Recap of the “In Process” Exhibition

In Process opened in the Kunstler gallery last Friday, August 6th.  In Process is an exhibition of the employee’s at Booksmart Studio, Dylan Knapp, Mark Nacey, Sean Dyroff, David Ohl and Alex Broderick.  We had a good turn out and want to continue to invite guests to come check the show out!  It will be up for a month until Friday September 3rd and we are open Monday-Friday 9-6 every week.  Here are some images from the opening.

Pause to Begin is back!

We have been busy putting together all the pieces of the Pause to Begin books. We now have large quantities that are ready and available to be purchased and shipped out today!

Pause to Begin was a unique project born in discussions about the direction of contemporary photography today. A competition geared towards the emerging photographer, Pause, to Begin selected 15 photographers in April 2008. After a juried selection, the creators of Pause, to Begin drove 10,000 miles to meet and interview the selected photographers about their work.  By working closely with a team of artists and an advisory board that includes John Paul Caponigro, Joyce Tenneson and Cig Harvey, Pause, to Begin continues to strive to create a one-of-a-kind experience for the artist and viewer.

The catalog books that are available are great collectors items and showcase an amazing collection of photographs by Matthew GamberTealia Ellis RitterJohn MannColin BlakelyShawn RecordsThomas PriorHin ChuaSonja ThomsenBrea SoudersTimothy BrinerAlejandro CartagenaErika LarsenMatthew EichShannon Johnstone, and Shawn Gust.

“Ashes In the Night Sky” exhibition, July 21st, 2010

Ashes in the Night Sky, an exhibition of an artists’ book and inkjet photographs by Bill McDowell, will open at the Gallery Kunstler, 250 N. Goodman St., on Thursday, July 1 with a reception from 5:00- 7:00 p.m. The exhibition is being held in conjunction with the Photo-Bookworks Symposium at Visual Studies Workshop.

© Bill McDowell,

McDowell’s book consists of 48 inkjet photographs, and it was printed, hand sewn, and bound in a limited edition by Booksmart Studio. The exhibition includes 20 large (36” X 45”) and 20 smaller (17” X 22”) photographs, also printed at Booksmart Studio.

Ashes in the Night Sky” is based on the idea that when one looks at a celestial sky, the astronomical objects seen are representations of the past. McDowell used his father’s cremated ashes to simulate stars, nebulae and galaxies, scanning them on a flatbed scanner. Later, he re-worked the images on a computer.

The photographs in the exhibition are arranged in four related series: Galaxies, Night Skies, Negative Prints, and Fragments.

In Galaxies, McDowell often relied on using source images found in astronomy books. “I would work with one of these astronomical photographs by my side, replicating its composition by using my fingers and various sieves and screens to sift and drop the ashes on the scanner glass. The denser the accumulation of ashes, the brighter the image they recorded. Fine, dust-like particles often appeared as distant stars or gaseous clouds against the background’s inky blackness. I didn’t try to copy the astronomical photographs too faithfully; they served as starting points. I was more interested in the chance-determined relationships that developed from my inability to precisely control the fall of the ashes. It was in the translation from the document that fortuitous things happened.”

Other images in the Galaxies series depended more heavily on computer manipulation, where McDowell selectively blurred areas in an image to alter depth relationships, and in others to create a gaseous or nebulous region.

In Night Skies, McDowell worked sequentially. Each sequence began with ashes spread on the scanner to simulate a star-laden sky. After viewing the first scanned image, he would respond to the arrangement, which was still on the scanner, add more ashes and rescan. He continued adding ashes in this way, producing up to 20 consecutive scans per sequence.

Negative Prints were inspired by the practice of astronomers printing a photograph as a negative to access greater information in the image. By reversing the tonal scale, McDowell was reminded that all of his pictures began with the elemental particle of ash.

In Fragments, he scanned individual pieces of cremated bone. The respective fragment (each less than an inch in length) revealed a particular coloration and architecture depending on the bone’s mineral content, the temperature of the fire, and the crematorium’s grinding of the skeletal remains. These photographs presented the bone fragments in a straightforward manner, much like a forensic or archeological document.

Of  “Ashes in the Night Sky”, McDowell stated, “This work is a meditation on my father’s passing, but also an exploration of the interconnectivity of life on Earth and in the Universe. I’ve read that on a clear night the unaided eye can see five planets, ten thousand stars in the Milky Way, and the glow of three other galaxies. That over one hundred times more stars fill the sky than sand grains on all the beaches of our world. That the nitrogen atoms we breathe on Earth are identical to the nitrogen atoms on Mars. That the laws of physics really are universal.”

Intellectually I know all this and yet, in the everyday, my world is small and my cosmology is shaky. Often, I’m as oblivious to the brilliance of the night sky as I am to those I love. The phase of the moon, the paths of the stars and planets, they move above me unnoticed. And too often, like those I love, I neglect the sun’s warmth and radiance until it’s gone, its light faded to darkness.”

Bill McDowell is the Chair of the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Vermont. He has also taught at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and Rochester Institute of Technology. McDowell received a M.F.A. in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology, and took classes at Visual Studies Workshop.

He is a recipient of the Artist Fellowship in Photography from the New York Foundation on the Arts (NYFA), an Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship, the Texas Photography Society Grant, as well as several artist research grants from the University of Vermont and Texas A&M-Commerce.

His selected solo exhibitions include Jan Kesner Gallery, in Los Angeles, Houston Center of Photography, Robert  B. Menschel Gallery at Light Work, Kenyon College, St. Lawrence University, and the University of Vermont. His group shows include the Dallas Museum of Art, Blue Sky Gallery, Society for Contemporary Photography, in Kansas City, and the Triennial of Photography at the Deichtorhallen Museum, Hamburg.

His work is represented in collections at the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Deichtorhallen Museum, St. Lawrence University, and the University of Vermont.

His photographs have been published in Light Work’s Contact Sheet 96, Art in America, Art Issues, The New Yorker, Spot, and Exposure.

By |June 21st, 2010|Categories: Gallery Shows|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on “Ashes In the Night Sky” exhibition, July 21st, 2010

Fine Art of B&W Printing, March 20th-21st, 2010— $600.00



Fine Art of B&W Printing, March 20th-21st, 2010 - Mac User

Creating B&W prints with the various ink technology available.

This workshops will teach you the different controls and options for creating B&W prints that rival the quality of silver gelating prints. Learn to optimize your B&W printing workflow with control you never had in the darkroom. Participants will leanr to control every aspect of printing digitally to produce gallery quality exhibition prints.

Ink technologies that will be covered are: Epson Ultrachrome & Epson K3, Canon Lucia, & HP Vivera inks. Control for each of these products will be the main focus of the workshop. Participants should bring files that are ready for printing.

Topics will also include various methods for controlling the aesthetic print quality. Techniques covered are similar to those one applied in the darkroom, such as but not limited to: dodging & burning, contrast control, and tonal control.


Fees: $550.00 plus $50 for supplies (paper & ink)
Enrollment: (5) MacIntosh users & (2) PC users 

Location: Booksmart Studio, 250 North Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14607

To register please click here

By |February 17th, 2010|Categories: Workshops by Eric Kunsman|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Fine Art of B&W Printing, March 20th-21st, 2010— $600.00

Booksmart Studio– Digital Printing Website Updated with Flextight Virtual Drum Scanning!

Booksmart Studio offers scanning of 35mmMedium Format, and Large Format film.  We can even scan a 8×10 chrome or negative!  Your file will be uploaded to a server and a link will be sent to you for download.  If you would like a cd or dvd made and mailed to you please include a self addressed stamped envelope with blank cd or dvd and case to us along with the following.

Please follow this link to get your scans:

The Hasselblad Flextight Precision III offers a maximum true optical resolution of 6300dpi.  Booksmart Studio can scan a 35mm landscape transparency at, for example, 5000dpi, while a 6×4.5cm portrait original could be scanned at 4500dpi.

Like the other Flextight scanners the Precision III incorporates the unique Flextight magnetic original holder design, which eliminates the need for mounting originals on glass. Thus, there is no need for gel or tape, and the operator does not have to clean each transparency after scanning.

As the magnetic holder retracts automatically into the scanner it is fed around a virtual drum, which creates a perfectly flat surface directly underneath the CCD.  Scanning the surface of the original without the use of glass removes the danger of Newton Rings or moir, as well as color flare and registration errors.

The Precision III handles positive or negative originals from 35mm to 12x17cm, as well as reflective copy up to 220x310mm including color, line-art and gray scale work. Imacon say its ability to pick out minute detail and its sharpness help to make it the best negative scanner on the market today. The unique design eliminates complicated moving optics and results in an extremely compact scanner.  An external power supply removes the possibility of electrical noise caused by heat or electronics.

By |November 10th, 2009|Categories: Fine Edition Printing, News|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Booksmart Studio– Digital Printing Website Updated with Flextight Virtual Drum Scanning!


If you are looking to purchase a Libro Portfolio or have Booksmart Studio produce your prints for your portfolio. Please be sure to visit our dedicated Libro shop website at


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Fine Edition

If you are looking to work with Booksmart Studio to produce your Fine Edition Inkjet Prints for an exhibition or just start an open edition. Please be sure to visit our dedicated Fine Edition Printing shop website at

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