Magnum photographer Martine Franck, who was best known for her portraits of artists and writers, died in Paris yesterday at the age of 74. The cause of death was cancer, according to a family friend. Franck became a full member of Magnum in 1983, and was married to renowned photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, who died in 2004. Read the full story at PDNOnline.
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Renowned underwater photographer Wes Skiles died in a 2010 diving accident because of faulty breathing apparatus that the manufacturer knew was prone to failure, his widow Terri Skiles alleges in a lawsuit filed last week in Palm Beach County (Florida) circuit court. She is seeking unspecified damages.
Terri Skiles also alleges that the manufacturer conspired to destroy evidence of that failure. Because of that, she says she will have difficulty proving that the manufacturer, its suppliers, and a distributor are to blame for her husband’s death.
Wes Skiles, a regular contributor to National Geographic, died July 21, 2010 at the age of 53 while diving near Boynton Beach, Florida, about a mile offshore with three other divers. The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner ruled several months later that Skiles’ death was an accidental drowning. “There was nothing to indicate natural causes or outside forces,” the medical examiner’s chief investigator told the Palm Beach Post in November, 2010.
When Skiles died, he was using an O2ptima FX rebreather apparatus that he had borrowed from another diver. Terri Skiles alleges in her lawsuit that “Due to an unexpected catastrophic failure of the subject O2ptima FX rebreather during the dive, Wesley Skiles passed out underwater and died.” She is suing the manufacturer, Dive Rite, an affiliated online retailer called Dive Rite Express and Mark Derrick, the owner of Dive Rite Express. Also named as defendants are two companies that supply critical electronic components that Dive Rite uses to make the O2ptima FX rebreather.
Dive Rite declined to comment.
To read the about Skiles’ other allegations and her lawsuit, visit PDNOnline.
Tony Leonard, a well-known and respected equestrian photographer, died on July 14, reports the Thoroughbred Times. He was 89 years old. Leonard was considered a pioneer in the field, and is credited with creating the industry standard for conformation photos, which are used to show a horse’s build as well as confirm its breed. Known for documenting what is considered the “Golden Age” of Thoroughbred horse racing, he famously photographed the Triple Crown winner Secretariat over the course of many years.
According to BloodHorse.com, Leonard and his wife of 66 years, Adelle, were “made wards of the state” in 2009 due to medical and financial issues. The photographer later won a May 2010 court case to retain control of his negatives from the state of Kentucky.
He is survived by his wife; his sister and brother-in-law, Mary Lou and Richard Horn; and numerous nieces and nephews as well as grand nieces and nephews.
Portrait and fine-art photographer Ann Marsden died on Sunday, July 9, after a two-year battle with cervical cancer, reports Minnesota Public Radio. She was 55. Marsden was born and raised in St. Paul, and remained in the Twin Cities all her life, where she was a well-known member of the arts scene. Her clients included Fortune 500 companies, like Target and Best Buy, publications and various local theaters, where she made headshots of the actors as well as images of stage performances. Marsden also taught photography and exhibited her fine-art work in the area. According to an obituary in the StarTribune, she is survived by her partner, Ann Prim; her mother, Mary Marsden; her sister, Betsy McConnell; and her brothers, Brian and Craig Marsden.
Jim McCrary, the former A&M Records staff photographer who shot the cover of Carole King’s Tapestry and other rock-and-roll albums, died on April 29, 2012, “of complications from a chronic nervous system disorder,” the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 72 years old.
McCrary was born and raised in Los Angeles. He was a self-taught photographer who eventually studied at Pasadena City College and Art Center College of Design. McCrary began his career as a staff photographer at various portrait studios and in the photography department of Rockwell International, a manufacturing company involved in the aircraft, space and consumer electronics industries, amongst others.
In 1967 he became the chief photographer for A&M Records and ended up photographing over 300 album covers during the seven years he worked there. Some of his most famous covers include Carole King’s Tapestry, the Carpenters’ Ticket to Ride and Joe Crocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen. He also shot related publicity and advertising work for Gram Parsons, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Cat Stevens, Peter Frampton, Herb Alpert and other musicians.
After leaving the label, he owned his own studio in Hollywood until 1990. He then co-founded Pix Inc., a professional camera store in Los Angeles.
McCrary is survived by his son, Jason McCrary, and his brothers Wylee Dale McCrary and Doug McCrary.
Anniversaries like today are difficult, in part because they remind us how the people we mourn died, not how they lived.
To bring some good out of tragedy, the families and loved ones of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, who died a year ago today in Misrata, Libya, asked that gifts in their memories be made to charities and funds that continue the work to which they gave so much of their energy and time. These memorials have already resulted in scholarships and other good works that continue their legacies and remind us of the commitment that inspired their careers.
After his death, the family of Tim Hetherington selected three charities that he supported:
Human Rights Watch, the independent organization dedicated to defending and protecting human rights; Hetherington was documenting the humanitarian crisis in Libya for Human Rights at the time of his death: hrw.org
Milton Margai School for the Blind in Sierra Leone, a school where Hetherington photographed and worked with students (and set up a pen-pal exchange) who had been intentionally blinded by the Revolutionary United Force: www.miltonmargaischool.org
Committee to Protect Journalists,the non-profit organization which since 1981 has promoted press freedom around the world by protecting and defending journalists from fear of reprisal: cpj.org
In addition, Hetherington’s parents, Judith and Alistair Hetherington, are now setting up a non-profit foundation in the UK and US “to help students, artists and those in need here and in the developing world, so that his commitment to highlighting the truth and humanitarianism will continue.” Information is available on timhetherington.org.
Hondros’s fiancée, Christine Piaia, and his friends and colleagues at Getty Images set up The Chris Hondros Fund to support aspiring photographers and raise public awareness about the contributions of photojournalists: www.chrishondrosfund.org.
The first of the Chris Hondros scholarships was given last fall at the Eddie Adams Workshop (which Hondros had attended) to photographer Enrico Fabian. At the same ceremony, the Tim Hetherington Memorial Award was given to photographer Dominic Bracco II.
The first Tim Hetherington Grant, administered by Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo, was awarded last year to Stephen Ferry to support his long-term documentary project on the effects of the guerilla war in Colombia.
In more recent news, the first session of the Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC), a free first-aid course for journalists covering conflict, began in New York City this week. The program was started by Hetherington’s friend and frequent collaborator, writer Sebastian Junger. Supported with donations from ABC News, National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Condé Nast, Getty Images and the Chris Hondros Fund, RISC training programs will also be held in London and Beirut. (Information can be found at risctraining.org/)
The goal of the program is to train more journalists so that, if needed, they could help colleagues injured in the field.
Helping journalists help journalists: That seems like a fitting tribute as we remember two colleagues who gave so much to their community. Of course, we’ll still be thinking of them, and all who mourn for them, long after this one-year milestone has passed.
Hondros, Hetherington Prizes Awarded at Eddie Adams Workshop
Photographer Paula Lerner, past vice president of the Editorial Photographers trade association and creator of an Emmy-winning multimedia piece, died today at her home in Belmont, Massachusetts, according to her family. The cause of death was breast cancer.
Raised in Hudson, Ohio, Lerner attended Harvard University and became a photojournalist in1985. Her clients included Time, Inc., People, and Harvard Business Review. In the Nineties, she became a leader of Editorial Photographers (EP), the volunteer organization supporting the rights of editorial photographers. She was a frequent lecturer on photographers’ rights and business practices.
“Paula dedicated a good portion of her life to help make life as a editorial photographer better for others,” notes Seth Resnick, past president of EP. “Paula always fought for what she believed in and always eloquently conveyed her position. At times she sacrificed her own career to better the industry.”
Brian Smith, EP’s president notes that as the organization’s founding VP, “[Lerner] was directly involved in negotiating the Business Week and Forbes contracts that raised the bar for fair deals for editorial photographers. Paula remained committed to educating and inspiring others and it is extremely sad to lose her just as she was producing the finest work of her career.”
Her photography often focused on women’s issues. In 2003, she began volunteering her time to photograph the work of Business Council for Peace (Bpeace), a non-profit organization that helped women in conflict zones develop businesses. She eventually began recording sound and shooting video. From 2005 to 2006, she traveled to Afghanistan five times, on her own and with Bpeace, to document the lives of women in Kandahar. She spearheaded the multimedia piece “Behind the Veil,” a six-part multimedia series published by the Globe and Mail newspaper. In 2010, it won an Emmy award for New Approaches to News and Documentary Programming: Current News Coverage. “People in the West know very little about Afghan women…This feature tells some very important, untold stories that we need to hear in order to inform our policy decisions,” Lerner told PDN.
Lerner also co-authored the book Why We Walk: The Inspirational Journey Toward a Cure for Breast Cancer, published in 2005. While working on the photos for the book, she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Lerner is survived by her husband, Thomas Dunlap, their two daughters, her brother and her parents and stepmother.
A memorial service will be held March 9th at 10 am at Beth El Temple Center, 2 Concord Avenue, Belmont, Massachusetts. Lerner requested that donations be made in her memory to Bpeace www.bpeace.org and to Metavivor, which supports research into metastic breast cancer and supports the families of patients with metastic breast cancer.
Globe and Mail, New York Times and Time Win Emmy Awards
Toronto-based photographer Andrew MacNaughtan died on January 24, 2012 while on assignment. MacNaughtan, who was best known for photographing Canadian celebrities and musicians, reportedly had a heart attack while photographing the classic rock band Rush. The band released the following statement on its Web site and Facebook page:
“We’re deeply shocked and heartbroken to learn of the sudden passing of our close friend and long-time photographer, Andrew MacNaughtan. He was a sweet person and a very talented artist. Words cannot describe how much he will be missed.”
MacNaughtan is survived by his partner, Alex Kane Privitera; parents, Neil and Barbara MacNaughtan; sister Sarah and her husband Nino Curcione; brother Alex and his wife Dorothy MacNaughtan; and uncle and aunt, Phillip and Samantha Curcione.
Magnum photographer Eve Arnold, recognized for her stories about the ordinary lives of the poor and downtrodden all over the world as well as for her unvarnished portraiture of Marilyn Monroe and other celebrities, has died in London. She was 99.
Arnold took up photography in the late 1940s, and first studied under Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexei Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research. From the start, she defied boundaries, documenting a fashion show in Harlem–then a segregated ghetto–for a school assignment an assignment. That led to a long to a long-term documentary project about the Black Power movement. She attracted the notice of Henri Cartier-Bresson, and in 1957, she became the first female photographer to join Magnum Photos in the US (Inge Morath had previously joined Magnum’s Paris office).
Over on PDNOnline we’ve gathered together the biggest photography news stories of 2011, a year marked infringements on the rights of photographers, by sticky legal cases whose results will be felt long into the future, and by tragedy. The 15 stories we highlighted were the most-read news articles and blog posts on PDNOnline and PDN Pulse this year.
Which of these stories do you think was the most important news story of the year? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.