FAP:O 2.08 – How does your photography relate to Covid-19?

Everything we do is now influenced by the pandemic. Can you see it in your photography? Are you trying to show it in your photography?


The audio recording from yesterday’s FAP:O meet is HERE. I’ve included only our reports of our activity, not the initial 20 minutes of logging in although I will note Geoffrey’s comment “Update your Zoom application as often as possible! They are actively dealing with security issues”.

Links on topic today:

Readings this morning, before FAP:O 2.08:

  • A NY Times Opinion piece by DIANA SPECHLER: The Nude Selfie Is Now High Art
    • It has become an act of resilience in isolation, a way to seduce without touch.
    • Selfies in covid isolation and through the ages. Particularly:
      • Picasso’s “Self Portrait Facing Death”
      • Frita Kahlo’s “The Broken Column”
    • “In these disorienting times, we are psychologically naked, but our nudes are aspirational: We are breasts propped on pillows and Facetuned. We are headless, proof that we’re not overthinking or panicking. We are free, cast in a single ray of sunlight, not stuck inside with a vitamin D deficiency. We are taking a risk at a time when we are not allowed to take risks, baring our bodies with no guaranteed reaction. We hit send and hold our breaths, silently asking until we receive the reply, am I safe am I safe am I safe?”
  • Tony Fouhse’ HYPO: 07, last section: How Do You Photograph This?
    • Connecting with people through street portraits
    • Recording a break-in through the keyhole
  • And, from Maria Popova’s BRAIN PICKINGS, James Baldwin’s ruminations on 4 AM – the end of a day and beginning of a next:
    • Sometimes, at four AM, this knowledge is almost enough to force a reconciliation between oneself and all one’s pain and error. Since, anyway, it will end one day, why not try it — life — one more time?
  • Memory depends on a protein developed by early mammals from a virus.
  • A NY Times Arts Obituary: John Pfahl, Photographer Who Played With Landscapes, Dies at 81
    • Long before Photoshop, he manipulated landscapes with everyday objects, and found beauty in compost piles and other peculiar places.

FAP:O 2.07 – What am I doing with my photographic practice in these isolating times?

We had a great meeting last month on Zoom. There are many differences between the cozy gatherings at the Green Door but not all were bad, I felt that the medium was mostly successful. The sound was certainly better than at the Green Door! Visual contact was not as intimate but was certainly adequate. The recording was quite clear. Also, we had people involved who have not been able to make the physical meetings, one from as far away as New Zealand!
I think there is more need for moderation in a virtual environment – some people were hanging back, waiting for a space while others were ready to jump in at any hint of a space. It took about 15 minutes to get everyone on-board.
The content was wonderful! We are each being very creative in this time of Coronavirus.

  • Raymond Aubin told us about some films about photography at the International Festival of Films On Art – Le FiFA, which was being presented digitally that weekend. It included a film on
  • Glenn Bloodworth mentioned  10 Binge-Worthy Art Podcasts in the Age of Coronavirus
  • Richard Perron has signed up for a course from Magnum Photos by Alec Soth on Visual Storytelling to help him with his Grey Nuns project
  • Mike Vuckovic has been working with stock photography to fill out his wife’s website
  • Raymond Aubin talked about his latest iteration of making visual haikus. In this case he is putting together six images into a panorama but the six are taken at different times so the resultant image is a voyage through time.
    • He mentioned ptGui, the great stitching program.
  • Adrien Duey talked about welding objects and shooting them against his concrete backgrounds, made especially for the purpose
  • Reena Kokotailo talked about her trip to Mexico with John Hallum’s SPAO class
  • Guy Greaves talked about a Cuban friend – Willie Mendez Perez – who makes art out of found objects
  • Mike Vuckovic is looking forward to taking his large-format camera out without gathering a crowd of looki-loos
  • Michelle Tardiff talked about printing on fabric to make infinity scarves
  • Jose Gonzales talked about photographing trees

You can hear the recording HERE. Attendees will get access to the transcript.

Here are some links to things I’ve found interesting in recent weeks:

FAP:O 2.06 – Do you share your work-in-progress?

Strange times indeed. The world seemed normal when Irene Tobis, Jane Keeler, Glen Bloodworth, Richard Perron, Richard Robesco, Jim Lamont and I met on February 22nd. Richard Perron brought the topic of Tony Fouhse’s “Hypo: 02” – “It’s no secret” – do you share your work in progress?. We talked about it and Richard passed back our answers (featured in HYPO: 03). Richard also brought a digital recorder and got a decent recording of us talking (it gets better as the background noise goes down). Thanks, Richard!

Needless to say, FAP:O will not be meeting at the Green Door this weekend. The Green Door is closed until further notice.

I’m wondering about a virtual meeting.
If you would like to Zoom at 2 pm on Sunday, March 29th, please write back and I will send an invite. If you’re not familiar with Zoom don’t worry. Open the invite on a machine that has a camera and microphone and it should be trouble-free. If you don’t have such a machine do let me know you’d like to join. I’ll be learning more over the next few days and we’ll arange something.
I’m hoping that this virtual meeting might draw some in who haven’t been able to make the Sunday meetings in person.
The topic on Sunday will be: What am I doing with my photographic practice in these isolating times?
(see the links below for one photographer’s answer)

In case the Green Door opens again in time, we have April, May and June reserved. It is always the last Sunday of the month but the dates are:

  • April 26
  • May 31
  • June 28

always at 2 pm.

I subscribe to a lot of Art and Photography newsletters, as I’m sure many of you do. Here are some links to things I’ve found interesting in recent weeks:

FAP:O 2.03 – Bookmaking

Hi all,

We had a great time this afternoon and, since some of you are recovering from the flu (and spared us the contact) I’m going to dump the recording here right away. There will be more notes when I get a chance.

  • Recording: FAP:O 2.03 Bookmaking (by Jake Morrison)
  • Next gathering: Sunday, December 22, 2 pm
  • Topic:  What are the influences that have changed your photography?

Duane Michals places himself in the history of art

When I can I use Sunday to explore. Today I explored Duane Michals in The New York Times. At age 87, he has just opened Illusions of the Photographer: Duane Michals at the Morgan

He was born & raised in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, where my partner’s family came from. He moved to NYC in the mid-fifties, after art school and military service. He has lived and worked there ever since so the Times has extensive coverage of his artistic efforts, gallery and museum shows, public charity involvements, even his country house.

I have barely known of him but, from the current exhibit, I see that he has been fairly uniquely a photographer of ideas and that sounds so interesting. By contrast, Garry Winogrand walked out of one of his early exhibits. Winogrand was NOT a photographer of ideas and Michals’ work was not, to him, photography.

I searched the Times and have created a list of the links I thought interesting. Some just barely mention him but I kept those that gave a sense of him, even if brief.
I should say that I haven’t read much of this list. I’ll leave that for another exploration but here’s the linked index:

1963/11/10 – CAMERA NOTES; Contrasting Approaches In Two Print Shows
1970/10/25 – EXHIBITIONS
1972/10/15 – Photography by Gene Thornton
1976/03/14 – Document: New Monthly Devoted To Black‐and‐White
1976/10/10 – CAMERA VIEW: Creating Photographs by Peggy Sealfon
1976/10/22 – Art: The Fascination of Portraits
1978/12/08 – Art: What’s New, Whitney Style
1979/05/08 – Books: Photography Critic’s Views (A.D. Coleman) – one of the great photography reviewers
1989/08/11 – CAUTION: THIS ART MAY OFFEND; Photography
1990/09/09 – Reportage Is Out and Opinions Are In As the Camera Redefines Itself
1991/07/06 – Four Frames on America
1991/10/18 – Bolstering Narrative Qualities With Whimsy
1992/09/25 – Storytelling With a Deceptive Simplicity
1993/02/21 – THE NIGHT; Of Portraits Small and Big
1994/11/25 – Questions Without Answers
1997/01/05 – Making Art Out of Whitman’s Stirring Words
1998/11/29 – ART REVIEW; Reflections of Whitman In a City He Loved
2000/05/07 – Self-portrait; DUANE MICHAL
2000/08/13 – Lives; Portraits of the Artists by Duane Michals
2001/11/16 – ‘Who Is Sidney Sherman?’
2004/10/08 – Revisiting the Past With Someone Who’s No Longer There
2005/11/20 – How to Act Like a Poet in Black and White
2013/10/31 – Duane Michals: Heart of the Question
2014/10/30 – Duane Michals: Looking Back, Moving Forward
2014/11/02 – Documents of a Contrarian
2019/10/18 – T Suggests: A Photographer’s Eclectic Selections From the Morgan Library
2019/10/29 – Duane Michals Searches the Morgan and Finds Himself



FAP:O 2.02 – Show and Tell

October 27th, 2019, 2 – 4 pm
The Green Door Restaurant

Seven of us met today at the Green Door and five of us brought stuff to show and talk about. It was a lot of fun and I think we all learned something. I know I did!

Attending were: Ralph Nevins, Peter Coffman, Diane Laundy, Bill McCloskey, Richard Perron, Irene Tobis and Jake Morrison.  

Sunday afternoon at the Green Door was quite comfortable. The sound level was much better than at our first meet on a Thursday night so I think I’ll continue with – the last Sunday of each month – for a while. Do let me know what you think of this.

The next meeting will be on a theme. I hope to hear from you about what themes you might want. I’ll announce the theme and definite date of FAP:O 2.03 within the next two weeks.

So, what happened today?

  1.   Jake showed a few prints from the last rehearsal of the dance that he has been following. He talked about some first steps in making a book about the making of a dance.
  2.  Ralph showed a 3D printed image of one of his B&W slit-scan print made  as a “lithophane”, He showed a back-lit print printed to about a quarter inch thick with relief printed in (not carved out). He also showed us his mock up of a new colour slitscan camera that he has developed.
  3. Diane presented her and Peter Coffman’s new book of prints with resulting poems – The House the Spirit Builds .  They let the poet (Lorna Crozier) pick from a DropBox full of images and the images that she wrote about became the image choices for the book. We had a great discussion about collaboration.
  4.   Peter presented his new/old project of “Gloss”.  “Gloss” describes the annotations in text that people do when critically reading.  “Gloss” also describes the pretty picture that he makes which is juxtaposed to text written within the image that challenges the Beauty with an inconvenient reality.
  5.   Irene presented her vegetable prints with a laminated asparagus print.

“Photography has become a tool in the war between realisms”

I just ran into an idea presented at the recent FotoFocus Symposium in Cincinnati. The main idea was that, increasingly, photography is created by machines and viewed by machines and that the subjects are judged by machines.

FAP:O 2.01 – David Barbour

FAP:O 2.01 – David Barbour

The first REVIVAL meeting of FAP:O was really fun. We had a great time with David Barbour at the Green Door Restaurant on September 19th.

We had ten people around the large plank table. The only problem was that the room was quite noisy. Thank goodness David has a strong voice!
David talked about his shift to including colour work in his personal work, driven by the look and feel of the Nikon D810 images. Here’s an example:

David’s exibit is on through November, 2019.

FAP:O 2.0 – the new beginning

Reviving FAP:O

I have shown my work at the Green Door Restaurant four times over the last 12 years. The picture above is from my most recent showing which ended in February 2019. During those shows I would occasionally sit with the sign “The Artist Is In” and people would stop and talk about the work. The most interesting conversations were with fellow photographers about what we were each up to at the time. It was FAP:O one-on-one.

After my last show I talked with the owers about programing the space for photography. We reached an agreement and the first photography show under my curation was hung last Monday, September 2nd, David Barbour’s “10 minutes ago“.

After almost four years I’m missing FAP:O! The Green Door has agreed to let us use the table pictured to meet (Jude’s table). They are hoping for our patronage so come with your appetites! There is no beer but the coffee is great,

FAP:O 2.0 with be a bit different. With the possible exception of the showing artist I will not be inviting speakers. I hope you will come with your current work in mind and in hand and I expect that that will be enough to keep us going. If not we’ll adapt.

I expect to meet monthly with a few breaks. Our first meeting will be on Thursday, September 19th, from 7 – 9:30 pm. David Barbour will join us.

I hope to see you there!

Jake Morrison
September 7, 2019