APhotoADay announces APAD Backyard Storytelling Grant

APhotoADay
APhotoADay

Melissa Lyttle‘s APhotoADay (APAD) has just announced the APAD Backyard Storytelling Grant. The grant will support one visual journalist (photo or video) producing a project within 350 miles of their home. The deadline for entries is Aug. 31, 2015, and the winners will be announced at this year’s GeekFest, APAD’s annual movable photo festival. Here is the entry information for the grant. Projects that have already received funding above $5,000 in the previous calendar year are not eligible.

You should think about going to GeekFest, by the way. I went last year in Philadelphia and had a blast. This year, it’s in Oakland, and a bunch of great speakers will be there, including a few of our friends: Pete Brook, Mark Murrmann, Matt Black, MaryAnne Golon, Darcy Padilla, Deanne Fitzmaurice, and Nadia Lee Cohen.

The news of this grant comes hot on the heels of APAD becoming a registered non-profit. If you don’t know about APAD, you’re missing out. I’ve been a member of the APhotoADay community almost since I started taking pictures and I’ve met many of my closest photographer friends through it. There’s the APAD listserv, where people can post a photo a day for critique, and there’s the annual GeekFest, and there’s APADTweets and APADgrams, and now there’s this grant. It’s an amazing and welcoming community of photographers dedicated to telling stories.

By the way, some of the funding from the grant came from a print auction last year, but you can still help support APAD through purchases made on AmazonSmile if you aren’t already clicking through our Amazon links to support dvafoto. Go to smile.amazon.com and in the box where you choose a charity to support, search for APhotoADay. Then go to smile.amazon.com every time you shop. Prices stay the same for you, but a portion of every sale will go to APAD to support initiatives like this grant.

Worth a watch: Vice News’ Selfie Soldiers – Russia checks into Ukraine

A couple weeks ago I wrote about Bellingcat’s efforts to learn more about wars through social media images, satellite imagery, and other sources. Now, Vice News have just released a 23-minute piece (embedded above) by Simon Ostrovsky tracking down a single Russian soldier through some of his social media posts from Ukraine. This provides evidence that Russian soldiers have been fighting in Ukraine, especially in the critical Battle of Debaltseve in January and February of this year.

Ostrovsky finds geo-tagged images from a man in a Russian soldier’s uniform who posted pictures in Ukraine and untangles his social media posts, eventually leading him to Ulan Ude in central Russia where he meets the man’s wife and eventually speaks to him on the phone, asking about whether or not he was in Ukraine. Ostrovsky’s journalism in this piece is wonderful. He finds the exact locations of countless photos from the soldier’s social media profiles, both in Ukraine and Russia, and recreates the photos himself. He confronts European observers with some of this evidence and challenges them as to why they won’t definitively say that Russia troops are in Ukraine. Watch until the end when Ostrovsky shows his matching photos to the soldier he tracked down.

If you haven’t been watching Simon Ostrovsky’s Russian Roulette series on the conflict in Crimea and Ukraine, by the way, you’re missing out. It is some of the best television journalism I’ve ever seen, and as of this writing there are 108 videos in the series. The pieces get in deep, have a bit of humor, and really personalize both sides of the conflict. Vice’s HBO news show is good, but Russian Roulette is on another level.

“Welcome to the Winogrand Circus” – Gary Winogrand speaks to students at Rice University

In the video (embedded above), Gary Winogrand speaks to Rice University students for nearly two hours in Geoff Winningham‘s class. Winningham still teaches at Rice.

It’s Winningham who introduces Winogrand, saying “Welcome to the Winogrand circus,” and then Winogrand asks for questions from the students. He talks about how he works, his approach to different subjects, and the work of other photographers (Robert Frank, Walker Evans, Bruce Davidson–at 21:44: “[East 100th Street] is sickening…morally, it’s sickening, and photographically it’s just a goddamned bore,” and others). It’s a wide-ranging and very informal talk, but offers a fascinating perspective from Winogrand about his own work and others’.

If you don’t have two hours to spare right now, check out the 16-minute highlight reel (which doesn’t have any footage of Winogrand himself) at the National Gallery of Art.

And searching for this video today, I ran across this question and answer session at MIT with Winogrand in 1974. It starts with a short lecture by Tod Papageorge. There’s a transcript in an old post at 2point8 or on Google Docs. Winogrand’s often a bit enigmatic. Asked about whether he still likes some of his older pictures, he responds, “The one’s I’m interested in, I’m interested in. That’s all I can say.” Some of the audience members aren’t too happy with the vague responses and ask him why he’s answering questions the way he does. It’s a fun listen.

Of course, there’s also this short piece from the 1982 documentary Contemporary Photography in the USA showing Winogrand at work.

I’ve been meaning to share this video of Winogrand since I saw it first early last year. It made the rounds a bit, but it’s worth revisiting. A post on metafilter today reminded me of it.