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Book Review New York in Photobooks. By Horacio Fernández Reviewed by George Slade "There’s a ton of character in this book. 32 authors wrote the descriptive introductory paragraphs accompanying the 48 entries. None, as far as I know, are U.S.-based. Which means, happily, that the list has what might seem to us middle-Americans as an awful lot of obscurity."

New York in PhotobooksEdited by Horacio FernándezRM, 2017.
New York in Photobooks
Reviewed by George Slade

New York in Photobooks
Edited by Horacio Fernández. Text by Jeffrey Ladd, et al.
RM, Mexico City, Mexico, 2017. 240 pp., 350 color illustrations, 6½x9½".

Based on the proliferation of “best of” lists, particularly numerous in November and December, and books featuring top, great, important, landmark (choose your defining term) photography books, I’m guessing I’m not alone in this peculiar feeling I get when a list of books crosses my desk. My professional photo-bibliographic pride gets stimulated. The list is a gauntlet thrown at my feet. Can you match this? What would you have on a list with this set of parameters? Defend your choices, my esteemed adversary; I will brook no swaps without just cause, and some I will absolutely take to the mat.
(Sure, such jousting is an inane, intellectual pissing contest, but we effete, artsy types have to take our singular pleasures where we can these days.)

New York in PhotobooksEdited by Horacio FernándezRM, 2017.

I was thrilled, and my competitive spirit was piqued, when I learned of this collection. Jeffrey Ladd’s personal reflections that appear in this book recall a photo-bibliocentric city I knew well. I swear I wore out a Visa card on the (pre-chip, pre-magnetic strip) imprint slider in Soho’s A Photographer’s Place. I remember my astonishment at finding and buying two pristine copies of Danny Seymour’s A Loud Song from a rack in a camera store on East 14th, or maybe 23rd, Street. Many of my own go-to-the-mat-for titles are in this catalogue: Klein’s Life is Good & Good for You in New York; Weegee’s Naked City; Davidson’s East 100th Street and Subway; Abbott’s Changing New York; Lyon’s The Destruction of Lower Manhattan; Mulas’ New York: The New Art Scene. All of these are books contain photographs and themes that absolutely could not have been pursued elsewhere; in the best sense, they reek of New York.

New York in PhotobooksEdited by Horacio FernándezRM, 2017.

Also on the list are several titles so specific, so deeply descriptive of life that they become universal. The city is embedded in the photographs so deeply one might need to be reminded of the setting. Such bookish transcendence is found in Levitt’s A Way of Seeing, DeCarava’s Sweet Flypaper of Life, Schles’ Invisible City, and Evans’ Many Are Called. These are titles I would expect to find on any reputable list of NYC-inflected photobooks.

Some books on the list really pleased me to see, lesser masterpieces like Edinger’s Chelsea Hotel, Weideman’s In My Taxi, Rauschenberg’s Photos In+Out City Limits New York C., all of which fulfill fascinating, if slightly circumscribed, parameters. The Rauschenberg is an example of a different way to slice the pie, that of the artist's book as response to a city.

New York in PhotobooksEdited by Horacio FernándezRM, 2017.

Given the book’s title, I brainstormed some less familiar titles that I hoped would be mentioned; books I had egotistically considered “overlooked” by everyone else but me. Hofer’s luminously beautiful New York Proclaimed and Jan Yoors’ Only One New York/The Unknown Worlds of the Great City, both present. The incredible, game-changing Here is New York/A Democracy of Photographs, ditto.

New York in PhotobooksEdited by Horacio FernándezRM, 2017.

But some entries in my personal pantheon didn’t make the list. Inexplicably, Riis’ How the Other Half Lives and Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency are omitted, and I consider these to be quintessential. (I know that Ballad isn’t all shot in New York, but it is a book that wouldn’t have existed without New York; the iconic Arbus monograph and books by Peter Hujar follow suit.) Martha Rosler’s 3 Works, of which one is her remarkable picture essay “The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems”—also missing. Ryan’s Office Romance, Papageorge’s Passing Through Eden, Biddle’s Alphabet City, Cianni’s We Skate Hardcore, Permuth’s Yonkeros, Rose’s Meatpacking District, Powell’s midtown “lunch pictures” in The Company of Strangers, Mermelstein’s SideWalk and Twirl/Run, all absent. Patrick McMullan’s mammoth compendium of lower Manhattan’s demimonde, so80s: A Photographic Diary of the Decade (the 1980s were my years in the city, so I have a soft spot for this one). Meyerowitz’s similarly weighty Aftermath. New York/New York; Masterworks of a Street Peddler by George Forss, presented by David Douglas Duncan; Issue 19 of Picture magazine, dedicated to images of New York, and Dissent magazine’s fall 1987 issue, In Search of New York.

New York in PhotobooksEdited by Horacio FernándezRM, 2017.

I could go on. I won’t go on.

Remember that every list has an author, or two or three, and that every author or collection of authors has a unique character.

Of the 48 books on this list, almost half of them were unknown or unfamiliar to me.

There’s a ton of character in this book. 32 authors wrote the descriptive introductory paragraphs accompanying the 48 entries. None, as far as I know, are U.S.-based. Which means, happily, that the list has what might seem to us middle-Americans as an awful lot of obscurity. Which means that some “musts” might well be excluded. But you can learn to appreciate others that are included, a goal assisted by some excellent verbal and photographic description.

New perspectives. That’s the mixing, churning, bubbling Big Apple in a nutshell—or, in images between covers—isn’t it? — George Slade

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GEORGE SLADE, a longtime contributor to photo-eye, is a photography writer, curator, historian and consultant. He can be found online at

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photo-eye Gallery Anne Kelly Interviews Pentti Sammallahti In this rare interview, Gallery Director Anne Kelly speaks with Pentti Sammallahti about his past, process, and photographic vision.

Pentti Sammallahti is a self-proclaimed nomad, a man who has dedicated his life to patiently observing and recording the world as he perceives it. His images are quiet, perfectly composed, imbued with a dash of humor, and are often inhabited by animal accomplices — photographs that are nothing short of magical.

Pentti's love for photography began at a very young age and has become a lifetime passion.  This benchmark figure in Finnish photography has been widely published, exhibited, and even selected by Henri Cartier-Bresson as one of his top 100 favorite photographers. Despite Pentti's remarkable success, he remains incredibly modest, and I believe you can witness that modesty in his images.

When I contacted Pentti to request this interview in honor of Warm Regards, his current exhibition at photo-eye, he explained that at the moment he was sailing in Swedish archipelago, and yet he agreed to answer my questions. I feel very grateful Pentti took time out of his current voyage to shed a little extra light on his images.      – Anne Kelly

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper Forrest Soper selects Walden by S.B. Walker as Book of the Week.
WaldenBy S.B. WalkerKehrer Verlag, 2017.
Forrest Soper selects Walden by S.B. Walker from Kehrer Verlag as Book of the Week.

"Walden, the first monograph from S.B. Walker, explores photographs taken at the iconic Massachusetts pond of the same name, made famous by Henry David Thoreau in 1854. Over the course of four years, Walker would photograph the pond, and its visitors, every day after he left work. Instead of attempting to replicate the romantic vision of isolation in pristine nature that Thoreau wrote about, Walker focused his camera on the current state of Walden Pond.

Now a popular tourist destination, Walden Pond has 700,000 people visit each year. The hiking trails are well worn, and signs of human activity are omnipresent. The theme of human intervention seems to be a recurring motif in Walker’s work. Wire fences separate hiking trails from the wilderness, tangled fishing wire and ice cream cones are discarded on the ground, and cell phones fill the hands of visitors. The modern life that Thoreau sought to escape seems to be rapidly encroaching on the land that he once called home.

However, it wasn’t Walden’s convoluted legacy that drew me to this particular publication. There is something almost inexplicable about Walker’s photographs. S.B. Walker is able to beautifully capture a haunting stillness in his work. Throughout the book, I am frequently torn between senses of melancholy peacefulness, curious perplexion, and unsettling loss. This book seems to speak equally on the past, the present and the future, with the end result being a body of work that seems frozen in time.

Part eulogy and part love song, Walden is filled with complex simplicity. Each photograph speaks volumes beyond what is immediately apparent. Every frame seems to be a short poem, and when viewed in sequence, the book becomes incredibly powerful. Since I’ve received Walden, I’ve found myself returning to the images time and time again. Whether you are a fan of Thoreau’s essay or not, S.B. Walker’s Walden is sure to leave a lasting impact." — Forrest Soper

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WaldenBy S.B. WalkerKehrer Verlag, 2017.

WaldenBy S.B. WalkerKehrer Verlag, 2017.

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 also has previously worked at Bostick & Sullivan. Forrest is the Editor of photo-eye Blog.

Book Review Parchman By R. Kim Rushing Reviewed by Karen Jenkins “Rushing hones in on the local, individual experience, cell by cell, and subjugates his own voice in favor of his subjects’. In addition to making photographic portraits of eighteen inmates, Rushing asked these men to create handwritten accounts of their incarceration, which are also reproduced in Parchman."
ParchmanBy R. Kim Rushing. University Press of Mississippi, 2016.
Reviewed by Karen Jenkins

Photographs by R. Kim Rushing. Foreword by Mark Goodman.
University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, USA, 2016. In English. 208 pp., 125 black-and-white illustrations, 10x10".

R. Kim Rushing became the first photographer to gain access to the inmates of the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman in an unexpected way. Returning home to his native Delta region in 1994, he unwittingly gained the trust of the assistant warden, who remembered a story about Rushing running off a peeping Tom from his family home many years earlier. Such confidence, both earned and arbitrary, seems especially resonant with those brokered by the involuntary inhabitants he would spend nearly four years photographing. Initially constructed on a plantation model in 1904, Parchman had acquired, by the time of Rushing’s arrival, all the attributes of maximum security: guard towers, razor wire, electronic gates and of course, walls. He worked his way slowly through these barriers to his access (and others’ escape); first depicting the unoccupied spaces of communal living and details of prison infrastructure. We see the sterility of stainless steel dining rooms and washbasins, along with the tools of the trade in wireless radios and chain restraints. Inmates’ meager personal effects line the floor or are crammed into lockers, interspersed with snapshots or greeting cards from the outside. A recurrence of box fans and televisions points to a (hot) static existence, with a paucity of relief or release. An out-of-order sign attached to the glass barrier of a visitation booth is just discernable from the inside-out, prisoner’s point of view.

ParchmanBy R. Kim Rushing. University Press of Mississippi, 2016.
ParchmanBy R. Kim Rushing. University Press of Mississippi, 2016.

For all the personal contextualization Rushing offers the reader in his preface and via a foreword by Mark Goodman, Professor of Communications at Mississippi State University, this series is not really about place in an expected sense. There are no images to conveying the sweep of Parchman’s 20,000 acres, nor any group photographs to suggest the size or overall make-up of its population. Instead, Rushing hones in on the local, individual experience, cell by cell, and subjugates his own voice in favor of his subjects’. In addition to making photographic portraits of eighteen inmates, Rushing asked these men to create handwritten accounts of their incarceration, which are also reproduced in Parchman. The resulting body of work is a study in confrontation: the inmates’ own confrontation of Rushing and the viewer in their portraits, and with their present circumstances and future aspirations through their writing. And to remind us that this is a punitive context rather than a therapeutic one, the off-camera threat of violence runs through these accounts – the physical confrontation of rage, desperation and disregard.

ParchmanBy R. Kim Rushing. University Press of Mississippi, 2016.
ParchmanBy R. Kim Rushing. University Press of Mississippi, 2016.

Rushing’s work also foregrounds the inmates’ reliance on visual discernment. Whether prompted by boredom, anxiety or curiosity, they spent a great deal of time looking and assessing others, and projecting their own strategic self-image. Looking is also a vehicle of comfort or control, or a catalyst for personal insight. In his writing, Terry Wilkins describes how he counts the number of mirrors, sinks and beds that comprise his world. Willie Lamb III, who once saw any prolonged stare directed his way as instigation to fight, now utilizes a broad vocabulary of vision to describe personal revelations, using phrases such as “I was blind of the facts,” “no one saw any value in me,” and “I am looked down upon.” And yet, this expansiveness is in constant friction with the prisoners’ real physical restraints, despite open cell doors and limited freedom of movement. Arms held behind one’s back might read as open and trusting in another context, but in this place, such as in the portraits of Gregory Applewhite and Terry Wilkins, it suggests an involuntary, closed-off and vulnerable stance. In a portrait of Jimmy Barnes, the prisoner’s arms seem to have disappeared entirely, the phantom limbs of a man who’s all jumpsuit and cell bars, with nowhere to go, holding our gaze. — Karen Jenkins

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KAREN JENKINS earned a Master's degree in Art History, specializing in the History of Photography from the University of Arizona. She has held curatorial positions at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ and the Demuth Museum in Lancaster, PA. Most recently she helped to debut a new arts project, Art in the Open Philadelphia, that challenges contemporary artists to reimagine the tradition of creating works of art en plein air for the 21st century.

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photo-eye Gallery Collecting Pentti: The Photographer's Photographer We spoke with photo-eye Represented Artists Mitch Dobrowner and Brad Wilson about why they chose to collect prints by Pentti Sammallahti.

Pentti Sammallahti is renowned for his meticulously well-seen vignettes expressing delight and wonder for the world around us. Sometimes referred to as a "Photographer’s Photographer", Pentti’s rich silver-gelatin prints are coveted by collectors of all kinds including Henri Cartier-Bresson who named Sammallahti among his 100 favorite image-makers. In kind, photo-eye Represented Artists Mitch Dobrowner and Brad Wilson also own works by Pentti, and we reached out to them about why they chose to collect work by the Finnish photographer and what it means for them to live with a Pentti print.

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Laura M. André Laura M. André selects Peter Hujar: Speed of Life. by Peter Hujar as Book of the Week.

Peter Hujar: Speed of Life. Aperture, 2017.
Laura M. André selects Peter Hujar: Speed of Life. Photographs by Peter Hujar. Texts by Joel Smith, Philip Gefter, Steve Turtell, and Martha Scott Burton. Aperture Foundation, 2017.

Published in conjunction with a major, traveling retrospective exhibition, Peter Hujar: Speed of Life presents readers with the first sustained examination of one of the most important—and underappreciated—artists of the 1970s and 80s. A central figure in the New York art scene of the period, it seems that Hujar's life and work in some way influenced everyone he encountered, whether through professional mentorship, personal friendship, romantic love, or a combination of all of these forms of intimacy: Vince Aletti, Fran Lebowitz, Susan Sontag, William S. Burroughs, Gary Schneider, Nan Goldin, Kiki Smith, and of course, David Wojnarowicz, whose photographs of Hujar on his deathbed remain among the most affecting images of loss and love that I have ever seen.

In the book's opening essay, Joel Smith situates Hujar's work as residing chronologically and aesthetically somewhere between Diane Arbus and Robert Mapplethorpe, "at a crossroads of brutality and beauty." But Smith also asserts that this comparison does little to help us actually see Hujar's photographs—the unforgettable portraits, the expertly composed cityscapes, the historically important documents of 1970s gay culture, and the quietly haunting interiors.

After Hujar's death in 1987 at the age of 53, his work—if not his presence—became subsumed by the AIDS-crisis-fueled, increasingly vociferous, protest-oriented art of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was also overshadowed by the politically driven hysteria and censorship directed at the younger artists Wojnarowicz, Mapplethorpe, and the NEA Four. It was not until 2013 that The Morgan Library & Museum acquired the Peter Hujar Archive and, working in conjunction with the Fundación MAPFRE, organized this publication and the accompanying retrospective exhibition, which travels from Barcelona to The Hague before reaching the U.S. in January 2018.

With this book and exhibition, Hujar joins the countless artists whose work only found recognition after their death—something Hujar predicted during his life. As Gary Schneider recalls, “He was kind of anti-institution, Peter. He even talked about how he would have to die for the work to become famous. And it was really true.”

Susan Sontag (1975) and Rene Ricard (1978). From Peter Hujar: Speed of Life. Aperture, 2017.

Paul Hudson (Leg) (1979) and Surf (2) (n.d.)From Peter Hujar: Speed of Life. Aperture, 2017.


Laura M. André is the manager of the photo-eye book division. She received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and taught photo history at UNM before leaving academia to work with photography books.

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Book Review Two Blue Buckets Photographs by Peter Fraser. Text by Gerry Badger. Interview by David Campany. Reviewed by Adam Bell A revised and expanded "Director's Cut" of Peter Fraser's first book, with a new introduction by Gerry Badger and an interview by David Campany.
Two Blue Buckets. Photographs by Peter Fraser.
Peperoni Books, Berlin, 2017.

Two Blue Buckets.

Reviewed by Adam Bell.

Two Blue Buckets.
Photographs by Peter Fraser. Essay by Gerry Badger. Interview by David Campany. Peperoni Books, Berlin, 2017. 88 pp., 47 four-color illustrations. 11 x 11 inches.

The world is full of inconsequential stuff we can’t escape. When asked to look at the minutia of everyone’s daily life via Instagram and other social media platforms, we won’t and can’t stop. The refreshed flow is part of the appeal—a meal, a humorous sign, a pile of trash—it moves past only to be displaced, shunted downward in the stack. Yet, examined closely and for long enough, the factness of objects can threaten us in their abstraction, like a word that suddenly loses its shape and meaning. Photographers have long reveled in the medium’s ability to transform the mundane, but few excel at this task. The British photographer Peter Fraser’s work can be located in this storied tradition that stretches from Eggleston to Tillmans and beyond, but nevertheless remains distinct. Whereas some work can be bluntly factual, Fraser’s work is philosophically obtuse and melancholic in its investigative stare. Originally published in 1988, Fraser’s first book, Two Blue Buckets, has recently been reissued by Peperoni Books and gives us an opportunity not only to revisit the beginnings of Fraser’s long career, but also to reassess this prescient and singular book.

Two Blue Buckets. Photographs by Peter Fraser. Peperoni Books, Berlin, 2017.

At the time of its release in the late 80s, Two Blue Buckets was a bit of an outlier and perhaps remains so. Color had gained a small foothold within the cloistered spheres of art photography, but Fraser found a path forward that contrasted with his colleagues in Britain (Paul Graham, Martin Parr, and Peter Mitchell) that were also working in color, albeit in a more social documentary mode. It was after an extended visit with Eggleston in the 80s that Fraser embraced the enigmatic clarity of the master’s work as well as his approach to documenting the mundane. Equally important, he accepted color. While Eggleston is an obvious and admitted influence, Fraser quickly found his own position and stylistic approach. The range of this early investigation is on display in this volume.

Two Blue Buckets. Photographs by Peter Fraser. Peperoni Books, Berlin, 2017.

Described as a “Director’s Cut,” this new edition of Two Blue Buckets contains three of the four original bodies work—leaving out Towards an Absolute Zero (1986), a project still in progress at the time, but including 12-Day Journey (1984), The Valleys Project (1985) and Everyday Icons (1986)—and adding 19 new images. The texts by Rupert Martin and Maureen O. Paley are also replaced by a new introduction by Gerry Badger and an interview by David Campany. Both editions were designed by Alan Ward, who makes subtle references to the original, like the schematic of the titular buckets, printed on the 1988 edition’s cover, that reappears as a blind stamp on the back of the new edition. Other clues no doubt exist for the attentive observer. The first edition isn’t flawed like so many reprinted and revised books nor is it prohibitively expensive or unavailable, but this expanded and more focused edition gives clarity and depth to the work.

Two Blue Buckets. Photographs by Peter Fraser. Peperoni Books, Berlin, 2017.

Rather than presenting a single, cohesive body of work, Two Blue Buckets presents three separate but inter-related projects. In each, Fraser seems to be testing the limits and possibilities of his forthright but philosophically measured approach. Long before the art world embraced object-oriented ontology, Fraser’s images pointed not only to the singular lives of objects and things in the world but also to the necessity and enigmatic possibilities of a scrutinizing gaze. In the book’s most well-known image, part of Everyday Icons, two nearly identical blue buckets shot from above, upon closer examination, reveal themselves to be radically different. Floating on a field of dark linoleum, the buckets seem to be magnetically drawn to each other like charged particles: bound together, yet discrete and defiant. Likewise, in the book’s opening image, a disheveled stack of pale bricks sits in an expansive field of dirt. Individual bricks struggle to break free of the pink plastic tarp and the taut black band that holds them in place. Throughout the book, objects and things are presented impassively, at once familiar, yet also opaque.

Two Blue Buckets. Photographs by Peter Fraser. Peperoni Books, Berlin, 2017.

While Fraser holds his cards tight to the chest, clues about the various projects’ meanings peek through. In The Valleys Project, Fraser re-visited his native Wales for a commission and the work feels like a fraught homecoming. In one image, partially deflated balloons lounge on a drab red-brown carpet, and in another, the fogged and lushly illuminated interior of a parked car radiates a ghostly presence. Although full of metaphoric possibilities, the images defy simple reading and force us to return to the act of looking. Yet these are not impersonal or formal images. As Fraser notes in the interview, he is keenly aware of the “delicate interface between being psychologically engaged and intellectually curious about a ‘physical fact.’” Fraser exploits this tension throughout his work. There are also suggestions of the themes that would occupy Fraser for the coming years as his work shifted to examine the physical and metaphysical suggestions of science. From the molecular cluster of the blue buckets to the image of a frozen classroom clock surrounded by celestial notations and artwork, these interests reappear in projects such as Deep Blue (1997) and Material (2002), but also in recent bodies of work such as Mathematics (2017). The original edition of the book even faintly resembles an obscure quantum mechanics textbook with the repeated image of the buckets on the cover and the aforementioned schematics.

Two Blue Buckets. Photographs by Peter Fraser. Peperoni Books, Berlin, 2017.

In a genre long since bowdlerized and defanged, Fraser offers us images that are inscrutably transparent. If we’re always pointing at the stuff around us, there is little room to look. Never a simple act, it can be endlessly fertile terrain in the right hands.  —Adam Bell


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. ( and

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photo-eye Gallery photo-eye Gallery: Three Works We Love Gallery Director Anne Kelly and Associates Savannah Sakry and Lucas Shaffer share one image that personally speaks to each them, why the work is meaningful, and why it's worth collecting.

Last week in the introductory post to our Collecting Series, my first tip was to begin with work you LOVE. This week, Gallery Associates Savannah Sakry and Lucas Shaffer, as well as myself, want to share one image that personally speaks to each of us and why we find the work meaningful.

Believe me, it’s not easy to pick just one print, and I think the same applies when selecting a photograph for your personal collection, but here each of us made intuitive and passionate choices based not only our personal aesthetic taste, but themes, and ideas we respond to. Collecting work that delights, inspires, calms, or challenges you means you get to have that conversation – that experience in your own home on a daily basis.

We hope that you enjoy viewing some of our favorite prints from the Gallery and please reach out if you have questions about one of the selected artworks — and if you have any questions that you would like to see addressed in future posts, we would love to hear from you.

–Anne Kelly, Gallery Director

Lucas Shaffer selects Chris McCaw's Sunburned GSP#279

Sunburned GSP #279 (Pacific Ocean /movement) 2008 © Chris McCaw | Gelatin Silver Paper Negative, 20x24", Unique, $8,000
Chris McCaw’s Sunburned GSP#279 (Pacific Ocean/Movement) is rich, moody, and alien. This atmospheric black-and-white image places you on a wide sea confronting a constellation of black suns against a void of blank sky. For me, the view builds a sublime feeling of unease, danger, and fascination I find utterly delightful. Perhaps equally engaging is the way McCaw makes his imagery. Using hand-made cameras and antique odd lenses each exposure - sometimes lasting hours – solarizes the image in camera on vintage silver gelatin paper yielding a unique print. I love how Sunburned emphasizes the transformative power of photography showcasing how the impression of light over time can make something truly otherworldly and alter our perception of the natural world. I find McCaw’s work important, and I adore how he has found compelling reasons to continue to make landscape imagery on traditional silver gelatin paper in 2017.

Read Director Anne Kelly's interview with McCaw

Gallery Associate Lucas Shaffer
Joining photo-eye Gallery as an Associate in the summer of 2014, Lucas Maclaine Shaffer began making images in college where he studied at the Maine Media Workshops + College and the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Lucas counts Cig Harvey, Brenton Hamilton, and Doug Ischar among his most influential instructors imbuing him with a love of process-based artwork and the power of visual metaphor. Aside from photo-eye Gallery, Lucas has assisted photographers such as Andrea Modica and George Tice during workshop sessions, has taught introductory photographic classes, and prints professionally.

Lucas Shaffer, Gallery Associate

Savannah Sakry selects Element II  by Chaco Terada

Element II © Chaco Terada | Sumi Ink and Pigment Ink on Silk, 10x7", Unique, $1,200
This transparent black and white photograph Element II by Chaco Terada is beautifully printed on two layers of silk. To the right of the composition, we see the shadow of what appears to be a tree, or perhaps a tumbleweed drifting over a sea of blissful waves. As you walk by this piece, your eye will catch the light shimmering back from the silk. Originally from Japan, Terada's process is a meditative practice or spiritual journey. She often will include nostalgic moments and personal reflections through the use of expressionistic, free-form calligraphy by hand with bold, or soft metallic Sumi inks. As a result, her works are each one-of-a- kind, or unique. I love Chaco's ability to blend the natural and spiritual world so seamlessly and her inventive printing method using such delicate fibers. This photograph is elegant, dreamy and perfectly minimal.

Read more about Terada's process

Gallery Associate Savannah Sakry 
Savannah Sakry is an artist and photographer living in Santa Fe, NM. Her love for photography ignited with the alchemy of the black and white darkroom at a young age. She received a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, NY, where her passion for curating and collecting was influenced by her instructors Alexandra Brez and W.M. Hunt. Savannah joined photo-eye Gallery in 2015 as Associate and is and especially fond of master printing, symbolism, storytelling, and all things magical.

Savannah Sakry, Gallery Associate

Anne Kelly selects Balearics, Spain 2014 by Pentti Sammallahti

Balearics, Spain 2014 © Pentti Sammallahti | Gelatin-Silver Print, 7.5x6", Not Editioned, $1,300
This small silver gelatin print Balearics, Spain, 2014 by Pentti Sammallahti depicts a tiny white sailboat on the horizon of a vast, dark and potentially ominous seascape — topped by a giant white cloud. The scale of this print, which is common for Pentti, invites the viewer to look beyond the surface of this exquisitely printed photograph and to travel inward to the midline where the tiny fragile boat floats… in the middle of the dark sublime ocean.  The image is powerful and fragile at the same time and it sparks my imagination… Where is the boat traveling and what will happen next We don’t know … and I love that.

Gallery Director, Anne Kelly
Anne Kelly is Gallery Director of photo-eye Gallery in Santa Fe, NM and has been with the company since 2007. Her interest in photography developed at an early age, influenced by her mother’s love for the medium. Originally from Colorado, she moved to Santa Fe to further her studies in photography under the direction of David Scheinbaum at the College of Santa Fe, where she received her BFA.  Kelly ls particular interested in photographic works that employ the use of alternative processes in contemporary work, magical realism, and images that invoke emotion and stimulate the imagination.

Anne Kelly, Gallery Director
505.988.5152 x121 •

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo Christian Michael Filardo selects Concrete Abstraction by Toshio Shibata as Book of the Week.

Concrete Abstraction. Photographs by Toshio Shibata.
Akio Nagasawa, 2015.
Christian Michael Filardo selects Concrete Abstraction. Photographs by Toshio Shibata. Akio Nagasawa, 2015.

Humans like to clear a path even when there isn’t one to begin with. We re-­direct the water; tell it where it ought to go. Cut down the trees and put something else in their place. We take the organic and make it alien. Somewhere, Toshio Shibata sits with his large-format camera and waits to make a photograph. Perhaps the augmented nature tells him something, when to use his intuition, where to wait for an image to reveal itself.

Folklore always describes the master in the woods with their ancient teachings, one who meditates or knows something we don’t know. Ready to show us the way of the world that we have long forgotten. This is the way the water flows, this is why the birds sing, and this is where the cedar grows.

When I see Shibata’s images I hear the sounds of nature and the man-made elements that obscure them. The hum of water spilling over a large concrete wall, the footsteps of a single man atop decaying leaves, the whisper of the wind through dried grass. It’s easy to assume that Shibata is looking, using his vision to decipher something new and strange. However, I feel like in the photographs contained within Concrete Abstraction he listens. It almost feels as though he does very little looking. I imagine him composing his photograph, and waiting for his moment with eyes closed. Feeling the air, the sunlight, hearing a leaf fall from a high treetop.

I wouldn’t call myself a fan of landscape photography. In fact in general I would say I don’t care for it. However, Shibata’s images show me something that I have never experienced before. A different kind of silence, they make me aware of my humanity, they make me feel small, but empowered. As though I’m finally listening to nature and hearing it for the first time.

Concrete Abstraction. Photographs by Toshio Shibata. Akio Nagasawa, 2015.

Concrete Abstraction. Photographs by Toshio Shibata. Akio Nagasawa, 2015.


Christian Michael Filardo is a Filipino-American composer and photographer living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He recently had a solo exhibition called Tumbleweed Replica at Current Space in Baltimore, MD and is the current shipping manager at photo-eye Bookstore.

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photo-eye Gallery 5 Tips to Start Collecting Photography by Gallery Director Anne Kelly Gallery Director Anne Kelly lists 5 great tips for anyone looking to start collecting photography.

 Works by Brad Wilson installed at photo-eye Gallery 
If you've contemplated collecting prints and just didn't know where to start or even think it was possible – well, this is your guide. In my 10 years at photo-eye Gallery, I've heard anxieties from people considering collecting their first print, sometimes even apologizing for not knowing more about photographic processes, a specific artist, or collecting work. Don't panic – you don’t need a degree in Art History to appreciate or collect photographic prints. In fact, informing clients about photography, and giving them the details they need to select the right photograph to start, or continue, their collection as become an absolute passion for me during my time at photo-eye.

Beginning today, Gallery Associates Savannah Sakry and Lucas Shaffer, as well as myself, are launching a blog series aimed at answering many of the questions frequently asked about collecting, and I want to begin with 5 Tips to get your collection started:

Unpacking Tom Chamber's 20 x 20" print,
A View from The Bridge

#1 Collect Work You Love

This one may sound simple, but it's perhaps the most critical piece of advice: love the works you collect and don't make the mistake of trading artwork like stocks and bonds.

Artworks, including photographic prints, have value, and while some of that value is certainly monetary the real value is the experience of enjoying, contemplating, and adoring an original print in your home for years. I can attest to this myself, and the experience of viewing an original artist-made work in your home on a daily basis is a game-changer.

Every work of art has a story  – who made it, how, when, and what it means – and hanging the work in your home makes its story a part of your own.

#2 A Little Bit of Research

photo-eye is an incredible resource of photographic knowledge including detailed project descriptions, bios of our artists, and excellent interviews. Get familiar with the kind of work we offer by taking a look at the portfolios and get a feeling for the kind of work you most respond to most – what affects you, what delights you, and what does the work generally cost.

Investigate the inspirations for the photographers you love. For example both Julie Blackmon and Cig Harvey list Keith Carter as an early inspiration for their work, so if you respond to their images it's worth taking a look at his portfolios.

Here are some additional resources on collecting photography that we offer via photo-eye Bookstore:

Works from Golden Stardust by Kate Breaky

#3 Establish a Budget

Hands down, photographic prints are one of the most affordable ways to collect original artwork.

If your collecting budget is on the conservative side, take look at the Photographer's Showcase. The Showcase features works primarily by emerging artists, photographer's new or fairly new on the scene, and prints are usually very affordable. Some established artists, such as Kate Breakey, offer prints for less than $1000.

Open Editions, prints that aren't restricted to a certain number of sales, are also a great value. Represented artists Steve Fitch & Richard Tuschman both offer a few of their images as Open Editions for less than their Limited Edition prints.

If there is a piece you JUST have to have that pushes the limits of your budget, we totally understand and can offer you the option of making payments over time. Just let us know what you’re looking for and we can give you the details.

Make sure to leave room in the budget for framing and finishing. With a few exceptions, prints from photo-eye are sold unframed but we work with an INCREDIBLE team who can archivally prepare your print in either traditional or contemporary treatments. Framing and finishing for each piece is hand-made, and custom cut, so we provide quotes on a case by case basis.

15 x 15 inch Silver prints by Keith Carter

#4 Pick a Theme

So much great work is being produced, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Chose an aspect of the work you respond to that serves to unite and focus your collection such as:

  • Subject Matter
    • landscape, narrative, portraits, etc…
  • Artist
    • collect work by the same artist
  • Print Material, or Print Process
    • Silver Gelatin, Archival Pigment, Tintype, Platinum …
  • Style
    • Black-and-White, Large Format …
  • Location
    •      Work made in a one location such as the American West.
  • Print Size

#5 Connect with a Gallerist

Gallery Director Anne Kelly
Reach out! Build a relationship with Savannah, Lucas, or myself, and we can guide you through the process. ASK US ANYTHING– sometimes collecting can be jargon-heavy, and we can make sense of it for you!

We send out the latest information to our clients about photo-eye artists, including new releases, which helps collectors secure the base price on new work.

We make recommendations based on your previous interests, and can suggest work by an artist that you may not be aware of that will be a good fit for your collection.

Because of our access, we can also find you sold out works available on the secondary market.  Please feel free to call or email anytime!

Next week the three of us will be offering up a few of our favorite works by photo-eye artists, as well as sharing a bit about ourselves and our own stories and collections.

Get ahold of us in the meantime if you have any questions or requests:

Anne Kelly, Gallery Director 
505.988.5152 x121 •

Savannah Sakry, Gallery Associate
505.988.5152 x115 •

Lucas Shaffer, Gallery Associate
505.988.5152 x114 •