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Although a photographer’s process is integral to his/her work, it is often a carefully guarded secret. Most photographers tend to keep the development of their work to themselves, sometimes choosing to seek counsel only from a small circle of trusted friends.

It comes as a surprise, then, to find Magnum photographer Jim Goldberg’s reworked sketches, videos and maquettes of his groundbreaking books openly shared online.

For Goldberg—a photographer whose approach has always been eclectic, evolving, and utilizing other mediums, including text—the very act of sharing these works in progress is an important and formative part of the final product.

Goldberg talked to LightBox about the process of revisiting, sharing and republishing two of his groundbreaking works. Rich and Poor (1977-85) juxtaposes two economic classes through intimate environmental portraits and personal statements written on the prints by the subjects, while Raised by Wolves (1985-95) documents the lives of homeless runaways in San Francisco and Los Angeles through photographs, text, drawings and interviews.

Being a teacher for so long, I’ve realized that so much of what you teach students is about learning to respect the importance of process. Watching students grow is interesting—and them observing my process helps them see that it’s not that mysterious of a thing to do. In order to figure this artmaking stuff out, it’s trial and error and experimentation, and takes some time and hard thinking. Putting work out in many forms and stages is an extension of how I see things. I feel the art process is best served when it invites comments and constructive criticism from people. It’s a strategic gesture, too, because the feedback I receive helps me move forward with my ideas, which is what process is about—to craft and evolve something.

Rich and Poor

I was invited by Steidl to republish Rich and Poor. Up to this point my archive was mostly analog. Revisiting Rich and Poor meant that it was time to start digitizing my older work. I started by going through all of my contact sheets and re-editing.  My studio ended up scanning a lot of images that were never printed in the original book, which in turn gave me a way to experience my old work with a beginners mind. This got me excited about seeing things I had passed over years before during my original edit. When I originally made the work, I was getting so much positive feedback about how I was using images with text that the stand-alone images fell by the wayside. Or perhaps back then I didn’t have the courage to include images that functioned simply as straight photographs.

Revisiting the archive excited me on many levels. The freshness of my youth particularly resonated with me, but it also gave me thirty years of distance to look back at these images. Aside from the overall nostalgic patina, I feel like I was looking at these images with a critical distance for the first time. I’m now able to separate my own impulses with the overarching history/context of what was happening in the 70’s and 80’s.

I also wanted to conceptually tie the past in with the present and so decided to revisit a few of the original subjects and map where they are today. I plan to include this in the new Rich and Poor edition via a small insert of contemporary imagery.

Raised by Wolves

Raised by Wolves has been out of print for some time, which has made it expensive and difficult to find—so people are constantly asking me for it. It’s also been almost 20 years since the book was published, so I felt it would be a good time to put it back on the table as something to look at again, as well as digitize.

Raised by Wolves was a good ten years of working with the kids; collecting ephemera; and making the exhibition and the book.

Still when it came time for the book and exhibition to be produced, and all the deadlines were mounting, aesthetic choices had to be made quickly as to what would be included and what was to go back into boxes. So there was a lot that hasn’t been looked at since.

My studio manager and I started brainstorming on strategies to get the work out there again, and we decided that the best way would be to make something to put up on my website.

So we took a new intern to the studio—who happened to be a production whizz—and had him organize and digitize everything. I gave him some guidance and checked in with him often on we had had discovered on that particular day, but for the most part gave him free reign as to what could be explored and organized.

Based on what I was witnessing on the streets, I knew that I needed to record what I was experiencing in ways that just couldn’t be done with the camera alone. I have, since the beginning of my career, used text, video, audio, Polaroids, found objects, and ephemera. With Raised by Wolves it was my first attempt to incorporate all these various approaches into one project.

Raised by Wolves, video by Jim Goldberg

The children in Raised by Wolves were living hard lives—lives that were leading to nowhere. So now, when I reheard a recording that the intern (Brandon) had found in some box, and I heard the voice of lets say Tweeky Dave, well that added something that would extend to the viewers experience of the project.

 It’s always good to find things that you haven’t found before. I’m not doing it because I have nothing else to do or because I’m old and I may as well go back into my archive. I’m going back into my archive with purpose—to see what I can reinvent. I’m still vibrant and making new work. The making of the new work guides how the old work looks.

Beyond Rich and Poor and Raised by Wolves, Goldberg is revisiting and re-imagining other projects from his archive. A previously unpublished series titled Coming and Going is being reworked as a series of Japanese small books. Goldberg is also reevaluating and reworking Open See, the project for which he was given the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award in 2007 and the Duestche Borse Award in 2011. Goldberg plans a new edition that will be more expansive than the original, one that will further explain the complexities of the situation—of immigration, being a refugee and being trafficked in a place and time. Working roughs for the proposed book and multimedia sketches for the project again are available online. Goldberg says of his process “Its always good to find things that you haven’t found before and I’m going back into my archive with purpose—to see what I can reinvent. I’m still vibrant and making new work. The making of the new work guides how the old work looks.”

Photographer/Artist Jim Goldberg is a member of Magnum Photos and Professor of Art at the California College of Arts and Crafts. He Lives in San Francisco.

 

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Martine Franck, an esteemed documentary and portrait photographer and second wife of Henri Cartier-Bresson, died of cancer in Paris on Aug. 16 at the age of 74. A member of Magnum Photos for more 32 years, Franck was a co-founder and president of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation.

“Martine was one classic Magnum photographer we could all agree with,” said photographer Elliott Erwitt. “Talented, charming, wise, modest and generous, she set a standard of class not often found in our profession. She will be profoundly missed.”

Born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1938, Franck studied art history at the University of Madrid and at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. In 1963, she began her photographic career at Time-Life in Paris, assisting photographers Eliot Elisofan and Gjon Mili. Although somewhat reserved with her camera at first, she quickly blossomed photographing the refined world of Parisian theater and fashion. A friend, stage director Ariane Mnouchkine, helped establish Franck as the official photographer of the Théâtre du Soleil in 1964—a position she held for the next 48 years.

As her career grew, Franck pursued a wide range of photographic stories, from documentary reportage in Nepal and Tibet to gentle and evocative portraits of Paris’s creative class. Her portfolio of the cultural elite includes photographic peers Bill Brandt and Sarah Moon as well as artist Diego Giacometti and philosopher Michel Foucault, among others. In 1983, she became a full member of Magnum Photos, one of a small number of female members at the legendary photographic agency. Balancing her time between a variety of stories, her work reflects an innate sensitivity to stories of humanity.

In a piece published in the Guardian in 2006 about her time photographing a Buddhist monastery in Nepal, Franck chose to highlight a photo (slide #2 above) of an elder monk sitting with a young apprentice.

“I was there for an hour, just sitting quietly in a corner, observing,” she explained. “The picture is somehow a symbol of peace, and of young people getting on with old people. Although I didn’t think that at the time—in the moment, it’s just instinctive. Afterwards, maybe, you realize what the photograph means.”

Her humanitarian work paired her with numerous social humanitarian organizations and was heralded for the truths it revealed. But her name was also often associated with Henri Cartier-Bresson.

In an interview on Charlie Rose, Franck recalled her first time meeting her future husband in 1965.

“His opening line was ‘Martine, I want to come and see your contact sheets,’” she recalled. They married in 1970.

Throughout her career, Franck served as a powerful advocate, both for Magnum and for the continued legacy of her husband. Serving as the president and co-founder of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, Franck ensured that the spirit of his work survived.

Franck continued to work on her own photography, participating in group projects with Magnum, including “Georgian Spring.” As recently as this April, Franck’s expansive collection of portraits were exhibited in Paris at the Galerie Claude Bernard.

Magnum photographer and President Alex Majoli described Franck as a dear friend and a steady foundation within the photo agency. “Magnum has lost a point of reference, a lighthouse, and one our most influential and beloved members with her death,” he said in a statement released by Magnum over the weekend.

She is survived by her daughter, Melanie.

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Photojournalism that caught my eye during the month of March….

Features and Essays

One of my big faves, Tomas Munita, had a series from Cuba for Time to coincide the Papal visit to the country… opening double spread from the latest magazine seen here… Lightbox slideshow through the link…

Tomas Munita: Church and State: The Role of Religion in Cuba (Lightbox)

Side note on the above…what made me fall in love with his work? It was his stunning 2006 Oskar Barnack winning series from Kabul. You can see most of the frames here. Man, Leica, and slide film working in perfect harmony…

Japan. 11 March saw the anniversary of the tsunami…

Nachtwey recently got four double trucks in Time for his Japan 1 Year Later portfolio.Pretty rare these days for something like that to happen I think…

James Nachtwey: Japan One Year After (Lightbox)

Daniel Berehulak: Japan One Year After (NPR)

James Whitlow Delano: Black Tsunami (Vimeo)

David Guttenfelder: Tsunami, Then and Now (SacBee Frame blog)

Alvaro Ybarra Zavala: Route 45: Japan’s Earthquake & Tsunami Anniversary (Reportage)

Espen Rasmussen: Fukushima Fallout (Panos)

Noriko Hayashi: One Year On (Panos)

Dean Chapman: Fading Memories II (Panos)

Hiroko Masuike: A Japanese Community After the Tsunami (NYT Lens) Related

Chris Steele-Perkins: Tsunami Streetwalk, Kesennuma / Streetwalk 2 (Magnum in Motion)

Syria.

Moises Saman: Refugees Flee Syrian Violence in Turkey (NYT)

Ed Ou: Syrians Find Refuge in Lebanon (NYT)

William Daniels: Escape from Syria (Lightbox)

Tyler Hicks: Glimpses of the Armed Opposition in Syria (NYT)

Rodrigo Abd: Inside Syria (Lightbox) from Guardian

Tyrone Turner: Where Slaves Ruled (Brazil) (NGM)

Recent great International Herald Tribune front page pic by Meredith Kohut and the slideshow on NYT.com…

Meredith Kohut: In Salvador, Prisons Packed to the Bars (NYT)

Pete Muller: Ethiopian Forces in Somalia (Newsweek)

Dominic Nahr: On the Ground: Safe fro Kony? (Lightbox)

Adam Dean: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Campaigns in Myanmar (NYT)

Adam Ferguson: Christians Flee Iraq (NYT)

Ikuru Kuwajima: Astana, Kazakhstan’s Capital Outside In (NYT Lens)

Sergey Kozmin: Elite Russian Military School for Girls (NYT Lens)

Stefano de Luigi: Cinema in Iran (Lightbox)

Eugene Richards: ‘War is Personal’ Continues (Lightbox)

Jocelyn Bain Hogg: British Entertainment (VII)

Anastasia Taylor-Lind: Siberian Supermodels (VII) multimedia

Franco Pagetti: Egypt (VII)

Davide Monteleone: Libya : Winners and Losers (VII)

Stefan Bladh: Youth in Kaliningrad, Russia (Lightbox)

Politics. Russia.

Yuri Kozyrev: On the Campaign Trail with Vladimir Putin (Lightbox)

Politics. US.

This was a TIME magazine cover story early this year…

Christopher Morris: A Day With Obama (VII)

Justin Maxon: On the Trail with Santorum (Lightbox)

Charles Ommanney: Santorum (Newsweek)

Lauren Lancaster: Super Tuesday (New Yorker)

Evan Vucci: GOP Campaign Trail with Instragram (MSNBC photo blog)

Lauren Fleishman: Romney : Super Tuesday (Lightbox)

Stephen Crowley: Smoke-Filled Rooms part 2 (NYT Lens)

Jeroen Oerlemans: Dreaming of Europe (Panos)

Adam Dean: City of Broken Dreams (Panos)

Alfredo Caliz: The Longest Spring (Panos)

William Daniels: Faded Tulips (Lightbox)

Afghanistan.

Alixandra Fazzina: Over Mountains, Underground (NOOR)

Jason P Howe: Afghanistan: Saving Private Bainbridge (Telegraph)

Andrea Bruce: Skiing in Afghanistan (NYT Lens)

Larry Towell: Afghanistan (Lightbox)

Peter Hapak: Olympic Women’s Boxing Hopefuls (Lightbox)

Rian Dundon: A View From Inside The Other New China (Burn)

Spencer Platt: Haiti Landfills (MSNBC photo blog)

Sally Ryan: Home No More (zReportage)

Kate Holt: Education for All (zReportage)

John Pendygraft: If I Die Young (zReportage)

Peggy Peattie: Angels of Milot (zReportage)

Fredrik Naumann: A Voice from Rost (Foto8)

Rob Hornstra: Empty Land, Promised Land, Forbidden Land (Foto8)

Dominic Nahr: Voices of Protest in Senegal (Magnum Photos)

Mila Teshaieva: Promising Waters (Lightbox)

Kevin Frayer: Holi Festivities (SecBee)

Chris Kelly: Situation in Southern Kordofan (Photographer’s archive)

Tomas Wiech: Poland’s Great Adventure (NYT Lens)

Brent Lewin: India’s ‘rat hole’ Mines (National Post)

Pete Pin: Cambodian Americans (NYT Lens)

Martin Parr: Think of Finland (Magnum)

Alejandro Cartagena: Car Poolers (Photographer’s website)

Erica McDonald: Change in Park Slope (NYT Lens)

Ben Lowy: Ohio’s Long Road to Recovery (Reportage by Getty Tumblr)

Graeme Robertson: Portraits of Malawi (Guardian)

Carl de Souza: The Maasai Cricket Warriors (Atlantic) Kenya

Enjoyed these sports pics…

Fred R. Conrad: Spring Training (NYT Lens)

NYT Lens (various photographers): Postcard from London

Kate Peters: Yes, Mistress (Institute)

Jonathan Torgovnik: Rebuilding the DRC (BBC)

Tom Stoddart: Women of Sarajevo Revisited (Reportage)

Bruce Gilden shooting fashion for Vice…

Bruce Gilden: In Broad Daylight (Vice)

Daniel Cuthbert: First on Scene : South African Paramedics (BBC)

Alex Troesch and Aline Paley: Mexican Pointy Boots (Lightbox)

Danko Stjepanovic: North Kosovo (photographer’s website)

Interviews and Talks

“I looked through a lens and ended up abandoning everything else’ – Sebastiao Salgado

Sebastiao Salgado (Guardian)

Sebastiao Salgado (Vimeo)

Excellent 9 minute video by Finnish photographer Rami Hanafi on Martin Parr working in Finland…

Martin Parr : Making of ‘Think of Finland’ (Vimeo)

Zohra Bensemra: My journey into Syria’s nightmare (Reuters)

Ed Kashi (NYT Lens)

Samuel Bollendorff (BJP)

Elliott Erwitt on the art of photographic sequencing (BBC)

Lynsey Addario (Newsweek)

Lynsey Addario (Newsweek)

Davide Monteleone (Develop Tube)

Sean Gallagher (Atlantic)

Alex Prager : this year’s Foam Paul Huf Award winner (BJP)

Sebastian Salgado : The Photographer as an activist (Youtube)

Giles Peress (Youtube)

Pieter Hugo (Vimeo)

Barbara Davidson (LA Times Framework blog)

Homer Sykes (Photoshelter blog)

Olivia Arthur (IdeasTap)

Naomi Harris (Thisisthewhat)

Dominic Bracco II : Turning Point (NYT Lens)

Fiona Rogers (IdeasTap)

Giles Duley : Becoming the Story (TED on Youtube)

Justyna Mielnikiewicz (TED Youtube on Reportage)

Steve Pyke (PicBod)

Mark Power (Impressions Gallery)

John Moore on on ‘Epic’ Libya Battles, Arab World Revolutions (Click)

Shaun Fenn : From Assistant to Photographer: Shaun Fenn’s Professional Transition (PDN)

Articles

Tyler Hicks on his assignment to Syria with late Anthony Shadid…

Tyler Hicks: Bearing Witness in Syria: A Correspondent’s Last Days (NYT)

Javier Espinosa: How I escaped from Homs as Syrian forces closed in (Guardian)

PDN: Remembering 13 Unsung Heroes of Photojournalism

PDN: Paula Lerner Obituary

NYT: Stan Stearns, Photographer of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s Salute to Father, Dies at 76

NYT: Lillian Bassman, Fashion and Fine-Art Photographer, Dies at 94

Lynsey Addario was featured on Guardian’s brilliant ‘Best Shot’ series…

Guardian: Photographer Lynsey Addario’s Best Shot

Guardian: Photographer Tom Craig’s best shot

Related… Guardian: My best shot: The one that got away | For five years, G2 has been asking photographers to tell us the story behind their best shot. But what about their worst? Jane Bown, Martin Parr, Terry O’Neill and others reveal all

And… Guardian: My Worst Shot

Guardian: The Month in Photography

Guardian: Photographs Not Taken: what makes a photographer freeze? | A new book of essays by photographers explores the missed opportunities of images never captured

NYT Lens: Empowerment, Through a Lens

David Campbell: Kony2012, symbolic action and the potential for change

NYT: David LaChapelle, From Photographer to Artist

Verve: Kirsten Luce

Verve: Jeremy Nichol

Verve: Alessandro Grassani

Verve: Jonathan Lewis

Verve: Max Sher

Boston Globe on VII Photo’s Hipstamatic shot exhibition…

photo: John Stanmeyer

Boston Globe: With Hipstamatic app, photojournalists smartphone it in to new exhibit

Nick Stern: Why Instagram photos cheat the viewer (CNN)

PDN: Eggleston’s First-Ever Large Pigment Prints Earn 5.9 Million at Auction

D Perez: Chimping (Vimeo)

FT: What Eve Arnold Saw

Guardian: All About Eve

NYT Lens: Steichen, A New Trove From an Old Master

Diane Smyth: Dana Popa (PhotoMonitor)

BBC: England Uncensored by Peter Dench

Lightbox: DEVELOP Tube: A photographic resource grows

BJP: William Klein will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award at the Sony World Photogrpahy Awards

BJP: World Photo London is starting next month, packed with talks, seminars and workshops

Eggleston Shore (video on 1000Words blog)

Conscientious: How to make a photobook | related

Gregory Crewdson movie : trailer

PhotoShelter: Should Photo Contests Require Original Image Files?

Awards, Grants, and Competitions

Elles van Gelderen and Ilvy Njiokiktjien won first prize in World Press Photo Multimedia contest for “Afrikaner Blood….Not surprised. I remember telling friends after Perpignan that one of the best things I had seen during the festival was that exact multimedia piece….

photo Ilvy Njiokiktjien

BJP: World Press Photo announces Multimedia contest winners | Related: Bombay FC: WPP Multimedia Judging part 2 . Part 1

Foto8 Summershow 2012

FotoVisura winners…

Photo: Erin Trieb

FotoVisura Photography Grant Winners

BJP: Anastasia Taylor-Lind has won the Center Project Award in Santa Fe

BJP: Paul Graham wins the Hasselblad Foundation International Award for Photography, worth $150,000

Days Japan Photojournalism Awards 2012

Slideluck Potshow is coming to London again….

Slideluck Potshow London IV Submissions | related on Wayne Ford’s blog

NPPA: Justin Maxon, Katie Orlinsky Win 2011 Alexia Foundation Grants

Finland’s press photos of the year…

Sami Kero got the POY with a photo from Cairo…

photo: Sami Kero / Helsingin Sanomat

Finland Press Photos of the Year 2011

London Festival of Photography 2012 Prize

The City of Levallois Photography Award

Eddie Adams Workshop now accepting submissions

LUCEO Student Project Award

KL Photo Awards 2012

Guardian Student Media Awards 2012

Agencies and Collectives

Magnum open to submissions again. Last year they didn’t take any new nominees, if I remember correctly…

photo: Burt Glinn

Apply to become a member of Magnum Photos : 2012 Submissions are now open : Deadline is 08/06/12

photo: Venetia Dearden

VII Photo Newsletter March 2012

Noor newsletter 15 March 2012

Prime Collective March 2012 newsletter

Reportage by Getty Images: Natalie Naccache now part of Emerging Talent

Read about this commercial agency on Twitter… Good line-up of photographers.. including Tom Stoddart..

Making Pictures : commercial photo agency : London

Books

VII Photo’s Questions Without Answers book featured on Phaidon blog…

Photo: Alexandra Boulat

Phaidon: The defining images of our turbulent times…VII: Questions Without Answers

Jörg Colberg: Better by Design: The role of design in the making of five modern photobooks (BJP)

multiMedia

Once Magazine

Blogs

Happy belated birthday to Lightbox!

photo: Joakim Eskildsen

Lightbox: A Year of Great Photography

Photo Archive News

Crowd Funding and related

photo: Andre Liohn

Almost Dawn in Libya aka ADIL (NYT Lens)

Paula Lerner Memorial Fund

Photo Time Machine on Kickstarter

Respecting My Elders on USAProjects

Jobs

Save The Children : 3 month internship opening in the Film&Photo team

Photographers

Thomas Lekfeldt

Tahnia Roberts

Max Strong

Max Fabrizi

To finish off… KillShot: A Rifle Camera for Hunting with Photos Instead of Bullets

And… Britain’s top 10 worst photographers

And… Photographic Moratorium – Looking Sad in the Tub

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From the birth of the 35mm camera until the advent of digital photography, the contact sheet has been an inextricable, ubiquitous and essential part of the photographic process.

Magnum Contact Sheets, published this month by Thames and Hudson, offers unique insight into the working process of the celebrated agency’s photographers over the past seven decades—their approach to taking and editing their pictures, as well as their idiosyncratic relationships with the contact sheet.

The book details—and in some cases reconstructs—the back-stories behind some of the 20th century’s most iconic images. From those taken in the 1930′s by Henri Cartier-Bresson—who, the book reveals, purged all but the “Decisive Moments” from his archive —and Robert Capa’s celebrated images of the D-Day landings, to the civil rights era work of Bruce Davidson and Gilles Peress’ contact sheets that document the massacre of unarmed protesters on Bloody Sunday.

Chien-Chi Chang—Magnum

A sketch from Chien-Chi Chang's sketch book showing drawings of his single-frame series.

One of the most recent examples of work featured in the book is Chien-Chi Chang’s Home—a project that uses the contact sheet from a totally different perspective, premise and relationship to time, space and traditional sequence narrative.

In 2006, Chien-Chi Chang—who throughout his career had exclusively shot 35mm format film—embraced a new photographic pursuit, to work with a medium format 6×7 rangefinder and began his ongoing project, Home. For the series, Chang purposefully shoots a single frame of his subject to build 9 frame contact sheets—chronologies that record his personal life as a travelogue and visual diary. Chang describes the series as “a documentation of my life with an effort to make every frame count.”

“Waiting and wanting to take just one frame at a time goes against the traditional practice, where you tend to shoot more and then pick the right moment,” Chang says. “With this project, specifically, I don’t really care about the before and after anymore. I feel that one shot is enough. Sometimes I might feel I’m missing the so called ‘decisive moment,’ but when you accept that you are going to shoot this way, you accept that you will be missing something. If I get it, I get it, If I don’t, I don’t.”

Every time after he shoots a frame, Chang makes a quick sketch so that he has a visual reference of each frame. Initially Chang tried to construct shapes, connections and juxtapositions —using the sketches to build the relationships between the frames of each roll of film. Now the photographer has a much more relaxed approach. He says he is less obsessive and “just lets things happen.” He still makes the sketches, but more for practical purposes as a record of date and location. He notes what he finds most interesting is to compare the drawings to the final contact — our eyes are very selective Chang says, “but the lens isn’t.”

Chien-Chi Chang—Magnum

A stand alone frame selected by Chang from the body of the contact project.
An hours long exposure taken at Vienna Airport of light trails from the planes as Chang waited for his flight. Nov. 19, 2010.

Chang shoots 60 to 70 rolls of film a year for the project. But he has been disciplined, selective, restrained and purposeful in his approach. Sometimes a roll can be shot in three or five cities and can span for two weeks. But other times, it can be shot in a few days. There are motifs that appear across multiple contact sheets from the project—hotel beds that Chang has slept in and airports are two reoccurring themes. Over the six years of the project’s development Chang’s process has been almost always to restrict himself to making only one frame at a time. However on rare occasions, a whole roll is dedicated to a single subject— the Dalai Lama in Sao Paulo, another time, Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon. In these exceptional cases Chang only shot the 9 frames recorded and documented on the one contact sheet. It is not a contact sheet culled from many; these are the only shots.

In the age of digital photography, the traditional contact sheet is no longer the inextricable standard in terms of working process. Chang’s work offers alternative ways of using contacts as part of a more conceptual practice.

Chien-Chi Chang is a member of Magnum Photos. He was awarded the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund for Humanistic Photography and Visa d’Or, Visa Pour L’Image in 1999. He lives in  New York and Vienna.

Magnum Contacts was published this month by Thames and Hudson.

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Chris Anderson

Capitolio

play this essay

 

The word ‘capitolio’ refers to the domed building that houses a government. Here, the city of Caracas, Venezuela, is itself a metaphorical capitolio building. The decaying Modernist architecture, with a jungle growing through the cracks, becomes the walls of this building and the violent streets become the corridors where the human drama plays itself out in what President Hugo Chavez called a ‘revolution.’

Originally published as a traditional book in 2010 by RM, “Capitolio” is an intimate journey through a time of revolution in Hugo Chavez’ Caracas, Venezuela. This series was photographed between 2004 and 2008.

“Capitolio” is the first authored monograph photography book for the iPhone and iPad.

 

DAH – Chris Anderson Interview

This is an excerpt of a recent skype conversation with Chris Anderson, talking about how the iPad application of his most recent book, Capitolio, came to be. This conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

-DAH

David Alan Harvey: …tell me in your own words a little bit about where you got the idea [to make an iPad monograph out of Capitolio] and what you did.

Chris Anderson: Basically, the book was starting to sell out, and I started thinking, only a certain number of people can actually get this book, and the ultimate expression of what I did in Venezuela really comes together in a book. You know, a slideshow on the web doesn’t really capture the whole thing, seeing a print doesn’t really capture it, it’s in this book form, and the way I put the pictures together, and the way the pictures come one after another, the relationship between the other one…this final book form that we think of, that’s what this book was. Not just a collection of pictures. And, I sorta think, well, there’s only 3000 copies of this book printed, so there’s only a certain select people who are actually going to experience that book, and because it’s an expensive book, only a certain number of people with the money to buy the thing. So, I started thinking, you know, it was kind of the confluence of a lot of things. Thinking about the finite audience of a printed book at the same time that I’m sitting here holding this new technology in my hand, an iPad and an iPhone, and thinking,

“a ha!”

Maybe this is a way to have an in-finite audience. And, that really I could, even though my first love is the printed book, I could still kinda get this experience and get across what I was trying to say to a much larger audience than I ever could with the printed book. And the applications of that in terms of reaching audience and what does that mean, even in an academic setting with students, you know? Think about a university classroom that’s teaching photojournalism, or that’s teaching book making, or even in the case of this book, you know, political science or something. And being able to have that book, which you could never have in a college curriculum, you could never have everyone in the class buy the printed book, but here’s a way that in an academic setting…

DAH: Everyone could be sitting there with their iPads looking at it.

CA: Exactly.

DAH: The quality, you know, it looks amazing. The quality is kind of better there than…I mean, in terms of there’s a certain texture or quality to it that you see on the iPad that kind of beats everything, don’t you think?

CA: Yeah, oh yeah. And actually, I just saw it recently on the iPhone for the first time, and that’s actually where I really liked it.

…I think it has something to do with being able to have something to say. You know, nice pictures photographers want to look at or people who like pictures want to look at, but to reach that other audience, you have to have something to say to them…We as photographers, we’re going to have to find a way to then become a writer and also a filmmaker, and also a radio producer and everything like that…maybe that’s one path to it. But it’s also just about having something to say about the world, even purely through pictures…somehow that voice of whatever you want to call it, authorship or whatever, is really important.

You know, I think about Paul Fusco’s Chernobyl Magnum in Motion, which is something I show my students a lot, it’s really, it’s pretty simple, there’s not really any whistles and bells. It’s him talking and showing his pictures. But it’s so powerful because he really has something to say, you know what I mean? And, it’s not about having fancy music as the background track, it’s not about slick jump cuts, it’s really about having something to say. I have a feeling that in the future, you know, I imagine…this app that I did is pretty basic in the end. There’s a pdf, a digital version of the book pdf style, to look through, theres some extra pictures, there’s a video interview, pretty basic. There’s not too many bells and whistles. I can imagine though that in the future, people are going to do things that will really be amazing in terms of how to use this medium, how to use this technology to tell stories, or to offer the public things that a printed book can never do.

DAH: Oh yeah, you can imagine that if you had 10 or 15 or 30 or 50K to spend on building the app, yeah, you could imagine…you’ve got directors cut, you’ve got the video component, you’ve got the about, you’ve got those kinds of things, but you could go even further, right? You could even go back there and have a 5 minute movie on there, or on some other topic….but you can imagine having an incredible thing. Are you guys gonna have that for Postcards [From America]?

CA: Well, we don’t have an app version yet, but we want to try and incorporate as much as we can in terms of like…

DAH: You don’t have anybody shooting video or anything though?

CA: I’m going to try and shoot a lot of video.

DAH: Yeah, I was gonna say, that would be, that would always be an interesting component for any app. How long is your interview in your app?

CA: It’s ten minutes.

DAH: ..You’ve already reached I don’t know how many people with it, but we’ll just, we want to just promote the app, but in the best possible way. And to get it on some Facebook pages, like people who are interested in political science in Venezuela, and see what happens, outside of your fan club. You know, your fanclub is gonna buy the app. But, you’re right, you want to see if you can sell it to other people as well.

CA: Yeah, that’s the real test, if you can find a way to break out of that.

Bio

Christopher Anderson was born in Canada in 1970 and grew up in west Texas. He first gained recognition for his pictures in 1999 when he boarded a handmade, wooden boat with Haitian refugees trying to sail to America. The boat, named the Believe In God, sank in the Caribbean. In 2000 the images from that journey would receive the Robert Capa Gold Medal. They would also mark the emergence of an emotionally charged style that he refers to as “experiential documentary” and has come to characterize his work since. Christopher’s photographs often explore themes of truth and subjectivity, and his subjects range from war to fashion to his own family.

Christopher is a member of Magnum Photos. He is the author of two monographs: Nonfiction, published in 2003 and CAPITOLIO, published in 2009 by RM and named one of the best photography books of 2009/10 at the Kassel Photo Book Festival in Germany.

Related links

Capitolio on iTunes

Chris Anderson

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Last week was quiet over here with no updates. Reason being that I was actually busy on assignments. For a change. One day gig to Wiltshire on Monday, and then a little road trip around Wales from Wednesday until Sunday. Pretty tired coming home last night, but will definitely not complain.  I’d love to have more weeks like the one just passed.. It has been looking promising after moving to London… Hope it stays that way…I have some good news in the bag to announce in a week or so, which I’m thrilled about…Trying to keep my big mouth shut for now…so let’s move on to today’s updates…

Five Magnum photographers are doing some road tripping of their own…

Features and EssaysPostcards From America / A Project by Magnum Photos (Magnum Photo: 2011)  | Tumblr | Twitter “In the first of a series of trips around America, five Magnum photographers and one writer will be travelling from San Antonio to Oakland from May 12-26, 2011. Follow Christopher Anderson, Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Alec Soth, Mikhael Subotzky & Ginger Strand on this unique documentary experiment: Postcards From America.”

Features and Essays - Abbas: Hindus (Magnum Photos: April 2011)

Dominic Nahr’s updated Japan gallery

Donald Weber in Japan….

Features and Essays - Donald Weber: Inside the Exclusion Zone (VII Network: April 2011) Japan

Christopher Morris’ Libya work now also on VII website….

Features and Essays – Christopher Morris: The Cult of Gaddafi (VII: April 2011)

Features and Essays / Talks - Eugene Richards: The Blue Room (Foto8 Vimeo: 2011)

Reportage by Getty Images have renewed their website…

Agencies - Reportage by Getty Images

Features and Essays - Luca Zanetti: Inside Seized Drug-Smuggling Submarines (TIME: March 2011) Underwater crafts belonging to Colombian narco-traffickers
Features and Essays – Antonin Kratochvil: Chernobyl (VII Magazine: March 2011)
Features and Essays - Misha Friedman: TB Ukraine (TIME LB: March 2011)
Features and Essays - Larry Towell: Hard Choices (Magnum in Motion: March 2011)
Features and Essays - Gideon Mendel: When the Floods Came (video) (Guardian: April 2011)”Photographer and film-maker Gideon Mendel visited the Sindh province in Pakistan six weeks after the floods hit in 2010, and Queensland and Victoria in Australia during early 2011. Here he presents a unique split screen view of the disasters and the people whose lives they destroyed”

Exhibtions / BooksThe Month in Photography (Guardian: March 2011) Guide to the 20 best photographic exhibitions and books

InterviewsQ&A with David Bailey (Telegraph: April 2011)

Interviews and Talks - Lynsey Addario, Tyler Hicks, Anthony Shadid, Stephen Farrell | Captured by Qaddafi’s Forces (NYT: April 2011) New York Times Journalists on Their Experiences “On March 15, four New York Times journalists covering the Libyan conflict were captured. They were freed six days later. Back in New York, they reflected on Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Libya.”

Interviews and Talks - Lynsey Addario, Tyler Hicks, Anthony Shadid, and Stephen Farrell (video) (Columbia School of Journalism: April 2011) Related on The New Yorker Photo Booth

InterviewsLynsey Addario: ‘It’s What I Do’ (NYT Lens: March 2011)

The story AFP and Getty journalists detained and released in Libya (via @slyon66)

Articles – AFP: Four days at the mercy of Kadhafi’s secret state (AFP: April 2011)

News - NYT Lens: Reuters Freelancer Killed in Iraq (NYT Lens: March 2011) Sabah al-Bazee, a 30-year-old freelance journalist for Reuters whose photographs captured the often bloody struggles around the northern Iraq city of Tikrit, was among those killed Tuesday when gunmen dressed in police uniforms and suicide vests stormed the provincial council office there.

News - CPJ: Mexico – Drug war claims young photographer Luis Emanuel Ruiz Carrillo (CPJ: 2011)

Articles Parting Glance: Michael L. Abramson, 62 (NYT Lens: March 2011)

Christopher Anderson’s amazing Capitolio is being published on the iPad…

InterviewsChristopher Anderson (BJP: April 2011) Magnum Photos member Christopher Anderson has published his latest book – Capitolio – on the iPad. | The app here

BJP is coming to the iPad too

Articles - BBC Viewfinder: From the printed page to the online app (BBC Viewfinder: March 2011)

Interviews - Adam Dean On Covering Japan’s Devastation (PDN: March 2011)

InterviewsJake Price in Japan (BBC: March 2011)

Stories behind the images from 20 years of war coverage by Reuters’ Goran Tomasevic… (via @adamjdean)

Interviews - Goran Tomasevic (Reuters Full Focus: March 2011)

InterviewsTomas Van Houtryve (APE: March 2011)

Interviews - Bill Cunningham : A Rare Bird’s Feathers (NYT Lens: March 2011)

InterviewsNic Dunlop (Bangkok Post: 2011)

Interviews - Lu Guang (Lenscratch: 2011)

InterviewsSebastian Junger (Prime Collective blog: March 2011)

Interviews - Ron Haviv (whyy.org: 2011)

InterviewsSally Mann (Charlie Rose: 2003)

Interviews Alessandra Sanguinetti (New Yorker Photo Booth: March 2011)

Interviews and Talks - Professional Photographer Magazine: Get Exhibited (PP: March 2011) For this latest podcast, the regular team, editor Grant Scott, deputy editor Eleanor O’Kane and award-winning photojournalist Peter Dench, discuss the right way to get an exhibition of one’s work.

David Burnett on covering the last Olympics (via @terakopian)..

Videos – David Burnett: The Olympics You Didn’t See (DB Vimeo: March 2011)

Articles - David Campbell: Paying for photojournalism: a review of the New York Times ‘pay wall’ (DC Blog: March 2011)

Articles - The Atlantic: Photojournalism in the Age of New Media (The Atlantic: April 2011)

Articles - Wired Raw File blog: Crowd Funding for Photography Gets Off to Shaky Start (Wired Raw File blog: March 2011)

Articles – A Photo Editor: Publishing Your Photography Book (APE: March 2011)

Articles – BJP: Photography organisations react to Arts Council England funding decisions (BJP: March 2011)

Related….

Help Side Gallery by signing their petition “We, the undersigned, call to the Arts Council England to recognise the regional, national & international importance of Side Gallery and request that it does everything possible to secure the future of this unique organisation.”

Blogs – Jeremy Nicholl: Copyright Grab? There’s An App For That (Photographer’s blog: March 2011)

Festivals - The website for the 2011 Belfast Photo Festival has been launched

Articles - Mike Davis: What is the relationship of photographer with picture editor? (MD blog: March 2011)

Articles - Guardian: Featured photojournalist: David Guttenfelder (Guardian: March 2011) Japan-based Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder documents the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the north-east of the country

Services - Roof Unit : London | blog

Events - Roof Unit :  Artists Preview: New and unreleased work  by Jason Larkin, Ben Roberts, and Laura Pannack : May 18, 2011  : 119 Roman Road, Array, London, United Kingdom, E2 0QN

Awards Kuala Lumpur Photo awards shortlisted

Photographers - Tom Broadbent

Photographers - Markus Henttonen

Grants Luceo Student Project Award

Crowd funding - Ernesto Bazan : Al Campo, an intimate visual look at Cuban rural lifestyle (Kicstarter)

Crowd funding - Without (Kickstarter)

Services - 10b Photography : Rome (Post-processing)

Awards - The Center Awards results

Blogs – Justin Mott: Recent Work for the Financial Times (Photographer’s blog: April 2011)

Friday saw another April Fool’s Day…I admit, I fell for it for a moment…

RE-35 Digital cartridges for analog 35mm cameras

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