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.”

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 15th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

Daniel Wehner | Flickr

Daniel Wehner | Flickr

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” ― W. Somerset Maugham

The Photographer Who Exposed North KoreaGo Further

Why Working for Free Isn’t a Bad ThingThe Filmmaker’s Process

The Ugly Side of Wildlife PhotographyLive Mint

10 Random Questions for Jerry Ghionis Rangefinder

The Long Collusion Between Photography & CrimeNew Yorker

Photoshopping the Pain Out of MemoryThe Atlantic

What It’s Like to Shoot the Most Exclusive Golf CoursesPDN

Why Do We Share Viral Videos?Scientific American

The Accidental Pioneer of Street PhotographyVogue

War’s Been Paying My Rent Since I Was 16ABC

Bonus Weekend Audio!

Portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman on how her big break was a big picture of Allen Ginsberg.

April 15th, 2016

How Winning Three Pulitzers Changed William Snyder’s Career

From William Snyder's Pulitzer Prize-winning story about subhuman conditions in Romanian orphanages. ©William Snyder

From William Snyder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning story about subhuman conditions in Romanian orphanages. ©William Snyder

In anticipation of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize announcements on Monday, we talked to photographers who have won in the past about how the prize affected their careers. Today, William Snyder talks about his experience as a three-time Pulitzer winner during his tenure as a staff photographer at the Dallas Morning News. In 1989, he shared the prize for Explanatory Journalism with two colleagues. In 1991, he won the Feature Photography prize for his story about children living in subhuman conditions in Romanian orphanages. He shared the 1993 prize for Spot News with colleague Ken Geiger for their coverage of the 1992 Summer Olympics. Snyder also led the Dallas Morning News photo team that won 2006 Breaking News Photography prize for coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Snyder is currently chair of the photojournalism program at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

PDN: What went through your mind the first time you won a Pulitzer?
William Snyder: I was really excited. It’s one of those things you dream of. My little tiny disappointment was that it wasn’t in photography, but that’s just being selfish.

PDN: How did the subsequent wins compare?
WS: The [second] one was for a story I did on Romanian orphans that was near and dear to my heart, that I really worked hard on, and it was all my story. I could die happy. I felt like I accomplished something.

William Snyder, in his "lucky" Pulitzer shirt, celebrates in 2006 with the Dallas Morning News photo team that won the prize for Breaking News Photography. ©Mei-Chun Jau/Dallas Morning News

William Snyder, in his “lucky” Pulitzer shirt, celebrates with the Dallas Morning News photo team that won the 2006 prize for Breaking News Photography. ©Mei-Chun Jau/Dallas Morning News

PDN: Does winning the Pulitzer go to your head–not your head, of course, but a photographer’s head?
WS: On the eve of winning the first one, I was talking to the executive editor. He said to me, “Grace and humility William, after this happens.” I said, “If you’re worried about that, I can’t be any bigger of an asshole than I already am.”

We all know stories that have been great, and photographs that have been fantastic, that haven’t won. Is there luck involved? Are there things that are out of your control that are involved? Absolutely.  What I learned was:  You don’t rest on your laurels. You’ve got to keep working, day in and day out.

PDN: Is there a burden to winning?
WS: I’ve heard of people who win once and they’re frozen, because they’re so afraid that everyone’s going to be looking at them to produce something of Pulitzer quality every time they walk out the gate. There’s only a burden if you let there be a burden.

PDN: Did you always dream of winning the Pulitzer? Was that the Holy Grail for you?
WS: It wasn’t the Holy Grail, but it was pretty close. I never won Photographer of the Year in POY. This is the sick thing about me: I feel incomplete because I never won that. That should tell you about me: I was never satisfied. That’s the kind of person I am. [As journalists] we want to do great work, but we want the medals, because the medals live even longer than the great work.

PDN: What do you mean?
WS: There are people who you know as “Pulitzer Prize winner” and you have never seen their work. You’ve never read their book, seen their play, heard their music, but you see that phrase, and you know they’re good.

PDN: Is the Pulitzer as coveted as it used to be, after the decimation of the newspaper business? Does it have the cache that it used to?
WS: I think more so now. [Now] it’s difficult to win for a picture you happen upon. Most Pulitzers now are for involved stories, whether they’re news or features, right? So if you win a Pulitzer now, you’ve put in the time. You’ve done a great story. In an age when many media companies say “good enough is good enough,” the Pulitzer is still the high water mark, the beacon.

PDN: Did anything change for you after you won?
WS: The first one, absolutely not.

PDN: How about the second one?
WS: There were a ton of offers for lectures, workshops and freelance gigs. My boss just said, “Do ‘em.” Also it was the main reason I was accepted as a Michigan Journalism Fellow (now called the Knight-Wallace Fellowships) and why I was chosen as the inaugural James Burke Fellow.

Things really changed after I won the third Pulitzer. My boss and I got along better. There wasn’t this constant conflict. I just wanted to be able to work. That was the best thing about it: Just to be able to do the work, and be supported. From 1993 to 1998, when I stopped shooting, those were the four or five best years of my career because I was supported and listened to. Did I get what I wanted all the time? Absolutely not.

PDN: Why did you give up the shooting?
WS: There was no one reason. I was traveling a lot back then. I was getting burnout, and I had two young boys I wanted to see grow up and spend some time with. I got to the point where I saw nothing on the horizon—no story that I wanted to do–and my boss was pushing me to be an editor.

PDN: What’s your advice to this year’s Pulitzer winners?
WS: Enjoy it, and then go back to work. If you watch the end of Patton [1971 Oscar winner for Best Picture], he’s talking about how in the old days, there’d be this great parade, and the triumphant warrior would come in with the adjutant standing behind [him], holding the golden crown over his head, and whispering in his ear, “All glory is fleeting.” And that’s it: Enjoy it, and then you gotta go back to work.

How Winning a Pulitzer Changed Deanne Fitzmaurice’s Career

April 15th, 2016

Instagram Dives Deeper Into Video


Another day, another feature update at Instagram.

Today it’s video. Specifically, Instagram is updating the Explore tab in its app to promote videos. After you update the app, you’ll find a personalized “Videos You Might Like” channel that curates videos from across Instagram into a single location.

The Explore tab will also now have “Featured” channels with content grouped by specific topics. When you click on a video channel it will autoplay all the videos without looping, so you can binge watch one after the other without ever having to tire out your finger with excessive swiping.

Instagram’s Explore tab works a bit like Pandora, the Internet radio station. You “train” Explore by expressing preferences for the content being displayed and it’s a chance to be exposed to Instagram content even if you don’t follow the creator.

Don’t Miss:

How Many Hashtags Should You Use on Instagram?

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram

The Colors Prized By Instagram’s Top Photographers

April 14th, 2016

Bryan Denton Wins Fifth Annual Getty Images Chris Hondros Fund Award

American photojournalist Bryan Denton has won the fifth annual $20,000 Getty Images Chris Hondros Fund (CHF) Award, and fellow photojournalist Kiana Hayeri has also been awarded the $5,000 emerging photojournalist grant, Getty Images announced today. The awards will be presented at a reception at the Aperture Gallery in New York on May 4.

Bryan Denton for The New York Times

© Bryan Denton for The New York Times

The CHF award was established to honor the work and celebrate the legacy of photojournalist Chris Hondros, who was killed in April 2011 while on assignment covering the Libyan civil war. The four previous CHF Award winners were Kevin Frayer, Daniel Berehulak, Andrea Bruce, and Tomás Munita.

Denton has been based in Lebanon, Beirut since 2006 and has completed assignments in the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and Afghanistan for The New York Times, Newsweek, TIME, The Wall Street Journal and more. He was previously selected as a finalist by the CHF in 2013.

“I was lucky enough to have been friends with Chris, which makes this accolade a bittersweet motivation to keep pushing my work forward, and to do so with the kindness, grace and spirit that Chris embodied both in his work and in life,” Denton said in a prepared statement.

Hayeri, who was born in Iran and migrated to Toronto as a teenager, won the emerging photojournalist grant for work exploring topics such as migration and adolescence.  Her work has appeared in publications including Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Monocle, and The Washington Post.

Jurors for the 2016 CHF awards included Getty Images vice president of news Pancho Bernasconi, New York Times photographer Todd Heisler, freelance photojournalist Jeff Swensen and CHF board president Christina Piaia, who was engaged to Hondros at the time of his death.

Related Stories:

Kevin Frayer Wins Fourth Annual Getty Images & Chris Hondros Fund Award

Chris Hondros’s Testament

Tim Hetherington, Chris Hondros: Remembering Them As They Lived

April 14th, 2016

Victoria Will on the Importance of the Workshop Experience

Sponsored by Santa Fe Photographic Workshops


© Victoria Will

© Victoria Will

Though Victoria Will began her career as a photojournalist, she fell in love with storytelling through portraiture. The magic came in learning to light her subjects, a skill she couldn’t use in her journalistic work. After working for a newspaper for several years, her first real editorial assignment came in 2010: photographing President Clinton for Foreign Policy magazine. Since then, she’s continued to photograph celebrities and models for publications like Esquire, Sports Illustrated and Vogue, and brands including ESPN, Levi’s and Sony.

“Every time I pick up the camera it’s another way for me to see something,” Will says. “I’m becoming more fluent in that language.”

Will has developed her photographic literacy through both on-set experience and education, and she’s an advocate for Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in particular. “They’re always a little bit of an escape because you can leave your work environment and pick the brain of a photographer whose work you admire,” she says. She describes the classes as small and intimate, but intense. “It’s not a vacation,” she adds. “It’s concentrated, but that’s the beauty of it.”


© Victoria Will

© Victoria Will


This summer, Will is scheduled to teach Editorial Portraiture at Santa Fe Workshops from July 24 through July 29. It’s one of three new five-day courses being added to the summer lineup, in addition to Photographing Celebrities, taught by Allen Clark, and Illuminating Portraits, taught by Erika Larsen. Santa Fe will also offer two-week workshops for the first time.

Will plans to fold in the best aspects of past workshops she’s taken into the one she’s teaching this July. She’ll be there alongside her students as an industry resource and to help them troubleshoot both in and out of the classroom.

But Will isn’t interested in teaching only the technical side of photography. She’ll delve deeper into what it means to be a contemporary portrait photographer, how one can get their work out into the world, and most importantly: how to work with one’s subject.


© Victoria Will

© Victoria Will


“Portraiture is about what I’m bringing to the table and what my subject is bringing to the table—I don’t think of it as capturing the soul,” she says of the old adage. “What I’m teaching is how to have that connection. I think it’s a mistake to treat anyone differently. I approach the shoot exactly the same way—whether my neighbor or an A-list celebrity or a model,” she says. The workshop will also reveal how to be flexible and how to be able to make compelling portraits on the fly, when preconceived ideas don’t pan out.

One of the best aspects of the workshops, Will notes, are the relationships that she’s forged beyond the classroom. They are also beneficial to photographers of all backgrounds. “I don’t think you are ever too old or experienced to take a workshop,” she says. “There’s always room to learn. I would go to a workshop now—it would just have to be the right person whose brain I’d like to pick.”

To read more about the courses at Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, visit their brand-new website at www.santafeworkshops.com.

April 14th, 2016

UC Davis Paid $175K to Bury Infamous Pepper Spray Incident

The University of California, Davis spent “at least $175,000 to scrub the internet of negative online postings following the November 2011 pepper spraying of students,” The Sacramento Bee has reported. University administrators hired a private reputation management firm to eradicate “references to the pepper spray incident in search results on Google,” according to the newspaper.

A campus police officer casually pepper sprayed the students on November 18, 2011 as they sat in a line across a university sidewalk. Video of the incident went viral, and turned into an internet meme. The university was subject to negative publicity for months, and some critics called for the resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.

The Sacramento Bee says in its report that the university hired Nevins & Associates, a Maryland company, in 2013 to bury references to the incident in order to counter “venomous rhetoric about UC Davis and the Chancellor.”

The newspaper says it found out about the university’s contract with Nevins & Associates after submitting a request for the information under the California Public Records Act. The paper’s full report is available here.

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

April 13th, 2016

How Winning a Pulitzer Changed Deanne Fitzmaurice’s Career

Saleh draws an airplane dropping bombs, after nurses taped a felt-tipped pen to his arm in an effort to soothe him. ©Deanne Fitzmaurice

Saleh draws an airplane dropping bombs, after nurses taped a felt-tipped pen to his arm in an effort to soothe him. ©Deanne Fitzmaurice

The 2016 Pulitzer Prize winners will be announced on Monday, April 18, marking the 100th awarding of the prizes since they were initiated in 1917. We recently asked photojournalist Deanne Fitzmaurice how winning the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography has affected her career. Now a contributor to Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, National Geographic and other publications, Fitzmaurice was a staff photographer at the San Francisco Chronicle when she won her Pulitzer. The story she won for was about an Iraqi boy named Saleh who was undergoing treatment at an Oakland hospital after he was nearly killed by an explosion in Iraq.

PDN: What went through your mind when you heard your name read?
Deanne Fitzmaurice: it was complete disbelief. I had been a staff photographer at the Chronicle for maybe 15 years. I thought the Pulitzer was so far out of my reach. But it was a story I felt was so important for people to see, and winning the Pulitzer brought it to a much larger audience.

PDN: What immediate effect did winning the Pulitzer have on your career?
DF: The Chronicle pretty much said, What do you want to work on? It gave me independence to work on stories I really cared about. But in some ways, life was back to normal two weeks later. I was out on assignment for the real estate section, photographing a guy who was up on a ladder. He goes, “Gee, wouldn’t it be funny if I fell off the ladder? You’d probably end up winning a Pulitzer if I did.” And I said, “You’re not going to believe this, but a couple weeks ago I actually did win the Pulitzer.” I’m sure he didn’t believe me.

Deanne Fitzmaurice hears she has won a Pulitzer Prize, April 4, 2005. ©AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Brant Ward

Deanne Fitzmaurice, reacting to the news that she had won a Pulitzer Prize, April 4, 2005. ©AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Brant Ward

PDN: Does it go to your head? Don’t you think, “Why am I shooting these stupid real estate assignments? I’ve won the Pulitzer!”
DF: I didn’t want the other staff photographers to think I was a prima donna, so I wanted to do those ordinary, everyday assignments. Of course, I wanted to do some high level, in-depth projects as well.

There was another funny story about people’s reactions. I was at a wedding, the priest had heard I won the Pulitzer, and he was telling everyone. After the ceremony, he got really drunk, and well into the reception, he’s still telling people about my award, but at that point, he’s telling people I had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

PDN: The Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer Prize are among the few prizes you get to wear for the rest of your life, like: “I’m a  Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer.”
DF: Right, and sometimes it’s awkward–you feel weird doing that, like you’re full of yourself, but at the same time, you’re proud of it and it’s important.

PDN: What effect has it had on your career in the long run?
DF: I stayed at the San Francisco Chronicle as a staff photographer for three years after winning. A lot of opportunities came to me, and I became really busy.

PDN: Who was calling? What kinds of projects?
DF: There was a Pulitzer exhibit in some museum in Minneapolis. Some [art] buyers happened to see it, and they were looking for a photographer to work a project for Target. It was a commercial project but they wanted it shot in a photojournalistic style for Target. So they contacted me, and I got that project, and that was great. I was working on weekends doing things like that. I reached a point where I was too busy, and I was making a decision: Do I stay as a staff photographer, or take this moment to try to make it as a freelancer? I spent about six months of sleepless nights. I thought, photographers are getting laid off, the industry is changing, and I’m thinking of walking away from a perfectly good job. But I thought, If I’m ever going to do this, now is the time. I think I would have regretted if I didn’t, so I took a chance. I was scared to death, walking away. If I had stayed at the Chronicle, my life wouldn’t have changed that much. By going independent, it has given me lots of options and lots of opportunities.

PDN: Does winning the Pulitzer carry any kind of burden?
DF: After I won the Pulitzer, I was putting pressure on myself, saying, “You need to continue working at this level.” I didn’t want to be a one-hit wonder. The feeling that I could produce that kind of work, I wanted to keep doing that.

PDN: What’s your advice to photographers about how to make the most of it if they win?
DF: When you win, your phone is going to start ringing like crazy, your inbox is going to fill up and there are going to be lots of opportunities to to go out and talk about your work and your process. It’s easy for it to become a distraction. After I won, I spent the following year doing speaking engagements and other things related to that project. It was a great honor and privilege, but then I felt like: enough talking, just start producing some work.

Photography Pulitzers Go to Daniel Berehulak, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Staff (for PDN subscribers)
Josh Haner, Tyler Hicks Win 2014 Pulitzer Prizes for Photography (for PDN subscribers)
Instagram: @deannefitzmaurice

April 11th, 2016

Impossible Project’s I-1 Looks to Keep Instant Film Momentum Alive


Forged in the wake of the Polaroid bankruptcy with a mission to keep instant film alive, the Impossible Project is moving on to its next project: revitalizing the instant film camera.

The fruits of that labor are the I-1, the company’s first instant film camera. The camera accepts the Impossible Project’s Instant 600 film (a variant of the discontinued Polaroid 600 Instant Film).

The camera has a prominent LED ring flash that automatically adjusts intensity based on ambient light and focus distance.

In one of the big departures from instant film cameras of yore (and today), the I-1 can be control remotely via a free iOS app that lets you control aperture, shutter speed and flash settings as well as take advantage of some creative features (as yet unspecified).

The camera goes on sale in March for $300. More info is promised then.