INSIGHT magazine

Photomedia Center publishes this digest-sized magazine annually. Offered in print and digitally, each issue features an in-depth look at the work of several photographers around a given theme. Written articles, essays, and interviews provide context for the viewer. Publishing INSIGHT has been made possible over the years by generous grants from the Arts Council of Erie and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Download the digital versions below, or request a print copy of any issue by emailing


INSIGHT Volume 7: Contemporary Image Making

By Photomedia Center

58 pages, published 4/5/2014

Volume 7 of INSIGHT magazine endeavored to capture the working process of artists making contemporary work, in the broadest sense of the word. This issue features the work of David Gardner, whose "Life on Wheels" series was awarded Photomedia Center's 2013 Contemporary Imagemakers micro-grant. Additionally, twelve other photographers were inducted into the program, including Tom Chambers, Adrienne Defendi, Nicole Gelinas, J.M. Golding, Ellen…

INSIGHT Volume 6: The New Storytellers

By Photomedia Center

42 pages, published 1/6/2013

Volume 6 of INSIGHT magazine features the work of four photographers: Brooke Shaden, Satomi Shirai, Kyle Thompson, and Jon Jacobsen. In a single frame, these young artists fix on paper and digital media what narrative and oral storytellers have done for centuries. Each feature is accompanied by written content to provide context for the work, including an original poem by David C. Ward.
 Volume 5 (2011)

Volume 5 (2011)

Volume 5: Water/Environment

Download a digital version of this issue here. (pdf)

Gigi Cifali
Absence of Water documents the abandoned baths throughout the UK. Emptied of their original purpose, the immense structures have now become reflecting pools of a different sort.

Brian Oglesbee
Unmanipulated and unaided by the digital toolbox, Aquatique records the mystical watery world before Oglesbee's lens, meticulously created and electrified by ripples, waves, bubbles, and patterns.

David Welch
By collecting and arranging everyday objects as totems in his Material World series, Welch invests them with startling importance which we might not otherwise notice.

Accompanying essays feature the writing of Lesley Brill, Sam Herman, Patricia Jones, and David Rodgers.

 Volume 4 (2010)

Volume 4 (2010)

Volume 4: Landscape

Download a digital version of this issue here. (pdf)

Kurt Tong
People's Park. Tong documents the changing land
scape of China's public parks. This series explores family memories of these spaces and what has become of them today.

Beth Dow
In the Garden. Light and shadow make a path through English and Italian gardens. Dow directs our eyes around nature's landscape with playful shapes and forms, carefully composing each frame as meticulously as a gardener.

Jeremiah Ariaz
Reconsidering Landscape. Ariaz investigates our changing relationship with nature by merging the natural and man-made environment to create a new landscape. Our distance from, yet longing for, an imagined rural paradise is illustrated by the proximity of public wall paintings of nature and its real-life counterpart. 

 Volume 3 (2009)

Volume 3 (2009)

Volume 3: Portrait

Download a digital version of this issue here. (pdf)

Ellen Susan
Soldier Portraits. Using a photographic process popular in the 1800s during the American Civil War, Ellen Susan takes portraits of U.S. Army service men and women who have been deployed to Iraq. The unique plates made from long exposures provide an intense gaze—a  counterpoint to the anonymous representations in the media of soldiers who are repeatedly sent into a war zone.

Ériver Hijano
Aphasia. Alone and vulnerable at a given moment of time, several individuals are halted by the camera and the weight of life in their heavy struggle with the human condition. The scenes portrayed ache with lonely desperation. Clinically, aphasia is the loss or impairment of the ability to understand words or speech, usually resulting from brain damage. Looking at Hijano’s images makes the viewer wonder what caused the wounds these individuals have been dealt.

Julie Blackmon
Blurring the line between fiction and autobiography, Julie Blackmon’s photography explores the wond found in daily life. Blackmon discusses her Domestic Vacations series in an exclusive interview.

Lung S. Liu
Muay Thai Culture. As with many competitive, full-contact fighting sports, Muay Thai focuses strongly on body conditioning and intensive training, designed specifically to promote the toughness required for ring competition. Of interest is how Liu trains his lens particularly on youth who are hoping to achieve success in the ranks of Thailand’s national sport.

 Volume 2 (2008)

Volume 2 (2008)

Volume 2: Staged

Download a digital version of this issue here. (pdf)

Fernando Montiel Klint
Mexican artist Fernando Montiel Klint’s Tiempo Modernos (Modern Times) series shows contemporary people struggling through tense interactions. The images evoke a range of emotions laced with dark humor, capturing the balance between life and death by a mood that hangs heavy in the air.

Kate O'Brien
Australian Kate O’Brien, under the moniker of  Eye Candy for the Broken Hearted, creates staged portraiture and illustrative photography that closely resembles Victorian paintings or antique photographs. Through skilled makeup, set construction, and elaborate costuming, she creates a world that references past history but is firmly grounded in modern times and practices.

Holly Andres
American artist Holly Andres’s imagery interweaving fact and fiction to find “a place in which autobiography and fictitious narration comes together.” Her series Stories from a Sort Street is an ongoing project inspired by childhood experiences, loosely based on archetypes from her own family.

Eolo Perfido
Italian Eolo Perfido’s series Propaganda approaches directorial photography in an effort to speak truth to power. His gritty, textured images provide a symbolic looking-glass with which to view the U.S. from an outsider’s perspective. Haunting set-ups illustrate America’s ever tightening grip on speech — raising social issues of censorship, media brainwashing, religion, and technology.

Read a review of this issue from the Erie-Times News (pdf).

 Volume 1 (2007)

Volume 1 (2007)

Volume 1: Documentary

Download a digital version of this issue here. (pdf)

Yuri Marder
The Exile Project
depicts the stories of "peo
ple who live in one language but have their hearts in another." Marder's portraits of individuals living outside of their original culture examine the barriers of language and the struggles with identity that result from cultural isolation.

Rachel Papo
Serial No. 3817131. Revisiting her own experiences as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, Papo's series of images follow teenage girls during their required two-year service in which they change from "girls to women...under a militaristic, masculine environment, and in the confines of an army that is engaged in daily war and conflict."

Susana Raab
Consumed: Fast Food in the U.S. focuses on the American frenzy created by the fast food industry. Raab's lens reflects the intense American consumption associated with fast food production and the pervasive and entrenched place it holds in our society.

Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin
The Color of Hay. McLaughlin has been documenting life in the isolated villages of Northern Transylvania, Romania, for several years. She and her husband Henry lived as peasants do, relying on a wood-burning stove, bathing without running water, and sharing one roof with three generations.