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June 24th, 2016

LA Times Photographer Pleads No Contest to Resisting Arrest After Reagan Funeral

Longtime Los Angeles Times photographer Ricardo DeAratanha has pleaded no contest earlier this week to resisting and obstructing police during the March funeral motorcade of former First Lady Nancy Reagan. The photographer was at the scene covering the funeral for the Times and was sitting in his car transmitting photos from his laptop when police—responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle near the viewing—approached him. The photographer suggested in a March statement to police that officers were targeting him because of his race (DeAratanha is Brazilian), but the deputy district attorney said there was no evidence of that, according to the Times report.

DeAratanha entered the plea on the misdemeanor count before Ventura County Superior Court Judge F. Dino Inumerable, who sentenced the photographer to 12 months of unsupervised probation and 16 hours of community service, according to the Times. DeAratanha may request the conviction be expunged from his record if he successfully completes probation.

Related Links: 

For more details about the arrest, read PDN’s “LA Times Photographer Of Reagan Funeral Motorcade Charged After March Arrest” coverage.

For more information on photography and the First Amendment, read PDN‘s report on the legal cases photographers should know.

 

June 13th, 2016

Clément Chéroux Appointed Senior Curator of Photography at SFMOMA

Clément Chéroux has been appointed senior curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the museum announced today. Chéroux will begin his tenure at SFMOMA in early 2017. He succeeds Sandra Phillips, who after a thirty-year career with SFMOMA, will assume the newly created role of Emeritus Curator as of July 1, 2016. (Click here to read PDN‘s recent interview with Phillips, in which she discusses her new role, as well as the museum’s growing investment in photography.) Ruth Berson, deputy museum director of curatorial affairs, will serve as interim department director.

Clément Chéroux. Photo courtesy of SFMOMA.

Clément Chéroux. Photo courtesy of SFMOMA.

Currently the Chief Curator of the Department of Photography at the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Chéroux will supervise SFMOMA’s photography exhibitions, acquisition program, publications, scholarship and management of the museum’s Department of Photography, which includes the Pritzker Center for Photography, the largest space permanently devoted to the medium in the United States.

“Clément brings deep expertise in the realm of modern and contemporary photography from curation to scholarship and publication, as well as a uniquely global perspective that will build on the remarkable legacy of Sandy Phillips and our innovative photography team,” Berson said in a statement.

The museum has also announced a major photography gift from collectors Lisa and John Pritzker. The gift includes 78 photographic works by 25 artists with images ranging from documentary and experimental, and from the single print to the unique artist’s book, according to SFMOMA. It includes works from André KertészVito Acconci, Dieter Appelt, William WegmanLee Friedlander, Philip Lorca diCorcia, Paul Graham and Garry Winogrand, among others.

Related Links:

Interview: SFMOMA’s Sandra Phillips

SFMOMA Announces Plan To Open Biggest Photo Center In US

 

April 15th, 2016

Photographer Reunited with Lost Leonardo DiCaprio Negatives

Lost negatives from a photo shoot with a young Leonardo DiCaprio were recently returned to photographer-turned-filmmaker Alexi Tan thanks to fellow photographers Matthew Salacuse, Henry Leutwyler and Stephane Sednaoui. The series of events that reunited Tan with his missing negatives was triggered by DiCaprio’s Best Actor Academy Award, and involved Instagram and goodwill amongst photographers.

The story of how Tan lost his archive will send chills up the spine of any photographer. Several years ago, Tan was out of the country directing a film when the credit card he used to pay for his Manhattan storage space expired, unbeknownst to him. When payments lapsed, Manhattan Mini Storage auctioned off the contents of Tan’s storage unit and his archive was gone to the highest bidder.

An avid collector of old slides and negatives, Salacuse found Tan’s negatives at a New York City flea market five years ago. “I found three or four packs of 120 negs and I couldn’t believe it,” Salacuse told PDN in an email. “It looked like Basketball Diaries-era Leo. He was smoking and shirtless and badass. The negative packs were all unmarked, but I tried doing an image search and I still found nothing. I asked a few fellow photographers but they had never seen the shoot either.” Around the same time, Leutwyler found other pieces of Tan’s archive at the same flea market and arranged to purchase and return those to Tan via his friend, Stephane Sednaoui. Though Leutwyler recovered prints from the DiCaprio shoot, the negatives were missing, presumably bought by Salacuse.

Earlier this year, Salacuse was offering prints of one of the DiCaprio images on Negative Collection, a site he created in 2009 to sell limited edition prints made from old negatives and slides he discovered. After DiCaprio’s Best Actor Academy Award win this year, Salacuse posted the image on the Negative Collection Instagram feed, where Leutwyler recognized it. The two photographers connected and Salacuse passed the DiCaprio negatives and another set from a shoot with hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan to Leutwyler, who is returning them to Tan, who lives abroad.

“The fact that I was able to retrieve anything from my past negative archives is already an incredible gift,” Tan told PDN in an email. “I am of course happy to find even more.” Tan says he was initially concerned that DiCaprio’s representatives would be upset to see the images offered for sale on Salacuse’s site. “I wasn’t even thinking of my negs,” he says. “Thankfully Matthew was kind enough to return them too, and trusted and had faith in Henry and Stephane that these photos belonged to me.”

Salacuse started Negative Collection after recognizing that others might share his interest in vintage photographs that for one reason or another had been lost or thrown out. “I started collecting old slides and negs about 10 years ago and I had cibachromes made (a processes which no longer exists) for the walls in my apartment,” Salacuse recalls. “Then friends started asking me to make prints for their walls. I realized that it was not just me who appreciated these lost and forgotten-about images that were one step away from being in a landfill.”

Salacuse also hoped that, through the site, he might be able to reunite photographers with their lost negatives and slides. “Since, in my regular life, I am a photographer, finding such beauty under heaps of old clothes at a flea market always tore my heart out,” Salacuse explains. “Someone really cared about this image once and for some reason or another, they lost it. So, often I would try and find the photographer based on any writing on the packet of negatives or hints in the photographs. It is trickier than it sounds.”

After discovering thousands of another photographer’s images at the same flea market, Salacuse recalls, he was able to track him down. The photographer was amazed, Salacuse says—he’d just thrown the negatives out the previous week.

“I am so pleased that someone who knew [Tan’s] work spotted it on my Instagram account so now the images can be finally returned to Mr. Tan,” Salacuse says. “This is the best possible outcome for an image put on my site.”

Related:
Photo Archiving: In the Digital Age, Longevity Is No Sure Thing
Photographer’s Lost Archive Turns Up at NY Flea Market
High Capacity Storage for Your Photo Archive

April 6th, 2016

LA Times Photographer Of Reagan Funeral Motorcade Charged After March Arrest

Longtime Los Angeles Times photographer Ricardo DeAratanha has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly refusing to cooperate with police during the funeral motorcade of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, according to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times.

DeAratanha, 65, was charged with one misdemeanor count of resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer, according to the Ventura County district attorney’s office.

The Los Angeles Times reports that DeAratanha was arrested on Wednesday, March 9, less than a mile from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where a public viewing was being held for Nancy Reagan. DeAratanha was at the scene covering the funeral for the Times. When police approached him, he was sitting in his car, transmitting photos from his laptop. Simi Valley Police said at the time that officers were responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle near the viewing, and that DeAratanha was arrested because he refused the officers’ request to identify himself.

DeAratanha’s attorney, Mark Werksman, says the photographer provided multiple press credentials and gave the officers “no reason” to arrest him, according to the Los Angeles Times. DeAratanha has been a staff photographer at the paper since 1989.

December 23rd, 2015

PDN Pulse: Top Gear Stories of 2015

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PDN‘s Technology Editor Greg Scoblete reviewed and reported on a wide range of gear and new technology in 2015, giving readers the pros, cons, and unique features of new cameras, video equipment, software, and accessories from lighting to lenses. Below is a list of the stories that attracted the most attention from PDN readers (and fellow gear fanatics):

1- 5 Affordable 4K Video Cameras – Since you no longer have to spend an arm and a leg to shoot 4K video, we outlined five approachable contenders.

2- 10 Interesting Things We Learned About Cameras and Lenses from LensRentals – How better learn about photography gear than to talk to the people who handle and repair it thousands of times? 

3- Object of Desire: Relio – It’s the LED light that fits in your pocket.

4- Objects of Desire: Our Favorite Gear of the Year – We reported on a variety of gadgets and useful photo gear in 2015 and compiled this list of some of our favorites.

5- Meet the Light Camera: 16 Cameras in One – The L16 from Light is a computer with lenses on it—16, in fact.

6- Four Things We Want in a Canon 5D Mark IV – It’s been three years since Canon updated its 5D lineup. Here’s our wish list for what we want to see when the new model is unveiled.

7- Epson Goes Wider with New SureColor P800 Printer – Epson’s P800 uses an UltraChrome HD inkset for producing long-lasting photo prints.

8- Zeiss’ New Tank: The Otus 85mm f/1.4 – The massive new metal-barreled portrait lens from Zeiss is built to last, sharp and costs a small fortune.

9- Pentax President on Medium Format, Full Frame Future – We had a chance to ask President of Pentax, Jim Malcom, four questions at the WPPI show this year. 

10- Lensbaby Debuts Velvet 56 Portrait Lens – Readers like the portrait lens that brings the bokeh.

Related Articles:

PDN Pulse: Top Photo News Stories of 2015

PDN Pulse: Top Stories of 2014

The Best of 2014: PDN Photo of the Day

 

September 8th, 2015

Educator, Consultant Mary Virginia Swanson Named New Executive Director of LOOK3

© Tom Daly/courtesy LOOK3

The Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, during LOOK3 2015. © Tom Daly

The board of directors of LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph today announced they have hired Mary Virginia Swanson, a long-time photo educator, workshop leader, author and consultant to photographers and arts organizations, to be its new executive director. She succeeds Victoria Hindley, who had been executive director of the non-profit photography organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia, since 2014.

© Steven St. John

Swanson (left) teaching at Santa Fe Workshops. © Steven St. John

“I am thrilled to come back to my roots of developing educational programs and events that draw together diverse members of our photography community,”  said Swanson, who had previously participated in LOOK3 as a workshop leader and mentor.

Photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols, cofounder of LOOK3, said in a statement,  “We are thrilled and honored that such a well respected long-time member of the community will be calling LOOK3 home. With her over 30 years working with photographers she will take LOOK3 to new heights.”

Swanson says that as LOOK3 enters its tenth year, she hopes to put more emphasis on the week-long festival’s educational programming, which has sometimes been overshadowed by its exhibitions and public talks by photographers.

Swanson notes that LOOK3’s stated mission is “to celebrate the vision of extraordinary photographers, ignite conversations about critical issues, and foster the next generation of artists.” The festival began when photographer Mike “Nick” Nichols held slide shows annually in his backyard; it became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2006. Throughout its history, Swanson says, LOOK3 “has had a rich legacy of supporting three generations of photographers,” including emerging talent, mid-career photographers and the master photographers who have spoken during the festival at Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater. At times, she says, its educational mission has been “less visible” than its other programs. “I’m keen on photographers having a window onto the business as it’s evolving,” she says. “I want to continue our mentorship of young photographers and meet the need of long-standing professionals for continuing education. We all need to be lifelong learners.”

The LOOK3 board of directors, which was recently expanded, will hold its first meeting this month to discuss next year’s festival.

Before her appointment was announced, Swanson informed her photographer clients that she will be limiting her private consultations. Swanson says she will honor commitments to teach seminars this fall for Aperture Foundation and PhotoPlus Expo, and she plans to continue giving lectures and attending portfolio reviews. As a reviewer, lecturer and teacher, she says,  “I will wear different hats at PhotoNOLA  and [Houston] Fotofest. I’ll be an advocate for LOOK3 as well as an advocate for photographers.”

Related Articles
PhotoPlusExpo 2014: Mary Virginia Swanson on Publishing Your Photo Book

LOOK3 2015: Larry Fink on
Experience, Empathy, and Being “Stuck” with a Successful Career

LOOK3 2013: Josef Koudelka on the Measure of a Photographer

August 26th, 2015

Zun Lee’s Polaroid Archive Preserves African-American Self-Representation

© Zun Lee

The @faderesistance Instagram feed.

Photographer Zun Lee is dedicated to countering stereotypical, often negative views of the African-American family. While he was working on Father Figure, his book about African-American fathers, he stumbled on some old Polaroids that appeared to have fallen from a family photo album. He was intrigued to see how the Polaroids —”the Instagrams of their day,” he calls them — reflected “the way black people saw themselves in private spaces and in ways not intended to be seen, or judged, by others.” By searching yard sales and e-Bay, Lee has amassed 3,000 of these now “orphaned” mementoes and recently began posting them on a Tumbler and an Instagram feed named “Fade Resistance.”  After winning a Magnum Foundation Fellowship last week, Lee now plans to develop his Fade Resistance collection into an interactive digital archive that will allow the public and collaborators from other disciplines to add their own stories, videos and images. His long-term goal, he says, is “to encourage new ways of understanding black identity and representation in today’s world.”

courtesy of @faderesistance/Zun Lee Photo

A Polaroid as it appears on the @faderesistance feed.

The title of the project, Fade Resistance, echoes a phrase critic bell hooks used in an essay about vernacular African-American photography, in which she wrote that these snapshots are “sites of resistance” against pervasive stereotypical and racist depictions of African Americans. That the images were shot on Polaroid film appeals to Lee for a few reasons. First, he says, the instant cameras gave image makers the power to make their own narratives, without relying on a photographer or a lab. Also, the objects are one-of-a-kind, therefore more precious and fleeting, making preservation more urgent. In his proposal for the Magnum Foundation Fellowship, Lee wrote, “What had to happen to these families that they were no longer able to hold on to these valuable documents?” Lee scans the images as well as the notes written on the bottom or back of some images, which provide some clues to the subjects, and invite speculation: We can only wonder what happened to the man who wrote, “To Evelyn with love, hope and respect. Norris Turner. Good things come to those who wait. I’ve been waiting long enough (smile).”

On the @faderesistance Instagram feed, people frequently comment on the locations visible in the background of the images, as well as the hairstyles and clothing seen in the photos, which date from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Expanding the archive and its reach can help widen the search for more information about the stories behind each photo.

The Fellowship will allow Lee to work with the Brown Institute at Columbia University and collaborate with programmers on the development of the archive. In the future, he says, “multi-disciplinary collaboration would not only happen in the digital realm. I’m envisioning not just traditional print shows, but multimedia installations of this work in the future.”

The project may take years. Lee tells PDN, “I have a feeling this archive will be the gift that keeps on giving.” Until the interactive archive is complete, we can view —and enjoy—the photos of graduations, parties, beach outings and proud parents on Lee’s Tumblr and Instagram feed, and perhaps be reminded of our own special moments circa 1989.

Related articles

Magnum Foundation Grants 2 Fellowships to Support Collaborative Documentary Projects

The Father Figure

PDN’s 30 2014: Zun Lee

June 12th, 2015

LOOK3 2015: Larry Fink on Experience, Empathy, and Being “Stuck” with a Successful Career

Photographer Larry Fink appeared on the main stage of the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph last night for a freewheeling conversation with his friend, author Donald Antrim. Fink talked frankly about his formative experiences, the evolution of his motivations and his work, and the path of his illustrious career. It all added up to plenty of practical advice about how to approach subjects, follow your instincts, and make good photographs.

Fink’s career, spanning more than 55 years, has included shows at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and other museums. He has published several monographs, including Social Graces (Aperture, 1984) and, most recently, The Beats (powerHouse, 2014), a retrospective of his earliest work from 1958. Fink is perhaps best known for his unflinching black-and-white photographs of society parties for Vanity Fair, W, GQ and other magazines. His work is delicious visual eavesdropping: It reveals the emotion and human interaction roiling below the surface of polite manners and social grace.

Fink told a packed house at Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater,  “I’ve photographed everything. Nothing was beneath me or above me. I’m just alive. I’m just hungry, hungry to experience, and the camera can translate these experiences in certain ways other things can’t.

“The idea is, is it possible for me…to make a picture that somehow or another assimilates that experience, and then has the miraculous transference to be able to be understood by many others?” Fink said. “How do I enter into you [the subject], pull you through me, clicking all the way, so that we merge inside? And that’s empathy on the deepest, primary level.”
(more…)

January 20th, 2015

Behind Cosmo UK’s Honor Killings Protest “Cover” Photograph

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This mock-up of a Cosmopolitan UK cover features an image from a series of photographs created by artist Erin Mulvehill.

Last week a mock Cosmopolitan UK cover that sought to protest honor killings drew attention and praise online. Honor killing is a horrific practice in which family members kill one of their own, often a daughter, who is perceived to have brought shame on a family.

The Cosmo UK mock cover depicts what appears to be a woman suffocating. In images of the cover circulated by the magazine and Leo Burnett Change, the agency that designed the cover, the issue is sealed in plastic bags, completing the impression that the woman on the cover is being asphyxiated. The cover was inspired by the 2004 murder of 17-year-old British Pakistani teen Shafilea Ahmed; Ahmed’s parents suffocated her in front of her siblings for perceived offenses that included refusing an arranged marriage. Ahmed’s parents were later convicted of murder.

After several outlets reported that the design would appear on the February issue, Cosmopolitan UK clarified that the cover was just a mock-up, created as part of a campaign the magazine is working on with UK women’s rights organization Karma Nirvana. (The actual February cover featured Khloe Kardashian.)

The provenance of the photograph depicting the suffocating woman is also interesting. The black-and-white photograph used in the mock-up is part of “Underwater,” a fine-art series created by Brooklyn-based photographer Erin Mulvehill in 2009. The images in Mulvehill’s series depict women who appear to be floating underwater, many with their hands pressing out towards the viewer. (more…)

January 12th, 2015

PDN Video Pick: Ed Kashi and Matt Black for The New Yorker

For PDN’s January 2015 print edition, we spoke with photographer Matt Black about the photo essay he made for The New Yorker about the drought in California’s Central Valley. Black, who lives in Exeter, California, has been documenting the valley—which produces much of the country’s food—for more than 15 years.

But the story in The New Yorker was assigned before Black ever got involved; months earlier, photographer Ed Kashi had successfully pitched a story on the drought to Whitney Johnson, the magazine’s director of photography. When it came time to shoot the story, however, Kashi realized that Black—his former assistant—was not just embedded, but invested, in the valley, and would be a perfect collaborator.

“I was thinking, I’ll never, in the week or so I have of field time, produce the body of still work that this man has produced over 15 years,” Kashi says. “So why try to reinvent the wheel?”

Kashi proposed that he would shoot motion, and Black would shoot stills, and Johnson was quickly on board. Sky Dylan-Robbins, a video producer at The New Yorker, would edit their work into the 7-minute video that ran on newyorker.com.

“It was fun,” Kashi admits. “We were like two little kids in a way, photo buddies who were just looking for visuals and trying to figure out how to put the narrative together without getting bogged down in the weeds of the issue. Because the issue of water in California is insanely complicated.”

Related:

Matt Black on Dorothea Lange

Matt Black and Ed Kashi Bring California’s Dried-Out Central Valley to The New Yorker

NewYorker.com: The Dry Land