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Back on Track

A. D. Coleman, January 2015. Photo by Anna Lung.RSS Feed Restored

Apologies to Photocritic International‘s subscribers. The blog’s RSS feed, which send my posts to your email inbox, got broken by an update to its WordPress theme. As a result, several posts that you should have received via your subscription went online without any notification to you.

My thanks to Aussie reader Peter Marquis-Kyle, who wrote to ask ‘z’up wid dat? (He’s a Brisbane-based conservation and heritage architect.) It took some poking around to figure out the problem, and some more to fix it, but if you receive this post the the blog is back on track.

Here’s what you missed, in chronological order:

Ring In the New: 2015 — January 11, 2015. Pretty sure most of you received this, but just in case … my response to a lovely letter from Californian Bill Polkinhorn, a new reader who had just come across my 1979 collection of essays, Light Readings, and sent me an appreciation thereof at the end of last year.

Cellphone video screenshot (YouTube), Eric Garner chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, 7-15-14

Cellphone video screenshot (YouTube), Eric Garner chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, 7-15-14

Film the Police (1) — January 18, 2015. The killing of Eric Garner by members of the New York Police Department for the alleged but unproven crime of selling “loosies” — untaxed single cigarettes — happened just a ten-minute walk from our house on Staten Island’s North Shore. I decided to bring my perspective as a local (here since 1967) to bear on what’s become a high-profile example of a national problem whose images resonate.

Film the Police (2) — January 21, 2015. Continuing my discussion of the strained relationship between the minority citizens of Staten Island’s North Shore and the New York Police Dep’t. So many cops — most of them white — live here, in mostly white enclaves, that Staten Island has “the second-heaviest concentration of law enforcement officers [as residents] anywhere in the country,” according to census figures. Concluding with a call for more citizen-journalist surveillance of the police.

What Makes One Photo Worth $2.9 Million? — January 24, 2015. In response to the inexplicable December 9, 2014 sale by Australian photographer Peter Lik of his photograph entitled “Phantom” for a record-setting $6.5 million, I offer an essay of mine published in China in 2007 about the more explicable sale in 2006 of Edward Steichen’s 1904 pictorialist gem, “The Pond — Moonlight,” for less than half the amount paid for Lik’s print.

A. .D. Coleman with unexposed, developed Tri-X filmstrip, January 23, 2015

A. .D. Coleman with unexposed, developed Tri-X filmstrip, January 23, 2015

• Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day, 19 — January 27, 2015. Former LIFE picture editor John Morris elaborates his latest tale tall, this one primarily concerning the magical “advance packet” of Robert Capa’s films that, 70 years later, Morris suddenly remembers receiving on June 7, 1944, ahead of the arrival of Capa’s ten exposures from Omaha Beach. I poke some holes in (and fun at) this clumsy fiction. First of three parts.

A veritable smorgasbord. To give subscribers time to catch up and comment, I’ll hold off on new posts till the end of the coming week.


Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day, 19

The chances of Capa finding any way to get his pre-invasion films from the Chase, a Coast Guard ship, to Scherman’s Navy LST and into Scherman’s hands in that vast armada are slim to none. That’s without even asking why Capa would put Coast Guard and Navy and Army personnel to all that trouble simply to transfer to Scherman only his 35mm rolls (rather than his entire take) of what Morris has acknowledged were merely stock shots. […]

What Makes One Photo Worth $2.9 Million?

[Checking the news this past December 12, I learned from Forbes that “On December 9 PRNewswire announced that Australian photographer Peter Lik sold a photograph entitled ‘Phantom’ for a record-setting $6.5 million. ‘Phantom,’ now the world’s most expensive photograph ever sold, was shot in a subterranean cavern in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon.” (See Rachel Hennessey’s report, “A […]

Film the Police (2)

My new policy: Film the police anytime I see them interacting confrontationally with members of the public. I recommend you do the same. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. The price of freedom from a police state is constant surveillance by the citizenry of those who benefit most directly from the creation of a police state — the police. […]

Film the Police (1)

We’d know nothing of the truth about the death of Eric Garner if bystander Ramsey Orta hadn’t made and immediately posted a video. That video of the Staten Island police beatdown on Garner, and still images derived therefrom, plus other documentation by other concerned citizens, have gone globally viral. So this is about images. […]