Category Craft

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.

Keeping an Image In Context, 47 Years Later

Over at the Los Angeles Times, Steve Lopez brings us back to the story of Juan Romero and how, after 47 years, he is coming to peace with his place in life.

Romero’s name is one few know, but his face is a part of one of the most haunting news photos ever – Romero was the teenage busboy who held Robert F. Kennedy’s head up off of a concrete floor after Kennedy had been fatally shot on the night of the 1968 California primary. 

There is so much to learn, even today, from that frightening image and the backstory of why Romero was there, of what he heard Kennedy say and how it affected him is a testament to the power of the photograph.

The care Romero displayed, holding Kennedy’s head off the cold concrete.

The distance around them as everyone else stepped away.

The expression of a young son of immigrants as he realizes a man who treated him as an equal was suffering and the confusion that brought to his mind.

As Lopez notes in his story, the relevance of that image in today’s political climate is pretty staggering.

Love Letter to a Highway

My love of the open road is no secret – give me a camera, a tank of gas and maybe a map and I’m happy for hours, if not days. Stories about roads and travel resonate well with me, especially pieces like Kevin Liles’ tribute to Georgia Highway 83.

My commute is too short these days …