Amanda Visell and Michelle Valigura are always posting great work on their blog.
Amanda Visell and Michelle Valigura are always posting great work on their blog.
Featuring Josh Brown, Andy Martin, Scott Bort, Jorge Javier Lopez, Jonathan Hanson, Francesa Dotta, Yeulmaus, Lars Borges.
Check it out here.
Back to good news in the photojournalism world: The winners of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes were announced this week. The Pulitzers are the top awards in newspaper journalism.
The award for Breaking News Photography was awarded to Associated Press photographer Oded Balilty for the photo above, of illegal settlers being removed in the West Bank.
The Feature Photography Pulitzer was awarded to Sacramento Bee photographer Renee C. Byer for her story, “A Mother’s Journey,” which tells the story of a single mother and her dying son’s battle with cancer.
Balilty’s photograph is wonderful and deserving. It’s everything that a great news photograph should be. But make sure you look through Byer’s powerful photo essay on the Bee’s website. If you don’t choke up as you follow the downward spiral of this family’s fight with cancer, well…
Byer’s essay is everything that I love about great photojournalism. It isn’t a photo-op. It doesn’t involve celebrities. It isn’t the opening of a new government office building. This is a long-term intimate look at real people facing real problems. The frustration and despair, the hopes both wished for and dashed, are all there, captured in great documentary photography. It is truly amazing work.
Congratulations to both photographers. And thank you.
Here is Byer’s work on The Sacramento Bee’s website. If you’re in a hurry, make sure you at least click through the four photo galleries (parts one through four) listed along the right side of the project’s page.
This post first appeared here.
The winners of the UK photojournalism competition, The Press Photographer’s Year, including their Photograph of the Year (seen here), by Sean Smith of The Guardian. As they say:
Designed for press photographers by press photographers.
Sponsored by Canon cameras, the acknowledged industry leaders, The Press Photographer’s Year will be the definitive awards for the outstanding press photography taken for, and used by the UK media in 2006.
From LA Weekly, a conversation with Quentin Tarantina, Robert Rodriguez and the masters of grindhouse films (Richard Rush, Bob Clark, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Allan Arkush, Lewis Teague, and George Armitage):
TARANTINO: I have to tell you that, of course, everyone talks about the George Romero movies when they talk about the zombie genre. But hands down, on my own list of great zombie movies — or even the great shoestring classics of ’70s horror — Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things is right up there in the tip, tip top. The thing I loved about that movie so goddamned much is that the whole movie is humorous — it’s humorous from beginning to almost end. If the movie is 90 minutes long, for 79 of those 90 minutes it’s a comedy. And then, when the zombies show up in the last 11 minutes, there ain’t a goddamn thing funny about it. They just wipe out everybody. I have never seen a movie that for 79 minutes is a comedy and the last 11 minutes is balls-out horror!
From The Observer:
Colonel Bob Stewart, a British commander of United Nations forces in Bosnia, told the Sunday Times that the MoD had turned a military disaster into a media circus. ‘The released hostages are behaving like reality TV stars,’ he said. ‘I am appalled that the MoD is encouraging them to profit in this way.’
Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed by a bomb in Iraq, said: ‘This is wrong and I don’t think it should be allowed by the MoD. None of the parents who have lost loved ones in Iraq have sold their stories.’
One of the ex-hostages reportedly wanted £70,000 for his story. There were reports that the Royal Marines were planning to sell the vases given to them in their ‘goody bags’ by the Iranians on eBay. The father of one of the hostages said the MoD had suggested the servicemen ‘Go out there, tell the truth and make the money.’
From the art site FecalFace (which is not what you think- just a stupid name), an interview with one of my very favorite artists:
You may know her for her comic books, her handmade wallets, her paintings or all of the above. With misfits, embroidery, yetis, tiny industries, enjoy and explore the world made by Megan Whitmarsh.
Read the full interview here.
From The New York Times:
The delegation arrived at the market, which is called Shorja, on Sunday with more than 100 soldiers in armored Humvees — the equivalent of an entire company — and attack helicopters circled overhead, a senior American military official in Baghdad said. The soldiers redirected traffic from the area and restricted access to the Americans, witnesses said, and sharpshooters were posted on the roofs. The congressmen wore bulletproof vests throughout their hourlong visit.
“They paralyzed the market when they came,” Mr. Faiyad said during an interview in his shop on Monday. “This was only for the media.”
He added, “This will not change anything.”
At a news conference shortly after their outing, Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, and his three Congressional colleagues described Shorja as a safe, bustling place full of hopeful and warmly welcoming Iraqis — “like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime,” offered Representative Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican who was a member of the delegation.
From Simon Garfield’s piece, “Getting Under Their Skins,” on UK skinheads, in the Observer:
‘I was so intense about being a skinhead, to me it was final,’ says Gavin Watson, a former skinhead from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. ‘Anybody who grew their hair for work or their girlfriend was severely mentally impaired. I would be downtown and see an older skin growing his hair for some reason or another, I would feel very disappointed. I could not understand how one could ever not be a skinhead once the step had been taken.’
Watson, who is 41, is a more reliable witness than most. On the floor of his Brighton flat is a large black case containing a few hundred photographs. ‘There are many, many more,’ he says. ‘I’ve got 5,000 printed and 10,000 in all.’ The living room windows are open with a view of the sea, and Watson is wearing an Adidas woollen cap and loose-fitting black work-out clothes. He is muscular, tattooed, and illustrates his speech with such animated, large hands that you think he may be wrestling an invisible animal. He calls his black case The Box of Death, and he goes through his photos with a mixture of delight and dread. ‘That’s John… that’s Lee… he went mad… he went off the rails on heroin. That’s Duncan. He died when a PA [an amplifier] fell on him.’
Bigfoot’s solo show, Survival In The Modern World, opened last Saturday, March 24th, at Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City/LA, CA. This collection includes a wide range of styles addressing the singular theme of the man and myth known as Bigfoot. The gallery has a comprehensive photoset of all the works in the show on their website, www.coreyhelfordgallery.com.
WFMU’s Beware the Blog:
This week’s favorite find is Teezar. Who are Teezar? Well, if you take Joe Stumble’s word for it, they are the best hard rock band you never heard of, a pair of trailer-living nerds from Missouri whose album “Bakkstage Pass” not only invented the L.A. glam scene, but hip-hop as well. Or they could be a totally invented band formed with the good old punk ethos of “leave ’em laughing”. I’m going with number two, but read the elaborate backstory and live the lie if you like. It’s frankly more fun, and either way the music…well, it rocks. It rocks in that “sucks so bad it can’t possibly rock” way. Yeah, it rocks.
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.
Gone but not forgotten.
This post first appeared here.
Former stripper turned Playboy Playmate turned reality-TV star Anna Nicole Smith has overcome her longtime struggle with obesity, at last reaching her target weight of 125 pounds, sources said Monday.
“Anna’s been through a lot,” said Florida Circuit Court Judge Larry Seidlin, who became visibly emotional as he spoke to reporters. “But I think it’s fair to say that she hasn’t been this happy in years.”
Foreigners think we’re nuts coming back to a doomed city on a damned continent,’ Rian Malan once wrote about Johannesburg, ‘but there is something you don’t understand: it’s boring where you are.’ When I go to meet Malan, South Africa’s most controversial and charismatic writer, in his home city, I see the force of both halves of that statement.
Three stories are dominating the Jo’burg headlines. The first is the brutal murder of the ‘white Zulu’ David Rattray, friend of Prince Charles, who told the story of Rorke’s Drift from the African perspective. Rattray was shot in his bedroom by a local Zulu, a man he knew, in a botched robbery. The second story exercising the phone-in shows concerns an attempt by the First National Bank to draw attention to violent crime – murders are running at 50 per day – in an advert which talked of ‘mobilising the population’. The ANC government, jumpy about such language, had pressured the bank to withdraw the campaign. And the third story was about the extraordinary popularity of an Afrikaans song, ‘De la Rey’, a homage to a general who had fought the British with the Transvaal Bittereinders and helped forge the Afrikaans nation. The song called for the return of General De la Rey – ‘We are ready’ – and suggested that the Boer ‘nation will rise up again’.
From Jim’s myspace blog:
Let me start off by saying that my Dad always thought Trent Nelson was a bad influence on me. I am not sure why. He was really the only person I hung out with that did not drink or do drugs. He loved my friend Billy Hicks who I used to get weed from because I knew him in 6th grade. But Billy didn’t almost get me arrested for Kidnapping.
Calvert DeForest, the white-haired, bespectacled nebbish who gained cult status as the oddball Larry “Bud” Melman on David Letterman’s late night television shows, has died after a long illness.
Mr. DeForest, who was 85, died Monday at a hospital on Long Island, Letterman’s “Late Show” announced Wednesday.
He made dozens of appearances on Letterman’s shows from 1982 through 2002, handling a variety of twisted duties: singing a duet of “I Got You, Babe” with Sonny Bono, doing a Mary Tyler Moore impression during a visit to Minneapolis, handing out hot towels to arrivals at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Salt Lake Tribune:
More than eight years have passed since Colin Reesor fatally stabbed an unconscious boy during a Halloween night riot between Straight Edge gang members and others, but Reesor still doesn’t understand his actions.
“I’m a coward, I guess,” Reesor said Tuesday during his first hearing before the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole.
The board in the coming weeks will determine how much more time Reesor, now 26, and cohort Andrew Moench, also 26, will spend in prison for the Oct. 31, 1998, death of 15-year-old Bernardo Repreza.
Camera Bits has released a public beta of Photo Mechanic 4.5 for Windows and Mac.
The next version of the pro photo browser introduces a smorgasbord of user-requested changes big and small, including such welcome features as five-star ratings, drag-and-drop thumbnail sorting, the ability to automatically display in slide show fashion new pictures arriving in a folder (including from a wirelessly-connected camera), beefed up web page generation (with support for AutoViewer, SimpleViewer and PostcardViewer galleries), user-customizable hierarchical keywording, Unicode IPTC support, snazzier-looking contact sheets and more.