Tag Archive: Photos
More than anything though, Tim’s photos speak to what it means to be a man and how war often defines masculinity. “Photography is great at representing the hardware of the war machine,” he told his good friend and writer Stephen Mayes, a month before he died. “But the truth is that the war machine is the software, as much as the hardware. The software runs it, and the software is young men. I’m not so young anymore. But I get it. That’s really what my work is about.” -Newsweek editor James Wellford
Newsweek has just published Tim Hetherington’s final images, from Libya in April 2011. Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed in Misrata, Libya, on April 20, 2011 (Remembrances).
Last week saw the release of snippets of video from a treasure trove of video and stills from the early days of Gaddafi found by Hetherington and Human Rights Watch researcher Peter Bouckaert after a Libyan state security office was burned and looted by protesters.
One of my favorite lazy weekend TV shows as a child was Movie Magic; it was a fascinating look at how specific special effects were achieved in well-known movies. Now making the rounds is a small selection of photos offering a peak behind the scenes of movie effects before computer generated imagery was the norm. It’s a wonderful look at the technical wizardry and illusion necessary to wow audiences. There’s even a glimpse of the photographic set up used to make the opening text crawl of Empire Strikes Back. There are pictures from The Shining, Metropolis, Requiem for a Dream, Alien, and others.
While you’re in the mood, here are some photos by a Universal Studios security guard on the set of Back to the Future and some behind-the-scenes photos of actors on the set of the final episode of Twin Peaks (and more here).
Martijn Kleppe has compiled a good and broad-ranging list of writing and reactions about the images surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden. Included in the list is everything from satirically repurposed videos (above) to reasoned argumentation about whether or not the photos of bin Laden’s corpse should be revealed to the public. I love reading these debates when the issue is so close to heart, but I also take a page from Jon Stewart in thinking that I’m going to love reading a book about all this in about 10 years.
“I wrote in my previous post about how photography can be said to explain everything and yet reveal nothing. And now I find myself realising that I may have taken some photographs that illustrate precisely that characteristic. I can hardly believe the reaction that these pictures have generated.” -Russell Watkins, The spider trees of Pakistan: a tale of two photographs and the web
Russell Watkins, the photographer behind the photos of spiderweb-covered trees in the aftermath of devastating flooding in Pakistan, has an interesting take on what it means for his photos to have gone viral in the past week or so. The photos have been published far and wide (including National Geographic, Wired, Reuters, CNN, BBC, Huffington Post, the Guardian, New Scientist, NBC, the Sun, the Daily Mail, and many more magazines, newspapers, websites, and blogs), and have been seen by orders of magnitude more people than have seen his broader coverage of flood relief efforts and the reconstruction of communities in the region following the natural disaster. His work is in the curious position of having been seen by millions of people without informing them. The video produced by his office, the UK’s Department for International Development, has only 259 views on youtube. It’s embedded below:
Watkins attributes the popularity of the images, in part, to their being released on flickr under a creative commons license (and expresses some reservations about the financial implications of such a move). I’m not sure CC licensing had anything to do with it–AP and Reuters photos have gone viral with full copyright. Rather, I think it’s another statement in the ongoing conversation about what type of photos sate the public’s appetite and what that means for the future of visual reporting.
On the opposite side of the coin is the reaction to Jake Price‘s images from the tsunami and unfolding nuclear disaster in northern Japan. BBC’s Viewfinder blog published a collection of his work recently. They’re a stylized black and white treatment of the disaster (interestingly, a few were published in color by BagNewsNotes), and judging by many of the comments on the BBC blog, they haven’t been well received. “Feel guilty just appreciating the artistic beauty of the photos due to the darkness in them,” writes commenter Sanji-san. “I’m sorry but I don’t think B&W photos should be taken of this catastrophe – whilst it may emphasise the tragedy of the situation I personally think we should avoid the ‘artistic’ view of this nightmare unfolding before us,” says Seanlookalike.
In the Japan photos case, many in the public seem not to want an overly artistic or aesthetically-minded approach to photojournalism. In the spiderweb trees case, it’s the aesthetic and abstract approach that has drawn millions of viewers to see image from an ongoing humanitarian crisis. In the former, the public learns about the situation but finds the method unpalatable. In the latter, the photos satisfy visual demand without informing.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t….
Eye tracking has emerged as an important part of measuring audience engagement and user experience on the internet. Devices record where a user’s eyes fall when looking at a website and the data from those experiments guide the future design of the website. Via bloggasm, I came across a look into how users view photos as web content. And while the data is not directly applicable to news websites or journalism, it does confirm what photographers already know: relevant photos of people increase user involvement with content. Interestingly, the findings also show that stock photos of generic people and situations get almost no attention from the user.
Just got a facebook message from Dispatches about the newest photos and slideshow on the magazine’s site. “East of the Sun,” part of the issue On Russia, is beautiful and strange. I’m not convinced of some of the close-up crops in the video, but the music and editing made me chuckle (in a good way) more than a few times. Beautiful and strange work from Russia by Seamus Murphy.
Unfortunately, it’s a little difficult to find Seamus Murphy’s other work online. There was a little blurb about him over at Rob Haggart’s A Photo Editor blog that started out:
One of my all time favorite photographers has no agent, no website, doesn’t send out promo mailers, no logo, isn’t in any of the sourcebooks, not listed in the free workbook phonebook, has never called to see if I’ve got anything for him and if I hadn’t scoured the web and made a few phone calls years ago I would have no clue how to contact him….”
There’s a little feature at Outside magazine about being in the field with Seamus Murphy in Syria. Granta has some of his work online focusing on soldiers getting ready for deployment. There’s also a small interview at Culture 24. And definitely don’t miss his POYi 62 World Understanding Award portfolio of work from Afghanistan, which is also the subject of what looks to be a great book, “Afghanistan: A Darkness Visible.”
- The Sydney Morning Herald’s Photos of the Year (warning: there’s music)
- The LA Times’ Best Photography of 2008, including World Photography, National Photography, California Photography, Sports, and more.
- Vanity Fair’s Year in Pictures, Parts 1 and 2
- The Big Picture’s Year in Photographs, part 3
- UNICEF’s Photos of the Year (including an honorable mention for Melissa Lyttle)
- The possibly soon-to-be-closed Rocky Mountain News’ Year in Photos
- The Independent on Sunday’s World News Pictures of the Year
- Wired.com’s Best (Reader) Contest Photos You Never Saw
- SportsShooter’s Top 5 Cool Things for 2008 by the Click‘s Trent Nelson (dvafoto was listed for November! Thanks, Trent!)
- Huffington Post’s 10 Worst Media Moments in 2008
(Thanks again to Filmoculous’ huge and growing 2008 List of Lists for some of these; there are a couple I didn’t list, CollegeHumor.com and the Village Voice’s NSFW New York Photos of the Year, because they seemed so out of place here…)
Part of dvafoto’s continued roundup of the Year in Pictures lists (Part 1), here are a few more:
- Time’s Pictures of the Year (including one by previous dva interview subject Matt Slaby and Alixandra Fazzina’s excellent picture mentioned here previously)
- The Boston Globe’s Big Picture Year in Photos, part 1 and part 2. Part 3 will be published soon.
- Reuter’s 2008 Pictures of the Year.
- Agence France Presse’s Photos of the Year (possibly not official).
- The Telegraph’s various pictures of the year categories: Violent Conflicts, Natural Disasters, Spectacular Images, Royal News, and, um, Pets, among others.
- The Smoking Gun’s Mugshots of the Year.
- Discover Magazine’s Top 10 Astronomy Pictures of 2008.
- National Geographic’s Top 10 Photo Galleries of the Year.
- National Geographic’s Best Animal Wildlife Photos of 2008.
- And, for completeness’ sake, the Flickr group 2008: A Year in Pictures.
The Year in Photos packages are trickling out. Thanks to Filmoculous’ great annual List of Lists, here are a few of the collections released so far.