Photo Essay: Lebanon: ” Photos by Antonin Kratochvil
Increasing radicalism among militant groups and a deepening chasm between Lebanon’s Sunni and Shiite population is sending the country spiraling downwards. Assassinations and a protracted political crisis is adding to the crisis.
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. “
The Angriest Man In Television: “Behold the Hack, the veteran newsman, wise beyond his years, a man who’s seen it all, twice. He’s honest, knowing, cynical, his occasional bitterness leavened with humor. He’s a friend to the little scam, and a scourge of the big one. Experience has acquainted him with suffering and stupidity, venality and vice. His anger is softened by the sure knowledge of his own futility. And now behold David Simon, the mind behind the brilliant HBO series The Wire. A gruff fireplug of a man, balding and big-featured, he speaks with an earthy, almost theatrical bluntness, and his blue-collar crust belies his comfortable suburban upbringing. He’s for all the world the quintessential Hack, down to his ink-stained fingertips—the kind of old newshound who will remind you that a ‘journalist’ is a dead reporter. But Simon takes the cliché one step further; he’s an old newsman who feels betrayed by newspapers themselves.”
CJR: Secrets of the City: “It could be a scene from The Wire, particularly this year. The fifth and final season of David Simon’s dramatic HBO series will focus on the newsroom of a fictional paper called, like the real one, the Sun. The Wire, although fictional, explores an increasingly brutal and coarse society through the prism of Baltimore, where postindustrial capitalism has decimated the working-class wage and sharply divided the haves and have-nots. The city’s bloated bureaucracies sustain the inequality. The absence of a decent public-school education or meaningful political reform leaves an unskilled underclass trapped between a rampant illegal drug economy and a vicious ‘war on drugs.’ In the final season, Simon asks why we aren’t getting the message. Why can’t we achieve meaningful reform? What are we telling ourselves about ourselves? To get at these questions, he wants us to see the city from the perspective of a shrinking newsroom.”
State of the Art: Hands On: Zeiss ZF Macros for Nikon: “I’ve been shooting lately with two new Nikon F-mount Zeiss lenses, the ZF 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar T* and the ZF 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar T*. (I love it when they spell macro that way.) As you’d expect from a Zeiss-made optic they are both simply razor sharp, and are also impressively heavy, in these days of featherweight zooms, due in part to their full-metal barrel. No, they don’t have autofocus–nor do any of the other ‘premium’ manual-focus lenses Zeiss is making for Nikon F, Pentax K, and M42 (threaded) mounts–but I haven’t really missed it.”
Comment is free: Ink-stained wretches: “But as The Wire plunges headlong into its fifth and final season, those layers of sloppy kiss print coverage have not been reciprocated by the show’s creator, David Simon.
Quite the opposite, in fact. Much of The Wire’s new season grapples with the American newspaper, a once-glorious enterprise ransacked by a dismal convergence of investors’ heedless and rapacious pursuit of double-digit profit and a tectonic shift in media technology. It’s a storyline rooted in Simon’s experiences as a reporter at the Baltimore Sun from 1983-995 – and his unhappy departure from that paper during its precipitous decline in ambition and prestige.
It is surprising is that it has taken so long to create a snappy dramatisation of the decline of US newspapers. Television’s last serious look at the business was CBS’ Lou Grant – which aired from 1977-1982, an era when ‘stop the presses’ still meant, literally, stop the machines that print the newspapers.”
As I guest-lecture in a number of classes in our college, I have to be careful not to always say the same thing and show the same examples. In this case, I considered that a fair number of the students in the room might be planning to graduate this May. So I thought about things I could share with them to get them ready for job interviews.”
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.”
Journalism Groups Chart False Statements on Iraq War: “A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.”
At its launch, VII Network is representing seven freelance photojournalists: Eric Bouvet, Jessica Dimmock, Tivadar Domaniczky, Balazs Gardi, Ben Lowy, Stephanie Sinclair and Donald Weber. VII Network will represent these photographers exclusively worldwide, says VII managing director Frank Evers.”
Call to Action! – Obey Giant: “As many of you may be wondering what’s the deal with this latest print, well, here is the lowdown… Shepard recently created this print to stir up some motivation for individuals to get up and participate in the Presidential Electoral process. These past 8 years have been rough, watching and experiencing a great nation get demoralized by an Administration with selfish intent. We hope to change that this time around with some promising Presidential Candidates. Shepard created this print with the goal to fund a campaign to hit the streets with these pasters to make a call to action to VOTE! These prints will be available sometime this week so keep an eye on the site. Screenprint Edition of 350, 24″ x 36″, at $50 each. 1 VOTE per customer.”
Pale Fire: Interview: Photographer Brad Troemel expounds on the virtues of giving ups to artsits while they are still alive.: “Brad Troemel is not dead, nor is he a character in a perversely metafictional narrative entirely of my own creation. He is a young and talented photographer currently based out of Chicago. From what I can see he is also very busy. Aside from school and producing new work he also maintains a website where you can browse through archives of his previous projects and a relatively informal blog where he habitually hypes the artists he loves and occasionally self-promotes (though usually by association.) Carrying on along those lines, Brad curated a show of some of his favorite photographers at the Satin Satan Gallery (for details see poster below.) Additionally, ‘Glacier’, his upcoming solo show about ‘land displacement and the suburb’s relationship with the natural world’, will open at Reuben Kincaid Project Space (3219 S Morgan, Chicago, IL) on March 8th and carry on through April 12th. It will feature never before seen work.
I contacted Brad because his work, even apart from its aesthetic quality, almost always seems to hint at an engagement with aspects of the ‘artistic persona’. In our correspondence he never raised any major objections to my interpretation, which is not to say there were no surprises in store. I sent him groups of questions, he responded, and we even bonded in a touching montage sequence (not depicted here.) These are the results:”
Telling War Stories: “Jeff Bundy, a photographer with the Omaha World-Herald, covered a Nebraska Army National Guard unit in Iraq during fall 2005. Bundy said books he has read about Vietnam suggest it was a much easier war to cover simply because of mobility.
‘When you talk to those guys, they’d just jump on a Huey, and they go out,’ Bundy said. ‘There was no jumping on a Huey for us. Now you have to do the paperwork and the disclaimers and get yourself on a flight. Because of the way the world has moved, it’s tougher to move throughout the country.’
And unlike the reporters who covered Vietnam, the journalists embedded with the military in Iraq signed an agreement acknowledging that all comments of military personnel are ‘on the record.’ In Vietnam, reporters made much greater use of unnamed sources.”
15.1 megapixels (full frame)
14 bit color
Digic III image processor
ISO 100 to 6400(up to 12800)
AF like 1Dmk III
3 fps [only?]
3 inch screen
A sort of smaller 1D body,with integrated grip but not rear lcd panel [not sure what this means]
1 flash card slot”
Campaign Visuals In The Age Of Facebook – – PopPhotoJanuary 2008: “Stephen Ferry is a freelance documentary photographer based in New York City and Bogotá, Colombia. Ferry’s work has received numerous prizes and honors, including two World Press photo awards. In more than 20 years of international travel, Ferry has concentrated on long-term reportage on issues of historic change and human rights. His 1999 book, I Am Rich Potosí: The Mountain that Eats Men (Monacelli Press), documented the lives of silver miners in Potosí, Bolivia, over an eight-year period. Since 2000, Ferry has focused his work on Colombia, carrying out assignments for GEO, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and The New York Times. He is currently based in Bogotá and is dedicated to long-term coverage of Colombia’s civil war. In this Q&A we discuss his image, shown here, taken January 7 at a campaign stop in Rochester, New Hampshire.”
WFMU’s Beware of the Blog: Tony Rettman on Detroit Hardcore: “And, after educating yourself on the impressive history of Touch and Go Magazine, the Necros and Negative Approach, be sure to peep Elisa’s list for yourself. Not only does the Magik Markers guitarist-vocalist give mention to one of my favorite novels (the gleaming tale of suburban disquiet, Revolutionary Road), she rustles up a fine collection of personal and cultural touchstones for your mind before you peace-out ‘07 for good.”
Cameras PermittedMaybe – Pogue’s Posts – Technology – New York Times Blog: “Anyway, I brought my new Nikon D80 and my trusty image-stabilized, 18-200 millimeter (11X zoom) lens. This event absolutely screamed out for this camera: three frames per second, 11X zoom, image-stabilized. I was looking forward to getting some truly rockin’ shots, like the ones I’d taken at a monster-truck rally we saw last year in the same arena.
Amazingly, the guard stopped me at the door. ‘You can’t take that in there,’ he said. ‘Detachable lens.’
‘You can bring pocket cameras, but no detachable lenses.’”
Why are the photos so bad? They look like they are taken with a pocket digital camera and not a DSLR. All the photos have a very wide depth of field, which is the telltale sign of a pocket digital camera with a tiny sensor.”
MediaStorm: Rape of a Nation by Marcus Bleasdale: “The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the deadliest war in the world today. An estimated 5.4 million people have died since 1998, the largest death toll since the Second World War, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
IRC reports that as many as 45,000 people die each month in the Congo. Most deaths are due to easily preventable and curable conditions, such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, and neonatal problems and are byproducts of a collapsed healthcare system and a devastated economy.
The people living in the mining towns of eastern Congo are among the worst off. Militia groups and government forces battle on a daily basis for control of the mineral-rich areas where they can exploit gold, coltan, cassiterite and diamonds.
After successive waves of fighting and ten years of war, there are no hospitals, few roads and limited NGO and UN presence because it is too dangerous to work in many of these regions. The West’s desire for minerals and gems has contributed to a fundamental breakdown in the social structure.”