Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Part 1: The Best of the Photo Books, Plus!

We’re gonna start a little easier this year.
There has not been a ton of groundbreaking gear this year, but that’s probably a good thing: less to consider.
Sure, drones are the biggest new purchase, although I still am curious what everyone is doing with that footage. Like an extreme wide angle lens, considered judicious use goes along way.
Let’s step back from the gear for a moment, and look at what those tools can do:
Today, I’d like to recommend some of the best books I’ve seen this year for gifting.It should give a range for those on your list. Or your own wish list!

My vote for book of the year, and an incredible value is the Dave Heath book, Multitude, Solitude.
With incredible high quality printing, thoughtful and insightful writing this huge retrospective of a masters like and work will give anyone hours of, well I’m not sure if I’d call it pleasure, but satisfaction.
As a contemporary of Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, and the shifted look at the street from that era, Dave Heath brings a different look, with a strong emotional depth, of the people he met, observed, connected with. There is a darkness coupled with some rich happiness in this volume, and you could spend the whole of your winter vacation pouring through this.
About $55.

In another portrait filled volume, Self & Others: Portrait as Autobiogaphy, a photographer that has been on many LA photographers radar for years, Aline Smithson, has finally published a long awaited cumulative book of her portraits.
Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 9.12.15 PM
There is a beautiful and playful sense of her connection with her subjects, and I found a hard time picking out my favorite images. the further along I went in the volume, the more kept getting added to the list. Her artistry, and design sense is strong, and this is a book you would want to share with everyone. There is an upbeat lightness with an inherent depth, which is the true mark of a master. A look inside portraiture as self awareness.
Coming in at $45, or you can direct from the artist and get it signed!

One another side of the coin, is one of my favorite magazines, Toilet Paper, which can be had as a combined volume of issues, or single issues.
World reknown artist Maurizio Cattelan, and Pierpaolo Ferrari, have created this imaginative and bizarre zine, with no words, only pictures. Sound good?
Check a cover out:
Maybe NSFW but could be just for any nudity. It is openly displayed in book, plate, table form, in MOMA.
You probably have someone on your list that would love this.
From $12 for single issues to around $60 for a combined volume.

Love some rock and roll, and you can’t go wrong with the king of the genre, Danny Clinch and his thick and rich volume of photographs of the musicians you already love. His entre into the personal world of the off stage life, becomes your entre in this book.
I’d like to point you to one of my favorite, although small run, of his pubs.
The polaroid prints volume is extremely special as Danny shares scanned polaroid/instant photographs from photo sessions with his friends. Like Springsteen.
At $25, this is an incredible find and the music lover and photographer on your list will be smiling when the wrapping paper comes off. And if you buy from him, you’ll get a signed copy. Might as well see if you have to gift someone with one of his amazing photos as well. Good prices, and high quality.

We lost one of the most amazing photographer we have ever seen when Mary Ellen Mark passed away this year.
She left some gifts for us in two major publications: Tiny, Revisited and the Aperture publication “Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment: The Photography Workshop Series” on MEM teaching her method and discussing what photography truly means to her.
Also included in the book, are images from her students, and perhaps in the reading you can get a glimpse of what she shared.
I ended up reading it in an afternoon and have gone back a few times already.

Of course there are the classics:

Every library should have a copy of the Family Of Man , and this is the 60th Anniversary for the exhibition, still the most well attended photo exhibit EVER! yep, ever.

Curated by Edward Steichen, this book represents over 250 photographers work from around the world, depicting the human condition in many cultures. Seems we are pretty much the same.
And now for the first time in years, it is available as a hardbound copy.

Honestly, this book made me want to be a photographer when I was 8 and found a tattered reprint of it in the family bookcase.
Because of that book, I do what I do today. When I realized that a still image could move me like that, it’s all I wanted to do.
And at $25, you can’t miss.
I always keep multiple volumes on had to gift people with. I will never forget getting a call abot a family who I gave the book to, but really didn’t look through it till months later. The wife and her daughter had been going over the pages and were moved to tears. It is now their gifting go-to.
Get it, give, cherish it.

And if you have no room for more books, and wonder what to give the photographer who has everything?
This is a digital archive of all of the issues of Aperture, going back to the first issue in 1952.
With a yearly subscription of $59, you are giving access to the archive AND an online subscription fro all current and coming issues for the life of the subscription. Here is a fuller review of the archive.
Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.46.08 AM

I will tell you about one of my favorite books that live on my coffee table at all times.
And that are books my daughter has given me about the time we’ve spent together.
I cherish these.
You know how to make these, right?
Shutterfly, Apple, whomever?
affordable , personal, and right for the season.

We’re coming back with more…….

Scan Your memories For The Holidays : Epson V850

You are probably the chronicler of your family and friends.
Even if you make your living with photography, you’ve been called on to capture the moments in your personal life.
Chances are the request wasn’t a burden, but a joy.
Chances are your early beginnings with photography was spent taking photos of those close to you.
And who came before you in this role? A parent? An older sibling, or relative who always had that camera at family gatherings?
Someone did.
And now, as we start headlong into the season of gathering with loved ones, your skill and insights can bring a gift to your circle that is better than anything Black Friday can deliver.
Memories of a shared life.
Most likely you have access to prints, negatives, and possibly slides from generations past. Heck, it’s not that long ago that digital was not the norm.
I’d like to suggest you create a folder, a book, a site, filled with images you’ve curated of lives around you. Scanning will help you do this. And photoshop will help you restore these photos and documents.

Share it on line, hard copy, airplay, on your phone, Apple TV.
Momalonesepia3aThe first time I tried photoshop and scanning was to make a book of my mothers life when she turned 80. By reaching out to family members for photos and documents, I learned how to scan properly, and use Photoshop to repair images that had been creased, crumpled, marked up.
I had to.
It was a project of passion and love.
OK, I wasn’t great. It was my first time out.
So now, a project to keep your history alive is one I’d like to propose to you as a very special gift for those around you.
It’s been a few years since I completed that project, and the technology has had great leaps.
In looking to update my own personal history, I started to investigate the best tech gear to use.
In a review a few weeks ago, I told you about the Epson V850. Hands down the best unit for this project, and affordable. Heck you can even go a model number down, and get good results. If you invest in the top of the line you will get better software and I know, have this unit for a long time.
You know Photoshop, so if you don’t have it, get it. And get some training, or even Adobe’s own videos to learn.

So there you have it: The first Holiday Gift Guide Item that is a sweet piece of gear, utilizes content you have, and will bring a smile to those you share with, as well as yourself.

Just a thought.

The Perfect Photography Gift from Aperture

The holidays are coming up fast. Everyone may be asking you what you would like.
But you already have a lot of the things you need to make great images, right?
What could you ask for? Updated software, a new tripod, that sweet lens you’ve been lusting after, a large capacity, but boring superfast media card, or hard drive?
How about something unique that is a gift that keeps on giving year after year?
I’m talking about the newly released Aperture Magazine Archive, Cover to Cover, now available for subscription. And here’s the coolest part: you get the entire run from the beginning, and they keep updating it with the latest issues.
Yep, so for the cost of a digital subscription, you get the entire archive!
This beautifully made photography magazine has been around since 1952, and continues to bring us all the best in fine art photography.
This was the magazine I cherished in college, and continues to be a go-to high quality magazine bring me the latest new images and articles in the photo world.
When I subscribed to the hard copy,the magazine would stack up in my apartment till I would run out of room. Eventually they were donated to a local school.
So I went digital.
And now this on-line archive allows me to use the magazine as an amazing resource to look up photographers work, subjects, and articles online like never before.
This system is extremely easy to use, and is a complete file of all of the issues. With this deal, you don’t just get the archive: with your subscription to the archive, you get a living, breathing, current subscription, so you can keep up with what’s going now.
For the lover of photography, the photo student or historian, it’s an invaluable resource. And a perfect gift.
As I like to say, packs small, plays big. Plus you can renew the subscription yearly, so you know what you’re giving next year as well.
With a deep search engine, you can go to years:

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.46.08 AM


Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.45.00 AM

and even just search photographers names, Like Edward Weston:

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.49.18 AM

or simply subject:

And you can check out the mag layout and get right to the article you wanted.


Yes, I had a reviewers code to browse for a limited time, so I could explore the site. I’ll be honest, it’s pretty sleek design, and doesn’t have a lot of trick features. It just works.
So if you’ve read this far,
It’s worth it, and I’m subscribing.

Je t’aime Paris


The atrocity that took place in Paris this weekend, was a horrific world changing event.

For years, Paris-Photo has been the great grandfather of photo art fairs. I was lucky to attend for many sessions, and make good friends with the photographers there and from around the world.

Many of my global friends still attend, and this weekend was the final weekend of events and the exhibits around the city.

It is forever changed.

Thank you, FaceBook for enabling your “Friend are Marked Safe” feature so we all could see that many of our loved ones are safe.

My thoughts are with those who are there.

Viva La France!

The Gear That Just Works, Day After Day

As we head into another season of gifting, self gifting, replacing gear before year end, and buying new gear, your photographic spending dollars are precious.
There will be coming reviews of gear I’ve found to be useful additions, or worth checking out, but first….

Let’s talk for a moment about the gear that just works day after day, all the time, trusted parts of the kit.

I’m only going to discuss the equipment that has stood the test of a daily grind, and not the goods that have the simple joy of trying a couple of times, and relegating to a closet or storage, or ebay.
We’re talking cameras and the things that carry them.

First up is the subject of camera bags. Continue Reading »


Upcoming Events

  • WPPI
  • March 3-10,2016
  • MGM Grand
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • April13-17,2016
  • Armory on Park Ave
  • NYC, NY

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

Current Exhibitions

  • Tisch Photography and Imaging
  • “Robert Frank, Books and Films, 1947-2016”
  • Jan. 28 – Feb. 11, 2016
  • 721 Broadway: LOBBY & 8TH FLOOR GALLERIES
  • NY, NY
  • Tel: 212.998.1930
  • Pace Gallery
  • Irving Penn
    Personal Work
  • Jan 29, 2016 – Mar 05, 2016
  • 534 West 25th Street
  • New York NY 10001
  • Tel: 212.929.7000
  • 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
  • Jan.28–Feb. 27,2016
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • Through Jan. 30th, 2016
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Staley-Wise Gallery
  • Through
    Jan. 30th, 2016
  • 560 Broadway
  • New York,NY
  • 10012
  • Phone: 1-212-966-6223
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015
  • November 7, 2015–March 20, 2016
  • 11 West 53rd Street
  • NYC,NY
  • 10019-5497
  • (212) 708-9400
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The Aftermath of Conflict
  • Through March 6th, 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.

Like what we’re posting?
Join us on Flickr.