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Film about Photojournalism: “Thousand Times Good Night” June 20, 2014

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Photojournalism , comments closed

  

Frederick Nauman: FELIX FEATURES: A FILM REVIEW
“Recently I got the opportunity to see the film “ A Thousand Times Good Night” (before you can even see the trailer!).  It is the latest from Norwegian film director Erik Poppe, and the film stars stars Juliette Binoche as a war photographer. Many films on the subject of war photography and photojournalism have something that will make anyone in the business cringe, be it unrealistic behavior, poor camera handling or a silly love story. Not so in this case.  Erik Poppe himself has done his fair share of conflict reporting, and a number of current photographers have contributed to make it authentic.For me, having been to many of the places and experienced some situations similar to those in the film, I almost felt  like brushing the Kabul dust off my clothes afterwards. The opening scene, with an Afghan, female suicide bomber made me feel quite uneasy. Personally I photographed the aftermath and the mock funeral of the first female Palestinian suicide bomber (You can seesome images here , warning: graphic). So that certainly hit close to home.

But this isn’t a story on photojournalism as such. But rather a story about realationships and  how “She must weather a major emotional storm when her husband refuses to put up with her dangerous life any longer.”

Thank God this “emotional storm” doesn’t turn the film into a mushy-soppy-escapeism drama only fit for women hell bent on shedding tears in their red wine!

Well, you risk getting misty eyed for sure, but the film very believably explores the emotions involved in having an extreme drive and passion for your work, exposure to danger and what it can do to family life. While photojournalism is the vehicle to tell a relationship story, and a number of professions could be used for that, I think the film is also able to shed some light on the passion that drives some people to grab their camera and run towards danger, rather than away from it.

The film also features Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. if you care about that kind of stuff.

UPDATE: you can now see the trailer here: http://vimeo.com/76213467

Robert Capa and Colour Photography December 22, 2013

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : International Centre for Photography, Magnum, Photojournalism, Robert Capa , comments closed

Robert Capa in colour, a new light on a black-and-white master

One of the 20th century’s most famous photojournalists, Robert Capa is renowned for his stark images of human conflict – but a New York exhibition of unseen colour shots could change all that

Robert Capa, pictured in Portsmouth in 1944, was best known for his war shots. But a new collection shows a gentler side. Photograph: Time Life Pictures/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

An extraordinary group of hitherto unseen colour photographs by Robert Capa, one of the 20th century’s greatest photojournalists, is to be seen for the first time.

The photographs, taken on assignment for US magazines during the second world war and the late 1940s and early 1950s, reveal Capa – one of the masters of black-and-white photography – to have been an early practitioner of colour work. At the time it was a relatively new medium, snubbed by some of his contemporaries as crassly commercial and distorting of reality.

The photographs are among thousands of largely unseen colour images taken by Capa from 1938, when he was covering China’s war with Japan, until 1954, when he was killed by a landmine while covering the conflict in Vietnam.

Though acclaimed for his black-and-white imagery – from the “falling soldier” photograph taken during the Spanish civil war, showing a Republican militiaman being hit by a fascist bullet, to the series of grainy D-Day shots of US soldiers on Omaha Beach – Capa worked in colour for most of his career.

New immigrants disembarking from the Theodor Herzl, near Haifa, Israel], 1949 -50New immigrants disembarking from the Theodor Herzl, near Haifa, Israel], 1949 -50 Photograph: Robert Capa/International Center of Photography/ Magnum Photos

However, the question of whether to use the new medium – Kodak introduced Kodachrome in 1936 and Ektachrome in the 1940s – or stay with black and white haunted the photojournalist elite for decades. It became one of the profession’s most bitterly contested battles, with Capa’s close friend and colleague Henri Cartier-Bresson declaring: “Photography in colour? It is something indigestible, the negation of all photography’s three-dimensional values.”

Cartier-Bresson would later destroy a large proportion of his colour negatives and transparencies – despite providing Life magazine with a famous, if uncredited, colour cover shot in 1959 for an in-depth report on China.

Following Capa’s death, his huge body of colour work – including travel, high fashion and Hollywood commissions – has been largely overlooked by photo-historians and biographers. That is about to change.

Next month, the International Centre for Photography (ICP) in New York is staging an exhibition aimed at correcting this distortion of Capa’s creative legacy. Capa in Color will feature 125 images, many on view for the first time, or unseen for nearly 70 years. The ICP estimates that it holds more than 4,200 colour images by Capa, with the vast majority unseen.

Ava Gardner on the set of The Barefoot Contessa, Tivoli, Italy, 1954Ava Gardner on the set of The Barefoot Contessa, Tivoli, Italy, 1954. Photograph: © Robert Capa/International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos

Among the colour pictures taken by Capa for bestselling US magazines, including Life, Collier’s, Holiday and Ladies’ Home Journal, and the Magnum photo agency he co-founded in 1947, are studies of his friend Picasso playing with his infant son Claude in the south of France in 1948, and screen idol Ava Gardner, another friend, on the Italian film set of The Barefoot Contessa in 1954.

Capa covered the turbulent founding years of the state of Israel in the late 1940s, and chose to use colour as well as black and white to record the arrival of new immigrants in Haifa. His work in travel journalism also led to one of the most touching of his previously unseen photographs – a Lapp family, in northern Norway, in the early 1950s.

However, technical considerations, as much as philosophical ones, meant that colour photography remained an expensive and slow option in its early days. Capa used Kodachrome film for some of his work while based in Britain during the second world war – his studies of American and British bomber crews are some of his least-known wartime gems – but many of those shots were never used in magazines and remain unseen. The early Kodachrome developing process was notoriously slow – picture sometimes taking days, if not weeks – and, in the wrong hands, could yield disappointing results.

A Lapp family in Norway, 1951A Lapp family in Norway, 1951.  Photograph: Robert Capa/International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos

“Capa had those Kodachromes processed at a plant in England,” explains ICP curator Cynthia Young. “But he complained about the processing there. Even now, you can see from those pictures than they are not the classic Kodachrome colours.”

The tonal balance of many of the Capa colour shots on Ektachrome had been lost over the years, as the film’s pigments faded, but the ICP has painstakingly brought them back using digital technology. Astonishingly, the Kodachrome images – between 60 and 75 years old – needed no restoration. Kodak ceased producing Kodachrome film in 2009.

“Capa knew that he had to use colour, to remain relevant to magazines,” says Young. “One of the reasons that we haven’t seen this work of his before is that for the most part they don’t represent the big, heroic events which he was known for. After his death, it just seemed such an anomaly that this great black-and-white master should have done work in colour. That’s why this was forgotten.”

From 1947 on, Capa always used black and white together with colour. When he was killed in Vietnam, one of the two cameras he carried on his last day was found loaded with colour film, the other, black and white.

One of Capa’s greatest colour photo-stories was a detailed look at daily life for women in Russia, written by John Steinbeck and featured in a 1948 edition of Ladies’ Home Journal. Commissioning editor John Morris, who had been Capa’s boss at Life magazine’s London office during the second world war, recalls the assignment. “I don’t remember asking him to shoot colour, but I was glad that he did – otherwise I couldn’t have done that story,” he said.

Now 97, Morris went on to become the first executive editor of the Magnum photo agency that Capa set up with a small band of colleagues, including Cartier-Bresson.

Pablo Picasso playing in the water with his son Claude, Vallauris, France, 1948Pablo Picasso playing in the water with his son Claude, Vallauris, France, 1948.  Photograph: Robert Capa/International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos

“When Capa returned from Russia,” recalls Morris, “the 1947 trip with Steinbeck, he invited me to his hotel room to look at his photos. He showed me a big stack of his black-and-white prints. When I asked if he had any colour shots, he said he hadn’t looked at those yet. So together we went through his strips of colour shots, and from those I found the one possible cover photo that the magazine needed to play that story big.”

With the colour photographs coming to light at last, a new picture of their creator may also begin to emerge, of a creative force not quite so embedded in the trauma of human conflict.

“The exhibition is about bringing his colour to life, what he did with colour, in the later part of his career,” says Cynthia Young. “It was as much about reinventing himself as a photojournalist when he was not covering wars and political conflicts. It was a real challenge for him.”

 

Capa in Color, the International Centre of Photography, New York, 31 January-4 May 2014. Later venues to be announced. www.icp.org

Richard Wainright in Myanmar April 6, 2012

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Photojournalism, Richard Wainright , add a comment

Congratulations to Richard Wainright on his last minute run from the Saigon Restaurant in Perth to an historic election in Myanmar. Great photos on his blog site. Looking forward to the inside story at Saigon on Wednesday night.

Richard Wainright photo: NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaving her home in Rangoon (Yangon) to travel down to Kawhmu on the eve of the by-election.
Richard Wainright photo: NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaving her home in Rangoon (Yangon) to travel down to Kawhmu on the eve of the by-election.

Richard Wainright in his own words: “A last minute email from the Burmese government stating I’ve been granted an official press pass even though the elections are in 5 days, a few beers with photographers in Perth that night encouraging me to go..8 hours later catching a flight to Bangkok to pick up a visa arriving in Rangoon (Yangon) 8am on Saturday. No sleep, little research and first time in Burma so challenging but not unusual for a news story.

Photo Richard Wainright

Photo Richard Wainright

Luckily found an english speaking driver who knew the story so headed straight to the National League for Democracy (NLD), Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, in Rangoon for some info then a crazy 3 hour drive following her energetic supporters to her chosen constituency in Kawhmu south west of Rangoon.

Had to return that night to recharge batteries etc as totally unprepared for an overnight so in hotel at 11.30pm and gone again at 2.30am. Lots of local and international press at her house to see Aung San Suu Kyi leave to meet her supporters at 7am and another frantic 4 hours as she visited polling booths around Kawhmu.

Leaving the media circus it was time to concentrate on the elections themselves visiting voting stations throughout Kawhmu and Rangoon. Media restrictions stated you could not photograph within 500 yards of a polling station but after visiting more than 20 I found two that due to local officials who either didn’t understand the law or decided it wasn’t appropriate (I hope it was the latter) let me in to document Burmese people voting in only the third election to be held in Burma in the last 50 years. Quite a moment for all which was embraced by young and old.

As far as I could see it seemed very well organised, consistent throughout each station and transparent. This was obviously only a very surface and brief view of the elections so lets hope that nothing untoward comes to light over the next few days. If the official results confirm what the NLD are stating then it has been a resounding victory for  them and Aung San Suu Kyi. The future of Burma is now in many ways as unpredictable yet optimistic as it has been for many years…….”

http://www.richwainwright.com/blog/

Photo Richard Wainright On election day flanked by her security guards NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi visits a polling station in Kawhmu, south west of Rangoon (Yangon) where she is standing in the by-election.

Photo Richard Wainright On election day flanked by her security guards NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi visits a polling station in Kawhmu, south west of Rangoon (Yangon) where she is standing in the by-election.

Patrick Tombola “Harvester of Sorrow” shortlisted in Lumix Festival March 21, 2012

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : New Media, Patrick Tombola, Photojournalism , add a comment

Harvester of Sorrow from Patrick Tombola on Vimeo.

Syrian Deaths February 22, 2012

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Photojournalism , add a comment

Reporter Marie Colvin and photographer Remi Olchik, who were killed in Syrian government shelling in Homs on Wednesday. (Ivor Prickett, Sunday Times/Associated Press and Yoan Valat/Associated Press)
Reporter Marie Colvin and photographer Remi Olchik, who were killed in Syrian government shelling in Homs on Wed.                Ivor Ivor Prickett, Sunday Times/Associated Press and Yoan Valat/Associated Press)

Two foreign journalists have been killed by Syrian government troops shelling the southern city of Homs.

In Paris, the government of France identified the two as Remi Ochlik, a French photographer, and Marie Colvin, an American reporter. Colvin was reported elsewhere to have been working for the Sunday Times in Britain.

Omar Shaker, a Syrian activist, said the two journalists were killed Wednesday when several rockets hit the garden of a house used by activists and journalists in the besieged Homs neighbourhood of Baba Amr.

The CBC’s Susan Ormiston, who reported from Syria in January, said Wednesday that Colvin “had snuck in … smuggled in through the Lebanese or Turkish border, with escorts, Free Syrian Army escorts. She said in [a] report on Sunday that her house had already been shelled, and they must have moved to another accommodation which was hit by … shelling this morning.”

“It’s reported that as these journalists escaped this house, they were hit with rocket attacks, and that’s how Marie Colvin was killed. The second journalist is a young French photographer who won a World Press Award this year for covering Libya. His name is Remi Ochlik, and he was there covering the crisis in Homs. By my count, we are now looking at four journalists who have been killed in the Homs area since January.”

The website of photo agency IP3 Press – which was founded by 28-year-old Mr Ochlik – said he was an award-winning photojournalist who had covered events including the 2004 rioting in Haiti and the Arab world upheaval last year.

Syria Protests February 1, 2012

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Photojournalism, Time Lightbox , add a comment

Syria Protests
Syria Protests

Syria Protests
Syria Protests

Syria’s people continue to protest. Time has posted a chronology of images from the ongoing protests against President Bashar al-Assad by the Syrian people and the Syrian Free Army.

Syrian troops have crushed pockets of resistance on the outskirts of Damascus hours before key UN talks.

Soldiers early on Tuesday moved into the two remaining towns still in rebel hands, activists said.

“Intense shooting was heard in Zamalka and Arbeen as the tanks advanced,” the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, citing its network of sources on the ground. Regime forces made sweeping arrests in the nearby town of Rankous, activists said.

Government forces on Monday regained control of most of the capital’s eastern suburbs after dissident soldiers captured the territory last week.

Monday’s death toll rose to 100 people, making it one of the bloodiest days since the uprising began in March, according to activists.

The bloodshed has increased as western and Arab countries step up pressure on President Bashar Assad’s ally Russia to overcome its opposition to a draft resolution.

The draft resolution demands that Assad halt the crackdown and implement an Arab peace plan that calls for him to hand over power to his vice president and allow creation of a unity government to pave the way for elections.

If Assad fails to comply within 15 days, the council would consider “further measures,” a reference to a possible move to impose economic or other sanctions.

http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2061413_2333495,00.html

Budapest Protest Photos Robert McPherson/Metaphor Images January 23, 2012

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Photojournalism, Robert McPherson , add a comment

Robert McPherson/Metaphor Images is in Budapest for Norway’s Aftenposten covering a story on pro government demonstrations. Tens of thousands of Hungarians joined a protest to support Prime Minister Viktor Orban as the European Union pressed the country’s government to change laws that have blocked talks on an international bailout.

Robert McPherson Photo: Demonstators in Budapest
Robert McPherson Photo: Demonstrators in Budapest

Demonstrators marched through the center of Budapest to parliament yesterday in an event organized by a group including Zsolt Bayer, a journalist with Magyar Hirlap newspaper and a founding member of Orban’s Fidesz party. The Interior Ministry said almost 400,000 people attended, while news website Index estimated the turnout at more than 100,000.

“We say yes to Europe but no to what Europe is doing to Hungary and the Hungarian government,” Bayer said in a video message posted on the Internet before the rally. Organizers marching at the front of the crowd carried a banner saying “We won’t become a colony,” a slogan Bayer repeated outside Hungary’s neo-gothic parliament.

Orban is trying to revive bailout negotiations with the bloc and the International Monetary Fund after discussions broke down in December over his refusal to change laws that both institutions said may weaken monetary-policy independence. Orban offered to change disputed legislation after the EU threatened a lawsuit against Hungary for encroaching on the central bank’s independence and political meddling with the judiciary and the data-protection authority.

The demonstration was the largest mass event of its kind since the collapse of communism more than 20 years ago, news website Nol.hu said.

News: Bloomberg Budapest

Robert McPherson Photo Demonstrators in Budapest
Robert McPherson Photo Demonstrators in Budapest

London Riots August 13, 2011

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Aftermath, Photojournalism, The Atlantic , add a comment

The London Riots have raised questions about marginalized societies throughout the world. The negativity in the European world, the Spanish, the Greek and now the English riots have been mirrored in Libya and Syria earlier this year. Frustration with the policies of government and the realities of economics have erupted spontaneously in bonfires of protest.

Looters and other local people in east London pointed to the wealth gap as the underlying cause, but education, lack of opportunity and the generation of a non aspirational class have contributed hugely to the destruction of a city and its cultural systems.

Austerity cuts were now hitting the poorest, the rioters  said, and after tales of politicians claiming excessive expenses and alleged police corruption  it was their turn to take what they wanted

“They set the example,” said one youth after riots in the London district of Hackney. “It’s time to loot.”

The criminality produced a swift popular backlash. Vigilante groups patrolled some streets and there seemed to be an embarrassment that English civilisation was under direct attack by its own citizens. Opportunity breeds tribal collectivity and primitive action and the deep hatred and social tensions have created one more nightmare for the civilized world to contemplate.

A hooded youth walks past a burning vehicle in Hackney on August 8, 2011 in London, England. Disturbances broke out late on Saturday night in Tottenham and the surrounding area after the killing of Mark Duggan, 29 and a father-of-four, by armed police in an attempted arrest on August 4. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
A hooded youth walks past a burning vehicle in Hackney on August 8, 2011 in London, England. Disturbances broke out late on Saturday night in Tottenham and the surrounding area after the killing of Mark Duggan, 29 and a father-of-four, by armed police in an attempted arrest on August 4. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

A masked man carries a toy backdropped by a burning car and garbage bins set on fire by rioters in Hackney, east London, Monday August 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A masked man carries a toy backdropped by a burning car and garbage bins set on fire by rioters in Hackney, east London, Monday August 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

car burns on a street in Ealing, London, on August 9, 2011. Looting by groups of hooded youths spread to Ealing in west London and Camden in the north of the British capital late on Monday, the third night of violence which police have blamed on criminal thugs. (Reuters/Toby Melville)

A car burns on a street in Ealing, London, on August 9, 2011. Looting by groups of hooded youths spread to Ealing in west London and Camden in the north of the British capital late on Monday, the third night of violence which police have blamed on criminal thugs. (Reuters/Toby Melville)

Volunteers wait clear-up after overnight disturbances in Clapham Junction, in south London, on August 9, 2011. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)
Volunteers wait clear-up after overnight disturbances in Clapham Junction, in south London, on August 9, 2011. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)

People eager to clean up after  rioting gather at Clapham Junction, on August 9, 2011 in London, England. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
People eager to clean up after rioting gather at Clapham Junction, on August 9, 2011 in London, England. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

WAR PHOTOGRAPHERS- A Special Insight June 18, 2011

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Ami Vitale, Gaza, Panos Pictures, Photojournalism, War , add a comment

Photo Ami Vitale Panos Pictures
Photo Ami Vitale Panos Pictures

FROM A SPECIAL REPORT from THE GUARDIAN JUNE 2011
Features the work and reactions of Adam Ferguson, Alvaro Ybarra Zavala, Lynsey Adario, Joao Silva, Tom Stoddart, Greg Marinovich, Gary Knight, Shaul Shwartz, Eric Bouvet, Mads Nissen, Adam Dean, John D McHugh, Marco di Lauro, John Stanmeyer, Ashley Gilbertson, Ron Haviv, Julie Jacobson and Ami Vitale.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jun/18/war-photographers-special-report

Ami Vitale records her experience:

I was photographing a funeral, and having spent most of the day with the women, I went to see the body being taken in. A man in the procession started screaming, “CIA agent” and pointing at me. I was surrounded by hundreds of angry men, screaming in my face, grabbing me. I was terrified, and thought, “This is it. I am going to die.” Suddenly I understood a mob. There’s no thinking, just passion.

A woman I’d spent the day with managed to pull me away. When I got home, I sat and cried and cried – she had saved my life. I stayed on in Palestine, but was much more cautious after that; have been ever since. That moment changed my perspective. No picture is worth it.

Deutsche Börse Photography Prize April 30, 2011

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Aftermath, American Photographers, Magnum, Photojournalism , add a comment

Photo Jim Goldberg MAGNUM
Photo Jim Goldberg MAGNUM

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. 2008. His radio is the sole possession that he took with him while escaping a rebel attack in his village. He now lives in a refugee camp with 60,000 other people where poverty, disease, and crime run rampant.

US photographer Jim Goldberg has received the 15th Photography Prize organised by The Photographers’ Gallery in London in association with Deutsche Börse.

Each year, the award goes to a living photographer that has made “the most significant contribution, in exhibition or publication format, to the medium of photography in Europe” over the past 12 months.

Magnum photographer Goldberg was nominated for his exhibition Open See, which went on show last year at The Photographers’ Gallery. He came ahead of three other photographers and artists – Thomas Demand, Roe Ethridge and Elad Lassry.

Open See “documents the experiences of refugee, immigrant and trafficked populations who travel from war torn, socially and economically devastated countries, such as Iraq, Bangladesh, China, The Balkans and Congo, to make new lives in Europe. Fusing Polaroids, video, written text, ephemera and large and medium format photographs, Goldberg, one of the world’s most innovative photographers, reflects on issues of migration and the conditions for desiring escape.”