The F295 History

F295: 2007-2015

F295 began in the summer of 2004 and ended in fall of 2015.

Founded and directed until its end by Tom Persinger, F295 began as a simple internet message board for those interested in exploring the creation of pictures and apparatus by means of photographing without a lens. In those early internet dark ages, the time before social media connectedness, F295 brought together large numbers of people, spread over vast geographic distance, who shared a niche interest in exploring this variant form of contemporary photographic practice. F295 was one of the first social media photography sites. The site population grew rapidly and in 2007 F295 held its first symposium. F295 held 13 events: 7 symposia in Pittsburgh, PA, 6 seminars (5 in New York and 1 in San Francisco) that were attended by hundreds of people with speakers from various countries. The group hosted over 100 lectures, 41 workshops, and numerous exhibitions.

Tom Persinger organized, moderated, and introduced each of these events as an inquiry into contemporary photographic practice . He sought out artists to discuss, in their own words, how they make decisions regarding process, content, and subject in the creation of  their own work that falls within this new photographic paradigm. From these events Persinger selected 20 lectures and worked with the artists to create his book Photography Beyond Technique: Essays from F295 on the Informed Use of Alternative and Historical Photographic Processes. Read more about the text on Amazon >>


Symposium on Lensless Alternative and Adaptive Photographic Processes
26-29 April 2007, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Jo Babcock, Contemporary Pinhole Photography and its Place in Photographic History
Craig Barber, Photography and Memory
Laura Blacklow, Convergence: PhotoGraphics
Alan Greene, Steps Leading to ‘Primitive Photography’
Mike Robinson, The Daguerreotype: Past, Present & Perfect
Patricia Katchur, Back to Basics: The Renaissance in Alternative and Historic Photographic Processes
Terry King, Retro-Invention: A Revolution in Gold and Blue

2007 Exhibitions
• The F295 Exhibition of Lensless and Alternative Photography
28 April – 19 May 2007,  709 Penn Gallery, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh, PA

Including the work of Bruce Berrien, Gustavo Castilla, Mary Donato, Chris Ellinger, Earl Johnson, Tom Persinger, Marv Thompson, and Ralph Young.

• Picture This! A Camera Made from a Coconut
27 April – 3 June 2007, Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh PA

This exhibition featured hand-made cameras created by artists located around the world from unusual materials such as, clay, wood, shipping pallets, a cigar box, a spam tin and a coconut among many other found objects.

• Daguerreotypes Past and Present
26 April – 1 June 2007, The Daguerreian Society, Pittsburgh, PA

An exhibition of over fifty historic and contemporary daguerreotypes including a selection of work by Mike Robinson and Jerry Spagnoli.

2007 Workshops
The Pinhole Camera (Persinger)
Camera and Lens Making (Greene)
Cyanotype Rex (King), Gum Rex (King)
Pittsburgh without a Lens (Persinger)
One Day Daguerreotype (Robinson)
Wet Plate Collodion (Katchur)


F295 Seminar on Alternative Photography
27 January 2008, B&H Photo & Video, New York, NY

Laura Blacklow, Prints from Central America
Martha Casanave, Lensless Imagery
Jill Enfield, The New American
Jesseca Ferguson, The Photograph as Reliquary
Erin Malone, Without Lenses
Scott McMahon, Temporal Performances
Jerry Spagnoli, Medium/Metaphor

Symposium: An Examination of Lensless, Alternative and Adaptive Photographic Processes 
29 May – 1 June 2008, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Martha Casanave, The Magic of Lensless Photography
Jill Enfield, Photographing Full Circle
Jesseca Ferguson, Museum of Memory: The View through a Pinhole
Robert Hirsch, Creating Photographic Possibilities and World in a Jar
France Scully Osterman, Serendipity and Exquisite Manipulation
Jerry Spagnoli, Medium, Metaphor and Meaning
Keith Taylor, Alternative Printmakers – Not the Strongest nor Smartest
Ilan Wolff, The Adventure with Large Scale Images in Photogram and Pinhole Techniques and The Involvement of Nature in the Process of Photography

2008 Exhibitions
• F295 Exhibition of Contemporary Alternative Photography
30 May – 5 July 2008, 707 Penn Gallery, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh, PA

Including the work of Jo Babcock, Craig Barber, Martha Casanave, Jill Enfield, Jesseca Ferguson, Alan Greene, Robert Hirsch, Tom Persinger, Mike Robinson, Jerry Spagnoli, Keith Taylor, and Ilan Wolff.

• Alternative Focus
23 May – 14 June 2008, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA

Featuring the work of Jesseca Ferguson and Tom Persinger.

• World in a Jar
28 May – 5 June 2008, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, PA

This exhibition of work by Robert Hirsch features a collection of 850 hundred black & white photographs, each preserved in a clear 32 ounce glass jar with a black lid

2008 Workshops
An Artistic Approach to Digital Negatives (Enfield)
Calotype Paper Negatives -Dry Process (Greene)
Daguerreotype (Robinson)
Developed Out Salt Printing (Greene)
Gum Bichromate (McMahon)
Poor Man’s Platinum (Babcock)
Magic of the Photogram (Wolff)
Planning, Organizing, and Staging a Successful Exhibition (Ferguson)
Toy Camera Modern Tintype (Enfield)
Wet Plate Collodion (Scully Osterman)


F295: 21st Century Photography Seminar
18 January 2009, B&H Photo & Video, New York, NY

Jo Babcock, The Invented Camera
Craig Barber, The Cultural Landscape
Michelle Bates, Toying with Photography: A Journey of Learning to Make Pictures through a Plastic Lens
Dan Estabrook, Some Notes on the Art of Failure
Alida Fish, The Sweet Scent of Ether and Lavender Oil
Joy Goldkind, Contemporary Bromoil Process
Robert Hirsch, World in a Jar: War & Trauma
France Scully Osterman, Nature’s Second Course

2009 Exhibition
F295: 21st Century Photography
16 -20 January 2009, Camera Club of New York, New York, NY

Including the work of Jo Babcock, Craig Barber, Michelle Bates, Gabriel Biderman, Laura Blacklow, David Brommer, Martha Casanave, Jill Enfield, Dan Estabrook, Jesseca Ferguson, Alida Fish, Joy Goldkind, Robert Hirsch, Kerik Kouklis, Scott McMahon, France Scully Osterman, Mark Osterman, Tom Persinger, Jerry Spagnoli, Keith Taylor

Symposium on 21st Century Photography
28 – 31May 2009, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Michelle Bates, Through a Plastic Lens
Dan Estabrook, A Fabricated History
Robb Kendrick, The Tintype and Beyond
Jarosław Klupś, To Freeze a Reflection
Martha Madigan, Solar Printing for a Lifetime
Elizabeth Opalenik, Possibilities in Mordançage
Mark Osterman, Artifacts
Carol Panaro-Smith & James Hajicek, The Search for the End of Searching

2009 Exhibition
F295: 21st Century Photography
30 May – 26 June 2009, 707 Penn Gallery, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh, PA

Including the work of  Michelle Bates, Dan Estabrook, James Hajicek, Robert Hirsch, Robb Kendrick, Jaroslaw Klups, Martha Madigan, Elizabeth Opalenik, Mark Osterman, France Scully Osterman, Tom Persinger, Carol Panaro–Smith, Jerry Spagnoli

2009 Workshops
The Fujitive Shadow (Osterman)
Lens-Building and Optical Effects (Greene)
Printing with Gum Bichromate (Andersen)
Three-Day Daguerreotype (Spagnoli)
Tintypes: Dryplate and Modern (Enfield)
Toying with Plastic Cameras (Bates)
Photography Walk-About (Persinger/Babcock)

F295 Seminar on 21st Century Photography
29 August 2009, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

Jo Babcock, The Invented Camera
Martha Casanave, The Wet-Plate Collodion Process & the Work of Julia Margaret Cameron
Susannah Hays, In/Visible Cosmos
Kerik Kouklis, A Tri-Century Photographic Approach
Chris McCaw, Optical Studies in Pyromania
Brian Taylor, The Art of Getting Lost
Claudia Wornum, If Some is Good, More is Better

2009 Exhibition
F295 21st Century Photography
29 August 2009, Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco, CA

Including the work of Jo Babcock, Martha Casanave, Susannah Hays, Kerik Kouklis, Chris McCaw, Tom Persinger, Brian Taylor, and Claudia Wornum.


F295: An Exploration of 21st Century Photography Seminar
17 January 2010 | B&H Photo & Video, New York, NY

Dan Burkholder, iPhone Photography: The New Polaroid-Holga  for the 21st Century
Norm Sarachek, The Chemigram: Photo-material based cameraless art
Ann Arden McDonald, Photographic experiments
Henrieke I. Strecker, What is really essential in Life? Potato Soup, Art, and Life. I don’t make a difference.
Lothar Osterburg, Copperplate Photogravure: A 19th century process in the 21st century
Jill Skupin Burkholder, Ink and Wax: Explorations Beyond the Darkroom


F295 Seminar on 21st Century Photography
9 January 2011, B&H Photo & Video, New York, NY

Ellen Carey, Struck by Light
Peter Liepke, Observations and Patience: Crafted by Hand
Phil Nesmith, Against the Flow: Wet Collodion Photography and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
Ron Cowie, Platinum Printing for the Modern Age
Warner Wada, Old AGFA, Ebay 8×10… Hot and Sweaty in Angkor

Explorations on the Idea of a 21st Century Photography Symposium
2-5 June 2011, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Sally Mann, A Conversation with Dan Estabrook
Stephen Berkman, The Perambulations of a 19th Century Interloper
Gabriel Biderman, Night Visions
Jill Skupin Burkholder, Ink and Wax – Explorations Beyond the Darkroom
Alida Fish, Coming to Terms with Ink
Rebecca Sexton Larson, Adversity and the Creative Process
Erin Malone, Fragments of Missions
Jessica Somers, One Hundred Days of Tintypes
Henrieke Strecker, Potato Soup, Art, and Life: I don’t make a difference
Brian Taylor, The Art of Getting Lost
Mary Dorsey Wanless, Evidence of Aging

2011 Workshops
Bromoil (Skupin–Burkholder)
Daguerreotype (Spagnoli)
Matte Albumen (Enfield)
Night Photography (Biderman)
Palladium Printing (Barber)
Collodion without a Camera (Scully Osterman)


F295: Continued Explorations of 21st Century Photography Symposium
7-10 June 2012, The Carnegie Museum of Art & Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA

Wayne Martin Belger, Thinking Inside the Box
Jonathan Kline, Ecliptics/2001-2007
Beverly Rayner, Mixing Things Up: Image-Object Hybrids
Jeremy Rowe & Jerry Spagnoli, Literacy, Metaphor, and Method: The Subconscious
of Culture
Josephine Sacabo, You Are Now
John Metoyer, Synthesizing Centuries
David Emitt Adams, Conversations with History
Sue Abramson, Emotional Relocation
Anne Arden McDonald, Atom, Planet

An Exploration of Light, Time, & Apparatus
9 June 2012 | The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

Stephen Berkman, Opticus Naturalis
Martha Casanave, On the Importance of Time
Norm Sarachek, Creating the Photos

2012 Workshops
Calotype (Estabrook)
Daguerreotype (Spagnoli)
Multi-Color Gum Bichromate (Taylor)
Mordançage (Opalenik)
Snapshot of the Industry (Joseph)



F295 Symposium: Photography Beyond Technique
29 May – 1 June 2014, The History of Art and Architecture Department at the  University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA

Joni Sternbach, Surfland
Jefferson Hayman, Somewhere Like This…
Bea Nettles, Time and Place
Binh Danh, In Memory Of…
Dan Herrera, The Aesthetics of Pretend
Joe Mills, Giving Flesh to the Infinite/The Transcendence of Preferences
Edward James Bateman, Forgotten Histories & Mechanical Memories: Constructing the Past
Alison Rossiter, Expiration

2014 Workshops
Albumen (Scully-Osterman)
Carbon (King)
Environmental Portraiture (Casanave)



Round Table: What is Photography beyond Technique?
18 January 2015, B&H Photo Event Space, New York, NY

David Brommer
Dan Estabrook
Adam Fuss
Tom Persinger
Lyle Rexer
Jerry Spagnoli


The 2015 F295 Symposium
28 – 31 May 2015, The History of Art and Architecture Department at the  University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

Artist Speakers
Alyson Belcher, Getting Lost
Dan Burkholder, On the Road Again: Embracing Photography’s Ever-Changing Landscape
Caleb Charland, From the Basement to the Backyard
John Chiara, Lands End
Lisa Elmaleh, On the Road
David Jimenez, Playing with the Invisible
Niniane Kelley, An Accidental Visual Diary
Amanda Means, The Memory of Loss

Issues in the Business of Photography Speakers
Melissa Catanese, Contemporary Photobook Perspectives
Richard Kelly, Copyright for Photographers in the Digital Age
Stan Klimek, The Subtle Craft of Fine Art Editions for the Photographer
Brian Taylor, Directors Perspective: Brick & Mortar and Virtual Galleries

Industry Experts Educate Speakers
Ed Brickier (Canson), Know your Materials: 500 Yearrs of Papermaking
Evan Parker (Moab/Legion), Crating Fine Prints in the Digital Darkroom
David Farmer (Hahnemühle), The Profound Importance of Paper and Choice
Matt Hill (Gradus Group), Overcoming Adversity in Night Photography
Rick Berk (Lytro), The Next Step: Light Field Imaging

2015 Workshops
Inkjet Printing in an Alternate Universe (Burkholder)
Tintype Portrait Workshop (Scully-Osterman)
Hands-on Electro Photography (Carpenter)
Multi-Color Gum Printing (Taylor)
Two Day Daguerreotype (Spagnoli)

2015 Exhibitions & Events
American Dreaming: The War Years, Ignition. 1990 – 1995 (Jerry Spagnoli)
The F295 Members Salon Exhibition (over 100 works on display)
Hillman Photo Initiative Film Screening

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.