequate care, the resulting death toll was abhorrent. While there are no official records of how many children passed away, investigations concluded that the death toll reached at least 6,000.

Signs of Your Identity. By  Daniella Zalcman. FotoEvidence, 2016.

All of this was supposedly done to ensure that indigenous children were properly educated and better prepared to enter the workforce. In reality, the institutions attempted to assimilate a new generation into “western culture” by abolishing aboriginal culture, traditions, and language. Children, sometimes as young as two or three years old were taken from their homes and placed in institutions where they would be punished for embracing their culture or speaking in their native language.

This program was truly one of the darker chapters in Canadian history and was in practice for far too long. The last school closed in 1996, and the first official apology from the Canadian government was issued in 2008. Still, the effects of this now defunct program are present in the individuals who survived.

Daniella Zalcman tells the stories of these survivors in her first monograph, Signs of Your Identity. Working under a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Zalcman spoke to 45 individuals in the Saskatchewan province, who were placed in the Indian Residential Schooling System as children. Many of their stories are told in Signs of Your Identity.

Signs of Your Identity. By  Daniella Zalcman. FotoEvidence, 2016.

This book has already received notable praise, being the recipient of the 2016 FotoEvidence Book Award, and being selected as one of the Best Books of 2016 by Sara Terry, and it is clear why. The book, with its unassuming gray cover, is remarkably powerful both in terms of content and design. Beginning with a brief history of the Residential School System and an introduction by the mental health therapist Marlene McNab, this book quickly begins telling the stories of 25 individuals who were placed in these schools for various durations of time.

For the majority of the book, Zalcman follows a simple but incredibly successful design formula. On the left, text displays the name of the individual pictured on the opposite page, as well as which school they were placed in, how long they were there, and a quote about their experience. On the right, a portrait of the individual is printed on translucent vellum. When the vellum page is turned, a double exposure is revealed beneath. This image is composed of both a portrait of the individual and a photograph taken where the residential school they attended once stood.

Signs of Your Identity. By  Daniella Zalcman. FotoEvidence, 2016.
Signs of Your Identity. By  Daniella Zalcman. FotoEvidence, 2016.

The result is incredibly moving. When the vellum is displayed on the right you can just barely see evidence of the double exposure, an illusion that is three-dimensional and seems to breathe and change as it is lifted ever so slightly from the page beneath it. When the vellum is displayed on the left, you are able not only see the double exposure in its entirety, but you also must physically look through the straight portrait to see that individual's words. Often vellum is used in book design as an embellishment or a garnish, but rarely is it used to enhance the content of the work as well as it does in Signs of Your Identity.

While the design aspects of this book are to be admired, they in no way detract from the importance and the gravity of the work. People tell us about being raped and abused as children, a woman mentions that she is now afraid of god and a man mentions how, as a result, he struggles to love his own children. Their stories are haunting, and we know that we are only shown a small glimpse of the atrocities that occurred.

Signs of Your Identity. By  Daniella Zalcman. FotoEvidence, 2016.

Perhaps that is why this book is so powerful, not only because it talks about the horrible actions of the past, but because Zalcman was able to create something so beautiful and dignified despite them. This book is less about condemnation and more about resilience.

Zalcman is an outsider to the native community, a point addressed in the afterword, however, it is perfectly clear that she addressed this topic with dignity and grace. This book not only brings light to an incredibly important subject, but also does so while creating something powerful that is full of beauty. Signs of Your Identity deserves all of the praise it has received and more. — Forrest Soper

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Forrest Soper is a photographer and artist based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. A graduate of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, he previously worked at Bostick & Sullivan. Forrest is the Editor of photo-eye Blog. http://forrestsoper.com/

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