Category: Obituaries

  • Bernard "Bernie" Boston, 74, Retired Los Angeles Times Photojournalist, Was An Icon


    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.”

  • China: "citizen journalist" beaten to death – Boing Boing

    wei-china-08.jpg China: “citizen journalist” beaten to death – Boing Boing: “Wei Wenhua was beaten to death after he snapped photos of a confrontation on the street between village residents and authorities. His death has sparked controversy in Chinese media, and the blogosphere: Wei Wenhua was a model communist and is now a bloggers’ hero — a ‘citizen journalist’ turned martyr. The construction company manager was driving his car when he witnessed an ugly scene: a team of about 50 city inspectors beating villagers who tried to block trucks from unloading trash near their homes. Wei took out his cell phone and began taking pictures. The city inspectors saw Wei and then attacked him in a beating that lasted five minutes. By the time it was over, the 41-year-old Wei was slumped unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital but was dead on arrival.”
  • PJ Dmitry Chebotayev Killed in Iraq

    From PDN: Photojournalist Dmitry Chebotayev was killed in a bombing Sunday while on assignment in Iraq, according to news reports and his agency, World Picture News. Chebotayev was traveling with U.S. forces in Diyala province when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. Six American soldiers were killed and two were wounded, according to the U.S. military. Russian news organizations identified Chebotayev as one of the casualties on Monday. Links: Photoshelter’s In Memoriam Page for Chebotayev PDN Article Dmitry’s photographs on Photoshelter.Com Dmitry’s profile on Lightstalkers
  • 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.
  • Ruth Bernhard — photographer of nudes and still lifes

    SFGate: “To be a photographer was a gift of the gods,” she said in a Chronicle profile by Kenneth Baker, written in 2001. “I can’t imagine anything that would have been better.” Biographer Margaretta Mitchell’s book, “Ruth Bernhard: The Eternal Body,” contains the artist’s own assessment of her adopted home. “To me … San Francisco is an ideal city, intellectually stimulating and naturally beautiful. The oceans and forests are close enough to refresh the spirit; the architecture is always exciting.” Here.
  • In a Risky Place to Gather News, a Very Familiar Story

    NYT: Russia is unquestionably a dangerous place for journalists — less so than only Iraq and Algeria, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Thirteen of them have been killed since Mr. Putin came to power in 2000, a little more than two a year on average. The killings — and the failure to solve them — have created an atmosphere of impunity and violence that extends beyond those whose writings or broadcasts anger those in government or business. That was also lamented here, inside an airy white-stone hall at Troyekurovskoye Cemetery. Anna Politkovskaya’s killing was the third mob-style assassination of prominence in the last month alone. Andrei Kozlov, the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, who led efforts to clean up the dirty money of the country’s banking system, was killed as he left a soccer game on Sept. 13. Less than two weeks later, Enver Ziganshin, the chief engineer of Kovytka, a potentially lucrative gas field in Siberia at the center of a dispute with the government, was shot in the back and head at his bathhouse in the countryside. Here.
  • Journalist Critical of Chechen War Is Shot Dead

    NYT: Anna Politkovskaya was found dead by a neighbor shortly after 5 p.m. A Makarov 9-millimeter pistol had been dropped at her side, the signature of a contract killing, Vitaly Yaroshevsky, the deputy editor of Novaya Gazeta, said in a telephone interview. “We are certain that this is the horrible outcome of her journalistic activity,” he said. “No other versions are assumed.” The former Soviet president, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, a shareholder of the newspaper where Ms. Politkovskaya worked, called her killing “a savage crime.” “It is a blow to the entire democratic, independent press,” Mr. Gorbachev told the Interfax news agency. “It is a grave crime against the country, against all of us.” Here.
  • Chechen war reporter found dead

    BBC: Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist known as a fierce critic of the Kremlin’s actions in Chechnya, has been found dead in Moscow. She was found shot dead near her home in a block of flats in the capital. A pistol and four bullets were found near her body, the Interfax news agency said, quoting unnamed police sources. The award-winning journalist fell seriously ill with food poisoning in 2004, which some suspected was an attempt on her life. Here.
  • From Annie Leibovitz: Life, and Death, Examined

    NYT: In 1998 Ms. Sontag received a diagnosis of cancer, from which she recovered. Ms. Leibovitz took several months off to be with her. There are photographs of that period too, of Ms. Sontag receiving chemotherapy, having her hair cut. “You know, one doesn’t stop seeing,” Ms. Leibovitz said, when asked about her impulse to photograph illness. “One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time.” In the middle of her Caesarean in 2001 she reached up with a camera to try to shoot the birth of her daughter, Sarah, over the curtain suspended across her midriff. “They’re all totally out of focus and terrible,” she laughed. She photographed her father after his death in 2005. He was 91, had lung cancer and had driven a car until a week before. He died at home in bed, with hospice care, in his wife’s arms. The family kept his body in the bedroom all day, as children and, later, a rabbi arrived. Ms. Leibovitz photographed him there, his head on a flowered pillowcase, in pajamas with dark piping. “You find yourself reverting to what you know,” she said. “It’s almost like a protection of some kind. You go back into yourself. You don’t really know quite what you’re doing. I didn’t really analyze it. I felt driven to do it.” She said, “My father was so beautiful lying there.” Here.
  • Sven Nykvist, 83, a Master of Light in Films, Dies

    NYT: “I was fortunate to work with Ingmar,” he said in 1995. “One of the things we believed was that a picture shouldn’t look lit. Whenever possible, I lit with one source and avoided creating double shadows, because that pointed to the photography.” In his films, especially those with Mr. Bergman, light assumed a metaphysical dimension that went beyond mood. It distilled and deepened the feelings of torment and spiritual separation that afflicted Bergman characters. But in scenes of tranquillity filmed outdoors, the light might also evoke glimpses of transcendence. The sumptuous scenes of a Scandinavian Christmas in “Fanny and Alexander” burst with warmth and a magical, childlike joy. Here.
  • The Death of a Fighter

    DigitalJournalist: I had never met Catherine Leroy before doing the interviews for my book Shooting Under Fire in 2002. I had heard the legends, of course; how she arrived in Vietnam in 1966 with one Leica, no experience and even less money; how she parachuted with the 173rd Airborne in a combat operation; how she lived like a Marine and swore like one too; how she was wounded, only a shattered camera around her neck saving her life. Of course I knew the photographs she had taken, the anguished picture of a Navy Corpsman unable to save the life of his Marine buddy, the first photographs of the North Vietnamese Army in action, and many others, not only from Southeast Asia but from Lebanon and Northern Ireland as well. It wasn’t until I opened the front door of my New York apartment that I let in this whirlwind that blew in and out of my life until the end of hers. Here.
  • War Photographer Catherine Leroy Dies In California

    From PDN: Leroy was part of a generation of photojournalists who made their names in Vietnam – some others include David Burnett, Don McCullin, Gilles Caron, Larry Burrows, Tim Page and Dirck Halstead – by taking advantage of the access afforded to journalists there. “We rode in military planes, did helicopter assaults during operations, walked with units, everywhere, anytime,” Leroy recalled in a 2002 interview with PDN. “We were not subjected to censorship. It was unprecedented, and it will never be repeated again. We have now entered ‘the brave new world’ where disinformation and censorship are being implemented and access reduced to photo opportunities.” In the same interview, Leroy described her how she traveled to Saigon at age 21, with a Leica and $150 and no combat experience. “I had never heard a gun fired in anger before, and I spoke three words of English,” she said. Here.
  • Fausto Vitello, R.I.P.

    From Supertouch: Fausto Vitello, publisher of Juxtapoz & Thrasher magazines & a seminal figure in the worlds of skateboarding & underground art died suddenly on Saturday afternoon, April 22, 2006. Check back for updates as they become available. This photo of F.V. was taken in 1978. He will be missed… Here.
  • Tribute to Gordon Parks

    From The Digital Journalist, a series of remembrances and photo galleries on the late photographer Gordon Parks: We at The Digital Journalist want to acknowledge that with his death on March 7th of this year not only has photography lost a giant, but so too has humanity, so we offer in this issue a mix of his work and recollections from people who knew him well and loved him for it. Here.
  • Thomas J. Abercrombie dies; Photographer for National Geographic

    From the Washington Post: Mr. Abercrombie dived with Jacques Cousteau, which he said was “like swimming with a fish.” While suffering from typhoid in the Himalayas, he amputated the frozen toes of a pilgrim as gangrene set in. He slipped off his yak in Afghanistan and narrowly escaped plunging into a 1,000-foot chasm. In Venezuela, he was knocked off the top of a mountain-climbing cable car and bore the scar to the end of his life. In 1965, while traveling through Saudi Arabia’s “Empty Quarter,” his sport-utility vehicle broke down, forcing him to repair the radiator hose with items from his first-aid kit and patch another leak with a poultice of camel dung and barley paste. Here.
  • British cameraman shot by Israelis was murdered, says jury

    From the Mail & Guardian: The shooting death of British cameraman James Miller by an Israeli soldier in Gaza was murder, an inquest jury found on Thursday. The jury also said Israeli authorities had “not been forthcoming” about how and why Miller (34) was killed by a single shot fired by the soldier. Here.
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