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May 13th, 2014

Photojournalist Camille Lepage, 26, “Murdered” in Central African Republic

In her most recent post on Instagram on May 6, slain photojournalist Camille Lepage shared a photograph of people she was traveling with and details about her location.

In her most recent post on Instagram on May 6, slain photojournalist Camille Lepage shared a photograph of anti balaka [Christian militia] she was traveling with and details about her location.

Camille Lepage, a 26-year-old French photojournalist, has been killed in the Central African Republic, say reports from the Associated Press and Reuters.

According to the Reuters report, citing a statement released today by French President Francois Hollande, Lepage’s body was found when French-affiliated soldiers stopped “a car driven by anti-balaka [Christian militia] groups, in the Bouar region.”

The Associated Press report, citing Lepage’s colleagues, says the photojournalist was caught in fighting “while traveling in a village about 37 miles (60 kilometers) west of Bouar, near the country’s border with Cameroon.”

Lapage, who is from Angers, France, last posted on her social media accounts on May 6. In the caption to a photograph posted to her Instagram she wrote: “Travelling with the Anti Balaka to Amada Gaza, about 120km from Berberati, we left at 3.30am to avoid the Misca checkpoints and it took us 8 hours by motorbike as there is [sic] no proper roads to reach the village. In the region of Amada Gaza, 150 people were killed by the Seleka between March and now. Another attack took place on Sunday killing 6 people, the anti balaka Colonel Rock decides to send his elements there to patrol around and take people who fled to the bush back to their homes safely.”

In addition to covering Central African Republic, LePage had also photographed stories in South Sudan, and had been published in The New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, The Guardian and Le Monde among other publications. Lepage had also worked with Medecines Sans Frontiers, Amnesty International, the World Food Program, and other non-governmental organizations.

In their statement, the French President’s office called Lepage’s death a “murder,” saying, “Everything will be done to uncover the circumstances of this assassination and to track down who murdered our compatriot.”

May 12th, 2014

Richard Mosse Wins $50K Deutsche Borse Prize for The Enclave

Richard Mosse, "Safe From Harm," North Kivu, eastern Congo, 2012, © Richard Mosse, Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

Richard Mosse, “Safe From Harm,” North Kivu, eastern Congo, 2012, © Richard Mosse, Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

Richard Mosse has won the 2014 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. The £30,000 award (about $50,000 US) is given annually to a photographer whose photo book or exhibition contributed to the medium of photography in Europe during the previous year. The news was announced this evening during a ceremony in London at The Photographers’ Gallery. Read the full story on PDNOnline.

April 30th, 2014

Joanna Piotrowska Wins 2014 First Book Award

Polish photographer Joanna Piotrowska has won the 2014 First Book Award for Frowst, a study of familial relationships through staged photographs, award sponsors announced today.

Piotrowska’s project will be published this June by MACK Books, which co-administers the award with Britain’s National Media Museum.

The First Book Award, now in its third year, is open to photographers who have not previously released a book project with a publisher. However self-published and print-on-demand projects do not disqualify a photographer.

Judges for this year’s award included publisher Michael Mack; National Media Museum curator of photographs Greg Hobson; Wilson Centre for Photography Director of Special Projects Polly Fleury; Photoworks co-editor Ben Burbridge; and Magnum Photos exhibition coordinator Fiona Rogers.

In order to be considered for the award, photographers must be nominated by one of an international group of nominators.

Previous winners include Paul Salveson (2013) and Anne Sophie Merryman (2012).

April 29th, 2014

ICP Celebrates Infinity Award Winners (Recap and Video Links)

Last night the International Center of Photography honored photographers working in photojournalism, fine-art and fashion at the 30th annual Infinity Awards. The awards were inaugurated in 1985 as a way to recognize outstanding achievements by photographers working in various genres within the medium.

It was the first Infinity Awards ceremony for new ICP director Mark Lubell, who promised the crowd that the organization would remain at the “center of the conversation” about the medium. Perhaps as a way to illustrate that point, ICP arranged for a drone to photograph partygoers during the cocktail hour, then put those photographs on-screen at the beginning of the ceremony.

The Cornell Capa Lifetime Achievement Award was given to German-born photographer Jürgen Schadeberg, who as an expatriate in South Africa during Apartheid, made some of the most famous images of Nelson Mandela, and encouraged black South African journalists to pick up cameras and tell their stories.

James Welling was honored for his contribution to fine-art photography; Steven Klein for fashion; Stephanie Sinclair and Jessica Dimmock were honored for photojournalism; Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin were honored for their publication Holy Bible; and Samuel A. James received the Young Photographer award.

Sinclair and Dimmock received a standing ovation from the crowd for their work documenting the practice of child marriage and its effects on adolescent girls, their families and their communities. The project, “Too Young To Wed,” is a decade-long pursuit for Sinclair that has spawned a non-profit that she hopes will help young girls and communities do away with the practice of child marriage.

Samuel A. James, who in his young career has worked extensively in Nigeria documenting the impact of oil extraction on the culture—including photographing the illegal tapping of oil pipelines and makeshift refining operations by impoverished Nigerians—thanked the Nigerians who “gifted me these stories” during a short acceptance speech. James also dedicated the award to a friend who was killed in an explosion while attempting to refine black-market crude oil.

In accepting the Publication award for their book Holy Bible, for which they combined the King James Bible with images from the Archive of Modern Conflict, Broomberg and Chanarin called the book their “attempt to somehow illustrate this text,” and said they hoped it would be an invitation to others to make their own attempts. They also paid tribute to their publisher, Michael Mack for his production of the book, and to the Queen of England, who owns the copyright to the King James Bible.

In a slightly incongruous presentation, pop star Brooke Candy spoke about Steven Klein and introduced a high-octane video that reviewed much of Klein’s work. The fashion photographer briefly thanked the crowd after noting that, “photography pretty much saved my life.”

MediaStorm produced short documentary films about all of the recipients except Klein. Watch those films on the MediaStorm site here.

Related: Tour de Force: James Welling’s Artistic Versatility
Best Photo Books of 2013

April 24th, 2014

Exhibition in Bangladesh Remembers Garment Workers Who Died Tragically

lives-not-numbers-pulse

Photo © Taslima Akhter

A group exhibition currently open through the end of this week at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute remembers the 1,134 garment workers who died on April 24, 2013 when Rana Plaza collapsed after years of neglect. The show, “1134—Lives Not Numbers,” was curated by Mahbubur Rahman and Munem Wasif, and includes contributions by photographers, performance artists, actors and others.

“Through the photographs of the needless deaths, through performance art reflecting the sorrow of the deprived, [the exhibition] attempts to leave a lasting mark on our collective psyche,” writes Pathshala founder Shahidul Alam about the exhibition.

The effort reminds us that our own understanding of this event has been heightened by the work of photographers like Taslima Akhter, whose photo of bodies in the rubble became famous around the world, and Abir Abdullah, whose project, “Deathtrap,” on the ongoing dangers of the garment factories in which millions of Bangladeshis work, won an Alexia Foundation grant.

Visit Alam’s blog to read more about this exhibition and check out a schedule of events.

April 22nd, 2014

Video Pick: In Bed With Chanel

Laurel Pantin in Chanel from Ann Street Studio on Vimeo.

It’s not easy to create an engaging video, let alone a brief, engaging video. Jamie Back and Kevin Burg of Ann Street Studio recently did just that with this 15-second flick featuring Lucky Magazine market editor Laurel Pantin in a big white bed wearing colorful fashions from Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection. The video is part of a collaboration between Ann Street Studio and Chanel. The brand reached out to Beck and Burg, who are best-known for their creation of Cinemagraphs, as part of their marketing for their new collection, Burg told PDN via email.

The concept for the video “came together organically,” Burg says, evolving from the still-image shoot they did with Pantin. “On set we were thinking about motion, and I had the idea that she could change outfits after every time she pulled the covers over herself. And then we had fun with it. Jamie would be at her feet pulling [the covers] off her, like a parent waking their kid up when they want to sleep in.” The idea to show a new outfit for each day of the week, Burg says, “came together in the editing process, and it became this kind of ‘waking up for school’ idea… in luxury fashion.”

The images and video were featured on the Ann Street Studio site and social media channels. The video was created with Instagram in mind, hence the 15-second length. Brands often ask Ann Street Studio to create editorial-style work and release it via their channels, Burg says. “Sometimes brand work is for [the client] and sometimes it’s exclusively published by us.”

Related: Building a Better GIF

April 10th, 2014

11 Photographers Among Winners of 2014 Guggenheim Fellowships

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced the recipients of their 2014 fellowships today. Eleven photographers are among the 178 recipients.

They are (links direct to their bios and image galleries on the Guggenheim site):

Robert Dawson
LaToya Frazier
Jason Fulford
Phyllis Galembo
Gregory Halpern
Brenda Kenneally
Andrew Moore
Lori Nix
Matthew Pillsbury
Mark Ruwedel
Rachel Sussman

Guggenheim Fellows receive a grant to pursue a project; the Foundation does not disclose the amount of money they receive.

Founded in 1922, the prestigious Fellowship program is intended to “add to the educational, literary, artistic, and scientific power of this country, and also to provide for the cause of better international understanding.” The Fellowship supports individuals in mid-career‚ “who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.”

Past recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships include photographers Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams, Brian Ulrich, Richard Mosse, Alec Soth, Christian Patterson and Penelope Umbrico.

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PDN Video Pick: LaToya Ruby Frazier at The Whitney Biennial

April 10th, 2014

SFMOMA Announces Plan To Open Biggest Photo Center In US

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has announced that it will open a 15,500-square-foot space dedicated to photography as part of the renovation that has closed the museum until 2016.

Dubbed the Pritzker Center after lead donors John and Lisa Pritzker, the new photography facility will include an 11,000-square-foot exhibition space that will be the largest in the country permanently devoted to the display of photography, according to a statement released by SFMOMA. The facility will also include a new photographic study center and “an innovative interpretive space that will be the first of its kind in the country.” The upgrade to the museum’s photography department will also include a new curatorial position.

SFMOMA has also announced that more than 1,000 photographs have been added or pledged to their permanent collection by a group of San Francisco-based collectors led by David Mahoney and Winn Ellis.

“The new center, together with the gifts to our collection, represent a transformative development for our photography program and for the entire museum,” SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra said.

Read more about SFMOMA’s plans here.

March 31st, 2014

Photographers Share Intimate Images of Loved Ones for Curated Photo Website

The homepage of The Ones We Love, featuring a photo by Tatjana Suskic.

The homepage of The Ones We Love, featuring a photo by Tatjana Suskic.

On The Ones We Love, a web-based project created and curated by Lindley Warren, photographers share images of “people they love, cherish, and find inspiration within.” The site features work by photographers from all over the world, whose subjects range from lovers to friends to family members. The images are intimate and revealing—an exchange of looks, a laugh, an adventure, some nudity. At the top of each entry is a short text from the photographer, which is sometimes descriptive, other times abstract.

Warren launched the site earlier this year with work from ten photographers, and it’s grown since then to feature the work of more than 70. She posts daily, and receives a few submissions each day. Warren says she is trying “to create a quiet space,” with the project, “a place where people can go and be there with the photographs and be there with the intimacy of it.”

This is the second iteration of The Ones We Love. Warren initially created the site in 2008 for a class project when she was a 19-year-old art student. She reached out to a number of photographers and her correspondence with them inspired her to create the site. Warren wanted to “connect and to see a deeper part of these photographers’ lives,” she says.

Warren became interested in web-based curating after getting into photography as a teen. She wanted to connect with other aspiring artists. “Curating a website is a really great way to communicate with people, get to know them, get familiar with their work, and get familiar with work that you maybe wouldn’t have otherwise,” she explains.

Part of the reason she re-launched the site was that people continued to ask about it and tell her that it had an effect on them. There was a lot of support for the first iteration of The Ones We Love, Warren says, but as a busy student she didn’t quite “comprehend that it actually meant something to other people.” Since then, the number of web-based curatorial projects has grown exponentially, and she’s observed and been inspired by those sites, which gave her a better understanding of how viewers might see The Ones We Love. “Now when people say ‘I really like your project,’ it means a lot more, because I understand more fully on a personal level what they mean.”

UPDATE: A book of photographs from The Ones We Love will be released in August. The book, which is available for pre-order, will feature the work of 79 photographers.

March 27th, 2014

Amy Elkins Wins 2014 Aperture Portfolio Prize

© Amy Elkins, "Four Years Out of a Death Row Sentence (Ocean), 2011," from "Black is the Day, Black is the Night."

© Amy Elkins, “Four Years Out of a Death Row Sentence (Ocean), 2011,” from “Black is the Day, Black is the Night.”

Photographer Amy Elkins has won the 2014 Aperture Portfolio Prize for two bodies of work exploring capital punishment. The Aperture Foundation announced the prize today.

For her series “Parting Words,” Elkins utilized the text of the last words of executed prisoners to reconstruct their mug shots and portraits. “These briefest of statements resonate with the micro-narratives of entire lives, tragic crimes, and opportunities and potential squandered,” writes Aperture Books Publisher Lesley A. Martin in a statement announcing Elkins’ award.

To create her second series on capital punishment, “Black is the Day, Black is the Night,” Elkins corresponded with death-row inmates and created images based on those conversations. In her series she combines these images with photographs of the physical letters, and with portraits of the inmates which she obscures digitally according to the amount of time the inmate has been incarcerated. “As viewers, we are invited to puzzle over an assortment of clues, including reenactments, exhibits submitted for our considerations, partial evidence, and statements both leading and misleading,” Martin writes.

The prize, which was judged by members of the Aperture staff and the organization’s work scholars, includes a $3,000 award and an exhibition at Aperture Gallery.

Elkins was chosen from a shortlist that included Matt Eich, Davide Monteleone, Max Pinckers and Sadie Wechsler. More than 1000 photographers submitted portfolios, Aperture said in a statement.

Previous winners of the Portfolio Prize have included Michael Corridore (2008), Alexander Gronsky (2009), David Favrod (2010), Sarah Palmer (2011), and Bryan Schutmaat (2013).

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