• /the-shot-blog/aaron-huey-i-walk-be-great-unkown

    Photographer Aaron Huey's life simply screams adventure. He has shot for such for places all over the world for such high-profile publications as  National Geographic, the Smithsonian Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.

    Aaron began his IRIS Nights lecture reflecting on the theme of the current exhibition at the Space: "Extreme Exposure." He defines "extreme" as "furthest," "remotest," and "inaccessible."

    We all go for walks, but nothing compares to how Aaron goes about doing it - he really goes for a walk! He spent a good portion of his lecture on his series of photographs that focused on his trek across America in 2002. He and his dog, Cosmo, spent 154 days covering 3,349 miles from California to New York, walking every step of the way. That's sure to put some good wear and tear on your sneakers!

    Aaron explained that this walk was not a photo project but "a meditation." It was a way for him to help clear his thoughts. He walks "to be in the great unknown."

    Like most of us, Aaron has a million things going through his mind at once and he wanted to purge these overwhelming thoughts. He provided a humorous (yet not too far-fetched!) visual of what his thought process looks like.

    Like the "thought" slide above proves, humor is a big part of Aaron's personality and was also a big part of his lecture. He had the audience in stitches throughout!

    In attendance that night was journalist and friend of the photographer, Alex Chadwick.

    While traveling across America, Aaron revealed that, due to the generosity of the people he encountered, he only spent $250 dollars of his own money during his entire trip across America. He took people up on their charitable offers to feed him and put him up in their homes for the night. What did he get offered the most? Beer, bibles as well as other leisurely diversions.

    Aaron also talked about the time he has spent documenting the people of the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. It's a place he cares deeply about and he travels there several times a year.

    Here's Aaron with the Annenberg Foundation's Charles Weingarten, who stopped by to say hello after the lecture. We're sure the two swapped quite a few stories about their own travels around the world!

    You did such a great job at IRIS Nights, Aaron and best of luck on your next adventure! If you go for another long walk, remember to invest in a good pair of sneakers!

    Click here to watch Aaron's IRIS Nights lecture online. For more information about Aaron visit his official Website.

    (All images by Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/omeara-brings-volcanoes-life


    Stephen James O'Meara, one of our Extreme Exposure featured photographers, was the first IRIS Nights lecturer in our new series. O'Meara and his wife Donna (who graced us with her presence at our opening night) have lived on a volcano for the past 30 years. You read right - they not only take pictures of volcanoes erupting around the globe, they LIVE atop an active one.

    Stephen's lecture was called "Does the Moon Affect Volcanoes on Earth?" - which if you attended you now know is not such a wild subject. Stephen is an animated speaker who is incredibly inspired by his studies. He also happens to be an astronomer, so no one could be better prepared to answer this question. Stephen explained how the Moon affects tidal flows of water, but also of the Earth crust itself.

    He went into great detail about how the tides of the Earth's crust rise and fall at regular interval, but when the Earth is closest to the Moon (perigee) those tides are more rapid and when the Earth is farthest from the Moon (apogee) the tides of the crust grow more slow.

    The best part was how he demonstrated this change by condensing the daily and monthly tidal intervals by breathing in and out. It was an incredibly simplified demonstration but it made very clear what the effect Moon has on tides (both water and crust) and therefore on the probability of volcanic eruptions.

    Steve seemed like he was about to erupt a few times!

    It was a great pleasure listening to such an informed and inspiring individual. I can't believe we've never had a Vulcanologist/Astronomer lecture here before!

  • /the-shot-blog/extreme-exposure-our-newest-exhibition-opens-space


    Young and old came to celebrate the opening of "Extreme Exposure," the sixth at the Space!

    This collection of images focuses on five photographers who journey to the most dangerous places on Earth to capture photographs that will simply blow you away.

    Photographer Clyde Butcher was in attendance and so was one half of husband and wife volcanologist/photographer team Donna and Stephen O'Meara. Stephen O'Meara was unable to join the festivities because he was at home (on top of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii!) caring for the couple's dog, Daisy Duke (yup - that's probably the only time you will read 'home', 'volcano', 'dog', and 'Daisy Duke' in a single sentence!)

    Here the two pose with Wallis Annenberg.

    And here's guest curatorial adviser Cristina Mittermeier proudly showing off one of Paul Nicklen's stunning photos.

    Annenberg Foundation Executive Director Leonard Aube took to the podium to help launch the "Extreme Exposure" IRIS Nights lecture series and also introduce...

    ...Clyde and Donna to the audience! Donna had a chance to say a few words to the large group of revelers...

    ...then Clyde followed with his unique Florida charm!

    What's your most extreme experience? Visitors shared their own by writing on this white board at the Space. This little one is very young yet still had something to contribute!

    Actress China Chow and MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch took in the great photography on our 7' x 14' hi-definition screen.
    (photo by Stefanie Keenan for the Space)

    Donna, ever so friendly, hangs out with staff members from the Space!

    Here are some of the Annenberg folks who were responsible for making the launch party such a great success!


    (photo by Stefanie Keenan for the Space)

    Come to the Photo Space to witness the great lengths some will go to so to capture stunning photographs. There's no risk to you - our photographers have already taken care of the danger part for you!

    And don't forget to check out the IRIS Nights lecture series related to Extreme Exposure. Click here for the schedule.

    (All images by Unique for the Space except where noted)

  • /the-shot-blog/extreme-exposure-erupts-space

    You may have seen a video making the rounds this month of "extreme adventurer" Drew Bristol getting closer to a live volcano than most of us would ever want to get. The jaw-dropping footage was taken from inside the Marum volcano on Ambrym Island in the South Pacific this past summer.

    We have our own "volcano hunters," showing their work in the Extreme Exposure exhibition at the Photo Space, a new group exhibit featuring spectacular images from five unique talents in photography who work on the edge of wildlife, climate and environment.

    Husband and wife team Donna & Stephen O'Meara have been photographing volcanoes all over the world for the last 25 years. They also enjoy getting as close to volcanoes as they possibly can, but they take it a step further - they live on top of Kilauea, a live volcano in Hawaii!

    Come see photos by the The O'Mearas as well as photographers Clyde Butcher, Michael Nichols and Paul Nicklen up close and personal at Extreme Exposure, opening Saturday, October 23rd at the Space and running through April 17, 2011.

    Don't miss it!

  • /the-shot-blog/recent-developments-douglas-kirkland

    "Recent Developments" is a new regular feature on the blog that will keep you up to speed on what's going on with photographers who have exhibited or lectured at the Space in the past. It will be a place where you can find out where work by these photographers is currently being exhibited and what new adventures they have embarked upon since we last saw them. We hope you enjoy reading these updates about our friends as much as we enjoy passing them along!

    The first photographer in our "Recent Developments" update is Douglas Kirkland, who was featured in the Space's very first exhibition, L8S ANG3LES, a show that that included such iconic photos of his as the one of Marilyn Monroe above.

    He was also our very FIRST IRIS Nights guest lecturer!

    The famed photographer is having his first major retrospective in Australia, titled "Douglas Kirkland: A Life in Pictures," right now! All of our Aussie readers should rush over to Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art to check out.

    Aside from Monroe, photos by Douglas of Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Stevie Wonder, Jack Nicholson, Andy Warhol, Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel and many others are included in the collection. Also, in what sounds like an astonishing addition, is a large set of photos taken on the set of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video. The exhibit closes on October 24.

    You can listen to an informative interview with Douglas conducted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about the exhibit here.

    Here's Douglas at the opening of our Space standing between our fearless leader, Wallis Annenberg, and L8S ANG3LES photographer Greg Gorman, along with other exhibiting photographers like (clockwise) Carolyn Cole, guest curator Anne Wilkes Tucker, Julius Shulman, Kirk McKoy, our Foundation co-director Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Tim Street-Porter.

    Keep checking back on the blog for more "Recent Developments!"

  • /the-shot-blog/francine-orr-listening-comes-first

    This is what Francine Orr revealed early on in her IRIS Nights talk: "photojournalism is my passion." The LA Times photographer showed just how much she cares about the people she photographs by giving an awfully touching and moving lecture.

    The first series of photographs in Francine's presentation focused on her documentation of people in Africa who live on just pennies a day. She told the audience that she had a hard time talking to people suffering from poverty but spoke to them anyway due to a strong urge to tell their stories.

    Francine spent a bit of time talking about one photo in particular, that of a wide-eyed African woman named Margaret who was dying of HIV.

    She described the moment she convinced Margaret's children to allow her to photograph their mother. She told them that the haunting image would tell the world her story and in turn this would help others.

    Francine uttered several fervent soundbites during the lecture. One of our favorites was "Poverty sucks!"

    Orr has spent a large amount of her career ensconced in dangerous places all over the world. She recounted one story about a time when she was in Africa and suspected her "fixer," the man she hired to protect/translate for her, planned to rob her of her expensive camera equipment.

    She remembered how she'd been told by others in her field to go with her instincts. One morning, she wisely ditched him and went out on her own for the rest of her trip.

    Francine also went into detail about how she befriended several homeless people she documented who live under the 7th Street Bridge in LA.

    During the presentation of her final slideshow, Francine held a brave 7-month old baby boy who is the subject of a story to be published in an upcoming edition of the LA Times - a truly touching moment. That night he became the youngest person to go up on our IRIS Nights stage!

    When asked by an audience member if she records interviews with her subjects before she starts photographing them, or shoots them first and then interviews them, Orr responded that's it's neither. For her, the listening comes first. When dealing with a story, she says, "the number one thing I try to do is listen." Quite a statement for a photographer.

    Her two years working for the Peace Corps, on the island of Yap in Micronesia, was where she said she really learned to listen. She taught in a school there with no electricity, no outside communication except for visiting documentary film crews and anthropologists. Gathering around oil lanterns at night the Yapese people would share stories with her and each other...with not a single distraction. One of her former students from Yap - now living in the US - recently found her on Facebook and came to the lecture with a sister in tow!

    Thanks, Francine, for sharing such moving and inspiring stories. We hope to hear more of them in the future!

    For more information about Francine visit her upcoming official Website.

    We at the Space are very excited to bring you videos of IRIS Nights lectures in a more timely manner. Click here to watch Francine's lecture online!

    (All images by Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/iris-nights-proudly-hosts-katie-falkenbergs-first-lecture

    We first met Katie Falkenberg during last year's POYi exhibit when her "Sugarcane Worker" portrait had just been honored by the acclaimed photojournalism contest. Her work is featured again in the current exhibit and this time she made sure to come out and speak at IRIS Nights. You wouldn't know it based on how at ease she was in front of the audience, but last night's IRIS Nights talk was the first time Katie had ever given a lecture. What a natural! She displayed an immensely charming presence and a warm smile that captivated the audience the entire evening. Katie divided her lecture into two halves, dedicating each part to a specific photography project. The first half focused on her series of photographs about domestic violence in Pakistan titled "In The Name of Honor." Shockingly, 70-90% of women in Pakistan are victims of domestic violence and Katie's moving images helped shed light on their stories.  Her series "Mountaintop Removal" tells of the drastic effects Mountaintop coal mining has on certain communities in Kentucky. At the end of the evening, a still smiling Katie shared more about her work by graciously spending time answering questions from those who came out to hear her speak. We're honored to have hosted your first lecture, Katie. You did a great job! We hope to see you speak again at the Space very soon! For more information about Katie visit <a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.katiefalkenbergphotography.com/" href="http://www.katiefalkenbergphotography.com/" "target="_blank">her official Website. (All images by Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/kitra-cahana-mature-work-young-photojournalist

    Yesterday we were host to Kitra Cahana, the photographer whose powerful portraits of nomadic youth became our street banners for the current exhibit "The Year".

    We all have Kitra Cahana's father to thank for encouraging her interest in photography starting at a very young age. Last night, Kitra described to the audience at IRIS Nights how, as a young teen, he would ask her to capture her emotions with a camera.

    Amazingly, Kitra's never had any kind of formal training in photography - going out and photographing the world was her only education in the medium. Talk about being born with a keen eye!

    Kitra's professional career began at the very young age of 17 when one of her photographs covering the Israeli Disengagement of Gaza made the front page of the New York Times. A few years later, she would go from the pages of the Times to their physical offices where she ended up as an intern with the paper.

    One advantage of photodocumenting dangerous conflicts in places like Gaza and the Congo at a young age, is that you may not realize how much your life is in jeopardy while in these situations.

    Kitra revealed that the danger aspect of the job never crosses her mind! This kind of wide-eyed invincibility might be what helps Kitra produce such riveting pictures from around the globe.

    In attendance were several members of the Rainbow Family, whom she featured in her popular Rainbowland series.

    It's nice to see that she's remained friendly with some of her photo subjects!

    Kitra's talents don't lie exclusively in photography. During the lecture, she read some of her own poems inspired by and created from her still images.

    Kitra explained that she uses poetry to create a more comprehensive body of work and intends to continue to explore the marriage of different artistic mediums in future projects.

    Such great insight into the mind of an incredible natural. And to think, Kitra still has many more decades of work ahead of her!

    Can't wait to see more!

    For more information about Kitra and her projects, visit her official Website.

    (All images © Unique for the Space - except iPhone photo of the Street Banners)

  • /the-shot-blog/david-butow-brings-china-iris-nights

    Last night POYi award-winning photojournalist David Butow was our guest lecturer at the Space, speaking on the subject he has covered for much of this decade - China.

    China's economy and culture have been rapidly changing over the last 10 years and David has been there to document those transformations every step of the way. During that time, he's made at least one annual trip to the Middle Kingdom.

    David presented three photo essays for his IRIS Nights lecture. First, was the deadly Sichuan earthquake that struck the region in 2008.

    Second, was his documentation of the Uighur people, an ethnic minority who live mainly in the Northwestern part of the country and who are largely of the Muslim faith. A Uighur uprising in 2009 threw the region into turmoil.

    And lastly was David's look at China's trendy twenty-something culture. He explained that while the largely 'only-child' youth face desires, expectations and obstacles that are unique to their country, they are still essentially just like every other young person in the world.

    At one point David asked the audience how many of them had recently visited China and was surprised to see how many hands shot up.

    David took questions at the end of each of the three sections so the audience could discover more about each individual body of work. This was the first time IRIS Nights deviated from its format of a sole Q&A session.

    Through David, we got a special window through to the many different faces that populate a country with a population of 1.3 billion people and growing.

    We can't wait to see more photos from David documenting his future travels to China and elsewhere around the globe! Travel safe!

    You could learn more about David's work on his official Website.

    (All images © Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/ami-vitale-story-within-story

    Acclaimed photographer Ami Vitale joined us at the Space on Thursday and shared her award winning work shot in Kashmir along with other recent still and video projects. Vitale's photographs have appeared in Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report and The New York Times, among others.

    We didn't know what to expect but got very positive words from the one-and-only David Hume Kennerly who called the day of the lecture to express his regrets for not being able to attend.

    She was - as Kennerly forewarned us - extremely charming and quite a wonderful photographer. The theme of her talk was "The Story Within The Story" and she told many...

    Touching stories, beautiful stories, tragic stories - moments of memory made timeless by the arresting images she took as they unfolded.

    The images were poignant portraits of cultures and identities around the globe, and the stories she shared about them were just as engaging- we wished she published her written journal.

    Her presentation displayed the strong bond that she shares with her subjects and the communities she works in.

    A bond which - it was clear - she had no trouble making with those who came to hear her speak as well.

    Ami withheld no details regarding her choice of photo gear, her process - or her decision not to use Photoshop.

    She also made it clear through retelling some personal experiences, that she thinks every photographer should fight to keep their copyright.

    A transporting evening courtesy of an amazing talent...and so friendly and approachable too!

    Thank you Ami!

    (All images © Unique for the Space)

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