Deadbeats

Writing about the new ITV series Deadline, this from Sqweegee’s Blog, EPUK:

The tone of the programme is pretty much summed up by elegantly coiffured Darryn Lyons’ dressing down of Lisa L’Anson after the former Big Brother loser takes time out from an assignment to have her hair done: well, who hasn’t?

‘You make me look like a f*ing prick’, seethes Mr Paparazzi, apparently distressed at the idea that he might need assistance in this department. ‘You go and get your f*ing hair done and do your f*ing shopping. That’s all you’re interested in: shopping and f*ing hair.’

Lyon’ rant is a prelude to L’Anson being told to clear her desk by Street Porter. ‘I’m going to tell you the two reasons so you’re f*ing PERFECTLY CLEAR why I want you out of here,’ screams the Fleet Street legend, looking in urgent need of a hairdressing appointment herself. But failing to produce any reasons at all, she just rambles on: ‘Lisa, cut the crap and get out of the office. It’s the second time you’ve worked for me and it’s been just as crap as the first. You are a bullsh*t artist, now get out of here.’

More Here.

Overseas Press Club Awards

From the American Photo site:

Paolo Pellegrin, Q. Sakamaki, Kristen Ashburn and Farah Nosh took the photography prizes at the 68th Annual Overseas Press Club awards, presented by CBS News anchor Katie Couric at a dinner Thursday night in New York. Pellegrin won the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal for his photo essay “True Pain: Israel and Hizbullah,” parts of which were first published in Newsweek. The 43-year-old Magnum photographer received an honorable mention nod for the Capa award in 2002, but this is his first outright win.

Paolo’s work (a sample above) is beautiful black and white. Beginning with his book “Kosovo 1999-2000,” I began to watch his technique. Or rather, a seeming lack of it. Paolo isn’t looking for sharp, clean imagery. He is more interested in capturing mood and motion than perfect technique.

Along those lines, one of Q. Sakamaki’s photographs (above) stood out to me as well. Especially the caption, which reads:

The image of a Sri Lanka government soldier is accidentally overlapped with the image of a Tamil girl staying at a war-torn church in Jaffna, where the long civil war has devastated lives and the Sri Lankan economy.

See how it works, kids? Make a mistake, win an international award. For the record, I think it’s a beautiful accident.

Links:
Paolo Pellegrin
American Photo’s story on the awards
Overseas Press Club of America

Acid Sweeties

From Kid Robot:

From Argentina, where suave desserts and happy pills keep company with nauseous oil barrels and 3-D lightning bolts, street art and design collective DOMA firmly plants one foot in reality and the other in psycho-tropics. Acid Sweeties, their first mini figure series, is an absurd medley of happy colors and bright characters.

15 vibrant (and somewhat socially enigmatic) residents inhabit a wide eyed universe where toy oddities come out of the woodwork, brightly colored antics are the norm, and a token nod to making sense is about all your going to get.

Here.

A first look at the Canon EOS-1D Mark III

Digital camera guru Rob Galbraith offers up his thoughts after testing a pre-production model of Canon’s new high-end camera. A little quote:

The camera’s features may be difficult to sum up, but the camera’s performance isn’t. It’s awesome. Pixel-for-pixel, the image quality is the best we’ve seen from a digital SLR, and except for one preproduction body glitch, it’s also the best SLR we’ve ever shot with too. The EOS-1D Mark III shows a level of design care and engineering thoroughness that is simply unprecedented. Its list of features is impressive. But actually using the camera reveals how impressive all these features work.

This is the camera that most photojournalists are drooling over right now. If you’ve got four thousand bucks laying around, this is a good way to spend it.

You can read Rob’s thoughts and download sample files from the camera from his review by clicking here.

Flight Patterns

Amazing photos by Richard Barnes of starling flocks over Italy in today’s New York Times Magazine:

Richard Barnes’s photographs capture the double nature of the birds — or at least the double nature of our relationship to them — recording the pointillist delicacy of the flock and something darker, almost sinister in the gathering mass. Many of Barnes’s photographs, which will be shown at Hosfelt Gallery in New York this fall, were taken over two years in EUR, a suburb of Rome that Mussolini planned as a showcase for fascist architecture. The man-made backdrop only enhances the sense of the vast flock as something malign, a sort of avian Nuremberg rally.

Here.

Maiden India

From The Observer:

When Britain’s hardiest metal band played their first Indian gig, Ed Vulliamy joined them and their fans for a frank discussion of war, economics – and music

Whereas a Maiden audience in Europe tends to be what Valerie Potter of Metal Hammer magazine calls ‘a family outing, father and son perhaps’, the crowd tonight are almost all in their twenties and there are more girls than there would be in the West. It becomes clear that in India it is frowned upon for a Maiden fan to like any other band. There is particular loathing for Ozzy Osbourne, regarded by Payal Bal as ‘a sell-out. Nothing to do with metal. It’s got to be Maiden and only Maiden.’

‘We may listen to other music, and we all fall in love, but that’s not the point,’ says Alidya Hara. ‘We can get our love songs from any of the others. From Maiden we can get what we really feel – pent-up aggression, the right questions.’

Here.

2007 Pulitzer Winners

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 Press Photographer's Year

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.

Here.

Grindhouse Gang

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!

Here.

Anger as hostages sell stories to highest bidders

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.’

Here.

McCain Wrong on Iraq Security, Merchants Say

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.

Here.

Gavin Watson's photographs of UK Skinheads

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.’

The story is Here. And more importantly, the photos are Here.

Bigfoot



From Juxtapoz:

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.

Here.

MP3 Truffles: Hurt Me Hurt Me But the Pants Stay On

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.

Here.

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.

Anna Nicole Smith Finally Reaches Target Weight

The Onion:

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.”

Here.