Magazine


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"Vera & John" is a collection of photographs that Jason Wilde made from notes that his mum, Vera, left for his Dad, John. Without Vera's knowledge, John and Jason saved more than 90 notes between 2005 and 2014. Jason then set about making more than 4000 photos of paving stones on specific streets in Camden, north London, where they and five generations of Jason's family have lived, using those images as the background for his photographs of the notes. Simply brilliant, fascinating, and fun.

View the full screen magazine photo feature - These are but a few of the insights into the life of Vera & John. See more: Jason has launched a Kickstarter campaign to turn this into a book. Enjoy the video promo, and drop a bit of cash - the pound is so weak you can get a book for $26! Contribute here.


"The idea of making a project about my mum and dad came to me while visiting their home in 2005. With no one home I had a rummage through the fridge and food cupboards before making a nice cup of tea. Leaning against the wall next to the kettle was a note. I had been collecting notes since 2003 for a different project (called 'Silly Arse Broke It') and realised that this single note outlining that evenings dinner arrangements was a potential project."

See "Silly Arse" here in aCurator Magazine.

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 "Change" is a series of photographs of American quarter-dollars that Ralf Graebner found on the streets of New York City, intrigued by "the metamorphosis of these quarters from looking identical when they were minted to looking distinctly unique after they had been exposed to various harsh environments over time." 

View the full screen magazine photo feature then come back and learn how he does it!

He creates these graphic depictions by combining thousands of thin image slices made with a macro lens to produce a "three-dimensionally stitched image." Hard to reckon so here's the full monty on his method:
"I am using a technique called "focus stacking" to overcome two limitations of conventional photography, namely, extremely limited depth of field in macro photography at open aperture, and loss of detail through diffraction when the aperture is stopped down.
In other words, in conventional single-shot macro photography you either have to accept shallow depth of field but good detail where in focus, or more depth of field but overall soft images due to the detail-robbing effects of diffraction when you close the aperture.
What I do instead is take pictures with extreme shallow depth of field (around 1/100 of a millimeter!) but with the highest image quality where the image is in focus, and between each exposure I move the camera in increments of 1/100mm towards the subject. In order to capture a subject that requires 1 millimeter of depth of field with this technique I need to make 100 exposures. These 100 shots are then analyzed by a software that determines what's in focus and what's not, and merges everything into one image with complete depth of field, discarding what's out of focus."
Phew! Not enough for you?
"I repeat this process 30-40 times, photographing small sections of the coin, until all of the subject is captured. These 30-40 focus-stacked images are then stitched together to become the final image. With this technique I capture so much detail that I could create 10' x 10' prints that are tack-sharp. The limitations are merely the maximum width of chromogenic paper available, as well as portability of the prints: more than 7 feet, and I would run into problems getting the prints through regular-sized door frames."
See some that did make it through the door, at Fuchs Projects, 56 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206 during Bushwick Open Studios, September 30 to October 2, 2016. 

Did you know? A quarter costs 11 cents to produce. 

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© J A Mortram

 Through his ongoing commitment to Small Town Inertia, Jim Mortram is dedicated to showing what life is like for people living in the margins of society. Basing his experiences solely around the area in which he lives, we see how the system is failing his neighbours and by extension the disadvantaged across the UK.

"Witnessing Tilney1's battle with Paranoid Schizophrenia over the course of the past 12 months, his medication changes, his endurance in isolation, his fight to exist and to navigate existence with and often without the regular support and contact with professional care teams, has been both terrifying and illuminating."

"It was as though watching a man drowning beneath the ice. I see him hitching for breath, chest heaving, eyes wild, fingers whipping at the indifferent, almost invisible, wall above.
I can do nothing but witness." J A Mortram, 2016







Film about Jim by Neale James
"This short film documentary introduces one of photography's more altruistic photographers and the people for whom his pictures have made real life impact."

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Klaus Pichler, the Austrian photographer who is executor of multiple excellent projects, announces his latest wonderful series, Golden Days Before They End. Visiting 'Branntweiner' around the country, Pichler and a writer, Clemens Marschall, braved these small dens which are usually early-opening for hardy regulars. As always with Klaus, it is a beautifully documented insight, this time into a culture on its last legs. 

"Pichler and Marschall went on a mission to find, document and explore the last of these refuges for a dying drinking generation. On countless wanderings through Vienna they found some of these places in their final throes. The book is a swansong for these bars that have shaped their customers' existences for decades, places that are soon to disappear forever." From the foreword to Golden Days Before They End.


Take a stroll in the Schrebergärten with Klaus' earlier aCurator feature, see the bizarre scenes at the Museum of Natural History in Vienna in Skeletons in the Closet and check out prisoner tattoos in Scarred for Life

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In his seventh aCurator feature, Rob Hann whisks us away to three new states. In continuation of his series 'I Dream a Highway' he went to Oregon, Idaho and Montana with his usual keen eye, kindly sharing his tour with me, a fellow Brit with a love of the American landscape. I'm always excited to see what he comes back with and think this could be the best series yet.


"In October 2001 I took my first American road trip with a camera. When I got home and looked through the pictures I'd taken I felt I had the basis of a photo book. I thought I needed to take one more trip to have enough material. Almost 15 years and many trips later I feel the time has come to take positive steps towards making that book. The photographs here are from my most recent trip in Oregon, Idaho and Montana. I can't imagine it will be the last." 
Rob Hann, February, 2016

You can see Rob's art in person - he is in New York's Soho several days a week selling his affordable prints on Prince Street. 

Go on Rob's past road trips -

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Girl Anachronism © Rocio De Alba

Rocio De Alba quit booze and took up a camera in order to regain control of her life and mental health. Having suffered from an excruciating irrational fear since childhood, and self-medicating in order to cope, this artist finds photography to be a savior. Independently productive, Rocio's concentration is on the frank portrayal of modern families, relationships and structures.


Then, check out the amazing "Miracle Baby" story... it must be seen to be believed. 

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From The Disturbance © Rayhannah Ali

Wonderful work from a young woman I met at University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Swansea in the UK last year. Generally, the students were working on fairly mature, worldly projects. Rayhannah Ali says of her imagery "My work is about family and using collage to express different feelings of situations and meanings reflecting back to a South Asian culture." Unable to choose, I went with two projects. UNUNDERSTOOD is an embrace of and homage to the graphic imagery of Shirin Neshat while The Disturbance uses mixed media and family photos for a provocative experience.


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New Yorker Erica Price gives us a last glimpse at the Streit matzo factory, which recently left Manhattan's Lower East Side for a new home in New Jersey. Streit's kosher food was established in 1916 by Aron Streit, a Jewish immigrant from Austria, and the factory was making matzos at their Rivington Street location since 1925, operating two 75-foot ovens, producing 900 pounds of matzo per hour. 


Before they moved, not only did they let lovely Eric in, but a crew also made a documentary. Good stuff!


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Firelight on Mobius Arch, California © Don Whitebread

 Don Whitebread is a self-taught photographer whose photographs have been widely exhibited and well published. He fell for the night skies when camping as a kid, are he makes these mainly in the sweeping American West. Don also now teaches others the art of night photography. Visit his website for magnificent flora and fauna and more.


Some of Don's gorgeous photographs made in Yemen, in 2010, were published here in the blog in 2011. Don was able to visit as Yemen was "on the cusp of political and environmental disasters that may soon put an end to the Yemeni's proud, traditional and ancient lifestyle."

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Chris Killip
From the series In Flagrante Two
Two girls, Grangetown, Middlesbrough, Teeside, 1975
Gelatin Silver Print
© Chris Killip, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

Last month, I was talking to a photographer I admire enormously and he told me had just seen one the best photographs of his life, at Yossi Milo here in NYC. It turned out to be the above 'Two Girls' by Chris Killip, whose photos I have much admired after embarrassingly only discovering him rather late in life. The exhibition was ending the following day so I bunked off work for the afternoon and headed to Chelsea.

Yossi Milo Gallery's presentation of fifty gelatin silver prints from the photographs that constituted his book 'In Flagrante' (Secker & Warburg, 1988) hand-printed by Killip, is the first time since 1988 that the series has been exhibited in its entirety and the first time ever in the United States. The images are culturally familiar and endearing to me and it was interesting to talk to some of the American viewers about the miners' strike and the Queen's silver jubilee street parties I remember so well. 

The unassuming photographer has been working at Harvard as professor of visual and environmental studies for many years and apparently will soon retire and cease printing his negatives. So if you're thinking about purchasing a print, now is the time to do it. 

Yossi Milo is pleased to announce that the J. Paul Getty Museum now owns a set of all 50 of Killip's prints and will mount an exhibition in the coming months. The book, In Flagrante Two, is out now from Steidl.

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