Tag Archives: Ansel Adams

In Memoriam: Photographers Who Died in 2012

In the universe of serious, meaningful photography, the chance to honor the lives and careers of peers, colleagues and, occasionally, heroes in an end-of-year “those we lost” tribute comes with a grim, one-time-only satisfaction: namely, the opportunity to see, in one place, the work of photographers who would otherwise never, ever be shown together.

Like politics, death can sometimes make for strange bedfellows.

Where else would, say, Cornel Lucas’ glamorous Hollywood portraits feel so right alongside LIFE staffer Lee Balterman’s edgy depictions of Sixties’ unrest? In what other context would a black-and-white image of Nehru by India’s first woman photojournalist, Homai Vyarawalla (a.k.a, “Dalda 13″), not seem out of place beside Jim McCrary’s famous 1971 Tapestry portrait of Carole King?

Of course, it’s hardly just the variety of photographers we lost in 2012 that’s so striking, but the cumulative power and excellence of their work.

Dody Weston Thompson, for example, who died in October at 89, not only worked as an assistant with titans like Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, but collaborated for years with her husband, Brett Weston. Over a five-plus-decade career, from the 1940s into the early 2000s, she forged friendships with many of the signature artists of the century (Minor White, Imogen Cunningham, Georgia O’Keeffe and others) while always doggedly — and joyfully — pursuing her own creative vision.

Another formidable woman, Eve Arnold, died early in 2012 at the age of 99. The Philadelphia native joined Magnum in 1957 and for decades produced indelible portraits of celebrities (Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe), political and cultural figures (Malcolm X, Jackie Kennedy, James Cagney) and the disenfranchised (migrant workers, prostitutes). Named a “Master of Photography” by ICP in 1995, Arnold lived in England until her death in January.

On staff at LIFE for 24 years, Michael Rougier was, according to magazine lore, the only unknown photographer who ever walked into the LIFE offices and was hired then and there. (He had smuggled pictures of a then-camera shy Eva Peron out of Argentina.) Rougier — who has a peak in Antarctica named after him; he tumbled down its side while on assignment for LIFE in the 1960s — died in January at the age of 86. Another LIFE photographer, Lee Balterman, whose work chronicled some of the signature events of the roiling Sixties (the ’68 Chicago convention, the Detroit riots) as well as the beauty and rigor of the arts, died in January at age 91. Ken Regan, who died in late November (nobody seems to have known his real age), made striking portraits of most of the biggest names of the 1960s and ’70s, including Dylan, the Stones, Hendrix and Muhammad Ali.

Prize-winning combat photographer Horst Faas, whose work across almost a half-century with the Associated Press helped redefine what war photography could (and perhaps should) look like, died in May. He was 79. In February, another award-winning war photographer, Rémi Ochlik, was killed by Syrian artillery fire while covering the siege of Homs in that country’s civil war. Ochlik, a World Press Photo honoree in 2012, was just 28.

The man who won both the Pulitzer Prize and the World Press Photo of the Year in 1963 for his image of a self-immolating monk in Saigon, Malcolm Browne, died in May at 81.

( Read Patrick Witty’s interview with Browne, “Behind the Burning Monk.” )

More than a few fine-art photographers passed away in 2012. Among them: New Jersey native Jan Groover, whose work has been shown at MoMa in New York, the Cleveland Museum of Art, ICP, the Corcoran Gallery and many other places; the self-taught, Kolkata-born Prabuddha Dasgupta, whose fashion work spanned more than three decades; and Arnaud Maggs, whose conceptual work — and especially his portraits of famous subjects, presented in grid-like formats — earned him acclaim in his native Canada and internationally.

Martine Franck, who died of cancer in Paris at 74, was a Magnum photographer for more than three decades who began her career in the early 1960s, assisting the great LIFE photographers Eliot Elisofon and Gjon Mili. Magnum’s president, Alex Majoli, eulogized his friend and colleague with the simple and moving observation that the agency had “lost a point of reference, a lighthouse, and one of our most influential and beloved members.”

In September, Pedro Guerrero died in Arizona at the age of 95. For five decades in the middle part of the 20th century, Guerrero (an art school dropout) worked closely with Frank Lloyd Wright, chronicling the architect’s projects in photographs.

French-born Michelle Vignes, who co-founded the International Fund for Photography and Fotovision, worked as a photo editor in the early days at Magnum and was among the most important chroniclers of the pivotal social movements of the 1960s and ’70s (the American Indian Movement’s occupation of Wounded Knee; the Black Panthers; Vietnam War protests), died in October at 86.

Richard Gordon, whose pictures are in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, SFMOMA, the Getty Museum, the Corcoran Gallery and other major institutions, died in October in Berkley, Calif., at 67.

Chilean street-photographer Sergio Larrain, who was invited by Cartier-Bresson to join Magnum in the late ’50s, but abandoned his camera in the early 1970s in order to pursue what became an increasingly solitary spiritual quest, died in February at the age of 80. Another Latin American photographer, the Argentine Horacio Coppola, who was documenting his native Buenos Aires as early as the 1930s, died in June at 105.

Walt Zeboski, who covered four California governors and other political power players in the state, as well as Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign for the Associated Press, died on November 12. He was 83.

Yasuhiro Ishimoto, a Japanese-American who first learned photography while interned at Colorado’s Amache Internment Camp during World War II, died in February at 90. A key figure in the post-war movement (across all of the arts) that saw Eastern and Western sensibilities melding and, occasionally, clashing to such vivid effect, Ishimoto won numerous awards — including the Moholy-Nagy twice.

A photographer whose fashion work was published primarily in Harper’s Bazaar in the 1950s and ’60s and who was still working into her 90s — using contemporary digital technologies to manipulate her images — Lillian Bassman died in February at the age of 94.

Known primarily for an iconic image of Beat-era legends Michael McClure, Allen Ginsberg and others outside City Lights bookstore in San Francisco in December 1965 — made when he was just 22 — Bay Area native Larry Keenan worked as a photographer for the next four decades. He was an accomplished commercial photographer, but also made a point of continuing to shoot the counterculture as it evolved from the ’60s into the 21st century.

Wilhelm Brasse, a Pole and a prisoner at Auschwitz during the Second World War, was a professional photographer forced by the SS to document everything from the work performed by fellow inmates to the horrific medical experiments conducted by Nazi doctors at the notorious concentration camp.

Paula Lerner was just 52 years old when she died in March from cancer. Lerner, who often worked on commercial assignments to help finance the photojournalism projects that were her passion, was the principal photographer for Behind the Veil, about the lives of women and girls in contemporary Afghanistan.

In a career spanning 50 years, South Africa’s Alf Kumalo tirelessly (and artfully) chronicled the abuses of apartheid. He died in October at 82.

Known primarily for her pictures documenting the women’s movement of the 1970s and its high-profile leaders (Steinem, Friedan, Abzug), Bettye Lane also covered other people and events of the fraught era, including antiwar rallies and the stirrings of the modern environmental movement. She died in Manhattan in September at 82.

Architectural photographer Susan Carr died in early September in Chicago. A leader of the education programs at the American Society of Media Photographers, Carr was 49.

Robert McElroy died on February 22 in White Plains, New York. A photographer for Newsweek for almost 20 years, he was best-known for his pictures of the vibrant art “happenings” of the 1950s and early ’60s.

Stan Stearns — whose portrait of 3-year-old John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s coffin in 1963 poignantly distilled a nation’s grief — died of lung cancer in March. He was 76.

Juan Antonio Serrano, a documentary photographer and brother of the Ecuadorian Interior Minister, Jose Serrano, was stabbed to death in the city of Cuenca in southern Ecuador. The murder was, evidently, not associated with his photography work. Serrano was 34.

Guest Blogger 3 – Join Hotshoe Blog’s conversation On the Move: Mobile Photography at World Photo Organisation


The Great Escape © Janine Graf

Ansel Adams said it best: “There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept”. Janine Graf from interview


Welcome back to my fourth post leading up until Christmas. Today I turn to the world of mobile photography with the help of Joanne Carter from The App Whisperer to find out more. What’s clear is that mobile photography is here to stay; it’s fun, there’s a growing community of like-minded people getting involved and it allows people to shoot and edit on the go, giving them greater freedom than using a DSLR.


(L-R) Joanne Carter and Miranda Gavin Hotshoe Blog at the mObilepixatiOn show. Image by Dilshad Corleone (Columnist for theappwhisperer.com)

Before this, there are two things to mention. The Sony World Photography Awards, which is judged in late January, is viewed on screen and it makes no difference what type of equipment is used to produce submitted photographs. However, the competition asks photographers to note the cameras used in their submissions. One of 2011’s finalists, Balazs Gardi followed Afghani troops and edited his work with hipstamatic. I’m trying to get stats as to how many submissions are produced on mobile devices as I would like to monitor this in relation to international photo competitions. Also, I have a suggestion for the Sony World Photography Awards. What about adding a Mobile Photography category to next year’s awards?

Secondly, as it’s the lead up to Christmas, here at Hotshoe magazine we’re offering one person a year’s subscription to the magazine, plus a free copy of the Oct/Nov 2012 edition of the magazine sent to your home. All you have to do is go to the Hotshoe International Facebook page and LIKE the magazine by the end of the week. That’s it. The team at Hotshoe will select a winner at random from those ‘liking’ the page this week and I will announce the lucky winner next week on this blog. Happy Christmas.

To read interviews with some of the key players in the world pof mobile photography and photo art click on this link On the Move – Mobile Photography, to the rest of the post. You won’t be disappointed, there are some very interesting points made by the interviewees.

Filed under: Mobile Photo Art, Mobile Photography, Photographers, Portraiture, street photography, Visual Artists, Women Photographers Tagged: Janine Graf, Joanne Carter, Miranda Gavin, Mobile photo art, Mobile Photography, mobilepixation, The App Whisperer

Dan Winters in a Thousand Words: An Ode to a Friend by Nick Offerman

Ironically, I have been asked to describe this photographer with 1,000 words. Given the profound affection I feel towards him and his work, it will be a challenge to wrap it up so briefly. Humor, beauty, erudition, skill, generosity, fun. There’s six.

Travis Smith

Dan Winters

Dan Winters and I had exchanged a few sincerely firm handshakes in 1999, but it was at the bachelor party of a mutual friend in July of 2000 that I feel we first truly took each other’s
measure. Dan and I were to appear as fellow groomsmen in the impending nuptials, and I clearly recall a gratifying sense of relief when I was told that, instead of the traditionally misogynistic stripper fete complete with uncomfortably soused fraternity brothers, Dan would be leading we grooms-buddies on a hike to a swimming hole in his native Ventura County. “God damn”, I thought, “this Dan guy might be all right.” I didn’t know any of the guys except the groom, but having been brought up properly in a fine, rural Illinois family, I was reasonably certain I knew just how to comport myself in this situation. I arrived at the location with a canvas army backpack filled with ice and a case of Coronas. To my relief, my new compatriots quickly confirmed that I had acted appropriately in the arena of refreshments, then Dan took one look at my vintage World War 2 backpack and told me the exact Allied campaign in which it had been utilized, as well as the year the Swiss switched over from canvas to leather shoulder straps. A crush began to blossom in the springtime of my heart. He said, “C’mon. You guys are gonna love this place.”

We hiked, rather arduously, albeit enjoyably, up a rocky, switchback trail for about an hour, to arrive, astonished, at an altitudinous landscape, the likes of which I had only previously seen in an Ansel Adams calendar. The “swimming hole” was but one perfect basin in a series of boulder-strewn pools that had been created over the millennia by a small creek burbling ever deeper into the granite hill. One deep, round hole, complete with cascading waterfall, allowed for a 20-foot cliff-dive into its emerald water. Having spent most of my life in the relatively flatter environs of the Midwest, this magical setting Dan had gifted upon us fairly beggared my imagination. It seemed much more suited to a scene in which Bilbo Baggins might be found engaged in a chin-wag about finger-jewelry with a thin, lisping, somewhat amphibious chap, than one in which seven men in their 30’s lay about sipping cold cervezas. However other-worldly it might have seemed, we were not in a fantasy. We were simply in the place where Dan had taken us.

Dan Winters

Brooklyn, 1987

Soon thereafter, Dan visited my woodshop, pointing out all the right materials and jigs, and we giggled like cub scouts over a myriad of jack planes, spokeshaves, bandsaws, and especially my 1943 Delta drill press, the clear “hottie” amongst my arsenal of machines. Curves for days. We had a drawn-out discussion about floor sweeping techniques. No shit. Once again, he knew more about my tools and their inner workings than I could ever hope to learn, for you see, this man is lovingly obsessed with all of the implements mankind has created, using nothing but ingenuity and elbow-grease. He is fully enraptured, and luckily for us, he has a penchant to make us see what he sees as well. Dan Winters is in love with a telephone pole! It sounds silly until you see the picture he has taken of it. Then you say, “Oh…Jesus. Wow.” A suspension bridge, a firearm, a salad fork or an engine will possess him until he has taken it into the embrace of his lens and spun it about the dance floor for all of us to countenance, until we have perceived the message and realized the poignant beauty that caused him to pick up his camera in the first place.

The many-colored layers of his talent and his fascination do not stop at leather saddles, hand tools and carburetors. Dan’s portraits of human beings, from anonymous citizens to luminaries, are deceptively simple renderings of personality and nuance. They are pregnant with pathos. I’ve never seen photos of celebrities that made them seem like such, well, human beings. He suggests that the viewer really think about the person depicted, in a different way than we’ve been taught by modern fashion. His haunting plates of honey bees are shot with the efficient scrutiny of the entomologist combined with a surrealist’s elan. The works on paper are laced with specific meaning and emotional truth, in turns beautiful, humorous, and chilling. He takes on sumi-e black ink painting and writes an entire poem with three strokes of his brush. The longer I’ve known Dan Winters, the more I am astonished at the breadth of his ability to convey relevant and powerful emotions with his images.

I’ve seen Dan break into a sweat simply from the enthusiasm he feels for a conversational topic. Our world, and the people living in it, excite him. He will not be contained. When he’s shooting, Dan begins to behave like a hound who has caught wind of a coon. His pulse quickens and his eyes are never still, evaluating the light, the composition, the subject, until he locks in through the lens and then his eye never wavers. He makes photographs in the same spirit with which he’ll drive you to Lockhart, Texas in his cherry 1964 Chevy pickup, give you a tour of the three greatest barbecue joints in the world, then actually show you how to eat the barbecue. “Take a bite of brisket. Amazing, right? Now take a little bite of the jalapeno. Right?” Right, indeed. Dan Winters is a genius at tasting life who loves to share his gifts with the people, and that makes you and I a couple of lucky bastards. 1,000 words. Insufficient.

Nick Offerman is an actor, writer and carpenter currently starring in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation. Click here to see more of his carpentry work.

A retrospective exhibit of Dan Winters’ work will be on view at the Jepson Center in Savannah, Ga. from Sept. 14 to Nov.11. Winters’ book, Last Launch, was recently featured on LightBox.

In Sharp Focus

Boxer’s Hands, 1933 © Willard Van Dyke

Exhibition on view:
June 16–September 30, 2012

Monterey Museum of Art
559 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA
(831) 372-5477

Group f/64 was a pioneer photography crew of seven residing in northern California. They abandoned the soft-focus, pictorial style of photography popularized in the early twentieth century and instead promoted “straight” photography, communicating by means of realism, high contrast, and extreme detail. Monterey Museum of Art presents In Sharp Focus: The Legacy of Monterey Photography, which examines Group f/64 and their successors. Legendary artists Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Alma Lavenson, Willard Van Dyke, and Edward Weston are included in the exhibition. These photographers transformed American photography by relinquishing interpretive manipulation by progressing towards pure, sharp images with a maximum depth of field. Joining these legendary artists will be works by: Henry Gilpin, Rod Dresser, John Sexton, and Michael Kenna.

One of the founding members of Aperture and Group f/64 Ansel Adams is featured in Aperture issues 169 and 168. Cunningham’s work can be seen in the Aperture published, The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious. Weston is featured in Aperture issues 188 and 140, appears in Aperture published The Edge of Vision as well as Edward Weston: Nudes.

apertureWEEK: Online Photography Reading Shortlist

Aperture aggregates the best posts from this past week in the photography blogosphere.


Katie Shapiro

Spring is in the air and Katie Shapiro has lept into April taking no prisioners. Her work seems to be everywhere this month with exhibitions including, In Proximity, curated by Miles Coolidge, at the Ann Gallery running through April 28th, she is on the walls at the Photography Now 2012 Exhibition jurored by Natasha Egan at The Center for Photography at Woodstock, and is part of an exhibition that kicks off MOPLA (The Month of Photography in Los Angeles), Pro’jekt LA (Part1): Progress and Regress. LPV Magazine featured her work in Issue #2, and an interview accompanies the work.

from Apart/Together

Katie lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a BFA in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts and her work investigates the territories that surround her, always inspired by what is held deep within her subjects. Katie recently shared a new project (Pilgrimage) with me, and needless to say, I’m a big fan. The simplicity of the concept of is smart and perfectly executed.

From Portraits

In Pilgrimage, I employ the codes of performance-based self-portraiture to depict myself and my partner, a native Texan, in National Parks from the Channel Islands to Big Bend. We become progressively more cowboy-like as we approach Texas. I have staged these double portraits in U.S. National Parks in an effort to bring an often idealized and taken-for-granted history into the present. The New Deal, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s great social welfare program, included expansion of the National Parks systems through the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Today, the Parks offer the classic American sanctuary, but with the looming threat of closures and budgetary cuts, they also evidence a country in distress. Taking cues from sources as varied as Cindy Sherman’s film stills and Ansel Adams’ exploration of the West, my work seeks a synthesis of nature and culture, tempering deeply felt emotions with self-conscious irony.

apertureWEEK: Online Photography Reading Shortlist

Aperture aggregates the best posts from this past week in the photography blogosphere.

  • Time magazine’s Lightbox features Manish Swarup’s photograph of a Tibetan exile self-immolating during a demonstration in New Delhi in their Pictures of the Week, reminding of Malcolm Brown’s iconic image of a Buddhist monk who set himself aflame in protest in 1963, and the photojournalistic ethical issues that go with it.
  • Conscientious explores the challenges of still portraiture and points to a new study published by the British Psychology Society which finds that “the same people are rated as more attractive in videos than in static images taken from those videos.”
  • NPR’s The Picture Show features “A Lifetime of Photos in a Little Email Retrospective,” images by “somewhat hermetic” Dennis Darling who relishes “staying under most radar” and rarely publishes or exhibits his work for other than those on his small email chain.
  • The New Yorker‘s Photobooth commemorates Edward Steichen’s would-be 130th birthday with a slideshow of the seminal photographer’s images published in their magazine across the years.  Several limited edition prints from his early work are available at Aperture.
  • “Taking a photograph is a response… it’s a pre-rational response, it’s an intuitive emotional response, it’s spontaneous, it’s immediate,” says Alex Webb of The Suffering of Light in Part 4 of 6 of the Q&A  session with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb by David Chickey of Radius Books at The National Museum Of Singapore on March 9, 2012, now all posted on Invisible Photographer Asia.
  • APhotoEditor suggests, “Perhaps Most Photographers Don’t Understand the Value of Usage,” posting a reader-submitted story in which an “ex-student lied about having [her] permission and gave the image to the college, which then used the image on a billboard advertisement that wraps around a 20 story building on a very busy road in the city.” How was this resolved and did she get paid?
  • Ansel AdamsHenri Cartier BressonRobert FrankStephen ShoreNan GoldinWilliam EgglestonAlec SothDiane Arbus are all photographers you should… IGNORE? That’s according to Bryan Formhals’ brash OpEd piece on LPV Magazine “10 Oeuvres Aspiring Photographers Should Ignore.”  Wired and the Click got a kick out of the post, which was inspired by “The 10 Most Harmful Novels for Aspiring Writers.” We think self-willed ignorance is more harmful than knowing one’s precedents and counter with this oldie but goodie: those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Aperture’s Week in Review: Online Photography Reading Shortlist

Aperture aggregates the best posts from this past week in the photography blogosphere.

  • LensBlog explores why Rodrigo Abd‘s photograph of a young Syrian boy expressing grief over the death of his father landed on the front page of three of the most prominent national papers in the United States.