Tag Archives: Malcolm Browne

A Vibrant Past: Colorizing the Archives of History

Technology has given us an incredibly wide-ranging view of modern presidents; chief White House photographer Pete Souza’s images of Barack Obama show him in countless locations and situations, from meetings in the Oval Office to candid shots of the president eating ice cream with his daughters on vacation.

The photo archive of Abraham Lincoln, the subject of this week’s cover story, is a much smaller set due to the technological limitations of the time; most of the existing photographs of the 16th president are posed portraits, the majority of which only show Lincoln from the chest up—and all are black-and-white.

But TIME commissioned Sanna Dullaway to create a more vibrant document of Lincoln through a series of colorized photographs produced in Photoshop. After removing spots, dust and scratches from archival Lincoln photographs, Dullaway digitally colorizes the files to produce realistic and modern versions of the portraits, which look like they could have been made today.

The 22-year-old Swedish artist began colorizing images in January 2011, when she was listening to the debut album by rock band Rage Against the Machine. The self-titled album’s cover art is a black-and-white picture of a self-immolating monk taken by AP photographer Malcolm Browne. “I thought the normally fiery flames looked so dull in black and white, so I…looked for a way to make them come alive,” she says. Dullaway colorized the flames, and eventually, the entire picture. She then posted the image on Reddit, and it instantly went viral.

Since that first experiment, Dullaway has continued to colorize a wide range of historical figures, including Albert Einstein, Che Guevara and Teddy Roosevelt, each of which has generated viral buzz online. She’s also used the approach on a number of iconic photographs, such as Eddie Adams’ harrowing image of a Vietnam police officer the moment before he’s about to execute a Vietcong prisoner. In each of these renderings, Dullaway’s use of color is subtle and sophisticated—yielding images that maintain the photographic integrity of their originals, while presenting a look at how these photographs may have come out had color photography existed at the time. That nuanced ability to handle color runs in the family; Dullaway’s father is painter.

The images take anywhere from 40 minutes to three hours to produce, and for the young artist, it’s a way of bringing a contemporary perspective to older works. “History has always been black and white to me, from the World War I soldiers to the 1800s, when ladies wore grand but colorless dresses,” Dullaway says. “By colorizing, I watch the photos come alive, and suddenly the people feel more real and history becomes more tangible.”

Lincoln is at the heart of her next project, a book of Civil War images rendered in color. “I felt like it was a good place to start because the war is well documented in the Library of Congress and started roughly around the same time the camera was first used commercially,” Dullaway says. “And a war offers to chance to cover many subjects at once, and present the events of that time as our eyes would see it today—in color.”

Sanna Dullaway is a photo editor based in Sweden. See more of her work here.

Interviews and Talks | September 2012

Vice are running a great series online called Picture Perfect, interviews with photographers… Here Magnum’s Christopher Anderson…

Christopher Anderson, Picture Perfect (Vice)

Recording of a terrific panel discussion which took place in NYC at Aperture last week…Goes on for an hour, but actually feels short…

Shifting Sands: Conflict Photojournalism and Ethics (doctorswithoutborders.org) “The discussion will consider the responsibilities and consequences, intended and otherwise, of reporting on conflict. Moderated by Stephen Mayes, the panel will include Marcus Bleasdale, Jason Cone, Philip Gourevitch, Thomas Keenan, and Kira Pollack.”

How Photographers Try to Protect Their Subjects From Harm (PDN)

The cost of covering conflicts (BJP)

Interviews with Reuters’ Goran Tomasevic about working in Syria…

Photo © Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Goran Tomasevic, Street Fighting in Aleppo (NYT Lens) | Another interview (NBC News) | Another interview (Reuters)

John Stanmeyer: Instagram – It’s About Communication (Photographer’s blog)

The New Economics of Photojournalism: The rise of Instagram (BJP)

William Klein is going to have a retrospective Tate Modern in London next month… Financial Times magazine interviewed him…

Photo © William Klein

William Klein (FT magazine) ‘As next month’s retrospective at Tate Modern will show, the US-born painter, photographer and film-maker has lived artistic life to the full’

Very straight-talking Q&A with David Bailey…

David Bailey (Esquire)

Aaron Huey, Photographing, and Listening to, the Lakota (NYT Lens)

Photo © Nick Ut

Nick Ut (Leica blog) “Nick Ut: The Amazing Saga And The Image That Helped End The Vietnam War” | video (Leica Vimeo)

R.I.P. Malcolm Browne.

Malcolm Browne , The Story Behind The Burning Monk (Lightbox) | Obituary (Guardian)

Photo © Emilio Morenatti

Emilio Morenatti (Guardian) ‘Emilio Morenatti lost a foot while on assignment in Afghanistan in 2009. A vehicle he and a fellow AP journalist were travelling in was hit by a bomb. Morenatti survived but his colleague was killed. Here he shares his thoughts on covering the recent London Paralympic Games and his career in photojournalism’

Emilio Morenatti (NYT Lens) ‘An Empathetic Eye on the Paralympics’

Steve McCurry tells about his 9/11 photographs…

Photo © Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry, The Ground Zero Photographs (American Photo Magazine)

Steve McCurry (Vogue Italia)

PDN interviewed Tom Stoddart about his 78 Perspectives exhibition that just closed in London…

Photo © Tom Stoddart

Tom Stoddart (PDN)

Tom Stoddart (Youtube)

Christopher Morris talked about his career as part of VII’s recent Visual Journeys seminars…

Still from video © Christopher Morris

Christopher Morris, War, Politics, Fashion (VII Magazine)

Not really an interview… but fits here… Always love to read Dave Burnett’s blog posts…

David Burnett: About Those Film Holders (Photographer’s blog)

David Burnett: A Tyranny of Ones (Photographer’s blog)

Don McCullin on Social Documentary Photography (National Media Museum Vime0)

Peter Turnley is having a retrospective in Paris… Lens blog interviewed him…

Photo © Peter Turnley

Peter Turnley (NYT Lens) ‘Four Decades of Photographing the Human Condition’

Antonio Bolfo (Ted on Youtube)

John Vink (Erik Kim blog) ‘Interview with John Vink, Magnum Photographer on his new “Quest For Land” book available on the iPad’

Terrific interview with Robert Nickelsberg and a gallery of his Afghanistan photographs taken through the years, over at Lens blog….

Photo © Robert Nickelsberg

Robert Nickelsberg, A Long View of Afghanistan’s Wars (NYT Lens)

Giles Duley (NBC News) “‘I’m myself again’: Photographer Giles Duley returns to work after Afghanistan blast” | Another interview (Guardian)

Paolo Marchetti, The rise of fascism in Europe (BJP)

Zed Nelson (Hackney Citizen)

NYT Lens posted an interview with some of the NOOR members to coincide with the agency’s five year anniversary…

Photo © Alixandra Fazzina

NOOR, A Collective Eye on Social Justice (NYT Lens)

Martin Schoeller’s and Matthew Modine’s Experiences (Capture on Youtube)

Graciela Iturbide‘s best photograph: a Mexican Seri woman (Guardian)

Yet another brilliant interview by Photo Raw… This time it’s with Barbara Davidson…

Barbara Davidson (Photo Raw)

Seamus Murphy, Poetry in Motion (VII Magazine)

Jessica Dimmock, Facts and Fictions (VII Magazine)

Venetia Dearden, My Life, My Style (VII Magazine)

Misha Friedman (LA Times)

Anton Kusters (BBC World Service Outlook program) ‘Belgian photographer who documented the lives of a Japanese Yakuza crime syndicate’

Olivier Laurent interviewed Getty Reportage’s Sebastian Liste, who has come a long way in just over two years…. In Perpignan, he picked up the City of Perpignan Remi Ochlik Award and a Getty Editorial Grant….

Photo © Sebastian Liste

Sebastian Liste, From the Ian Parry Scholarship to Reportage by Getty Images (BJP)

Stefano De Luigi (Emaho Magazine)

Joel Meyerowitz, Taking My Time (YouTube)

Justin Jin interviewed about his project that got exhibited at this year’s Visa pour l’image…

Photo © Justin Jin

Justin Jin, The Zone of Absolute Discomfort (BJP)

Tracey Shelton (DSLR News Shooter) ‘Death in Syria – how Globalpost’s Tracey Shelton captured her extraordinary images’

The New Economics of Photojournalism: The Death of Once Magazine (BJP) ‘The magazine’s editor, John Knight, tells BJP what went wrong’

Corbis Images’ Ken Johnston, Protecting an iconic image (Reuters blog)

Lauren Greenfield.
Photo © Larry Busacca / Getty

Lauren Greenfield (Guardian) ‘The photographer and film-maker on the lovable billionaires in her new documentary, and the state of the American Dream’

Lauren Greenfield (GQ)

Annie Leibovitz (Youtube)

Bruce Gilden (Daylight)

Davide Monteleone (World Press Photo)

Cover photo © Gregory Heisler

Gregory Heisler (A Photo Editor)

One Problem with Running Your Own Photo Agency: It Takes a Lot of Time (PDN)

Matt Eich (Photo Brigade)

Abe Frajndlich Tells of Photographing a Difficult Annie Leibovitz (Featureshoot)

Amanda Rivkin (NatGeo)

David Goldblatt (Source Magazine Oral History Archive)

Lisa Pritchard, Ask and Agent, Photography Rates for Advertorial Usage (LPA)

Damir Sagolj, 7 Photojournalism Tips by Reuters Photographer (Vimeo)

Sandy Huffaker Jr., gives us his tips on how to take beautiful street shots (Manfrotto)

Markéta Luskačová‘s best photograph: Ginger the musician (Guardian)

Series of interviews on the National Portrait Gallery website with photographers commissioned to take portraits of British Olympians…

Photo © Nadav Kander

Nadav Kander (NPG) Road to 2012

Bettina von Zwehl (NPG) Road to 2012

Brian Griffin (NPG) Road to 2012

Finlay Mackay (NPG) Road to 2012

Jillian Edelstein (NPG) Road to 2012

Anderson & Low (NPG) Road to 2012

Emma Hardy (NPG) Road to 2012

To finish off…. Calvin and Hobbes on truth and photography 

Malcolm Browne: The Story Behind The Burning Monk

Photographer Malcolm Browne, known for his shocking and iconic image of a self-immolating monk in Saigon, died on Monday at the age of 81. Browne was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting as well as the World Press Photo of the Year in 1963.Last year, Browne spoke with TIME international picture editor Patrick Witty from his home in Vermont.

Patrick Witty: What was happening in Vietnam leading up to the day you took your famous photograph of Quang Duc’s self-immolation?

Malcolm Browne: I had been in Vietnam at that point for a couple of years when things began to look ugly in central Vietnam. I took a much greater interest in the Buddhists of Vietnam than I had before, because it seemed to me they were likely to be movers and shakers in whatever turned up next. I came to be on friendly terms with quite a lot of the monks who were leaders of this movement that was taking shape.

AP

AP correspondent Malcolm Browne in 1965

Along about springtime (1963), the monks began to hint that they were going to pull off something spectacular by way of protestand that would most likely be a disembowelment of one of the monks or an immolation. And either way, it was something we had to pay attention to.

At that point the monks were telephoning the foreign correspondents in Saigon to warn them that something big was going to happen. Most of the correspondents were kind of bored with that threat after a while and tended to ignore it. I felt that they were certainly going to do something, that they were not just bluffing, so it came to be that I was really the only Western correspondent that covered the fatal day.

PW: Tell me about that morning. You certainly weren’t expecting something so dramatic but you felt drawn because of a call the night before?

MB: I had some hint that it would be something spectacular, because I knew these monks were not bluffing. They were perfectly serious about doing something pretty violent. In another civilization it might have taken the form of a bomb or something like that.

The monks were very much aware of the result that an immolation was likely to have. So by the time I got to the pagoda where all of this was being organized, it was already underwaythe monks and nuns were chanting a type of chant that’s very common at funerals and so forth. At a signal from the leader, they all started out into the street and headed toward the central part of Saigon on foot. When we reached there, the monks quickly formed a circle around a precise intersection of two main streets in Saigon. A car drove up. Two young monks got out of it. An older monk, leaning a little bit on one of the younger ones, also got out. He headed right for the center of the intersection. The two young monks brought up a plastic jerry can, which proved to be gasoline. As soon as he seated himself, they poured the liquid all over him. He got out a matchbook, lighted it, and dropped it in his lap and was immediately engulfed in flames. linkwheel creation . Everybody that witnessed this was horrified. It was every bit as bad as I could have expected.

I don’t know exactly when he died because you couldn’t tell from his features or voice or anything. He never yelled out in pain. His face seemed to remain fairly calm until it was so blackened by the flames that you couldn’t make it out anymore. Finally the monks decided he was dead and they brought up a coffin, an improvised wooden coffin.

PW: And you were the only photographer there?

MB: As far as I could tell, yes. It turns out that there were some Vietnamese that took some pictures but they didn’t go outthey’re not on the wires or anything like that.

PW: What were you thinking while you were looking through the camera?

MB: I was thinking only about the fact it was a self-illuminated subject that required an exposure of about, oh say, f10 or whatever it was, I don’t really remember. I was using a cheap Japanese camera, by the name of Petri. I was very familiar with it, but I wanted to make sure that I not only got the settings right on the camera each time and focused it properly, but that also I was reloading fast enough to keep up with action.I took about ten rolls of film because I was shooting constantly.

PW: How did you feel?

MB: The main thing on my mind was getting the pictures out. I realized this is something of unusual importance and that I’d have to get them to the AP in one of its far flung octopus tentacles as soon as possible. And I also knew this was a very difficult thing to do in Saigon on short notice.

PW: What did you do with the film?

MB: The whole trick was to get it to some transmission point. We had to get the raw film shipped by air freight, or some way. It was not subject to censorship at that point. We used a pigeon to get it as far as Manila. And in Manila they had the apparatus to send it by radio.

PW: When you say pigeon, what do you mean exactly?

MB: A pigeon is a passenger on a regular commercial flight whom you have persuaded to carry a little package for him. Speed was of the essence obviously. So we had to get it to the airport. It got aboard a flight leaving very soon for Manila.

PW: Did anyone from the AP, once the film arrived, send a message to you saying that the picture was being published all over the world?

MB: No.

PW: You didn’t know?

MB: No, we didn’t know, it was like shooting into a black hole. We learned that it had arrived only after messages began to come through congratulating us for sending such a picture. It was not run by everybody. The New York Times did not run it. They felt it was too grisly a picture that wasn’t suitable for a breakfast newspaper.

PW: I’m looking at the picture now on my screen. Tell me what I’m not seeing what are you hearing, smelling?

MB: The overwhelming smell of joss sticks. They do make a very strong smell, not a particularly nice smell, but it’s meant to appease the ancestors and all of that. That was the overwhelming smell except for the smell of burning gasoline and diesel and the smell of burning flesh, I must say. The main sound was the wailing and misery of the monks, who had known this guy for many years before and were feeling for him. Then there was shouting over loudspeakers between the fire department people, trying to figure out a way to put him out, put out the flames around him without actually killing him or something. So it was a jumble of confusion.

PW: I read once what President Kennedy said about your photograph. He said, “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.”

MB: Yeah, that could be, that sounds like an honest quote from the White House.

PW: Would you consider the photograph your crown achievement in journalism?

MB:It attracted a lot of attention, I’ll say that for it. It was not necessarily the hardest story I’ve ever had to cover, but it was certainly an important part of my career.