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Phan Thị Kim Phúc

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While most photographers aim to depict the world in a fresh way through the lens of their cameras, Dutch artist Anouk Kruithof aims to revolutionize the way we actually experience looking at photographs. She delights viewers by making unexpected photo, video and spatial installations as well as social, in-situation works or “take-away art.” Last year she won the Jury Prize at the Hyères International Photo festival in France and, as part of that prize, produced an exhibition at this year’s festival—one that literally takes the unexpectedness of her installations to a new height.

The proliferation of digital photography has led to a glut of images in the world, and Kruithof’s holistic approach to making photographic artwork feels fresh within a new generation of artists who question that surplus. Like many young people, she is a compulsive photographer and calls her habit “automagic.” She saw the exhibition at Hyères as an opportunity to do something with ten years worth of images languishing on her hard drives, and that led to the search for an editor who would see the images in a new way.

For the project, called “Untitled: I’ve Taken too Many Photos/I’ve Never Taken a Photo,” she set out to find someone to help her edit her work—someone who had never taken a photograph in his or her life. She began by posting signs in her Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, that read, “Did you Never Made a Photo in Your Life.” Even with the grammatical error, she decided to put them up. The responses led her to a young man named Harrison, who was 19 years old and the only one of the 15 respondents who had never taken a photograph.

“I saw him at his house and asked a lot,” she says. “So I am sure he never took a photo before, which was super special. He is a bit of a ‘pearl’. Also his name is excellent: ‘Harrison Medina.’”

The editing process began with 300 images, which Medina narrowed down to 80 and sized. Kruithof recorded the process as part of the work. “He was just reacting naturally, very much from the heart—just reflecting on them in a very pure and personal way,” she says. Medina looked for two types of images: “He saw either things which reminded him of the ‘bad’ situation in society—a situation he is also in—and, on the other hand, he just used his imagination to see things in the photos.”

       

At the exhibition, the images are all installed on the ceiling and viewers are given hand-held mirrors to view them. “The space, which is an old medieval tower, made me think I wanted to respect it because of the beauty of the building and the atmosphere inside of the building. You cannot hang photos on these walls; it wouldn’t make any sense to me,” Kruithof explains. “When you enter this serene space the first natural thing to do is to look up.” She also believes that the installation format allows viewers to see all 75 photos together or to “frame” their own pictures, rather than looking at one at a time. The framing of the image, in a way that is literally in the hands of the visitor, encourages active participation in the exhibit. Those who see the exhibit become editors, like Harrison was. Kruithof calls the process “analog interactivity.”

The dynamic nature of the installation is something the artist sees throughout her work. “It is like a never-ending chain; one project, book, series or single work ties onto the other one with a certain flow,” she says. “With every new thing I do I want to be surprised  and make something I didn’t see before. Otherwise it would not make sense for me.” And in this case the surprise was a happy one: ”It gave me a good feeling seeing all these people busy framing their pictures and looking at the mirrors of others. It had a lot of depth, in content as well as in form,” she says. ”I am not often happy when a show is up, but in this case I really was.”

Anouk Kruithof is a Dutch photographer. Her most recent book is A Head With Wings, made in collaboration with Alec Soth and Little Brown Mushroom. She was recently awarded the Infinity Award for art by the International Center for Photography. “Untitled (I’ve Taken too Many Photos/ I’ve Never Taken a Photo)” is on view at Hyères 2012 at the Tour des Templiers, historic center through May 26 and she hopes it will come to the States this year. More of her work and books can be seen here.

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by Greg Myre

Credit: Horst Faas/AP unless noted

Of all the memorable photographs that came out of the Vietnam War, Horst Faas was probably responsible for more of them than any other photographer.

Faas, who died in Munich on Thursday at age 79, spent eight years in Vietnam for The Associated Press. He was willing to go anywhere no matter what the risks, and he was relentless in his pursuit of images that captured the war.

He won a Pulitzer Prize. He was badly injured. And he was a stern taskmaster who helped mentor countless photographers, both Vietnamese and Westerners.

He assembled some of the best photography from Vietnam in Requiem, a 1997 book about photographers killed on both sides of the conflict.

Having survived all those years as a combat photographer, Faas returned to Vietnam in 2005 for a reunion of the press corps 30 years after the war's end. He fell ill there, the result of a spinal hemorrhage that left him paralyzed from the waist down for the final years of his life.

Just dwell on this image for a minute or two, and you get a sense of the power of Faas' photos:

South Vietnamese children gaze at an American paratrooper as they cling to their mothers, hiding from Viet Cong sniper fire west of Saigon, January 1966.
Horst Faas/AP

South Vietnamese children gaze at an American paratrooper as they cling to their mothers, hiding from Viet Cong sniper fire west of Saigon, January 1966.

There's much, much more where this came from, in the full obituary.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Horst Faas, a prize-winning combat photographer who carved out new standards for covering war with a camera and became one of the world's legendary photojournalists in nearly half a century with the Associated Press, died Thursday.

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A new book, Photographs Not Taken, conceived and edited by photographer Will Steacy compiles personal essays written by more than 60 photographers about a time when they didn’t or just couldn’t use their camera.

The book, released by Daylight, is a fascinating compilation by a wide cross-section of image makers from around the world and is often filled with thoughts of regret, restraint and poignant self-realizations.

On the eve of the one-year anniversary of Tim Hetherington’s tragic death in Misrata, Libya, we present one of the most eloquent chapters from the book, in which the photographer offers his thoughts on depicting the dead in photographs and the questioning moment he had after making a picture of a dead soldier in Afhganistan:

There are many reasons not to take a picture—especially if you find the
 act of making pictures difficult. I was not brought up with a camera, I
 had no early fascination for pictures, no romantic encounters with the 
darkroom—in fact I didn’t become a photographer until much later on 
in life when I came to realize that photography—especially documentary 
photography—had many possibilities. One thing for sure was that
 it would make me confront any inherent shyness that I might feel. It
 did, but I still find making pictures difficult, especially negotiating and 
confronting “the other,” the subject, and dealing with my own motivations
 and feelings about that process.

This personal debate about making pictures was particularly apparent 
during the years I lived and worked in West Africa. In 2003 I lived as one 
of the only outsiders with a rebel group that was attempting to overthrow 
then-President Charles Taylor. It was a surreal experience—cut off
 and living in the interior of the country, I accompanied a rag-tag army 
of heavily armed young men as they fought their way from the interior 
forest into the outskirts of the capital, Monrovia. Reaching the edges of
the city was an exhilarating experience after weeks of living in a derelict 
front-line town with little food. At one point, the rebels took over the
 beer factory and, after liberating its supplies, turned part of the facility 
into a field hospital where people with gunshot wounds were treated 
with paracetamol. Outside the factory compound lay about five bodies 
of people who, from the look of things, had been executed. A number 
had their hands tied behind their backs and most had been shot in the
 head and, despite the graphic nature, I had no qualms about making 
some photographs of these people.

Not long after, government forces counterattacked to push the rebels out 
of the city. Everyone was exhausted from the lack of sleep and constant 
fighting, and the retreat quickly turned into a disorganized scramble
 to get out of the city. Soldiers commandeered looted vehicles, and I 
even remember one dragging a speedboat behind it in the stampede 
to escape. To make matters worse, government soldiers were closing in
on the escape route and began firing from different directions on the 
convoy of vehicles. One rocket-propelled grenade took out a car behind
ours, and at one point we abandoned our vehicles and took shelter in a
nearby group of houses. I began seriously considering abandoning the rebels and heading out on my own toward the coastline on foot, but luckily thought better of it and got back inside the car with the group I was with.

The road slowly wound its way away from the low-slung shacks of
 the suburbs and back into the lush green forest. Our close-knit convoy 
started to thin a little as some cars sped out ahead while others, laden 
with people and booty, took their time. The landscape slid by as I tried
 to come down and calm my mind from the earlier events—I was in a
 heightened state of tension, tired, hungry, and aware that I was totally 
out of control of events. Just as I started to feel the euphoria of being
 alive, our car slowed in the commotion of a traffic jam. A soft-topped 
truck up ahead that was carrying about 30 civilians had skidded as it
 went around a corner and turned over on itself. A number of people 
had been killed and wounded—probably having the same thoughts of 
relief that I had before calamity struck. Now they were dead and their 
squashed bodies were being carried out from the wreckage. Someone 
asked me if I was going to photograph this—but I was too far gone to be
able to attempt any recording of the event. I couldn’t think straight, let 
alone muster the energy needed to make a picture. I just watched from 
a distance as people mourned and carried away the dead. My brain was
 like a plate of scrambled eggs.

There isn’t much more to add, but I always remember that day and the 
feeling of being so empty—physically, mentally, and spiritually—that it
 was impossible to make the photograph.

Years later, when I put together a book about those events in Liberia, I
 included a photograph of one of the people who had been killed outside 
of the beer factory. I thought it was an important picture but didn’t
 dwell on what it might mean for the mother of that boy to come across 
it printed in a book. My thoughts about this resurfaced recently as I put
 together a new book about a group of American soldiers I spent a lot of 
time with in Afghanistan. They reminded me a lot of the young Liberian 
rebel fighters, and yet, when I came to selecting a picture of one of their
 dead in the battlefield, I hesitated and wondered if printing a graphic 
image was appropriate. It was an image I had made of a young man 
shot in the head after the American lines had been overrun—not dissimilar
 from the one in Liberia. My hesitation troubled me. Was I sensitive
 this time because the soldier wasn’t a nameless African? Perhaps I had 
changed and realized that there should be limits on what is released 
into the public? I certainly wouldn’t have been in that questioning position 
if I’d never taken the photograph in the first place….but I did, and 
perhaps these things are worth thinking about and confronting after all.

—Tim Hetherington

Tim Hetherington (1970-2011) was a British-American photographer and 
filmmaker. His artwork ranged from digital projections and fly-poster exhibitions to handheld-device downloads. Hetherington published two monographs, Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold (Umbrage Editions, 2009), 
and Infidel (Chris Boot, 2010). His Oscar-nominated 
film Restrepo, about young men at war in Afghanistan, was also released in 2010.
 Tragically, Hetherington was killed while covering the 2011 Libyan civil war.

Photographs Not Taken also features work by Roger Ballen, Ed Kashi, Mary Ellen Mark, Alec Soth, Peter van Agtmael and many others. More information about the book and how to purchase it is available here

On April 22, 2012 from 2:00-4:00pm, MoMA PS1, located in Queens, NY, will host a a panel discussion with contributors Nina Berman, Gregory Halpern, Will Steacy, Amy Stein, moderated by Daylight founders Michael Itkoff and Taj Forer.

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Phaedra Singelis writes

As we honor those who have served this Veterans Day, let's also remember the photojournalists who risked their lives to document the wars they served in. Below are some well-known images from a collection that LIFE.com has put together.  

W. Eugene Smith / TIME & LIFE Pictures

This Eugene Smith picture -- of Marines taking cover on an Iwo Jima hillside as a Japanese bunker is obliterated -- captures the cataclysmic destruction inherent in war perhaps more perfectly than any other single image ever published in LIFE.

Marie Hansen/TIME & LIFE Pictures

Marie Hansen's striking 1942 striking photograph of Women's Auxiliary Army Corps members, commonly known as WAACs, donning gas masks at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, illustrates enduring themes from the war: fear, courage, and -- in an unsubtle message to the country as a whole -- the power of unity in the face of an unknown threat. The WAACs were famously praised by General Douglas MacArthur, who called them "my best soldiers."

Larry Burrows/Time & Life Pictures

This starkly gorgeous Larry Burrows photo, taken in Khe Sanh, laid bare the vulnerability of our troops, who were facing what was shaping up to be the biggest battle of the Vietnam War. Six thousand Marines were dug in at the isolated plateau -- a fraction of the 40,000-man force steadily advancing upon them. The ammunition and supplies being delivered by this 1st Air Cavalry Skycrane helicopter were badly needed. But the unanswered question seems to hang in the air with the chopper: Will it be enough?

See more images on LIFE.com's gallery: 50 Photos That Brought the War Home

For me personally, I'll be remembering a friend and colleague, Chris Hondros, a modern-day war photographer, killed on April 20, 2011 covering the war in Libya. Tim Hetherington, another colleague, photographer and filmmaker, was also killed in the same incident.

What do you think are the most memorable war photographs or war photographers?

Follow @msnbc_pictures

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Photographer Monika Merva is a first generation American of Hungarian descent. Speaking Hungarian and having family in Hungary proved essential in making this intimate and long term project documenting the City of Children possible. Merva tells the bittersweet story of children growing up together, removed from their own families. The City of Children in Fot is a product of the 1950′s Hungarian social welfare system, when collective solutions to private problems were emphasized. When families broke down– from conflicts, violence, neglect, etc., the City of Children was there to take them in. Parents and family members can visit, but the children live collectively under the care of adult guardians.

After being warned that getting in would be near impossible, Merva gained access to the City of Children through introductions made by a family friend. It took a full year after making her initial request to photograph at the City of Children. She was told she would be granted one day to photograph, to see if the children would accept her. Merva jumped at the chance, flying thousands of miles from New York to see if she would pass the test. Upon arriving, she was assigned to a tough girl who gradually softened up, and who then introduced her to other children. The adult guardians agreed to let Merva stay for four more days. She photographed day and night for the next four days. She returned the following year with portraits of the children, and each year after that through 2009, except in 2006 when her own child was too small to travel. Each return trip, she bought prints of the photos she had made of the children as gifts. Monika Merva’s book, City of Children was first published in the USA this spring.

Eva P, 2004. “Eva is the fourth amongst her five siblings. When we first met, I was intrigued by her beauty and personality. She was not a typical teenage girl. She played hard, running and climbing and always a bit disheveled.  When she spoke, it was always with a gentle tone and solicitous manner unusual for a person her age.”

In the Woods, 2002.

Norbi J and Csilla, 2007. “This picture was made on my last day. There was a lot of excitement over a girl wearing a hospital robe. One of the boys, Norbi, ran by me to greet her. I was so focused on their reunion that I didn’t have time to ask questions. Later I found out that Norbi had hit her in the arm, and after their fight she had tried to kill herself and was rushed to the hospital.”

Jozsi, 2004. “Jozsi is Roma. He is streetwise, angry, charismatic, and works his way into your heart. The adult guardians in the City of Children thought they had tamed his behavior. A few months after this picture was made Jozsi ran away. No one has heard from him since.”

Mariann, 2005. “Mariann is the oldest of her five siblings. When her mother was given the ultimatum of keeping her children or living with her new man, she chose the latter.”

Mobile, 2007.

Peter in Blue Socks, 2005. “Peter is the youngest in his family. They moved into the City of Children in 2004. He and his five siblings see their father once a year at Christmas. When I entered the kitchen looking for him he was perched on the radiator lost in thought.”

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