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Liz Ronk

Elaine Mayes might well be the most accomplished photographer and photography educator that many passionate photography aficionados have never heard of. As one of the very first women teachers of photography who learned her craft primarily in art school, Mayes has influenced generations of photographers while quietly, steadily and tenaciously pursuing her own vision as a creative artist. This summer, Mayes’ work from her seminal Autolandscapes series will go on display through January 2014 at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, alongside work by Steve Fitch and Robbert Flick.

Mayes, who defines her aesthetic, in part, as a “Walt Whitman approach” to photography — i.e., embracing influences found in “everything and in nothing” — has taught both photography and film at the University of Minnesota, Hampshire College (where she was a founding member of the faculty), Pratt, Bard and several other schools. (She’s currently Professor Emerita in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.)  She studied with Minor White; was friendly with the likes of Bruce Davidson, John Szarkowski and Diane Arbus in the 1960s and beyond; has shown her work at MoMA New York, MoMa San Francisco, the Brooklyn Museum and elsewhere; and cites fellow artists like Paul Caponigro and Wynn Bullock as major influences on her photography.

Her work belongs to no “school.” Instead, across six decades, Mayes has employed a deeply individualistic sensibility — nowhere more evident than in the Autolandscapes (1971). She had just gotten a job teaching at Hampshire when, after requesting an NEA grant for $3,000, she won a grant for a mere third of that. Undeterred, she drove across country with her husband and four cats, chronicling the landscape — other automobiles, gas stations, homes, factories, road signs, cows, empty tarmac. The result is a marvelous, unadorned, understated and perfectly “of its time” document of early Seventies Americana. Focusing on the horizontal plane witnessed outside of her moving car, the photos formalize the idea of capturing movement in a way that also seems to slow, and even stop, time.

The work seen in this gallery, meanwhile, is primarily comprised of photos that are part of an ongoing series Mayes began when she moved to Minnesota to teach in the 1960s, and has continued to work on through today. With her keen interest in photos that have a mysterious quality, and images where the scene is big, but the tiniest details are still cleanly visible, Mayes characterizes her own goal as an effort to make photographs by “responding [to her environment], but not knowing why.”

This body of work will be on view as part of a group exhibition, Landscapes in Passing: Photographs by Steve Fitch, Robbert Flick and Elaine Mayes, at the American Art Museum in Washington D.C.

Liz Ronk is the photo editor of LIFE.com.

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Graduation season is well underway, with kindergartners, high schoolers, college seniors and graduate students alike donning caps and gowns to celebrate their achievement. With their diplomas, graduates also get words of wisdom from a commencement speakers and a good excuse to celebrate. -- Lloyd Young ( 31 photos total)
US Naval Academy graduates throw their hats at the conclusion of their commencement and commission ceremony, attended by President Barack Obama at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on May 24 in Annapolis, Md. (Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency)     

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Ken Lyons

A tornado touches down near El Reno, Okla., Friday, May 31, 2013, causing damage to structures and injuring travelers on Interstate 40. Another series of deadly tornados swept across Oklahoma injuring hundreds and causing multiple fatalities including a team of storm chasers. Smoke rises from the International Red Cross building after a gun battle between [...]

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Patrick Traylor

Using only his iPhone, photographer Mark Hirsch spent a year documenting an ancient Bur Oak Tree and posting a photo a day on Facebook. By Patrick Traylor, ptraylor@denverpost.com There is a tree that stands alone among the cornfields- about 5 miles south of Platteville, Wisconsin in the southwest corner of the state. Photographer Mark Hirsch [...]

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TEDxTalks


What if everyone had a classical education?: Rebekah Hagstrom at TEDxMahtomedi

Rebekah Hagstrom is headmaster of Liberty Classical Academy (LCA). Rebekah received a B.S. in communication disorders (summa cum laude) and an M.A. in speech...
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Mikko Takkunen

Features and Essays

Robin Hammond

Robin Hammond / Panos Pictures / National Geographic

Robin Hammond: Zimbabwe: Breaking the Silence (The National Geographic Magazine) Oppression, Fear, and Courage in Zimbabwe | From the National Geographic magazine May issue.

Pete Muller: Questioning Zimbabwe’s Underdogs (NYT)

Sebastião Salgado: Genesis (NYT)

Michael Yamashita: China’s Ancient Lifeline (NGM) The 1,400-year-old Grand Canal is a monumental project that bound north and south China together. It’s still in use today.

FrancoPagetti / VII

Franco Pagetti / VII

Franco Pagetti: The Veils of Aleppo (LightBox)

Stanley Greene: The Dead and The Alive (NOOR) Syria

Giles Duley: Syrian Refugees (Guardian)

Nish L. Nalbandian: Portraits of Syrian Rebels (LA Times Framework blog)

Yusuf Sayman: Rebel Fighters Inside Aleppo (The Daily Beast)

Louie Palu

Louie Palu / Zuma Press / The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Louie Palu: Documenting Murder in Mexico (Mother Jones) The brutality of the drug war, on both sides of the border.

Dominic Bracco II: A Salvation Army of One (NYT Magazine) The Rev. Robert Coogan working in Saltillo, Mexico.

Shiho Fukada / Panos Pictures

Shiho Fukada / Panos Pictures / The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Shiho Fukada: Japan’s Rootless and Restless Workers (NYT Lens)

Jenn Ackerman: Minnesota, Frozen in Place and Time (NYT Lens)

Aaron Vincent Elkaim: The Last Great Race on Earth (Photo Booth) Iditarod, a thousand-and-forty-nine-mile race across Alaska

Fritz Hoffmann: On Beyond 100 (NGM) Photographer Fritz Hoffmann introduces us to people who have mastered the secret of long life.

Ami Vitale: Back at the Ranch (Panos Pictures)

David Guttenfelder / AP

David Guttenfelder / AP

David Guttenfelder: North Korea (Denver Post) While threats of a missile launch have renewed tensions with North Korea, photojournalist David Guttenfelder has returned to continue documenting life there.

Yuri Kozyrev: Pull Out From Afghanistan (NOOR)

Phil Moore: Mogadishu Boosts Security (Al Jazeera) Safety improves in Somalia’s once war-torn capital despite recent attack and ongoing threats of violence.

Zed Nelson: The Family (Institute) Zed Nelson’s project started in the summer of 1991, just turned 21

Gabriele Galimberti: My Couch Is Your Couch (Institute) Couchsurfers around the world

Steeve Iuncker / Agence VU

Steeve Iuncker / Agence VU

Steeve Iuncker: Yakutsk (LightBox) The Coldest City on Earth

James Whitlow Delano: Buried in Japan (TIME) Japan’s Aomori Prefecture might be at the same latitude as New York, but its climate can seem a lot more harsh.

Maja Daniels: In the mists of Älvdalen, Sweden (Financial Times Magazine) A world away from cosmopolitan Stockholm lies a strange forested land with an ancient language and a singular sense of quiet desolation

Antonio Olmos: Murder Most Ordinary (Guardian) Photographer Antonio Olmos spent two years visiting the site of every murder that took place within the M25 in London.

Ben Roberts: Higher Lands (Document Scotland) Growing up in the Scottish Highlands

Marco Kessler: Belarus: An Uncertain Winter (Vimeo) Belarus, once an integral frontier of the USSR, remains steeped in the Communist legacy, which ruled the daily lives of the nation for over 70 years.

Alexis Lambrou: Teaching for Life (NYT Lens) Young Brooklyn high school teacher, whose life revolves around her students and colleagues at a Brooklyn public high school.

Arthur Nazaryan: Ballet Competitions (NYT Lens) 12-year-old Russian immigrant’s efforts to become a ballerina

Amanda Rivkin: Post-Racial America Road Trip (VII Mentor)

Tommaso Protti: The Youth of Amid (Reportage by Getty Images Emerging Talent) Turkey

Adam Patterson: Another Lost Child (CNN Photo blog)

Patrick van Dam: Dreams of new homes abandoned in Greece (CNN Photo blog)

Articles

Eugene Richards

Eugene Richards

The Hero in the Cowboy Hat: Carlos Arredondo’s Story by Eugene Richards (LightBox)

A Photographer’s View of the Carnage: “When I Look at the Photos, I Cry” (LightBox)

Herald photographer details night Boston will never forget (Boston Herald)

News Media Weigh Use of Photos of Carnage (NYT)

A Blurry Double Standard? A Photo from the Boston Marathon Bombing (PhotoShelter)

Tragedy and the Role of Professional Photojournalists (Chicago Tribune Assignment Chicago blog)

On That Iconic Photo from the Boston Marathon Bombings (BagNewsNotes)

Runner, spectator get photos of marathon suspects (AP Big Story blog)

Photo Essay Of Boston Bomber Was Shot By Former BU Student (NPPA)

Courtesy HBO

Courtesy HBO

Peter van Agtmael: Revisiting Memory and Preserving Legacy: Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros (LightBox)

Tim Hetherington, Indelible on Film (NYT Lens)

A War Photographer Who Was More Than Just an Adrenaline Junkie (Mother Jones)

Killed documentary maker Tim Hetherington remembered in film (BBC) video

Which Way is the Frontline?: a documentary tribute to Tim Hetherington (BJP)

Tim Hetherington’s Photograph’s at the Yossi Milo Gallery (Photo Booth)

Honoring Chris Hondros (Getty Images blog)

Manu Brabo / AP

Manu Brabo / AP

The 2013 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Associated Press Coverage of Syria (LightBox)

The Pulitzer Prizes Winners (Pulitzer)

Photographs of Syria Sweep Pulitzer Prizes (NYT Lens)

Javier Manzano / AFP

Javier Manzano / AFP

A Pulitzer picture first day on the job (AFP Correspondent blog) Photograph taken by Javier Manzano in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo on October 18, won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.

Witness to Newtown’s tragedy (Reuters TV) On December 14, 2012 a gunman opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary School, leaving 26 dead, including 20 young children. Reuters photographers share their experience covering the story that devastated Newtown, Connecticut and the rest of the country.

David Guttenfelder / AP

David Guttenfelder / AP

Photographer chronicles life in North Korea (NBC)  In spite of the angry rhetoric, life in North Korea goes on as normal – or at least what passes as normal in this isolated state. AP photographer David Guttenfelder has been chronicling life in North Korea for years.

Those photos of young Kim Jong Un performing in ‘Grease’ are probably of his brother (The Washington Post)

I almost died in Syria (Salon)

Olivier Voisin’s last images (Paris Match L’instant)

Taking RISC: Program Trains Reporters How To Save Lives in War Zones (ABC News)

RISC: Training reporters how to save lives (BJP)

French photographer Pierre Borghi escapes four months after kidnapping in Afghanistan (New York Daily News)

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded Fellowships 2013 (Guggenheim Foundation)

Feisal Omar: “Are you al-Shabaab or soldiers?” (Reuters Photographers blog) Covering Somalia

Featured photojournalist: Christopher Furlong (Guardian)

Anastasia Rudenko (Verve Photo)

Thomas Cristofoletti (Verve Photo)

Challenging an Old Narrative in Latin American Photojournalism (NYT Lens)

Donna De Cesare’s Photo of Violence in El Salvador (NYT Lens)

How the 1962 monsoons inspired Steve McCurry (Phaidon) Forthcoming book, Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind The Photographs, tells how coverage of the Indian rainy season in Life magazine set the Magnum photographer off on a life of photography and far flung travel.

Sebastiao Salgado’s Genesis (BBC)

Sebastião Salgado documents world’s wildernesses in new Genesis exhibition (Guardian)

Sebastião Salgado: Genesis – review (Guardian)

André Kertész: Truth and Distortion, Atlas Gallery, London – review (FT)

Explore Nic Dunlop’s new book Brave New Burma (Panos Pictures blog)

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Wire Photographer Spotlight: Daily Life by Muhammed Muheisen (LightBox)

A Year Later, Instagram Hasn’t Made a Dime. Was it Worth $1 Billion? (TIME)

Making Art With Tom Waits (NYT Magazine)

The National Geographic Trove (Photo Booth)

Genius in colour: Why William Eggleston is the world’s greatest photographer (The Independent)

Bert Stern’s Beautiful Photography and Less-Beautiful Personal Life, on Screen (The Atlantic) A new documentary shows two sides of the man who took some of the most iconic celebrity photographs of the 20th century: creative genius and womanizer.

“Arnold Newman: At Work” explores photographer through his archive (Harry Ransom Center Cultural Compass blog)

Native Americans: Portraits From a Century Ago (The Atlantic)

Meeting Florida’s Seminoles Through Rediscovered Photos (NPR)

Photographer David Moore’s dingy, deteriorating Derby is the real deal (Guardian) Chronicler of 80′s working-class England peers behind closed doors to capture a community indelibly marked by Margaret Thatcher.

Graham Nash’s best photograph (Guardian) Joni Mitchell listening to her new album

Unsung hero of photography Thurston Hopkins turns 100 (Guardian)

This was England: the photographs of Chris Killip (Guardian) Chris Killip’s study of the communities that bore the brunt of industrial decline in the North East have earned him a nomination for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

Deutsche Börse Photography prize show: mashups and moon walkers (Guardian)

Deutsche Börse photography prize 2013 (Guardian) video | Sean O’Hagan meets the nominees for the annual Deutsche Börse photography prize. They’re all on show at the Photographers’ Gallery in London until June 30.

Estate of Jacques Lowe

Estate of Jacques Lowe

When an Archive is Lost: Jacques Lowe’s Rare (And Recently Restored) Look at JFK’s Camelot (LightBox)

The Heart of a Beast: Charlotte Dumas’ Poignant Animal Photography (LightBox)

Teenage Precinct Shoppers by Nigel Shafran: A Look Back to 1990 (LightBox)

The World’s Oldest Photography Museum Goes Digital (Smithsonian)

Pecha Kucha: The art of speed-talking about photography (BJP)

Martin Parr ‘Life’s A Beach’ Exhibit And Book Capture Fun In The Sun From Brazil To Japan (The Huffington Post)

The unseen Lee Miller: Lost images of the supermodel-turned-war photographer go on show (The Independent)

The Surreal World of Nina Leen (Photo Booth)

Rescuing a Photo Prince Vita Luckus From Obscurity (NYT Lens)

How photographers joined the self-publishing revolution (Guardian)

Elaborate Drive-By Photo Studio Takes Pedestrians by Surprise (Wired)

Interviews and Talks

John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

John Tlumacki (LightBox) Tragedy in Boston: One Photographer’s Eyewitness Account | LightBox spoke with Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, who photographed the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Tlumacki, who has photographed more than 20 marathons in his 30 years at the Globe, describes the sheer chaos of the scene.

John Tlumacki (Poynter) Globe’s Tlumacki: ‘I am dealing with trauma & trying to keep busy’ following Boston tragedy

Sebastião Salgado (Natural History Museum YouTube) Genesis

Sebastião Salgado (Guardian) A God’s eye view of the planet – interview

Sebastião Salgado (NYT) In Love With My Planet

Sebastião Salgado (Taschen) Two men, one mission: Salgado talks with Benedikt Taschen about the photographic project that changed his life.

Sebastian Junger (Indiewire) On the Value and Cost of War Reporting and Making a Film About His Late ‘Restrepo’ Co-Director Tim Hetherington

Sebastian Junger (NPR) ‘Which Way’ To Turn After Hetherington’s Death

Sebastian Junger (WNYC) The Life and Times of Tim Hetherington

Michelle McNally (Le Journal de la Photographie) The New York Times Director of Photography

James Estrin (Le Journal de la Photographie) NYT photographer and Lens blog editor

Patrick Witty (Zorye Kolektiv)  International Picture Editor at TIME

David Campbell to reveal WPPh multimedia research (Canon Professional Network)

Robin Hammond (NGM) The Moment: Caught in Zimbabwe

Jeff Jacobson (PDN) On Beauty, Ambiguity and Mortality

Yuri Kozyrev (Zorye Kolektiv)

Emilio Morenatti (Zorye Kolektiv)

Anastasia Taylor-Lind (Repor Madrid TV)

Thurston Hopkins (Guardian) On his 100th birthday this week, one of the great photojournalists of the 20th century, Thurston Hopkins, talks about his career as a photographer at Picture Post

Pari Dukovic (Wonderland magazine)

Mike Brodie (LA Times Framework blog)

Danielle Levitt (Dazed Digital) Danielle Levitt’s Favourite Tribes

Mikko Takkunen is an associate photo editor at TIME.com.

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burn magazine

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Allison Davis O’Keefe

One Goal

play this essay

 

Grand Forks, North Dakota. Winter. It’s so cold you can barely breathe, and 12,000 people don’t care.

They brave the wind, snow, and negative temperatures to watch their beloved University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux hockey team, and they expect a win — because they don’t hang second place banners in their hundred million dollar arena.

In this town children proudly wear the jerseys of 19-year-old superstars; wait hours to collect the signature of those who are college kids one minute and professionals the next. Families plan their lives around hockey – weddings, vacations, honeymoons – and the most common outfit in Christmas photos is the latest Sioux hockey gear.

Over the course of documenting the team’s 2010-2011 season, I discovered an intrinsic need for people to come together around a common goal – the fans, who support their team with passion, the individual, who commits himself, body and soul, to be a member of the team, and the coach who is a mentor, disciplinarian, and leader.

The goal of every team is to win, but this season the Fighting Sioux seemed destined for glory. They had one goal – to win the national championship. And when, just two games from that goal, they ultimately lost to the University of Michigan at the 2011 Frozen Four tournament, there was shock in their locker room.

It was well past midnight and players couldn’t bring themselves to remove their jerseys or pack up their gear. It was then that I realized this was so much more than a game.

It is about skill, focus, and determination, but also, as I learned, camaraderie, sacrifice, elation, struggle, and, ultimately, a twist of fate, a bounce of the puck.

It is also about relationships, like the one between a father and daughter who never missed a game, even if it meant watching from a hospital bed. Or the relationship between friends who have played together, lived together, and fought together.

This work was published by Burn Magazine as a book entitled One Goal in November 2012.

“(…) One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the look into the otherwise-closed-off life of [Coach] Hakstol. Hakstol is stoic and reserved on the bench and for the media, rarely causing controversy anywhere. But his emotional side exudes throughout, as pictures of him with his fists in the air celebrating a win, or embracing his wife or looking after his kids show a personable side that undoubtedly exists, even if television cameras or column inches in a newspaper don’t show it. And that curiosity perhaps makes Hakstol’s presence in the book an interesting twist” – from Timothy Borger’s review on USCHO.com

“As a Minnesotan I’ve spent many hours watching hockey. My University of Minnesota hockey experiences run from ushering at games as a Boy Scout to photographing the Hockey Gophers when I was at the Minneapolis Tribune. I find the book not only gives an intimate and revealing look at the sport, but also does a great job of communicating the cold and bleakness of winter in North Dakota. Nothing is colder than a windy, snowy, dark night on the prairie. ” – Kent Kobersteen, Former Director of Photography, National Geographic Magazine

 

Bio

Allison Davis O’Keefe is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and the International Center of Photography. Her photography has captured the U.S. landscape in portraits of a cross-country journey, the 2004 & 2008 U.S. presidential campaigns, the apex of power on Capitol Hill, and, most recently, the curiosities of life and sports through the lens of a college hockey team’s season. For nine years, Allison worked for CBS News in New York and Washington, and as part of the team was honored with an Emmy Award for coverage of 9/11 Allison attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in its 25th anniversary year.

 

Related links

Allison Davis O’Keefe

One Goal

 

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The Smithsonian magazine's 10th annual photo contest's 50 finalists have been chosen, but there's still time for you to vote for the Readers Choice winner! This year's competition has drawn over 37,600 entries from photographers in 112 countries around the world. Editors will choose a Grand Prize Winner and the winners in each of five categories which include The Natural World, Americana, People, Travel and Altered Images. Voting will be open through March 29, 2013. -- Paula Nelson ( 22 photos total)
THE NATURAL WORLD - An Onlooker Witnesses the Annular Solar Eclipse as the Sun Sets on May 20, 2012. Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 2012. (Colleen Pinski/Peyton, Colorado/Smithsonian.com)

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