Tag Archives: Magnum

Grab Shots: Elizabeth Taylor, Before the Camera

Elizabeth Taylor, Philippe HalsmanElizabeth Taylor,who died Wednesday in L.A., was one of the most photographed woman of her generation and became a Hollywood icon in an era when stars were idolized by photographers (instead of chased). The classic lighting and poses are worth a look, no matter if you are a Liz fan or not. Here is a selection of images of Taylor. The ones from the early years are my favorites.

* Magnum Photos has a wonderful slideshow of classic Taylor images, including several by Philppe Halsman (left, for Life Magazine) and Burt Glinn.

* The New York Times, in addition to its lengthy obituary, also has a slideshow that contains still from Taylor’s movies. They’re worth a look for the lighting alone.

* In case you didn’t make it to any of Taylor’s weddings, Life Magazine has pulled together an album of them all.

* Life, again displaying the power of a deep archive, is touting this collection of “unpublished pics.” Click in a few to see Taylor, in full louche, with Montgomery Clift.

* Want to own your own Elizabeth Taylor photo? Click here to see the many for sale on eBay — $3.99 will get you an 8 x 10.

* For a moving (literally) tribute to Taylor by  N.Y. Times critic A.O. Scott, watch this Times video on YouTube.

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Grab Shots: Get Some Perspective

Planet War

Here in the United States, with politicians and pundits of all stripes yammering ad nauseum about each other’s shortcomings, and with our insatiable obsessions with media and celebrity, it’s easy to lose perspective about what’s important in the world. Despite the tolls taken by the recession, we Americans still live in a comfortable bubble marked by the personal freedoms of expression, consumption and, most fundamentally, democratic standards — liberties denied to millions of other people on the planet by oppressive governments, megalomaniac dictators and hard-fisted clerics.

Photojournalism provides us with a window into that crueler world. Here’s a sampling:

* Planet War:  Foreign Policy editors put together a powerful photo essay on the 33 conflicts “raging around the world today,” reminding us that “it’s often innocent civilians who suffer the most.” Above, an Iranian dissident in December 2009.

* 2nd Tour Hope I Don’t Die: A narrated presentation of still and video images made by Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael reflecting on his coverage of Iraq  from January 2006 to December 2008. He describes it this way: “I tried to make pictures that reflected my complex and often contradictory experiences, where the line was continuously blurred between perpetrator and victim, between hero and villain.  In time, the labels that had heretofore defined my perceptions of the world became meaningless.”

* Hell on a Small Island: Dirck Halstead writes about two photographers, Damon Winter of the New York Times and Shaul Schwarz of Reportage/Getty Images, who covered the horrific human disaster that followed the January 12 earthquake in Haiti. For them, says Halstead, “the camera becomes a shield, a protective layer between terrible death and the photographer.” Here is Winter’s gallery, and her is Schwarz’s gallery.

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Grab Shots: Pixels about PJ

*How Not to Get Shot in a War Zone: Advice from conflict photographer Teru Kuwayama. First on the list: Wear your seat belt because “it’s the traffic that’s most likely to kill you.” (Via Photo Editor.)

* Does the World Even Need Photojournalists? That’s a question being asked on Lightstalkers by Aaron J. Heiner. He comments: “Truth be known it’s hard to see why the media would want to pay us to do a task that people are willing to do for free. yes, we have training, and experience, but it seems that the big boys (the networks, CNN, FOX and so forth) would gladly give that up for free man-on0the-street coverage.”

* Dispatches: Report from Afghanistan on The Digital Journalist by photographer David Bathgate. A quote: “Attacks with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms were nearly a daily occurrence during my stay at Firebase Lindstrom.”

* Burn, Baby, Burn: Emerging photographers show their work at Burn Magazine.

*Magnum Blog No More: Photojournalism agency Magnum has put its blog on hiatus, promising new things on its website. You can follow Magnum on Twitter or Facebook.

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Grab Shots: Craziness & Bizz-i-ness,

Link-gathering while I’m on hold with Adobe:

* Woodstuck: Magnum puts up a slideshow of photos by Elliot Landy from Woodstock. And, yes — since you asked — I was there.

* Crazy, man, just crazy: Dirck Halstead at The Digital Journalist gets asked, “Why would you be a photojournalist today?” And answers, “You have to be crazy.” Then adds: “I have always considered being crazy as important to a photographer as being curious.”

* Taking the biz out of news business: Jack Shafter says at the Slate that what’s bad for business just might be good for journalism: “If the downside of the battered-down barriers to entry is less pay and lower status, the potential upside is that a flood of new entrants into the field could portend a journalistic renaissance.” Now, let’s see about getting paid.

* Putting the bizz into journalism: National Press Photographers Association has a toolkit of business practices.

* Eddie Adams reviewed: Sportshooter has a review of “Eddie Adams: Vietnam.” One quote from Adams: “Making pictures in Vietnam is easy…Things are happening all around you and you just have to press a button and not get killed.”

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Grab Shots: Capa, Lyon, Gilden

Cornell Capa* The Mexican Suitcase: The International Center of Photography in New York has begun releasing images from the 4,300 negatives it received in a suitcase a couple of years ago containing the work of Magnum co-founder Robert Capa and his fellow photojournalists covering the Spanish Civil War, Gerda Taro and David Seymour. Amazing images, say the curators, but still no negative of Capa’s most famous and somewhat disputed photo, “The Falling Soldier,” a shot of a Spanish soldier being hit by a bullet. Capa’s photo at left is of a Spanish refugee camp in France. The New York Times has a slideshow.

* Danny Lyon, Down and Dirty: The Times also has a profile of photographer Danny Lyon, who has a new book, “Memories of Myself.” The Times describes Lyon as being …

” … among a group a revolutionaries whose work rose to prominence in the late 1960s and ’70s and transformed the nature of documentary photography. … The idea of conscience has been embedded more deeply in Mr. Lyon’s photography than in those of all but a few of his contemporaries.”

The new book is a collection of photo essays whose settings range from Chicago to Haiti.

* Detroit: The Troubled City: Think the recession has hit your town hard. Chances are where you live is better off than Detroit. Magnum shooter Bruce Gilden has a new photo essay up showing the hard times in Motor City.

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Grab Shots: Autumn and Annie

* Mystery Image Revealed: While doing some rainy day bookmark cleaning, I found this aging link from David Pogue of the Times about one man’s quest to find the origin of the Windows screensaver image you see at the left. Here’s the whole, hilarious story from writer Nick Tosches. One quote: “I see people in black hoods and robes sitting round a table, bound by blood oath never to divulge the latitude and longitude of Autumn.” Read on.

* Annie Works, We Watch: Annie Liebowitz photographs pairings of actors and directors for Vanity Fair. Here are the vids. Make sure to watch Mickey Rourke, then click to this Huffington Post collection of Rourke photos with him posing with one hand down his pants.

* Blogging Photog: A new entry on the blogroll is travel photographer Paul Souders. His blog is well worth the click. Here’s a takeout from an entry on shooting surfers in Costa Rica:

“I have never been much of a surf beach kind of guy. I grew up next to a chicken farm, a long way from any ocean. Plus I have issues with public nudity stemming from low self-esteem and a rigorous Lutheran upbringing.”

* Wayback Machine: Ever wondered what big city newspaper photographers looked like a couple of decades ago? Here’s the answer. The big guy on the left, Kim Komenich, won a Pulitzer; the pretty boy on the right, Kurt Rogers, is one of the founders of Think Tank Photo. All worked for the “old” San Francisco Examiner.

* Burning, Man: Magnum shooter David Alan Harvey has started Burn Magazine, an online platform for emerging photographers.

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