Category Craft

Billy Weeks on Gordon Parks

Next Tuesday, February 16, my dear friend, mentor and guide Billy Weeks will be here on campus to talk about Gordon Parks. Parks was the first African American photographer on the staff of Life magazine and his work has resonated for generations. Weeks is a two-time Gordon Parks International Photography award winner.

This 2:30 p.m. event at UGA’s Special Collections Library is not to be missed.

The Why Behind the NY Times’ Year in Pictures

James Estrin put together an interview with The New York Times’ Meagan Looram and Jeffrey Scales, the photo editors who selected this year’s Year in Pictures.

Q: What is a Pictures of the Year photo? How do you define that?

Jeffrey: A masterfully crafted photograph. Use of frame, focus choices, compelling drama, the things that define great photography. Photojournalism, specifically.

Meaghan: There is a lot of variety in the collection, so it’s hard to isolate exactly what that iconic picture is. But it really needs to stand alone rather than in the context of some greater story or presentation.

There are other good nuggets in there as we all start looking towards the stories we will show in 2016. The final collection of images is broken down month by month, worth spending time on.

Failing 719,999 Times

This is persistence – Alan Mcfadden took six years and 720,000 frames to get one photo.

But, wow … so worth it.

Walter Iooss, Jr., on College Football

Nice collection of images by the legendary Walter Iooss, Jr., from his early days covering college football. This was pre-autofocus, pre-14 frames per second, pre-64 GB memory cards, pre-histogram. Old school – manual focus, manual exposure, shooting on chrome film so the exposure has to be perfect in the camera.

Ahh, those were the days …

And if you scroll down, there’s another Iooss piece with him talking about his Super Bowl photos that’s worth a look.

What you notice about the photo is the facial expressions. With those single bar masks, you can see so much more of the humanity of the game. You don’t see anything today. It’s all covered up. The other thing that’s striking is the natural light. Playing an outdoor game in daylight gives you such a sense of place. When you play in a dome in Dallas or New Orleans, it kind of sucks the reality out of the game.

(Thanks to Cody Schmelter for the link.)

The Legacy of King Cotton

Really nice package from Reuters photojournalist Brian Snyder on how little cotton is being grown in the south now. A very elegant presentation and a nice slice of life in the former land of King Cotton.

How Do You See Someone?

Canon did a little experiment …

Emotional Rollercoaster

Peter Turnley has spent decades moving us from love to sorrow, friendship to famine, hope to hate in his images. How he does it, I have no idea. But if you’re not moved by his work, you may just be dead:

Now I may have to go buy another book … just when I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any more until I got caught up on reading all the others piling up on the desk.

Seeing Beyond Your Vision

Peripheral vision plays a big role in photojournalism. The ability to look at one thing and see what’s happening all around it allows us to build better stories, to see what others might not.

The New York Times’ Angel Franco took a Widely camera to Cuba 20 years ago and the way he used it is fairly unique.

For another use of this type of camera, take a look at CJ Gunter’s multimedia piece on the 2004 Kerry campaign (you’ll need to click a bit, no direct link – to go multimedia, then down to Kerry campaign 2004).

Picture Africa … and Everywhere Else

Close your eyes for a moment and picture Africa. What did you see? Where did that image come from?

Good thought piece by Jorrit R. Dijkstra on how we have seen the continent over the last century.

Now, close your eyes for a moment and picture where you are. What did you see? Where did that image come from? And would it match what someone else would see who hasn’t been to where you are?

It’s Never Been Easy

Every now and then one of your photographic heroes writes something about the calling that has us transfixed. This time, it’s Ed Kashi:

For those who want to do this, I believe one must possess a voracious appetite for knowledge, a maniacal desire to engage with the world, very deep, personal interests that will you to explore issues, places, themes, stories, what have you. And you must have sensitivity, compassion for others, a desire to do good and illuminate. You must read and study and know about the world, especially the subjects you choose to investigate and explore deeply. You must have the reflexes of an athlete in some ways, whether they are fast and responsive, or slow and reflective.

Make sure you click through and read the rest, well worth it.