Category: Work in Progress

October 25, 2012

New Work: Flags

Filed under: Americana,Collector Prints,Flags,Work in Progress — mas @ 1:48 pm

Here is a new piece from a very old project. Flags started in the Fall of 2001 when I noticed all the additional US flags flying on and stuck to everything. With new perspective, I am revisiting that project.

Collect Photography
Catalog #120907205

August 13, 2012

Time Off: The Kite II

Filed under: Collector Prints,Time Off,Work in Progress — mas @ 6:25 pm

Catalog #120803094

Collect Photography

August 9, 2012

Time Off: The Kite I

Filed under: Time Off,Work in Progress — mas @ 3:24 pm

Catalog No. 120803065

Collect Photography

July 27, 2012

Time Off: Lady in Stripes

Filed under: Collector Prints,Time Off,Work in Progress — mas @ 7:48 pm

Catalog No. 120721004

Does it make a difference if I made this photo especially to fit into “Time Off,” or if I just saw something I thought would make an interesting photo? You decide. Comment below.

July 20, 2012

Time Off: Hey Big Boy

Filed under: Americana,Collector Prints,Time Off,Work in Progress — mas @ 5:27 pm

Catalog No. 120528024

Minneapolis, 2012

Collect Photographs

July 16, 2012

Visual Literacy: Intentional Fallacy

In looking for parallels between photography and other types of art, I find a photo to be most equivalent to a poem. The elements of the photo would be the words in the poem. It’s a simple comparison that brings up a complicated issue; why are readers of poems responsible for their own understanding of the work, while photographers are responsible for providing viewers with captions as well as statements of intent?

If photos were inherently more abstract than poems, there might be a reason for helping the viewer along, but since the written word is many levels further removed from reality than a photo, the question is still on the table.

In addition, the matter of intention is completely set on its ear. With poetry, readers, especially critics commit the intentional fallacy of trying to psychoanalyze the artist through his work, while with photography the curators and editors want the artist to psychoanalyze herself through her work. In either case, the intentional fallacy is being committed.

July 10, 2012

Time Off: Art Fun

Filed under: Time Off,Work in Progress — mas @ 2:51 pm

Springfield Art Association, Springfield, Illinois 2012

Catalog No. 120616075
Collect Photography

Whose Responsibility?

Filed under: Visual Literacy,Work in Progress — mas @ 2:30 pm

Another Visual Literacy Post:

My brother-in-law, Doug Plummer, is giving workshops for people wanting to photograph dancers. Many of his students are beginning photographers, so much of Doug’s instruction is on the basics, including one basic that I have espoused over and over, that photography is about seeing. Coupled with that is the rule, “don’t let the content overwhelm the form.” I want to remember to come back to that at a later time. Suffice it to say for now, that this is a concept that everyone needs to understand.

-which brings us to the point of this post-

My original idea was to teach visual literacy to viewers, just as we teach everyone to read. Doug is teaching the same material to practitioners. This is certainly not a new idea, but is has proven to have merit. Think about the required studio art course in many college core curricula. These courses are not designed to produce artists; they seemingly magically turn students into art appreciators who are literate in looking at visual art. In other words, they learn to see. Perhaps we need to approach visual literacy from both sides of the problem.

“Photography is simple. It’s about seeing and about translating what we see into pictures. For me, the challenge is in acknowledging the documentary properties of each photograph while maintaining its presence foremost as an aesthetic study. My reason for living is to make the next photograph better than the last.” Michael A Shapiro

July 8, 2012

Visual Literacy

Filed under: Visual Literacy,Work in Progress — mas @ 1:05 pm

I’m formulating a plan to generate public interest and increase the skill level in visual literacy, reading photographs. For now, I’m going to use this blog space to collect ideas. As I search through my notes and talk with other artists and educators, I’ll post the pieces here. If you’re interested in following this process, it would be easiest if you subscribe to this blog. Just click the little orange thing. If you have ideas, please contact me by email or through comments after the posts. Email: michael at

Entry One, found on my hard drive:

“Photography as art.

The best we can do is to photograph what we see in the hopes of making an aesthetically satisfying combination of geometry and light. If that combination doesn’t exist, the photograph is a failure. If, on the other hand, the viewer fails to detect the interplay of lines and shapes that actually exists, perhaps it is not the photo that is at fault.

I believe that we are experiencing a decline in the quality of viewership in the world of photography. People are spoiled by the photojournalistic presence in art. They want that immediate attention-grabbing gimmick. I do not. People believe that photography must somehow morph into a never-before-seen genre. I do not, anymore than I think poets should stop writing sonnets or sestinas, because those forms have already been used.”

June 27, 2012

Let’s Not Forget the Foreclosed

Filed under: Foreclosure,Work in Progress — mas @ 7:16 pm

Leslie, Foreclosed

Collector Information: Catalog No. 120627004
More Foreclosure Photos

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