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Photography || JAMES DEAN: THE ACCIDENTAL ICON ©

ACTORS ’50s

So much has been written about James Dean, and his influence looms so large over movies and over popular cultural in general, that it’s always jarring to be reminded that at the time of his death, at the preposterously young age of 24, he had starred in only three films — one of which hadn’t even been released when he died in a car crash on September 30, 1955.

James Dean, New York City, 1955.

James Dean, New York City, 1955.

And yet, as iconic an actor and star as Dean has become, much of the public’s view of the brooding young man from Indiana was, in fact, formed not by his utterly singular onscreen presence in GiantEast of Eden or even Rebel Without a Cause, but by a series of remarkable pictures made in early ’55 by the great photographer Dennis Stock.

James Dean in his apartment on West 68th Street, New York City, 1955.

James Dean in his apartment on West 68th Street, New York City, 1955.

In his wonderful 2005 book James Dean: Fifty Years Ago, Stock writes of trying to get the rapidly rising actor, whom he barely knew, to agree to let the photographer chronicle Dean’s return to both New York and Indiana from his new home in Los Angeles.

James Dean in his apartment on West 68th Street, New York City, 1955.

James Dean in his apartment on West 68th Street, New York City, 1955.

“The story, as I explained it [to Jimmy],” Stock wrote, “was to reveal the environments that affected and shaped the unique character of James Byron Dean. We felt a trip to his hometown, Fairmount, Indiana, and to New York, the place of his professional beginnings, would best reveal those influences…. I would solicit an assignment guarantee to cover expenses. The obvious magazine to approach was LIFE…. It took only a week for LIFE to approve the assignment.”

James Dean, New York City, 1955.

James Dean, New York City, 1955.

The photographs that Stock produced during his time with Dean captured an introspective, intensely self-analyzing (and occasionally self-absorbed) artist — albeit one who could, at times, also be self-deprecating almost to the point of parody.

James Dean attending dance classes given by Katherine Dunham, New York City, 1955.

James Dean attending dance classes given by Katherine Dunham, New York City, 1955.

LIFE, meanwhile, ran a number of the pictures in its March 7, 1955, issue, under the headline, “Moody New Star.” East of Eden was about to open. Rebel had already made Dean a household name. Less than six months later, the phenomenally talented, category-defying actor would be dead — and would pass into legend.

James Dean with the great Geraldine Page in her dressing room, New York City, 1955.

James Dean with the great Geraldine Page in her dressing room, New York City, 1955.

Here, LIFE.com remembers the too-short life and brilliant, violently truncated career of a true Hollywood original, as seen through the lens of a brilliant photographer, and asks: What would it have felt like?

James Dean with a friend at Jerry's Bar, in front of the Ziegfeld Theater on 54th Street, New York City, 1955.

James Dean with a friend at Jerry’s Bar, in front of the Ziegfeld Theater on 54th Street, New York City, 1955.

What would it have felt like to receive one’s weekly issue of LIFE magazine in the mail in, say, a small town in New Mexico, or New Hampshire — or in Boston or Chicago or Miami, for that matter — what would it have felt like to open it up, and encounter in its pages that startling shot of a haunted-looking Dean, cigarette in his mouth, stalking through Times Square in the rain? There’s a kind of desolate romance in that picture — a bracing, bleak solitude that evokes the story of every young, driven, sensitive, creative person who has ever moved to a city to pursue a dream.

James Dean poses in a casket in a funeral parlor in Fairmount, Indiana, in 1955, seven months before he died.

James Dean poses in a casket in a funeral parlor in Fairmount, Indiana, in 1955, seven months before he died.

What did it feel like to see that picture, for the very first time, long before the man in the raincoat with the inscrutable, lopsided grin had become something far larger than a mere movie star?

James Dean in the Fairmount, Indiana, cemetery in 1955, where he found the grave of one of his ancestors with the same same name of the character, Cal, he played in East of Eden.

James Dean in the Fairmount, Indiana, cemetery in 1955, where he found the grave of one of his ancestors with the same same name of the character, Cal, he played in East of Eden.

It’s difficult — in fact, it’s close to impossible — to address any photographs of note that have been around for decades and see them, really see them, as if looking at them for the first time. But if we’re able to suspend for even a brief moment all we’ve come to know of James Dean, or all we think we know of James Dean, then these pictures offer more than just a diversion, or a reminder of what was lost when Dean was killed in that car wreck six decades ago. They offer us a chance to experience the jolt that must have raced through countless readers in the late winter of 1955, as they gazed at Stock’s portraits of this strange, beautiful, thrilling young star, all the while knowing, knowing, that he would be with them, starring in movies, for years and years to come.

James Dean, with his cousin Markie (on the right), who lived on a nearby farm in Fairmount, Indiana 1955.

James Dean, with his cousin Markie (on the right), who lived on a nearby farm in Fairmount, Indiana 1955.

 Source http://life.time.com

‘He brought forth some of the most searing images of the 20th century’: Death of the photographer whose pictures defined the Vietnam War

Horst Faas, a prize-winning combat photographer who set new standards for covering war with a camera, has died aged 79.

The German, who joined US-based news agency The Associated Press (AP) in 1956, photographed wars, revolutions and Olympic Games.

But he was best known for covering Vietnam, where he was severely wounded in 1967 and won four major photo awards including the first of his two Pulitzer Prizes.

Combat zone: US Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover an advance by South Vietnamese troops in this March 1965 photo by Horst Faas

Combat zone: US Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover an advance by South Vietnamese troops in this March 1965 photo by Horst Faas

As chief of AP’s photo operations in Saigon for a decade starting in 1962, Faas covered the fighting while recruiting and training new talent from among foreign and Vietnamese freelancers.

The result was ‘Horst’s army’ of young photographers, who fanned out with Faas-supplied cameras and film and stern orders to ‘come back with good pictures’.

Faas and his editors chose the best and put together a steady flow of telling photos – South Vietnam’s soldiers fighting and its civilians struggling to survive amid the maelstrom.

Captivating: Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take cover from Vietcong fire at Bao Trai, 20 miles west of Saigon, Vietnam. The January 1, 1966 image is another captured by Horst Faas

Captivating: Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take cover from Vietcong fire at Bao Trai, 20 miles west of Saigon, Vietnam. The January 1, 1966 image is another captured by Horst Faas

Among his top proteges was Huynh Thanh My, an actor turned photographer who in 1965 became one of four AP staffers and one of two South Vietnamese among more than 70 journalists killed in the 15-year war.

My’s younger brother, Huynh Cong ‘Nick’ Ut, followed his brother at AP and under Faas’s tutelage won one of the news agency’s six Vietnam War Pulitzer Prizes, for his iconic 1972 picture of a badly burned Vietnamese girl fleeing an aerial napalm attack.

Faas, who dies in Munich yesterday, was a brilliant planner – able to score journalistic scoops by anticipating ‘not just what happens next but what happens after that’, as one colleague put it.

'Legendary': Horst Faas, pictured right in Vietnam in 1967

‘Legendary’: Horst Faas, pictured right in Vietnam in 1967

His reputation as a demanding taskmaster and perfectionist belied a humanistic streak he was loath to admit, while helping less fortunate ex-colleagues and other causes.

He was widely read on Asian history and culture, and assembled an impressive collection of Chinese Ming porcelain, bronzes and other treasures.

In later years Faas turned his training skills into a series of international photojournalism symposiums.

Faas also helped to organise reunions of the wartime Saigon press corps, and was attending a combination of those events when he became ill in Hanoi on May 4 2005.

 Lt Col George Eyster of Florida is placed on a stretcher after being shot by a Vietcong sniper at Trung Lap, South Vietnam on January 16, 1966

Lt Col George Eyster of Florida is placed on a stretcher after being shot by a Vietcong sniper at Trung Lap, South Vietnam on January 16, 1966

He was hospitalised first in Bangkok and then in Germany, where doctors traced his permanent paralysis from the waist down to a spinal haemorrhage caused by blood-thinning heart medication.

Although requiring a wheelchair, he continued to travel to photo exhibits and other professional events, mainly in Europe.

Faas also made two arduous trips to the United States, in 2006 and 2008.

His health deteriorated in late 2008. Hospitalised in February for treatment of skin problems, he also underwent gastric surgery.

Faas’ Vietnam coverage earned him the Overseas Press Club’s Robert Capa Award and his first Pulitzer in 1965.

Wounded in action: US soldiers are treated on a battlefield in Vietnam on April 2, 1967

Wounded in action: US soldiers are treated on a battlefield in Vietnam on April 2, 1967

Receiving the honours in New York, he said his mission was to ‘record the suffering, the emotions and the sacrifices of both Americans and Vietnamese in … this little bloodstained country so far away’.

Burly but agile, Faas spent much time in the field and on December 6, 1967, was wounded in the legs by a rocket-propelled grenade at Bu Dop, in South Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

He might have bled to death had not a young US Army medic managed to stem the flow.

He often teamed with Pulitzer Prize-winning AP reporter Peter Arnett to produce powerful and exclusive reports such as the 1969 story of Company A, an army unit that balked at orders to move against the enemy.

Read More >> 

[dailymail.co.uk]


Just the ticket for popping the question: The romantic ‘tunnel of love’ railway line that’s so beautiful it’s beyond be-leaf (just watch out for the train)

Strolling hand-in-hand with someone special, these young lovers must be in one of the world’s most romantic spots.

India may have the Taj Mahal, and Paris is the city of love, but the Ukraine has this incredible, ethereal Tunnel of Love.

There is one thing though, it’s also a train line. And when it’s choo-choo time, the tunnel does get rather noisy.

Anton Kozachuk, 18, and Nastya Guz, 16, walk through the Tunnel of Love in Klevan, Ukraine

Anton Kozachuk, 18, and Nastya Guz, 16, walk through the Tunnel of Love in Klevan, Ukraine

Rather unromantically, the tunnel is actually a three kilometre section of private railway that serves a fibreboard factory near the town of Klevan, in the east of the country. It runs around three times a day delivering wood to the factory.

However, in spring the beautiful avenue of trees is witness to a very different journey – into love. For it is a favoured spot for young romantics to stroll with that special someone.

The magic happens when the trees that line the rails burst into life and create a leafy enclosed arch over the track.

It is said that couples can come here to make a wish and if they are sincere in their love it will come true. Pictured here were Anton Kozachuk, 18, and Nastya Guz, 16.

A train runs through the Tunnel Of Love's private railway line

A train runs through the Tunnel Of Love’s private railway line

The tunnel is actually a three kilometre section of private railway that serves a nearby fibreboard factory

The tunnel is actually a three kilometre section of private railway that serves a nearby fibreboard factory

The tunnel is a favourite spot for young romantics to stroll with that special someone

It is said that couples can come here to make a wish and if they are sincere in their love it will come true

It is said that couples can come here to make a wish and if they are sincere in their love it will come true

[dailymail.co.uk]


Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #12

EJ-logo-white.jpg

 

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #12

Bateleurs are the national emblem of Zimbabwe. "Bateleur" is French for "tight-rope walker", aptly describing their characteristic habit of tipping their wing tips when flying, as if to catch their balance... Ronald Krieger

Bateleurs are the national emblem of Zimbabwe. “Bateleur” is French for “tight-rope walker”, aptly describing their characteristic habit of tipping their wing tips when flying, as if to catch their balance… Ronald Krieger

Advances in digital photography have given us the opportunity to capture the beauty and freedom of birds in the wild like never before. In January 2011, the Wild Bird Trust set up a Facebook page with the intention of celebrating free flight and birds in the wild from around the world. Here are the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” drawn from thousands of photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust. Each week we select from all the photographs submitted and from our archives. Almost 18,000 photographs from over 100 photographers from around the world have been emailed to us or posted on our Facebook wall so far… Celebrate the freedom and splendor of birds in the wild with us and stimulate positive change by sharing how beautiful the birds of the world really are with the world…

Please join the Wild Bird Trust page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive all wild bird photo updates and join the Wild Bird Revolution. Submit your own photos and become part of this important public awareness campaign to bring the magic of wild birds to the world. Prepare to be blown away every week…

Atlantic puffin looking directly at the photographer. It is a wonderful experience to interact with such beautiful creatures... (Nina Stavlund)

Atlantic puffin looking directly at the photographer. It is a wonderful experience to interact with such beautiful creatures… (Nina Stavlund)

The indigo-banded kingfisher is endemic to the Philippines. They are generally uncommon, but locally common resident of the northern and central islands. (Rey Sta. Ana / Wild Bird Photography Philippines)

The indigo-banded kingfisher is endemic to the Philippines. They are generally uncommon, but locally common resident of the northern and central islands. (Rey Sta. Ana / Wild Bird Photography Philippines)

Read More >>

[National Geographic]


The Lost Marilyn Monroe Nudes: Outtakes from Her Last On-Set Shoot Revealed in June’s V.F.

by Vanity Fair

Image

“Fox [Studios] should start paying as much attention to me as they are paying to Elizabeth Taylor,” Marilyn Monroe told Lawrence Schiller, hatching the idea that would turn out to be the break of the young photographer’s life: for him to photograph her nude. In an adaptation of Schiller’s memoir Marilyn & Me, the June issue of Vanity Fair reveals never-before-published pictures from that shoot, as well as details of Schiller’s conversations with the star.

In 1960, as part of an ongoing battle to get Fox to take her more seriously, and out of jealousy over Taylor’s success, Marilyn came up with an attention-grabbing plan: a poolside shoot in which she’d jump in the water with a bathing suit on—and come out without it. “Larry,” she said, “if I do come out of the pool with nothing on, I want your guarantee that when your pictures appear on the covers of magazines Elizabeth Taylor is not anywhere in the same issue.” Marilyn was making only $100,000 for what would be her last film, Something’s Got to Give, in 1962, while Taylor was receiving a million dollars for Cleopatra. She wanted to show Fox that she could get the same kind of coverage as the publicity bonanza generated by Taylor’s very public affair with her co-star, Richard Burton. When Hugh Hefner agreed to pay $25,000 for a nude shot of Marilyn—the most money Playboy had ever paid for a photograph—Schiller thanked her for creating such a big payday, joking, “See what tits ’n’ ass can do?” “That’s how I got my house and swimming pool,” Marilyn said, laughing. “There isn’t anybody that looks like me without clothes on.”
 
Just 23 years old at the time, Schiller, at the set on assignment for Look magazine, had no idea that he was getting to know the icon in some of her most vulnerable moments. In an adaptation of his memoir about their sessions together, Schiller recounts intimate and telling conversations that illuminate the private struggles that consumed the starlet in her final days.

“I could tell you all about rejection,” Marilyn said to Schiller. “Sometimes I feel my whole life has been one big rejection.” “But look at you now,” he said. “Exactly,” she replied. “Look at me now.”  Confused, Schiller protested, “You’re a star! Your face is on magazine covers all over the world! Everyone knows Marilyn Monroe!” “Let me ask you, Larry Wolf [Schiller first introduced himself to Monroe as the Big Bad Wolf]—how many Academy Award nominations do I have?” “I don’t know,” he said. “I do,” she said. “None.”
 
Marilyn even confided her deepest worry. “I’ve always wanted a baby,” she said. “Having a child, that’s always been my biggest fear. I want a child and I fear a child. Whenever it came close, my body said no and I lost the baby.” She talked to Schiller about being afraid that she’d wind up like her mother, who had been in and out of mental institutions her whole life.

She reflected often on her assumed identity, and where Norma Jeane fit in. “I never wanted to be Marilyn—it just happened. Marilyn’s like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane,” she admitted to Schiller. During a photography session, she told him, “I always have a full-length mirror next to the camera when I’m doing publicity stills. That way, I know how I look.” Schiller asked, “So, do you pose for the photographer or for the mirror?” “The mirror,” she replied without hesitating. “I can always find Marilyn in the mirror.”
 
However, Schiller reveals, Marilyn’s attitude about her sex-symbol status fluctuated wildly. While she was at times boastful of her looks and what they procured for her, she was also by turns insecure and angry. “It’s still about nudity. Is that all I’m good for?” she demanded of Schiller. “I’d like to show that I can get publicity without using my ass or getting fired from a picture,” she continued. “I haven’t made up my mind yet.”
 
It was to be their last conversation: the very next morning, Marilyn was reported dead at 36. One of her final acts had been to return the nude photo to Schiller, which he found waiting for him at his house. She had written, “Send this to Playboy, they might like it.”

 

Related: Read “Marilyn and Her Monsters,” by Sam Kashner, from the November 2010 issue,which goes inside the troubled starlet’s diaries.

Plus: a handwriting expert analyzes Marilyn Monroe’s journal entries in a VF.com exclusive.

[Vanity Fair]


The Lost Marilyn Monroe Nudes: Outtakes from Her Last On-Set Shoot Revealed in June’s V.F.

 by Vanity Fair

“Fox [Studios] should start paying as much attention to me as they are paying to Elizabeth Taylor,” Marilyn Monroe told Lawrence Schiller, hatching the idea that would turn out to be the break of the young photographer’s life: for him to photograph her nude. In an adaptation of Schiller’s memoir Marilyn & Me, the June issue of Vanity Fair reveals never-before-published pictures from that shoot, as well as details of Schiller’s conversations with the star.

In 1960, as part of an ongoing battle to get Fox to take her more seriously, and out of jealousy over Taylor’s success, Marilyn came up with an attention-grabbing plan: a poolside shoot in which she’d jump in the water with a bathing suit on—and come out without it. “Larry,” she said, “if I do come out of the pool with nothing on, I want your guarantee that when your pictures appear on the covers of magazines Elizabeth Taylor is not anywhere in the same issue.” Marilyn was making only $100,000 for what would be her last film, Something’s Got to Give, in 1962, while Taylor was receiving a million dollars for Cleopatra. She wanted to show Fox that she could get the same kind of coverage as the publicity bonanza generated by Taylor’s very public affair with her co-star, Richard Burton. When Hugh Hefner agreed to pay $25,000 for a nude shot of Marilyn—the most money Playboy had ever paid for a photograph—Schiller thanked her for creating such a big payday, joking, “See what tits ’n’ ass can do?” “That’s how I got my house and swimming pool,” Marilyn said, laughing. “There isn’t anybody that looks like me without clothes on.”

Just 23 years old at the time, Schiller, at the set on assignment for Look magazine, had no idea that he was getting to know the icon in some of her most vulnerable moments. In an adaptation of his memoir about their sessions together, Schiller recounts intimate and telling conversations that illuminate the private struggles that consumed the starlet in her final days.

“I could tell you all about rejection,” Marilyn said to Schiller. “Sometimes I feel my whole life has been one big rejection.” “But look at you now,” he said. “Exactly,” she replied. “Look at me now.”  Confused, Schiller protested, “You’re a star! Your face is on magazine covers all over the world! Everyone knows Marilyn Monroe!” “Let me ask you, Larry Wolf [Schiller first introduced himself to Monroe as the Big Bad Wolf]—how many Academy Award nominations do I have?” “I don’t know,” he said. “I do,” she said. “None.”

Marilyn even confided her deepest worry. “I’ve always wanted a baby,” she said. “Having a child, that’s always been my biggest fear. I want a child and I fear a child. Whenever it came close, my body said no and I lost the baby.” She talked to Schiller about being afraid that she’d wind up like her mother, who had been in and out of mental institutions her whole life.

She reflected often on her assumed identity, and where Norma Jeane fit in. “I never wanted to be Marilyn—it just happened. Marilyn’s like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane,” she admitted to Schiller. During a photography session, she told him, “I always have a full-length mirror next to the camera when I’m doing publicity stills. That way, I know how I look.” Schiller asked, “So, do you pose for the photographer or for the mirror?” “The mirror,” she replied without hesitating. “I can always find Marilyn in the mirror.”

However, Schiller reveals, Marilyn’s attitude about her sex-symbol status fluctuated wildly. While she was at times boastful of her looks and what they procured for her, she was also by turns insecure and angry. “It’s still about nudity. Is that all I’m good for?” she demanded of Schiller. “I’d like to show that I can get publicity without using my ass or getting fired from a picture,” she continued. “I haven’t made up my mind yet.”

It was to be their last conversation: the very next morning, Marilyn was reported dead at 36. One of her final acts had been to return the nude photo to Schiller, which he found waiting for him at his house. She had written, “Send this to Playboy, they might like it.”

Plus: a handwriting expert analyzes Marilyn Monroe’s journal entries in a VF.com exclusive.

vanityfair.com


UnGoogleable: The 9 People You Meet On Instagram

@ocugwu takes the road less queried.

With over 47 million users, a long-awaited recent expansion to Android and a big move to Facebook earlier this month, Instagram is spreading like dye through a Polaroid. If you haven’t yet been lured by the photo-based social network, peer pressure to join its retro-glam ranks is only mounting. The app already contains multitudes—scores of pro-am photographers of all shapes, colors and creeds who have accepted its central promise: to replace a Twitter/Facebook world of self-consciously composed sentences with a brave new world of self-consciously composed and carefully filtered photographs.

On Instagram, every shot is a self-portrait. Herewith, a working guide to the ecosystem’s most notorious types.

Read the story >>

[complex.com]


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