Daguerreian Society Symposium
The Society organizes an annual symposium for keen "Daguerreians". Fascinated with Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre’s early photographic process, the "Daguerreians" have built a gorgeous site that celebrates the history, science and artistry of the Daguerreotype. For those seeking reliable scholarship on the subject, the Society has a serious and comprehensive archive of reviews, commentaries, scientific analysis and, most fascinating, contemporary accounts of how this new invention was received as word of it spread around the world. The site’s image galleries contain a carefully curated ensemble of historical and modern Daguerreotypes from museums and private collections.
Festival of Light
The Festival of Light is an international collaboration that offers a year-long program of photography festivals and exhibitions on three continents. This site is the contact point for more than 20 photography festivals around the world, with links that connect to each city’s photo festival web site.
In spirit of off-Broadway theater and fringe festivals everywhere, Festival-Off was created to be an inclusive, community based and un-official alternative to the official Naarden Fotofestival. The festival’s minimalist website explains the essentials of this event: photographers getting together to create their own exhibitions in non-traditional venues, and there are no selection committees, no juries, and no prizes. One thing the Festival does promise is the possibility of discovering some of the gems of emerging Dutch photography.
Format Photo Festival, Derby, UK
This festival celebrates the “diversity of photographic practice darkroom to digital” including “work that engages with contemporary culture in social, political and pictorial terms.” It can be a bit challenging to discover evidence of these goals on the Festival’s current website, which is light on past and future festival information and pictures. There are, however, specifics on Format’s ongoing non-festival events, such as panel discussions featuring photographers and photo-related professionals, portfolio reviews and film screenings. Stay tuned to this site to find out what Format has planned for the future.
The first and largest of American photography festivals, FotoFest’s organizers have created an event that celebrates photography’s role as a means of international exchange of art and ideas, but also its influence on local lives. The biennial convergence in Houston, Texas, has grown into a forum that investigates world wide trends in photography, while attracting an increasingly international crowd to its month long event. International Discoveries, an initiative of FF founders Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin, brings to together a group of photographers culled from festivals around the world, setting up a cross-borders dialogue in images. This exhibition and the scores of others, where established and gifted emerging photographer’s work is shown, is part of a wave of photography that takes over the city every spring. Exhibitions crowd into galleries, corporations, and public spaces all around the city, complimented by discussion forums, a film and video series, and workshops. The festival is well known for a wealth of networking opportunities, starting with the now legendary portfolio review, which takes place in a zone that has come to be known as the “Meeting Place.” Here photographers are guaranteed 4 different formal review appointments a day over the four or six day sessions, and reviews are conducted by recognized photography professionals, museum curators, critics, gallery owners, and publishers. FotoFest not only gives photographers excellent opportunities to have their work exhibited, published, purchased, but also the chance to gain the inspiration to develop their work to its full potential. There is a strong sense of global and local community at this festival, well illustrated by the Fine Print auction that benefits FotoFest’s Houston-area photography-in-schools initiative, the excellent ”Literacy Through Photography” project.
Organized by the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, this general conference is designed to appeal to photographers of all levels and specializations, with an emphasis on the technical side of photography and photo imaging. The schedule of events is a mix of master workshops; seminars on the business angle of the profession; community presentations and lectures by specialists such as photojournalists, landscape and fine art photographers. There are previews of the latest in photo gear, portfolio reviews and even photo appraisals. The other aim of the conference, networking, is provided for in the nightly “Fuse and Schmooze” parties.
Using the eternal city of Rome as its exhibition space, the FotoGrafia Festival succeeds brilliantly in blending the art and complexity of this ancient place with the energy and immediacy of contemporary photography. The site proclaims that the whole city (including Rome’s many foreign institutes, galleries and a number of outdoor sites) is host to exhibitions and the program of collateral events, meetings, videos and portfolio reviews. This is certainly the place to see contemporary Italian photography, but the international view is also well represented.
Always maintaining its bi-cultural San Antonio, Texas, character, FotoSeptiembre USA has evolved into a national, even international photography festival. In association with the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City, there are 25 exhibits in San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Boston and New York. Events include curated group shows where established, mid-career and emerging artists show together, solo exhibitions, and vintage photograph collections. Thumbnail exhibitions of invited artists can be perused in the “Galleries” section. FotoSeptiembre also maintains a very useful Forum, where ongoing events related to Festival and the San Antonio photo scene are posted, as well as a web exhibition space known as SAFOTO.
Les Rencontres Arles
Ever a center for artistic inspiration, the beautiful Provencal town of Arles plays host to one of the world’s biggest annual photo meets. Stretching from July into September, the festival brings together an unusual and stimulating mix of photography. New work is presented in the Discovery Award competition for emerging talent, but also in exhibitions focusing on cutting edge currents in the international scene. It is also said that portfolios (of those exhibiting and those attending) circulate freely in an atmosphere of open exchange of ideas. Les Rencontres’s schedule is packed with lectures and discussions, seminars, symposiums, performances and workshops. To accommodate all these events and the crowds of photo-appreciators, the festival makes excellent use of Arles’s important and varied architectural heritage to display work in churches, empty shops, railway sheds, medieval cloisters and, most dramatically, late-night projections in the city’s Roman amphitheater. Here, curators and directors from top institutions put together exhibitions and established pros serve as portfolio reviewers. Private collectors and institutions are also given space to display historical photo collections that lend a nuanced perspective to current photography. Although the bells and whistles of this stylish site actually make it harder to navigate, the content is absolutely worth investigating.