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Friday, 30 November 2018


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When you write of a photographer who is less well known, say Jim Sherwood for example, can you please include a link to their website, Facebook, Instagram if possible so that your readers can view their work. This site is how I discover other photographers I might not otherwise find. I recall some images you posted from one of the Bakers Dozen post, some guy photographing close ups of mushrooms with the Pana/Leica 42.5 1.2. I never could find his site.

[Hi Keith, in this case try:


A book by Jim and his wife Shirley True, who is a photographer of equal stature to JS. --Mike]

I have collected photography in an irregular way for a few years now. All my purchases were impulse purchases and I don't regret a single one. None were bought with investment in mind and I seriously doubt I'll ever sell any of my prints.

My wife is a different matter. I introduced her to the idea of collecting a few years back and she took an interest in Harold Edgerton. Books were bought. She began reading about him and his work. We went to a retrospective in Connecticut and a gallery show in New York. I became vaguely aware of some sort of network she had created and a few weeks later a man appeared at our apartment with an Edgerton dye transfer portfolio.

My wife had hunted down Edgerton's godson, who was trying to put together a down payment for a home. After several conversations on the phone about price and multiple payments, they came to an agreement. I never knew that my wife was such a fierce negotiator. She not only got a remarkable price, but she spread it out over months.

Some of those dye transfer prints are hanging on my wall and enjoyed daily. The rest are safely stored in the portfolio case. Although their value has increased several times I can't imagine parting with them.

I started collecting photographic prints in earnest as of last year- my own. Haven't had a darkroom since 2001, we live in a 1BR in SF and don't even have enough room for a decent sized printer. When I finally had a few scant dollars of "disposable income," I knew exactly what to do. Upgrading can wait, having prints can't..

You have to see the movie "The Price of Everything" now on HBO. It focuses on collectors, the art world, galleries and auction houses, and a few very interesting artists. http://www.thepriceofeverything.com

Speaking of the theme collections, Karen and I spend lots of our weekends visiting museums and galleries in LA. Recently we visited the Broad Museum downtown near the Disney Concert Hall. https://www.thebroad.org

If Eli Broad's collections have a theme, it's BIG. Everything is oversized and not as interesting as most. The building, esp. the offices and elevator were the most interesting things in the museum.

Yep, iPhone photos, unretouched.

The best dissection of collecting is Utz by Bruce Chatwin. Chatwin stayed with my family for a while when I was a kid, while researching The Songlines, and all I remember is that he drove my mother and grandfather crazy with his eccentricities. I was a young adult and Bruce was dead before I read his books.


Many people confuse subliminal influence with subconscious influence. This post is called subconscious influence in marketing. A push for sales that is worthy commentary can be brilliant! Tony Northrup was criticized for his views on the future of micro four thirds on this site recently. Tony and Chelsea Northrup have over a million subscribers on YouTube. Do they use subconscious influence, or is their commentary worthy of their success? How's the Fuji X-H1 review coming along? Here's Tony's: https://youtu.be/j2MjQrBxUtY

It was sometime between 84 and 87, I was living at 155 Chambers Street a fourth or fifth floor walk up loft over “Cheese Of All Nations” in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood with my girlfriend Jeanne Jaffe a sculptor, we were bird lovers and keepers.

The floor above was occupied by Rudi Stern owner of “Let There Be Neon” known for his psychedelic light shows and neon installations. Moira North a professional figure skater was his girlfriend or wife, not sure which but his roommate for sure.

Through Rudi and Moira we were introduced to Joseph Koudelka who was in town looking for people to photograph and Jeanne was suggested to him.

Jeanne had previously worked for Mary Frank as an assistant and also had posed for Sandy Skogland with her/our Cockatiel named Cleveland so she was already on the periphery of famous photographers and an exhibited model.

Joseph came up to our loft for fifteen minutes and photographed Jeanne with Cleveland while I photographed him, eventually with the bird on his head or shoulder.

End of story until I find the negatives.

In Fall of 1978 a gallery in Boulder, Colorado, had a few Ansel Adams prints. There was one I really liked, a framed 16x20 print, and it was $750. Just out of college, I had no extra funds, but I gazed at it with affection. I still recall the image and it's been extremely difficult to find on the internet.

Although some "collectibles" increase in value over time, I'm beginning to suspect that most of them decrease. My parents spent a lifetime collecting antiques, but after their deaths, we were unable to sell most of the pieces for anything. And often the thrill of collecting is the hunt, not in owning the collection. I spent about 40 years assembling a complete set of original Tom Swift novels published from about 1900 to the 1940s. Now what? I'll probably sell them. But is anyone interested?

The story of the Koudelka you missed because you couldn't afford it reminded me of a similar story I heard.
I don't know if this is really true, but once at a museum exhibit of Ansel Adams pictures, I was admiring a print of "Moonrise" and began chatting with a photographer who said he knew Adams "way back when." He claimed that Adams had offered to sell him a print of "Moonrise" for $90, but he had declined because he couldn't afford it.
Not long ago I was in a gallery that had a print of "Moonrise" for sale. It was priced at $65,000.

I already told you my AIPAD story.... first featured comment...

Fortunately I have many other nice recollections, from my collections, over 30 years. Books, too.

Hi Mike, Good to see my friend Jim get a mention..he is also a leading photo book collector ( and seller) and a wonderful photographer on top of all that.

I don't collect books...I don't collect books...I don't collect books. This is proven by the fact that A Gentle Madness is only one of several books that I have on book collecting :-).
Just this morning I listened to a Slate podcast interviewing Sarah Meister, a MoMa photography curator and and found it really interesting. It is over an hour in length so perfect for the daily commute or in my case the morning dog walk (I have bluetooth in my current hearing aids. Life is good.)
Here is the URL:
https://slate.com/.../sarah-meister-curator-momas-department-photography. html

You know, when people decide to "collect," it's not particularly hard to collect objects like watches or guitars or cars, because there's a kind of set list of the good and great. You don't have to know anything to become a notable collector, although you do have to have some money. With art, it's different. To be "successful," whatever that means, you actually have to develop some taste before collecting. It's very, very possible to encounter rich people who have spent their lives collecting money, and who decide they need some art around, and they wind up with a miscellaneous collection of expensive crap; or they hire an advisor, and they wind up with a nice collection that they don't know anything about and they can't really explain why they have. The problem for a lot of us on this forum is that we developed good taste before we acquired any money, and most of the stuff we really wanted was far out of reach financially.

I too am a collector. I have spent a lifetime obtaining things that interest me. Regrettably my collection seems to depreciate in value and everyone refers to it as hoarding. Where did I go wrong?

When I was going to Michigan State (1978 or so) Disney came there to sell original animation cells from a a lot of their films. Some even came with the background art. Most cells were going for around $25 or so. Of course I did not buy any. If I had bought a dozen or so of them and sold them now they would have funded a great retirement.

I bought my first photo in 1979.
Like you Mike, I had very little money.
I was in a gallery and just like you I saw two photos that I liked.
Unlike your situation, there was a very good salesperson who upon hearing that I couldn’t afford either photo at $400, suggested I buy both, and wait for them to appreciate and when they appreciated in price, I could sell one and therefore keep the other for “free.” And by that time I would know which I was willing to sell.
That was just the sales rationalization I needed. I bought the two 8x10’s by Berentice Abbot. And of course kept both. I think I showed them to you when we lived in the same county.

1979 was a good year to buy photographs.

Now in 2018, your sales are a better way, buy three and instantly get another for “free”.

Buying and collecting photographs is one thing. Some people tout photographs as an "investment." They are not an investment. When you try to sell a photograph, if you try to sell it yourself, you will probably get the "wholesale" price of the image, because you do not know who has the deep pockets. Send it off to a gallery to sell it for you, they will get the big bucks (because they know who has the deep pockets), take half of the retail price and you get the "wholesale" price.

Remember, if it's an investment there will be taxes to be paid on the gain.

And no, we've not sold any of the photographs we have purchased.

Thanks, Mike, for referring your readers to our book, "Two by Two Sherwood True The Phoenix Project." We're about to publish follow up "Partly Arizona Mostly Love." Best to you.

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