Sarah Kaufman, Vita Litvak and June Yong Lee are photographers who teach at area colleges and share a spacious, well-lit third floor studio space at Kendrick Mill in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. They opened up their studio to the public for the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours on October 11th and 12th. Your correspondent visited.(See photos of other studios here and here)
Kaufman is interested in the human body and its relation with the spaces it occupies; her series of teenagers diving off rocks at Devil’s Pool in the Wissahickon Creek are inspired by Thomas Eakins’ photographic studies of his students swimming. Lee also studies the human body, and skin; 40 subjects have sat for his unflinching Torso series. Litvak romanticizes her childhood through atmospheric, documentary photographs of Tirasopol, Transnistria, the former Soviet autonomous region where she grew up.
At the popular and busy outdoor Clover Market in Chestnut Hill Sunday, a photographer with “Poseybooth” took photos of anyone willing to pose and of at least one unwilling dog. Poseybooth is a modern version of the ubiquitous instant photo booths of yore. But instead of a getting a wet print, those posing received their photos in digital format via text or email. The freebie souvenir appeared to make many people very happy. Watch video here.
Your correspondent volunteered for a week cleaning dishes and bathhouses at the Audubon Society Camp on Hog Island off of Bremen, Maine. He collected an old glass bottle encrusted with barnacles and these stories. See photo slideshow here.
A large aquarium in the lab building of Hog Island affords a micro view of aquatic life in coastal Maine’s tidal pools. Off the pier, swaying mats of seaweed. Watch video here.
“Puffin” Pete Salmansohn, Project Puffin outreach coordinator and director of Hog Island Educators week, describes how puffins were saved from near extermination from the Maine Coast on a boat trip out to Eastern Egg Rock Island where island sitters carefully monitor and study them. Along the way, seals sunning themselves on a small island, produce whoops and hollers among the day-trippers as they dive into the water toward the boat to investigate or perhaps be fed? Watch video here.
On Hog Island, early morning guided birding, a photographer and his camera level with the osprey nest, an osprey parent guarding two fledglings and later the same day foraying out and back. Watch video montage here.
“Seabird” Sue Schubel, Project Puffin Outreach Instructor and Hog Island Camp Coordinator, puts the finishing touches on a large batch of cream “puffins.” They will be served to oohs and ahs and camera flashes at the conclusion of the farewell lobster dinner for Educators week. The confectionary puffins, like their living counterparts, Schubel says, could be either male or female, as they look the same. Their breeding plumage, bright orange bills, mark them as mature adults. Watch video here.
Susan Spitzer Williams, a career guidance specialist participating in Educators Week on Hog Island, seen here rushing to get her camera to the photogapher and back in place for a group shot. In the video, she pauses before swimming to share one of the many ways in which she is superior to her dear older brother, Nick Spitzer, host of the widely syndicated, public radio program, “American Routes.” For one, she met and played pool with Muddy Waters and he didn’t. Watch video here.
A short, live action, instructional video for kitchen volunteers at the Hog Island camp on how to use the Hobart 4 sided, hood mounted, pass through, commercial dishwasher. Watch video here.
She’s been skinning road kill, preparing pelts, skull specimens and mounts for museums for some time but this was Carolyn Zaino’s first beaver. Discovered by a couple Hog Island staffers, the road kill became the object of Zaino’s artistry and industry in between stints in the Hog Island kitchen. Zaino is nonplussed by the gore and gruesomeness of her vocation as befits the pathologist’s daughter for whom, as a child, the hearts, lungs and brains in her father’s lab were naturally things of wonder. Her work lets her give these animals “another life” and educate people about them. Watch short video here. Watch full-length video here.
Kira Luxon assists Courtney Apple on a photo shoot under the eye of Laura Shoup at the Henry Got Crops Farm in Roxborough for Jeffrey Miller Catering which does many farm to table events. Watch video here.
Most students at the Antonelli Institute of Graphic Design and Photography in Erdenheim, Pa, just outside of Philadelphia, enroll coming out of high school. They must first study traditional film and wet process darkroom photography before moving on to digital work, says lead photography instructor Drew Simcox, shown above.
Students compete for awards by class and by subject category and their prints for the upcoming May competition are displayed across the tall walls of the well-lit atrium-lunchroom area. Simcox proudly shows off the work of Antonelli graduates like the cover photo by Evan Habeeb on a recent Sports Illustrated magazine as well as published books of instructors such as his own “Heber Valley Railroad” shot in Utah through a partnership with the Adobe Company and illustrator-cartoonist Christian Patchell’s “I put the Can in Cancer,” documenting his personal battle with the affliction.
Renowned photojournalist Colin Finlay has visited twice and has critiqued the work of Antonelli students who had returned from a photo shoot in Haiti in conjunction with the Pennsylvania non-profit, Poverty Resolutions.
Students are given a wide arrange of field assignments and can often be seen practicing their art in nearby Chestnut Hill at the Morris Arboretum or on the main Germantown Avenue corridor.
Left: Antonelli student Jaime Perez was at the Morris Arboretum shooting a Kyudo archer in 2009. Right: Antonelli student Eric Moll shown here taking photographs at the 2013 Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival has a photo published in the 2014 Chestnut Hill Calendar.
came across Bill Cusick in a proud moment, taking photos of his daughter’s first front page
article in the Chestnut Hill Local
as it appeared in the newsbox outside the Local office on Germantown Avenue.
Katherine, a summer intern with the Local from Germantown Friends School, is
editor-in-chief of her high school
newspaper, “The Earthquake.” Earlier I had seen Cusick seriously taking photos
of the newsbox outside the Chestnut Hill Bootery and when I saw him doing the
same outside the Local office, I knew he was a man with a mission and asked if
he might oblige with an explanation. Watch video here.
Hille, a staff photographer for the Philadelphia Inquirer was at the Allens
Lane Art Center on Wednesday April 3rd taking photos for a future
story about the “Vision through Art” program for the blind and visually impaired.
GOING ON AT THE INKY THESE DAYS? “We can’t talk about that, sorry. Everything
at the Inky is, we’re up and running and we’re still publishing and we’re all
happy we have jobs.”
Lee, Anthony Dean and Monica
Lyons-Jones (above with a self-portrait) are photographers who, together, form the Philadelphia Street Sounds
Collective. Dean likes how the
lighting and weather on the street is always changing. A postal worker by day, he often shoots
at nighttime and is also an avid documenter of the vibrant Philadelphia jazz
scene about which he has authored two books. Lee’s photography reflects her
loves; she captures the details in flowers, iconic Philadelphia architecture, ballet
shoes and more. Jones shoots images reflecting the seasons, feelings and things
important to her. A former teacher, she hopes to show how important reading is through
photographs of people doing it, such as her portrait of a young girl quietly
absorbed in a book. The threesome exhibited and discussed their work in the
upstairs of a restaurant/bar in Fairmount as part of the annual fall
Philadelphia Open Studios Tours
Garland Thompson was monkeying around with a large camera on the bench just outside the Allens Lane Art Center when, as I was about to go in, I paused to talk with him. Thompson who took his first photography class at Allens Lane 42 years ago, is a professional journalist. He had just recently purchased this, his first digital camera, and was saving the first shot to capture his grandson’s two year-old birthday celebration that same day. Soon he would be traveling to Panama from where he will report for the Philadelphia Tribune and WYRP radio in Baltimore.
YOU’VE BEEN DOING PHOTOGRAPHY SINCE… Since 1969 when I learned here at Allens Lane Art Center with a photographer named Larry Kanefsky. He taught us how to do the lab stuff as well as composition tricks and all kinds of nice stuff. OK, so this is my camera, it’s a Canon single lens reflex camera. I bought it because it is an SLR Seeing is the difficulty with a camera rather than hearing (oops, let me get the dot) You can tell I’m not real familiar with it, I just got it! (There we go) I bought this camera so I could shoot my grandson but also because I’m going to Panama. I’m going to be doing some reporting for WYPR radio in Baltimore and, among other things, I helped to convince them that radio in the Internet age is really TV, and they had to do pictures. too. So I’m going to do some stories for them and also bring back some stories for the Philadelphia Tribune, one of my old papers and, some probably who knows, some will be souvenir shots. So that’s my big thing. I bought this camera so I could get back into photography which I used to truly love ‘cause it’s so fascinating. Now I’m really quite fearful that it’ll be too absorbing. So that’s my story. YOU’RE GOING DIGITAL TODAY? I’m going digital today. AND THE FIRST THING YOU’RE TAKING WITH THIS YOU SAY IS? My grandson Joshua Monk is two this week and we’re having a celebration for his birthday. So I’m going to go, be grandpop, and shoot his pictures. HAVEN’T SHOT A SINGLE THING YET? No, I haven’t shot the first thing. I’ve been very careful to not shoot anything so that Josh is the first thing I do. Journalist and author Garland Thompson.
Epilogue: “What I like about it is it has a diopter adjust. I can actually look through this camera and not use my glasses There’s a diopter lens adjustment."