• /the-shot-blog/space-brings-little-ken-light-town


    Imagine photographing in complete darkness using a Hasselblad camera no auto focus, no fast film, with a single flash. Today this scenario would present quite the challenge but in 1982 it was the technique of photography and single best method for highly acclaimed photographer Ken Light.


    Born in the Bronx, raised in East Meadows, NY- social photographer, organizer and filmmaker Mr. Light graced the stage at the Space and he brought the nostalgia of film and the great photographers of the past with him.


    Covering his works of the last 40-years, Ken presented images of the 1970 Ohio State University riots, travels with President Nixon, race relations in Mississippi, to his current portfolio documenting the socioeconomic decline of California Central Valley.


    He also discussed his now famous coverage of death row inmates and gave a nod to his recent court case with Current TV and Al Gore - where he sued for their unauthorized use of one of his images

    ...sadly the court sided with the other guy!

    And of course as a professor and curator at the University of Berkley, Ken did not fail to mention the great traditions of American photography or its founders...


    ...giving shout outs to the great Lewis Hine, Dorothea Lange, and Walker Evans and their work during the Great Depression. During the lecture, Ken explained that it is the duty of every generation of photographers to reexamine the same issues of the past so these issues don't go ignored.

    In other words, New School meet the Old School


    and don't forget the R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

    After answering questions from the audience, Ken autographed books in the ASP Reading Room.

    Thank you Professor Light! Very illuminating!

    (All pictures © Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/burden-thirst-lynn-johnson-and-special-guest-jim-thebaut

    Lynn Johnson, one of the featured photographers in our current exhibition, WATER: Our Thirsty World, was joined at the Space on Thursday by documentary filmmaker, Jim Thebaut.

    The two environmental activists delivered a moving recount of the water crisis that included a blend of powerful imagery and stories of local heroes who act for change in their communities.

    For what she describes as one of the most meaningful photographic works of her life, Lynn traveled on assignment for National Geographic to Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia to learn and document the stories of women and children and their struggle to gather water.

    To find these stories, National Geographic partnered with WaterAid, an NGO nestled in the community - that has helped to implement responsible and sustainable solutions to overcome the crisis in these areas.

    With the help of WaterAid, water committees made up of local constituents including women, have been established providing women the resources and education to organize and manage water and sanitation facilities.

    Lynn's images depict the burden of water and the burden of violence as a connected conflict facing all women in these communities-

    the sickness and disease experienced due to contaminated water and lack of hygiene education,

    ...inadequate human waste disposals due to water inaccessibility,

    ...and sexual violence and physical abuse due to long distance travels to find safe water.

    While Lynn and Jim's lecture focused on the challenges of the water crisis,

    it delivers a message of how individuals can create change with global impact right from their very own back yards.

    To learn more about how you can create change visit WaterAid.com.

  • /the-shot-blog/balazs-gardi-returns-space

    POYi winner Balazs Gardi, who was one of the featured photographers in the 66th POYi Exhibit last year, returned to the Space to present an insightful and heartfelt lecture on marginalized communities facing water crisis.

    Balazs, whose works are mostly independent, started his presentation with his images documenting conflict situations in Afghanistan. His presentation also covered communities experiencing water related crisis in Australia, Dubai and even Las Vegas.

    Balazs is known for using photography as a base but layering it in way that reaches out to people. His unique presentation was a multimedia feature that included audio, still images and motion graphics.

    At the end of the lecture, Balazs shared his views on modern social utilities, such as Twitter, as an independent voice and alternative to traditional media outlets. Social media is a new way for like minded people to share experiences on water related issues that won't appear in traditional media sources.

    The lecture was followed by some very pointed and interesting questions from the audience, fielded by an unflappable Balazs.

    Despite the gravity of the discussion, the lecture was well balanced with fear, hope and even some humor.

    One question in particular focused on the frustration of solving the problem of water crisis and whether an actual solution exists.

    Balazs answered very adamantly with "I think every problem has an answer to it...

    ...I am a very optimistic person with a lot of cynicism."

    (All Photos © Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/beltra-offers-first-iris-nights-lecture-water-exhibit

    Daniel Beltra kicked off the IRIS Nights Lecture series for the WATER: OUR THIRSTY WORLD exhibit last night with a wake-up call of a lecture.

    A very soft-spoken but decidedly NOT timid man, Daniel took us on a virtual tour through the hills of Patagonia, Alaska, the Ross Sea and the Amazon Rain Forest.

    Through the process he was able to address glaciers shrinking, ice caps melting,

    animals being threatened with extinction,


    drought,


    flooding,

    logging,

    mining,

    massive fires


    and all the other fun stuff you'd expect to hear about on a Thursday night out.

    It was pretty intense stuff - A perfect match for our current exhibit.

    Thank you, Daniel, for a great launch.

    (All photos © Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/water-our-thirsty-world-new-exhibit-national-geographic-opens

    Yes we've reached another great moment at the Photography Space...a new exhibit in conjunction with National Geographic's special single-topic issue focuses on the world's freshwater crises.

    We also celebrated our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

    On hand to help us launch the new show and offer a hearty happy birthday were all the nice folks from National Geographic: (L-R) Sandra Postel (NG Freshwater Fellow & Director of the Global Water Policy Project), Terry Garcia (NG Executive VP, Mission Programs), William Marr (NG Director of Photography; rear) Wallis Annenberg (Annenberg Foundation Chairman of the Board, President and CEO; front), Sarah Leen (Senior Photo Editor for National Geographic magazine), Lynn Johnson (featured photographer - "The Burden of Thirst"), Jonas Benkdiksen (featured photographer, "The Big Melt"), John Stanmeyer (featured photographer, "Sacred Waters"), Chris Johns (National Geographic magazine Editor in Chief) and Dennis Dimick (National Geographic magazine Executive Editor)

    This is another shot without the photographers but with our own Pat Lanza, the Talent and Content Manager for the Space. And here's one with just Wallis and the photographers who attended.

    (L-R; John Stanmeyer, Wallis Annenberg, Lynn Johnson, Jonas Bendiksen)

    What is the show like? It's intense.

    The print show mirrors the NatGeo issue, covering six major themes - The Big Melt, California's Pipe Dream, The Burden of Thirst, Parting the Waters, Silent Streams, and Sacred Waters.

    At a small cocktail party/reception we hosted a few hundred people who took in the images - some beautiful and some tragic - before gathering in the digital gallery to hear a few words and watch the digital feature. Among the guests were previous exhibitors in the Space like

    Laurence Ho (L8S ANG3LES Exhibit),

    ...and Lauren Greenfield (L8S ANG3LES Exhibit)

    ...not to mention a number of our lecturers like Juergen Nogai (with his lovely wife Jeannie)

    ...Gerd Ludwig who is also actually an exhibitor in the current show. (here with Chris Johns of NatGeo)

    ...Rick Rickman (seen here with some party crasher).

    ...and Douglas Kirkland's divine wife Francois!

    We were also graced by the new Director of MOCA, artworld emprassario Jeffrey Deitch!

    Once inside the Digital Gallery,

    we were treated to a small introduction by

    Leonard Aube (Annenberg Foundation Executive Director)

    ...and then some lovely words from Lauren Greenfield who heralded our first year, revealed that her first job was as a NatGeo intern, and brought Wallis to the podium.

    ...then Wallis introduced NatGeo Editor in Chief Chris Johns, who

    ...wait for it...wait for it...

    ...introduced the show!

    You can watch it online by clicking the image above, but if you really want the full experience, I think our 7'x14' screens are a better way to see it. So come down to the Space, Wednesdays through Sundays, 11am-6pm (Except Thursdays when we close at 5pm to prepare for the lecture).

    And take a look at the upcoming lectures to make sure you don't miss any speakers in this vital series about Our Thirsty World!

    (all images © Angela Weiss for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/steve-fine-shows-us-how-its-done-si-style

    Guess who came to the Photography Space?

    SMILE! It's Steve Fine from SI!

    In the 'green room' before his lecture Steve paced claiming he was nervous, but you would never have known it once he started his lecture. Steve was alternately brash, funny, informative, inspired and inspiring.

    Here's Steve's brash, funny, informative, inspired and inspiring dance:


    brash

    funny

    informative

    inspired

    inspiring!

    He brought with him some amazing produced and scored slideshows of the 2010 Olympics:

    and regaled us with tales of 9 staff photographers, too little snow, too many pictures and the magic of putting it all together in real time like no one but Sports Illustrated can.

    Steve's lecture was the final IRIS Nights talk during the SPORT: Iooss & Leifer exhibit, and his powerful presence drew quite a few luminaries including (surprise) Mike and Kitty Dukakis!

    Steve - showing absolutely no signs of his alleged pre-show 'nerves' - was an ever-gracious speaker/host to all,

    ...including Lucy Nicholson from Reuters (who also lectured here),

    ...more than half of his 9 photographer staff, and even the illustrious and incomparable Howard Bingham!

    All in all we were treated to a highly entertaining and amusing evening.

    Thanks Steve!

  • /the-shot-blog/rutherford-and-mendoza-step-plate

    One thing that we love about the lectures for the SPORT exhibit has been the wonderful assistance provided by the Women Sports Foundation, who helped us bring some incredible athletes to share the podium with photographers. They introduced us to Aimee Mullins who came to speak with Howard Schatz, and Laila Ali who spoke with Mikki Willis.

    Last night was another great pairing - this one with a female athlete AND a female photographer - the lovely lenslady Marla Rutheford and the bubbly Olympic medalist Jessica Mendoza.

    From the way these two ladies played off of each other and cracked each other up you would think you were a fly on the wall at a fun sleepover, not in the room with innovating industry leaders.



    For all the laughter and fun the two were very serious in their discussion of their experiences and the not so charming realities about making it in the industry of sports photography.

    Marla spoke to the challenges she has faced in developing a trust relationship with her subjects, resorting to charm, intellect, a lot of humor and even a little fibbing so they would feel comfortable posing for artistic semi-nudes.

    Jessica discussed the wake-up call moment she had when one of the first images of her in circulation was digitally enhanced by the publishers, causing her to question whether or not her appearance should play such a central role in the coverage of athletics.

    They both shared captivating stories about these and other turning points in their extraordinary careers.

    ...and try as they might they could not stop cracking each other up!

    At the end of the day we were just thrilled to be in the presence of such positive, accomplished and inspiring ladies.

    (All photos © Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/throwdown-space


    When Laila Ali took the podium at the Space yesterday with her favorite photographer Mikki Willis, many of us were already expecting a brazen and strong voice from the reigning champion of women's middleweight boxing and daughter of the most famous boxer ever - Muhammad Ali.


    Without a doubt Laila Ali lived up to the hype.


    Laila was a powerful presence.


    Mikki quizzed her on her boxing career and ran a slideshow of his work including some iconic portraits of her.

    What we didn't expect was for Ali to be called out by a female audience member, amateur boxer Miss Tami, and challenged to a match to defend her undefeated title. During the Q & A following the lecture, Miss Tami approached the podium and faced Ali in a boxing stare down, "calling her out in front of everyone."

    Laila surprised everyone by calling Miss Tami up to compare builds, reach, and hand-sizes. The audience was thrilled even as Staff pondered whether or not the situation was going to require a call to security.

    It was clear, even before a smile broke free from them both, that the fearless mother, wife and fighter Laila Ali had no need for any guard or security.


    Although Miss Tami or shall we call her Miss T. didn't get Ali to agree to a bout in the ring, her encounter might just develop into a more amiable relationship with one of the most inspirational female boxers today.


    That Mikki Willis was personally selected by Laila Ali to discuss her life and career in front of an audience at the Space came as no surprise.

    Their understanding of social responsibility and commitment to improving the lives of others is a common thread demonstrated in their work and emerged as the focus of the lecture.


    The bulk of Mikki's questions turned the spotlight on Ali and were centered on her experiences and ideals rather than the intricacies of each photograph he captured of her,


    but the discussion between the two friends still embodied the framework of Sports photography, the essential moments and people of sports history as captured by the photographer.

    You tell us: How would you define Sports Photography?

    (All photos © Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/jimmy-chin-too-nice

    Jimmy Chin came to the Space to offer an IRIS Nights Lecture about his unique form of sports photography. What's so unusual about Jimmy's work you might ask? First of all he comes off as the nicest most unassuming guy you could ever meet.

    He's almost cartoon character cute with an ever-present smile and a talent for understatement that would be hard to beat.

    You would never guess by looking at him that he has climbed to the top of Mt. Everest a few times...and skied down from the top! Yes - this is him dutifully recording his friends walking across a ridge so that they could get to the best face to ski down. That little thing popping up from the ridge all the way to the right is a human being.

    Jimmy said "we encountered a few minor obstacles getting across..." which meant that they had to rappel down one side of a gap in the ridge more than 40 feet until they could get the right angle to SWING to the other side of the gap - AT 28,000+ FEET!!!! - where they could keep creeping along until they got to this side:

    Then they skied down at a descent angle of more than 50 degrees.

    The whole time he described this as is it were the most normal thing in the world. Or should I say the most normal thing at the TOP of the world.

    And here's an intimate little portrait of the top of the world. The weather gets a little weird 5 miles up - who knew?

    Can you tell what this is? Sure! Just a person walking across some rickety ladders strapped to each other to form a rickety bridge that I wouldn't walk across at 10 feet no less 28,000.

    But THAT is what these crazy mountain people do!


    A couple of Jimmy's mountain goat friends came to lecture to show support, including Emile Hirsch. Back in January Jimmy led a weeklong all-star Summit on the Summit expedition up Mount Kilimanjaro to bring awareness to the climate summit. Emile joined as did Jessica Biel, Lupe Fiasco, Isabel Lucas and Elizabeth Gore.

    That kind of activism takes dedication.


    Emile was kind enough to pose afterwards with his mountain mentor Jimmy.

    So that was what Jimmy and Emile did on their Winter vacation...while I caught up on my Tivo'd episodes of Heroes.

  • /the-shot-blog/neil-leifer-returnsthis-time-its-personal

    He came back! Yes that's right...Neil Leifer returned to our Space and gave an unprecedented 2nd IRIS Nights lecture!

    (photo © Damon Webster)

    Neil is truly a one-of-a-kind photographer. His one-of-a-kind work is on display at the Space through March 14. Don't miss it if you haven't seen it yet! Neil's so "one-of-a-kind" that we asked him to come back and offer a second lecture.

    I love this pic...so Hitchcock!

    Neil's lecture was an all new look at the subject of Football - the images coming from his insta-classic Taschen book "Guts & Glory: Golden Age of American Football," which he was very happy to show and tell us about.

    If you have never had the opportunity to hear Neil Leifer speak you have to add this to your bucket list. His funny, fact-filled forays into the history of modern sports are truly unique.

    Of course every good Neil Leifer lecture starts with ... well ... NEIL!...and no one can talk about the brash young teenage photographer breaking onto the scene like Neil can. Here he is facing off with his own history:

    (photo © Damon Webster)

    ...and here he's consulting his current favorite authority on the subject...

    As always, his images are historic, innovative and - at times - humorous!

    Does ANYONE remember when football cheerleaders looked like this?

    Amazing. For a man who has witnessed and participated in over 5 decades of sports history,

    ...Neil remains ever-grateful, ever-enthusiastic, ever-engaging and ever-entertaining about his life.

    Thank you once again Mr. Leifer for another wonderful night!

    (All photos © Unique for the Space except where noted)

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