Fine Art Photography Daily

Lenscratch Staff : Our Favorite Things 2014


Some of our Favorite Things….”4003 – Zermatt – Restaurant Weisshorn” by Andrew Bossi

First a huge thank you to the Lenscratch readers. We truly appreciate your support and your part in creating this community. We have lots of new ideas for 2015 and look forward to sharing them in the near future.

In 2014, we posted 365 days, shared the work of hundreds of photographers, featured numerous Mixtapes and had a dozen exhibitions of your work.  We produced interviews and articles and provided resources for photography opportunities. We created T-shirts and took on advertising to help pay our hosting bills.  We also featured the Lenscratch Student Awards and this year’s winner, Frances F. Denny, went on to garner much success with her project.  We had several guest editors, Yijun (Pixy) LiaoHye-Ryoung MinYoichi NagataMariela Sancari,  Kat Kiernan, and Dan Shepherd sharing the work of photographers from around the world and contributing writers Greer MuldowneyRebecca SenfAlexa DilworthHamidah GlasgowTsuyoshi Ito, Elisa Ferrari and Eliza Lamb sharing photographers and ideas close to home.

At the heart of the site is a dedicated staff : Exhibitions Editors and Contributing WritersGrant Gill and Sarah J. Stankey each month spend hours and hours compiling the monthly exhibitions and they also contribute posts when time allows.  Grant lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and works as the Assistant Registrar at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.  Sarah lives in Madison, Wisconsin and when not taking photographs works for several charitable organizations including the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. I so appreciate their point of view, their rarified taste, and ceaseless enthusiasm. The rest of the staff is Los Angeles based — Clay Lipsky is the Lenscratch Art Director and his design sense can be felt throughout the site and beyond.  From our t-shirts, tote bags, and business cards, to the logo and the layout, Clay’s design fingerprints are evident in all things Lenscratch. Besides being a talented photographer, Clay works as an Art Director for FOX Sports, designing the graphic look of TV shows and sports networks. Managing EditorPauline Gola has been a tremendous help with the technical side of Lenscratch. Her background as a marketing director (and NYC DJ) has also made Lenscratch financially viable by leading us into advertising and steering me through the process. Resource EditorMindi LaRose has been tireless in her pursuit providing rich resource pages, juggling those duties with a full course load in Graphic Design at UCLA extension after a career as a photojournalist.  Jonas Yip our superb Digital Architect, built the site from the ground up is always ready and able when trouble is afoot.  His genius is at the core of the site and I will be forever grateful. When not crafting in the digital world, Jonas is a terrific photographic story teller with a great sensitivity to his place in the world, and lastly, Social Media EditorValerie Patterson has worked hard to increase our social media presence this year.  Val is a talented photographer and runs the photo lab at Samy’s Camera in Culver City. “Film is definitely still alive and kicking”.  My deepest thanks to all.

And so as we begin the new year with fresh enthusiasm and ideas for the future, we thought we would share some of our favorite things from 2014.

GRANT GILL: Lenscratch Exhibitions Editor and Contributing Writer

What was your favorite Lenscratch post in 2014?
Starting off 2014, Lenscratch featured Pixy Liao. Humor in art, especially in photography, is important. Pixy’s work examines playful tones of sexual exploration, and is smart in conveying not-so-subtle innuendo.

Pixy Liao_04_pingpong_balls-651x496 What is your favorite photo book?
I really connected with McNair Evans’ Confessions for a Son. His book reads like a short story, though the work was anything but short coming about nine years after the death of his father. Evans’ photographs accumulate during a time when reflection was ready to begin. I am drawn to the dark undertones scattered throughout the story, and satisfied with the ideation of resolved grief.

McNair Evans_OT_CFAS_Cover-554x700

Confessions for a Son, published by Owl & Tiger Books

What is your favorite place to take photographs?
I have a love/hate relationship with Milwaukee’s Lakefront.

What photographer inspired you the most in 2014?
I am constantly inspired by the makings of Mark Dorf. Graphically, the photographs are wicked. Conceptually, I would say I am drawn by his ideas of space, time, and the algorithms nature is made up of. Emergence #16 Most important 2014 fashion item for photographers.
Let’s not forget the summer of flower beards.


image by Ashley Thalman

Your main form of social media in 2014?
Instagram. Follow (instagrantgill)

Favorite Selfie of 2014

sefie 2014 Gill Favorite photograph of 2014

Favorite photo2014

Viral snapshot of Ukrainian Parliament

SARAH STANKEY: Lenscratch Exhibitions Editor and Contributing Writer

What was your favorite Lenscratch post in 2014?
Ysabel Lemay: Gracia, November 30, 2014 This was a fairly recent post, I just can’t get this work out of my head. Ysabel Lemays mixed media work, Gracia. I love these images and the new ways that she is using different medias in photography.


©Ysabel LeMay

What was your Favorite Book of 2014?
Camille Seaman: Melting Away. Her work is so beautiful and the environmental message is strong. What is your favorite place to take photographs?
On the road and Tenney Park in Madison, WI


©Sarah Stankey

What photographer inspires you the most?
Rinko Kawauchi


@Rinko Kawauchi

How do you spend your free time?
Hiking, camping, bicycling and oh uh, making pictures.

Favorite new food?
Masala Dosa, amazing herb and potato filled heaven.

2014 Photographer Fashion Item?
A cat

Favorite Selfie?stankey_selfie2014

MINDI LA ROSE: Lenscratch Resource Editor

What was your favorite Lenscratch post in 2014?
Gabriela Herman: Rodeo Queens, Nov. 29, 2014; Candid and vibrant, rough and glamourous all come to mind with Gabriela Herman’s Rodeo Queens’ series.


©Gabriela Herman, from Rodeo Queens

What is your favorite photo book?
For 2014, my favorite photo book is Gordon Stettinius and Terry Brown’s social experiment, Mangini Studio. The humor, the fun and the brilliance of his ideas thrill me. Stettinius’ body of work on Americana is also really fabulous.113-632x700What is your favorite place to take photographs?
My alley (it has great backdrops for portraits), or any party or event where people don’t know I’m taking the photos.

What photographer inspires you the most?
Arnold Newman inspires me. I attended his exhibition this month at the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum. His whole body of work was amazing. His point of view is so strong. I took a picture of my favorite photo in the gallery … in the lower third of the photo sits a politician at his desk and in the upper third of the photo, a giant ceiling fan . Brilliant story teller. Arnold Newman How do you spend your free time?
Travel, photography, family time, social media and cleaning the house.

CLAY LIPSKY: Lenscratch Art Director

What was your favorite Lenscratch post in 2014?
The inspired work of Michael Donnor made me stop in my tracks and reevaluate what’s possible with photography.


©Michael Donner

What is your favorite photo book of 2014?
Black Forest: Four Visible Poems,  Edited by Russell Joslin (Candela Books 2014) Russell Joslin bring his curatorial genius from Shots Mag to this volume, which delivers a hefty dose of the transcendent and surreal that is always refreshing for me against the ever abundance of documentary photo books.22-583x700 What is your favorite place to take photographs in 2014?
Lost in transportation amongst the metro train systems of Tokyo, Japan.

Which is your favorite photo taken in 2014?
Taken while wandering the streets of Kyoto at night.


©Clay Lipsky

What photographer inspired you the most in 2014?
Cristina De Middel was already on my radar but her book  “Party. Quotations from Chairman Mao TseTung” really spoke to me, especially after a recent trip to China. It was a project that was much different from her previous effort but still felt relative to the artist’s core ethos. I was lucky enough to meet her and pick up a copy during Paris Photo LA.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 6.46.18 PM

Party. Quotations from Chairman Mao TseTung ©Cristina DeMiddel

How do you spend your free time in 2014?
Creating more, exhibiting and promoting less.

Favorite selfie?ClaySelfie

PAULINE GOLA: Lenscratch Managing Editor

What was your favorite Lenscratch post in 2014?
Nadine Boughton’s fabulous collage project, Fortune and the Feminine:

NB Venus Rising

What is your favorite photo book of 2014?

Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960 by Robert Hirsch (Focal Press 2014) An incredible collection of artists and alchemists pushing the boundaries of experimental photography.110-542x700

In terms of monographs, there are none more colorful or fun than Nancy Baron’s The Good Life > Palm Springs (Kehrer, 2014)

What is your favorite photo you took in 2014?

Earth and Dust

©Pauline Gola

JONAS YIP: Lenscratch Digital Architect

What was your favorite Lenscratch post in 2014?
Although I enjoy the daily discovery of individual photographers’ latest projects, my favorite posts are the exhibitions where we get to see the fabulous work Lenscratch readers are creating. The “Shut Eye” exhibition stood out for me this year.


Bruce ©Michael Comeau, Brooklyn, NY from the ShutEye Exhibition

What was your Favorite photo book of 2014?
Small Things in Silence“, Masao Yamamoto (Published by RM/Seigensha) Beautiful quiet photo book that spans twenty years of Masao Yamamoto’s career.


Also: “Party: Quotations from Chairman Mao TseTung“, Cristina de Middel’s brilliant reworking of Mao’s little red book. I guess it actually came out in 2013, but I only discovered it this past year. Also published by RM.


Favorite place to photograph in 2014?
Everywhere? I don’t really make outings specifically to photograph and instead just make pictures whenever, wherever I am. My favorite is when I’m able to produce a compelling photograph while in a mundane place doing mundane things.

How did you spend my free time in 2014?
I spend a lot of time creating, switching between music and photography, always starting new projects or experimenting with new techniques. Unfortunately, I don’t spend enough of that time actually finishing things.

A photographer you discovered in 2014?
Shoji Ueda

Not a new photographer by any means. And not at all unknown, since he has a museum dedicated to him. But new to me as I only discovered his work when someone brought me one of his photo books from Japan. I was immediately drawn to his strong graphical compositions.2014-Jonas-Ueda

What Photographers inspired you in 2014?
I’ve been inspired by the random photographers that I’ve stumbled across on Instagram, particularly those who consistently produce visually interesting work on their phones, making full use of the tools available and taking advantage of the quirks that others might consider shortcomings. Some of the photographers have formed Instagram collectives so it’s easy get a taste of their work. For example, check out @hikari.creative or @tiny_collective

What was your main Social Media outlet in 2014?
Instagram. You can find me at @jonasyip

Favorite selfie?
Well, a self-portrait, anyway. From an ongoing series, “Self-Imposed“.2014-Jonas-Selfie

VALERIE PATTERSON: Lenscratch Social Media Editor

What was your favorite Lenscratch post in 2014?
Pauline Gola and her incredible body of work, In the Deep. What is your favorite photo book?
My favorite photo book of 2014 is Film Noir by Taschen.Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 9.21.36 AM My all-time favorite photo book is Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills.

What is your favorite place to take photographs?
Wherever there is a castle or natural body of water…the ocean, a river, a stream, a lake, a waterfall. A castle surrounded by a moat gives me and my camera major goosebumps.

What photographer inspires you the most?
A three-way tie between Cindy Sherman, Nick Knight and Alex Prager.

How do you spend your free time?
Usually at a movie theater, a bowling alley, a casino, a forest, taking belly dance classes, drinking coffee or driving around Los Angeles in search of new and tasty foods to eat.

ALINE SMITHSON: Lenscratch Founder and Editor

What was your favorite post of 2014?
Needless to say, this is a really, really tough question, as all the posts are my babies…so I’ll break it down into categories:
Favorite Exhibition: The Shut Eye Exhibition
I was surprised about how much I loved the Shut Eye exhibition. There is definitely power in the closed eye.


Gina Cholick, Allison, Los Angeles, CA

Favorite Interview: David Carol: Interview with an Irreverent Master
David is a friend and I know he has a wry, irreverent sense of humor and it allowed me to be a more humorous interviewer and have fun.  I think we both loved how it turned out.


©David Carol

Favorite Mixtape: Elizabeth Avedon
Elizabeth changed the Mixtape game with her in depth sharing about her growing up and career. It was a complete pleasure to get to know her on a whole new level.


Elizabeth Avedon by Jerry Atnip

Favorite Post of Vintage Work: Bill Yates: Sweetheart Roller Rink

I was so happy to draw attention to this terrific project.  After the work appeared on Lenscratch, it went viral, garnering Bill a museum exhibition and much more.


©Bill Yates

Daniel W. Coburn‘s series, The Heredity Estate, really made me think about the ability to tell a personal photographic story, layered with not only amazing images but artistic interpretations of family. A masterful body of work.


©Daniel W. Coburn

Favorite Book of 2014?
Roger Ballen’s new project, book, and video, Asylum of the Birds, is quite remarkable and inspires me immensely.asylum-cover

Most important 2014 fashion item for photographers?

The braid.

Smithson_Jocelyn in the Ivy

©Aline Smithson

The hat.  David Emmit Adams and Claire Warden…you know what I’m talking about.

Hat on Suitcase

©Aline Smithson

Favorite Collaboration of 2014?
Stuart Pilkington’s The Swap, where photographers were asked to photograph each other. Thank you to my friend Hiroshi Watanabe.


Aline Smithson by Hiroshi Watanabe


Hiroshi Watanabe by Aline Smithson

Favorite Collectives of 2014?
Of course, I have to say that the Six Shooters Collective is my all time favorite. It’s been such a labor of love to look for visual connections each week. Six Shooters was founded in 2012 by Nancy BaronNoelle GilbertCat GwynnHeidi LenderAline Smithson, and Ashly Stohl. After reaching 500 images, two of the original Six Shooters, Heidi Lender and Ashly Stohl, moved onto other projects and we welcomed Eleonora Ronconi and Bootsy Holler into the conversation.Screen shot 2015-01-01 at 10.11.12 PM

I am also impressed by the collective, The Posse, consisting of some of the most innovative and creative Southern photographers: Anne Berry, Ann George, Bryce Lankard, Lori Vrba, and S. Gayle Stevens. It was great to see their amazing exhibition at the Slow Exposure Festival.Got-Posse_-1-651x591

 How do you spend your free time?
What’s that?

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