Opinion/Editorial




Can Photojournalism survive in the Instagram Era?
Use Exposure Compensation for Technically Excellent Digital Photos
Modern Art’s Last Gasp (Review of the Venice Biennale)
Review of the Photo Art Fair 2013 (Contemporary Photography), London, UK
Trends That are Reshaping the Market for Photography




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 Use Exposure Compensation for Technically Excellent Digital Photos 

by Peter K. Burian

Just like film cameras, digital cameras do not always make a perfect exposure. When the subject is light-toned (a snowy landscape, for example), the camera tends to underexpose. The image may be too dark. Conversely, if your subject is very dark-toned (a black cat, for example) the camera is likely to overexpose. The image will be too bright. These problems occur because the camera's light metering system is "fooled" by an unusually light-toned or dark-toned subject.


Photo copyright: Joshua Lehrer, www.joshualehrer.com 

Plus or Minus for a Better Exposure.
After taking a digital photo, check it on the LCD monitor in Playback mode. If the exposure (brightness) is not quite right, plan to re-shoot with different settings.
The most intuitive override is exposure compensation. Simply set a + level to make a brighter image. If you want to make a darker image, set a - (minus) level.
This feature is usually accessed with a [+/-] button or from the electronic menu. Available with nearly all digital cameras, exposure compensation works perfectly in Program (P) mode and in the semi-automatic Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes. However, exposure compensation may NOT operate in AUTO mode or the subject-specific Program modes: the Landscape, Portrait, Sports, etc.
We do not often take photos of black - or other very dark-toned - subjects. But when we do, the camera may make an image that's too bright; blacks may be gray instead of rich dark black. In that case, use a - (minus) exposure compensation when re-shooting, for a darker photo.
Practice Using Exposure Compensation:
As a test, try taking some wide angle photos of a light-toned subject. For example, find a scene that includes a lot of bright snow, water or sky. You'll probably find that your images are underexposed: too dark. 
Set a +1 exposure compensation level. Take the same photos again. The new images will be brighter, hopefully close to perfect. That makes sense because the + exposure compensation level causes the camera to make a photo with more exposure.
Tip: Take care not to make images that are excessively bright. It's important to maintain some detail in the brightest areas: texture in snow, for example. If you find that a +1 level produces images that are excessively bright, try again. This time, set less compensation: +0.5 or +0.7, for example.
The Bottom Line.
While you can fix some exposure errors with Photoshop or other software, it's best to get image brightness just right, in-camera. That will save time later and reduce the risk of damaging pixels. Naturally, you can also use exposure compensation as a creative tool: to make an image that’s not necessarily technically perfect but is more pleasing to the eye.

NOTE:
This article is adapted from Peter Burian’s BetterPhoto.com course:
 Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography.

About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Peter K. Burian:
Peter K. Burian, Photo Journal Syndicate (www.peterkburian.com), is a freelance photographer based in Toronto, Canada. His outdoor, travel, nature and active lifestyle photographs are available as stock for editorial and advertising use. He markets his work direct to photo buyers via www.peterkburian.com and is also represented by three stock agencies: Corbis, Alamy and The Stock Connection.
Peter Burian also writes illustrated books about photography and camera equipment, including: National Geographic Photography Field Guide; Magic Lantern Guides to SLR camera systems; and Mastering Digital Photography and Imaging (Sybex).


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 Modern Art’s Last Gasp
Has all the art in the World been made?

By Blake Gopnik
extracted from www.thedailybest.com

I magine a single work of art that captured a sense that, after all these decades of trying, modern art hasn’t managed to change the world, or even much affect it. A sense that, for all its variety, modern art—maybe most of Western art for the last 500 years—has been nothing more than a series of moves in a series of games, like clever new plays in clever new versions of football. And imagine that this imaginary artwork managed to condense all the longings of every artist, curator, and critic for an art that was much more than such games, for an art that truly mattered. And then imagine that this work packaged that longing as one giant sigh, from knowing it could never be more than longing.

That artwork is this year’s Venice Biennale, the 55th edition of the world’s most prestigious aesthetic pulse taking, which opened to the public Saturday. At the heart of the this year’s Biennale is a giant group exhibition called The Encyclopedic Palace, put together by Italian curator Massimiliano Gioni, onsecondment from his day job at the New Museum in New York. And Gioni’s group show, more focused and polished than any previous year’s, utters the pungent sigh I’ve described.


Photo Copyright: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Campo de Color by Bolivian artist Sonia Falcone.

Rather than offer up a sampling of the best and brightest work being made today, the show digs back into the last 100 years or so of making art, looking for all the times when art has had ambitions beyond merely being good. At the show’s beginning, in the Central Pavilion in the Biennale gardens, there is a room dedicated to Carl Jung’s Red Book, the manuscript in which the famous analyst recorded the images he saw in his dreams and that he thought would grant new access to our hive mind. (The drawings are vaguely medieval and corny, like something out of Game of Thrones: “Bring forth the Red Bookof necromancy! We shall conjure the spirits of Targaryens past.”)

Scattered elsewhere throughout the show are works by outsider artists (even more “outside” than the nutty Jung) whose manic objects arose in response to compulsions or madness. There are the lifelike plaster dolls of a Chicago man named Morton Bartlett, made and kept in the privacy of his home; there are private erotic drawings by a repressed Soviet teenager and secret naughty photos of a visionary’s wife; there are arcane images made in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner and at various times by any number of his colleagues in theosophical and mystic pursuits. These people’s works weren’t meant as clever art-world conceits or witty decoration or fancy goods for sale. However bizarre the look of this outsider art, it almost always has a function that transcends simply looking.


Photo copyright: Lucy Hogg

Paul McCarthy’s Children’s Anatomical Educational Figure and John DeAndrea’s Ariel II.

Gioni balances that strangeness with works that take a very different, but equally “functional,” approach to art making: images that address reality with an almost scientific reverence for what’s in it. They give a sense that the world itself, rather than the artistic act of picturing it, is what’s really at stake. The second half of Gioni’s show, filling the vast warehouses of Venice’s old Arsenale, begins with J.D. ’Okhai Ojeikere’s wonderful photos of elaborate Nigerian hairstyles, but also touches down on the stunning bird photography of Eliot Porter (son of Fairfield, the great realist painter) and on Kan Xuan’s giddy slide show of every surviving imperial burial mound in China. A French artist named Camille Henrot, while on fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., cobbled together a manic video collage of all the different aspects of her host’s famous dedication to the “increase and diffusion of knowledge.” It is exploration on both steroids and speed, as Henrot explores the explorers.

And here’s what happens when all of these different kinds of images, with their very un-arty goals, get included in the Venice Biennale: each and every one becomes art, not so different from a Jeff Koons dog or a Damien Hirst spot.


Photo copyright: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Jeremy Deller’s The Sandringham Estate, Norfolk, UK 24 October 2007.

Ever since Duchamp’s urinal hit the scene in 1917, and possibly for a dozen or more decades before that, what has set artwork off from other things in the world is not what it looks like or what it references or anything it does, but the fact that we’ve been invited to contemplate it as art. And that’s what every visitor was doing with every work on view during the preview days of the Venice Biennale. (Although “contemplate” is a rather grand word for the casual grazing that was going on, with the audience acting more like shoppers at Bloomingdale’s than reflective Kenneth Clarks.) The show’s mystic art wasn’t giving anyone mystic powers; visitors were hardly “using” the erotica the way its makers had. The most informative photos were barely informing; they were being enjoyed as fine art with an informative flair.

Gioni’s show, for all the old ghosts it channels, also seems to insist that looking back to a time when art mattered cannot be the way forward for the art of today. Or maybe it suggests something rather more melancholic than that: that there’s not really a way forward at all, because art’s games, on view in this show in every possible permutation, have simply exhausted themselves. Whatever ambitions a work of art may have, it ends up being just more of the same.


Photo copyright: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty

Vladimir Perić and Miloš Tomić’s joint exhibit, Nothing Between Us.

A talisman for this view might be a recent video by the Pole Artur Żmijewski, one of the grimmest and greatest artists working today. In this work, titled Blindly, Żmijewski offers paper and paint to a number of unsighted people, getting them to depict themselves and landscapes and beasts. He documents the eagerness of their attempts as well as their befuddlement when faced with the task, not to mention their moments of evident failure: a brush still being used once it has run dry; a blind artist wanting to add on to his sun but losing track of where he painted it. And, of course, Żmijewski documents the sorry results of their efforts: gloppings and scratchings of color that barely depict what they show. And it’s impossible not to think that Żmijewski feels that their fates as artists are the same as his: condemned to a blind groping for success, without ever sensing where success might lie or knowing if it’s in reach.

But here’s the thing: even for the blind making useless messes, the attempt somehow seems worth the trouble.

About the Author:

Blake Gopnik is a contributing critic toNewsweek and The Daily Beast and writes on art and design for a wide range of publications. He previously spent a decade as chief art critic of The Washington Post and before that was an arts editor and critic in Canada. He has a doctorate in art history from Oxford University, and has written on aesthetic topics ranging from Facebook to gastronomy.

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 Photo Art Fair 2013 (Contemporary Photography)
Victoria House,  London, UK - 02.05.13 - 06.05.13

Reviewed by Nicolas Epstein. extracted from www.photomonitor.co.uk


Copyright: Denis O'Regan, David at the table: Tokyo 1983

From the expansion of stalwarts, to online biennales, to inaugural initiatives, London is graced with all types of fairs across the board. The Photo Art Fair (PAF) is a new London-based expo dedicated to contemporary photography. Like last month’s The Other Art Fair, PAF invites artists to exhibit directly without dealer intermediaries. Photographers are invited to show a selection of their work, generally their most recent series, some of which were produced exclusively for the fair, and attempt to sell it to fair-goers. Artworks tend to be priced for low to mid level market buyers with prints ranging from £500 to roughly £10,000. With gallery space in London becoming more expensive and gallery directors becoming stricter gate-keepers, commercial gatherings such as PAF offer an affordable outlet for emerging photographic artists to meet collectors, promote themselves and sell their artworks. Even still, nothing comes free and photographers who couldn’t afford it were granted less wall space and several were only able to bring one or two works to the fair.

PAF’s slogan is “Intelligent Collecting”. With guidance from the selection committee (personally, I would have liked to have had a firmer understanding of the collection criteria) and its curatorial effort I was informed that “Attendees can learn how to evaluate and identify potential iconic imagery that may potentially raise [sic] in value.” This buttressed my journey through the fair; I was to be an arbiter of taste, an icon spotter, an intelligent collector. Indeed, Bloombury’s Victoria House, the site of the fair, is certainly a business-as-usual bureaucratic environment with its imposing neo-classical façade and myriad offices within.

The basement layout of PAF reminded me of being in a darkroom despite being very well-lit. The sparse ceilings with their exposed steel girders gave the show an industrial feel, a creative complexion beyond the common fair paradigm of bright halogen lights and all-around whiteness. Rather than developing images themselves, ideas and new uses of materials were being developed in front of me through the lenses of a diverse range of (nearly 50) photographers. Even I could, perhaps, develop my collection in an intelligent fashion.

In the image-rich Instagram age in which we live, I welcome the opportunity for analogue enjoyment: large scale, bright, filtered or unfiltered, portraits or landscapes, abstractors or Mapplethorpe impersonators, voyagers or domestic investigators. And without fail, PAT had all of these, available as part of a manageable walk with, for a Sunday, ample room for spectatorship. The talent, styles and subjects varied tremendously which gave fair flaneurs a wide-ranging choice of eye-candy. Among the standouts were Joey Lawrence’s portraits of Indian holy-men and Edward Hopley’s Aqualud III, an abandoned waterpark with crisp colouring and vivid details which encourages the viewer to ponder how its subject structure is so well lit.  

The crème de la crème was Walter Hugo’s pictures of burning chairs and this series made my visit worthwhile. Susan Sontag once theorized that “To photograph a thing is to appropriate the thing photographed” and Hugo’s work embodies this very notion. His process for the series begins with the transportation of an old wooden chair  to a forest in the dark of night. There the chairs are lit on fire, generating the light necessary for the photographic exposure. Once the image is taken, the chairs themselves are brought back to the artist’s studio where they are chain-sawed to a fine pulp that is transformed into paper to bear the previously captured image. Thus the size of the chair determines the print run because of the volume of pulp which can be derived; with larger chairs generating runs of six and smaller ones only three prints. The chair is displaced in the wild but replaced in the physical space of the photo. As Hugo elaborates “the chair has gone back to its birth place, this is both death and reincarnation.” Each of the chair prints is respectively titled according to the most common name used in the UK for their year of manufacture, further anthropomorphizing their physical presence. The tangible process of recycling, re-signification and re-appropriation struck me as novel and sophisticated while the charred, raw and gritty paper added a remarkable texture.

The Photo Art Fair remains on show in virtual format: http://photoartfair.co.uk where a small selection of works can still be viewed and, perhaps, collected intelligently.

About the author:
Nicolas Epstein recently completed his MA in Art History under the supervision of TJ Demos at University College London. In the past he has worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Mitchell-Innes & Nash and Christie’s. He currently runs his own London-based gallery, Oaktree & Tiger, which focuses on building the careers of emerging artists. 
www.oaktreeandtiger.com

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“Classic photography, at least in some corners of the art market, is anything but dead.”

 Zooming in on the Trends That are Reshaping the Market for Photography

by Richard B. Woodward, Art+Auction


The crowd at Sotheby’s New York on the evening of December 12 was nervous — and not in a good way. It was the first of three sessions devoted to photographs from the collection of philanthropist Henry Buhl, and not many in the room had high hopes. “Two collectors came up to me beforehand and expressed fears that the market for classic photography might be dead,” recalls Denise Bethel, director of the house’s department of photographs since 1995.

There was cause for concern. The October auction results had been lackluster at best. The average price had declined in the 12 months between sales at Sotheby’s (from $34,452 to $25,944) and Phillips de Pury & Company (from $22,482 to $18,425). Christie’s was the exception, having posted a modest rise from $22,380 to $24,883.


For years auction catalogues had been featuring the same photographs in prints of different vintages by the same photographers, including Ansel Adams’s Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico; Ruth Bernhard’s In the Box; André Kertész’s Chez Mondrian; and Alfred Stieglitz’sWinter—Fifth Avenue, to name only a few perennials. Were dealers simply passing them back and forth until someone was stuck with an old maid? Had this game finally come to an end? There seemed no solid ground for believing that Buhl’s wonderfully eccentric collection, built around the theme of hands, would do enough to lift collectors’ grumpy spirits.

But that’s exactly what happened. By the end of the sale, where the million-dollar threshold was easily topped by two works — László Moholy-Nagy’s Fotogramm, 1925, and Herbert Bayer’sLonely Metropolitan, 1932, each sold for $1,482,500 — and where auction records were set for four other artists (El Lissitzky, Lee Miller, Peter Hujar, and Helen Levitt), modernist photography no longer seemed passé. Once again it had proved itself a desired collectible and was at the red-hot center of the traditional market.

“With the first session of 100 lots we surpassed almost all the high estimates,” says Bethel, who presided over the 2006 auction that set the record price for a photograph, $2.9 million for Edward Steichen’s Pond—Moonlight, 1904. In her opinion, “the sky’s the limit” for exceptional prints by canonized photographers.

It’s a view widely shared by dealers in the field. “The market is extremely healthy for the highest-quality material,” says Edwynn Houk, who has galleries in New York and Zurich. “There is permanent interest from museums and from the half-dozen collectors who buy at the high end.”

But the Buhl sale also highlighted a divide in the field that has always separated the upper tier from the low and middle. Of the 437 lots offered, just 12 accounted for more than 60 percent of the $12,318,704 total. The buy-in rate was nearly 35 percent. As Houk notes, “What’s sluggish is interest for the secondary, tertiary material, which used to sell steadily.”


Image courtesy www.kunstlicht.sh

Deborah Bell, head of the photographs department at Christie’s New York, notes softening prices for artists who in years past were strong performers at auction. “Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Edward Weston — these have been old reliables for us and have been hitting the bell for years.” Why their prices stagnated or foundered in the past year is hard to say. But “dealers aren’t buying for inventory as much as they used to,” Bell says. “They’re not as flush, and their own client base is shifting. They’re wondering who they are going to be selling to.”

The popularity of art fairs and online sales has broadened the audience that buys photographs and, at the same time, added to what Peter MacGill of New York’s Pace/MacGill Gallery calls a “disintermediation of authority” — the elimination of the expert middleman. He blames the auction houses for mixing too much lesser material with the finer. (For example, he believes the Buhl sale could have done even better with fewer lots — all choice — on offer.)

MacGill’s gallery probably bought half the photographs that sold for more than $700,000 between 2004 and 2008 (including the record-holding Steichen). It also brokered the sale of the Thomas Walther collection to the Museum of Modern Art in New York for $27 million in 2001, and the Manfred Heiting collection to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, for $54 million in 2002. He has seen business expand over the past five years with new buyers from China, Brazil, Belgium, and Switzerland.

But MacGill has also felt a market constriction over the last 18 months. Even more troubling, in his opinion, are the trends that are harder to quantify, such as a decline of connoisseurship. One-on-one conversations with clients are being replaced by what he regards as suspect online advice. “We may invest a lot of time educating clients about the history of, say, Emmet Gowin’s prints,” says MacGill. “Then they just go to Artnet, look up the most recent auction price, and disregard everything we’ve told them.”

The dissemination of information that is not always reliable is one of the Internet’s abiding effects, as is the ease it provides in cloaking identity. Auction houses have been forced to adjust to this reality. Collectors can graze through auctions with the anonymity afforded by computers, and online bidding has begun to replace paddle-raising in the salesroom. “I used to know personally everyone who was buying at the very high end,” Bethel says. “But I remember thinking after the Polaroid sale [in 2010] that the names of most of the top buyers were unfamiliar to me.”

The bifurcation of the photography market into classic and contemporary, a split that opened up during the 1980s, remains as wide as ever, and powerful galleries such as Gagosian, David Zwirner, Sonnabend, Marian Goodman, and Matthew Marks all straddle the divide. Artists who use cameras but don’t label themselves photographers — John Baldessari, Gilbert & George, Andreas Gursky, Richard Prince, Thomas Ruff, Cindy Sherman — can routinely command higher prices outside traditional photography auctions. “If we’re offered, say, a Gursky,” Bell notes, “we will usually refer the person to the postwar and contemporary department rather than compete. It’s in the interest of our clients.”

Phillips and Christie’s were behind the surprise “breakout” photographer of the year: Peter Beard. Better known until the past decade for his suave good looks and for being the ex-husband of 1970s supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, the 75-year-old photographer and writer has found a new group of collectors who admire the hand-worked quality of his prints and his close-ups of African animals, shot mainly in the 1960s. The enthusiastic sponsorship of Philippe Garner, the international head of photographs and 20th-century decorative art and design at Christie’s, has helped. Between London and New

York, Phillips sold 14 Beard photographs in 2012, including Hunting Cheetahs on the Taru Desert, Kenya, June, 1960. This enormous resin-coated print, measuring nearly 7 by 11 feet and stained with ink, paint, and blood, bordered in snakeskin and framed by driftwood, sold at Phillips London in May for £325,250 ($519,000). Christie’s exceeded that price in its October New York sale, setting a world record for Beard with Orphan Cheetah Triptych, 1968. Estimated at $100,000 to $150,000, it went for $662,500.

William Eggleston experienced a different kind of breakout after his first show at Gagosian Gallery in November 2011 (he continues his longstanding representation with Cheim & Read as well.) The re-editioning of his celebrated compositions as poster-size digital prints was a commercial success at Gagosian’s Beverly Hills outpost, though it prompted a 2012 lawsuit (not settled at press time) by the collector Jonathan Sobel. (Sobel owns 190 early prints by Eggleston, many of them dye transfers, and he argues they have been devalued by the digital series). More important, Eggleston’s triumph suggests that unease about pigment and ink-jet prints, rampant five years ago in traditional photography circles, has pretty much disappeared, at least among buyers of contemporary art. Still, the market seems undecided about what Eggleston has done. A dye-transfer print of his iconic Memphis (Tricycle), 1970, failed to find a buyer at Christie’s New York in October. (“We used the same estimate as in the past,” says a puzzled Bell. “It isn’t as if we were pushing the limit.”) While this would seem to support Sobel’s claim, results from an October-November show of new Eggleston dye transfers — 20 images recently printed from his 1969–74 transparencies — at Rose Gallery, in Santa Monica, complicate the picture: The gallery nearly sold out the run.

Proprietor Rose Shoshana, like MacGill, laments the fact that so many clients are buying at fairs. “It appears to be the way folks like to shop these days: the ‘big box’ store model,” she says. But not everyone is down on art fairs. Houk has noted an increase in international buyers, mainly from the Middle East and Asia. “Half of our business out of the New York gallery last year came from beyond the United States,” he says. A sizable amount of that business was generated at fairs. A former skeptic about their value — in 1997 fairs accounted for only 0.5 percent of his annual sales — Houk has become a convert, if still highly selective about where he goes. Revenues from fairs now make up 25 percent of his business, with Art Basel Miami Beach serving as a convenient place to meet potential South American customers.

Fairs specializing in photography remain the preferred venues for most dealers in the field. The Washington, D.C.–based Association of International Photography Art Dealers has 120 members and a full house for its April fair at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. David Zwirner and P.P.O.W. gallery have joined the organization, indicating that broad-spectrum contemporary dealers see opportunity in the photocentric market. Paris Photo had 150 exhibitors from 22 countries during its four-day run in November. (Among the 130 dealers and 20 book producers were the Gagosian and Marian Goodman galleries.) Julien Frydman, the fair’s director since 2011, has launched several innovative programs, but the boldest step may be the introduction of Paris Photo Los Angeles. Debuting April 25–28 in the Paramount Pictures Studios, the new fair will include galleries showing video and other timebased art. Frydman says work of this kind may be incorporated into the parent fair in Paris for the first time next autumn.

For all the blue-chip excitement surrounding the Buhl results, the area of the market showing the most robust growth in the midrange may be the broad field of vernacular photography. This includes anonymous pictures that provoke historical curiosity, such as the group of mug shots from the San Francisco Police Department, dated 1908–10, that sold at Swann Auction Galleries for $31,200 (est. $4,000–6,000) in February 2012, or distinctive works such as Beal’s Photographic View of New York, a five-panel panorama of lower Manhattan by Joshua Beal. Shot in 1876, with a tower of the Brooklyn Bridge at the center, it fetched $96,000 (est. $12–18,000) in Swann’s sale of photographs and photo books in October. “That’s a great example of what I call cross-pollination,” says Daile Kaplan, director of photographs at Swann. “There was interest from collectors of maritime culture, of New York material, of Americana. Some were awed by Beal’s technique, and others were serious collectors of the best 19th-century photography.”

During the past decade, institutions have shown greater respect for material from outside the fine-art history of photography. In 2007 the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., presented “The Art of the American Snapshot, 1988–1978: From the Collection of Robert E. Jackson.” None of the images was made by a professional. (Thomas Walther had paved this road earlier, publishing a book of anonymous images from his collection in 2000.) In 2011 New York collector Peter Cohen gave the Art Institute of Chicago more than 500 prints, most of them flea-market finds, taken by amateurs between the 1890s and 1970s. The institute mounted a show to coincide with the publication of a catalogue by Yale University Press.

Galleries have encouraged this market tendency. More than a third of the prints for sale in “The Unphotographable” at San Francisco’s Fraenkel Gallery (through March 23) are by unknown photographers. Hans Kraus, the New York specialist in prime 19th-centurymaterial, says, “If it’s a compelling image and print, a name doesn’t really matter.” He adds, “Most daguerreotypes have always been sold that way. One is more likely to know the subject than the photographer. That openness now extends into many areas of 19th-century work, although it’s still not true for 20th-century. For that you still need a name.”

Christie’s New York will have many big names in its April single-owner sale of photographs, most dated between 1920 and 1925, from the Chilean collector Carlos Alberto Cruz. Expected to bring $5.2 million to $8 million, the 76 lots include Weston’s Nude, 1925 (est. $400–600,000); Tina Modotti’s Texture and Shadow, 1924–26 (est. $200–300,000); and Man Ray’s uniqueUntitled Rayograph, 1923 (est. $250–350,000).

Pedigree names don’t hurt when presenting top-drawer 19th-century photography, either. In April 2012 Christie’s New York sold a complete 20-volume set of Edward Curtis’s North American Indian, published between 1907 and 1930, for $2.9 million, an artist record. Another Curtis set sold in October 2012 at Swann for $1.44 million, the highest price the house has ever seen for works on paper. And a Julia Margaret Cameron album of 75 prints, which is fresh to the market, is one of Kraus’s choice offerings at this month’s European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht. An institution has expressed strong interest and requested that he not disclose the asking price. All Kraus will say is that it’s “way over a million.”

Classic photography, at least in some corners of the art market, is anything but dead.


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