Isabel Magowan Interview: Introspective and Endearing Portraits of the Uncanny

Isabel Magowan

In a short piece written for Photo Booth, The New Yorker’s photography blog, Hilton Als, author of White Girls and the magazine’s theatre critic, introduced the work of a few students he taught in 2014 at Yale’s Graduate School of Art. “I learned something exciting,” he wrote then. “Just as literature is opening up to cross many genres in a single work, photography is opening up to incorporate many genres and ideas.” The students’ work had left behind a desire to capture any single truth and instead described a world where “there were many stories to be told, sometimes all at once. The point was to tell them as specifically as possible.”

Isabel Magowan was one of the photographers featured in Als’s article. Wary and circumspect, Magowan is highly self-conscious while making a portrait. She’s aware that a camera may cause discomfort, even alarm. “I feel uncomfortable because I am unsure about what I am seeing,” she noted. “Ambiguity and contradiction speak to me because they are inherently uncomfortable, and this discomfort is what I find myself wanting to explore.” Here, Magowan talks about her approach to making portraits and about her thoughts of photography in general.

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Otis Ike Interview: Unflinching Captures of the Restless, Bizarre, and Crushed


I was drinking tequila in the back of a beat-up Ford Explorer with my girlfriend, my sister, and a couple of friends the night I discovered Otis Ike’s work. We were in Woodstock, New York, to see an exhibition co-curated by the photographer Juan Madrid. Eating at a Thai restaurant, moments after the tequila, I asked a group of artists and writers with us if they had noticed a photograph of two men wrestling in blood. No, they said, picking at their food, as if I were crazy and hadn’t said a thing. While I’m unsure I remember the night word for word, I do remember describing how strange the photo was. It was, to start, a photo of two men interlocked in a gruesome hug — one giving a chokehold and another receiving it. The strangest thing, though, was that the man receiving the chokehold, the man who seems to be swimming in his own blood, was grinning. He was laughing, I told them, as if he just overheard a good joke or learned that a good friend was in town.

That photograph, shown above, was taken by Otis Ike and was on display at the exhibition we traveled to see that night. I would later find out that Otis Ike is only a nickname. Otis Ike’s real name is Patrick Bresnan. Bresnan started shooting photography in the 80s when his mother gave him her Canon AE-1. She would keep on supporting him as he practiced, even developing his 4×6 prints. Bresnan now lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Ivete Lucas. Their film, The Send-Off, was awarded at the South by Southwest Film Festival and had its world premiere at Sundance. Here, Ike talks briefly about this work and about his thoughts on shooting candidly.

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REVIEW – Athentech’s Perfectly Clear Plugins 2.0

Athentech Imaging Inc., manufacturers of the award-winning “Perfectly Clear” picture modification application, have launched a brand new and enhanced edition of the application; Perfectly Clear Plugin 2.0.

Perfectly Clear Plugin

This new updated edition features faster-reengineered calculations, greater noise reduction, a divided view to determining before and after, and also the new enhance function that enables you to alter 10 top features of the facial skin from spot treatment to eye improvement.

User interface is spontaneous and simple to use. For all those of you using Adobe’s Lightroom, you’ll maintain the common place. From top-to-bottom, you can go through custom sliders, from color modification to red eye reduction and attention improvements.
Although cameras nowadays are extremely effective and sophisticated, they nevertheless aren’t as advanced as the eye. The eye includes an enormous dynamic array and continuously changes in respect to the quantity of light coming through, letting you “see” an equally open picture inside your mind. Although a camera may just have many stops of a dynamic array, and has one shutter, which doesn’t continuously alter along with a light metering program. It’s usually centered on metering the typical light coming through the contact, hence making specific areas of your picture possibly underexposed or overexposed.

Think about shooting on a bright sunny morning; based on where you concentrate, you may possibly obtain a good blue sky together with your subject totally within the shadow with little to no depth. Or a large white chaos within the background, with your subject completely revealed. Today each camera available differs in the way the lighting is taken and moved into an electronic format, with a few being much better than others. This transformation results in distortions within the ultimate picture which you notice on your screen. What has a tendency to occur is you get home and add your pictures simply to visit a large disconnection between everything you noticed inside your head to that which you notice in your monitor. Pictures may appear smooth or dim, the color is down, the shade isn’t very right, and there’s no general “wow” element; they don’t “pop” while as the tired saying goes.

With Perfectly Clear Plugin 2.0 you can make the most of 20 automated modifications that will assist to create out the very best in the most picture. Pictures you once believed were meant for that trash bin receive another opportunity to shine. It is simple to and rapidly restore the facts in these shadows or alter the color stability of a picture. Having a few quick clicks, you can change the whole feel and look of a picture.

Perfectly Clear Plugin review
And also the greatest part concerning the entire plan, its capability to help you save time through the elimination of being caught behind a PC monitor performing countless hours of editing. Using the capability to modify whole the photo shoots you’re ready to invest additional time shooting. With additional editing application, you can order change, which just is effective if you have the same or equivalent light conditions. Modify your conditions and also the batch edit comes apart making one to return in and do many batch edits, which takes time.

With Perfectly Clear’s new plug-in, you can put up one custom formula (or select from standard presets) with one-click, use that formula towards the whole order of pictures. This saves you time and also the disappointment of manual editing. Fresh and updated algorithms consider the changing light of every picture by watching every individual pixel in each picture and alter as required, to provide you with precisely the picture you noticed whenever you got the chance.

Perfectly Clear Plugin 2.0 is just a very effective software that’s exclusively focused on fixing image distortions

Perfectly Clear 2.0 isn’t a filter or improving the program. It merely discusses the information of the initial file and utilizing extremely effective calculations designed especially for photography to fix disturbances that allow for the pictures to represent that which you noticed whenever you produced the initial photo.

The largest new function within the Perfectly Clear 2.0 plugins may be the built in beautifying engine, which supplies face improvements which have been obtainable in the Perfectly Clear iOS application for a while.

facial recognition application to use modifications

It offers handy one-click presets that use facial recognition application to use modifications instantly. The facial recognition is rather smart and features the capability to determine era, sex, and functions for example skin feel/tone so that your benefits will soon be as distinctive as your topics.


Many significant photographers possess a collection procedure to get their pictures seeking better. I am most likely not alone in having spent several moments altering Lightroom or Photoshop slider handles looking to get just one picture that is perfect.

Another strategy would be to begin by attempting the applications’ auto tone switch which occasionally leads to picture enhancement. You may realize of completely obvious in the general plan created it for one function—auto modification. It creates modifications to a picture in lighting, comparison, shade, and sharpness centered on attention technology, based on Athentech’s website.
In its standard or default style, Perfectly Clear enhanced pretty much every picture I put in. Obviously, the previous “garbage in garbage out” principle still applies, therefore do not anticipate that every picture will appear magically great. The plugin frequently produced great pictures.

Along with standards, the plugin features a few presets for typical programs – Areas, Face, Sound Elimination, Repair Dark, and Color Removal. Hanging your mouse pointer within the chosen predetermined area appears an extended tooltip which suggests what it will do.

For instance, the tooltip for Scenery lets you know the environment does not improve distinction just as much and brings excitement for more vibrant colors.
Color choices include Excitement and Fidelity, and if you alter both these or even the light sliders, your predetermined drop-down odds to custom. At these times, you receive the opportunity to produce a new preset of your, having a new title and information.

auto photo correction
Noise reduction is another choice, and also the application provides modification choices for Pictures, Night scenes, Camera-Phones, along side sliders for power and details. A “Best” choice I would like to lessen also one of the most speckled images. I came across it worked much better than Photoshop CC’s integral in noise reduction, however, the outcomes were not as clear as those made by Noise Ninja.

Completely Clear associated with cruising
One deficit I discovered in Completely Clear associated with cruising. Yes, there is a moving slider, but this did not display the percentage, and sometimes even I would like to zoom-in to 100 percent—something you need, especially for sound reduction and sharpening.


Created as an auto photo corrections tool, Perfectly Clear employs its rich group of algorithm to rapidly fine-tune the appearance. It’s ideally suited whilst the first step of the post-production method. While starting the editing procedure, a number of presets can be found, which may be chosen on the basis of the particular picture, or presets could be created to match distinctive kinds of pictures. Beyond the automatic procedure, tune options permit you to improve the appearance of one’s pictures using publicity, comparison, shade, tone, and quality settings.


  • Redeveloped algorithm help facilitate efficiency and running rates to get a faster workflow. Furthermore, the improved running also adds to obtaining more detail and much more constant skin colors during automatic corrections.
  • An updated sound motor offers correct and practical sound reduction features.
  • Total-quality focus enables you to amplify symbolism easily to 100% for researching the good information on an image.
  • An intuitive software design and predetermined cell locations all the accessible presets within easy take rapidly using results.
  • Split Watch provides a relative method for viewing changes to a picture.
  • An opacity slider enables you to mix before and after pictures for better control within the final picture.
  • Transfer/Export presets enables you to reveal and obtain various presets from others.
  • New keyboard shortcuts permit you to undertake symbolism rapidly and alter your working room, and can include techniques to toggle towards the move control, zoom-in and out, toggle before and after sights, and toggle a complete screen view.
  • The program automatically checks for the update to make sure it’s usually current.


Employing sophisticated cosmetic recognition processes to instantly determine era, sex, and crucial facial features, including consistency and complexion, Beautify acts to rapidly and effectively proper pictures utilizing five unique features:

  • Perfectly Smooth and Easy – Reduces lines and smoothes skin for a better appearance
  • Blemish Removal – Removes pimples, spots, along with other skin defects
  • Glow Treatment – Reduces excessive shininess of greasy skin and mimics the look of basis or dust on skin
  • Complexion – Decreases extremely red shades the result of a powerful reputation of infrared light during capture
  • Eye Improvement – Brightens the whites of the eyes and brings about more detail
  • Dark Circle Treatment – Removes unflattering black circles underneath the eyes
  • Catchlight – Provides a sparkle in the eyes
  • Teeth Whitening – Whitens teeth to intensify a topic’s look
  • Face Slimming – Shades and slims cosmetic form to get a youthful appearance


Details and Vivid: These would be the two most often used presets and provide a perfect starting place for editing exposure, contrast, sharpening, and color vibrancy in addition to a few of the Enhancement modifications. It particularly employs Hi-Def Distinction for getting more detail within the shadows and shows, in addition to attractive skin colors.

perfectly clear plugin review

Beautify & Beautify +: Both of these presets are specifically made for portraiture and scan acknowledged faces to be able to decide the correct amount of improvements to do. Beautify is more moderate of both presets, with Beautify + implementing a larger quantity of modifications and growing the values of changes.

specifically made for underexposed

Fix Dark: specifically made for underexposed or else dark imagery, this preset enhances the lighting significantly more than details or vivid while also implementing noise reduction along with other modifications to pictures.

Fix Noise: This preset adjusts for elevated noise inside an image without influencing the lighting like fix dark does. It’s ideally suited to pictures taken with high-ISO options in usually well-lit situations.

Fix Tint: When compared with publicity-partial presets, this preset focuses more on fixing imagery with incorrect color casts or white balance controls.
Areas: This presets helps you to accomplish pictures by having an abundance of color vibrancy and level. The Fidelity vivid algorithm is utilized, and red eye correction is impaired to be able to accomplish the best quantity of color saturation.

preinstalled presets


Along with the eight pre-installed presets, you may also modify and produce your personal presets centered on among the preliminary program presets or completely from scratch using only the tweak adjustment control. Furthermore, you can import, and export custom presets for sharing.


This bundled version of perfectly clear plugin contains specific plugins for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.7 or later in addition to Adobe Photoshop CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6, and CC; Photoshop Elements 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13; and, for Windows systems, Corel PaintShop Pro X5, X6 and X7.

Rosalind Fox Solomon Interview: A Photographic Journey in Empathy

Rosalind Fox Solomon

© Rosalind Solomon, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, NY

In 1968, at the age of thirty-eight, Rosalind Fox Solomon began shooting photography during a trip to Japan. She was living with a family who spoke little English and slept on their futon. The pictures were in color and mostly experimental. In the early 70s, Solomon would switch from color to a black-and-white square format and begin a forty-eight-year-long exodus from the suburban East Coast— settling, instead, in the role of far traveling portrait maker, shooting extensively in Israel, Peru, and South Africa, among others.

Now, at the age of eighty-five, Solomon’s work is receiving the frequency of critical recognition that seemed to evade her. This past month she was featured at Bruce Silverstein Gallery and Brooklyn Museum. In February, her latest book, “Got to Go,” a collection of over seventy images that survey her work across time and geography, was published by MACK. The photographs all share an intensity of perception. They illuminate through an attraction to an unknowable interior, expressing the rough course of experience like a finely detailed biography or poem. Here, Rosalind speaks about the emotional and philosophical understandings of her work.

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Stephanie Segura Interview: Nostalgic Photo Zines That Explore Issues of Identity

Stephanie Segura

A longer version of this article was originally published in Remezcla.

In 2014, Stephanie Segura, a Brooklyn-based photographer, helped found an art collective of writers, musicians, and visual artists called La Chamba Press. Pulling together unique histories and points of origin— ranging from the Caribbean to Mexico— the members aim to create work that makes the experience of the Latino diaspora easier to picture.

Segura, whose zines of Mexico were featured this year at Printed Matter’s Art Book Fair in Los Angeles, looks specifically at Mexican-American diaspora. Her bleached-processed Polaroids of home, ritual, and celebration bring to light Mexican culture as viewed through the eyes of a first-generation U.S. citizen. And although the photos catalog new experiences, they are rich with nostalgia, as if Segura is creating memories of a life that could have been, a history that anticipates her own.

I met Segura at El Regalo de Juquila in Bushwick, New York, to talk about her work. Telenovelas played loudly from a television sitting atop a row of refrigerators. We ate tacos, drank aguas frescas. In her zines, I see a political argument against ingrained images of Mexico that come from its own citizens or tourists. She disagreed. Instead, she sees her vibrant photographs of Mexico as nothing more than personal mementos. “If somebody connects with them, then fine,” she told me. “In the end, they’re just for me.”

This interview has been edited and condensed from the conversation Segura and I had at Regalo de Juquila.

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See Portraits of U.S. Citizens Who Move Back to Mexico

See Portraits

A longer version of this article was originally published in Remezcla.

The U.S.-Mexico border is typically thought of as a place where people flow from south to north. They leave Mexico, it’s thought, in search of something better in the United States – not the other way around. But Americanos, a series of photographs taken by the Mexican photographer Alejandro Cartagena, contradicts this south-to-north view of immigration by showing those who move the opposite way.

Called “silent citizens” in Mexico, “Americanos” are legal citizens of the United States who, either by choice or through circumstance, return to Mexico. Some are children who were born in the United States and leave with their parents once citizenship is guaranteed. Others are older and cross back into Mexico illegally. “Most of them seemed completely uninterested in living in the U.S.,” Cartagena told me. “One went to high school for a year and decided to come back to Mexico because he didn’t ‘get’ the culture.”

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Mariela Sancari Interview: Portraits of a Young Woman’s Dead Father

Mariela Sancari

The advertisement was short: I’m searching, it began in Spanish, for men between sixty-eight and seventy-two years old. On a corner was a portrait of man with closed-cropped hair and a warm smile. With clear eyes, it went on, who look like the man in the photo. At the bottom was a phone number.

The number belonged to Mariela Sancari, a photographer based in Mexico. Sancari posted the advertisement to begin a series of portraits about her father, Moisés Sancari, who killed himself in 1980. She sought to photograph men who might resemble her father had he lived to this day. The resulting portraits are collected in a critically acclaimed photo book Moisés, published in 2015.

I reached out to Sancari to learn more about Moisés and her work. We spoke briefly over email.

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[Free webinar] 5 Keys to Amazing Wedding photography

Amazing Wedding photography

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Daniel explains his philosophy on what makes a great photo as he breaks down step by step how he is able to capture incredible photos that made him an international instructor and world-renowned photographer that he is.


Date: 18th AprilMonday

Time: 11am PDT


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Alejandra Laviada Interview: Photo Sculpture Examples From the Ruins of Mexico City’s Hotel Bamer

An interview with Laviada on how she effectively makes a  perfect photo sculpture from scratch.

Alejandra Laviada - Photo Sculpture

In 2006, Alejandra Laviada spent time photographing the remains of a once prominent hotel in Mexico City named Hotel Bamer. A landmark of 1950s Mexico, the hotel was demolished soon after she left. From what remained after the demolition, Laviada took pieces of discarded wood and furniture to build sculptures that would serve as subjects for the subsequent series Re-Constructions.

Like the hotel they come from, the sculptures photographed in Re-Constructions are transient. Her photographs explore what it means to play with the camera’s relationship to time.

A tension is brought out by the sculptures’ vulnerability. Inches from collapse, each one is seen a beat before a leg gives out or a stool topples over. The photographs reveal, like ones that can still the folds of a windswept curtain, time’s physical bearing — only these look backward. It’s the second before that you look, the moment when not moving comes closest to resembling permanence.

I spoke to Laviada over email about Re-Constructions and her ideas about photo sculpture.

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Juan Madrid On Boris Mikhailov’s Gruesome Photography

Boris Mikhailov

Boris Mikhailov. Untitled, from the series Case History. 1997–98. © 2011 Boris Mikhailov

The High Dive, in Prospect Park, is a fine, little bar in Brooklyn. In the back, there are two pinball machines that glow the color of orange-red. Popcorn is free to grab. And Brooklyn Lagers are served $5 a can on most days. In short, it’s not a bar you’d go to if you’re expecting to talk all night about the Ukrainian provocateur Boris Mikhailov. Grotesque, dark, and brutally honest—Mikhailov’s work picks at a scab covering middle-class sensibility (above is one of his photos).

Two weeks ago, I invited Juan Madrid, co-founder of the Free Lunch Cartel and a VICE contributor, for drinks at the High Dive. I wanted to finish a talk we were having over email about Mikhailov. A photography savant, Madrid combines a single-minded focus on all things photo with an ego so large that it doesn’t exist. I thought he’d be the perfect guide to introduce Boris Mikhailov’s work to the blog.

That night at the High Dive, I began to realize that I led Madrid to a sad, sad joke. A couple of Brooklyn Lagers had failed to tune out a neon-lit gloom. Madrid and I exited, in hopes of another bar. There, he showed me two of his photobooks and catalogue of an exhibition he co-curated at the Center for Photography at Woodstock. We switched to Tecates and lime. At one point, Madrid looked at his reflection in a window and summoned the golden ratio. In some of his photos, he said, he had found its hand, his photographs laid out like the spirals in nautilus shells, unaware he captured its composition. We drank, talked photography, and drank again.

This interview is from the questions and answers Juan and I sent back and forth over email.

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