* the camera roll *

little snaps from my iphone, among other things

Archive for the ‘great photographers’ Category

my buddy cary

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Photo by Cary Conover

here is a blog posting by my old friend cary conover about his 9/11 experience:


cary is a dear and old friend of mine who i luckily met back when we were scrub college kids participating in the finals of the hearst journalism awards back in the mid 90s.  he is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, and one of the most amazing street photographers i’ve ever seen.

the photo above is of the crew of guys that cary ran with back in his nyc days.  at center opening the bottle while standing next to the 1990s boom box is jamal wilson, behind him with the cup is andy cutraro, the guy with the glasses sitting to andy’s left is aris economopoulos, and the guy with the mutton chops at far right is patrick witty.  the rest of the guys look familiar, but i’m not too sure who they are.


Written by John

September 12, 2011 at 6:52 am

chris hondros

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feeling pretty damn melancholy, in light of the news about chris hondros.

hondros and i met back during the weeks right after 9/11, when for some odd reason i found myself covering the brouhaha in peshawar, pakistan, for the chicago tribune.  i think he was there as a getty stringer.  not quite sure how i met him, might have been over breakfast at the pearl continental hotel in peshawar, or maybe in the one discreet speakeasy on the roof of the hotel.  either way, we became shooting buddies during our month-long stay in peshawar.  we would go shoot protests together, and would keep a watch out for each other when things would get hairy.  we would bum computer equipment off of each other and edit each other’s work.  we swapped medicine — i gave him some cipro and he gave me some malaria pills.  go to his website HERE and click on the “pakistan” gallery.  many of these pics were from this trip.

we had talked about sneaking into afghanistan once the story shifted away from pakistan.  he had hired this driver with this old yellow car that had said would drive us thru the khyber pass once the taliban fell.  well, hondros eventually went into afghanistan, while i for some reason stayed in the pakistan side.  i can blame my editors for keeping me in pakistan to cover the islamic fervor there, but deep down inside i kinda wanted to stay back because in the end, i was too chicken for conflict photography.  hondros, on the other hand, was much braver than me and had a much stronger sense of mission with his photography.

so tonight i’ve been digging thru my old hard drives for my pics from that pakistan trip.  i know i have a bunch of pics in cds filed away somewhere.   all i can seem to find are these two pics of hondros:

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN - OCT 8, 2001: Chris Hondros during a protest in Peshawar.

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - OCT 27, 2001: Chris Hondros and I in an elevator at a hotel in Islamabad.

i haven’t seen hondros in about 8 or 9 years.  the last time i saw him, he crashed on my couch back in chicago because he was stuck in o’hare and figured to give me a call.  i guess it was either the o’hare floor or my couch.  i think we went drinking that night.

i’ve always managed to keep up with what he was doing.  the photojournalism world is tiny, with no more than two degrees of separation from pretty much the entire profession.  hondros’ boss at getty (pancho bernasconi) was my old sports photo editor at the chicago tribune.  and my buddy here in san francisco justin sullivan is a fellow getty photog and friend of hondros’.  so i had always managed to hear some tidbits about what he was doing.  i had also heard about these legendary parties he would throw back in nyc.  it didn’t surprise me that hondros had a ton of friends.  he just seemed to have a knack for making friends.  and not air-kiss cocktail party friends, but friends who haven’t seen him in almost a decade yet are completely crushed at the news of his death.

here is a really great page in tribute to him.

so as i was digging around for some pics of hondros tonight, i remembered that he once gave me a couple copies of this little booklet that he made from his kosovo project.  it’s called “the darkest days of spring; photographs from the kosovo refugee crisis for the u.s. agency for international development”.  i’m not sure when he made these.  based off of chronology that i’ve been able to piece together, this was his first big international project.  below are some pages from it.  if anyone is interested in high res versions of the entire book, just send me a note.

Written by John

April 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm

i am smitten by this story

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and just think, john maloof has barely scratched the surface.  here’s a link to his blog about her and his project.

Written by John

March 25, 2011 at 10:37 pm

love it

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i love it.


did i say already that i love it?

the lines between stills and video are blurring.  this, from the behind the scenes look into the project:

This is the first time that video has been as significant as the print portfolio.

Ms. Ryan (Kathy Ryan, NY Times Magazine photo editor) said she knew from the beginning that she did not want this year’s performers simply to sit for a portrait.

“Celebrity portraiture demands reinvention,” she said.

Written by John

December 8, 2010 at 2:38 pm

cool iphone/shakeitphoto pics from my boy heisler

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the dude’s just damn good, and such a nice guy too!


Written by John

March 29, 2010 at 7:33 am

multimedia, 65 years ago

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so i was watching turner classic movies the other day, and this little classic movie short from 1944 called “jammin’ the blues” came up:

this featured legendary jazz saxophonist lester young, along with a bunch of other musicians that i’m embarrassed to admit that i don’t know.  kinda like an early music video.  pretty cool little flick.  has a great film noir feel to it.  keep watching it, there’s some really cool graphic composition and lighting thinking going on.

but what’s really amazing about this is that the film’s director is legendary life magazine photog gjon mili.  for those who might not know who he is, shame on you.  here’s one of his more famous pictures, this of pablo picasso:

do a google image search for gjon mili to see what else he shot.

with all the recent flurry of photographers shooting video, i’m loving this reminder that while we fumble with our fancy video-enabled DSLRs, there are legends past who can run circles around our pathetic attempts at moving pictures.

and while i’m at it, let us not forget the master of all modern renaissance men, gordon parks.  the gordon parks of life magazine fame, the gordon parks who was an accomplished painter and music composer, and the gordon parks who happened to direct this movie below:

Written by John

December 30, 2009 at 3:30 pm

really great stuff

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miki johnson, the social butterfly of the photo set, just posted this on her facebook, of some really cool rock portraits:


you know what i really like about these?  it’s that with the exception of the albert watson shot of mick, they’re all super simple images.  no fancy lighting, no big studios, no big productions.  just great immediate moments.  simple, honest and unmolested.


Written by John

October 7, 2009 at 10:09 am