Fine Art Photography Daily

2021 Lenscratch Staff Favorites

Maple donut copy

©Aline Smithson, Maple Donut

At the end of each year, we ask the staff to share a few of their favorite things. Hope you enjoy!

Aline Smithson, Based in Los Angeles, California, Founder, Editor-in-Chief (@alinesmithson)(@lenscratch)

Favorite Lenscratch post of 2021: The 2021 Lenscratch Student Prize First Place Winner: Allie Tsubota

Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 7.05.16 AM copyWhat can I say, announcing the Student Prize winners each year is like Christmas morning. This year’s group of artists is stellar and it has been a privledge to get to know them and witness their successes.

Favorite Book of 2021: Paula Riff: Works on Paper
Paula-Riff-book-coverThis is a personal favorite as it celebrates the work of remarkable artist and my dear friend, Paula Riff. In her final months, I encouraged her to focus on creating a legacy of her work. Photographer and friend, Susan Swihart, picked up the ball and designed and navigated this wonderful tribute to a wonderful artist.

Favorite Binge Watch:
Currently, How to With John Wilson on HBO–earlier in the year, it was Zero Zero Zero and Green Frontier. Trust me, there were many more!

Favorite Song of 2021:
I’ve always been a big Beck fan (we went to the same junior high and High School) but after watching the documentary series, Lenox Hill, that used his song Wave in the soundtrack to describe the effects of Covid on a hospital, I can’t get that song out of my head. It speaks to this moment in time.

Current Favorite Photo by someone else: Barbara Bosworth’s photograph of bear bones

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©Barbara Bosworth, from One Star and a Dark Voyage

Favorite Photo that I took:

©AlineSmithson_FSR #24

©Aline Smithson, Fugue State Revisited #24

New Food Discovery: 2021 was a deep dive into my neighborhood cuisine: Persian. I have mastered Muhammara dip and garlic labne.

A self-realization for 2021: Everything is fleeting. Seize the day.

Linda Alterwitz, Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Art + Science Editor (@lindaalterwitz)

Favorite Lenscratch Post of 2020: Rebecca Cummins: Art + Science Award

Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 6.59.07 AMFavorite book of 2021:

Standing Together: Inez Milholland’s Final Campaign for Women’s Suffrage by Jeanine Michna-Bales, published by MW Editions.

standingtogether_coverFavorite Photograph by someone else:

Marcus DeSieno from Recognition Patterns: A Coded Gaze


©Marcus DeSieno

Favorite Photograph that I took:

The installation at the New Mexico Museum of Art in exhibition Breath Taking, a 12-panel installation from the series Just Breathe, curated by Kate Ware,

Screen Shot 2021-12-20 at 1.55.19 PMFavorite song/artist of 2021: The song Only Us from the play Dear Evan Hansen

Favorite binge watch of 2021:  The Morning Show

A self-realization for 2021: Try not to take things (including myself) too seriously, except for science. Don’t ignore that.

Macaulay Lerman, Based in Burlington, Vermont, Lenscratch Content Editor (@macaulaylerman)

Screen Shot

Favorite Book of 2021: The Overstory by Richard Powers

Favorite Photograph by someone else: Barbara Bosworth – Hounds at Tree
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©Barbara Bosworth, Hounds at Tree

 Favorite Photograph that I took:

©Macaulay Lerman, Gardener

Favorite song/artist of 2021 In Normal Ways by Gia Margaret

Favorite binge watch of 2021: Succession

Michael Honegger, Based in Nice France, Content Editor (@michaelhoneggerphotos)

Favorite Lenscratch Post of 2021: Text + Image: Alec Soth and Christopher Fausto Cabrera: The Parameters of Out Cage

Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 7.43.52 AMa stellar interview connecting so many important contemporary themes in both photography and in life.

Favorite book of 2021Blue Violet by Cig Harvey

Blue Violet…because I shared this with my 97 year old mother and we took turns absorbing the luscious pages in sheer joy.


Favorite Photograph by someone else: Saidou Dicko, Elegance

Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 7.48.34 AM

©Saidou Dicko, Elegance

Favorite Photograph that I took: The Geometry Lesson


©Michael Honegger, The Geometry Lesson

Favorite song/artist of 2021: The Hot Sardines, Welcome Home, Bon Voyage

Favorite binge watch of 2021: Mare of Easttown

A self-realization for 2021: Trying to remember what democracy once looked like in America.

Clay Lipsky, Based in Los Angeles, CA, Lenscratch Art Director (@goclaygo)

Favorite Lenscratch post of 2021: Artist, Innovator, Friend: Remembering Paula Riff

Screen Shot 2021-12-30 at 4.58.05 PMA sad loss, a beautiful friend, an empowered artist. RIP Paula

Favorite Book of 2021: Anne Berry, Behind Glass

Don’t actually have this yet, but having seen the prints firsthand I’m already in love.

BehindGlasscoverFavorite Photograph by someone else: Natalie Obermaier

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Natalie Obermaier @kobramaier

Favorite Photograph that YOU took:

Screen Shot 2021-12-30 at 5.06.00 PM copy

©Clay Lipsky, @goclaygo

Favorite song/artist of 2021: Koffee “Toast”

Favorite binge watch of 2021:

Squid Games

A new realization:

Life is short. Just do it (whatever “it” is).


 Emily Wall, Based in East Greenbush, NY, Lenscratch Intern  (@emilyannwall)

Favorite Post of 2021: Lenscratch Student Prize Award Honorable Mention: Lois Bielefeld

Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 8.06.20 AMFavorite book of 2021: Maggie Smith’s book of poetry, “Goldenrod”

goldenrodFavorite Photograph by someone else: Penny Molesso, Braid


©Penny Molesso, Braid

Instagram: @pennymolesso/

Favorite Photograph that I took: It’s been a good year to explore ideas without putting too much pressure on myself. Untitled


©Emily Wall, Untitled

Favorite song/artist of 2021: Well based off my spotify wrapped my favorite song of the year was Hot & Heavy by Lucy Dacus

Favorite binge watch of 2021: Ted Lasso

A self-realization for 2021: Moving slowly is better than not moving at all

Barbara Ciurej, Based in Chicago, Ilinois, Collaborations Editor @barbaraciurej

Favorite Lenscratch post of 2021: Digital Mediations: Jari Poulin: Senses in Animate

Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 10.39.15 AMI also loved the Dec 25 post on beauty..needed that! Wendi Schneider: On Beauty

Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 10.45.59 AM
Favorite Book of 2021: it’s not a new book but new to me and resonating — Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower

Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 10.57.19 AMFavorite Photograph by someone else: Jon Feinstein’s Instagram posts of dandelions..among them…


©Jon Feinstein, Dandelions

Favorite Photograph that I took:


©Barbara Ciurej

Favorite song/artist of 2021: Wet Leg, Chaise Lounge…their Tiny Desk concert was everything,,.catchy, bawdy, sad, wry, sweet

Favorite binge watch of 2021: The Chair

A new discovery: I really got into mayonnaise this year..mayonnaise mixed with garlic chili paste on everything.

Lindsay Lochman, Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Collaboration Editor (@lindsaylochman)

Favorite Lenscratch Post of 2021: Lenscratch Student Prize Award Honorable Mention: Lois Bielefeld 

Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 8.06.20 AMFavorite book of 2021: 

Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food  Newman, Lenore

Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 11.22.33 AM
Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography
: John Rohrbach, ed.,  Erin Pauwels, Britt Salvesen, Fernanda Valverde

Screen ShotFavorite Photograph by someone else: APE – Katie Burnett, Cabin Fever

Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 11.36.37 AM

©Katie Burnett, from Cabin Fever

Horrifying and hilariously one continuous photo experience

Favorite Photograph that I took: Milwaukee River from Good Hope Island

Favorite song/artist of 2021: I’ve been baking a lot so.., but I’m afraid it reveals I’m a sad old lady

Favorite binge watch of 2021 : whatever it was, I can’t remember it cuz it was so stupid —

A self-realization for 2021: it’s way more fun to walk in the woods than on sidewalks

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

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