AIPAD: The Photography Show 2014

It’s that time of year again. Spring has arrived, the weather begins to get warmer, the skies begin to clear and the dread days of winter begin to become memories.
Oh, and here in New York City, photography dealers from around the world make their pilgrimage here to display their wares at the Association of International Photography Dealers’ (AIPAD) annual Photography Show.  As I’ve done in past years, I’m suspending the blog from posting my own photos so I can report on and post some photos from this show, which is said to be the largest photography fair in the world.
This year’s show was held recently from April 10 to April 13 at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan.  I was invited to the press preview on April 9, and though unavailable to attend that day, I was able to go on another.
Vintage Works' booth, with "Round The Clock I' by Horst P. Horst

Vintage Works’ booth, with “Round The Clock I’ by Horst P. Horst

Besides being able to look at thousands of examples of great photography, you never know who from the photographic world you’ll come across at an event like this.  I met the late Arnold Newman at this show several years ago, and this year I’m happy to report that I met the well known photographer Jerry Uelsmann for the first time, as well as Mexican photographer  Flor Garduño, whose work I have long admired.  Uelsmann is famous for his photographs combining images from multiple negatives using different enlargers, so I asked him how many enlargers he has. The answer?  Seven.  (I told him that I am lucky to be able to use just one.)
As for the photographs themselves, there are the requisite classic images from the most famous photographers to be seen, but I’m always happy to see beautiful or interesting but lesser known images that were made by these people, as well as interesting work by lesser known photographers.
One of the arrangements that I found interesting were two examples of Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico,” hung on the wall, one above the other, at the Scott Nichols Gallery.  One was listed as having been printed in the 1960’s and the other in the 1970’s.  I’ve read that as Adams got older, his prints became more contrasty, and these two examples made from the same negative would seem to confirm that, as the later print definitely had more contrast than the earlier one.
Edward Weston's "Bertha, Glendale, 1927" at the Weston Gallery

Edward Weston’s “Bertha, Glendale, 1927″ at the Weston Gallery

The Weston Gallery always brings great classic images, and this year’s display included works by Sally Mann, Paul Caponigro and Wynn Bullock. The print that really caught my attention, though, was a vintage 1927 nude by Edward Weston, “Bertha, Glendale,” signed my Weston and numbered 4/50.  (It’s a beautiful print to behold, but with a price tag of $500,000, it’s just slightly out of my budget.)
Alex Novak’s Vintage Works/Contemporary Works brings a wide selection of photography, from the 19th century onward, and this year my eye was struck by Charles Smerdon Roe’s “Untitled (Harvesters) from around 1890 and an anonymous photo from the same period of dragon boats on the Canton River in China.  More modern works included two large prints by fashion photographer Horst P. Horst, “Odalisque I’ and “Round the Clock I.”
Charles Smerdon Roe's "Harvesters" at Vintage Works

Charles Smerdon Roe’s “Harvesters” at Vintage Works

Another striking fashion work was Louise Dahl-Wolfe’s “Jean Patchett, Grenada, Spain, 1953,” on the wall at Staley-Wise.
One of my very favorite prints was found at Janet Sirmon Fine Art.  Believing it at first to be a photo by Elliott Erwitt, it was actually a vintage print by Yale Joel, “Chihuahua and Pappagallo Shoes” from 1961.  Not surprisingly, I also saw an Erwitt with a chihuahua at the Peter Fetterman Gallery.
In the category of photos not well known to me by well known photographers were Andre Kertesz’s “Dubo, Dubon, Dubonnet, Paris, 1934” at the Stephen Daiter Gallery, Lee Friedlander’s “Haverstraw, New York” from 1966 at the Robert Mann Gallery, Bill Brandt’s 1951 “Nude, Hampstead” at the Halsted Galery and Berenice Abbott’s “Automat, New York” from 1936 at Michael Shapiro Photographs. (I can still remember going to the automat when I was a kid, though it sadly closed many years ago.)
Perhaps my favorite from this category, though, was Rudolf Koppitz vintage silver print, “Nude Study, Vienna 1925” at Galerie Johannes Faber.  I am much more familiar with Koppitz’s classic photo, ”Movement Study,” featuring three darkly clad women with one nude in front of them, and while there was a print of that one on the wall, too, the quality of this particular print was stunning and impressed me even more.
While I am personally drawn more to black & white photography than to color, I am always impressed by the color photography of Steve McCurry, evidenced here at the Peter Fetterman Gallery, and I found myself liking the amusing color imagery of Julie Blackmon at the Robert Mann Gallery.
"Nude Study, Vienna 1925" by Rudolf Koppitz at Galerie Johannes Faber

“Nude Study, Vienna 1925″ by Rudolf Koppitz at Galerie Johannes Faber

Back to monochrome, I also liked two photographs by the French photographer Edouard Boubat, “Lella” from 1947 (printed later) at Scheinbaum and Russek Ltd, plus his untitled nude at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery.  Also from France were Willy Ronis’ “Place de la Concorde, Paris” at Gallery 19/21 and Guy Bourdin’s “Untitled, 1950s” at the Michael Hoppen Gallery.
All in all, as usual, there are just too many beautiful photographs to mention, so I will just continue by posting some of the photos I’ve mentioned above, along with some of my others from the show.  Enjoy.
Hannes Kilian's"World's Fair, Paris, 1937" at Galerie Johannes Faber

Hannes Kilian’s”World’s Fair, Paris, 1937″ at Galerie Johannes Faber

Jean Baptiste Frenet's "Girl With A Doll" at Gallery 19/21

Jean Baptiste Frenet’s “Girl With A Doll” at Gallery 19/21

"Place de la Concorde" by Willy Ronis at Gallery 19/21

“Place de la Concorde” by Willy Ronis at Gallery 19/21

Jerry Uelsmann with one of his prints at Janet Sirmon Fine Art

Jerry Uelsmann with one of his prints at Janet Sirmon Fine Art

Bill Brandt's "Nude, Hampstead, 1951" at the Halsted Gallery

Bill Brandt’s “Nude, Hampstead, 1951″ at the Halsted Gallery

Julia Margaret Cameron's  portrait of Sir JFW Herschel at Hans P. Kraus Fine Photographs

Julia Margaret Cameron’s portrait of Sir JFW Herschel at Hans P. Kraus Fine Photographs

A nude by Frantisek Drtikol at Howard Greenberg Gallery

A nude by Frantisek Drtikol at Howard Greenberg Gallery

Keith de Lellis Gallery, with "Il Tuffatore" by Nino Migliori

Keith de Lellis Gallery, with “Il Tuffatore” by Nino Migliori

Raymond Cauchetier's "A Bout des Souffle," at James Hyman Fine Art

Raymond Cauchetier’s “A Bout des Souffle,” at James Hyman Fine Art

Francesca Woodman's untitled print at James Hyman Fine Art

Francesca Woodman’s untitled print at James Hyman Fine Art

Yale Joel's "Chihuahua and Pappagallo Shoes" at Janet Sirmon Fine Art

Yale Joel’s “Chihuahua and Pappagallo Shoes” at Janet Sirmon Fine Art

"New York (Sandals and Toy Dog)" by Elliott Erwitt at Peter Fetterman Gallery

“New York (Sandals and Toy Dog)” by Elliott Erwitt at Peter Fetterman Gallery

On the wall at the Etherton Gallery

On the wall at the Etherton Gallery

Nang Wingde's "Some Days no. 8" at M97 Gallery

Nang Wingde’s “Some Days no. 8″ at M97 Gallery

Guy Bourdin's "Untitled" at Michael Hoppen Gallery

Guy Bourdin’s “Untitled” at Michael Hoppen Gallery

Alma Levenson's "Self Portrait" (1932) at Michael Shapiro Photographs

Alma Levenson’s “Self Portrait” (1932) at Michael Shapiro Photographs

Visitors in front of some Steve McCurry prints at Peter Fetterman Gallery

Visitors in front of some Steve McCurry prints at Peter Fetterman Gallery

"Automat, 1936" by Berenice Abbott at Michael Shapiro Photographs

“Automat, 1936″ by Berenice Abbott at Michael Shapiro Photographs


Edward Boubat's "Lella" at Scheinbaum & Russek

Edouard Boubat’s “Lella” at Scheinbaum & Russek

Untitled Nude by Edouard Boubat at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery

Untitled Nude by Edouard Boubat at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery

Flor Garduno with one of her prints at Throckmorton Fine Art

Flor Garduno with one of her prints at Throckmorton Fine Art

Michiko Kon's "Rabbit and Eyes" at Photo Gallery International

Michiko Kon’s “Rabbit and Eyes” at Photo Gallery International

Julie Blackmon's "Dress Rehearsal, 2013" at Robert Mann Gallery

Julie Blackmon’s “Dress Rehearsal, 2013″ at Robert Mann Gallery

Lee Friedlander's "Haverstraw, NY" at Robert Mann Gallery

Lee Friedlander’s “Haverstraw, NY” at Robert Mann Gallery

Louise Dahl-Wolfe's "Jean Patchett" at Staley-Wise Gallery

Louise Dahl-Wolfe’s “Jean Patchett” at Staley-Wise Gallery

"Dubo, Dubon, Dubonnet" by Andre Kertesz at Stephen Daiter Gallery

“Dubo, Dubon, Dubonnet” by Andre Kertesz at Stephen Daiter Gallery

A portrait of Frida Kaho by Imogen Cunningham at Throckmorton Fine Art

A portrait of Frida Kaho by Imogen Cunningham at Throckmorton Fine Art

"Odalisque I" by Horst at Vintage Works

“Odalisque I” by Horst at Vintage Works

Sally Mann's "Naptime" at Weston Gallery

Sally Mann’s “Naptime” at Weston Gallery

Burt Finger of Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery

Burt Finger of Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery




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Hitting The Slope

Nude, Iceland, 2013

Nude, Iceland, 2013

I’m afraid that today’s post will be a rather short one, as I’ve got a bunch of other things to take care of here at home tonight.
As my last posting was of some photos from Canada in 2012, today’s photo is another from my trip to Iceland last year.  As in an earlier post, the photo shows Aubrey modeling among the grasses at the head of the canyon known as Fjaðrárgljúfur.
While most of the photos of this canyon (or gorge, as some call it) are of a view looking down the length of the canyon, split by the Fjaðrá river, there are other good photos to be made here.  In this case, I liked the way that the canyon wall here has a nice diagonal slope – and I do like diagonals in composition – so I asked Aubrey to place her figure in line with the slope.  I think she did an admirable job of it.
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The Floating Head

Nude, Nova Scotia, 2012

Nude, Nova Scotia, 2012

My last post was dedicated to some of my travel photography, so this time it’s back to nudes.  Today, I’m choosing to go back to my very successful trip to Canada two years ago with Erica Jay and Dane St. Clair.
On this particular day, the three of us went out with local photographer Eric Boutilier-Brown and local model Kyla Nicolle.  In the afternoon, Eric took us to one of his favorite locations – a place in the forest with a shallow river near Halifax, Nova Scotia.  I had been working with Erica and Kyla, who were in the river, and Eric was working with Dane.  When Dane had finished working with Eric, she came over to me and asked if I would like to include her in what I was doing.

3311_4 - Erica Dane and Kyla_nr Halifax

At that moment, Erica and Kyla were standing side by side, facing the camera.  Yes, I thought, including Dane would be good to make it a trio.  Upon further thought, I decided that while good, three models standing together looking at me would be a little ordinary.  I wanted to do something different, so the bizarre side of me took over.  I asked Dane to get between Erica and Kyla, and then crouch down so that only her head could be seen above the water, as if it were floating by itself – hence, the title of this post.
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Oyama Shrine, Kanazawa, Japan, 2010

Oyama Shrine, Kanazawa, Japan, 2010

It’s been a while since I posted – or even scanned – any photos from my three trips to Japan, so I thought I’d remedy both of those deficiencies today.  Photos have been scanned, and here they are being posted.
I decided to scan some photos from my most recent trip to Japan in 2010 simply because it’s easier to find the negatives from a relatively recent trip than from trips made five or six years earlier.  (I really do need to get to work one day cataloging all my negatives so that I can know in which binder to find whatever it is that I seek.)

3008_04--Kanazawa_Oyama Shrine at night

These photos were made one night in the city of Kanazawa in western Japan.  I had been there on my first trip to Japan in 2004 and visited the area again in 2005, but both of those visits had been day trips from Kyoto.  The third time I stayed overnight, and decided to take advantage of that by paying a nighttime visit to the Oyama Shrine that was located close to my hotel.

3007_06--Kanazawa_Oyama Shrine at night

It felt a bit eerie being there at night by myself, setting up my tripod and composing images in the dark, with the occasional passer by moving about but never stopping.  Getting a good exposure reading at night can be difficult, and here I did what I normally do in these situations: I used the spot-meter attachment for my meter and metered off an  area that I wanted to expose properly.  This often gives me an exposure in excess of one second, and to compensate for reciprocity failure, I usually multiply the exposure time by two or three, so that one second becomes two or three seconds.
Even though I still have a lot of negatives from Japan to scan, I would still like to go back for more.
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In The Black

Nude, Iceland, 2013

Nude, Iceland, 2013

I see that it’s been nearly two months since I posted any photos from last year’s trip to Iceland, so here are a few more now with Aubrey.
These were made on a beach area composed of black volcanic sand on the coast of southeastern Iceland.  I went out there with the local Icelandic photographer (and new friend) Siggi Marason, who was very helpful to me in preparing for the journey to this land of fantastic landscapes.

3449_6 - Aubrey

I had hoped to get more photos at this stunning location as nobody else was around, but unfortunately the road that passes through here leads to a lighthouse that is somewhat popular with tourists, and eventually those tourists in their vehicles began to show up.

3448_7 - Aubrey

So, even in a sparsely populated place like Iceland, you’ve still got to get up very early if you want to photograph nudes.  Having said that, outside the Reykjavik area, I don’t think there’s a place in Iceland where you cannot photograph nudes if you choose to get out early – or, being that it never gets dark in late spring or early summer, stay out late.

3446_8 - Aubrey

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Nude, Nova Scotia, 2012

Nude, Nova Scotia, 2012

Here’s a fairly short post from me today, this time with one of the photos from my 2012 trip to Canada with Dane St. Clair and Erica Jay.
The photo was made early one morning at a beach on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island.  It was actually a photo that I had to make twice.   Looking down the beach, I was interested in the mountain with the sharp, pointy peak that can be seen in the distance.  I decided to try to get Dane and Erica to have their bodies mimic the triangular form of the mountain by bending their bodies into a similar shape.
So, I got things set up…but before I could actually capture the image on film, a band of low lying clouds floated by and obscured the point on top of the mountain.  (It just had to happen at that particular moment, didn’t it?)  Naturally, this effectively ruined what I wanted to do, but I went ahead and pushed the shutter release all the same.
After that, we went on creating more photographs.  Before we left the beach, though, to head back for breakfast, I looked over to the peak and I saw that the clouds had moved on and that we once more had a clear shot.  I asked the girls to get back into their jackknife positions and was finally able to create the desired image that you now see here.
It’s a good thing that we left when we did, right after this photo was made.  As I recall, it just started to drizzle, and another car was heading up to the beach, too.
Sometimes, as the saying goes, it’s all in the timing.
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PHOTO France



I made a post a little over a month ago proclaiming that one of my photos had just been published in the annual Concours Amateurs contest issue of the French magazine PHOTO.  In the old days, copies of this January/February issue of the magazine would become available for purchase at American newsstands around the second week of February.  For some reason, distribution seems to have slowed down quite a bit, as it doesn’t usually reach our American shores until the middle of March.
However, one of my Facebook friends in France, Raphael, was kind enough to send me a copy of the magazine, which I received last week.  If you read the post last month, you may remember my writing that this is the sixth time that one of my photos has been published in the contest issue since 1999, but the first time since 2007.
Therefore, to celebrate my being back in print again, I’ve decided to make a post about all of these successes.
The 2014 issue

The 2014 issue

While my first time in the magazine was in 1999, that was not the first time that I made a submission for the contest.  That was two years earlier, I remember, when I sent in some photos in late 1996 for the 1997 contest issue.  When I say “sent in,” I really mean ‘sent.’  Today, submissions for the contest can be done online, but back in 1996, one had to physically send a bunch of prints in the mail off to France.
Then as now, the magazine allows twelve photos to be submitted by each photographer, so for several years, I packed a dozen 8 x 10 inch RC prints into a large envelope and mailed it to the magazine’s office just outside Paris.  Of course, I knew that I would never see those prints again, and with several tens of thousands of photos submitted, I don’t blame the magazine for not even trying to send them back.  (They were supposedly destroyed afterwards.)


None of my photos were printed in the 1997 issue, but I did get in another way:  in each issue, spread across two large pages in teeny tiny type are the names of the many many people whose photos survived the first cut in the selection process – and there I was!  So, at least that was a little encouraging.  I began photographing nudes in 1995, and after seeing this issue of the contest  issue of the magazine for the first time, with a section devoted to nudes (can you imagine an American magazine having such a thing?), one of my goals was to get published in it.
As I recall, I waited an extra year before submitting again to make sure that I had some really good work to put forward, and made a submission for the January/February 1999 issue.  Then as now, if your photo is included in the magazine, you are not notified about it.  You have to wait until you see an actual copy of the magazine to see if one is there or not.


So, one day in February 1999, I took a lunchtime walk from my office in lower Manhattan over to the World Trade Center, where I went down to a large newsstand on the concourse level.  I walked in, and there it was in front of me:  a stack of the new PHOTO contest issue.  That’s when I began to get really nervous.  I can still remember how my heart was pounding like a jackhammer as I picked up a copy and began looking through it.  I found the section of nudes, Charme, on page 28.  It was all text, with a full page photo opposite it on page 29.  Then I slowly began to turn….
After that, most pages had eight or nine roughly baseball card sized photos each.  Page 30.  Nothing.  Ditto for page 31.  I turned again….   Page 32 had a single photo, not mine.  Then page 33….
And there it was!  One of my photos, smack dab in the middle of the page!!!  It was a photo that I had made in New Mexico near Santa Fe in 1997, and one of my best.  So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled to see it.  This may be difficult to explain, but greater still than the joy of seeing the photo on the page was the sense of relief that it had not been ‘not published.’  That’s because I had sent in good work and would have been really really disappointed if nothing had been selected.


Ironically, the photo to the immediate left of mine was by a Canadian photographer named Dan Cardish, who I would become friends with several years later.  It wasn’t until after I had known him for some time that I looked at the magazine again and realized that his photo was next to mine.
Now that it’s gone in the wake of 9/11, the event that I just described is perhaps my most vivid memory of the World Trade Center.
Of course, I continued to submit after that, and another photo was chosen the very next year for the 2000 issue.  With over 40,000 or 50,000 photos submitted every year and only about 500 published in the magazine, it is very much a numbers game, so I was disappointed but not surprised when nothing of mine was chosen for each of the next two years.


Then, in 2003, one of my photos was again selected, and then again in 2004.  It looked like a pattern was developing: two years in, followed by two years not.  The pattern continued when nothing was printed in 2005 or 2006, but something was in 2007.  Unfortunately, it stopped there.  Nothing was chosen in 2008 – or 2009, or 2010….
It was getting very frustrating.  I knew I was submitting good work, but that didn’t seem to be good enough.  Eventually, submissions went from sending prints to sending in a CD (I think) to now doing it online.  A few years ago, the magazine’s website showed that ten of the twelve photos that I had submitted were finalists, so surely one of them would make into print, right?  Well, wrong!
I was even thinking of throwing in the towel and not even trying anymore, but as submitting doesn’t cost anything, I figured that I had nothing to lose by trying.  In 2012, I actually didn’t submit anything, as the deadline for doing so was shortly after I had regained power following the twelve day blackout here at home caused by Superstorm Sandy.  (I had, as you might understand, other things to take care of first.)


Now we’ve reached the present issue, for which I submitted photographs from my 2012 Maine /Canada trip and last year’s trip to Iceland.  The one selected was made in Maine.  Are these photos any better than the ones that I had submitted during the previous six years?  I guess that’s up to other people to decide.
So, I’ll have to see what happens next year.  Perhaps I can start a (good) pattern again.
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