Tag Documentary Photography

50 Years Ago … Kennedy on the Campaign Trail

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s presidential election, Life.com has put together a gallery of more than 30 previously unpublished images from the campaign trail. (In fairness, I wish they’d publish a similar gallery of Richard Nixon’s campaign as his may have been the last of its kind.)

Looking at the access–of both the press and the public–is pretty astonishing. But what we have today is a direct result of what happened three years after these photos were made.

Life photographer Paul Schutzer turned the cameras on the press during a stop in Illinois.

Personal Project, Socially Relevant

The New York Times‘ Lens blog has a piece up on a project done by editorial and advertising photographer Timothy Archibald and his son, Elijah. Elijah is autistic and his father was struggling to deal with that, so he turned to what he knew best–images–to tell their story, to share their world.

The blog entry is fascinating in how Archibald talks about how the project is really a partnership, a collaboration, more than it is a documentary project by a father of his son. All of the photos were shot in or around their home.

“That’s where the tension was; that’s where I was trying to be a parent and feeling I was doing such a bad job of it,’’ Mr. Archibald said. “This is not about Eli in the world.’’

It’s not journalism (read the note at the end of the story), but it is an interesting way of using one’s craft to communicate with both the outside and the inside world.

Ansel Adams, Street Shooter

From the Ansel Adams collection donated to the Los Angeles Public Library.

No lie … NPR has a gallery of images Ansel Adams donated to the Los Angeles Public Library in the 1960s. It is very un-Adams like in some frames – tilted horizons that, to me, are fairly jarring in their carelessness. Still, the photos have a historical value … a value that he did not understand at the time of the donation:

Adams donated the photographs to the library in the 1960s. He wrote in a letter: “The weather was bad over a rather long period and none of the pictures were very good. … I would imagine that they represent about $100.00 minimum value. … At any event, I do not want them back.”

To which the librarian responded: “Even though you say they are not your best work, they present an interesting and useful study … We have consulted our Art Department … and have concluded that a fair value would be one hundred and fifty dollars ($150.00).”

(Thanks to Scott Bryant for the link.)

International Relations, Photojournalism and Pelé

Sitting in my office a few minutes ago, a newspaper came sliding under the partially-closed door. My name, in the classic red ink of Professor Conrad Fink, and his initials, above an obit piece on John Varley. It’s an interesting read about a photograph I’ve seen before but didn’t really comprehend that well.

Varley, a British news photographer, made the image during the 1970 World Cup after Brazil defeated England in an early match. It’s a simple photo of England’s Bobby Moore and Brazil’s Pelé after the match, with Moore, smiling, congratulating an equally smiling Pelé. An iconic image among soccer fans.

And an image I’m not sure would be run today if made and transmitted.

Why? Because in our hyper-visual world everything must have drama, must have tension. There’s none of that here – it’s a quiet moment in an unquiet place that tells a remarkable story about civility in an uncivil world. It is great journalism, journalism from an era when moments mattered but stories mattered more.

You would think with all of the news outlets now that great storytelling could rise again, but I fear that the continues competition will have editors looking for the most dramatic, eye-catching image they can find – regardless of whether it tells a story.

(There, my pessimistic moment for the day … check back later for optimism.)

Uhh, Really? A Musical About an FSA Photographer?

I am as big a fan of Dorothea Lange as you will find. Take away all the issues around her life, just her work alone is amazing stuff.

But to make a musical about her life? Uhhh … hmmm … okay, I won’t pass judgement on this. Because, well, I like the overture … oh, wait, I just listened to the Excerpt from Maynard … I may judge this soon …

(Thanks to Donald Winslow for the lead.)

The 1930s and 1940s, in Color

I’ve posted links to some similar collections, but the Denver Post has, again, eclipsed everyone else with their collection of color images from the 1930s and 1940s. Maybe it’s just me, but these images are fascinating because we’re so used to seeing the subjects in black and white.

Inside the Mexican Suitcase

A neat look at what may – or may not – be in The Mexican Suitcase, which was brought to light in 2007 containing lost negatives from Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David Seymour.

(Thanks to Greg Mironchuk for the link.)

The Jazz Loft

In the late 1950s, W. Eugene Smith moved into a New York City apartment building known as the Jazz Loft. He made more than 40,000 images of musicians playing for the fun of it, along with hours and hours of audio recordings. Now, the show is on the road.

(Thanks to Abriana Welch for the inadvertent tipoff to the video.)

UGA Alum on the Times’ Lens Blog

Kendrick Brinson, a co-founder of Luceo Images and a Grady College Photojournalism alumni, has her on-going story on Sun City up on the New York Times’ Lens blog. She’s been working on this story for a while, looking at the life of seniors in this Arizona community.

It’s a great set of images – full of life, beautiful light and great little moments. Spend some time with it, worth your while.

Austin Road Trip, Anyone?

I suspect I’m going to have to find a reason in the next few years to head to the University of Texas at Austin – they’ve just acquired a 200,000 print archive from Magnum Photos. What a research opportunity … heck, what an opportunity to experience history.

The article says it’s only the print archive, not the copyrights to any of the images. Which would mean they can’t sell or distribute the prints, but may be able to do exhibitions and make them available for researchers.

A second thanks to Greg Mironchuk for the heads up on this.