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  • 31 May 2023 7:21 AM | Maundy Mitchell (Administrator)

    Fine art photographer and photo educator Gary Samson gave us a list of his top six books every photographer should read. 


    The History of Photography by Beaumont Newhall

    A concise history of the medium, if you can only afford one book, get a later addition of this book for a good overview of the major figures and movements in photography.


    A World History of Photography by Naomi Rosenblum

    A comprehensive deep dive into the history of the medium, exhaustive in content, it should be on every photographer’s bookshelf.


    On Photography by Susan Sontag

    On Photography considers the relation of photography to art, conscience, and knowledge. A seminal book on the medium.


    Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values by Robert Adams

    How is photography art? Of what importance is it to society? By what standards are we to judge the success or failure of a photograph? Robert Adams reflections are delicate, unusually calm, but they also carry the force of sure conviction, the passion of absolute dedication.


    Why People Photograph by Robert Adams

    Adams’ writing is free of academic jargon. Readers will also appreciate his attention to the common experience (he talks about trying to earn an income), his enjoyment the unorthodox (one essay concerns dogs and photography), and above all his conviction that art matters. Photographers “may or may not make a living by photography,” he writes “but they are alive by it.”


    Photography Speaks: 150 Photographers on Their Art by John Szarkowski

    “A very valuable introduction to the achievements and the intentions of an exemplary selection of photographers.” Some of the texts will come as a surprise even to specialists. - John Szarkowski

  • 29 Apr 2023 9:02 AM | Maundy Mitchell (Administrator)

    You’re invited! Join Gary Samson, seventh NH Artist Laureate & NHSPA Vice President, at “Creole Soul: Zydeco Lives.”  His latest photo exhibit is now open at the Seacoast African American Cultural Center, and the opening reception is this Thursday!


    On May 4, at 6:00 p.m., the UNH Center for the Humanities will host a reception to celebrate the last book by longtime center director Burt Feintuch and the work of Gary Samson.

    Join us for a great evening of art, discussion, food, and friends!

    More info HERE

  • 22 Apr 2023 7:36 AM | Maundy Mitchell (Administrator)

    Ken Goldman has been an NHSPA member since 2018, joining shortly after he moved to Portsmouth from the Washington, DC area.

    NHSPA member Ken Goldman

    Ken had always wanted to express himself artistically, but as he says, “I dance like a rusty robot, sing like a frog with a sore throat, and I can't even draw a stick figure!”  So, he decided to try photography.  Photography gave him the tools to express himself artistically and creatively in a way he enjoys.  

    Landscape ©Ken Goldman

    This enjoyment of photography began in 1964/65, at the New York World's Fair.  Ken used a Kodak Instamatic 100 camera and began taking photos.  Then, throughout his busy working years, his photography became limited to vacation photos.  In 2010, as he prepared for retirement, he joined a camera club in Maryland, where he started to learn more about photography and become more serious about it. These days you will rarely see Ken without a camera. He says, “Photography keeps me busy and mostly out of trouble.” 

    ©Ken Goldman - Four Women

    When he first became interested in photography, he was photographed mostly landscapes and nature. Today, he says, his focus is street and urban photography.  “My enjoyment of this type of photography began totally by accident...It was a cold, sleety day in March 2014. I was sitting in a window seat at the Starbucks on L Street NW, near the Farragut North Metro Station in Washington, DC.  As I sat there, sipped tea and read, I decided to pull out my camera and take some pictures of the people passing by. Happily sitting there and taking photos, one of the differences between the two types of photography really grabbed me...in nature photography I always cursed the people in my pictures.  For the most part, in street and urban photography, the people are the picture! Once I realized this somewhat obvious fact, it really excited me, and I never looked back!” 

    ©Ken Goldman - Man with Umbrella

    Ken travels often and still does a lot of travel photography, which includes nature, landscape, street and urban photography. He likes to use Olympus digital cameras and usually only makes prints for exhibits or sales.  Recently, he put a fresh light meter battery into his 35mm Olympus.  Now, he’s considering trying film again.

    ©Ken Goldman - Mardi Gras Celebration

    Since moving to Portsmouth, Ken has exhibited his work numerous times.  His black and white photo of the Albacore is part of the Reflections of Portsmouth exhibit at the Foundry Place Garage.  He exhibited with NHSPA in Exeter and Kimball-Jenkins, with his photo Tall Ships being featured on the 2019 Exeter exhibit poster.  He also participated in New Hampshire Now with photos exhibited at seven of the eight venues, and three photos selected for the book.  His photos were juried into three Annual Jack Parfitt Photography Exhibitions at the New Hampshire Art Association, and he has exhibited at the Portsmouth Historical Society, the Portsmouth Public Library, the Portsmouth Senior Activity Center, and the Portsmouth Athenæum.

    ©Ken Goldman - Tall Ships

    Currently, Ken is working on several projects and bodies of work including Museum People, Spying from Starbucks or Coffee Shop Candids, People at Work, Artists, Musicians, Bicycles and the [Lawn] Lighthouses of Grand Manan.  He says, “I recently realized that, without planning it, I have been recording various aspects of life in Portsmouth; now I need to figure out what to do with this large body of work.  Recording the world and the life around me is what keeps me interested in photography.”

    ©Ken Goldman - Red Umbrella

    Asked what he’d like to learn or do next, Ken said, “I am not satisfied with my abilities with indoor and night photography, so these are areas I would like to improve in the future.”

  • 25 Mar 2023 4:40 PM | Maundy Mitchell (Administrator)

    Becky Field has been a member of New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists for 11 years, since the start of her project, "Different Roots, Common Dreams: New Hampshire's Cultural Diversity," which documents the lives of immigrant families and communities. Her first entry in a NHSPA group exhibit was in Exeter, 2013. In 2021 she was a participant in the NHSPA project "New Hampshire Now: A Photographic Diary of Life in the Granite State." 

    Becky Field

    Photo of Becky Field © Michael Sterling

    Becky says she is motivated in her work by a passion for photography combined with a strong sense of social responsibility and advocacy. “I use my work to honor the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity in state known for low diversity.”  In 2012, after hateful graffiti was scrawled on the sides of 4 refugee homes, she began a photographic project in response. “Having just started the certificate program in photography at the NH Institute of Art, I decided to use my camera to welcome people who had come here looking for safety and a better life for themselves and their children. I was especially inspired by Gary Samson's photo projects in Ghana and Cape Breton. At the time, I thought I would do this for a year as my final project at NHIA, then go back to photographing dragonflies and flowers. But I have stayed with this body of work for all these years because I have met such wonderful people and heard such powerful stories of their journeys to resettle here.” 

    ©Becky Field - Fieldwork Photos

    She works exclusively in digital photography. “For reasons I don't understand, I am drawn only to still photography; videos just don't do it for me. My work has almost always been in color because of the vibrant colors of so many of NH's immigrants. However, recently I have done a more somber body of work about the struggles of an asylum seeker. [That work] seemed naturally to require black and white.” 

    Exhibits, talks and continued work on her photo collections are how Becky spends her time. “With the current public interest in diversity and inclusion, there has been increasing calls for exhibits of my work. Also, I am collaborating with the University of New Hampshire to archive my photographs as a record of the state's diversity over the past decade, but also as a photographic resource for educators and researchers.”

    ©Becky Field - Fieldwork Photos

    She also has an exhibit of photographs and stories of immigrants based on her second book, "Finding Home: Portraits and Memories of Immigrants,” a history of New Hampshire's immigration, in collaboration with the Manchester Historic Association.

    ©Becky Field - Fieldwork Photos

    Supported in part by a grant from the NH State Council on the Arts, Becky has a collection of work on tour and currently at the Manchester Community College. “It shows the life of an immigrant who fled his African country and legally asked for asylum in 2018. Instead, he was shackled and jailed for no other reason than asking for asylum. Now, almost five years later, he is still under house arrest and required to wear an ever-present ankle monitor which tracks his movements. To protect his family back in his country, his face cannot be recognized in my photographs, and I cannot identify him by his real name or country. He is an artist and poet, so his artwork and words accompany my photography. The exhibit is unusual; ten large black-and-white photographs are printed on canvas and suspended inside black backdrop frames with zigzags of blackcord. The exhibit at the Manchester Community College is up from 3/21 to 4/15.  In January-February, this exhibit was in Harrisville, and will be going next to Newfields, Hanover, and Peterborough.

    ©Becky Field - Fieldwork Photos

    When asked what she would like to learn or do next, Becky said, “My top priorities now are managing the exhibits and working on the archive with UNH. However, I have found with this project that new opportunities and new side projects relating to photography of immigration and refugees always seem to pop up. I also go to multicultural events and conferences where I talk about my work and sell my two books, both of which have won several awards.” ©Becky Field - Fieldwork Photos

    You can see more about Becky and her work on her websites: http://www.fieldworkphotos.com/index.htmland http://differentrootsnh.com

  • 23 Feb 2023 7:38 PM | Maundy Mitchell (Administrator)

    Susan Lirakis began making photographs at the age of six, after receiving a camera as a baptism gift from her godparents, and she never stopped. Initially, she used medium format films and made silver prints in her home darkroom. Now, she creates primarily using digital cameras. She says, “I loved working in my darkroom, and I still use the Holga and other plastic cameras. Using those cameras helps keep alive the feeling I had making images when I was a child. I'm drawn to imagery that is dream-like and filled with feeling, tending toward archetypes.”


    Susan has been a member of NHSPA since its inception. She was part of the original group that visited Appledore Island with Peter Randall, Gary Samson, and others, prior to the formal organization in 1998 and meetings on Star Island.

    ©Susan Lirakis - Daily_RedHillPondOctober

    I am curious about looking and I’m interested in exploring light and gesture. I am fascinated with what it is that makes us feel human. With my imagery, I work to acknowledge and celebrate persons and everyday phenomena.”

    ©Susan Lirakis - Mothers-Daughters-Revisited

    Recently, Susan has been working in series: a collection of mothers and daughters from the 1980s that she has revisited and re-photographed thirty to forty years later. Another series is called, "In Good Company," portraits of residents of her small town. A third series is of portraits of Tibetan nuns in exile. She is also actively expanding a series of portraits and interviews with people describing what makes them feel most alive, entitled “From Our Hearts, Sharing Our Stories,” which has been on-going.

    ©Susan Lirakis - FromOurHearts_SusanAckleyEpiscopalPriest

    Most recently, she has been making images of folks wearing plant-based wreaths. She says, “I alter the images to remove traces of literalness and to create more feeling of mythological timelessness. I also have a daily practice of adding to a visual journal through photographic imagery.”

    ©Susan Lirakis - ShugsepNuns-TsultrimChoedon

    I’m interested in exploring processes of living, aging, and dying, and of myth and memory. Through my work I connect and ground physically in this world. I enjoy learning alternative ways to adequately interpret the work.”

    ©Susan Lirakis - Nyx

    Susan has received awards and fellowships through the NH State Council of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, the Clowes Foundation, and McLaughlin Residency Fellowship.

    You can see more about Susan Lirakis and her work on her website, http://www.susanlirakis.com


  • 28 Jan 2023 4:37 PM | Maundy Mitchell (Administrator)

    Peter Randall is the founder and first president of the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists.  

    Please tell us a bit about the founding of NHSPA 

    “Forty years ago this August, I invited a group of fellow photographers to spend a weekend on Appledore Island at the Shoals Marine Laboratory. I had been thinking that nowhere in New Hampshire was there a place for non-commercial, or fine art, photographers to gather and share work and ideas.

    About thirty photographers participated, including current members Gary Samson, Ian Raymond, Susan Lirakis, Jay Goldsmith, and David Putnam. We continued to meet annually until 1991. I had moved our location to Monhegan that year, but later the following winter I was diagnosed with cancer and was out of action for two years. My surgery cured the cancer but left me with a disabled leg and little ability to wander the rocky landscape of Appledore.

    ©Peter Randall - Fishing Boats, Newfoundland

    Several years passed and I was urged to organize another photographer gathering on Star Island. A large group met on Star about 1996, but later Star officials said a conference couldn’t just be friends of mine. We’d have to be an organization. With Gary and a few others, I organized what is now the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists. I was not excited with the name, but the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office would not accept a simpler title.

    We met on Star for about 20 years, often adding a guest speaker. Some weekends we had more than forty participants.”

    ©Peter Randall - Irish Moss

    What drives you?

    For most of my career I have photographed for publication, mostly documenting people, places and events. After taking just two photo classes at UNH, I got a job as staff photographer for a Manchester weekly and six months later I was the editor and staff photographer for the Hampton Union weekly. This was followed by ten years at New Hampshire Profiles magazine, where I eventually became editor and continued to shoot for the publication. Starting in 1983, I have authored nine books of photographs, including three on New Hampshire and two on the Isles of Shoals. Mostly when I grab a camera there is a purpose for the images I make."

    ©Peter Randall - Knowles Store

    What is your favorite medium / why?

    “Although I did use medium format for a while, I have mostly worked with 35mm film and digital cameras. As I have aged and my walking has declined, I now use lighter Panasonic micro four thirds equipment. I used a Linhof 6 x17 panoramic camera for a book of New Hampshire images. That camera uses 120 medium format film to make four exposures on a roll. I bracketed exposures so usually one roll was one subject.”

    ©Peter Randall - Temple Garden, Kyoto, Japan

    What are you working on now?

    “As photographer for 60 years, I am currently going through my work deciding what to save.  Older images are now history, visual records of people and places changed now or perhaps no longer existing.”

    ©Peter Randall - One-room School, East Wakefield

    Thank you, Peter!

  • 1 Jan 2023 8:41 AM | Maundy Mitchell (Administrator)

    We're excited to announce the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists (NHSPA) 23rd Annual Member Exhibit. The exhibit will be held January 7-29 at the Exeter Town Hall Gallery (Saturdays and Sundays 12-4 p.m.), with an opening reception on Saturday, January 7, from 12-4 p.m. It is free and open to the public. We hope you'll stop by!

    "Magnolia" by member Joe Sack

    Members from around the state will share our work in this exhibit. The work will include many methods, from black and white gelatin silver prints, to modern digitally-printed images.

    NHSPA is a statewide organization of fine art photographers dedicated to the support of contemporary photography as a means of creative expression and cultural insight. We focus on the education and artistic development of its members and the community by providing exhibitions, publications and educational outreach programs. Our headquarters are at Kimball-Jenkins School of Art in Concord, NH, where we have a studio, printers, darkrooms, and meeting spaces.

  • 4 Dec 2022 7:02 AM | Maundy Mitchell (Administrator)

    This month’s member spotlight features Alicia Bergeron, of Newbury, NH.  She has been a member of New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists for one year.

    What drives you?

    "When I was a little girl, I would spend hours peering into the green grass watching tiny beetles, grasshoppers, and crickets crawl. I discovered photography my senior year in high school and as if under a spell, my interests shifted from biology to photography. Today I find myself still drawn to the small details found in nature—except this time with a camera and an incredible love of light. I could easily spend an hour (or three) among the quiet ferns and buzzing bees, waiting for that magic light to unfurl." 

    Portrait of Alicia Bergeron by Scott Snyder

    Portrait of Alicia Bergeron by Scott Snyder

    What is your favorite medium, and why?

    "I am drawn to the transformative power of Light. 

     My favorite light is from an afternoon glow; seen at just the right angle it magically illuminates subjects from within and casts the most lively shadows. I love to photograph with a macro lens to celebrate these tiny botanical treasures and share them as gifts. Many of my subjects are in the midst of a seasonal transformation—there is so much energy and life at the edge of this shift."

    "Flutter" - closeup of a fern by Alicia Bergeron

    "Flutter" by Alicia Bergeron

    "Moss" by Alicia Bergeron"Moss" by Alicia Bergeron

    What are you working on now?

    "I am currently printing work for The W. Dale and JoAnn Franke Overfield ’69 Art + Design Faculty Exhibition at Colby-Sawyer College. I have been an adjunct faculty member for three years now and this will be my first time exhibiting with colleagues and friends. I am including some of my newer work that explores creative camera movement and the impression of light."

    "Fading" - a black and white photo with motion blur by Alicia Bergeron"Fading" by Alicia Bergeron

    What would you like to learn or do next?

    Presently, I am establishing a new darkroom to explore alternative 19th century photo processes such as cyanotype and platinum/palladium printing. I am attracted to the more tactile photographic processes and wonder how they may transform my way of seeing and creating.

    "Begin" - a cyanotype by Alicia Bergeron


    "Begin" by Alicia Bergeron


    You can see more of Alicia’s work on her website, HERE

    ©Alica Bergeron

  • 6 Nov 2022 9:01 AM | Maundy Mitchell (Administrator)

    WHAT WE’RE DOING

    In June, NHSPA members began researching and photographing buildings in each NH town/city that were constructed in 1823 or earlier for our current statewide photography project, New Hampshire Architecture: Buildings that have Survived 200 Years or Longer.  


    [Canaan Meetinghouse ©Gary Tompkins]

    WE NEED YOU!

    We have 21 photographers currently participating in the project, and we need more!  We have more than 160 members.  If you’re a member (or would like to become one, please join us! You can start photographing buildings that fit the criteria. These can be in your local area, or in other sections of the state.

     

    This project will be completed by June 30, 2023. We have a lot to do, but it’s not too late!  And winter light can be especially pretty!  Don’t worry, we won’t make you go out in a snowstorm – you can choose which buildings to photograph, when you want to.  See below for details about how you can start!

     

    So far, 202 buildings have been photographed, or will be photographed by NHSPA members. Ninety-eight towns have had at least one building photographed, leaving somewhere between 136 and 162 to photograph. 

     

    Participation is the key to the success of this project. We need many members involved, to cover all areas of the state.  

     

    WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO YOU NEED?


    Members are primarily using digital cameras, but you can use any photographic process.  The camera, lens, and process are each members’ choice! Below, you can see some of member Gary Tompkins’ work using a different film cameras.  

     

    HOW CAN YOU START?

     

    We will be having our last Coffee Session of the year this month, on Saturday November 19th from 10:30am-12:30pm.  Coffee Sessions are held at our headquarters, Kimball Jenkins School of Art in Concord, NH.  If you have new images that you would like to upload, please bring them to this month’s Coffee Session. If you’ve been thinking about contributing to this project – even if you can only photograph one building--this is a great time to find out more!  If you can’t make it to the meeting, you can find out more here

     

    BOOK


    If we come close to our goal of photographing at least one building in each of the 234 towns in the state, the project will culminate in the publishing of a book. This project, unlike the NH NOW project, does not have grant money available that would allow us to do a large print run, so we will be doing this project as a print-on-demand book that can be ordered online. We have not decided yet whether it will be a single publication containing all of the seven regions of the state, or whether we may break it down and do a separate publication for each region. That will be determined by the quantity of images we have to work with. 

     

    EXHIBIT


    Depending on participation and submission levels, we will likely put together an exhibit. 

     

    MEMBER GARY TOMPKINS for the PROJECT


    “In researching the histories of the buildings for our architectural project I have been enlightened to learn that what we accept as, or presume to be, “historic” or “original” are in fact the results of what later generations perceived or reinterpreted as appropriate for their time.  It turns out that most of these historic buildings have been adapted and altered multiple times over the years. As towns grew with new settlers, or shrank with westward expansion, as fortunes rose or fell, as congregations grew or were replaced by new denominations, these building were adapted to the changing conditions.  Old buildings that have remained original and unaltered for centuries are extremely rare. Time and budgets constrained plans then, just as they do today, historic buildings reflect this reality. Below are examples of changing style and purpose that I have encountered during the project.

     

    [Left: Horseman L45 view camera with bag bellows, and 90mm Schneider Super Angulon lens.  Right: Community Church of Sandwich ©Gary Tompkins]


    “Here is the Community Church of Sandwich.  When anyone reads the sign that says built in 1792, and looks up at the beautiful high-colonial design features, they could be inclined to think that it may have always looked this way.  However, when built it was a typical “Type-II New England meeting house,” no steeple, no bell, and with the main entrance on the eave side, not the gable end.  It was built for a Baptist congregation, but later became Free Will Baptist, a short time as Methodist, then supported a Federated congregation.  In 1847 the building was turned to face the gable end southward to the road.  At that time its height was reduced by four feet, and it was remodeled in the popular style of the time, Greek Revival.  In 1862 the tower and steeple were added.  More alterations followed in 1925 under the direction of a Boston architectural firm when a clock, and Colonial Revival embellishments were added to the tower.  

     

     

    [Left: Tachihara field camera with 150mm Caltar SII lens. Right: New Hampton House ©Gary Tompkins]


    “New Hampton Town House, built in 1798 for town meetings it was also used as a Congregationalist church until 1842. When built it was two stories tall, with exterior stairs (called “porches” in that time) to access the second floor gallery.  After it ceased being used as a church, and with the town population in decline, in 1872 the gallery level was removed along with the exterior stairs, and the roof was lowered to its present height.”

     


     

     

     

  • 8 Oct 2022 5:25 PM | Maundy Mitchell (Administrator)

    For this month's blog, we feature NHSPA member and Board President, Ian Raymond.  Ian became a member in 2018 before becoming Vice President and then, in June, President.  He has been a professional photographer for more than forty years.  He runs his studio, Raymond Photography, in downtown Laconia, NH.


    What drives you?

    "I have been photographing since I was five years old. Even at that age, I think I realized that photography, much like reading, opened up a world of vicarious experiences—the viewer was able to almost “live” the same experience as the photographer had witnessed firsthand. I remember viewing portraits of my grandparents when they were children and fantasizing what life must have been like so long ago. By the age of seven, I had watched my neighborhood friend’s mother making contact prints in her bathroom, and after watching the magic happen in the developer tray, knew that photography was what I wanted to do for a living."



    What medium do you like to work with?

    "I have worked in media ranging from 35mm, Polaroid, medium format, large format, and ultra large format (an R.R. Robertson camera with a 16”x16” film holder). My work has ranged from fine art portraiture to commercial work including architectural, industrial, studio product photography, and photographing and writing feature stories for magazines. At one point I was shooting well over 500 product photographs per month, all on 4x5 transparency film with a Cambo view camera.  Over the 40-plus years that I have been doing photography professionally, it seems my personal work always veers toward using vintage camera equipment and processes."



    What are you working on now?

    "I currently have an exhibition (through the month of October) titled "Time Passes Slowly”, hanging at the Belknap Mill in Laconia, NH. It is a collection of this work, fine art portraits, shot on film and paper negatives, using large formatcameras that are 100+ years old. The collection also contains many images printed on albumen paper, a process dating back to the 1850s. I absolutely love the quality of images these primitive lenses are capable of creating. Much of my work was inspired by early photographers such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Gertrude Kasebier, Alfred Stieglitz, Oscar Rejlander, Edward Steichen, and the promotional poster for this exhibit was of course inspired by Man Ray."



    What would you like to learn/do next?

    "Going forward, I look to expand on this work by photographing a much larger cast of characters, and using other alternative and historical processes such as wet plate collodion."









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