Advice, Three Ways


“Make some sacrifice for your art, and you will be repaid, but ask of art to sacrifice herself for you and a bitter disappointment may come to you… The best work in literature is always done by those who do not depend on it for their daily bread and the highest form of literature, Poetry, brings no wealth to the singer.” -Oscar Wilde



Succinct Aaron Siskind said it this way: “Talent or no, it’s the need to work that matters.”

Your/Our Hometown

This is the e-mail you’ll receive when you inquire on behalf of your school:

“Thank you for participating in the The New York Times Lens Blog project, ‘My Hometown.’

We are now accepting submissions here:

Instructions for submitting photos are available on the submissions site. The submission deadline is May 1st. Photos will not be accepted after that date.

Please submit JPEG files only. Files should be at least 1 MB and no more than 5 MB.

Suggested image sizes are 3000 pixels wide for horizontal images or 2000 pixels tall for square or vertical images –both at 300 dpi. We will, however,  accept any jpeg files as long as they are between 1 MB and 5 MB.

Please assist your participants with editing and captioning. Digital post-processing should be kept to a minimum and adequate captioning is especially important because the photos, when published, will be sortable by location and by subject matter.

Thanks again for participating!

James Estrin

Lens Blog Co-Editor”

Klipper Tumblr

My fbf Stuart Klipper has been around the world with his 6×17 camera. Recently, he traveled from Minnesota to Chicago, to visit with Mr. Travis and to tour the (mostly) South Side.

Consider these links as contact sheets. Mr. Klipper is a role model for his voracious shooting; that attitude for no-film shooting is at least as apropos as it it is for film.

The Bloomingdale Trail


“Imagine a 3-mile-long elevated linear park and trail running through the heart of Chicago, connecting neighborhoods, the river, and Chicago’s great park system.” Its time has come.




Q. o’ th’ D.: Norman Potter

“Design education must, by its nature, dig below the surface, and must at the outset be more concerned to clarify intentions than to get results. If it is sensible to see learning and understanding as rooted in the continuum of life, it may be that a really useful introductory course will only show its value in the full context of subsequent experience; i.e. several years afterwards. Conversely, an education that concentrates on short-term results may give a misleading sense of achievement and fail to provide an adequate foundation for subsequent growth. This is a thorny problem, because under the pressurized and success-conscious conditions in which we live, students are naturally anxious to prove themselves as rapidly as possible (to themselves and their contemporaries and teachers). Something as intangible as the gowth of understanding may seem a poor substitute for the almost measurable achievement marked by a high output of design projects, however specious or thinly considered such projects may be.”








This is huge. Pack a lunch and peruse the archive:

Some Recent Good Work From The Huge School

…by Zach Rowe*, Cary Reynolds, Kayli Putman, Marian Jostock, Mikayla Johnson, Maddy Gustafson, Delaney Crouch, and Kristina Bastidas.








Photo Devotos all.

*you know, the guy who hugged Robyn Fenty onstage.

An OCD Darkroom Dream


In my dream on Friday night/Saturday morning, a student at the huge school (from H’s roster, not mine; sort of like Kayleigh, but more reserved) asked to be allowed to “straighten up” the facilities during one of my classes. I said OK, and she disappeared into the dark. When she was (photo-) finished, she showed me what she had accomplished, laid out for display on the film prep table. Small items were sorted; there was a row of eight-ounce containers, each labeled “B,” and after I asked a few questions about them, I came to understand that she had pre-diluted some sodium sulfite. The rest of the work surface was filled with 8×10 paper distributed into 25-sheet boxes, stacked neatly. One package was shy a couple of sheets, she told me, and the last four boxes had no top piece (but the black bags were sealed).

C. D. S. T.


Greetings From Erman

Here is a terrific document, unearthed by Ms H. the other day. When you click on these images, they are close to actual size on your laptop screen.



Physiography! Caesar! Shorthand! Civics! (I maintain that Civics should return to the curriculum.) I don’t know what enrollment was, but it had to be under 50 students: the town population was around 1750.


For perspective, consider that Armistice Day, occurring at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month to mark the end of “the war to end all wars,” had yet to occur.


As Wikipedia would say: “Citation needed.”

What’s missing from the curriculum? (Hint: it begins with “A”).