Thursday, December 31, 2009

Business Card

The New Logo

So what do you think of the new logo?

It was designed by Janice Davidson, who is based outside of San Francisco.

She was awesome to work with and gave me multiple logos to choose from.

Her website is at

I highly recommend working with her.

She can help you with your logo and product branding.

A little more info:

Janice Davidson Design (650.799.3979)
Blending Strategy With Style Since 1997
Janice creates elegantly designed solutions across a range of media that at first glance appear effortless, even timeless, in their execution. A peek behind the curtain reveals a keenly honed strategic approach to the crafting of designs that surprise, impress and celebrate the unique qualities of her clients’ products and services. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What to do in LA January 14 - 17

To start with, I will be a reviewer at Review LA, which is January 14 through January 16 and is held at the Doubletree Guest Suites in Santa Monica.  As of this writing, it is sold out but there is a waiting list.  Check their site for all of the details.

Across the street from the Doubletree, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Photo LA will be running from January 14 through January 17.  I went to the last one and it was fantastic.  The amount of black and white work was inspiring.

Each night there are a few things going on but the event I am most excited about is the Photographers Fling, also hosted at the Doubletree on Saturday night from 9pm to midnight.  After two days of reviews, this will be a great time to relax with great people and fine drinks.

This is going to be a great weekend.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays

I want to wish all of my Friends and Family and very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Thank you for making Fraction Magazine such a success.

2010 is going to be a great year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Future of Photography Books

This entry is a response to this.

(this is a very rough draft)

I've always viewed photography books as things, possessions that are to be cherished and collected.  I have a very small collection of books as I am very choosy as to what I would like to spend my money on.  I keep some books in my living room, on shelves around the television and some in a closet in another room.  The books that are out in the living space, near the TV, can be handled by guests.  The ones that are kept in the closet, are not to be handled unless I give permission.  These are the books I cherish the most.  Like the signed, first edition Alec Soth's Sleeping by the Mississippi.
These days, books seem to be getting more and more expensive.  The newest Sally Mann book, which I will be purchasing, is about $85 at Photo-eye.  I would probably buy two books a month, maybe more depending, but to lay out two or three hundred dollars a month on books,  is not wise in this day and age (according to my wife).

Some books need to be viewed as art pieces in their own right. For example, Photo-eye has a new book imprint, called Photo-eye Editions.  I was lucky enough to see two of these books about a week ago and they are exquisite.  They range in price from $850 to $1750.  They are made of fabric, wood and metal.  They are art objects.  If I could buy one without an argument from the misses, I probably would.

But as the editor of Fraction Magazine, who on occasion promotes a book with a book review, find the book publishing world frustrating.  In very recent times I have been asked by two book publishers, one who is very well respected, to write a book review, based on a pdf file, not the actual book.  I immediately declined the offer as it is a great injustice to my audience and the collectors of photography books, to write a photography book review based on what is viewed on a computer screen.  The print quality of the book is as important as the content of the book itself.  If the photographs are not well printed in physical book form, the potential buyer needs to know this.  If not, should the review come with a disclaimer that the reviewer has no idea how well the book is printed because the review was done via pdf?  Isn't that unfair to the reader/collector?  I think so. (side note: compensation for most  book reviews is the book itself. So if you are asking me to review your book via pdf file, what is the compensation for the time and energy to write that review and promote your product?)  
Based on this interaction with book publishers, it is obvious they are trying to trim back every budget they can so we have to wonder how far this will go.  Do I think photography books will follow the way of the newspaper, slowly disappearing into the digital realm?  I don't think so and here is why.

I dare say that photography books will become like shooting film in a film camera.  Shooting film is becoming kind of a niche market.  Only a handful of companies are left who produce film (and paper) and the product itself is getting expensive (remember buying Ilford film for $2 a roll?).   Maybe this will happen to photography books? In this regard, I think small companies like Photo-eye, Radius Books and Charles Lane Press will stick around.  These companies are run by artists who understand the concept of the photography book (as art form) and their importance to the collector as well as the artist.   Sure, the giant companies are going to whittle things down to the bare minimum and it will become like the recording industry; if you cannot sell a certain and predetermined quantity of units, you do not get published (this is probably happening already).  Gone are the days of believing in the work and the artist.  The economy is rough and every penny spent is scrutinized.

Also, self publishing companies like Lulu, Blurb and MagCloud will continue to better themselves and their output and make it easier for artist, writers and photographers to by-pass the publishing giants and produce their own books in their own time frames and manner.

So, I would hate to see photography books disappear.  They are so much a part of the history of the photographic art form (that is another response) that losing them to a digital medium would be very unfortunate.  Do I think this will happen?  Probably not.  And remember, there is a darkroom scene in the movie Minority Report, which is based in the year 2054, so there is a little bit of hope.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hey New Mexico !!

Hey New Mexico
Don't forget that Wednesday night at 630pm is the SlideLuck PotShow at the New Mexico History Museum

Here is the list of artists being shown:
Alexandra Huddleston | Carol Mell | Carolyn Marsden | Christina Kennedy | Dave Reichert | Dave Lykes Keenan | David Ondrik | Diane Duenzel | Dorie Hagler | Helen Maringer | Jake Mendel | James Farrell | Jared Pitts | Jeff Bidewell | Jonathan Blaustein | John Mulhouse  |  Judith Haden | Kathleen Hawkes |Leon Trujillo| Luis Saenz | Lyn Avery | Marilyn Maxwell |Melanie McWhorter |Micaela Butts | Neil Trager |  Nicholas Chiarella | Patricia Leigh | Philip Augustin | Roberto Rosales | Susan Ressler | Thomas Vorce | Tony Bonanno

Friday, December 4, 2009

Lots going on at PhotoNOLA

There is so much going on at PhotoNOLA this week that the only thing I can do is give you the link to check out the schedule.  Wish I was there.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jonathan Blaustein Holiday Print

"A chihuahua in the middle of the street,"
from the yet-to-be released series "The Edge of Empire," 2009
8.25"x11" on 9"x12" paper
edition of 50, available through 01.01.10

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Alexis Pike Holiday Print

No Snake—Bliss Idaho (2006)
9"x7" image printed on 10"x8"
Chromogenic Print on Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper
$50, plus shipping and handling
Contact Alexis at

Michael Sebastian Holiday Print

archival inkjet on paper. approx 12x 14 image size on 13 x 16 paper
$100 shipped to CONUS

Contact Michael at

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jeff Willis Holiday Print

Inkjet print with dye-based hand-coloring

Contact Jeff at

Kerry Mansfield Holiday Print

size: 20x24"
medium: Chromagenic Print (analog)
price: $200

Susana Raab Holiday Print

William Faulkner's Telephone, Oxford, Mississippi
7" square on 8.5 x 11 paper ultrachrome pigment print


Contact Susana at

David Ondrik Holiday Print

Mont St. Michel
7" x 7" image on 8"x10" paper, archival pigment ink print, 
Contact David at

Ken Rosenthal and Lisa Robinson Holiday Print

#0007-A, From the series Feathers; unique cyanotype; 
2.5"x3.75", mounted/matted on 8"x10" rag board.  

Ken Rosenthal and Lisa Robinson Holiday Print

#0002-A, from the series Feathers; unique cyanotype; 
2.5"x3.75", mounted/matted on 8"x10" rag board. 
Contact them at

Bethany Souza Holiday Print

8 1/2 X 11 (edition of 100) for $25
16 X 20 (edition of 20) for $150  
Both prices would include shipping.

Contact Bethany at

Aline Smithson Holiday Print

Use Your Imagination
Archival Inkjet Print
$50 plus postage and handling

Jennifer Ray Holiday Print

Composition #1 from the series Domain, 2007


Contact Jennifer at

Mark Geil Holiday Print

Pacific Combat Zone, National Museum of the Pacific War
Fredericksburg, Gillespie County, Texas

2009, archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl
image 8 X 10 inches on 8.5 X 11 paper

price $75 / edition of 21

Kirk Gittings Holiday Print

Threatening Storm, Pueblo Alto, Chaco Canyon, 1982
Image size 11x15, matted, archival pigment ink print, cost $650.00


Tom Richardson Holiday Print

Either You Rock or You Suck, New Orleans, 2009
12 x18 on 17 x 22 Hahnemuhle Photo Rag. 
Holiday sale price $350
Contact Tom at

Norman Mauskopf Holiday Print

Jerry Olson & Chief, Santa Fe, New Mexico 1984
by Norman Mauskopf
7x11 image on 11x14 paper for $150
Contact Norman at

The Fraction Magazine Holiday Print Sale

Tonight begins the posting of the The Fraction Magazine Holiday Print Sale.

If you see a photograph, click on the link to the photographer and let me know that you want to buy their Fraction Magazine Holiday print.  Simple as that.  One hundred percent of the sale goes to the photographer.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

David Ondrik Speaks !

Artist David Ondrik, who was featured in Fraction Issue 9, will be speaking at the Photoeye Salon.
He is one of 3 photographers presenting at photo-eye's December salon on Wednesday, December 2nd (a week from today!). A reception starts at 6:30, and the salon runs from 7pm - 9pm. The other photographers presenting are Julie Dean and Jock McDonald. The gallery is located at 376 Garcia Street, Suite A in Santa Fe. If you need more information, contact Melanie McWhorter at 505.988.5152 x 112 or

Going to PhotoNOLA ?

If you are planning on going to PhotoNOLA in a few weeks, be sure to check out all the excellent photographic events going on.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Fraction Magazine Holiday Print Sale

In the next few days I will start posting photographs for sale by artists that have been featured on Fraction Magazine.

One hundred percent (100%) of the sale goes to the artist. I will provide a contact link and if you want to buy something, you contact them directly.

Contact me if you have any questions or would like something specific.

Happy Holidays !

Friday, November 20, 2009

Center Photographic Competitions

Center, who is based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and produces Review LA and the prestigious Review Santa Fe, has three competitions with open calls for entries.


The first competition is the Project Competition
The 15th annual Project Competition honors committed photographers working on documentary projects and fine-art series. Three jurors reach a consensus on the First Prize and three finalists. Each individual juror also selects a project to receive one of the three Juror's Choice awards. In addition, we award 25 Honorable Mention. More details here.

The second competition is the Project Launch
The 1st Annual Project Launch Award was initiated to help a photographer complete a work-in-progress. Open to all photographic fine-art and documentary projects or series. More details here.

The third competition is the Choice Awards
Center's Choice Awards recognizes outstanding photographs of all processes and subject matter. The Awards are in three categories, Curator's Choice, Director's Choice, and Editor's Choice Awards. The winners receive exhibition, publication and more. More details here.

These competitions are often career makers and now is the time to apply.

Review Santa Fe is certainly one of the most prestigious photographic events of the year. The deadline to apply is January 27, 2010. This is a juried event and now is the time to apply.

Review LA is just 7 weeks away. There are still spaces available as this event is open to all photographers and is not a juried event.

Go to Visit Center for all of the details on the organization and the competitions.

Check them out on Facebook too...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Fraction Magazine Holiday Print Sale

Once again, Fraction featured artists will make some of their work available to the Fraction audience at very special (and reasonable) prices.
On Tuesday November 23, I will start to post the images and the contact information. The entire sale price goes to the artist. Yes, 100%.
So buy some great work this year. Your loved ones, or empty walls, will thank you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Center and the SlideLuck PotShow

Center is proud to announce that we are partnering with Slideluck Potshow to bring an evening of food and photography to Santa Fe. This event is free and open to the public.

Open to all photography lovers living in New Mexico.

The deadline for submissions is November 28, 2009 at 11:59pm MST. For submission guidelines please visit

If you have any questions please email at or call 505-984-8353.


  • Center and Slideluck Potshow produced, co-sponsored by the New Mexico History Museum
  • Light fare from 6:30-7:30pm; slideshow presentation begins at 7:45pm
  • December 9, 2009; 6:30-9:00pm
  • New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Free and open to the public

You are invited to join Center for an evening of photography, food and fellowship. Center has partnered with the nonprofit photography organzation Slideluck Potshow to bring this exciting event to Santa Fe, NM.

Slideluck Potshow is a forum for exposing artists, curators, collectors, and editors to new work while infusing the arts community with a non-commercial vitality and refreshing exchange. "More than anything else, this is a fun, inspiring evening that is meant to remind us of why we create in the first place," states Alys Kenney, Co-producer.

Open to all photography lovers living in New Mexico.

For additional information go to
Or visit the Center Facebook event page here

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thoughts on the Critical Mass 52

Today, the 52 finalists have been announced in the Critical Mass competition. You can see the list, the rules, and the voting techniques here.

I looked at 180 portfolios which had 10 photographs in each. Of these 180 portfolios, I gave 14 of them a WOW score, the highest score possible and 38 of them a YES+ score, which is the second highest score possible. Out of the ones that I gave a WOW and a YES+, a total of fifty two, 19 were included in the Top 52. Not bad.

I must admit that there were quite a few surprises and a few disappointments.

I was very surprised not to see the following in the top 52:
Hollis Bennett
Ian van Coller
Elizabeth Fleming
Natalie Young
Susana Raab

All of the above showed very strong work, and if I were to single out one person, it would be Hollis Bennett whose work was quite amazing and I think a bit under the radar and seriously under priced (buy it now).

I plan on contacting all 14 photographers whom I gave a WOW vote to, so that I can showcase them here on Fraction. I also plan on writing about the lack of personal vision/style. There was a lot of work that looked alike and I'm not the only one who thinks so. But that is for later.

For now, congrats to the 52 finalists.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

photo-eye's First Wednesday Salon is Tonight, November 4th

First Wednesday Photography Salon
Artists presenting: Kelly Eckel, Greg MacGregor, and Ford Robbins

November 4th, 2009, 6:30 meet the artists, 6:45-9 salon
photo-eye Gallery, 376-A Garcia Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Contact: Melanie McWhorter
505.988.5152 × 112

First Wednesday’s October salon will be held on October 7th, with the opening reception starting at 6:30pm and the salon running from 6:45pm to 9pm. For this month’s Salon, Kelly Eckel will be presenting a variety of work, including work from her series Fragmented. Ford Robbins will be presenting work from and discussing the process of publishing his book Connections: A Visual Journey through the University of New Mexico Press, and Greg MacGregor will be giving a talk entitled Explosions in the Western Landscape— Mine and Theirs, consisting of photographs of explosions.

Still Life - a photo show curated by Jon Feinstein

Still Life

Curated by Jon Feinstein

Exhibiting photographers: Erica Allen, Michael Bühler-Rose, Robyn Cumming, Louis S. Davidson, John Hutchins, Lyndsy Welgos, and Ann Woo

On view: November 5th – December 19th, 2009
Opening reception: Thursday, November 5th from 6–8 pm

The Camera Club of New York
336 West 37th Street, Suite 206
(bet. 8th and 9th Avenues)
New York, New York 10018
212.260.9927 |

Gallery hours: Monday–Saturday 12-6 pm

Still Life examines a tendency in contemporary portraiture to remove the subjectivity of the persons photographed, literally transforming them into objects. The artists depict people as matter rendered through light and color, with emphasis placed on their formal or cultural qualities above all others. The exhibition juxtaposes this contemporary work with studio portraits from the Camera Club Archives, fostering a discussion about the relationship between classical idealized studio portraiture and contemporary critical portraiture.

With their bust portraits, Lyndsy Welgos and Ann Woo turn their subjects into nothing more than swatches of light color and gray tonality, and engage little with their individual identities. While their subjects are nude, the images are less about their personal sexuality or vulnerability and more about their physical surface. Michael Bühler-Rose’s portraits cast western women who were raised in India, as cultural objects. Unlike Woo and Welgos’ stark socially removed explorations of light and form, the women in Bühler-Rose’s pictures contain heavy social and cultural signifiers, as the women are adorned with various elements of eastern and western culture. They display heavily directed gestures and costuming and pay homage to orientalist painting, but we know little about their identity below the surface cues.

Erica Allen’s Untitled Gentlemen uses anonymous faces from found barbershop portraits to explore representations of identity. Appropriated and repositioned, the actual identities of the men remain as lost as they are on the walls of barbershops. The portraits comment on larger issues of gender while avoiding any appearance of personal identity or inner dialogue. Lastly, Robyn Cumming’s work addresses these ideas on the most direct level as she photographs women fused with flowers and other symbols of femininity, literally turning them into objects.

For more information, please contact Jon Feinstein at or The Camera Club of New York directly at 212.260.9927.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

News and Changes

*The News*
Fraction has sometimes been kind of a group effort but it was always a partnership, between myself (david) and Josh Spees. Well, Josh has had a lot of changes this year. He married a wonderful woman who is also a great photographer and then they packed up and moved away from New Mexico to his wife's hometown in Virginia.

Josh was the designer of the Fraction website as well as an editor, like me. He was the behind the scenes guy while I was out doing portfolio reviews and selling Fraction. I think the long hours putting together each issue, all while not getting paid for this, took its toll.

So as stated by Josh on October 7, he has decided to step away from Fraction and work on his photography and art. He is sorely missed.

*The Changes*
Since Fraction is now entirely in my hands, I've decided to make a few changes.

First, I have hired a graphic designer to redesign the Fraction logo and the website. Josh was the flash master/ webmaster and I know nothing about flash. The new site will not be in flash. It will be a simple and clean layout, just as it has now, but it will be in html, so it will be able to be viewed on every device, most importantly, iPhones.

Second, I am planning on going to a monthly format, but without the bi-monthly group show. I am still working out the details but I think this will work a bit better for me. Fraction will still showcase five photographers and each monthly issue will be loosely based on a theme. We will still have guest curators, but it will be less frequent.

Third, Fraction will be actively seeking advertising funds. As we have now, there will be an "advertising page" called the Friends of Fraction. All the advertising will be located on this page as I do not want banner ads or anything else located on the portfolio pages because I do not want anything to take your eye away from the photographers' work. Also, I will be actively seeking sponsors for our monthly email blast. Our list is now over 5000 subscribers and this is a good chance to get your name and website/service/art work out for a very reasonable price. If you are interested in advertising on Fraction and/or the email blast, contact me.

In the meantime, Fraction will be on a sort of break until the new site launches. I want to make sure this is done right. The Fraction blog will still be updated as often as needed but the website won't be. So when will the new site design launch?


Stay tuned and thanks for your support.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

CENTER set to host a SlideLuck PotShow

Attention residents of New Mexico!

Join Center for an evening of photography, food and fellowship. Center has partnered with the nonprofit photography organzation Slideluck Potshow to bring this exciting event to Santa Fe, NM.

Location: TBA
Date: December 9, 2009, 6:30-9pm
Submission deadline: November 28, 2009


SLPS is a forum for exposing artists, curators, collectors, and editors to new work while infusing the arts community with a non-commercial vitality and refreshing exchange. "More than anything else, this is a fun, inspiring evening that is meant to remind us of why we create in the first place," states SLPS organizers.

This slideshow will feature emerging and established photographers and artists including, photojournalists, still-life, commercial, traditional, and fine-art photographers.

Past contributors to Slideluck Potshow include: The Guggenheim Foundation, Elliott Erwitt, Todd Hido, Elinor Carucci, Martin Schoeller, Gregory Crewdson, Shepard Fairey, Alec Soth, Chris Buck, Spencer Tunick, Martin Parr, Nina Berman, Pete Souza, Vincent Laforet and many others.

Center is now accepting submissions for SLPS Santa Fe. The deadline for submissions is Saturday, November 28, 2009.

For submission guidelines, please click here. For more information on Slideluck Potshow, please email Jessica at

Go here for all of the details

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Documenting the Global Recession

The socially concerned website is having a call for entries for their latest competition.

From the site:
In the spirit of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the New Deal in the 1930s, when photographers documented the hardship and proposed solutions, (SDN) is issuing a
Call for Entries. We are looking for photo essays that provide insight into how ordinary citizens around the world are coping during these new “hard times” and how individuals, companies, industries, family businesses, communities, and governments are responding to the crisis.

We encourage a broad definition of the global recession. Suggested stories include those of people losing their jobs, homes, and health benefits; or the effects on vulnerable communities in conflict zones, global climate change; or how the UN’s millennium goals in economic development and health improvement have been stalled by lack of resources. We are also interested in how people and governments are working to overcome these challenges in creative ways such as agricultural development; wind, solar and other alternative energies; public health programs to stop the spread of disease; or technological innovations to reduce greenhouse gases and dependence on oil. These are just examples. We welcome new stories and approaches to documenting this important topic. If photographers are not sure if their stories fit into our definition of the global recession, they are encouraged to inquire at

The deadline for the entering is December 1. Find out all of the details at the Social Documentary website.

Judging Critical Mass, Part 2

I finished all of the entries from PhotoLucida's Critical Mass competition. There were 180 entries and 10 images each. That is a lot of photographs.

After their winners have been announced, I plan on writing a bit about what I reviewed. Some good, some not so good. I won't be naming names but I will certainly talk about styles and trends that are so apparent.

But for now, it's time for bed. I am exhausted and my eyes are burning.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Directions 2010 Photography Show

Wallspace Seattle has a call for entries out for their newest show, New Directions 2010. The curator this year is Carol McCusker, of the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego.

A little info from Wallspace:

We are currently accepting submissions for our fourth annual juried show - New Directions.

New Directions seeks to discover new talent in the world of photography. Past shows have included the works of Joseph O. Holmes, Priya Kambli and Joelle Jensen. Each year emerging artists have an opportunity to have their work seen by a nationally recognized figure in the field of photography. From these entries a cohesive show emerges for display at Wall Space in January, and this year we are excited to have 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland join forces to show ND10 in Portland during the month of February.

All submissions for this exhibition are considered for gallery representation. wall space directors and associates, as well as 23 Sandy Gallery will review the work, however the galleries review will not affect the outcome of the selection process.

The focus of this call for entries is an exhibition called Down & Out.

The request from Ms. McCusker -

This call for entries privileges two points of view: looking down from a high vantage point, and looking out to a vanishing horizon. Art historian, Albert Boime, described the former as a "Magisterial Gaze" that gave early Americans, through painting and printmaking, a view at one with God, hence, Manifest Destiny. The latter may simply be the romance of the road, or curiosity about what lies just out of sight - an American impulse from early pioneers to Jack Kerouac.

Numerous painters and photographers have employed these vantage points, subsequently, they run the risk of cliché. When done well, however, each reveals the unexpected, as in Szarkowski's photograph, Country Elevator (see wall space blog to view picture). The optimist in me delights at the disorienting perspective of looking down whereby familiar objects become abstract and dizzyingly beautiful, to looking out, with that forward motion promising adventure or escape.

The title Down & Out might conjure images of ne'er-do-wells (risky, if the public decides not to inquire further). What I hope the photographs provide, however, is pleasure in the variety of ways 'down' and 'out' can be imaged, and what emotional liberation such points-of-view can have on our often confined and overly responsible psyches.

For more information please contact the gallery.

Entries are due November 15

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Judging Critical Mass

I am busy at work, judging ten images each, from the 175 Critical Mass finalists.

As of this writing I have looked at and judged 60 photographers' work, about 600 photographs. I don't feel it is right to single anyone out at this point, but I will after the winners have been announced.

If the work has made it to the finals, it is pretty damn good. And of course, there is some that I really like, and some that I don't. There is some very original work and some that is very close to being just like someone else's. Already at this point, I can see trends that are going on within the photo world.

I've decided that Fraction Magazine will showcase five of the so-called non-winners in February after the relaunch of the magazine.

So for now, it's back to looking at work. I have a deadline.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Interview with Claire Beckett

In the last year or so I have come across a few artists who have put together a body of work that really intrigues me and Claire Beckett’s work is near the top of that list. I was ecstatic when Claire agreed to answer some questions for me about her series Simulating Iraq. I would like to thank Claire for taking the time to answer my questions and to Fraction and David for posting the interview.

JS: How did you get into photography?

CB: I started making pictures while in high school. As a kid I was always into art, and I’d been pretty seriously dedicated to pottery. Then in the 11th grade my pottery teacher, whom I was very fond of, retired and I refused to study with the new one. In need of an art class, I ended up taking photography with the attitude, “I’ll hate this, it’s not me.” But I ended up loving photography from the very first day. I have been making pictures ever since.

JS: How important is your camera equipment to you? Do you consider yourself a gear junkie or not?

CB: The gear is only important to me so far as it enables me to make the picture I want. So for my current project I want a large, focused negative that I can enlarge to a decent size. Compared to other photographers I think I’m not that into gear. Gear in of itself does not interest me all that much—what I want is a really great picture.

© Claire Beckett “Army Privates Kendra Duffy, Allison Bronner and Jessica-Ann Layug, playing the role of Iraqi villagers at Basic Training, Fort Jackson, SC, 2006”

JS: What is the impetus behind the photographs in your latest series Simulating Iraq?

CB: Prior to working on “Simulating Iraq” I did a project called “In Training,” in which I dealt with young soldiers preparing for war. “Simulating Iraq” sprung directly from my experience photographing soldiers in training. One day I saw a bunch of Basic Training soldiers dressed up like Iraqis and made this picture “Privates Kendra Duffy, Allison Bronner and Jessica-Ann Layug, playing the role of Iraqi civilians during Basic Training, Fort Jackson, SC, 2006.” (see my website under “In Training”) Afterwards I did some research and learned that cultural role playing was becoming a major component of pre-deployment training, and so I pursued the opportunity to photograph at several specialized facilities. Personally I am very interested in the concepts of cross-cultural interaction and role-playing, and these interests stem in large part from my undergraduate training in Cultural Anthropology and my experiences working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa.

JS: I've noticed as I look through the series that it plays back and forth between photos that seem very quiet and some that seem very shocking. Could you explain the importance of this, if any, in this series?

CB: Yes, you’re absolutely right. With the Simulating Iraq series I move between quiet, contemplative photographs and more jarring ones. This interplay is important to me. I think of some of the calmer landscapes as setting the scenery or providing the context for the more forceful pictures. If I had a whole wall of the bloody pictures, for example, I think it would really be too much. Mixing the pictures together I think a viewer has a better chance to enter the work and spend some time with it.

JS: How do you find the locations you shoot in?

CB: I do a lot of research before ever going out to photograph. I discover places to photograph through a combination of secondary research and speaking with my contacts in the military. Often I’ll hear about something in the news and then call someone I’ve worked with in the past to get more information about the logistics of photographing at the site and also get more information about the look of the place, which is hugely important to the photography.

JS: How many photos do not make it into your final series of images you show?

CB: Many photos do not make it into the final edit. I don’t edit myself when I shoot. I prefer to make many photographs and edit down in the printing stage.

© Claire Beckett “Lance Corporal Joshua Stevens playing the role of a Taliban fighter, Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, 2009”

JS: How much of a directorial influence do you exert over your portraits?

CB: I am absolutely the director of my photographs. Using a 4x5 view camera it is nearly impossible to make a candid photograph, so everything in composed by me in collaboration with the people I photograph. I say “collaboration” because I do solicit a lot of input from both the people I photograph and the other people around. Most recently, when photographing Marines role-playing as the Taliban, I asked these Marines a bunch of questions about their Taliban character as we made the pictures. I tried to base the photographs off of what the Marine said his Taliban character did, or what the Taliban character thought or how the Marine imagined the Taliban character felt, or how the Marine felt about being the Taliban.

JS: How do you begin a new project and when is a project or a body of work finished for you?

CB: I begin a new project when a new idea starts nagging at me and won’t let me be. If the idea doesn’t really stick around and bug me then it probably isn’t a good idea. Likewise a project is finished when it isn’t exciting me anymore. I usually try to make some more photographs just to be sure.

JS: What does the future hold for this project?

CB: At this moment I’m in the editing stage, so I’m not sure. I’ll know once I’m done printing and editing my newest photographs.

JS: How do you get over a creative slump in your work?

CB: I try not to indulge in too much negative thought about a creative block. Instead, there is always something to be done to move the work forward, whether that is shooting pictures, editing, printing, sharing proofs, drafting an artist statement, reading, doing research, revising the website, etc. If I don’t exactly know what to do next I work on whatever is in front of me. I don’t regard not knowing what to do next as a problem, rather I tend to see it as an opportunity for the next thing to present itself to me organically.

-Joshua Spees

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Journey to Iceland: Photographs by David Bram at photo-eye Bookstore

photo-eye Bookstore is pleased to host an exhibition and artist's reception for A Journey to Iceland: Photographs by David Bram on Friday, October 23rd, 2009 from 5 to 7 pm at photo-eye Bookstore, 370 Garcia Street, Santa Fe, NM. The exhibition will be on display from October 23rd through Saturday, November 28th, 2009.

In April of 2007, David Bram traveled to Iceland with a group of seven photographers, all of whom concentrated on and enjoyed the landscape. The result of 55 rolls of medium format film is 20 silver gelatin photographs of the amazing and moody Icelandic earth. photo-eye Bookstore is pleased to present a small number of the fine silver-gelatin prints from this artistic expedition.

David Bram Bio:
Artist David Bram was born and raised in New York. He moved to New Mexico in January of 2000. Following a short stint in software development, he followed his heart and began to study photography again after being away from it for several years. His work has been included in many group shows in New Mexico and is in the collection of the Palace of the Governors, as well as many private collections. He is the editor and founder of Fraction Magazine, an online venture promoting and exploring emerging photographic artists. When not traveling around New Mexico seeking out the new and unexplored, he can be found in a few coffee shops, enjoying a latte and playing with his one-year-old daughter. The

photo-eye Bookstore is located at 370 Garcia Street, Santa Fe, NM and is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm. Email for more info.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Flash Flood !



Flash Flood is pleased to announce the launch of Issue One at on October 8, 2009.

Flash Flood is a new media collective that investigates and promotes the intersection of photography and culture in the state of New Mexico. We are dedicated to bringing awareness to the global art community about both historical and contemporary photography from all regions of the state.

Flash Flood was founded by New Mexico photographers and colleagues Jesse Chehak (Santa Fe); Jonathan Blaustein (Taos); Melanie McWhorter (Santa Fe); David Ondrik (Albuquerque); and Jennifer Schlesinger (Santa Fe). The online magazine will also host guest contributors in the future.


• The Clock Didn't Really Stop Long Ago by David Ondrik. A review of Craig Varjabedian’s photography exhibition at the Albuquerque Museum, on view through October 11, 2009.

• Scott B. Davis- New Mexico Influences by Jonathan Blaustein. An interview with Scott B. Davis, Artist and Director of Exhibitions at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, California, who received his BFA from University of New Mexico in 2000.

• An Interview with the New Director of Scheinbaum & Russek, Ltd, Andra Russek, by Jennifer Schlesinger. Russek recently migrated back to her hometown from New York where she worked at Swann and Sotheby’s Photography Departments.

• Flash Flood’s New Mexico, curated by Jesse Chehak. A call for images for Flash Flood-curated essays and portfolios from readers contributions.

• Coming Soon:
A Brief History of the Photobook in New Mexico, by Melanie McWhorter

Photography's purpose in New Mexico has historically been the documentation of place prompted by the demand for tourist photographs of our exotic landscape, architecture and native population. Numerous photographers working today continue to perpetuate this aesthetic. The members of Flash Flood, as evident in our mission, believe that the contemporary photographers featured here are moving this legacy in a different direction. Flash Flood will discover and promote photographers from many backgrounds who are generating a new and fresh approach to New Mexico photography. We will also showcase previous generations of artists, and place much of the historical work in its rightful place of reverence.

Flash Flood will examine the wealth of artistic and photographic institutions in our state. We will explore the relationship between photography and the state of New Mexico, directly and indirectly, and its influence on interdisciplinary fields of study including anthropology, history and economics. Welcome to Flash Flood.


Jonathan Blaustein
Jonathan Blaustein received a BA from Duke University in 1996, and an MFA from the Pratt Institute in New York in 2004. While in Brooklyn, he ran the underground gallery BQE33 in Greenpoint from 2003-4. His photographs are in several permanent collections, including the Albuquerque Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Art, and the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. Jonathan’s work has been exhibited extensively in the United States over the last decade, most recently at the Albuquerque Museum and Zane Bennett Gallery in Santa Fe where he is represented. In 2009, Jonathan was nominated for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography, and became a finalist for Critical Mass. Blaustein resides just North of Taos where he runs the studio and gallery, photographic, and teaches photography to at-risk youth through the University of New Mexico - Taos.

Jesse Chehak
Jesse Chehak (b. 1979, Tarzana, California) is an artist living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Best known for his large format photography, Chehak's wanderlust spirit and thirst for adventure propel him to spend most of his time on the road with his cameras. Born and raised in Hollywood, CA, his work continuously addresses themes related to the mythic iconography contained within the American West. He has exhibited his fine-art work in New York and Los Angeles and is currently represented by Bruce Silverstein in New York, NY. He regularly contributes photographs to numerous international publications and is represented in New York, London, and Sydney by M.A.P.

Melanie McWhorter
Melanie McWhorter was born and raised in a small mill town in upstate South Carolina. In 1991, she received her BA in History from Lander University in Greenwood, SC. Soon after graduation, she found a job as a school photographer and later had a brief stint as a dude ranch photographer in Jackson, WY. She is a regular contributor to the online magazines—Fraction and photo-eye—and maintains her own photo-related blog, Melanie has been with photo-eye Bookstore and Gallery since 1997 working in several capacities. Most recently, she is the Book Division Manager, bookstore Curator of local photographer’s exhibitions, and organizer of the “First Wednesday Salon,” where local photographers showcase their work. Recently her photography was included in the exhibition, Through the Lens: Creating Santa Fe. She resides with her family in Santa Fe, NM.

David Ondrik
David Ondrik received his BFA In 1998 with an emphasis in photography, from the University of New Mexico. Ondrik’s photography is part of the permanent collection at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe and the city of Albuquerque’s Public Art Program. He is the youngest of twenty-five photographers included in “Photography: New Mexico,” published in 2008 by Fresco Fine Art Publications. In 2009 he was nominated for Center’s Santa Fe Prize for Photography. Ondrik resides in Albuquerque where he is also a high school art teacher.

Jennifer Schlesinger
Jennifer Schlesinger graduated from the College of Santa Fe in 1998 with a B.A. in Photography and Journalism. She has exhibited widely at regional as well as national venues including the Santa Fe Art Institute, Portland Northwest College of Art, Chelsea Art Museum and the Bridge Art Fair in Chicago. Her work has been published online and in print and is represented in public collections including the Huntington Botanical Art Collections (CA) and The New Mexico Museum of Art. She has received several honors in recognition of her work including a Golden Light Award in Landscape Photography (Maine Photographic Workshop 2005); a nominated finalist for the Willard Van Dyke Grant (NMCP 2005) and the Santa Fe Prize for Photography (Center 2007); and the Eliot Porter Fellowship (NMCP 2007). In 2007 she was awarded the CCA Photography Auction Award (Santa Fe 2007). Schlesinger has also held positions in various non-profit arts organizations such as being the Assistant Director of Santa Fe Art Institute (2002-2005). Her work is represented by Wallspace Gallery (Seattle, WA) and Verve Gallery of Photography (Santa Fe) where she is also the Gallery Director.

For more information, please contact :
Jennifer Schlesinger, or 505-577-6708.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Joshua has left the building.

It has been twenty months since David and I sat down in Satellite Coffee in Albuquerque and hatched the idea of Fraction Magazine. It didn’t take long to get it up and running and we have seen lots of great work in that time. The magazine has changed a few times, grown to be respected within the community, and followed by quite an impressive audience.

It is with great sadness that I must tell you all I will no longer be a part of Fraction Magazine. Over the past twenty months I have put any amount of free time I have had into the magazine, through design, programming, constantly looking at new work, updating the blog, etc. While I have enjoyed my time doing it, one thing has suffered in the wake, the amount of time I have left to work on my own personal art and projects. When it comes down to it my own need to produce and create seriously outweighs the time I have to donate to the magazine.

Fear not, David will continue at the helm on his own. With the help of people like Melanie McWhorter and the larger photo community I am sure his efforts will be grand. Don’t be afraid to offer the man your time and help if you are so obliged. I will continue on making new work and remain part of that photo community at large and hopefully lend David a hand whenever I can. You can follow all of my work and my incessant ramblings and bitching about the world of art at my blog The Word. I’ll always be looking at and talking about new work I have come across and posting new thoughts and ideas.

Thanks to all of you for making Fraction a success and stay tuned to see what David has planned for the future of Fraction. ¡Adios compañeros!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Turn your $2000 DSLR into a $12 camera instantly

That's right. While I am not a big toy camera shooter, I can tell from the amount of images we see here that many of you are. The Lens Baby has been around for years but at a hefty little price tag. Why not just buy a Holga and stick with film? Well now you have a $12 alternative. Well not really $12, you still have to have a Diana lens laying around or buy one (starting at around $40). The really creative among you may well be able to find some things to do with some of your old toy cameras no longer in service. Frankenstein something together and see what happens.
While it may not be the least expensive option it may well be a conversation starter on your D3. It also gives you a little more creative freedom when shooting with exposure time. So get out there and make some fuzzy pics with your really expensive camera!
You can see the the adapters here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aline Smithson on 52 Editions

Aline Smithson of Lenscratch fame, is the featured photographer on 52 Editions this week. The print, titled Favorite Condiment, was taken on a road trip to Death Valley. If you are interested in purchasing, the details are as follows:

8.5"x11" Archival Pigment Print
Limited Edition of 275
$45.00 Unframed
$125.00 Framed

This edition will remain at this price for a week. After that date, if not sold out, it will be available in the catalog at a price of $75.

If you are interested, go to the 52 Editions site.

Created by Arnaud Gregori, 52 Editions presents a new original photograph, each week. Here is what what it's all about:

52 Editions is the anti-gallery

Our weekly goal: to demolish the misconception that collecting great photography is a privilege solely for the hoity-toity. We're knocking it off its pedestal, and bringing it live, to your walls.

As the cliche goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And the eye behind 52 editions, Arnaud Gregori, is no ordinary beholder. A curator and all around international man of the photo world, Gregori is also a self-proclaimed French snob. Translation: he has the exquisite taste and the chops to back that up, having spent hardcore time working with pro-photogs. Seriously, trust a frere.

Here's how it works: each week, 52 Editions features a different photograph for $45, published in a limited edition of 275. This postmodern approach to art dealing is more about spreading shutterbug love than making a buck. It's contagious, let's start a pandemic...

The photographs we feature are selected on a case-by-case basis. So, if Gregori thinks its good, it doesn't matter whether the artist is an amateur or professional, famous or anonymous. It doesn't matter to our prices either.

Making each photo inexpensive means if you love it, you can buy it. If we have it our way (and artsy-fartsy elitists be damned, we mean to!) a piece of art you've purchased isn't always a bank-breaking, life-long commitment. It's a gift to yourself, or a gift for another

We hope to continuously expose you (you didn't really think you'd get through this without a darkroom pun, did you?!) to great works of art that will make your day as much as they make ours.