Graphic Designers and Art Directors – do you keep notebooks, sketchbooks, or scrapbooks?

I’m curating an exhibition that will display pages from Graphic Designers and Art Directors notebooks, sketchbooks, and scrapbooks. The pages will be scanned and printed oversize for display in the Mount Ida College School of Design Gallery.

The exhibition is titled “Permission to Fail: Notebooks of Graphic Designers” and will run from October 15th, 2015 until January 16th, 2016 at the Mount Ida College of Art School of Design Gallery.

It will feature large-scale photographs of pages from the notebooks, sketchbooks, and scrapbooks of approximately 50 well-respected graphic designers.

The concept behind the exhibition is to demonstrate the necessity of thinking through the steps of a project prior to turning on a laptop. Too many graphic design students begin the design process before they have explored a multitude of possible solutions. A large percentage of successful designers explore possible solutions by creating thumbnail sketches in a notebook or sketchbook.

Notebooks will be collected from designers and single pages or spreads will be photographed and large-scale exhibition prints will be created.

If you are interested in submitting your notebooks for consideration, or would like more information, use the email address on the contact page of my website.

Please let me know if you keep a notebook, how you use it, and if you are interested in being in the exhibition.


2014 was a very good year for

My website,, ended the year with over 500,000 hits. In fact, it was just under 550,000 hits.
Fine arts photography fans from all over the world visited the website and viewed the work of photographers that they most likely would not be able to see anywhere else.
Click here to see for yourself.


Nelli Palomäki’s Black and White Portraits

I ran across Nelli Palomäki’s wonderful black and white portraits on the web.

From Nelli Palomäki’s website:

Seen and captured by someone else’s eyes reminds us that the image we have of ourselves is not absolute, it is not truthful. In many senses the mirror lies more than a photograph. We learn to see ourselves in such a one-dimensional way, that hardly any image can satisfy us anymore. While time gnaws away at the faces of us and our close ones, we return to look at the pictures from our past.

As beautiful or poignant as an image may be; as much as we could garner from it emotionally, the feeling for which we search remains intangible and elusive. We will never fully comprehend or recreate the moment, it died at the moment of its’ birth. Sadly, the portrait is just a shadow of our meeting, a small stain of the time we spend together.


Each and every portrait I have taken is a photograph of me too. What I decide to see, or more likely, how I confront the things that I see, inevitably determines the final image. But more than that, the intensity of the moment shared with the subject, controls the portrait. As we stand there, with our grave faces, breathing the same heavy air; never so aware of each other’s details. One blind and lost without seeing his own appearance, one desperately trying to reach the perfect moment. The complexity of portraiture, its greatest trap, eventually always lies on its power relationships.

What I desire to find and to reveal might be someone’s secret. These secrets, finally shown to the viewers, as they were mine.

A portrait remains forever. It is a desperate way to stay connected to someone who, though possibly a stranger, remains so familiar. It is my way of preserving a part of that person, embalming them. Through the portrait I build a relationship with my subject. I carry my subject’s memories with me, memories, as they are, being so intimately connected with photographs. Secretly I study their faces. This is how I remember them. I wonder how they remember me. As the time eats slowly away at us, I still hold these images of them, like they are the only way I ever knew, or will know these people. And that ever pervasive feeling; I met them. They will die and eventually I too will die.

See more of Nelli Palomäki’s photos here, and as always, there is much more to see and read on


A Great Photo Book Never Crashes.

Before there was the iPad there was this thing called a book.

A photo book in particular. A photo book is, by in large, heavier and quite a bit clunkier than an iPad. It cost much less than an iPad but, of course, it does less. It can’t play movies or your favorite music and you can’t check your email on it.

I’m all for the iPad. It’s quite the thing. But a good photo book does something different, something more magical. It gives you a chance to experience photographs in a manner that no other media, but the real thing, can match.

Perhaps that is why this antiquated, dumber-than-shit piece of old school technology has lasted such a long time.

Years ago photo books were all there was for us photoweenies. Yes, there were magazines, but magazines were pushing news and fashion and lifestyle and well, you get the picture. Photo galleries? Forget it.

Then something very interesting happened. I don’t remember exactly when, but books (in book stores, remember them) began appearing that took fine art photographs and the fine arts photographer seriously.

It was during this era that I bought a remarkable photo book. It may not have been the first photo book I bought, but it is a book that has been part of my library for several decades. I still look at it regularly and although it is almost as beat up as I am, to me it is still magic. It is Conversations With the Dead by Danny Lyon.


I remember first seeing it on a remainder table and purchasing it for $1.98. Had I known what a first edition copy of the book would be worth on the open market today, I would have taken a lot better care of it. Conversations With the Dead changed my perception of documentary photography. It cemented my perception of photography as fine art. It launched a lifetime obsession with learning about and collecting photographs.

As I write this, an original print of the weightlifters (page 129) is framed and hanging on the wall above my computer.

There are many other photo books that have been influential to feeding my photo obsession. The Americans for one. But none has whacked me on the side of the head as strongly as Conversations With the Dead. Not a bad investment for $1.98.

I wonder if someone sitting in a Starbucks today staring at his or her iPad, trolling the web will stumble across a photo blog or a photo website and see a photographer’s work and it will result in a lifelong obsession. I can only hope.

Jim Fitts from

Reflections on a Lifetime of Photography: A Conversation with Harold Feinstein and Friends.

Called by historian and photo critic A.D. Coleman, a true photographer’s photographer, and one of the most seriously under-recognized senior figures in U.S. photography,” the 82 year old master photographer and legendary teacher of photography, Harold Feinstein, is finally celebrating the publication of his first black and white monograph, Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective, published by Nazraeli in December 2012. To mark the occasion, Feinstein will share memories of a lifetime of photography with A.D. Coleman, along with colleagues and former students. Following the conversation there will be a party during which Feinstein will sign copies of his beautiful new book.

The conversation, book signing, and festivities will take place on Monday, December 17 from 6-9pm at Aperture Gallery located in the heart of New York City’s Chelsea art district at 547 West 27th Street (between 10th/11th Avenues), 4th floor, New York, NY 10001. The event is free and open to the general public. During the event, signed limited edition posters of Feinstein’s iconic images of Coney Island will be on display and for sale at a special one night only price. All proceeds will go towards the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts of North Star Fund and #ConeyRecovers.

Much more about the event on here.

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