Monday, January 28, 2013

New Orleans Photo Alliance/Michael P. Smith Call for Submissions

The New Orleans Photo Alliance is now receiving application for its 2013 Michael P. Smith Documentary Photography Award.

The deadline for submissions is March 29th, 2013.

Kael Alford was the winner of this award in 2012 (see image above). 

Here is how they describe the program and the process for recognition:

"The Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography (MPS Fund) was created by the New Orleans Photo Alliance to honor the life and work of Michael P. Smith, one of New Orleans’ most legendary and beloved documentary photographers.

"The MPS Fund awards one $5000 grant annually to a Gulf Coast photographer whose work combines artistic excellence and a sustained commitment to a long-term cultural documentary project.

"Both emerging and established photographers residing in the Gulf Coast states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are eligible to apply. The subject matter for the proposed project is not limited to the Gulf Coast region."

The guidelines are here. If you are a shooter residing in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida, here's your chance.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1:1000 Celebrates Two Years of Southern Photography

The good folks at One One Thousand (1:1000), the online magazine of Southern Photography, are justly proud of their well-deserved success in completing their first two years of  providing fine work by Southern photographers.

They are celebrating with a double issue featuring work by 4 photographers chosen after a rigorous screening process.

The four photographers they've selected -- Lisa Elmaleh, Dawn Roe, Deb Schwedhelm, and Susan Worsham
  -- cover a wide range of subject matter and technique in their photography, from tintype photography of traditional musicians to digital color photographs of contemporary Southern suburbia.

All of this work, however, deals with human experience of the past, or the present in relationship to the past, a personal past, a past that both enables and burdens, a past one seeks to preserve, or get rid of, or come to terms with, or make meaning from, in other words, photographs from the heart of the Southern photographic enterprise.

Brooklyn-based photographer Lisa Elmaleh uses a traditional photographic practice -- tintype -- to document some current practitioners of traditional American music. Here, with a nice play on words, she offers images from her American Folk portfolio.

She's found these folks in Southern Appalachia, playing as she says, "on porches, at dances, at festivals, and in church meetings. The melodies are oft times simple, and the lyrics often resonate with the stories of life: love, hard labor, slavery, farming, tragedies, death, and god. The songs are passed down from generation to generation."

Elmaleh utilizes "an on-site darkroom and a large format antiquated camera."

"Because of the nature of [her] process, typically, a whole day is spent with each subject – each 8x10 tintype is hand coated, exposed in a large format camera, and developed on site in a darkroom in the back of my pickup truck."

So, for Elmaleh, "The tradition of American music echoes in the historic nature of the tintype photographic process."

Asheville- and Winter Park, Florida-based photographer Dawn Roe has images from her No One Was With Her When She Died  portfolio, images, she says, "were made in reaction and response to my daily surroundings within and throughout the home, studio and landscape."

These are haunting images, images in which the same object is seen more than once, and from different angles, and under different conditions of lighting, focus, or composition.

Roe says that they "serve as recordings of my efforts to make visible perceptual inconsistencies between experienced and recorded time.

"Trees, weeds and leaves along with dew, sparkles, plastic and glass are the materials at play within these fixated non-moments, where only a peripheral glimpse is captured within an endless optical flow.

"These scenes sit empty and alone. I sometimes lament that we cannot “know” things in time, but only through recollection, which can be temporally very near or very far.

 "And so, I look through and to the camera as both device and mechanism for perceiving and being in space and time."

Dawn also has some interesting things to say about Robert Frank, here. 

Tampa-based photographer Deb Schwedhelm offers images from her Whispers from the Sea  portfolio, images that offer strikingly different angles of vision and perspectives on her subjects, all seen from the water.

Schwedhelm started photographing from the water in a pool, but soon moved to the open sea, where she finds that "Photographing in the water is an intimate yet freeing process – one of letting go, looking inward and trusting."

Working from the water, she attends to ways in which the "life we live today is powerfully influenced and shaped by past experiences."

For her, these experiences include "an unconventional childhood (which I have very little recollection of), my 10 years of military service, my career as a registered nurse, my evolution as a photographer and my experiences as a mother."

"These things culminate, visually, in a complex and evocative mix of photographs in my portfolio, which often explores themes such as childhood identity and human experience."

So, "Whispers from the Sea is an exploration of contrasts – from stormy, deep and challenging to tranquil, buoyant and unencumbered. I believe that within these juxtapositions lies the narrative of life.

This series is about feeling, exploration and discovery. It is an effort to conjure up and expose what one might have locked deep down inside"

Richmond-based photographer Susan Worsham   is represented here by images from her Bittersweet On Bostwick Lane portfolio, itself a selection from her larger body of work Some Fox Trails In Virginia.

This body of work grows out of deep personal loss, the death in just a few years of Worsham's father, brother (by suicide), and mother.

This work also grows out of Worsham's relationship with her neighbor Margaret Daniel, a biology teacher and old friend of the family.  Worsham remembers that Daniel "is one of the last remaining threads from my childhood and was the last person to see my brother alive. She made Russell her homemade bread and he finished the whole loaf before he shot himself." 

So these images are about memory and loss and about transitions and relationships of long standing, and about serendipity, the serendipity of Worsham's finding "a set of antique veterinary slides" shortly after her mother died. 

"They were some of the most interesting things that I had ever seen," Worsham says. "They seemed to hold beauty and death at the same time. I framed 90 of them in a long wooden frame resembling the shape of the slide itself. It was the first piece of art that I made after my mother died." 

This work led her to photograph her "old childhood home as well as my oldest neighbor, Margaret."

And so, in good Southern fashion, Worsham says, "the story came full circle one day when Margaret brought out her own dissection kit and microscope slides. I had forgotten that she had been a biology teacher, and here she was holding the same sort of slides that I was so fascinated by. 

"Margaret's microscope and slides have since become a metaphor for my own desire to look deeper into the landscape of my childhood. From the flora and fauna to the feelings, Margaret calls it "blood work."

There is lots of blood in Southern history, blood that was shed, the blood  of family ties, blood that is good blood or bad blood. Worsham's is one, creative, helpful way of dealing with it.

There is much fine work here to joy in, and to get lost in. The folks at One One Thousand have much to feel celebratory about.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Allison Barnes and Eleanor Owen Kerr on 1:1000

The Southern photography ezine One: One Thousand features work in the November 2012 issue by Savannah-based photographer Allison Barnes and by Baton Rouge-based photographer Eleanor Owen Kerr.

Both these photographers work in black and white, and both attend in their work to the land and the water of the South, and to the traces of life, both human and animal, that makes its way across the Southern landscape.

Barnes is concerned with the transitory character of the marks we leave on the land, and the illusion of permanence that the camera gives to the landscape it records.

Her images -- from her portfolio Autobiogeography -- she says, "document marks as a collection of clues, suggesting that place is itself temporally layered, a palimpsest of the multiple traces left by individuals and groups. 

"These markers are sometimes literally embedded within the landscape, such as raccoon tracks in the earth and the evidence of human passage, or commemorate a natural event, including a boars passing and the death of an animal."

The traces of human and animal transitions across the landscape, in her view, "offer a visible history of a past presence yet carry a tension between the ephemeral and permanent." 

The role of the photographer, in her view, is to give some permanence to the traces of the past's impermanence. 

"The landscape I walk remains after my departure and a new trace is formed when the index of that landscape is transferred onto paper. A print is the material and permanent manifestation that provides access to a mark now erased but remaining persistently present." 

Eleanor Owen Kerr's landscapes also document the effects of the human on the natural landscape, especially the ways in which we have intervened between the land and the water, and especially the land of Louisiana and the water of the Mississippi River.

Her portfolio is called On the Batture, the land between the river and its levees, a no-man's land that is called in French "batture" – literally, the land that is "beaten on" by the river. 

Kerr notes that the "batture is ephemeral. It ebbs, flows, and reforms, controlled only by the whims of the river. Sometimes under water, sometimes choked by vines and dense undergrowth, the batture is a raw, transitional space where the landscape fluctuates in accordance with the river's pulse." 

Kerr says the project began when she walked over the levee and found "a different world." 

"I was immediately engulfed," she says, "by the powerful mystery and primal energy in this ribbon of wild land separated from towns, cars, and highways by the mere sixty foot ribbon of levee between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. "Governed only by the push and pull of flood and drought, nature holds sway on the batture while urban life goes on just a few hundred feet away."

 Trace, illusion, permanence, the ephemerial, the enduring -- aspects of the South's haunted landscape, well-seen and well-captured in this work. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

SxSE for Fall and Winter

Nancy McCrary and all the good folks at South x Southeast Photo Magazine (SxSE) have brought us two recent issues -- Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 -- that give us much fine work to contemplate in this season when, as the song goes, this is the time for man and beast to stand and watch the seasons turn.

The Fall 2012 issue contains the results of SxSE's first Holiday Contest, as well as work from SlowExposures Tenth Anniversary show, held back in September. This is well-earned notice for the folks at SlowExposures who need and deserve our thanks and appreciation for all they have done to bring the photography world's attention to the rural South

The Winter 2013 issue brings us the work of seven photographers who bring our attention nature in all the ways a camera can record it, from close-ups of nature's fine details to landscapes that give us the grand view of it all.

Here there are also images that remind us in this season of winter of our own part in the cycles of nature, complicated though they may be (see image above, by Peter Essick, Commuting with Nature).

Images here also remind us of our own mortality, of the fact that as Ash Wednesday approaches, we are dust and to dust we shall return.

In addition, in both issues there are all the regular features, including museum and gallery reviews (here Rebecka Jacob's Charleston Gallery and Lumiere in Atlanta),  book reviews, videos, and all the rest of the things we have come to expect of SxSE, bringing us the photography of the Southeast, up close, in depth, and and all worthy of our attention.

Congratulations are also in order, since SxSE has been named among the “Best of 2012” by Le Journal de la Photographie. A richly deserved honor!

And you can have access to all this fine -- and award-winning -- work for a very reasonable fee.

You can subscribe to the online version here.

Don't put it off any longer.

You know you should subscribe.

 You know it, you really do.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Collections, Part Three -- Slow Exposures 10th Anniversary Retrospective

One of the major events on the annual Southern fine art photography calendar is the annual SlowExposures juried show and general photography festival held in and around Concord, in Pike County, Georgia in September. 

The folks who run SlowExposures describe it as "A Juried Exhibition Celebrating Photography of the Rural South," but it is in fact much, much more. In addition to the show itself, there are the satellite shows, the portfolio review, the discussions and seminars with distinguished photographers, the parties, and the black tie Ball.

The whole thing adds up to a major celebration of photography in the American South, well worthy of the notice its gotten nationally in recent years from the New York press, including CNN, Elizabeth Avedon, and the New Yorker magazine.

Here's a History of SlowExposures, especially in the early days.

Last year, 2012, was the 10th annual SlowExposures show. As people do when they realize they have been doing something, and doing it successfully, for a significant period of time, the folks at SlowExposures decided to have a retrospective of the history of their enterprise, a special show drawing together work from all of their previous shows, to be held at the Whiskey Bonding Barn.

So, there you are. Where else can you go to a major photography show in a building called the Whiskey Bonding Barn?  A building that has its own website? And in a field in rural Georgia, at that?

But what was important was what was inside, which consisted of work by a group of photographers who attend to the rural South, and with some success, photographers who had made art and found meaning in the fields and forests and small towns of the part of the South that is still most in transition from the hardscrabble world of nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to the glittering postmodern worlds of internationally interconnected cities like Atlanta and Charlotte and Miami and Dallas.

The folks chosen for this show are worthy of being known to us precisely because they have worked successfully in  the part of the South where past and present and future intersect most vividly, where the conflicts and contradictions and tragedies as well as the triumphs and the joys and the celebrations are the most distinctively Southern.

And here they are, with links to their websites when I can find them.  

Gary Cerasoli   
Amy E. Davison 
Gilbert Dean   
Gary Gruby  
Susan Hadorn   
Greg Huber   
John Sumner    
Yvette Tolson   
Joe Walter  
Charlotte Weber    

An impressive community of folks! Here's what Mr. Bennette had to say about the event. 

Congratulations to all these folks, and especially to Nancy and Chris and all the folks who make SlowExposures possible. Everyone interested in photography and in the American South is much in your debt.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Southern Photographers Out and About in January 2013

Some Good News about Southern photographers who are going places, having shows, appearing hither and yon.

Southern Photographer in Morocco

Nashville-based photographer Hollis Bennett has been awarded a residency in Morocco to photograph the Sidi Ali Ben Hamdouch pilgrimage festival, a fusion of Islam and Moroccan folklore.

Southern Photographer at the NC Museum of Art

Charlottesville-based photographer Pamela Pecchio, opening a show, Dwelling: Interiors by Page Laughlin and Pamela Pecchio,  on February 10, to be up at the NCMA through July 28, 2013.

Southern Photographer in International Photography Awards

Atlanta-based photographer Donna Rosser, with an Honorable Mention, also in the Family Exhibition at the Detroit Center for Photography.

Southern Photographers on the on-line Gallery Great Leap Sideways

Richmond-based photographer Susan Worsham, from her portfolio  By the Grace of God.
Texas-born photographer Bryan Schutmaat, from his portfolio Grays The Mountain Sends.

Southern Photographers in Fraction Magazine 

Issue 46

Mississippi-born photographer Missy Prince, with work from her portfolio Mississippi  (see image above).
Atlanta-based photographer Anthony Earl Smith, with work from his portfolio In Dog Years.

Issue 45

Texas-based photographer Jason Reed, with work from his portfolio Three Palms Inn.
New Orleans-based photographer Sophie Lvoff, with work from her portfolio Hell's Bells/Sulfur/Honey.

Southern Photographers in  Looking At The Land, a digital exhibition of contemporary landscape photography, curated by Flak Photo‘s Andy Adams.

Jody Ake
Ryan Boatright
Christine Carr
Eliot Dudik
Joshua Dudley Greer
Chuck Hemard
Nicole Jean Hill
Sophie Lvoff
Dana Mueller
Laura Noel
Pamela Pecchio
Susana Rabb
Jennifer Ray
Justin James Reed 
Chad Ress
Jeff Rich
Michael Sebastian
Jon-Philip Sheridan
Brian Ulrich

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Collections, Part Two -- Eyes on the South

The folks at the Oxford American seem to have gotten their act together after their recent unpleasantness.

The new regime has authorized Savannah-based photographer Jeff Rich to develop a series of pieces featuring Southern photographers, under the broad heading, Eyes on the South

This is an on-going series, so we do not have that sense of finality or completion that the list of work accepted for a show, or for inclusion in a book, or for recognition as this year's people to notice might have.

But the list has grown to include a good number of folks, and their names, and their work, are therefore worthy of our recognition.

Best I can tell, the series started on the Oxford American website on September 11th, 2012, and continues at roughly weekly intervals.

As of the moment, the list includes the following:

Miranda Ellis
Andrew Hefter
Charlotte Strode
Gary Pilcher
Lizzie Cuthbertson
Aaron Canipe
Sophie Lvoff
John Lusk Hathaway
Aaron Norberg
Rylan Steele
Lake Roberson Newton
Maury Gortemiller
Kael Alford
Brooke White
Jacqueline Sparks

There is lots of good work here, well worthy of our attention, and participation, for that matter.

To help with that, here is the official Call for Submissions, straight from Jeff Rich himself.

Eyes on the South,  curated by Jeff Rich

Each week The Oxford American will feature one emerging or student photographer who documents the South in an interesting and culturally relevant way.

Submission Guidelines

-        Submit a cohesive body of work that deals with a subject in the Southern United States.
-        The submission should consist of 10 to 20 photographs
-        Submit only JPEG files sized at 72ppi, and 600 pixels wide
-        Each image should be labeled with your last name and then numbered.
           For example John Smith would be: Smith01.jpeg, Smith02.jpeg…
-        Please include a word document or PDF with an artist statement and a short bio that includes your   hometown.
-        Also include the website and you would like listed with your work on the Oxford American site.
-        Email your images, statement, and bio to:

So there you have it. I suspect that after an initial burst of enthusiasm, Jeff will need help in keeping this project going. Perhaps we can give him some work to consider.

Photography from North Carolina Collections at the Nasher Museum

Duke University's Nasher Museum will host the show Light Sensitive: Photographic Works from North Carolina Collections, opening February 14th and up through May 12th, 2013. 

The Nasher Museum is located on the Duke University campus in Durham, NC, at 2001 Campus Drive, at the intersection of Duke University Road and Anderson Street, adjacent to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.

This show will include over 100 photographs chosen from private and public collections assembled by North Carolina collectors, as the folks at the Nasher say, "assembled through the dedication and vision unique to each individual collector."

The show will include a full range of image-making technologies, from small early daguerreotypes to large-scale contemporary color prints.

It will include among its offerings works by Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Andreas Gefeller, Emmet Gowin (see image above), André Kertész, Clarence John Laughlin, Sally Mann, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Vik Muniz, Laurie Simmons, Aaron Siskind, and Jerry Uelsmann.

North Carolina artists in the show include Alex Harris, William Noland, Tom Rankin, Margaret Sartor, MJ Sharpe, and Burk Uzzle.

Curated by Patricia Leighten, Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at Duke, and Sarah Schroth, Nancy Hanks Senior Curator at the Nasher Museum, the show will be organized around five themes: Light Magic; Intensified Vision; Metamorphosis; Emulations; and Constructed Identities.

The folks at the Nasher say this organizational scheme will focus our attention on "ways these artists wield the camera for social and aesthetic purposes, employing their sophisticated arsenal of tools and techniques to move us and to invite us to see something new."

We are also promised that the show will "challenge the long-standing myth that the camera is an “innocent eye” that records the world as if through an open window.

"It illustrates how artists can take ordinary features of a photograph–light and dark, shape and form, depth and space, size and scale, soft and sharp focus–and transform them to create images that engage us and change the way we see.

"Works in this exhibition reveal the great variety of ways photographers have used these techniques to persuade us of their vision."
This show will open with a reception on Wednesday, February 13th, from 7:30 pm. 

In connection with this show, on Thursday, February 28th, at 7:00 pm at the Nasher, the annual Semans Lecture on Art will be delivered by Burk Uzzle, a photographer and past president of Magnum Photo, whose work is featured in Light Sensitive and in the Nasher Museum's permanent collection. 

This show, together with the show of Alec Soth's work  at the NC Museum of Art, means that lots of exceptional photography will be on offer in North Carolina's Research Triangle area this winter.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Collections, Part One -- The Visual South

Lists, collections,  results, outcomes are all important in the art world because they provide a status report on what is seen as valuable, who is seen as doing important work, at a particular time and from the perspective of a particular individual or group or audience. 

This is the first of several reports on outcomes, on lists, on occasions of choice that have happened lately in the world of Southern fine art photography.  We'll see what we can make of them as we go along.

The first list is an outgrowth of another list, the list of  100 under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art, published by The Oxford American last spring. 

That list included 30 photographers among the list of 100 artists, which led to another list, this time produced by the folks at NPR, as part of their Picture Show blog, in a feature called The Visual South.

The Visual South, in a way built on another, very thoughtful piece that NPR did in the Picture Show blog, last January, on Kathleen Robbins and her portfolio In Cotton, here. 

So, having done that piece,and working with the folks at The Oxford American, NPR chose 5 of the 30 Southern photographers on the 100 under 100 list and devoted a piece to each of them, one a day, for a week in May of 2012.

First up was Christopher Sims, for his portfolio of work made at the American prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The Visual South, Part I: Unseen Scenes Of Guantanamo

 Second was Frank Hamrick, for his portfolio A Letter Never Sent, which somehow turned into a piece on chicken, and how a chicken is like a photograph.

The Visual South, Part II: Photography Is Like Chicken

Third was Tammy Mercure, for her portfolio of work on the culture of tourism in Tennessee.

The Visual South, Part III: Tourist Towns

Fourth was  Brandon Thibodeaux for his portfolio of work made in the Mississippi Delta.

The Visual South, Part IV: Getting Lost In Mississippi

Fifth was Susan Worsham, for her portfolio of work made in Richmond and featuring her neighbor Margaret Daniels.

The Visual South, Part V: Personal Portraits

This is all fine work.  NPR made fine choices among a larger list of fine choices.

NPR has continued to pay attention to photography in the South with an ongoing series of pieces on their Picture Show blog, including John Lusk Hathaway's documentary piece on Christmas tree farms in Tennessee, Alex Harris's work in Mobile, Alabama, and distinguished American photographer Eugene Richards' work in the Mississippi Delta.

Because of its frequent attention to Southern photographers and to the South as a subject for photography, I'm adding NPR's Picture Show blog to the list of sites I consult on a regular basis, and I'll keep you posted about what they have on offer.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Alec Soth at the NC Musum of Art

Work by distinguished Minnesota photographer Alec Soth is featured in a show now up at the North Carolina Museum of Art, in the museum's Julian T. Baker Jr. Gallery through June 30, 2013.

The show is called Wanderlust: Photographs by Alec Soth, and offers fifteen of Soth's images from his Sleeping by the Mississippi and NIAGRA portfolios.

This show is well worth a visit if you are in the Raleigh/Durham area. It is of interest to us for several reasons.

One is that some of the images in the Sleeping by the Mississippi portfolio were made by Soth in the American South, including the one above, Bonnie (with a photograph of an angel), which was made in Port Gibson, Mississippi, in the year 2000.

On the basis of this work, Soth received a commission from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta to do a portfolio of work in the South, which was on view at the High in 2009, in the early days of this blog, and so we talked about it here.

Another is that the work on display at the MC Museum of Art is from the collection of Allen Thomas, one of the most important collectors of photography in the USA at the present, and Allen lives in a small town in eastern North Carolina.

Thomas has been very important in the NC Museum of Art's recent developing of interest in photography. This is only the most recent major show of photography at the NCMA, and in the Raleigh area, to be drawn from Thomas' collection or to be curated by Thomas himself.

He has exceptional insight into contemporary photography, not only in the South but nationally. His influence is especially valuable to us in the photography community in North Carolina.

For all these reasons, and for the value of the work, this show is definitely worth checking out.

Rob Amberg in Residence at Duke University

Distinguished western North Carolina photographer Rob Amberg is spending the 2012-2013 academic year in residency at Duke University in Durham, NC.

Amberg is teaching classes and doing workshops at Duke through Duke's Center for Documentary Studies. He has also just recently had a show of new work in the Friedl- Frederic Jameson Gallery at Duke, go here.

For more on Amberg's residency, go here.

Amberg has spent years living and working in Madison County, North Carolina, where he chronicles the lives and stories of people in isolated mountain areas such as Sodom Laurel.

His work documents changes in the culture of Appalachian North Carolina through portraits of the people who are dealing with economic and social forces reshaping Appalachian North Carolina.

There is a fine interview with Amberg here and here on my friend Roger May's blog Walk Your Camera

Amberg’s first book, Sodom Laurel Albumwas published in 2002 by the University of North Carolina Press and the Center for Documentary Studies. His second book, The New Road: I-26 and the Footprints of Progress in Appalachia was published in 2009 by

You can hear Amberg talk about this project during an earlier visit to Duke if you go here. 

Amberg is currently working on a new project ShatterZone, and you can see some images from that project if you go here.

The Southern Appalachians are a distinctive region where descendants of early English and Scottish settlers, some of whom live in abject poverty, maintain aspects of traditional culture while living next door to wealthy retirees who live in gated communities and shop for high end crafts and dine in gourmet restaurants. Not to mention the folks from Central and South America who have come up to grow Christmas trees.

Amberg lives in the middle of all that, and makes his art out of the complex interactions that the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Interstate highway system have made possible.  He does fine work, well worthy of our attention.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Southern Photography Named Among 100 Best Sites for Photographers

Your humble blogger has recently learned that this site has been named among the 100 Best Sites for Photographers by the folks at Photography

We are in a list with Scott Kelby, Moose Petersen, Lens Culture, the Leica Camera Blog, and a whole bunch of other good folks.

That's high cotton, indeed, and as they say, so far, its been absolutely free. No one has called.

We are truly honored and pleased and happy for this recognition.

But its really about the quality of the work we get to present and write about, on this blog about Southern fine art photography.

David Wharton on the Small Town South

David Wharton, who is a photographer as well as the Director of Documentary Studies and Assistant Professor of Southern Studies at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, has recently published a book of photographs entitled Small Town South, from GFT Publishing.

This book is Wharton's second photographic study of  the small-town South. He published  his first, The Soul of a Small Texas Town: Photographs, Memories, and History, in  2000.

Wharton's images are elegantly seen and classically presented, and are well worth our attention.

Rob Amberg, photographer and author of  Sodom Laurel Album and The New Road, gets them about right:

"David Wharton's Small Town South is a slow, winding visual delight of detail and uniqueness, stitched together by the region's undying devotions to God, country, family, history, and commerce. These exquisite photographs are plainly seen, stripped of drama, yet they are rich in the quiet and complexity of place. Wharton shows us the familiar but only to a point. Though his images are not meant to provide answers to questions about the meaning of the South, they reveal many layers of small town life, giving us timeless glimpses of locales we want to know better."

You can see more of Wharton's images  here and here.