Hoppa Ottsho

‘Twas a grand evening: a robust turnout from all of the schools’ winners, families, and peers. The HGFOS apparently went into hiding (so few were the sightings), but there was food and there was music.

An fbook link

I respectfully suggest that you hook up to the Columbia College Photography Department on fbook. Weeks may go by without a peep, and then a flurry of posts will appear, at no charge to you; you have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.



…or meibutsu, if you will.

If you’re in the shot, send me a snail address via e-mail (not fbook) by December the fourth, and you’ll receive a print (as soon as the school’s 4×5 camera is returned).

The prints are made on a variety of fiber stock, some current, some late lamented, some approaching legendary status. I’m almost sick of this negative: it’s not certainly not difficult to print, but when E.H. clicked the shutter the pressure of the “bell” about to “ring” sent the composition straight to blazes (plus there are physical flaws). Despite and still, we photograph to remember.

Joe: My “Uncle,” Your “Grandfather”

“Avuncular” is the word to describe Joseph Jachna these days. He was the student of Harry and Aaron at the Institute of Design who, upon earning his M.S., filled the faculty position that became available when Callahan left for RISD (does this read like code for you? connect the dots), then went on to head the program at UIC; he was there for over thirty years.

I went to Mr. Jachna’s retrospective exhibit last month at College of Du Page on the day he appeared to speak. I introduced myself to him and to curatrix Barb Wiesen in the hall some minutes before the event; after chatting for a bit, she invited me to sit with them in the auditorium. I held up my blueberry scone and reminded them I work in a high school and was conditioned not to bring food into the auditorium; Jachna reached over, put his hand inside my open jacket, and suggested I smuggle. Then he went on to compare the current, um, high-key nature of both our beards.

The free-form “lecture” began with Jachna’s statement about his work, making it clear that he was drawn to certain optics that are particularly photographic in nature and to ways of working that are rich with picture-making opportunities. He was self-deprecating to a degree, and he used wry expressions that were clearly well-honed, but one thing he would not do was to let any of the questioners put words in his mouth; rather than agree with a characterization or repeat anyone’s phrase, the closest he would come was to allude to the phrase in question as the speaker’s own, then to direct attention back to the work. He is absolutely clear in his own mind about intellectual rigor and about the role of serendipity in his work.

If it is true, as I maintain, that if my teachers were students of Siskind and Callahan, and therefore those two are your photographic great-grandfathers, then Joe Jachna is some sort of forefather to you, and you can only benefit from familiarity with his work.

Thanksgiving, 1943

(Photograph by Warren Joadwine.)



We’re “appropriating” this at the suggestion of a man called Ctein, who has been generous with text on more than one occasion.

“What artists can expect, though, is that people should not be insulting to their faces. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. In fact, if Mike didn’t block jerky comments from being posted, I wouldn’t write for him. I don’t put up with that kind of crap. Nobody should have to.

It seems like half the people on the Internet have come down with the web equivalent of Asperger’s Syndrome: they think that they may blindly speak the truth as they see it with no regard to other people’s feelings and that people should not take offense simply because they are speaking their mind. Well, sorry, Charlie, that’s not how people work. At least, not the emotionally whole ones.

Artists can’t expect everyone to like their work. But their audience also has no reason to expect the artist to accept obnoxious and gratuitously rude behavior.

I’ve had people politely, even regretfully tell me they didn’t care for my work. I am kind and respectful towards them, because I don’t expect the majority of people to like my work. I tell them they’re in a majority. And I’m cool with that. This makes them feel better. Sometimes it even makes them feel better about me. And on occasion, it has made them feel better about my art. A win-win all around.

I’ve also had people approach me abusively, expecting me to somehow be happy for their lack of manner and grace. For them I have a form letter I came up with a long time ago, back when letters to the editor were rare and one would only occasionally get one that ran in the vein of “If Ctein knew his elbow from… then he’d know…” It reads like this:

Dear Sir or Madam,

My deepest apologies. 

I seem to have created the impression that I am obliged to respond to any and all correspondence, no matter how insulting or rude it may be. I sincerely regret any inconvenience this may have caused you.

I am not.  


Feel free to steal it. I can tell you that on those rare occasions I feel compelled to send this to someone (less than once a year), they never, ever dare to write back.

The pen is not mightier than the sword…. But it can easily be more poisonous.”


There simply isn’t room for all the good work. Aside from drawings, paintings, prints, and mixed-media collages, when the Art Department faculty looked at work to enter into the Harper Art Show they considered over 130 photographs. The final batch of 43 pictures includes 16 photos by Haley Bulandr, Jack Foersterling, Fay Jenson, Melissa B. Jones, Caroline Horswill…

…Michelle Henneberry, Stephanie Walterman, Zach Rowe, Michael Colby, Mikayla Johnson, Justine Kaszynski, Lauren Captain, Rachel Parker, and Nikki Nixon.

Each school is awarded a first, second, and third place in both 2-D and in 3-D, plus six honorable mentions. For Barrington Huge School:

2-D: 1st, Stephanie Walterman; 2nd, Heather Ciskowski; 3rd, Caroline Horswill. Honorable Mention: Becca Mooney, Allison Monie, Maggie Mulica.

3-D: 1st, Alex Guzman; 2nd, Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick; 3rd, Tiffany Chen. Honorable Mention: Annie Graft, Tiffany Chen, Andrea Vizuet.

The reception and awards presentation is Wednesday, November 30 at 7:00 PM, and it includes music, food, and HGFOS,* some of whom may or may not be among these other winners:

Elk Grove: Taylor Bischoff, Cheryll Victuelles, Patrick Glennon, Elisabeth Puca, Emma Pierce, Margaret Jaryszek, Christi Erbacci, Carolynne Teters

Wheeling: Dasha Krayova,Salvador Maya, Yendi Delfin, Brandon Zaremba, Fonzy Noveron, Daisy Maldonado, Keara Myatt, Karli Falkner, Courtney Kalash, Daisy Martinez

Rolling Meadows: Iga Jedrocha, Jimmy Yeaman, Vinny Carbone, Rachel Weininski, Alex Connor, Lisa Kulvinen, Ivan GarciaMedina,  Amy Vitale, Meaghan O’ Brien, Cassie Papciak, Amy Vitale, Nicole Gavin

Buffalo Grove: Mike Kotosev, Oliva Bueno, Starsky Correa, Polina Volodina, Felicia Kranz, Katelyn Berbert, Adam Hintzman, Michael Fisher, Ashley Jones, Angelina Ly, Patrick Boyd, Brittany Rakosnik

Palatine: Chava Krivchenia, Maddi Eppley, Ryan Turley, Itzel Lopez, Jennifer Stanton, Richard Agama, Alex Bogenberger, Emily McParlane, Nieve Heskins, Cornell Jones, Paulina Hernandez, Cody Rejman

Fremd: Sophia Kim, Gina Hublburt, Megan Moroney, Mana Juretic, Jeremy Davis, Sesh Mayo, Min Chon, Julie Comrath, Megan Majewski, Cassondra Pavlatos, Irina Andrianova, Corey Goetz

Hersey: Maddie Weber, Kayla Joo, Aimee Nguyen, Constance Heuer, Alex Lukawski, Tessa Joncas, Sky Baxter, Alexis Ureta, Ariel Wegrzyniak, Jungbin La, Esther Choi, Evan Huff

Conant: Youna Jang, Carly Acks, Nicole Matej, Frankie Garcia, Youna Jang, Abigail Gibson, Ramey Morris, Allie Shive, Lilirose Farnell, Alex Tanchyn, George Ismail

Prospect: Brittany Cavanaugh, Isabelle McGuire, Isabelle McGuire, Nina Churchill, Olivia Burgess, Nancy Chae, Jenna Gudritz, Clair Felde, Angelo Locigno, Brandon Craggs, Alec Backes, Emi Yoshimura

*Hot Guys From Other Schools

One day’s uploads


Sophomore Guidance

The time is here for Barrington Huge School students to begin to tweak their second semester schedules. There has been a widespread misconception among counselors for several years that sophomores should be limited to one semester in the Wonderful World of Photography “to give others a chance” (according to many students, reliably over a number of years; ergo, I believe this report). This is spurious: it is written nowhere, the Art Department chair has never been made aware of this (nor consulted), and exceptions to this “rule” are made whenever it is questioned. Why does this misconception persist? Beats us. If it’s a convenience for the Guidance Department, we cannot see any advantage for them from our perspective. Most people enroll in Photography with no idea of what’s to come, and they find that they enjoy the process. Why should they be made to jump from medium to medium? No one would suggest that for the Whirled Languages Department. If you find yourself in this position, and you’d like to continue in the course despite what was arranged last spring, it’s important to make your preference known. We cannot overload (trust me, you wouldn’t be happy with a stuffed darkroom), but we can monitor the rosters.

A, and 2

The current prompt in the Wonderful World of Photography is to make a specific kind of diptych, with small, subtle changes from one image to the next– the sort of changes that make the viewer glance back and forth, almost unconsciously, as in this Andreas Gursky work:

These are almost never combines, which make one picture by abutting two (even as I say this, I come across a wonderful example of this approach):

…nor are they different subject matter.  It’s not so much about the content as it is about photographic qualities, and formal aspects.

Anthony Giocolea:

Here’s a police mug shot from Sydney, in the 1920s (maybe they were taken with a 3-D camera, with two lenses set apart as are one’s two eyes; what do you think?):


I’m not even sure that this is a photograph. It probably is:

William Wegman:

This might be really hard. Think of the uniquely photographic qualities of pictures as they might apply to dyptichs, as we discussed in the Wonderful World last week. Then consult your notes from that discussion, and make negatives for this such that we may all relax and enjoy Thanksgiving before printing them.