FotoWeek Day 6

November 10, 2011 9:30 am

November 10, 2011

@ Corcoran Gallery of Art:
12 p.m. – Lunchtime Lecture Series @ the Corcoran Gallery of ArtTrevor Paglen: The Geography of Photography

@ Other Locations:
6 p.m. – 2nd Thursday Art Night – Snap: FotoWeek DC – Torpedo Factory Art Center
6 p.m. – On the Lakeshore…and Other Stories Reception & Artist Talk – Goethe-Institut
6:30 p.m. – Young @ Heart II – BrightestYoungThings
7 p.m. – Meet the Photographer: Rebecca Drobis – Apple Store Georgetown
7:15 p.m. – Transfer Images Using Super Sauce – Multiple Exposures Gallery
8:15 p.m. – Transferring your images with Hand sanitizers – Multiple Exposures Gallery

NightGallery Projections:
9 p.m. to 12 a.m. – The Photobook – Eighteenth Street Lounge

An Evening with Abelardo Morell, courtesy ASMP-DC

November 9, 2011 5:17 pm

Last night, I attended an artist talk by Abelardo Morell, a photographer I only became aware of two weeks ago when I covered the ASMP-DC‘s FotoWeek DC event.  As soon as I was finished with that post, I reserved my own spot at the talk and ordered a book of his earlier work.

I was enthralled by this clever use of a naturally-occurring process and was excited to hear the artist discuss his work in person, as I had so many questions.  Morell, as clever a speaker as his serendipitious photographs, did not dissapoint.

Born in Cuba, his family relocated to New York City in 1962, when he was in his early teens.  Morell began using a Brownie to photograph his family and home, much in the style of Diane Arbus, though he claims he  ”didn’t know what the hell he was doing”.  His early work using the Brownie captured a fresh outlook towards a new city with a sense of experimentation and the surrealism of life - “life was strange and I wanted to show it”, he said.  Through his college years, Morell focused on light-filled photos of the outdoors and nontraditional portraits of people, which echoed his life in Cuba filled with the “sea, openness, and light.”

After the birth of his first son, his photography turned more indoors where he was spending most of his time, exploring long exposure, water, and reflections.  He even sat his view camera on the floor to see the apartment from the perspective of his son.  During this time, the idea of crude optics led to the discovery of how cameras view the world and Morell began working with the camera obscura effect, obtaining layers of the outside on the layers of the inside, yielding trippy images that pushed the boundaries of the traditional perfect, straight-forward types of photography that the mainstream was moving towards.  “I found my acid here”, said Morell.

To produce his camera obscura work, Morell finds a room with a view and blocks the light from the windows, usually using plywood with a hole, sets up his view camera, and leaves for 5 to 8 hours while the sunlight does its thing.  While the reflection from the outdoors is fairly bright within the room, due to film’s reciprocity,  long exposures are required to capture detail.  Needless to say, his photographs have caught the attention of people all over the world whose offices, apartments, or rooftops overlook extraordiary views – and, they invite him to produce work from these locations.

Currently, Morell’s focus is on the ground.  In redirecting a landscape or other image downward, the Grand Tetons, Italian piazzas, and city skylines assume the soft qualities of impressionist watercolors with the texture of the ground adding grain – cobblestones meet architecture, gravel rooftops meet the NYC skyline.  Using his tent-camera, which consists of a periscope with a diopter that focuses and flips the image, and a 90-degree prism that directs it downward, Morell is able to see a moving image of the outside on the inside.  He then photographs the reflection using his view camera, which is equipped with a digital back, and has an exposuren in under five minutes.

Using his tent-camera, Morell is seeking to recreate many of the iconic photographs made by William Henry Jackson and paintings of Thomas Moran that led to the creation of our country’s national park system.  He says he is trying to renew something that “has been done to death” by photographing iconic pictures and rediscover their essence so it “feels like a whole new experience.”

In the Q&A session at the close of his presentation, someone asked why he goes through all the trouble to do something that can be done in Photoshop and if he has ever thought to simply merge two photographs in that way, to which Morell replied, “I have left instructions for people to shoot me in the head if I ever did that.”  My sentiments, exactly.


FW Partner Spotligh: American U School of Communication

12:25 pm

At 6:30 this evening, head down to American University‘s Weschler Theater for A Cooperative Approach to Photojournalism: LUCEO Images, a talk by Photojournalist Matt Eich about the LUCEO cooperative and his own work. The talk is sponsored by CSM.

Matt Eich, Cut Here

“CSM and American University School of Communication’s Photography Concentration have brought in preeminent photographers as part of the ongoing Camera as Catalyst series, which kicked off in early 2000. This is the third year we have organized events as part of FotoWeek DC’s program. AU SOC Center For Social Media and the Photo Lab have enjoyed collaborating with and organizing events to coincide with FotoWeek DC.   FotoWeek DC is a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage in DC’s photo community.” — Tara Kocourek, Director of Photographic Services, American University School of Communication

This is going to be a good talk by one of the nation’s foremost up-and-coming photojournalists! If you’re interested in photojournalism, this is the talk for you.

Weschler Theater
American University MGC 3rd Floor ,
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

– Andrew

Titanium Sponsor: Lindblad Expeditions

12:00 pm

FotoWeek DC is thrilled to welcome a partnership with Lindblad Expeditions and their generous support as a Titanium Sponsor.

Lindblad Expeditions is a pioneer in ship-based expedition travel, allied with National Geographic to inspire people to explore and care about the planet. For over 40 years, Lindblad Expeditions has been taking curious, intelligent people out into the world to actively explore the planet’s most interesting and photogenic places – Galapagos, Antarctica, Alaska, Baja California Costa Rica and more – on ships equipped with cool exploration tools, accompanied by Lindblad’s renowned expedition teams.

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Their exclusive Expedition Photography program gives photo enthusiasts matchless opportunities: Lindblad-National Geographic certified Photo Instructors aboard every ship in the Lindblad-National Geographic fleet to provide help with camera models and instruction; and National Geographic Photographers aboard every departure of National Geographic Explorer, for pro-level advice and assistance. In addition, Photo Expeditions, select departures designed by and for photographers, give shooters time and vantage points to capture incredible photo opps, plus the assistance of Photo Instructors and National Geographic Photographers. Photo enthusiasts of all skill and interest levels are welcome.

Alliance with FotoWeek DC: Photography has been a priority for Lindblad Expeditions for over 40 years. Photographers have accompanied Lindblad Expeditions since we pioneered expedition travel to Galapagos and Antarctica in 1966 and 1967. All the photographs used in our print, digital, and video marketing are shot by expedition photographers and videographers.

The mission of the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic alliance is to inspire people to explore and care about the planet.  Our Expedition Photography program is a product of this unique alliance.

People with cameras board our ships every week. All of them want to take pictures. Some of them are knowledgeable; most of them have their cameras set on ‘Auto’. By helping photo enthusiasts of all levels improve their skills and capture the moments at the heart of their expeditions, we advance the mission — photographers sharing the planet’s wonders inspire others.

What photographers can expect from a Lindblad Expedition: Only Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic offers Expedition Photography – an innovative and exclusive program that gives people incredible opportunities to explore, and return home better, more confident image-makers. Expedition Photography gives enthusiasts three ways to improve their shooting skills.

Photographers can travel aboard any ship in our fleet – to Alaska, Baja, Costa Rica, Galápagos and more – and benefit from the assistance of an onboard Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor. They can travel aboard National Geographic Explorer, the world’s ultimate expedition ship, from Pole to Pole, and shoot alongside a National Geographic Photographer. And they can opt to take a Photo Expedition, select departures designed by photographers for photographers, offering unprecedented immersion, premium shooting situations and photo ops; plus onboard clinics, one-to-one critiques and “Laptop Gallery” events for the community.

A Lindblad-National Geographic expedition is the perfect environment for people traveling together who have different interests. Often non-photographer companions say photographers “hide inside their viewfinders.” Now, photography enables everyone to be “present” in inspiring geographies in a profound way. To shoot great photos you have to learn, observe and really see – the camera is a great tool for living in the moment.

And, because Lindblad-National Geographic certified Photo Instructors are all veteran Naturalists, they really help photographers shooting in these privileged wild situations by providing helpful tips and direction. Before you can capture the perfect breaching whale shot, you have to know something about whale behavior. Thru the tutoring of these Naturalist-Photo Instructors, photographers are able to increase their yield and create their best photos ever.

We offer photographers the opportunity to discover the world inside their viewfinders. The program is very inclusive – all that’s needed is an interest in taking photos, and all levels are welcome.

-Lindblad Expeditions

Thoughts from past winners

12:00 pm

Looking back at previous FotoWeek festivals and the photographers whose work was culled from among the countless entries to win distinction, I thought I would take some time to talk to a few of them, see what they’re doing these days, and what they most look forward to this year.

While I didn’t have much luck this year with the contest, I’m thankful that we have such a large event so close to home for us to see and participate in.  Last year, one of my photos that I took in Zurich, Switzerland was chosen as the Student Single Image winner.  Like the majority of my photographs, it was shot with my not so reliable Rangefinder on 35mm black and white film.

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming events in the next couple of weeks.  I’m sure that we’ll see an amazing set of photographs to drool over.  I’ve already wandered over to the Embassy of Finland to see The Loveliest Girl in the World exhibit by photographer, Miina Savolainen.  I was lucky enough to have her present and walk me through the exhibition while giving me an in depth account of her 10 year project.  I highly recommend that folks check out her exhibit and get a chance to meet her.  
-Aziz Yazdani, Winner – Student, Single Image, Contemporary Life, FotoWeek DC 2010

Last year I competed for a FotoDC contest by showing my work to Philip Brookman at the Corcoran as part of FotoQUEST. I had the pleasure to be selected for the FLASH exhibit, and the first thing I remember is my amazement!  I didn’t know what to expect as it was my first time in DC, and FotoDc was something new to me.

As a foreigner, seeing my work on the wall of this great exhibition room was such a joy! I walked through all the photographs and I felt truly happy to be a part of this selection. Since then I’ve always been competing to other contests hoping to have good news again! I’m really impatient to see the, now famous for me, FotoWeekDC. I hope that it will be the occasion to meet people such as art dealer and photographers. Photography is most often a lonesome activity and this kind of event is very important for us.
- Julie Wolsztynski, FLASH, 2011

Every year I am excited for FotoWeek to begin because the city is alive with creatives and there is an energy among the photo community that is fantastic to be a part of. I have participated for a couple of years now in FotoWeek and most recently had 5 of my images chosen by Avi Gupta for the Discover exhibit for FLASH. Five of my images from my body of work entitled Sea of Faces were represented.

I have been documenting the local lobster fisherman for the past four years on the island that I am from in northern Canada. Each photograh was taken to create intimacy and a vantage point into a life full of prosperity and also despair. A world ruled by the ocean and lives lived according to the tides and the struggle that surrounds this occupation. My hope is that each image will engage the audience to recognize the importance of their sense of home and the relentless journey each one of us has.
- Nicole Wolf, artist and Director of Photography, Up From Under, FotoWeek DC 2009 awards winner, FLASH 2011

I was sad to not enter this year, but I’ve actually been focusing more on collaborative journalism and my nonprofit The Tiziano Project. I may not have produced anything for Fotoweek, but with an all volunteer team, we did manage to beat both CNN and NPR for an Online Journalism Award. We also took home the top award for Activism at SXSW Interactive and a Gracie for our coverage of Women’s issues. We also spent time in Iraqi Kurdistan last year producing work, so it has still been a busy year! And through a generous grant from the Knight Foundation to further develop our platform, next year should be just as busy.
Jon Vidar, FotoWeek DC 2009 Award of Honor, Travel and 2010 FotoWeek DC People’s Choice winner


FotoWeek Day 5

9:30 am

November 9, 2011

@ Corcoran Gallery of Art:
12 p.m. – Lunchtime Lecture Series @ the Corcoran Gallery of Art – Conversación: Photo Works by Muriel Hasbun and Pablo Ortiz Monasterio

@ Other Locations:
6 p.m. – InstantDC‘s Second Annual Mobile Photography Exhibit
6 p.m. – Mystify – Artist talk: Rainforest PhotographyWatergate Gallery
6:30 p.m. – YUM3: Photo Workshop with Elizabeth Davison – 1820 Gallery @ The Art Institute of Washington
6:30 p.m. – A Cooperative Approach to Photojournalism: LUCEO Images – American University School of Communication
7 p.m. – Pinhole Demonstration with Scott Speck – Adah Rose Gallery
7 p.m. – Platinum and Palladium Printing and Variaions Workshop with Scott Davis – Photoworks
7 p.m. – Meet the Photographer: Kay Chernush – Apple Store Georgetown
7 p.m. – portraitDC Opening Reception
7 p.m. – TwosomesExhibit opening, lecture and booksigning by Mark ChesterAlliance Francaise de Washington
7:30 p.m. – Curators’ Gallery Tour and Book Signing – American University Museum @ The Katzen Arts Center

NightGallery Projections:
5 to 11 p.m. – Images from Pete Longworth, Lukas Hueller, VII Photo Agency, curated Ibero-American work, the National Geographic Society, and GWU student contest winners and the 2011 FotoWeekDC International Competition Award Winners

Enter FotoWeek’s Mobile Phone Image Contest!

November 8, 2011 6:44 pm

We all know social media updates are better with pictures.  Take advantage of the handy little device already in your hands and snap some photos while out and about at FotoWeek events all week long.  Go ahead and check-in on Foursquare, update your Facebook status, and tweet your location to your friends and show them what they’re missing.  And, while you’re at it, submit those photos to the FotoWeek’s Mobile Phone Image ContestFotoweek Through the Mobile Lens!

That’s right!  Until Noon on Friday, November 11, FotoWeek will be accepting entries to the second installment of this annual photo contest!  It doesn’t matter what type of phone you have – iPhone, Android, or just an old-fashioned flip-phone – all entries are welcome!

There are some pretty great prizes associated with the exhibit, including iPhone Shuffles and Apple gift cards with an iPad2 grand prize. Winning images will even be projected at the FotoWeek closing party at FotoSpace on November 12.

Even better? Entries will be judged by FotoWeek DC founder and director Theo Adamstein, FotoDC’s own Miisha Nash, and two guest judges – Greg Schmigel and Jim Darling (who you may remember from last year) of InstantDC. Photos will be judged based on their unique approach to the theme, artistic composition, and technical execution.  So, you know, use some of those fancy camera apps.

Photos don’t have to be specifically of FotoWeek Central, either – any image related to the weeklong celebration of photography can be entered – and, that includes people, places, events, daytime or nightime.  All ages – All skill levels!

Entries cost $3.95 per 1 upload, $6.95 per batch of 3, or $9.95 per batch of 5. Got a little snap happy?  AWESOME!! – submit 15 images for $20.

Enter now and show people how mobile phone images are changing the photographic landscape!