JENNIFER McCLURE: Laws of Silence

Photograph © Jennifer McClure

Photograph © Jennifer McClure

Photograph © Jennifer McClure

EA: Define your point of view. Are you ever trying to tell a story?
Jennifer McClure: I read that Thomas Roma likens the making of photographs to Robert Frost's idea of making a poem: "A poem begins with a lump in the throat; a homesickness, a lovesickness." My pictures come from that emotional space of longing, of wishing for things that never were and might never be. I don't know if I'm telling a story as much as trying to find a way out. I can only see a feeling clearly when I disarm and immobilize it, pin it to the wall and examine it with the others.
EA: What were your first subjects when you began?
Jennifer McClure: The first series I did was about nine years ago. I had just gotten clean and sober but I wasn't really comfortable with the idea. I put an ad in the Village Voice to photograph substance abusers. We spent a lot of time together, and I got to ask them the questions I was afraid to ask of myself. We had different circumstances but the same emotions and desires and needs, the same flawed coping mechanisms. This is what fascinates me, whether I am photographing myself or others: how we come to be the people we are, and how we choose to handle the lots we are given.  

 Photograph © Jennifer McClure 

The photographs of Jennifer McClure are being shown in an exhibition at the Drift Gallery until July 20th, 2014, along with photographers: Aline Smithson, Bear Kirkpatrick, Christa Blackwood, Cig Harvey, Noah David Bau, Amy Elkins, and Alec Von Bargen.

Portraits in Contemporary Photography
Exhibition through July 20th, 2014
The Drift Gallery, Portsmouth, NH


BRUNO TAMIOZZO: Social Reportage

Men On A Train, Maputo (Mozambico, Africa)
Photograph © Bruno Tamiozzo

Women With Water, Pongala (Kerala - India)
 Photograph © Bruno Tamiozzo
Little Girl and Boy With Milk, Lagos (Nigeria, Africa)
 Photograph © Bruno Tamiozzo

Bruno Tamiozzo with children of Bhubaneswar (Orissa)

Bruno Tamiozzo is a photojournalist specializing in social reportage. He works with several charitable non-profit foundations whose missions are to help women and children in serious need worldwide. He attended the Masters in Photojournalism and Reportage at The Institute of Photography and Integrated Communication, and workshops with photo-editors and photographers for Internazionale, AGF, Contrasto, The New York Times, and Magnum, among others.

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SEAN PERRY: Notes from The Picture Review II

Passion is lazy. It is grounded to earth and body, an ally of need and consumption. In a word temporal. Like other emotions, it is a state of being that will wax and wane as we travel between different experiences and conditions. It will leave you at times, only to return and disappear again.

With so many photography competitions calling for entries and other opportunities requiring writing, it might be a seductive word to scribble as you grasp for what you want your audience to feel. Though you may be tempted, be wary of it's capricious fire. Meaningful work deserves language that is more substantial – something more present, less temporary.

If we have shared time in a class, you will be familiar with themes that I introduce every few semesters. Spring Picture Review alumni and my current classes are tasked with the following observation from Warren Buffett, "Only when the tide goes out do you discover who has been swimming naked."

What a great quote and impactful message. It is about how quality is veiled when participation is easy and the fortitude needed to flourish when conditions are not so accommodating.

I am certain Mr. Buffett's success and expertise has been seasoned with something denser than passion. In my experience the artists I have studied and loved the most have little regard or reliance upon it, as well as it's sister flame, inspiration. They are too busy working and making things, under any conditions, impassioned or not. One of my heroes is particularly perspicuous about this idea, eloquently stated as "Desire trumps passion every time."

Thomas Keller is an American born chef, largely known for his exacting excellence and contribution to the renaissance of the farm to table movement in contemporary restaurant culture. He reminds me of Irving Penn – precise craftsmanship and the transcendence from virtuosity to expression. His first book, The French Laundry Cookbook, is a dense collection of captivating stories and photographs alongside complex recipes and techniques. It is truly awesome. I recall a blog at one time that endeavored making all of the food from it's pages, much like the film Julie and Julia – wonderfully committed and obsessed.

In his 2010 TEDxTalk, he presented his ideas on what it takes to build a successful restaurant and career. I trust you will find many parallels and truths not far removed from our world of image making. For example his equations, "Cooking = ingredients + execution" and his recipe for "Rapid Evolution." These are applicable to good photographs and the life we build around our pursuits. I remain struck by his surgical dissection of what ingredients are necessary to manifest excellence and the distinction between desire and passion. I think to myself often, I need to know this! I want to hear, understand and embody what these elements are. The way in which he assembled his team is not unlike Steve Jobs and the rebel band of artisans that launched Macintosh. 24 minutes in total, you will not be disappointed. (the time challenged can skip to 12:45, though regrettable for you to miss anything here!)

This past spring a rather curmudgeonly colleague stumbled into my classroom as we were discussing Mr. Keller. With unsurprising sarcasm the following declaration was given, "This is not photography! This is a Photoshop class, what on earth are you doing?"

Watch the video and I will ask – would you like the spirit of your photographs and practice to be cut from the same cloth as Chef Thomas Keller? Or do you, like my salty colleague, find me a mere charlatan, smitten by a clever ruse with semantics. I maintain there is a brilliantly rare ingredient here – for myself it remains a quiet meditation, as I steady the horizon and gather my resolve against stormy seas. 

Onward, forward. – Sean Perry


SEAN PERRY: Sheila Metzner. Color

Sheila Metzner, Color

Beautiful printing, fine photographs and exquisite publishing. There is a trifecta of mastery at play that make this a unique and desirable title. I am moved by each and believe you will find them worthy of your time.

The Fresson print is a lush, secretive and exclusive process akin to the carbon print, first shared with the French Photographic Society in 1899 by Théodore-Henri Fresson. In the 1950s two of his sons opened a shop in Paris and evolved the process to render color. They continue today with the inventors' grandson and great-grandson now producing these distinctive prints. Rich and tactile with a soft elegant palette, they feature grain and texture that echoes the atmosphere of a pointillist painting.

I am so not kidding when I say rare! It is a proprietary process and only produced for artists in small quantities by this French family. Extraordinarily stable and perhaps the most archival of all color printing processes, they are highly prized by collectors. I have a deep love of these exquisite objects, introduced to me by photography icon Sheila Metzner.

 by Doug Beach

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1939, Ms. Metzner is an immensely collected artist known for her work featuring Fresson prints. She attended Pratt Institute and began a career in advertising, rising to the first ever female art-director at Doyle Dane Bernbach. She left after the birth of her first child (of five) and continued to make pictures relatively unknown for years. Critical mass arrived as the preeminent curator John Szarkowski (Museum of Modern Art), included one of her images in the notable exhibition "Mirrors and Windows: American Photography since 1960." It would be the catalyst to launch editorial, fashion and commercial clients as well as her work being acquired for significant permanent collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The International Center of Photography and the Museum of Modern Art.

Her retrospective monograph Color, was masterfully produced by Jack Woody in 1991. It covers the first 20 years of her career – a broad range of fashion, still life, portraits and landscape work. It's truly a beautiful title produced by one of my favorite publishers, Twin Palms. The book is 9 by 12 inches with 76 four-color plates over 172 pages. Lush green cloth boards with titles stamped in black on spine and cover. This copy is in near-fine condition, with only the lightest shelf wear to the dust jacket. Binding is tight with crisp and bright pages, no remainder marks and no clippings. Publisher postcard is still tucked inside end-paper and front cover. Likely never read, my guess overstock to a bookstore somewhere. First Edition, First Printing.

Twin Palms Publisher, Jack Woody
Photograph by Duane Michals

The book is on hold at the HPB Parmer location in Austin, Texas until Sunday at close under the name, Mr. Fresson. Originally available at $60.00, I suggest you partake, it is offered exclusively for $5.00 to the first to ask for it at the checkout counter – a sumptuous feast for your senses for a few pennies and pluck.

Internet friends may find copies online. I found a decent list at AbeBooks to survey here. And a signed limited edition is available directly from Twin Palms Publishers.

Until next time – Sean Perry


SEAN PERRY: Notes from The Picture Review

 Curator and Collector, Wm. Hunt, 2011  
"Go forth and build, speak to the wonder and joy 
that is so vacant in your adversaries"
Photograph © Elizabeth Paul Avedon

I am restless – intrinsically. Annoying as of late more so, and in part by petty nemeses soon vanquished. It is in these times I refer to one of Mr. Hunt's sublime life lessons (adapted) – go forth and build, speak to the wonder and joy that is so vacant in your adversaries.

If we have shared time in a class together you may know I have a proclivity for books. I enjoy all lovely printed things, particularly photography, design and architecture books. I often partake in obscene amounts of caffeine and wander the aisles of book and thrift stores, seeking respite and delight in something beautiful discovered.

Another curricula of The Picture Review is the study and research of good photography through the culture of books. So many important considerations are at play – the languages of printing, design, typography, sequencing and more. Do you know the stereotype of trusting a corpulent chef? I believe we must eat well if meaningful art is to be had, whether consumed, created or espoused.

(Photograph: Sarah Wilson)

I recently had a conversation with Ms. (name redacted) at Half Price Books and have very exciting news to relay. While I work through this temporary over-restlessness, I shall occasionally select an exceptional book to share. HPB has generously agreed to offer this selection to you, with compliments of a discount in honor of The Picture Review initiative. I will feature the book in a post here and place it on hold under a nome de plume. Expiring that Sunday at close, (9pm) the first one to request the title from the counter using said alias has it.

Now let us begin this hedonism with proper grandeur. I have perused the current offerings at many locations there is much to devour. There are titles from Twin Palms, Steidl, University of Texas Press and Monacelli Press to name a brief few.

It is my joyful privilege to introduce The Picture Review Sunday Find. May a season of bounty and voracity be upon us.

The Life of a Photograph


Filled with the sweet nectar of deep discounts and haptic pleasure, did you empty your chalice? I most certainly did, trekking to all Half Price Books locations both far and wide. I imagine only eclipsed by the diligent Mr. Drew Lee, who valiantly sailed towards the dark secrets of San Antonio aboard a modern day Pequod. Fortuity favors the adventurous and prepared, he returned with a most stellar trove of fortunes.

I am joyous our chambers here echo greatly of treasures won – Keith Carter, Kate Breakey, Lee Frielander, Sébastien Meunier, Irving Penn, and Sam Abell among other giants. It is indeed a time of bounty and celebration, well done!

Many of us gorged on Mr. Abell's title, The Life of a Photograph. What an exceptional book and man. Picture Review Alumni will recognize the language, the title is an eloquent and well stated theorem of his work. Sam Abell is a esteemed mid-western born photographer known for his poetic amalgamation of subjects and styles, traversing photo-journalism to fine-art. He first worked for the National Geographic Society in 1970 at the age of 25, and went on to photograph over 20 features. He has published at least 9 titles I am aware of, likely more. Study the life he has woven around photography – as a photographer, author, teacher…. you will find no truer a storyteller and artist. His own words are best, and I implore you to read the interview with Mr. Blaustein below.


I find his photographs so well seen and thoughtfully made. I am particularly thankful for a lesson he learned from his father, "compose and wait." It left a lasting impression upon me and is but one of a long list of gifts garnered from his generous teachings. Last year I made an image in Kyoto that I am deeply grateful for. Mr. Abell metaphorically by my side, I composed the frame as I was crossing the Kamogawa – then waited, for the unexpected gesture I needed to complete the image.
Three Crows, Kyoto Japan
Photograph © Sean Perry

The video below is not your typical Facebook distraction. No sir, it is rich with sustenance – 43 minutes of pure insight and excellence. The book can be had for a mere pittance on Amazon, and perhaps you may still find a copy or two here. Tarry not, it will be a loyal companion for you – for that I am sure.



JAMES ESTRIN: Oprah's Super-Soul Sunday TV

On Oprah's OWN TV

“Silence and Dust, 9/11 Memorial, 2002” On the first Anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, rescue workers formed a circle on Ground Zero for a minute of silence. At that moment, a strong wind blew dust around the circle. © James Estrin/The New York Times

A must-see video of award-winning photographer James Estrin talking about his Spiritual Experiences and Photography, is introduced by Oprah herself!  Tune in Sundays at 11 a.m ET/PT for Oprah's Super Soul Shorts on OWN Network.

"James Estrins' sensitivity and technical skill combine to create impactful moments in the world he observes..." When thousands of people gathered to commemorate the first anniversary of 9/11, Estrin was assigned one of the least accessible vantage points, yet his extraordinary photograph, “Silence and Dust, 9/11 Memorial, 2002”, was the most powerful (and chilling) image made of the event." Read more from my Interview With James Estrin on L'Oeil de la Photography


PHILLIP GARBER: Auction to Benefit SAY "Every Voice Matters"

Times Square in the Rain
Photograph © Phillip Garber

Auction to Benefit 
SAY: Stuttering Association for the Young

"Our mission is to empower young people who stutter and inspire the world to treat them with compassion and respect so they can achieve their dreams. Our vision is a world where every voice matters."

Phillip Garber, a former student of mine, is a SAY alum and a sophomore in the BFA Photography program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. An aspiring photo-journalist, his focus is social documentary work. He attributes much of his confidence and success to SAY, which broadened his horizons and him gave him the power of his voice. "No matter how hard a situation may be, you always have an ally in your community."

Up for auction is Phillip's silver gelatin "wet print," Times Square in the Rain, with a starting bid of $250.00. Auction runs to June 12, 2014. Start bidding!

SAY: Stuttering Association for the Young is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping young people ages 8-18 through the organizations theater program, summer camp, and speech therapy.