The second annual LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph will convene for a 3-day program of exhibitions, outdoor projections, workshops, interviews with world-famous photographers and special events in Charlottesville, Virginia, June 12-14, 2008.

The festival is billed as "3 days of peace, love, and photography", and that's what it was, for sure, last year. Lens Culture is proud to be a media partner for the event this year.

The LOOK3 Festival is an outgrowth of the Hotshots shows that National Geographic Photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols hosted in his backyard for the last twenty years. The intimate, informal spirit of those gatherings continues.

This year, three legendary photographers take part in person: Mary Ellen Mark, Joel-Peter Witkin and James Nachtwey.

On each evening of the Festival, National Public Radio’s Alex Chadwick will host in-depth conversations and big screen projections with the three featured photographers.

The Festival will also showcase the work of many of the world's most celebrated photographers and exciting new artists, with images ranging from the fields of photojournalism to fine art. The popular "YourSpace" exhibit will be back so that everyone can print and hang their own work for display.

On June 13, Gerd Ludwig will present photographs from his project "New Work from Russia" at the Paramount Theater. On June 12, David Alan Harvey presents "Off for a Family Drive."

A new theater space will host multimedia programs from contributors including Media Storm, Women Photojournalists of Washington, and the NY Times.

Also, Sam Abell and Julie Blackmon share the stage with curators Leah Ben-David Val and Darius Himes to pay tribute to innovative collaborations between photographers and publishers in the festival's BOOKS exhibition.

Here is some biographical info about each of the three headliners:

James Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time Magazine since 1984, and is one of the founding members of the photo agency, “VII”. Nachtwey’s work, especially wartime photography, has been exhibited internationally, and his numerous honors include the Robert Capa Gold Medal (five times), the World Press Photo Award (twice), and Magazine Photographer of the Year (seven times).

Nachtwey says of his photography: “I am a witness and I want my testimony to be honest and uncensored.”

Joel-Peter Witkin began making photographs at the age of sixteen. While pursuing graduate work at the University of New Mexico he refined his work in relationship to the history of painting and sculpture. Witkin stages visceral, timeless compositions that “confront our sense of normalcy and decency, while constantly examining the teachings handed down through Christianity."

Among his awards are two Ford Foundation and four N.E.A grants, the ICP Award for Visual Arts and the Commander de L’Order des Artes et des Lettres.

Mary Ellen Mark’s images of our world's diverse cultures are landmarks in the field of documentary photography, exhibited worldwide and published in over 16 books.

“I think each photographer has a point of view and a way of looking at the world... that has to do with your subject matter and how you choose to present it. What's interesting is letting people tell you about themselves in the picture” explains Mark.

Mary Ellen’s numerous awards include the ICP Cornell Capa Award, three NEA grants, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

For more information about LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, visit the festival web site at www.look3.org.