Wobneb Newsletter - July 2, 2021

Despite the best intentions, this newsletter has proved to be elusive in my writing plans. How many of you have found that multiple projects from the past year have found their way down dead-end roads, or wandered off track? ‘Let’s plant onions and potatoes in a garden patch each season!’ turns into a giant pile of branches and brush over the patch because the maple trees and honey locust are overgrown. And the tulip tree, and the oak in the side yard, and we might as well clean up those long branches on the evergreen trees at the same time… you get the idea. No potatoes this season.

So let’s talk about the weather. Much of the country is experiencing unseasonable weather, with heat in the Pacific Northwest in late June/early July. And just ask Texans about unseasonable weather this year. Massive failure of their power grid resulted in widespread outages and many farmers were dealt a devastating blow to their crops getting hit with ice and freezing temperatures in the Spring.

Whether it is a weekend chore gone astray, or a life-changing climate event, the result for many people is an unplanned, unexpected change in attention and resources; despite our best intentions.

Photographically speaking, this past month brought a wonderful opportunity to interview legendary photographer Eugene Richards. His new book, the day I was born was released in March this year. I spoke with Gene to ask about the project and the book, and he talked with me and answered my questions in an extended conversation while he graciously diverted into backstory and his own history as a photojournalist covering stories of people in need. The moving and respectful visual and written slices of life from six people in Earle, Arkansas, and how their truths are shared by so many others, are some of the most important reasons why the day I was born merits our attention. You can read my interview over on the site for F-Stop Magazine.

Interview with Photographer Eugene Richards

In May, I was a guest on the photography podcast Real Photo Show. I spoke with host Michael Chovan-Dalton about my own photography, writing and our experiences in higher-education publishing. In addition to being a professor of photography, Michael has career experience working at a stock photo agency which served many clients in educational publishing, and my experience with photo research and editing for higher-Ed textbooks has some commonalities. Episode 134 is part of an ongoing series of guests and conversations about teaching, education and photography. I was honored for the invitation and had a great conversation with Michael - I hope we get a chance to do it again.

Newly Acquired 

I recently purchased Black was the River, You See by Dan Wood and was delighted with it. His carefully considered images evoke a strong sense of intimacy with where he lives, and I sat in quiet consideration after viewing the book and reading the passages within. It was a really good feeling.  The book is available from Kozu Books. I’ve been a fan of Dan’s work for a number of years now. He is a Welsh photographer with a number of notable projects and books. More info about Dan and his work at his website, and you can view more information about Black was the River, You See and order it here.

Photo Books on My Radar

My bookshelf holds a stack of books which await my attention. Some are recent and others have been patiently waiting for some time. Some topics and subjects within these books reveal themselves over the course of time and events in life, and others are like a lightning strike. Neither way is right or wrong. 

Now on deck for upcoming reviews and/or features: 

Portraits and Dreams by Wendy Ewald
Cruise Night by Kristin Bedford
Steel Town by Stephen Shore
American Geography: Photographs of America Land Use from 1840 to the Present from SFMOMA
Lewis Carroll’s Photography and Modern Childhood by Diane Waggoner
A Carnival of Mimics by Max Kozloff
The World will Come to Laugh and Feast by Gabriele Tinti and Roger Ballen 

Thanks for your interest in this newsletter, and thanks for your patience with the timeframe of its release. Like my Grandma always said, good things come to those who wait. If you waited and enjoyed this newsletter, please share it! I’d love to grow the number of readers here - please post a link to social media, or forward this email to a few friends. Thanks!