Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Associated Press Photo Operations Head Hal Buell: ‘I had the greatest job in the whole world.’

 Via AP

January 31, 2024


Hal Buell, who led AP’s photo operations from darkroom era into the digital age, dies at 92


SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — Hal Buell, who led The Associated Press’ photo operations from the darkroom era into the age of digital photography over a four-decade career with the news organization that included 12 Pulitzer Prizes and some of the defining images of the Vietnam War, has died. He was 92.

Buell died Monday in Sunnyvale, California, after battling pneumonia, his daughter Barbara Buell said in an email. His final two months were spent with her and her husband, and he died in their home with his daughter at his side.

“He was a great father, friend, mentor, and driver of important transitions in visual media during his long AP career,” Barbara Buell said. “When asked by the numerous doctors, PT, and medical personnel he met over the last six months what he had done during his working life, he always said the same thing: ‘I had the greatest job in the whole world.’”

Colleagues described Buell as a visionary who encouraged photographers to try new ways of covering hard news. As the editor in charge of AP’s photo operations from the late 1960s to the 1990s, he supervised a staff that won a dozen Pulitzers on his watch and he worked in 33 countries, with legendary AP photographers including Eddie Adams, Horst Faas and Nick Ut.


Famous black and white photograph from the Vietnam War of South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brig Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes a suspected Viet Cong officer with a single pistol shot in the head in Saigon, Vietnam, Feb. 1, 1968.. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams, File)

FILE - South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brig Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes a suspected Viet Cong officer with a single pistol shot in the head in Saigon, Vietnam, Feb. 1, 1968. The image won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams, File)


“Hal pushed us an extra step,” Adams said in an internal AP newsletter at the time of Buell’s retirement in 1997. “The AP had always been cautious, or seemed to be, about covering hard news. But that was the very thing Buell encouraged.”

Buell made the crucial decision in 1972 to run Ut’s photo of a naked young girl fleeing her burning village after napalm was dropped on it by South Vietnamese Air Force aircraft. The image of Kim Phuc became one of the most haunting images of the Vietnam War and came to define for many all that was misguided about the war.

After the image was transmitted from Saigon to AP headquarters in New York, Buell examined it closely and discussed it with other editors for about 10 minutes before deciding to run it.


black and white photograph from the Vietnam war of  terrified children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, as they run down Route 1 near Trang Bang after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
FILE - In this June 8, 1972, file photo taken by Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut, South Vietnamese forces follow behind terrified children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, as they run down Route 1 near Trang Bang after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places. The image won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography. He was 92. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)


“We didn’t have any objection to the picture because it was not prurient. Yes, nudity but not prurient in any sense of the word,” Buell said in a 2016 interview. “It was the horror of war. It was innocence caught in the crossfire, and it went right out, and of course it became a lasting icon of that war, of any war, of all wars.”

Ut was just 20 when he made the iconic photo that won him the Pulitzer Prize. Without Buell’s support, he said, the photo might never had become a symbol of the war.

“He thought it was powerful, and he wanted to get it out right away,” Ut said by phone Tuesday.

He said he last spoke several weeks ago with Buell, who he called a mentor and a great friend.

“Hal was the best boss I ever had,” Ut said. “He was very supportive of me.”

Santiago Lyon, a former vice president and director of photography at AP, called Buell “a giant in the field of news agency photojournalism.”

David Ake, who recently retired as AP’s director of photography, said Buell set the standard for that role.

“I can’t tell you the number of times I would get a pearl of ‘Hal wisdom’ from one staffer or another,” Ake said. “He will be missed both in the AP and by the entire photojournalism community.”

Buell joined the AP in the Tokyo bureau on a part-time basis after graduating from Northwestern University in 1954 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism. He was serving with the Army at the time, working on the military newspaper Stars and Stripes.

Out of the Army two years later, he joined AP’s Chicago bureau as a radio writer, and a year later, in 1957, was promoted to the photo desk in AP’s New York office.

Buell returned to Tokyo at the end of the decade to be supervisory photo editor for Asia and came back to New York in 1963 to be AP’s photo projects editor. He became executive news photo editor in 1968 and in 1977 he was named assistant general manager for news photos.

During his decades with AP, technology in news photography took astonishing leaps, going from six hours to six minutes to snap, process and transmit a color photo. Buell implemented the transition from a chemical darkroom where film was developed to digital transmission and digital news cameras. He also helped create AP’s digital photo archive in 1997.

“In the ‘80s, when we went from black-and-white to all color, we were doing a good job to send two or three color pictures a day. Now we send 300,” Buell said in the 1997 AP newsletter.

Former AP CEO Lou Boccardi said in a statement that Buell drove this remarkable period of innovation and transition, but he never forgot, nor did he let his staff forget, that capturing “the” image that told the story was where it all had to start.

“Fortunately for us, and for news photography, his vision and energy empowered and inspired AP Photos for decades,” Boccardi said.

After retiring in 1997, Buell wrote books about photography, including “From Hell to Hollywood: The Incredible Journey of AP Photographer Nick Ut;" “Uncommon Valor, Common Virtue: Iwo Jima and the Photograph That Captured America;” and “The Kennedy Brothers: A Legacy in Photographs.” He was the author of more than a dozen other books, produced film documentaries for the History Channel and lectured across the United States.

“In the ‘80s, when we went from black-and-white to all color, we were doing a good job to send two or three color pictures a day. Now we send 300,” Buell said in the 1997 AP newsletter.

Former AP CEO Lou Boccardi said in a statement that Buell drove this remarkable period of innovation and transition, but he never forgot, nor did he let his staff forget, that capturing “the” image that told the story was where it all had to start.

“Fortunately for us, and for news photography, his vision and energy empowered and inspired AP Photos for decades,” Boccardi said.

After retiring in 1997, Buell wrote books about photography, including “From Hell to Hollywood: The Incredible Journey of AP Photographer Nick Ut;" “Uncommon Valor, Common Virtue: Iwo Jima and the Photograph That Captured America;” and “The Kennedy Brothers: A Legacy in Photographs.” He was the author of more than a dozen other books, produced film documentaries for the History Channel and lectured across the United States.

FILE 




Winter Break - And a new exhibition, "The Movies"

 

black and white photograph of young child pulling a sled behind them on a dirt road with snowy embankments

Verner Reed: In search of snow, Stowe, Vermont, 1964

The Gallery will be closed Friday, Sunday, and Monday (February 2, 4, 5) for our Winter break. The Gallery Will be open on Saturday, February 3 from 11-5.


The new exhibition "The Movies" officially begins on February 7 and will be on view through April 14, 2024. Please join us for an open house reception on Saturday, February 17 from 4-6 pm.


YouTube introduction to The Movies






Monday, January 29, 2024

Panel Discussion: Nina Berman among journalists behind Scientific American's multimedia reporting project

 Via Columbia Graduate School of Journalism School

January 29, 2024


The U.S. is embarking on its biggest nuclear weapons production project ever which will cost taxpayers nearly $2 trillion dollars. To investigate the dangers and risks of nuclear weapons policy, Scientific American teamed up with Columbia Journalism School professors, Princeton's Program on Science and Global Security and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, to create Missiles On Our Land, a video documentary, a 5-part podcast, data visualizations and print stories.

Join us Jan 29 at Columbia Journalism School's Lecture Hall from 6pm - 8:00pm for a talk about nuclear weapons policies and risks and how to successfully report on big issue topics across multiple media platforms.


Panelists:

Jeffrey DelViscio, Chief Multimedia Editor, Scientific American

Tulika Bose, Senior Multimedia Editor, Scientific American

Nina Berman, CJS Professor, co-director of Fallout

Duy Linh Tu, CJS Professor, co-director of Fallout

Sebastien Tuinder, CJS Alum, editor of Fallout

S├ębastien Phillipe, Princeton University

Ella Weber, Princeton University

Katie Watson, Brown Institute

Mark Hanson, Brown Institute


Columbia Journalism School

Lecture Hall 2950 Broadway New York, NY 10027 United States

Thursday, January 25, 2024

"Journalists play an important role in holding those in power accountable...."

 

Via Brandi Morin on Twitter

January 25, 2024


"I was I was arrested on January 10 while reporting on a police raid on an Indigenous encampment in Edmonton. During the arrest of the camp’s leader I was targeted and told I had to leave the area. When I tried to assert my rights as a journalist, rights which have been upheld by high courts in two provinces, I was arrested and charged with obstruction. 

My editors and lawyers feel this charge is an attempt to send me a message. Now, I need your help to send one back. 

I hope you’ll stand with me."




Wednesday, January 24, 2024

New Exhibition: The Movies - and Flying With Michelle Yeoh

 

The opening image in the new exhibition "The Movies" is Joe McNally's stunning photograph of actress Michelle Yeoh suspended from a helicopter over the iconic Hollywood sign.


actress Michelle Yeoh suspended from a helicopter over the famous Hollywood sign, California, 1998


On a 2002 Jimmy Kimmel interview session, Michelle spoke about "flying" with Joe McNally as a stunt over the Hollywood sign, for a story in the National Geographic.






Joe McNally wrote about the making of this photograph on his blog, here.
"Jimmy Kimmel dryly observed that I should have been arrested for doing this to her. She recalls being very cold. I recall her being absolutely magnificent, hanging off those wires, just across from me, as I hung from the other skid."




Photographer Joe McNally and actress Michelle Yeoh suspended from a helcopter over the Hollywood sign in Californaia, 1998


The Movies is on exhibit through April 14, 2024. Join us for a public reception open house on Saturday, February 17, 4-6 pm.









Friday, January 19, 2024

Ways of Seeing: Four Photographic Collections

 Via The New Mexico Museum of Art

January 18, 2024


Art collectors are often said to have “a good eye” for pictures, but what does that really mean? This selection of photographs from three collections recently donated to the museum and one promised gift illustrates a variety of approaches to choosing works of art and assembling a collection. United by a passion for photography, each collector brings a distinctive sensibility to the undertaking. Artist Jamie Brunson and her former husband Mark Levy gravitated to large color photographs of the 1990s that reflect their interest in social justice and meditation. Photographer and photo dealer Don Moritz amassed a large collection of that included a group of prints by David Michael Kennedy. New Yorker W.M. Hunt was attracted to images of people whose eyes are not readily visible and searched internationally for decades to build a unique holding on that theme. Santa Fe collectors Caroline Burnett and her late husband William chose images that moved them deeply, ultimately creating a collection largely of modernist photographs from the mid-twentieth century. On view will be suites of work from each collector, including photographs by Ruth Bernhard, Edward Burtynsky, Harry Callahan, Adam Fuss, David Michael Kennedy, Minor White, and more.


Opening Saturday, January 20

At the 1917 Plaza Building 

New Mexico Museum of Art
(505) 476-5072
Plaza: 107 West Palace
Santa Fe, NM


Related article in the Santa Fe New Mexican Pasatiempo: Photography in NMMoA's new exhibit reflects the eye of the beholder

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Three years on, little justice for press assaulted on Jan. 6

Via Press Freedom Tracker

January 2, 2024


This Saturday marks three years since we watched, horrified, as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a failed attempt to halt the democratic process of counting electoral votes. Nearly 20 journalists were assaulted and thousands of dollars in news equipment was destroyed in the riot.



Three years after the failed attempt to halt the democratic process of counting electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021, the Department of Justice has charged more than 1,100 people with criminal activity that day. Yet it has charged only a few of those who committed assaults on journalists, attacked as they covered the rapidly escalating events in Washington, D.C.

Nearly 20 journalists were assaulted — dragged over a wall, punched in the face or had a camera stolen. Tens of thousands of dollars in news equipment was also destroyed in the riot.

Of the six people who were charged with assaulting journalists, most were for the mob assault of Associated Press photojournalist John Minchillo, who was pushed, punched, dragged through the crowd and thrown over a wall. Four people have been charged with his assault — two pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison; two others are working their way through the justice system.

One of the men charged in the assault of photographer Minchillo was also charged in the assault of documentary journalist Nick Quested. Quested was filming the riot from the steps of the West Plaza when the man grabbed his camera and attempted to pull him down the stairs.

New York Times photographer Erin Schaff was inside the Capitol when a crowd attacked her. In her account for the outlet, Schaff wrote that when the rioters realized she worked for the Times, they became angry, stealing and breaking her equipment: “At this point, I thought I could be killed and no one would stop them. They ripped one of my cameras away from me, broke a lens on the other and ran away.” A woman was charged with inciting the assault on the photojournalist and sentenced to prison.

Schaff’s wasn’t the only news equipment targeted by rioters. She was one of four journalists who had gear like camera lenses, broadcast cameras and recording devices damaged during their assaults.

Most large-scale harm of news equipment occurred when rioters attacked a media staging area. A Reuters cameraman was filming as rioters ripped apart the staging area, breaking news equipment, piling it up and attempting to set fire to it.

A man, later charged with destroying equipment belonging to media outlets including The Associated Press and German public-service broadcaster ZDF, tackled the Reuters journalist to the ground. He subsequently pleaded guilty to two assault charges and was sentenced to four years in prison and three years of supervised release.

Five other rioters have been charged in relation to damaging news equipment; at least one has been sentenced to pay ZDF more than $30,000 in restitution.


For 15 other journalists documenting events in and around the Capitol on Jan. 6, no criminal charges have been filed in their assaults:

Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, a freelance photojournalist on assignment for The Washington Post, was hit by crowd-control munitions fired by law enforcement multiple times.

Independent journalist Douglas Christian told the Tracker he was harassed, pursued and punched by rioters near the Russell Senate Office Building.

PBS NewsHour correspondent Lisa Desjardins told VICE News that someone grabbed her and tried to wrest her phone away.

Independent journalist Nate Gowdy
told the Tracker he was standing on a railing photographing rioters storming the Capitol when a man threatened him and shoved him off.

Independent journalist John Harrington told the Tracker he was assaulted and harassed multiple times by rioters. He said he was hit in the head with what he believes was a fire extinguisher and also hit with a chair thrown by a rioter in a scuffle with police officers.

Slate reporter Aymann Ismail said he was pushed by a Capitol Police officer as a way to slow down the crowd of people behind him who were trying to force their way into the Capitol Building.
Reporter Vincent Jolly was livestreaming for Le Figaro when a man knocked his cellphone out of his hands, destroying it.

Photojournalist Chris Jones of 100 Days in Appalachia told the Tracker he was confronted by rioters inside the Capitol for being a journalist and was picked up and dragged out of the building. Later in the day, a flash-bang grenade fired by Capitol police exploded right next to him, damaging his camera pouch.

Christopher Lee, a freelance photojournalist on assignment for Time magazine, said rioters identified him as a journalist and started to grab and remove him from the Capitol.

CNN photojournalist Ronnie McCray was assaulted by a rioter who also smacked his camera.
Freelance journalist Christopher Morris said he was assaulted at least four times, with rioters “pushing, shoving, some kicking [and] pulling” on him.

VICE News cameraman Chris Olson and international correspondent Ben Solomon were attacked by several rioters on the steps of the Capitol. A man attempted to smash Olson’s camera, damaging the handle grip, and another gave Solomon a “good hard shove to the throat.”

Members of a WTTG television news crew were assaulted and harassed by a woman who was later arrested and charged with multiple criminal counts by the DOJ for her actions during the Jan. 6 riots. While the charging document describes the woman as “kicking two members of a news team” none of the charges filed were directly related to their assaults.