Author Archives: Tamar Granovsky

About Tamar Granovsky

Tamar Granovsky is a Boston-based photographer. In 2018 she was named LensCulture’s Top 50 Emerging Talents. She has been included in various juried group exhibitions including the 5th Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography in Barcelona, Photography Now 2017, at the Center for Photography in Woodstock, and the 22nd Juried Show: Peter Urban Legacy Exhibition at the Griffin Museum. Prior to her career as a photographer Tamar had several solo and group exhibitions in mixed media sculpture installation, in Canada, and was a recipient of a Canada Council Exploration Program Grant. Her work in photography follows a career in sculpture, with a 17 year hiatus from the arts in between. Tamar’s great love for photography has to do with the reflective, evocative, and grounding properties of the medium.

The Fence 8th Edition, New England Regional Showcase in Boston, 2020

Siren Song

I am pleased to say that work from my ongoing project, Siren Song (photos taken at the Salton Sea in California), has been chosen for the The Fence: New England Regional Showcase, in Boston in 2020. Here is a link to the site where you can see the work of all eight whose work shall be displayed :

Unabashedly (almost), I ask you to vote for my work for the People’s Choice Award and thank you in advance. I have to admit, though, that I do not really know how this process works. Is it a matter of who asks the most people to vote or do people simply stumble across this page and then vote? I have no idea. No matter, I’m so very excited that my work will be exposed in such a public venue, next year. It’s quite an honour and I thank jurors Meg Birnbaum, Erin Carey, Karen Davis, Iaritza Menjivar, Elin Spring, and Paula Tognarelli.


The Salton Sea : My Siren Song

Palm Tree. Salton City, California. 2019.

Since December 2015 I have been pursuing my project Siren Song – a body of work that centres on the desert landscape of California’s Salton Sea. Although I have always known that it is the sparseness, the desert’s horizon, the open terrain, and the distant mountains that draw me in, I did not fully recognize what, specifically, called out to me and made me want to keep taking photographs there. The project continuously evolved and, very slowly, revealed itself – culminating in new and different work during last month’s trip. I have been moving steadily toward this but, to my amazement, it has taken seven visits to the area (a total of about 18 weeks) for me to finally figure out what has pulled me back to this environment, over and over again – what has been haunting me throughout.

For me, the area around the Salton Sea has a ghost-like feeling. It is the silence and emptiness, the realness and rawness of place, that lures me there. The streets give the illusory impression of being un-peopled yet generate a strong sense of a corporeal presence – something invisible there has always stared back at me. Although some of the photographs I made, this past visit, are steeped in the here and now most are not quite in the past, present, or the future. What I was seeing has always been there but, in some odd way, this time, this place has facilitated conjuring my own dreams and encountering my own ghosts.

Tree. Salton Sea Beach, California. 2019.

Rain Over the Desert and the Salton Sea. Salton Sea, California. 2019.

Inside-out. Bombay Beach, California. 2019.

Baughman and Forrester Roads, Westmoreland, California. 2019.

Trees. W. Eddins Road. Calipatria, California. 2019.

Tree and Brush. Westmoreland, California. 2019.

Landscape. Outside Westmoreland, California. 2019.

Don Avenue. Salton Sea Beach, California. 2019.

LensCulture’s 2018 Emerging Talent Awards

Cachoeira_ Brasil_-2

Santos Antônio de Pádua. Misiones Jesuitas Sao Francisco Rio de Igreja. Bahia, Brasil. 2015.

I’m very delighted and honoured to have been included in this year’s LensCulture Emerging Talents Award. Thank you to the Jurors for picking me as one of the top 50. The work is part of my on going project “This Miracle.”

True story: From time to time I go through my spam email in case something was thrown into it by mistake. The letter from Jim Casper informing me that I was selected was in that pile from a few days prior. Even though I doubted it was spam, I had to find out. So I wrote to him in a separate email (I had to be safe, after all). Amazingly, it was not spam. As you already know…

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Light Bulb. Salvador, Bahia, Brasil. 2017.

Chapada Diamantina

Living Room. Arandai, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brasil. 2017.

Quilombo near Cachoeira, Bahia, Brasil-2

Curtain in quilombo home. Outside Cachoeira, Bahia, Brasil. 2015.


11th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers

Bed. Arandai, Chapada Diamentina, Bahia, Brasil. 2017.

I’m very honoured to have won Runner Up in the 11th Julia Cameron Award for the Abstract & Still Life category. Thank you to the Jurors. The work is part of my on going project “This Miracle” which is a personal exploration into the human landscape in Bahia, Brasil.

Family Photograph. Beira Rio, Chapada Diamentina, Bahia, Brazil. 2017.

Living Room. Santiago de Iguape, Bahia, Brasil. 2017.

Floor. Arandai, Chapada Diamentina, Bahia, Brasil. 2017

The Salton Sea Redux

Seeding Artichoke in the Fields. Imperial Valley, California. 2018.

This is the first time I’ve visited the Salton Sea in April. It is a much greener time of the year and the flowers are beautiful. It’s all about flora today (although not all green).

Wetland. Managed Marsh Complex for Hunting. The Salton Sea, California. 2018.

Your guess is as good as mine, here. If anyone knows what this shrub(?) is please let me know. Road off the Fountain of Youth Spa, Imperial Valley, California. 2018.

Imperial Wildlife Area. Finney-Ramer Unit. Imperial Valley, California. 2018.

Burned Tree. Desert Shores, California. 2018.

Palm Trees. Imperial Irrigation District (IID) Land. The Salton Sea, California. 2018.

Flowers. Imperial Irrigation District (IID) Land. The Salton Sea, California. 2018.

Is Bigger Better? Perhaps.

Yours Truly in front of Siren Song (exhibition view at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA). 2018. Photo Credit: Natalie Schaefer

I am of the belief that a photograph isn’t truly a photograph until it is a print. Perhaps I am “stuck in the past.” Nonetheless, to me, making a print is the final step in the photography workflow without which the image cannot becomes the object it is meant to be. When trying to produce the best rendering of the picture – a true surrogate of the world I photographed – I find that looking at the print, rather than viewing it on a screen, best shows me what needs tweaking. I can then re-process and re-print.

If you’ve read my blog you know that I have been taking photos at the Salton Sea, in California, for nearly three years now. After the first two trips, I began making 4″x6″ prints so that I could easily pin them on my wall and move them around – to live with them, if you will. Over time, I experimented with various printing paper to get the right “feel of place” that worked with the image, colour palette, and light. Paper choice was critical and I ended up producing 5″x7″ proofs on bright, matte paper. Through this process I also realised that intimacy was key to viewing the work and decided that I would make most of my prints no larger than this.

The point of a small picture is the sense of privacy it affords the viewer. Only one person at a time can move in close to see it. The picture becomes a metaphor for an interior space. Small photos feel more personal; they remind us of old family albums, where we can touch and hold the pictures so that our senses are filled with memory.

However, for numerous reasons, I recently experimented with printing this body of work larger. Though it should have come as no surprise I was struck by how much more detail I could see with the bigger print. This inevitably led me to experiment with larger and still larger prints, until the photos felt as though I could almost walk into them. Despite their intimacy, small prints simply could not create that feeling.

Scale clearly affects  how the image is viewed, the degree of depth that can be seen, and the emotional impact it elicits. The physicality of larger prints seems to place the images into the physical world and allow them breathing room – encouraging the viewer to both move further back and closer in. Yet, much as too-small pictures may actually become lost, too-large prints run the risk of being dominant.

Thus, a next step for me is to print bigger again and play with various sizes of sequenced photos – to see how the body and mind react to and perceive their placement together.

It has been a gradual learning process for me. Finding the appropriate scale for the pictures , along with the tools I use as a photographer (from camera to computer to printing paper), helps create the photograph as an artifact and contributes to the tangible experience of viewing the final print.

Siren Song (exhibition view at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA). The smaller photos are 5″x7″ and the largest are 17″x 22.”  2018.