Sunday, January 29, 2012


According to Martin Parr the Latin-American photobook is the best kept secret in the history of photography. This then is the subject of Le Bal's current exhibition.
Curated by Horacio Fernandez the idea for this show was born during the 2007 Latin-American forum on photography in São Paulo.
The exhibition presents 40 Latin-American photobooks produced between 1921 and 2012 and is based around six specific themes, history and propaganda, urban photography, photographic essays, artists photobooks, literature and photography and contemporary photobooks. The shows design incorporates original books, vintage prints, projections, models and quotes.

I have not seen this show so I cannot comment any further, however Marc Feustal who writes the intelligent and substantial eyecurious blog has and you could do no better than to have a look at his perceptive review HERE.

The exhibition opened 20 January and runs until 8 April 2012. 


Damien Lafargue is a Paris based photographer and co-founder of the photographers group GET THE PICTURE. Last year Damien was based in New York for an extended time and made the inevitable road trip into the mid west and south. Damien has compiled these pictures into a body of work he has called GREAT EXPECTATIONS. I really like this series. You can see all the work on the GET THE PICTURE site HERE, it is well worth a look!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

errata editions - NEW EDITIONS

Founded in 2008 by Valerie Sonnenthal, Jeffrey Ladd and Ed Grazda, errata editions publishes books, in fact republishes books, with a special focus on rare photography books which are unavailable to a new generations of photographers.
To date, twelve books on books titles have been published featuring among others, luminaries such as Eugene Atget, Walker Evans, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, William Klein, David Goldblatt and Paul Graham.
Four new titles are to appear this year. #13 Ed van der Elsken: Sweet Life / #14 Keld Helmer-Petersen: 122 Colour Photographs / #15 Nobuyoshi Araki: The Banquet / #16  Krass Clement: Drum.

errata editions make wonderful books, you can see more HERE

Monday, January 23, 2012


When I was in Rome last October I met with Marco Delongu director of FOTOGRAFIA Festival Internazionale di Roma. Marco had just produced Alec Soth's commissioned book project La Belle Dame Sans Merci which follows commissioned series on Rome by Guy Tillim, Anders Petersen, Martin Parr and Tod Papageorge.
Alec's oversized book was a mastery of design and production. I decided in my week in Rome to make some pictures and a bookwork that was at the other end of the scale, simple and unadorned. And well, a pocket guide to Rome.....

Here it is. The bookwork is a signed and numbered limited edition of 50 copies, and contains 48 photographs over 48 pages, printed on 150 gsm art paper, 158 x 108mm.

Copies can be obtained directly from me at:
Prices are, €25 / £20 / US$30 / NZ$38, which includes packing and postage. For payment you can simply log on to my PayPal account using my email address above.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Andreas Schmidt - The Lonely Christmas Tree Picture Album

John Gossage                        Harvey Benge
 A few weeks ago London based photographer Andreas Schmidt invited other shooters to post on a dedicated facebook page their pictures of "lonely Christmas trees". Andreas has now put together a superb collaborative photobook work.
He writes: a must have book for any Christmas tree lover and photobook collector alike this book gathers the finest Christmas tree photographs by world renowned photographers and is undoubtedly going to be the best photobook 2012 in the Christmas tree photography category. No need to buy a tree anymore. Just buy the book.

You can have a look and buy the book HERE.

FotoBook Festival Dummy Award 2012

This year the Kassel Fotobook Festival moves to LE BAL in Paris and again this year photographers are invited to present their so far unpublished photobooks to an international expert jury. The best 50 books will be exhibited as part of the festival in Paris. From these 50 titles, the winners will be awar...ded at the location. The first prize is a complete book production by publishers Seltmann+Soehne. The registrations costs are 32 Euros. Entries close on 31 March 2012. Entries for the Photobook Dummy close on 5 April 2012 (post marked).

The 50 exhibited books will be selected by a pre-jury. This pre-jury comprises Markus Schaden (Bookseller, Publisher, Cologne), Sebastian Hau (Le Bal Books, Paris), Inga Schneider (International Photobook Festival, Cologne), Laurence Vecten (Lozen Up, Paris), Dieter Neubert (International Photobook Festival, Kassel).

The main jury comprises Gerry Badger (Critic, Photographer, London), Todd Hido (Photographer, USA), Markus Schaden (Bookseller, Publisher, Cologne), Dieter Neubert (International Photobook Festival, Kassel), Oliver Seltmann (Publisher, Berlin), Diane Dufour (Director Le Bal, Paris), Andreas Müller-Pohle, European Photography, Berlin), Sebastian Hau (Le Bal Books, Paris), Laurence Vecten (Lozen Up, Paris).

The winning book will be produced by printing and publishing partner seltmann+soehne. This work will also be presented in the art magazine European Photography. The 2nd and 3rd prizes will be supplied by our partner blurb: the 2nd prize is books to the value of 500 Euros, the 3rd prize books to the value of 300 Euros. 

You can find an entry form HERE.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Photographers whose work I like - No16/ Christopher Ecclestone

Chris Ecclestone is a photographer based in Cheshire in the UK whom I've never met except in cyber space.  A few days ago Chris asked me to look at his work, and I really like what he is doing.
With some of his pictures I find myself responding  "I wish I'd made that." Here's a selection of his photographs.  You can see more on his SITE.  Have a look you will not be disappointed. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pieter Hugo shoots Zoë B

Two years ago when Rineke Dijkstra was here for the St Paul St workshop she made a lot of pictures of my daughter Zoë. It seemed only natural at that time for Rineke to make some instant pictures. And she did. The year after Todd Hido also photographed Zoë and this year Pieter Hugo continued the tradition. Here are the photographs.....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pieter Hugo and Quentin Bajac workshop at St Paul St Gallery, Auckland

Pieter Hugo and Quentin Bajac
An intensive but laid back three days ended last Sunday with photographers from all parts of New Zealand and Australia taking part in the annual AUT St Paul St Gallery workshop, this year with South African photographer Pieter Hugo and Paris based curator Quentin Bajac. Following the successful format established with the first workshop six year ago Pieter and Quentin talked about their respective practices and then participants presented work for review and discussion.

Some unsolicited comments:

Thanks again for organizing the course it was very thought provoking.
Melissa C

I thought Pieter and Quentin were fabulous and asked just the right questions...very constructive and honest feedback. Pieter was spot on and very sharp with his comments, not in any way brutal but brilliantly thought provoking. So was meeting everyone else and seeing their drive, work and interest. Fantastic!
Kathrin S

For me, I think one of the really interesting things was the power of the critique.
Malcolm Mc

I loved the course though. I learnt a huge amount about photography and really valued meeting everyone. Quentin and Pieter were fantastic. 
Kriselle B

Just want to thank you for organising another great Photography workshop - it was great in all respects. Thanks for bring Pieter and Quentin over, I really enjoyed their presentations and their critiques, and as always you did a great job! 
Dieneke J

The course certainly ticked the boxes for me and I would be interested in the next one as well. Thank you, it is a real quality investment for us here so far from the photographic communities.
Lester B

Thanks Harvey, Pieter and Quentin's remarks and suggestions have had a major impact on me....I'm feeling much more encouraged (and confident now) to carry on doing my self-directed projects. 
Jan Y

I have hardly been able to sleep since the weekend, so much going on in my head and I have so many ideas re 'intentionality'. The feedback was terrific for me, I wish I had recorded it!
Wendy B

The workshop has definitely given me some things to ponder and ideas to nurture, as well as lots of studying to do! Thank you for inviting me to participate and for the time and thought you put into the workshop. 
Jade A

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rineke Dijkstra - A retrospective at The Guggenheim NYC

Rineke Dijkstra,  Kolobrzeg, Poland, July 26 1992

Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective is the first U.S. mid-career survey of this important Dutch artist’s work in photography and video. Dijkstra came to prominence in the 1990s with her celebrated Beach Portraits, large-scale color photographs of children on the verge of adolescence posed on beaches around the world, from South Carolina to the Ukraine. From that point on, her sensitive and visually riveting portraits have documented individuals caught in transitional states, sometimes due to physical exertion, for example after giving birth or dancing, or charted over time through series. Along with other Western European photographers such as Thomas Struth and Thomas Ruff, Dijkstra has been a leading innovator in the production of large-scale color images, which came to define contemporary photography in the 1990s and have transformed it ever since. This comprehensive retrospective will feature the Beach Portraits and other early works such as the photographs of new mothers and bullfighters, together with selections from Dijkstra’s later work. It also includes series that she has been working on continuously for years, such as Almerisa (1994–2008), which documents a young immigrant girl as she grows up and adapts to her new environment. Dijkstra’s work in video will be fully integrated in the exhibition.
Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective is organized by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Sandra S. Phillips, Senior Curator, Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition which runs June 29 - October 3, 2012, will be accompanied by the first comprehensive monograph on the artist’s work to be published in the United States.

Andy Adams and the FlakPhoto network

Andy Adams (whose website you can look at HERE) is a Madison, Wisconsin based photographer, photo-educator, writer, blogger, curator and web-master extraordinaire. With his many web-based projects Andy does more than anybody else I know to connect the diverse yet very singular contemporary photographic world.

Andy says this, I'm passionate about working with digital media to promote arts and culture experience. For the past five years, my projects have explored the intersection of online publishing, social media, and community collaborations in contemporary photography. In my spare time I publish, an online art space that celebrates the culture of image-making by promoting the discovery of artists from around the world. One of the best parts about producing is connecting with photographers that I admire - and helping them get their work seen by a wider audience online. The Internet connects the world, and in doing so, is fostering the growth of a global online photographic community.

As if FlakPhoto isn't enough Andy Adams has also has created two Facebook photography groups. Flak Photo Network, and Flak Photo Books, which as I write have memberships of 3294 and 936 respectively.

You can check out HERE

Friday, January 6, 2012

Eve Arnold at 99 dies in London

Eve Arnold in 1997

NEW YORK, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Pioneering American photojournalist and portrait photographer Eve Arnold, best known for her intimate shots of Marilyn Monroe, has died at the age of 99, Magnum photo agency said on Thursday. She died peacefully in her sleep at a nursing home in London, said representative Jonathan Bell of Magnum Photo Agency, of which she was a member. Arnold made her name from photographs of a variety of people from rich and famous to poor and unknown. Her revealing and intimate shots of Monroe over a ten year collaboration gave her prestige, as well as her photographs of the likes of Queen Elizabeth, Jacqueline Kennedy and Malcolm X.
But the Philadelphia-born photographer was equally interested in those not in the public eye. Her first story documented fashion shows in the 1950s in segregated Harlem, New York before moving to London in 1962.
She worked at publications including London's Sunday Times and captured life in the Arab world in the late 1960s and early 70s before later in the decade going on to become one of the first Westerners to document China.
"I have been poor and I wanted to document poverty; I had lost a child and I was obsessed with birth; I was interested in politics and I wanted to know how it affected our lives; I am a woman and I wanted to know about women," Arnold once said according to her 1976 book, "The Unretouched Woman."
She has been widely exhibited and received numerous prizes, including the lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers. She published of over 15 monographs, including her 1997 book "In Retrospect."

Marilyn Monroe during shooting of The Misfits 1960

Thursday, January 5, 2012

At what age do you make your best work? Assuming you're capable of making any "best work" at all....

Pablo Picasso, 25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973
I've just come across a post by Alec Soth on his Little Brown Mushroom blog, HERE. where Alec sites the ages of those photographers who topped the Best Photobooks lists, they were: Christian Patterson (39), Rinko Kawauchi (39), Yukichi Watabe (34 in 1958), Ricardo Cases (40), Valerio Spada (39), Gregory Halpern (34), Alex Webb (59) and Guido Guidi (70) tied for 7th place. This follows a previous post HERE by Alec where he suggests that the age where photographers make their peak contribution is 25 to 35.

Martin Parr posted this reply:

Hi Alec
I just came across this posting and basically you are right. However I got bored with reading all the responses from aged 40 plus photographers telling us they were about to hit their peak. No-one really addressed your question, they just bored us with their own inadequacies. You need that raw energy and excitement that feeds into new and exciting work, associated with the 20s and early 30s. Very few achieve even that, let alone sustain this into their long careers. I once said in an interview that I thought my best work was probably behind me, and this now is quoted back to me everytime I do another interview. What is so shocking about this? You personally may never better ” Sleeping by the Mississippi”, but of course accepting this is problematic. OK we keep going, trying to be fresh, but we know too much, are too comfortable, even if you fight laziness by working hard. It doesn’t mean you cannot make a useful contribution later on, but it ain’t going to have the edge that the early work, so often delivers. There of course honorable exceptions, and on this front, I always site David Goldblatt, who is now 80 and has constantly refreshed his way of understanding South Africa through photography. He only turned to colour at the age of 65, and this is some of his best work.

My view is that you're only as old as you feel! However Martin is right, the guts of the problem is simple, we do know too much!

Andreas Gursky's Rhine 11, 1999, a world record at $4.3 million

Andreas Gursky now has the world auction record for a photograph, sold for an incredible $4.3 million at Christies New York. This breaks the current record set in May 2011 by Cindy Sherman's self portrait, which sold at Christies for $3,890.000 in the Spring 2011 Contemporary Sales.

Gursky's Rhine II, 1999, is one of an edition of six photographs,  four of which are in major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Tate Modern,  London.

You can go to Christies HERE for the background.

The Gursky price also exceeded Richard Prince's Marlboro Man (Untitled, Cowboy), which sold for $3,401,000 at Sotheby's, New York, November 2007 Contemporary Art Sale. Gursky's previous world record photograph is his 99-cent diptych at $3,346,456, which was set at Sotheby's London in February 2007.   Edward Steichen's Pond, Moonlight,  still holds the record for a non-contemporary photograph which changed hands at $2,928,000.

Auckland - New Year, New Photographs....

Here a some new pictures I made here in Auckland a day or so ago on my wanderings from my studio.....