Great Reads in Photography: January 17, 2021

Every Sunday, we bring together a collection of easy reading articles from analytical to how-to to photo-features in no particular order that did not make our regular daily coverage. Enjoy!

Nick Ut: Why I Accepted Trump’s Medal Of Arts – Newsweek

Photographer Nick Ut discusses his 1973 Pulitzer Prize-winning image of Napalm Girl. LBJ Library photo by David Hume Kennerly (former White House photographer and also a Pulitzer Prize winner for his Vietnam War coverage)

Nick Ut became the first journalist ever to receive the National Medal of Arts. He accepted the award from President Trump on Thursday.

“It’s my personal life. I’m an old [b. Vietnam, 1951] man now, so I’m happy the president gave me an award,” Ut told Newsweek. “I wanted to be here. For me, it’s more about receiving an award from a president.”

The medal ceremony for Ut was acknowledging his storied career where he was a photojournalist for AP for 50 years. He does not want it to be associated with the prevailing politics.

Nick Ut, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist behind the iconic photo “The Terror of War” known by many as “The Napalm Girl,” had announced in 2017 that he is officially retiring.

Nick has captured many memorable images after Vietnam, including the Olympics, a crying Paris Hilton in the back of a police car, wildfires, riots, O.J. Simpson trial, and the Pope.

Unfortunately, the very next day, on Friday 15, he was attacked by an unknown person while on his way to dinner. “We were attacked by drug addict young guy. He knocked me down and hurt my ribs, back and left leg. Same leg I have metal in from mortar in Vietnam War. Maybe break
my Leica too,” he posted on his Instagram.

Ut, however, is going to stay in DC for the inauguration. “I’m hoping that I will get inside and want to capture a moment between Biden and Kamala Harris,” he hopes like every other photojournalist.

Check out Ut’s 2012 interview with PetaPixel founder Michael Zhang:
Nick Ut, the Photojournalist Who Shot the Iconic “Napalm Girl” Photo

10 Civil Rights Movements in Photography that Changed the World KultureHub

As the latter half of the 20th century illustrated, and this past year reminded us, the fight for civil rights is a necessity.

The photographs of Rosa Park’s arrest to the Freedom Rides to the violent demonstrations of the last 60s have all brought about change for the better.

Here are 10 civil rights photographs that are equally distressing as they are inspiring for the upcoming generation. It tells the story of Martin Luther King to Mohammed Ali. From Rosa Parks being fingerprinted to young Ruby Bridges walking the steps of her Elementary School with a security detail.

Tips on Using Photography Instagram Hashtags – Creators Network

Photo by

Here are some tips on using photography Instagram hashtags to gain more exposure.

Tip 1: Target Your Audience
Tip 2: Pay Attention to the Number of Hashtags You Use
Tip 3: A Hashtag’s Popularity is Key
Tip 4: Avoid Spam Hashtags


More Tips and details at the link above.

Photo Opportunities in The Kingdom of Bhutan – The Land of Happiness – Bored Panda

Taktsang Palphug (Tiger Nest) Monastery, more famous as Paro Taktsang, is a Buddhist temple complex that clings to a cliff, over 10,000 feet above sea level, on the side of the upper Paro Valley, Bhutan. Photo by Mike Swigunski

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas, where China borders it to the north and India to the south.

This remote and breathtaking Kingdom of Bhutan first opened its borders to tourists in 1974.

Hidden for centuries, this high Himalayan paradise, with its ancient monasteries, unique architecture, untouched glacial mountain regions, subtropical forests, and diverse spectrum of various climates and terrains, has continued to capture the imaginations and hearts of even the most seasoned of travelers and especially photographers. Take a peek into the 36 photos above to see what lies in store for your future travel photography!

How to Apply Photographic MakeUp – Loop21

Photo by WavebreakMediaMicro

The first thing to understand is that makeup for photography is totally different from makeup for a social occasion. Wedding photographers are often stressed out by a bride who has had makeup done that is not exactly photo-friendly.

Photoshoots can take an extended time. It’s essential to use the proper products and proper techniques for extended-lasting makeup. Using the proper concealer is critical to a flawless finish, even with regular makeup, but with photographic makeup, the need for concealer is way greater.

Ok, I am now going to stop pretending that I know anything about makeup, and you will have to read the article yourself.

How the Govt. Suppressed Photography of the Pandemic ­– The Intercept

Photo by Artem Kniaz

As the COVID-19 pandemic started spiraling out of control, photojournalists could not get access to produce the imagery that would tell the real story of what was going on.

The Trump administration seemed to be blocking access except to a handful of hospitals and institutions. The guidelines, which seemed to be following HIPAA, the medical privacy law, suggested a nearly impossible standard.

Before journalists could speak or photograph patients, they needed prior authorization from the desired patients and also other patients whose identities would become accessible.

Hospitals that were following Roger Severino’s May 5 guidelines found it impossible to allow photojournalists into their premises.

“Photography has played such a key role in the civil rights movement, in ending the Vietnam War, and any number of key moments in American history — and it just seems missing in action on this crisis,” said Michael Kamber, a former war photographer who directs the Bronx Documentary Center in New York City.

Discover Food Photography During the LockdownAmateur Photographer

Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi

Donna Crous is a Surrey, UK based professional food photographer and new Nikon Ambassador. She’s also a food photography tutor for the Nikon School and the first Nikon Northern Europe Ambassador for Food Photography.

“A cup of coffee always makes for a great shot, sifting flour or pouring honey gives the added challenge of working with a fast shutter speed or using backlighting for a glass of pink champagne or a drink that has an interesting color to really make it pop,” says Crous.

The important thing about food photography lighting is to ensure that it is from one direction, either the side or back, never front on; otherwise, your food will look flat and lacking texture.

Tip from Crous: Interestingly, food images look better taken in portrait orientation; a large stack of pancakes or a pitcher of orange juice fits better into portrait orientation than landscape and looks great on social media or a cover of a foodie magazine.

Remembering NPR Photojournalist David Gilkey – NPR

Pictures on the Radio book cover courtesy of powerHouse Books

More than four years ago, NPR photojournalists David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna were killed while on assignment in Afghanistan. They were traveling with the Afghan National Army when their convoy was ambushed.

John Poole, NPR’s senior visuals editor, remembers his friend and colleague with words — and some of the striking photos David took during a remarkable career. The cover photo above shows Marine Lance Cpl. Anthony Espinoza wiping the sweat out of his eyes at the end of a daylong patrol out of the Sangin District in southern Afghanistan in 2011.

“He could paint with his camera like an old master, even in the middle of hot fire,” recollects Poole.

Pictures on the Radio will be released by powerHouse Books on January 21, 2021.

David’s images captured a breadth of truths across the world and showed the humanity of those he photographed, even under the most difficult circumstances. – President Barack Obama

Check out NPR Photographer David Gilkey Killed in Afghanistan

Should Journalists Play a Role in Identifying Rioters? – Poynter

News organizations should soon expect to hear from federal law enforcement agencies. National Press Photographers Association General Counsel Mickey Osterreicher says he expects that they will ask or demand that news organizations and individual journalists who documented the siege of the U.S. Capitol turn over their unpublished images and videos.

“Since these actions involve federal crimes, journalists will quickly realize that we have no federal shield law,” Osterreicher said.

How This Photographer Made $113,441.57 NET in 2020

Photographers generally are not going to disclose what they are making net or gross or anything else.

Along comes Eric Floberg, who is happy to help give you an understanding of the detailed break up of his earnings, gross, and net for the year 2020. He merely wants this video to be “an insight and some transparency into what I make as a creative, as a photographer, filmmaker, YouTuber, so that all of you who are watching it can see what it looks like to have a small business like this…”

Aperture’s Best Photography Features of 2020  – Aperture

Migratory cotton picker with his cotton sack slung over his shoulder rests at the scales before returning to work in the field. Near Coolidge, Arizona, Nov 1940. Photo by Dorothea Lange, via Wikimedia Commons

Nan Goldin, Native America, and how to be a photographer in the age of COVID-19—here are this year’s highlights in photography and ideas.

Aperture was created in 1952 as a not-for-profit foundation by photographers and writers as “common ground for the advancement of photography.”

Here are some of this year’s highlights in photography and ideas.

Jokes Only a Photographer Will Understand

Q: How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 1 to change the bulb, and 49 to say, “I could have done that!”

Email Phil your favorite photography joke. If we share it, we will credit you and link to your site.

Why I Like This Photo – Dean Zulich

Brigade Magazine © Dean Zulich

This creative collaboration remains one of my favorite conceptual images. Looking back, this will always be a great reminder of an inspired artistic era in reviving Downtown Los Angeles and a major part of my photographic life — it’s storytelling, technically well-executed.

This photo was part of the shoot for the annual Brigade magazine from Downtown Los Angeles in 2014. Though the assignment itself was a fashion shoot, I introduced an element of intrigue and mystery to this particular set up.

I used a Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera, Canon EF 85 mm F1.2 II L, and Westcott Spiderlite 3 light LED kit. I chose to use continuous lighting to achieve a cinematic look and feel to the image. I used a slightly longer focal length of 85 mm to bring my subjects closer together with my favorite fashion/portrait lens.

I always try to add more of a story to my photography, and this time I was inspired by filmmaker David Lynch and his cult classic Twin Peaks. The combination of his influence with unique location, excellent and diverse talent resulted in this image. I always try to get more out of my imagery and go the extra mile when it comes to location, talent, and storyboard.

Living in Los Angeles made all this a bit easier, as the pool of talent is perhaps the biggest one there is, and people are always game.

Dean Zulich is a native of Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, residing in Los Angeles, California. His photography journey started about seven years after he immigrated to the US. He graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle’s Commercial Photography Program with honors and the Best Portfolio of Show Award in 2007.  In addition to his success at the VH1’s TV show The Shot, he is proud to be the Art Institute’s Hall of Fame Alumni.

Dean’s work has appeared in Marie Claire, Vogue, New York Times, Boston Globe, Seattle Magazine, Digital Photo Pro, Mix Magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Fashion Magazine, and more. He has spoken at PhotoPlus Expo in New York and PhotoCon in Los Angeles.

Quote of the Week (or a Previous Week):

NICARAGUA. June 1978. Youths practice throwing contact bombs in the forest surrounding Monimbo. © Susan Meiselas

The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don’t belong Susan Meiselas

Susan Meiselas (b, 1948) is an American documentary photographer. She has been associated with Magnum Photos since 1976 and has been a full member since 1980. She is best known for her 1970s photographs of war-torn Nicaragua and American carnival strippers.

To see an archive of past issues of Great Reads in Photography, click here.

We welcome comments as well as suggestions. As we cannot possibly cover each and every source, if you see something interesting in your reading or local newspaper anywhere in the world, kindly forward the link to us here. ALL messages will be personally acknowledged.

About the author: Phil Mistry is a photographer and teacher based in Atlanta, GA. He started one of the first digital camera classes in New York City at The International Center of Photography in the 90s. He was the director and teacher for Sony/Popular Photography magazine’s Digital Days Workshops. You can reach him via email here.

Image credits: All photographs as credited and used with permission from the photographers or agencies.