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War/Photography, on view from Nov. 11 to Feb. 3, is a magnificent, wide-ranging exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. As chief curator Anne Wilkes Tucker explains in the sumptuous catalogue, that slash in the title is important: this is not a show simply of photographs of war. It’s a demonstration and examination of the relationship between the two and how that relationship has changed over time. There are plenty of images of combat, but the catchment area extends way beyond the battlefield–both in space and in time–to include preparations for war, refugees fleeing its consequences, damage to property and the physical and psychological aftermath of conflict. Taken by some of the most famous photographers—more than 280 are showcased—in the history of the medium, by aerial reconnaissance units and unknown combatants and civilians, the pictures are drawn from the archives of photo agencies such as Magnum, military archives and personal family albums. It’s a stunning show, full of well-known pictures, surprising new ones and—if one consults the catalogue—surprises about well-known pictures.

More than a few of the featured pictures have been either faked or staged. That is to put it too simply, for the slipperiness of the distinction between “real” and “arranged”, or “genuine” and “fake”, turns out to be one of the themes of the show. The problem crops up right from the get-go, with Roger Fenton’s famous pair of pictures of the Valley of Death (1856) from the Crimean war—one of which shows cannonballs strewn more abundantly than the other. (slide #1) The scholarly war over which picture was taken first continues to rage. I thought this question had been definitively settled by Errol Morris in his book Believing is Seeing but John Stauffer argues in the catalogue for precisely the opposite conclusion. The “Dead Rebel Sharp Shooter” in Alexander Gardner’s famous image from the Civil War (slide #2) was dragged to the place where he is seen to have died and arranged in such a way that the rifle — not his own but a prop carried by the photographer — added extra pathos.

As with the Civil War, so in the First World War: it was impossible to take pictures of actual combat. One of the reasons why the famous footage of soldiers going over the top at the Battle of the Somme is faked is because it is on film. Filmed at a training ground, it shows a soldier who is shot, falls down, looks at the camera — and folds his arm before dying. Among the most spectacular images of the war, James Frank Hurley’s “An Episode after the Battle of Zonnebeke” (c.1918) (slide #3) seems like a composite expression of our idea of the Western Front — because, it turns out, it is a composite print made from multiple negatives. As Siegfried Sassoon wrote in his poem “Cinema Hero”: “It’s the truth/That somehow never happened.”

The complexity of Hurley’s image is in stark contrast to Wesley David Archer’s photograph of a pilot who has bailed out of his burning plane (c.1933) (slide #4). It is a picture full of suspense because we don’t know whether the parachute is going to open. What we do now know, courtesy of his widow, is that it was done with a model airplane. Armed with this knowledge you go back to the original and… it still looks amazing! You don’t feel cheated so much as admiring of someone who could create such a truth after (or independent of ) the fact.

Everyone is familiar with the doubts that continue to swirl around Robert Capa’s picture of the “Death of a Loyalist Militiaman” (1936) (slide #5) in the Spanish Civil War. No one can agree on exactly the circumstances in which it was made. And so, ironically, while photography is generally assumed to be strong as evidence but weak in meaning, Capa’s photograph has come to resemble painting, of which the contrary is held to be true. Joe Rosenthal’s image of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima in 1945 is an especially complicated case in that it was widely assumed to have been staged, faked, rigged or something like that, even if we can’t remember exactly what is supposed to have gone on because it’s all a bit muddled up with memories of the Clint Eastwood film about what happened.

The full story, as narrated in the catalogue, is that the flag was raised twice — not for Rosenthal’s benefit but, in the words of the Lieutenant Colonel who ordered it to be done, “so that every son-of-a-bitch on this whole cruddy island (could) see it.” (slide #6) How do we know this is accurate? Because there are photographs – i.e. photographs of the sequence of events that led to Rosenthal taking his photograph – to prove it. (see below) In any case, the success of Rosenthal’s image was due to the way that it not only recorded a moment and event but, in doing so, expressed a truth of enduring – even mythic – proportions about the Marine Corps. The same could be said of Len Chetwyn’s iconic picture from the North Africa (1942) campaign: a photograph which proves, at the most basic level, that this was indeed a battle waged by men in shorts! (not shown). The fact that a detail from it is used on the cover of a beautiful Australian edition of Alan Moorhead’s African Trilogy highlights the way that documentary veracity and imaginative truth are mutually supporting. The surprising thing – which turns out not to be so surprising if we consider how perfectly the picture is composed and lit — is that it’s the photograph that provides the imaginative half of that equation. Smoke grenades had indeed been deployed, but for pictorial effect rather than combat effectiveness.

Louis R. Lowery / Bob Campbell / Bill Genaust — The Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Three examples of photographs that documented the sequence of events leading to Rosenthal's iconic photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima.

So there is a delicious irony, in a show that is so scrupulous and judicious in its investigation of the relationship between real and doctored pictures that the catalogue seems, in one instance, to have fallen victim to a booby-trap in its midst. John Filo’s photograph of the killings at Kent State in 1970 shows a distraught woman kneeling over the body of a dead student. Unfortunately it so happened that a pole in the background looked like it was coming out of her head. Since this pole was aesthetically unpleasing, it was removed from the picture as published in Life magazine and elsewhere. Amazingly this clumsily doctored version – you can see quite clearly how the pole has been erased – is the one printed in the War/Photography catalogue! (slide #7)

Courtesy of Jeff Wall

Dead Troops Talk (a vision after an ambush of a Red Army patrol, near
Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986), 1992

As we move into the contemporary the distinction between art and documentary becomes increasingly hard to sustain—or to put it the other way around, the No-Man’s Land between the two grows ever larger—as shown in works by color photographer Luc Delahaye (slide #8) and photojournalist Damon Winter’s Gurskey-esque view of a plane-load of troops “Flying Military Class” (slide #9). In Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag argued that Jeff Wall’s “fictional” image “Dead Troops Talk (a vision after an ambush of a Red Army patrol, near Moqor, Afghanistan)” was among the most successful war photographs of recent times. (note: Wall’s image is not part of the War/Photography exhibition) So perhaps Peter van Agtmael’s well-known shot of a line of U.S. troops sheltering from the downdraft of a helicopter in a rocky grey landscape in Nuristan, Afghanistan, in 2007, works on us powerfully for two reasons. (note: van Agtmael’s image is not part of the War/Photography exhibition) First because a compositional similarity to W. Eugene Smith’s shot of Marines sheltering from an explosion on Iwo Jima in 1945 (slide #10) establishes its place in the heroic and noble tradition of documentary photography. Second, because an uncanny resemblance to Wall’s image tacitly acknowledges that the fictive now sets a standard of authenticity to which the real is obliged to aspire.

Peter van Agtmael—Magnum

An American Blackhawk helicopter lands at the Ranch House, an isolated U.S. outpost in the Waigul Valley of Nuristan Province, near Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan, 2007.

The relationship between Wall’s large works and the scale and ambition of history paintings has often been remarked on. But Gary Knight’s picture from Dyala Bridge, Iraq, 2003 (slide #11) achieves an even more remarkable relationship with the art of the past. A photograph taken in the immediate aftermath of fighting, it combines the documentary immediacy and evidential power of the best photojournalism with the epic grandeur of history painting.

Geoff Dyer is an award-winning writer and journalist. See more of his work here.

WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath will open at the Museum of Fine Art Houston on Nov. 11, 2012.  The exhibit will then travel to Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and Brooklyn Museum through February 2014.

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Couple of weeks again since last updates..Been busy with some assignments and with a move from East London to Turnpike Lane which has left me wireless at home until mid-March which in turn means updating the blog is a bit of a hassle until then….Lots to share… So much going on during the last three weeks…World Press Photo…POYi, and of course the tragedies in Syria…

Features and Essays

From NatGeoMag March issue… Ed Kashi from Marseille, France….

Ed Kashi: Marseille’s Melting Pot (NGM) Edit on VII Photo. Surprised to see it there already. I would imagine there’s an embargo since NGM is still on the newsstands.

Brent Stirton’s World Press Photo winning Rhino Wars…

Brent Stirton: Rhino Wars (NGM)

Lynn Johnson: The Apostles (NGM)

Had just been thinking that hadn’t seen Dominic Nahr’s work in Time recently, and then two latest issues had work… from Egypt and Senegal…

Dominic Nahr: Revolution Lost (Lightbox) Egypt

Dominic Nahr: Senegal Spring (Lightbox)

Paolo Marchetti: Gangs of Port-au-Prince (Newsweek)

Andrea Bruce: Refugee Camps in Afghanistan (NYT Lens)

New York Times Magazine has a special photo issue on London coming up this Sunday…A lot of the work can be seen online…Would love to get my hands on the hard copy… Know a newsagent in Soho that usually get Sunday’s NYT on Tuesday…Costs £10 though….

Mark Neville: Here is London (NYT Mag)

Really enjoyed these portraits…

Gareth McConnell: Migratory Models (NYT Mag)

Lightbox has updated its Syria gallery by Romenzi…

Alessio Romenzi: Syrian Civil War (Lightbox)

Jehad Nga: Tripoli (NYT) Libya

Davide Monteleone: Libya’s Teachers, Schools, and Children After Gaddafi (Newsweek)

David Degner: Bahrain’s Stillborn Revolution (Photographer’s website)

Jorge Uzon: A Personal Landscape in Patagonia (NYT Lens)

Andrew Cutrano: Michigan Primary (Lightbox)

Matt Slaby: Being Latino in Arizona (TIME)

Marco Grob: Faces of the Latino Vote (Lightbox)

Stephen Crowley: Politics Photos (NYT Lens)

Mitch Epstein: Trees in the Urban Jungle (NYT Mag)

Damon Winter: Stella McCartney at Work (NYT Magazine)

Two really strong series by Panos photographer Mads Nissen…

Mads Nissen: Giving Life, Risking Life (Panos)

Mads Nissen: Ouma’s Wedding (Panos)

Adam Dean: Me N Ma Girls (Panos)

Ton Koene: Afghan Police Recruits (zReportage)

Robert Frank: Unseen New York Photos (NYT Lens)

Larry Towell: Faces of the Taliban (CNN)

Ernesto Bazan: Cuba (Lightbox)

Rob Hornstra: Sochi Singers (Lightbox)

Donald Weber: A Gun to Your Head: Inside Post-Soviet Interrogation Rooms (Lightbox)

Have to be honest, if these photos had not been taken by Parr, probably wouldn’t have paid any attention to them…

Martin Parr: Frozen Face of Minnesota (Start Tribune) Related

Gerd Ludwig: Long Shadow of Chernobyl (Boston Globe)

Eirini Vourloumis: Greek Austerity (NPR)

Peter Dench: A Decade of England Uncensored (CNN)

Kristoffer Tripplaar : Post Offices (NYT Lens)

Stefano De Luigi: Homeland (VII)

Sim Chi Yin: China’s Petitioners (VII Mentor)

Damir Sagolj: Myanmar’s War on Opium (The Atlantic)

Always an inspiration…Look at Paolo Pellegrin’s retrospective…

Paolo Pellegrin: Retrospective (Magnum)

Zhang Xiao: China’s Changing Coastlines (Lightbox)

Kate Nolan: The Young Women of Kaliningrad (Foto8)

Anoek Steketee: Amusement Parks in Rwanda (Lightbox)

Lucas Jackson: American Embassy in Baghdad (NYT)

JB Russell: Reconstructing Iraq (Panos)

Jason Andrew: On the Road with the Tea Party Express (New Yorker)

Tina Remiz: The Place Where I Am Not (Firecracker)

Kenneth O’Halloran: Ireland’s Ghost Estates (NYT Mag)

Daniel Cuthbert: First On Scene: Paramedics in South Africa (Photographer’s website) multimedia

Bruce Gilden: Foreclosures, Las Vegas & Reno (Magnum in Motion)

Pavel Prokopchik: Apashka: The Last dervish of Kazakhstan (Foto8)

Tomasz Szustek: Ireland in the Time of Recession (Uspecto)

Lauren Fleishman: Love Ever After (Lightbox)

Misha Friedman: Tuberculosis (NYT Lens)

Victor Blue: Disappeared in Guatemala (CNN)

Oded Balilty: Ultra Orthodox Jewish wedding in Israel

Jean Gaumy: One year after the Fukushima disaster (Magnum)

Interviews

Canon USA has done more interviews with VII Photo members… John Stanmeyer looking rather mad-professor-y..

Canon: VII Photo interviews

Yuri Kozyrev : At Home on Revolution’s Road (NYT Lens)

Alex Webb : Chicago (Leica blog)

Samuel Aranda : World Press Photo Winner (BJP)

Brent Stirton (BJP)

Aidan Sullivan : WPP (BJP)

Donald Weber (BJP)

New Statesman’s photo editor Rebecca McClelland interviewed Don McCullin….

Don McCullin (New Statesman)

Ragnar Axelsson (Ideas Tap)

Lynsey Addario (Canadian Business)

Lynsey Addario (Women’s Media Center)

Jodi Bieber (A Photo Editor)

Anthony Shadid : Arab Spring (SCPR)

Guy Martin : Arab Spring (MSNBC)

Lise Sarfati (ASX)

Alec Soth (Sartorialist)

Christopher Anderson (ASX)

Peter Dench (PicBod)

Rob Hornstra (BJP)

Tomas van Houtryve (PDN)

Anja Niedringhaus (AP photo blog)

Peter DiCampo (BBC)

Tomasz Lazar : Turning Point (NYT Lens)

Temo Bardzimashvili : Turning Point (NYT Lens)

Articles

R.I.P. Anthony Shadid. Such a great journalist.

photo: Ed Ou

NYT: Anthony Shadid, Reporter in the Middle East, Dies at 43

NYT: Remembering Anthony Shadid

NYT: ‘House of Stone,’ a Memoir by Anthony Shadid

New Yorker: Remembering Anthony Shadid

Rest in Peace. Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik

Marie Colvin. photo: Ivor Prickett

NYT: Two Western Journalists Killed in Syria Shelling

NYT: Parting Glance: Rémi Ochlik

Lightbox: Remi Ochlik Tribute in Images

“I expected to see horrible things. Yes, I was afraid” – Remi Ochlik

Guardian: Remi Ochlik

NYT: Conflict Reporting in the Post-Embed Era

Frontline Club: Freelance News Safety Survey

Robert Fisk: The heroic myth and the uncomfortable truth of war reporting (Independent)

NYT: Two Wars, Seen Many Ways

PDN: Remembering the 13 Syrians who died while rescuing a photojournalist

Kent Kobersteen: What it Takes to be a National Geographic Photographer (The Photo Society)

Kathy Ryan reflects on the New York Times Magazine’s London issue and finding young talent…

“A photographer should try to present something clear, deliberate” – Kathy Ryan

Kathy Ryan: London in Pictures (NYT Mag 6th Floor blog)

Related to an earlier NYT Mag issue…

NYT Mag 6th Floor blog: Fiddling With the Irish Cover

World Press Photo related…

Big congratulations to Samuel Aranda for his World Press Photo of the Year!

NYT: World Press Photo Winner

NYT: Samuel Aranda Meets the Subjects of His Award Winning Photo

WPPY winner Samuel Aranda talked to NYT Lens in December about working in Yemen under cover

“Can We See Through Symbols?” No Caption Needed blog wrote in October about Aranda WPPY’s image

BBC News: The story behind the World Press Photo

David Campbell: This photo is not just what it is: reading the World Press Photo debate

BJP: World Press Photo: Does the winning image reference Michelangelo’s Pietà?

Pietà by Michelangelo and Samuel Aranda’s World Press Photo of the Year next to each other:

BJP: World Press Photo: What was missing from this year’s entries?

BJP: World Press Photo: A judge’s top tips for future entrants

Every World Press Photo winners from 1955-2011

POYi related…

photo: Yuri Kozyrev

NYT Lens: At Home and Away: Pictures of Year

PDN: Yuri Kozyrev Wins POYi’s 2011 Freelance Photographer of the Year Award

New Yorker: Desert Island Books by Peter van Agtmael

How to by PDN….

PDN: How to land environmental portrait assignments

PDN: How I Got That Job: John McDermott’s adidas Assignment

PDN: Anatomy of a Successful Grant Application: Andrew Lichtenstein on the Aftermath Project Grant

PDN: All the New Work That’s Fit to Print

PDN: Ten favorite photo accessories

Dench on Parr: ” Since winning first prize at his camera club, he has never submitted work for a competition or consideration for a festival. Prizes are bestowed; inclusion in festivals requested”

Peter Dench: In Conversation With Martin Parr (Photographer’s blog)

Nowness: Juergen Teller Exposed

Lightbox: The Disappearing Afghan Box Camera

DVA Foto: Jon Stewart slams Time Magazine (and Pellegrin’s cover image)

NYT: ‘Hell and Back Again’ Shows War Stories Don’t End When War Movies Do

Lightbox Tumblr: Paolo Pellegrin shooting Italian PM [video]

NYT Mag 6th Floor blog: Erasing ‘The Americans’

NYT Mag 6th Floor blog: Snapshots of the Famous

photo: Jared Moossy

NYT Lens: Turning Art Into Activism

Mike Davis: What do learn from photojournalism contests

Reuters: Editing the Oscars (Reuters photo blog)

Yossi Milo Gallery: Yossi Milo Gallery Announces Exclusive Representation of The Estate of Tim Hetherington

Guardian: Featured photojournalist: Kieran Doherty

Guardian: Featured photojournalist Susana Vera

Wayne Ford: Year in Development — celebration of photographic printers’ art

Verve: Laura Boushnak

Verve: Olof Jarlbro

Verve: Dörthe Hagenguth

Verve: Philip Gostelow

Verve: Ross McDonnell

Awards, Grants, and Competitions

World Press Photo of the Year

Photo: Samuel Aranda

World Press Photo: 2012 Contest gallery

Pictures of the Year International : Winner 2012 galleries

Congrats to all the photographers chosen for this year’s PDN 30!

photo: Ilvy Njiokiktjien

PDN:’30′ 2012

Lightbox: James Nachtwey receives Dresden International Peace Prize and Wim Wenders presents the award

PDN: Moriyama, Ai Weiwei to Be Honored at ICP Infinity Awards

PDN: AP’s Charles Dharapak wins Photographer of the Year in White House News Photogs Assn. contest

Inge Morath Award 2012

Emerging Photographer Fund 2012

CPN: Editor’s Choice by New Statesman Photo editor Rebecca McClelland

BJP: Photographers Leonora Hamill and Eric Pillot have won this year’s HSBC Photography Prize

Photocrati Fund : April 1

Photo Contests and Grants Calendar

Agencies and Collectives

VII Photo : Newsletter

Magnum Foundation Winter 2012 Newsletter

Prime Collective : Newsletter

Statement Images : New Members

Crowd Funding

Redux Pictures: John Keatley and Arts Aftercare needs your help!

Festivals

Visa Pour l’Image : How to Participate

multiMedia

Polka Magazine

Once Magazine If you wanna pitch stories… go here

Jobs

MSNBC : Picture Editor

MSNBC : Paid Intern Picture Editor

AP Interns

Magnum : Head of Licensing and Content Syndication

Photographers

Alessio Romenzi

Andrew Cutrano

Jorge Uzon

Ton Koene

Pavel Prokopchik

Jan Dago

New Tumblr blog “The Brazilian Far West” by Sebastian Liste….

Sebastian Liste : blog

Andreas Laszlo Konrath

Tom Broadbent

Kate Nolan

Kalle Koponen

Meeri Koutaniemi

To finish off… Don McCullin + iPad = FAIL

and The ultimate analysis on Samuel Aranda’s WPPY

and a great response to a letter asking for money

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With the final installment of the Lives Restored series published this week, Damon Winter discusses the challenges he faced in capturing what's essentially invisible: what happens inside someone's mind.

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Features and Essays 

To start off, great gallery on Lightbox,  by no other than Yuri Kozyrev…Don’t mean to always highlight Lightbox and  Kozyrev first, but the Time photo editors’ blog has been one of the best things happen this year in/for photojournalism… Great coverage…And Kozyrev has been the photographer whose work has popped up constantly in 2011 (during each of the last four years that I’ve been doing Photojournalism there seems to have been one prolific photographer who defined the  year for me.. in 2010 it was Lynsey Addario, the year before Marcus Bleasdale, and in 2008 it was Lauren Greenfield), so it’s probably suitable that this post (which might or might not be the last this year. We shall see) kicks off with yet another Kozyrev/Lightbox combo…

Time magazine decided on The Person of the Year… This year it’s The Protestor…

Yuri Kozyrev has photographed lot those protestors during the uprisings and revolutions that have occurred in the Middle East this year… He reflects back at the events and photographs…

Cairo, Egypt — February 1, 2011. Thousands of Egyptians flooded Cairo after Mubarak refused to step down.

Yuri Kozyrev: My Year on the Revolution Road (Lightbox)

Hapak made some portraits…

Peter Hapak: The Protestors (Lightbox)

It’s insane how much Kozyrev has been clocking up miles this year…. This from Tunisia…

Yuri Kozyrev: Sidi Biuzid, the Tunisian Town Where the Arab Spring Began (TIME)

More from the continuing Arab Spring…

Tim Fadek has a new website, where you can see his recent Egypt work, including the brilliant Time cover photo…

Timothy Fadek: Revolution Part II: Cairo (Photographer’s website)

Giorgos Moutafis: Arab Spring : One Year After (Newsweek)

photo: Alex Majoli

New Yorker (various photographers): 2011: Twelve Months of Protest 

Kim Badawi: Life in Tahrir Square (New Yorker)

US pulled its troops from Iraq…

Andrea Bruce: Leaving Iraq (NYT)

Andrea Bruce: Portraits of Iraqi Pride (NYT)

Kael Alford: Iraqi Voices (Msnbc photo blog)

JB Russell: Faces of Iraqs Suffering (Panos)

Tyler Hicks: The Civilian Toll in Libya (NYT)

From upcoming National Geographic Magazine’s January 2012 issue…

William Albert Allard: Northern Montana’s Hi-Line (NGM)

George Steinmetz: Africa’s Afar Depression (NGM)

Lynn Johnson: Cambodia’s Healing Field (NGM)

Very strong series by Brent Stirton on Reportage site on AIDS in Ukraine…

Brent Stirton: AIDS in Ukraine (Reportage)

Marcus Bleasdale: HIV and TB in Tanzania (Photographer’s website)

Marcus Bleasdale: Lead Poisoning in Nigeria (VII)

Anastasia Taylor-Lind is really rocking at the moment… awards and recognition left, right, and centre (Just this week Honourable Mention in the Unicef Photo of the Year for the Siberian Supermodels pic seen below the National Womb one… See info on that later in this post) and most importantly work published in great publications… Her project originally done for this year’s Joop Swart Masterclass got printed in The New York Times a week ago…

Anastasia Taylor-Lind: The National Womb (NYT) Same in Lens blog

Her Siberian Supermodels is on VII site…

Anastasia Taylor-Lind: Siberian Supermodels (VII)

Donald Weber: J-Village (VII)

Bruno Barbey: Istanbul (Magnum)

Chris Steele-Perkins: Xiangshawan, Mongolia (Magnum)

Ami Vitale: Design for a Living World (Panos)

Maisie Crow: Half-Lives: The Chernobyl Workers Now (VQR Vimeo)

Justin Jin: Tuva Reborn (Panos)

Stefan Boness: Going it Alone in Asmara (Panos) Eritrea

Damon Winter: Double Diagnosis (NYT) Lives Restored series [video]

You can see a shorter edit of Lynsey Addario’s Gaza series I shared last time on main VII site…

Lynsey Addario: Gaza (VII)

Ashley Gilbertson: Occupy Wall Street (VII Magazine)

Platon: Democracy Now : Russian Activists (Photo Booth)

Dmitry Kostyukov: Living on the Edge : Central Asians in Russia (FT Magazine)

George Osodi: Rape of Paradise (Panos)

Chris de Bode: Exodus (Panos Vimeo)

Paula Bronstein:  Myanmar’s hidden capital Naypyitaw (Getty)

Pep Bonet: El Futuro Es Sus Manos (Noor)

Spencer Platt: Inner City Boxing Gym (CNN Photo blog)

Emily Schiffer: Securing Food in Chicagoland (Lightbox)

Yuri Kozyrev: Sochi, location of 2012 Winter Olympics (NOOR)

Rob Hornstra: The Sochi Project (Project website)

Ester Jove Soligue: Encampment on New Jersey Cliffs (NYT Lens) Soligue’s website

Ton Koene: Steel Town (zReportage)

Kathleen Flynn: Fight to Recover (zReportage)

London based photographer Anders Birger has been to Syria recently… Not many photographers can say that.

Anders Birger: Living in the Shadow of Assad (Demotix)

Guy Martin: Libya’s Lost (Panos)

Jessica Pons: Garden of Ashes (Foto8) Pons’ website

Magnum Photos’ year in review…

photo: Christopher Anderson
USA. NYC. 2011. Andrew Kinard photographed at his apartment in midtown. Andrew lost his legs to an explosion in Iraq as a Marine in 2006.

Magnum Photos: 2011 : The Year in Review

Time photo editors picks of best photojournalism to appear in the magazine in 2011… Includes the below James Nachtwey photo from Kesennuma, Japan, which I remember having seen in black and white before… [You can compare the colour and monochrome versions here]

photo: James Nachtwey A lone house in an overflowed river in Kesennuma, Japan on March 15, 2011.

Time’s Best Photojournalism of 2011

WSJ: Photos of the Year 2011

photo: Chris Hondros

Getty Images: The Year in Focus

photo: Ed Ou

Reportage by Getty Images: 2011 – Year in Review 

New York Times: Year in New York Pictures (NYT Lens)

MSNBC: Pictures of the Year for 2011

Boston Globe Big Picture : The Year in Pictures pt 1 | pt 2 | pt 3 out on Friday this week

Most surprising photos of 2011 picked by Time photo editors…

A prison-transport vehicle sinks into a river after it was allegedly commandeered by escaped prisoners on the outskirts of Cairo. Several prisons saw revolts and break-ins after police retreated from most areas. Jan. 31, 2011

photo: Dominic Nahr  [The above photo looked really familiar. Realised I had seen the same scene in a Guy Martin photo. Compare the two here.]

Time magazine: The Most Surprising Photos of 2011

Time’s Best Portraits of 2011

Le Monde M magazine recently gave a carte blanche to a selected group of photographers around the world to shoot whatever they wanted in their home city…

photo: Tomas Munita in Santiago, Chile

Le Monde (various photographers): Carte blanche

Don’t usually link to travel pieces, but since this is shot by Adam Ferguson…

Adam Ferguson: In Cambodia, a Pocket of the Past (NYT)

Afghan Box Camera Project (Project website)

Clara Vanucci: Observing Holidays Behind Bars (NYT Lens)

Lisa Wiltse: Daulatdia Brothel (Visura) Bangladesh

Ciara Leeming: Elvira and Me (Issuu)

Marc Laita: American Extremes (Guardian)

Russell Monk: Open-Air Studio (NYT Lens)

Kim Jong Il passed away…Some notable North Korea essays from this and the last couple of years…

Damir Sagolj: North Korea’s Hunger Crisis (NYT Lens)

Irina Kalashnikova: North Korea (Reportage)

David Guttenfelder: Life in the Cult of Kim 

David Guttenfelder: North Korea in the Autumn (Denver Post)

Adam Dean:  All Hail the Great Successor! (Panos)

Tomas van Houtryve: North Korea: Secrets and Lies (VII)

Christopher Morris: Daily Life in North Korea (VII)

Sean Gallagher: Inside North Korea (burn)

See also…Kim Jong Phil and of course… Kim Yong-Il Looking at Things

Adam Dean: 2011 – The Year in Pictures (Photographer’s website)

Interviews  

Michael Nichols (CPN)

Stanley Green (Photo Raw)

Don McCullin (National Media Museum)

Stephanie Sinclair (NPR)

Damon Winter (NYT Lens)

David Guttenfelder (NPR)

Massoud Hossaini (AFP)

Annie Leibovitz (Newsweek)

Really nice interview with Ben Lowy…

Ben Lowy (Pop Photo)

Ben Lowy (CNN via Reportage Tumblr)

Lucia Herrero (e-photoreview)

Kadir van Lohuizen : Via PanAm part V (Nikon blog)

Alex Webb (MSNBC)

David Hurn (IdeasTap)

Anders Petersen (Lens Culture)

Bruce Davidson (New York Review of Books)

Shannon Stapleton : The Future of Iraq (Reuters blog)

Barbara Davidson : Back story on a ‘haunting’ image of famine in Africa (LA Times)

Matt Dunham : The story behind the news pictures (BBC)

Leon Neal: A year in the life of a press photographer (BBC)

Sanjit Das (PhotoShelter)

Giles Duley (PDN)

Giles Duley (5×15)

Monika Bulaj : The hidden light of Afghanistan (TED)

Sean Gallagher (Pulitzer Center)

Amanda Rivkin (National Geographic)

Steve McCurry’s One-Minute Masterclass #10 (Phaidon)

Steve McCurry’s One-Minute Masterclass #9 (Phaidon)

Timothy Saccenti : How I Got That Shot: Tricky Lights Up (PDN)

Jerry Uelsmann (NYT Lens)

Articles

Must read. BJP put the excellent Olivier Laurent post-processing report online already… Discusses Italian 10b lab and the work they do with Noor’s Yuri Kozyrev…includes fascinating examples frames before and after processing…

photos: Yuri Kozyrev . Post production: 10b Photography

BJP: Post-processing in the digital age: Photojournalists and 10b Photography

NYT: Their War at Home: Iraqi War Photographers | See also related Lens post

James Brabazon looks back at the previously unpublished final shots of Tim Hetherington…

Guardian: Tim Hetherington in Libya: witness to war

Also.

Guardian: Tim Hetherington remembered by Idil Ibrahim

Lightbox: In Memory of Photographers We Lost in 2011

CPJ: For journalists, coverage of political unrest 

MSN News: Shooting under fire: A journalist’s tale

PetaPixel: NYT Sends Angry Letter to NYPD Over Treatment of Photographer

Good.is: Where Have All the Photojournalists Gone?

Usagelicense.com: Understanding Usage Licenses

Guardian: The Month in Photography 

PDN: Top 15 Objects of Desire of 2011: A Gift Guide for Photographers

PhotoShelter: The Photo Gear Pro Photographers Want for the Holidays

PDN: Object of Desire: Schneider Optics iPro Lens System

Andrew DeVigal: Redefining Interactive Narratives & Multimedia Storytelling

On Editing (various photographers) (Hernan Zenteno blog)

BBC: Two students seeking an MA in Photojournalism: Part II

PDN: The Year in Photo News

Professional Photographer: 100 Most influential photographers of all time

Lens blog:  Kamber Looks Back on War (NYT)

Two Swedish journalists in trouble in Ethiopia. One of them is photographer Johan Persson

BBC News:  Swedish journalists found guilty in Ethiopia

Lacoste. FAIL.

PDN: Lacoste Elysée photo prize cancelled over project inspired by Palestinian push for statehood

BJP: Was the Lacoste Elysée Photography Prize censored?

BBC: A question of ethics: Photographers in the spotlight

Desmond Boylan: A photo blog without photos (Reuters blog)

Guardian: Best Photography in 2011

The Independent: Photo books of the year

Guardian:  12 best photobooks of the year by Sean O’Hagan

Top 20 Photobooks of 2011 by Alec Soth

NJ.com: Legacy of Syracuse student killed in Lockerbie bombing lives on through Alexia foundation

Jake Stangel:  is it lame to pay assistants $200/day editorial?

BBC: In Pictures: Nigerians Behind the Lens

BBC: The 75 years of pioneering photojournalism at Life magazine

PDN: What Can a Publicist Do for You?

Guardian: Ryan McGinley’s best shot

Verve: Jonathan Saruk

Verve: Jérémie Souteyrat

Scott Strazzante: iPhone Hipstamatic- still bad for photojournalism?

BJP: National Media Museum’s director steps down after news of restructuring

LeBron James. What. a. Dick.

Dead Spin: LeBron James Wouldn’t Let Walter Iooss Jr., Who Was Photographing Him For Nike, Speak Directly To Him

Videos

Shoot and Move On: A Day In The Life of Street Photographers (Youtube)

multiMedia

Life Force Magazine

Bloomberg Photos Tumbrl

Crowd Funding 

Filmmakers seeking funds for Don McCullin documentary (BJP)

Fiona Rogers is selling a Firecracker  diary to gather fund for a Firecracker photography grant…Go and get yourself a calendar…

photo seen in the diary by Dana Popa

Firecracker 2012 diary: Supporting European women photographers and the 2012 Firecracker Photographic Grant

Newsmotion by Newsmotion.org (Kickstarter)

Awards, Grants, and Competition

Unicef Photo of the Year has been chosen… Interesting detail: boy in the winning photo looks to be wearing a Barcelona shirt which of course is sponsored by Unicef

photo: Kai Löffelbein

Unicef Photo of the Year Winners | Slideshow on Der Spiegel website and on Guardian site

Hope for a Healthy World Photo Competition

 Magenta Flash Forward submissions

The 2012 World Press Photo Multimedia Contest website is now open for registration

POYi Calling for Entries

Terry O’Neill Award winners

Mikhael Subotsky is the winner of 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Award

 2012 Sony World Photography Awards

Walid Raad Hasselblad Award Winner 2011

Agencies 

NOOR December newsletter

Noor Images Archive

Jobs

Agence France-Presse seeks photojournalist

Save The Children UK : Media Manager – multi-media (film & photography)

Photographers

Didn’t know Paul Fusco had his own website… His RFK Funeral Train has always been  a huge inspiration…

Paul Fusco

JM Lopez

Rafael Fabres

Amelia Shepherd

Ted McDonnell

To finish off…

Check out Shepard Fairey’s Obey Giant made out of a Yuri Kozyrev pic…

Several good posts by Shit Photojournalists Like  recently… Do see!

You shouldn’t miss Missy giving the lowdown on being a professional photographer either

And…Lego Pictures of the Year

And… Judge Joe Brown – Cheap wedding photographer

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Here we go again…

Features and Essays 

Egypt again.

Yuri Kozyrev’s Egypt work on Lightbox.

Yuri Kozyrev: Egypt’s “Second” Revolution” (Lightbox)

Related to Kozyrev…had the chance to read a very interesting report written by BJP’s Olivier Laurent on the Italian post-processing lab 10b Photography who work closely also with Kozyrev… The report includes several before/after processing Kozyrev pics (big ups for 10b and the photographer for having agreed to it and being so open) and comes out in British Journal of Photography’s December issue… and should be online late this month… Check it out… [by the way, it seems Moises Saman and Kozyrev photographed at same Cairo election polling station during the recent elections. If you want to compare not just how they framed the scene, but also how differently the files are processed, go to my Twitpics here.]

Daniel Etter: Egyptian Election Symbols (Newsweek)

Noticed Ed Ou has a new website. His on-going Egypt series…

Ed Ou:  Egyptian Youth (in progress) (photographer’s website)

Saw two new features by James Nachtwey this week… One from Japan for Vanity Fair and another from Burma for Time… The VF gallery is online….

James Nachtwey: The Forgotten Heroes of Fukushima (Vanity Fair)

The Burma work was in Time magazine, but unfortunately the Lightbox slideshow I was hoping for didn’t materialise… You can see the frames below…[obviously not the actual layout, just iPhone pics I stitched together]

Afghanistan.

Charles Ommanney has started a project in Afghanistan concentrating on the effects of war on the country’s children…Looking forward to seeing how it will evolve..

Charles Ommanney: The Kids Are All Right (photographer’s website) Afghanistan

Behrouz Mehri: The Bird (Life Force Magazine) Afghanistan Medevac

Alixandra Fazzina: The Flowers of Afghanistan (Project website)

Sanjit Das: India’s Lowest Castes (WSJ)

Looking at VII photographers’ best of the year selections last week I ended up browsing the agency’s archive  …You can see long/full edits of all the features unlike at main VII Photo site which is pretty cool if you want to take a closer look at any series. Below links to a large edit (130 photos) of Lynsey Addario’s recent Gaza work in the VII archive….Originally shot for the New York Times if I’m not mistaken.

Lynsey Addario: Gaza (VII Archive)

Also couldn’t help but noticing, there was no gallery by Antonin Kratocvil in the VII Best Ofs..only an intriguing thumbnail of what looked like naked ice skaters and a link taking me to his website…Later it was pointed out to me on Twitter that the photo was from a series Kratochvil shot for the ESPN magazine’s Body issue….if you too want to see the naked ice skaters (why not, right?) and other nude athletes from the piece, head to Kratochvil’s website by clicking the link below…[Added note 11 December 2011: this has received by far the most clicks in the post thus far]

Antonin Kratochvil: The Body Issue (photographer’s website)

John Stanmeyer’s National Geographic Magazine feature Girl Power now on VII site…

John Stanmeyer: Girl Power : Brazil (VII)

Tomas Van Houtryve: In the Shadow of North Korea (Magnum  Emergency Fund)

Iraq.

Ben Lowy: Iraq Perspectives (Project site)

Mario Tama: Iraq Transition (Denver Post) NB slideshow includes two photos by Joe Raedle

Marieke Van Den Velden: Daily Life in Baghdad (NYT Lens)

Cristina Garcia Rodero: 500th Anniversary  of Baracoa, the first village in Cuba (Magnum)

John Vink: Cambodia Land Issues (Photographer’s website)

John Francis: Morocco (Lightbox)

Stephanie Sinclair: Caring for Chris (NYT Mag 6th Floor blog)

Chien-Chi Chang: Bongo Fever (Magnum in Motion)

Tina Barney: Small Towns (New Yorker)

Katja Heinemann: The Graying of AIDS (Lightbox)

Laura Boushnak: Survivor (Photo Raw Magazine)

Ciril Jazbec: Life on Kiribati (Foto8)

Devin Yalkin: Underground Boxing in New York (Lightbox)

Occupy movement.

William Daniels: Les Indignes (Panos)

Barbara Davidson: Occupy LA: Items Left Behind (LA Times)

Nicky Loh: Occupy Wall Street (photographer’s website)

David I. Gross: Occupy California (zReportage)

Ricardo Silva: Occupy Amsterdam (photographer’s website)

Laura Pannack: Saving the Cursed Children of Ghana (Guardian)

Karla Gachet and Ivan Kashinsky: Bolivian Believers (Panos)

Karla Gachet and Ivan Kashinsky: Down by the Riverside (Panos)

Andrew McConnell: Yangambi Research Station (Panos)

Espen Rasmussen: Women of Peace (Panos)

Justin Jin: The Dragon and the Bear (Panos)

Alfredo D’Amato: Forward onto Zion (Panos)

Chloe Dewe Mathews: Caspian (Firecracker)

Damon Winter: Meaning in Madness (NYT)

Nina Berman: Fracking in Pennsylvania (Photo Booth)

André Cypriano: Rocinha: Rio de Janeiro Slum (NYT Lens)

Rena Effendi: Oil Village  (Photo Booth)

Bharat Choudhary: Exploring Islamophobia (Lightbox)

Gideon Mendel: Through Positive Eyes (Project website ) AIDS

Aids in Hipsta…

Carol Allen Storey: World Aids Day: Uganda’s Forgotten Women (Guardian)

Brian Shumway: Happy Valley (Lightbox)

Carlos Javier Ortiz: Migrant Workers (Facing Change)

Jan Grarup: Somalis Flee to Ethiopia’s Refugee Camps (Trust.org)

Terry Richardson: Lady Gaga (TIME)

We got started with the best of the year galleries last week… here’s more… Both Time and Life are opening their ‘best-of’ selections with the same Yuri Kozyrev Libya photo… Expecting to see Kozyrev winning some World Press Photo awards with all the great work he has produced the past year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this particular frame would take the top prize…Certainly one of the most iconic images of the past year…

Time Lightbox: The Top 10 Photos of the Year

LIFE: 2011 Pictures of the Year

Interviews and Talks

Alex Webb (NYT Lens)

Moises Saman (NYT Lens)

World Press Photo has now put the interviews done with the Joop Swart Masterclass attendees…the page also includes videos with some of the mentors…

Joop Swart Masterclass 2011 interviews

Really good interview with Ed Ou…

Ed Ou (CPN)

Yuri Kozyrev (FK Magazine)

Ben Lowy (CNN iReport)

Samuel Aranda has been working in Yemen for the New York Times…

Samuel Aranda : In Yemen, a Photographer Without a Name (NYT Lens)

John Stanmeyer (Vision Project)

Marco Grob shooting portraits of Afghan landmine victims  (PDN)

Bruce Gilden (Leica blog)

Sanjit Das (121cliks)

William Albert Allard on how he became a National Geographic Photogaphers (photographer’s blog)

Louie Palu : Wish You Were Here (George Eastman House Podcasts)

Steve McCurry’s One-Minute Masterclass #8 (Phaidon)

Jonathan Torgovnik (CNN interview via Reportage Tumblr)

Edward Burtynsky (A Photo Editor)

Jodi Bieber (Photo Raw Magazine)

Taryn Simon (Nowness)

multiMedia

photo: William Albert Allard

Photo Society : “We are a group of contributing photographers for National Geographic Magazine, committed to telling the world’s stories through pictures.”

Every issue of 8 Magazine from 2001-2011 online, fullscreen and free to view

NYT: Picturing World at 7 Billion

Knight Digital Media Center, Berkeley

Everybody Street by Cheryl Dunn

Videos

BBC: America in Pictures: The Story of Life Magazine (available to UK viewers on BBC iPlayer)

Articles

Lot of talk about Massoud Hossaini’s Kabul suicide bombing scene photo during the last couple of days…NYT Lens interviewed him…

NYT: Massoud Hossaini’s Front-Page Photograph From an Attack in Kabul

Washington Post: The Post, NYT and WSJ show same scene of Kabul carnage via different photos

LA Times: Afghanistan bombing photo: Graphic, yet important

NYT: Leo Friedman, Photographer of Broadway’s Glamour Years, Dies at 92

Photo Society: How to respond to requests for free photographs

Peta Pixel: CNN Lays Off Photojournalists, Citing the Accessibility of Quality Cameras

American Photo: The Best Photo Books of 2011

Adam Westbrook: How to record better interviews in video & audio

New York Magazine: H&M’s New Lingerie Models Are Computer-Generated

PDN: 2011 Photo Gear of the Year

PhotoShelter: Photography Gifts Guide for the Holidays: $50 Or Less

NYT Lens: FotoEvidence struggles to help photographers get a book published

BJP: “Tight schedule” forced ban on DSLRs, says London Transport Museum

Phonar: 6 tips for self-publishing by #phonar contributor David Gray

PDN: Rinko Kawauchi, Pieter Hugo on shortlist for Deutsche Börse Photography Prize of £30,000

Guardian: Worlds apart: who has the best shot at winning the Deutsche Börse prize? | The 2012 photography prize has an intriguing shortlist of very different artists – Rinko Kawauchi, Pieter Hugo, John Stezaker and Christopher Williams.

Reportage and Getty Images are partnering with ICRC on the launch of ‘Healthcare in Danger’ (Reportage)

LA Times: Kodak’s long fade to black

Guardian: Saatchi’s scathing portrait of the art world: ‘Vulgar, Eurotrashy, masturbatory’

PDN: Vanity Fair names new Photography Director: Judith Puckett-Rinella

David Campbell: Thinking Images v.24: Lu Guang’s activist photography

CNN Photo blog: Iraqi agency fosters photojournalism

Rhona Wise (EPA): Read it or don’t read it, but at least learn how to write one! (Sportshooter: 2004)

Mike Davis: How do you know if you’re any good, as a photographer? (Mike Davis blog)

Mike Davis: If Cliches Are So Bad Why Do They Win Contests (Mike David blog)

Finbarr O’Reilly: Reuters Photographs of the Violence in Ivory Coast (NYT Lens)

AJC: As US leaves Iraq, AP men recall a war in picture

Guardian: Featured Photojournalist: Matt Dunham 

Photo Booth: CPOY Awards What Winning Means

NYT: Formerly Graffiti Outlaws, Now Artists of Renown

Lightbox: Weegee’s Naked Hollywood 

NYT: Francesca Woodman Retrospective 

Lightbox: Tilda Swinton on being photographed

LPV Magazine: Top Photography Sites of 2011

Peta Pixel: Easy Ways to Exceed Client Expectations

Peta Pixel: How Not to Shoot School Portraits

Daily Mail: Stanley Kubrick’s New York: Pictures of Manhattan from when film director was just another unknown teenager with a dream

Verve: Gordon Welters

Verve: Mimi Mollica

Verve: Olya Ivanova

Awards, Grants, and Competitions

 2011 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar contest winners 

Entries now being accepted for World Press Photo 2012 

Anastasia Taylor-Lind Delighted won the Pikto Top Pick prize for her Nagorno Karabakh series. Solo show at Pikto gallery in Toronto in 2012

$20,000 Aftermath Project Grant for 2012 Awarded to Andrew Lichtenstein

Bertha BRITDOC fund

Magnum Foundation- Human Rights Scholarships Applications are due December 19

Agencies

photo: Seamus Murphy

VII Photo December 2011 newsletter

Boreal Collective : Call for submissions

Promised to post this one again…

Cartel Photos : “Cartel Photos is a new and specialised photography agency based in Falmouth, Cornwall. It is exclusively made up of current undergraduates and alumni from the BA(Hons) Press & Editorial Photography course at University College Falmouth (UCF) who form the members of the agency. All our members are educated to the same standard and are all naturally passionate and enthusiastic in the field of photography.”

Crowd funding and Initiatives

photo: Barbara Davidson

MSNBC Photo Blog: Shop photojournalism for the holidays

BJP: Spotlight on crowdfunding: The Pastor Marrion Fund

Holiday gift idea…Nuru Project sells prints by photojournalists to support non-profits..

Nuru Project

Services

Labyrinth Photographic : London

Events and Workshops

VII Photo : free online seminars with VII Photographers

Jobs

Save the Children : Photo & Film Officer – Emergency Humanitarian Response

Institute for War and Peace Reporting seeks media manager

Photographers 

Marcus Yam

Marco di Lauro’s website is pretty funky.. Check it out…

Marco di Lauro

Dana Popa

Devin Yalkin

Bharat Choudhary

Nicky Loh

Chie Ming Chien

Bettina Rheims

Ben Guss

Jesus Quintanar

Thodoris Tzalavras

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