You are currently browsing an author archive.

April 13th, 2016

David Bailey, Zanele Muholi Among Honorees at ICP Infinity Awards 2016

Mick Jagger. © David Bailey

Mick Jagger. © David Bailey

 

The International Center of Photography (ICP ) honored their 2016 Infinity Award winners at a gala in New York City on April 11.

David Bailey, the fashion and portrait photographer, received the 2016 Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award for Documentary & Photojournalism went to South African photographer/activist Zanele Muholi. The Art award was given to Walid Raad.

For the second year in a row, ICP named a winner for Online Platform & New Media. The award was given to Jonathan Harris, artist and engineer, and Gregor Hohmuth, an artist and computer scientist, who co-created the creators of Network Effect, a site that examines “human life on the Internet.”

The other Infinity Awards winners were:
Artist’s Book: Fire in Cairo by Matthew Connors
Critical Writing & Research: Susan Schuppli
Trustee Award: Artur Walther, The Walther Collection

Information on, and short videos about, each of the winners can be found at http://www.icp.org/infinity-awards.

Related articles
Iturbide, Fink, Van Houtryve to Be Honored at ICP Infinity Awards 2015

Zanele Muholi on Fighting Homophobic Violence with Portraiture (for PDN subscribers)

Bruce Weber on David Bailey, Diane Arbus, Lisette Model and Romance

PDN Legends Online: David Bailey

March 11th, 2016

Using Thermal Hot Springs to Tone Prints: That’s an Alternative Process

© Jon Verney. The images in his “Thermophile” series were toned by the sulfur-rich water in and around geothermal springs. “It was like painting with the earth.”

© Jon Verney. The images in his “Thermophile” series were toned by the sulfur-rich water in and around geothermal springs. “It was like painting with the earth.”

Jon Verney makes his multi-hued prints by using the sulfur-rich water and mud in hot springs and geysers to bleach and tone silver-based prints. Verney first tried the process at a hot spring in Italy, and has since traveled to hot springs in Iceland, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and the Salton Sea in southern California to make the images in his “Thermophile” series. “It was like painting with the earth,” Verney tells the magazine of the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan. An MFA student at Stamps, Verney will be showing his thesis show alongside his classmates’ projects tonight through April 2 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

He explains that he got the idea from Romeo DiLoreto, a darkroom master Verney met while working in Italy as a darkroom technician, responsible for mixing chemicals for sepia toning. To make a sepia print, a black-and-white print is placed in a bleaching agent “which erases the image and reverts the silver in the emulsion back into an undeveloped state,” he says. When the bleached print is put into a bath of sodium sulfide, “the sulfur latches onto the silver and forms silver sulfide, a new chemical compound that causes the image to redevelop in warm brown tones.” DiLoreto noted that the high concentration of sulphur in a hot spring could turn a bleached photo to sepia. Verney took a bleached print to a local hot spring to try it. Watching the paper change color and then seeing a bronze-colored image appear was “a baptismal experience,” he says.

He’s since discovered that he can get a wide range of hues at different hot springs, depending on the temperature, acidity or mineral content of the water. “I realized that along with the sulfur, the water also contained a rich array of other dissolved elements—iron, calcium, aluminum, nickel—and these molecules would also bond to the silver, fusing and forming new compounds.”

© Jon Verney. Verney, an MFA student at the University of Michigan first tested the technique at a hot spring in Italy.

© Jon Verney. Verney, an MFA student at the University of Michigan, has explored a variety of hot springs, and finds he gets different hues in different locations.

Each print is unique, influenced by factors such as how long the image is in contact with the water. Like every lover of alternative processes, Verney appreciates the element of chance and uncertainty.

Working with boiling mud and sulfurous water requires some daring and ingenuity, of course. He sometimes puts prints in an old peanut butter jar with holes cut into the lid. He hurls the jar into a steaming pool, then he pulls it back in by a string. Check out the article in the Stamps publication and visit Verney’s website to see his images and how he hurls a jar over the edge of a crater.

March 9th, 2016

POPCAP’16 Prize for Contemporary African Photography Winners Announced

© Sabelo Mlangeni  From “Isivumelano: An Agreement, 2003-2014,” his series on weddings in South African townships, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland.

© Sabelo Mlangeni
From “Isivumelano: An Agreement, 2003-2014,” his series on weddings in South African townships, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland.

Nicolas Henry, Jason Larkin, Sabelo Mlangeni, Thom Pierce and Julia Runge have been named the winners of the POPCAP’16 Prize for Contemporary African Photography. The announcement was made March 6 by piclet.org, the online directory of photographers’ portfolios which organizes the juried prize.

The prize honors series that were taken in an African country or deal with a diaspora of an African country. Only one of the winners, Sabelo Mlangeni, a South African, was born on the African continent. Pierce, who lives in Cape Town, South Africa, was born on Jersey;  Larkin, born and raised in London, made his project, “Waiting,” from 2013-2015 while living in Johannesburg. Henry lives in France  Runge lives in Germany.

The five winners were chosen from 900 applications from 94 countries. The organizers had previously announced 20 shortlisted photographers, including photographers from Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Congo and Egypt.

Winners of the prize are included in POPCAP exhibitions shows at Image Afrique in Basel, Lagos Photo Festival, Eyes On-European Month of Photography and the FIFCV Festival Internacional de Fotografiade de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde).

I congratulate all the winners. I can’t help noting that in many European photo festivals, it’s not uncommon to find the work of Europeans who photograph in Africa, but Africans working in Africa aren’t often given showcases that reach international audiences. I wish they were.

Work by all the winners and shortlisted photographers, along with their bios, can be found on the POPCAP website.

March 7th, 2016

Obit: Environmental Photographer Gary Braasch Dies While Snorkeling on Great Barrier Reef

Gary Braasch © Joan Rothlein

Gary Braasch © Joan Rothlein

Gary Braasch, who had documented climate change, conservation and other environmental issues since 1974, died today while snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. He was 70.

Braasch’s death was reported by Reuters, which says the photographer was documenting the effect of climate change on the reef off the northeastern coast of Australia. The cause of the Braasch’s death is being investigated by Queensland police, the wire service reports.

Braasch’s work on the environment has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Audubon, and other publications. He published his acclaimed book on climate change, titled Earth Under Fire, in 2007. In 2000, he launched the  World View of Global Warming website, a compendium of his climate change work from all over the world, and a respected resource on the issues and science of climate change for educators, students, and the general public. To raise awareness about environmental issues and climate change, he produced exhibits for the National Academy of Science, the Field Museum in Chicago, Boston Museum of Science, and other science and natural history museums. He was also a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

To read the full obituary, see PDNOnline.

February 29th, 2016

Secret Service Investigating Agent’s Bodyslam of TIME Photog Chris Morris

Video by Joe Perticone of Independant Journal shows Chris Morris swearing at a Secret Service agent, who then grabbed the photographer by the throat.

Video shows Chris Morris swearing at Secret Service agent, who then grabbed the photographer by the throat.

After a U.S. Secret Service agent was videotaped throwing TIME photographer Chris Morris to the floor in a chokehold during a Donald Trump rally in Radford, Virginia, yesterday, the Secret Service issued a statement saying that its field office is investigating the incident. TIME has also issued a statement saying that it had contacted the Secret Service “to express concerns about the level and nature of the agent’s response.” According to TIME, Morris has “expressed remorse for his part in escalating the confrontation.” Video had captured the photographer swearing in the agent’s ear just before he grabbed Morris.
TIME Responds to Confrontation With Secret Service at Trump Event

TIME issued the statement after videos circulated showing Black Lives Matter protesters moving through the crowd at the Trump rally.

One video, taken a few feet from Morris and posted on Twitter by Joe Perticone of Independent Journal, shows Morris leaning forward and saying into the agent’s ear, “Fuck you. Fuck you.” The agent says “What?” then reaches for Morris. In another video, showing the full auditorium, Morris is seen standing near a pen with other photographers in the middle of the crowd, speaking to an agent. The agent can then be seen grabbing Morris’s throat and throwing him to the floor. Once Morris was on the floor, he tried to kick the agent away, saying, “Don’t touch me.” Moments later, he demonstrated how the agent had choked him by putting his hands on the agent’s throat. Morris was escorted out of the auditorium and, according to TIME, detained by local law enforcement. He was released later in the day.

A TIME spokesperson said, “We are relieved that Chris is feeling OK, and we expect him to be back at work soon.”

Some news stories originally reported that a member of Trump’s security, not a Secret Service agent, had thrown Morris down.

An article posted today on TIME Lightbox notes that “unlike other presidential campaigns, which generally allow reporters and photographers to move around at events, Trump has a strict policy requires reporters and cameramen to stay inside a gated area, which the candidate often singles out for ridicule.” Morris was near the entrance to the pen when the Secret Service agent first confronted him.

The journalism site Poynter today posted an article noting that during campaign events, Trump incites crowds to boo pool photographers and camera people after they refuse his demand that they turn their cameras away from the stage and pan the crowd, something pool photographers (responsible for covering the stage) can’t do. TV cameraman Grant Hansen told Poynter, “He rallied the crowd against us. It was frustrating, but I’m there to do my job just as he is there to do his.”

February 23rd, 2016

What PDN’s 30 Has Taught Us About Photo Education, and Lifelong Learning

PDN April 2016. © PDN/Photo by Ina Jang

© PDN/Photo by Ina Jang

This morning we launched our April issue and our online gallery of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. In the new issue, you can read part of an interview with a photojournalist who decided to get a master’s degree because there was “something I didn’t know.” She explains, “I had to continue to grow to be capable of telling other people’s stories. And stories I was telling were more and more complex.” That’s not a quote from one of the PDN’s 30 emerging photographers. That’s a quote from veteran photographer Lynn Johnson, who had been shooting photo essays for LIFE and National Geographic for years when she returned to school.

Johnson’s quote is among the excerpts we’ve reprised in the issue and on PDNOnline from our favorite interviews and artists’ talks by some renowned master photographers. (See “Great Photographers on How They Make Work That Matters.”) They are photographers who continue to experiment and to reexamine what they want their photos to achieve. The stories of their artistic journeys, and those of the PDN’s 30 emerging photographers we profile, got me thinking about the need for constant education and lifelong learning in a changing marketplace.

As we gathered portfolios from photographers nominated for the 2016 PDN’s 30, we heard from some of last year’s PDN’s 30 who participated in the seminars we hold at photo schools and festivals. In prepping the PDN’s 30 photographers for those panels, I ask them to remember that the photo students in the audience want to hear how the panelists got from where the students are now—unsure how to run a business, uncertain how to approach clients—to being working professionals. The photo schools we visit typically have teachers who can explain how they launched their own careers decades ago. But in the 16 years I’ve been arranging PDN’s 30 seminars, the media and the photo industry have changed so much, the career paths that past PDN’s 30 photographers described just seven or eight years ago now sound quaint. What I’ve appreciated about PDN’s 30 photographers is that they know the old industry models are gone, but they’ve figured out their own ingenious, enterprising ways to fund and share their work.

Students in the audience for our PDN’s 30 panels demand candid answers. The best PDN’s 30 panelists are honest about the lessons they learned from their mistakes. As senior editor Conor Risch says in his introduction to the 2016 PDN’s 30 gallery, nearly all of them learned from experienced photographers or photo industry professionals willing to teach, advise, encourage and make connections for others. This year’s PDN’s 30 photographers work very hard, and in spite of setbacks, they persevere with passion. That’s a trait they share with many of the master photographers we’ve profiled.

Photographers my age sometimes grouse about why PDN devotes an issue to emerging photographers. I’ve always responded by talking about the responsibility we in the photo community have to introduce the next generation of photographers to professional business practices. I’ve also realized that in this rapidly changing market, all photographers, no matter how experienced they are, have to keep experimenting and learning. It’s equally important to be open to advice and new ideas, no matter where they come from.

Related Articles
So You’ve Just Graduated with a Photography Degree. Now What?

PDN’s 30 Photographers on Building Support for their Work

January 20th, 2016

Nat Geo Seminar: Photographers Explain How they Reach New Audiences to Effect Change

One of the images of endangered species, curated by Louis Psihoyos, projected onto the Empire State Building. Courtesy Racing Extinction.

One of the images of endangered species, curated by Louis Psihoyos, projected onto the Empire State Building. Courtesy Racing Extinction.

In his talk during the National Geographic Seminar on January 14, Louis Psihoyos, the photographer, filmmaker and conservation advocate, urged photojournalists and nature photographers in the audience to reach beyond magazine readers and look for new, ambitious ways to get their message in front of a wider audience. Psihoyos’s film Racing Extinction has been shown in theaters, online and on the Discovery Network in more than 200 countries, and a light show he curated—featuring images of endangered species by several wildlife photographers—that has been projected onto the Empire State Building and the Vatican has been seen by billions in person and online, he said. By spreading a message through a variety of media, “you can continue the conversation,” he explained. Attitudes and behavior change, he said, when you persuade “10 to 15 percent” of the population: “To me, it’s about reaching a tipping point.”

Psihoyos echoed themes that were raised throughout the day-long National Geographic Seminar, about the need to find ways to reach new audiences as magazine readership shrinks. Speakers included emerging photographers who are building online audiences or are exploring new styles of documentary storytelling.

When he shot for National Geographic in the 1980s, Psihoyos said, “It had circulation of 11 million and we said four people saw each issues passed along.” National Geographic’s current rate base for 2016, according to its media kit, is based on a readership of 3.1 million.

He has long been an optimist about photography’s ability to stir action. The first newspaper that hired him required its photographers to shoot a weekly column that showcased an animal at the local shelter that would be euthanized if it was not adopted. “I loved doing pet of the week because all my cats and dogs got saved. I loved doing it because I could see the power of an image to save the life of another creature.”

(more…)

December 29th, 2015

In Memoriam: John Chervinsky, Physics Engineer and Photographer, 54

John Chervinsky, an engineer whose photographs exploring the nature of time were exhibited around the U.S., died December 21 at the age of 54. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer, according to the Griffin Museum of Photography, which administers a scholarship in his name.

Chervinsky balanced his loves of art and science while pursuing two careers. He ran a particle accelerator at Harvard University for 18 years, and then went to work for Harvard’s Rowland Institute for Science. Long interested in photography, he primarily shot street photos until 2001. In that year, a series of tragedies inspired him to spend more time in a studio he set up in his attic, as he told Lenscratch in a 2011 article. In 2003, he enrolled in Photography Atelier, a program for emerging to advanced photographers then offered through Lesley University in Boston. He began fashioning images that explored and expanded the camera’s ability to freeze a moment time. His images have been exhibited at CordenPotts Gallery, Blue Sky Gallery, PhotoEye Project Gallery, the Griffin Museum of Photography and other exhibition spaces.

In a 2013 interview with photographer Barbara Davidson for Framework, the photo blog of the Los Angeles Times, Chervinsky explained the method he used to create the still-life images in his “Studio Physics” series.

“My process is as follows:
1) Compose and photograph a still life.
 2) Crop a subset of the image and send it to a painting factory in China.
3) Wait for an anonymous artist in China to complete an actual oil painting of the cropped section, and send it to me in the mail.
 4) Reinsert the painting into the original setup and re-photograph.”

By the time he re-photographed the set up, the elements of his still life—an arrangement of fruit or bundles of flowers—would have begun to rot and fade. In his series “An Experiment in Perspective,” he used an overhead projector to project shapes onto a wall that he would then trace with chalk. “If I stood at just the right spot with my camera, it appeared to be hovering in a different plane out from the surfaces of the walls,” he explained. He then combined his markings of circles, squares and cylinders with real, three-dimensional objects.

As he told Aline Smithson of Lenscratch, “Conceptually, the work deals with the divide between rational or scientific explanations of existence and man’s need to explain the world around him with various systems of belief.”

(This week, Lenscratch published reminiscences of Chervinsky by colleagues and friends, “John Chervinsky, Celebrating a Life.”)

Chervinsky’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Portland Museum of Art in Oregon, List Visual Art Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Santa Barbara Museum of Art and other public and private collections.

The Griffin Museum administers the John Chervinsky Emerging Photographer Award, which each year provides a photographer tuition-free enrollment in Photography Atelier, an exhibition at the Griffin Museum, and a photo book selected from Chervinsky’s personal library.

© John Chervinsky

An Experiment in Perspective, John Chervinsky’s self-published book. © John Chervinsky

December 22nd, 2015

Nina Berman Wins 2016 Aftermath Grant For Project on War’s Toxic Legacy

Nina Berman has won the 2016 Aftermath Project Grant for “Acknowledgment of Danger,” a look at the “toxic legacy of war on the American landscape.” Berman, a documentary photographer, has published two books: Purple Hearts—Back from Iraq (2004), on wounded veterans; and Homeland (2008), a look at surveillance and paranoia in post 9/11 America. Sara Terry, photographer and founder of The Aftermath Project, announced the news on social media today.

The Aftermath Project, a nonprofit, supports the production of projects on “the lingering wounds of war” and communities recovering from conflict. Past winners of the Aftermath Project Grant include Stanley Greene, Andrew Lichtenstein and Justyna Mielnikiewicz. In August 2015, Terry announced the 2016 grant would be the last the organization would offer “for the time being.” In the coming year, the organization will “concentrate on our tenth anniversary and strategize our way forward.”

In addition to naming the 2016 grant winner, the judges also chose several finalists:

Juan Arredondo for his project, “Everybody Needs a Good Neighbor,” about the challenges faced by ex-combatants transitioning back to civilian life in Colombia, as the nation prepares for a historic peace agreement between the government and FARC in March, 2016.

Bharat Choudhary for his project, “The Silence of Others,” which examines the aftermath of the war on terror and its disastrous psychological impact on young Muslims living in the West.

Paolo Marchetti for his project “FEVER: The Awakening of European Fascism,” which documents the growing racial intolerance – exacerbated by the economic crisis and by political ideologues – expressed by many young people reacting against the massive flow of immigrants to Europe.

Brian McCarty for his project, “War Toys,” a conceptual art/photography project. With the help of expressive therapists, McCarty works with the children to make narrative photographs that recreate their experiences using locally found toys.

The judges for the 2016 grants were Terry; Denise Wolff, an editor with Aperture; photographer (and former Aftermath Project board member) Jeff Jacobson; photographer Maggie Steber; and Elizabeth Rappaport, a photographer and Aftermath Project board member.

Related Articles
Project on Ukraine Wins $20,000 2015 Aftermath Grant

Post 9/11 War Business Projects Wins $20K Aftermath Project Grant for 2014

How to Win Grants That Support Your Photo Projects (interview with Sara Terry)

December 3rd, 2015

Time Inc Responds to PDN Article on Resistance to Time Inc’s Contract

After we published our story “Photographers, Reps, Push Back on Time Inc Contract’s Rights Grab,”
Jill Davison, vice president, corporate communications at Time Inc., contacted PDN. She sent a statement on Time Inc’s behalf.

Here’s the statement:

“We have standardized our photography rights and rates across our brands. Our new contract is fair and equitable. Many photographers have already signed the new agreement.”