Sunday, September 4, 2011

On my way home

Moscow and Portfolio Review Russia have been a fantastic experience.

Details about my time here will be posted in a few days

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

On my way

On my way to Moscow.
Follow me on twitter (@FractionMag) to get updates from Portfolio Review Russia

Thursday, August 25, 2011

ThinkTank Photo Camera Bag Giveaway

The simplest contest ever! 
All you need to do is follow Fraction on Twitter.
On Thursday September 15, ONE winner will be randomly selected to win a Think Tank Photo Speed Racer v2 camera bag. 

The retail price is $179.75

Read the specs here.

So, go on over to twitter and follow Fraction.

The fine print: Fraction will pay shipping to all US addresses.  If the winner lives outside the US, the winner will be required to pay all shipping costs

Friday, August 19, 2011

Archaeology and the Shape of Time

If you live in New Mexico, you will want to see this show

ARCHAEOLOGY and the Shape of Time
Photographs by Richard Benson and Edward Ranney
An exhibition and limited edition book
Where: The Fisher Press
Address: 307 Camino Alire, Santa Fe, NM, 87501
When: Opening reception Friday, August 26th from 5 to 8pm
The exhibition runs from August 26th to September 27th
Gallery hours 11am to 5pm Wednesday through Saturday for the first two weeks of the show's run and by appointment only thereafter

Opening Reception: August 26, 5 to 8pm

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Help Ken Rosenthal produce a catalog

Ken Rosenthal, who was featured in Issue 8, has a Kickstarter project that is worthy of your time, consideration and donation.

Straight Outta Suburbia

Who are you taking pictures for?
You can't be taking pictures on the property.
Are you working security for the mall?
I'm chief of security.
Well, then I'm gone.
Appreciate it.

Thus went my recent conversation with a suburban police officer at a local mall.

I had been driving the access road that rings an upscale outdoor mall, camera on the passenger seat and left elbow (aka camera sandbag) on my windowsill. The mall buildings sit at the property’s periphery and face toward its center, so my vista was loading docks and steel entry doors. The photographic pickings were slim even for someone like myself, strangely obsessed with banal suburbia. At this tony mall, even the dumpster areas are tidily free of consumerism’s interesting detritus.

As I paused to chimp my meager photographic haul, I sensed movement in my left peripheral vision. I looked up as a police car moved smartly toward me from somewhere between my six- and my nine-o’clock. It pulled alongside and then angled into my lane as if to block my “escape”. It was a controlled but aggressive move, designed to intimidate. It got my attention.

The trim, immaculately-uniformed and -mustachioed officer walked briskly around the rear of the car towards my opened window, and we had our polite exchange of words. Given that he was armed, and I was technically trespassing on private property, I had no standing on which to refuse cooperation. I have no doubt that, had I chosen to be obstreperous, he would have arrested me on the spot. And there were no witnesses in sight to back me, had he also chosen to embellish the story to my disadvantage en route to jail.

Only as I drove away replaying the encounter did the oddness of several things strike me. This was the first time I’ve been accosted by a uniformed police officer while photographing on public-space private property. One wonders, is it the policy of his department to allow its officers to wear their uniforms and sidearms, and drive taxpayer-provided patrol cars, on moonlighting jobs? And was he actually off-duty from his day job? Yeah, I'm cynical.

But most strange was his question. Who are you taking pictures for? Not the usual question, what are you taking pictures of? or, why are you taking pictures? His working assumption seemed to be that I was photographing at someone else's behest, for nefarious purposes.

I freely admit that photographing mall loading docks from a car window must seem pretty odd to the average non-photographer. Why would anyone do this for amusement or other innocent reason? Terrorist plotting mayhem? Maybe, but Google Earth and the mall website have better information for terrorist-planning purposes than I could gather with my camera. Thief plotting a burglary? The cop surely knows that the vast majority of business theft is perpetrated by employees, and shoplifting is relatively risk-free. Business owners mostly fear embarrassment and litigation, so I suspect that was his main concern.

Anyone who photographs publicly has similar stories of the suspicion or even hostility our innocent, perfectly-legal activity sometimes arouses. Child-kidnapping mass hysteria is impervious to comprehension of its actual minute rarity; but stoking this fear sure fills airtime. And people out in public increasingly believe they're entitled to some zone of privacy that the law doesn't grant them --- often the same people whose kids run wild in complete disregard of the space of others.

Some of this public wariness is no doubt post-9/11 "security" paranoia. That's at least understandable, if vastly overblown. But there also seems to have been some kind of shift in public perception over the years since I started photographing. Public photography with "professional" cameras seems to raise people's hackles in a way I don't recall in years past. I'm not sure what to make of this.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On my way

At the airport headed to San Francisco for the Fraction show at Rayko Photo.

It opens Thursday night from 6-8pm

Hope to see you there

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spiderman uses a rangefinder

Just noticed that Netflix added the animated Spiderman series from 1967 to it's line up.  I grew up with this and I'm quite excited.

In the intro, Spidey uses a camera.  Apparently it is a rangefinder, possibly a Leica.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Support Fraction!

Want to help support @FractionMag without doing anything special? 
Simply use this link when shopping on Amazon

That's it.  No need to send money or buy something specific.


Friday, July 15, 2011

The SNF-fles

Social networking is a sterile digital shooting gallery, where the product is free, every byte is lipid-soluble, and the molecules mate with your limbic receptors like chocolate-covered heroin in hot melted butter. But its inevitable downside is social-networking fatigue. Every fashionable affliction needs a support group and an onomatopoeic acronym; ergo, SNF--- like the sniffles. So hand me a tissue, and take one for yourself.

As you flit like a dragonfly from post to hyperlink to feed to page to stream to group, looking for the next particle of information you can’t afford to miss --- or important connection you have to make for your career’s sake --- social-networking becomes the deep-brain electrode whose stim-switch needs relentless hammering just to keep withdrawal at bay.

When I started photographing seriously again a few years back, Someone told me that Everyone Needs To Have a [Insert Social Network name] Presence In Order To Succeed. Well, I took Someone at her word, and pretty soon I was using regularly. I can’t recall whether Facebook was the gateway, or Twitter; but soon they were joined by a blog or two, a portfolio website, a Flickr stream, a Tumblr [?site --- is Tumblr a noun or an adjective, and can it ever be a verb?], and probably a few others I’ve left out. The means have became the end. But at least I’m part of...something. Aren’t I? Yes; the Legion of the Tired and Stressed, that's what.

So I was already weary when I caught wind of Google Plus. This --- in case you’ve been trapped on queue without wi-fi down at the DMV --- is the latest cyborg sent to aspirate our brains through hollow proboscides, mine our data, and leave behind our lifeless humanoid pelts like the molted shells of cicadas. Contemplating yet another Social Network, I felt even more like the junkie trying to stay clean while running a needle-strewn gantlet cordoned by dealers trying to entice him back into the life.

Obviously one can overdo the social-networking-as-narcotic metaphor; I spend less time than many banging away at it, trying to enjoy its undoubted benefits while minimizing its harms. But lately, as I find my available time pressed upon from all sides, I’ve had to choose more carefully how to spend the little I have. Social-networking's attractions have begun to pale compared to its real-world cognates: being with friends and family, and getting out and making decent photographic work --- as opposed to talking about making it.

Where does that leave me and Google Plus? After a bit of tinkering with it, I pronounce it Promising. I can see it consolidating or even replacing many of the other social-networking tools I use. I’ll keep trying it, and checking in with the others. But I really do want to take a step back and think about how much virtual connecting is too much; and whether the real, messy, person-to-person kind wouldn’t be far more congenial to a meaningful existence in the physical world.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fraction Show at Rayko

Dirt Road by Antone Dolezal

Fraction is very proud to announce it's first photography show, 
Fraction Magazine : Three Years in the Making at the Rayko Gallery in San Francisco CA.
This RayKo exhibition is curated by David Bram, the founder and editor of Fraction, and features images from the past 28 issues of the magazine.
The following photographers are featured in the show:
Karen Kuehn, Polly Chandler, Samuel Portera, Norman Mauskopf, Allison V Smith, Kirk Gittings, Michael Sebastian, Michael Itkoff, Ken Rosenthal, David Ondrik, David Maisel, Phil Toledano, Liz Kuball, Susan Hayre Thelwell, Emily Shur, Hollis Bennett, Geoffrey Ellis, David Taylor, Tabitha Soren, David Rochkind, Eliot Dudik, Kerry Mansfield, Kathleen Robbins, Meg Griffiths, Susan Burnstine, Antone Dolezal, Jesse Burke, Clay Lipsky, Tricia Lawless Murray, Josef Jacques
Reception: Thursday, August 11th from 6-8p
Exhibition: August 11th – September 18th
Address: 428 Third Street San Francisco, CA 94107

Thank you to Ann Jastrab and everyone at Rayko for the fantastic opportunity!

Connect with Fraction

Working in the photographic arts?

Connect with Fraction Magazine

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Next Six Months

The next six months are a crazed time of family, photography and travel.  I am really excited about all of the opportunities both personally and professionally.

Between now and January 2012, I will be in 
Nantucket, MA
Boston, MA
Keene Valley, NY
San Francisco, CA
Moscow, Russia
Atlanta, GA
Fort Collins, CO
Chicago, IL
Lishui, China
Miami, FL
New Orleans, LA

Almost all of this travel is photo-related where I will be connecting with photographers in person, with the goal of finding more great photo projects to promote on Fraction.

As Fraction moves fully into its third year, I have plans to expand and broaden the audience by introducing Fraction V (for video content) and Fraction E (for high school and college level projects).  The website will also receive a minor facelift to integrate content and conversation to make Fraction a singular destination for great photography and limit the need for redirection to other social media sites.

Although Fraction will be growing, the primary mission of showing strong, cohesive bodies of work remains the same.  Giving photographers who are creating powerful collections exposure will always be the core focus of Fraction.

I appreciate your patience over the next few months if I am slow to respond to emails.  In the meantime, I am preparing Issue 29 for release.  I think you will be pleased with my selection of work.  

As always, please feel free to connect Fraction via emailtwitter, facebook or Google+ . 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Return on Investment

You spend X number of hours on social media. What is your Return on Investment ?

Seriously ask yourself and please answer honestly

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fraction on Tumblr

Check out the new Fraction Magazine Tumblr page.

Follow and Reblog!

Issue 28

Issue 28 is now online and features Chloe Borkett, Josef Jacques, Magdalena Sole, Michael Kirchoff, and Rachel Barrett

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Roundtable Review in San Francisco

Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, Fraction Magazine and RayKo Photo Center are pleased to announce the Roundtable Review, to be held at the RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco, California on August 12, 2011.

The Roundtable Review is an opportunity for fine art photographers to present their portfolio to a panel of three reviewers at one time. This format allows for more dialog and problem solving about the work, as each reviewer brings a different perspective and different ideas.

The Roundtable Review is a juried review, and ten photographers will be chosen to participate. Each participant will have a 30-minute session with the three panelists and receive feedback on their work.

At the end of the one-day event, participants will socialize and network with the panelists and fellow reviewees at an evening cocktail party at the Rayko Photo Center. The wrap-up party gives participants an opportunity to continue conversations from their review, as well as show and share their portfolios with the other reviewees.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, July 8, 2011.

Details at

Thursday, June 16, 2011

ThinkTank Camera Bags

Thinking about a new camera bag?

I recommend the @thinkTANKphoto Retrospective 10 -

Use this link and get free stuff -

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Film And Digital: The Dead Horse Whinnies

Coming of age as a photographer during the 1970’s and ‘80’s, I shot 35mm film --- like most enthusiasts of limited means --- and developed it in my makeshift bathroom darkroom. But when I resumed “serious” photography around 2004, after a several-year hiatus, I first did so with a family hand-me-down Kowa Super 66. As stolid and no-frills as that camera was, one look at those medium-format negatives told me I’d found my format. Medium format seemed to best fit the way I see, think, and shoot. And a gorgeous, sharp, tone-rich negative shot on 120 color film became my archetype of a beautiful image.

Several years, and tens of thousands of photographs later, I find that I’ve produced probably two thirds of my archive with medium-format cameras of several different brands and formats. The remainder I’ve shot mostly with the handful of digital cameras I’ve also owned --- all of which I’ve since sold or put aside. In fact, until last fall, I had all but stopped shooting digital. I found a more welcoming home for a D300 that had languished in its bag untouched for a year, during which I shot some 150-plus rolls of 120 film.

There was nothing at all wrong with the Nikon’s images --- other than the 1:1.5 image ratio that I always seemed to want to crop at least to 4:3. In retrospect, I think my dissatisfaction with digital photography simply boiled down to a few non-rational objections that logical argument couldn’t overcome.

First, the pictures, while good-looking in their own right, didn’t match my film-centric mental template of a “good” photograph --- my jaw didn’t drop, Mamiya-7-on-Portra style, on viewing the output of my DSLR. I’m not talking about “native” vs. “scanned” pixels, linear resolution, or any other pocket-protector stuff. I’m simply talking “wow” factor. Digital, it seemed, promised “new” and “better”, but delivered only “good” and “different”. It felt like opening a damaged toy on Christmas morning.

Second, after almost four decades of shooting film, some part of my reptilian lower brain felt that “real” photographers use only manual cameras, and set apertures and shutter speeds on rings and dials which click satisfyingly into place. We do not whirl girly wheels with our thumbs; we disdain the siren song of matrix metering as fit only for Digi-Chimping Shutter Monkeys. Our exposure numbers are obtained from handheld meters, wielded by a Skilled Craftsman who must interpret the meter’s advice against lighting conditions at the scene. Compared to this intricate mechanical kabuki, shooting with a DSLR felt at times like operating a microwave oven or TV remote control.

And, finally, there is the matter of the cameras themselves. Compared to the unapologetically-utilitarian squareness of a Mamiya 7, the haughty chrome elegance of a Hasselblad, or the ergonomic flair of a Contax 645, modern DSLR’s can seem downright homely. As I touched on in last month’s column (here or here), one must give due deference to his inner Collector, and modern DSLR’s move him not at all.

All that said, I started shooting digital again last fall. The event that precipitated this reconsideration was returning from a family vacation with 20 rolls of 120 color neg film to deal with. Doesn’t sound like such a big deal, right? Processing it in my Jobo took only a few hours, but getting it scanned, corrected, and spotted took me several weeks, working in small chunks of time here and there around my other obligations. It breaks my heart to say it, but that’s increasingly time I find I can’t spare from the other stuff, and tedium I don’t wish to endure.

Furthermore, despite the fact that color films are better today than they’ve ever been, the only sure prediction one can make about them is that they are history --- in 3-5 years if you’re pessimistic, 10 if not. Besides, I have no idea how much longer I’ll be able to affordably source the C-41 chemistry required to feed the Jobo. I can make my own B&W developer from cheap, plentiful chemicals, but C-41 is another story. When that goes, or the Jobo dies, and I have to start sending 120 color-neg off to the west coast at $8 a roll and two weeks’ turnaround, I’m probably done. The wait alone would kill me!

The other thing that’s changed is that I have cleaned out my gear closet, consolidated things a bit, and settled on a workable digital solution whose images, so far, I have found as satisfying in their way as my beloved MF film pictures. They are not the same, of course, but they are beautiful. I may have more to say about this in some future slow-news month when I feel like a gear review. I really don’t want this column to be about gear --- except as it relates to the overall culture of image-making. So stay tuned.

I plan to keep on shooting film until something breaks irretrievably. I’m addicted, and just because I’ve added another drug to the pharmacopoeia doesn’t mean that I can’t stay high on the old standbys. Some days, you just gotta have a mechanical shutter ca-chunk to get through the day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The tradition continues

Since Fotofest 2010 (April), I've been opening a bottle of Jack Daniels at the end of the reviews.  And yes, lots of people come over to enjoy a shot.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Issue 27 is Not Safe For Work

Issue 27 is now live and features the work of April-lea Hutchinson, Muema, Nicolo Sertorio, Tricia Lawless Murray and Victor Cobo 

It also features a review of the Fujifilm X100 digital camera by Camden Hardy.

Check it out and tell your friends

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fraction Demographics

In an attempt to see who is looking at the Fraction website as well as following Fraction on Facebook and Twitter, I've set up a quick three question survey.

If you have a few seconds, please have a look.  


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Photo Center North West


16TH Annual Photo Competition Exhibition
JUROR: Karen Irvine, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Photography

THEME: Anything related to Land or Water


CASH AWARDS: $1000, $500, $250


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Michael Sebastian: Collector vs. Photographer

I am a camera collector. I've always been a camera collector. But sometimes I'm also a photographer, and it's so confusing....the B&H, KEH, and Adorama boxes just keep coming, but the pictures still suck....

If there were a 12-step program for camera addicts, thus would I introduce myself to the group. Imagine the scene: a tremulous circle of clammy camera-tweakers in a dingy VFW hall; screw-mount Leicas, Rolleiflexes, and 500-series Hasselblads draped around our necks like oversize St. Ansel medallions; film-advance levers worn as smooth as rosaries as we bare our souls to anonymous, similarly-afflicted strangers.

Each of us in his turn---women are not excepted---would tell woeful tales of bank accounts emptied, and dreams of artistic renown waylaid, by the all-powerful Camera Jones. Commiserating all around, we'd end with cookies and punch, giving thanks to our Higher Power (AKA Spouse With Checkbook.) We'd part company, momentarily unburdened, rejuvenated with fresh artistic resolve---until the next new camera came along to distract us with opiate vapors from the real work of Doing Something Worthwhile with the things. Binge, Regret, Binge again.

Probably no other form of artistic expression is as bound up as photography in the technology used to produce it. The Photographer sees the image, and the Technician masters the device that produces it. This mastery is frequently mated to a keen love of finely-wrought machines, so the Technician abides with his cousin, the camera Collector. All these personae exist to some extent in each of us. The problem, though, is that, while the Technician lives only to serve, the objectives of Collector and Photographer are seriously at odds.

Collector exalts the camera as a functional bit of industrial sculpture. Photographer, on the other hand, regards the camera as but a means of art-making. For her, a certain disdain for one's tools, but a steadfast monogamous fidelity to the chosen few, is essential if she is to make serious art. The Collector makes an occasional dainty exposure, then tucks the object of his love gently back into the Billingham or display case, lest dust or smudge sully its pristine leatherette. The Photographer, by contrast, sees her D3 smashed by a third-world riot cop, files the insurance claim, and replaces the camera with all the emotional investment of a plumber deploying a new drain auger. This utilitarian mindset gives the Collector hives.

I have been aware of this Collector / Photographer duality almost since the day I picked up my first camera, a family hand-me-down Bakelite Brownie, four decades ago. I'm quite sure that, in my eight-year-old mind, the camera---with its smooth Art-Deco-ish lines and beguiling clicks and buzzes--- was initially more fascinating as a device than as an image-making tool. Soon, though, Photographer appeared, and he and Collector learned to get along about as well as siblings confined on a long car trip. Lately, though, this coexistence has been downright turbulent, as I strive to make work at a higher level, and to find the tools best suited to that undertaking, while throwing the occasional shiny chrome bone to the Collector.

This week I received a ship notice for a long-backordered, scarce camera I'd ordered months ago, while Collector was momentarily in the driver's seat. Luckily, between the ordering and the shipping, reason had schooled Photographer that I neither needed, nor could afford, this camera. Too bad; the shiny new toy shipped before I could cancel it. Heartened, Collector sensed another default victory, but Photographer thwarted him yet again, through the agency of my saintly-patient wife. She refused delivery on Photographer's behalf, and the package returned whence it came, unopened, temptation forestalled. Score one for Photographer, who lately could really use the leg up.

Since the Brownie I have owned cameras TNTC---Too Numerous To Count, as we describe our microscopic censuses of deranged blood cells and urinary bacteria---and I've loved something about each one. In the actual use of them, I've discovered their limitations and best uses. Some of Collector's favorite cameras have been Photographer's least favorite tools; conversely, some of the better tools were the cameras that least excited Collector's passion. I'm so sorry, RZ67. The Hasselblad was just and angular. I respect your work, but the heart wants what it wants.... Er, you wouldn't maybe consider taking me back, would you?

This is a different issue than the thoroughly discredited notion, "if only I had a Canikosonytaxblad zillion-megapixel digital back I'd be the next William Eggleston." We've all internalized the shibboleth that it's the vision, not the camera, etc, etc, and we all profess to believe it. I'm well past the point of investing my next camera with super-powers. More problematical is that studying, acquiring, and becoming acquainted with a series of beautiful cameras, however fulfilling in its own right, takes mind-space and energy that could be devoted instead to furthering one's actual image-making skills and visual sensibility.

Camera collecting, per se harmless, is the ultimate expression of genteel photographic procrastination. Swiping the MasterCard is far easier than the slow and sometimes tedious job of making better photographs.

Friday, May 13, 2011

FRESH 2011

Klompching Gallery's first annual open exhibition.

A collaboration between Klompching Gallery, W.M. Hunt and Fraction Magazine; 
FRESH will showcase new talent in contemporary photography.

Deadline: June 6th, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Issue 26 - Third Anniversary Issue

I am really proud to announce Issue 26 - Third Anniversary issue.

This issue features the work of Clay Lipsky, Daniel George, Meredith Miller, Michelle Bates, Rylan Steele, Simon Roberts as well as book reviews by Ellen Rennard and Colin Edgington.

Check it out here :

Thursday, April 14, 2011

An Introduction

When David Bram invited me to write a monthly column for Fraction, I naturally asked---after verifying his sanity---about his mandate for the work. It seems my brief is promiscuously broad: to write about photography as the muse impels me, from an outsider's perspective---as someone whose primary residence is not in the Fine Art Photography neighborhood, but who drives, agog, the mean, beautiful streets of that gated community every chance he gets. I'm grateful for this opportunity to inflict my meanderings upon a wider audience under the Fraction masthead.

You're surely wondering, "just how far "outside" is this guy?" (or more likely, "how do I unsubscribe?") I've been making pictures since grade school---that's a long time. But in my youth, a career in art didn't seem feasible; it was just not done. Instead, my path went through med school, two residencies, and private anesthesiology practice. I've been doing that for about sixteen years, the latter half in a small community hospital in central Kentucky, my wife's home state.

The nature of my specialty is that we don't have practices full of permanently-attached patients. We do our thing, the patient does well and goes home, and I move on to the next operation. As a result, my work schedule can be made amenable to the pursuit of happiness outside of medicine. It took me a while to figure this out, though. So, not quite eight years ago, I downshifted to create just such a family- and photography-friendly situation for myself. As a result, I've been able to earn a living and still try to be a husband, father, and photographer.

I had assumed in my ignorance that part-timers like myself were the exception in the fine-art photography ecosystem. But when I began putting my work out into the world in online venues, in contests, and at portfolio reviews, I realized that many---if not most---fine-art photographers make their living around the genre's edges, or even entirely outside photography. I shouldn't have been surprised---this reality is certainly in keeping with art photography's spartan economic traditions. But evidently there are quite a few of us dilettantes out here photographing assiduously, even as we work at some other job. Hopelessly infected, we simply can't not make pictures. All of us carve out time for photographic work around the stuff that keeps the lights on.

Meeting others of similar situation has made me ponder what might lead a person both to photography and to a certain, seemingly unrelated, vocational field. Among my medical colleagues there seem to be two kinds of doctor-artists: those whose art is inspired by medical practice, and those whose art coexists with it. I'm among the latter; in my experience, neither type is plentiful. How, then, does one find his way both to medicine and to the arts?

Medical practice, like other highly-technical fields, requires a sturdy ego, independence of thought and action, perseverance, discipline, and the ability to quickly organize masses of information into coherent mental wholes. Sound familiar? Photography calls upon those same traits; both a photographic series, and a complex medical history, are stories that must be condensed painstakingly from background noise.

But while photography may make use of procedure, consistency, and rote, medicine is understandably dominated by them, but without the creative payoff photography provides. I like the comforting rituals of doing, the mechanical tasks that comprise the operation of a camera or the administration of an anesthetic. But I especially crave the sublime sense of discovery that accompanies fixing an image in my head in tangible form, or seeing this done by the many others more gifted than myself.

I think about photography and photographs constantly; in my field of dreams I'm a full-timer, and I've often bridled at the frustration of this fantasy. But I have also gazed upon the lurid neon greenness of the grass Over There; on this side of the paddock, I've learned to appreciate the freedom accorded me by the day job to photograph on my own terms. In my own modest artistic life, I take nothing for granted, and acknowledge my good fortune.

Pardon this long introduction. And fear not, for such tedious me-centricity will not be a fixture in future columns. In those, I hope to provoke thought, and to stimulate discussion, across a wide range of topics relating to contemporary photography. To that end, these columns will appear here on the Fraction blog, but will also be archived with each month's edition of Fraction itself. David and I both feel the blog is better suited than the magazine itself to accommodating the reader to-and-fro we hope ensues. So let fly here---we want to hear from you. (You can also email me at mike at michaelsebastian dot com.)

My thanks to David for publishing this column---I only hope it goes live before his ether wears off---and to all of you for your continued support of Fraction.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Fraction Store on Amazon

I've recently set up a store on Amazon to help support Fraction.

All you have to do is bookmark this link and click on it whenever you want to buy something from Amazon.  From this link you can buy anything on the Amazon site and a small percentage of your purchase will be sent to Fraction.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

April in Santa Fe

There is so much going on during the first two weeks of April in Santa Fe.
Here is a brief list:

April 1 - Friday - Michael Light book signing at the new Radius Books offices 

April 6 - Wednesday - Phil Underdown and Dornith Doherty will be speaking at the Photoeye Salon 
6:30-8pm - photo-eye Gallery, 376 Garcia St., Santa Fe

April 8 - Friday - Earth Now opens at the New Mexico Museum of Art

April 8 - Friday - Jamey Stillings — The Bridge at Hoover Dam Opening 
4-7pm photo-eye Gallery, 376-A Garcia Street, Santa Fe

April 9 - Saturday - Darius Himes and Mary Virginia Swanson "Publish Your Photography Book" seminar
9:30-5pm Inn at The Alameda hotel - 

April 9 - Saturday - Lecture and book signing with Darius Himes and Mary Virginia Swanson "Publish Your Photography Book" 
5:30-7pm at photo-eye Gallery, 376 Garcia St., Santa Fe

April 10 - Sunday - Michael P Berman - Keynote lecture for Earth Now - 10am at St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art -

April 15 - Friday - VERVE Gallery of Photography Presents STANKO ABADŽIC, MANUEL CARRILLO, JACKO VASSILEV
Opening Reception: Friday, April 15, 2011, 5-7pm


Going to be a great time in Santa Fe.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Issue 24

Café & Truck Stop, Oklahoma by Antone Dolezal

Issue 24 is now live and available for viewing.  This issue includes the work of Antone Dolezal, Bootsy Holler, Kristen Fecker Peroni, Leon Alesi and Steven Beckly as well as a book review by Ellen Rennard

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lecture and Booksigning with Norman Mauskopf

Lecture and Booksigning with Norman Mauskopf  
When:  Saturday, February 26, 2011, 2-4pm
Where:  New Mexico History Museum
Auditorium 113 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe
Co-sponsors:  VERVE Gallery of Photography
Photo Archives/Palace of the Governors
photo-eye Books

On Saturday, February 26th from 2-4pm, photographer Norman Mauskopf will present images from his recent book project, Descendants, photographs of the Hispanic people and culture of Northern New Mexico. Mauskopf is a thorough, patient and persistent photographer who has spent the last 10 years photographing this region of  striking environmental and ethnic diversity. The book, Descendants, published in December 2010 by Twin Palms, is Mauskopf's fourth book.

"Mauskopf cuts to the heart of what makes this community like few others in the United States".
- Casey Sanchez, The New Mexican

Norman's website
Norman's work on Fraction

Buy Norman's new book Descendants via the Fraction Book Store on Amazon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Call for Entries: Ten Years After Nine Eleven: Searching for a 21st Century Landscape

"The 21st century arguably began on September 11, 2001 when terrorists attacked and brought down the World Trade Center in New York. As the world approaches the tenth anniversary of that cataclysmic event, SDN invites photographers from around the world to submit photographic essays offering us glimpses of the visual landscape of the 21st century.   

We encourage photographers to think broadly about the term "visual landscape". We are interested in how the world looks different today than it did on September 10, 2001, particularly as a result of the political, cultural, economic, and interpersonal changes brought about in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001. " 

Judges are: Nina Berman, Lori Grinker, Ed Kashi, Fred Ritchin, Glenn Ruga, Tomasz Tomaszewski, and Amy Yenkin

The Grand Prize is $1,000 plus work in a group show at the PowerHouse Arena.

SDN will accept entries from March 1 to May 31. 

All of the details are here.

Thank You Kevin Longino

Thank you to Kevin Longino for his long time support of Fraction.  Kevin has been buying ad space since 2008.  Please check out the artists he represents at

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ACP Public Arts Program

ACP Public Art Project 2011

Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) announces a Request for Artist’s Proposals for its 2011 Contemporary Public Art Project.

ACP produces a Public Art Project as a central component of our month-long, city-wide celebration of photography each October. ACP’s acclaimed program of public art has featured temporary projects in a variety of diverse locations throughout Atlanta. The program’s significance is in its ability to reach beyond the audience of traditional art venues and expand the way the audience considers and perceives photography and “lensbased” media. We are looking for proposals that take advantage of public art’s ability to reach new audiences, and to create an experience that is a dynamic hybrid of art in the public sphere.

Any individual artist or collaboration of artists may enter, provided that the person(s) or firm who will be responsible for the actual fabrication and/or construction of the piece(s) have had previous experience in the medium(s) proposed, which must be disclosed in detail in the application form.

Entry Fee

Media & Materials
No restrictions in terms of materials or media have been established in order to ensure maximum creativity for participating artists. However, since ACP is an organization that promotes all things photographic, it is a requirement that your project involve lens-based media as an integral part of the piece (this includes images and/or video captured by a lens, or media in which light sensitivity is a primary element of the material). We encourage you to think widely and to explore this concept without restraint. Please keep in mind that durability, safety and minimal maintenance needs are absolutely required. Also, it may be helpful to know that ACP owns a 10,000 lumens projector which may be used as a part of a project (proposal would need to consider logistics, power, safety and weatherproofing). However, we are not specifically seeking or favoring projection projects.

The $10,000 budget is all-inclusive, covering design, construction and/or fabrication, transportation, delivery, site preparation, lighting (if applicable), insurance, consultant fees, installation and de-installation at the conclusion of the project. Artist’s travel (if applicable) and all other costs associated with the project (including Artist’s fee) are included in this amount. If the proposed budget exceeds $10,000, artist must detail how the overage will be funded.

Site & Duration
Applicants may propose sites, but should be aware that it is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain permission and access from the proper authorities. Note that Artist should initiate the obtaining of permission during the application process. ACP can assist the artist in securing a site(s) for the project if assistance is needed. If the project is site specific, consideration should also be given to security, projection/viewability, and ambient light issues of a proposed site(s). ACP would like the project to begin in late September/early October 2011 and occur throughout the month of October, but will consider other time durations as they relate to specific projects. Artist should plan to remove the project during the first week of November, 2011.

Submission procedure & Contact Information

All proposed materials must be postmarked by February 28, 2011.
Late proposals will not be accepted – no exceptions.
Submissions should be e-mailed to:, or mailed/delivered to:
ACP, 1135 Sheridan Road, NE, Atlanta, GA  30324.
Applications that are faxed, incomplete, or late will not be accepted.

Artists will be notified of panel recommendations by email.

For the complete details, please visit the ACP website

The Roundtable Review

The Roundtable Review is an opportunity for fine art photographers to present their portfolio to a panel of three reviewers, representing three areas of the photographic community — the gallery, the publisher, and the online presence.  The Roundtable Review is a juried review, and twenty photographers will be chosen to participate.  Each participant will have a 30-minute session with the three panelists and receive feedback on their work.
At the end of the two-day event, participants will socialize and network with the panelists and fellow reviewees at an evening cocktail party at the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery.  Additionally, the panelists will vote on a first place review prize, and the winner will receive an exhibition opportunity at the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery.
The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 18, 2011.
Guidelines for submission:
•    An artist bio and a short description of the work
•    5-10 jpegs (100dpi and 6 inches at the longest dimension) sent in a zip folder (preferred) or as email attachments
Email submissions to There is a $25 non-refundable submission fee.  You may mail a check to the gallery at 75 Bennett Street, suite K2, 30309, or request a PayPal invoice to pay by credit card.  Payment must be received by the deadline of February 25 for your submission to be considered.
Accepted participants will be notified by Wednesday, March 23.  The cost of the review is $250.

Roundtable Reviewers for the April 2011 session:
Jennifer Schwartz is the owner of Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, located in Atlanta, Georgia.  Jennifer Schwartz Gallery is a fine art photography gallery promoting talented, original and emerging photographers as well as established contemporary photographers. Through regular rotating exhibitions, educational artist talks and the representation of gifted and unique up-and-coming photographers, the gallery aims to enhance awareness of the rich variety of photographic talent.
Jennifer Schwartz is originally from Richmond, Virginia, and has her BA from Colgate University and her MA from Georgia State University.  The owner of a successful commercial photography business for ten years, she opened her gallery in 2009 to give Atlanta’s thriving photography community a venue to showcase the work of emerging photographers. Focused on taking a fresh, enthusiastic approach to the traditional photography gallery, the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery is committed to working collaboratively with other photographic entities and to building community both locally and through online venues.
David Bram is a fine art photographer and the editor, founder, and curator of Fraction Magazine, an online venue dedicated to fine art photography, showcasing the work of both emerging and very established fine art photographers.  Fraction Magazine was founded in 2008 and is currently on its 23rd issue.
David Bram has been reviewing portfolios at various events including Review LA, Review Santa Fe, PhotoNOLA, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, and FotoFest.  He was also a juror for Review Santa Fe in 2010 as well as a juror for Critical Mass in 2009 and 2010.
Alexa Dilworth is the Publishing Director/Editor at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.  She has a B.A. and an M.A., both in English, from the University of Florida, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.  In 1995, she was hired by the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University to work for DoubleTake magazine, where she held the position of proofreader, managing editor, and then executive editor.  She was also hired as the managing editor of the CDS books program at that time and has coordinated the editorial, design, and production work for every CDS book since 1996.  She is the publishing director at CDS, and also runs the Awards program, which includes the Daylight/CDS Photo Awards, the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, and 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers, among others.
CDS Books at the Center for Documentary Studies are works of creative exploration by writers and photographers who convey new ways of seeing and understanding human experience in all its diversity — books that tell stories, challenge our assumptions, awaken our social conscience, and connect life, learning, and art.