8/16/2012. Hollsopple Pennsylvania PA. Pennsylvania.
Gone Fishing
Image submitted to South x Southeast Summer 2023 Magazine for the exhibition Southern Landscapes : Southern Light curated by Molly Roberts for SxSE Gallery. .All additional authorizations require written permission of photographer Susan May Tell.
Photo © Susan May Tell. All Rights Reserved.

“And so it is that most people have no idea how beautiful the world is and how much magnificence is revealed in the tiniest things, in some flower, in a stone, in tree bark, or in a birch leaf.” Rainer Maria Rilke, poet.

A quiet, meditative, intuitive photographer, I am drawn to these overlooked, often unnoticed, fragile, details contained in the ordinary. When my eye sees what my heart feels.

My process, when photographing, is to walk around, slowly, led by my camera lens and instincts and stop only when I feel the “so much depends upon” moment. Which is when I click the shutter. That quote is from another poet, William Carlos Williams, who may be my greatest artistic inspiration.

I photograph when my eye sees what my heart feels.

The working title of this series is Life-Affirming. Most were taken within the last couple years with the SONY RX100 VII.

-Susan May Tell



Susan May Tell’s work has been called haunting, powerful and lyrical. She is a poet with a camera. A highly sought after speaker, portfolio reviewer and juror of fine art photography competitions, Tell is known in the photography community for her celebrated 50-year career in photography—both fine art and journalistic—as well as her support of emerging artists.

An Artist in Residence at MacDowell, Yaddo and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Smithsonian Museum includes her work in its Samuel Wagstaff Collection and Columbia University collected her Oral History and Catalog of Works.

Solo exhibitions include the Museum of Art/Fort Lauderdale; Griffin Museum of Photography; University of California/San Francisco; Schumacher Gallery/Capital University; and Avenue B Gallery.

Scores of brick-and-mortar galleries coast-to-coast exhibit her work. Her work is currently on view at Gallery 811 and the Stanton Street, both in New York, the SouthEast Center for Photography (SEC4P) in South Carolina and online at The Photo Review. Since January 2023, it was shown at the Christopher Art Gallery, Prairie State College in Illinois, View Art Center in Old Forge in New York and again at the SEC4P. The SEC4P is including her work in a September exhibition as well. Her photo won First Place for Fine Art: Nature at the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards as well as receiving numerous Honorable Mentions. Tell’s work has gratefully been included in several previous exhibitions at South [x] SouthEast Gallery, including two of its most recent — Where We Live and Southern Landscapes : Southern Light, both of which are being featured in the Summer Issue of SxSE Magazine.

Tell’s photographs have been featured in ARTnews, New York Times, L’Oeil de la Photographie among many other influential publications. Elizabeth Avedon included her work in “fossils of time + light” — a book she curated and designed for the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography. Malcolm Daniel awarded her First Place for an exhibition he curated for the Barrett Art Center. Recent online presentations include the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Jewish Art Salon and Projections Live curated by Frank Meo.

After two solo exhibitions of her personal fine art work in 1982, Tell began a celebrated 25-year career as a photojournalist, working for pre-eminent publications such as the New York Times, Time and LIFE Magazines. She spent a decade overseas, based in Cairo and Paris. Her stories include the women fighters of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front, Iran-Iraq war, NBA Finals, actors, politicians, and more. She spent an amazing decade as a staff photographer and photo editor for her hometown, in-your-face, newspaper, the New York Post, before being inexorably and irresistibly drawn back to focusing on her personal work.

More about Susan and her work can be found at https://www.susanmaytell.com/

Equipment: Without doubt the SONY RX100-VII is, without doubt, her favorite, preferred, camera. It is this SONY camera she relied on to produce the recent personal work that is being exhibited in the many exhibitions above. This SONY allows her to create images in camera that require no post-production. Previously she relied on the Leica M6 rangefinder camera with a 35mm f2 Summicron lens for much of her personal fine art work.