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BVT News Roundup 1 January 2014.

We’re gonna need a bigger floatie.

From the New York Times, a photographic essay of the flotsam found in some of the city’s waterways: 

When Willis Elkins, a Houston native, began exploring New York City by canoe in 2008, he was interested in studying the infrastructure and collecting some flotsam. “How the waterways work,” he says, is connected to “how we discard objects.” There were plenty of them, too, washed up in places like the mouth of Newtown Creek, where the items pictured here were found on a single day in May. Elkins, who works at a nonprofit that focuses on environmental issues, notes that much of the trash that washes ashore in the city isn’t there because of careless littering; it is discarded but ends up in the water when a rainstorm pushes the sewage system to capacity. But, he says, “people think that once you put it in the trash can, the problem no longer exists, basically.”

(Photos by Jens Mortensen)

From the New York Times, a photographic essay of the flotsam found in some of the city’s waterways:

When Willis Elkins, a Houston native, began exploring New York City by canoe in 2008, he was interested in studying the infrastructure and collecting some flotsam. “How the waterways work,” he says, is connected to “how we discard objects.” There were plenty of them, too, washed up in places like the mouth of Newtown Creek, where the items pictured here were found on a single day in May. Elkins, who works at a nonprofit that focuses on environmental issues, notes that much of the trash that washes ashore in the city isn’t there because of careless littering; it is discarded but ends up in the water when a rainstorm pushes the sewage system to capacity. But, he says, “people think that once you put it in the trash can, the problem no longer exists, basically.”

(Photos by Jens Mortensen)

Morning News Read 5 September 2013

image

Recently The Gordon Parks Foundation discovered over 70 unpublished photographs by Parks at the bottom of an old storage box wrapped in paper and marked as “Segregation Series.” These never before series of images not only give us a glimpse into the everyday life of African Americans during the 50′s but are also in full color, something that is uncommon for photographs from that era.

"I spent the entire day the building collapsed on the scene, watching as injured garment workers were being rescued from the rubble. I remember the frightened eyes of relatives — I was exhausted both mentally and physically. 
"Around 2 a.m., I found a couple embracing each other in the rubble. The lower parts of their bodies were buried under the concrete. The blood from the eyes of the man ran like a tear. 
"When I saw the couple, I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I knew them — they felt very close to me. I looked at who they were in their last moments as they stood together and tried to save each other — to save their beloved lives. 
"…This photo is haunting me all the time. If the people responsible don’t receive the highest level of punishment, we will see this type of tragedy again. There will be no relief from these horrific feelings. I’ve felt a tremendous pressure and pain over the past two weeks surrounded by dead bodies. As a witness to this cruelty, I feel the urge to share this pain with everyone. That’s why I want this photo to be seen."

— Photographer TASLIMA AKHTER, on his photo of man and a woman discovered in a final embrace amidst the rubble of a fatal building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh.
(via Time Magazine)

"I spent the entire day the building collapsed on the scene, watching as injured garment workers were being rescued from the rubble. I remember the frightened eyes of relatives — I was exhausted both mentally and physically.

"Around 2 a.m., I found a couple embracing each other in the rubble. The lower parts of their bodies were buried under the concrete. The blood from the eyes of the man ran like a tear.

"When I saw the couple, I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I knew them — they felt very close to me. I looked at who they were in their last moments as they stood together and tried to save each other — to save their beloved lives.

"…This photo is haunting me all the time. If the people responsible don’t receive the highest level of punishment, we will see this type of tragedy again. There will be no relief from these horrific feelings. I’ve felt a tremendous pressure and pain over the past two weeks surrounded by dead bodies. As a witness to this cruelty, I feel the urge to share this pain with everyone. That’s why I want this photo to be seen."

— Photographer TASLIMA AKHTER, on his photo of man and a woman discovered in a final embrace amidst the rubble of a fatal building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh.

(via Time Magazine)

"I was covering the finish line at the ground level at the marathon. Everything was going on as usual. It was jovial — people were happy, clapping — and getting to a point where it gets a little boring as a photographer. And then we heard this explosion. 
"It was sort of like, ok, what’s that all about? It wasn’t super loud but all you saw was the smoke. There was this big cloud of smoke and people screaming. The percussion from that explosion threw my cameras up in the air. Right in front of me, one of the runners fell on the ground — he was blown over from the blast. My instinct was…no matter what it is, you’re a photographer first, that’s what you’re doing. I ran towards the explosion, towards the police; they had their guns drawn. It was pandemonium. Nobody knew what was going on. 
"The first thing I saw were people’s limbs blown off. Massive amounts of blood. It looked like BB holes in the back of some people. And a lot of anger. People were just angry. What’s going on? Why is this happening at the Boston Marathon? 
"Maybe 15 seconds after the first explosion, while I was still shooting pictures, another explosion went off. And then there was panic. The cops told everybody to get off the street, that there could be another one.
"I can’t compare it to anything else I’ve ever been to. The horror. And the anger."

— Boston Globe photojournalist JOHN THUMACKI, on witnessing — and documenting — the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
(via Time magazine)

"I was covering the finish line at the ground level at the marathon. Everything was going on as usual. It was jovial — people were happy, clapping — and getting to a point where it gets a little boring as a photographer. And then we heard this explosion.

"It was sort of like, ok, what’s that all about? It wasn’t super loud but all you saw was the smoke. There was this big cloud of smoke and people screaming. The percussion from that explosion threw my cameras up in the air. Right in front of me, one of the runners fell on the ground — he was blown over from the blast. My instinct was…no matter what it is, you’re a photographer first, that’s what you’re doing. I ran towards the explosion, towards the police; they had their guns drawn. It was pandemonium. Nobody knew what was going on.

"The first thing I saw were people’s limbs blown off. Massive amounts of blood. It looked like BB holes in the back of some people. And a lot of anger. People were just angry. What’s going on? Why is this happening at the Boston Marathon?

"Maybe 15 seconds after the first explosion, while I was still shooting pictures, another explosion went off. And then there was panic. The cops told everybody to get off the street, that there could be another one.

"I can’t compare it to anything else I’ve ever been to. The horror. And the anger."

— Boston Globe photojournalist JOHN THUMACKI, on witnessing — and documenting — the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

(via Time magazine)


A diver has a very personal moment of dejection at the bottom of the pool during the 2012 CCCA Swimming and Diving State Championships at East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium on Thursday, April 26, 2012 in Monterey Park, CA. (Photo by Suzanne Tylander © 2012) This particular photo represents an emotional moment rarely caught underwater. This particular diver was expected to win the entire event. The diver knew as soon as he hit the water his form was flawed and that he might have just lost it all. I was fortunate enough to witness this moment as it was unfolding underwater. I captured the sequence of emotion just a split second after he hit the water and began to sink to the bottom with a sense of defeat written in his body language This was the image I chose from the series. I have felt this emotion and disappointment before as many athletes do. My chance to capture it underwater was rare but beautiful. It is a moment no competitive athlete wants to relive but something important that many of us can relate to. It is raw and human and real.

A diver has a very personal moment of dejection at the bottom of the pool during the 2012 CCCA Swimming and Diving State Championships at East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium on Thursday, April 26, 2012 in Monterey Park, CA. (Photo by Suzanne Tylander © 2012) This particular photo represents an emotional moment rarely caught underwater. This particular diver was expected to win the entire event. The diver knew as soon as he hit the water his form was flawed and that he might have just lost it all. I was fortunate enough to witness this moment as it was unfolding underwater. I captured the sequence of emotion just a split second after he hit the water and began to sink to the bottom with a sense of defeat written in his body language This was the image I chose from the series. I have felt this emotion and disappointment before as many athletes do. My chance to capture it underwater was rare but beautiful. It is a moment no competitive athlete wants to relive but something important that many of us can relate to. It is raw and human and real.

I have to say I was surprised at the anger over the pictures, of the people who are saying: Why didn’t he put the camera down and pull him out?

But I can’t let the armchair critics bother me. They were not there. They have no idea how very quickly it happened.

They do not know what they would have done.

Before I went into the subway, I had been up in Times Square, and my camera was still set for outside lighting. The flash was on 1/64th of a second, which would be split-second recharging.

People think I had time to set the camera and take photos, and that isn’t the case. I just ran toward that train.

The sad part is, there were people who were close to the victim, who watched and didn’t do anything. You can see it in the pictures.

The truth is I could not reach that man; if I could have, I would have.

But the train was moving faster than I could get there.

Photojournalist R. UMAR ABBASI, writing in today’s New York Post, “Anguished Fotog: Critics Are Unfair to Condemn Me”