Thursday, April 30, 2009

Allison V. Smith- w/Apologies...

I had originally wanted to publish a selection of Allison V. Smith's photographs in the first issue of Expiration Notice, but she was currently being featured in another online magazine. So I decided to wait awhile, and scheduled to feature her work in Vol 4. When it became apparent that there might not, in fact, be a Vol 4, I asked her if she would be OK with appearing in our On Notice section in Vol 3. Unfortunately, her email graciously accepting the "downgrade" somehow, someway arrived in my Spam mail just prior to publication- and it probably doesn't take much to imagine what went through our minds up until today when we both found it! And I can now only hope she accepts my apologies- yet again!

Allison V. Smith photographs quiet surprises, one can find them in her moody compositional aesthetics, or in the subtle humor she finds in her Southwestern landscapes. And she can do it in B&W or color, and in a multitude of formats. There's a simple, honest feel to her work that's free of the artifice of so much else that's out there. And that alone makes it worth coming back to over and over again.

Allison, if there's ever a Vol 4-- you're in that one too!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Work Must Be Made Within The Last Year"

Here's a particular bit of "age discrimination" I will never quite get for the life of me. I can fully understand and appreciate not allowing photos in a competition that have already been published elsewhere. Nobody wants to be the first to publish what everybody has already seen- common sense. But what does it matter if the image was made a year ago, a year and two months ago, two years and a month ago, or... How does a few days, weeks, months, even years invalidate photographs from most general themes- unless that theme deals specifically with events occurring only that year?

And then there's the actual wording. Taking the picture implies the time of actual capture. No problem there. Making or creating the image or work, well... If I took the image ten years ago and edit and print it today- when did I make or create said image? And even if I've had the files ready to go two years ago, but make the print today- the print being submitted was still made this year. And how many times have we photographers heard, "It's the print that counts!"

Monday, April 27, 2009

Expiration Notice- The Last Hurrah!?

Volume 3 of EXPIRATION NOTICE is now online, in what may very well be the final issue. This has been a labor of love for Mark Page and I- one we have no real desire to end... Perhaps over the summer we'll figure out a way to increase our outreach and secure the submissions we'll need to continue.

In the meantime, please, enjoy the the work of these much deserved and un(der)heralded photographers, including: Bill Vaccaro, Noah Beil, Tamir Sher, Greg Reynolds, Natascha Libbert, Tyler Hewitt, Horatiu Sava, Allison V. Smith!
(photo: Natascha Libbert)

Sunday, April 26, 2009


This Monday 4/27, Vol. 3 of Expiration Notice comes out and may (or may not) be the last. Reasons for the aforementioned are explained and outlined there...

That said, this issue brings together another fine selection of ageless, un(der)heralded photographers worthy of your attention- Enjoy!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jens Olof Lasthein

Nowadays it's hardly the trying feat finding good pictures and good photographers on the internet. But as always, it's a rare find stumbling upon those whose work truly bowls one over. My latest is Jens Olof Lasthein, one gifted photographer and master of the panoramic (see White Sea/Black Sea and Moments In Between). Talk about making it look easy- add yet another that makes one embarrassed to be seen with camera in hand!

Boris Mihailov forcibly submerges us into panchromatic, panoramic hell, even if for our own good, and Jens Olof assuredly leads us back into the promise of light (and the rest of his work is far from shabby)... via F Blog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Susan Bank- Campo Adentro

Susan Bank's Campo Adentro takes me back to a time when I was very young, spending time on my aunt's farm in the countryside of Puerto Rico. Childhood memories based purely on sensory experience: the smell of rain on open fields, the varied cackle of farm animals, the feel of the Caribbean breeze on one's skin, wooden walls and glassless windows, and of course, the jibaro music of the campesino. The innocence of childhood sensory experiences artists everywhere seek to recreate and reinstill in their work the rest of their lives.

There is a certain poverty here, but not of spirit. I don't mean to romanticize the lifestyle, only comment on how these photographs so accurately reflect and highlight the simple, lyrical joys and measures to be found in a life less modern (and I so love those chairs).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

True American Hero

While Richard Armitage whines about how maybe he should have quit the Bush administration in protest, Thomas Tamm outed them for what they did- and continues to live with the consequences to this day...
Nigel Parry / CPI for Newsweek

Honeymoon Over...

Didn't want to go negative early- but one can't forever ignore the inevitable. Handing over control of the whole financial debacle to the very people so instrumental in creating it is bad enough (voting against the FISA protections was actually worse), but this is where the other shoe has finally dropped, at least for me. This is not Change We Can Believe In, this is the long, historical continuation of the king's sovereignty, not to mention this, and...

After eight years without transparency or accountability, Mr. Obama promised the American people both. His decision to release these memos was another sign of his commitment to transparency. We are waiting to see an equal commitment to accountability.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Did You Know?

Which, of course, begs the question- does all that explain, contradict or reinforce why on earth we're all the more ignorant than ever!?! (Thanks, Sandy!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

37 Cents to the Dollar!

...of your 2008 US taxes goes to The Military, that is.

PS- Cute picture, huh? Of course, If I posted one that featured a kid the same age bleeding and dismembered from the effects of our military industrial complex in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza- not so cute...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Prison Photography

Pete Brook's Prison Photography is hardly the same ol', same ol' when it comes to your average, everyday photo blog. And most likely it's not a niche the photo art world will be beating a path to, but one by which its very nature demands particular interest, curiosity and attention.

At a time when the photo world seeks to round up their wagons into ever tighter (and more monied) circles, it's good to see someone headed in the other direction and seeking to broaden the base into areas not served by the usual hype and flavor du jour.

Not your particular cup o' tea? Well, you never know what you may miss- including Christiane Feser's beautiful and intriguing essay on German prison environs beyond the prison cells.

Monday, April 13, 2009


SHOTS magazine has been around for quite some time now, and tends toward (though not exclusively) the low tech end of B&W. Submissions now being accepted for the next issue (open theme)...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Degrees of Separation...

I felt pretty damn ticked off the other day when the rotating razor heads that I removed and attempted to clean fell into the sink and down the drain, literally and forever. And the guy above (props for maintaining a sense of humor) certainly has every right in the world to be thoroughly pissed- ever the more so.

And then we come to... this (via Jim Johnson's blog), which exposes me and so many, many of the rest of us in our wonderful western world for the simpering, self absorbed twits we truly are.

More and more I have come to believe in reincarnation, but how does anything beyond this mortal coil ever possibly begin to atone, reconcile, pay justice for such atrocity? One seamless nightmare of unimaginable trauma, pain and degradation, past and present. Only a god could begin to sort that out, and only a god would have prevented it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Socialist Galleries?

Interesting that when my partner and I brainstormed who to contact for additional support and exposure for Expiration Notice, he immediately responded that he'd contact the galleries- institutions I'd not even consider as a viable option on this side of the pond. Fact is, many galleries in Europe are more community minded and government funded. The relationship between government-gallery-art-community (ie- people) is one that is real and proactive. Sure, that can come with it's own list of (political) issues, but my experience has been that as a whole, they are, at the very least, more welcoming there.

I think galleries here in the good ol' USA and I immediately think money and snobs, with the occasional charity fund raising (ie- opportunity for the latter to party).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Crips & Bloods: Made In America

Watch and learn how it all came about- and continues to this very day...

First Do No Harm...

Medical personnel who monitored the CIA's interrogation of detainees at black sites around the world violated medical ethics...

The principle finding is that the Red Cross, which is the guardian of the Geneva Convention, finds and declares bluntly that the interrogation procedures used constitute torture and constitute cruel and inhuman and degrading treatment.

The Fat Man Gets Schooled By His Own!

A Republican with morals... who knew? Practically exhilarating...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I only see...

This enlightening article (one I meant to post quite some time ago) by Will Okun is ever the more revealing for its comments section. For it is in the comments that one gets to see one of those very rare instances when Americans openly and honestly address and confront the real issues that white America has in dealing with race and "the other." And that is quite the welcomed sigh of relief from the now customarily inane and camera friendly, "I just don't see race."

Sure, we've managed to elect an African American to the White House since this article was written, but the major question remains- just how comfortable are we with them considerably closer?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sink Or Swim!

Later this month (4/25), Mark Page and I will be publishing the third issue of Expiration Notice, and damn, if it don't look good thus far- as have the two previous issues, IMHO. We have been lucky to attract first rate, quality submissions from the start, and although we still get the hits, those submissions have begun to dissipate. And we really have no intention of "lowering standards."

We were hardly the art world darlings (and very much remain such), and received no sponsorship of any kind when we embarked on this little venture. What we did have was an enthusiastic outpouring of support from fellow photographers and bloggers alike, and again, thank you for that! But in order to take it to the next level- in order to continue, we need to expand our outreach.

Will we continue beyond a 4th issue? Hard to say. What we, in fact, need is the kind of sponsorship (and I aint even talking money here!), from some name alliance that will lend us that certain air of legitimacy beyond street cred, so that we can reach out further and attract more of those quality portfolios we know are out there- particularly in this age group. Seems every other project has at least some kind of nominal backing from some arts/photo related association or corporate organization. And like I said- we're not even asking for their funding!!!

Some kind of "official" backing would bode well for the exposure gained by those artists exhibited here. Those are the people who should ultimately stand to benefit. And should you have any advice, words of encouragement, and/or solutions- feel free to share. Meanwhile, we're going to launch our own little corporate blitz in the hopes of drumming up further publicity, exposure, support, etc. Obviously, we don't know what the results will be. This has been a fun and worthy endeavor, which would be a shame to let die- we hope to see it continue and grow...

Saturday, April 4, 2009


The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

US & Japan, Part 2

Recently I posted something on the homeless both here and in Japan, then I came upon an article on Boing Boing about suicide in Japan, which reminded me of a post I did some time back concerning the same problem closer to home. Perhaps not all too ironically, the most popular locale for said act in both countries are also popular tourist destinations- in the US, the Golden Gate Bridge right here in San Francisco, and "The Suicide Forest" in Japan with its scenic views of Mt. Fuji. Fortunately, after an estimated 2,000 leaps into oblivion, there are now plans on the books to finally install a suicide net at the bridge- the vast forest, however, is considerably harder to secure.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Everyhting In Moderation...

Hopefully, we've all made it back with none of us seriously hacked or dismembered by the insidious Conficker dreadnought; and since so many people* have been emailing me concerning my current state of mind due to all the flagrant changes occurring here lately, I just thought I'd address them all, here and now, front row and center. Yes, that really is a red title directly above- along with several other colorful cosmetic changes here at RF. Thought the place a tad droll lately and a wee bit o' color would make it look, well, kinda... spiffy.

It's called a mid life crisis. Some people have Porsches, arm candy and $5k digital cameras- I've got fonts and colors...

*(actually, not a one)