Category Archive: books
A few years ago, I stopped talking about my work completely. I found that the process of trying to explain it to others got in the way of my own attempts to understand it myself. But this is a TED talk and I very much wanted to accept the invitation to be here. So, I’m going to show you some of the images that I’ve made and to go with them I’ve stolen some words. Some as you’ve heard from T.S. Eliot, some from James Agee, from Tom Waits, from Herman Melville and from Wim Wenders. And I’ve added a few of my own.
- Mikhael Subotzky at TEDxStellenbosch
David Lynch has been responsible for haunting and intriguing images on screen (including one of the scariest moments in movie history). He was invited by Paris Photo to create a book selected from the 1000 photos shown at Paris Photo 2012. He described the process as intuitive rather than intellectual, and in the video above (which is a little slow at first) talks about how he looks at images and what they mean to him. If you’ve got a few moments, give it a listen.
There are two new Tim Hetherington biographies coming out soon.
Longtime friend and collaborator Sebastian Junger created a film documentary called Which Way Is the Front Line From Here: The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington. The film premiered last week at Sundance to favorable reviews. HBO will air the film on April 18 of this year.
“Huffman recounts Hetherington’s career in chapters that expand on the many conflicts the photographer covered: the Liberian civil war; the genocide in Sudan and its spillover into Chad; the American occupation of Afghanistan. His point, though not stated explicitly, seems to be that you can’t understand Hetherington without understanding the violence he was drawn to document. Huffman succeeds in immersing us in Hetherington’s daily reality while in conflict zones, and many excellent interviews with friends and colleagues add a personal dimension to the photographer’s extraordinary life.” -Unfinished business: A new biography of photojournalist Tim Hetherington reflects on a too-short career, Columbia Journalism Review – Jan 2, 2013
Alan Huffman’s print biography of Hetherington, Here I Am: The Story of Tim Hetherington, War Photographer, will be published this March. The book recounts Hetherington’s life through the conflicts he photographed. The Columbia Journalism Review has a review of the book worth reading. The book is available for pre-order at Amazon.
It’s funny how a project can sneak up on you. Theron Humphrey, whom we’ve featured previously, was on a cross-country roadtrip photographing a different person each day for This Wild Idea when he started posing his dog Maddie, a coonhound, on and in a variety of ridiculous places. Maddie poses on anything: a basketball hoop, the Statue of Liberty, under a semi truck, on a bike, or as a ghost. This is just the sort of thing that hits the internet’s collective funny/cute bones and the project blew up on blogs and the news media (Slate, Today Show, SwissMiss), tumblr (hundreds of reblogs/likes for each photo), and instagram (~100,000 followers). Eventually it turned into a book deal, and it’s available for pre-order. The book, published by Chronicle Books and which initially cracked the top 1000 on Amazon, will be out in April.
I had the good fortune to meet up with Emphas.is CEO Karim Ben Khelifa recently; he’s full of ideas for the future of photojournalism and Emphas.is. Emphas.is, a kickstarter-like funding platform for visual journalism, has helped produce many photo essays addressing major international topics over the past couple of years, and they’ve recently branched out into book publishing. Among the first books is Revolutions by Rémi Ochlik, a young photographer who was killed this year while covering the conflict in Syria. The video above gives a preview of the work in the book, photos from the Arab Spring uprisings throughout the Middle East last year and this. Now the book is available for sale through Emphas.is (there is also a collector’s edition available that includes a print along with the book).
Emphas.is has other books and prints available through their online store, including Peter Dench’s England Uncensored, William Daniel’s Faded Tulips (previously on dvafoto), and Rian Dundon’s Changsha.
(via Time Lightbox)
- There is more than one way to read this Novella
- It is analog, 3D, interactive (please handle with care)
- See map
- Behind the scenes? Theriobook.com
David Alan Harvey, of Magnum and Burn, has a new book coming out, and it looks wonderful. Called (based on a true story) There’s very little text, and the unbound pages of full-bleed pictures blend together across their folds making for visually and conceptually interesting juxtapositions and collages. Can’t wait to see this in person, but the video above gives a good preview. For a couple of bucks, you can also get a look into the making of the book here.
His three previous books, Living Proof, Cuba: Island at a Crossroad, and Divided Soul, are available on Amazon, but the few copies available of (based on a true story) at Sydney’s Head On Festival have already sold out. Hopefully more will be available soon.
More than a year ago my friend John Malsbary and I began trading emails about a couple of films and some ideas that they inspired. I suppose it is a follow-up to our first post together: Dvafoto Book Club, Vol 1: The Hurt Locker. This discussion started when he told me to watch Winter’s Bone and after I saw it I started drawing a lot of connections to my fascination with the documentary Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus. So I asked John to watch that documentary. This post is an edited form of the ongoing discussion John and I have been having, and jumps around quite a bit to other bits of art and society that we’re interested in. We hope you find it interesting. Watch the trailers for Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus and Winter’s Bone.
I think the most important thing that sticks out to me personally with Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus (directed by Andrew Douglas, 2003), in concert with Winter’s Bone (directed by Debra Granik, 2010) is the different approaches to telling stories that I’m interested in. I could see myself working on the stories at the heart of either movie, but I don’t know how I would do that with still images.
Watching Winter’s Bone, I kept thinking .. could I do something like this? Take a very realistic story and use some fiction to be able to communicate the story better? Would it allow me to give the audience more than they could see if I shot it ’straight’ as a documentary? For instance, some of the stories I’ve heard in the Roma camps (I spent much of 2009 photographing the destruction of a Belgrade Roma community), there is no way to show all of those elements in still images made at the moment. These were things that happened in the past, things happening where I can’t photograph, or mental images described to me. It seriously makes me think about doing some work on films some day, to explore that itch to tell a more complete story than “purely” what is in front of my lens. Or maybe there is indeed a way to do that within documentary photography.
It is the same thing with Wrong-Eyed, it makes me dream about making a documentary film. What they are able to pull out of the story, with some scripting, some crew, some lighting, is different than what I would get with my still photographs if I were standing there the day before or after with the exact same idea or perspective. Likewise, their way of telling a story would probably not work at all with the stories I have done. My stories exist because I’m one guy moving quickly with one small camera, really no equipment, and just shooting what happens in front of me, no set-ups at all. That movie can not exist without those setups. It took a crew of people to set up access and equipment, to get those people (in jail, in the bar, the preacher) to say their deepest thoughts in those particular tableus. We could both get in to these places, but our way of working changes what we will get on film. And making the decision about how you physically approach a story changes what you will record.
That’s the essence of what I’m interested in this conversation: the nature and method of story telling. And how choices about a medium, given their specific limitations and advantages, can reveal new elements of the story.
Since watching the film the first time I’ve read up quite a bit more on Wrong-Eyed and have fallen deeply in to Jim White’s music (see the embedded video below for one scene of White playing some music and telling a story while driving around). If you like his tunes and want to hear him talk about the making of the film there is a great live set and interview from KEXP in 2005. There is also a nice press kit with much info about the film, found on the website of the distributer.
The White interview on KEXP gave me some interesting perspective on what they set out to achieve. In response to one of the things you raised in your reading of the film, the whiteness of it all. They say that they chose to focus specifically on the rural southern poor white perspective. And for me, that is something that I haven’t seen much real documentary of. My experience with this population is mostly just jokes about rednecks and northern snootiness. Man, I want to just go drive around the south now. I don’t think I have the balls or emotional space at the moment to actually open myself up to these experiences and go to all of these places right away though. Something I’ve realized living and working abroad: it really can be easier photographing away home. Less personal baggage that you hear off the cuff. Not knowing the nuance at first (though I am obsessed with finding it over time, this is why I am five years in to my project with barely an end in sight). You can photograph and not feel so bad not knowing word for word the details of their life story.
I have no idea why you would be afraid of these places. You are straight, white and male. People would make fun of you for being northern/west coast, but that would just be their way of trying to know you. The struggle would be to put up with the hateful shit they’d say, and keep your cool, and not judge them or fight it. Or maybe you would feel you have to fight it.
You know, I think you’ve put yourself at such a disadvantage by talking to people in a foreign country. In America I sometimes feel like narratives are a dime a dozen. Part of my job, as I’ve told you before, is just being where people are aching to be heard. My supervisors occasionally say that people with literally no money only have their story to trade. No one wants a hand out from me. So I receive stories like they’re legal tender.
For me it’s a pleasurable job. But I get a kick out of incoherent pandemonium. I think the hard part for a story teller would be sewing it all into something coherent.
Mishka Henner, a photographer we’ve written about before on dvafoto, has a new project out called Less Américains. It is a photo book of digitally manipulated Robert Frank photographs from the iconic The Americans, printed in an edition almost identical to the original book.
Less Américains is a remake of Robert Frank’s classic photobook, The Americans. Eighty-three new images have been created by digitally erasing most of the visual content from Frank’s photographs, leaving only solitary details from the originals. The sequencing remains faithful to Frank’s 2008 Steidl edition of the book whilst the design of the covers and title pages are influenced by the first Delpire edition printed in France in 1958.
I’m skeptical about this project, at least from seeing the book preview video, perhaps it is different to behold physically, maybe right next to the original. Many re-appropriation works (or musical remixes, which seem relevant) are interesting to me and build on the original or explore new territory; this at first glance just leaves me puzzled. But still it is a somewhat bold proposition: remixing one of the most iconic documentary photo books of all time and to print it as a companion volume. Further, even Robert Frank seems somewhat ambivalent about The Americans now and what the project “means” or “says” fifty years later. Much of Frank’s later work is some sort of deconstruction or re-layering of photographs or video. At least compared to the iconic “straight” documentary nature of the original Americans.
It might even be a trend in photography now (Brauer pointed out this print by Joe Webb as another example) of cutting solid shapes out of photographs while creating new works of art. I’m sure you can show us more examples, good and bad, of this sort of collage.
Henner and Liz Lock together are represented by Panos Pictures, and their work is solidly within the documentary tradition. Henner however has many recent projects that involve reinterpreting or appropriating existing photographs. In fact, the timing of this new work is interesting, as I’ve already been thinking about Henner this week. An interview I’m preparing touches on one of Henner’s projects from 2011, No Man’s Land, which is built on Google Street View images of presumed prostitution. More on that soon. You can purchase the book Less Américains from Henner directly at this link for £80 + shipping. I can’t wait to read a proper art critic’s take on this project, and what it might mean to abstract this type or era of photography with modern methods. I’ll admit, the more I think or look at this project the more interested I become.
Ian Teh, long a favorite, has a new book out with Troika Editions. It’s called Traces, and collects two bodies of work from Teh’s China work. In one, “Dark Clouds,” Teh focuses on workers and images of their workplaces. The other, “Traces,” shows industrialized landscapes. At the Troika Editions site, there’s a short video interview with Teh talking about the work and how it came about. You can buy the book with a limited edition print directly from Troika Editions.
Holiday gift ideas for photographers – support dvafoto with your holiday shopping at Amazon or PhotoShelterDec 5, 2011 by M. Scott Brauer 1 Comment »
Dvafoto is a labor of love, and when Matt and I get paid work (the relative abundance of which we’ve both been thankful for lately) it takes away the time we get to devote to bringing you interesting new photography, interviews, and discussions relating to photojournalism here at dvafoto. Through our modest ads (Google Adwords and iTunes, PhotoShelter, and Amazon affiliate programs) we come close to covering our hosting costs.
If you’re planning on doing any shopping on Amazon for the holidays this year, please click through one of our links before you buy. By doing so, your price stays the same, but we get a small percentage of the sale, which we put toward the costs of running dvafoto. Here are a few things that the photojournalist in your life might like or find handy:
- A PhotoShelter account for archiving and selling photography online
- Tim Hetherington’s Long Story: Bit by Bit book or Restrepo DVD
- Jennifer Shaw’s Hurricane Story
- iPad magazines and books such as: Once Magazine, Christopher Anderson’s Capitolio, World Press Photo 2011, Carl de Keyzer’s Zona: Siberian Prison Camps, or a retrospective collection of Elliott Erwitt’s career
- An iPad to read all of the above
- A discrete Think Tank Retrospective camera bag (or anything else by Think Tank)
- Errol Morris’ Believing Is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography
- Jelle Brandt Corstius’ Nomad
- A Kindle e-reader to catch up on reading (here are some great exportable magazine articles curated at LongReads)
- William Albert Allard: Five Decades
- A quick mounting grid for a small flash
- A great 50mm lens (or maybe a slightly less expensive but still good one)
- Ben Lowy’s Iraq | Perspectives
- Magnum Contact Sheets
- A portable hard-drive
- Questions Without Answers: The World in Pictures by the Photographers of VII
- A Canon 5D Mark 2 (used or refurbished available under $2000)
- A CF card wallet
- Or anything else available at Amazon
And you don’t have to limit yourself to photographer-friendly gifts. If you’re doing any shopping through Amazon, by clicking our link before you start shopping, a small portion of your purchase will go toward the costs of running dvafoto. Thanks for your support!