Jeff Jacobson: Notes from a workshop

Jeff Jacobson: Notes from a workshop


Jeff Jacobson, photographer. At Shakerag Workshops, 2013.

Jeff Jacobson, photographer. At Shakerag Workshops, 2013.

I spent a week studying with Jeff Jacobson who has, over some four decades, built a deeply poetic body of work. Jeff has a distinctive and highly photographic vision. While consistently shaped by what distinguishes photography from other visual media, it also keeps driving at visualizing phenomena and feeling in ways that shimmer with discovery and wonder. I strongly encourage readers to take a long look at all his books (especially the most recent, ‘The Last Roll’), and take a workshop with him. His work and teaching grow from a wonderful lineage: André Kertèsz, David Hurn, Charles Harbutt. He is a consistent and sensitive guide, an inspiring and encouraging teacher, and above all, deeply grounded in practice. I learned volumes about both being a photographer and a teacher.

What follows is a partial list of references Jeff made during the workshop, ‘Where Do You Stand’ at Shakerag 2013. I expect to augment it with links and more details. I hope my workshop peers (an amazing group!) will chip in with comments and additions.

“Photography is a solitary process… it is what happens when one photographer meets the world”. – Jeff Jacobson.

  • Robert Adams photographer/writer “Beauty In Photography”
  • Nubar Alexanian photographer Three things photographs are about: the subject, the photographer and photography – article from Transomweb site
  • Ernesto Bazan photographer
  • Nina Berman photographer “Homeland”
  • Roy de Carava photographer
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson photographer
  • John Coltrane – musician
  • fotovisura – photography folio and blogzine – web site
  • Lee Friedlander – photographer – book, “The Desert Seen”
  • Charles Harbutt – photographer – “Travelogue”
  • David Hurn – photographer – book with Bill Jay,  “On Being a Photographer
  • Bill Jay – writer – book with David Hurn – see above
  • Andre Kertesz – photographer
  • Josef Koudelka – photographer
  • Sergio Larrain – photographer – book, “Photographies: Valparaiso”, out of print, but a new retrospective is being issued in September, 2013 – Time article
  • Jacques-Henri Lartigue – photographer
  • Danny Lyons – photographer – book, “Conversations with the Dead”
  • Monkees – pop band
  • Sarah Moon – photographer
  • Inge Morath – photographer
  • Gilles Peress – photographer
  • Silvia Plachy – photographer – web site
  • Eugene Richards – photographer – book, “Dorchester Days”
  • Smokey Robinson – musician – “Tears of a Clown”
  • Cindy Sherman – photographer
  • Paul Simon – musician – “Maybe I Think Too Much
  • Alex Webb – photographer – book, “Hot Light / Half Made Worlds”
  • Gary Winogrand – photographer – “I photograph to see what the world looks like in photographs.”
  • Michael Winterbottom – filmmaker –  “In This World”


Links to workshop participant websites:

4 responses to “Jeff Jacobson: Notes from a workshop”

  1. Thanks for compiling this, Pradip. What a great workshop. I started typing up my notes just to remember some of what was said, but didn’t get all the references. Thanks to Rachel for organizing everything including all of us. . . . I’m still living in the thrall of the workshop. It was a very moving experience.

  2. Pradip was a prodigious notetaker throughout the class, writing mostly in a darkened room. So this is a good reference of all the areas we touched on during a wonderful week. Thanks for sharing your excellent notes!

  3. thanks pradip and rachel
    it was hard to get back to “reality” yet i know i’m carrying everything within me-
    looking at life a little differently
    what a wonderful experience- i so enjoyed getting to know everyone and sharing images
    hope to see you guys soon

  4. Pradip, thank you for the notes from our class and this posting. I love the things you said about Jeff and his work, could not have said it so well but agree completely. His direction and having been in this class make me believe I can actually be a photographer again. Of course I’ll be practicing non-attachment to film all the while. 🙂
    I loved being with everyone in the class and hope to see you all at Pranip’s opening in September.