Member News

From Ellen Jacob

It gives me great joy that this photo of my father and his caregiver Orna was awarded a merit prize by NCOA (National Council on Aging). It is from my series, “I Am Family” exploring both the inescapable bonds between caregivers and their elderly recipients and the point at which the job ends and family membership begins.

My dad was a smart man, a debater, a litigator, and in later years, it was difficult for him to talk. In his last years, I would walk down Broadway almost every day to visit. The three of us would go to the park, sit, and barely talk, but smile and laugh. Orna helped me cross the barrier separating my dad from seeming to me like a failing man, to being a sensitive, soft, caring, aging human.

I posted this on Facebook on Father’s Day, a holiday my dad felt was overly commercial, an opinion that helped teach me to be an independent thinker. I miss him deeply.

 

From Allan Markman

Two of my images were finalists in the Photoplace Gallery competition themed “Found Objects”; “Water” which received an Honorable Mention and “Still Life with Pick Axes and Pine Cone.”

The exhibition will run from June 23 – July 22, 2022 in Middlebury, VT.

 

From Lee Day

Clipping Suburbia – Japan is now on Foundation.app as an NFT project. I minted the first three images in conjunction with the Techspressionism: Digital and Beyond show which is at the Southhampton Arts Center through July 23rd. Additional Images from the series will be minted periodically and available in my collection. This is the first of several projects I plan to publish in online digital NFT platforms. Stay tuned for more. 

From Lee Backer

Harper’s Magazine has chosen my image “Big-leaf Maples, Hoh Rain Forest” to appear in their August issue. The photo will be a full-page accompaniment to an article about Big-leaf maples and the development of a tree DNA database. It is written by Lauren Markham, who is a journalist and essayist as well as an award-winning fiction writer. 

By Fall, I hope to get back to work printing and editing my series “Radiance” about my experiences during a visit to Ellis Island’s hospital complex. And finding that having this period of distance from old, familiar routines is beneficial from an artistic as well as personal perspective.

 

 

 

Ellen Konar & Steve Goldband: Two Points of View

By Norm Borden

In the art world’s long history of creative partnerships – Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick to name a few – let’s not forget Soho Photo’s own Ellen Konar and Steve Goldband. As residents of Palo Alto CA, they’ve been long distance members since 2020 and appreciate what the gallery offers them even from afar. Or maybe especially from afar. Right now, their exhibition, Fertile Ground, is on view in the front gallery and the fourteen large prints in the show are emblematic of how they work together which they’ve been doing for the past 12 years. Steve’s eye for geometry and light is elevated by Ellen’s interest in memory, meaning and color. As Ellen says, “We have different ways of seeing things, we are both very involved at every stage, from deciding where to go, taking photos, editing the photos, printing them, mounting them, all of that stuff. It’s a very collaborative process and a matter of heavy negotiations, non-stop negotiations if you want to figure out how you cannot have a peaceful moment when you’re in total control. I think it’s an interesting experience, but it’s one in which this sort of constant tension between our differences and our heavy overlap means it’s like having a peer review every hour.” It’s quite an experience doing this together.”

When asked if he knew of any other photographic partnerships, Steve mentioned Bernd and Hilda Becher, German photographers who documented industrial structures like water towers and grain silos in the 1960s and 70s.

Steve explains that they started the Fertile Ground project about four years ago after being inspired by frequent drives to Monterey and Carmel that took them past the farm fields. Steve says, “It was just hypnotic looking out the car window…we started taking the scenic route off the highway to see it more closely and slowly. And then at some point, we said, let’s photograph this.” 

Ellen offers another perspective: “We’ve had family traditions of berry picking in Wisconsin and then when we were in the New York area. When I got to California and did our annual berry picking, the level of productivity of these farms was amazing. Instead of picking berry by berry, all of a sudden you were picking handfuls. This was kind of a puzzlement. Like, how is it that? What is going on? Is it just an individual year? An individual farm? When you look at strawberry productivity in this area in California, you realize it’s ten times greater than the yields of similar farms in New York. Then we started asking questions like is it the cultivating method? The ocean fog? The answer is all of the above and more. We realized that there was active experimentation and efforts to yield the most out of the least amount of land and to optimize that yield. We were amazed at what the farms looked like visually, but also what was going on beneath the hoop houses. That got us really entranced with this project.”

Steve tells why they decided to use a drone to photograph the farms – the drone technology itself had finally matured to the point that there were really high-quality cameras and the length of flight was long enough. The instrumentation on the Mavic 2, which uses a camera made by Hasselblad, could keep the drone stable and safe. He says, “It converged on a place where it was really, really useful, and it didn’t take too much skill to literally fly the drone. It’s more or less like having a tripod in the sky. It hovers where you put it. You can move it this way and that. You can go up and down, which is equivalent to zooming. So, you have this tremendous freedom and it’s a whole new world of scenes from the unintended consequences of the farming practices. But they do it in such a systematic way, between the irrigation and mulch and the other practices that you end up with some very interesting subjects.”

They discovered Soho Photo on a trip to New York several years ago. Steve had heard about the gallery and wandered in, liked what he saw and submitted prints for membership. “We didn’t have that in mind at first, but it’s been wonderful during Covid. Ellen says. “ At the Zoom lunches, we realized that Soho Photo was quite a step up in terms of the kind of approach to critique and what-not. It was a bit more erudite. We’ve also participated in the Zoom salons. It’s all been kind of a wonderful experience.

Hopefully, Soho Photo Gallery will continue to be fertile ground for them. And us. 

Summer Interns

Will Staley

Nicolas Umpierrez

Tsing Liu

Share: