In the midst of a mild winter, for which we are grateful after having had two hard ones, we send warmest greetings.
Last year was the first year since 1979 (when Michael began these newsletters) that we missed sending out our annual newsletter, so this one in 2012 will bring you up to date on our activities in the world of photography for the past two years. Again, for the record, the addendum at the end lists prices and availability of our photographs, books, and portfolios.
Photographing Iceland: We returned to Iceland in 2010 to photograph for eight weeks. Once again, as in 2004 and 2006, our trip was a glorious one. And as we had done previously, we shipped our Land Rover and an SUV for our two assistants to live and work out of. All in all, the weather seemed milder than it was on our first two trips and we were able to do a great deal of work. In addition to making many black and white exposures we each made many exposures in color. Michael had used color for the first time in 2006 and continued his series of mostly solitary colorful buildings in the landscape, while Paula photographed a variety of subjects. Color photographs from each of us is attached with this newsletter. Paula also continued making hi-def videos of the manifestations of life energy seen in water, clouds, ice, and grasses.
We revisited many of the places we had seen on our previous trips and also traveled to parts we had not seen—mainly all of the northern regions. These areas are among the least seen by tourists and are generally less dramatic. Although we did not make many photographs in the north, we found the mostly barren landscape there to be quite alluring and spectacular in its own way.
In early July, on one of our first days in Iceland, a fellow who noticed our Land Rover asked to interview us for his weekly radio program. Omar Ragnarsson told us that he was a pilot—the crazy guy who had been flying journalists into Eyjafjallajökull volcano that had erupted in April. In the following days we met people who spotted our Land Rover and told us they had heard our interview with Omar. Later, when telling someone that we had been interviewed by Omar Ragnarsson, we learned that he was the most loved person in all of Iceland. He is an entertainer—a singer who has made a number of CDs and albums over a forty-plus-year career, and he is his country’s most active advocate for preserving Iceland’s landscape and natural resources. He led (unsuccessfully unfortunately) the movement against the building of a dam on a remote river in the interior. The recently completed dam, and resulting lake, was the largest construction project ever in Iceland and it destroyed forever a magnificent landscape. The purpose of the dam is to provide power for a new aluminum smelting plant. Omar is so loved in Iceland that a few months previously he was in some financial difficulty and in two weeks the people in Iceland, without him asking, raised $100,000 for him. At the end of our trip we contacted Omar and asked if he would write a foreword to our new Iceland books, which we are now working on. Happily, he agreed.
Also at the end of our trip, we met with the Director of the National Gallery of Art in Reykjavík who, upon finding our photographs to be unlike others made by photographers in Iceland, offered us an exhibition. We met with him again on another trip (if one flies Icelandair to Europe one is entitled up to a week-long stopover in Iceland, both going and coming back), and he suggested that we have the exhibition at the National Museum of Art. On our next trip to Europe we met with the Director and members of the exhibition committee at the National Museum. They were also impressed with our work, but cannot schedule an exhibition until 2014. When our books are published we will be having an exhibition in Reykjavík at Nútímalist, The Contemporary Art Gallery, but we hope also have an exhibition contemporaneously at one of the major museums.
Other Photographs: Paula’s studio, which we have been working on for over eleven years, though not finished, became usable in 2010, and since then she has been photographing a series of still lifes from found natural objects such as plants and leaves. Paula came to photography from painting and now that she has a studio space in which to work she is also making collages and sumi-ink drawings. We expect painting to follow apace.
One of Paula’s largest projects in her studio in 2011 was creating a one-of-a-kind, hand-made book titled A Dream Sequence. The small, intimate book contains 57 original 6x6cm and 6x7cm contact prints, hand written notes from her dream journals, and a custom-made box to hold the book.
We had a major exhibition of our Tuscany photographs at the Naples Art Museum in Naples, Florida, from April to June of 2011. We gave a joint lecture on the occasion of the opening.
In the fall of 2010, Michael had an exhibition, Wondrous Transformations: Photographs by Michael A. Smith, of works from their collection at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, where he also gave a talk at the opening.
We had an exhibition in the fall of 2010 at Boca Raton Museum of Art—The Art School, where we gave a joint lecture/presentation at the opening.
In July 2012, Paula will have an exhibition at the Pennswood Art Gallery in Penn’s Park, Pennsylvania, which is here in Bucks County. It opens on July 15 and runs through September 2. She will give a talk at the opening on July 15 and you are all invited.
In Paris at the charming Italian restaurant, Olio Pane Vino, at 44, rue Coquillière (in the First Arrondissement) is a long-running exhibition of our photographs. Originally, we were exhibiting photographs from Tuscany. When we were in Paris for Paris Photo in November of 2010 we hung our Chicago photographs and had a successful opening and book signing. In November of 2011 we put up our color and black and white photographs from Iceland. Francesco Bertuna, owner of the restaurant, is both an art lover and a great chef. We warmly recommend the restaurant for its authentic food and casual and excellent ambience. If you can make it to Olio Pane Vino, tell Francesco that we sent you. You will love meeting him.
Elephant’s Eye Bucks County Artists Studio Tour: In 2010 and 2011 we hosted many visitors at our studio on the third and fourth annual Elephant’s Eye Tour, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization sponsoring tours of the studios of select Bucks County artists. The organizers of the tour, who are also artists, realized they were losing too much time for doing their own work and have disbanded the nonprofit organization and canceled the tour. In the future, when our construction project is complete, we plan to have open studio dates here once or twice a year.
Book Publishing, Lodima Press:
Lodima Press Portfolio Book Series: In 2010 we published Balanced/Equation by Arno Minkkinen—previously unpublished photographs of his ever-inventive and remarkable nude self-portraits. www.lodimapress.com/html/portfolioseries.html
Whiteout by Nathan Lyons and Marvin Bell: In 2010 we published Whiteout by photographer Nathan Lyons with poems by Marvin Bell written in response to the photographs. In the 1960s Nathan Lyons was Chief Curator and Director at the George Eastman House, in Rochester. When Nathan, whom Michael has known since 1970, was at the Eastman House it was the foremost museum of photography in the world. During his time there the museum held many adventurous exhibitions and published inspiring books and exhibition catalogues. Nathan’s adventurousness was too much for the stodgy Eastman House Board of Directors and Nathan was fired, whereupon he founded the Visual Studies Workshop (VSW), a graduate school based on photography, but also including various mixed media, film, and artist’s books. To this day, a high percentage of students who studied at VSW represent a virtual Who’s Who in photography: curators, historians, critics, photography professors, and photographers. Nathan recognized the extremely high quality of our Lodima Press books, and we were honored to publish Whiteout. We highly recommend this book. www.lodimapress.com/html/whiteout.html
Iceland: A Personal View, Vol. I and Vol. II. We are currently at work on a book from each of us of our photographs from Iceland. We have announced a special pre-publication offer that we hope you will want to take advantage of. http://www.lodimapress.com
Ocean Variations: This long-delayed book of Michael’s is will be published this year. It consists of four series of photographs of the ocean he made between 1994 and 2006. Included will be two triptychs and a quintet—something very new for him. Ocean Variations will be published in an edition of only 550 signed and numbered hardbound copies. We are still offering pub-publication special prices. http://www.lodimapress.com/html/ocean_variations.html.
We have announced two Vision and Technique Workshops for 2012:
We will be holding only one V&T Workshop this year at our home/studio in Bucks County and one in Paris. The dates for Bucks County are Friday evening May 18 to late Sunday afternoon, May 20 and for Paris the dates are Friday evening June 22 to late Sunday afternoon June 24. We limit enrollment to 8 participants. The workshops are filling up and if you are interested we recommend that you sign up soon. Full information and sign-up information can be found here:
In 2011 we conducted Vision and Technique Workshops at our studio in Bucks County, one in New Orleans, and one in Paris. In 2010 we held a Vision and Technique Workshop at our studio, immediately followed by workshops on successive weekends in England, France, Germany, and Tuscany. Immediately after the workshop in Tuscany we drove to Milan and then flew to Iceland. At the beginning of our photographing trip there we conducted a ten-day workshop as we traveled with the participants to the best places to make photographs. Among the unsolicited comments we have received from these workshops were these:
“I have been a commercial photographer since I was 17, I went to college, assisted the top photographers in London, worked on global international advertising accounts for the last twenty-five years, and last year I went back to college to get a Masters Degree. Not once in all that time have I ever had such an interesting and informative photographic experience.”
“Just a quick note to thank the two of you for a wonderful workshop this weekend. I cannot begin to express what an eye-opening experience it was working with you, both in the field and in the darkroom. I have been photographing a long time and I have never come across anyone who uses the camera the way you do to truly explore the world as a visual experience and turn that experience into a print that becomes something more than what was seen. This was truly revolutionary for me.”
Lodima Photographic Paper: http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/newpaper.html
The silver chloride paper we have had manufactured as a replacement for Kodak Azo contact printing paper was shipped to us at the end of March in 2010. After many years of testing and innumerable hurdles we were able to develop a paper that yields prints even more beautiful than the Kodak Azo paper that it replaced. The paper has almost 100% sold out and we have ordered a second production run. It is due here in April. Based on curves made by the manufacturer we expect the paper from this second production run to have deeper blacks in both grades and to be even finer than the paper from the first run. A comment, typical of those we have received:
“I have been out shooting as much as I can and have been printing on Lodima. In fact, I have been revisiting negatives I had originally contact printed on enlarging paper and I am now achieving the tones and depth that I had been looking for but could never get.”
Expos, Trade Shows, and Other Travels:
In addition to our trips to Iceland, we attended Paris Photo in 2010 and 2011 where, despite our having a Lodima Press booth there for five years, we continue to be juried out. But that has been to our advantage, as we have been free to have meetings with collectors and curators and to visit many friends in Paris. And while in Paris in 2011 we were interviewed by Raphaël Devreker and Liv Gudmundson for their informative and innovative web site www.lesphotographes.com
Shortly after returning home from Paris, in both years, we drove down to Art Basel Miami Beach to see the many art expos there. And in 2011, after teaching a workshop in Paris, we attended the grandest art expo of them all, Art Basel, in Switzerland. We attend these events to keep abreast of current developments in the art world and also in the hopes that we will see art that will be inspiring for our own work. At the request of photography dealer Alex Novak, Paula wrote a review of Art Basel for his iPhotoCentral e-newsletter.
Before Paris Photo last year we found ourselves with four extra travel days (due to a cancelled visit to Romania to visit a friend and former workshop participant), so we flew to Barcelona to see the Gaudi buildings. Though we have known them through reproductions, actually seeing them was beyond anything we could have expected. And the beautiful city of Barcelona was a wonderful new adventure for us.
For the past two years we attended the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) National Conference where we had a Lodima Press booth to show and sell our books. And this year and we will be in San Francisco for the Conference, March 23 and 24.
“Lodima” now encompasses more than Lodima Press. There is Lodima Fine Art Paper (mentioned above), and now Lodima Archival Materials. In 2000, Michael wrote an article for View Camera Magazine titled, “Advances in Archival Mounting and Storage.” The article can be read at http://www.lodimaarchivalmaterials.com
The article is mostly an interview with Bill Hollinger, the inventor of MicroChamber™ technology. He invented a mat board called ArtCare™ that actively traps pollutants, thereby protecting photographs and other works on paper far better than conventional 100% acid-free all-rag materials. We became so interested in this material that it has been the only material we have used for our mat boards, negative folders, and storage boxes since we learned about it. ArtCare™ materials are used by the National Archives and the Library of Congress, thus being the choice for archives requiring the highest standards.
A friend in Philadelphia was unable to manage this business as he originally hoped, so a few years ago we purchased what was needed to do this ourselves. We moved the computerized mat cutter into one of our studios and will very soon install a guillotine. In the meantime, we have also purchased the equipment needed to cut glass and plexiglass. For those of you doing works on paper, we can now provide all of your mat board, custom-cut overmats, archival storage boxes, and negative folders. We can also supply Nielsen metal-section frames at competitive prices.
Also as part of Lodima.org we will soon announce Lodima Digital. In order to make large prints we now have high-end drum scanners and a large ink-jet printer as well as other equipment. In addition to using this equipment for our own work, we are doing work for others—scanning negatives, making enlarged digital negatives, and making large prints. We are still committed to the darkroom and to making silver chloride contact prints and this digital development is an expansion of our work, not a replacement. Give us a call or send an email for any needs you might have for Lodima Digital.
Extensive revision is currently underway for our web sites. Among other things, it will allow us to put many more photographs online. We hope to have it completed sometime this spring.
Building: We continue with our building project. At the time of our open studio for the Elephant’s Eye Tour in 2011, a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer did a feature article on us, “Their Customized Art Space,” on our home and studios.
As always, we are deeply grateful for your interest in and support of our work. As part of our audience, you complete a vital circle and make a valuable contribution to the creative process and to the making of our art.
Whenever possible during our travels, we hope we can see you for a visit. And do remember that you are always welcome to visit us here at our home and studio in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
We send you our warmest regards and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012,
Michael and Paula
Many who receive this newsletter have requested updates on our print prices for their records and for appraisal. This addendum contains those updates and also provides information about our books, exhibition catalogues, portfolios, note cards, posters, and singular video (to be converted to DVD).
Silver Chloride Contact Prints
Now that we are not printing from older negatives (except in a very few instances), prints from these negatives are now editioned. The edition number is different for every image: 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 did not originally edition our photographs, we have always assigned each print a unique number and have kept exact records of how many prints 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 rigidly 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, 2012.
Current photographs (2004–2011):
Michael: 8 x 20 $3,000. Paula: 8 x 10 $2,000.
Color 8 x 10 $2,000. Color 8x10 $2,000.
5 x 7 $1,500.
4 x 5 $1,500
6 x 6/6 x 7 $750.–$1,500
Multiple 6 x 6 and 6 x 7 $1,250.–$4,000.
Combinations from Chicago: Lake $1,500. each panel
Older photographs (pre-2004):
Michael: 18 x 22 $4,500.–$10,000. Paula: 8 x 10 $2,000.–$5,000.
8 x 20 $3,000.–$10,000. 5 x 7 $1,500.–$5,000.
8 x 10 $2,000.–$10,000. 4 x 5 $1,500.–$3,500.
The price for Michael’s 2'x5' silver print enlargements, made directly from his 8"x20" negatives is $7,500 except for the two prints from which half the edition has sold. Those are priced at $15,000.
Our large platinum prints, made in editions of ten, and two artists’ proofs, begin at $15,000 for Paula’s prints and $10,000 for Michael’s prints.
Paula’s platinum prints are printed on translucent handmade Japanese Taizan paper 23" x 29". Michael’s are printed on Arches Platine paper and are one meter wide—15" x 39". To make these prints, our original negatives are scanned at the Salto Platinum Atelier in Belgium, then five enlarged film negatives are made from each scan and are then printed in register with multiple exposures—a lengthy, arduous, expensive process. These platinum prints are as beautiful as any we have ever seen. Each image is limited to an edition of ten, and two artists’ proofs.
Please keep in mind that seeing photographs on the Internet is nothing like seeing them “in the flesh,” especially with Paula’s platinum prints on the thin Taizan paper where the delicacy and luminescence does not translate well, but we hope you can get at least some idea of their quality and appearance.
Books and Catalogues
Iceland: We will be contacting you shortly regarding a pre-publication offer for our Iceland books that are now in the early stages of production. This will be an opportunity for you to get these beautiful books at a substantial discount.
Ocean Variations: We have not yet published Ocean Variations as we still need to raise the money to do so. We are hoping to print this book at the same time as our Iceland books. We are still making a pre-publication offer for this limited-edition book. Please call us for details, or find them here: www.lodimapress.com/html/ocean_variations.html.
Chicago: Loop/Chicago: Lake: Our first joint book. Published in 2008. Printed in an edition of only 1,000 with the first 50 books numbered and available with an original photograph of your choice. There are still a few of the first 50 numbered books that are still available. $95.
Tuscany: Wandering the Back Roads, Vol. I: Published in 2004, Paula’s book of photographs of the countryside and small towns and villages of Tuscany. Essay by the late Robert Sobieszek, Curator of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Foreword by Ferenc Máté, author of The Hills of Tuscany, Preface by Michael and Paula. 70 reproductions printed in 600-line screen quadtone. $75. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200.
Tuscany: Wandering the Back Roads, Vol. II: Published in 2004, Michael’s book of 8x20-inch photographs of the countryside and small towns and villages of Tuscany. 59 reproductions printed in 600-line screen quadtone. $95. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $250.
Madonnina: Paula’s book of photographs of the small shrines to the Madonna that can be found throughout the countryside in Tuscany. Foreword by Steven Maklansky, who was then Assistant Director for Art and Curator of Photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Essay by Giuliana Bianchi Caleri, Italian scholar, Preface by Paula. 50 reproductions printed in 600-line screen quadtone. $60. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200.
L Landscapes 1975–1979: This award-winning set of books is sold out.
M 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. $125. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $250.
P Princeton: An exhibition catalogue of Michael’s with five reproductions and an essay by Richard Trenner. Published in 1985. Rare; fewer than thirty copies remain. $25.
Natural Connections: Photographs by Paula Chamlee: Published in 1994, a book of Paula’s photographs of the natural landscape accompanied by selected writings from her journals with an essay by the late Estelle Jussim. Printed in Laser Silver-Lit Tones™, 42 tritone reproductions. $75. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200.
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 F. Thompson. 81 duotone reproductions. $75. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200.
San Francisco: Twenty Corner Markets and One in the Middle of the Block: Paula’s third book, published in 1997. Sold out.
The Students of Deep Springs College: Michael’s book about the most unusual college in America, published in 2000. Essay by L. Jackson Newell, Afterword by William T. Vollmann, Preface by Michael, 53 reproductions printed in 600-line screen quadtone. $60. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200.
A Field in Tuscany: An edition of ten portfolios self-published in 2000 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. P.O.R.
San Francisco: Twenty Corner Markets and One in the Middle of the Block: An edition of three portfolios self-published in 1997 containing twenty-one 8"x10" 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. P.O.R.
High Plains Farm: A Unique Portfolio: An edition of fifteen portfolios self-published in 1996. Sold out.
Portfolios: Michael and Paula
The Azo Portfolio: An edition of ten portfolios plus two artists’ proofs self-published in 2006 containing a selection of ten photographs, five 8"x20" contact prints by Michael and five 8"x10" contact prints by Paula, archivally mounted and overmatted with two sheets of deckle-edged BFK Rives paper printed letterpress. The portfolio comes in a handmade box bound in heavy linen. This portfolio is produced for the purpose of helping finance the continuing production of the new silver chloride photographic paper, Lodima Fine Art. P.O.R.
The Stones of Monteriggioni: A suite of six 8"x20" photographs archivally mounted and overmatted. Printed in an edition of five. P.O.R.
Eight Landscape Photographs: An edition of twenty portfolios plus two artist’s proofs published by Regnis Press in 1983 containing eight 8"x20" 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. Only one remains. P.O.R.
Twelve Photographs 1967–1969: An edition of twenty-five portfolios self-published in 1970, this portfolio contains a representative selection of twelve photographs from this period. The 8"x10" archivally mounted and overmatted photographs and two sheets of Arches paper printed letterpress come in a custom-made portfolio case covered in heavy linen. P.O.R.
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. We chose a fine 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.
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"x26" for three of the posters and 19"x27" for the fourth (a vertical photograph), $25 each or $75 for all four. A limited edition of signed and numbered posters is also available at $50 each or $150 for all four.
The PBS half-hour documentary film, High Plains Farm: Paula Chamlee, produced by KACV-TV is currently being transferred into DVD. Please inquire if you would like a copy.
Other Books from Lodima Press : www.lodimapress.com
The Portfolios of Brett Weston San Francisco Baja California
White Sands Japan
New York Europe
Fifteen Photographs Oregon
Ten Photographs Portraits of My Father
Lodima Press Portfolio Books:
Home by Nicholas Nixon Flights Through Time by Marilyn Bridges
Solitudes by Carl Chiarenza Stone Churches of Ireland by Paul Caponigro
Common Mementos by George Tice Still by Douglas Mellor
Opera Nuda by Keith Carter The Studios of Pietrasanta by Hans Bol
Heaven/Earth by Linda Connor Close at Hand by Robert Adams
Primal Elegance by Larry Fink Salt Grass by Eric Lindbloom
Planets by Arthur Tress Balanced/Equation by Arno Minkkinen
Edward Weston: Life Work
Los Crepúsculos de la Imaginación by Alejandro López de Haro R.
Stones and Marks by Peter Elliston
Passage: Europe by Richard Copeland Miller
Crash, Burn, Love: Demolition Derby by Bill Lowenburg
Ticetown by George Tice
Land of the Deer Stone by Elaine Ling
On My Mother’s Side by Emily Grimes
Whiteout by Nathan Lyons and Marvin Bell