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Spring Fever 2016: Bits & Pieces (2)

On the Friday of Memorial Day weekend here on Staten Island we suddenly plunged from a chilly spring straight into hot summer. Nothing gradual about it. I was ready for some warm, but I prefer a slow slide into it and a slow climb out. And our then-recently planted veggies seemed skeptical about the sharp […]

Guest Post 23: Robert Dannin on Steve McCurry

I am uncomfortable watching an interrogation that is misguided if related to some elusive standard of photojournalism. … Pressing Steve McCurry for explanations when one already knows the reasons he used Photoshop — to create a more saleable, viewable image — evades more serious issues about who controls photography, and when and how to liberate it. […]

The “Visual Storyteller” Mantra

From where I sit, the most important consequence of this scandal (aside from reminding us that photographers, like most people, will do anything that benefits them, ethics be damned) lies in the fact that the vapid phrase “visual storyteller” has suddenly become highlighted — while acquiring a darker meaning — with the revelation that Magnum photographer Steve McCurry deploys it as a both a rationale and a magic charm that, he seems to think, immunizes him from the charges of bad faith and breach of professional ethics that accrue nowadays to a photojournalist who gets caught doing the same things. […]

Spring Fever 2016: Bits & Pieces (1)

In “Virginibus Puerisque” (1881), Robert Louis Stevenson noted that “Enthusiasm about art is become a function of the average female being, which she performs with precision and a sort of haunting sprightliness, like an ingenious and well-regulated machine.” In the emerging android era we won’t need what Tom Wolfe dubbed the “culture buds” to perform this task; there’s an automaton for that. […]

Election 2016: Image World (6)

The visual images of mostly white men preventing a legitimately elected black president from appointing a highly qualified candidate to the Supreme Court may suit the “base” just fine, but with these and the Flint images all over the media in the final months of the campaign they can pretty much kiss the “minority” vote goodbye. […]