The Interpreter of Memories From The Killing Fields

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By Elizabeth Becker

So how did Dith Pran, a sophisticated journalist, survive when the Khmer Rouge was rooting out and killing most intellectuals?

A Cambodian banker I know survived by playing the village idiot. Pran survived by reading character. His brilliance as a journalist for figuring out chaotic situations in war was critical during the revolution. He, of course, hid his background, but he read people the way he had read all of us, foreigner and Cambodian alike. He knew what we were good for and where we were hopeless. During the Khmer Rouge revolution, he had to rely on those finely honed instincts to survive.

Check it out here.

Jay Dickman: The Eyes of a Story

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When asked how he first became interested in photography—and photojournalism in particular—Jay Dickman replies, “I think a lot of it was the product of growing up in the 1950s and ’60s when we had LIFE and National Geographic as our ‘windows’ to the world; they were our TVs.” This brought coverage of the Vietnam War, moon missions, civil rights issues and world stories into people’s living rooms. “Looking back, I didn’t realize how this was forming my direction and energy.”

Check it out here.

Spirit With a Sleight of Hand–An Interview with Bill Armstrong

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Bill Armstrong: I don’t think of my imagery as soft focus, in fact, I call it extreme blur to distinguish it from soft focus. My concern is not to make “soft” or impressionistic images of the real world, like the early pictorialist photographers, but to make de-materialized or ephemeral images that represent a completely different world—a spirit world, if you will, or a parallel universe.

Check it out here.

April Fool's Day Roundup

Serious pranksters take today off, but I guess there are a few good posts worth pointing out. I’ll update this throughout the day, quarantining the fake stuff to this post alone.

Online Photographer: Canon 4D Official Leak

Apparently our posts on the possible costs of the Canon 5D replacement attracted some attention at Canon. I have an old friend high up in Canon USA who frequently travels to the home offices in Japan, and he contacted me yesterday with some “allowable leaks.” The news is good for Canon fans. The 5D replacement, which will be called the 4D (even Canon balked at the implications of “3D,” apparently), will be out by August. It is slated to have an innovative full-frame 31-MP CMOS sensor with switchable IS in-the-body. But the real news is that the full 31-MP is reserved for a “big print” mode, usable only up to ISO 800; the real meat is a half-rez 15.5-MP mode in which the camera gives it highest image quality and best high-ISO performance. In this mode, the camera is said to better the sharpness and resolution of cameras that have no anti-aliasing filters (think Leica M8).

A Photo Editor: ANNIE LEIBOVITZ INKS MASSIVE DEAL WITH FLICKR

The NY Times has the details on the reported 25 Million dollar deal that would move her entire collection to Flickr with a Creative Commons License (!).

EPUK: Met Police to relax London photography restrictions in pilot scheme

A pilot scheme set to begin next month will see the Metropolitan Police taking a less restrictive approach to street photography in the capital by agreeing not to approach registered photographers.

PhotoShelter: BUYERS SEEKING! CALL FOR PHOTOS!

Due to overwhelming response from the photographic community to our calls for content, we are issuing this urgent call for specific areas where our collection is deficient. This request is based on our extensive research conducted in March 2008 with advertising agencies, publications, graphic designers, magicians and Canadians.

LA///STREET LIFE///BLEK LE RAT AT SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS…

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To celebrate the reopening of groundbreaking gallery SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS in its new location on 1331 W Sunset Blvd this Saturday nite, April 5th, founder SHEPARD FAIREY has chosen none other than Parisian street artist BLEK LE RAT as the subject of the hotspot’s inaugural exhibition. Blek’s “Art is Not Peace but War,” a show of new spraypaint on canvas works by the pioneering artist whose work predates that of followers

Check it out here.

The Quest for the Most Wanted Photo (Conscientious)

Having just started to look at Komar and Melamid’s Most Wanted Paintings – paintings created based on actual polls, where people could say what they liked – I thought finding the photographic equivalent couldn’t possibly be that hard. I went to Flickr, which I use only very occasionally (and thus don’t really know all that well), and went looking for the photo that had the largest number of people calling it a “favorite”.

Check it out here.

Four Photojournalists Killed During Vietnam War Come Home For Burial

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Remains from the crash site where four photojournalists were killed when their helicopter went down in Laos during the Vietnam war will be buried on Thursday April 3, 2008, during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington.

On February 10, 1971, photographers Henri Huet, 43, of the Associated Press, Larry Burrows, 44, of Life magazine, Kent Potter, 23, of United Press International, and Keisaburo Shimamoto, 34, of Newsweek were killed their South Vietnamese helicopter lost its way over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and was shot down by a North Vietnamese 37-mm anti-aircraft gun. Three of Saigon’s soldiers and the four-man flight crew also perished in the midair explosion.

Check it out here.

Strazzante, Ackerman win top honors at Southern

Scott Strazzante of the Chicago Tribune and Jenn Ackerman, a graduate student at Ohio University, won top honors as 2008 Southern Photographer of the Year and 2008 Southern Student Photographer of the Year, respectively, this weekend. Strazzante also won Best of Show with his diptychs entitled “Echoes from the Past” pairing his coverage of a disappearing family farm shot earlier this decade and new homeowners on the same land shot in 2007. The winners were officially announced today by yours truly on the closing day of the Southern Short Course in News Photography in Charlotte, N.C.

Check it out here.

Tim Clayton, Sydney Morning Herald | Raw Take

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What has actually happened is many photographers have evolved beyond the wants and needs of the newspaper. We are shooting stories that don’t get published and shooting personal projects to keep our brains stimulated. The ‘cat sat on the mat’ images pay the bills. In many ways it is a sad reflection of photojournalism today, there are so few places where top end photojournalism can be seen.

Check it out here.

How I Escaped My Newspaper Job

I have made one of the hardest decisions of my life; I’m leaving the newspaper business — this Thursday, to be exact, when I will work my last day at the Daily Press of Newport News, Va. This is the first time a career decision has kept me up at night, because I am still passionate about photojournalism and love being a newspaper photographer. But the recent changes in the industry, and years of job instability, pushed me to explore other options.

Check it out here.

A great digital imaging project honors the fallen

Photographer Peter Krogh (author of the excellent The DAM Book, the Rapid Fixer extension for Bridge, and more) recently completed an ambitious & enormous digital imaging project: photographing all 58,256 names listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, enabling the creation of an interactive online version of the wall.  By stitching together some 1,494 digital images into a 400,000 pixel by 12,500 pixel monster, Peter & colleague Darren Higgins were able to help create a Flash-based presentation that enables you to search for names, read servicemen’s details, and add notes and photos to the wall.

Check it out here.

Artist Vanishes During a Berlin Walk

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An artist who was put on trial for her role in a controversial exhibition titled “Caution, Religion!” has disappeared in Berlin, where she had been living since November, German police said.

Anna Mikhalchuk, 52, left her home in the Charlottenburg district of the German capital on March 21 and has not been seen since, Berlin police said in a statement posted on their web site Wednesday.

Check it out here.

In Shiite Slums, Victory Must Be Won in the Alleys – New York Times

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Photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye

That dream, a nightmare, really, flashed through my mind as I stood at the end of a filthy, pothole-riddled alley talking with a small-time deputy commander in the Mahdi Army, the militia that is the armed wing of Mr. Sadr’s political movement. Standing there with his arms folded over his potbelly as his fighters scurried about behind him, the man who called himself Riadh, 34 years old, was effectively deputy commander of an alley.

“We can’t face the armored tanks of the Americans face to face, because all we have is light guns,” he said. “So we just wait for a chance to attack something.”

Check it out here.

Photography in China: 1934-2008 – lens culture

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Photo by WU Jialin, Yibin, Sichuan Province, 1989

The world’s most comprehensive collection and overview of photography from China is currently on display in a mammoth city-wide exhibition in Houston, Texas, as part of FotoFest 2008. This is a tremendously ambitious and successful presentation of the important roles that photography has played in the dramatic flux that has defined and re-defined China over the past 74 years.

Check it out here.

talk to allard..

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any minute now, William Albert Allard will walk through my door….i have not asked him, but i will put him on the spot with any of you who happen to be “on” right now….he will probably be here for a couple of hours  or so…since his name comes up quite a bit here, most recently on the previous post, i thought you might enjoy having a word with him…so ask the boy a question or two…i will try to keep him here as long as possible…..

Check it out here.