Category Archives: Art

Bob Shell: Optics & Photography

Tony_Ward_Studio_Bob_Shell_letters_From_Prison_Optics_photography

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

 

 

 Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #28

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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PHOTOGRAPHY & OPTICS

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 Most people know that light moves really fast. In ancient times it was believed that light was instantaneous, but as the science of physics developed it was realized that light does move at a measurable speed. That speed is about 186,284 miles per second in a vacuum. Light’s speed through transparent media is a bit slower, although I’ve never bothered to memorize what the speed is in various media. What’s important to know is that as light moves from one medium to another, say from air into optical glass its speed changes slightly. This phenomenon is what allows a lens to bend light to converge or diverge it. A lens that’s thicker in the middle and thinner toward the edges will converge light and is capable of forming a projected image. An ordinary magnifying glass is an example, and you can use it to project an image onto a surface. Conversely, a lens that’s thin in the middle and thick at the edges will diverge light and cannot form a projected image by itself. How much a piece of optical glass bends light is referred to as its refractive index, the higher the refractive index the more a ray of light is bent.

But that’s not the whole story. Everyone has seen how a prism breaks “white” light into its components. That’s where Mr. Roy G. Biv makes his appearance as an easily remembered mnemonic for the colors, called the spectrum. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. These colors we see are only part of the spectrum, which extends beyond red into infrared, and on to more energetic waves like X-rays. It also extends below violet into the ultraviolet. Insects and some birds (raptors in particular) can see ultraviolet, while most mammals see a narrower range than we do, being red-green color blind or monochromatic. It’s been speculated that primate color vision evolved to distinguish ripe fruit from unripe, but I’m not completely convinced by this proposition, partly because in some species of New World monkeys only the females have color vision. (Most of us have tricolor vision, with cells in our retinas sensitive to red, green, and blue, but a small percentage of us have four, although I’m not exactly sure what they can see that the rest of us can’t.)

Anyway, prisms made of different types of glass will spread the spectrum into wider or narrower bands. This differential spreading of colors is referred to as dispersion. Obviously, if you are using a lens to form an image in your camera you want minimal dispersion. Otherwise you will see color fringing around objects in your images. One reason for using multiple elements of different glass types in a lens is to correct for dispersion. It’s relatively easy to design lenses corrected for two colors, and such lenses are called achromatic. Most old quality lenses are achromats. But the ideal is to eliminate all dispersion, or at least as much as possible. Lenses corrected for all visible colors are called apochromatic. Apochromats used to be very difficult and costly to make. This is still somewhat the case, but new glass types called LD, VLD, ULD, etc., for Low Dispersion, Very Low Dispersion, Ultra Low Dispersion, etc. have been developed to help solve this problem, which is worse with long, or telephoto, lenses. Sometime in the 1960s, I believe, it was discovered that natural fluorite crystals exhibited extremely low dispersion, and were ideal for use as lenses. Unfortunately, fluorite is very difficult to grind and polish into lens elements and suffers degradation if exposed to the atmosphere, so must be used only for internal elements in well-sealed lenses. So far as I know, only Canon currently uses fluorite elements in some premium telephoto lenses, made from synthetic fluorite crystals that they grow. Other firms have concentrated on developing glass types that incorporate fluorite or mimic its characteristics. You will often see terms like low dispersion, Ultra-Low Dispersion, ULD, Fluorite Glass, etc., used in lens advertisements. Now you know what they’re talking about.

Another term you will see in lens ads is aspherical, or aspheric. Literally this just means not spherical. As I said in my previous post about optics, most lens elements are spherical; meaning that the surfaces are segments of a sphere. As I said, this is fine if you’re focusing the image on a curved surface like the retina of your eye, but film and digital sensors are flat, not curved. One solution to getting lenses that will project images onto flat surfaces is to use aspheric elements, that is lens elements whose curvature varies from the lens center to the edges. Regular elements are made from lens blanks, wafers cut from cylinders of optical glass. These are ground and polished to the desired curvature by machines that start out with coarse grit and use progressively finer grit until the rouge used for the final polish. But these machines are able to only create spherical surfaces. To make ground and polished aspheric surfaces requires much more complex machinery and processes. Thus, ground and polished aspherical lens elements are costly and so are the lenses incorporating them.

In the mid-80s engineers at Canon developed a process to mold heated optical glass into aspherical lens elements. This was a major breakthrough, but was limited to lens elements of relatively small diameter. I understand that they have now considerably increased the maximum possible diameter. Other firms developed “hybrid aspherics” in which a molded plastic aspheric surface was bonded to a glass element. Some used aspheric elements made completely of molded plastic. If you look at diagrams of complex lenses you will see that two or more lens elements are often combined into one. The separate elements are bonded together with transparent optical cement.

Three people taught me the most, Wolfgang Volrath, Herwig Zorkendorfer, and. Les Stroebel. I never met Stroebel, but he is the author of Applied Photographic Optics, the standard technical book on the subject, a professor at RIT for many years. Wolfgang Volrath was, at the time I knew him, the chief of lens design at Leica. Herwig Zorkendorfer is an old friend who operates a business in Munich making specialized optical gadgets (www.zoerk.com). I’ve used and written about his products many times. Using his adapters you can mount enlarger lenses onto your SLR with both tilt and shift. Enlarger lenses are mostly of very high quality, and with the decline of the darkroom, you can buy even the best cheap. Other of his adapters let me use my collection of Carl Zeiss Jena MC lenses (50 mm, 60 mm, 80mm, 120mm, 180mm, and 300mm, originally for the Pentacon Six/Praktisix/Practica 66 line of cameras) on my Mamiya 645 cameras and on my Canon EOS cameras, the latter with shift and tilt. Herwig is an old hand in the photographic industry, having worked for Heinz Kilfitt in Munich, one of the makers of exceptional quality lenses after WW II (later. bought by Zoomar, for whom Kilfitt built lenses), and Mamiya Germany. I’d ask him a complex optical question over lunch at a street cafe, and he’d proceed to fill napkins with diagrams and equations, usually going far beyond the answer to my question.

Wolfgang Volrath was a different matter. His English is limited, my German is limited, and the translator we had didn’t know any of the technical optical terminology, so we communicated mostly in drawings. I was introduced to Wolfgang by Dennis Laney, my editor at Hove Foto Books and an expert in the history of Leica. Dennis had worked with me on my first book, and all the successors I wrote for Hove. In his book on Leica lenses, Dennis had quoted liberally from Wolfgang, and I could not wait to meet this man who had designed the optics for some of the best lenses ever made. To my surprise, Wolfgang told me that he was a nuclear physicist by training. But, he said, “a ray trace is a ray trace.” Leica, he said allowed him to design the best possible lenses, cost no object. His 100mm macro lens for Leica SLR cameras is without question the best lens of its type ever. It uses one element made of a special glass that Leica makes from scratch in a small laboratory in one of the old buildings in Wetzlar. I was fortunate to see this process on a visit to Leica not long after they had moved production from the old buildings in Wetzlar to their very modern new facility in Solms. But the glass making, at least at that time, was still being done in what looked like a medieval alchemist’s laboratory in Wetzlar. It appeared to be as much an art as science, with the glassmakers putting the raw ingredients into heavy platinum crucibles that were lowered into the furnace. Once the brew had cooked long enough, the crucible was lifted from the furnace, and the molten glass, glowing red-orange, was poured into wooden molds. That’s right, the molds were wood. And they didn’t char or catch fire, I don’t know why. Once the rough block of glass cooled, which was done slowly to avoid internal stress, it was cut into cylinders that were sliced into blanks that were ground and polished into fine lens elements. Only certain special lens elements are made this laborious way. Most elements are made from ordinary crown and flint glass which is sold on the worldwide commodities markets. When I was at Solms they were just quality testing a batch of glass that had come in from Tamron. Those ordinary optical glasses might be bought from any number of suppliers in Europe or Japan (and today probably from China or South Korea). There’s nothing special about them, no matter what you may be told by enthusiastic salesmen.

Modern lenses typically have multiple lens elements, each a discrete lens, and designed to work together to produce a quality image. The main problem with easily manufactured simple lenses is that we want to project the image onto a flat surface, film or electronic sensor, while simple lenses focus their image onto a curved virtual surface. That’s why the retina in your eye is concave. When you project such an image onto a flat surface you will find it impossible to get both the center and outer areas in focus at the same time. Focus on the center and the outer areas are fuzzy, and vice versa. Some portrait lenses are intentionally designed not to correct this and allow a face to be sharp and everything else to be soft. But most of the time that’s not what we want, so lens designers go to great ends to eliminate this so-called “spherical aberration.”. They do this with multiple lens elements, each designed to correct for the problems of others.

Most lens elements are spherical. That means that the curve of the glass is a segment of a sphere. Lens elements can have convex, concave, or plano (flat) surfaces. A plano-convex element would be flat on one side, convex on the other. Similarly, a biconvex element would be convex on both sides, Generally, convex surfaces converge light, whereas concave surfaces diverge light. A common example of a biconvex lens is an ordinary magnifying glass. Often two or more elements are cemented together into a unit, called a group. When you look at ads and product reviews you will see descriptions of lenses saying the lens has “12 elements in four groups” or something like that. A single un-cemented element counts as a group in these schemes. Does this tell you anything important,? Not really. Buying a lens simply on the number of elements/groups is like buying a car based on how many pistons it has. More elements and groups doesn’t make a better lens; some excellent lenses are simple in design.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-stone-walls-do-not-a-prison-make/

 

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Fashion Fetish 25 Years: Now Available!

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FASHION FETISH 25 YEARS: ORDER NOW!

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Now taking orders for this special limited edition print run of 500 copies on superior quality, Proline Pearl Photo 140# paper stock.  Standard portrait size, image wrap cover 8 x 10 in, 21 x 26 cm. 240 pages. Each copy sold is printed to order, signed and numbered until the edition is sold out. U.S. customers please allow 14 days for printing and delivery. International customers please allow 30 days for printing and delivery. Click here to enter check out: http://tonyward.com/shopping-cart/books-bonus-gift/#gallery/537ab8257ae5dd811ebdcab8cff3523a/102/cart

I would like to thank all of the incredible models, editors, stylists, magazines and companies that made this book possible! 

In order of appearance:

Mikala Mikrut, Alice Chaillou, A.H. Scott, Titziana, Michelle Seidman, Anthony Goaslin, Pascale Descance, Bill Weiting, Ayesha, Dana Rochelle, Sandy Ward, Sharon Franklin, Monica Miraglilo, Marita, Paul Mojica, Deborah Shaw, Richard Elms, Ingrid Cesares, Lee Henshaw, Sandra Bauer, Angelique, Wendy Taw, Nami, Vibe Magazine, Scott & Richard, Bob & Becky Marker, Deann, Paulette Fallon, Bobbi Eden, Kianna Dior, Shay Sights, Rachel Louise, Kelly, Holly Singelyn, David, Savanna, Hallie, David & Devon, Diana Desiderio, Tyson Beckford, Thandie Newton, Quincy Jones, Keith Murray, Heidi & Michelle, Andrea Suwa, Blend Magazine, BLVD Magazine, Lilian DeJong, Steffi, Justine Bakker, Ivita Rence, Jana, Anna Borleffs, Allison Dunlap, Dagmar Rose, Ettore Salon, Elizabeth Southward, Jennifer Cole, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Vault Productions, Domina Barbie, Jilian Nonemacher, Leg Show Magazine, Isabella Reneaux, Esther Young, Sascha Lilic, Spoon Magazine, Neiman Marcus, Penthouse Magazine, Natascha, Emina Cunmulaj, Sonya Bright, Tony Ward (the model), GQ Magazine, Thomas Kramer, Park Avenue Magazine, Guinevere Van Seenus, Atomic Bombshell, Catherine Trifilleti Design, Alex Wagner, Louva, Alejandra Guerrero, Floore Jansen, Kimberly Kane, Jennie Shapiro, Maggie Stein, Delicious Corsets, Taboo Magazine, Rachel V, Ashlynn Brooke, Bonnie Rotten, Jessica Saint, Jennifer Lester, K Vaughn, Aradia Ardor, Kevin Stewart, Becky Marker, Katie Kerl.

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Upcoming Events: Auction to Benefit The Photo Review

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The Photo Review Benefit Auction 2018

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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AUCTION TO BENEFIT THE PHOTO REVIEW

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Vintage and Contemporary Work by an International Who’s Who of Photography Up for Bid

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LANGHORNE, PA–The Photo Review, a critical journal of photography founded in 1976, will celebrate its 42nd anniversary with a spectacular Annual Benefit Auction on Saturday, October 27, 2018, at 7 p.m. at the University of the Arts, Caplan Studio Theater, 16th floor of Terra Hall, 211 South Broad Street in Philadelphia. The auction will offer the most significant array of photographs from the 19th century to the present that The Photo Review has ever presented.

The event will feature an international slate of photographers as well as a host of Philadelphia artists. Beginning and experienced collectors alike will have the opportunity to bid on work by such historic masters as Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Eugène Atget, Édouard Baldus, George Barnard, Jesse Tarbox Beals, Éduoard Boubat, Mathew Brady, Brassaï, Harry Callahan, Julia Margaret Cameron, Asahel Curtis, Edward S. Curtis, Dr. Harold Edgerton, Godfrey Frankel, John Beasley Greene, Philippe Halsman, Dave Heath, Fritz Henle, Lewis Hine, George Hurrell, Arthur Kales, André Kertész, Willy Kessels, Leonard Misonne, William Mortensen, Carlo Naya, Charles Nègre, Dorothy Norman, Ruth Orkin, Marion Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, A. J. Russell, Ben Shahn, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Josef Sudek, Wilhelm von Gloeden, Eva Watson-Schütze, and Cole Weston.

Among the contemporary photo stars whose work will go on the block are Mario Algaze, Mariette Pathy Allen, Renate Aller, Roger Ballen, Tom Baril, Dan Burkholder, Keith Carter, Carl Corey, Mitch Dobrowner, Jay Dusard, Jill Enfield, Larry Fink, Lois Greenfield, Pamela Ellis Hawkes, Robert Hirsch, Ann Ginsburgh Hofkin, Henry Horenstein, Max Kellenberger, Michael Kenna, Kay Kenny, Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe, George Krause, David Lebe, Barbara Leven, Alex MacLean, Duane Michals, Jeffrey Milstein, Bill Owens, Mark Perrott, Ernestine Ruben, Jerry Spagnoli, Harvey Stein, Krista Steinke, Catherine Steinmann, Maggie Taylor, Charles H. Traub, Richard Tuschman, Hiroshi Watanabe, Sandra Chen Weinstein, David Wells, and Joel-Peter Witkin.

Featured local luminaries include James B. Abbott, Susan Abrams, Laurence Bach, Andrea Baldeck, Andrew Bale, John Benigno, Rita Bernstein, Howard Brunner, Diane Burko, John Carlano, Jack Carnell, Paul Cava, Jano Cohen, Robert Cornelius, Gerald Cyrus, Sandra C. Davis, Susan Fenton, Harvey Finkle, David Freese, Judy Gelles, Tom Goodman, Marvin Greenbaum, David W. Haas, Judith Harold-Steinhauser, Andrew Hoff, Catherine Jansen, Joel Katz, Christopher Kennedy, Richard Kent, Jenny Lynn, Dan Marcolina, D W Mellor, Andrea Modica, Dave Moser, Eileen Neff, Wendy Paton, Thomas Porett, Amie Potsic,  Stuart Rome, Laurence Salzmann, Keith Sharp, John Singletary, Leif Skoogfors, Krista Steinke, Ron Tarver, Judith Taylor, Amanda Tinker, Sarah Van Keuren, Al Wachlin, Jr., Eric Weeks, Christine Welch, Stephen Guion Williams, and Richard Wright.

In addition, a broad range of 19th-century and vernacular photographs is up for bid. Also in the auction is a group of pictures from pioneering collector Harvey S. Shipley Miller, sold to benefit the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Photo Review. The Museum accessioned a significant portion of Mr. Miller’s collection and The Photo Review is now offering others for the mutual benefit of the two organizations. The Museum will use its proceeds from the sale for further acquisitions. Among these photographs are superb prints by the noted pictorialist Eva Watson-Schütze (who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with Thomas Eakins and later became one of the founding members of The Photo Secession), cased images from the 19th century, and 19th-century photographs by French photographers like Bisson Frères, William Odiorne, and Achille Quinet, among many others.

According to Photo Review editor Stephen Perloff, prices will range from $50 to $8,000.

A silent auction, concurrent with the live auction, will feature photography equipment and supplies, inkjet paper, museum memberships, theater tickets, books, etc.

Lodima Archival Materials has provided matting for Photo Review auction items.

The Photo Review will present Anthony Bannon, formerly director of the George Eastman Museum with The 2018 Photo Review Award for Services to the Field of Photography, at a reception from 6 to 7 p.m. on October 27, immediately preceding the auction.

A preview will be held at the University of the Arts on Friday, October 26, from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturday, October 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., just prior to the auction. Proceeds from the auction, a popular event since 1981, fund such activities as an annual juried competition for emerging photographers. Admission is free with purchase of the fully illustrated catalog, available through The Photo Review, 215-891-0214. Buyers may preview the live and silent auction online, and place bids at http://www.photoreview.org/auction.

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Repost: Larry Fink – Interview

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LARRY FINK: INTERVIEW

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Editor’s Note: Larry Fink: The Boxing Photographs is presently on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from August 11, 2018 – January 1, 2019. The interview between Tony Ward and Larry Fink took place in January of 2013.

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TW: Taking pictures for Conde Nast titles such as Vanity Fair and W  is an aspiration for many photographers around the world. What is your advice to those photographers that share similar goals and aspirations?

L.F.

Watch out for what you ask for….. it might ask more from your soul than you would be comfortable with giving up…

TW: Are you specifically referring to contractual agreements with the publishing house? Work for hire agreements and the like? When a photographer shoots for Conde Nast, who owns the rights to the picture?

L.F.

Never have I given my copyright to anyone…….. but some other more desperate types have sold the apple with the tree…

TW: You’ve photographed a large variety of people from all walks of life over the course of your career; where do you draw your inspiration from these days?………

L.F.

..   Inspiration comes  with  breakfast….. and an obsessive  need to merge within  the soul of each who I am attracted to..   the  shape of the pictures  is constructed within the moment of impulse…

TW: What was the most fun assignment you’ve ever worked on?  What was the worst?

L.F.

Over the course of 56 years  there have been many assignments which were  fun  but the  deeper truth is that each and any  job I have ever taken and done has been vital to my life and craft…working under contract  with Vanity Fair was a  very good time…

TW: Which photographers did you look up to when you were in your teens and first learning the craft?  Who do you admire today? 

LF.

Henri Cartier Bresson… Simpson  Kalisher,,, Bruce Davidson..  Lisette Model,  Brassai…

Todays workers could be…Gilles Peress…. Mitch Epstein …,  Debbie Flemming Caffery   

TW: How did your growing up influence the way you frame a shot?  Were your parents artistic and teach you to interpret the world through composition and structure, via the lens of a camera?

LF.

I was reared by leftist parents with a deep if  rigid appreciation of  art and music …….  It was of great inspiration to be  cuddled within culture…

TW: Henri Cartier Bresson was known for the “decisive moment”. In your picture making, the “indecisive moment” seems to be your hallmark.  Which visual standards must be met before you decide to make a print for the world to see?

LF.

Indecisive is not something that I am known for and if the images  are such then they fail… visual standards  are fleeting and fixed…. The answer to the question is a dissertation  of  which I will not write here.

TW: During your recent talk at the University of Pennsylvania you mentioned you were beginning to explore the use of the digital camera?  How will the new medium transform your interpretations of new ideas, concepts or assignments?

LF.      

Creative  visual promiscuity…….  Is not a sin……… it  opens up my  photographic eyes by its ease of experimental  rendering ..

TW: You’ve been teaching at Bard for decades: what do you find most rewarding or challenging with regards to the instructor/student classroom experience?.

LF:

………………………………………….I love kids and fear for the future of culture amongst other things…..      I teach in order to contribute to the richness of life experience… I teach in order to learn ..   each student is a lesson…

TW: You’ve accomplished so much in your storied career, from one man shows at the Museum of Modern art, to the glossy editorial pages of W and Vanity Fair: what is the next big goal or desire for Larry Fink in 2013?

LF.

I have no goals.  In the beginning we wished for revolution .. a new spirit for man… but we have not gone there in fact.  We here in the USA are the bastion of  reaction and art is  dominated by commerce not soul…… the essential goals have been squelched.

However each picture has the possibility of being a miracle  even if it  is not  often received as such…. Of course, I have projects and books in mind  One thing which is interesting as well.. as  I have been  respected I have not had a retrospective show in a major venue in my country the USA…..    I would love to do that before I die. That said  my health is sound so we have time.

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Biography

​Besides working as a professional photographer for over fifty-five years, Larry Fink has had one-man shows at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of Modern Art amongst others. On the European continent, he has had one-man shows at the Musee de l’Elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland and the Musee de la Photographie in Charleroi, Belgium. Recently, in the last three years, he had a traveling retrospective shown in six different Spanish museums. He was awarded the “Best of Show” for an exhibition curated by Christian Caujolle at the Arles Festival of Photograph in France. As far as being represented in group shows, the list is longer than the eye can see. Most recently, Larry has been awarded the
2015 International Center for Photography (ICP) Infinity Award for Lifetime Fine Art Photography. He has also been awarded two John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships and two National Endowment for the Arts, Individual Photography Fellowships. He has been teaching for over fifty-two years, with professorial positions held at Yale University, Cooper Union, and lastly at Bard College, where he is an honored professor. 
Larry’s first monograph, the seminal Social Graces (Aperture, 1984) left a lasting impression in the photographic community. There have been twelve other monographs with the subject matter crossing the class barrier in unexpected ways. Two of his most recently published books were on several “Best Of” lists of the year: The Beats published by Artiere /powerhouse andLarry Fink on Composition and Improvisation published by Aperture. His most recent book is Opening the Sky, published by Stanley / Barker. As an editorial photographer, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair have been amongst a long list of accounts.
 
Coming early 2017, Fink On Warhol: New York Photographs of the 1960s, featuring rare photographs of Andy Warhol and his friends at the Factory interspersed with street scenes and the political atmosphere of 1960s New York. Additionally, he is currently working on a massive retrospective book to be published by the University of Texas Press. Grafiche dell’Artiere in Bologna will make the exquisite prints for the book..

To access Larry Fink’s web site, click herehttp://www.larryfinkphotography.com/

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All Rights Reserved. Copyright, Larry Fink, 2018.

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News: Pennsylvania Convention Center Launches New Website

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Photo: Tony Ward. Preacher. House of Prayer. Pennsylvania Convention Center. Copyright 2018

 

 

Pennsylvania Convention Center Launches New Website 
featuring its $1.5 million West Wing Art Collection
Paconventionart.com hosts information about 69 artists and their works
 
PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 16) – The Pennsylvania Convention Center announced today the launch of a new website to serve as an online platform for the public and art lovers to discover and learn about 131 pieces of fine art installed throughout public spaces within the facility’s 2011 expansion, which increased the venue’s saleable space by more than 60 percent to 1 million square feet. 

 

The Pennsylvania Convention Center invested $1.5 million in the acquisition and installation of the artworks, produced by 69 Pennsylvania artists, which are now placed throughout the facility’s West Wing Expansion. The Center hosted a formal public unveiling of the art earlier this year, as well as public tours of the art in connection with Wawa’s Welcome America’s summer festival.  The venue’s West Wing art collection features 42 paintings, 31 works on paper, 26 photographs, 10 sculptures, eight cased objects, eight textile installations, five tile mosaics, and one video artwork by Pennsylvania’s most inspiring artists. 
 
The site, www.paconventionart.com, provides a detailed map of the facility that identifies the location of each piece of art, images of the artwork itself, as well as biographical information and additional facts on each artist. The website also features video interviews with 38 artists and allows users to search works by title, artist, and location within the Convention Center.  A two-minute introductory video can be viewed on YouTube.  Previously, the collection was available only for viewing during conferences, meetings, or private events hosted at the Convention Center.
The website also contains a downloadable brochure that people attending events at the Convention Center can print or reference for self-guided tours. Website visitors can sign up for mailings and notices of future art-related activities at the Center.
 
 “This artwork was selected with the goal of utilizing our facility to showcase some of the incredible talent of Pennsylvania’s many gifted artists,” said Gregory J. Fox, Esq., Chairman of the PCCA Board of Directors. “Our facility hosts more than 1 million visitors each year who have the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate this art in person, but we wanted to provide even greater access to the public.  This new website makes these works accessible to art lovers anywhere in the world while also showcasing our facility as the cornerstone of the region’s hospitality industry.”
 
The website was launched to coincide with the year-long 25th anniversary celebration of the opening of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Half of the artists featured in the collection attended the Center’s free, public Community Festival on June 30 to discuss their works with attendees.  The new art website can be reached through the Center’s website at www.paconvention.com.
 
“I am delighted that the Convention Center is making its art collection available online to a wider audience with significant detail on the artists and their individual backgrounds,” said Astrid Bowlby, whose 100 foot-long, commissioned work, “That Music Always Round Me,” is featured at the Center. “The website also provides convention and meeting attendees with a resource to learn more about specific pieces of art, as well as seek out additional works during their visit.  The site is not just an archive of the collection, it greatly enhances individuals’ experience and their ability to appreciate both the art and the artists who created these works.” 
 
The Convention Center joined with Pennsylvania arts organizations to select and curate the works in the collection.  The Center received significant administrative assistance from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) in Harrisburg under the direction, guidance, and counsel of now-retired Executive Director Philip Horn.  The new website lists the names, titles, and organizations of both the Art Purchasing Committee and the Pennsylvania art professionals who served on the Blind Jury who were all instrumental in the art selection process for the pieces in the Center’s West Wing Art Collection. 
 

“Our incredible collection of outstanding works of museum-quality art, which can be found in public spaces throughout our facility, really differentiates the Pennsylvania Convention Center from other meeting venues,” said John J. McNichol, President & CEO of PCCA. “This new website showcases Pennsylvania’s talented artists and the diverse creative culture of our region.  It also allows the Center to highlight our unique collection for prospective customers as an added benefit that their event attendees can enjoy.” 

  
About Pennsylvania Convention Center
The Pennsylvania Convention Center is celebrating its 25th year in the center of Philadelphia’s cultural offerings and world-class dining and entertainment scene. The Convention Center is managed by SMG, the nation’s leader in public facility management. It is the 14th largest such facility in the nation and features the largest exhibit space and ballroom in the Northeast. It has won numerous awards and recognition, including a designation as the Best Government/Public Building of 2011 by the Engineering News Record of New York. For more information, visit www.paconvention.com.
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Media Contacts:
Deirdre C. Hopkins, Tel. 215-680-1526. Email: dhopkins@paconvention.com
Pete Peterson, Tel.  215-893-4297, Email: ppeterson@bellevuepr.com
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