HOW I LOOK AT PHOTOGRAPHS: A Conversation With Elizabeth Avedon + Sean Perry

Skyping into Austin, Texas
 © Kim Felsher. All Rights Reserved
Photography Students, Austin, Texas
© Kim Felsher. All Rights Reserved

Many thanks to Sean Perry and his group of Austin Photography students, The Picture Review team, for hosting “How I look at Photographs, a Conversation with Elizabeth Avedon and Sean Perry” via Skype.

We first discussed our favorite photographs and their respective series, beginning with Perry’s choices including: Brassai’s “Paris at Night”, Irving Penn’s “Cigarettes” and “Mouth (for L’Oréal)”, Saul Leiter’s “Paris” as well as work by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Matt Mahurin, Doug and Mike Starn, Ken Schles and Joel Peter-Witkin.

I spoke about some of my favorite photographers and projects, including Mike Brodie's "A Period of Juvenile Prosperity", Emily Shur's "Untitled Japan", Deborah Luster's "One Big Self", Debbie Fleming Caffery's "The Spirit + The Flesh", Vivian Maier and many others. Also about my work and background on designing and editing for both the wall and the page “In The American West”, by Richard Avedon and the grande fashion images in, “Avedon: Photographs, 1947-1977”.

I shared my thoughts on design, editing, sequencing – how we connect with certain images and working with large groups of photographs, including an ongoing project I am designing and developing with Mr. Perry, Fotopolis.

Edition One - The Picture Review 

The Picture Review is a unique, interactive call for entry crafted by Sean Perry and Kathryn Watts-Martinez. It was awarded an Innovation Grant for it’s content, debuting during the 2013 Fall Semester in the photography program at Austin Community College.

Perry goes on to say, “It simply connects aspiring high school photographers with my students serving as mentors – focusing on the intersection of skills where contemporary practice is flourishing – language, visual literacy, technology, craft and community. It provides the opportunity for students to gain experience curating and editing previously unseen pictures – deeply challenging their visual language and skills. This type of exposure and cross-discipline learning offers a unique experience for my students and also speaks to the photography communities tradition of portfolio review.”

"The college students administer and run a call for entry, curate submissions into the department print show and produce exhibition prints from the images they select – including all of the details and considerations that demands. The team provides critiques and mentorship for all of the high school submissions, recording interactive screencast videos for each participant. These are uploaded for the high school students to receive privately, which they can then review and choose to share. In turn this process enhances the skill-set and language of my students, improving their own class critiques and photographic practice."

"Ms. Watts-Martinez and I are running this project as a journal and building additional course curriculum around it’s implementation. Edition One completes this Fall and Edition Two will launch in the new year. We have been thrilled with the creativity and quality of work we are receiving from the high schools and so proud of the work my students are doing! They have invested themselves fully and I see growth everywhere – it is inspiring and a joy to watch."

1 comment:

Anna Mavromatis said...

Oh, how I wish I were there and heard you talk on "how you look at photographs", etc.
I am grateful for your postings and the insight I get from THE best!
Thank you.