June 6, 2016

©Alex Webb, Havana, 1993, from Violet Isle

From THE MORE-OR-LESS DECISIVE MOMENTS, Magnum Photos 5-Day Square Print Sale, June 6-June 10, 2016: Follow this link to purchase Alex’s $100 signed archival print.

“Probably, no photographer has influenced me for as long as Henri Cartier-Bresson. For some 50 years, I’ve been drawn to his early, prewar work with its surreal ambiguity. However, ever since I first saw my father’s copy of The Decisive Moment in the late 1960’s, I’ve been uneasy with the title. The notion of a “decisive moment” seems just too pat, too unpoetic for such a complicated vision. Years later, it was gratifying to discover that the original French title was Images a la Sauvette—“Images on the Sly’—a humbler notion more in the spirit of his early street photographs, work that embraces the mystery and uncertainty of collaborating with the world. “It is the photo that takes you,” as he once said.


There are many photographs of mine that have “taken me.” I chose “Havana, 1993” because Cuba then seemed suspended in time, echoing the feel of the Spanish streets in the 1930’s that Cartier-Bresson photographed so memorably. I suspect that the Cartier-Bresson I knew would have been skeptical of the color of this homage to him— but I’d like to think his younger, surrealistic self would have at least appreciated the two boys in the background with that soccer ball, hovering over their heads, out of reach forever.”—Alex Webb from Magnum Square Print


PHOTO PROJECT 2016: NYC: Spend an intensive week in October in this intimate bookmaking workshop with Alex and Rebecca who’ve together and apart made some 16 books.  We’ll spend the week editing and sequencing a project you’re passionate about, discuss text and how to find a writer for your project and also work with a designer to create a potential book cover or catalogue cover. APPLICATIONS OPEN: JUNE 12, 2016.  Follow this link for more information.

VIOLET ISLE EXHIBITION, MILAN, June 13-September 17, 2016. Opening reception with Alex and Rebecca will be on Tuesday, June 14, at the Leica Galerie and Store Milan




May 18, 2016
Alex Webb, Bombardopolis, Haiti, 1986, from "The Suffering of Light"

Alex Webb, Bombardopolis, Haiti, 1986, from “Alex Webb: Selections” at Photo London, Leica at Navy Board Room, Somerset House, thru May 22

LEICA BLOG: The photographs to be shown at Photo London encompass a great portion of your career, including the work comprised in three of your published books. How did you curate ‘Selections’?

ALEX WEBB: I simply chose some of my favorite images — including some of the same images Rebecca and I have hanging in our home in Brooklyn.

Read the rest of Leica’s Q&A with Alex here.

We hope to see some of you at Photo London from May 18-22, for our joint talk, “Slant Rhymes,” two weekend book signings, and Alex’s Selections exhibition at Somerset House in the Navy Board Room.  On Wednesday, May 18, starting at 1pm GMT, we are also pleased to be sharing the Instagram Takeover at Leica Camera, and fielding some of your questions from 2:30-3pm GMT that day @leica_camera.—Rebecca



—Finding Your Vision: Milan, a five-day workshop in Italy in June with Alex and Rebecca.  Follow this link to apply online.

—Finding Your Vision: London, a weekend workshop in June.  Follow this link to enroll online.



Alex in the Guardian/New Milan and London Workshops

April 7, 2016

©Alex Webb, Tehuantepec, Mexico, 1985, in The Guardian, 7 April 2016

“Graham Greene’s The Lawless Roads piqued my interest in Mexico. I took this photograph in Tehuantepec, in the south of the country, in the early 80s. I simply wandered, allowing my experiences with the camera to lead me forward. It was a heavy, muggy afternoon as I came into a white-blue plaza. I was feeling hot, a little uninspired and a little lost, when I caught sight of some children with a ball. As I moved closer, one of the boys spun the ball on his fingertip, and I sensed the shapes of the children, the blue stripes behind, and the blue of the ball, and took a few frames. Then the moment was gone.
I never know when a picture will work. With this one, I was hopeful but uncertain. The slow shutter speed that I used made the ball look like a spinning globe; the image took on a whole other dimension that I was unaware of when I took it. I love the notion that this boy in a little town in southern Mexico seems to have the world spinning on his fingertip. It wasn’t until later that I realised there was a second ball in the frame: a basketball falling through a hoop. This kind of photography – wandering the streets, exploring the world with few preconceptions – is so much about immediacy, intuition and serendipity. Rational understanding takes a back seat and the unconscious takes over.”—Alex Webb, from The Guardian’s “Alex Webb’s Best Photograph”


—Finding Your Vision: Milan, a five-day workshop in Italy in June with Alex and Rebecca.  Follow this link to apply online.

—Finding Your Vision: London, a weekend workshop in June.  Follow this link to enroll online.

NEW WORKSHOP: Finding Your Vision: NYC

February 11, 2016


Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

This workshop will be about finding your own unique vision of New York City by using the camera to explore the city in a direct, spontaneous way. Open to both serious amateurs and professionals alike, it is a workshop that will emphasize the development of your own personal way of seeing photographically. This workshop will also be about learning how to edit your work intuitively, and also include discussions about how to take your photography to the next level.

Dates: Sunday May 1, 2016-Friday, May 6, 2016

Applications close: Monday, March 7, 2016

Limit: 16 photographers

For more the workshop, including information about how to apply and fees, please email Mark at Webb Workshops

MEMORY CITY: PDN Photo of the Day

January 28, 2016


Thanks, PDN, for featuring Memory City on your Photo of the Day, January 28, 2016—Alex and Rebecca

“When we put together books, we often think of structural analogies to music. A big book is a kind of symphony; a small book a sonata. And the ultimate rhythm of [Memory City], how we interwove color and black and white, portraits and street photographs, reflected the music that we discovered in Rochester: a contrapuntal kind of rhythm, reflecting the odd contrasts and juxtapositions of the city.”—AW, from the PDN Q&A

“I’ve always considered poetry and photography sister arts, since both share many of the same concerns: memory, passing time, indelible images, metaphor. So poetry was one of my windows into understanding Rochester, a city that a richly diverse number of poets have called home, including John Ashbery, Marie Howe, Cornelius Eady and Ilya Kaminsky. Taken together, their poetry allowed me to see this multilayered, multicultural city from a variety of different angles and viewpoints. In particular, the insightful and brilliant Ukrainian-American poet Ilya Kaminsky—deaf since a misdiagnosed mumps at four, who’d moved to Rochester as a teenager after his family was granted political asylum, and, sadly whose father died a year later—has a line that first began to shed light for me on this struggling yet soulful city: “Time, my twin, take me by the hand through the streets of your city.”—RNW from PDN Q&A



NEW SCHOLARSHIP: Deadline February 10th

January 27, 2016
Barrio Chino

Barrio Chino

HELP US GET THE WORD OUT: Tuition-free scholarship to attend Book Weekend @ Radius with Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb and publisher David Chickey: Deadline: Wednesday, Feb. 10th.

WHO CAN APPLY: Undergrad or grad college students (full- or part-time), including junior colleges and photo/art schools

APPLICATIONS OPEN: Wednesday Jan. 27, 201

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: Wed, February 10, 2016

NOTIFICATION OF WINNER: Monday, Feb. 15, 2016

TO APPLY: Please send a link to your project online, along with a link to a description or, email 10 small jpgs (72 dpi, 15 inches longest side) and a short description of your project (not more than 250 words, and in a Word doc format, if at all possible) to RADIUS SCHOLARSHIP 2016: Please also include the name of your college/university and two references (two names and emails of people who are well acquainted with your work, such as professors, editors, or curators). Lastly, on the subject line of the email, please write: RADIUS SCHOLARSHIP 2016

For more about Book Weekend @ Radius Books, March 18-20, in Santa Fe, NM (applications are now closed except for scholarship applications):…

©Alex Webb, Havana, 2007, from Violet Isle with Rebecca Norris Webb, Radius Books, 2009

NEW WORKSHOP: Book Weekend at Radius

January 4, 2016

©Alex Webb, “Tehuantepec, Mexico, 1985”

Do you have a project you’re passionate about — and hope will become a book one day? Join Alex Webb for the intimate March workshop, BOOK WEEKEND AT RADIUS BOOKS, and learn how to take your project to the next level, a workshop he’ll teach along with his two book collaborators Radius Books designer/creative director David Chickey and poet/photographer Rebecca Norris Webb.



December 21, 2015

©Rebecca Norris Webb, ‘Unexpected Star,” from “The City Within,” a work-in-progress collaboration with Alex Webb

Alex and I wish our family, friends, and students near and far a new year filled with unexpected stars.—Rebecca

All December, I look for the painted bunting,
this rainbow with wings
El Nino blew too far north, they say,
last seen in Brooklyn in 1927 — the year
of my mother’s birth, the eve
of the Great Depression.
I look up
(I hear he likes berries) —
I see wisteria pods
colliding with a new mother, father, infant —
those last red winter roses.
I look down
(I hear he’s a ground feeder) —
I see the pale freckled limb
of a sycamore adrift near the dark angel
of a war memorial,
where mute swans once nested.
I look and I look and I look
until I, too, flit
like a bird blown off course,
aclimatizing to not finding
what I’m looking for.—RNW


Alex and Rebecca on Instagram.

—NEW WORKSHOP: Book Weekend at Radius Books with Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, and David Chickey, Creative Director of Radius Books.  Come spend an intensive weekend editing and sequencing your photographic project as well as discussing all aspects of the bookmaking process with three seasoned bookmakers who’ve collaborated on five different books together — a photographer, a photographer/poet, and a book designer/publisher.  Through discussions, presentations, and an exercise tailored for each photographer’s project, we will discuss how to find the heart of your photographic book, how to find a cover image and title, how to figure out what you have left to photograph, how to decide on the shape of a book, how to work with a designer on a book, how to choose the right writer for your work.  To apply to this exclusive workshop that’s run only once every 2-3 years, please email Alex and Rebecca a link to your photography project online with a short description (or email Alex and Rebecca 10 small jpgs and a short description (72 dpi, 15 inches on longest side–or 1080 dpi– and a 250-word or less description of your project in a word doc if possible) to Alex and Rebecca.

The cost: $600; payment in full due on acceptance.  Applications open: Monday Dec. 21, 2015.


©Alex Webb, “Brooklyn, 2015” from “The City Within” with Rebecca Norris Webb

RICK HOCK ARTIST RESIDENCY FUNDRAISER: Online Auction Thru Saturday December 19th

December 10, 2015

©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Brienna” from “Memory City”

“I am living. I remember you.”—Marie Howe, “What the Living Do”

How do we memorialize someone as special as Rick Hock? Please join Alex and me in supporting a new artist residency in Rick’s honor at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY, a fitting memorial for someone who helped so many of us bring books and projects to fruition, including Memory City. Here’s the link to bid online on our donated Memory City prints (above and below) — as well as prints by Rick Hock and those donated by others Rick helped, including Alec Soth, Martin Parr, Paolo Pellegrin, Brenda Ann Kenneally, Gregory Halpern, Susan Meiselas:

Lastly, thinking of Rick today, I dedicate the following poem to him, an elegy by one of my favorite poets, Marie Howe — who happened to be born in Rochester, NY, where Rick lived — and who also lost someone too soon, a younger brother…—Rebecca Norris Webb

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do….What you finally gave up…

We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss–we want more and more and then more of it…

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass…and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:

I am living. I remember you.

—Marie Howe, excerpt from “What the Living Do”

Rochester. Some downtown. Ontario Beach park dancing in former bathhouse

©Alex Webb, “Dancehall, Lake Ontario,” from “Memory City”

An Anniversary Slant Rhyme

November 13, 2015

©Alex Webb, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, 1996; our wedding invitation photo

What’s the nontraditional gift for a 16th wedding anniversary? For Alex and me today, a slant rhyme of poem (mine) and photograph (his), which was on our handmade wedding invitations. I love all those “rhyming” curves and rings and embraces and heavenly bodies… “A gift this distance we’ve traveled so far…”

One night I see Saturn ––
between Ninth and Tenth Street ––
naked and luminous
through the glass.
You look, too: white orb,
the ring of your laughter.
Floating home, you pull me
into your chest. I’m light,
mercury vapor, almost yours,
until the mortal woman returns,
all curves and memory,
your arm ringing my waist.
A gift, this distance
we’ve traveled so far.

Alex’s story behind the making of the image above, which is part of Up Close & Personal Magnum Photo Square Print sale, thru Friday, Nov. 13, 6pm EST:

“In 1996 after returning from the US-Mexico border, I showed my new work to Rebecca Norris, who I’d been seeing for some six months. When we came to this photograph from Nuevo Laredo, Rebecca smiled bemusedly and said, ‘muy romantico.’ Looking again, I began to see that it does indeed strike a different note. Although inhabited by those deep shadows that characterize much of my border work, this particular photograph is quieter, more lyrical. It’s as if it’s human moments—the couple embracing, the father holding his child—somehow manage to keep the darkness at bay, at least briefly.

Photographers don’t just find photographs; sometimes photographs find photographers. In retrospect, it hardly seems surprising that this photograph found me when it did—as I was falling for the remarkable woman and lyrical photographer who’s the love of my life.

Three years later, we printed this photograph on our wedding invitations.”—Alex Webb