Abby Robinson: In Camera

by David J. Carol

Abby Robinson

Ceiling, India

November 15, 2012

Abby Robinson is a photographer, writer, educator and a Fulbright Scholar. She was also my first photography 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, 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

Seascape, Sri Lanka

 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 or visit his website, 

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