Polaroid: The Revival

(from www.nytimes.com: Polaroid Photographers Plead Their Case) Five photographers who regularly shoot with Polaroid instant cameras describe the impact of the company's decision to discontinue the film in February 2008, and their hopes for a return of the film's production by The Impossible Project, a group of European entrepreneurs that have acquired control of the Dutch factory where film was once made.

Other Polaroid websites of note:




Talent Abounds at Topeka West!

As I have stated in the past, I truly enjoy sharing the photographic talent of our Topeka West students. Several students have come forth within this first month of school wanting to share their websites, blogs, and galleries to get their work to a broader audience and I congratulate them for wanting to do so!!

This post will include images by a Topeka West graduate and a student who is new to the photography program. Anna Wenner (who is currently taking Photography 1) has been involved with photography for nearly 10 years with her involvement in 4-H. She recently emailed me to share her gallery on DeviantArt.com. I have selected a few of her fantastic images to showcase here:

The rest of Anna's images can be seen at: http://fullofsecrets.deviantart.com/. Anna is a wonderfully talented young woman and I hope you enjoy viewing her images as much as I did.


Secondly, way back at the beginning of this blog's creation, I shared a link to Caitlin Seals Schwanke's website. Caitlin is a graduate of Topeka West High School and is still continuing to add to her portfolio of work:

Caitlin's website can be viewed at http://web.mac.com/c_seals_schwanke/iWeb/Photography/Home.html. Caitlin is also available for senior pictures! If you are interested in contacting her feel free to email her for availability and pricing at c_seals_schwanke@mac.com.


Lastly, if you have not recently strolled through C building you are missing out on some wonderful photography displayed outside of room C307 (Mr. Berryman's room). Four times a semester the two (Photosynthesis) boards hanging within the windows of room 307 change to showcase the work of current advanced photography students. The images are always varied and extremely creative. Many times students walk by without notice until I point out the images and then they always carefully view each and every one of them.....students enjoy looking at work by their fellow students! So the next time you are in C, stop by and take a look. The advanced photo students would greatly appreciate it!!


AP Press Publishes Controversial War Photo

Last week the Associated Press published one of the most controversial photos taken during either the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is not unusual for an Associated Press photographer to be embedded with a Marine troop, following the Marines through their daily activities and visually recording their movements and actions. What is unusual is the acting Secretary of Defense (Robert Gates) asking the AP Press not to publish a particular photo that was taken during an ambush on a Marine convoy last month.

(from msnbc.com):

While [Associated Press photographer Julie Jacobson] was embedded with Marines in Helmand last month, a Marine convoy was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, or RPG. It struck Lance Corporal Joshua M. Bernard severing his legs. He was treated on the scene, but later died at a combat field hospital.

The AP took still photos and video of the attack, and of Bernard, as he lay dying.

Several weeks later, while working on a feature story about the war in Afghanistan, the AP reporter met with Bernard's family and told his father that they had photos and video of their son before he died. Bernard's father was furious that the photos of his mortally wounded son would potentially be published, so he reached out to the U.S. Marine Corps, asking them to stop the publication.

The AP had not violated any rules of embedding, so the Marines' hands were tied. Gates found out about this and called AP President Thomas Curley yesterday to try to stop the photo release.

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Gates called Curley yesterday and was "begging him" to "defer to the wishes of the family," adding that the publication of the photo would "cause them great pain."

AP disagreed and the photo was released.

If we are mature enough as a nation to fight a war on foreign soil, shouldn't we also be mature enough to "show the reality of the war there, however unpleasant and brutal that sometimes is?" [Santiago Lyon, Director of Photography, AP]

Due to the controversial nature of this photo I am choosing not to re-publish the image on this blog. But if you would like to decide for yourself (as msnbc.com has chosen to do) you can view several of the images taken by Jacobson before and after the ambush in this slideshow.

Also, feel free to leave a comment below discussing whether or not you believe the photo should have been published. Is it the Associated Press's journalistic duty to publish any and all photos taken during the war? Or did they disrespect the wishes of the family who did not want the images published? Voice your opinion!


The most AMAZING photo of the Universe!

(be sure to click on the image above!!)

(from gizmodo.com): Showing 10,000 galaxies, the overwhelming Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) is the most amazing, most humbling image in history, demonstrating how tiny and precious we are. The video (below) explains how it was taken, and shows it in three dimensions.