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In 1967, jazz legend Louis Armstrong wrote this generous, heartfelt letter to a fan who, as a Marine stationed in Vietnam, had recently sent him some fan-mail. You wouldn't think they were strangers, as Armstrong's favourite laxative, "Swiss Kriss," is amusingly mentioned in the first paragraph (and in closing); he then goes on to reminisce about his childhood and the music he was exposed to; later on his wife, who had recently had a tumour removed, is discussed humorously and affectionately. He even ends with a song. The whole letter is really endearing.

Then there's Satchmo's idiosyncratic use of punctuation, which, if you've never seen it before, will probably charm and confuse you in equal measure. For reasons largely unknown, he sometimes peppered his writing with an abundance of capitalisation, apostrophes, quotations marks, dashes, and underlining — more often than not, in places you usually wouldn't expect. As strange as it is, the style somehow suits his voice.

(Source: Louis Armstrong, In His Own Words: Selected Writings; Image: Louis Armstrong, via Hollywoodland.)

34—56—107 St.
Corona New York'
U.S.A.

Dear L/Cpl, Villec"

I'd like to 'step in here for a 'Minute or 'so' to ''tell you how much—I 'feel to know that 'you are a 'Jazz fan, and 'Dig' 'that 'Jive—the 'same as 'we 'do, "yeah." "Man—I carry an 'Album, 'loaded with 'Records—'Long playing 'that is. And when I am 'Shaving or 'Sitting on the 'Throne with 'Swiss Kriss' in me—That Music 'sure 'brings out those 'Riffs' 'Right Along with 'Swiss Kriss, which I 'take 'every night or when I go to bed. 'Yeah. I give myself a 'Concert with those 'records. 'Music is 'life it'self. What would this 'world be without 'good music? No matter 'what kind it is.

It 'all came from the Old 'Sanctified 'Churches. I can remember—'way back in the 'old days in 'New Orleans, La—'My home town. And I was a little Boy around 'ten years old. My Mother used to take me to 'Church with her, and the Reverend ('Preacher that is') used to 'lead off one' of those 'good ol good 'Hymns. And before you realized it—the 'whole 'Congregation would be "Wailing—'Singing like 'mad and 'sound so 'beautiful. 'I 'being a little boy that would "Dig" 'Everything and 'everybody, I'd have myself a 'Ball in 'Church, especially when those 'Sisters 'would get 'So 'Carried away while "Rev" (the preacher) would be 'right in the 'Middle of his 'Sermon. 'Man those 'Church 'Sisters would 'begin 'Shouting 'So—until their 'petticoats would 'fall off. Of course 'one of the 'Deacons would 'rush over and 'grab her—'hold her in his 'Arms and 'fan her until 'she'd 'Come 'to.

Then there were those "Baptisms—that's when someone wants to be converted by Joining the 'Church and get 'religion. So they have to be 'Baptized. 'Dig this—I remember 'one Sunday the 'Church had a 'great big Guy they had to 'Baptize. So these 'Deacons all 'Standing in this 'River—in 'Water up to their waist in their 'white 'Robes. They had 'Baptized 'several 'women and a few 'Men—'saved their 'Souls. When in 'Walks' a 'Great 'big' 'burly 'Sinner' who came down the line. So—'these 'Deacons whom were 'very 'strong 'themselves, they grabbed 'hold of this 'Cat and said to him as they 'ducked him down into the water, as they let him they asked him—"Brother 'do you 'Believe?" The Guy didn't say 'anything—Just looked at them. So they 'Ducked him down into that 'River again, 'only they 'held him down there a 'few minutes 'Longer. So when the 'Deacons looked in the guy's eye and said to him—"Do you 'Believe?" This Guy finally 'answered—he said "Yes—I Believe you 'Son of Bitches trying to 'drown me."

P.S. I guess you think I'm 'Nuts. 'Nay 'Nay. I only 'mentioned these incidents because it all was 'built around 'Music. In fact, it's 'All Music. "You 'Dig? The 'Same as we did in my 'Home Town 'New Orleans'—those 'Funeral Marches etc. "Why 'Gate" 'Villec, we 'played those 'Marches with 'feeling from our 'hearts. 'All the way to the Cemetery—'Brass Band of course. The 'Snare drummer would put a 'handkerchief under the 'snares of his 'drum to 'deaden the 'Sound while 'playing on the way to the Cemetery—"Flee as a Bird." But as 'soon as the 'preacher 'say "Ashes to 'Ashes—'Dust to 'Dust"—the "Snare Drummer Commence 'pulling the handkerchief from his 'drum, and make a 'long roll' to 'assemble everybody, including the members of the 'dead man's 'Lodge—or 'Club. 'Then we'd 'return 'back to the 'headquarters 'playing "Didn't he 'Ramble" or "When the Saints Go Marching In." You 'See? 'Still Music."

I said 'All of that to Keep 'Music in your 'heart the 'same as 'you're 'doing. And 'Daddy—you 'Can't 'go 'wrong. 'Myself and my 'All Stars' are 'Playing here at the 'Harrods 'Club (Reno) for 'Three weeks. My 'wife 'Lucille as 'joined me here. The 'rest will do her lots of good. She was 'operated on for a 'Tumor, about the 'Middle of 'July. She's improving 'very 'Rapidly. Her 'Doctor who 'operated on her at the 'Beth 'Israel Hospital' in New York told her—'She could go to 'Reno and 'spend some time if 'you (Lucille) + your 'husband (Satchmo) 'promised to 'behave 'yourselves and 'don't try to 'do the "Vonce" ("meaning 'Sex). I 'Said—"Doc I 'Promise—But I'll 'Just 'touch it 'lightly every 'morning—to see if it's 'still 'there. 'Ha 'Ha. 'Life's 'sweet. 'Just the 'thought that 'Lucille is 'through with her 'little 'Hindrance—and "soon "be well and 'happy—'be 'her 'lil 'ol 'cute 'self 'again—'Just "knock's' me out.

'Well 'Bre'r 'Villec, I guess I'll 'put it 'down, and get some 'shut eye." It's the 'Wee 'hours in the 'Morning. I've 'Just 'finished 'Work. I am too 'tired to 'raise an 'eye 'lid. Tee hee. So I'll leave this little message with you. "Here goes'.

When you 'Walk—through a 'Storm—
Put your 'Head—up 'high—
And 'Don't be Afraid of the 'Dark—
At the 'End of a 'Storm—
Is a 'Gol-den 'Sky—
And a Sweet Silver 'Song—
Of a 'Lark—
'Walk—'on—through the 'Wind—
'Walk—'on—through the 'Rain—
Though your 'Dreams be "Tossed and 'Blown—
'Walk—'on—'Walk—'on—
With 'Hope in your heart
And 'You'll 'Nev-er 'Walk 'A-'lone—
You'll 'Nev-er 'Walk A-lone—
(one more time)
'Walk—'on—'Walk—'on—with 'Hope in your 'heart—And 'you'll
Nev-er 'Walk 'A-lone—'You'll 'Nev-er 'Walk—'A-lone—. "Savvy?

Give my regards to the fellows that's in your company. And the other fellows too. And now I'll do you 'Just like the 'Farmer did the 'Potato—I'll 'Plant you 'Now and 'Dig you 'later. I'll 'Close now. It's a real 'Pleasure 'Writing—'You.

"Swiss Krissly"

Satchmo
Louis Armstrong

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Features and Essays 

Egypt, Cairo, Tahrir….

Moises Saman has been kicking ass with his Cairo work…NYT front page pics on several occasions during the last two weeks…This is the slideshow a lot of people were talking about over the weekend…

Moises Saman: Cairo Undone (NYT) Cairo Undone on Magnum site.

Saman hit the front page also today (November 29) with an image  (to-me maybe not so obvious choice) seen below, which can be found online in the NYT’s Egypt Turmoil slideshow…featuring work by various photographers.

photo: Moises Saman

Below image ran on the front page of the International Herald Tribune last week….You can see it in black and white in this Saman’s tweet…The colour version is up on Magnum Photos site…

Moises Saman: Unrest in Cairo: Egypt’s Revolution Continues (Magnum)

Miguel Angel Sanchez: Egyptians (NYT Lens) Angel Sanchez’s website

Davide Monteleone: Egypt Waiting (VII)

Espen Rasmussen: Beyond Tahrir Square (Panos)

Guy Martin: The Egyptian Revolution (Panos)

Trevor Snapp: Revolution Round Two? (Global Post) Full edit on photographer’s archive

NB. See later in this post regarding the latest TIME cover on Egypt that ran on all markets except the US. Filed under Articles.

Tim Hetherington’s last images on Magnum Photos…

Credit: Tim Hetherington. LIBYA. Misurata. April 20, 2011. Tim’s last photograph.

Tim Hetherington: The Libya Negs (Magnum)

Occupy Wall Street…

Christopher Anderson: OWS (New York Magazine)

Noticed that Ashley Gilbertson’s OWS series shot in October had sadly disappeared from VII site, but the reason turned out to be that New Yorker had put him on assignment (here’s a pic of him working)…I’m sure the series will reappear on VII in the future, but for now we can enjoy an edit on Photo Booth…good news: it includes new frames, such as the below one,  shot this month…

Ashley Gilbertson: Occupy Wall Street (Photo Booth)

Nina Berman: Occupy Wall Street (NOOR)

Related to OWS issues I would say… Great series on American poverty by Joakim Eskildsen…

Joakim Eskildsen: Photographs of American Poverty (Lightbox)

From the other side of the American political spectrum…

Jason Andrew: Tea Party: Under the banners of American Flags  (Reportage)

DRC and elections…

Finbarr O’Reilly: Deadly Election Violence in Congo (Reuters)

Jonathan Torgovnik: Rebuilding DRC (Reportage)

Pierre Gonnord: Relatos (Lightbox)

Liz Hingley: Under Gods (Lightbox)

Gillian Laub: Turkey Day (Lightbox)

Paul Fusco: DGI  29 (Magnum in Motion)

Alixandra Fazzina: The Flowers of Afghanistan: First Sea (Photographer’s archive)

Pep Bonet: Microcredit Peru (NOOR)

Chloe Dewe Mathews: Caspian (Foto8)

Saw and edit of this feature run in Time mag couple of weeks ago..

Xavier Zimbardo: Reconstruction of the Bolshoi Theatre (Reportage) Behind the scenes video with Xavier Zimbardo in French

Best of the year….

photo: Goran Tomasevic

Reuters : Best Photos of the Year 2011

photo: Lynsey Addario

VII – Best of 2011: Highlights of a Year in News   : VII photographers present their best images, shot or released in 2011

AFP: 2011 Pictures of the Year

Fan of David Cameron or not,these Tom Stoddart photos in Reportage Tumblr are worth seeing.Cameron by Stoddart for Sunday Times Magazine….

Tom Stoddart: David Cameron (Reportage Tumblr)

Andrew McConnell’s Gaza surfing series on Newsweek…Bummed I still haven’t received the first issue of my annual subscription… Would have loved to have seen this in print…

Andrew McConnell: Surf’s Up in Gaza (Newsweek)

McConnell from Gaza also, but very different…NGO piece…

Andrew McConnell: Regenerating Gaza (Guardian)

Japan…

Giulio Di Sturco: Awash in Wrackage :  Japan (PDNPhotoaDay)

Kishin Shinoyama: After the Storm: Post-Tsunami Japan (Lightbox)

Donald Weber: Life After Zero Hour (VII) Japan

Davide Monteleone: Dusha: Russian Soul (VII)

Stefano di Luigi: Hidden China (VII)

Massimo Berruti: Lashkars in Pakistan (Lightbox) The series in Le Monde

Annie Leibovitz:  Pilgrimage (NYT)

Luceo Images: Few and Far Between (NYT Lens)

Joao Pina: Tracing the Shadows of Operation Condor (NYT Lens)

Andew Testa: Mind the Masterpiece (Panos)

Kacper Kowalski: Winter Photos from the Skies Above Poland (NYT Lens)

Jared Moossy: Mourning in Mogadishu (Foreign Policy)

Sebastian Liste: Urban Quilombo (Reportage)

Teun Voeten: Narco Estado (Magnum Emergency Fund)

Nick Cobbing: The Solid Sea (Photographer’s website)

Harvey Wang: A World of Change on the Lower East Side (NYT)

Robb Hill: Rural Home Town (NYT Lens)

Suzanne Opton: Soldier Down: Portraits (Lightbox)

Kirill Nikitenko: Russian Portraits of Defiance (Newsweek) Nikitenko’s website

Brian Van Der Brug: In Prison and Dying (LA Times Framework photo blog)

Lourdes Jeannette: Blood Ties (Lightbox)

Caged animals.

Asmita Parelkar: Not-So-Wild-Kingdom (NYT Lens)

Stuffed animals.

Klaus Pichler: Behind the Scenes Photos of Natural History (NYT Lens)

Guillaume Herbaut: The Zone (Project website) Now in English

Guillermo Arias: Tijuana River City (zReportage)

Kate Holt: The Real Cost of War (zReportage)

Natalie Naccache Mourad: Madaneh Marriages (photographer’s website)

Marc Lester: Living with Breast Cancer (Anchorage Daily News)

Oli Scarff: Winners at the Poultry Club’s 2011 national show (Guardian)

 Interviews and Talks


David Douglas Duncan (Lightbox)

Seamus Murphy (Verve Photo)

David Alan Harvey (Develop photo Vimeo)

Steve McCurry’s One-Minute Masterclass #6 (Phaidon)

Giles Duley : Becoming the Story (Economist)

Jason Larkin (Frontline club)

Alissa Everett : Giving up finance for photojournalism (CNN)

Sebastian Liste pt.1 / pt.2 (Daylight Magazine)

Marco Grob : How I Got That Shot: The 3-Minute Portrait (PDN)

Is this Annie Leibovitz and Fuji X100?

Annie Leibovitz (NPR)

Annie Leibovitz ♥’s Her iPhone Camera (PDN)

Jodi Bieber talks about the reaction to her World Press Photo winning photograph on The Strand (BBC)

Anastasia Taylor-Lind (The Broad’s Sheet)

Useful advice by Rachel Palmer…

Rachel Palmer : How to get a photography commission for an NGO (photographer’s/photo editor’s website)

Kate Peters (IdeasTap)

Eric White (MSNBC photo blog)

Lisa Pritchard : Ask an Agent 5 (LPA blog)

Liz Hingley : Turning point (NYT Lens)

BagNewsSalon webinar, “The Visual Politics of Occupy Wall Street.” :  4 December

Videos

BBC: The ‘genius’ of Tim Hetherington killed in war

Articles 

Time magazine does it again….’dummying-up’ (I might have just made up that word) the US edition I mean… My mate Tim Fadek has the TIME cover this week with a terrific image from Cairo in all markets expect the US….

Peek inside…This is how Tim’s two other photos ran…

Comment…

Business Insider: These Time Magazine Covers Explain Why Americans Know Nothing About The World

PDN: Israel Apologizes to Lynsey Addario

Saw Lynsey Addario ( @lynseyaddario) tweet a link to this Marie Claire piece on female photojournalists…Featuring Addario herself, Agnes Dherbeys, Erin Trieb, Stephanie Sinclair, and Andrea Bruce

photo: Stephanie Sinclair

Marie Claire: Female Photojournalists | “Once thought of as too frail for the job, five award-winning women photojournalists share their most vivd memories from the field — and the images they will never forget.”

Related…

NYT: Arrests and Attacks on Women Covering Protests in Cairo 

NYT: Software to Rate How Dratically Photos Are Retouched

PDN: Inside the Bestseller List: Top Photo Books of 2011

NYT: Shooting for Global Change (NYT Lens)

I was in Istanbul over the weekend, but sadly had no time to check out any of these exhibitions…

photo: Bruno Barbey

NYT: A Whirling Document of Turkish Culture

PDN: Cartier-Bresson Photo Sets Record at Christie’s Auction in Paris

Yahoo: Camera lost at sea returned with the help of social networking

TimeOut: Photography galleries in London

Dvafoto: Find Copyright Violations of Your Pictures With src-img Bookmarklet

A Photo Editor: Real World Estimates – Flat Rate Magazine Contracts

BJP: Editorial photographers hit by latest Getty Images cuts

BJP: Photographer Jean-Christian Bourcart wins the 2011 Prix Nadar for his book Camden

BJP: Celebrated printer Gene Nocon dies

Joerg Colberg: What Photographs Can and Cannot Do (Conscientious)

Guardian: Jodi Bieber’s Best Shot

Guardian: Featured Photojournalist Tim Wimborne

Photoshelter Guide: Selling Stock Photography

Foto8: Book review – Ben Lowy: Iraq Perspectives

Related..

A Photo Editor: This Week In Photography Books

Looking into some  heavy duty camera ‘bags’… Saw Greg Funnell tweet this review he had done in 2008…

Greg Funnell: Gear Review : Think Tank Airport Security Vs Pelican Case 1510 (Photographer’s blog)

Verve Photo: Jake Price

Awards, Grants, and Competitions 

photo: Jan Grarup

Leica Oskar Barnack Award will be accepting entries from 16 January 

College Photographer of the Year : International picture story winning images & judges screencast are online

Rory Peck Awards Winners

FotoEvidence Book Award open for submissions

Photo Lucida Critical Mass 2011 Winners

FotoVisura Grant

LPA Student Challenges 

Crowd Funding

Emphas.is Crowdfunding photojournalism survey

Behind the smokescreen by Rocco Rorandelli (Emphas.is) featured on BJP

Grozny – Nine Cities by Kravets, Morina, Yushko (Emphas.is) project featured on NYT Lens in 2010

Agencies and Collectives

VII Newsletter

Panos Pictures newsletter

Statement Images submissions deadline extended

Jobs

Look3 : Exhibits Coordinator

Saw these on Twitter…

New Yorker : spring multimedia intern (students only) : Contact kristina_budelis[at]newyorker.com

Redux is in need of an intern in NYC office : Adobe Creative Suite skills is necessary:  send an email to submissions[at]reduxpictures.com with Internship in the subject line

Intern for Phaidon.com . Email features@phaidon.com with your CV

Desk Space

Roof Unit : London

Photographers 

Website relaunch…

Marcus Bleasdale

Benjamin Lowy : December 2011 Promo

Asmita Parelkar

Louis Quail

Caleb Ferguson

Marc Lester

Bruno Mancinelle

To finish off…

Very, very good Erroll Morris short… The Umbrella Man from NYT

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