On Portfolio Reviews via Conscientious

Jörg Colberg asked if I would like to answer a few questions pertaining to the relevancy of portfolio reviews in the contemporary photography market. The responses from a few professionals-- photographers, gallerist, photo editors and other professionals-- can be find the on the Conscientious blog. The four questions are

Q: What do you see as the purpose of a portfolio review?

Q: What questions might photographers ask themselves before deciding to
go to one (or apply for one)?

Q: What should a photographer do to make a portfolio review worth
her/his while?

Q: If you attended (a) portfolio review(s) as a photographer in the past
what did you learn from it (them)?

Currently, he has posted the
responses from David Bram of Fraction, Jörg Colberg, Andrew Hetherington, Bill Hunt, David Sebbah (Sr. Art Director at T, The New York Times Style Magazine), Brian Ulrich and me.

Freakin' Fantastic Gift for Photo Nerds, um, Historians

The History of Photography in Pen & Ink (abridged study guide) with illustrations by Charles Woodward hits all the high points of photo history 101. Originally produced for just that reason, Woodward started making the drawings to help him with his own 19th and 20th century photo history classes. The little book starts with an engraving from 1646 of Athanasius Kircher in a large portable camera obscura, then to Nadar's portrait of Charles Baudelaire, Weston's Cabbage Leaf, Lange's migrant workers and finishing with the Becher's Blast Funaces and one of Struth's Museum Photographs. It is funny, educational and affordable (only $10).


Through the Lens: Contemporary Santa Fe Opens January 29, 2009

Through the Lens: Contemporary Santa Fe opens this Thursday, January 29, 2009 at Santa Fe Community College, School of Arts and Design Gallery with a gallery talk by historian and writer Andrew Lovato at 6pm. See the invitation above for the address and info on the panel discussion on March 5, 2009. Artist include Sam Adams, Gay Block, Kent Bowser, David Bram, Polly Brown, Robert Chavez, Briar Clark, Brian Edwards, Jamie Hart, Doug Keats, Howard Korder, Herb Lotz, Lynn Lown, Lawrence McFarland, Melanie McWhorter, Duane Monczewski, Margaret Moore, Joan Myers, Teresa Neptune, David Noble, Jack Parsons, Alan Pearlman, Pat Porter, Ian Ramirez, Ford Robbins, Alan Ross, Meridel Rubenstein, Nancy Sutor, Melanie West, Richard Wilder, And Wendy Young.


New Issue of Fraction

copyright, Susan Worsham

copyright, Bryce Lankard

I am so happy and relieved that the new issue of Fraction is out. The new issue has five of the photographers who were reviewees at photoNOLA; Sarah Wilson, Allison V. Smith, Victoria Ryan, Frank Relle, Bryce Lankard; a book review of Vanishing America by Josh Spees; and a reflection on PhotoNOLA by David Bram. Finally, the DRESS SHOW (and yes, I am shouting). I am so happy to finally present my selections for this long-awaited (by me, at least) online exhibition.


The Lucky 13: Jeff Mermelstein's Best Books of 2008

Jeff Mermelstein is a photographer who has published two books of his own including Sidewalk and my favorite No Title Here. Jeff and I email almost on a weekly basis about photobooks and I know he has wonderful taste in books. Here are his picks for the 13 Best Books of 2008, not in any particular order.

From Drive by Andrew Bush

1. Drive. Andrew Bush. Yale University Press.

2. Pretend You're Actually Alive. Leigh Ledare. PPP Editions.

3. Bird. Roni Horn. Steidl/Hauser & Wirth.

4. Helen Levitt. Helen Levitt. powerHouse.

5. A Road Trip Journal. Stephen Shore. Phaidon.

6. Bill Wood's Business. Bill Wood. Steidl/ICP.

7. The Solitude of Ravens. Masahisa Fukase. Hysteric Glamour.

8. New Mexico. Lee Friedlander. Radius.

9. Anna Fox Photographs 1983 - 2007. Anna Fox. Photoworks.

10. William Eggleston Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1958 - 2008. Sussman, Weski ...

11. Primal Elegance. Larry Fink. Lodima Press.

12. American Sports, 1970. Tod Papageorge. Aperture.

13. The Americans. Robert Frank. Steidl.


Dress Show...finally

I finally emailed the text (with editing help from a couple of friends) to Joshua Spees at Fraction Magazine for the call for work from November for The Dress Show. I am very excited about the way the exhibit looks and about the new design of the online magazine.

I will also be publishing some other images that I could not include in the curation, here over the next few days. The new issue is due out on January 12, 2009.

Nature of the Blog

I started this blog only one year ago on January 3, 2008 with the intent to just put my two sense worth out there about my Best photobook picks of the year. I did not have a real plan or a title of the blog, hence the descriptive title of melaniephotoblog.com. Being so immersed in photobooks, I felt I had something share. The blog can be a lonely creature floating out in this internet it seems that many photography bloggers are crying out for more community and some are feeling a sense of fatigue. I have no solution for this, but will continue with my little corner and try to figure out what to do next.

I do not want to publish what I ate for breakfast or to describe the modest snow hill in our backyard (it is a fast ride, BTW), but I will soon release, in my humble opinion, the best books of 2008 (2007 can be found here). Happy New Year!