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The Smithsonian magazine's 9th annual photo contest finalists have been chosen. The contest attracted over 14 thousand photographers from all 50 states and over 100 countries. Fifty finalists from 67,059 images were selected by Smithsonian editors. Those editors will also choose the Grand Prize Winner and the winners in each of the five categories which include The Natural World, Americana, People, Travel and Altered Images. Photos were selected based on technical quality, clarity and composition, a flair for the unexpected and the ability to capture a picture-perfect moment. (Smithsonian invites everyone to select an additional "Readers' Choice" winner by voting through March for their favorite image on line.) -- Paula Nelson (25 photos total)
BEHIND THE BLUE Lilongwe, Malawi, May 2011 (Paolo Patruno/Bologna, Italy)

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Fashion’s tastemakers and trendsetters started packing up on the eighth and final day of New York Fashion Week Thursday as shows are beginning this week in London, followed by Milan and Paris. But as the runway previews of fall looks continue in Europe, some early trends have emerged. The most popular looks to grace the [...]

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Leonard Freed had seen his fair share of violence. The Brooklyn-born photographer, who died in 2006, spent nearly a decade behind the lens encountering the American Civil Rights movement in the 1960′s as well as events in Israel surrounding the 1967 Six-Day War. So when New York City faced near-bankruptcy and soaring crime rates in the 1970′s, he was prepared to engage the whole rawness of his hometown. But for Freed, rawness did not only mean violence. Instead, the gritty reality also inspired one of the deepest and most complex everyday studies of the storied New York Police Department (NYPD).

Forty years have passed since Freed first began to document these officers. And although his original book, Police Work, published in 1980 and no longer in print, a larger collection of prints from the series is on display at the Museum of the City of New York through mid-March.

Freed began photographing the NYPD as a commission for the London Sunday Times in 1972. When published—accompanied by an article titled “Thugs, Mugs, Drugs; City in Terror”—the collection raised more than an uproar. Mayor Jon Lindsay called the article “a gross insult to the city,” and the Daily News even sued. Freed himself had a different angle on his own photographs. “They wanted blood and gore,” he told Worldview magazine about the article. “But I was more interested in who the police were…I wanted to get involved in their lives.”

So Freed did, accompanying the officers during drug busts, protests and murders that furthered a common, negative perception of the storied NYPD. But the photographer also saw a complex picture. He was on scene as a policewoman played duck-duck-goose with neighborhood kids. Elsewhere, Freed’s lens captured an African-American woman who embraced a white officer and quipped, “Isn’t he cute?” And above all, he saw a force made up of people were more like the rest of the middle class than many Americans thought. “I chose this title (Police Work),” Freed once said, “because the police are workers, they are not in command, they are not the mayor, they are not the lawyers. They are ordinary working people.”

Freed worked on his Police Work collection for nearly a decade and eventually published more than 100 images. “As a series, it is one of his best,” says Sean Corcoran, curator of prints and photographs at the Museum of the City of New York. “The more you see, the more you see all the angles.” Many of Freed’s photos are framed in very close proximity. “You are right there in the middle of it all,” says Corcoran. “He is not standing back. He is not behind that police tapeline. He is in there with them, experiencing things with them.”

This newfound nearness opened many Americans to the police world for the first time. In his day, there was no Law and Order or CSI. “Today we think we know what it is to be a cop based on these shows,” says Corcoran. “But these guys are working with type writers, and they are wearing very loud plaid. In some sense, his pictures are more real than the T.V. shows because he doesn’t pull punches—there are a couple of really tough murder scenes in these pictures. It goes back to the reality of the policeman’s experience.”

Police Work is on display at the Museum of the City of New York through March 18.

Elizabeth Dias is a reporter in TIME’s Washington bureau. Find her on Twitter @elizabethjdias.

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December 17, 2008

who is this??

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the man is a teddy bear….a family man…he would much rather talk about his teenage daughter Nina and French wife Sophie than about photography…honesty is his best policy…. you never never have to worry about what he “really thinks”…i live in Brooklyn…..but, Bruce Gilden is Brooklyn….

many think Bruce “attacks”…i do not know this for sure, but i am imagining Bruce has had a least one of his subjects “attack back”…but, Bruce and i are as much on the “same page” as anyone i know in Magnum …we surely have opposite personalities and ways of working, yet we have exactly the same “code” for life regarding fairness, transparency, and family….

Bruce is now working on a project on foreclosures in the U.S….a hardball look at one of the primary reasons for the financial collapse in America and the folks who “lost it all”…his new Magnum in Motion digs in deep and gives us a vision of a side of this country that most ignore…when Bruce went to Florida for the opening series on foreclosures, he showed us a certain kind of sympathy that i just do not recall in his previous work…

my first impression of Bruce came with his book on “Coney Island”…then “Haiti”, then “Go”….i thought Bruce harsh , but irresistibly fascinating…and funny…i can never take my eyes off of Bruce’s pictures even though i might feel a bit guilty for “intruding”, even as the viewer….if Bruce appears somewhat cynical with his work , when you know him personally , he is more “realist” than cynic….there is a difference…..the man’s work reveals a part of his personality, but not all…there is a straight up kindness in Bruce Gilden..and nobody but nobody has a better sense of humor…

please keep your eye out for Bruce’s continued work with foreclosures….anybody can smell a book in the making…

i am only hoping that i do not become one of his subjects…..

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December 15, 2008

teaser…..

Burn3
nothing happens until it happens , but things are happening…cracking, buzzing, and yes burning bright…we will launch soonest a working model of BURN magazine (or journal or??)….the house will not be finished…we still need to  get in the wiring and plumbing and it will be a long time before all the furniture is chosen and the interior is decorated and we all feel “at home”…but, at least you will have a sense of it….and you will have a “place at the table”….

i must right now thank Anton Kusters for his tireless efforts working on design and function…the boy flew all the way from Brussels to spend four days here sleeping on my floor…..in the next sleeping bag was Tom Hyde and tossing and turning on the sofa was Chris Bickford…my place looked like a homeless shelter rather than a home for a  wellspring of  ideas…reminiscent of my grad school days or some version of a camping out road trip….

all i can say is that i was totally humbled by all of the hard work from Tom Hyde(flew from Seattle), Eric Espinosa  (flew from Cincinnati), Erica McDonald, Andrew Sullivan, David McGowan, and Andrew Owen from Look3..and i will never forget Kelly Lynn James who gets total credit for suggesting BURN as a title…many  thanks to all of you who wrote, phoned in, and sent constructive emails..but, it ain’t over yet….

today and tomorrow i must attend our Magnum board meeting…our winter interim gathering of the tribe…who would have ever thought i would be on any “board”, but well life has its twists…i might be able to get an interesting post out of it , but in the meantime all of you will have time to chew on this…..

oh yes, if you are in New York, we have our annual Magnum book signing at Aperture tonight…please join us…

back soonest…..

 

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Zoniers, Porte de Choisy, 1913By Stephen Longmire, Afterimage, May 2001It has been 20 years, amazingly enough, since New York City's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) launched its landmark cycle of exhibitions of the work of French photographer Eugene Atget (1857-1927), who spent his last 30 years documenting the architectural record of Paris and its surroundings at the beginning of the last century.

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1696_largeview_nL.jpgGosling Lake, by Kurt Tong

After eight weeks of receiving amazing submissions, the Hey, Hot Shot! First Edition 2011 round of the competition closed on June 27th. So strong was the body of work this round that we are very eager to share it with everyone! So, beginning in July, at least one photographer that submitted will be selected each month (for at least the next three months) to fast-track a 20x200 edition. Our curatorial team is already poring over the extraordinary entries, which is no easy feat. Will you see a Contender's photography featured on 20x200? Or will your own photography be chosen first? To see which First Edition 2011 photographers make the cut, sign up for the 20x200 newsletter.

Meanwhile, we will continue to feature Contender posts until the Hot Shots are announced. For the latest on all things Hey, Hot Shot!—including announcements on the next round of the competition—be sure to check the blog frequently, keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our low-volume newsletter to get the latest news in your inbox.

+ Ruben Natal-San Miguel, who runs the eponymous photography consulting firm and is the blogger of ARTmostfierce, will present a fair tour entitled "How to Invest and Collect Fine Art Photography" for photoHamptons, which is taking place Thursday, July 7th to Sunday, July 10th. This is the first year ArtHamptons is featuring significant fine art photography.

+ 2009 Ne Plus Ultra Kurt Tong's series In Case it Rains in Heaven will be shown for the first time in Germany at Uno Art Space in For You, a two-person show. The exhibition premiered on July 1st and will be on view through the 28th of September, when Kurt will be attending the closing party to talk about the series.

+ Photographer and 20x200 artist Jeremy Kohm is featured on Prison Photography, which was recently named one of LIFE's top 20 photo blogs. You can also see Kohm's work in person as part of the group show Dawn Till Dusk, at Jen Bekman Gallery through July 30th.

+ Fall 2006 Hot Shot Shen Wei got glowing reviews in the New Yorker for his work from Chinese Sentiment, which was featured in the group show Moveable Feast at the Museum of the City of New York.

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BibliOdyssey gathers the work of the Sanborn Map Company's anonymous artists, who created amazing cover illustrations for its insurance documentation. These works clearly involved intense labor for many hours; they seem to embody a particular genius, at the place where technical drawing and typography become one, rarely encountered in the computer age. We just don't make dull official things this delightful anymore.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Typography [BibliOdyssey via Jim Coudal]

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