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October 10th, 2011

Yuri Kozyrev Wins 2 Prix Bayeux-Calvados Awards for Libya Coverage

© Yuri Kozyrev/Noor for Time. Above: A rebel prays on the battlefield,

Photographer Yuri Kozyrev, who covered the conflict in Libya for Time magazine,  won the Photo Trophy and the Public Prize for photography at the Priz Bayeux-Calvados des Correspondents de Guerre, a four-day festival devoted to war reporting, which takes place in Bayeux, France. The Photo Trophy, sponsored by Nikon, comes with a 7,000 Euro prize; the Public Prize, sponsored by the town of Bayeux, includes a 3,000 Euro prize.

Other awards given at the Prix Bayeux-Calvados, which took place October 5-8, including awards for radio, television, Web and print journalists. More than 40 jurors judged the competition, including photographers Jerome Delay, Karim Ben Khelifa, Laurent Van Der Stokt, Wilfrid Esteve,  agent Robert Pledge of Contact Press Images.

Kozyrev, a member of Noor Images, covered the escalating conflict between rebels opposed to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafy and the Libyan army for Time in February and March, and again in August as rebels closed in on the country’s capital, Tripoli.  He has also photographed in Yemen, Egypt and Bahrain since the start of the Arab spring. In September, Kozyrev was awarded the Visa D’Or prize for news photography at the Visa Pour L’Image festival in Perpignan, France.

September 27th, 2011

Mario Tama’s Close-Up On Netanyahu’s UN Speech

© Mario Tama/Getty Images

Note to photographers covering the United Nations General Assembly: It pays to carry a telephoto lens.

Yesterday, Michael Shaw at Bag News noted that Getty Images photographer Mario Tama had managed to zoom in on the text of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the General Assembly on September 23, capturing the prime minister’s handwritten notes, cross outs and revisions.

Six years ago at another UN gathering, President George W. Bush slipped a note to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice saying he would need a bathroom break. The text of that note was captured by a sharp-eyed Reuters photographer who, like Tama, was shooting from a booth above the hall.

Though slightly less amusing than a request by a world leader to go to the boys’ room, Netanyahu’s revised speech came 40 minutes after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had called on the UN to establish a Palestinian state.  Comparing Netanyahu’s typed text with the speech as he delivered it, Shaw speculates that Netanyahu had scribbled down changes in reaction to Abbas’s statements.

Tama tells PDN that he had been covering the UN assembly for three days from locations among the roughly two dozen booths above the assembly. “Some are filled with photographers, others with video people, others with translators,” Tama explains. “As photographers we have a bit of leeway to explore angles from a few different booths, as long as we stay out of the way of the official UN camera crews and the like.”

As Netanyahu’s speech went on, “I began to notice some heavy blue-ink scribblings on the side of his notes,” says Tama, who has covered the UN many times in the past ten years.  “I don’t recall ever seeing such prominent markings and corrections on a world leader’s speech before.”

He notes, “After shooting all the angles of him delivering the speech, I decided to try and just focus on the notes for the latter part of the speech.” He shot several photos of the notes with a  400mm lens, but couldn’t make out the words through his viewfinder. “I could only properly make them out once I blew them up in Photoshop.” The images, he says, “obviously had to be cropped quite significantly, hence the less than perfect image quality. I felt in this instance the unique content overrode quality concerns.”

Tama adds that if he had seen similar notes on Abbas’s text, he would have photographed those as well; he only recalls seeing that Abbas’s speech was in Arabic.

More of Tama’s close-up images are shown in “Over Netanyahu’s Shoulder” on Bagnewsnotes.com. Tama says to his knowledge “Bag News is the first significant publication of the images.” 

September 22nd, 2011

Islamic Cultural Center Exhibits NYChildren Photography

© Danny Goldfield. Photo: Ben, Burundi.

After months of controversy, the Park51 Islamic Cultural Center  opened in lower Manhattan on September 21 with a photo exhibition that celebrates New York’s diversity. “NYChildren” is an ongoing project by photographer Danny Goldfield, who is photographing a New York City child born in every country in the world.  The hundreds of visitors and international journalists who crowded into the refurbished storefront for the opening last night got to see the 169 photos Goldfield has taken in New York City since he began the project in 2004. It’s a feel-good debut exhibition for Park51, dubbed “the Ground Zero mosque” by protesters who opposed the opening of an Islamic cultural and prayer center within a five-minute walk of the September 11 Memorial site.

The day after the opening, Goldfield was still amazed by the crowd at the event. “I don’t know how many journalists I talked to last night,” he told PDN. He noted that some in last night’s crowd may have been wary visiting the space. “My hope is that they’ll step through the threshold and be in this pristine white gallery with 169 photos and feel more comfortable.”

Goldfield, who describes himself as “a proud Jew,” says his NYChildren project was inspired by the idea that bonding with our neighbors can strengthen communities.

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September 13th, 2011

Interactive Photo Display on Malnutrition: Coming to a City Near You

Photo by Amber Terranova/PDN

Commuters and shoppers passing through New York’s Union Square on Tuesday were presented with information on the fight against malnutrition in an unusual way: At an outdoor exhibit of photographs displayed around a field hospital set up by Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).  The photos, as wells as videos shown on monitors inside the hospital tents, were created by photographers with VII Photo Agency as part of Starved for Attention, the global multimedia and online campaign created in association with MSF.

MSF doctors and nurses gave tours of the hospital and describe their work in the field; VII photographers Jessica Dimmock and Ron Haviv were on hand to answer questions about their photo projects.   Union Square was the first stop on an exhibition tour that includes Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.

None of the photos in the exhibit, taken in Burkina Faso, India, Bangladesh, Congo and elsewhere, show the now familiar images of starving children with bloated bellies, Haviv notes.
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September 9th, 2011

9/11 Tributes in Photos

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City was the most photographed terrorist act — and perhaps the most photographed single news event– in history. Photography also played an important role in efforts to comprehend the grief, loss, and actions that followed.  On the tenth anniversary of the attacks, photographs –taken before, during and after that day – form the centerpiece for numerous cultural events and public reflections.   Here is a partial list of exhibitions and online galleries.

Exhibits and Events
Joel Meyerowitz: “Aftermath”

© Joel Meyerowitz

The only photographer granted access to Ground Zero during the months of recovery will display his work in this gallery exhibition. Phaidon has also re-released his book, Aftermath, in a new tenth anniversary edition.
September 10-17. Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York.  (Opening reception and book signing, September 10.)
www.houkgallery.com/exhibitions/2011-09-10_joel-meyerowitz/

“Remembering 9/11”
The International Center of Photography has collaborated with the National September 11 Memorial Museum on “Remembering 9/11,” a five-part exhibition: “Memory Remains: 9/11 Artifacts at Hangar 17;” photographs from Eugene Richards’s Stepping Through the Ashes; a five-channel video installation, cedarliberty, by Elena del Rivero and Leslie McCleave; “Above Ground Zero,” photographs and proof sheets by Gregg Brown; and excerpts from the storefront exhibition that opened in New York shortly after 9/11, “here is new york: a democracy of photographs.” Through January 8.  International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, New York.
www.icp.org

© Camile Jose Vergara

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September 7th, 2011

Print Sales, Web Site to Benefit Anton Hammerl’s Children

Friends of Anton Hammerl, the South African-born, London-based photographer and photo editor who was killed by pro-Qaddafi forces in Libya in April, have set up a Web site, www.friendsofanton.org,  to raise money for his three children. Tax deductible donations made to the site, which is sponsored by the non-profit Reporters Without Borders, will be used for the future education of Aurora, 11, Neo, 7, and Hiro, six months old.

Several photographers have donated prints which are being sold through the site; they include Joao Silva, Greg Marinovich, David Burnett, Teun Voeten, Frank Fournier, Andrew Testa and Teru Kuwayama, among others.

“Many people wanted to contribute to the future of Anton’s children,” says journalist Colleen Delaney, one of the volunteers behind the creation of the site. “There has been so much good will and the photo and journalism communities wanted to help.”

Photographer David Brabyn, another volunteer, says in a press release, “Everyone has worked tirelessly to get this project on the road – from the talented photographers who are donating their works, right down to web-based companies such as Emphas.is and PhotoShelter, who advised us, donated the account and waived transaction fees.” The site has also been supported by The Steven Vincent Foundation, digitaltechparis.com, Human Rights Watch and Committee to Protect Journalists.

Hammerl was working in Libya alongside photojournalist Manu Brabo and reporters Clare Morgana Gillis and James Foley on April 5 when the four went missing. While the other journalists were held in prison, Hammerl’s whereabouts remained unknown for six weeks. Upon their release in June, Gillis, Foley and Brabo informed Hammerl’s family that they had seen him shot by Libyan forces the day they were detained.

Related story:
Anton Hammerl Presumed Dead, Family Announces

August 9th, 2011

Photographers Attacked by London Looters

Photographers covering the rioting in London have been assaulted, robbed and had their cameras smashed, according to a report in the London newspaper the Guardian.

The civil unrest began Sunday in the north London district of Tottenham after police shot a black youth and has since spread to other neighborhoods and cities around the UK. Photographers trying to cover the violence have been attacked in several locations. The Web site journalism.co.uk also reported that tv crews and camera trucks have been attacked in several neighborhoods in south and east London.

On Sunday, two photographers represented by the agency Matrix had £8,000 worth of equipment smashed by looters in Tottenham. One was knocked to the ground and kicked, according to an eyewitness quoted in the Guardian. On Tuesday, another photographer was attacked and beaten by four youths in a housing project in Hackney, in East London.

Paul Lewis, a reporter for the Guardian who had tried to cover violence in Hackney, told the paper,  “A number of people who have been taking photographs have been attacked,” including citizens using cellphone cameras. “I’ve seen journalists attacked quite badly actually.” The paper also reported that photographers and videographers were trying to make themselves inconspicuous by using amateur cameras.

August 5th, 2011

AP’s David Guttenfelder Inside North Korea

© AP Photo/David Guttenfelder

In June,  the Associated Press announced it had signed an agreement with North Korea’s state-run news agency to open an AP photo and text bureau in Pyongyang. The AP also noted that David Guttenfelder, AP’s Chief Asia Photographer, had already made several trips to North Korea this spring, photographing extensively in several parts of the country.

Guttenfelder’s photos of this secretive nation were published this week on The Atlantic web site and in The Independent, the UK paper. As the article in the British paper notes, “The pictures are among the most candid ever published in Western newspapers.”

In a country where the press is tightly controlled, Guttenfelder captured slices of daily life in a variety of settings: a university and a pool for its students, a library, an elementary school, a fast food restaurant, a subway station, a museum dedicated to the Korean war. Guttenfelder also photographed outside Kim Il Sung’s mausoleum, where tourists pose for photos. Some of his photos depict an eery quiet: an empty multi-lane highway leading to the Pyongyang airport, and a traffic cop standing in a Pyongyang street where there seems to be no traffic. His photos are often beautiful, capturing landscapes of color and sometimes startling clarity: as The Independent notes, the lack of industry means there’s little smog.

June 6th, 2011

CPJ Names The Most Dangerous Countries for Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists has released its 2011 Impunity Index, which calculates the most murderous countries for journalists. And the 2011 winner of the most dangerous country for journalists is…..Iraq!

Yes, Iraq held onto its spot at number 1. In fact, the Iraqi government’s record for investigating and prosecuting anti-press violence actually got worse in 2010, a year that saw a spike in the murders of journalists. Somalia, from which nearly 60 journalists have fled in the past decade in the face of threats, ranked number 2 for the second year in a row. Also making the list are the usual suspects when it comes to anti-press violence: Afghanistan, the Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan.

The CPJ’s Impunity Index identifies countries where journalists are regularly murdered in retaliation for their work, and where governments fail to find and convict the killers.

There isn’t much good news on this year’s Impunity Index. Colombia saw a lessening of anti-press violence, but still ranks 5th on the list.  Russia had its first year without any journalists being killed in reprisal, and won convictions in two 2009 murders. However,  there have been no convictions in some high-profile murder cases, including the 2006 killing of Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist and author who reported on the war in Chechnya.

Other details from the CPJ’s Special Report:
Local journalists make up the overwhelming majority of victims of unsolved murders.
About 28 percent of the victims were covering conflict zones.
South Asia is a dangerous place to try to cover politics or crime.

More details on the 13 countries that made the CPJ’s Impunity Index, and an explanation of CPJ’s methodology, can be found in the CPJ’s Special Report, aptly titled “Getting Away With Murder.”

May 19th, 2011

What Do News Organizations Owe to Fixers?

After a long silence, journalists are now talking about the inequality in care paid to photojournalists working in war zones, and the local fixers who help them in their work. The issue is now being addressed by the Poynter institute, the non-profit journalism education organization.

Reporting on the Poynter Web site, writer Steve Myers talks to photographers and editors about what protection, if any, they are authorized to offer local fixers if they are injured or threatened while on the job. Joel Simon of the Committee to Protect Journalists notes, “I’ve seen news organizations absolutely step up and support people—even people who have been contracted informally—and I’ve seen news orgs turn their back on people.”

One problem, Simon explains, is the variety of relationships between fixers and the organizations who hire them, “from the one-time assignment to the everyday job, from the driver hired by a full-time employee to one picked up by a freelancer.”

Photographer Lynsey Addario, who worked with two drivers who met bad ends—one, a driver in Afghanistan’s Swat valley who was killed when he fell asleep at the wheel, another who was very likely murdered when Addario and three New York Times colleagues were captured in Libya—argues that the Times has compensated locals when appropriate, but points out that not all hires are alike. “A blanket rule would presume that all situations abroad with local hires are black and white, and anyone who has worked overseas knows that that just isn’t the case.”

The New York Times has been criticized for its treatment of the three media assistants who have died while working for the Times since 2003. Bill Keller, executive editor of the Times, tells Myers that the paper has spent hundreds of thousand of dollars to repatriate media assistants who have been in danger in Iraq and elsewhere. “We have relocated local hires when their work put them at risk, paying all of their costs.” Keller adds that freelancers on assignment for the Times are placed on the newspaper’s insurance plan when they enter conflict zones; for locals, however, “we assume responsibility for death, disability and medical at our own expense.”

One interesting note: the Committee to Protect Journalists says that media companies can get specialized insurance for its fixers in conflict areas. The policies are expensive. Photojournalist Teru Kuwayama, who has been outspoken in his criticism of news organizations’ treatment of fixers, says taking out such policies on fixers would be a “massive step forward.”

The full article can be found at: Poynter.org.

Related stories:

Talking about the Deaths We Don’t Talk About

What to Expect if You’re Injured on Assignment