Category: Obituaries

Photographer dies while trying to put out fire

John Gumm’s son, Jim Gumm, said his father was an accomplished photographer who worked for the Oklahoma Publishing Company in the 1950s and ’60s.
“I’ve been a photographer for 25 years, and I can’t even come close to him as far as the technical side,” he said. “He was a phenomenal man, just a very talented man.”

He said some of his father’s most interesting assignments as a photojournalist included photographing the Great Alaska Earthquake in March 1964 and an undercover assignment in which he lived among Chicago’s beatniks around the same time period.

“He grew out a beard and everything for that one,” Jim Gumm said.

Check it out here.

Photographer sought truth —

Archie Lieberman roamed the world as a photojournalist. But he found fodder for one of his most memorable books on a farm nestled in the rolling hills of Jo Daviess County, a few hours west of his Evanston home.

Mr. Lieberman, 81, died of a neurological disease similar to Parkinson’s on Thursday, March 13, at Dubuque Nursing and Rehab Center in Iowa, said his wife, Esther. After many years in Evanston, he moved to a small farm near Galena in the mid-1980s.

Check it out here.

Philip Jones Griffiths 1936-2008 – Magnum Photos


It was Philip’s consummate skill as a picture maker, carefully able to draw the viewer closer and closer to his subjects through his emotionally-charged compositions that lent such power to his work. Philip was always concerned with individuals – their personal and intimate suffering more than any particular class or ideological struggle. And the strength of his vision, that inspired so many of us, led Henri Cartier-Bresson to write of Philip: “not since Goya has anyone portrayed war like Philip Jones Griffiths.”

Check it out here.

War photographer Philip Jones Griffith dies at 72

British photojournalist Philip Jones Griffiths, known for his unflinching coverage of the Vietnam war, died on Tuesday aged 72, the Magnum photo agency said.
    Born in Wales in 1936, Griffith Jones launched his career as a freelancer for Britain’s Observer newspaper in 1961, covering the Algerian war in 1962 before travelling across central Africa.
    In a career that took him to more than 120 countries, Griffith Jones covered everything from Buddhism in Cambodia, drought in India, poverty in Texas or the legacy of the Gulf war in Kuwait.

Check it out here.

Friend's Death Shows Cost of Iraq War –


The Death of Russian photographer Dmitry Chebotayev.

In my nightmares, the helicopters still come out of a dark sky, two black spots barely visible against the backdrop of night.

Their swirling blades grow louder until they finally touch down on earth and fall silent. They look like giant steel bugs from another planet, bulbous robots with eyes of glass coming to take away their prey: seven human beings who woke one day in Iraq not knowing they would be dead by noon.

Six American soldiers. One Russian photographer.

Check it out here.

JS Online: Iraq copter crash kills area airman

As an aspiring photojournalist, Christopher Scott Frost wouldn’t stop until he got that one shot that would bring a story to life, his father said Wednesday.
And as a member of the U.S. Air Force serving in Iraq, he got to employ his relentless pursuit of stories as an editor of a military publication, Gary Frost said.

“He was ecstatic when one of his stories got picked up by a Spokane, Washington, newspaper,” Gary Frost said in a telephone interview Wednesday night, after learning that his son had been killed in Iraq. “He is esteemed by the people who worked around him for his willingness to tackle any assignment or any mission.”

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Frost, 24, died Monday near Bayji, Iraq, in a crash of an Iraqi Army Mi-17 helicopter. The circumstances surrounding the crash are under investigation. He was assigned to the 377th Air Base Wing, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.

Check it out here.

Rick Selvin dies, was writer, editor at Daily News | Philadelphia Daily News | 02/14/2008

Rick Selvin arrived at the Daily News in 1980 to apply for a job. When he got to then-managing editor Zack Stalberg’s office, he hesitated at the door.

“I’m really sorry,” Rick said.

“What are you sorry about?” Zack inquired.

“Well, I usually wear a necktie to these interviews,” Rick said, “but my tie was frozen in the trunk of my car when it got wet and when I tried to put it on, it broke.”

Zack, recognizing a guy who would surely become a true Daily News character, hired him on the spot.

Check it out here.

Lynn Demarest; captured vivid moments from around world – The Boston Globe

Eluned (McLaren) Demarest saw the poverty of India and the ruins of post-World War II Berlin through the lenses of cameras.

Mrs. Demarest, an award-winning photographer who scoured the world for poignant pictures, died Jan. 28 at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham of cardiopulmonary arrest. The Westwood resident was 85.

Her Welsh name was too hard for most to pronounce, so she was known to most as Lynn. Her work appeared in National Geographic, Newsweek, and other publications, including the Globe, and she produced several books of photography.

Check it out here.

State of the Art: Remembering Life Photographer Allan Grant

shirley_maclaine 1.jpg


One of the great photographers from Life magazine’s golden age, Allan Grant, died on February 1 at his home in Brentwood, California. He was 88 years old.

Other Life photographers, such as Alfred Eisenstaedt and Margaret Bourke-White, were better known than Grant. But few covered as wide a variety of stories. Among his most enduring images are his portraits of

Hollywood beauties. He famously shot Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly together backstage at the 1955 Academy Awards and made the last photos of Marilyn Monroe at her Brentwood home in 1962. One of best known images was a Life cover shot of actress Shirley MacClaine mugging for the camera with her daughter Sachi.

Check it out here.

Why We Needed Henry Froehlich – – PopPhotoJanuary 2008

126200811941 1.jpg:

The photographic realm has just lost two giants with the deaths of Popular Photography’s Burt Keppler and, now, of Henry Froehlich, former head of medium-format mainstay Mamiya America. Though less visible than Burt to readers of photography magazines, Henry was just as influential in the photo industry, and in many of the same ways. Influence aside, he was a lovely, kindhearted man.

A refugee from Nazi Germany, Henry did much to promote Japanese cameras in the U.S. after World War II, distributing the Konica line. Eventually he merged that business with Berkey Photo, a key distributor that had previously absorbed the German photo importing business of Paul Klingenstein, a fellow refugee and future Mamiya partner. Henry went on to create a film-to-video conversion business with Jan Lederman, now head of the MAC Group, and the three men later founded the highly successful Mamiya America.

In his role at Mamiya, Henry was a hero and friend to some of our best photographers, including Annie Leibovitz and Douglas Kirkland. If they or other Mamiya RZ or RB users had any job-threatening trouble with their equipment, Henry would hop to it, getting stuff fixed in a flash and often loaning out replacement gear in the interim. It seemed beyond the call of corporate duty, but reflected Henry’s deep affection for photography and photographers. Yet he was a consummate businessman, famous for driving a hard bargain — with absolute pleasantness.

Check it out here.

Bernie Boston, 74; Took Iconic 1967 Photograph –

Check it out:


Bernie Boston, 74; Took Iconic 1967 Photograph –

Mr. Boston, who retired from the Los Angeles Times, was working for the Washington Star on Oct. 21, 1967, when he took the image he called “Flower Power.”

The man with the flowers was later identified as teenage actor George Harris. He was making a nonviolent gesture against the soldiers, who were braced for trouble as they faced 250,000 demonstrators protesting the Vietnam War.

“I knew I had a good picture,” Mr. Boston later said. “Flower Power” became one of the most reprinted pictures of the past 40 years, appearing in government textbooks and television specials about the era.

At the time, Mr. Boston could not persuade his editors of the shot’s potential impact. They buried it inside the front section. Adding to his frustration, his car tires were slashed at the protest, and a bouquet of flowers was placed under his windshield wipers.


Remembering Ray

1906_1 1.jpg

Remembering Ray: “Ray Farkas, one of the visionaries of video storytelling passed away recently.

Known more as a producer than photographer, Ray’s legend is in large part due to the ‘Farkas look’ of his video stories. After placing wireless mics on his subjects, he made sure the camera was far away from them and often out of sight. Then he would present a question and withdraw so the subjects could have an ordinary conversation as they answered the question Ray offered. People just went about being themselves with the intimidating camera out of the way.

The results were fascinating. It was some of the best storytelling on television. “

(Via SportsShooter.)

Bernard "Bernie" Boston, 74, Retired Los Angeles Times Photojournalist, Was An Icon


Bernard “Bernie” Boston, 74, Retired Los Angeles Times Photojournalist, Was An Icon: “Retired Los Angeles Times photojournalist Bernard ‘Bernie’ Boston, 74, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and an NPPA Life Member, died today at his home in rural Virginia. Boston is probably best remembered for his iconic photograph of a young Vietnam war protester putting flowers in the barrels of soldiers’ guns during an anti-war march at the Pentagon in 1967.

Boston died from Amyloidosis, a rare blood disease that he’s had since 2006, his long-time friend Ken Cooke told News Photographer magazine tonight. Boston retired from the Los Angeles Times in 1993, after many years of being their chief photographer in Washington. Before joining the Times, he was chief photographer for The Washington Star. Boston joined NPPA in 1965, and he covered every U.S. president from Harry S. Truman to William Jefferson Clinton. Boston was also a member of the Senate Press Photographers Gallery and a member of the White House Press Corps.

‘He was an icon, and Bernie was once described as the darling of the White House News Photographers Association,’ Cooke said tonight. Boston had served as WHNPA’s president four times and was a WHNPA Life Member, Cooke said, and the photographer was recently honored as a distinguished alumnae of the Rochester Institute of Technology when the school produced a retrospective of Boston’s career as a book, Bernie Boston, American Photojournalist.”

China: "citizen journalist" beaten to death – Boing Boing


China: “citizen journalist” beaten to death – Boing Boing: “Wei Wenhua was beaten to death after he snapped photos of a confrontation on the street between village residents and authorities. His death has sparked controversy in Chinese media, and the blogosphere:

Wei Wenhua was a model communist and is now a bloggers’ hero — a ‘citizen journalist’ turned martyr. The construction company manager was driving his car when he witnessed an ugly scene: a team of about 50 city inspectors beating villagers who tried to block trucks from unloading trash near their homes.

Wei took out his cell phone and began taking pictures. The city inspectors saw Wei and then attacked him in a beating that lasted five minutes. By the time it was over, the 41-year-old Wei was slumped unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital but was dead on arrival.”

PJ Dmitry Chebotayev Killed in Iraq

From PDN:

Photojournalist Dmitry Chebotayev was killed in a bombing Sunday while on assignment in Iraq, according to news reports and his agency, World Picture News. Chebotayev was traveling with U.S. forces in Diyala province when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. Six American soldiers were killed and two were wounded, according to the U.S. military. Russian news organizations identified Chebotayev as one of the casualties on Monday.


Photoshelter’s In Memoriam Page for Chebotayev

PDN Article

Dmitry’s photographs on Photoshelter.Com

Dmitry’s profile on Lightstalkers

Don McPhee, 1945-2007

All too often newspaper photographers just vanish. As the witnesses of history we are rarely written into it. And we often like it that way. We want to be invisible.

Photographer Don McPhee passed away after a long career with the English newspaper The Guardian. There is a great slideshow of his work narrated by Guardian head of photography Roger Tooth, that I recommend watching.

From Don McPhee’s obit, words I wish I had thought of in several occasions:

Don was very much his own man, so I was always nervous of asking him to send any additional photographs from a shoot, down to me 200 miles away in London. “You have what I saw,” he would say, and what he saw was just right.

Also, a post on Guardian photographer Dan Chung’s blog about McPhee.

Gone but not forgotten.

This post first appeared here.

Ruth Bernhard — photographer of nudes and still lifes


“To be a photographer was a gift of the gods,” she said in a Chronicle profile by Kenneth Baker, written in 2001. “I can’t imagine anything that would have been better.”

Biographer Margaretta Mitchell’s book, “Ruth Bernhard: The Eternal Body,” contains the artist’s own assessment of her adopted home. “To me … San Francisco is an ideal city, intellectually stimulating and naturally beautiful. The oceans and forests are close enough to refresh the spirit; the architecture is always exciting.”