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​Planting A Future For Monarch Butterflies

A modest campaign to preserve a colorful but fragile creature is taking flight — tight in photographer Joel Sartore’s back yard: Watch the photo essay on the CBS Sunday Morning Show. I have a confession to make. A few years ago, on a farm I own in eastern Nebraska, I took 44 acres out of production, on purpose. That’s a lot. Where corn and beans once grew, I planted tall, native grasses and wildflowers. Among area farmers, this was seen as nothing short of scandalous. Though the new plantings helped stabilize the soil in steep areas the previous owners should have never have plowed in the first place, I took some heat for my little “prairie patches.” “Must be nice to be able to leave money on the ground like that,” one farmer told me. “What a WASTE.” If only…

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Selma Redux

This weekend was the 50th anniversary of the civil rights  march across the Edmund Pettus bridge, where demonstrators walked from Selma to Montgomery in those days which seem so far away, yet so near. I was then 18, a freshman at Colorado College, in Colorado Springs which even then was a conservative backwater, nestled in the Rockies.  I’d been shooting pictures for two years, covering much of what was happening at school either for the yearbook, or just for myself.  These negatives, scanned last year, are a little rough: scratched (wet fingers trying to remove as much Photo-flo as possible to dry the film more quickly)  and not exactly washed in a perfectly archival way.  But the key is the image itself, and while I may not have yet become a great photographer, the images of the Selma Silent Sympathy…

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A Fun Walk

In Dubai, now, from Las Vegas, desert to desert, one kind of glitz to another. WPPI was fun. I was very honored to give a keynote presentation there, but mostly it was a gathering of friends I’ve known in this business for many years. Also did a photowalk, which thankfully occurred on one of those beautiful desert mornings when the light was so crisp and clean it felt like it had been dry cleaned and pressed. I invited the lovely Charlotte O’Dowd, a dancer at Showstoppers, to come along with our group, and her statuesque presence, combined with the light, made our walk more of a skip. It also provided a couple of really good, simple, off the cuff, two frame teaching moments. As I do, I was explaining to the class about the levers of control you have over…

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That Painful World Press Photo Decision

The tumult surrounding the World Press Photo awards for the last couple of weeks has been quite earth-shaking.  An Italian photographer, who had been awarded for “Contemporary Issues” was, finally, disqualified for having mis-labelled where a picture was shot (not in the town of Charleroi which was listed on the entry but 30 miles away in Bruxelles.)  Many of my colleagues have put pen to paper to complain about not only the manner in which this was handled, but to discuss the very basics of how the photojournalism community should act and re-act.  For those of us who try and live by the dictum that “it has to happen on it’s own.. and not because we made it happen” – trying to settle the discussion of the winning entry was difficult. By his own admission, the photographer had arranged with…

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BACK HOME

Back home a day less than a week but my interior clock still has me rising far earlier in the morning than needed. Those ten and a half hours difference between the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and the beaches of Goa, India still have me a bit off sync. But what a marvelous two weeks it was with Shantanu Sheorey, Mahesh Bhatt, the rest of The One School Goa faculty and, of course, the students.  I got much pleasure from hanging out at the school and checking out the students’ work.  Early in my stay I had the pleasure of sharing time with David Turnley and some wonderful Indian photographers.  Manoj Jadhav, Samar Jodha, and Prashant Godbole, especially.  Great gentlemen and wonderful photographers.  I hope out paths will cross again. Shantanu Sheorey, a legend in his…

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From Here to There…

Travel is a wonderful thing. I walked out of my house, where we can barely see the lamp post in the walkway, got into a fast moving metal cylinder, and got deposited, roughly, in the desert, where we did a production shot yesterday. Vegas, here we are again. A change of scenery wasn’t the cause of the trip, though it was welcome. I’m down here for the WPPI Convention, and actually have a role to play, even though I am not a wedding shooter of any note whatsoever. I’m very honored to be giving the keynote address to the convention on Tuesday night. It’s a wonderful turn of events for us here at the studio, and I’m very thankful to Lauren Wendle, Jason Groupp, and the whole gang at PDN/WPPI for making it happen. Also doing a photowalk, the…

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NY Times Lens Blog: Winners of POYi

  Today on the New York Times Lens Blog, James Estrin writes on this year’s POYi winners and interviews Daniel Berehulak (Photographer of the Year – Reportage), Ed Kashi (Multimedia Photographer of the Year) and Rick Shaw (POYi Director). “In a nod to the prevalence of newer forms of storytelling, Ed Kashi of the VII photo agency was named the Multimedia Photographer of the Year, with Jonah M. Kessel of The New York Times taking second place and Mahala Gaylord of The Denver Post third. This was the category’s first year.” Ed Kashi is quoted, “I see it as one of the more important categories, since multimedia and filmmaking represent one of the most exciting areas of creative and economic growth. It represents the new part of our practice as photojournalists, documentarians and visual storytellers.” Read the full article

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2015 Alexia Foundation Grant Winners Announced

The 2015 Alexia Foundation Grant recipients have been announced! Paolo Marchetti was awarded the 2015 Professional Grant for his project “The Price of Vanity.” He will utilize the $20,000 grant in his pursuit to “document the brutality of the intensive breeding farms used worldwide to produce skins and furs for the high-end fashion industry. It intends to expose the cruel cultural trend driven by remorseless beauty demands.” Michael Santiago of San Francisco Art Institute, was awarded the 2015 Student Grant for his project “Stolen Land, Stolen Future.” He will receive full tuition to study at the Syracuse University London Program, a $1000 cash grant to produce the work, a $500 B&H gift card, tuition to Foundry Photojournalism Workshop and $500 will be awarded to his academic department. Santiago’s project will “document the lives of black farmers,…

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Ozzie and the Mirrors

I shot this years ago, and have written about it, a bit. It was part of a huge Sports Illustrated project about defensive magicians on the baseball diamond. And of course, at that time, if you talked defense, you talked about Ozzie. The Wizard of Oz! The shortstop who looked like he played the position from at least five different starting places at once. My answer was to use mirrors, and simply reflect him around the infield. Coming up with this notion was certainly easier than shooting it. So much so, that the estimable Syl Arena, a speed light magician himself, showed the picture to his class (I believe it’s a high school class) and none of them believed it did not involve Photoshop. He reassured them it was a straight up film shot, but alas, he sent me…

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“Photojournalism, In the Age of Instagram”

BFM Radio: “Photojournalism in the Age of Instagram” Listen to the full podcast below (Ed Kashi interview begins at 14:20):

“It’s incredible how this social ‘medium’, that because I’ve devoted my life to photography, is so relevant. It allows me to connect with people, to share my work, sometimes very, very serious journalistic reportage work, with an audience all over the world.” – Ed Kashi (VII) on Instagram and photojournalism   Photojournalists use the visual language of images as a powerful storytelling tool. This language continuously evolves  in stride with creations of new visual mediums, platforms for sharing, and image-making techniques in this age of social media.   The impact of social media outlets, like Instagram, is a highly debated…

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