Client Spotlight: Monica Denevan

Monica Denevan travels annually to Burma to photograph fisherman and their families who live in quiet villages near the river. In that spare and graphic setting, she makes intimate portraits using natural light and minimal equipment. Her work is represented by Scott Nichols Gallery in San Francisco.

Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam - Powerful, Captivating, Profound and Haunting

Dickerman Prints was honored to be selected to print a remarkable, historic exhibition which can be viewed at the Goethe Institut in San Francisco now through April 17, 2015. This is the premier exhibition of the work of photographer Annemie Wolff.

 Judith Trijtel - 1943 Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee Judith Trijtel - 1943 Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee

Lost Stories, Found Images

Violence, persecution, unrest and fear were the norm for Jews living in 1943 Amsterdam. Yellow Stars of David were to be worn at all times, and at any moment one could be arrested by the Gestapo and be sent to a Concentration Camp.

Yet, in the midst of chaos, photographer Annemie Wolff’s portrait sessions offered people a reason to get dressed up and smile: if only for a brief moment in time.

Six decades later, one hundred rolls of film were discovered in an attic; each roll containing profound portraits of Amsterdam’s Jewish population.

Perhaps the most haunting and captivating aspect of these photographs are the smiles and optimistic gazes that grace the faces of these people. Included are children, infants, and adults of all ages, many of them wearing that Yellow Star of David.

Little is known about the history of these portraits; which leaves us us to ponder the question of their purpose. Why, at such an incredibly tense time in the middle of a war, would people have pictures taken of themselves and their loved ones? Also, what did Wolff plan to do with the prints and why were the rolls untouched until now?

Some mysteries have been solved; the box of negatives include a register detailing the names of all of the subjects.  Dutch researchers continue to trace the identity and fascinating stories of the individuals depicted. Most of the images in this show include captions which detail what is known of the histories of their subjects. While about half of the portrait subjects survived the war, these images represent the last trace of the many others who perished in the camps.

 Hilde Jacobsthal - 1943 Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee Hilde Jacobsthal - 1943 Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee

Lost Stories, Found Images: Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam provides a means of learning, exploration, and creating a space to discuss our collective history, how it affects our current lives, and how we can pass it on to future generations. The compelling images provide an unforgettable experience for viewers to delve into the past, present, and future of the Jewish and human experience.

. . .

About the Printing of the Show 

All the photographs exhibited in Lost Stories, Found Images: Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam were prepared and printed by Seth Dickerman.

As Seth wrote to Simon Kool, the show's Dutch curator,

“I am deeply moved to be involved in producing Annemie Wolff’s portraits. These images are truly great, completely heartbreaking and almost unbearably profound.”

Seth’s approach was to print this work as if he were printing it for Annemie herself.

“These portraits are beautifully made and wonderfully lit. They are also extremely professional. There can be no mystery as to how she would want them printed - which would likewise be professionally, and consistently - with fully detailed highlights, open shadows, and most importantly,  to always work to help the subject look his or her very best.”

Seth feels grateful and fortunate to have the opportunity to print such powerful and moving work. Having printed work by both Vivian Meier and Annemie Wolff within the span of a year has been “a privilege.”

. . .

On Display through April 17, 2015

After months of work, we proudly invite you to experience Annemie’s work for yourself at Lost Stories, Found Images: Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam. The exhibition is supplemented by a number of activities, film screenings, and lectures.

Goethe Institut
530 Bush Street, ART Lounge
San Francisco, California

To learn more about the exhibition and attendant program, please visit

 Annemie Wolff - Self Portrait Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee Annemie Wolff - Self Portrait Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee

All photographs on this page are copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee

A Celebration of Forgotten Places: by Sam Aslanian



"The past is never dead. It's not even past,"
-William Faulkner

On forgotten back roads and main streets across the southern United States, entire regions have been left behind by the fast pace and technology of modern day life.

What remains is "timeless, silent and still... untouched by the clamor and commotion of our lives," according to fine art photographer Sam Aslanian.

To document this striking vision of the south, Aslanian embarked on a photographic journey across those dusty byways in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.

His images, created by using long-expired film, add to the mystique and form a series of evocative photographs that can either engulf the viewer or be utterly voyeuristic: depending on your mood.

Aslanian continues, “As always, I used my vintage 1960's and 70's film cameras loaded with long-expired film, creating a fitting marriage of technique and place — a region untouched by the 21st century, photographed by tools entirely of the previous century.”


. . .



Be sure to attend the opening reception for Looking South on Saturday, February 7, at the Christopher Hill Gallery. The exhibition features twenty-one large and medium-format pigment prints from Aslanian's journey: all created at Dickerman Prints.

Saturday, February 7  //  3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Christopher Hill Gallery
1235 Main Street
St Helena, CA 95474


. . .



At Dickerman Prints, we love collaborating with artists to create the best prints possible. While getting ready for Looking South, Sam was kind enough to share a few words about his experience here at the lab.

"Late in 2010 The Christopher Hill Gallery in St. Helena agreed to put on my first fine art photography show. After the euphoria had worn off, I had to figure out how to print my prints— some of which were as large as 40x60. I use old, expired film that is then pushed pretty heavily in the processing creating an immense amount of grain and “texture." 

The first tests done at other labs were disastrous— glassy, ugly grain with none of the beauty of my photos as I saw them. I was almost considering canceling the show, when a fellow photographer told me about Dickerman Prints.  From the very first tests that Garnell Boyd did for me, I knew that my days of wandering in the wilderness were over. 

Now I am on my 4th gallery show, and Garnell and Dickerman have become an integral final link in my fine art process. Now I just show him my original on an iPad and he takes it from there, creating vibrant images full of depth and texture."


. . .


Meet sam Aslanian

Sam Aslanian is a longtime California resident and life-long student of photography. Holding a degree from the University of California at Los Angeles’ prestigious film school, and driven by a passion for film arts, Sam worked his way through Hollywood as both an executive producer for commercial and music video productions, and as an accomplished photographer. With his keen eye to both substance and style, Sam found success for more than 20 years in the often fickle and unforgiving industry known as Hollywood.

Wherever his adventures take him, Aslanian travels with his battered SLR cameras that are often held together with duct tape. In his bag can be found all manner of film, yes the kind the photographer loads carefully, gingerly, and spools into position in the camera’s belly.

It is a hard commodity to come by in the modern world which is both the blessing and the curse of Aslanian’s medium which is to use film deemed by others as past its prime. The film tells his story with often unpredictable results. The challenges of digital technology have made camera film practically a dinosaur, and therefore available expired film an even sweeter reward, at least to Sam, for the hunt.

Aslanian scours the likes of Paris, Rome and rural America in search of his unique photographic voice and scours the unlikely shelves of ancient film purveyors and Craig’s List to find his film.


To learn more about Sam Aslanian, visit his Facebook page.


Client Spotlight: Beth Yarnelle Edwards

Edwards has been capturing idyllic middle-class life in America and Europe for 16 years and her work reveals comfort, aspiration and stability, but also the more mundane aspects of a suburban existence. She took her first series of evocative photos, entitled Suburban Dreams, in the Silicon Valley in 1997, where she had lived for many years. The photographer explains that: 'Sometimes, I'm so interested in what's going on with people in their homes that I want to know what's in the closet or under the bed."

Client Portfolio: Richard Barnes

“A curator, writing about my work, described the archaeological process as akin to the autopsy, in that it is simultaneously revealing and destructive of its object of study. I like the idea in my work of coming from a place that is both ambiguous and contradictory at the same time.” – Richard Barnes

Sailing Indonesia

A wonderful part of photography is living life vicariously through the lens of others. Through these beautiful images shot by Bay Area based Dennis Anderson, we're able to travel on KLM Dunia Baru, a 150' long ironwood vessel just completed in Indonesia, on her madiane voyage, sailing through some of the most pristine and remote areas of the South Pacific.

Below are the words and photos from commercial and residential photographer Dennis Anderson who graciously shared them with us here at Dickerman Prints.

This is the maiden voyage of the KLM Dunia Baru, a 150' long ironwood vessel just completed in Indonesia.  The boat was hand built by a group of 30 Konjo and Bugis tribal members who have a 1000 year maritime history. Wearing flip flops and wielding chain saws and hand made tools, they set up on a riverbank in Kalimatan ready to receive one of the last legal barge loads of ironwood to be cut in Indonesia.  It took them 4 years non stop to build and float the hull.

My friends Frank and Jeni were the project managers for the owner and worked on the boat for 6 years.

Finish work and engines and sail rigging were completed in Bali. I made two trips to photograph the ship for the owner. The first, a work in progress set of shots, and a chance to collect and curate all the snap shots taken of the early construction in Kalimatan. Then in Dec/Jan 014, I was hired back to go on the maiden voyage and make marketing photos for potential upcoming charters. More importantly to me, I took on the title of artist in residence, free to shoot whatever caught my eye.

This truly epic adventure was a 1200 mile, month long exploration of some of the 17,000 islands and varied tribal people of the Indonesia sea. Let me describe one especially meaningful stop. 

Early in the voyage we returned a number of the original builders to their home in Ara, a village in Sulawesi where  boats are still being built on the beach.  The Mullahs and elders performed the final blessing to Dunia Baru by sacrificing a goat on her decks, and hanging the feet from the bow and stern.  

The next day the entire village, maybe 250 people, all came on board with the roasted goat and enough other island food to host a feast and celebration for everyone. The remaining crew felt greatly relieved as all the traditional forms had been competed.

Then free to roam we visited, dove, and snorkeled in Komodo, Ambon, and in Raja Ampat, New Guinea. This marine haven is part of the South Pacific's Coral Triangle.  It is an extremely remote area which retains more diversity and quantity of marine life than anywhere else left on the planet. Its accessible by charter boats from Sorong, which has an airport. 


And if you are interested and happen to have an extra 80K laying around, you too can charter her for a week relaxing and sailing around in style.

Dennis Anderson is an internationally known commercial and residential photographer whose fine art photography is in the permanent collections of both the New York and S.F. Museums of Modern Art. 

A native of New Jersey Anderson received a B.A. in art from Antioch College and then studied under Imogene Cunningham. As an accomplished master of lighting, Anderson has traveled to Asia, South America and throughout the United States shooting feature assignments for the designers and owners of homes, restaurants, and resorts. His photos have appeared in numerous books and magazines including Architectural Digest, Hospitality Design, Interiors, Maritime Life and Tradition, Vogue Living, Resorts and Great Hotels and Rolling Stone. . He presents a series of photography and lighting seminars around the country as a member of the Distinguished Speakers Series of the American Society of Interior Designers.

Beth Yarnelle Edwards: “Suburban Dreams” at OMCA

Beth Yarnelle Edwards is the second photographer to be awarded a solo show for the new California Photography exhibition series.

Beth’s series began in 1997 as she started shooting the intimacies and intricacies of family life in Silicon Valley. Her images, though posed, reflect intriguing and everyday truths about her subjects.

Beth’s images often incorporate the feeling of iconic portrait subjects. In her own words, “I have these icons in my thinking process, but when it all comes together, it’s magic.”

“Suburban Dreams” was recently featured in San Francisco Magazine, as shown above, and in the Oakland Tribune

To see more of Beth’s work, check out her site.

Richard Barnes, as Alexander Gardner

Photographer Richard Barnes brings our lab all manner of intriguing photography to print. His newest project is an exploration of antique processes and their historical and contemporary context.

Barnes has been photographing Civil War re-enactors using wet plate photography. What happens when you merge this antique process with civil war re-enactors? A number of his images include modern dress, and signifiers like pickup trucks and camera equipment. Barnes calls these interactions, “the slippage of time.”

In his own words, from his recent article on PetaPixel, Barnes explains,

“My particular interest in photographing reenactments is not to cover them as a contemporary photojournalist might, with a digital camera and a motor drive, but rather to put myself in the shoes of Alexander Gardner and attempt to make images that have the look and feel of what it would have been like to actually be in the field at the time of battle. To achieve this, I am using a large format camera and the same wet plate process employed by Matthew Brady and his associates.

Ultimately I seek to go beyond the nostalgia of recreating the look of images from another era, but rather my aim is to explore a creative tension that addresses the artifice of the reenactment in juxtaposition to the evidence of contemporary life, occurring within and at the periphery of the photographic frame.”

Take a look at the article on PetaPixel.

Beth Yarnelle Edwards’ “Suburban Dreams”

We’re thrilled to announce that photography by our esteemed client, Beth Yarnelle Edwards, have been selected for PDN’s Photo Annual 2012. Beth has been a client of Seth’s for the past 10 years, and we’re so overjoyed by her success.

PDN chose to honor her recent book, Suburban Dreams, available here.

PDN’s Photo Annual is an incredible contest, with judges ranging from Beth Bristow of The New York Times, George Pitts, the Director of Photographic Practices at Parsons The New School for Design to Josh Baker of TASCHEN. Award recipients will have their images published in PDN’s June Photo Annual issue, and on

From Suburban Dreams:

Varese Layzer’s Exploration of Loss

Varese Layser is my new favorite local photographer, born and raised on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. We met at her recent opening, Illuminations, curated by Jasmine Moorhead of Krowswork Gallery in Oakland. She has two series in the show, both simple, stunning, and poignant.

Varese says that she often hears her portraits and images “take pictures of the inside,” and that’s just how it felt to me. Of her two series in IlluminationsEquity was a particularly moving body of work. Her images are full of time, space and measured reflection. There is a noticeable absence of people, and it seems as though what interactions she does have are insulated by an intense barrier of space; there is the outside world, and the internal world Varese travels within.

See the series here. Click the “Older” button to advance forward.

Kim Sikora: Can you talk a little bit about your series Equity?

Varese Layzer: I wrote it and shot it within the same few days in April last year. I was visiting home (home is the Upper West Side of Manhattan). My mother had died the previous year; this was her home too. Everything about these few days was breaking my heart. On the plane on the way back I wrote the poem that is the text of Equity.

KS: You have a lot of images here that seem like they arose from wanderings. How long were you working on this project?

VL: These were all shot within two days; maybe it was one day. You can see how it’s raining in almost all the shots. The idea to combine the photographs and the writing came a little later.

KS: How did you decide when and where to shoot in NY? Were there destinations with history you tracked down, or was it more or a fluid exploration?

VL: It wasn’t so much a decision. I feel compelled to walk to the same few places every time I go home. So I was walking around unslept in the rain very sad and taking pictures of whatever caught my eye. My hometown happens to be famous but it’s just where I’m from.

KS: What was your biggest challenge with this project during the shooting period?

VL: Keeping the camera dry.

KS: I’m sure most people remember the amount of internet discussion surrounding the incident with your work at Ritual Coffee last year. Now that some time has passed, how do you feel about what happened?

VL: I feel very lucky. I never knew before that anyone would respond to the things I need to say; this knowledge was, and is, a revelation to me. I learned this both when Eileen Hassi insisted the work be removed immediately and when people around the country reached out to me, telling me their experiences. Those people would never have seen the show if its removal had not made the “news.”

KS: A lot of photographers struggle with the balance of personal work and commercial work. How do you make the time and money to photograph consistently?

VL: I have always made time to make art, whatever that art is and however little time that is; I sacrifice “earnable” money for that time. Most artists I know sacrifice more such money than I do and devote themselves even more.

KS: Is there a new project you’re working on you’d like to tell us about?

VL: I am immersed in understanding and processing the loss of my parents and my household and my home base and that is my work. To be less mysterious, I suppose I am working on an exploration of the “60 notebooks in my cellar,” which I mention in Equity. It’s more than 60 notebooks, actually. I hope that this work may be shown. And I hope it’s available not just to people who can relate to my story but also on a surface level: It’s been wonderful for me seeing people look at my pictures up at Krowswork Gallery without reading any text and still responding to them because they like the way they look.

Varese’s series Equity and Making Room currently on view at Krowswork, through May 5th. She and artist RKDB will be having an informal talk at Krowswork April 28th at 4 pm. Stop by to meet her in person at the gallery on May 4th, between 6 and 8:30 pm.

(Pro Tip: Stop by SF Camerawork’s Monthly Members critiques! Varese is a great member of the group, and I had the great pleasure of joining in the last crit, along with Erik Auerbach and other local photographers. Next Critique, Wednesday May 16, 6:00-8:30pm)