Posts Tagged ‘iconic’

René Burri’s Contact Sheet That Led to an Iconic Photo of Che Guevara

Imagine you were a newspaper photo editor back in 1963, and Swiss Magnum photographer René Burri handed you the contact sheet above filled with portraits of revolutionary Che Guevara. Which photograph would you select for publication?

You might recognize one of the photographs, since it has become one of the most iconic portraits created of Che.
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A Beautiful Wenge Wood Edition of the Iconic Polaroid SX-70 Alpha

Siebe Warmoeskerken of De Vetpan studios is a photographer and woodworker based in The Netherlands. This weekend, he decided to combine his two passions by building a custom wenge wood edition of the popular Polaroid SX-70 Alpha instant camera.
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Afghan Mona Lisa: The Story of the Girl Whose Eyes Captivated the World

In 1984, photographer Steve McCurry shot a portrait titled “Afghan Girl” that would become the defining image of his career and one of the most famous National Geographic covers ever published. In 2002, McCurry was able to locate the subject, Sharbat Gula, and learn her story. National Geographic then published a fascinating piece telling the story of the photo, the search, and the subject:

The reunion between the woman with green eyes and the photographer was quiet. On the subject of married women, cultural tradition is strict. She must not look—and certainly must not smile—at a man who is not her husband. She did not smile at McCurry. Her expression, he said, was flat. She cannot understand how her picture has touched so many. She does not know the power of those eyes.

Some interesting facts: McCurry shot the photo on Kodachrome using a Nikon FM2 and Nikkor 105mm f/2.5. Gula’s identity was confirmed by comparing her iris to the Afghan Girl’s. Although she had never seen her famous portrait, Gula distinctly remembers sitting for the photo — it was one of the only times in her life that she had a photo taken of her.

A Life Revealed [National Geographic Magazine]


Image credits: Photographs by Steve McCurry/National Geographic

The Greatest Sports Photo of All Time

This photo is the greatest sports photo of all time — at least according to Sports Illustrated. The magazine has published a gallery containing 100 of the greatest images (from an American’s perspective), and the #1 image is the above shot of Michael Jordan hitting the game-winning shot to help the Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz and win the 1998 NBA Finals in 6 games.
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Photographer Steve McCurry on Shooting Documentary Portraiture

Here’s an interesting video in which renowned photojournalist Steve McCurry shares some thoughts on documentary portraiture. Titled Close Up: Photographers at Work, the video takes us behind-the-scenes with McCurry as he shoots some candid portraits on the street and then reviews some of his most prized shots captured over the course of his career. (There’s a brief glimpse of the original film slides of his iconic Afghan Girl photo.)
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What Famous Photos Would Look Like if Their Photogs Used Ugly Watermarks

Watermarks are commonly used by photographers these days to protect their work from unauthorized use and distribution. However, they’re not very popular among photo viewers, since they do a lot to detract from the content of the photographs. Photographer Kip Praslowicz was thinking about this earlier this week, and writes,

[...] it seems like many amateur [photographers] spend more time putting elaborate watermarks on their images than they do making images worth stealing [...] I don’t really recall ever seeing the photographs of famous art photographers with a gaudy watermark.

He then decided to see what famous photographs would look like if the photographers behind them had slapped obnoxious watermarks onto them.
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Famous ‘Valley Of The Shadow Of Death’ Photo Was Almost Certainly Staged

You might recognize the photograph above. Titled Valley Of The Shadow Of Death and snapped by British photographer Roger Fenton in 1855, it’s considered to be one of the oldest known photographs of warfare. Problem is, it might also be one of the oldest known examples of a staged photograph.
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The Pursuit of “Classic” Designs in the Camera Industry

Watts Martin of Coyote Tracks has an interesting piece titled “Iconic” that discusses the idea of trade dress — the reason why Apple doesn’t have any branding on the front face of the iPhone:

You don’t need to see the name plate on a Ford Mustang or a Corvette or a Porsche 911 to recognize one. Or a Coke bottle. Or, once you’ve seen one, a Tivoli Audio tabletop radio. Or a McIntosh amp. These products have a design language that’s become part of their brand identity [...] That’s what Apple wants, too: products that look like Apple. They’ve nailed it. You can look at a computer or a tablet or a phone being used in a coffee shop and you can immediately tell Apple or not Apple even if you can’t see the logo. And this is virtually unique in their industry: you’ll usually need the logo to know exactly what the not Apple product is.

This is why trade dress battles are so important to Apple. Try introducing a soda in a container that’s easily mistaken for a Coke bottle and see how far “har har har, you can’t patent curved glass!” gets you as a defense. If somebody makes a product that can be easily mistaken for an Apple device, then Apple is going to do whatever they can to get that product either off the market or changed.

DSLRs are pretty uniform in their appearance, so we don’t see much fuss about trade dress in that sector, but it’s interesting that there isn’t more tension between Leica and Fujifilm — two companies that both offer cameras without front branding.

Iconic [Coyotke Tracks via Daring Fireball]

Iconic “Atop a Skyscraper” Photographs May Have Been Staged Publicity Stunts

Lunch atop a Skyscraper is one of the most recognizable photos of the 20th century. The 1932 photo shows 11 construction workers taking a lunch break on a girder 850 feet above New York City. A second photo from the same shoot shows four of the men sleeping on the beam. The images are iconic and epic, but may not be as candid as they seem.

New emerging information about the images is casting doubt on the fact that they’re simple snapshots showing ordinary workers on the job. Instead, the photos were reportedly staged as part of a promotional effort for the Rockefeller Center.
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The Kent State Massacre Photo and the Case of the Missing Pole

Recognize this photograph? It shows 14-year-old Mary Ann Vecchio screaming and kneeling over the body of 20-year-old Jeffrey Miller, shot during the Kent State Massacre. Kent State photojournalism student John Paul Filo — just 22-years-old at the time — captured the image, and was later awarded the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography.
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