Abby Robinson: In Camera
By David J. Carol
Abby Robinson is a photographer, writer, educator and a Fulbright Scholar. She was also my first pho- tography teacher at the School of Visual Arts and the photo editor of my first book,
40 Miles of Bad Road. For me, Robinson’s pictures are rich with an
intellectual social documentary style and humorous leanings.
From her often hilarious, self-deprecating self portraits to her
beautiful and sad bedroom pictures, Robinson always strikes a
nerve and inspires thought. Her ongoing project, “In Camera,”
is a series of gorgeous panoramic images taken at photographic
studios throughout Asia. She describes the studios as “quickly
going extinct; the painted backdrops are now replaced by large
digital prints or in the computer with Photoshop. What the old
photo studios provided was an environment where the past,
PHOTOS © ABBY ROBINSON
the present, the traditional and the contemporary collided and
where painted scenes and props gave clues into notions of class,
taste and aspiration.” These photographs are not only gorgeous
documents, they are a preservation of a vanishing photo culture
in Asia. As the world marches deeper into the digital age, we will
always have Robinson’s photographic proof of a time gone by.
See more of her work at www.abbyrobinson.com.
Each month, David Carol highlights work from a photographer
who shoots for love, passion and personal experience.
David J. Carol is the director of photography at CBS Outdoor. His images and
award-winning books are in the collections of major museums and institutions
throughout the U.S. He serves as a portfolio reviewer for several organizations
around the country. Contact him at email@example.com or visit his website,