Once again, we send our warmest greetings.
This newsletter will bring you up to date on our photography activities over the past year and plans for 2003 and beyond. The addendum at the end lists current prices for our prints, portfolios, books, and other items.
We have just completed our printing in the darkroom, barely days before heading out to photograph again. It seems that with every passing year the time between finishing that work and heading out on the road gets more and more compressed. We had reason to think about this recently, and also to think about our life in photography in general when a photographer of some note hired us to consult with him about how to make a living as a photographer, and how to do that without doing commercial work or having a full-time teaching job. We explained to him how difficult it is to live with no financial safety net: that one must constantly be creative, not only in the making of one's art, but in figuring out how to survive as an artist. And we also thought about how many things we do to stay afloat, to keep moving and to continue making new photographs.
Photographs and Photographing
Making photographs is our main activity, although there are times when that activity is limited by myriad other projects such as our new publishing ventures. (Details below.)
And then we sell our photographs. That is our primary means of financial support and it is your interest in and support of our work that make our lives as artists possible. We cannot thank you enough. We hope that in some way our photographs enrich your lives and expand your own sense of connection to the world in much the same way that our making them expands ours.
Though we normally make most of our sales personally, both to individuals and to art museums, we currently have a plethora of gallery exhibitions in the works. (Details below.)
In the context of our making a living from the sale of our photographs, we were reminded that in 2001, Business Week magazine ran an article about collecting photography. Paula was one of the very few photographers mentioned by name, and her work, along with the work of one other photographer, was selected as being the "best value" in a particular price range. Mentions like that are gratifying and bring new interest to our work.
We did not get to Iceland last summer as hoped, but photographed in California instead, primarily along the coast. We'll have new photographs from that trip to show you the next time we see you.
Finally, after three years of announcing that we would be photographing in Iceland, this year we will get there. We have been in touch with a museum curator in Iceland and also with that country's sole photographer who uses an 8x10-inch view camera. Having some contacts in foreign countries make our trips much easier logistically and enable us to more immediately connect to the land and the people. But, before the Iceland journey, we will be photographing in Baja California for about a month, beginning at the end of January. We have wanted to photograph there for many years and we are finally making the time. The contrast between the deserts of Baja and the glaciers of Iceland should make for a photographically challenging and fascinating year.
Book Publishing: Lodima Press
Our other major activity is book publishing. Last year we wrote, "At this point we are not entirely sure which of our books we will publish this year. We have five books of our own in various stages of completion and one book by another photographer that we will definitely publish in 2002." Well, we were unable to publish those books last year, but this year will be more productive. There are six books in the works-three of our own and three others: a book by an Australian photographer, Peter Elliston, a book of Edward Weston's photographs, and the first of a series of books of Brett Weston's photographs.
All of the Lodima Press books will be printed in 600-line screen quadtone. This is the extraordinary method of printing we first used with Michael's book, The Students of Deep Springs College, published in 2000 and printed by Salto in Belgium. We expect to be printing all of our new books with Salto because we believe them to be the finest printing company in the world. We continue to be dedicated to the highest reproduction standards we can find for all our books.
Upcoming books in 2003:
o Tuscany, Volumes I and II are books of the photographs we made throughout the countryside and in the small towns and villages of Tuscany. Tuscany, Volume I, will be a book of Paula's 8x10s, 5x7s, and 4x5s, and Tuscany, Volume II, will be a long book of Michael's 8x20s. We are honored to have introductions for the books written by Robert Sobieszek, Curator of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The two volumes will be available individually or as a set.
o Madonnina by Paula is a book of 50 photographs of the beautifully and individually crafted small shrines to the Madonna that can be seen throughout the rural countryside in Tuscany. It includes an essay about the history and tradition of the Madonnina shrines by an Italian writer, Guiliana Caleri.
o Stones and Marks by the Australian photographer Peter Elliston is a book of photographs of petroglyphs, pictographs, stone ruins, and markers from around the world. His photographs are very fine (or we would not publish his book), but what makes his work particularly fascinating as a book is the research he has gathered of 19th century writing and engravings about many of the things and places he photographed. These early writings and engravings are paired with the photographs and provide historical context. We have found it fascinating to learn how these places looked and were thought about over a hundred years ago.
o Edward Weston: Life Work, is a book of Edward Weston photographs from the collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg with a multi-part essay by Sarah Lowe, author of Tina Modotti, Photographs, and hopefully an essay, Myths and Memories, by Dody Weston-Thompson, Weston's last assistant. Edward Weston: Life Work has 100 full-size reproductions, including some photographs that have never been reproduced before, as well as a number of signature images. In addition to being a big book, Edward Weston: Life Work will have the finest reproductions of Weston's photographs that have ever been made.
o This year we are inaugurating a major multi-year publishing project: we will publish sixteen books on the portfolios of Brett Weston. Back in the late 1930s, Brett wanted his photographs to reach a wider audience. Since he was not happy with the reproduction quality that was then available in books, he began to produce portfolios of his original photographs. As far as we know, there is only one complete set of every portfolio. It is owned by collector and photography dealer Scott Nichols of the Scott Nichols Gallery in San Francisco. Instead of publishing one large book of the approximately 250 photographs that were in the sixteen portfolios, we will publish each portfolio in a separate volume. In this way they will be quite affordable. We will be offering them by subscription, although they will also be available separately. Current plans are to publish books of the portfolios three to four times a year. In addition to the books of the portfolios we will be publishing a book of the seventeen photographs that comprised Brett's "student prints"-ones he offered at a discount to students who came to visit him. Many of the photographs included in these portfolios have never been published before. Art historian, Roger Aikin, is writing an essay for each of the books.
o Current plans are to publish the other two other books we have in the works: our first collaboration, The Bonsai of Longwood Gardens, and Trees, 8x20 photographs by Michael, in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
In 2000, we published Passage: Europe by Richard Copeland Miller. We were deeply saddened this year by his untimely death at the age of 53. Richard was working on new projects in Vietnam, Barbados, and Cuba-making visually powerful and emotionally resonant photographs that were destined for additional publications. He was a very fine photographer and was at the beginning of a most promising career. Richard had become a good friend and we miss him greatly. As we write this, we learned that Passage: Europe received an award for design and overall packaging in the annual Maine Photographic Workshop Golden Light Book Awards. Copies of this very beautiful and moving book are still available.
Publishing: Black and White Magazine
We continue to publish our two-page spread in Black and White, the new magazine in the world of photography devoted to the collecting of fine black and white photographs. Many of our photographs that appear there have not been published, nor will ever be published, elsewhere. Taken together, our ads in Black and White comprise a fascinating and varied record of what we have done photographically over the years. A major feature about us is planned for the January/February 2004 issue.
About three years ago we were approached by a number of independent, small publishers of photography books and were asked if we wanted to join together to help distribute each other's books. It sounded good to us. But no one followed through with the idea. And then last year we were asked by other independent small publishers and by photographers who have published their own books if Lodima Press would distribute their books for them. We put the two things together and are in the midst of establishing a book distribution company to meet the needs of these small publishers. You have probably heard of AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers). We are AIPAP (Association of Independent Photography Art Publishers). Stay tuned as we develop this further.
This year, for the first time, we will participate in the American Booksellers Association trade show, Book Expo America (The BEA Show). It will be held at the end of May in Los Angeles and will give us the opportunity to show our books to a wide audience of book trade professionals. It will also mark the introduction of AIPAP. The BEA Show is a huge affair-approximately 1,300 exhibitors. In October, we plan to participate in the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany-an even larger event.
Michael continues to write about photography, and his new article, Developers: An Introduction, will be published in View Camera magazine in the March/April 2003 issue.
Photo LA and Photo SF:
Last year we participated in Photo LA and Photo San Francisco and it was a rewarding experience in many ways. We would like to be there again this year, but we cannot fit it into our schedule. We are, however, planning to participate in 2004.
As we write this there are still no photographs on our web site, but at least some will be there soon-any day now, before we leave for Baja. The photographs that will go up at first will be those from our Tuscany books. If you haven't been to our web site and registered on the sign-up page, please do so. We can then notify you of special offers, exhibitions, books, and generally keep you informed of what we are doing in the world of photography. We have some very special things planned for the site that will only be available to those who have signed up.
The most noteworthy addition to our site last year was the Azo Forum, a place where we planned to answer photographers' questions about the technical aspects of their work. Although we do that, it has become so much more. Others, some of whom are far more knowledgeable than we are, answer questions, too. We have been told by more than one photographer that our Azo Forum is the only thing on the entire Internet they look at every day and that it has the best information about contact printing and large-format photography on the Internet. Just yesterday we received an email that said in part, "I have heard people at workshops talking about Azo paper, but have never learned as much as a few minutes on your web site." It is gratifying to get responses like that and to know that we are giving something back to the world of photography that has given so much to us.
During the last few years we have not been actively pursuing exhibition opportunities, preferring instead to put our energies into publishing our books, which reach a wider audience. But exhibition opportunities have pursued us and now we have almost more of them than we can handle. The list of our exhibitions for 2002 and the current schedule for 2003 and 2004 follows:
Solo exhibitions in 2002: Michael
James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Michael A. Smith: Photographer as Picturemaker (A selection from the major purchase they made of Michael's work)
Archetype Gallery, Allentown, Pennsylvania (continuing through February 2, 2003)
Solo exhibitions in 2002: Paula
Open Lens Gallery, Gershman Y, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Landscape: A Personal View
Solo exhibitions in 2003: Michael
Paul Paletti Gallery, Louisville, Kentucky-October through December
Solo exhibitions in 2003: Paula
Paul Paletti Gallery, Louisville, Kentucky-February and March
Archetype Gallery, Allentown, Pennsylvania-April 10-June 8, Opening, April 11 Photographs from High Plains Farm
Solo exhibitions in 2003: Michael and Paula
Photographic Arts Gallery, Richmond, Virginia-April, Opening, April 4
Travis Gallery, Solebury, Pennsylvania-April, Opening, April 3 Photographs from our forthcoming books on Tuscany.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta, Georgia, Tuscany - Mid-October through December. This exhibition is in conjunction with a major exhibition of Etruscan art.
Solo exhibitions in 2004: Michael and Paula
IC Gallery, Amarillo, Texas
Group exhibitions in 2002: Michael and Paula
Owen/Patrick Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hometown: Philadelphia-area Photographers in The Photo Review
Gallery Z, Overland Park, Kansas, Gallery Artists
Magnifico Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Large Format Photography in New Mexico: Then and Now
Brigham City Museum, Brigham City, Utah, The Great American West: The Black and White Landscape
Group exhibitions in 2002: Michael
Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, Fish, Flowers, and Flying Things: Nature at the Spencer Museum
Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, California, 12th Annual Center Awards and Juried Exhibition
Borowsky Gallery, Gershman Y, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Perspectives in Portraiture
International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, Picturing What Matters
Group exhibitions in 2003: Michael and Paula
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California-February 2-May 11 American Landscape Photography After Ansel Adams
Last year, we conducted a workshop at Montgomery County College in Rockville, Maryland, and two Vision and Technique Workshops (V&T) here in Bucks County. Participants came from as far away as New Zealand. Because of our demanding schedule, we will be conducting only two V&T workshops in Bucks County this year-the weekends of May 23-25 (Memorial Day weekend) and June 6-8. As of this writing they are both filled, but we always get a cancellation or two. If you would like to attend, you might want to sign up to be on the waiting list. We will also teach a V&T workshop in Keene, New Hampshire, October 3-5.
A photographer who had taken our V&T workshop visited us recently to show us his new photographs. They were excellent. He then asked, "Now what do I do with them; what is the next step?" Because there is a great need for the information he wanted, we decided to conduct a workshop, "The Next Step: Marketing Your Photographs," about how to make a living as a photographer. We have invited Mary Virginia Swanson, a consultant and frequent lecturer about how to make a living from one's photography, to join us. She comes to this from an entirely different perspective. Together we should be able to cover all the bases.
We will conduct this workshop from November 7-9. Let us know if you have any interest and we will let you know details as soon as we have them.
We will be conducting a week-long workshop in Iceland at the end of June, 2003. We are firming up final details at this time. The dates will be June 22-29. Let us know if you are interested.
Our ambitious building project continues-still much more slowly than we would like, but as quickly as we can afford. We're now under roof with both new additions and the new freezer for film and paper has been completed. First things first. Next will come finished walls, floors, windows, and doors.
Many of you have requested updates on our print prices for your records. This addendum contains those updates and also provides information about our books, exhibition catalogues, portfolios, note cards, posters, and (singular) video. Please note that there have been some changes and additions. These are designated with an asterisk.
PHOTOGRAPHS: Silver Chloride Contact Prints
Now that we are not printing from older negatives (except in a very few instances), we are pricing all older work individually by image. Since we are no longer printing from these negatives, the edition size of the printing is fixed. It is different for every photograph: for some photographs it may be as few as 4 or 5; for others it could be 12, or 17, 26, or 33, or some other "odd" number. Although we have never editioned our photographs before, we have always numbered each print and kept exact records of how many photographs of each image we have made.
Each year we expect the photographs that fall into the "older" category to change by one year, although that is not fixed. We may consider certain work "current" for more than two years or we may consider it to be current for only one year. Here are prices as of January 1, 2003.
* Current photographs (those made in 2002):
Michael: 8 x 10 $1,500 Paula: 8 x 10 $1,000
8 x 20 $1,800 5 x 7 $750
4 x 5 $750
* Older photographs (pre-2002):
Michael: 8 x 10 $1,500 - $10,000 Paula: 8 x 10 $1,000 - $2,500
8 x 20 $2,000 - $5,000 5 x 7 $750 - $1,500
18 x 22 $3,000 - $5,000 4 x 5 $750 - $1,500
The price for Michael's 2' x 5' enlargements, made directly from his 8" x 20" negatives is $4,500 except for the two prints of which half the edition has sold. Those prints are priced at $6,000.
BOOKS and CATALOGUES:
* Landscapes 1975-1979: This collector's item is going fast. Only eight sets remain of Michael's first book (last year at this time there were fourteen). It was printed in a signed and numbered, limited edition of 600 two-volume sets. Landscapes 1975-1979, with an original photograph as the frontispiece, letterpress text, and tipped-in plates, is a rare and beautiful set of books for fine book and photography collectors. Published in 1981, and with an essay by James Enyeart, it was awarded "Best Photography Book of the Year" at the International Festival of Photography in Arles, France, July 1981. This set is now priced at $1,750 (plus $15 S&H). The price will increase by $250 as each remaining set is sold.
Landscapes 1975-1979: An exhibition catalogue with the same title (and essay) as the book, but with different reproductions (12). Published in 1981. Very rare; fewer than fifteen copies remain. $50 (plus $4 S&H). At this time we will only sell up to five more copies.
Michael A. Smith: A Visual Journey: Photographs From Twenty-Five Years: Published in 1992, this book accompanied Michael's twenty-five year retrospective exhibition at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House. Foreword by Marianne Fulton. Essay by John Bratnober. 176 duotone reproductions. $85 (plus $7 S&H). Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $250 (plus $7 S&H).
Princeton: An exhibition catalogue with five reproductions and an essay by Richard Trenner. Published in 1985. Rare; only thirty copies remain. $20 (plus $4 S&H).
Natural Connections: Photographs by Paula Chamlee: Published in 1994 and Paula's first book-photographs of the natural landscape accompanied by selected writings from her journals with an essay by Estelle Jussim. Printed in Laser Silver-Lit Tones™, 42 tritone reproductions. $60 (plus $7 S&H). Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200 (plus $7 S&H).
High Plains Farm: Published in 1996, a book of Paula's photographs and writing about the farm where she grew up on the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle. Foreword by George Thompson. 81 duotone reproductions. $70 (plus $7 S&H). Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200 (plus $7 S&H).
* San Francisco: Twenty Corner Markets and One in the Middle of the Block: Paula's third book, published in 1997. Printed in a signed and numbered limited edition of only 550 copies, 21 duotone reproductions and hand-tipped plate on the cover. Fewer than eighty copies remain. $60 (plus $7 S&H). The Collectors Edition, which came with the purchaser's choice of any photograph in the book, is now sold out.
The Students of Deep Springs College: A book about the most unusual college in America. Michael's newest book, published in 2000. Essay by L. Jackson Newell. Afterword by William T. Vollmann. 53 reproductions printed in 600-line screen quadtone. $50 (plus $7 S&H). Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200 (plus $7 S&H).
A Field in Tuscany: An edition of ten portfolios self-published in 2000, each containing eight 8"x10" photographs archivally mounted and overmatted, and two sheets of deckle edged Arches paper printed letterpress. The portfolio comes in a handmade box covered in heavy linen. $4,500.
San Francisco: Twenty Corner Markets and One in the Middle of the Block: An edition of three portfolios self-published in 1997, each containing twenty-one 8" x 10" photographs archivally mounted and overmatted, and three sheets of deckle edged Arches paper printed letterpress. The portfolio comes in a handmade box covered in heavy Italian linen. $10,500.
High Plains Farm: A Unique Portfolio: An edition of fifteen portfolios self-published in 1996. Sold out.
The Stones of Monteriggioni: A suite of six 8" x 20" photographs archivally mounted and overmatted. $4,500. Printed in an edition of five.
Eight Landscape Photographs: An edition of twenty portfolios plus two artist's proofs published by Regnis Press in 1983, each containing eight 8" x 20" photographs archivally mounted and overmatted, and two sheets of deckle edged Arches paper printed letterpress. The portfolio comes in a handmade box covered in heavy linen. Upon completion of this portfolio, the negatives were retired; no further prints were made from them. $15,000.
Twelve Photographs 1967-1969: An edition of twenty-five self-published in 1970, this portfolio contains a representative selection of Michael's work from this period. The 8" x 10" archivally mounted and overmatted photographs and two sheets of Arches paper printed letterpress come in a custom-made portfolio case covered in heavy linen. $25,000.
Michael A. Smith: Note Card Set One and Paula Chamlee: Note Card Set One: Two boxed sets of note cards, one set from each of us. Printed in Belgium by Salto in 600-line screen quadtone. Each set has twelve cards and envelopes-three cards each of four photographs of the natural landscape. In our fanaticism to make these cards as finely as we could, we found a card stock that is coated on the outside for optimum reproduction and uncoated on the inside for quick-dry, non-smear writing. Both sets are limited to an edition of only 1,000. $19.95 for the first set, and $16.95 for each additional set. $4.00 S&H for one set plus $2 for each additional set.
The four High Plains Farm posters are exquisitely printed in 300 line-screen duotone on heavy cover stock and were run through the press an additional and fourth time for extra luster and brilliance. Size: 19" x 26" for three of the posters and 19" x 27" for the fourth. $25 each or $80 for all four. A limited edition of signed and numbered posters is also available at $50 each or $125 for all four. We will send reproductions of the four images upon request. For posters, add $6 S&H.
The PBS half-hour documentary film, High Plains Farm: Paula Chamlee, produced by KACV-TV is available from us for only $25 (plus $4.00 S&H).