One Good Print

“I guess I’ve shot about 40,000 negatives and of these I have about 800 pictures I like.” – Harry Callahan

Cayon Light, Paria Canyon 2014 © Matthew Vogt

Canyon Light, Paria Canyon 2014 © Matthew Vogt

One good print a week

from that one good print a month

from that, the top ten for the year. C.R.

To learn more about Matthew Vogt please visit his site at ,Matthew Vogt.

To read our interview with Matthew Vogt please visit,Photographer Matthew Vogt

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Liese Ricketts, Photographer

Reading the Cards © Liese Ricketts

Reading the Cards © Liese Ricketts

Rfotofolio is pleased to share the work of Liese Ricketts. She will be sharing her work in this years Depth of Field. 

“Oh, it’s how I think about the nature of our medium. The photograph seizes a sliver of time, a moment that is at once gone and yet remains.  It, most magically, sustains the unsustainable.

That is why I use the acorn and the oak leaf as symbols as well; life and death fall to the earth together”.

                                                                                                                                                                   Liese Ricketts

Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

I think these five facts, non-photo related, give the bigger picture.

1. I am a married mother of 2 middle-aged men who have families.

2. I am ½ Peruvian. ½ German, both parents being immigrants.

3. I am a senior citizen.

4. I have a dark sense of humor.

5. I am 6 feet tall.

How did you get started photography?

When I left Peru in late 1982 after 13 years living there, I came to the US with my little boys.  A friend loaned me his camera equipment, telling me he thought I might like photography.  He had no idea it would become the great passion of my life.  I enrolled in grad school, did an MA and then an MFA, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Which photographers and other artists work do you admire?

Oh, there are so many. Hard to choose the most influential but I will try.  I like lists.

1. Robert Frank, in “The Americans”, who made me understand what is personal documentary.  He did not pretend to tell The Truth, just convey his own sense of what he saw, images filtered through his own past and personal experience.

2. Eugene Richards, whose humanity coupled with his dynamic composition, blows me away every day.

3. Graciela Iturbide, for the magical realism in her work.

4. Robert Doisneau, for his use of visual relationships between things in the image.

5. A non-photographer, a writer whose rich imagery and humor fills my head, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Cleansing the.House © Liese Ricketts

Cleansing the.House © Liese Ricketts

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

Absolutely. I make work, like the characters building mountains in their living rooms in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.  I am compelled to do so, driven, despite the inevitable downsides, huge expense, uncertainty, insecurity.

Please tell us about your process. 

It generally starts with an idea and one image in my head. The content and my approach drive the use of materials, the scale, and, lastly, the search for venues. I have a great deal of work that no one has seen.  I have not felt the need to share it or I feel it is missing something and I can get back to it.

I use any material that fits the work, any format, from film to digital and anything in between.
I do love film and see in black and white. I like looking at color photographs but, unless I am working with collage or some other medium, I do not use color.

An element that is perhaps different about me is that the presentation of the work is critical to the images.  The viewer needs to experience something differently.  I do not matt and frame a print and then slap it up on a wall. I love trying to find a form that weds the content.

What challenges do you face as an artist?

1. Poverty. I rarely sell my work, and that is fine with me.  I hate the very thought of working with moneymakers. This year, as I have retired and live on social security, I laugh about having to eat dog food.  But, it is a nervous laugh.
2. Storing the vast quantities of work I have.  Does that motivate me to sell? No.
3. And, the corollary is the mind-boggling fear that my work will wind up on a blanket on the ground at a flea market.

If you could go out and shoot with another photographer living or passed who would it be? 

I would hate to go shooting with anyone, living or dead, (especially if they are dead.)

How do you view this time in the history of photography?

With some despair.  There is very little respect for personal documentary work.  What contemporary photography I see in galleries emulates stock photography, not vice versa.  Bland, blank, big, compromised, good on a wall.  I am harsh.  I don’t talk about what I hate much, but I hate a lot.
Nonetheless, the advent of cell phone cameras has changed things and there it is.  Will they look back and think of this era as the Disco Era of Photo?  Rhetorically, who knows.

How do you over come a creative block? 

I never have had one. I did go through a period when I was poisoned by non-silver processes in 1985 and was afraid of any chemicals for a while.  Hans Haacke wrote me a postcard, which I saved, and he said to get over it.  I did.

What do you hope the viewer takes from your images? 

I hope the viewer feels the spirit of the intimate encounter I had in the taking or making and meets us in that triangle of connection.

Reading Coca © Liese Ricketts

Reading Coca © Liese Ricketts

Would you like to share a story about one of your images? 

In my series, “Moving Spectacles”, I was shooting the annual parade of acute schizophrenics in Lima’s Larco Herrera.  The patients dress up on Independence Day, July 28, as historical Peruvian personages, and march throughout the hospital premises.  The joy of the ladies I photographed filled me with their joy and I can tap into that each time I remember the moment. Uplifting.

How does your art affect the way you see the world?

I am not sure it is not the other way around.  My photographs reveal how I feel, and the intimacy, as well as I think I am experiencing with the subject. Unlike someone like Robert Frank, who images his own alienation and distance, I image and experience a deep connection.

Where can we see your work, and would you like to share any upcoming projects?

I am exhibiting different bodies of work in solo shows here and in South America this year and next; but audiences are limited to having to be there.  I have a website, DeadPhoto, and some of the work I have done in the last five years is there.  I really enjoy being able to share online, despite the fact the object/image always has a greater presence when seen face-to-face.

The images here are from a very new series called “Santigüeros”, benign healers who use nontraditional methods to cure ills; this is an ongoing project in Perú which may take years.  I am printing on Japanese tissue paper, as well as making tintypes and ambrotypes now.  I am in the process of discovering a suitable marriage between content and form.  It will be important to have stories accompany the images, to shed light on the rituals, incantations, and cures.

 © Liese Ricketts

© Liese Ricketts

Thank you Liese for sharing your work with us.

To learn more about Liese please visit her site at Deadphoto.

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No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of Rfotofolio, and the photographers. All Rights Reserved.

Depth of Field

Coming. . .

Space and Light, Photographer Angie McMonigal

Buckingham Fountain by Angie McMonigal

Buckingham Fountain by Angie McMonigal

Angie McMonigal Photography

Angie McMonigal Photography

Angie McMongial is one of the photographers in this years Depth of Field. 

During our first call for submissions we had the pleasure of meeting Angie McMonigal. 

We are happy to present her art here. 

Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

grew up in a small, rural town in central Wisconsin but since 2000 have spent most of my time living in Chicago.  It was a wonderful way to grow up but I have always felt so much more comfortable in large cities; there’s just something about the energy of a large city that is so appealing.

My college degree was in Medical Technologyquite far from anything artistic, but photography was always something I had an interest in but wasn’t able to pursue until a bit later.

I am a wife and mother of two small children, my daughter is 5 and my son is 2, so finding time to pursue photography to the extent I’d like to is oftentimes challenging.

How did you get started photography?

In high school I had always wanted to take the photography class my school offered but my family instilled in me that I needed to pursue an education and career in something more practical…something I was sure to get a job in after college.  So instead of taking the more interesting photography elective I’m sure I ended up in a physics or an advanced chemistry class..same for my college courses.  The course schedule for my college degree was pretty rigorous with little room for elective courses, and the cost to buy a camera while putting myself through college just wasn’t an option at the time.  But I do remember my roommate taking photography and so wishing I was the one taking that class!

However, after college, in 2001, my boyfriend, now husband, bought me my first SLR!  Early on I mainly shot vacation photos and occasionally around my new hometown of Chicago. But within a year or two I began teaching myself as much about photography as I could through magazines, books and simply trial and error.  I took a few courses at the Chicago Photography Center and was shooting, developing and printing all my images in the darkroom during that time.  also had my first group show there in 2005.  It was all very exciting and fun and I knew this is what I really wanted to be doing.

In 2006, I converted to digital and the new learning curve, along with my first pregnancy and a move to Milwaukee, slowed things down a bit.  I had my first child, and many of my friends were having children, so naturally started doing more portrait work.  With that, my initial goals in fine art photography took a little detour for 5-6 years and I almost exclusively shot family and children’s portraiture.

In 2011, we moved back to Chicago !  I took this opportunity to shift my focus back to fine art photographywhich is what I’m most passionate about.  In the last year and a half I‘ve spent my time developing my style and discovering what interests me most in photography.

Angie McMonigal Photography

Angie McMonigal Photography

Angie McMonigal Photography

Angie McMonigal Photography

What is it about architectural photography that inspires you?

Having grown up in a much different environment than I currently live, I still find myself in complete awe of the city, it’s skyscrapers and unique architecture.  I think that aspect helps me to see the city and the urban landscape with a fresh perspective, and I enjoy finding interesting vantage points to shoot the broader landscape.

However, much of my work focuses on the lines and patterns within the architecture.  I love seeing how a building changes form depending on where I’m standing or by isolating patterns and lines within it’s design.  Most of all I love seeing these buildings in a new way and hope to help the viewer see things in a new way as well.

Which photographers work do admire?

I recently discovered Martin Stavars’ work and I’m a huge fan.  His series “Megalopolis” is amazing but all of his work is very tied together in style, whether it’s the urban landscape or natural landscape.  I love how he captures the world’s urbanlandscapes at a moment in time, which I feel is important given how fast our cities change.  The mood of his images is purposeful and consistent.

Joel Tjintjelaar is a phenomenal photographer of architecture.  I love the dark, moodiness of his images, the way he processes his work is such an art.  Every image of his is a true inspiration and pushes me to keep shooting what I love.

Would you tell us about your workspace?

In terms of the photography I do, that is all on location work.  My workspace dedicated to editing and processing is not the most ideal at the time and consists of a small, mostly dedicated space in the kitchen.  Given that I have two small children they need much of my attention throughout the day, I need my computer and equipment to be easily accessible so I’m able to grab a moment of work whenever I can.  This space is centrally located to all my kids’ favorite places to play.  One day maybe I’ll have a room of my own to escape to for more concentrated work.

How does your art affect the way you see the world?

Photographers are clearly very visual people who have a great understanding of light.  I know that whether I’m out with my camera or not I’m always seeing the light and how it‘s affecting the environment, noticing shadows, seeing the way light is falling on buildings, water, trees, anything really and the details this light reveals or hides.  I’m always noticing patterns or ways in which to see a scene within the camera frame, even without a camera to my eye.  When I watch movies I always notice the angles and ways in which the director utilizes light.  I’m constantly seeing still frames within a film that would make a great photograph.

When working on your personal work would you please share your editing process?

I typically do my initial processing in LR3 where I do simple adjustments, WB, exposure, contrast, clarity and noise reduction if necessary.  Then I process most images to some degree in CS6.  I don’t do a huge amount of post-processing but I think cleaning them up and enhancing them with basic adjustments gives them a more polished presence.

Is there another type of photography or subject matter you would like tackle?

Most of my interest lies in urban photographythe urban landscape and architecture.  But I do enjoy landscape photography, particularly minimalistic landscapes.  I think if I lived in a more rural environment I’d spend much more time creating this type of photography.  I also find street photography fascinating but highly intimidating.  I so admire photographers that excel at this.

Where can we see your work, and would you like to share any upcoming projects ?

The best place to see my work is my website, and my blogI also post some of my work to 500pxFacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Flickr.

There are a couple of projects I see as continuing for quite sometime, ‘Architectural Street’ and ‘Architectural Abstracts’.  I don’t see my interest in conveying architecture in new and unique ways diminishing anytime soon

Angie McMonigal Photography

Angie McMonigal Photography

Milwaukee Art Museum - Abstract - Angie McMonigal Photography

Milwaukee Art Museum – Abstract – Angie McMonigal Photography

Angie McMonigal

Angie McMonigal

 Thank you Angie for sharing your art and your time. 
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David Burnett Gallery


© David Burnett

© David Burnett


To learn more about the photography of David Burnett please visit his site. David Burnett Photographer

Photojournalist David Burnett

Thank you to the photographers who show us the world.

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