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February 25th, 2013

Obituary: Sports and Portrait Photographer Ozzie Sweet, 94

Ozzie Sweet, whose photographs have appeared on approximately 1,800 magazine covers, died on Wednesday, February 20, according to an obituary in The New York Times. He was 94 years old.

Sweet started taking photographs after joining the Air Force at the start of World War II, and his “war-time” images frequently landed on the cover of Newsweek—despite the fact that some of them were staged. A 2001 interview with SeacoastOnline noted that Sweet “hate[s] to use the word ‘faked,’” when describing his images and instead said that his shots are “carefully planned and staged.”

After the war, the self-described “photo illustrator” photographed a number of notable subjects including Albert Einstein, Grace Kelly, Joe DiMaggio, John Wayne, Mickey Mantle and Ernest Hemingway, for publications like TIME, Sport, Saturday Evening Post, Ebony, Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated and Look. He later became known for his sports photography and co-authored two books on baseball: Mickey Mantle: The Yankee Years: The Classic Photography of Ozzie Sweet and The Boys of Spring. In 2005 he won a Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sports Photography.

Read his full obituary at www.nytimes.com.

February 25th, 2013

POYi Update: The New York Times and The Denver Post Excel

©The Denver Post

©The Denver Post

The New York Times and The Denver Post have both won two top prizes so far in the Multimedia Division of the Pictures of the Year International competition. Multimedia judging began on Friday. It is the final division for the competition, which ends tomorrow.

The New York Times won first prize in both the News Multimedia Story and the Feature Multimedia categories. The winning news multimedia entry, about Syrian rebel fighters, was shot by freelance video journalist Ben Solomon. The feature multimedia entry, about a couple’s struggle with the husband’s dementia, was part of the paper’s series called The Vanishing Mind, and included photographs by freelancer Béatrice de Géa.

Last week, the Times won top prize in for Best Newspaper, a POYi Editing Division category. Runners up for Best Newspaper were The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, respectively.

The Denver Post, meanwhile, won the MacDougall Overall Excellence in Editing Award (also part of the Editing Division categories judged last week), as well as first prize in the Issue Reporting Multimedia Story and Sports Multimedia Story categories.

The issue reporting prize was for a project by Mahala Gaylord, Joe Amon, Meghan Lyden, and Tim Rasmussen about two heroin addicts struggling to get by on the streets of Denver. (Still photos from the project also won second prize in the Issue Reporting Picture Story category during the first week of the competition.)

The paper won the Sports Multimedia Story prize for a  project by Mahala Gaylord titled “Trey’s Team,” about a high school football player’s recovery from a head injury.

In the Campaign 2012 Multimedia Story category, Jason Reed and Larry Downing of Reuters won first prize for their story titled “Chasing Obama.”

Among other POYi prize winners in recent days was National Geographic, which won first place for Best Magazine, a POYi Editing Division category.  Runners up for the prize were New York magazine and GEOthema, which took second and third prize, respectively.

TIME magazine won first prize in the Editing Portfolio–Magazine category for its Person of the Year feature about Barack Obama, photographed by Nadav Kander.

POYi Jurors will weigh Documentary Project of the Year entries today. The POYi judging ends tomorrow with the selection of winners in Best eBook & eProject, Best Website, and Multimedia Photographer of the Year categories.

February 20th, 2013

David Alan Harvey Wins POYi’s Best Photo Book Prize

From (Based on a True Story) ©David Alan Harvey

From (based on a true story) ©David Alan Harvey

Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey has won Best Photography Book honors in the 2013 POYi competition.

Harvey won for “(based on a true story),” an experimental book comprising a collection of images–part true, and part fictional–of a journey through Rio that “explode with color, heat, humidity, sex, more sex, danger, fear, chaos, more chaos,” according to the Burn magazine Web site.

Finalists included six other books–”Brooklyn Buzz,” by Alessandro Cosmelli & Gaia Light; “England Uncensored,” by Peter Dench; “The Invisible City,” by Irene Kung, Ludovico Pratesi, and Francine Prose; “The Wrong Side: Living on the Mexican Border,” by Jerome Sessini; “In the Car with R,” by Rafal Milach & Huldar Breidfjord; and “Violentology: A Manual of the Columbian Conflict,” by Stephen Ferry.

The jurors also gave special recognition to Marc Asnin for his book, “Uncle Charlie,” and to “Bosnia: 1992-1995,” edited by Jon Jones.

POYi jurors have been selecting winners in Editing Division categories over the last several days. Winners so far include the Memphis Commercial Appeal, which took first place in the News & Issue Story Editing category for “What Obama Didn’t See.” The story is the print version of a multimedia project titled “As I Am” by Alan Spearman, which was featured in the January 2013 issue of PDN.)

National Geographic magazine won first place in the News & Issue Story Editing–Magazine category for “Nile Journey,” a story about Egypt photographed by Alex Majoli that ran in the magazine’s May 2012 issue under the title “Egypt in the Moment.”

The Washington Post won Feature Story Editing–Newspaper for “A Siberian Pictorial,” featuring images by Sebastião Salgado.

Related:
Notable Books of 2012: Part 1 (includes a review of (Based on a True Story) by David Alan Harvey)
Picture Story: A Guided Tour of Poverty in Memphis (about Alan Spearman’s “As I Am” project)
Paolo Pellegrin Named POYi Freelance Photographer of the Year
Paul Hansen of Dagens Nyheter Wins POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year

February 19th, 2013

Paolo Pellegrin named POYi Freelance Photographer of the Year

©Paolo Pellegrin

©Paolo Pellegrin

Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin has been named Freelance Photographer of the Year at the Picture of the Year International competition. Runners up were Tomas Munita, the second place winner, and third place winner Paolo Marchetti.

Pellegrin’s portfolio of 50 images included selections from projects that mostly explore the wrenching consequences of economic hardship and political and military tensions. The projects include a story about the underside of Miami, for which Pellegrin rode along on police patrols; a crime-ridden section of Rochester, New York (ditto);  recent political changes in Cuba, and two separate stories about Gaza–including one about the effects of the Israeli blockade, the other about the lingering consequences of Israel’s attacks on the territory in 2008 and 2009..

The portfolio is a study in the type of photography for which Pellegrin is well-known: unflinching reportage combined with layered, poetic images that blur the lines between documentary and art.

In other POYi Freelance Division categories judged last week, Javier Monzano won first place in News Picture Story–Freelance/Agency for his coverage of the siege of Aleppo, Syria.

Paolo Marchetti won first place for Issue Reporting Picture Story for his project about the deplorable conditions in juvenile prisons in Latin America.

Photographer David Chancellor won the World Understanding Award for his project called Hunters, about big game safaris in Africa. It explores “the complex relationship that exists between man and animal, the hunter and the hunted, as both struggle to adapt to our changing environments.”

Photographer Arnau Bach won the Community Awareness Award for his project called Paris Suburbs, exploring conditions behind the social unrest in the city’s poorest and most segregated suburbs.

Brett Stirton of Getty Images won the Environmental Awareness award for his story about the illegal ivory trade, including its causes and consequences.

POYi jurors will select Editing Division winners this week, and conclude with Multimedia Division winners next week.

Related:
Ezra Shaw Named POYI Sports Photographer of the Year
Paul Hansen of Dagens Nyheter Wins POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year
Associated Press Wins Top Portrait Prizes at POYi
POYi Announces Campaign, Spot News, and Feature Category Winners

November 29th, 2012

Rangefinder Asks Photographers: What’s In Your Camera Bag?

Photo © Frank Ockenfels 3

Are you ever curious to know what other photographers haul with them on assignments or when shooting for themselves? This month, Rangefinder, sister publication of PDN, asked several photographers to open up their camera bags and photograph the contents.

The variety of gear they carry is interesting, naturally. We also got a kick out of how each photographer’s photos reflect their style, personality and packing abilities. Fine-art photographer  Lisa Elmaleh lugs one jar each of peanut butter and jelly; fashion photographer Ken Shung usually shoots digital but still carries his Rolleis, he says; Frank Ockenfels 3 brings lots and lots of pens, apparently, and other things “to keep me entertained while I wait…and wait…and wait”; music photographer Paris Visone says, “My camera bag is like my baby. It’s heavy, full of crap, and I’m constantly giving it piggyback rides.”

You can see the photos and gear descriptions from all 10 photographers at  www.rangefinderonline.com.

November 27th, 2012

Texas Photo Roundup (Sponsored Blog Post)

The Texas Photo Roundup is an event and fundraiser geared toward emerging and professional commercial and editorial photographers that will be held February 7 through 9, 2013, in Austin, Texas. Produced by the Austin Center for Photography (ACP) and ASMP’s Austin/San Antonio Chapter, this year’s event features three days of programming with an incredible lineup of photography industry experts. Sign up by December 1, and you’ll receive 10 percent off registration fees at www.texasphotoroundup.com.

Some programming highlights:

  • A BBQ road trip to Lockhart, Texas, with photographer Wyatt McSpadden.
  • Workshop with photographer Chris Buck covering career building, the strategies and pitfalls of executing fascinating portraits with celebrities and regular folks alike, managing time crunches, shy subjects and one’s own fears.
  • Negotiating 2.0 Panel Discussion: Sponsored by PhotoShelter, this panel explores the negotiating challenges facing commercial photographers today, featuring Jess Dudley of Wonderful Machine, Kaia Hemming of JWT, advertising photographer Adam Voorhes and more.
  • Two days of portfolio reviews with industry experts from Pentagram, Dwell, TracyLocke, JWT, Wonderful Machine, Razorfish, Smithsonian, Fortune, GSD&M and many others.
  • Lecture, slide show and book signing with legendary Austin-based photographer Dan Winters.
  • Photographers Monte Isom and Andrew Hetherington’s Covers to Billboards Talk: From their beginnings to where they are now, Isom and Hetherington discuss their journeys in the editorial and advertising world.
  • Slideluck Potshow Closing Party

Visit www.texasphotoroundup.com for more information.

 

October 31st, 2012

PPE 2012: What Photo Editors Want

At the PhotoPlus panel “Your Picture Here: How to Get Published in The New York Times, Time, GQ and Wired” photo editors from all four publications spoke candidly about what photographers can do to get their attention. There were, of course, things specific to each publication. Carrie Levy of Wired, for example, noted that it’s difficult for her to hire photographers who shoot exclusively in natural light because the magazine has a look that demands poppy and highly produced images. Meanwhile, Krista Prestek said GQ likes photographers who have a fine-art sensibility and a strong body of work that demonstrates their ability to successfully fulfill assignments.

But on a number of topics, they all seemed to agree. One was promos. Almost all of the panelists preferred printed promos to mass e-mails or cold calling. Paul Moakley of Time compared the promo process to courting: Only after a few introductory mailers is it OK to call or e-mail him to request a meeting. Prestek noted that since her first priority is the magazine, hard copy promos are better because they let her see what the work looks like on the printed page. She also suggested photographers pick an image that is in line with the magazine to use on their promo. Levy doesn’t mind e-mails, but noted a few things photographers shouldn’t do: send e-mails first thing in the morning (when she has the most e-mails in her inbox); compose mass e-mails instead of personalized ones; and embed images in the body of the e-mails because they don’t show up. Finally, The New York Times Magazine’s Clinton Cargill noted that sometimes years go by between the first time he first sees a photographer’s work and when he gives the photographer an assignment, so it’s always good to keep the photo editor up to date via mail or e-mail in terms of what you’ve been working on.

Personal work was also something that the photo editors like to see. All four pretty much agreed that a personal project is more interesting to look at and speaks to the photographer’s originality and personality better than assignment work. But when you do include assignment work in your portfolio, Prestek and Levy preferred seeing the actual image to the tearsheet. Other portfolio tips: Moakley noted that the images in your portfolio should relate to the magazine; Levy said some people aren’t interested in seeing the work on an iPad or laptop, so be sure to bring prints as well (preferably a box of prints rather than in a portfolio case); Prestek said a portfolio should demonstrate that your images will look good in print; and Cargill added that if you’re doing the work you want to be doing, then that’s the work that should be in your portfolio.

During the seminar, all four panelists answered questions from audience members. The following were mentioned as places where they found new photographers: The Wall Street Journal, Connections by Le Book, galleries, Paris Photo, The New York Times, The New Yorker, self-published books, agency e-mails, competition annuals, through colleagues and other photo editors, portfolio reviews, drop-offs, Eddie Adams Workshop, Review Santa Fe, Les Rencontres d’Arles, PhotoNOLA, Aperture, Photolucida’s Critical Mass, Foam magazine and W. Eugene Smith Awards.

Their parting advice: Apply for everything.

October 26th, 2012

PPE 2012: David LaChapelle Gets Personal

David LaChapelle began making photographs in the early Eighties in New York City while around him friends were dying of AIDS. His early black and white photos, shot by window light and manipulated in the darkroom through bleaching, burning or collaging, explored “metaphysical themes” of mortality and transcendence through religious imagery – winged figures, crosses and bodies bathed in a celestial light. After a hugely successful career as a commercial photographer, video director and documentary filmmaker, LaChapelle has recently returned to “metaphysical themes that still interest me.” In his keynote at PhotoPlus Expo, he showed the work he’s recently shown in galleries and museums:  images using religious iconography, images of transcendence, and vintage work that was rarely seen. Since 2005, he has not shot a fashion assignment. “I didn’t burn out, as some people have written. I walked away.”

While showing the audience an early photo he made as a memorial to a friend who died of AIDS at the age of 24, LaChapelle explained, “I didn’t think I’d be around very long. I wanted to give the world something of beauty.”

(more…)

September 28th, 2012

On Sustainable Business Models, and Comparing Apples to Oranges

The American Society of Media Photographers’ program, “Sustainable Business Models: Issues & Trends Facing Visual Artists,” held September 27 in New York City, can be viewed online via ASMP’s video library. Speakers and panelists provided useful context and insights into the current marketplace for photography, as well as thoughts on how professional freelancers might adapt their marketing and licensing in today’s economy. A warning, however: Along with provocative insights, the afternoon panel also included the predictable, banal observation that photojournalists have no role to play now that “everyone has a cellphone,” and statistics on how many images are uploaded to Facebook or Instagram each day or each hour or each minute. If you’re like me, you find these comments irritating. Because the first comment is untrue, and the second is irrelevant to any discussion of the professional photography business.

Yes, news editors trolled Instagram to get images of the aftermath of the Empire State Building shooting, but those image sales had no impact on the market for photos by professional news photographers: If amateur cellphone users hadn’t been on the scene, we simply wouldn’t have had any images of the carnage. Yes, a zillion snapshots of cats, babies and plates of food are shared on social media every day. What bearing does that have on what a professional photographer offers to clients or their audience? (more…)

September 18th, 2012

French Court Orders Magazine to Hand Over Topless Photos of Kate Middleton

Three days after a French gossip magazine published photos of Kate Middleton, Dutchess of Cambridge, sunbathing topless, a court in France has ordered the magazine’s publisher to hand over all digital copies and blocked future publication of the images in any medium. The court ruled yesterday that the tabloid Closer must hand over the images within 24 hours or face a penalty of $13,100 a day, the AP reports. The photos were taken without permission while Middleton and her husband, William the Duke of Cambridge, an heir to the British throne, were vacationing at a private home court in the South of France. The French court also fined the French branch of Closer’s publisher, Mondadori, which is owned by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian media mogul (and disgraced prime minister.)

Maud Sobel, a lawyer for the royal couple, said after the verdict, “We’ve been vindicated.” However, the French court’s ruling only affects Closer; the images have already been in an issue of Chi in Italy (also owned by Mondadori) and in the Independent Star of Ireland.  And who knows how many websites have reposted them.

The ruling may seem surprising. France, a country that has codified droit d’auteur, “moral rights” and other artists’ protections into law,  and hasn’t had much use for monarchs since Louis XVI was guillotined n 1793,  is siding against the press in favor of some huffy royals on the other side of the Channel.

According to the court, however, the issue at stake was the couple’s privacy.

The ruling states, “These snapshots which showed the intimacy of a couple, partially naked on the terrace of a private home, surrounded by a park several hundred meters from a public road, and being able to legitimately assume that they are protected from passers-by, are by nature particularly intrusive,” the French ruling decreed.

While the French tradition of holding artists’ rights in high regard probably dates back to  the French Revolution, its privacy laws are steeped in an even older tradition: the protection of honor.

Reviewing a new history of privacy law in The New York Times, Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor and editor at The New Republic, noted that Europe and America have always had different conceptions of privacy.

Rosen says that in the European tradition, privacy was conceived “as a way of protecting human dignity (as opposed to the American one, which is more interested in privacy as a way of protecting liberty).” Quoting scholar James Q. Whitman, Rosen notes that privacy rights grew out of a “deeply hierarchical society where all citizens knew their place and how much privacy they were entitled to demand: in such a world, privacy was for aristocrats, not for common people.”

The French court’s decision bears out Whitman’s contention: the ruling protects the honor of an aristocrat. A commoner might not have won this case. Not they would need to sue, since the breasts of us common folk aren’t tabloid fodder.