Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Scenes Of Kiev, 1997

In 1997, I took a couple of business trips to Kiev. I was working on a USAID contract to assist in privatization of Ukrainian real estate. Not a simple matter. But I was able to see some of the city.
Ukraine National Day 1997- Band Played Only Sousa Marches

Maidan Square

Fountain In Maidan Square
Column In Maidan Square
Musician On Cathedral Grounds

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Remembering Weegee

The New York Times reported yesterday that on Thursday the Chicago Sun-Times fired all of its photographic staff. Twenty-eight employees. Their crime: not only did they commit photo journalism, they insisted on being paid.

Apparently the scheme is to get their writers to take snapshots for the paper with cheap digital cameras and also get photos from the public.

With the demise of Life and Look magazines and the use of national inserts in newspapers rather than locally produced rotogravure, the public's awareness of photo journalism has itself been in decline.

Photo journalism is a craft. It shows the world to the public and the public to the world. It is not an unskilled profession.

One of the most skilled practitioners, Henri Cartier-Bresson, described the task as that of capturing "the decisive moment." This obviously applies to sports photography, but less obviously to other events as well.

As I pondered the event, I was reminded of Weegee. That was his pen name (or stage name, I don't know), but he was a well known free lance photographer in New York City. His photos, published on this web site, give a feel for what a working photographer could do. He showed us to each other in all our human guises.

He worked, by the way, mostly at night, with a 4x5 press camera and disposable flash bulbs for lighting. Developed and printed the photos himself in a darkroom as the sun rose. Primitive equipment. But it did the job.

There were many other skilled photographers in the genre. Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstadt, the list goes on. Browse the works of Weegee and enjoy.