Posts Tagged ‘National Geographic’

Memory City in ART News

February 17, 2014

©Alex Webb, “Dancehall, Lake Ontario, Rochester, NY, 2013,” from “Memory City” (with Rebecca Norris Webb), Radius Books, late spring 2014

“Rochester, in upstate New York, has been the home of Kodak since the company’s start in 1888. When it declared bankruptcy in 2012, Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb decided to use film made by the company to shoot the city. For the project, Webb used his last rolls of Kodachrome, the famous but now-discontinued film, developing it as hazy black and white since its special color process is no longer available. The results look like any struggling but hopeful city, quiet but proud.”—Rebecca Robertson, ART News

TO PRE-ORDER “MEMORY CITY” FROM RADIUS BOOKS (both trade edition and limited edition):

NEW WORKSHOP JUST ADDED: Finding Your Vision @ Fotografiska Museum, Stockholm, Saturday, June 7th-Wed. June 11, 2014:


©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Blue Secondhand Prom Dress, Rochester, NY, 2012,” from “Memory City” (with Alex Webb), Radius Books, late spring 2014


——Link to NEW YORK TIMES LENS blog Q&A with Jim Estrin & Alex and Mound Bayou slide show:


——Saturday May 3 thru Friday May 10, FINDING YOUR VISION, NEW YORK.  ONLY ONE SPOT left in this annual workshop. For more information including how to enroll, please visit:

——Friday, Dec. 13 thru Feb. 22, 2014: BEFORE THE SHIFT: The Early Black-and-White Work of Alex Webb, Lynne Cohen, Martin Parr, and Stephen Shore at at the Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago; opening reception with Alex, Friday, Dec. 13, 5:30-8pm:



©Alex Webb, “Mound Bayou, Mississippi, 1976,” reprinted in the NYTimes Lens Blog

TWO LOOKS: NYTimes, Nat’l Geographic

February 11, 2014

©Alex Webb, Mound Bayou, Mississippi, 1976

Q. Jim Estrin, New York Times Lens Blog:

Had you ever been to Mississippi before? Was it similar to anything you had seen before or different?

A.  Alex Webb:

It was my first trip to Mississippi. I had photographed in some small towns in Alabama prior to visiting Mound Bayou; however, those towns were segregated — unlike Mound Bayou, there were no black town officials, no black police officers, and if there were black-owned businesses, they were in the black part of town.

Visiting Mound Bayou for the first time, I was completely unprepared for the intensity of the emotional experience of being welcomed and embraced by a culture so different than my own. I recall one moment when Ellie, the woman whom I first met at Smitty’s, suddenly turned to me, reached up and put her two hands on either side of my head and said, “I ain’t never touched the hair of a white man before.” Needless to say, as a young, white kid from Cambridge, Mass., I was stunned and deeply moved.

Link to read the rest of the Q&A with Jim Estrin and see the complete Mound Bayou slide show:




©Alex Webb, Kumbh Mela in February 2014 issue of National Geographic Magazine


——Saturday May 3 thru Friday May 10, FINDING YOUR VISION, NEW YORK.  A few spots left in this annual workshop. For more information including how to enroll, please visit:

——Friday, Dec. 13 thru Feb. 22, 2014: BEFORE THE SHIFT: The Early Black-and-White Work of Alex Webb, Lynne Cohen, Martin Parr, and Stephen Shore at at the Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago; opening reception with Alex, Friday, Dec. 13, 5:30-8pm:



©Rebecca Norris Webb, Junipers, from A Field Guide to Silence

A shelter

or a ship

these junipers?


A black bough flies into the night.

Now even the snow

is the shadow of an owl.

—Rebecca Norris Webb, from “A Field Guide to Silence”

MY DAKOTA: Photo-Eye and Fraction

August 14, 2012


“This book of words and images is beautifully sad, sadly beautiful…The words and images work together to weave a deeper reading.

Looking for glimpses of the dead is not a new kind of quest in photography — we’ve been trying to make “spirit photographs” since the medium began. How Webb succeeds is through metaphor and symbol, which reveal themselves slowly as the pages turn. Her great loss is hidden in complex images that take several viewings to understand. They convey not just three but four dimensions.

On this journey through re-membered territory, the photographs illustrate the psychological and spiritual realities of the place. The barren land that is the Dakotas appears first, starting with the dust jacket image, a view of the Badlands through the greenish tint of a partially opened car window. Some patches of grass stubbornly cling to the sandy foreground, leading us to the striped mountains miles beyond. The frontispiece is of a buffalo glimpsed through a sideview mirror, seen as if on the other side of time. The Wild West, indeed.”—an excerpt from Ellen Wallenstein’s review of “My Dakota” in Fraction Magazine, August 2012


©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Rearview Mirror,” from the book, “My Dakota”


©Rebecca Norris Webb, “State Map,” from the book, “My Dakota”

“…The book is not wrapped in nostalgia. Its strength lies in the layered photographs where Norris Webb is looking for something in the distance, but what it is is not clear. It could be a memory. There is something between her and what is out there. Reflections and windows play an important role in layering the images with mystery and a sense of disconnectedness. Each photograph is open to interpretation and that room allows the reader to find their own memory of loss to complete it. The language of Norris Webb’s photographs is personal, but universal.

As an object the book has an intimate feel to it. It is sized 11½x9¾”, which forces one to bring the book closer. South Dakota is a land of open spaces and that feeling is repeated in the book with the use of white space and blank pages. The photographs are given room to breathe, to let the pain have space. One of the strongest elements of the book is the use of Norris Webb’s handwriting in pencil. It adds to the feeling of a journal. Her unique penmanship streams across pages connecting the pictures to her personal narrative. The handwriting and the photograph printed on the cover are extra details that set Radius Books apart from other publishers. 

Norris Webb sets the book up as an elegy for her brother. The sense of loss is palatable, but it feels like a love poem for the land and for her brother. It is a not a South Dakota that can be found on any map. It exists only in the book and comes through clearly.”—TOM LEININGER, an excerpt from his Photo-Eye review of “My Dakota”


©Rebecca Norris Webb, “High Winds,” from the book, “My Dakota”


––Friday Oct. 12 thru Sunday Oct. 14: Boston: Weekend Workshop, produced by the Robert Klein Gallery  Do you know where you’re going next with your photography –– or where it’s taking you?  This intensive weekend workshop will help photographers begin to understand their own distinct way of seeing the world.  It will also help photographers figure out their next step photographically  –– from deepening their own unique vision to the process of discovering and making a long-term project that they’re passionate about, as well as the process of how long-term projects evolve into books and exhibitions. A workshop for serious amateurs and professionals alike, it will taught by Alex and Rebecca, a creative team who often edit projects and books together –– including their joint book and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, exhibition, “Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba,” Alex’s recent Aperture book, “The Suffering of Light,” and Rebecca’s new Radius book, “My Dakota.” Included in the workshop will be an editing exercise as well as an optional photography assignment and long-term project review.  For more information –– including how to enroll and daily schedule –– please contact Maja at the Robert Klein Gallery:

––FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5TH, 7PM, THRU SUNDAY, OCT. 7TH, 6PM: “Finding Your Vision@ The Dahl Weekend Workshop with Alex and Rebecca Webb,” Rapid City, South Dakota.  Do you know where you are going with your photography — or where it is taking you? This workshop will include a gallery talk/walk through of the current “My Dakota” exhibit at The Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, and a digital assistant who can answer any your digital photography issues. Graduate and undergraduate college credit available for teachers and others who are interested. For all Colorado photographers interested in this workshop — or photographers who would like to fly into Denver — please note that Rapid City is only a six-hour drive from Denver, Colorado.  For more information click here.  If you have questions about the workshop, feel free to contact Rebecca directly at



––THURSDAY, JUNE 21, thru August 17, 2012: RICCO MARESCA GALLERY, NY: “Weather,” a group exhibition with a selection of photographs from MY DAKOTA, 6-8 pm.  


––SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 11-11:45: “Here and There: The Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb,” South Dakota Festival of Books, Orpheum Anne Zabel Theater, with “My Dakota” and “The Suffering of Light” book signing to follow at 1pm with other festival authors.


–FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 7-8:30pm: “Together and Apart: The Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb,” Dahl Arts Center, will include the “Our Dakota” slide show, Q&A with the Webbs, and book signing.

––JUNE-SEPTEMBER 2012: Launch of OUR DAKOTA Flickr site, an online photographic community  This Flickr group is open to all photographers 15 and older with a present or past connection to South Dakota.  Here is the link to the first assignment. There will be three assignments posted during the course of the “My Dakota” exhibition at the Dahl, and the group will culminate in an “Our Dakota” slide show to be show both at the SD Festival of Books in Sioux Falls the last week in September 2012 and at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City on Friday, Oct. 5th, at 7pm.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 7-8:30 PM: Slide Talk with Alex and Rebecca in the Fort Point arts neighborhood of Boston, a talk which is free and open to the public

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 4-5PM: Gallery Talk/Walk Through with Rebecca of her “My Dakota” show with the Robert Klein Gallery at Ars Libri, followed by a Q&A with Rebecca and Alex, who edited “My Dakota” with Rebecca.





Rebecca’s “My Dakota” work in Ricco Maresca Gallery’s “Weather” show in New York City.  The last day of the show is Friday, August 17th.

FOUR CONTINENTS: 17 Photographers

December 21, 2010

We invited photographers we’ve met in workshops around the world — and through this blog — to help us celebrate the holidays by posting a photograph and giving us an update about their work.  So here are images from 17 photographers from FOUR CONTINENTS around the world.

To everyone in our online photographic community, we’d like to wish you a holiday season filled with joy and love. –– Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Matthew Goddard-Jones, New York, 2010


Congratulations to Australian photographer, MATTHEW GODDARD-JONES, whose above photograph was a finalist for a National Geographic prize.  Matt took this photograph during our Master Class this past May in New York.

Matthew Goddard-Jones website

Bill McCullough

Austin-based photographer, BILL MCCULLOUGH, often finds moments on the edges of the weddings he photographs professionally — and passionately, too.  “I love and am obsessed with what I do,” says Bill, who is also a musician. The above is from his limited edition book, “Technicolor Life: American Wedding,’ which you can peruse (and order!) online.

Bill McCullough website

Wenjie Yang, "Low City" exhibition

Chinese photographer, WENJIE YANG — who some of you know as “BaiBai” from the Oslo Magnum Workshop — has been quite busy working on personal projects as well as photographing for clients since she graduated recently from the ICP photography program.  For those in New York, be sure and visit her current exhibition, “Low City, Photographs from Chongqing,” at the Chinese-American Arts Council in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Wenjie Yang website

Wenjie Yang blog

Magdalena Sole, from her upcoming book, "New Delta Rising"

New York-based photographer, MAGDALENA SOLE (who some of you know from the Magnum New York Workshop or the Venice Workshop), is finishing her first book of photographs, which is about the Mississippi Delta.  Called “New Delta Rising,” the book will be released next year by the Dreyfus Health Foundation and distributed by the University of Mississippi Press.  It includes a essay by southern writer, Rick Bragg, and was one of those rare books by another photographer that we chose to edit this year.  You’ll read more about Magdalena’s book next year on this blog, after it’s released.

Magdalena Sole website.

Lisen Stibeck, Palestinian refugee camp, Beirut, Lebanon, 2010

Swedish photographer, LISEN STIBECK, is working on a recent project that has taken her to this refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut (above), as well as to other struggling neighborhoods around the globe, including those in Syria, Lebanon, and, next year, Mexico.  Lisen’s project arose from the work she’s been doing at an orphanage in Marrakesh, where she is currently mentoring teenaged girls.

Lisen Stibeck’s website

Alessandro Marchi

Italian photographer, ALESSANDRO MARCHI, who some of you met in the Lucca Workshop, has photographs that will be exhibited as part of the Format International Photography Festival from March 4, 2011- to April, 3, 2011, in Derby, UK.   Here is a link to the series that will be shown called, “Floating Between Possible Breakdowns.”

You can also see a multimedia presentation of his work from another project, DZMK, in which Alessandro has been photographing many of the workers in a steel factory in southeastern Kazakhstan.

Alessandro Marchi website

Dimitri Mellos, New York, 2010

Above is an image from a long-term street photography project by Greek photographer, DIMITRI MELLOS, on New York City, called “Its Strangest Patterns,” a title inspired by a wonderful quote by novelist Joseph O’Neill.  Some of you met Dimitri at either the Magnum New York Workshop or the first Photo Project Workshop in Dumbo, Brooklyn, this past fall.  We will feature more from his project on the blog next year in an upcoming UNBOUND column.

Dimitri Mellos website

Tone Elin Solholm, cover of her new book, "The Giants' Living Room"

Norwegian designer and photographer, TONE ELIN SOLHOLM — from both the Venice and Barcelona workshops — had her new book, “The Giants’ Living Room,” featured in a recent NEW BOOK column on the blog, a book with a prose poem written by Rebecca called, “Remember When the World Had Seven Rooms…”  To see more images from Tone’s book — and to order a copy of the trade edition or the limited edition of the book — visit Tone’s website below.

Tone Elin Solholm website

Yvonne Liu, Toronto, 2010

Some of you met Chinese photographer, YVONNE LIU, at the Toronto Magnum Workshop in May this past year, in which she took the above photograph.  Although relatively new to photography, Yvonne’s enthusiasm and grace and compassion inspired many of us who have been photographing much longer.   She’s currently working on a new project in Tibet, and will be, we’re sure, an invaluable member of our upcoming Hong Kong Workshop in January.

Yvonne Liu website

Shea Naer

LA-based photographer, SHEA NAER, from our New York Master Class last May in Dumbo, had seven portraits from her series, “Pugilists” published in the NYC journal, Canteen, this past summer.  This coincided with a group exhibition, which included some of this same work, at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn last August.

Shea Naer website

David Bacher, Sud Tirol, 2010

“At least once a year I visit the South Tirol, which is the area where my father was born. It is like a pilgrimage back to his roots and mine as well, as my parents often took me there when I was growing up. This past October I spent a week near the town of Brixen with my father. One of the neighboring valleys is called the Vilnösstal. It is where the mountaineer Rheinhold Messner grew up and is the location of one of the most famous and breathtaking massifs in the Dolomites, the “Geislergebiet.”

Being near the mountain fills me with an overwhelming source of energy, purpose, and place. It is the most beautiful place I know.” — David Bacher

David Bacher website

Francois Dagenais

Canadian cinematographer and photographer, FRANCOIS DAGENAIS, currently has work included in three group exhibitions in the U.S., including “HumanKind,” a juried invitational photo exhibition at the powerHouse Arena that opened on December 17th, and “Scene on the Street: Photos from Public Places,” at the Vermont Photo Space Gallery, an exhibition which was curated by National Geographic photographer and VII member, Ed Kashi.

Francois Dagenais website

Justin Partyka, Isleham, Cambridgeshire, 2010

“This year I was commissioned by the publishers Full Circle Editions to produce a new photo essay to appear in their reissue of the classic oral history collection ‘Fenwomen,’ first published by Virago in 1975.

The essay I have produced, ‘Black Fen they call it….’ (taken from the first line of the book) was made in and around the village of Isleham in the Cambridgeshire Fens, where the oral history was originally collected by the author Mary Chamberlain. Twenty-three photographs will be featured in the book.

The book went to press on 29 November, and will be available in January. A series of events and exhibitions are currently being planned for 2011. Details of the book are available from the publishers website, where the book can also be ordered.”–Justin Partyka

Justin Partyka website

Thomas Lindahl Robinson, Cuba

THOMAS LINDAHL ROBINSON is continuing to work on his long-term project on Cuba, and the above photograph is from this series.  Thomas is also working on a project on China, which is not yet up on the website below, as well as blogging.

Thomas Lindahl Robinson website

Thomas Lindahl Robinson blog

Steinar Haugland, cover of his Blurb book, "Aloneliness"

Norwegian photographer, STEINAR HAUGLAND, who some of you met during the Venice Workshop, has published his first Blurb book, “Aloneliness,” and you’ll find the cover above.

Steinar Haugland Blurb book, Aloneliness

Uwe Schober

“This summer in Spain, I have been working on a series that I have named ‘Perturbadora Pasión | Disturbing Passion | After Francisco Zurbarán.’ The idea came when I was walking through the streets of Barcelona at night and saw all the homeless people sleeping in church entrances, on benches, shops and restaurants. The characteristically yellow light reminded me of Goya and especially of Zurbarán. So I decided to photograph the homeless in just that way with a reference to Spanish masters of the 17th century – not to mock the homeless, quite the opposite: to give them a different voice.  I will exhibit part of the series in a group exhibition this winter in the ‘atelier freier fotografen’ in Berlin.”–Uwe Schober

Uwe Schober’s website

David Belay, Istanbul, 2010


“I was drawn to Istanbul both by Alex’s book and by the many things I had heard about Istanbul from so many different people. I found a city that is so complex and multifaceted that, in my opinion, the best way to try and capture its spirit is just to ‘sample’ it, as in this wonderful enumeration of places, moments, etc. in the essay by Orhan Pamuk featured at the end of Alex’s book. It seems to me that a collection of pictures is just the visual equivalent of that, and therefore that photography is a great medium to approach this unique city.”–David Belay

To see more of David Belay’s photographs