Melissa is continuing her work with wild horse issues and has launched an Instagram feed HERE.
Photo by J. Bruce Baumann
This is from the NPPA blog:
ARLINGTON, VA (June 25, 2013) – Robert E. Gilka, a newspaper photographer and editor who was a mentor to legions of photographers and who was the director of photography for National Geographic Magazine for more than 27 years, died today.
Gilka was 96 and in hospice care in Arlington, VA, photojournalist Bruce Dale said, and he was battling with his third round of pneumonia this year when he peacefully passed at 4:40 a.m.
“Bob was a father figure to me, and to many of us who may not have had a father,” Dale told News Photographer magazine today. “He dressed us down when we needed it, but he always stuck up for his staff. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to defend his photographers.”
“The halls and offices of National Geographic are buzzing with Bob Gilka stories,” Chris Johns told News Photographer magazine today. Johns, who was only 28 when he was named the Newspaper Photographer of the Year, and who only three weeks ago was promoted to Geographic’s editor in chief and executive vice president, probably knew Gilka as well as anyone over the decades.
“There is laughter and there are tears because Bob touched so many lives in remarkable ways. He was an honest, direct, no-nonsense gentleman we never wanted to disappoint. He didn’t gush and go on and on about our work, but we knew he cared deeply about us and believed in the work we were doing. He encouraged us, set standards of excellence and instilled in us the desire to become better photographers and editors. And, most importantly, he inspired us to grow in all aspects of our lives. Bob made me want to become a better son, husband, father, colleague and friend. I speak for many when I say how truly grateful we are to have known Bob and worked for him.”
A protégé of Gilka, Johns is the first photographer to be named editor in chief of the magazine. Gilka was a mentor to so many of the leading magazine and book photographers of our era, many who shot their first assignments for National Geographic motivated more to prove themselves to the sometimes-gruff photography director than to see the credit line “National Geographic” behind their byline.
Photojournalist and editor J. Bruce Baumann said today, “When Gilka retired from the Geographic, I sent him a note expressing my gratitude for being the father I never had. He was always there for me and so many others. I also told him that I was sad that had retired. He wrote back and in typical Gilka fashion said, ‘I still have my memories.’ Those words continue to serve me well to this day. He was the best of the best and I loved him.” Baumann was a Geographic photographer and picture editor who worked for Gilka before he returned to newspapers.
From PHOTOSHELTER: There’s an interesting conversation going on over at The Atlantic about working for free. The talk is among journalists, but it’s not much of a stretch to bring it into the photography (or really any creative) space.
It started last week with journalist Nat Thayer, who was asked by The Atlantic website to repurpose a blog post for free. The original article, “25 Years of Slam Dunk Diplomacy: Rodman trip comes after 25 years of basketball diplomacy between U.S. and North Korea” was posted on NKNews.org. After it was published, an editor from The Atlantic emailed Thayer to ask if he would be interested in adapting a version for their website – for free.
Thayer took to his blog and posted his correspondence with the editor.
“We unfortunately can’t pay you for it, but we do reach 13 million readers a month,” said the editor in her email to Thayer. “I understand if that’s not a workable arrangement for you, I just wanted to see if you were interested.”
To that Thayer responded: “I am a professional journalist who has made my living by writing for 25 years and am not in the habit of giving my services for free to for profit media outlets so they can make money by using my work and efforts by removing my ability to pay my bills and feed my children…Frankly, I will refrain from being insulted and am perplexed how one can expect to try to retain quality professional services without compensating for them.”
This story was posted on Jan. 2, 2013.
Six new members of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame will be inducted into the organization at a ceremony April 27 at Indiana University in Bloomington.
The new members, honored for their distinguished careers in newspaper or broadcast journalism or journalism education, include:
- The late Joe Aaron, a longtime reporter and columnist for the Evansville Courier. Aaron joined the Courier in 1955 after working for newspapers in New Mexico, Montana and Virginia. He began writing a five-days-a-week column for the Courier in 1957, continuing until he died of a heart attack in 1986 at age 57. Aaron won a National Headliner Club Award for best local interest column, but the greatest tribute to his appeal might be that the Evansville Courier & Press continues republishing his columns in its Sunday editions 26 years after his death.
Melissa Farlow, a native of Paoli, Ind., an award-winning photojournalist for National Geographic and several newspapers. She graduated from Indiana University in 1974, after which she became a photographer for the (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal. Her work chronicling riots over court-ordered school desegregation helped the Courier-Journal win the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. She later worked for the Pittsburgh Press before joining National Geographic, for which she has gone on assignments around the globe. She has also been an instructor with the Missouri Photo Workshop for more than 25 years. [Read more...]
THE ANNENBERG SPACE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY PRESENTS NO STRANGERS: ANCIENT WISDOM IN A MODERN WORLD OPENING NOVEMBER 17, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CA (August 23, 2012)–The Annenberg Space for Photography is pleased to announce its next exhibit – no strangers: ancient wisdom in a modern world, a group show about the wonder of culture and the plight of indigenous people throughout the world. no strangers is guest curated by esteemed anthropologist, author and photographer Wade Davis. This exhibit opens to the public in Los Angeles on November 17, 2012 and runs through February 24, 2013.
no strangers explores the ways cultures express a shared humanity and navigate the circle of life. It poses a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive? When the people of the world answer this question, they do so in 7,000 unique voices. Tragically, half of these may be silenced within a generation or two. At risk is our human legacy, a vast archive of knowledge and expertise. Rediscovering a new appreciation for the diversity of culture is a crucial challenge that should be faced.
Photographers featured in the exhibit are Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, Wade Davis, Chris Johns, Lynn Johnson, Steve McCurry, Randy Olson, Chris Rainier and Hamid Sardar.
…The exhibit will feature an original short documentary produced by Arclight Productions for the Annenberg Space for Photography. The film will be shown in vivid detail on two 14’ by 7’ screens in 4K resolution. Filmed in locations throughout the world, from Washington, DC to British Columbia, Canada to London to Mongolia, the documentary will feature additional photographs, interviews and behind the scenes footage with exhibit photographers, indigenous people and experts. The film will examine indigenous cultures through photography’s lens and encourage viewers to consider ancient traditions in a new context.
The themes explored in the exhibit include: The Circle of Life, Our Shared Origins,
Ancient Wisdom, Sacred Geography, Endangered, Globalization, Ritual & Passages, Beauty, Quest for Spirit and Joy of Culture.
National Geographic magazine opened up it’s Instagram account to a number of us and was received enthusiastically as a “behind the scenes” way for photographers to communicate. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the BJP article. You can click on the link at the end to read more.
But one household name was quick to realise Instagram’s full potential. A few weeks after its launch, Instagram signed its first major brand partnership with National Geographic. When the deal was first announced, the goal was for National Geographic to share photo tips and offer photography challenges to its followers. But in recent months, it has become an integral part of the magazine’s operations – with professional photographers taking over NatGeo’s feed of images – reporting instantly from their travels and photo shoots. As a result, a number of renowned photographers have created their own accounts and are now building their own following of dedicated photography enthusiasts.
BJP claims that Instagram signed with NG as a “brand partner,” in the graph above, but I’m not sure that is actually true. There was an article in TechCrunch about the possibility of this, but folks at NGM who should know, say a deal was never made.
What is interesting is how different publications are dealing with this phenomena, the New Yorker is paying a different photographer each week to add photos to their Instagram account. NGM is not paying but feels the additional traffic to the individual photographers will make it worthwhile. Ed Kashi has photographed for both feeds and talks about the future possibilities in the BJP article:
“What concerns me is that this is yet another channel for creating and disseminating photography that does not bring in income. At least not yet,” says Kashi. “I gather ‘building your brand’ is all the rage and while I acknowledge the importance of that, it’s not why I create nor do I see a direct correlation to making a living and developing this field into the digital era where creators’ work is respected, compensated and properly appreciated.”
The black stallion reared up to face the helicopter. Dust and brush pelted me as I braced, pointing my camera upward as it hovered, bearing down on me. Sun streaked into my lens. It looked near perfect…
Of course it looked near perfect. It was a MOVIE—not an authentic life encounter with real wild horses and helicopters like I experienced when I was working on a story for National Geographic magazine on mustangs.
(And… no, that’s not me. She’s an actress (Mireille Enos) who plays Brad Pitt’s wife in an upcoming zombie movie, and she is the heroine in this film.)
Although there were long hours waiting to shoot pictures, there wasn’t the uncertainty I feel in real life wondering “if” it will happen but in this case “when” it would happen. There were a few parallels to my life, but I still am a bit mystified how I ended up on a Hollywood movie set. The manufactured scenes looked as realistic as the real-life Western roundups I witnessed with horses, helicopters and wranglers.
I can always tell it is the end of a semester when students are on deadline and write me with a list of questions for a class paper. They want to know where is the most exciting place I’ve ever been, what is my favorite picture and how they can become a “National Geographic photographer.” The Internet makes me accessible. Randy and I also get numerous requests to donate photographs to fundraise for worthy causes. Some get answered. Others don’t. When I am on the road for weeks at a time, emails like this can get lost in the shuffle.
I kept one such email request in the IN box, however, and read it months later. A woman making a film wanted to use some of my photographs—her subject was near and dear to my heart—wild horses.
We corresponded and spoke on the phone. I heard her passion and engaged. One thing led to another and all of a sudden I found myself on a plane to LA to photograph on a movie set with some of the most impressive, talented people in Hollywood film. I have to admit that part of what captured my attention is that Stephanie Martin co-wrote a script with her Wellesley classmate Jessica Walsh to point out the issues surrounding mustangs in the American West. She happened onto my web site and found some inspiration and formed a story where a magazine photographer has an encounter with a mustang named Phantom and ends up photographing a BLM round up of wild horses. No, it isn’t about me specifically–I wasn’t arrested (that would be EARLIER in my career) and I didn’t grow up in Nevada (Indiana), but I was intrigued that my life and my photographs of wild horses triggered a reaction from her, and something told me this would be an interesting experience.
Stephanie (on far left in above photo, next to me) who has made a career as a Cinematographer in features, shorts, documentaries and commercials, was accepted into an American Film Institute directing workshop for women. She is a sincere, strong-willed, persuasive and focused woman who was following her dream to direct—but little did I know that she is also married to one of THE MOST talented and admired cinematographers in the world (Robert Richardson—google him) who won Academy Awards for Hugo (last year), also for The Aviator and for JFK. He’s worked with directors Martin Scorsese, John Sayles, Rob Reiner, Oliver Stone, Barry Levinson, Robert De Niro, Errol Morris, Robert Redford, and Quintin Tarantino and has an amazing eye for drama and light. Bob was going to shoot Stephie’s film.
So this short 12-15 minute film with a budget raised partly on Kickstarter was in reality a pretty big production of some of the most gifted assistant directors, editors, camera operators, producers, actors that anyone could assemble. They were all DONATING their time and talents to make a great little movie that might turn into a big-time full-length feature film. At any one time there were dozens of people on the set—but there were so many friends and co-workers behind the scenes—I am guessing there were 60-70 people involved in the one-week shoot.
My role was to photograph images that the heroine photographer shoots in the film (Mireille Enos, TV show “The Killing” who also stars with Brad Pitt in “World War Z” is shown above)…to coach her to be a believable photographer (she was a natural)…and to photograph behind the scenes (much fun but a delicate dance). Bob let me set up a camera anywhere around him—under him—over his shoulder, beside him—of course just not in front of him. He was aware of everything going on around him all the time. Not a particularly willing subject, he tolerated me making photographs of him. I think he understood this was Stephanie’s moment and he wanted it to work.