Prestigious agency Magnum Photos says it is about to roll out a paid membership system in hopes of turning illegal downloaders into paying customers. The move comes a little more than a year after the agency did away with watermarks on its main site, reasoning that they did little to discourage determined downloaders. Read more…
Swiss photographer René Burri has had the opportunity to photograph some of history’s most famous personalities. His photograph of Che Guevara smoking a cigar in his office in Cuba has become nothing short of iconic, and by a fortunate turn of events, he even met and photographed Pablo Picasso.
The video above is a short interview with Burri in which he tells the stories behind six of his best-known images, including the photos of Guevara and Picasso. Read more…
Last Wednesday, at the age of 94, former Magnum president and photographer Wayne Miller passed away at his home in California. For decades, Miller had photographed the human condition at its best and worst, with a stated goal to “photograph mankind and explain man to man.”
The above video, posted by photographer Theo Rigby a couple of years ago, serves as a reminder of the life and work of this phenomenal photographer. Read more…
This striking photo, taken by Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin, has been making the award rounds recently, sweeping up first and second place trophies for the photog’s mantle. According to the description, the photo portrays a “former Marine Corps sniper,” and is part of a series of photos taken in a rough part of Rochester, NY called “The Crescent.”
Pellegrin’s ethics, however, are now being called into question by a BagNewsNotes article, which points out that the man in the photo, Shane Keller, was neither a sniper nor does he live in The Crescent — he was headed to a shooting range at Pellegrin’s request, as part of a portrait shoot. Read more…
Bruce Davidson is an American photographer who’s well known for his photographs of Harlem, New York City decades ago. In the video above, he sits down and talks to Leica about his life and work:
Renowned photojournalist and Magnum photographer Bruce Davidson has been acclaimed for over half a century for his searing images of street gangs, circus performers and the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, all captured with a remarkable directness, truth and power that transcends the concept of style. Here, in his own words, are Bruce Davidson’s forthcoming, charming, and revealing insights into who he is, what he’s done, and where he’s going.
Some might say that the city of Rochester, New York is struggling; others might say that it’s evolving. One thing’s for sure though: Rochester — nicknamed The World’s Image Centre — is changing. Because of this, and because of the city’s rich photographical history (think Kodak), ten of Magnum Photos’ photographers have chosen Rochester as one of three locations currently being documented across the United States.
A member of Magnum photos since the 1960′s, photographer Constantine Manos and his Leica rangefinder have been creating beautiful photography for many years. Perhaps best known for his work in Boston and Greece, much of Manos work revolves around his South Carolina upbringing and Greek heritage.
Now, in order to celebrate some of his best and most striking work (section two on the KKK is absolutely chilling) Leica and Magnum have partnered up and put together a short “Personal Documentary” narrated by the photographer himself.
(via Leica via TheClick.us)
During the 9/11 attacks in NYC, Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker shot what is perhaps the most controversial image created that day: a photo that appears to show a group of young people casually enjoying themselves while the World Trade Center burns in the background. Hoepker kept the image under wraps for four years and then caused quite a stir after publishing it in a 2006 book. Columnist Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times that “The young people in Mr. Hoepker’s photo aren’t necessarily callous. They’re just American.”
Here’s a photo essay that documents Magnum photographer Alex Webb‘s exploration of the streets of Chicago. In an interview with Leica, Webb states,
[...] I am not trying to convey messages. I take photographs to affirm reality, not explain reality and that reality often has a high level of ambiguity to it, which is subject to interpretation. So what one viewer discovers in a given image may be very different from what another viewer discovers. This particular photograph seems to suggest to you something about corporate culture, but another viewer might simply be amused by the similarity of be-suited figures and another viewer might find something else. I believe in photographs that have a level of ambiguity, images that work on suggestion, that ask questions rather than provide answers.
(via The Leica Camera Blog)
Back in the spring of 1980, Magnum photographer Bruce Davidson began to photograph the subway system in NYC for his project titled Subway. NYRBlog has published an interesting essay — an excerpt from the introduction of Davidson’s book — in which the photographer talks about his experience:
To prepare myself for the subway, I started a crash diet, a military fitness exercise program, and early every morning I jogged in the park. I knew I would need to train like an athlete to be physically able to carry my heavy camera equipment around in the subway for hours every day. Also, I thought that if anything was going to happen to me down there I wanted to be in good shape, or at least to believe that I was. Each morning I carefully packed my cameras, lenses, strobe light, filters, and accessories in a small, canvas camera bag. In my green safari jacket with its large pockets, I placed my police and subway passes, a few rolls of film, a subway map, a notebook, and a small, white, gold-trimmed wedding album containing pictures of people I’d already photographed in the subway. In my pants pocket I carried quarters for the people in the subway asking for money, change for the phone, and several tokens. I also carried a key case with additional identification and a few dollars tucked inside, a whistle, and a small Swiss Army knife that gave me a little added confidence. I had a clean handkerchief and a few Band-Aids in case I found myself bleeding.
It’s an interesting glimpse into the mind of a photographer who takes his work very seriously.
Train of Thought: On the ‘Subway’ Photographs (via kottke.org)