Our World Portfolio Review and Getting Away

Takeaways to be given to reviewers at the Our World Portfolio Review.

Tomorrow night (Friday) begins the 2012 PhotoAlliance portfolio review called, Our World. I was accepted again this year and plan to show a selection from my latest project. The review begins with a chili cook-off on Friday night beginning at 5:30 that is also open to the public for the small fee of $10.00. This is always a lot of fun because many of the PhotoAlliance glitterati are behind the tables dishing the chili. Who wouldn’t enjoy being served by the likes of Linda Connor or Thom Sempere? There is lots of mingling of photographers and reviewers and it is just a real fun, casual thing. Later after the feed, we all move to the auditorium for a lecture by Deborah Willis. Deborah is Chair and Professor of Photography and Imaging at Tish School of the Arts in New York. She is a 2005 Guggenheim and Fletcher Fellow, a 2000 MacArthur Fellow and also a reviewer for this year.

Saturday starts the reviews. I am signed up for 10 twenty-minute reviews over the course of the two day event. I won’t know until I get my review package if I got all of those I chose, but my top ten picks are:

1. Rupert Jenkins – Colorado Photographic Arts Center.
2. Whitney Johnson – Photo editor, New Yorker.
3. Gwen Lafage, Founder, Carte Blanche Gallery, San Francisco.
4. Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell, Curator, The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University.
5. Lisa Sutcliffe, Assistant Curator, Department of Photography San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California.
6. Anne Kelly, Associate Gallery Director, PhotoEye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.
7. Taj Forer, Founding Editor, Daylight Magazine.
8. Rebecca Senf , Assistant Curator of Photography, The Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ.
9. Jason Houston, Picture Editor, Orion Magazine.
10. Janet Delaney, Photographer & Educator, San Francisco.

PhotoAlliance does a pretty good job of securing all the top picks. I usually get at least 8 of the 10 I want, but I won’t know till Friday night.

Morning gathering at Steve's gallery/studio.

This past weekend and into the week, I spent assisting my friend Stephen Johnson with his Fine Art Printing workshop at his studio and gallery in Pacifica, California. Over the course of 4 days, students learn virtually all aspects of how to create fine art prints from their digital or film originals. The range of knowledge of the students varies widely, and the really fun part for me is watching them finally “get” some aspect of the process that they previously never understood or didn’t even know about. By Day 4, every student has produced really good prints from their raw files and come away with new understanding of a really difficult process. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a student leave unhappy with what was taught. My part in the workshop is to help students navigate all that Steve teaches. I help them in navigating through Photoshop, with editing decisions, color and tonality choices. I help them evaluate what they have produced and what needs to be adjusted to get where they what to be. It is intense for me as well, but I always come away having learned something new myself.

Understanding the Advanced Black and White printing dialog.

Early next week will see Mary and I packing up the RV for another road trip. This spring will see us primarily in the red rock country of southeastern Utah. We haven’t been there in a couple of years and are looking forward to the two months ahead of us. I will be continuing to work on the Life on Wheels project as well as exploring some new ideas I’m not quite ready to reveal yet. Our itinerary is not yet set, but the rest of March, all of April and into May will see us in many of our favorite locations in the state. I will be posting quite a lot more often after we leave San Francisco next Wednesday or Thursday.


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