Recently spotted on Harvey Benge’s blog is  Joerg Colberg’s review of  The Auckland Project (photographers John Gossage & Alec Soth).

Joerg writes:  “Working alongside John [Gossage] was stressful, but it was also life changing. After learning so much from this master of the medium (and friend), I began the process of dismantling my career.” write Alec Soth about his contribution to The Auckland Project. The book, or rather set of books, was “a trip of departures. Gossage has been working in black and white for over 40 years, and this trip yielded one of the first bodies of work he had ever produced in color.” (quoted from the press blurb) Soth, in turn, left behind his 8×10 camera, to bring a digital one. Since I have been ignoring discussions of cameras on this blog for years now, I’ll continue doing that for this review. Instead, I want to talk about the two photographers’ approach to photography – I do believe the books offer an opportunity to do that.

Background info on this collaboration and a link to the full review article can be found HERE

Harvey Benge blog
Conscientious website

Below is a  recent article on photobook making by  Joerg Colberg (founder & editor of Conscientious , a website dedicated to contemporary fine-art photography). Check out the ‘Extended’ section of his website to view articles and interviews of a more in-depth nature, along with contributions by guest writers.

How to make a photobook
“My headline is slight disingenuous: There actually is no simple recipe for photobook making. If you asked ten people about how to make a photobook, you’d probably end up with ten different answers. That said, from what I can tell, most photobook makers seem to agree on quite a few things. So I thought I’d throw my own thoughts into the mix. I hope that some people might find them useful.” Read the full article HERE

Conscientious website

Ans Westra

Images from ‘Maori’ (1967)

Open from 21 March 2012
Runs until 5 May 2012
Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 5pm
108 Oriental Parade, Wellington

Ans Westra, Turangawaewae, Ngaruawahia, 1963
Vintage silver gelatin print
265 x 220 mm

{Suite} is pleased to announce the opening of its ‘Westra Gallery’ at 108 Oriental Parade, dedicated to Ans Westra (CNZM). It is the first exhibition space to be devoted to an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Artist – a status that acknowledges the significance and legacy of the artist’s work.

The first exhibition features prints of images made for Maori (1967) and runs until 2 May.  Subsequent exhibitions will include, amongst others, prints from Westra’s first book Viliami of the Friendly Islands (1963) and images taken around the James K. Baxter commune in Jerusalem and while on tour with Wellington band Fat Freddy’s Drop.

Westra’s publications, including Notes On The Country I Live In (1972), Wellington City Alive (1976), Whaiora (1986) and the updated edition of Washday at the Pa (2011), will be available for purchase alongside the exhibition prints.

A limited edition digital print of the cover image from Washday at the Pa has been released to mark the opening of the gallery, and to celebrate Westra’s unique contribution to New Zealand.

Editor’s update: Listen to the Radio NZ ‘Upbeat’ interview of  Ans Westra & David Alsop (Suite Gallery Director), HERE
+64 4 976 7663

Peter Ireland’s S’KITE Blog is well worth visiting on a regular basis for reviews and articles principally relating to photography. Below is his comprehensive review of the 2011 publication A man walks out of a bar… by Lucien Rizos.

Of note also, is that this book was supported by PhotoForum Inc. and distributed to members as part of that year’s subscription entitlement.


Lucien Rizos,  A man walks out of a bar… Rim Books, Auckland, in association with PhotoForum Inc., 2011, with essays by Damian Skinner and Ian Wedde, $45.

When encountering an unknown name for the first time, legendary founding editor of the New Yorker, Harold Ross, used to ask “Who he?”. The same question might be asked of Lucien Rizos on the appearance of his first body of work between hard covers. His name appears in neither John B Turner & William Main’s 1993 New Zealand Photography from the 1840s to the present nor David Eggleton’s 2006  Into the Light: a history of New Zealand photography. But he’s been around for over thirty years, haunting the margins of the medium’s practice, a bit of a pioneer in terms of his approach to photography and film, a photographer’s photographer, with not much desire in him to hog any limelight. Pretty fatal these days when profile is at least fifty percent of the game.
Read the full review HERE


PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP – Getting inspiration: developing a body of work

Topics covered:

  • How to get the best from your camera
  • Editing and sequencing your work
  • Colour management (discussed but not demonstrated, as this is not a printing workshop)
  • Preparing for an exhibition
  • The photographic book

There are still a couple of places left for the special photography workshop with Documentary Photographer Peter Black & Photospace Gallery Director James Gilberd, running over the weekend of 14-15th April 2012 at Photospace Gallery, Wellington.

The aim of this one-off workshop is to learn through a mixture of practical shooting and short lectures how to produce a body of work that is capable of being exhibited or made into a book, working in black & white or in colour.

The workshop is limited to ten people, so one-to-one attention can be given. A big part of the benefit of such a workshop is being involved with a small group of like-minded photographers; the energy and focus that it brings, and the added social benefits.

Expect to spend at least a third of the time photographing around Wellington, with guidance. Time will be spent discussing your individual work, both past and present. This workshop will appeal to photographers who photograph the real world including people, buildings and landscape (rather than studio work). The main aim is to gain inspiration. Further workshop details can be viewed here>>

Cost is $360 (deposit of $100 required to reserve your place).

Enquiries to: James Gilberd at Photospace Gallery
email: or call (04) 382 9502 after 10am

Photospace Gallery
1st floor, 37 Courtenay Place
Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Both exhibitions run from 16th March to 5th April 2012

Heinz Sobiecki – Motu Matakohe (Limestone Island) & other images

photo: Sand and stones, Motu Matakohe – Heinz Sobiecki

Heinz Sobiecki has been exhibiting his hand-printed black & white photographs at Photospace Gallery since his retirement from commercial & fashion photography. This is his 9th exhibition, featuring images from a recent trip to Limestone Island. Each photograph is a unique, one-off print.

Michael O’Kane – On Assignment

photo: Float at Waitati – Michael O’Kane

Michael O’Kane is a Dunedin-based artist, well known for his sculptural work. This is his first Photospace Gallery exhibition. We think you will quite enjoy it!

Further info on both exhibitions can be viewed here>>

Photospace Gallery
1st floor, 37 Courtenay Place
Wellington 6011, New Zealand
T: 04 382 9502  C: 027 444 3899
Open from 10am Monday-Friday, 11am Saturday. Closed over Easter

Director: James Gilberd

Harvey Benge: The workprints

Anybody who has ever made a photobook has started out with a system, a methodology of going about it. A way of (hopefully) making it brilliant. Much has been said about this subject and guidelines laid down by people who know more than most.  Think Gerry Badger and John Gossage. Yet still, why is it that so many photobooks I look at just don’t cut it?

Right now I’m in the process of editing, sequencing and designing a new bookwork so this post is really written to myself, a reminder of things I must remember not to forget. I’ve written about this before but the fundamentals can bear repeating over and over again. Here goes…..

1. Have a strong compelling idea. Fresh, exciting, demanding. Not derivative or seen it all before.

2. Come up with a riveting, compelling title for the book. And do an amazon check and make sure somebody else hasn’t got there first.

3. Start with really good photographs, many more than you will finally need.

4. Including  bad pictures will only drag down the good ones.

5. Don’t shoehorn in a crap picture just because it fits the idea. Nor include a great picture that doesn’t fit the idea.

6. Make a sequence that surprises, challenges and puzzles. Ask more questions than give answers.

View the full article here>>

Robyn Hoonhout: The Scream

March 16th, 2012

Robyn Hoonhout – The Scream

15 March – 15 April 2012
Lopdell House Gallery

Image: Robyn Hoonhout, Helen

Photographer, Robyn Hoonhout captures that piercing moment – the release of a scream. In full colour silence.

Nearly 2000 years ago Ovid wrote that ‘Nothing is constant in the whole world’. Intellectually we know this is true, but the feeling, the emotion, the pervasiveness of change in the realization, causes us anxiety as individuals. The scream is a release button for a state of anxiety. The scream takes one to a place that is beyond one’s knowledge, experience and understanding, into a strange and unfamiliar territory. The content of the scream seeks to reflect on life and what lurks beyond, outside the frame and behind the image when one is confronted with the anxieties of the everyday. Following the scream can be relief, frustration, exhilaration, delight, humility, laughter or the indefinable.

Lopdell House Gallery
Corner Titirangi & South Titirangi Roads, Waitakere. Ph 817 8087.
Opening Hours: Daily 10am – 4.30pm (except public holidays & during exhibition installs at specified on their website). Admission is free.