Fine Art Photography Daily

The Lenscratch 2017 Favorite Things


©Aline Smithson, Saving this for my granddaughter, Los Angeles, CA

2017 started off with the panic of an administration change and the profound experience of attending the Women’s March in Los Angeles along with 750,000 of our closest friends, mirrored by actions of millions of protesters around the globe. It’s been a most unusual year filled with a full range of emotions, but we want to end it with a few of our Favorite Things.

Aline Smithson, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Favorite Posts: The 2017 Women’s March Exhibition

Creating the 2017 Women’s March Exhibition was a massive undertaking. We received hundreds and hundreds of images and the whole staff stepped up to the plate to create the exhibition. We all felt honored to share these powerful documents of free speech.

Favorite New Photo Festival: Click Festival of Photography, Durham, NC:

I don’t know what it is about Southerners, but they sure know how to have a good time, where art is celebrated with laughter, music, and incredible hospitality. The Click Festival of Photography put a new twist on the review template, limiting the number of participants and having reviews last for 30 minutes, plus a wonderful addition to the portfolio walk was the offering of cocktails and appetizers.  And who doesn’t love a closing party with amazing BBQ and dancing. Fun times, great art, and even better people.

Favorite Thing: Eric Joseph at Freestyle Photo

Eric Joseph has changed my world in terms of ink jet printing–not only me, but dare I say, hundreds of photographers in Los Angeles and around the country. No one understands paper and printing like Eric and he has opened my eyes to all the possibilities of what a proper combination of ink on paper can produce.  His commitment to bringing a level of excellence to a photographer’s practice, elevating their art and craft, is truly unparalleled. I feel so grateful to call him a friend.

I have also kissed my dying, now dead, Epson printer goodbye and moved on to Canon for a new era in printing.

Headshot 1 BW small contrasty

Eric Joseph photographed by Steve Reisch Photography


My new printer (yay!)

Remembering: Judy Sherrod.

Community activist, rabble-rouser, cheerleader, supporter of all things photographers and photography, Cyanotype champion, tinkerer, photographer, a very much missed friend.

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Judy as a tiny dancer

Grant Gill, Special Projects and Content Aware Editor

Favorite BookNatalie Krick’s Natural Deceptions from Skylark Editions

©Natalie Krick, Mom and Hillary and our Hands, Natural Deceptions

Favorite Photograph: Shawn Bush, from The Golden State

©Shawn Bush

Favorite Exhibition: Ryan Oskin, Subdivision, Rubber Factory, New York, NY

©Ryan Oskin

Remembering: Ren Heng

©Ren Heng

Clay Lipsky, Art Director

Favorite Photograph: Jeff Bridges

An image by Jeff Bridges that is equal parts movie magic, nostalgia, film photography, panorama goodness, excellent composition and full on Lebowski. A unicorn of a photo in my book, one which I truly abide by. Sidetone: recently lost out at acquiring this at an auction, it still stings.


©Jeff Bridges, The Big Lebowski

Favorite Thing: The iPad Pro w/Apple Pencil

The iPad Pro w/Apple Pencil is the pinnacle of current technology for me. It’s no hover board but fulfills the promise of an accessory one would have seen in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It has inspired me to get back to my illustration roots with the incredible app “Procreate” and ironically even got me to put it down and go draw…analog. 


Apple’s iPad Pro

Favorite Book: Anne Berry’s, Charles Darwin 

Disclaimer: I don’t actually own this BUT Anne Berry’s “Charles Darwin” @ 21st Editions looks epic. I remember being struck by this work many, many years ago at the original PhotoLA (RIP). It makes total sense that the artisans at 21st would give it the royal treatment. Looks like Darwin should be proud.


©Anne Berry, Charles Darwin

Sarah Stankey, Editor-at-Large, Contributing Writer

Favorite Thing: Polaroid re-releases their line of instant film and cameras! I always knew they would, they were just waiting for the most profitable moment to make it official again. No matter the reason, I am so excited that I can finally use my old cameras again.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 12.26.59 PM

Favorite Book: New book by one of my favorite artists, Rinko Kawauchi,Halo” is released through Aperture Foundation. All her books are beautiful, I highly recommend any of her past publications as well.


Linda Alterwitz, Art + Science Editor

Favorite Photography Project: My favorite photography project I discovered this year is by 3hund. I absolutely love the video and stills from the project LUCID by artists Tarek Mawad and Friedrich Van Schoor. Here is the post I wrote on LUCID for Lenscratch.

LUCID from 3hund on Vimeo.

Another Favorite Lenscratch post: Tobia Makeover: Myself a Memory
I love this work and the interactive installation!  So moving on many levels.

©Tobia Makeover Installation

Favorite charitable non-profit organization: Project Imagine
Project Imagine is an Arts in Medicine Program designed to help children who are hospitalized deal with the pain, anxiety, and feelings of isolation that can often accompany prolonged illness. Project Imagine coordinates artists to provide one-on-one and group art and music enrichment sessions,  allowing pediatric patients a chance to step outside their circumstances and explore their creativity.
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Project Imagine

Katie Harwood, Marketing Director

Favorite Book: The Thing The Book: A Monument to the Book as Object by Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan
Fantastic, humorous, educational, delightful read. I love having this on my shelf.


The Thing The Book book cover

Favorite Exhibition: Home: American Photography at The CU Art Museum,  curated by Hope Saska. March 2 – July 15, 2017
Is home “where the heart is”? Is it a building, a landscape or a state of mind? Drawn from the photography collection of the CU Art Museum, Home investigates how American photographers working from the late 1800s to today have engaged with these questions. Through a presentation of landscapes, family photos and candid portraits visitors are invited to consider central themes of the exhibition, including environment, nostalgia and family.

I loved seeing this theme represented through out photo history on the wall of the CU Art Museum. I was amazed at the depth and quality of the Museum’s collection. Who knew! The curation and gallery design was stellar. And I was extremely honored to have two of my prints included in this show.


©Katie Harwood

Favorite Photograph: The Donald Trump Family Photo
This image was sent to me the year by Linda Connor as inspiration or pure “must-see”. I don’t know where she came across this but the image has stuck in my brain. You can read more here.

Jonas Yip, Digital Architect

JY-LS-FavThings-2017Left: Favorite Book: At the 2017 LA Art Book Fair came across this lovely series of photo books from Hoxton Mini Press, an indie publisher in East London primarily featuring work about East London. Couldn’t buy them all, and couldn’t buy just one, so I left with these two.

Center: Favorite Exhibition: I didn’t know this exhibit was happening and was glad I stumbled upon it: Brian Eno Lightforms/Soundforms at the Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona featuring three floors devoted to Eno’s light and sound installations, which are something one needs to experience in person, naturally.
Right: Favorite Thing: Having fun with all sorts of quirky, fun, esoteric lenses coming from Chinese lens manufacturers, like this (relatively) cheap 35mm f/0.95 hunk of metal and glass, or the really cheap CCTV lens in back, adapted for micro 4/3 or APS mirrorless cameras.

Daniel McCullough, Lenscratch Editorial Assistant

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©Amani WIllett

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Book cover of The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer

I have had a few books that I have really fallen in love with this year but this one is old but has recently come into my possession and that I have found myself returning to often is “Nothing” by John Gossage.

ICP Photobook Flip: Nothing by John Gossage from ICP on Vimeo.

Valerie Patterson, Social Media Editor

Favorite Post: The 2017 Women’s March Exhibition

The day of the Women’s March was one of my favorite days of 2017, and the first sign of a silver lining since the election.


© Ashley Comer, Daughter and Father, Washington DC

Favorite Book: Kim Haughton, Portrait of a Century, published by The Lilliput Press

This year I spent some time in Ireland for an Artist Residency and had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Kim Haughton . Upon being introduced to her work, I fell in love with Kim’s beautiful book and brilliant portraits.


Book cover for Portrait of a Century


@Kim Haughton, Portrait of Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga

Favorite Product: Cinestill Film

Cinestill 800 Tungsten is hands down my favorite analog item of the year. The cool blue hues and cinematic tones make me feel like I am on set of a Quentin Tarantino or David Lynch film, and inspire me to continue shooting film forever.


Daniel Chung, Lenscratch Editorial Assistant

Favorite Post: Celebrating Ren Hang

©Ren Hang

Favorite Book: Alec Soth’s Gathered Leaves Book


©Alec Soth, Gathered Leaves


©Rashid Johnson, Community

Patty Lemke: Resource Editor
Favorite Book: the re issue of Nancy Rexroth’s Iowa

©Nancy Rexroth, Iowa


©Nancy Rexroth, Moth

Favorite Post: The 2017 Women’s March Exhibition


© Joan Lobis Brown, Women’s March NYC #1, New York, NY

Favorite Event: Graciela Iturbide lecture at USC in October


©Graciela Iturbide, Self-portrait

Dana Stirling: Contributing Writer

Favorite Discovery:  definitely ‘The Photo Show‘ photography podcast that is run by Michael Chovan-Dalton and Kai McBride.
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Tara Cronin, Hawaii States Project Editor and Contributing Writer

Favorite Gift: “a wonderful and mesmerizing gift given to me by my friend Minny Lee — my former advisor & professor Moyra Davey’s book Les Goddesses; Hemlock Forest”.

17265750_1906659109577498_6212819435187601408_nFavoriteMovie:  “a revisit to an awesomely executed reminder of truth regarding limitation!  Lars Von Trier’s and Jørgen Leth’s film ‘The Five Obstructions.

Favorite quote: a line I came accross in one of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s works:   “I arise and unbuild it again.”   Something I return to often in my mind and that I am taking to heart as I currently make a new body of work.

Brian Van de Wetering, Managing Editor

Favorite Thing:

The Blackwing Palomino pencil. Revered by famous writers, artist, and composers, it’s perfect for signing prints and has a most wonderful pencil smell.

Screen Shot 2017-12-16 at 9.30.36 PMFavorite Book:

Rocky Schenck’s book The Recurring Dream. It is magical and inspiring.

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Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.

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