Between the Lines with Photographer, Ellen Cantor

Kidnapped © Ellen Cantor

Kidnapped © Ellen Cantor

Rfotofolio is pleased to share the work of Ellen Cantor.  She show us how one art form can honor another in her series Prior Pleasures.

Ellen please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Chicago, IL, but have lived most of my adult life in Southern California.  I graduated from the University of Illinois and UCLA Environmental and Design Program.  After a career as an Interior Designer, I shifted my focus into fine art photography in 2000.  I am married, have two daughters and four grandchildren.

How did you get started in Photography?

It was almost by accident.  My husband used to take most of the photographs and I was the director.  I realized that if I wanted to get the shot I saw, I would have to take the photographs myself.  I knew that I needed to learn to use the SLR and took some classes.  Immediately, I found a way to express myself.

Which photographers and other artists do you admire?

I have eclectic taste in art leaning toward modern and conceptual.  One of the first photographers I loved was Eliot Porter because of his use of color.  I also admire Uta Barth, Joann Callis, and Robert Heinecken, all conceptual photographers.  I recently saw an exhibit of Dubuffet and discovered his abstract works that were unknown to me.

Do you have a mentor?

Aline Smithson, photographer and blogger at Lenscratch has been very influential in helping me grow as a photographer.

Would you share an image (not your own) that has stayed with you over time?

Growing up in Chicago, I loved to go to the Art Institute.  Two of my favorite, non-photo images, are Caillebotte’s Paris Street Rainy Day and Seurat’s La Grande Jatte.  I have many photo books and enjoy choosing a new favorite every-time I revisit a book.

If you could spend the day with another photographer living or passed who would it be?

Ernst Haas for his pioneering work in color, selective focus, and capturing moving objects.

Your images seem to be based on objects, that in turn convey a memory.  Would you tell us about the series Prior Pleasures.

Prior Pleasures is deeply influenced by my love of literature.  This series explores memory and preservation of the past while ensuring the creation of a visual legacy for the next generation.  The books photographed for this series are the ones I have carried with me since childhood.  My mother read them to me and, in turn, I read them to my children, carrying on a tradition of the written and spoken word.

Rediscovering these books led me to realize the power and value of the hands-on-experience of reading.  As I documented each volume, I was transported to a time and place that allowed for imagination and fantasy.  With this series, I examine what it is that we remember and how we honor objects that inspired our early creative thinking.  Ultimately, Prior Pleasures is meant to remind us that books can excite and enrich our lives.

Heidi © Ellen Cantor

Heidi © Ellen Cantor

Haji Baba © Ellen Cantor

Haji Baba © Ellen Cantor

Nancy Drew © Ellen Cantor

Nancy Drew © Ellen Cantor

If no one saw your work, would you still create it?

Yes. Being creative is a part of my life, like brushing my teeth.

Please tell us about your process and what the perfect day is for you.

I work at home in a studio created from two extra bedrooms.  For several years, I have been doing still life.  I like to take objects of memory that I have saved or received when my mother passed away and create images from them.  I look to make photographs that go beyond what is in the viewfinder—finding the unseen in the seen.

I set up my still life on a table using natural light or a soft box with off camera lighting—very simple.  For Prior Pleasures, I used multiple images in camera.

My perfect day would be time to photograph, take a walk on the beach, go out for a nice dinner with family, and relax in the evening with my husband.

What challenges do you face as an artist?

I think working alone is the most difficult part of being an artist.  The other difficulty is finding ways to get my work out into the world and keeping up with technology.

What is next?

I am looking at ways of creating photographs that are off the paper or on different materials.

Thank you Ellen for sharing your work and words with us.

To learn more about the work of Ellen Cantor please visit her site at, Ellen Cantor Photographs.


All publications and images may not be reproduced in part or in whole without permission of Rfotofolio and the photographer.

All rights reserved.

Coming . . .

In Remembrance

“And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”

Maya Angelou

Utopia 7 © Jennifer Schlesinger Hanson

Utopia 7 © Jennifer Schlesinger

Rose Garden © J.Rosnthal

Rose Garden © J.Rosenthal

Utopia © Jennifer Hanson

Utopia © Jennifer Schlesinger

To learn more about Jennifer Schlesinger please visit her site at, Jennifer Schlesinger.

To learn more about J.Rosenthal please visit, J.Rosenthal Gallery.

Call for Submissions: ONE

Sapling in Snow © Alan Ross

Sapling in Snow © Alan Ross


This call for submissions was inspired by the words of Aline Smithson.

” I do think it’s time we reconsider the idea that everything has to be created around a project twenty images wrapped up in a neat bow with an artist statement on top.  Projects are great, but what about all the single images we shoot that have no home and get over looked because they are not in that portfolio gift box? ” 

Pink Feathers ©Aline Smithson

Pink Feathers ©Aline Smithson

We are asking you send us that one image that does not belong to a series.

One image that you can’t assign to a group but that has meaning to you.

Here is your chance to break out of the portfolio box.

We are honored to have Susan Spiritus of the Susan Spiritus Gallery as our co-juror.

Susan Spiritus has been a leader in the field of fine art photography for 39 years, opening the doors to her Southern California gallery in 1976 so that she could share her passion for photography with others.

The Susan Spiritus Gallery has been actively involved in the participation of PhotoLa, Los Angeles Art Show, Festival of Books and the BTB International Contemporary Art Fair.

She has also reviewed portfolios for Review LA & Santa Fe, Photolucida, PhotoNola, Palm Springs Photo Festival and MOPLA’s Fresh Look. To read more about an article that Susan wrote for us on collecting please visit, Thoughts from Susan Spiritus.

To learn more about the Susan Spiritus please visit her site, at the Susan Spiritus Gallery.

Important Dates:

Deadline: June 16th.

Email notifications will be sent to finalist June 30th.

Announcement on Rfotofolio

Juror’s Award

  • Online interview and exhibition on with a link to your site
  • Consideration for future publications.
  • Consideration for group show, time and place to be announced.

Rfotofolio Award

When a photographer sees an image that makes an impression on them, you will often hear it said, ” That is an image I wish I would have taken. “We are looking for photographs that “raise the bar”.

  • Online interview and exhibition on with a link to your site
  • Consideration for future publications.
  • Consideration for group show, time and place to be announced.

Merit awards will be chosen by Susan Spiritus and Rfotofolio.

Click here for more information on how to submit your image.


To learn more about photographer Alan Ross, please visit his site at, Alan Ross Photography.

 To learn more about Aline Smithson please visit her site, Aline Smithson.

Thank you to the photographers that share their work with us.

What will you create?

Dancer © Diana Bloomfield

Dancer © Diana Bloomfield

Everyday is a gift. Make it count.

Color Light Abstraction,1075 (Early   1960's)Wynn Bullock© Bullock Family Photography, LLC

Color Light Abstraction,1075 (Early 1960’s)Wynn Bullock© Bullock Family Photography, LLC

Yellowstone River © Jack Spencer

Yellowstone River © Jack Spencer

Bayou Boy © Tami Bone

Bayou Boy © Tami Bone

To learn more about these photographers please visit their sites by clicking on their names.

Diana Bloomfield

Wynn Bullock

Jack Spencer

Tami Bone

Thank you to the photographers that share their work with us.



A Life Full of Grace, Photographer Edna Bullock

On a memorable Saturday afternoon a few months ago, my eyes were opened to a special artist.  While there was only time to view a few of her photographs, her spirit so filled each print I could feel the artist presence in each one.  Every image suggested movement and harmony.  In some, there was an added sparkle of lively humor; in others a nurturing embrace.

Edna Bullock became an ’emerging’ artist in photography at age 61.  As a dancer in her youth, she was inspired by Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and Ruth St. Denis.  She also enjoyed the comic side of dance and developed her own style of light-hearted tap.  From the early 1940s to the mid-1970s, she spent her time as a choreographer, physical education and home economics teacher, wife, and mother. In her home life, she made clothing for her family, including men’s shirts, overcoats, and evening gowns. Some articles are still being worn with loving appreciation for the skill and attention to detail that are evident in every long-lasting stitch.  Other handcrafts such as macramé, needlework, were also ways of expression as were flower gardening, drawing, woodblock art, and calligraphy.  Creativity was part of her everyday life.

Edna Bullock by Wynn Bullock

Edna Bullock by Wynn Bullock ©  Bullock Family Photography LLC.

With her husband Wynn and their two daughters Barbara and Lynne, Edna’s home-base was the Monterey Peninsula, just fifty miles west of the small farming community of Hollister where she was born in 1915.  The Peninsula was a great center for photography as well as a wide spectrum of other arts.  Ansel and Virginia Adams, Morley and Frances Baer, and several members of the Weston family were among Wynn’s and Edna’s circle of friends as well as poet Eric Barker, publisher and painter Emil White, writer Henry Miller, and sculptor Gordon Newell.  It was a lively, generous community, sharing support, encouragement, and appreciation.  Sitting in on their conversations must have been its own form of master class.

After Wynn passed away in 1975 and her children were grown and on their own paths, Edna wondered about her future.  Healthy, and energetic, she knew she didn’t want to go back to teaching, and she surprised her family by deciding to pursue photography herself.  With a darkroom full of supplies, one of Wynn’s cameras, and over thirty years of being the wife of Wynn’s, she felt she had nothing to lose by giving it a try.  Not knowing anything about the technical side of photography, she enrolled in Photography I at her local community college where the teacher, Henry Gilpin was astonished to see her as one of his students.

Once she started on this course, Edna, in her usual fashion, moved full speed ahead, going remarkably quickly from taking classes and workshops, to teaching them.  Starting a whole new career at 61 meant there was no time to waste.

Edna Bullock, Lillie, 1976 © 1976/2012 Bullock Family Photography LLC.  All rights reserved.

Edna Bullock, Lillie, 1976 © 1976/2012 Bullock Family Photography LLC. All rights reserved..

Every time she went into the darkroom, Edna wore one of the shirts she had made for Wynn, along with his favorite work belt.  A source of comfort, it was also a ritual that she believed challenged her to do her best.  Even though she had lived with one of the great photographers of the mid-twentieth century and had been surrounded by other photographic giants, Edna managed to find her own voice in her photographs. Peace, rhythm, humor, curiosity, and connection are all there in her images.  Although her archive contains photographs of a wide range of subject matter, including landscapes, seascapes, flea markets, and portraits, she is perhaps best known for her nudes.

Three Nudes on the Dune by Edna Bullock © Bullock Family Photography LLC

Three Nudes on the Dune by Edna Bullock © Bullock Family Photography LLC

In these images, Edna portrays men as well as women comfortable in their own bodies and in tune with nature.   She had a wonderful ability to develop respectful and creatively rich relationships with her models and this kind of collaboration produced a remarkable body of work.

Rfotofolio wishes to thank Barbara and Gene Bullock-Wilson for their time and support in sharing information and materials, as well as, their efforts in preserving the Bullock family photographic legacies.  We also wish to thank the estate for giving us permission to make these photographs available on our site.

Peggy and Round Rocks 1991, Edna Bullock © Bullock Family Photography, LLC

Peggy and Round Rocks 1991, Edna Bullock © Bullock Family Photography, LLC

Lone Oak 1985 Edna Bullock ©Bullock Family PhotographyLLC

Lone Oak 1985 Edna Bullock ©Bullock Family Photography LLC

To learn more please visit, Wynn Bullock Photography. 


All publications and images may not be reproduced in part or in whole without permission of Rfotofolio and the photographer.

All rights reserved.


Weston Scholarship

Weston Scholarship

The Weston Scholarship makes a difference in the lives of young photographers. These young people are students of the darkroom arts and are passionate about photography.  If you are unable to attend, you may make a donation via the Weston Scholarship website.

To learn more about the Weston Scholarship please visit, The Weston Scholarship.

Kim and Gina © J.Rosenthal

Kim and Gina © J.Rosenthal

Thank you to the photographers that share their work with us.


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