Savor these photobooks

Alec Soth’s Dog Days Bogota: for its pacing and its weaving of subject matter.

James Luckett’s Suginami: although you can easily find larger versions of these images, (in order) on flickr and on Google (but out of sequence).

…and here’s an informative interview with Mr. Luckett and Elijah Gowin:

W. o’ W.: Alfred Stieglitz

“If you place the imperfect next to the perfect, people will see the difference between the one and the other. But if you offer the imperfect alone, people are only too apt to be satisfied with it.”

This year’s STD has run its course.

Senior Teach Day occurred early this year (or so it seems), and once again, the photographer did not see his shadow (hey, it’s a darkroom).

The man known as Saigon took his role in stride. There were no casualties, and he issued only one detention all day. The press sent an unannounced representative:

…others appeared to be making contingency plans.

Sally Mann: pictures on the radio

A handy-dandy MF reference link

Until I begin a career on youtube, this will suffice as the clearest explanation of how to load roll film:

Where Joseph Campbell intersects with jazz

Which comments in these excerpts, from an article in Downbeat by Todd Kelly about a music workshop for adolescents, are lucid and instructive, and which are muddled? Is any of them a useful parallel to photography?

Keith Pray: “The importance of learning by ear is the simple fact that if you know how to listen and think for yourself, you have a large advantage over many people… especially in an age where the education system has been turning out students who can’t think for themselves and can’t problem solve. Kids are very good at learning and accessing information, but fewer and fewer people can actually use their skill set to solve problems in their lives. The camp is about showing students what is possible, then helping them explore those possibilities.

“We don’t teach theory or use written music, but we do teach them some of the basic notes, idiomatic phrases and stylistic techniques that work traditionally and encourage them to play those notes and techniques with their own voice. It is about increasing their awareness and allowing them to make choices that immediately affect the music they are playing.

“We hope that they then take these skills and apply them to everything they do, in or out of a classroom.”

Arthur Falbush: “We knew above all the program had to be fun and challenging and that our curriculum should reflect how jazz had been taught before academia became involved.

“Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune to talk to many of my musical heroes and ask them how they learned. Without exception, the answer was by ear and on the bandstand. So this is the path we tried to take. The other ingredient was passion. I always think of a quote by the mythologist Joseph Campbell, ‘Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery’ …instead of teaching scales and chords, we teach melody and harmony, phrasing and nuance – which is the poetry that is built out of scales and chords. So many times in school, jazz is taught so that the theory comes first before the music. But inspiration comes from the music, not from the theory.”


A few of us are currently inspiring others in our midst by dabbling in photograms. This process is basic; it seems retro at times, which actually kind of guarantees that it will never “go away;” some value it for its subtlety, some for its potential for simplicity and scale. Here is an exhibit that informs current good work: