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Dear <<First Name>>

“Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness” – W. Eugene Smith

"Why Photography Matters” by Jerry L. Thompson, is a book that argues photography matters for two interrelated reasons: first because of how it works, and second because of the “present-day understanding” it continues to afford.  The first reason is all about the how the camera lens captures the world to record detail.  The second is all about photographers, who over time, bring both their technical skill but also their “receptivity” to bear on a particular subject over time.

One book reviewer noted that for Thompson “the photographer is both master craftsperson but also a kind of master storyteller-cum-sociologist.”  Each photograph builds on the ones before them, as the photographs become a result of a patient, observant process that unearths new things to look at along the way – it is a way of exploring, experimenting and getting to know the world.

Prominent writer and photographer, Teju Cole recently noted:

“As a photographer, meanwhile, I am constrained by the tool of photography: the camera. A camera is a seeing tool, and I can only photograph what’s in the world, what I see. My hope is to photograph in a way that illuminates “what’s in the world” in a new way. Usually, this means taking an unexpected angle on something. It means photographing things that have been disregarded.

So in writing, the unexpected. In photography, the disregarded. And the hope is that by making use of those unusual perspectives, I might genuinely have something new to say, even if I’m talking about something that many people have already talked about.”


Because of a photographer's choice about what and how to photograph, the resulting images matter both as an artistic medium but also as a way of knowing. The camera itself does not deliver knowledge, it captures the world. The photographer and the photograph he/she takes describes the world in a visual way. That’s what makes photography unique among the visual arts.

“Anyone can take pictures. What’s difficult is thinking about them, organizing them, and trying to use them in some way so that some meaning can be constructed out of them. That’s really where the work of the artist begins” – Lewis Baltz

Looking at History in Front of Us
A
s you know, I continue to explore abandoned places along the roadsides of America.  Im also continuing to look for “interesting”  histories we may not know or may not know well enough, as well as histories that we do know and are right in front of us, where their context may be especially relevant today.  For example, the Library of Congress (above) is America’s oldest cultural institution. The concept of knowledge (via a Library for the nation and for the nation's elected representatives) was seen by the founders to be an underpinning to a democracy. Here is the story:

The Library of Congress, Reading Room, Washington DC

A place for research and rational thought. The Library of Congress serves as both legislative library for the American Congress and national library for the American people.  It is America’s first and oldest cultural institution and occupies a unique place in American civilization. The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world with more than 170 million items.

James Madison is credited with the idea of wanting to create a national library for the people and their representatives.  Madison once stated “knowledge would forever govern ignorance.”

The Library was shaped primarily by the philosophy and ideas of its principal founder, Thomas Jefferson, who believed that a democratic legislature needed information and ideas in all subjects to do its work.  Its' underpinning was the belief that information and knowledge are essential to a democracy--for legislators and citizens alike.

Atop the large marble columns are statues representing eight categories of knowledge, each considered symbolic of civilized life and thought. Their titles are inscribed in gilt letters on a tablet in the frieze below them. The symbolic statues are: Philosophy, Art, History, Commerce, Religion, Science, Law and Poetry (seen here, left to right, are Poetry, Philosophy, Art). Sixteen bronze statues set along the balustrade of the galleries represent men renowned for their accomplishments in the categories of knowledge and activity described above. The seals of the states of the union, at the time the Jefferson Building was constructed, are contained in the massive semicircular stained-glass windows that surround the Main Reading Room.

Binhammer Photographs Website

Current, But Evolving Portfolio
Check it out at the link below 


You may recall, last year I was going to attend a portfolio review at Houston’s FotoFest, which was canceled as we descended into the COVID lock down.  Like many things in life, the FotoFest portfolio reviews were reorganized for this past month as Zoom calls.  It was my first time reviewing my portfolio with gallery owners, private art consultants, individual photography collectors, museum and art gallery curators and prominent photographers. 

Their interest and critiques of the work were encouraging.  The feedback has me mulling the further development of individual photos, as well as the next steps for the evolution of the Roadside America and Scarred Places projects.  I recently added some of the "Scarred Places" images and project concept to the website.  For these presentations and discussions, I had expanded versions of the basic portfolio PDF file, but I thought I would share with you the basic PDF portfolio.  You can check it out here.

Wandering Roadside America
Two signed limited edition books left and prints


If you are tired of the COVID restraints and want to wander along America's Roadsides, you can find either the color or black and white infrared versions of the Roadside America book over at Blurb. There are 2 of the signed, limited editions (of 15) black and white infrared Roadside books available. If you are interested, email me for the details.

If you happen to see an image in the books you like (whether you saw it in the preview at the Blurb site or you have the book), limited edition prints are available -- hit reply or send an email.  Im happy to rev up the printer and get you some new art for your walls.

Happy spring! Enjoy it and enjoy some art.
I hope you are well and get vaccinated soon -- or already have been. 
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www.BinhammerPhotographs.com
Richard@binhammerphotographs.com | 512-422-6867
5807 Harbour Hill Place, Midlothian VA, 23112
Copyright © 2018 Binhammer Photographs, All rights reserved.

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Binhammer Photographs · 5807 Harbour Hill Pl · Midlothian, VA 23112-2120 · USA

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