Saturday, July 29, 2023

What these men behind a historic photo taken 47 years ago say about race in Boston then and now

 Via WCVB Boston

By Brittany Johnson

July 28, 2023


The two men who were part of a single historic photograph that captured the essence of racial tension in Boston in 1976 are reflecting on how far the city has come and how far it has to go in order to achieve racial justice.

Ted Landsmark and Stanley Forman met up with WCVB's Brittany Johnson at Boston's City Hall Plaza, where the incident took place.

As Landsmark walked across the plaza, he reflected back to the day a group of protestors attacked him. Landsmark was kicked, hit in the face, and suffered a broken nose. One of the protesters swung the American flag in his direction to use it as a weapon.

"Ironically, on the day when the assault took place, I was on my way to a meeting in City Hall to discuss how the city could open up more job opportunities to contractors of color and to workers of color in the city," Landsmark, who was a young lawyer at the time of the attack, told Johnson.

"I had no expectation that I would encounter a crowd of anti-busing demonstrators," he said. "My mind was fixed on creating opportunities and jobs for young people in the city."

During this time period, Boston was fraught with discrimination and uproar over court-ordered school desegregation.

black and white photograph of a white male using the American Flag to attack African-American man Ted Landsmark during an anti-bussing protest in Boston, 1976
Stanley Forman

"Boston half a century ago was fraught with all kinds of discrimination," Landsmark explained. "It affected housing. It affected the police department. It affected schools. It affected our transportation system. Redlining had been in place and had made it virtually impossible for African-Americans to be able to live where they wanted to live in the city. The transportation system was one that discriminated in terms of employment. It was a place that was very uncomfortable for people of color, and African Americans in particular, to live and to have opportunities for career growth and opportunities to really take advantage of all of the educational opportunities that exist within the city."

With the racial climate at the forefront, Landsmark said he knew the attack could transcend into a way for him to speak to larger issues of the civil rights movement.

"From the moment I was attacked in City Hall Plaza, I knew that I was going to be placed in a position to have an opportunity to talk about the issues of race and of access to jobs and education that existed within this region. It was clear to me that people of color, and African-Americans in particular, had been discriminated against for generations, and that at that moment, there was an opportunity for me to have a platform to address those issues in the context of bussing as it was taking place in the city," he said.

The Pulitzer Prize photograph, titled "The Soiling of Old Glory," was taken by photojournalist and former NewsCenter 5 videographer Stanley Forman.

"The day I took that picture, I didn't get — I tell everybody, I didn't get the impact of it. I mean, I ran down and continued on the coverage. They left here (City Plaza), and I just followed them," F0rman said.

"When did you realize the magnitude of what you had?" Johnson asked Forman.

"I think when we were in the office, and the editors were looking at it, and I was looking at it, and they were so frightened it would start a race war," Forman replied. "I think that's when I realized how bad it was. It took a few hours for me to catch on."

"What Stanley and I have realized over time is that the photograph provides an incentive, a platform for us to raise issues around race in the city, not only in terms of what happened in the 1970s but more importantly in terms of what is happening now as we look forward with new generations of individuals who are addressing these same issues of racial justice," said Landsmark.

Landsmark, a long-time civil rights activist and now a professor of public policy at Northeastern University, said Boston has come a long way but said work still needs to be done to achieve racial justice.

"There's been a great deal of change in the city, primarily in the public sector. Our city council is elected and is composed primarily of people of color. For the first time, we have a person of color as mayor within the city, and we've made significant advancement in many of our public sector areas, but we have a huge amount of work to do in the private sector. Our financial services area, our high-tech companies, our universities, our biotech firms all need to do considerably more to open up job opportunities for young people of color in and around the city and need to use their private sector resources and capital to develop job training programs and career opportunities for people within the city," said Landsmark.

"In 2023, did you think you'd still be speaking about achieving racial justice?" Johnson asked Landsmark.

"I was perhaps naïve in believing that by 2023 we would be much further along not only in Boston but nationally in terms of achieving racial justice, in terms of achieving opportunities for African-Americans to be able to be professionals and homeowners and to maintain stability within their families. And it's a little disappointing that we're still struggling today with many of the same issues that we faced in 1976 when I was attacked on City Hall Plaza," he said.

Just down from City Hall Plaza, the NAACP convention was getting underway.

It has been over 40 years since the annual convention was held in the Commonwealth, and Landsmark hopes that the return of the national convention to the city will serve as a tide change in Boston's history.

"Boston is definitely ready to take advantage of this moment, in part because our elected officials have embraced social change, in part because the demographics of who is living in the city have changed so significantly, and in part, because we understand that the future of the city is dependent on the success of people of color in the greater Boston area," Landsmark said.

Ted Landsmark and Stanley Forman

The message of the 114th National Convention is "Thriving Together," which is something Landsmark and Forman know a thing or two about, as they are forever attached to the story of "The Soil of Old Glory."

"People have asked me whether I thought Stanley should have intervened somehow," Landsmark shared, as he was standing beside Forman. "And I think that in doing his job of taking the photo at that moment, he contributed to the kind of dialog that we need to have not only in Boston but around the country, around the implications of hate and racial violence and what it is we need to think about doing to eliminate both."

Sunday, July 23, 2023

"And that moment was captured in a famous photograph where a young person was trying to kill me with the American flag.”


July 23, 2023

Civil rights activist Ted Landsmark reflects on Boston's reputation for racism — and how the city has and hasn't changed.

“I was on my way to an affirmative action meeting with city officials to try to open more jobs for people of color and minority contractors in the city of Boston,” Landsmark says. “I was attacked by a group of anti-busing demonstrators. And that moment was captured in a famous photograph where a young person was trying to kill me with the American flag.”

In this photograph titled "The Soiling of Old Glory," Joseph Rakes assaults lawyer and civil rights activist Ted Landsmark with a flagpole bearing the American flag

Listen here:

Saturday, July 22, 2023

The Real Frame In The Digital Age

 Via David Butow/The Real Frame

July, 2023

David Butow: The AI/photography space is moving so fast I created a website with fellow photog David Paul Morris to help keep track and open a dialogue as things unfold, for better or worse.

By David Butow and David Paul Morris –

There are existential questions about how Artificial Intelligence will modify the appeal and strength of photography. The principle one is: what impact will the technology have on viewers, from the pure enjoyment of an aesthetically pleasing image to the usefulness of pictures to tell us something truthful about the social and natural conditions of the world?

That is why we’ve created this website, to consider these questions as they’re unfolding, and allow people to contribute to the discussion in comments at the bottom of the posts. The have been many articles about the subject in the last few months so we’ve consolidated several of them onto the posts marked “AI & Fautojournalism.”

We’ll also discuss the opposite of AI photography, with gear reviews and posts tagged “Real Frames” which feature single, non-computer generated photographs, from ourselves and various contributors, and tell the backstory about how they were created. Our first RF post is from Rian Dundon‘s new book “Protest City“.

Welcome and thank you for joining us. If you’d like to sign up for our mailing list write us at and put “subscribe” in the subject line. You can find more about us on our “About” page.

So let’s go…

The recent rapid advances in artificial intelligence raises a question for many people who like making photo-style images: “Do I even need to leave the house?” For some I think the answer will be “no.” Before the emergence of AI imagery there has been a dynamic emerging of enthusiasts who take photo tours to get specific types of pictures that are essentially set up for them when the get to the destination. The less adventurous wing of that crowd will probably gravitate towards AI, doing everything at home or perhaps creating some combination of real and imagined pictures.


The other approach, the thing we most enjoy about making real frames, is being there. The desire not just to create, but to experience something first-hand. The picture becomes of the synthesis of the two. It’s about taking chances and being open to fulfillment, or disappointment. This means witnessing something for the first time, not knowing exactly what will unfold, but knowing it’s often something more interesting than we could have imagined.

Great pictures were not made by photographers who knew exactly what they were going to get. They hiked mountains, went to neighborhoods that made them feel strange. They faced dangers, they ate weird food, they got too cold or too hot, they got lost, and then they found something no one had ever seen before. 

You don’t have to travel far and wide to find of these moments, they might occur in your own home or walking down the sidewalk. But being “present” in that moment, connecting with your environment in some way enriches your own experience and the picture becomes a reflection of that experience.


The value of that experience runs through the whole process of making the images, starting with the subjects, be they people, animals, cityscapes or natural scenes. If a photographer has been physically present in the environment there will always be an element of truth to the work, no matter how interpretive it is. 

We’re already seeing very clever and fun uses of the technology. Good art always pushes boundaries and I think in the broad field of visual communication, we should embrace the possibilities. The trouble lies in the potential for misuse of these pictures for disinformation, false historical revisionism, and deceitful propaganda.

Beyond just a single fake image or video being used to mislead people, the cumulative effect of repeated examples is likely to have a detrimental effect on the public such that people might question the veracity of nearly everything they see online, particularly things that challenge them in some way. In other words, they might believe the stuff that’s fake, and not believe the things that are real. This could be a gnarly combination of cynicism and denial, accelerating the “post-truth” dynamic.

So while we’ll discuss AI and its alarming implications, we’ll also have a lot of upbeat discussions about making real frames. The photographer gets satisfaction from making these kinds of pictures and the viewer is served by seeing something that is really out there, something they might have seen themselves, albeit in a different way. That’s where the value of photography lies and that’s what separates it from other art forms. It’s what’s kept photography alive for nearly 200 years and hopefully what will keep it relevant in the midst of these profound technological changes.

The Real Frame

Thursday, July 20, 2023

NYC to pay $13 Million for violating the rights of protesters over several days in late May and early June of 2020.

 Via The New York Times

July 20, 2023

Close up photograph of African American women with bandanna covering her face and arm raise in protest march after the murder of George Floyd, Manhattan, New York,, June 2, 2020

The city settled a major class-action lawsuit that said unlawful police tactics had violated the rights of more than 1,000 people who protested after Mr. Floyd’s killing. he City of New York agreed to pay about $13.7 million to settle the class-action suit, which said that unlawful police tactics had violated the rights of protesters over several days in late May and early June of 2020. New York Times journalists covering the protests saw officers repeatedly charge at protesters out after curfew with little apparent provocation, shoving people onto sidewalks and striking them with batons.

On exhibition through September 17, 2023: "Good Trouble". From the exhibition description:

"Protest is an invaluable way to speak truth to power. Throughout history, protests have been the driving force behind some of the most powerful social movements, exposing injustice and abuse, demanding accountability and inspiring people to keep hoping for a better future. The right to protest encompasses various rights and freedoms, including the freedom of assembly, the freedom of association, and the freedom of expression. Unfortunately, these precious rights are under attack and must be protected from those who are afraid of change and want to keep us divided." Visit the exhibition here.

Watch a conversation with Stephanie Keith and Ryan Vizzions, who met while documenting the Standing Rock protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline, discuss their experiences documenting protest movements, recent efforts to suppress protest, and the increase in the misuse of force by police at protests.

On May 8, Keith was arrested while documenting a candlelight vigil in New York City for Jordan Neely, a homeless man who was choked to death on the subway.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Ashley Gilbertson Photographs For The New Yorker

 Via The New Yorker

July 17, 2023

Gallery photographer Ashley Gilbertson photographed for the New Yorker story below.

Country Music’s Culture Wars and the Remaking of Nashville

Tennessee’s government has turned hard red, but a new set of outlaw songwriters is challenging Music City’s conservative ways—and ruling bro-country sound.

black and white photogrph of woman standing by old hearse outside of a music venue in Nashville, Tennessee

Friday, July 14, 2023

An Evening with Bob Gomel and screening of the film Bob Gomel: Eyewitness

Via MATCH Houston 

When history was made, Bob Gomel was there.

Graphic advertisement for movie screening of "Bob Gomel Eyewitness" with text over black and white photograph of Bob Gomel holding his camera

Bob Gomel: Eyewitness is a documentary that examines the stories behind the stories of some of the most significant events in the 20th century. Hear and see the history unfold from the perspective of a legendary LIFE Magazine photographer. Join us for An Evening with Bob Gomel - The theatrical premier of the documentary Bob Gomel: Eyewitness, including 14 additional minutes of previously unseen material. There will be a Q/A session with Bob Gomel and director David Scarbrough following the showing. 

Thursday, July 20 at 7:30 PM

Q & A Immediately following the screening

with Bob Gomel and David Scarbrough 

Tickets: $10

How the documentary came to be:

Bob Gomel and David Scarbrough share a love of storytelling through photography.

During the past decade the two men and their spouses, Sandy Gomel and Mary Scarbrough, became friends. Bob’s shot of The Beatles in poolside lounge chairs hangs in the Scarbroughs’ home. It was Mary’s birthday gift to David for his 60th birthday.

David said, “The history Bob witnessed is important. So are the effort and creativity necessary to make extraordinary images of these historic moments. Many of the images are made even more powerful by Bob’s perspective on how they were created. ”David convinced Bob to reflect on his work for LIFE magazine in the 1960s and his subsequent career.

Over dinner one evening, the Scarbroughs proposed making a documentary of Bob’s career. Bob said, “David offered a compelling idea to consider. After a few days, I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

The documentary project came together quickly. A small studio was set up in Scarbrough’s retail computer electronics shop in Houston. Sessions were shot on Sundays when the shop was closed and outside noise was minimal. As many filmmakers do now, David chose to record the videos in 4K on two iPhones in a two-shot setup. A MacBook Pro and Adobe Premier Pro were be used to edit the video.

The recordings began with a discussion of the Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston fights. The project quickly gained momentum as David executed his vision for the project, and the stories of more of the epic photos came to life.

“The challenge was to balance Bob’s unique ability to talk about the images and history, and to ensure the viewer remained immersed in the image itself,” David said. “I hope the viewer can briefly live in the moment of the images.”

Bob said, “The decade of the 1960s was historically powerful. We witnessed so much — from the terrific to the terrible. I’m grateful that David remains interested in the history of the 1960s and that his documentary helped share my perspective on the extraordinary events of the decade and on my life as a photographer.”

A headline in a recent Albuquerque Journal article read: “Bob Gomel’s Photographs Compel Even after 40 Years.” The renowned LIFE photographer has documented many of the great moments and personalities of contemporary history. Articles and books have chronicled Bob’s adventures, including Art Buckwald’s “Leaving Home”, Yoko Ono’s “Memories of John Lennon”, “Arnold Palmer: A Personal Journey,” “Malcolm X”, by Thulani Davis, and Dick Stolley’s “Our Century in Pictures”. His work is exhibited at The Monroe Gallery, Santa Fe.

Bob is a founding member of the Houston chapter of ASMP, the American Society of Media Photographers. ASMP is the leading professional organization for photographers and videographers working in the visual marketplace. The core mission of ASMP is to advocate, educate, and provide community for image makers — fostering thriving careers, a strong sense of professional ethics, and an unshakable belief in the power of images.

Forthcoming exhibition and Gallery Talk with Bob Gomel: October 6, 2023. Details soon!

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

AIPAD The Photography Show fair will relocate to New York’s Park Avenue Armory in 2024

 Via The Art Newspaper

July 12, 2023

The Photography Show, the longest-running fair devoted specifically to the medium, will mark its 43rd edition in April 2024 with a return to the Park Avenue Armory in New York, organisers say. Put on by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (Aipad), the fair is open for applications only from member galleries.

“The Park Avenue Armory has always been the favourite venue of our members, collectors and curators,” Aipad executive director Lydia Melamed Johnson said in a statement, adding that the organisation has “evolved post-Covid with a renewed sense of optimism and vitality and a burgeoning membership of young galleries offering new perspectives on the medium”.

The fair previously took place at the Park Avenue Armory on 67th Street and Park Avenue from 2006 to 2016. The event moved to Pier 94 in Hell’s Kitchen in 2017, where it was held until 2019. After the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the fair was held at Center415 in Midtown Manhattan in 2022 and 2023. Last year, the Photography Show welcomed 44 galleries to the fair.

Aipad’s new president, Martijn van Pieterson, says the expansive Park Avenue Armory will give the fair more space for galleries to take part. Aipad says between 70 and 80 galleries will be able to participate in next year’s edition, similar to the exhibitor numbers of other fairs held at the Park Avenue Armory, such as Tefaf New York and the Art Dealers Association of America's fair, The Art Show.

Originally built as a headquarters for a militia regiment made up of many members of New York’s social elite during the American Civil War, the sprawling Gothic Revival building is now leased to the non-profit arts organisation Park Avenue Armory Conservancy, which works to support art, music and performances in the Armory’s 55,000-square-foot drill hall and historic Gilded Age rooms.

The Photography Show 2024 April 25 - 28, 2024

Monday, July 3, 2023

DA drops charges against Jordan Neely protesters, but not against journalist photographing them

Via News4NewYork
July 3, 2023


A veteran news photographer is blasting Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for failing dismiss her disorderly conduct summons, even though prosecutors have dropped all misdemeanor charges against the protesters she was photographing. 

“It feels really unfair because I’m not an activist. I’m a journalist and I should be protected by the Constitution,” said Stephanie Keith, who was arrested on May 8 while she attempted to take pictures of demonstrators protesting the chokehold death of troubled subway rider Jordan Neely. “Every other case was dismissed except mine.”

The Manhattan DA’s Office declined to comment on whether prosecutors believe Keith was lawfully arrested, but did refer the I-Team to an email written to the photojournalist’s attorney. That email references a hands-off policy prosecutors began following five years ago when violations of law are charged using a written summons as opposed to a criminal complaint or Desk Appearance Ticket.

“As of 2018 the Office has ended the practice of taking a position on summons matters as they are best handled by a judge or judicial hearing officer, so that the limited prosecutorial resources were not expended on minor offenses,” the email read. It goes on to say moving to dismiss the photographer’s charge would be unfair to other defendants who are charged via summons.

Keith’s civil rights attorney, Wylie Stecklow, said he believes DA Bragg not only has the right but the obligation to intervene in the photographer’s case. He said Cy Vance, the former Manhattan DA, did intervene to dismiss summonses issued to journalists during the Occupy Wall Street protests.

“Alvin Bragg has every legal authority to dismiss this summons,” Stecklow said. “I think he’s making a mistake here and I hope he’s going to correct it.

The NYPD did not immediately respond to the I-Team’s request for comment. 

Video of the May 8 protest shows Stephanie Keith’s arrest was ordered by Chief John Chell, the NYPD’s Chief of Patrol and one of the department’s highest ranking uniformed officers. Chell did not respond to the I-Team’s request for comment, but in the hours after Keith was arrested, Chell told reporters the journalist was detained and charged because she allegedly interfered with three arrests.

Stecklow say the many angles of video taken that day prove Chell’s statement to be a falsehood, and he said the Citizen’s Complaint Review Board is now investigating Chell’s conduct related to the photographer’s arrest. 

“I believe it is the rank of Chief John Chell that is impacting decisions here concerning her prosecution,” Stecklow said.