LYDIA PANAS: Longing In Black + Photolucida + The Mark of Abel Monograph

Photograph © 2014 Lydia Panas

Photograph © 2014 Lydia Panas

Photograph © 2014 Lydia Panas

"There is almost nothing I would rather do than look at someone through the lens of my camera. It's hard to describe what it feels like, a seduction of sorts or a way of getting close. It's got something to do with desire.  We see one another and we don't have to speak or smile.   The photograph is a record of our connection; intimate, intense and very present." – Lydia Panas

"Lydia Panas is a fine art photographer whose work has been widely exhibited in the US and internationally. Lydia was one of nine artists selected by Houston FotoFest curators for the prestigious International Discoveries Exhibition in 2007 and has since garnered numerous awards and honors, including  an Image Award from CENTER, Santa Fe. She was twice included in both the Critical Mass Top Fifty and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition. She has received six Pennsylvania Partner's in the Arts Grants and a Puffin Foundation Grant among others. She is currently a Visual Arts Fellow with CFEVA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Her work has been featured in periodicals such as the New York Times Magazine, Photo District News and Popular Photography. Lydia has degrees from Boston College, School of Visual Arts, and New York University / International Center of Photography. She has received a Whitney Museum Independent Study Fellowship." Her book, The Mark of Abel, is available at photo-eye Bookstore.

 publisher: Kehrer Verlag

GHOST PORTRAITS / October Gold 2

Text: Lydia Panas website


kaleidescope eyes
Photograph © Mary Anne Mitchell

Photograph © Mary Anne Mitchell

"Mary Anne Mitchell's work is derived from her experiences and visual "dreams" that move her to create. Her work documents the world in a manner that transforms the subject into something quite different from reality. The images depict situations, often mysterious, which draw the viewer into a narrative. The subject often appears isolated in a strange or surreal setting. In each piece, the artist invites the observer into her curious world. The images evoke ambiguous moods and each viewer’s response to them will be tempered by their own experiences. Mary Anne's artwork is primarily shot on film and printed by the artist as silver gelatin photographs."

I met Mary Anne Mitchell at Atlanta Celebrates Photography's ACP Portfolio Reviews in 2014. The above images are from one of my favorite of her series "Reflecting Back." View all of her work here.

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GORDON STETTINIUS: Mangini Studio + Photolucida + Candela Books

A Collaboration with Terry Brown

A Collaboration with Terry Brown

 A Collaboration with Terry Brown

"Mangini Studio" Published by Candela Books 
A Collaboration between Terry Brown + Gordon Stettinius

"For a period spanning eight years or so, Gordon Stettinius, a photographer and a man of average appearance, sporadically visited the Mangini Studio in Richmond, Virginia, to have his portrait taken. Terry Brown, a fine art photographer as well as a commercial portraitist, happened, at that time, to be Mangini’s principal studio photographer.  The first of the styled portraits Brown recorded came about as the result of Stettinius’ disquieting need to experiment with the proud but oft-maligned hairstyle known to some as the permanent wave. To date, Brown and Stettinius have produced over fifty of these studio portraits.  Taken individually, the images run from believable to the slightly ridiculous. Taken collectively, one has to wonder if these two might have found something more productive to do with their time." – Candela Books 

I met photographer, curator and gallery owner Gordon Stettinius as a fellow reviewer at the recent Photolucida Portfolio Review in Portland. Up to then I'd known of him only as the publisher of one of my favorite books, "Salt + Truth," powerful photographs by Shelby Lee Adams of the hollow dwellers of eastern Kentucky.

Stettinius has been a photographer for over twenty-five years and his work can be found in numerous private and public collections. His work is represented by Robin Rice Gallery in New York and Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. In 2010, he founded Candela Books, a fine art photography book publishing company; and in 2011, founded Candela Books + Gallery a 3,800 square foot fine art photography gallery in the downtown arts district of Richmond, Virginia.

An important must read for photographers:
by Gordon Stettinius 

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CRAIG J. BARBER: Photolucida + Tintypes

Nancy & Toulouse, 2011
Photograph (c) Craig J. Barber

 Cody Washing Potatoes, 2013
Photograph (c) Craig J. Barber

Jared In His Sugarbush, 2010 
Photograph (c) Craig J. Barber

Craig J. Barber is a photographer who travels and works using antiquarian processes and focuses on the cultural landscape.  During the past 20 years he has  focused his camera on Viet Nam, Havana, and the Catskill region of New York State, documenting cultures in rapid transition and fading from memory.  In 2006 Umbrage Editions published his book, “Ghosts in the Landscape: Vietnam Revisited,” with text by curator Alison Nordstrom.
I met Barber at the recent Photolucida Portfolio Reviews in Portland with his series "Working The Land." He explained, "There are still those who continue a close relationship with the land and all it has to offer:  hunters, farmers, woodsmen, gardeners, foragers.  I want to recognize and honor these individuals and their commitment, in a series of portraits in their working environments. I have chosen to work with the tintype process for it's feeling of timelessness and it's aesthetic connection to an era when we were all closer to the land."

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LOLI KANTOR: Photolucida + Eastern Europe

Family Room. Bershad, Ukraine, 2008
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor 

Sisters. Bershad, Ukraine, 2008
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor 

Jewish Cemetery Cameo Pictures. Bershad, Ukraine, 2007
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor 

Natalia in her Room. Gnivan, Ukraine, 2007 
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor
Loli Kantor is a fine art and independent documentary photographer I met at Portland's Photolucida Portfolio Reviews in April. She was born in Paris, France, raised in Tel Aviv, Israel and has lived in the U.S. and now Fort Worth, Texas since 1984. 

Although both her parents were Holocaust survivors, photographer Kantor knew very little about that terrible time. In 2004, she began an odyssey in Poland and Ukraine (her parents were from different areas of Poland) that was not immediately personal. Her resulting photo album shows a progression of her observations.

On her first trip, Kantor participated in restoration work at a former concentration camp, and her images are black and white—train tracks, a foggy train window, a snow-covered road in a forest, an empty courtyard leading to her family’s home in Czestochowa, a portrait of a woman with an old family picture. The photos reflect the grimness of the past, the paths the victims took to their death. By 2008, her pictures are in color and include more people—a young woman and her baby, children rehearsing to perform at a retirement home, a table spread with platters of food. Conceived as a short-term project, the work has evolved into nearly a decade of a photographic exploration and now published as a book, Beyond The Forest, published by the University of Texas Press.

Published by University of Texas Press

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MICHAEL KIRCHOFF: Photolucida + Austin

Road To Red Square, Moscow
Photograph (c) Michael Kirchoff
double-click image to see full frame
Transfiguration Cathedral Compound, Kizhi, Russia
Photograph (c) Michael Kirchoff
Shadow Angel, Lafayette Cemetery
Photograph (c) Michael Kirchoff

After several years of corresponding online through social media, it was great to finally meet photographer Michael Kirchoff and view his work in person at Portland's recent Photolucida Portfolio Reviews. I'm pleased to be able to announce his solo exhibit, Flawed, opening today, May 8, at the Photo Methode Gallery, Austin, Texas. This is his statement about the work in this show:

Michael Kirchoff:  Flawed

"I am inherently flawed. Deeply and irrevocably. I always have been, and I always will be. I try, make mistakes, and often fail, but not without learning something from them. Without these flaws I would not be able to properly create the images you see in this collection, as they are representative of myself as a photographic artist and as a human being. I strive to create images that are a flip side to the perfectly composed, digitally created and retouched photographs seen in ads and the covers of magazines. My art can be recognized by a timeless and ethereal quality where the imperfections of the subject, camera, or technique are often highlighted as an integral part of the image."

A large portion of the photographs on exhibit are from my two largest bodies of work, An Enduring Grace, created with long expired Polaroid materials that produce inconsistent and unpredictable results, and Vignette, created using cheap plastic toy cameras with plastic lenses that bring about softer, more unrefined looking photographs.

The use of outdated Polaroid film has been the perfect vehicle for constructing the framed and fractured reflections of many of my travels. Over time I have been able to predict and guide the unpredictable nature of this process, yet never maintaining a perfect handle on the outcome. A natural frame exists within each photograph, and within that frame a more organic and meandering texture or weakness. Once again, I am reflected within its contents.

The square photographs made with toy cameras, specifically the Chinese manufactured Holga camera, engage the use of one of the simplest of photographic tools made. Little control over exposure, and an inaccurate viewfinder require an innate ability to predict and compose the moments captured. Inaccuracy and lack of control are the hallmarks of my being.

No one person is not without needed improvement, and I am forever a work-in-progress. My images embrace, expose, and mirror the fact that I, like everyone, remain imperfect… and most certainly, flawed." – Michael Kirchoff

May 8 – June 19, 2015


JOANNA BLACK: Uncle Billy on LensCulture

Photograph (c) Joanna Black

 Pieta, Jubilee Photographic Mirror Sculpture
Galerie Lichtblick, Cologne, Germany Exhibition during Photokina 2014.  Curated by Tina Schelhorn, photograph courtesy of Tina Schelhorn. Mirror Sculpture (c) Joanna Black

I've followed self taught fine art photographer Joanna Black before her work first came "out" at Review Santa Fe in 2011. She is a true artist with a unique vision and so much Heart.  Her early photographs, taken in Bangour Hospital where her brother was a resident, were the first images that caught my eye. 

Based in Edinburgh, Black has managed to spread her creative eye across international borders. Just check out her bio. While leisurely flipping through images of participating photographers in LensCulture's FotoFest Paris 2013 (here) I recently came across Black's photograph of her Uncle Billy with Carly Simon, her family dog, which is titled Pieta (above) and just had to re-post it.

 I Want To Play Too
Bangour Hospital, Scotland  Photograph (c) Joanna Black

 Mummy There's a Man on The Moon
Bangour Hospital, Scotland  Photograph (c) Joanna Black

Henry was my brother, I never really knew him. He was 12 years older than me but in his mind never grew past the age of 2. My father came from a patrician Polish background and being unable to bear the low esteem he was held in by post war Scots, crossed the then impermeable iron curtain never to return. This left my mother with no option but to take a job as a bus conductress and to place Henry in the care of the state at Bangour Hospital, built by the Victorians to care for people who were "insane and infirm". This was especially painful to my mother as she had lost her entire family in the war (Hitler took some and Stalin the rest). That being said Henry was well cared for and was always happy, the only words he ever spoke were "Mummy" and "man in the moon". His chocolate brown eyes sparkled with happiness and he would make a noise which to my childish ears was exactly the same noise my guinea pig made when you stroked him. He lived a life of smiles until he was 33 at which point his body eventually gave up. – Joanna Black
Joanna Black is based in Edinburgh, Scotland
Photograph (c) Joanna Black


SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS: Fall 2015 MPS in Digital Photography Program

Clay McBride

Large Format Print Week with
Celebrity and Portrait Photographer Greg Gorman

Clareese Hill

Ksenia Tavrina

Photography Icon Bruce Davidson Lecture

Tom Ashe Reviewing Online Class Prints

The School of Visual Arts
Master of Professional Studies in Digital Photography Program

The Master of Professional Studies in Digital Photography is an intensive graduate degree program that addresses the technical and creative aspects of current digital image practices, which professional photographers and photo educators require to be at the vanguard of contemporary fine art, commercial, portrait, and fashion photography practices. Within the year, the diverse and talented students excel at producing technically outstanding and conceptually compelling images and multimedia projects, and are ideally positioned to pursue gallery representation, editorial or commercial work, as well as high-end digital retouching and consulting careers.

SVA offers two versions of the MPS Digital Photography Program; a full-time one-year On-campus/Summer Residency program for students that prefer learning in a classroom environment and a part-time two-year Online/Summer Residency for those who would benefit from the convenience and flexibility of the virtual learning experience. Both programs culminate with a summer session and group exhibition in New York City.

MPS Digital Photography Program Co-Founder and Chair, Katrin Eismann, is an internationally respected photographer, educator and author specializing in creative digital photography. Her books include Photoshop Masking and Compositing, Photoshop Restoration and Retouching, The Creative Digital Darkroom, and Real World Digital Photography, among others.

Applications for Fall 2015 MPS Digital Photography Program are being accepted now! Study with Elizabeth Avedon, Michael Foley, Greg Gorman, James Estrin, Tom P. Ashe, Darren and Debra Klomp Ching, Russell Hart, Stella Kramer, Matthew Richmond and Katrin Eismann, along with a roster of other greats! Check out the complete MPS Digital Photography Curriculum and Faculty [here].

Check out my Thesis: Book+Branding Class of 2014

Thesis: Book+Branding Class of 2013 



SurfLand: 11.03.16 #5 Dave
Unique tintype. Broken Head, OZ, 2011   
(c) Joni Sternbach

SurfLand: 15.02.22 #4 Sky
Unique tintype. Goleta, CA, 2015
 (c) Joni Sternbach


"Surf Site Tin Type" Book Signing
Saturday, May 2, 1PM to 2PM 
Artbook/D.A.P at Booth C-5 


Surfland Exhibition

Wednesday, May 6, 7-9 PM  
Artist Reception and Book Signing

Galerie Hug
40 Rue de Seine, Paris, France



 "Acido Dorado" series © Mona Kuhn

PRIVATE (Steidl, 2015)


"New Works"
Diane Rosenstein: Stage 32, Stand 10

"Acido Dorado"
Flowers Gallery: Stage 31, Stand 7

"PRIVATE" Book Signing
Saturday May 2, 2pm
DAP New York Backlot, Stand C-3


The i3: Images, Ideas, Inspiration summer lecture series features presentations by cutting-edge digital photographers and industry experts.  The series is curated and hosted by Guatemalan photographer Jaime Permuth.

Presented by the Masters in Digital Photography,
Katrin Eismann, Chair

Celebrity Portrait Photographer

Photojournalist and Author

Documentary Photographer and Author

Fine-Art Photographer

 School of Visual Arts
136 West 21st Street, Room 418
New York, New York
Free and Open to the Public 
Download and Subscribe to the i3 Lecture Series on iTunes here. Includes photographers Elinor Carucci, Phil Toledano, Radcliffe 'Ruddy' Roye and 70 others. 


MICHAEL O'BRIEN: The Picture Review Conversation Series • Austin, Texas

"On More Than a Picture"
The Picture Review In Conversation with 

In our continuing series of talks on the process, craft and life of working in the visual arts, The Picture Review team is thrilled to announce that nationally renowned documentary and portrait photographer, Michael O’Brien, will be joining us In Conversation "On More Than a Picture, A Conversation with Michael O’Brien and Sean Perry" May 16th, 2015.

From his biography, “Michael O’Brien is one of the country’s premier portrait photographers. In a career that has spanned four decades, O’Brien has photographed subjects ranging from presidents to small-town heroes. His candid, unapologetic style captures the dignity and humanity of his subjects, whether they be celebrities or ‘ordinary’ people.”

Mr. O’Brien’s images have appeared in numerous magazines, including Life, Esquire, National Geographic, Fortune, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Texas Monthly, Vanity Fair and the London Sunday Times. He has twice been the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Award for outstanding coverage of the disadvantaged. O’Brien is the author of two books: The Face of Texas, 2003 and 2014, and Hard Ground in 2011, a collaboration that presents O’Brien's compassionate portraits with poetry by artist and musician Tom Waits.

Eighteen of Mr. O’Brien’s images have been selected for inclusion in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., five of which were recently featured in The Face of Texas exhibition at The Wittliff Collections: Willie Nelson, George Strait, Judge William Wayne Justice, Larry McMurtry, and Harvey Penick with Bud Shrake. His photographs are also held in the permanent collections of the International Center of Photography in NYC, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and The Wittliff Collection of Mexican and Southwestern Photography at Texas State University.

Our presentation includes rarely seen pictures from his early work and we will have the wonderful opportunity to preview images from his newest title, The Great Minds of Investing. Mr. O’Brien will also be demonstrating a few of his techniques for working with light and a book signing will follow.

To celebrate our special guest, we are pulling out all the stops with our first ever May Fair, featuring the Spring TPR Team's Light + Sound exhibition of large-scale prints, the debut of the ACCMe Studios photo booth, refreshments and a plethora of surprises and delights!

We look forward to seeing you there!
"On More Than a Picture: A Conversation with Michael O'Brien"
Saturday, May 16, 2015 • 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Austin Community College Photographic Technology
11928 Stonehollow Drive, Bldg 3000
Austin, TX 78758



I was honored to be invited as a Reviewer for the third annual "New York Portfolio Review" sponsored by the New York Times Lens Blog and the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Graduate School of Journalism. The reviews took place over a recent weekend with Day One for photographers 21 and older, each of whom received six private critiques; Day Two for photographers 18 to 27 years old, with four private critiques for each participant, rounded out with talks by Santiago Lyon, director of photography for The Associated Press, on building an editorial portfolio, and by the photographer Phil Toledano on the creative process. There were several other great speakers during the day including collector WM. Hunt, photographers David Guttenfelder, Radcliffe 'Ruddy' Roye and Austin Merril of Everyday Africa, who joined New York Times Lens Blog co-editor, James Estrin and Kerri MacDonald for a very lively panel discussion.

Of the twelve photographers I was scheduled to review on Day One, and a few I met on my own time during breaks, I was impressed by every project shown and
want to share some of it with L'Oeil de la Photographie readers HERE.

James Estrin took the lead along with his Lens Blog colleagues David Gonzalez and Whitney Richardson, and Laura Roumanos of United Photo Industries and Photoville, screening and editing thousands of (free) entries down to the chosen photographers who were then assigned one-on-one portfolio reviews with some of the top photography editors, curators, gallerists and book publishers. Estrin noted, "We have looked through over 3500 entrants for the free NY portfolio review sponsored by the NY Times Lens blog and CUNY J School and whittled it down to those accepted. The amount of excellent work was overwhelming...I can firmly say there is wonderful and surprising photography being done all over the world by people of all age, race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. I apologize to those who didn't get accepted this year. Thank you for sharing your work. It was an honor to look at it so closely. Please try again next year." Both days were extremely successful with reviewers and photographers making beneficial connections.

On Day Two, of the eight reviews, most were recent student graduates and this was their first portfolio review. I was impressed by the level of work and want to share some of it with L'Oeil de la Photographie readers HERE.


MALCOLM LIGHTNER: MILE O' MUD Kickstarter Campaign

Mile O' Mud
Photographs (c) Malcolm Lightner

"I've been delighted by Malcolm Lightner's 'Mile O' Mud' series for several years now. His photographs capture the country culture surrounding Florida's Swamp Buggy races. I can almost hear the racing engines propelling the swamp buggies through the mud with a chorus of cicadas singing along the banks. These photographs bring out the southern roots in me – gators and pistols, mud wrestling and beauty pageants, Budweiser and BBQ – images full of my favorite rednecks and they are proud of it. Southern charm at its best."– Elizabeth Avedon

THE PROJECT: Before embarking on my “MILE O' MUD” project in October 2002, my encounters with the swamp buggy races consisted of a few abbreviated visits to the track as a child, with my mother, who was not interested in the races but in locating my father, who had gone missing for several days.

I began to photograph swamp buggy racing to pay homage to my family heritage and to document what I consider to be a rare slice of Americana. On my first visit to the track, I drove into the parking lot of the Florida Sports Park, heard the engines of the buggies roar, and witnessed the great plumes of water trailing behind the boat-dragster hybrids. I could feel the vibrations from the raw horsepower pound against my chest, and it almost took my breath away. I thought to myself that this was going to be fun! The races occur three weekends out of the year, and I managed to make the trip at least once a year from 2002 to 2013 except 2005, when the races were cancelled due to Hurricane Wilma.

In my own mind, this project felt like time travel. I experienced firsthand the people and culture that were a large part of my parents’ life that I never witnessed but that felt somehow defining. Initially, it was the buggies themselves that attracted me, though I soon began to discover endless narrative possibilities and connections among the drivers, spectators and enthusiasts. I unveiled family connections that I did not know existed and heard numerous stories about my father, who had the reputation of a hard worker in the plastering and construction community. He was an all-around tough guy, someone you would not want to mess with.

I came to understand Swamp Buggy Racing as a metaphor for life’s daily struggles and the innate drive to overcome obstacles against great odds while trying to maintain a sense of humor and grace. The races demonstrated to me the All-American desire to compete to win as well as the power of family and community.


Introduction by Padgett Powell and Essay by Malcolm Lightner. Clothbound Hardcover, 12.125 x 11.875 inches (landscape), 136 pages. Photographs: approx. 86 in color. PowerHouse Books: November 2016

KALPESH LATHIGRA: Lost in the Wilderness

Lost in the Wilderness
Photographs (c) Kalpesh Lathigra

As you drive across the midwest of America, one is in awe of the vast endless landscape. If the land could speak, it would be a poem of people who once roamed free but were broken by the greed of others. During the period of 1860 -1890, the Native American people were the victims of genocide.

The US Government at the time broke treaty after treaty with the various tribes. Their land was forcibly taken in what became known as the Indian Wars. The First Nations, from the Navajos, Cheyenne, Apache, Cherokee and Sioux were forced on to reservations where the quality of arable land was poor and the once numerous herds of buffalo had been decimated.

As a child I played Cowboys and Indians. I was told i had to be the Indian because my cultural heritage was from India. As children we don't question the games we play or the slow burn affect on our consciousness of what we absorb through popular culture, film, music, books and photography.

My work for a long time has focused on forgotten communities. On the insistence of a good friend I read Dee Brown's classic, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Ian Frazier's On the Rez. Both books inspired me to visit Pine Ridge Reservation, the dictated home of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation. Across the Great Plains I felt a belonging I cannot describe in words. The land has a raw beauty where one becomes lost in the wilderness of the soul.

Over the years I made numerous visits to Pine Ridge and the Lakota welcomed me into their lives telling me stories of their past, present and their hopes for the future.

These photographs are a poem through the land. Each one has a story to tell.


DANDY LION: (Re) Articulating Black Masculine Identity at MoCP Chicago

Photograph (c) Russell K. Frederick

Photograph (c) Radcliffe Roye

"Dandy Lion: (Re) Articulating Black Masculine Identity is an exhibition....seeking to shake up, deconstruct and affirm loosely the social conventions of style and fashion among black folk. Met this gentleman who said he saw the ad in the "Reader" and knew he had to come see the work. Here he is standing in front of two of my images that are in the show. " – Radcliffe 'Ruddy' Roye on Instagram

"Dandy Lion: (Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity" is guest curated by independent curator Shantrelle P. Lewis. Work featured from emerging and renowned photographers and filmmakers from the US, Europe and Africa, include Hanif Abur-Rahim, Jody Ake, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Rose Callahan, Kia Chenelle, Bouba Dola, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Russell K. Frederick, Cassi Amanda Gibson, Allison Janae Hamilton, Akintola Hanif, Harness Hamese/Loux the Vintage Guru, L. Kasimu Harris, Jamala Johns, Caroline Kaminju, Charl Landvreugd, Jati Lindsay, Devin Mays, Terence Nance, Arteh Odjidja, Numa Perrier, Alexis Peskine, Radcliffe Roye, Sara Shamsavari, Nyugen Smith, Daniele Tamagni, Richard Terborg and Rog Walker.

(Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity 
April 6 – July 12, 2015
at Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605