Dave Heath: A Dialogue With Solitude At The Howard Greenberg Gallery

The sturm and drang of young brooding photographer can cause one to go dark.
Not the dark of violence, but exploring the inner reaches of the psyche. The deep reaches.
Or so I thought.
When I was looking at universities to study film photography and fine art, I knew it was all about the instructors, and not the facilities.
I happened to go to a lecture by one Dave Heath.

dialogue_with_solitude_dave_heath©Dave Heath from the book A Dialogue With Solitude

This photographer was a contemporary of Robert Frank, Gary Winogrand, and the whole new movement of street photographers of the 50’s and 60’s.
The intensity with which he spoke, and the emotional impact of the images he shared told me that the place this man taught was the right place for me. The Photo-Arts dept. of Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto.
Yep, Toronto.
With a yearly tuition of $424 a year, labs and equipment that was more than I ever dreamed of, and the staff of instructors that touched all of the points I was looking for.
Dave Heath was an especially intense instructor who did not sugar coat any assessment of your work. Why should he? Who would that benefit?
I do remember him telling a 3rd year student that perhaps she should be become a schoolteacher and leave photography, as she had not matured in her vision in 3 years.
Harsh, but probably the best thing he could’ve done.
In my time at the school I developed a relationship with Dave Heath, that manifested itself in a series of portraits as well.
dave heath010
His body of work culminating in the seminal work, A Dialogue with Solitude, was a book I often went to look at in the school library and became a sought after purchase.
Not that many years ago, the book was reprinted in a larger format, and Dave graciously sent me a signed copy, which holds a cherished place in my library.

Why do I go on about this photographer?

Because Dave Heath was a huge influence on my photographic life. And he is getting his due. Somewhat. At 84.
His contemporaries enjoyed fame and perhaps fortune. What he did was guide the photographic minds of students into, perhaps, a more personal,emotional, vision.

This week, a show opens at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York, and a traveling exhibition Multitude, Solitude: The Photographs of Dave Heath will be on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, September 19, 2015 – February 21, 2016. A new book of the same title by Keith F. Davis and Michael Torosian will be published in October 2015 by Hall Family Foundation/Nelson-Atkins Museum/Yale University Press. You can pre-order the book here.
Crazy, I remember Michael from school many years ago. He has spent years creating fine photography books.

Go see it, or pick up the book, and know what a great still image can touch inside you.

Where Does Your Inspiration Come From?

As photographers, your visual acuity should be always challenged and inspired.
I have always found that a visit to a gallery, museum, or going through books, magazines (yes, hard copy), and sites helps inform, and stimulate.
Those who know me know that MOMA is a touchpoint for me, as the ever changing collection of art, along with an amazing permanent collection, always give me the solace in seeing things that are created for the sake of creation, not commerce. Sure, you can argue that some of it was created because a gallerist asked to have a piece for a particular sale or exhibit.
Not talking about that here right now.
On Saturday, I made a trip to the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the only museum in the U.S. devoted exclusively to design in NYC.
Primarily a design collection, housed in a mansion, on the upper East Side. Withing the turn of the 19th walls live some of the most forward thinking design exhibits.
Before I go into a particular new exhibition, Provocation, I’d like to share one of the unique things that come with your experience to a visit here.
The Pen:

It looks like this:
Continue Reading »

Fast Takes: What To See

Although we all have a bit of G.A.S. (Gear Aquisition Syndrome), and we are all over the multiple screens, there are times you should really kick back, and visit some museums and galleries to see what photography looks like on the walls.
And there is some fantastic work out there right now.
In LA (actually Santa Monica):
Peter Fetterman Gallery
American Masters: The Silver Print.
This is an incredible collection from one of the top gallerists in the world, Peter Fetterman. If you have ever considered collection fine photography, your dream collection is here. Continue Reading »

Nikon Updates The Standards..Plus!

The main lens on my Nikon is the 24-70mm, f/ 2.8.
It serves me well. A little heavy, not the VR as in some others in the bag, but solid,crisp,and a worker.
Add the 70-200 2.8, a 20mm in the bag and I’m home free.
Then Nikon goes and does this:
3 New lens announcements: a revised 24-70mm, f/2.8, a sweet 200-500mm, f/5.6, and a new fast 24mm, f/1.8 prime. more details below the photos.

On the 24-70mm :
Same weight, more VR, as in 4 stops, and a new filter size: 82 mm-Dang! OK, they are coming out with some new filters to fit the new sizes. The price is about $2400, so about $600 more than the current model. Getting what you paid for.

Not sure if I’m selling my current version, but that VR has me tempted
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Bits and Bobs – Fast Looks At Some New Gear

Lots of new products are coming out to help you shoot, share, transport, maintain, post.
Here is a quick look at products from ThinkTank, LensPen, TinType, Epic.

First up:
My favorite roller bag, the ThinkTank Airport International, has always been a perfect, discreet, plain luggage looking way to travel with your gear.
But when you get to the gig, and everyone else is a smart as you, and has one, how do you differentiate yourself in the sea of black?
Here is a new solution from ThinkTank: colors.
Colored wheels, zipper pulls and handles. Easy to do, and if you just needed that wheel upgrade or repair, here is a full up way to do it.
Roller Flare image 3
$35 direct from ThinkTank
Continue Reading »


Upcoming Events

  • Lucie Awards
  • Oct. 27th, 2015
  • Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall,
  • New York City, New York
  • PhotoPlus Expo
  • Oct. 22-24, 2015
  • Javits Convention Center
  • New York City, New York

Is there an event we should know about?
Let us know on twitter.

Current Exhibitions

  • Clampart
  • Jesse Burke | Wild & Precious
  • October 15 – November 14, 2015
  • 531 W 25th St
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Getty Center
  • The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography
  • October 6, 2015–February 21, 2016
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Markus Brunetti, FACADES
  • September 10–October 17, 2015
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • Dave Heath
  • September 10-October 24, 2015
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Staley-Wise Gallery
  • SEPTEMBER 25 –
    NOVEMBER 28, 2015
  • 560 Broadway
  • New York,NY
  • 10012
  • Phone: 1-212-966-6223
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • From Bauhaus to Buenos Aires: Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola
  • Through Oct. 4th,, 2015
  • 11 West 53rd Street
  • NYC,NY
  • 10019-5497
  • (212) 708-9400
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • In and Out of the Studio
    Photographic Portraits from West Africa
  • August 31, 2015–January 3, 2016
  • 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
  • New York, NY 10028
  • Phone: 212-535-7710

Is there an exhibition we’re missing? Let us know on twitter.

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