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Even before everybody had a digital camera, it was a universal modern skill to take photographs. But more than that, for a long time it’s been a universal skill to be photographed. For several decades now, everybody has known how to put on his or her game face and wait for the click. Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra has become famous by taking that as her point of departure, then wondering what happens when we can’t hold the pose. The answer: a moment of truth. One thing you learn at the new Dijkstra retrospective, currently at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and moving in June to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, is that no matter how much you try to put on the social mask, it keeps slipping.

After graduating from an Amsterdam art school in 1986, Dijkstra, who is 52, made a living for a while shooting portraits for a Dutch business magazine. It was frustrating work, taking pictures of executives who knew all too well how to keep up their guard. Eventually, she returned to more personal picture-taking. Very quickly, Dijkstra found an international audience. For her breakthrough project in the early ’90s, she persuaded teenagers at beaches in the U.S. and Europe to pose against a bare backdrop of sky, sea and shore. The fascination of those pictures comes partly from the mind’s attempt to reconcile the “timeless” setting with the sometimes awkward, and often futile, attempts by the teens to assume the attitudes of glamor and cool they think the camera requires.

Hoping to catch people with their defenses down, Dijkstra started to photograph them in the aftermath of some exhausting event. She got women to pose soon after giving birth, usually standing naked while they cradled their newborns. By 1994 she was also making portraits of Portuguese forcados—amateur bullfighters who enter the ring in unarmed groups to subdue the bulls bare-handed. She photographed them right after they returned from the fight, bloody, scuffed and dented.

To watch someone evolve from youth into adult awareness, Dijkstra has sometimes followed a single subject for years—a French boy who joins the foreign legion, a Bosnian refugee girl as she grows up in the Netherlands—as his or her life goes through changes. Or, as she did with the kids on beaches, she will go to parks and photograph very contemporary people in a setting that pulls them out of time—but only so far. And to make sure her pictures don’t take on a false timelessness, Dijkstra makes sure each one carries in its title the very real location in which it was taken and the date.

Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective is on display from Feb. 18 through May 28 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and will open at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City on June 29.

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John Delaney "Kazakh Golden Eagle Nomads"

We are now officially announcing the Emerging Photographer Fund award for 2012.

We will now award $15,000. as three different grants.  We are trying to spread the love a bit.

Burn will give $10,000. to one photographer,  and two smaller grants of $2500. each . Three awards instead of one.

Each intended to get a photographer going, and with efforts on our part to create more funding to finish an essay  depending on what the photographer produces.

The whole point of these grants is to support emerging photographers in our craft. All types of photographers. This is not a photojournalism grant, nor an art photographers grant, but could be garnered by either or both. We just want to support committed authored photography of any ilk. Please click here  and see who has secured this grant in the past and who our jurors have been.

The deadline for entry will be May 15, 2012. No extensions for any reason.

In 2011 we will have published here on Burn at least 50 of those who enter and feature in advance of the announcement of the recipient at least 20 finalists.

Our Burn finalists can be published in print via Burn 01 and Burn 02  and of course we have already Burn 03 as a limited edition magazine/book in our head.

Apply here.

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H_Fisher writes "Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. Times writes with a frank look at the decisions and changes that have led to Kodak's decline from top U.S. photography company to a company whose product is almost irrelevant. He writes: '[Kodak] executives couldn't foresee a future in which film had no role in image capture at all, nor come to grips with the lower profit margins or faster competitive pace of high-tech industries.' He also notes that Kodak's story comes as a cautionary tale to giants like Google and Facebook."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Following the attacks on 9/11, Kate Brooks, at the age of 23, moved to Pakistan and began documenting the region—photographing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, daily life in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, and the historic revolutions in Egypt and Libya. Her ten-year odyssey is chronicled in the new book, “In the Light of Darkness: A Photographer’s Journey After 9/11”. The following is an excerpt.

December 2001

Nearly two months had passed since America started bombing Afghanistan and Kabul had already fallen. I couldn’t believe I was still in Pakistan.

Watching the war on TV frustrated me. I wanted to see these things myself, not through the eyes of other reporters. I finally acquired a digital camera and freed myself of all other commitments, but I didn’t know where to go.

The UN was charging $2500 for a one-way ticket to Kabul. The alternative was to drive, but four journalists had just been executed on the road I would have to take.

After I spotted a newsflash that Osama bin Laden was believed to be in the mountains of Tora Bora, I decided to head to Jalalabad. I went independent of any assignment, knowing Newsweek was thinking of assigning me. A few other journalists and I organized a convoy.

A Pakistani fixer called Imtiaz voluntarily followed me through Pakistan’s Khyber Pass as far as the border. The father of two was appealing a death sentence after being convicted of blasphemy by the government of Pakistan. Even so, he knew I was driving into danger and felt protective of me. After the Pakistani immigration officer stamped my passport, Imtiaz shook my hand, wished me well and left me with the parting words, “Welcome to Afghanistan.”

Just after the convoy crossed the border, an Italian journalist began giving me a hard time for wearing a red shalwar kamiz, saying I wouldn’t blend in. I shrugged. I was wearing traditional Pakistani clothes. “Color won’t make a difference,” I said. Whereas male journalists could grow beards and wear local clothes, I knew that in Afghanistan I would be spotted as a foreigner unless I wore a burqa.

I was excited and anxious about covering a war in Afghanistan for an American news magazine and national paper. I had been shot at by Israelis during the second intifada and gone on a few Russian government-controlled trips to Chechnya, but I had never been on an active battlefield. And yet, while I was the youngest journalist covering Tora Bora, I certainly wasn’t the only one with limited war experience. The 9/11 attacks turned a generation of metro desk reporters into war correspondents practically overnight.

In the early hours of the morning, dozens of Jeeps and pickup trucks gathered outside the hotel to take us to the front lines. On the way, one journalist’s car broke down, splitting the convoy in two. While the lead cars waited for the rest to catch up, we watched a B-52 circle overhead. There was genuine fear we might be bombed. A few journalists tried to call Pentagon officials on their satellite phones, hoping to convey to the pilots that the large convoy was comprisedof journalists, not terrorists.

We drove through the residential area of Hadda Farm, where bin Laden had lived with the militants he had trained for global jihad. On the side of the road, an exceptionally tall man stood with a cloth draped over his head in ‘Gulfie Arab’ fashion. I watched this distinctive Arab-looking man turn to look at the bombing of the mountains. As our cars neared, he skittered off the road just before I could see his face.

Pierre laughed at the suggestion that I may have seen bin Laden, but we were driving so fast he hadn’t seen the shadowy figure and we couldn’t stop the speeding convoy. Could the mythical figure and most wanted man in the world possibly have been hiding in plain view? In my mind, it was entirely plausible that bin Laden could be in the vicinity with all attention focused on the mountains.

We eventually arrived at the staging ground, a desolate stretch of pebbles set against the backdrop of mountains that were being bombarded with “daisy cutters”, bunker busting bombs that were also used to flatten jungles in Vietnam. The explosive sounds from heavy artillery being launched from an old Soviet tank forced me to my knees. My body reacted reflexively to the boom. I tried to hide my embarrassment after being spotted flailing around. Someone kindly assured me the rounds were outgoing fire from the Eastern Alliance side.

Over the next few days, TV crews set up live stations and journalists began camping out in the makeshift parking lot. Pierre wanted to go deeper into the mountains. I did not. “Maybe you don’t know what you can do,” he said.

I wanted to avoid unnecessary risks, but in a hurried moment, I got into a vehicle with the mayor of Jalalabad and the Washington Post correspondent. The latter assured me we weren’t doing anything dangerous. The mayor then proceeded to drive straight into the mountains I had just photographed being bombed. I was breathless and spoke little. There was no translator in the car to whom I could convey my concerns or pose questions to ascertain what exactly we were doing.

Suddenly, Haji Zaman appeared, perched on a rock, as if in his natural habitat. He and the mayor exchanged a few words before we drove on. Somehow, seeing the familiar warlord made the situation seem less threatening.

As we parked the vehicle, dozens of journalists, who had followed the mayor’s SUV, pulled up behind us. Two of the most experienced war correspondents covering the offensive were already there viewing al-Qaeda’s fighting positions. They were in a hurry to get down the mountain, saying that they suspected that mortars were about to start coming in.

My stomach sank as I watched them walk away. Everyone else had marched up a hilltop to get a closer look. I looked around and realized I was standing alone with a war-crazed Mujahedeen fighter, who had been camouflaged in the trees. I was too afraid to go up and too afraid to go down. We listened to the deafening rumble of a bomber flying overhead. I could tell the plane was coming closer. Amused by my apparent fear, the fighter pointed at the sky “America. America. U.S.A. No Problem.”

I imagined how devastated my parents would be if they were informed that their 24-year old daughter had been killed in the mountains of Afghanistan and promised God I would quit smoking if I survived.

Brooks’ will moderate a projection of her work tonight at The Half King in Manhattan, followed by a discussion with writer Scott Anderson. An exhibition of her photographs will be on display at the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, Florida, through December 16. Click here for more details.

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by Mito Habe-Evans

If you're reading this you're clearly not taking part in Digital Detox Week, aka Screen-Free Week, which begins today. The initiative promoting more face time and less screen time is the latest incarnation of what, until a few years ago, was called TV-Turnoff Week.

Berlin-based photographer Stephan Tillmans knows a thing or two about turning off televisions — it's how he makes his art. Luminant Point Arrays is a series of photos of old tube televisions taken at the very moment they are switched off.

Slideshow

This is a gallery of photos of television screens at the moment they are switched off.

Credit: Courtesy of Stephan Tillmans

Each of these images is from a different TV, but according to Tillmans it's also the length of exposure, timing, and time the TV has been running before the photo that accounts for the difference in results. Each image takes a lot of tries, because he's using good old-fashioned trial and error to get the shot.

"I stand between the TV and the camera with one finger on the on/off switch and one finger on the shutter release," he writes in an e-mail. "With some televisions it took about 800 pictures to get THE picture." No wonder he's working with a digital camera.

But then again you shouldn't care. Because you shouldn't be reading this. You should be knitting while climbing a tree or something.

Tags: screen culture, Television

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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patrick-odell

Patrick O’Dell has done a lot of different crap at Vice US – contributor, Photo Editor, VBS.TV personality, etc. So when he sent us his submission for the Still Lifes issue, our maternal instincts kicked in. We worried about him. Is he eating right? Does he have a roof over his head? A warm winter coat? Turns out he’s got all of those things (and a motorcycle), and that photo was taken years ago.

These days, Patrick is the nice, freshly shaven man who hosts Epicly Later’d on VBS. He also aggressively updates his blog with photos of adventure, travel, mayhem, and skateboarding (his photos of the latter have been plastered all over every major skate magazine for years). He used to live in New York, but now he lives in LA with a dog and a Jerry Hsu photo he stole from us.(...)
Read the rest of AN INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK O’DELL (1,651 words)

© Viceland.com, 2010. |
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Sent to me by Jim Krantz, the highly talented photographer who is one of the original Marlboro photographers (and much of whose work was borrowed by Richard Prince). This ad promoting the launch of the Polaroid SX-70 reminds us of one of those magical moments when it seemed like the future had arrived and it was all good. What's particularly surprising is the degree to which the history and art of photography is referenced. And while photography is much more appreciated, studied, and written about today - it's highly unlikely that a digital camera would be promoted in this way.

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