New Work in American Photography 31

Untitled, Natchez, Mississippi

Untitled, Natchez, Mississippi © Susana Raab 2015

Untitled, Natchez, Mississippi

I have been remiss in sharing the news that I had a couple of images chosen for AP31.  The first is a new project I have been working on intermittently in Natchez, Mississippi and involves a lot of fine Paris china.  The South is such loaded territory for photographers. On one hand, there is this sort of fetishization of its gothic past lingering in the present, of which I am guilty of exploiting.  I am drawn to the place, since first reading Faulkner, O’Connor, Welty, Percy, Larry Brown, in that order.  The loving in-spite-of not because-of; the past reaching into the future, silently undulating in co-centric circles to your present; the unacknowledged shadow looming over everything – all resonate with me, and I suspect with many who pursue the Southern route – we cultural carpet-baggers seeking redemption.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this project, but I don’t feel under the same constraints I did when I was younger to have it all tied-up neatly at this stage. My projects ferment for a long time. And while I am sure this is partially due to procrastination, it is also due to my need for reflection.  Also I like to work on a lot of projects at once.  And I’m sure part of it is that it is extremely painful for me to finish these things – to say goodbye.

A prime example of this, is my project Cholita.  An image from which was also honored in AP31 (it was first published last year in EnFoco’s Nueva Luz):

Familia, Huanchaco, Peru, 2011
Familia, Huanchaco, Peru © Susana Raab 2015

I am probably done shooting it, but to sit down with the work and properly examine and mediate it, sort the text etc, feels like more than I can possibly bear.  So I am holding myself accountable here, that I am using this month of my birthday to sit with the work and frame my narrative, to close that door and every possibility it contained. It is time.

Job Opening in Andover, MA with Northeast Document Conservation Center

Sometimes I think there is no more noble calling than saving precious artifacts for future generations.  The person who fills this role will I assume be taking over this role. Here’s the 411:

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Position Summary The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) is hiring a full-time Photographer to join the Imaging Services department.

Founded in 1973, NEDCC is a not-for-profit conservation and preservation services center, supporting the collections of its private and institutional clients through book, paper, and photograph conservation, digital reformatting, and preservation assistance. The successful candidate will be joining a team of experienced and productive photographers, and will benefit from working alongside conservators and specialists dedicated to the treatment and care of the range of objects the Imaging Services department digitizes.

The Photographer will be charged principally with the digital reformatting of the extensive, diverse and unique collections held by NEDCC’s institutional and private clients. These include virtually all photographic media, particularly nitrate, acetate, and glass-plate negatives, X-ray film, and daguerreotypes; bound and loose manuscript material; rare books and illuminated manuscripts; and oversized items such as maps and blueprints. To this end, the Imaging Services department utilizes medium format and SLR digital camera systems; copystands; custom stations for imaging oversized, transmissive, and bound materials; Broncolor strobes; a GE X-ray film scanner; Epson wide format printers; Eizo displays; and a color managed workflow. While we are primarily Mac-based we also use PCs, and maintain our own network, server, and archive.

Responsibilities Reporting to the Director of Imaging Services, the Photographer will:  As needed, establish ideal environmental conditions for digitally photographing a project’s specific material types.  Digitally capture archival and special collection materials.  Apply standard post-capture image adjustments such as rotation and cropping, neutralizing color, and inverting and enhancing negatives.  On a project-by-project basis, perform complex post-capture image adjustments and processing, including file stitching and digital restoration.  Print high-quality reproductions of digitally captured files.  Always strive for process and image quality improvements within individual projects.  Collaborate with colleagues to identify the most efficient workflows for digitizing materials safely, while also maintaining the highest standards of quality.  Track project status and submit daily production reports.  Adhere to NEDCC hours of service without exception.  Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications  Bachelor’s degree in a related discipline.  Experience or training in the handling of rare and fragile paper-based materials.  1-3 years’ experience digitally reformatting archival and special collection materials or works of art.  Proficiency in the use of imaging hardware, particularly digital medium format and SLR camera systems, and flatbed or film scanners.  Knowledge of studio lighting equipment and techniques.  Experience using RAW workflow software such as Lightroom or CaptureOne, and editing software such as Photoshop.  Strong eye for color, value, composition, and visual accuracy.  Demonstrated ability to work under deadlines in a production-oriented environment.  Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.  Exceptional problem solving skills.  Meticulous attention to detail.  Enthusiasm and creativity.

Application Process To apply please send a PDF file containing cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to Terrance D’Ambrosio, Director of Imaging Services, at tdambrosio@nedcc.org

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture seeking contractor for object digitization services

NMAAHC “may” be hiring a contractor. Here is what I know:

The National Museum of African American History and Culture may be hiring a contractor to manage object handling, rehousing and digital imaging services. The contractor would be responsible for the following:

  • Digital scanning and photography
  • Using flatbed and overhead scanners and digital cameras to create digital images of collections and other materials
  • Working in Microsoft Word; Microsoft Excel; a museum collection information system, The Museum System (TMS); Adobe Photoshop and Bridge; and other image processing and editing software
  • Handling a wide variety of museum collection objects in compliance with best museum practices, including moving collection objects, unframing, unmatting, reframing, rematting, rehousing, and creating custom housing for museum collection objects
  • Assisting other digital imaging specialists with scanning and photography of collection objects, set ups for scanning and photography, and object handling
  • Processing and editing digital images
  • Embedding metadata into digital images and other digital assets for the SI Digital Asset Management System (DAMS), TMS, and Enterprise Digital Asset Network (EDAN)
  • Creating, modifying, or updating records in DAMS and TMS.
  • Assisting with management of digital assets
  • Working closely with the Museum’s collection management, curatorial, and digitization staff, contractors, volunteers, and interns on the Museum’s digitization initiatives

If interested in the contracting position, please send résumés to feldmanc@si.edu. We are gathering a pool of applicants and will be in touch with those whose résumés indicate they are the best fit for the position.

Thank you for your time and interest,

Carrie Feldman

Museum Specialist

Office of Curatorial Affairs

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

I Love Gifts in the Mail: Thank You Michael Wilson and Jayme Stone “The Yo-Yo Ma of Banjo”

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It was a great pleasure to host Cincinnatti’s finest Michael Wilson at Casa Teddy Roosevelt last winter (so happy to call it LAST winter now!).  He was in town working with Colorado-based banjoist, compositionist and instigator Jayme Stone who was creating an album of Allen Lomax collected tunes and Michael was photographing objects from the Lomax collection at the Library of Congress.

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The album. Who doesn’t love a beloved analog object immortalized on film! Working in a museum has really increased my appreciation for the artifact.

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If you like this kind of music which I do, very much so, you can download the album and liner notes digitally on Bandcamp and iTunes or order the CD from Borealis Records. The recording features 20 songs, 15 musicians, and a deluxe 60-page booklet with archival photos and detailed song notes. Have a look at Jayme’s upcoming tour dates and get your tickets for a show nearby. This is still very much a grassroots effort and your support of this music and your help speading the word makes a tangible and much appreciated difference.

“An essential album.” — FOLK ROOTS
“A transatlantic session with blood, guts, and grit.” — THE HERALD
“A truly inventive spin on some very old tunes.” — GEORGIA STRAIGHT

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Thanks Jayme and Michael! It was a real treat to receive your mails.

Keith Jenkins General Manager for Digital Media at Nat Geo speaking at NOVA Alexandria Campus March 31

The NOVA Photography + Media Program at Alexandria is pleased to announce a special event on

Tuesday March 31st in the Bisdorf Auditorium Room AT196 at 7 pm.

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National Geographic’s Keith Jenkins will share his leading edge perspectives in a presentation on the future of digital media for photographers, videographers, editors, and anyone interested in our changing media landscape.

Keith Jenkins is the General Manager for Digital at National Geographic, where he oversees the Society’s online presence and staff. In the short time he has been at NGS, Jenkins and his team launched Proof, NGS’s photo blog, and helped grow Your Shot, NGS’s online photo site, into a thriving community.

Jenkins came to National Geographic from NPR.org, where he served as Supervising Senior Producer for Multimedia.  Before NPR, he wore many hats at The Washington Post—staff photographer, photography editor, and Deputy Assistant Managing Editor for Photo.

Jenkins is a distinguished speaker on photography and multimedia. He is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

Jenkins has won numerous awards, including Emmys and Webbys. In  2007 Jenkins was the photo editor for The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series on Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He has also won awards from World Press Photo, The White House News Photographers Association, and the National Press Photographer’s Association. Jenkins is a graduate of Brandeis University and Boston University School of Law.

For more information contact Page Carr by email lcarr@nvcc.edu

Or visit www.nova.edu/alexandria/visual/photo

PS Free parking in the DAWES Garage (they won’t tell you this, but it’s true so don’t accidentally pay)

If you’d like to listen to a recent lecture by Keith at Brown University click here.

Consumed featured in London Exhibit of Syngenta Photography Awards through April 10

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BBC Did a nice slideshow highlighting some of the works being shown in the Syngenta Photography Awards contest. This years theme was on Scarcity and Waste. Consumed is highlighted near the end of the slideshow. Thanks Syngenta and BBC! Congrats to Mustafa Abdulaziz! The show is on exhibit until April 10 in London.

Loves and Fears on BBC: Sitting Sat 2/14 12-3pm @Anacostia Arts Center

Did I mention I’m doing another Loves and Fears portrait sitting on Saturday Feb 14 1231 Good Hope Road SE from 12 -3?  Well I am, and I would love it if you’d show up ready to bare your soul and lend me your visage for a rollicking good time on a cold winter day.

The BBC recently featured the project in this video available here.

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