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Posts Tagged ‘photojournalism

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst”*…

 

banana

Doug Battenhausen spends much of his working hours searching for pictures no one else cares about.

They’re the kind taken by people would never be considered ‘photographers’, the kind that no one has even thought about for years, where any sense of artistry is purely accidental.

Instead they’re pictures of drunk friends at grotty house parties or silly sleepovers, landscapes snapped from car windows on boring drives, and assorted images that Doug can only describe as “strangely mundane”…

drunk

relection

Learn more– and see more abandoned images– at “The internet’s forgotten shit pics are accidentally amazing,” and then visit the motherlode: Battenhausen’s Tumblr, Internet History.

* Henri Cartier-Bresson

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As we smile at serendipity, we might spare a thought for the source of today’s title quote, Henri Cartier-Bresson; he died on this date in 2004.  A master of the candid and pioneer of street photography, he was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.  With other luminaries (Robert CapaDavid Seymour, and others), he founded Magnum Photos. a photographers’ co-op that covered the world for news outlets and other publishers.  His Magnum coverage of of Gandhi’s funeral in India in 1948 and the last stage of the Chinese Civil War in 1949 brought him international acclaim.

View his Magnum portfolio here.

220px-Henri_Cartier-Bresson source

 

Written by LW

August 3, 2018 at 1:01 am

The Design of Everyday Things…

From  “Improbability,” a series from Giuseppe Colarusso that depicts everyday objects transformed into unusual, unlikely, unusable versions of themselves…

See more of Colarusso’s creations here; see all of them on his web site; and read about the series on Laughing Squid.

[Readers may recognize that the title of this post is appropriated from Donald Norman’s wonderful primer on smart design…]

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As we endeavor to emulate the Eames, we might send a birthday snapshot to the father of modern photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson; he was born on this date in 1908.  An early master of the 35mm format, he pioneered “street shooting” and more broadly, a form of candid photography that set the model– and the standard– for generations of photojournalists who’ve followed.  Indeed, after World War II (most of which he spent as a prisoner of war) and his first museum show (at MoMA in 1947), he joined Robert Capa and others in founding the Magnum photo agency, which enabled photojournalists to reach a broad audience through magazines such as Life, while retaining control over their work.

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.

– from his book The Decisive Moment (1952)

Photography is not like painting.  There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture.  Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera.  That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop!  The Moment!  Once you miss it, it is gone forever.

– from an interview in The Washington Post (1957; recounted here)

Hamburg, 1952-3  (The sign reads, “Looking for any kind of work.”)

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Written by LW

August 22, 2013 at 1:01 am

“Nature’s inexorable imperative”*…

 

Bridges.
They don’t always do what they’re supposed to do.
Especially in the rainy season.

Evopropinquitous– “things I learned as a Field Biologist”

Three highly unexpected words you must keep in mind when tromping through the Amazon:
Giant.
Electric.
Eels.
Look down before you step into running water.
Wear rubber boots.

More hard-earned education at Evopropinquitous.

* “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is Nature’s inexorable imperative”  – H.G. Wells

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As we recheck our rucksacks, we might send adventurous birthday greetings to Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor; he was born on this date in 1875.  Grosvenor was recruited in 1899 to a small scholarly journal published by the National Geographic Society.  (His benefactor was a friend of his father’s, Alexander Graham Bell, then the president of the Society (and soon, Grosvenor’s father-in-law.)   Grosvenor became the journal’s first full-time editor, and began to build it, developing its extraordinary photographic service and map department. Revenue from growing circulation supported expeditions– which supplied more remarkable photos and maps… Membership grew from 900 in 1899 to more than 2 million at the time of his retirement (by then, as President of the Society) in 1955.

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Written by LW

October 28, 2012 at 1:01 am

“Altering life by holding it still”*…

 

The first of a series of multimedia essays on photography and photojournalism; quoth Leica…

Building on their shared history, Magnum and Leica agreed to collaborate on a series of projects that continue their longstanding dedication to independent documentary photography. Beginning in the spring of 2011, Leica will sponsor the creation of a series of independently-produced multimedia essays that will highlight the personal journeys and insatiable curiosity of Magnum photographers. The stories will be published at the homepages of Magnum Photos, LFI Magazine, and Leica.

And for readers who are inspired, some riveting advice from the extraordinary Arthur Fellig, better known as Weegee, the photo-documentarian of the underside of New York life in the 30s, 40s, and 50s…

* “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still”- Dorothea Lange

 

As we adjust our f-stops, we might recall that it was on this date in 1947 that player-manager Mel Ott of the (then New York) Giants hit his 511th and final career home run.  Ott, the first National League player to hit 500 home runs, managed the Giants from 1942-48, during which stretch the Giant’s best finish was 3rd place.  It was in refeence to Ott’s easy-going stewardship of the Giants that then-Dodgers manager Leo Durocher made his oft-quoted (albeit somewhat out-of-context) remark, “Nice guys finish last!”

Baseball card on which Ott struck an uncharacteristically-fierce pose (source)

 

 

Seizing the instant in its flight…

Hamburg, 1952-3 (The sign reads, “Looking for any kind of work.”)

We photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory.
– Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson was the father of modern photojournalism.  An early master of the 35mm format, he pioneered “street shooting” and more broadly, a form of candid photography that set the model– and the standard– for generations of photojournalists who’ve followed.  Indeed, after World War II (most of which he spent as a prisoner of war) and his first museum show (at MoMA in 1947), he joined Robert Capa and others in founding the Magnum photo agency, which enabled photojournalists to reach a broad audience through magazines such as Life, while retaining control over their work.

The first major retrospective of Cartier-Bresson’s work in the U.S. in three decades opens later today at MoMA in New York, where it will run until late June, then travel to The Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Readers can whet their appetites by visiting MoMa’s online gallery of Cartier-Bresson’s work.

Of all forms of expression, photography is the only one which seizes the instant in its flight.
– Henri Cartier-Bresson , 1968., The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson

As we reload our Brownies, we might recall that it was on this date in 1876 that a group that had started in 1868 in New York City as “The Jolly Corks” reorganized and renamed itself The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.  After the death of a member of the Corks left his wife and children without income, the club took up additional service roles and rituals– and a new name.  Clear that they wanted to name their organization for “a readily identifiable creature of stature, indigenous to America,” the fifteen members couldn’t reach consensus on which one.  In the end, they voted 8-7 in favor of the elk over the buffalo.

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The eyes have it…

From 10,000 Words (“where journalism and technology meet”), a look at “10 News photos that took retouching too far“:

Many news photographs are Photoshopped here and there to increase clarity or to optimize for print or online display. But there have been several instances where retouching has been pushed too far, changing the original intent or accuracy of the photo.

Among the before-and-after examples:

From USA Today

and this, from the Toledo Blade:

Read the back-stories, and check out the other eight, here.

In many newsrooms it is unethical to pass off a retouched photo as reality. Ideally, retouching of a news photograph should be limited to basic exposure and color correction, cropping, resizing, or conversion to grayscale. Any Photoshopping that alters the meaning of the original photo should be labeled as a “news illustration” in the caption so the viewer understands the photo has been altered.

Retouching may seem innocent, but can have a profound effect on the way we remember an event, according to a 2007 study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology.

“Any media that employ digitally doctored photographs will have a stronger effect than merely influencing our opinion – by tampering with our malleable memory, they may ultimately change the way we recall history,” said researcher Dario Sacchi.

For more on the ethics of news photography, check out the National Press Photographers Association’s code of ethics.

As we reconsider the evidence of our own eyes, we might recall that on this date in 1775, via a resolution submitted to the Continental Congress by Richard Henry Lee, the “United Colonies” of America (which had it’s own currency; c.f. the $2 note below) changed it’s name to the “United States” — a masterstroke of re-branding.

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