f295 Symposium


The F295 symposia always have amazing speakers but this year’s has some which makes me really wish I could make it to Pittsburgh. The title for this 10th anniversary symposium, Photography Beyond Technique, is taken from Tom Persinger’s recent publication of the same name.

You can register here and the schedule of events is here. There are workshops running through the weekend too, although these usually fill up fast. I spoke there in 2008 and had an amazing time. At the very least you should buy the book



Photography Beyond Technique


I first met Tom Persinger when I spoke at the F295 Symposium back in 2008 and I’m really honoured that he asked me to be a contributor to his new book Photography Beyond Technique.

You can pre-order the book on Amazon now for shipping after January 21st.

Photography Beyond Technique — Essays from F295 on the Informed Use of Alternative and Historical Photographic Processes

Edited by Tom Persinger.

Photography is not dying and has not died. In fact, it is more vigorous than ever. It has been an ever-changing medium since its earliest days, and while near-obsession with the technology of the day may have defined photography over the course of its existence, photography is much more than hardware and software. Photography is communication, whether chemical or digital, tangible or ephemeral in form.

Photography Beyond Technique is a compelling selection of essays and images culled from the many excellent presentations given at the ten F295 events that reveal the thoughts and methods of some of today’s most exciting contemporary photographers.

These artists employ alternative, historical, or handmade processes and techniques, and share a comprehensive view of the medium: that the choice of photographic process is just as important as the decisions of content and subject. While other books concentrate solely on process, or theory, or artistic intent, none focus on photography in which these decisions are considered inseparable.

The book includes the following contributors and essays:

• Jo Babcock – One Thousand Invented Cameras
• Craig Barber – Memory, Nature, and Place
• Stephen Berkman – That Obscura Object of Desire: A Brief History
• Laura Blacklow – Imprecise Evidence
• Dan Burkholder – There is No Virtue in Difficulty
• Martha Casanave – Mystery, Memory, and Narrative
• Jill Enfield – Something Extraordinary
• Dan Estabrook – Notes on the Art of Failure
• Jesseca Ferguson – The Photograph as Reliquary
• Alan Greene – Imaginary Whole Plates or, Notes Towards the Reinvention of Photography
• James Hajicek & Carol Panaro-Smith – The Evolution of a Collaboration
• Robert Hirsch – Looking Backward, Seeing Forward: Reframing Visual History
• Robb Kendrick – There is No Command-Z
• John Metoyer – Synthesizing Centuries
• France Scully Osterman – Sleep
• Mark Osterman – Finding Confidence: Combining Process with Purpose
• Tom Persinger – Windows
• Jerry Spagnoli – Photograph, Material, and Metaphor
• Brian Taylor – The Art of Getting Lost
• Keith Taylor – In the Dark, Time Feels Different than When it is Light

The Cameleon App

This iOS app from F295certainly sounds as if it could be the one. The estimated date of availability in the App store is May 15th.

Cameleon doesn’t want to be your novelty, toy camera app of the week, but is looking for a serious long term relationship. It doesn’t rely on kitsch filters or novelty toy lenses, film packs, or in-app purchases, but instead gives you an almost infinite amount of control over the picture’s most important parameters. We realize that one app can’t nor should do it all, so we concentrated on the important things:

1. #getitincamera Get the shot you want, with your distinct look, the first time, and eliminate nearly all routine post processing.

2. #nopostprocessing As much as possible eliminate those time consuming same steps often repeated over and over to give an image series your signature look.

3. The Digital Safety Net The ability to make a picture and change it as often as you want without losing data. For example, let’s say you snap it with your own tweaked and highly customized black and white, high contrast look, but later you think golly! I wish I would have made this in super saturated color! No problem! Go into the Cameleon editor and dial it up! Done! No more sacrificing.

4. #Onward The power is in your hands! Moving beyond toy lenses, film packs, and predefined unchangeable parameters.

5. Fast Cameleon is lightening fast. No delay or lag at start-up that causes you to miss the shot.

6. No in-App advertising We hate it, and suspect you do too.

7. No tracking of your information We don’t care where you were, where your going, or who your with. We only care about giving you the tools to make awesome photographs. Cameleon doesn’t harvest any of your personal data.

f295 Symposium – Pittsburgh

New York I – Polymer Photogravure

The f295 Symposium in Pittsburgh is over and I’m back in Minneapolis after one of the best symposiums I think I’ve attended in a long time.

The event was well organised and honestly, I’d be happy with a fraction of the energy that Tom Persinger, the organiser, displayed while I was there. Tom’s a great guy, very personable and on the ball at all times. How can you not like him and his humour?

I went in having never really used (nor, I think, appreciated) the pinhole camera, but I’m now a convert. And the creativity and open mindedness that was exhibited by all the attendees was incredible – I even ordered a Diana camera that’s on it’s way via UPS as I speak.

Along with the symposium there’s an exhibition that’s up until July 5th at the 707 Penn Gallery that’s showing the work of the speakers from this year and last year. I have three photogravures in the show; two from a series shot in New York and another titled The Third Bridge.

Tom and Jesseca Ferguson, one of the speakers, are both showing work at the Silver Eye Center for Photography, a beautiful gallery. Thanks to Linda Benedict-Jones, the Executive Director there, for making us feel so welcome.

So, my thanks to Tom and everyone, new acquaintances and old, that I met in Pittsburgh and who made it so much fun.