Category "Photography News"

The Lost Rolls America Archive


Last week, I said I like to shake things up.

And I meant it.

So today, we’re going to pivot away from book reviews, and bring you a special feature about the Lost Rolls America Archive, a project led by NYU professor Lauren M. Walsh, and photojournalist Ron Haviv.

I wrote a piece about the endeavor for Lens in late 2016, just as it was getting started. The gist is that Fuji offered to develop and scan one roll of lost or forgotten film from anyone in America. All you had to do was dig the film canister out of your couch cushions, or the back of your fridge, and send it in. (Apparently, the archive is now closed.)

They sent back the scans, and then each person picked one (or more) of the photos to be included in an archive of lost images from contemporary America. (And occasionally beyond, as you’ll see below.)

Now that the Lost Rolls America archive has gathered steam, there are several hundred images posted online, in a database of forgotten moments.

Lauren and Ron were kind enough to answer a few questions about the project, and mass-culture-photography in general. They also allowed me to edit the following series for you, as a way of looking for through-lines in the burgeoning archive.

There’sΒ an exhibition of images from the LRAA in an airstream in Los Angeles this week, in conjunction with the MOPLA, so if you’re in SoCal, go check it out.

(Photo credits: All images copyright Lost Rolls America Archive, and the photographer. The photographers are as follows:Β Rikki Reich, Ed White, Russel Gontar, Stephen Desroches, Scott Ellerby, Jessica Lipkind, Jeremy Harris, Jonathan Schaefer, Mary Croft, Beth Urpanil, David Burnett, Terry Bliss, Philip Maechling, Orquidea, William Bennett, Beth Urpanil, Nora Curry, Tamika Jancewicz, Alan Wong, Mary Keane, Valerie Ferrier, J Printen, Deb Treanor, Valentina Zavarin, Rikki Reich, Alex Cave, Linda Walker, Stephanie Heimann, Lisa French, Jeffrey Robins)


Q&A with Professor Lauren M. Walsh and Photojournalist Ron HavivΒ 


JB: Why did you think people would submit their personal memories to the public Lost Rolls America Archive?

LW & RH: The process allows participants to re-engage with a time from the past, to literally view a forgotten moment and re-experience it. And the experience isn’t just for the individual. In contributing to the archive, you become part of a collective dynamic, where you realize that there are points of commonality across these once-lost images and the memories they call forth.

Additionally, the memories written in the archive often reflect a desire to share deep feelings about life experiences. In consisting of all kinds of photographyβ€”not just professional, but the snapshots of amateurs and hobbyistsβ€”Lost Rolls America celebrates the average person’s personal experience. In this sense, it works to offer a sense of community and a space to acknowledge and commemorate all of our pasts.


JB: Do you think the archive, in its current form, says anything about contemporary America?

LW & RH: Today, when the perception is often that we are a divided country (politically, economically, and so forth), the archive stands a powerful reminder of the many ways that we are in fact more similar than different. There are shared themes that appear through the photos and memories, such as the attention to family, the celebration of youth, the nostalgia for lost loved ones, the exuberance of travel, and even the value of the mundane in all of our lives.


JB: Has the ubiquity of cellphone cameras changed the nature of photography, or are there just infinitely more photographs?

LW & RH: The ubiquity of camera phones has indeed influenced our photo-taking habits. We self-document with photos more than ever before, but what is the role of these sometimes enormous personal archives? Moreover, how has the ubiquity of cellphone cameras changed the way historical narratives are recorded? These are two of the central questions we address in a talk we’re giving on Sunday, April 15th, at 4pm at the LINE Hotel (3515 Wilshire Blvd) in Los Angeles. For those who can’t make it, it’ll be streamed and a record of the talk will eventually appear on the Lost Rolls America website:


JB: If you could go back in time and re-shoot one roll of film in your life, which would it be? (Or where would you be?)

LW: In college, at one point, I was traveling in France. My suitcase, in the back of the train, was stolen. The most important items (passport, laptop) were in my backpack with me in my seat on the train. So I mostly just lost clothes, which are replaceable. But in that suitcase were eight rolls of film. That was the worse part of the losing the luggage – because those were irreplaceable. If I could go back in time, I’d try to recapture those college travel memories. I imagine such photos would only become more valuable over time, taking on a wistful tinge as I look backward reliving those younger days.

RH: The dream of all photojournalists: to transport oneself to a moment in time where the history and future of humanity was being decided. From documenting a time when there were no cameras to pivotal events in war/politics/culture/etc, my choices are endless. It will remain an unanswered question as the answer changes moment by moment as I think I should go there or here or somewhere else…


JB: How would you describe the difference between the celluloid aesthetic, and the hyperreal digital aesthetic that’s taken its place?

LW & RH: One of the most significant differences that Lost Rolls America celebrates is the β€œdelay” inherent to analog film. In the digital age you can see your image immediately. This changes the experience, both of picture taking and of the memory of the moment captured. With analog, you can’t see your photo right away, you don’t know exactly what the picture looks like. That slice of recorded time from the past is returned to the photographer only after the film is developed – that could be a few hours or a few days, or in the case of this archive it can be years and even decades. It has been nothing short of magical to view the responses of participants in the archive who are seeing moments from their past after such long periods of time. It’s a revelatory experience and for many, the memories, summoned up in response to the once-lost photo, are raw, fresh, powerful, and poignant.


JB: How will the photographs be exhibited in LA? What are the exhibition details?Β 

LW & RH:Β The photos from the archive are exhibited in a retro-style Airstream at The LINE Hotel. We invite visitors to step backward in time as they experience others’ photos and memories. It’s simultaneously a collective Americana experience and personalized one, as if stepping into someone’s home, seeing their old photos and hearing their memories. The Airstream–outfitted with a picnic table, rocking chairs, and picket fence–displays the archive contents in unique, interactive ways – through journals, photo albums, with large prints and small, in a bedroom, a kitchen, outside and inside the Airstream. We encourage anyone in the area to visit!

Newly Formed Agency Avec Artists

Recently launched Avec Artistsis a new boutique photo agency run by Carrie Ferriter in NYC. This new agency is part of Bruce Kramer’s growing fiefdom, the Kramer Creative Group which is set to launch this month along with a relaunch of JAW (Just Add Water ) as Selected to be run by Rebecca Fain former photo editor of XXL Magazine.

Heidi: What was your concept when developing this roster? 
You have quite the range from editorial, advertising, documentary, personal, and fine art.

Carrie: I wanted to create a company that appealed to advertisers but also take on photographers that had a range and were involved in other aspects of photography, whether it be fine art, publishing, directing, etc. I find that when photographers are involved in projects other than commercial work – they are in turn more interesting.

( Stephen Toner) 

What made you select someone like Stephen Toner and decided to open his book with the landscapes, do you see that type of work applicable for car advertising or….?

I have known Stephen for many years and have always felt strongly about his photography. Β We originally met through an old friend while I was living in London and I have worked with him throughout the years with EXIT. Β I wanted to work with Stephen because not only is he an excellent photographer he is very much tapped into the pulse of what is happening in the photography world. His work appeals to creative directors because he is a creative director and has also founded and runs a really respected and award winning magazine called EXIT. Β I approached him to join Avec because his photography has never really been shown in this sort of outlet. Β It’s almost as if I’m introducing someone very new but also very established at the same time.

The reason I opened with Landscape is because the pictures are stunning. Β They grab your attention. Β That’s also the work that he loves and wants to shoot all the time so I thought I would just put it out there from the very start. Β Whether or not it’s applicable to car advertising I’m sure going to approach all car advertisers along with everyone else.

( Perou ) 

Are you the only agent?

Yes, I am the only agent but AvecΒ is part of the Kramer Creative Group which is a group of agencies my partner Bruce KramerΒ owns. BruceΒ is fully involvedΒ  with avec and all the agencies in the group.Β Each agencyΒ is unique and has it’s ownΒ style of talent. It’s great to have that because we all really work together and help each other out. Β For example, I work alongside another agent, Bridget Flaherty, who runs Bridge Artists. She represents stylists, set designers, hair and makeup. Her and I are constantly feeding ideas off of each other and helping each other out with clients. Β It’s a great team.

What kind of content will be on your news section?

It’s going to start with mainly news on the photographers. Β I would like it to be a very visual blog but eventually I want it to grow into something a bit more and allow the photographer to contribute on it. Β I want it to be accessible to people on my roster and give them the freedom to post whatever they would like. Β Avec translates to ‘with’ so the essential core of this agency is to be ‘with’ the artists. Β This isn’t an agency about me, it’s very much about them and I want the blog to showcase that.

Where were you before this agency?

I started my career working in production at an agency called JGK, after that I worked for Moo Management (now Trish South management) and then for a more commercial agency in NY. Β  Working at Moo was a great springboard to where I am now – the roster there was great and really allowed me to develop my own working style and eye for type of photography that I feel strongly about representing.

( Lauren Ward ) 

How would you describe your roster? and who are your premiere clients, mostly European?

My roster is a group of photographers I feel passionately about and enjoy working with. Β  There is a definite fine art and documentary feel to avec but once you look a little deeper you will see that there is a good range than can appeal to many different clients. Β My clients are across the board – Β I wouldn’t say that they are mostly European though. Β Throughout my career, the agencies I have worked for have all been European or have had European founders so that definitely comes into play but I’m heavily targeting clients in the US.

As an agent what do you think is the single most important aspect in getting your photographers to work in the current economy?

Target to the right client, be persistent, be genuine, follow up consistently but in a way where you are respecting the clients time and space. Β Sorry, I realize that was more than one thing!

( Cyrus Marshall ) 

What will you do differently with this particular agency?

I’m launching as a traditional photography agency but competition is fierce so I think it’s important to stand out and be a little more modern in my way of thinking. Β I try to stay on the pulse of what is happening industry wise – blogs like ‘A Photo Editor’ are a huge resource. Β  Β I really want avec to grow and as the industry changes I will adapt the agency accordingly.

When did you launch?

Just this month!

Last Chance To Stop $300 Permit Fee

Today is the last day to register with the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting to speak out at the hearing on June 3rd against charging fees for all still photography permits. Every editorial and advertising photographer uses the type of equipment that under current rules requires a film permit from the city and up until now those seeking a permit simply were required to carry $1,000,000 in liability insurance, but the new proposal is adding a non-refundable $300.00 β€˜application’ fee for every time a permit is pulled to shoot!

Read about it here.

Breaking: Getty Shuts Down The Entire Wholly-Owned Shoot Program

- - Photography News

This just in: The entire wholly-owned shoot program at Getty Images has been shut down and the producer and digital tech person at Getty have been laid off.

My source (here).

I’m told: “Wholly owned is when Getty Images would commission photographers for shoots in their creative division. It may also include photographers who were on salary at Getty Images who created content for them.”

Spanish Newspaper Claims “Iconic Capa War Photo Was Staged”

A Spanish Civil War photo by Robert Capa that shows a Republican soldier at the apparent moment he was fatally hit in the back by a bullet was in fact staged, a Spanish newspaper claimed on Friday (here).

“Capa photographed his soldier at a location where there was no fighting,” wrote Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico which carried out a study of the photograph taken in September 1936, the third month of the war.

The so-called “falling soldier” photo was not taken near Cerro Muriano in the southern Andalusia region, as has long been claimed, but about 50 kilometres (30 miles) away near the town of Espejo, the newspaper said.

via Yahoo! News thanks Mike.

UPDATE: Great narrated video from the Guardian (here).

Friday Links

- - Photography News

Top ten reasons managers become great
8. Self aware, including weaknesses. This is the kicker. Great leaders know what they suck at, and either work on those skills or hire people they know make up for their own weaknesses, and empower them to do so.

Top ten reasons managers become assholes:
2. They are insecure in their role. The psychology of opposites goes a long way in understanding human nature. Overly aggressive people are often quite scared, and their aggression is a pre-emptive attack driven by fear: they attack first because they believe an attack from you is inevitable. Management makes many people nervous since it’s defined by having have less direct control, but more broad influence. A huge percentage of managers never get over this, and micromanage: a clear sign of insecurity and confusion over their role and yours.

Review: Milton Rogovin: The Making of a Social Documentary Photographer
Milton Rogovin is one of those underappreciated photographers. His work could maybe be termed the photographic equivalent of Studs Terkel’s radio shows: Rogovin took photos of people who worked hard for their money and who often were very poor.
viaΒ  Conscientious.

Dear Designer, You Suck
Sometimes I wonder, then: given that everyone in design seems to more or less know everyone else, are we really having the kinds of meaningful, constructive, critical discourses that we really should be having? Are we pulling our punches too much when discussing the merits of the work that our peers turn out? To put a finer point on it: are we being honest with one another?

Ten Graphic Design Paradoxes
05: For designers, verbal skills are as important as visual skills. Since graphic design should be self-explanatory, designers might be forgiven for thinking that the need to provide a verbal rationale for their work is unimportant. Surely the work should succeed on its own merits without requiring a designer’s advocacy? True. Except there never was a client who didn’t want an explanation for every aspect of every piece of creative work they commissioned.
via Design Observer.

The Photographer as Scientist
The April 2009 issue of Modern Painters is completely devoted to photography. The cover story is about Hiroshi Sugimoto and profiles his recent work and experimentations.

I had not heard about this before but Sugimoto has been buying up early negatives made by William Henry Fox Talbot in the 1830’s and is now using them to make his own work from them. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about that.
via Horses Think.

Magazines Blur Line Between Ad and Article
David Granger, the editor in chief of Esquire, a Hearst magazine, included advertisers in cover compositions he produced for February and May, which the magazine society said it did not object to.

When he and his publisher began working on the projects, Mr. Granger said, β€œwe came to an agreement on certain principles, and one was that there had to be real, viable reader benefit to any of the things we did.” He said that other cover treatments, like ESPN’s and Entertainment Weekly’s, β€œare pure advertising iterations.”

Friday Roundup- Quotes From The Last Couple Weeks

- - Photography News

In their book, How not to Write a novel, Newman and Mittelmark say that there are lots of books on how to write a novel, but none on how not to write a novel. With their blessed sarcasm, they say “…if reading Stephen King on writing really did the trick, we would all by now be writing engrossing vernacular novels that got on the bestseller lists.” Which isn’t the case, so Newman and Mittelmark decided to provide the service of offering observations on how not to write a novel.

It’s the same with photography. There are loads of books on how to photograph. They will tell you how to use long exposures, how to be creative using fancy things like multiple exposures (double the exposure and double the meaning), how large format will really bring out the detail, and so on and so on. In other words, the simple functional How to… books of photography pretty much cover the heady world of art photography from top to bottomus.

It’s simple stuff, but simple is good, especially in photography, which is basically a monkey art.

[from a new series on Colin’s blog called How Not To Photograph, each post is great]

via Colin Pantall’s blog.


β€œIf the old model is broken, what will work in its place?” To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the internet just broke.

That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place.

via Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable Β« Clay Shirky.


the most a portrait photographer can hope for is to make a portrait that reflects where the sitter is with the photographer.

Steve Pyke on Conscientious


one of the goals behind developing Google’s Chrome browser is to β€œmake the web as fast as turning the page in a magazine.” That is still one advantage paper has over the Web: zero load times.

Marissa Mayer is the vice president of search products and user experience at Google

Marissa Mayer: …you’ll be able to say give Google an image and say find other images like this or find me images of a monkey, those types of things.

Charlie Rose: When will it happen?

Marissa Mayer: … I think the vision will probably happen in more than a 10-year timeframe, maybe 15. Those are of course guesses just off the top of my head…

via TechCrunch.


Once the economy revives, however, a panel of Wall Streeters predicted it will be up, up and away for M&A. [Media and Advertising]

“All companies are tightening their belts … they are sitting on a lot of cash. So at one point M&A will come back,” said Jonathan Miller, co-founder of investment fund Velocity Interactive Group and a former chairman of AOL.

via Media biz in coin catch – Entertainment News, Business News, Media – Variety.

Friday Link Love

- - Photography News

Palm Springs Photo Festival has a free photo contest (here). [Your work will be seen by thousands of retirees! Kidding, important people will be in attendance.]

PhotoShelter has an image buyers survey with lots of powerful information (here). [Is it me or do the image buyers–PE’s included–sound like a bunch of whiners… don’t make us do this, don’t make us do that, we’re busy, we have no time… do you want cheese with that?]

Facebook does an about face on their TOS changes (here). [Imagine how long that would have taken if we needed newspapers to react to this shit.]

Photographer Zack Arias spills his guts in this video (here). [Who knew Avedon sucked at one time ; )]

Five Papers named the world’s best designed (here). Money Quote: The rising trend of strong photography in the 1980s and 1990s seems now a distant memory. Often, photo departments and staff shooters are the first to go during management cutbacks. Yet, as the global culture becomes more visual, newspapers must keep pace, even lead. Publishers must recognize that the core value of their product is good journalism β€” the integration of writing, photography, graphics and design. [So you’re saying publishers should pull their heads out of their asses? At this point they need to just cut a window in their stomach.]- [Whatever you do don’t watch the video they made you’ll want to claw your eyes out part way in… stick to making newspapers people!]

The HCB (Henri Cartier-Bresson) Award is a prize to stimulate a photographer’s creativity by offering the opportunity to carry out a project that would otherwise be difficult to achieve.It is intended for a photographer who have already completed a significant body of work, a talented photographer in the emerging phase of his or her career, with an approach close to that of reportage. The prize is of 30 000 Euros and is awarded every other year (here). [You are sooooo dreaming… but click anyway.]

Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Photoshop via the Adobe blog (here).

Life, Burnett, Surburb x, Newspaper Business 101, Eggleston

- - Photography News

NPR’s All Things Considered has an interview and slideshow (here) with Bobbi Baker Burrows (daughter of Vietnam photojournalist Larry Burrows) where she talks about a few of the iconic images from Life Magazine now out in a new book Life: The Classic Collection.

Found it on Robert Benson’s blog.

Photojournalist David Burnett (Contact Press Images, New York) shows you the ups and downs of what it was REALLY like to try and photograph the Games of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

Via, Melcher & Harrington

American Suburb x is an incredibly interesting photography blog I found via Conscientious.

Over on Publishing 2.0 (here): “Every conversation about reinventing a business model for newspapers begins, it seems, with a question about how to find a way to pay for what we value in the current product. In other words, how do we find a way to keep doing what we’ve always done and make as much money as we’ve always made?”

“I’ve rarely heard anyone start by asking what the market values. Where are the pain points in the market? How can we solve problems for people?”

“You know, business 101.”

William Eggleston at the Whitney (here) via NYMag (here): “Eggleston’s 1976 MoMA show launched his career and proved a turning point in the history of photography. Scorned at the time for being vulgar and banal, the show has since been revered for exactly those reasons.”

The Election And Photography

- - Photography News

The Obama camp did a much better job managing their photography in this election and while I don’t think you can control everything that happens I still think people underestimate what can be done with photography.

When I saw these Obama rally photos (here) I thought, how can you not believe in the power of photography to deliver a message. I was told by someone who used to help politicians with photography for a living that the way you get images like this is make the photographers stand in a certain place so the only photograph they can take is that one.

Good Morning America ran this picture (here) yesterday morning with Diane Sawyer saying “what a photograph.”

Folio Mag, Covers of the campaign (here).

Powell cites a Platon photo when endorsing Obama (here).

If the intersection of politics and photography interests you visit this site:

Side Note– Over on “Ever since Brett Marty started taking photographs for the site, our traffic has skyrocketed (here).”

Thanks Allison, Ryan.

How Can You Make A List Of Influential People And Not Include Photographers?

- - Photography News

I picked up Esquire’s 75th Anniversary issue and was flipping through their list of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century (here) and discovered that they couldn’t think of a single photographer to include in their list (WTFngF). Now, I know how these lists are made and it usually starts with the gathering of a massive list of names from all walks of life and I can see they did a very good job of balancing it out with artists, journalists, writers and such, but no photographers. Are you kidding? Time had a similar snub with their 2008 list of the Worlds 100 Most Influential People (here).

I seriously hope Nachtwey does something amazing tomorrow but surely he can’t be the only one. Can he?

A Couple Things Today

- - Photography News

Looks like Life Magazine will be publishing their collection for consumers to browse (here).
Thanks, Matt Wright-Steel.

Here’s an interesting idea. Someone from within a stock photo agency is anonymously posting gems from the collection as they run across them (here). The splash page at a stock agency website is always incredibly valuable real estate, so maybe there are other ways to get images from the collection in front of potential buyers.
Via, Swiss Miss.

Photography News Links

- - Photography News

Inspired in part by a post I made on the escalating cost of digital processing PDN has a survey (here) that should give us all a clearer picture on what people are charging and what magazines are paying. Take a few minutes to fill it out.

A new Channel 4 series, Picture This, takes six wannabe snappers and sets them assignments over the course of three weeks, eliminating the unsuccessful contestants until just two remain to battle it out for the prize. Martin Parr, the acclaimed photographer best known for his colourful pictures of British seaside life, is one of the three judges on the show.The documentary photographer became involved with Picture This because he believes that photography is not given the prominence it deserves in the UK, whereas in other European countries and in the United States it is celebrated as an important art form. -The Independent Story

Neil Leifer still acts like he has something to prove. Some of it’s the plight of the news or sports photographer, even if you’re the best. Leifer recalls how even Sports Illustrated sometimes sent him out with a snot-nosed reporter who’d introduce him by saying “This is my photographer.” -LA Times Story

Artists are drawn to de Wilde in part because the tedium that’s typical of photo shoots is transformed into a facet of the creative act when she’s at the helm. De Wilde insists on long conversations, in person, with young artists prior to taking their picture. She’ll hunt for ideas but also memorize the way a person’s eyes move and the way they smile at a joke, so that when she’s standing behind the camera she’ll be able to recognize what’s real, no matter how surreal the setting or high the concept. -Boston Globe Story

‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe is to play the late British war photographer Daniel Eldon in a new biopic.

Best photography related headline of 2007: Britney Spears and Photographer Suspected of Making Quick F-Stop At Beverly Hills Hotel. -Defamer Story

Writers Strike Continues

- - Photography News

Story in Variety yesterday, “WGA talks leaves bitterness.”

Here’s what I found interesting:

AMPTP insiders said they’re convinced WGA West exec director David Young is trying to make the WGA battles a part of a larger, more global struggle against corporate “greed.”

[…]”For them, this is not a writers strike. It’s about changing society,” one exec said. “We are so frustrated. We’re dealing with people who don’t care about this community. They care about making social change in America.”

Photography News Links

- - Photography News

LaSalle Bank which recently sold to Bank of America has a 5,000 piece photography collection.

London editor to Anne Geddes “If I can give you some advice, just photographing babies is never going to work for you. You need to broaden your portfolio to include adults and animals.”

Photographer Lynn Blodgett has a demanding day job: He’s president and chief executive officer of Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., a Dallas-based Fortune 500 company… [but he still found time to create a] ..remarkable monograph, Finding Grace: The Face of America’s Homeless (Palace Press, $55), which American Photo included in its January/February portfolio of the Best Photo Books of the Year.

College photographer of the year awards.

In exchange for the right to sell action shots of athletes to a hungry audience of parents, boosters and relatives, IHSA (Illinois High School Association) receives a virtually limitless library of images from the Cedarburg, Wis. company (Visual Image Photography Inc.) for its own promotional material. IHSA, which values the deal at tens of thousands of dollars, in turn prohibits credentialed media from selling their own pictures from championship events.

Corbis, the stock photography company controlled by billionaire Bill Gates, is close to being profitable for the first time ever…