Tag Archives: Gordon Parks

Fostering the Next Generation: The Eddie Adams Workshop at 25 Years

The Eddie Adams Workshop is considered by many to be the premiere photojournalism workshop, shaping its 100 young attendees into professional and award-winning photographers over a long weekend each year in upstate New York. Alyssa Adams, Eddie’s widow and the producer of the workshop, writes for LightBox about the workshop’s legacy as it celebrates its 25th year this weekend.

Eddie had a singular vision for a “foto farm” back in 1988: Bring 100 young photojournalism students together with seasoned pros (his “heroes” as he called them)—shut them away in a barn upstate, shoot, show work. The Workshop would be inspiration-based (not a how-to), pros would donate their time and it would be tuition-free with entry based on the quality of a student’s portfolio.

Eddie always said he wanted to attend a forum like this when he was coming up, one where he could meet his personal heroes and picture editors from major publications. We listened in awe, amazed at the living history, when Eddie’s heroes spoke at the barn—Alfred Eisenstadt, Gordon Parks, Carl Mydans, Joe Rosenthal, Bill Eppridge, Nick Ut, among others.

Working as a photographer can be a very solitary experience. So, back in the day when there were no “internets” (yes, no Facebook, no TED) and film was still the medium (rolls were bussed to the Time-Life lab and processed overnight), Barnstorm became not only a source of inspiration but also a refuge. It still remains a “recharging station”—both students and pros emerge reinvigorated by comparing notes on how all of us are creatively dealing with the economics of the business, the dangers of being a journalist, the crazy-fast advances in digital technology and constant self re-invention.

We were amazed that we pulled the first one off in 1988 and had no idea it would continue past that. Fast-forward to our 25th Workshop this October—the formula remains the same, but is now a much more layered experience. And Eddie’s legacy is evident: Our first students are now our teachers. Alumni have gone on to win every major award in the business (there are ten Pulitzer-prize winning photographers among them.) They are now our heroes in the barn.

Looking back through two decades of Workshop files (15 years analog in metal cabinets!), I found a sponsor proposal Eddie put together in 1991—The Eddie Adams Workshop: China/Europe/South America. Blowing off the dust on it now…

Alyssa Adams is a deputy photo editor at TV Guide. She is also the director of operations at Bathhouse Studios, a photo rental studio in NYC.

She and her husband, Eddie Adams, co-created The Eddie Adams Workshop in 1988. She now serves as the executive director. Adams is currently working on a new monograph on Eddie’s work with the University of Texas Press, where Eddie’s archives are housed. In 2008 she produced Eddie Adams: Vietnam. Adams was formerly the director of photography at Miramax Films and an award-winning graphic designer with Carbone Smolan Associates.

Fostering the Next Generation: The Eddie Adams Workshop at 25 Years

The Eddie Adams Workshop is considered by many to be the premiere photojournalism workshop, shaping its 100 young attendees into professional and award-winning photographers over a long weekend each year in upstate New York. Alyssa Adams, Eddie’s widow and the producer of the workshop, writes for LightBox about the workshop’s legacy as it celebrates its 25th year this weekend.

Eddie had a singular vision for a “foto farm” back in 1988: Bring 100 young photojournalism students together with seasoned pros (his “heroes” as he called them)—shut them away in a barn upstate, shoot, show work. The Workshop would be inspiration-based (not a how-to), pros would donate their time and it would be tuition-free with entry based on the quality of a student’s portfolio.

Eddie always said he wanted to attend a forum like this when he was coming up, one where he could meet his personal heroes and picture editors from major publications. We listened in awe, amazed at the living history, when Eddie’s heroes spoke at the barn—Alfred Eisenstadt, Gordon Parks, Carl Mydans, Joe Rosenthal, Bill Eppridge, Nick Ut, among others.

Working as a photographer can be a very solitary experience. So, back in the day when there were no “internets” (yes, no Facebook, no TED) and film was still the medium (rolls were bussed to the Time-Life lab and processed overnight), Barnstorm became not only a source of inspiration but also a refuge. It still remains a “recharging station”—both students and pros emerge reinvigorated by comparing notes on how all of us are creatively dealing with the economics of the business, the dangers of being a journalist, the crazy-fast advances in digital technology and constant self re-invention.

We were amazed that we pulled the first one off in 1988 and had no idea it would continue past that. Fast-forward to our 25th Workshop this October—the formula remains the same, but is now a much more layered experience. And Eddie’s legacy is evident: Our first students are now our teachers. Alumni have gone on to win every major award in the business (there are ten Pulitzer-prize winning photographers among them.) They are now our heroes in the barn.

Looking back through two decades of Workshop files (15 years analog in metal cabinets!), I found a sponsor proposal Eddie put together in 1991—The Eddie Adams Workshop: China/Europe/South America. Blowing off the dust on it now…

Alyssa Adams is a deputy photo editor at TV Guide. She is also the director of operations at Bathhouse Studios, a photo rental studio in NYC.

She and her husband, Eddie Adams, co-created The Eddie Adams Workshop in 1988. She now serves as the executive director. Adams is currently working on a new monograph on Eddie’s work with the University of Texas Press, where Eddie’s archives are housed. In 2008 she produced Eddie Adams: Vietnam. Adams was formerly the director of photography at Miramax Films and an award-winning graphic designer with Carbone Smolan Associates.

apertureWEEK: Photography Reading Shortlist

© International Center of Photography, 2012. Photograph by John Berens.

›› Throw out your SLR? App-maker Hipstamatic announced its plans to launch the Hipstamatic Foundation for Photojournalism to educate and support ”the next generation of photographic storytellers using smartphones with Hipstamatic.” Photojournalist Brad Mangin posted “How I Made Instagram Images That Were Good Enough for Sports Illustrated,” an essay about how he got a portfolio of iPhone Instagrams published, and how you can too. Traditional photojournalists everywhere are groaning, but check out Benjamin Lowy’s blog featuring his reports from Libya via Instagram (supported in part by a Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund grant) and judge for yourself.

›› The Associated Press has announced that it will be using robotic cameras (in addition to its team of photographers) to photograph the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. These cameras, which have been mounted on ceilings and the bottom of pools, will provide an otherwise impossible perspective on the games. On the heels of the highly controversial Olympics Portraits that made the rounds on the web earlier this month, LightBox tells the story of The Best Magazine Assignment Ever, photographer’s Neil Leifer’s 1984 “Olympic Odyssey Around the World” during which he traveled to 13 different countries to create a collection of images that would appear in TIME’s preview of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

›› The New York Times Lens Blog published a collection of color slides taken by groundbreaking American photographer, musician, writer and film director Gordon Parks in 1956, images from his “Segregation Series” that had been thought lost until they were found at the bottom of a box this spring. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture opened Gordon Parks: 100 Moments, a retrospective focusing on the photographer’s work in Harlem and Washington D.C. in the 1940s. The International Center of Photography opened an exhibition of Parks’ photographs in May, and they’ll be on view until January 2013. Parks, who died in 2006, would have been 100 this year.

›› What does the future hold for photography publishing? The British Journal of Photography reported on the growing body of work being printed on newsprint, profiling publications by Jason Larkin, Guy Martin, Alec Soth, and Rob Hornstra, who are enthusiastic about the medium’s affordability and impermanence. Joerg Colberg discussed how serious photography might best use the internet as a means of dissemination.

›› The Guardian’s Geoff Dyer profiles StreetViewer photographer Michael Wolf, as well as Doug Rickard whose forthcoming monograph A New American Picture sparked lively debate on our Facebook page last week, some condemning his practice as lazy appropriation, and others praising its conceptual ingenuity. In discussing Rickard, Dyer links “this new way of working” to the candid photography traditions of Paul Strand, Robert Frank, and Walker Evans: “The shifting spirit of Robert Frank seems also to be lurking, as if the Google vehicle were an updated incarnation of the car in which he made his famous mid-50s road trip to produce his photographic series, The Americans.” In other virtual reality news, StreetView now includes images from the Antarctic huts of explorers Shackleton and Scott, providing yet more digital space for such artists to explore.

apertureWEEK: Online Photography Reading Shortlist

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

  • Life shares a slideshow of black-and-white, mid-century images, “Orange Crush: In Praise of the Golden Gate Bridge,” to celebrate the  iconic bridge’s 75-year anniversary this Sunday, May 27, 2012. Coming soon: Aperture commemorates with a beautiful, oversized reissue of Richard Misrach’s monograph Golden Gate, in which the photographer shot the bridge in large format from his front porch at all times of the day for three years.
  • New Yorker‘s PhotoBooth and Time’s LightBox both share selections from the recently released 870,000-image archive of historical New York City photographs by the department of records. Both feature work by Eugene de Salignac of the Aperture monograph New York Rises (2007). A limited edition print of “Brooklyn Bridge, showing painters on suspenders, October 7, 1914” is featured on the cover of the monograph and in Time’s selection.
  • More on Gordon Parks this week, who was featured in David Campany’s essay in Aperture issue 206 and currently has a retrospective at the International Center of Photography, celebrating the centennial of his birth. PDN shares a 10-image gallery of his work, while La Lettre de la Photographie publishes a 1993 interview with Parks conducted by John Leongard, on what it was like photographing Black Muslims for Life magazine in the 60s.
  • Fototazo posts a lengthy recap of their group book discussion of Walker EvansAmerican Photographs with Flak Photo’s Andy Adams, focusing on essays from Gerry Badger’s The Pleasure of Good Photographs. The discussion, which is hosted on Facebook, continued Monday with the essay ”A Certain Sensibility: John Gossage, the Photographer as Auteur.” Stay tuned for a discussion of the essay ”Without Author or Art: The ‘Quiet’ Photograph” on Monday, June 4, 2012.
  • Rebecca Norris Webb, who spoke at Aperture gallery on Friday, March 23, 2012 during a co-lecture with Alex Webb, writes on the process of putting together her monograph My Dakota, launched on May 24, 2012 at the International Center of Photography, for Time’s LightBox. Work from the book will be exhibited at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, South Dakota, June 1 – October 13, 2012.
  • Photoshelter Blog interviews a multitude of industry professionals and posts “7 Myths About Portfolio Reviews Debunked,” which could be similarly useful to emerging photographers as their May 10 piece “Photography Through the Eyes of Art Directors,” featuring work from Alex Prager.
  • Appropriately timed, American Photo Magazine posts their annual list of Top 10 Photographers who shoot weddings, which is where most our staff here seems to have taken off for the long weekend. A companion piece at PopPhoto takes a closer look at these photographers’ gear and process.

apertureWEEK: Online Photography Reading Shortlist

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

  • “It is almost impossible for me to shoot a photo where someone is NOT taking a picture or posing for one,” writes Martin Parr on his blog in a post titled, “Too Much Photography.” Prime examples of this can be found in his series Tourism Inc. which is being published by Reporters Without Borders for the 20th anniversary of their “100 Photos for Press Freedom” collection, accompanied by an exhibition at Galerie Photo Fnac Forum des Halles in Paris, La Lettre de la Photographie reports. His photographs of Atlanta for the High Museum’s “Picturing the South” series are also featured in the upcoming summer issue of Aperture 207.
  • In further commentary on CNN’s controversial edit of Stacy Kranitz’ series on Appalachia, Joerg Colberg writes, “If we wanted to know what a place looked like we would need an infinity of photographs, taken from all possible angles excluding nothing, seeing everything at the same time,” a notion he thinks antithetical to the practice of photography, but increasingly possible, not only as Parr points out through the proliferations of cameras, but with the help of the Google Street View car, profiled by the Times here. Check out art made with photos pulled from the Street View service by Aaron Hobson, Jon Rafman, and Michael Wolf of the monograph Transparent City (Aperture 2008). And stay tuned for the upcoming re-issue and expanded edition of A New American Picture by Doug Rickard coming from Aperture in fall 2012.
  • Perpetual shooting brings us to the post on APhotoEditor asking, “Is It Time To Eliminate Stills From Your Shoot?” due to the ease and success with which quality still images may be pulled from video footage as a result of the recent proliferation of HDSLR cameras on the market. Now with no need to pick the decisive moment, soon no need to pick where to focus, who’ll need photographers? Have a look through SFMOMA’s page “Is Photography Over?” and read about the dialectical relationship of aesthetics and distribution/media on Fotomuseum Winterthur’s blog Still Searching.
  • On a different note, watch this great video from Feature Shoot, “Inside the World’s Only Tintype Photography Studio,” a photo gallery and walk-in commercial tintype portrait studio. Owner/photographer Michael Shindler says, ”I think what people seem to be looking for now is a kind of photography where the process itself is going to impart its own flavor to the finished image, a little bit of uncertainty.”
  • American Suburb X  shares Kelly Dennis’ 2005 essay, “Landscape and the West – Irony and Critique in New Topographic Photography,” which explores the work of Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Joe Deal, Art Sinsabaugh and more. After reading, check out new-New Topographic photography in Camps & Cabins at G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, the third solo show by Eirik Johnson, author of the monograph Sawdust Mountain (Aperture 2009), on view through May 26, 2012.
  • LENS blog profiles the opening of “Gordon Parks: 100 Years” at the International Center of Photography, celebrating the centennial of the legendary photographer’s birth with an exhibition of his work presented not inside the center, but in their windows, on view to the street. Parks was featured in an essay by David Campany on “Precedented Photography” in Aperture issue 206. His writing also appears in the requisite volume, Photography Speaks: 150 Photographers on Their Art.
  • Fototazo posts Part II of their three-part interview with Oregon-based photographer Blake Andrews of the popular blog B. During this exchange, they invite him to create a competition for photographers to rank and sequence famous photographs, and predict the most popular sequence. The results of the contest will be published on Fototazo and Andrews’ blog. Part III of the interview will be published on Fototazo May 24, 2012.

Big Shots: Photography at ‘The Sports Show’

Neil Leifer’s 1965 photograph of Muhammad Ali hovering over a knocked-out Sonny Liston may be the most famous sports shot of all time, but you will not find it at “The Sports Show,” a photography and new-media exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Nor will you find a single picture of the most famous athlete of the past 15 years, Tiger Woods, or of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team celebrating its miracle win, or of American soccer player Brandi Chastain ripping off her shirt after clinching the 1999 World Cup. Can you really mount a worthwhile retrospective of sports photography without these iconic athletes and moments? Turns out you can. In fact, “The Sports Show” (on view through May 13) is better off for it.

When I checked out the exhibit on opening day, I expected a greatest-hits compendium of sports images. But curator David Little took a more surprising approach, choosing photographs that offer more social commentary than celebration. For example, the circa-1899 portrait of female high school students playing basketball in dresses sends the message that women, too, could participate in emerging sports. (The picture was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston, whom LIFE magazine once called “the closest thing to an official court photographer the United States has ever had.”) More than a century later, that message continues to resonate: Title IX has delivered athletic opportunities to millions of girls, but female athletes still fight for the same opportunities and recognition that boys get.

The exhibit casts a skeptical eye on the emotional energy we expend on sports. In 1970 photographer Tod Papageorge toured the country capturing fans at big events like the Iron Bowl (the Alabama-vs.-Auburn college-football rivalry) and opening day at Yankee Stadium. Some people in the crowd are goofing off, but many others appear pensive. The photographs invite the viewer to wonder what the spectators are thinking and feeling. Is their favorite team losing? Or are real-life stresses still on their minds? Papageorge bitingly called this project—a portion of which is on display in Minneapolis—American Sports, 1970, or How We Spent the War in Vietnam.

Read More: “Big Shots: The impact of sports on society, seen through the camera’s eye.”

The Sports Show is on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts now through May 13.

MORE: Check out TIME.com’s new sports blog: Keeping Score.