Photojournalists put their lives on the line every day, after all, and a photograph is less likely to contain bias, right? "With his new photobook War Is Beautiful: The New York Times Pictorial Guide to the Glamour of Armed Conflict, David Shields is taking aim at what he characterizes as the “war porn” routinely seen on the front page of America’s most respected paper of record." [more inside]
"Every society struggles to care for people with mental illness. In parts of West Africa, where psychiatry is virtually unknown, the chain is often a last resort for desperate families who cannot control a loved one in the grip of psychosis. Religious retreats, known as prayer camps, set up makeshift psychiatric wards, usually with prayer as the only intervention." NYTimes. Links contain upsetting images and video. [more inside]
Sally Mann's Exposure An essay by Sally Mann about the publication, and subsequent reaction to, her second book of photographs, Immediate Family. [Many of the photographs featured naked images of her young children.]
2014: The Year in Pictures. [SLNYT]
I’ve been watching Odell Beckham practice similar one-handed catches for the past several weeks. He caught half a dozen in practice before Sunday’s game, and had an amazing one-handed fingertip catch in practice several weeks ago. So he was definitely on my radar screen. Today I was making a point of keeping track of where Beckham lined up, so I would be ready. -- The New York Times interviews photographers about how they themselves caught this incredible catch in the Giants game last night.
Veiled Truths by Hossein Fatemi [New York Times] [ Photo essay.] Photographs of women in Iran — who still face censure for insufficiently modest dress — through their hijabs.
“This is also the limits of photography in that sense; it only goes so far in understanding what’s in front of you,”
New York Times' Lens blog: Looking at the Tangled Roots of Violence in Northern Nigeria highlights the work of Benedicte Kurzen. [more inside]
The upcoming New York Times Magazine cover story is about the excavation of the Second Avenue Subway line below the East Side of Manhattan. It features some stunning photography and a video that explains how the work is done. [more inside]
Damon Winter is a photojournalist who has worked for The Dallas Morning News, The Los Angeles Times and now works for The New York Times. His work on a more sports-focused beat in Dallas lead to his update on athletes from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics as part of the 2008 Olympics coverage. As a photographer with The New York Times, he won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography, for his first time out on the road, covering campaigns (narrated slideshow, 3min 19sec). Currently, he is sharing his photos and writing from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which are included in NY Times Lens Blog (prev. Lens Blog features: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). If that's a bit heavy, check his photographers journal (narrated slide show, 2min 34sec) and his article on creating double-exposure juxtapositions from days or weeks of shooting large-form film. [more inside]
Rethinking Earthrise. On the 40th anniversary of the NASA's Apollo 8 mission [caution: weird JFK animation], which answered Stewart Brand's epochal, LSD-inspired question "Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?" with an unforgettable image of a seemingly fragile and isolated blue planet, Nature editor Oliver Morton -- author of a new book on photosynthesis called Eating the Sun -- disputes the notion that the Earth is fragile and isolated. "The fragility is an illusion," he writes. "The planet Earth is a remarkably robust thing, and this strength flows from its ancient and intimate connection to the cosmos beyond. To see the photo this way does not undermine its environmental relevance -- but it does recast it."
"First we kill the architects..." Photographer Danny Lyon [1, 2, 3, 4] offers ten suggestions for New York City. Suggestion #6: "Leave the World Trade Center excavation exactly as it is and use the space as a freshwater pond planted with pink, white, and yellow lilies..." His essay is only one of many from names you'll recognize in a book called Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York. An associated exhibition opened yesterday [museum, NYT review]. Is New York City moving in the right direction? Is your city? [via] [more inside]
Ever Wonder How Newspapers Decide Which Photos to Print? NYT Online's Talk to the Newsroom has a question and answer session with the Assistant Managing Editor for Photography, Michele McNally. She addresses a few of the more common questions many people have about how editorial decisions are made in regards to which photographs get published, and which don't among other topics.
The Pornography of Racist Violence: NYT Columnist Margo Jefferson reviews "Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America", and says the book is a "record of what we can call civil war crimes." She goes on to say:
"The images are also what the historian Leon F. Litwack calls, in his introduction, race pornography: they were often made into picture postcards that were mailed, with curt, gleeful or venomous messages to friends and foes with nary a peep from the United States postal authorities."