While this image is officially titled Apple, New York City, 1964 it’s often referred to in my father’s studio as ‘The Galaxy Apple’. Countless people’s first impression of this image is that they’re looking at a galaxy. That was mine. It was also Robert Glenn Ketchum’s, who was half way through his dissertation presentation, when he realized it wasn’t a photograph of a galaxy but of an apple. Even after you see the apple, the impression of a galaxy persists.

This is one of the photographs that got me into photography. I love that a literal transcription can also describe something more than itself. The power of metaphor is more powerfully expressed in this photograph than any other I can think of. What’s more, the way the metaphor unites both the terrestrial and the celestial – the macrocosm and the microcosm are seen as one. (I don’t think it’s an accident that my father’s first retrospective was titled The Wise Silence, a line borrowed from Ralph Waldo Emerson.)

The printing of this image reinforces the metaphor. It’s dark. So dark, in fact that in some places you can’t visually separate the contour of the apple from the dark background. Other printers might have held all the detail there was to hold in this negative. Unexpectedly, and wisely, dad didn’t. I have always appreciated my father’s consummate ability to transcend his technique and follow the call of his intuition. Rather than offering expected results he consistently delivers unexpected solutions, not for the sake of novelty or surprise, but because he was called to serve a more powerful inner poetry.

(There’s a lot to be learned from looking at originals, which is why we look at masterworks from my collection in all of my  digital printing workshops.)

Find my comments on other Masterworks In My Collection here.

Learn more in my digital printing workshops.


It’s high season in Maine right now. The weather is gorgeous. And there are lots of events this weekend. Most know about The Maine Lobster Festival, an event that draws over 100,000 people in 5 days. Many know about all the great art events that coincide with it.

My annual exhibit New Work 2011 is open this weekend only.

My father’s exhibit The Hidden Presence of Places is open in Rockland.

Colby College exhibits American Modern featuring Bernice Abbot, Walker Evans, and Margaret Bourke-White.

Other local exhibits include…

Alan Magee in Rockport

Dave Vickerey in Rockland

Greg Mort in Port Clyde

More details follow below.

Read more

The latest issue of View Camera Magazine features my father, Paul Caponigro with a special portfolio of unpublished work from 1959-2009.

64 pages of images with inspiring and insightful text.

“The eminent designer Eleanor Morris Caponigro has established a pace and rhythm here that allows each picture to breathe.  See how each refers to the one before it and sets up the next. A record of an amazing life – an astonishing achievement – climbs to elusive harmonious heights. ” – Michael Moore

Find more at View Camera

Read our father son conversation

Read over 40 conversations with photographers

Father and son talk art.

Here’s an excerpt.

JPC O’Keefe once made the statement “You must learn to love the paint.” I think this quote very much emphasizes the process of being alive to one’s materials. I think the same needs to be said for one’s subject and oneself. I feel a work of art is great to the degree that the artist is truly alive to all three of these things. We touched on how to identify a work that is truly alive. If it is, is it a great work of art? If so, why is this so often confused with technical mastery and historical or ideological relevance.

PC The only way a work of art can become great is for one to acknowledge that it doesn’t belong to anybody. The greatness is in constantly giving back, coming to an acknowledgment of the source. Look back to the source of any individual, any process, any set of materials. If the individual personality can relinquish its insistence on concepts like “this is mine”, “I did it”, “this is original”, “nobody else has done it”, it goes straight for greatness or the essential spirit. No matter how simple the idea might be, it is compelling. Because the source has been allowed topermeate or inspire it.

Read the rest of the conversation here.

Find out about the new Running White Deer inkjet print here.

My father and I have been collaborating on reproducing his most famous image – Running White Deer. It’s a piece of photographic history. You’re hearing about it first here. And, you can get one of these special prints at a special discount for a limited time only. It’s not available anywhere else.

Find out more about the project here.
Order your print today here.

Stay tuned for more on this exciting project.

Paul Caponigro – HMCP

October 11, 2008 | 1 Comment |

“The Hallmark Museum of Contemporary Photography is privileged to exhibit a special group of Paul Caponigro’s photographs chosen by HMCP’s Director, Paul Turnbull, from Mr. Caponigro’s voluminous archives. Entitled, “Select Photographs: 1956 thru 2005″, the seventy-five silver gelatin prints can be seen in the museum’s Gallery 52 and Gallery 56 facilities, on the corner of 2nd Street and Avenue A, downtown Turners Falls, Massachusetts. The exhibition will hang from September 25 through December 14, 2008. The opening reception is on Saturday, October 11, 2008, from 1-5 pm with lecture at 7 pm.” Read more


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