Skip to content

Monthly Archives: April 2009

Is Digital Photography Ahistorical?

I’ve been having this conversation recently with a number of people: Whereas film photography was about time (not only the instant in which the shutter is opened but the time to process the image both physically and psychologically), digital photography is so instantaneous, abundant and virtual that it seems to reside outside of the passing [...]

From Snuppy to Ruppy, the Transgenic Dog

Long ago in 2005 scientists in South Korea were able to create Snuppy, an identical twin of an adult male Afghan hound. Snuppy was born to a surrogate mother, a Labrador retriever. (I discuss this in my book, After Photography, as one of the many changes which manifest themselves in the visible world but have [...]

Talking with Don McCullin

Recently I had the privilege of sitting down and talking with Don McCullin about his new project on the ruins of the Roman Empire, the wars he covered, and his aspirations and regrets as a photographer and a man. McCullin, now in his seventies, is the undisputed dean of photographers who have covered, and in [...]

Documentary’s New/Old Models

I just moderated a panel discussion “Access to Life,” revolving around the effort of a number of Magnum photographers to help the Global Fund raise considerable amounts of money so that millions of HIV-positive people can not only stay alive but, in many cases, prosper when provided with the right medications. Gilles Peress, representing his [...]

More Prisoner Abuse Photos

This just in from David Stout at The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has agreed to release dozens of previously undisclosed photographs   depicting the abuse by American military personnel of captives in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was disclosed on Friday.
The pictures, showing incidents at a half-dozen prisons in addition to the notorious Abu Ghraib [...]


For those who have never seen this interactive site Girlpower, I think it best exposes the fraud perpetuated upon all of us by these repetitive covers of young women made to look unnatural - often by Photoshop - the way that the arbiters of mass culture think that they should appear. I wonder as to [...]

Of Slow Food and Newspapers

I am more convinced now that large general-interest publications are suffering in part because they primarily serve as intricate menus, unintentionally replicating what the Web already does and therefore not distinguishing themselves. So even though we know it is The New York Times or CNN, the prestige and integrity of the publication is severely diminished [...]

Dylan, Davidson, and a Wrecking Ball announces a new exclusive: a slide show of black-and-white photographs to go with Bob Dylan’s new track, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’.” Bruce Davidson’s Coney Island gang photograph graces the album cover. In this new world of failing publications, where the photo essay has long been difficult to find, we now have an amalgam of [...]

From the Lone Star State

Just back from the tenth anniversary International Online Journalism Conference in Austin, Texas, where I saw the most amazing peacocks strutting about that I have ever seen! But in the conference hall itself the two major themes for the future of journalism were “mobile, mobile, mobile” and, of course, “twitter, twitter, twitter.” The first constitutes [...]

No Makeup? No Photoshop?

It is quite amazing that in April 2009 we are celebrating French Elle for its issue in which female European celebrities appear with neither makeup nor Photoshop. (It is the latter omission that is attracting much of the attention.) After the recent presidential election where FOX television could assert that NOT retouching Sarah Palin’s face [...]