Tag Archive: photographers

Photographers hit hardest by newspaper layoffs


A Pew Research Center study shows that photographers have been hit hardest by US newspaper layoffs since 2000. There has been a 32% reduction in writing staff (from ~25,500 to ~17,500 writers), but newspaper photographers’ numbers have decreased about 42% (from 6,171 to 3,493). Newspapers frequently cite changing technologies or ease of training writers to take photos or video as they report the news. Over at Sun-Times/Dark Times we’ve seen just how bad that can get through comparisons between Tribune and Sun-Times coverage after the Sun-Times laid off its entire photography staff.

I always find it curious that newspapers are quick to train writers to serve as photographers in these situations, and that almost never goes the other way.

Shit Photographers Say

I’m surprised it took so long for this meme to get to photographers, but here it is, by Paris Visone, Tim Kennedy, Chris Sanchez, and Dan Aguirre. It’s in the vein of the original of these sorts of videos, Shit Girls Say, and the many, many derivatives. Don’t forget Shit Liz Lemon Says.

(via Photographs On the Brain)

UPDATE: Looks like there is an earlier (less funny) Shit Photographers Say video here.

National Geographic photographers form The Photo Society

Screenshot of The Photo Society website with image by Melissa Farlow

Screenshot of The Photo Society website with image by Melissa Farlow

‘Explaining the diversity of this group is the easiest way to answer the question, “How do I become a National Geographic photographer?” I usually answer this question by saying: “It is not easy or glamorous (see Reality Check). And this is not where you begin your career. You are competing with world-class documentary photographers and within that genre there are men and women who are the absolute best at their specialty. There are a number of specialists — underwater photographers with different skills — one works in very deep water; a couple photograph at all depths and temperatures; one dives in caves, another holds his breath under whales; and then there is a guy who just works in puddles. One photographer travels all over the world to strap a big fan on his back to shoot aerials. There is a bug guy, an archeology specialist, and a number of folks that photograph critters. There are climbers, conflict photographers, portrait photographers and landscape specialists.” Then I usually end with how amazed I am that I can survive in this crowd as a generalist… in such esteemed company.’ -Randy Olson, About the Photo Society

The Photo Society site’s been live for a little while, and it’s got a wealth of information for those wanting to learn a little more about the people and processes behind National Geographic’s photography. Started at the behest of National Geographic’s Photographer’s Advisory Board, the site collects stories and snippets from a host of the magazine’s contributing photographers. Initial momentum, and what got me to peek at the site initially, started with a list of the various ailments and mishaps encountered by these photographers while on assignment. They’ve had 90 cases of severe diarrhea, 16 parasitic infections, 33 arrests, 21 paraglider crashes, and 1 viper in a camera bag, among other things. But there’s more to the site than that. The blog is frequently updated with links and original content. A few posts of note: Bill Allard Explains How He Became a National Geographic Photographer, I Went Blind in One Eye Shooting First NG Assignment, and How to respond to requests for free photography. That last one shouldn’t be surprising to me…there’s a certain comfort in knowing that even at the highest levels of photography, you’ll still get asked for free work.

Worth a look: The Shooting Gallery – videos about photographers

The video above featuring Zoe Strauss talking about her public exhibitions under an I-95 overpass in Philadelphia is just one of the pleasant findings at The Shooting Gallery, a tumblr featuring videos about photographers. The videos are divided into two categories: photographers talking and photographers shooting. There are 14 pages of archives to the blog, in which you’ll find videos about the likes of Richard Prince, Donald Weber, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Jeff Mermelstein, Stephen Shore, Terry Richardson, Juergen Teller, Cindy Sherman, Ryan McGinley, William Eggleston (including this ridiculous interview on the Today Show), and many others.

The blog is the work of photographer Jennilee Marigomen.

Prime Collective launches

Prime collective

Prime collective

There’s a new collective in town: Prime. Lots of great work on the site already, and the shooters involved are top notch: Dominic Bracco II, Melanie Burford, Brendan Hoffman, Charlie Mahoney, Lance Rosenfield, Max Whittaker. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

Worth a look: 30Under30 Women Photographers

30Under30 Women Photographers

30Under30 Women Photographers

“Look at any advertisement for a new camera, you will usually see the kit beheld by a male hand, with the image of a young woman visible through the lens or emblazoned onto the glass itself, as though the camera were always meant to be a male eye, gazing out onto a world of female subjects….What is it like, then, to be a female photographer, to be a woman who has seized hold of an instrument of which she traditionally remains in front, and to use her eye to view the world, rather than use it to throw back a soft, muted glance into the receiving end of a male gaze?” -Natalie Dybisz / Miss Aniela – intro to 30Under30 Women Photographers

There’s a lot of good work at the recently published 30Under30 Women Photographers online exhibition. The site showcases the diverse work of 30 young female photographers. It’s a great step in toward equality in the traditionally male-dominated field of photography.

Many photographers’ best of 2010

Many friends of dvafoto have been posting their favorite/best/personal frames from 2010. Lots of great work to see. I wish facebook had a search feature, so I could find a few that have passed through my feed that aren’t in this list here. Many thanks to the good people behind apadtweets for keeping a running list of these, too. Here’s a small start:

Michael Rubenstein (at the front page of his site), Bryan Derballa, the staff of the Hartford Courant, Rich-Joseph Facun, Logan Mock Bunting, Melissa Lyttle, Matt Roth, Julia Robinson, Scott McIntyre, the staff of the Seattle Times, Chip Litherland, Benjamin Rasmussen, Sol Neelman, John Tully, Aga Luczakowska, Scott Strazzante (and parts 2, 3, 4), Elyse Butler, Daniel Etter, Jeremy M. Lange, Stephen Voss, New Yorker Photo Booth Shooter’s Choice, Luceo Images (and check out each photographer’s too), G.J. McCarthy (and he posted his worst of 2010!), Melissa Golden (still waiting on the other 3 parts!).

I know I’m missing a ton. Please send us a note or leave a comment if you’ve posted your best from 2010!

And be sure to check out Jeremy Nicholl’s excellent Photo Follies 2010 Awards.

Also, check out Fimoculous’ list of Best of 2010 lists and our coverage of previous year in review photosets: 2009, and 2008.

“How the media inflated the fall of Saddam’s statue” – Pro Publica and the New Yorker

Google image search for: saddam statue taken down

Google image search for: saddam statue taken down

The toppling of Saddam’s statue turned out to be emblematic of primarily one thing: the fact that American troops had taken the center of Baghdad. That was significant, but everything else the toppling was said to represent during repeated replays on television—victory for America, the end of the war, joy throughout Iraq—was a disservice to the truth. Yet the skeptics were wrong in some ways, too, because the event was not planned in advance by the military. -Peter Maass, The Toppling: How the Media Inflated the Fall of Saddam’s Statue in Firdos Square

Peter Maass, writing jointly for the New Yorker and Pro Publica, has just published a fascinating investigation into the toppling of a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad’s Firdos Square. I haven’t gotten through the whole article yet, but it’s well worth a read. The piece features interviews and anecdotes from a few photographers on the scene, including Jan Grarup, Gary Knight, Laurent Van der Stockt, Seamus Conlan, and their perceptions of the event as it unfolded.

Melissa Lyttle’s Open Letter to Newspaper Photographers… (who are still at newspapers)


“The goal is simple, do not to give up. Do not start slacking. Do not let the current state of the industry define us; it’s time for us to define and shape it.” -Melissa Lyttle, Open Letter to Newspaper Photographers… (who are still at newspapers)

As a counterpoint to Chip Litherland’s excellent Open Letter to Newspaper Photographers (previously on dvafoto), Melissa Lyttle has written an Open Letter to Newspaper Photographers… (who are still at newspapers) and you’ve got to read it even if you aren’t at a newspaper. The advice is partly a look at how good it is to be taking pictures for a living and partly call to arms. As a photographer, newspaper or otherwise, we cannot wait for good stories and good photos to drop from the sky. The only thing that will make photography relevant to the public in the future is strong, storytelling work that matters. That isn’t easy, but it’s the only way.

Celebrated civil rights photographer was paid FBI informant

Just as a museum celebrating his work is about to be opened, it has been uncovered that civil rights photographer Ernest Withers (see his work) was a paid FBI informant in the 60s, collaborating with agents to keep tabs on the civil rights movement. The Memphis Commercial Appeal uncovered the story after a two-year investigation and published the findings this week.