A curated online gallery space for fine art photography, we have no bins…
October is almost over and we want to thank Chuck Davis for his generosity in donating all of the funds from his R.O.M. to the Rfotofolio Fund.
Also a big thank you to all of the people who support photographers by collecting their art.
Your support helps us continue sharing their work. To learn more please visit the About Us page.
Rfotofolio is pleased to have as our October R.O.M.the beautiful “Bull Kelp#1, Point Lobos” by Chuck Davis.
“Bull Kelp #1, Point Lobos”
11″x14″ paper size (image area, 9″x13″)
Medium: toned silver gelatin print
Mounted on 4-ply white archival board with 4-ply window matt
Print is signed on the front mount, with my photographer’s stamp on the verso.
Story behind the photograph: This image was photographed underwater at the Point Lobos State Underwater Reserve at a location called Bluefish Cove on July 8, 1999 — just about 15 years ago exactly.
Truth be known, I had set out that day with a rebreather (so I could be extra-quiet in the water) and my underwater camera to photograph some of the usually shy and stealthy harbor seals that were frequenting the Cove, but upon descent to the bottom from our dive boat I was greeted by a wonderful surprise: before me were a series of brand new “baby” bull kelp fronds “sprouting” up off the hard reef substrate. Bull kelp is an “annual” marine algae and occurs in giant kelp forests off this part of the Central California coast, usually in the open spaces where it competes for space with giant kelp, in that eternal saga of life and death and rebirth, that is so visible in these giant kelp forest ecosystems. This particular bull kelp was indeed dancing in front of me, buoyed by its spherical float or “pneumatocyst” and its blades were morphing, rising and falling, expanding and contracting, into a series of intriguing forms before my eyes. I was feeling like I was witnessing a siren luring me in for a closer look begging for attention and waving at me. This bull kelp was very new, and free of any encrusting marine debris, and it has its own subtle sheen on the float, even in the flat subdued light of the deep kelp forest. The blades seemed to render the float Medusa-like. I spent the next hours or so not moving from that very spot, just observing, seeing/feeling and exposing frames of film (with just the available ambient light) as this marine algae literally danced in front of my camera, pulsed by the powerful force of the open Pacific wave surge above.
This experience reminds me once again of Minor White’s quote, “It isn’t just what it is . . . but what else it is “
On this photographic dive, this bull kelp was definitely “something else” ,way beyond just a piece of brown algae, in my mind’s eye. A dive I will long remember. – Chuck Davis
About Chuck Davis from the Tidal Flats site.
From the freezing climes of Antarctica and Greenland to the heat and humidity of the Amazon, Chuck Davis has worked as a specialist in marine and underwater photography and cinematography. His motion picture film credits include work on several IMAX films, including, “Ring of Fire” (underwater lava scenes), “Whales”, “The Greatest Places”, “Amazing Journeys”, “Search for the Great Sharks”, and two Academy Award-nominated IMAX films, “Alaska: Spirit of the Wild” and “The Living Sea” (underwater/marine scenes of Monterey Bay). Davis’s cinematography experience has also included numerous expeditions worldwide with the Cousteau filming teams working with the late Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his son Jean-Michel during production of “The Rediscovery of the World” TV series. He has also worked on feature films such as Warner Brothers’ “Sphere” and documentary projects for the Discovery/Learning Channel, BBC, PBS, CBS, ABC, A&E, NBC/Universal and National Geographic Channel. Recent cinematography projects include work as the Director of Photography for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s “Ocean Adventures” PBS TV series, the Smithsonian’s “Who We Are” (a special dome-theater film for the National Museum for the American Indian, in Washington, D.C.), and the avant-garde production, “Crystal Palace”, filmed in Papua New Guinea for Director, Mathias Poledna.
A widely published still photographer, Chuck’s images have appeared nationally and internationally in magazines such as B+W, Orion, Life, National Geographic, Audubon, Nature’s Best, Defenders, National Wildlife, Outside, Scientific American, Terre Sauvage, BBC Wildlife, Italy’s FOCUS/Extra, Ocean Realm and numerous Cousteau publications.
His fine art black and white and color work has been represented in special exhibitions by the Ansel Adams Gallery, the Christopher Bell Collection Gallery, the Oceans Gallery in Los Angeles, in multi-photographer exhibits at the National Geographic Society/Explorer’s Hall in Washington, D.C., Nikon House/New York, The Center for Photographic Art, Brooks Institute and the San Francisco International Airport. Davis’s work is included in numerous private and corporate collections. He is also the author/photographer of “California Reefs”/Chronicle Books.
In our effort to develop the Rfotofolio Fund, and to give another resource to photographers, Rfotofolio is initiating the Rfoto of the Month (R.O.M.) program. Each month we will be featuring a different artist or image.
The photographers that participate in our R.O.M. graciously donate part of the proceeds from the sale of their work to the Rfotofolio Fund.
By purchasing our featured print not only are you supporting the photographer and Rfotofolio, you are able to add a unique piece of art to your collection from a curated list of artists.
We hope you will consider supporting photographers and build your collection by purchasing our print of the month.
The print size and price is determined by the individual photographer.
If you would like to purchase “Bull Kelp# 1, Point Lobos” by Chuck Davis please press the “buy now” button.
You do not need a Paypal account to use Paypal.
Thank you for your support.
Thank you Chuck for sharing your work with us.
To learn more about Chuck Davis please visit his site at, Tidal Flats.
To read our interview with Chuck please visit,“The Other Earth”.
To learn more about Peter Liepke please visit his site, at Peter Liepke Photographs.
To learn more about the Gallery 270 please visit their site at, Gallery 270.
We will be publishing our interview with Peter Liepke on Oct. 30th.
From the Lumière in Atlanta
New Exhibition – View From The Street
Featuring the Work of Harold Feinstein
November 14 – December 23, 2014
First recognized at the age of 19 by Edward Steichen, who purchased his prints for MoMA,
Feinstein has been widely acclaimed throughout his distinguished career.
“He is one of the few photographers with the ability to reveal the familiar in a beautiful new way”
W. Eugene Smith
“Humanistic, intimate, engaged” • A.D. Coleman…photography critic, New York Times
Also included . . . photographs by Vivian Maier – in conjunction with the publication of the book:
Vivian Maier: A Photographer Found (Oct 28,2014 – Harper Collins)
To learn more about Harold Feinstein please visit his site at, Harold Feinstein Photography.
For more information on the Lumiere Gallery please visit their site at, Lumiere Fine Art Photography .
To learn more about Fran Forman please visit her site at, Fran Forman.
To learn more about the Pucker Gallery please visit their site at, Pucker Gallery.
To read our interviews with Fran please visit,”The Art of Fran Forman”.
Thank you to the photographers that share their work with us.
Jim, please tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started in photography?
In 1951 or 1952, when I was eight or nine, my parents bought me a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera. It took twelve 2 1/4 square pictures on a roll of 620 film, was made out of Bakelite, and had a not-very-precise waist-level finder and a shutter release you pressed with your thumb. I loaded it with Super-XX film, and started making a pest of myself. It soon became obvious that drugstore processing was going to be way too expensive. My father purchased a rudimentary darkroom kit: a plastic Kodak developing tank with an apron that took a day to dry, a Kodak Tri-Chem pack (developer, stop, and fixer in tiny foil packets), a 15-watt light bulb that had been dipped in red dye, three plastic 5×7 trays, and a small contact printing frame. I’d load the film into the developing tank in a closet and develop and print in the bathroom, washing the film and prints in the sink. This didn’t exactly endear me to my mother, but I loved it.
A few years later, I was a freshman in high school. During spring break, I got the idea of taking pictures for the school newspaper. I talk my father into loaning me a Weston Master light meter and his folding Zeiss Ikon camera: 16 pictures on a roll of 120 film in a format that today we’d call 6×4.5. I presented myself to the newspaper staff, and they decided to give me a trial assignment. “Do you know how to develop film?”, they asked. “Sure,” I answered, thinking of all the rolls that I’d put through the Kodak tank. I went off to make the picture.
It’s a pretty boring shot: all the seniors who were elected to cum laude that year, lined up in two rows. I had no flash and no tripod. The light meter reading was really low. I opened the lens all the way, braced the camera on a table, guessed the distance (no rangefinder), and hoped for the best. It was 7:30 by the time I was done, and paste-up is supposed to start at 10:30. I headed for the school darkroom and found the chemicals, but the developing tank was like nothing I’d ever seen before. It said “Nikor” on it. The tank itself, the lid, and the cap seem to be easy enough to figure out, but what’s this stainless steel spiral? If I’d had any sense, I would’ve used an unexposed roll of film to teach myself how to load the reel, but I just turned out the lights and struggled for 10 minutes. After the film was fixed, I opened the tank to see how bad off I was. It was pretty bad; the film was stuck to itself in lots of places, and those places aren’t fixed. I finally found an intact frame. While the film was drying (I turned the drier thermostat up so high I’m lucky the film didn’t reticulate), I turned to the enlarger. I’d never seen one before. It turned out to be pretty easy to figure out. The prints were pretty soft; either I’d misjudged the distance or moved the camera. After the prints were washed, I figured out the print drier. I got the prints in on time and my career as a teenaged photojournalist had begun.
What photographers and artists inspire you?
Edward Hopper, Michael Kenna, Lee Friedlander, Frederic Church. Rod James, for This Green, Growing Land and what followed.
Did you have any special mentors?
I took workshops from some great photographers. John Sexton and Huntington Witherill were both especially influential in developing a sense of craft and esthetics. One of the hardest things about learning photography is knowing what a good print looks like; they both helped teach me.
What was the inspiration for your Staccato series?
I had been working on the Nighthawks series for about three years, and I was running out of places to make the images. I needed fairly large cities with enough areas with good photographic possibility that I didn’t have to return over and over to the same places, causing my subjects to notice me and making me bored and restless. I’d run through what I thought were the best U.S. cities, and was thinking about Mexico and Japan. I’d actually booked a trip to Guadalajara, only to back out when a spate of violence erupted. The big European cities are mostly darker at night than the ones in the U.S., and the storefronts typically less open to the street. Tokyo seemed like a good possibility, but the time zone shift is in the wrong direction, and I’d be going out to take pictures at midnight or one AM by body time.
I also was noticing that the blurry drive-by photographs like those in Nighthawks and This Green, Growing Land had gone from highly unusual to common in the larger photographic world, and I didn’t like being part of what might turn into a cliché.
One morning, I was lying in the bathtub ruminating about what to do when an idea popped into my brain. The thing I liked so well about This Green, Growing Land and Nighthawks was the ability to direct the viewer’s attention by judicious panning. I realized that there was another way to do that. Rather than making one semi-blurry picture, I could make a series of sharp pictures and composite them, achieving the same esthetic effect, but with a different look and a whole host of new possibilities. I thought immediately of Nude Descending a Staircase.
Over how long a time period did this evolve?
The idea for Staccato came in a flash, but the ideas behind the idea were developed over many years, starting with Alone in a Crowd, which used motion blur with a fixed camera, going to This Green, Growing Land, which used a moving platform to add depth and more control of sharpness, to Nighthawks, which moved the venue to cities and returned to the emotional themes of Alone in a Crowd. Because I knew the subject matter so well from Nighthawks, Staccato gelled almost immediately.
What is makes a good photographic day for you?
I don’t think in terms of days. I think in terms of whatever project I’m working on. If I can capture images true to what I’m looking for, that’s fine. If I can advance my vision of what the project’s about, that’s good. If I get an idea for some tangent to explore, that’s great within reason; too many tangents means none of them get properly developed.
In your eyes what makes a great piece of art?
I don’t know if I can make sense of such a large question. I can tell you what I’m looking for in my work. I want something pleasing to the eye. I’m looking for ambiguity; I want the image to reveal itself over a long time. I want a connection to my own emotions, and some prospect that the viewer will feel a similar connection.
Could you share some of your work process with us?
Making the exposures for Staccato is, to anyone else by me, excruciatingly boring. Drive around looking for subjects. Find a few. Work out a route that goes by them. Circle around until they’ve moved, noticed me and start waving, or until even I am bored. Then do it again, for hours and hours. I talk to the driver about what I’m doing so that he can position the car right, and to involve him in the process.
How do you go about editing your work?
I bring a trip’s worth of exposures into Lightroom. Thousands of images. I go through them all, marking the ones with no possibilities for deletion, and grouping the rest into stacks that will be composited. Then I export each stack to Photoshop and see if I can make something of it. If I can, I save it. If I can’t, I delete the stack from the disk. I keep the original exposures for each composite I like, and often go back and re-composite the stack to see if I can do better.
Could you tell us about your studio space?
It’s a mess. Computers, monitors, printers everywhere. And cables. Lots and lots of cables, coiled in unruly, spaghetti-like piles. Every so often, I’ll work for a morning to try to beat back the clutter, but the best I can do is fight the clutter to a draw.
Are there any photographic techniques or subjects that you haven’t explored but that you wish to do in the future?
I’ve found that thinking of something unrelated to what I’m working on doesn’t get me very far. I prefer to work on whatever I’m doing, and see where that leads me. It’s a series of small steps, not a big leap. Most of what I’m working on now has to do with portraying time.
Jim thank you for sharing your art and your time.
To see more of Jim’s work visit his site at,Jim Kasson Photography.
To learn more about Peter Liepke please visit his site at, Peter Liepke.
To read our interview with Mitchell please visit, “Mitchell Hartman”.
To learn more about Mitchell Hartman please visit his site, Embrace the Grain.
Thank you to the photographers that share their work.
“Time is the shape of an old oak as the winds caress and sculpt the bark, defining hardship and beauty. Time is the trunk that splits apart in great age to accommodate the tempest. Evidence of time is revealed in furrowed bark of an ancient tree, gnarled, crooked, and beautiful.
Portraits of Change.
Portraits of Survival.
Portraits of Time.
I’d like to keep a clear picture, so if a tree is destroyed by storm, disease, greed or lack of concern, I will have a record of its power and beauty for those who were not able to make the journey. I photograph these trees because I know words alone are not enough, and I want their stories to live on. I photograph these trees because they may not be here tomorrow.”
Over the past fourteen years Beth Moon has traveled the world to photograph the “oldest souls” living on earth, its ancient trees. She has shared these portraits with us in her new book, Ancient Trees, Portraits of Time. Her images along with essays by Todd Forrest and Steven Brown makes this book a treasure.
We had the chance to ask Beth a few questions on her work.
The best portraits are taken when the photographer feels a connection with the subject, what connection did you feel to the subjects in these images?
It’s hard to describe the connection I have to these trees. To say I felt wonder and admiration is putting it lightly, rather it felt like being struck by lightning! Being able to visit these old trees was an experience that I wanted to repeat again and again.
Have you been able to revisit them?
Yes, there are a number of trees that I have gone back to and many others I would love to revisit. For me, it is especially interesting to see changes the seasons bring to the trees.
Did you always know that you wanted this body of work to be a book?
The deeper I got into the project and realized how challenging it was to get to a lot of these locations, it became clear that I wanted to share these images with people who would not be able to see them, so yes, I thought a book would be the best way to do this.
What do you hope people will take from this work?
I have a reverence for nature and certainly it is hard not to sense the majesty of these very large, old trees when in their presence. I hope it permeates my work to some degree. If this comes through in my portraits then I am satisfied. Ultimately, I would hope we could find a better way to live with the environment.
Thank you Beth Moon for sharing your work.
Beth Moon will be having a book signing at the Verve Gallery November 8 from 1-2 p.m.
Portraits of Time
By Beth Moon
With essays by Todd Forrest and Steven Brown
This book can be ordered from Abbeville Press.
To learn more about Beth Moon please visit her site at, Beth Moon.
To read our interview with Beth please visit, “The Art of Seeing”.
Thank you to the photographers that share their work with Rfotofolio.
We will be announcing the Juror’s Award,the Rfotofolio Award and the Merit Awards on November 2nd.
Emails will be going out in the coming week.
Thank you to all the photographers that took the time to enter.
Thank you to Joanne Teasdale for her time and thoughtfulness in making her selections.
To read our interview with Joanne please visit,The Searcher, Joanne Teasdale.
To visit her site, please go to, Joanne Teasdale Contemporary Artist.
To learn more these photographers please visit their sites and our interviews.
Rfotofolio’s interview with Morgan Fisher.
Rfotofolio’s interview with Fran Forman.