The CONTACT festival has launched its website for the 2010 festival. I think I’m most excited about getting to see Tony Fouhse’s USER in print (besides my workshop with Alec Soth of course). His show is at Pikto Gallery if you’re in the area, and I plan to go to the opening on May 7 (unless I collapse from information overload during my workshop).

I noticed the other day that Pikto is also offering two workshops with Donald Weber in May, both of which I’ve taken and highly recommend for anyone interested in deepening their photographic practice. Documentary Photography is a two-day workshop with a week for shooting an assignment in between, and Grant Writing is one day. I didn’t take it to learn how to apply for grants; I took it because I’ve been struggling to write about my photography. He broke down an approach to writing about your work, a structure. But more importantly, he gave me confidence to trust myself – to BE myself when writing about my work. For so long, I’ve been wishing someone smart would come and tell me what’s going on in my pictures on a deeper level. (Don didn’t do that.) I thought that to be successful in the art photography world you have use academic language and concepts, but Don emphasized straight honesty to the point of rawness. And he’s won a number of lucrative grants so the proof is in the pudding.

Anyways, back to CONTACT. I have to say, I’m more than a little disappointed with TVO’s programming. Most of the films were also played last year, with only a few exceptions. But the talks for the festival look great. The Magnum workshop instructors will all be speaking in the evenings during the first week of May. I’m also pretty keen to check out the panel discussion about contemporary African photography.

I think I’m getting close to a final edit of my Woodstock work. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this image, which didn’t make it into my first edit, but which is becoming a favourite.

Jeffrey and Dennis

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