Of all the eras and styles in the medium’s history, art historian and photographer Jeffrey Martz is most drawn to the 19th-century amateur pictorial photographers such as Lewis Carroll, Clementina (Lady Hawarden), and Julia Margaret Cameron.
“An amateur photographer was a clearly-defined category of maker in the 19th century, someone who pursued photography seriously but not professionally. They weren’t in a studio trying to please a client, and because of this, they were free to make the best possible pictures in whatever style they wished. They did their work literally for the Latin root of the word—amore—or love,” Jeffery explained.
Arthur Wechsler discovered photography at an early age. His grandfather was a photographer in the Korean War and Arthur had one of his old cameras sitting in his room “forever.”
“One day, I think a year before he passed away, I asked for a camera, and he got me one for Christmas. I was 11 or 12 at the time,” Arthur said.
Photographer Fran Meckler is passionate about her social documentary work—she’s visited more than 70 countries over her career. Her latest images were made during a two-week trip to Papua New Guinea where she documented in vivid color the changing landscape, the lives of many different tribes and what is still left of tribal life in the 21st century, and the mystery of that very foreign culture.
In a new exhibition at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, Fran will show 25 images from the trip, printed by The Image Flow.
Dennis Gray was introduced to photography right about the same time his father started sneaking him into the Stockton sport races in the trunk of his car—he was 14. “I got a Nikon F, one of the first ones they made in 1959, and at the same time, my father bought a go-kart that he and I raced. We were both gear heads,” recalled Dennis. “He snuck me into the races so he didn’t have to pay the $2 entry fee.”
Don Whitebread owns a decent telescope but admits he’s not much of an astronomer. He bought the telescope to do astrophotography, and then realized it didn’t give him the opportunity to play with time in the way he’d imagined.
“The work I’m doing, I feel like I’m capturing a particular moment. It’s a long moment, but still, it’s a moment in time when these stars happen to line up with this foreground and it creates a composition,” he said.
The work he’s referring to is part of an ongoing collection called Starlight. He shoots mostly with a medium-format Hasselblad and black and white film—digital cameras don’t allow for the type of exposure he’s after. Each exposure requires an exposure of around an hour and a half. The result is a glimpse of thousands of stars moving across the night sky.
Liz Caroli is a recently retired teacher with a newfound passion for photography, but looking at her photographs, you might think she’s been shooting for a very long time. However, she bought her first “real camera” barely three years ago. She credits her rapidly improving skills behind the camera to hard work and the excellent teaching skills of the instructors at The Image Flow.
Her first initial impetus to pursue photography came during a trip to Belize. On a side trip to Half Moon Caye National Monument, Liz snapped a few shots of a flock of birds flying overhead.
Scott Orazem studied photography at the Art Center College of Design in California. He spent fifteen years shooting fashion in Los Angeles before launching a second career in creative direction and brand strategy. Now, Scott is exploring the personal side of his photography with a focus on patterns, textures, and scales found in nature.
It is no secret that the medium of photography has become increasingly complicated by the advent of the digital age. Nearly every image we encounter—from advertising and billboards to packaging and fine art—receives some level of digital treatment before arriving in our periphery. Altered images have become so commonplace that they are no longer questioned.
Knowing this, why then is there a persisting notion of photography as a mechanism of truth? It seems to exist as a residual concept of the photograph as something objective and substantiated by its relationship to reality.
But what we perceive to be real is malleable and shifting. This is where my personal interests in photography seem to manifest, in a space where artists are free to toy with the artifice that is inherent to photographs. Through individual choices regarding process, presentation, and content, the following are a few contemporary photographic artists that tread the boundaries of illusion and reality.
Annie Leibovitz, a San Francisco Art Institute alum, began her famed career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone in the early 1970s. Over the past 40 years, she has created some of the most stunning and most controversial photographs of her day. Her new exhibition Women: New Portraits now on display at the Presidio’s Building 649 at Chrissy Field features portraits of some the world’s most influential women, from ballerina Misty Copeland to anthropologist Jane Goodall to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Fine art photographer Hendrik Paul is best known for his surreal black and white landscapes of the Marin Headlands, but he also likes to venture out at night to take ethereal images in both urban and rural settings.
Here our most accomplished night shooter shares his tips for night photography, from the best equipment to use to the best time to shoot, so you can start taking beautiful photos at night!
Photographers who work with the historic, hand-made or otherwise alternative printing processes know that a good print requires a good paper. Each process has different requirements for what makes a “good” paper, and those of platinum/palladium printing are among the strictest.
It’s been almost 30 years since Kerik Kouklis made his first platinum/palladium print, and in that time, he says there’s never been such a selection of new and improved papers coming onto the market at the same time.
Here, in his own words, Kerik reveals the best of the best from long-time industry stalwarts Hahnemühle, Legion Paper, and Arches.
If you read magazines or watch TV (or have landed at SFO recently) you’ve seen Chrysta Giffen’s work. With more than 12 years in the photography industry, she’s one of the most sought-after digital retouchers in the business. Her extensive client list includes Nike, Disney, and Sephora; Bravo TV, Discovery Channel, and Showtime; New York Magazine, Wired, and Men’s Vogue; and a certain giant albino python—just to name a few.
Ted Orland is one of The Image Flow’s favorite wandering photographers, with a love of photography and life that is truly infectious.
He began his career as a young graphic artist working for famed designer Charles Eames and later served as photographer Ansel Adams’s assistant. Now a celebrated landscape photographer himself, Ted’s portfolio spans classical black and white photography, hand-colored photographs, and one-of-a-kind multi-image panoramas. He also co-authored the best-selling artists’ survival guide book Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.
This spring, Ted will lead a new landscape and travel photography workshop to California’s Salton Sea and Joshua Tree National Park along with Brian Taylor, artistic director of the Center for Photographic Art.
In his own words, Ted shares seven of his favorite photography subjects throughout in this unique region of California.
Ramses H. Batista is one of Cuba’s most renowned modern photographers, his career spanning more than 20 years and virtually every subject imaginable: portraiture, social documentary, religion, landscapes, and most recently, nudes. But Batista didn’t start his artistic career as a photographer; as a young man, he was a painter, until one defining interaction with an instructor changed his path forever.
“His painting instructor told him, ‘You’re a terrible painter. But you would be a very good photographer,’” says San Francisco-based photographer Jock McDonald, a long time friend of Batista’s who has himself made more than 50 trips to Cuba.
Ramses took his instructor’s advice and turned toward photography and cinematography. He has since worked with several Cuban and international photography agencies and magazines, and has had numerous solo exhibitions in Cuba, Canada, and Europe.
Ever get up at the crack of dawn and haul out of the hotel/condo/AirBnb with a cup of coffee and camera and haul down to a beautiful beach or center of a quaint Eastern European city ready to take the perfect sunrise photography, only to be overcome with the feeling that it’s already been done? Here, travel photographer Jeff Zaruba offers five tips for turning the ordinary into extraordinary.
Emerging nature and landscape photographer Mary D’Agostino is as homegrown as much of her work. A busy executive by day, Mary used to spend her vacations painting wildlife, but in recent years, she has developed a passion for photography. She put herself through a “school of photography” taking workshops and classes at The Image Flow and started working one-on-one with Stuart. “I was doing projects and shooting a lot, and I would routinely bring my work in for critique from Stuart.”
Mary has also sought critiques from experts in the field of nature photography, which have been met with increasing success. “I’m fearless when it comes to finding people in the field of photography to evaluate my photographs,” she says.