Honoring Women In Photography- Part 1
Ever since I started my formal education in photography, I have had a tremendous respect for women photographers. Men dominated the field in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s but that has changed drastically since then. With the advent of the digital camera, photography became a lot easier for anyone with a desire to take good pictures. Many women began to document the growth of their families and friends. Soon enough they were shooting images for their friends and eventually starting businesses of their own. Women now dominate the wedding portrait field. Women also bring a new vision to photography. We see more and more women venturing out being part of our workshops and while doing so capturing some really incredible images.
I wanted to share a bit about some of the women that have been part of Luminous-Landscape over the last few years. I find their vision and photography motivating and refreshing. In Part 2 of this segment we present a video interview with some very interesting women involved in photography. I do hope that we can feature more women photographers on Luminous-Landscape in the future and that we can all benefit from how they see and approach their craft.
I am fortunate enough to be married to a Debra Fadely, a wonderful woman who is also one of the most talented photographers I have seen. It’s wonderful to have a partner who both understands and shares the passion I have for photography and technology. I learn a lot from her vision; I am continually amazed by how she sees. We have been on some of the same workshops and also spend one Sunday a month taking a photo trip to somewhere within driving distance of our home. We may come to a location with an abandoned building. We both wander off and have a good time taking images. Back in the car we share our images and I can’t believe we were photographing the same place. Debra sees things I don’t see and she sees the same things differently. (Kind of pisses me off, but in a good way.)
Since I have been with Luminous-Landscape I have been doing my best to publish articles by creative women photographers as well as including them as instructors on our workshops. Lets look at some of the women photographers who have helped me become a better photographer.
Women Photographers That I Know
My mom, who was very artistic, was a strong influence in my photography career. When I was about 20, I opened my own studio. She was a big part of it. In 1974, I was doing everything I could to make perfect grain free sharp images. She was using texture screens and gobs of Vaseline to create ethereal effects. Many clients came to our studio and asked just for her, if they wanted to hide any flaws or signs of aging.
I started my college education in 1972 at Philadelphia College of Art and had a number of really great instructors. One of my first instructors was Barbara Blondeau who was quite amazing. She was battling cancer then, and one of her projects was to document her own sickness and treatment. In 1974 we lost her to cancer but her influence stayed with me to even today. This IMAGE was always one of my favorites and helped my see the simple beauty in photography.
In the last few years I have worked with a number of women and I want to share the contributions they have made to Luminous-Landscape.
I would say that Valerie Millet is one of those photographers who hasn’t quite realized the talent she has. I watched her work on Facebook and eventually became friends with her. Her landscape images were quite good and over a number of months they got better and better. She continually pushed herself to be a better photographer and become closer to the landscape in the Southwest region of the US that she loves so much. She has done a few articles for Luminous-Landscape, Loving The America Southwest, Life After Luminous, and Portrait Of An Emerging Photographer. She is a photographer to watch and it has been a privilege to witness her growth as a landscape photographer. You can also follow her on Facebook. She usually includes some philosophical captions to go with her work.
One of my favorite photographers who holds a special place in my heart is Jackie Ranken . I have had the privilege to shoot and teach with Jackie on several occasions. She has a marvelous sense of humor and an amazing creative streak that sets her apart from just about anyone else I know. We published an article about Jackie – Kitchen Stories back in 2014. Go and check it out. Who would ever think you could put kitchen utensils in the landscape and make amazing images? Lately she has won awards for putting her hand in her images. You really need to see her work to understand it and appreciate it.
I was also privileged to have Jackie as an instructor and my wife’s Maid Of Honor at our wedding in Antarctica last year.
You can see some of my wife Debra’s photography at her blog as well as her SmugMug page. Debra motivates me with her different vision; I am fortunate to share a life with someone who is so kind and artistic. Plus she’s kind of a gear head too. We’re a good match.
Eileen Benjamin is another woman who has impressed me with her work and sense of adventure. She’s not afraid of adventure and has traveled to some very remote areas of the world to capture some special photography.
Eileen will be attending our Patagonia adventure workshop next month. We have published two of her articles Life In The Wild – A Photo Safari and A Trek To The Forbidden Kingdom Of Mustang. There is not a lot that can slow her down. Look for a new article by Eileen soon on this site.
For years I watched as Eleanor Brown participated in the Luminous-Landscape forums and used the helpful advice from those on the forum to take her passion for photography to new heights. She wrote an article about this, Photography as Art, A Lifelong Passion . Not much can stand in her way and her images are truly special. Eleanor ventured into medium format with film and then digital as an early adapter. She has a keen eye and has produced some great work on a number of different interests of hers.
I appreciate women who have a knack for techno stuff and Anna Possberg certainly does. She does a lot of interesting projects and her article on Luminous-Landscape, Practical Considerations For Time-Lapse Photography is one of them. Her time-lapse work is really cool. Check the videos out on her site.
The first time I stumbled upon Sharon Tenenbaum’s work I was hooked. Her sense of composition is masterful. She has a portfolio of Bridges that I really like. Sharon is not only a super photographer. She is also a great educator who shares her talents through articles we have featured on our website, as well in her workshops. One article I really enjoyed was Loving Long Exposures as well as Understand The Left and Right Brain.
In 2015 Luminous-Landscape held a contest and the lucky winner received a trip to Antarctica with us on our 2016 trip. That winner was Michele Sons and weren’t we the lucky ones. Michele is not only a lovely woman but she had a mission. She has been working on a major project The Feminine Landscape and all of us got to watch her work on the trip. She is continually adding to the body of work and it can be seen at her website. She also wrote about her experience visiting Antarctica. It will be interesting to see where Michele goes next with her projects.
In closing this segment I want to acknowledge that there are a lot more incredible women doing amazing photography. I hope to feature more on Luminous-Landscape over the coming months and to revisit those who have already been part of our pages. It’s exciting times and
The next article, Honoring Women In Photography Part 2, consists of two videos created at the School Of Visual Arts in New York City. I want to Thank Katrin Eismann in advance for her help in making a number of the upcoming videos possible. You can see a walk and talk I did with Katrin HERE.