SEEING IN SIXES

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Lenswork Publishing is best known for its bi-monthly photography magazine, published since 1993.  If you haven’t seen it, the publication is different from most photography magazines. Featuring meticulously printed portfolios of photographs in black and white and color, the magazine does not include how-to articles or advertising, but focuses on the creative process and photography as a way of life. Lenswork celebrates 25 years this year with a special anniversary issue, out now.

Lenswork also publishes Seeing in Sixes, a book of six-image photographic projects. The book evolved from publisher Brooks Jensen’s appreciation of haiku, and the six-word story, originated by Ernest Hemingway. The concise formats appealed to Jensen, as they obviously do to many people. Over the years, as Jensen published photographers’ work in Lenswork, he noticed that many portfolios he viewed became repetitive after the 6th image. This led him to wonder if small projects – presentations of work that are more than a single, stand-alone image one sees in a gallery, but less than a lengthy photo essay – might be a particularly satisfying way to see someone’s work.  Ultimately he decided that the best vehicle for six-image projects is a high quality book that inspires readers, and so in 2016 Jensen put the word out to the community of Lenswork readers to submit their projects. The response was overwhelming. Seeing in Sixes 2016 was published, followed by a 2017 iteration, and now, Seeing in Sixes 2018.

It’s a pleasure to tell you that my work appears in Seeing in Sixes 2018.  The 311-page book includes projects by 50 photographers, in black and white and color. (The projects in the book are only 4% of the entries that were submitted, so I’m very pleased to be included.) I chose to submit six photographs from the series I’ve been working on for several years that explores plant life seen through foggy windows. The project is titled, “At the Conservatory: Transgressing Expectations.”

For the current book, Brooks Jensen and Maureen Gallagher (the co-author) looked for “projects about life rather than about photography.”  Other criteria included originality, consistency of style, excellence of craft, and projects that “create their own small world within the limitation of six images only.”

Some of the images I have in the book have been seen on this blog, here and here.  All six are shown below.

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1. Excerpt from Seeing in Sixes: “At the Conservatory: Transgressing Expectations”

 

2. Excerpt from Seeing in Sixes: At the Conservatory: Transgressing Expectations

 

3. Excerpt from Seeing in Sixes: At the Conservatory: Transgressing Expectations

 

4. Excerpt from Seeing in Sixes: At the Conservatory: Transgressing Expectations

 

5. Excerpt from Seeing in Sixes: At the Conservatory: Transgressing Expectations

 

6. Excerpt from Seeing in Sixes: At the Conservatory: Transgressing Expectations

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I like the concept of photographic projects. I think distilling a project down to six images is a valuable exercise. Below are six photos of spider webs and lichen strands suspended from twigs and touched by dew or sunlight, made in the last few weeks. They are likely the beginning of a new subject I’ll focus on. I recommend giving the six-image project a try, and when the call for entries for a 2019 Seeing in Sixes is announced sometime next year, submit your photographs! There is so much great work being done, and I bet some of it is yours.

 

7. Morning dew coats spider webs suspended from a twig in my yard on Fidalgo Island.

 

8. A lichen suspended from two twigs, glows in the setting sun at Rosario Beach. Deception Pass Park, Fidalgo Island.

 

9. Dew-covered spiderwebs connect the dots between decomposing leaves still clinging to a tree in my yard on Fidalgo Island.

 

10. A spider web bedecked with dew and raindrops stretches between the railing supports of a boat dock at Rosario Beach. Deception Pass State Park, Fidalgo Island.

 

11. Lichens absorb and reflect the sun’s late-day magic as they drape from the twigs of a Douglas fir tree at Rosario Beach. Deception Pass State park, Fidalgo Island.

 

12. A lichen strand appears to relax on a twig as it absorbs the last of the day’s sunlight at Rosario Beach. Deception Pass State park, Fidalgo Island.

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You can watch a short video here that shows Seeing in Sixes going to press. The book can be purchased on the Lenswork website.

The interest and support of readers here on WordPress has been a big factor in my growth and confidence, and your presence keeps me on this path. Thank you!

 

 


77 comments

  1. your narratives and connections and stellar photographs are the best Lynn…congratulations! such good news…I’m happy for you…sending you all good things for creating more and your book ~ smiles Hedy ☺️

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  2. Yea! Congratulations! Wonderful! And totally not a surprise, those criteria could have been written for you. Originality, excellence of craft, and creating your own (not so small) world. I love the artistic distortion and screening in those foggy shots, and the suggestion of mystery, embedded old tales, encapsulated microcosmos. All of them project a wonderful sense of story-telling.
    This new subject looks intriguing, too. Two different planets, one relaxed and absorbent, the other geometric and reflective. Both pretty otherworldly.
    #10 however, brought a flashback to these clear resin beads, to be strung on nylon, like fishing line – – some sort of science or crafts kit, a rainy day last resort, when my sister and I were stuck inside as kids. I had a bit of trouble with “fine motor skills” at that age, and a lot of the beads ended up on the kitchen floor, so we decided the beads should all be dumped for a skating party instead.
    And heartfelt Congratulations again.

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  3. Lynn, I’m so glad that Brooks Jensen and Maureen Gallagher saw fit to share your photographs with even more people than those of us reading your blog. They deserve at least this big an audience.Your new project of spider webs and lichen strands is another winner; thank you for this treat. I’m not going to pick a favorite, because I can’t. I like your explanation of why Brooks decided on six images. And I love the generosity in your saying “There is so much great work being done, and I bet some of it is yours.” Your penultimate sentence is equally kind. As I’m writing this, there are six comments on this post. I know you’ll have many more because you are able to connect so well with us in your words and your photographs. Good for Jensen and Gallagher for seeing that, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on your entries being accepted into Seeing in Sixes. I’ve been impressed with your consistently high quality images for quite a while and these are no exception. I’m sure it’s a thrill to get this kind of recognition and certainly, it’s well deserved. This is how talent and hard work pays off!

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  5. Oh congratulations Lynn! So well deserved! I love both series. I must have heard the call – just today I was thinking that I would do a series of six photographs of Autumn colours on Instagram. Maybe I’ll enter some photos next year.
    Alison

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    • That’s interesting! And I don’t think of Instagram as a platform for series – and I need to follow you there (though I am not very active at all). Yes, do think about entering next year, and there must be a good bookstore somewhere in Vancouver where Lenswork (the magazine) is sold – it’s worth at least a serious browse while your’e at the store. 🙂

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      • Instagram has become something of a second Facebook, or just another form of social media for connecting, and collecting followers and likes, and selling stuff, but it began as a place specifically to share photos, and many photographers use it just for that, myself included. I’m very fussy about who I follow on Insta – for me it’s all and only about photography so I look for people who are really good photographers that I can learn from and be inspired by. (I have Facebook to keep up with friends and family.) If you delve into the photography world of Insta there’s some amazing stuff posted there.
        I’ll be on the lookout for Lenswork.

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  6. Congratulations on being selected and appearing in the book.

    What a wonderful observation and initiative of Jensen. I must see if I’ve got something that echoes that theory of 6’s.

    I love number 8 in the current series as it looks like gold, but all the images of droplets are superb.

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    • Thank you, Vicki. Jensen also has interesting things to say about looking at a series as opposed to looking at single images. You might find the discussion somewhere on the Lenswork website. The gold hue in the lichen photos comes partially from the lens I used – it’s a vintage Takumar 50mm f1.4 that I have an adapter on so I can sue it on my Olympus camera. Many of those lenses (from the 60’s & 70’s) if I understand correctly, have a coating which, over time, yellows a little. I like the effect but I’ve read that others leave the lens in sunlight for a few hours, and the discoloration goes away. I figure I can always get rid of it in LR if I want to, but it seems to add something, so I’m leaving the lens as is. Here’s a link to a description – you can buy them at reasonable cost and adapt them to plenty of different cameras.
      https://www.casualphotophile.com/2017/07/28/pentax-super-takumar-50mm-f1-4-m42-mount-lens-review/

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Jean. #4 is one of my favorites – I guess it’s more painterly, isn’t it? 😉 Visiting your blog has been a very nice experience for me – it keeps another set of aesthetic eyes open, if that makes sense.

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  7. That’s great, Lynn. As a subscriber I will be looking for the chance to order the book. I’ve given thought to submitting but don’t really have a theme or project, just a lot of photographs.
    Congratulations!

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  8. Congratulations, Lynn!!! I find your third photo particularly compelling. I find the semi-transparency of the horizontal divider visually confusing in a really cool way. My faves in the “thread series” are 10 and 11 – delicately and stunningly beautiful. 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, it’s good to hear from you. Maybe the third photo appeals because of your love of pattern – I see more patterns in that one. I had fun with the spider webs and lichens, but all the webs have disappeared. Still, the hanging lichens will be there, in every weather and light, so I look forward to working more with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations on being published, my friend – and a very worthy set of images too! The mag sounds good but its a little pricey subscribing from here. Of your second six images, 11 and 12 really get to me. A 🙂

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    • Thank you Adrian, it’s nice to see the images in print, among others. I can bet it would be pricey to subscribe to the magazine from abroad, but I know you have excellent local resources, too. BTW, #11 and 12 were done with an old lens. I’ve talked about it before but hadn’t taken it out in a while, It’s a Super Takumar 50mm f1.4, and I used to have trouble focusing it but it seems to be sitting a little better now, not wiggling around (the adapter must have been off). It’s really fun to use a lens that has it’s own personality. Thank you again for being here, and for all your energy and creativity.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. So pleased to hear about the book — congratulations Lynn. I’m happy that you submitted work from your plants/foggy windows repertoire… I’ve really admired that series– such meaningful work.

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    • Thank you so much, Mark, that’s good to hear. I’ve moved to the island where Lenswork is based, by coincidence. Maybe one of these days I’ll run into Brooks Jensen, and have the opportunity to thank him in person for putting out such great publications. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A hearty congratulations on being printed (and in such a superb collection, no less!) You picked some of my favorites and I was so happy to revisit them once more. (esp. 1, 2, 3 & 5)

    Your work is so timeless, it’s a pleasure to return to it again and again. I ought to do it more often, but then there’s… you know… life always interfering!

    As for the current set… 7 seems a bit ‘sparse’, but 10 is a hands down favorite… like glowing pearls. Wonderful!

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    • That’s really very kind of you, Gunta. If life is interfering in the form of trips to parts unknown, or to the beach to make more of your beautiful seascapes, then I’m all for it. 🙂 You know, all the spider webs suddenly disappeared. I don’t know if it was temperature related, wind, or what. Next year when they proliferate, I need to pay more attention.

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  12. Congrats On an exceptional project exceptionally well done. Really one of my favorites in the whole book. I’m a huge LensWork fan and sign up for almost everything they do. Submitted several times but never had anything accepted yet. So a huge congratulations to you!!!

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  13. I’m so, so pleased for you, and I’m delighted to see that some images I’ve admired in the past made it into the book. I love the comments about series. It’s interesting that a few of my posts have been multiple images rather than just one; I do feel there’s some sort of difference between a single image and a series, although I couldn’t tell you what it is.

    The book’s not as expensive as I thought it would be, and I just might get a copy. It would be a fine bit of inspiration to have at hand, and I can imagine that seeing the images in that context would be a richer experience than seeing them online. I had to smile when I looked at the web page. Being last in line sometimes is good — your name stands out in the list of photographers because of its placement in the list. That’s not necessarily a bad thing!

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    • It’s funny, what you said about my last name – of course, I hated always being last when I was a child. It was a relief to find myself in the middle rather than at the end of the book. So your thoughts on that are good for me to hear. Thanks so much, and yes, buy the book, especially if you enjoy black and white – there’s a lot of black and white in it. Doing a series or a project is a really good exercise – it can stretch your aesthetic muscles in a new way.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Nicely done. It’s no surprise you were selected, what you’ve shown us here over time fits their criteria perfectly. I suspect you’ll be making future contributions to Sixes.

    BTW, I quite like #’s 9 and 10, I’ve always been a sucker for dewy spider webs.

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    • That’s very kind of you, Dave. And as for dewy spider webs – they all disappeared! I’m wondering if I’ll have to wait – maybe that’s it for this year and now it’s too cold for them. But as you know, the lichens will persist, ao I can easily continue shooting dewy, rain-spattered lichens, all winter long! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Congratulations Lynn, that’s so exciting! 🙂 Your images are wonderful and interesting, I’m so pleased they get the recognition they deserve. I wanted to buy the book but shipping is very expensive (more expensive than the book itself). I will continue to enjoy your and others pictures online 🙂

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  16. Six rounds of applause:

    Congratulations on a well-deserved honor.
    Mazel tov on your inclusion in the book.
    Kudos to Lynn.
    Bravo.
    Encore, encore!
    Felicitations!

    Speaking of sixes, would you like to share a six-word biography?

    Liked by 1 person

    • A belated thank you, Alan. I’m basking in the kudos and mazel tovs! I thought and thought about a 6-word autobiography and I’m stymied. Hmmm, Stymied by limits, open to freedom? No, that tells you nothing really.

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  17. I was sure having commented here, but it has vanished. So again: congratulations from all my heart for this highly deserved success, dear Lynn! I already ordered the book and now I’m looking forward to its arrival.

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  18. Congratulations, Lynn! What an honor and your Sixes project is beautifully conceived and photographed. I remember your posts well. And, your spider webs are gorgeous, Thank you for all the great info about this magazine and project.

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  19. Congratulations! Your photographs deserve to be in every wonderful magazine and I’m happy you made it into the “Seeing in Sixes” project. The idea of only focusing on six images to tell a story intrigues me and I’m looking forward to pursuing this.

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  20. Congratulations Lynn this is great news!! It’s a fantastic project idea and I really do love the images you submitted. I have admired them before. They have such mystery and atmosphere about them. Well done! x

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  21. Wonderful set, Lynn, and one of my favorite of your “concentrations”. LOVE the foggy windows and the green peeking through.
    Such a well-deserved honor as well. Fantastic! Congratulations.
    I have just been re-re-reading The Tao of Photography and a number of LensWork articles/interviews are mentioned/quoted and my curiosity is now even more piqued!
    I really like the idea of limiting a series/project to six images–although, I’m a fan of asymmetries and think for some silly reason that 5 or 7 feels more comfy.
    So glad to see you getting the recognition that you deserve.

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    • Thanks for warming the cold autumn morning with all those superlatives, Johnny. 🙂
      There’s some good commentary on Lenswork, intelligent books, articles, etc. The website is kind of hard to sort through, I think, but worth it if you have some time. Also, Brooks Jensen does critiques for a very reasonable fee. You send images, he views them and sends you a video. It’s explained on the website – check it out.

      Re asymmetries, I know what you mean – in flower arranging you always go for 3, 5 or 7, etc. Or in most any design, odd numbers are more lively. I had that thought. But for a book, six works well – two images/spread, and you turn the page just a few times. There’s a good rhythm to it. Thanks you for being here!!

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