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I’ve been trying to write about some sport images that caught my eye while trawling through the Reuters file but I keep getting hung up on our pictures from Kenya.
 
They are so raw, so powerful and uncompromising that even the most accomplished images of cossetted sportsmen performing in completely controlled circumstances seem insignificant in comparison.

Check it out here.

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The Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) jury has chosen Daniel Cima’s entry, 2006 Drought in Ethiopia, as a winner in in the Human Condition competition.
Select winning photos, curated by the director of the Farmani Gallery, will be exhibited at a group show in Los Angeles from March 6-31. The show will travel to New York later in the year, and potentially overseas.

Check it out here.

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Ask photographer Arlene Gottfried if she thinks the New York characters she’s shot for 40 years from Coney Island to Times Square and Harlem are freaks, and she bristles. “I don’t think they’re freaks, because then I’d be a freak, too.” With her little-girl Coney brogue (she and her brother, manic comic Gilbert, grew up there), old-soul eyes, and longtime avid membership in the Jerriese Johnson East Village Choir (she occasionally solos, she boasts), she’s a quiet defender of the grimily vibrant denizens of an older New York that’s disappearing daily. Now she’s their enshriner, too: Due out this week from powerHouse Books, Sometimes Overwhelming compiles images Gottfried took of the city in the seventies and eighties. An exhibit of Gottfried’s later work is also opening March 5 at the Alice Austen House Museum on Staten Island.

We interviewed Gottfried about some of her most striking images. An exclusive preview of photos from her book, and her memories of taking them

Check it out here.

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The international jury of the 51st annual World Press Photo Contest selected a color image of the UK photographer Tim Hetherington as World Press Photo of the Year 2007. The picture was taken 16 September 2007 and shows a US soldier resting at “Restrepo” bunker, named after a soldier from his platoon who was recently killed by insurgents.

The 2nd Battalion Airborne of the 503rd US infantry is undergoing a deployment in the Korengal Valley in the Eastern province of Afghanistan. The valley is infamous as the site of downing of a US helicopter and has seen some of the most intense fighting in the country. Hetherington’s photograph is part of a picture story that was also awarded 2nd Prize in General News Stories. He had traveled to Afghanistan on assignment for Vanity Fair.

“This image shows the exhaustion of a man – and the exhaustion of a nation,” says jury chairman Gary Knight, and adds “We’re all connected to this. It’s a picture of a man at the end of a line.” Fellow juror MaryAnne Golon commented: “I use all my energy to have people notice bad things. There’s a human quality to this picture. It says that conflict is the basis of this man’s life.”

Check it out here.

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By Marcus Bleasdale:

The post election violence in Kenya has killed nearly 1,000 and displaced 270,000. It is the most devastating violence to hit Kenya since its independence. Whilst politicians try to find solutions in Nairobi, the ethnic tensions in the Rift Valley reach new highs. Ethnic cleansing has led to killings and houses being burnt in a movement to shift different tribes out of their non-ancestral homes.

Huge parts of different cities across the valleys have been razed to the ground and the inhabitants forced to flee. In the villages, warriors from opposing tribes battle with bows and arrows, rocks and occasionally guns to gain or regain control of their land.

While the politician’s talk, the future of Kenya will depend, not on the final results of the discussions in Nairobi, but on the ability of Kenyans to forgive and live together again. That will take much longer.

Check it out here.

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Chris Hondros has seen the world at war first hand – and so has his camera lens.

Working for Getty images as a war photographer for almost a decade, he has captured militiamen crying out in battle in the Second Liberian Civil War, American soldiers on raids in Iraq and children in the arms of their mothers in Sierra Leone’s refugee camps.

Hondros brought these images, his experiences and his personal comments to Pitt yesterday afternoon in a lecture facilitated by the global and film studies departments, PittArts and Pittsburgh Filmmakers. About 70 people crammed into room 501 in the Cathedral of Learning for a slideshow of Hondros’ work and to hear his commentary.

Check it out here.

It is rare for a photographer that came of age in the 1960’s and 70’s to not cite Robert Frank’s The Americans and Walker Evans’ American Photographs as the two books that inspired them to take up a camera and explore the world. It is lore that gets repeated so often it almost seems disingenuous in the retelling. I have often thought that it isn’t possible that so many people could be so instantly enamored since, as much as it may be embarrassing to admit, both of those books took a while for me to warm up to them and see their true greatness. I’ve come around, probably in the same way that an early critic of the first edition of The Americans had when he described Frank as one who “produced pictures that look as if a kid had taken them while eating a Popsicle and then had them developed and printed at the corner drugstore.” That critic failed to specify which flavor of Popsicle would have fueled such a remarkable feat. If he had, maybe photographers would have flocked to have given it a taste.

Check it out here.

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One of the most powerful photos of the tornado damage in the southern U.S. is by photojournalist Gary Cosby Jr. of The Decatur Daily in Alabama. Cosby’s shot was picked up by the AP and ran as today’s lead photo in the USA Today and The New York Times, among other newspapers.

The photo shows one man, James Devaney, searching through the flattened debris of the home where his daughter, along with her son and her husband, were killed early Wednesday morning.

Check it out here.

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Lockport came from six runs down to beat Oak Park 8-6, and Banks headed onto the field to take the “jubilation shot”—the photo of ecstatic teenagers hugging and tumbling and screaming. It’s the shot that goes on page one of tomorrow’s paper and into the photo albums of every player on the team.
But a volunteer from the Illinois High School Association blocked Banks’s way at third base. “She knew who I was and she said, ‘I can’t let you out,’” he says. “I asked why. She said, ‘This is my instruc tion.’” Banks looked around. He spotted the photographer from Visual Image Photo graphy, the firm under contract with the IHSA to take pictures of its major events, heading for the field from the first base side. Banks trotted after him and got his picture.
Banks also calls the jubilation shot the “money shot,” and that’s not just a metaphor. Papers point out that for 100 years they’ve sold copies of their pictures for a nominal rate to readers seeking mementos. Now a lot of papers have digitized the process—their photographers post pictures and readers order them online. An outside company that handled the order and made the print took a cut and Banks and the Southtown split the balance. Banks says his yearly take was something under $2,000.
The revenue stream is pretty small—it didn’t come close to sparing the Southtown its recent drastic economies, merging with the Star papers and laying off a lot of people, Banks included. But visit the Web site of what’s now the SouthtownStar and you’ll see the paper means business. “Welcome to Southland Photo Shoppe,” it says. “Your shopping choices range from traditional prints to T-shirts, mugs, computer mouse pads and other items on which our photos are imprinted.” A simple eight-by-ten is $25.

Check it out here.

Photographers captured the devastation from killer tornados that wreaked havoc across five southern states. We found galleries from National Geographic News,  the New York Times and The Tennessean.

Check it out here.

Jeff Mermelstein walks around New York with his Leica taking pictures. Great commentary on his style and process including his work on 9/11 below.

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The more than 80 images showcased on the following pages were submitted by photographers who found picture-worthy moments in places as diverse as Antarctica and the Libyan desert, as well as locations that hit a little closer to home. So whether it’s Faisal Almalki’s snapshot of a man and his camel in Cairo or Ramin Talaie’s photograph of more than 2,500 Lubavitcher Rabbis in Brooklyn that catches your eye, these entries will give you a glimpse of the world.

The contest was judged in six categories: Human Condition, Extreme Exploration, Urban Landscapes, Snapshots, Wilderness and Open Series. The judges’ choices for Grand Prize and First Place in each category are shown on the followin

Check it out here.

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My favorite writer and I are starting an absolutely heartbreaking story on a little girl named Dani, who was removed from her biological mom’s home a year ago. When the police found her she was locked in a room about the size of a closet, living in her own excrement (and that of a cat that was locked in there with her), with nothing more than a baby bottle and a bare mattress. That’s apparently where she spent the first 7 years of her life.

Check it out here.

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I got sent to Miami for three days for The New York Times for a piece on the Miami art scene post Art Basel. I can’t really say much more than it was an amazing time, met some really chill people and got a chance to just wander and make photos I wanted to make. We don’t get to do nearly as much of that these days in our business, so I took full advantage of making wrong turns, finding random wi-fi spots (thank you Denny’s), and taking in some spectacular shows.

These are only a fraction of the 80-picture edit I sent, but I’ll drop a few more on this blog in a few days when I get around to editing my stuff from my random side-trip to the fashion district – which is about as close to painted wall heaven as I have ever been.

Check it out here.

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I went to Haiti because I wanted to do something to supplement my New York work. It wasn’t far, it’s three and a half hours direct flight from New York City. They have a Mardi Gras in February so that means people are on the street.

A very important factor is that historically Haitians weren’t against being photographed. Whereas if you go to some other Caribbean countries, it would be much tougher to photograph. In other words, you’d put your life really in danger. Like Jamaica, if you don’t have an ‘entre’ it’s a tough place and they don’t take to being photographed as well. If you’re going to the areas I go into, you’ll lose your camera or you lose your life.

Check it out here.

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One of the most striking new bodies of work I’ve seen recently is a series of photographs made by the 30 year old photojournalist Jehad Nga. Taken in a Somalian café and lit only by a single shaft on sunlight, the images illuminate their subjects in the clandestine manner of Walker Evans’ subway pictures or Harry Callahan’s “Women Lost in Thought”.

Nga was born in Kansas, but moved soon after, first to Libya and then to London. In his early 20s he was living in Los Angeles and taking courses at UCLA, when he came across the book “Digital Diaries” by Natasha Merritt. The book, a collection of sexually intimate photos made with a digital point-and-shoot, convinced Nga that he could become a photographer. One year later he was traveling through the Middle East taking pictures.

Check it out here.

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It is just a photograph of a body at the side of a road—another death among the millions of deaths of World War II. Yet this photo, long lost and never before published, has surprised historians. The dead man in the picture is Ernie Pyle, the famed war correspondent whose dispatches painted vivid portraits of the lives of common GIs. Pyle famously covered several theaters of war, including the brutal Italian campaign of 1943-1944, and was killed on April 17, 1945 on the island of le Shima, off Okinawa in the Pacific.

 Even historians who have specialized in studying Pyle’s work and collecting his correspondence had never seen the image. The negative is long lost and only a few prints were known to exist.

Check it out here.

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Tom Rankin began photographing the sacred landscapes and spiritual traditions of the Mississippi Delta in the late 1980s when he moved there to teach at Delta State University. He returns to Mississippi regularly to photograph some of the same churches and cemeteries as they evolve and change over time, reflecting the ongoing life of these holy spaces. Rankin expresses his deep connection and attraction to the Delta and its religious practices in his book Sacred Space.

Check it out here.

In those days, you could get close. Very close. That’s how Rowland Scherman worked. With his hand-held Leica, he shot Mississippi John Hurt strumming a guitar on a rickety bed, Robert F. Kennedy strategizing with campaign advisers, and Bob Dylan at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival.

“I was so close, I could have said, ‘Bob, could you hold this camera?’ ” Scherman jokes. “Nowadays, they would take you and throw you out.”

Nobody threw Scherman out. For roughly a decade, the photographer had an uncanny knack for making sure he was in the right place at the right time, whether shooting for Life magazine, National Geographic, or Time. And just as quickly as he arrived, he disappeared, drifting across the ocean and out of that glossy world for good.

Check it out here.

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