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Martine Franck

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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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I wish The New York Times would show more of their slideshows in the 800×535 pixels size like this one by Moises Saman, and not in the usual 600×400 pixels (see for instance the one by Eros Hoagland lower in the post)… So much better seeing the photographs bigger…

Features and Essays - Moises Saman: Domestic Abuse (NYT: August 2010) Ramadan highlights difficulties facing domestic workers in Kuwait

Features and Essays - David Gillanders: Street Children in Ukraine (Reportage by Getty Images: August 2010)

Features and Essays - Piotr Redlinski: Nocturnalist | Until Dawn (NYT: August 2010) NYC by night

Features and Essays – Sean Smith: Afghanistan (Guardian: July 2010)

Features and Essays - Eros Hoagland: Taliban Make Inroads in Strategic Province (NYT: July 2010)

Neil Burgess’ comments on the state of photojournalism, originally published on the Editorial Photographers UK website here have received a lot of attention today in the Twittersphere after Guardian picked up the story…

Articles - Guardian: Photojournalism is dead – agency boss laments the passing of an era (Guardian: August 2010) Original comments on the EPUK website

Agencies – Ben Lowy moved from VII Network to Reportage by Getty Images, and Getty have some of his portfolios now online here. The photo seen above is from the Afghanistan Redux series.

Forgot to put up a link to this Franck interview – pun intended – yesterday when I linked to her photos in Nowness…

InterviewsMartine Franck (Nowness: 2010)

Also forgot this.. PhotographersPaulo Monteiro

Twitter - Shahidul Amal

I remember having seen this photo on the cover of Aperture once…

Features and Essays - Trevor  Paglen: Invisible (New Yorker Photo Booth: August 2010) Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes,” a new book by the artist Trevor Paglen, is an album of the visual side of secret worlds.

Book review of Little Brown Mushroom’s recent Trent Parke publication. This review’s slightly critical. I’m sure there are other opinions out there too. I can’t offer any personal opinion as I haven’t seen the book…

Books (reviews) – Tom Leininger: Bedknobs & Broomsticks by Trent Parke : Published by Little Brown Mushroom, June 2010 (Fraction Magazine: August 2010)

I tend to shy away from putting links to equipment reviews, but this one about a small portable projector caught my attention.. Alternative way to show your portfolio perhaps…(This is not an endorsement obviously. Haven’t even seen the thing myself…)

Equipment - Product Review: The BenQ GP1, “Ultra Portable Projector” (Daylight Magazine blog: 2010)

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Features and Essays – Michael Christopher Brown: China (Burn: July 2010)

Features and Essays - Paolo Pellegrin: Storm (Magnum Photos: July 2010) Pellgrin’s new book: Storm

Features and Essays – Stuart Franklin:  Life in Grand Isle after the BP oil spill (Guardian: July 2010) The Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin visits Louisiana where the Grand Isle community is dealing with the aftermath of the spill.

Features and Essays – Paulo Jorge Ferreira Montero: Profound Azores (Visura Spotlight: July 2010)

Features and Essays – Taryn Simon: Contraband (New York Times Magazine: July 2010) These images are from a set of 1,075 photographs — shot over five days last year for the book and exhibition, ‘‘Contraband’’ — of items detained or seized from passengers or express mail entering the United States from abroad at the New York airport. The miscellany of prohibited objects — from the everyday to the illegal to the just plain odd — attests to a growing worldwide traffic in counterfeit goods and natural exotica and offers a snapshot of the United States as seen through its illicit material needs and desires.

Features and Essays - Matthew Niederhauser: Beijing Continues Its March of Modernization (NYT: July 2010)

Features and Essays – Martine Franck: Women (Nowness: 2010)

Interviews - Matthew Niederhauser Matthew shoots his first video for the New York Times on a 5DmkII (DLSR News 2010)

Articles – BJP: University students address children photography conundrum (BJP: July 2010) Amid the rising “paranoia surrounding the laws of photographing children in today’s society,” two Kingston University photography students have reproduced traditional school photographs with one twist – all the pupils have their backs to the camera

Articles - NYT Lens: ‘Step Away From the Camera!’ (NYT Lens: July 2010)

Facebook - FB page for Alixandra Fazzina’s book A Million Shillings – Escape from Somalia (FB: 2010)

Photographers – Pierre Marsaut got in touch to inform that he has a new website here

Blogs - 1000 Words Blog: Payback 2010 (1000 Words Blog: July 2010) Every photographers deserves Payback

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Features and Essays - Peter Essick: Viking Weather—The Changing Face of Greenland (NGM: June 2010) As Greenland returns to the warm climate that allowed Vikings to colonize it in the Middle Ages, its isolated and dependent people dream of greener fields and pastures—and also of oil from ice-free waters.

Features and Essays – Liu Yuan: Rare Visions of Rural North Korea (TIME: June 2010)

Features and Essays - Martine Franck: Pictures Within Pictures (NYT Lens: June 2010)

multiMediaRearviewmirror : Italy

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TwitterOpen Society Jobs

Books - Stefano di Luigi: Blanco (Trolley Books: 2010) New Yorker Photo Booth on Blanco | Vision2020 on Blanco

Features and Essays – Stefano di Luigi: Blanco (VII Magazine: 2010)

InterviewsDavid Bailey (BJP: June 2010)

Interviews - Peter Dench (BJP: June 2010)

Features and Essays – Kate Elliott: A Modern Bohemian (Visura Magazine Spotlight: June

Articles – Christy Lange: Shooting Gallery (APS: June 2010) The limitations of photojournalism and the ethics of artistic representation

Features and Essays – Joao Pina: On the Hunt for the Next Gisele (NYT: June 2010) More than half of Brazil’s models are found around Rio Grande do Sul

CollectivesMJR Weekly 69

Awards - Px3 winners

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