Panos Kokkinias

wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been preparing for the start of my summer residency. So much to think about, so much to do. But this morning I’m thinking about my long neglected blog and today I’d like to share the work of Panos Kokkinias.

Kokkinias is a Greek photographer whose work I came across and was greatly inspired by, while researching my MFA thesis. Kokkinias got his MFA from Yale, so he’s got that going for him ;) He also earned a PhD in photography from Derby University in GB.

What drew me to his work is his cinematic aesthetic, and the concept of constructed realities. I especially love his landscapes that include figures. The figures are so tiny within the landscape that you almost don’t see them. There is something very mysterious and magic about their discovery. 


to see more, check out his website

Sebastiao Salgado / Edward Burtynsky


The world makes me sad.

Today I’m thinking about two photographers who turn their lens on subject matter that isn’t pretty and yet somehow manage to make appear achingly beautiful. I don’t know what the implications of aestheticizing  everything may be, but I do know these photos make me feel all sorts of something.

Sebastiao Salgado is a Brazilian photographer, who studied economics and began traveling the world while working for the International Coffee Organization.  He began taking photographs of his trips abroad and decided to change directions and commit fully to photography. Salgado has completed immense series of various aspects of human existence; work, migration. His work bridges the photography genres of fine art and photojournalism seamlessly.

Edward Burtynsky is a Canadian photographer known for his large format landscapes. His photographs represent the latest shift in landscape photography, known as the wasteland. His images depict all the ways man has destroyed the landscape.

I could say more, I should say more, but I can’t find the right words.

Sebastiao Salgado

Edward Burtynsky

Lee Friedlander

Lee Friedlander is an American photographer who appeared on the scene in the 1960s and 70s. Friedlander is often credited with helping establish the photo movement called social lqandscape photography, which shares much of its aesthetic with street photography.

Friedlander attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and moved to New York in the 1950s where he photographed jazz musicians for their record covers. He’s sort of notorious for some nude photos he took in the late 1970’s of a not yet famous Madonna, which ended up appearing in Playboy in 1985.

But what I love most are Friedlander’s self-portraits. I love that he’s made them consistently throughout his life and the best ones have a cinematic quality that appeals to me. If I’m still around in my 80’s I guess more than likely I’ll be making self-portraits too. Hopefully they’ll be even half as good.

 Check out MOMA’s great collection Friedlander’s work.


Joel Meyerowitz

I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to get to Mr. Meyerowitz. I’ve cited his landscapes of Tuscany as having a huge influence on my work and definitely consider ‘Cape Light’ one of my all-time favorite collections.

Joel Meyerowitz was born in New York, 1938. He began photographing in 1962 and his early influences include Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Meyerowitz is often labeled a street photographer and he is an amazing street photographer, but he is so much more. He creates portraits, landscapes and documentary works and excels at them all.

Meyerowitz was an early proponent of the idea of color photography as serious art form.  He began working in large format color in 1972 and taught the first color photo course at Cooper Union in New York. He is the author of 20 books and his first published book was Cape Light. His photographs have appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries world-wide.

Meyerowitz is a quintessential New York photographer. He documented the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack and was the only photographer allowed unrestricted access to ground zero immediately following the attack.

Here is a link to his website and a few of my favorite images


Chema Madoz

Jose Maria Rodriguez Madoz, known as Chema Madoz is a Spanish photographer. Madoz was born in Madrid, 1958. He studied art history at Universidad Complutense and photography at the Centro de Enseñanza de la Imagen during the 1980s. In 1985, Madoz had his first solo exhibition at the Royal Photographic Society of Madrid. He has since had a collection of his images published in the book, Chema Madoz: Objetos 1990–1999 and has had his photographs exhibited worldwide.

In the 1990’s Madoz began to photograph everyday objects - manipulating and accentuating their characteristics, without digital alteration. The photographs are elegant, black and white images, shot for the most part on a medium format Hasselblad. Madoz’s background in art history makes itself apparent in his surrealist influenced imagery. He considers himself, "an objectual sculptor who works from a photographer's point of view."


Here is a link to his website:

And here is a link to his fan page on FB


Federico Patellani

Federico Patellani is often credited as the first true Italian photojournalist.

Patellani was an Italian photographer who’s career really took off in the 1940’s.  Before discovering his passion for photography Patellani had been a lawyer. In school he had studied the arts and this background influenced his approach to photography.  

Patellani considered himself “a new kind of journalist.” He skillfully blended his artistic appreciation for all things beautiful with a documentary approach. He was greatly influenced by cinema and created evocative images that documented a rapidily changing era.

Here are a few of my favorites

Summer Vacay

well vacation has come and gone...and it was fantastic :)

about to get back at the blog and sharing photographers I love - in the meantime, in between time - here's a look at my summer:

and something I've been working on


if you're stopping by my blog click the link and check out my entry for the Exposure 2015 Vox Poluli Prize and vote for me, it's easy breezy :)

and check out my gallery - Until Now, I Am...a work in progress

and check out my gallery - Until Now, I Am...a work in progress

Robert Frank

Robert Frank is an American photographer; he was born in Switzerland to a Swiss mother and a German father, who’d lost his citizenship as a Jew. The family resided in Switzerland throughout WWII. He trained in photography and produced his first book of photos in 1946.

 In 1947 Frank immigrated to the United States. He moved to New York and began working for Harper’s Baazer. He traveled – a lot, North and South America, as well as throughout Europe. He worked as a freelance photojournalist and was part of what has been called ‘the New York school’ of the 40’s and 50’s.

But perhaps his most influential work was his book of photographs called The Americans. In 1955 in part due to the support of Walker Evans, Frank was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. He used the fellowship to travel across the U.S.

After leaving the chaos of Europe during and after WWII Frank was, like many, optimistic about the seeming endless opportunities of America. But the photographs in his book -The Americans, reveal a shift in perspective. Clearly disillusioned, the subjects of Frank’s photographs appear isolated, indifferent and often dejected. Franks’ use of unusual vantage points, cropping and low light broke from the commonly practiced photo techniques of the day and contributed to his unique vision of the tension between the optimistic attitude of the 50’s and the disparities of class and racial differences.


Irving Penn

Irving Penn initially set out to be a sort of graphic designer. He studied drawing, painting, graphics, and industrial arts. After art school he worked for Harper’s Bazaar, who published several of his drawings. Working as a freelance designer, Penn created advertising for Sax 5th Avenue. Eventually, he ended up in the art department at Vogue magazine. Penn worked on the layout of the magazine, but was asked to try his hand at photography.

Penn's first cover photo for Vogue appeared in 1943 and he continued to produce work for the magazine throughout his career, including covers, portraits, still lifes, fashion, and photographic essays.

Penn developed a clean and modern aesthetic. He had the ability to make cigarette butts look beautiful. His influence on the look of beauty and fashion photography can be seen in magazines today. In addition to his beauty and fashion photography, he created portraits of many of the creative giants of the time, portraits of people from all over the world and fantastic still lifes.

Clarence John Laughlin

Clarence John Laughlin was an American photographer who worked in and around the southern US. Laughlin developed a sort of gothic surrealism. Some of my favorite images come from his book, Ghosts Along the Mississippi, which was published in 1948.

 Although not formally educated, Laughlin was greatly influenced by his love of literature. He had aspirations to be a writer and was particularly drawn to the style of French symbolism.

 Laughlin taught himself photography and began his career with a focus on architecture. Eventually he worked with Edward Steichen at Vogue, but much of his photographic career was spent on personal projects. His aesthetic tended to focus on geometric abstractions, architecture and staged scenes involving models, costumes and props. Just my cup of tea 

Sarah Moon

Marielle Hadengue, better known as Sarah Moon is a French photographer who was born in 1941. Moon entered the fashion world as a model in the late 60’s. In the 70’s she began photographing fellow models. Eventually she shifted her personal focus from modeling to fashion photography. By the mid-80’s her focus again shifted, this time from fashion to fine art photography where she concentrated on gallery and film work.

I came across Moon’s visual retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, while researching my thesis and I’m drawn to her dreamlike, romantic images. I am struck by her ethereal aesthetic and photographic construction. Moon’s images show the artist’s hand, they are painterly and sometimes look like glass plate captures.

In addition to her fine art photography and video work, Moon was the first woman to shoot the famous Pirelli calendar. She has also completed commissions from Chanel, Dior, and Comme des Garçons among others.

Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman was born in 1906 in Riga, Latvia. His father was a dentist and his mother a teacher. The family spent summer vacations in Europe and he was particularly taken by the great portraits. The influence of which remained constant throughout his life.

Halsman first became interested in photography at the age of 15, after discovering his father’s old view-camera in the attic. By 18 he had finished school and went to Dresden, Germany, where he studied engineering.

Around this time, while on a trip in the Austrian Tyrol, an area rife with anti-Semitism, Halsman was reportedly accused of his father's murder and sentenced to ten years hard labor/solitary confinement. Knowing that he had been falsely accused, his sister championed his release, getting support from important European intellectuals, Sigmund Freud and Alfred Einstein among others, who all endorsed his innocence. He was eventually pardoned and released in 1930.

Halsman then moved to Paris where he pursued his interest in art and literature. His approach to portraiture was influenced by his favorite writers, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, who had explored human nature, with psychological depth and honesty.

He gave up studying engineering and committed himself to photography. He designed his own camera and explored the effects of artificial light. He became well known for his portraits and actors and writers sought him out. Magazines asked him to work for them and he participated in photographic exhibits. He was soon regarded as one of Paris’ preeminent portraitists.

During WWII, as Paris was invaded, Halsman’s family fled to America. Halsman himself had difficulty – being Latvian there was an immigration quota that was filled for years to come. But once again, with the intervention of Einstein, Halsman’s name was added to a list of writers and artists in Europe who were given special visas.

With no reputation to speak of in America, Halsman had to begin again. He worked for a photo agency and started to look for clients for himself. He slowly rebuilt his career and reputation as one of the top portraitists, this time in America.

Shortly after his arrival in New York; Halsman met Salvador Dali. The two immediately hit it off. They had prolific collaboration that spanned 37 years.

Halsman’s long and renowned career included 101 LIFE magazine covers and a book titled, Philippe Halsman's Jump Book which was published in 1959. The book contained 178 photographs of celebrities jumping and a discussion of the concept in which he stated "When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears."


Imogen Cunningham

I always think of Imogen Cunningham as sort of the female version of Ansel Adams. She was an American photographer of the same era, who lived long and was a prolific photographer.

However where Adams’ subject was nature and the great outdoors Cunningham photographed everything, literally – everything. Cunningham produced dreamlike narrative images, portraits, still-lifes, nude abstractions, dancer studies, self-portraits and street photography. She worked in various black and white formats and she worked in color.

She created so many beautiful images it is difficult for me to choose which few I’ll share. The website photo liaison has a gallery of her published images. Check it out!

Cunningham was born in Oregon in 1883. She was named after one of Shakespeare's heroines. She began reading at an early age and took art lessons every summer. She attended the University of Washington, where she majored in chemistry. Her thesis was titled “Modern Processes of Photography.”

After graduation Cunningham worked for Edward S. Curtis, where she learned the techniques of platinum printing. She later received a scholarship to study photographic chemistry in Germany. Upon her return Cunningham opened a portrait studio in Seattle.

Cunningham married, and with her new family moved to California. She began participating in exhibitions at San Francisco institutions like the California Palace of the Legion of Honor and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, as well as the Berkeley Art Museum and she had a one-person exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum. Cunningham was also an original member of Group f.64

Cunningham divorced and was invited to New York to work for Vanity Fair but she soon returned to California. She spent time traveling with Dorothea Lange and Paul Taylor. Eventually she opened a studio in San Francisco. She taught at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

Cunningham was a Fellow of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree by the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Collections of her work were purchased by The International Museum of Photography, at George Eastman House, The Library of Congress and The Smithsonian Institution.

While I was putting this post together I came across this great article on one of my favorite sites It’s a shot article that is fun and revealing, definitely worth the quick read.

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is an American photographer and artist. She is the only woman on the list of 10 most expensive photographs ever sold and she’s on it twice. If you don’t know who Cindy Sherman is, shame on you.

Sherman is first and foremost an Artist. Her primary medium is photography. Working in series, she creates constructed self-portraits and typically photographs herself in a range of costumes and theatrical make-up. Sherman works alone in her studio, assuming the various roles of author, director, make-up artist, hairstylist, wardrobe mistress, and model.

I kinda love the fact that Cindy Sherman failed her first photography class at Buffalo State College. Initially her main interest was painting. Eventually she re-enrolled in photo with a different instructor, Barbara Jo Revelle. The new class, new instructor made all the difference. She credits Revelle with introducing her to conceptual art.

Sherman first gained attention from her series Untitled Film Stills, which she completed in the late 70’s, early 80’s. The series of black and white photographs suggest films stills taken from old film noir and/or B movies of previous decades. She appears in the photographs as the archetypical female character of those films; the ingénue, the femme fatale, etc.

She’s gone on to create a huge variety of series, each with its own theme. Thematic subject matter ranges from clowns, to dead bodies. Her most work is a series of wall size prints of what appear to me as ‘real housewives’ of wherever. 

In recent years Sherman has also completed a number of collaborations with the fashion world. She worked with MAC, Chanel and fellow fashion photographers.

Ralph Eugene Meatyard

I always think it’s kind of funny that Ralph Eugene Meatyard happened to be born in ‘Normal’, Illinois - although, he did end up living and working in Lexington, Kentucky. Meatyard earned his living as an optician. He worked for a company that also sold photographic equipment and the owners were members of the Lexington Camera Club.

Meatyard purchased his first camera in 1950 so that he could photograph his son and worked primarily with a Rolleiflex medium-format camera, thus, the square format photographs. In 1954 he joined the Lexington Camera Club. 

During the mid-1950s, Meatyard attended a summer workshop with Minor White. White had a huge influence on Meatyard's interest in Zen Philosophy.

Meatyard worked outside of the photographic mainstream, he often experimented with multiple exposures, motion blur, and other methods of photographic abstraction. His subject matter often included family members enacting symbolic dramas, set in abandoned places.  

He died from congenital heart failure at the age of 46. His early death came during a period of growth in photography in the United States that coincided with the political and social upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s.

His work was just beginning to be recognized nationally at the time of his death in 1972.

Larry Sultan

Ah well winter break is over and done, back to work.

I just saw an amazing and inspiring exhibit of Larry Sultan’s work at LACMA. Sultan was a master of creating images that seem at once both spontaneous and staged. The images are humorous, unsettling and often sad, verging on tragic. Sultan’s painterly images are full of intriguing detail.

Larry Sultan was an American photographer, raised in the San Fernando Valley. Sultan earned his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and he was an instructor at both the San Francisco Art Institute and California College of the Arts. His five major bodies of work include; Evidence, Swimmers, Pictures from Home, The Valley and Homeland.

The show will be up through March. If you can, it’s definitely worth seeing in person. The size of the prints reveals details you might not notice at a smaller size. Great big, beautiful prints.

For more info and images check out his website

Oscar Rejlander

Oscar Rejlander


Born in Sweden, Rejlander was a pioneering Victorian art photographer and an expert in photomontage. He studied art in Rome and eventually settled in London.

Rejlander often experimented with various photographic techniques, and is credited as possibly inventing or perfecting the technique of combination printing or photo montage.

His collaboration with Charles Darwin on The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals as assured him a position in the history of behavioral science.

He was also a friend of photographer and writer, Lewis Carroll. Rejlander created one of the best known portraits of Carroll.

But the reason I’m familiar with his work is because of his most well know image, The Two Ways of Life. The image is a photomontage analogous to work created in Photoshop today. But waaaaaay more difficult to create. Rejlander seamlessly montaged 32 images using glass plate negatives in a darkroom in about 6 weeks.