the literate lens

photography, writing and the spaces between

A novelist and a photographer walk into a theater…

Over the three years I’ve been writing The Literate Lens, few events have screamed “blog post!” as loudly at me as the one I attended last night at Symphony Space, … Continue reading

May 14, 2015 · 77 Comments

Legacy Keeper: An Interview with Mary Engel

The April issue of Photo District News features an article I wrote about managing photographers’ legacies. This is an important topic, but one that isn’t discussed or written about much. Photographers … Continue reading

April 14, 2015 · 10 Comments

At Home in the World: Two Documentaries

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, works of art surely are too. We see them in the context of our lives, affected by whatever emotional weather is … Continue reading

April 1, 2015 · 7 Comments

Reconsidering Robert Doisneau

One of the great things about reviewing books is that, every once in a while, a package arrives that contains a wonderful surprise. And hallelujah for that, because those of … Continue reading

February 26, 2015 · 6 Comments

The Earth We Tread On: An Interview with Scott Strazzante

Back in 2008, I interviewed photographer Scott Strazzante for Photo District News when his project Common Ground was—if you’ll pardon the pun—getting off the ground. Interviewing photographers can be hit-or-miss: … Continue reading

February 17, 2015 · 38 Comments

The Longest Journey: An Interview with Rick Smolan

By any standards, Rick Smolan has an impressive resumé. As a photographer, he has shot for TIME, Newsweek, and National Geographic. As a book editor, he created the bestselling A Day … Continue reading

December 23, 2014 · 7 Comments

Words vs. Images, in Aperture’s Winter Issue

Aperture, the venerable photography magazine, has dedicated its winter issue to an investigation of the interplay between words and images. Are we becoming more visually literate? Is our image-rich culture … Continue reading

December 11, 2014 · 8 Comments

Lost Treasure: An Interview with Ayelet Waldman

When Ayelet Waldman set out to write her new novel, Love and Treasure, it was with the vague idea that she wanted to write about the Holocaust and art. How, … Continue reading

November 13, 2014 · 2 Comments

Ten Ways Smartphones Are Changing Photography

The annual PhotoPlus Expo at the Javits Center in New York is not for the faint of heart. With its cluster of camera manufacturers and vendors giving frenzied demos, the … Continue reading

November 7, 2014 · 17 Comments