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Setting up before the rain, Friday June 23rd, Brooklyn. Courtesy of Rock Paper Photo

Photoville opened this past, steamy weekend. The festival features some 30 shipping containers showing mini-exhibitions curated by some great people and organizations, with photographs hung using various creative methods. The other rather wonderful element is the quality of talks and presentations being hosted. Happily, I will be one of the talkers this coming weekend, on June 30th, where I am thrilled to be hosted by Rock Paper Photo with two of their photographers - my long-term colleague and dear friend Baron Wolman, and the impressive, prolific, relative-newbie,  Anna Webber. Join us at 1.30 pm for "Beyond the Picture: The Art of Selling Music Photography" What does it take for music and entertainment photographers to successfully market and sell their work?

Photoville and all the talks are FREE so come on over to Brooklyn Bridge Park. We'll see you on Saturday!

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"Blinded By The Light" Rock Paper Photo's container, packed with great music photography.

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From Biggie and Tupac... (by Chi Modu)

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...to Hendrix and Joplin (by Baron Wolman)
All images Courtesy of Rock Paper Photo

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Get your photos ready! The International Fine Art Photography Competition is now open for submissions. The first year of this annual competition is gaining momentum - with the express purpose of celebrating fine art photography and discovering new talent. Promising emerging and mid-career photographers will receive the recognition they deserve - a path to have their work seen and appreciated by a wider audience, with a rich exhibit and publication schedule for the winners and finalists.
 
A diverse jury will review the work - a panel noted for their creativity, expertise, and support of emerging photographers. We're honored to have two of the most distinguished museum curators of their time, Jean-Claude Lemagny of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and David Travis of the Art Institute of Chicago, both making significant contributions to the appreciation of fine art photography around the world. We're also honored to have two talented and successful contemporary photographers, Michael Kenna (who had a major retrospective at the Bibliothèque Nationale last year) and Jane Evelyn Atwood (who had her retrospective at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie). And rounding out the jury panel are Alexandre Percy, owner of the Acte2 experimental gallery in Paris and Julie Grahame, publisher of aCurator magazine in New York.
 
Also called the Grand Prix de Découverte, this international competition is open to photographers around the world. The images submitted can be far reaching - any subject - as long as they fit into one (or more) of the seven categories - People/Portraits, Landscape/Seascape/Nature, Cityscape/Architecture, Street Photography/Documentary, Still Life, Abstract, Experimental.
 
What are the Paris connections? The exhibit of finalists will be presented in Paris in November at NoFound Photo Fair in the Marais (more than 10,000 visitors), in conjunction with Paris Mois de la Photo and Paris Photo 2012. The awards ceremony will take place the week-end of November 17-18, and there will be a special event at the American Library for the jurors and the Grand Prix winner on November 13.
 
The winner of the Grand Prix de Découverte (the best image in the competition) will be awarded travel to Paris and accommodations for the awards ceremony, in addition to the cash prize of $5,000. There are cash awards for the winners of each category, and winners and finalists' work will be accepted into the prestigious collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale. There will also be a catalog of the winners and finalists' images and publication in aCurator magazine (seen by curators all around the world).
 
So, take a look through your photographs (or get your camera ready) and find/make images that have the elegance, impact, or creative chutzpah to make them speak out to the jurors.
 
Bonne chance! Bon courage! Go get 'em!

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Alice Austen perches on a fencepost while Gertrude Tate watches the second photographer. 

A unique opportunity awaits!

"Thanks to a generous grant from New York Community Trust, the Austen House is able to offer two emerging photographers the opportunity to develop their technical skills and aesthetic sensibility over the course of nine months. It is our hope that the residency will launch a serious career."

The residency is for nine months, and the artist will be involved with various aspects of the museum, and will receive a stipend. You'll need to either live in Staten Island or demonstrate a strong connection thereto and eligibility marvelously includes 'Photographers who are members of groups under-served by the museum community.'

"When Alice Austen turned eleven in 1877 she received a camera from her uncle Oswald. Over the following half a century she developed into one of America's earliest and most prolific female photographers. Her technical skills and strong aesthetic eye continue to fascinate us."

Contact Alice Austen House for details.

Alice_Austen.jpgThe Alice Austen House needs you!

Alice Austen, one of America's earliest and most prolific female photographers broke away from the constraints of the Victorian era to create her own life. Her home, located in Staten Island, now serves as a museum dedicated to her work and life. The Alice Austen House Museum is up for the 2012 Partners in Preservation grant - a grant that will allow the museum to help preserve a very important part of the history of photography.

Partners in Preservation is a community-based program which provides preservation grants for local historic places. All you have to do is Vote! and help Alice Austen house win the grant.

Alfred Eisenstaedt pushes photographer Alice Austen in a wheelchair, Staten Island, New York, in 1951, one year before Austen died. Alfred Eisenstaedt - TIME & LIFE Pictures

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Gregory Peck and Mary Badham, "To Kill A Mockingbird" © Leo Fuchs, courtesy V&M

The fabulous V&M have another gorgeous photography collection on their hands, prints now available at affordable prices. Here's the blurb:

In the 1950s and 60s, Leo Fuchs photographed Hollwood's "Who's Who"-- Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Sean Connery, Shirley MacLaine, Tony Curtis, Montgomery Clift and Alfred Hitchcock, to name a few.

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Marlon Brando on the tarmac, "The Ugly Americans" © Leo Fuchs, courtesy V&M

Soon Fuchs was working directly with the studios, prompting his move to Hollywood in 1961. As a freelance magazine photographer, Fuchs was one of the rare outsiders invited onto movie sets, where he captured candid shots, during both shooting and after hours while socializing with the stars and directors. His immense talent and the rapport he built with his subjects allowed him to capture intimate moments that few others were able to accomplish. (He always let the actors see his photos before he sent them to his agent.) Then, in 1964, with the support of his dear friend Cary Grant, Fuchs gave up photography and spent the next 20 years as a motion picture producer, starting with Gambit, starring Shirley MacLaine and British import Michael Caine.

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Shirley Maclaine and daughter Sachi, "Irma la Douce" Paris © Leo Fuchs, courtesy V&M

Recently, Leo's son, Alexandre Fuchs, found 30 trunks in storage, filled with contact sheets, negatives and original prints. Now, limited edition archival prints of some of Leo Fuchs' most famous subjects are available on V&M.

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Paul Newman, "Exodus" © Leo Fuchs, courtesy V&M

Leo_Fuchs_Curtis.jpgMy long-lost relative, Tony Curtis, "40 Pounds Of Trouble" © Leo Fuchs, courtesy V&M and another Paul Newman without his shirt because, well, yes.
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Henrik-Halvarsson-image-for-Aday.org.jpgOn Tuesday May 15th 2012, the Aday.org initiative will invite the entire world to participate in the largest and most comprehensive photographic documentation of a single day in human history. Whether an amateur with a mobile phone camera or a professional photographer, Aday.org asks anyone - and everyone - in possession of one of the world's estimated one billion digital cameras to document their experiences of the day: uploading their images in order to create a visual archive of our lives today.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who sits on the Global Advisory Board for Aday.org (and will be contributing his own photographs on May 15th), comments: "Take this unique opportunity with me, and thousands of others around the world, to create a priceless collection of images, to boost understanding and enhance research and education." Fellow Global Advisory Board member, Sir Richard Branson comments: "This great project is about real people taking pictures of real life in real-time. Please get your camera and share your life on May 15."

Aday.org seeks participants of all ages, backgrounds, and from every corner of our planet: each contribution as relevant and significant as the next person's in creating this unprecedented snapshot of humanity. To help get the largest number of people involved, Aday.org has already recruited hundreds of global 'connectors' - leading lights from the worlds of photography (including 30 World Press Photo winners), journalism and academia - who will both take part on the day and spread the word as well as encourage participation among their own social networks, intranets, mailing lists, or fan-bases.

Tons of info over at Aday's website. Join in!

Image by Henrik Halvarsson for Aday.org

Robert Pledge's exhibition CONTACT/S, hosted most recently at Nordic Light, is monumental.

One would not expect anything less - the show, the layout, photographs from the building of the Berlin Wall to the falling of the Twin Towers, there's nothing to be done but really see, remember, hold photographers in awe and, if you're like me, let the tears run. Perhaps the one uplifting series was the gorilla who rescued a little boy who fell over the railings at the Chicago zoo showing us the humanity we can't see in most of the rest of the photographs. Even the first second of the new millennium, shot in Times Square, is full of Guiliani's disturbing mug.

And of course, the contact sheet is disappearing fast.

Leaving the show, I felt John Botte's interview deserved another airing.

John Botte: The 9/11 Photographs from In The Loupe on Vimeo.


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Every event is a highlight here at Nordic Light International Festival of Photography in Kristiansund. I feel fortunate to be spending real time with the people who have influenced me and who most likely influence you.  

Robert Pledge, ever-delightful founder and president of Contact Press Images, has mounted a show of contact sheets with the prints of the images that were selected from them. Seen all together, the show is incredibly moving and Robert followed up with a presentation of some 300 images he curated showing events from the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 through to September 11th, 2001. I had not seen Annie Leibovitz' images from the Tutsi massacre before.


It was a real treat to go through the show with Robert who, as you can see, has not lost a jot of enthusiasm in the 35 years he's been running Contact.

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There's just so much good stuff going on here, including James Mollison's 'Where Children Sleep'; an Abe Frajndlich restrospective; sweet and delightful Bruce Davidson's 'American Photographs'; a selection from Mary Ellen Mark; Bjorn Opshal is my new friend-to-take-the-piss-out-of who is a great photographer with no formal training; and a wonderful new discovery for me - Annelise Kirsebom, an 82 year old woman who took up photography late in life but whose scenes might as well have been taken when she was in her 30s (and for whom I can't find a decent link.)

I'm completely blown away by Stuart Franklin but I'll address that separately.

I love this idea of having the students create a pop-up gallery by wearing their best image on a T shirt.

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Here's me having a sneaky fag with the inimitable (the word was invented for him) British attorney Rupert Grey. Since I always thought I might have been a lawyer if only I was inclined to study hard, I enjoy talking rights and cases with Rupert and this is the first time we've met face-to-face in the twenty years we've known each other.

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We're not done yet and tonight we'll be treated to a conversation with Mary Ellen Mark. Tomorrow I have four hours of portfolio reviews and I can't count how many photographers have come up to me and told me how nervous they are. I don't know why... 

Poor photos © Julie Grahame

Vivien_Goldman_Class.jpgThe Punk Professor, aka Vivien Goldman, is announcing a short new course open to all interested parties, with credit applicable to any of your studies. 'The Roots of Electronic Dance Music' is The Professor's first Electro Pop course. Seats are limited but there's still time to apply.  

For more info, visit the site or Tweet @PunkProfessor.

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A new, online-only photography course has just launched and I have 10 exclusive discount coupons available!

Foto-classes was started by a group of world-class photographers who believe that it's the photographer not the camera that takes stunning pictures, that anyone can take great photos and become a great photographer, and that learning photography should be easy, fun and affordable.

The course is designed to help break down the barriers that prevent you from taking great photos. By removing the technical obstacles one by one, you will be on your way to being a better photographer. Using three key teaching pillars focused on learning, practicing, and receiving professional feedback, foto-classes aims to set itself apart with the emphasis on interactive education.

The course consists of 5 online classes and 2 one-on-one live reviews with a dedicated tutor.

If the class sounds like something you or a friend would benefit from, sign up soon using discount code ACURATORFRIENDS at checkout and you will get the $399 course for just $299.

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