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Original author: 
Mikko Takkunen

Features and Essays

Rena Effendi / INSTITUTE  for National Geographic

Rena Effendi / National Geographic

Rena Effendi: Transylvania Hay Country (National Geographic)  The old art of making hay on the grass-growing meadows of Transylvania | from the July issue of National Geographic magazine | Effendi’s agency

Ami Vitale: Montana Ranch (Photo Booth)  A testament to a disappearing way of life and an ode to its endurance.

Rena Effendi: Spirit Lake (Institute) Located in an isolated and economically languishing area of North Dakota, Spirit Lake is a Sioux Indian reservation home to some 6,200 inhabitants

Raphaela Rosella: Teen Mothers in Australia (Feature Shoot)

Giorgos Moutafis

Giorgos Moutafis

Giorgos Moutafis: Istanbul’s Taksim Square (Photo Booth) Moutafis’s website

Guy Martin: Turmoil in Istanbul: Turkey’s Gezi Park Protests (LightBox) Full edit on Panos Pictures here

Guillaume Herbaut: Unrest in Turkey (Institute)

LouLou d’Aki: Occupy Istanbul: Portraits of Turkey’s Protest Kids (NY magazine)

Enri Canaj

Enri Canaj

Enri Canaj: City of Shadows (Foto8) Athens, Greece

Yannis Behrakis: Homelessness in Greece (Guardian) Related on Reuters photoblog here

Lauren Greenfield: The Fast and The Fashionable (ESPN) In Monaco during F1 Grand Prix

Giovanni Cocco: The Life Of A Sibling With Disability (NPR Picture Show)

Riverboom: Giro d’Italia (Institute)

Robert Nickelsberg: Surviving Cold War (World Policy) Forces from Norway, Britain, and the Netherlands in training in the planet’s harshest climate in the Arctic Circle

Diana Markosian

Diana Markosian

Diana Markosian: My Father, The Stranger (NYT) Markosian writes about her father here | Related on the NYT Lens blog here

Ian Willms: Following in the Mennonites’ Footsteps (LightBox)

Tomasz Lazar: In Kosovo, Bridging an Ethnic Divide (NYT)

Cathal McNaughton: Yarnbombers (Guardian) Photographer Cathal McNaughton has caught up with the Yarnbombers, the guerrilla knitters who plan to target the G8 using knitting or crochet rather than graffiti

Sebastian Liste / Reportage by Getty Images for TIME

Sebastian Liste / Reportage by Getty Images for TIME

Sebastian Liste: On the Inside: Venezuela’s Most Dangerous Prison (LightBox)

Pietro Paolini: Ecuador: Balance on the Zero (Terra Project)

Elizabeth Griffin and Amelia Coffaro: Capturing Life With Cancer At Age 28 (NPR Picture Show)

Lars Tunbjörk: Cremation: The New American Way of Death (LightBox)

Lucas Jackson: Tornado survivors of Moore (Reuters photo blog) multimedia

Andy Levin: Coney Island (NYT Lens)

Daniel Love: 200 Hours (Guardian)

Robert Herman: New York: A View of Inner Turmoil (NYT Lens)

Reed Young: The Ground Zero of Immigration: El Paso (LightBox)

Sara Lewkowicz: An unflinching look at domestic abuse (CNN photo blog)

Tony Fouhse: The Simple View of Ottawa (NYT Lens)

Justin Jin for the New York Times

Justin Jin for the New York Times

Justin Jin: A Chinese Push for Urbanization (NYT)

Sean Gallagher: Climate change on the Tibetan plateau (Guardian) audio slideshow

Nic Dunlop: On the frontlines of a ‘Brave New Burma’ (CNN photo blog)

Zohra Bensemra: Pakistan’s female Top Gun (Reuters)

Paolo Marchetti: The Stains of Kerala (LightBox)

Behrouz Mehri / AFP / Getty Images

Behrouz Mehri / AFP / Getty Images

Behrouz Mehri: Life in Tehran, glimpsed through the rear window (AFP Correspondent)

Tyler Hicks: A New Strategy on One Syrian Front (NYT)

Laurent Van der Stockt: On The Damascus Front Lines (Le Monde)

Jason Larkin: Suez – Egypt’s Lifeline (Panos Pictures)

Nyani Quarmyne: Bridging Approaches to Mental Illness in Sierra Leone (NYT Lens)

Jake Naughton: Education of Girls in Kibera (Feature Shoot)

David Guttenfelder: Last Song for Migrating Birds (NGM) Across the Mediterranean, millions are killed for food, profit, and cruel amusement.

Nick Cobbing: Follow the Creatures (Photographer’s website) Antarctica

Nelli Palomäki: Portraits of Children (LightBox)

Articles

AP Explore

AP Explore

The Burning Monk 50th anniversary (AP) Malcolm Wilde Browne was 30 years old when he arrived in Saigon on Nov. 7, 1961, as AP’s first permanent correspondent there. From the start, Browne was filing the kind of big stories that would win him the Pulitzer Prize for reporting in 1964. But today, he is primarily remembered for a photograph taken 50 years ago on June 11, 1963, depicting the dignified yet horrific death by fiery suicide of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc.

Malcolm Browne: The Story Behind The Burning Monk (LightBox)

Love struck: Photographs of JFK’s visit to Berlin 50 years ago reveal a nation instantly smitten (The Independent) Photographer Ulrich Mack accompanied Kennedy on the entire trip. The results, published this month as Kennedy in Berlin, have mostly never been seen before

Osman Orsal / Reuters

Osman Orsal / Reuters

Images of Protest in Istanbul: The Woman in Red (No Caption Needed)

Turkey’s “Lady in Red” and the Importance of Professional Photographers (NPPA)

The photo that encapsulates Turkey’s protests and the severe police crackdown (Washington Post)

‘Woman in red’ sprayed with teargas becomes symbol of Turkey protests (Guardian)

Photographer documents Istanbul ‘war zone’ in his own backyard on Facebook (NBC News photo blog)

Photographic Mood, on the Eve of Destruction (No Caption Needed)

Photographer Injured in Istanbul Protests (PDN)

Pixelating the reality? (Al Jazeera: Listening Post) Photography is a subjective medium, and how it is used will always depend on who is using it. | On Paul Hansen’s World Press Photo of the Year and post-processing in photojournalism in general

The Art of War – Ron Haviv (Viewpoint on Vimeo) A documentary from the public television of Greece, year 2013. Language: English | Greek Subtitles

Leading photojournalist captures the beating heart of a brutal world (Sydney Morning Herald) Forty years of covering atrocities has only reinforced James Nachtwey’s faith in humanity

Rita Leistner: Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan (BagNewsNotes)

Profile of a Curatorial Master: Yolanda Cuomo (LightBox)

A Glance at the 2013 LOOK3 Photo Festival (LightBox)

Edouard Elias / Getty Images

Edouard Elias / Getty Images

Two journalists, including photographer Edouard Elias, abducted in Syria (BJP) According to Le Monde and BBC News, the two journalists, Didier François and Edouard Elias, were travelling to Aleppo in Syria when they were abducted by four armed men at a checkpoint 

Syrian teacher turned war photographer (CNN) Nour Kelze describes her transition from English teacher in Aleppo to war photographer in the middle of Syria’s conflict.

Frontline Freelance Register created to help freelance war reporters (BJP)

Margaret Bourke-White’s Damaged Negatives From a Classic Assignment (LIFE)

A Paean to Forbearance (the Rough Draft) (NYT) The origins behind James Agee’s 1941 book, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” a literary description of abject poverty in the South, accompanied by Walker Evans photographs.

In pictures: Saul Leiter’s pioneering colour photography (BBC)

Ageing and creative decline in photography: a taboo subject (BJP)

The Woman in a Jim Crow Photo (NYT Lens)

Abigail Heyman, Feminist Photojournalist, Dies at 70 (NYT) Related

Denver photographer Steven Nickerson who shocked, awed, dead at 55 (Denver Post)

Bolivar Arellano’s Photos for El Diario-La Prensa (NYT Lens)

Nelson Mandela: a life in focus (Guardian) Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Greg Marinovich reflects on a legend of our time

Eman Mohammed in the Gaza Strip (Denver Post Plog)

Robert Capa’s vintage prints on show (BBC) To mark what would have been the 100th birthday of photographer Robert Capa, the Atlas gallery in London is holding an exhibition of his work. It comprises a wide range of prints from his time in Spain during the Civil War through World War II, and ending with the Indo China conflict where he lost his life.

Uzbek migrant workers in Kazakhstan

Chloe Dewe Mathews

Chloe Dewe Mathews’s best photograph – Uzbek migrant workers (Guardian)

Featured photographer: Scout Tufankjian (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: Carlo Gianferro (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: Antonia Zennaro (Verve Photo)

Deutsche Börse photography prize 2013 won by Broomberg and Chanarin (Guardian)

American Girls: Photographs Offer Vision into American Girlhood (Daily Beast) Polish photographer Ilona Szwarc’s new exhibit captures 100 kids with their cult-classic toy, the American Girl doll.

Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography by Colin Graham – review (Guardian) This catalogue of recent Northern Irish photography shows a determination to leave the documentary style of the Troubles behind

After Lowry (FT magazine) Landscape photographer John Davies takes a series of pictures in the northwest of England inspired by the work of LS Lowry

Eric Maierson: This is what editing feels like (MediaStorm blog)

Yunghi Kim: Protecting Our Images (NPPA)

I Spy: Photographer who secretly snapped neighbors goes to court (Yahoo)

Beyonce Photoshopped Into Starvation for Latest Ad Campaign (PetaPixel)

Interviews and Talks

C-SPAN

C-SPAN

Rodrigo Abd and Javier Manzano (C-Span)

Carolyn Drake (cestandard) An interview with Carolyn Drake, author of Two Rivers

Paul Conroy (Amanpour) The deadliest country on earth for journalists | Conroy on Marie Colvin’s last assignment

Alex Webb (LA Times Framed)

Christopher Anderson (GUP magazine)

Stuart Franklin (Vice) There’s More to Stuart Franklin Than the Most Famous Photo of the 20th Century

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Paula Bronstein (ABC Radio National Australia) Internationally acclaimed US photo journalist Paula Bronstein talks about bearing witness to human suffering through her photo essays.

John H. White (NPR Picture Show) Photo Staff Firings Won’t Shake Pulitzer Winner’s Focus

Joe McNally (NYT Lens) Photographing on Top of the World

David Guttenfelder (NGM) Photographer David Guttenfelder reflects upon why taking pictures of the slaughter of songbirds is like covering a war.

Alexandra Avakian / Contact Press Images

Alexandra Avakian / Contact Press Images

Jean-François Leroy (BJP) Visa pour l’Image organizer on the festival’s editorial line and the cost of covering war

Jean-François Leroy (BJP) Visa pour l’Image organizer on social media, the future of photojournalism and the need for greater cooperation

Marco Di Lauro (Image Deconstructed)

Evgenia Arbugaeva (Leica blog) Leica Oskar Barnack Award Winner 2013

Jenn Ackerman (PBS NewsHours) One Photographer’s Experience Documenting Mentally Ill Inmates

Richard Misrach (PDN Pulse) Misrach on Documentary vs. Art, the Complications of Portraiture, and Digital Photography

Daniel Etter / Redux

Daniel Etter / Redux

Daniel Etter (LightBox Tumblr)

Espen Rasmussen (Panos Social)

Michael Christopher Brown (Window magazine)

Terry O’Neill (WSJ) The photographer on starlets, the Stones and Sinatra

Ewen Spencer (Vice) The Soul of UK Garage, As Photographed by Ewen Spencer

Mikko Takkunen is an associate photo editor at TIME.com. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.

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Mikko Takkunen

Features and Essays

Robin Hammond

Robin Hammond / Panos Pictures / National Geographic

Robin Hammond: Zimbabwe: Breaking the Silence (The National Geographic Magazine) Oppression, Fear, and Courage in Zimbabwe | From the National Geographic magazine May issue.

Pete Muller: Questioning Zimbabwe’s Underdogs (NYT)

Sebastião Salgado: Genesis (NYT)

Michael Yamashita: China’s Ancient Lifeline (NGM) The 1,400-year-old Grand Canal is a monumental project that bound north and south China together. It’s still in use today.

FrancoPagetti / VII

Franco Pagetti / VII

Franco Pagetti: The Veils of Aleppo (LightBox)

Stanley Greene: The Dead and The Alive (NOOR) Syria

Giles Duley: Syrian Refugees (Guardian)

Nish L. Nalbandian: Portraits of Syrian Rebels (LA Times Framework blog)

Yusuf Sayman: Rebel Fighters Inside Aleppo (The Daily Beast)

Louie Palu

Louie Palu / Zuma Press / The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Louie Palu: Documenting Murder in Mexico (Mother Jones) The brutality of the drug war, on both sides of the border.

Dominic Bracco II: A Salvation Army of One (NYT Magazine) The Rev. Robert Coogan working in Saltillo, Mexico.

Shiho Fukada / Panos Pictures

Shiho Fukada / Panos Pictures / The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Shiho Fukada: Japan’s Rootless and Restless Workers (NYT Lens)

Jenn Ackerman: Minnesota, Frozen in Place and Time (NYT Lens)

Aaron Vincent Elkaim: The Last Great Race on Earth (Photo Booth) Iditarod, a thousand-and-forty-nine-mile race across Alaska

Fritz Hoffmann: On Beyond 100 (NGM) Photographer Fritz Hoffmann introduces us to people who have mastered the secret of long life.

Ami Vitale: Back at the Ranch (Panos Pictures)

David Guttenfelder / AP

David Guttenfelder / AP

David Guttenfelder: North Korea (Denver Post) While threats of a missile launch have renewed tensions with North Korea, photojournalist David Guttenfelder has returned to continue documenting life there.

Yuri Kozyrev: Pull Out From Afghanistan (NOOR)

Phil Moore: Mogadishu Boosts Security (Al Jazeera) Safety improves in Somalia’s once war-torn capital despite recent attack and ongoing threats of violence.

Zed Nelson: The Family (Institute) Zed Nelson’s project started in the summer of 1991, just turned 21

Gabriele Galimberti: My Couch Is Your Couch (Institute) Couchsurfers around the world

Steeve Iuncker / Agence VU

Steeve Iuncker / Agence VU

Steeve Iuncker: Yakutsk (LightBox) The Coldest City on Earth

James Whitlow Delano: Buried in Japan (TIME) Japan’s Aomori Prefecture might be at the same latitude as New York, but its climate can seem a lot more harsh.

Maja Daniels: In the mists of Älvdalen, Sweden (Financial Times Magazine) A world away from cosmopolitan Stockholm lies a strange forested land with an ancient language and a singular sense of quiet desolation

Antonio Olmos: Murder Most Ordinary (Guardian) Photographer Antonio Olmos spent two years visiting the site of every murder that took place within the M25 in London.

Ben Roberts: Higher Lands (Document Scotland) Growing up in the Scottish Highlands

Marco Kessler: Belarus: An Uncertain Winter (Vimeo) Belarus, once an integral frontier of the USSR, remains steeped in the Communist legacy, which ruled the daily lives of the nation for over 70 years.

Alexis Lambrou: Teaching for Life (NYT Lens) Young Brooklyn high school teacher, whose life revolves around her students and colleagues at a Brooklyn public high school.

Arthur Nazaryan: Ballet Competitions (NYT Lens) 12-year-old Russian immigrant’s efforts to become a ballerina

Amanda Rivkin: Post-Racial America Road Trip (VII Mentor)

Tommaso Protti: The Youth of Amid (Reportage by Getty Images Emerging Talent) Turkey

Adam Patterson: Another Lost Child (CNN Photo blog)

Patrick van Dam: Dreams of new homes abandoned in Greece (CNN Photo blog)

Articles

Eugene Richards

Eugene Richards

The Hero in the Cowboy Hat: Carlos Arredondo’s Story by Eugene Richards (LightBox)

A Photographer’s View of the Carnage: “When I Look at the Photos, I Cry” (LightBox)

Herald photographer details night Boston will never forget (Boston Herald)

News Media Weigh Use of Photos of Carnage (NYT)

A Blurry Double Standard? A Photo from the Boston Marathon Bombing (PhotoShelter)

Tragedy and the Role of Professional Photojournalists (Chicago Tribune Assignment Chicago blog)

On That Iconic Photo from the Boston Marathon Bombings (BagNewsNotes)

Runner, spectator get photos of marathon suspects (AP Big Story blog)

Photo Essay Of Boston Bomber Was Shot By Former BU Student (NPPA)

Courtesy HBO

Courtesy HBO

Peter van Agtmael: Revisiting Memory and Preserving Legacy: Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros (LightBox)

Tim Hetherington, Indelible on Film (NYT Lens)

A War Photographer Who Was More Than Just an Adrenaline Junkie (Mother Jones)

Killed documentary maker Tim Hetherington remembered in film (BBC) video

Which Way is the Frontline?: a documentary tribute to Tim Hetherington (BJP)

Tim Hetherington’s Photograph’s at the Yossi Milo Gallery (Photo Booth)

Honoring Chris Hondros (Getty Images blog)

Manu Brabo / AP

Manu Brabo / AP

The 2013 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Associated Press Coverage of Syria (LightBox)

The Pulitzer Prizes Winners (Pulitzer)

Photographs of Syria Sweep Pulitzer Prizes (NYT Lens)

Javier Manzano / AFP

Javier Manzano / AFP

A Pulitzer picture first day on the job (AFP Correspondent blog) Photograph taken by Javier Manzano in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo on October 18, won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.

Witness to Newtown’s tragedy (Reuters TV) On December 14, 2012 a gunman opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary School, leaving 26 dead, including 20 young children. Reuters photographers share their experience covering the story that devastated Newtown, Connecticut and the rest of the country.

David Guttenfelder / AP

David Guttenfelder / AP

Photographer chronicles life in North Korea (NBC)  In spite of the angry rhetoric, life in North Korea goes on as normal – or at least what passes as normal in this isolated state. AP photographer David Guttenfelder has been chronicling life in North Korea for years.

Those photos of young Kim Jong Un performing in ‘Grease’ are probably of his brother (The Washington Post)

I almost died in Syria (Salon)

Olivier Voisin’s last images (Paris Match L’instant)

Taking RISC: Program Trains Reporters How To Save Lives in War Zones (ABC News)

RISC: Training reporters how to save lives (BJP)

French photographer Pierre Borghi escapes four months after kidnapping in Afghanistan (New York Daily News)

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded Fellowships 2013 (Guggenheim Foundation)

Feisal Omar: “Are you al-Shabaab or soldiers?” (Reuters Photographers blog) Covering Somalia

Featured photojournalist: Christopher Furlong (Guardian)

Anastasia Rudenko (Verve Photo)

Thomas Cristofoletti (Verve Photo)

Challenging an Old Narrative in Latin American Photojournalism (NYT Lens)

Donna De Cesare’s Photo of Violence in El Salvador (NYT Lens)

How the 1962 monsoons inspired Steve McCurry (Phaidon) Forthcoming book, Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind The Photographs, tells how coverage of the Indian rainy season in Life magazine set the Magnum photographer off on a life of photography and far flung travel.

Sebastiao Salgado’s Genesis (BBC)

Sebastião Salgado documents world’s wildernesses in new Genesis exhibition (Guardian)

Sebastião Salgado: Genesis – review (Guardian)

André Kertész: Truth and Distortion, Atlas Gallery, London – review (FT)

Explore Nic Dunlop’s new book Brave New Burma (Panos Pictures blog)

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Wire Photographer Spotlight: Daily Life by Muhammed Muheisen (LightBox)

A Year Later, Instagram Hasn’t Made a Dime. Was it Worth $1 Billion? (TIME)

Making Art With Tom Waits (NYT Magazine)

The National Geographic Trove (Photo Booth)

Genius in colour: Why William Eggleston is the world’s greatest photographer (The Independent)

Bert Stern’s Beautiful Photography and Less-Beautiful Personal Life, on Screen (The Atlantic) A new documentary shows two sides of the man who took some of the most iconic celebrity photographs of the 20th century: creative genius and womanizer.

“Arnold Newman: At Work” explores photographer through his archive (Harry Ransom Center Cultural Compass blog)

Native Americans: Portraits From a Century Ago (The Atlantic)

Meeting Florida’s Seminoles Through Rediscovered Photos (NPR)

Photographer David Moore’s dingy, deteriorating Derby is the real deal (Guardian) Chronicler of 80′s working-class England peers behind closed doors to capture a community indelibly marked by Margaret Thatcher.

Graham Nash’s best photograph (Guardian) Joni Mitchell listening to her new album

Unsung hero of photography Thurston Hopkins turns 100 (Guardian)

This was England: the photographs of Chris Killip (Guardian) Chris Killip’s study of the communities that bore the brunt of industrial decline in the North East have earned him a nomination for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

Deutsche Börse Photography prize show: mashups and moon walkers (Guardian)

Deutsche Börse photography prize 2013 (Guardian) video | Sean O’Hagan meets the nominees for the annual Deutsche Börse photography prize. They’re all on show at the Photographers’ Gallery in London until June 30.

Estate of Jacques Lowe

Estate of Jacques Lowe

When an Archive is Lost: Jacques Lowe’s Rare (And Recently Restored) Look at JFK’s Camelot (LightBox)

The Heart of a Beast: Charlotte Dumas’ Poignant Animal Photography (LightBox)

Teenage Precinct Shoppers by Nigel Shafran: A Look Back to 1990 (LightBox)

The World’s Oldest Photography Museum Goes Digital (Smithsonian)

Pecha Kucha: The art of speed-talking about photography (BJP)

Martin Parr ‘Life’s A Beach’ Exhibit And Book Capture Fun In The Sun From Brazil To Japan (The Huffington Post)

The unseen Lee Miller: Lost images of the supermodel-turned-war photographer go on show (The Independent)

The Surreal World of Nina Leen (Photo Booth)

Rescuing a Photo Prince Vita Luckus From Obscurity (NYT Lens)

How photographers joined the self-publishing revolution (Guardian)

Elaborate Drive-By Photo Studio Takes Pedestrians by Surprise (Wired)

Interviews and Talks

John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

John Tlumacki (LightBox) Tragedy in Boston: One Photographer’s Eyewitness Account | LightBox spoke with Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, who photographed the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Tlumacki, who has photographed more than 20 marathons in his 30 years at the Globe, describes the sheer chaos of the scene.

John Tlumacki (Poynter) Globe’s Tlumacki: ‘I am dealing with trauma & trying to keep busy’ following Boston tragedy

Sebastião Salgado (Natural History Museum YouTube) Genesis

Sebastião Salgado (Guardian) A God’s eye view of the planet – interview

Sebastião Salgado (NYT) In Love With My Planet

Sebastião Salgado (Taschen) Two men, one mission: Salgado talks with Benedikt Taschen about the photographic project that changed his life.

Sebastian Junger (Indiewire) On the Value and Cost of War Reporting and Making a Film About His Late ‘Restrepo’ Co-Director Tim Hetherington

Sebastian Junger (NPR) ‘Which Way’ To Turn After Hetherington’s Death

Sebastian Junger (WNYC) The Life and Times of Tim Hetherington

Michelle McNally (Le Journal de la Photographie) The New York Times Director of Photography

James Estrin (Le Journal de la Photographie) NYT photographer and Lens blog editor

Patrick Witty (Zorye Kolektiv)  International Picture Editor at TIME

David Campbell to reveal WPPh multimedia research (Canon Professional Network)

Robin Hammond (NGM) The Moment: Caught in Zimbabwe

Jeff Jacobson (PDN) On Beauty, Ambiguity and Mortality

Yuri Kozyrev (Zorye Kolektiv)

Emilio Morenatti (Zorye Kolektiv)

Anastasia Taylor-Lind (Repor Madrid TV)

Thurston Hopkins (Guardian) On his 100th birthday this week, one of the great photojournalists of the 20th century, Thurston Hopkins, talks about his career as a photographer at Picture Post

Pari Dukovic (Wonderland magazine)

Mike Brodie (LA Times Framework blog)

Danielle Levitt (Dazed Digital) Danielle Levitt’s Favourite Tribes

Mikko Takkunen is an associate photo editor at TIME.com.

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VICE Loves Magnum: Thomas Dworzak Takes Photos of Sad Marines and Taliban Poseurs

Magnum is probably the most famous photo agency in the world. Even if you haven’t heard of it, chances are you’re familiar with its images, be they Robert Capa’s coverage of the Spanish Civil War or Martin Parr’s very British holiday-scapes. Unlike most agencies, Magnum’s members are selected by the other photographers on the agency, so becoming a member is a pretty grueling process. As part of an ongoing partnership with Magnum, we will be profiling some of their photographers over the coming weeks.

Thomas Dworzak joined Magnum in 2000. His books often deal with war. His first, Taliban, was a found photo project which freaked out a lot of Americans who didn’t want to see what the Taliban looked like when they were fooling about. M*A*S*H IRAQ examined the daily lives of US Medevac teams in Iraq, and his latest book,Kavkuz, explored the impact years of brutal war had on the Caucasus region. Oddly enough, in spite of shooting in some of the most hellish conditions imaginable, he thinks Paris is the hardest place to work in.

VICE: You are often described as a “war photographer.” How do you feel about that?
Thomas Dworzak:
 It’s a label. What are you going to do about it? I’m not going to say I am not one, because I do go, and I used to go very often, to these conflict areas. But there are definitely people out there who are more into combat than me. There is a scale of how much involvement in war one has. And I’m not all the way up there.

How did working in Chechnya during the war there differ from your time in Iraq?
I think in Chechnya, I was more “on the ground.” I was hitchhiking around, trekking alone. You would talk to the fighters, you would spend time with them, and then if there was an attack you would arrive with them. It was all done in a very disorganized, one to one, personal way. I think Chechnya was very extreme as a war, compared to anything that I have seen since.

Extreme in what way?
Just the sheer amount of stuff I saw flying around. It was an atrocious war. Bosnia was very brutal of course, but there was not so much physical destruction, it was more killing and revenge on a very personal and human level, between neighbors or whatever. Chechnya was brutal in every way. The destruction of Grozny reached a level I had not seen until then, and haven’t seen since. I guess you might come across something like it now in Aleppo, for example. There was no accreditation when I was working there, no paperwork. I learned Russian so I could talk to the fighters. They were welcoming, so I spent time with them. Whereas in Iraq and Afghanistan I was embedded. You get your piece of paper and the military has to take care of you.

In what way did that affect your work? What’s your view on the embed format, do you think it worked well?
I think there is a strange kind of freedom in the structure of an embed. A lot of people have been bitching about it, going on about the embed being “the end of press freedom” and all that, but I don’t really think that’s true. I don’t know anything about Iraq really; I haven’t seen Iraq outside of the American point of view for so long now. But if I choose to cover the American angle, then an embed is not a bad way to do it. Because it is so institutionalized, you can actually move around and do a lot. You don’t have to beg, you don’t have to worry about anything. It’s a bit duller in that sense. You just have to follow the guys in front of you. And there are not that many decisions to be made. I find embeds pretty relaxing in that way.

Was your M•A•S•H• IRAQ project concluded over one single embed?
It was almost all embed work. I don’t want to over-emphasize the fact that some photos—just a few—weren’t taken in embeds as it’s meant to be an embed book. I don’t know, maybe it was two years or three years, something like that. The core of the work was done over a year, I did maybe five or six embeds with the medical units over that time.

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Rania Abouzeid

They are a familiar sight to anyone who has been on the frontlines in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo: striped sheets—formerly store awnings, curtains and drapes—that once blocked the harsh sunlight or a neighbor’s prying eyes, now acting as shields against more lethal threats.

The sheets are strung between buildings (what’s left of them, at least) and across streets. They are meant to obscure a sharpshooter’s line of sight, providing a small measure of protection from an assassin lurking in the shadows of these often abandoned and devastated neighborhoods. For residents, even the simplest task, like going to a bakery or visiting a neighbor, can be a harrowing dash across a street with nothing but a piece of fabric for cover.

The billowing fabric provides unexpected bursts of color in urban landscapes that have otherwise been reduced to a near-ubiquitous gray: the gray of crushed cinder blocks from pulverized buildings, the gray dust that covers household belongings strewn about the rubble, the gray of a once-vibrant city that has been reduced to a stalemated battleground where it can sometimes seem as if the only other color on view is blood crimson.

The sheets also highlight the asymmetrical nature of Syria’s battlefield. The conflict, now in its third year, pits the army of President Bashar al-Assad against a hodgepodge of disorganized defectors, armed civilians and makeshift militias. One side has tanks, helicopter gunships and body armor; on the other side there are anti-aircraft guns and other weapons, often sourced from the black market, and handmade weapons fabricated in local workshops. The sheets are one more tangible testament to the rebels’ ability to improvise.

Photographer Franco Pagetti, who has covered conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other hotspots, captures the beauty of these sheets, and the terror they represent, in this series of haunting images. There are no people in these photos. The curtains serve as a witness to and a barrier between the two sides of this unending civil war. Like so many aspects of the conflict, the curtains are quotidian realities that have been stripped of their mundane origins. Today, they fulfill a purpose very different from their original roles.

Pagetti says the curtains reminded him of the miles upon miles of concrete barriers that crisscrossed Baghdad during the worst of the sectarian violence there, in 2006 and 2007.

“Aleppo’s sheets serve the same purpose: they protect lives,” he says. “But you’re always aware how fragile they are.” As he moves through the neighborhoods, Pagetti says he has to be acutely conscious of the direction of the sun and wind. “If your shadow falls on the sheet, the sniper can see you… Boom, you’re dead. If there’s a gust that blows the sheet up for a moment, you are completely exposed… Boom.”

Franco Pagetti is an Italian conflict photographer represented by VII.

Rania Abouzeid is a Middle East correspondent for TIME. Follow her on Twitter @Raniaab.

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