News Archive

Vilia C. "Vi" Edom, 96

PORTSMOUTH, VA — Vilia C. Edom, 96, died on September 9 following a fall that took place on July 19, her daughter, Dr. Vme Edom Smith, announced today.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, September 15, at 1 p.m. at Snellings Funeral Home, Churchland Chapel, 5815 West High Street, Portsmouth, VA. Burial will be at Snapp Cemetery in Forsyth, MO.

Along with her husband, Clifton C. Edom, who at the time was head of the Photojournalism Department at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Vilia Edom co-founded the internationally known Missouri Photo Workshop as well as the Pictures of the Year contest. She was also his assistant and co-author on several of his books on photojournalism, Smith said.

Vilia Edom was assistant manager of the Missouri Press Association in Columbia, MO, for more than 30 years. She received the University of Missouri School of Journalism Gold Medal Award, and the Photographic Society of America's International Understanding Through Photography Award. She was an honorary life member of the National Press Photographers Association as well as the Missouri Press Women. She was inducted into the Missouri Press Association's Hall of Fame, and was the honorary director of the Clifton C. Edom "Truth With A Camera" workshop held annually in Norfolk, VA.

She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Vme Edom Smith of Chesapeake, VA; granddaughter Teri Smith Freas, of Panorama City, CA; grandson Tony Smith of Oakland, CA; two great-granddaughters, Tessa Freas and Sarah Freas, of Panorama City, CA; and a brother, Carol Patefield, of Briggsville, WI.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Edom Foundation for Photojournalism Education, c/o Stephen Colvin, Suite 200 - I, 125 South Wilke Road, Arlington Heights, IL, 60005.

Vme Smith can be reached at [email protected].


Larry Nighswander Resigns From OU

Ohio University announced yesterday that professor Larry Nighswander has resigned his position as requested by the school, but that the resignation doesn't take effect until March 31, 2005. According to OU's official statement, Nighswander remains on their payroll conducting "assigned employment" from a location "off campus" for the duration of the agreement.

[Resigns: Ohio University today announced the resignation of VisCom professor Larry Nighswander.

Earlier this year OU asked Nighswander to resign or face a de-tenuring process that would end in dismissal after a former student, Rebecca Humes, filed a $3 million federal sexual harassment lawsuit last year against Nighswander and the school. In the suit, filed April 24, 2003, Humes alleges that Nighswander sexually harassed her during a photo session in which she posed topless for him, and that she did not realize beforehand that the session would involve nudity.

In the university's brief three-paragraph statement, OU Media Specialist Jack Jeffery said, "Professor Larry Nighswander has resigned his position as a tenured faculty member of the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University effective March 31, 2005. The termination of the relationship is the result of an agreement in which the university accepts the resignation rather than initiating a de-tenuring process as prescribed by the Faculty Handbook Section II, D:5, Loss of Tenure, which usually takes between six and nine months to complete."

According to the resignation agreement between OU and Nighswander, which is a document called "Final Employment Agreement and Release of All Claims," Nighswander will continue to receive his annual salary of $92,667 until March, and will get a one-time payment the equivalent of his annual salary now in return for resigning. Other terms of the agreement allow him to continue to use his OU email address even though he will not have an office on campus, and "all work assignments given to him until March 31 2005 will be completed off campus." During this period he also gets any sick leave or vacation time due to him, and OU continues his health insurance. The agreement also says, "The resignation date of March 31 2005 is conditioned on Mr. Nighswander not having other full time employment." The document is a matter of public record under Ohio law and a copy of it was obtained yesterday byNews Photographer.

After OU announced the resignation on Thursday, Nighswander emailed a statement toNews Photographermagazine that said, in part, "I have decided to end my relationship with Ohio University. I have made this decision reluctantly. I am very proud of the positive changes made during my tenure as director of the School of Visual Communication." In the statement he also wrote, "I will miss the classroom, but not the politics of academic administration. My numerous disagreements with the Ohio University Office of Legal Affairs and philosophical differences and communication problems with certain university administrators make it no longer possible for me to be effective as a faculty member at Ohio University."

OU's official announcement Thursday said: "During the period of Professor Nighswander's continued assigned employment at Ohio University, he will not maintain an office on campus and his work assignments will be completed off campus consistent with his leave during the previous academic year of 2003-2004. Compensation will be consistent with a partial academic year contract ending March 31, 2005 and conditional upon his not having other full-time employment. Professor Nighswander will receive one year's compensation in a lump sum amount equivalent to one year's salary which would have been due him had the de-tenuring process been completed in accordance with the Ohio University Faculty Handbook."

Nighswander also wrote in his post-resignation statement, "As part of the settlement agreement I have agreed not to sue the university or its personnel for age discrimination, computer data theft, invasion of privacy, defamation of character, violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act, spoilage of evidence, and internal complaints of failure to follow due process. To release the University of any responsibility for negligence or intentional misconduct in this matter is a painful decision, but the legal cost of pursuing legal relief is a tremendous financial burden that is beyond my personal resources; I also don't want to see the School of Visual Communication suffer any further from the negative publicity associated with this dispute. I place my pride in the School of Visual Communication above any concern that I have over damage to my own reputation."

OU's announcement of the agreement ended with, "In accordance with the terms of the agreement, this release will represent Ohio University's only statement regarding Professor Nighswander's resignation."

In his written statement toNews Photographer, Nighswander also said "I continue to withhold comment on the pending federal litigation out of respect for the legal process and respect for the right of privacy of those involved. Others involved in the lawsuit have chosen to comment and release sealed false allegations in total disregard of a standing Federal Court Protective Order prohibiting release of information. This total disregard for the legal process by those involved is both discouraging and frustrating."

"I continue to assert that the claims in the pending lawsuit are baseless. The inability to publicly defend oneself in light of vicious personal attacks is demoralizing beyond belief," he wrote. "I have had a wonderful relationship with my students and have been delighted to be invited to and attend several of their weddings. I am proud of all of them and their accomplishments."

"During the horrible ordeal of false accusations I have received a consistent flow of emails offering support from former students, friends and colleagues. I have even received emails from students from other universities that had met me while they were students or during their careers. They offered heartfelt testimonials to the impact I had on their careers. There is no way for me to ever express my gratitude to all of those who took the time to write and call; to them I say, 'You are why I chose to teach,'" Nighswander wrote. His statement ends with, "Consistent with the agreement with Ohio University, I will have no further comment about this matter."

Formerly the director of the nationally-ranked School of Visual Communication (VisCom), Nighswander was relieved of his administrative duties by the School of Communication's Dean Kathy Krendl on May 5, 2003, after he and the university were named in the lawsuit. Krendl appointed Terry Eiler as the interim director replacing Nighswander, and on September 1, 2003, Eiler was named VisCom's permanent director. In the meantime, Nighswander has been on a leave of absence for one year, a period that ended June 15 2004. As the end of the leave approached the school requested his resignation.

Negotiations over the resignation have been going on for several weeks, sources at the college said, and the school had expected to make an announcement about it earlier than this. An OU staff member said Nighswander met with his lawyer in Columbus, OH, in July about the resignation and its announcement. The resignation announcement came from the university several weeks after that meeting. In June, OU director of legal affairs John F. Burns said that if Nighswander refused to resign the university would begin proceedings to de-tenure and dismiss him. Nighswander had already been told that OU would not pay his legal bills or other costs associated with the federal suit.

In mid-July Dr. Vme Edom Smith, director of the annual Clifton C. Edom Truth With A Camera Workshop, toldNews Photographerthat Larry and Marcy Nighswander both withdrew as faculty members from this year's August workshop in Norfolk, VA. (Marcy Nighswander is also an OU VisCom professor. A Pulitzer Prize-winner, she was formerly a staff photojournalist in the Washington bureau of theAssociated Pressand a photographer forThe Cincinnati PostandThe Beacon Journal.)

In May, two OU students and one former student who were being sought as potential witnesses in the lawsuit requested court protection to keep their identities secret. One of Nighswander's former students wrote a letter to Federal Magistrate Judge Terence Kemp of the U.S. District Court in Columbus, OH, asking him to remove her name from the witness list entirely. In the letter, she told the judge that listing her as a potential witness was "an invasion of [her] privacy" and that being associated with the case may subject her to humiliation at her workplace and harm her career.

An order issued by Kemp has kept the students' names confidential so far. It has been more than a year since Humes, a former student in Nighswander's department, filed a $3 million federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Southern Office, in Columbus, alleging that Nighswander sexually harassed her during a photo session. According to the suit filed April 24, 2003, Humes posed topless for Nighswander but she alleges that she did not realize beforehand that the session would involve nudity. In the suit she claims that during the session Nighswander violated her rights by making sexual remarks and inappropriately touching her as she posed topless in Putnam Hall on the OU campus in Athens in September, 2002.

As the suit progressed, lawyers for both sides sought other students or former students who may have also made harassment complaints against Nighswander. In December, Judge Kemp ruled that medical and psychological records, as well as the topless photos taken of Humes by Nighswander, were to be kept from public viewing and from the media -- although the material would still be available to both parties in the lawsuit. The protective order on the records and photos was in response to a discovery request by Nighswander's lawyer. The judge also ruled that any other photos of other students taken by Nighswander would also be kept from public view.

Nighswander's last comments toNews Photographer, before today's written statement, came in June 2003 when he said in a telephone interview, "I am vehemently denying all the charges made against me." After the suit was filed and he was relieved of the director's role, he continued as a professor teaching classes at OU for the remainder of the spring quarter. But since that time he has been on leave of absence. In the application for the leave, Nighswander told the university that the time away from teaching would be used to write a photo-editing book.

In the public version of the lawsuit's records, the court has blacked out some of the lines of text in the former student's letter to Judge Kemp. Because of the censorship the full contents of the letter are not known beyond the bench. In a section of the letter that can be read, the former student says that she does not "want to be placed in a position of supporting or detracting from various colleagues, nor do I wish for my interactions with Mr. Nighswander to become public knowledge at my place of employment that has traditionally been an 'old boys club.'"

She also wrote to the judge that publicizing her experiences with Nighswander "will cause me undue humiliation and possible adverse consequences for my advancement." In the sections of the letter that are not blacked out, the woman does not make it clear whether she is alleging that Nighswander ever sexually harassed her.

In his initial response to the federal suit, Nighswander denied that he sexually harassed Humes and said that her involvement in the photo session was voluntary. He acknowledged that the photo session took place and he also said that he had previously used other OU students in nude and seminude modeling sessions.

Humes filed the federal suit against both OU and Nighswander after OU investigated her complaint and concluded that there was, according to a university statement made at the time, "not enough evidence" to support the claim. That conclusion led to OU dismissing Humes' charge. In the federal suit Humes also alleges that OU ignored a pattern of student complaints against Nighswander.

Nighswander's post-resignation statement to News Photographer can be read in its entirety here.






150 photographers seek answers at NYPD meeting for RNC

By Todd Maisel

(NEW YORK, 1 POLICE PLAZA) — Photographers will have maximum access to demonstrators and incidents in New York City during the Republican National Convention vowed Paul Browne, Deputy Commissioner for Public Information for the NYPD. He promised media representatives at the August 12 joint meeting of the National Press Photographers and New York Press Photographers that his office will be available 24 hours a day to intercede with police and photographers to maintain freedom of the press. Commissioner Brown also promised the nearly 150 photographers from throughout the country that police will respect all out-of-town media credentials, as long as they have photo identification and the credentials are not expired. This also applies to foreign press, though some may need temporary credentials issued if theirs are not in English and recognizable to members of the NYPD. Others could request assistance from the NYPD if they believe their credentials might be a problem.

NYPD representatives from Browne's office will be available at various sites to assist photographers who have problems with police. A command post will be established for media to talk with police officials at West 31st Street just west of 8th Avenue, to be staffed 24 hours a day. Police Plaza is already staffed for media requests 24 hours a day for in-person or call-in assistance at 646-610-6700. In addition, Browne said police will have a command center with Secret Service at the Republican National Convention inside Madison Square Garden for the duration of the convention. This site is accessible only to those with RNC credentials issued by the Senate Press Gallery. Also, a space and a riser will be constructed in front of 5 Penn Plaza on Eighth Avenue that will serve as the main site for press briefings by NYPD and other government officials.

To inform the media of events and updates, the NYPD will put any media members on an eMail list. Any members of the media who want to be on the mass eMail list may send inquiries to [email protected] Browne, who spent half his career as a reporter at the New York Daily News, said the eMail listing will make available a constant stream of information on demonstrations, daily events, and incidents involving arrests at various planned and unplanned sites around the city.

"This is an important tool to know what is going on, not only at the convention itself, but other events around the city and even at the US Open," Browne said. "It does no good for us to sit on info and this way we make it as relevant as possible. If there are arrests for disorderly conduct, we should try to answer what did 'discon' mean here - did someone block traffic or something else like smash windows at Starbucks? If we know there are 20 people at Wall Street, we will put out an advisory."

Press and treatment at public incidents

Police officials vowed to provide as much access to incidents as possible, though photographers are advised to give as much space to police to do their job as possible. Photographers wearing any type of riot gear, including helmets, are advised to make sure they are marked with clear "press" identifiers so as not to be confused with some of the anarchists who may be wearing helmets to demonstrations. He also said police "do not use tear gas" and so gas masks are not necessary, though pepper spray is sometimes used with large unruly crowds.

Chief Michael Collins of DCPI said police are also being told not to obstruct photographers from taking photos.

The NYPD Patrol Guide, code 116-53, clearly affirms the First Amendment of the Constitution as it states:

Members of the service will not interfere with the video taping or photographing of incidents in public places. Intentional interference such as blocking or obstructing cameras or harassing the photographer constitutes censorship. Working Press Cards clearly state, the bearer "is entitled to cross police and fire lines." This right will be honored and access will not be denied. However, this does not include access to interior crime scenes or areas frozen for security reasons.

"My best advice is if there is a problem situation, don't get too close, especially if there is pushing and shoving," Chief Collins said. "Most people have problems when everyone is too close and then there are sometimes media arrests, mostly inadvertent, and sometimes cameras break when people get too close," Collins said. "Let us know if something is going on, and we will run out and try to mediate a situation so that access is maintained."

He further advised media not to argue with officers and to call DCPI for assistance. "It doesn't help if you call and there is screaming going on. Cops won't come to the phone to talk to us, but we will come down as quickly as we can," Collins said. "Sometimes we can get on the radio and talk to on-scene commanders and try to mediate a solution so that access to an incident is maintained."

Some photographers wanted to know what is meant by "respectful proximity" when an arrest is occurring. "At what point does it become unfair access?" one shooter asked.

Chief Collins said some hardcore anarchists will get arrested, but police will work with "arrest teams in a disciplined fashion."

"We will have spotters who will look within a peaceful crowd to see who is throwing a brick, bottle, or anything else and then the arrest team will go in like a wedge and handcuff the person," Chief Collins said. "If you are not trying to penetrate the police, you should have no problem. If an officer stands in the way, you must take his advice and move back. Don't argue with an officer during an arrest. Look for a sergeant or anyone in a white shirt for assistance. But do try to call us too. Try to use common sense - keep a distance of 10-15 feet, but understand, things are happening quickly and maybe you might get handcuffed, but if I could get there, I can 'unarrest' you."

Some of the larger demonstrations may have thousands of people, whereas the largest protest in Boston at the DNC may have had about 300 people. Police say organizers expect the United for Peace and Justice Rally to attract 200,000 people, beginning on August 29. This rally and march will begin organizing on Ninth Avenue to Fifth Avenue between 15-22nd Streets, will proceed north on Seventh Avenue to 34th Street, and then move to the West Side Highway and downtown to Chambers Street, near Pier 26. Officials are currently seeking overhead views from buildings, but they emphasized that areas around Madison Square Garden will be tough because of Secret Service counter-sniper teams that will be on rooftops and in buildings. A possible overhead location, with building owner cooperation, may be found before the protest, police say. Some portions of this demonstration may splinter off in different directions from the main march, police believe.

Officials say a stage may be erected on 31st Street to accommodate a rally there too.

Access around RNC

Anyone seeking to enter the RNC, including the Farley Post Office, must have RNC credentials. Areas around the Garden however will be open to all members of the media with photo ID press credentials. Press will enter the garden via the Farley Post Office and then cross the specially-created bridge, built just for media personnel so that additional magnetometers are not necessary for security screening.

[Figure C: Diagram of inner and outer security perimeters around Madison Square Garden, including both fixed and mobile checkpoints.

Vehicle access will be restricted to those who have the proper credentials to enter the immediate site around the Garden. There are eight so-called "sally points" which are mobile checkpoints manned by police. A steel barrier is raised or lowered to allow a vehicle in, and then, once it is inside the checkpoint, the barrier that it entered raises and another barrier is raised as the vehicle is checked with special cameras and detectors. Limos, delegate buses, and vehicles making deliveries will mostly enter and leave the sites. About 10,000 police officers will be deployed in and around the RNC site for security and checkpoints.

Browne said all working press will be able to access the immediate area around the Garden with photo ID. There will be checkpoints at various locations around the Garden where there will be one or more ID checks.

Terror in the city?

Members of the media are advised to leave any area that is attacked by terrorists because of the possibility of chemical, biological, or radiological weapons. Photographers should listen carefully to emergency responders in the event of an attack and to "self-evacuate," Collins said. "You shouldn't necessarily rely on emergency people to come to your aid if you can help yourself." Police expressed confidence in their ability to prevent an attack with numerous types of detection equipment at their disposal.

Photography restrictions?

Police officials emphasized that there are no photography restrictions on members of the media in any area under their jurisdiction. Some shooters have been prevented from taking photos in the subway, but there are no laws on the books that prevent photographers from taking photos at this point. In fact, it is legal for civilians to take photos on subways.

(The MTA is attempting to pass a law preventing non-media members from taking photos in the subways and stations. It is opposed by the NPPA.) Officials say anyone taking photos of sensitive sites on mass transit -- i.e., train tunnels, surveillance equipment, power supplies, etc .-- could expect to be questioned by police. However, Browne said NYPD policy is to facilitate photography.

There are laws against taking photos at Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority bridges and tunnels. Those taking photos at checkpoints should approach personnel at the site, state their purpose, and show identification. In most cases, photos will be permitted so long as they are not of the entrances to the tunnels or bridges.

Those seeking to take more photos of any of the structures can call TBTA spokesman Frank Pasquale at 646-252-7417. Pasquale has a history of being very cooperative and accommodating for legitimate media. Photography at Port Authority bridges and tunnels will attract the attention of police at those facilities, so be ready to answer questions and produce identification for authorities.

Those having problems with private security or other agencies in the city may call DCPI for assistance as NYPD considers photography in the city their jurisdiction. Problems have also been encountered from National Guardsmen augmenting security. Most are told not to prevent photographers from doing their jobs, but some have interfered in media operations - threatening some press with arrest. DCPI can assist with any problems in these cases too. NYPPA and NPPA leaders say outreach will be done with Department of Defense officials on these matters. Officials advise no matter what police or others try to do to prevent photography, "Don't argue with them." Instead, contact DCPI at 646-610-6700.

Schedules for convention

The following is a schedule for the week of the convention provided by the NYPD. It does not include inside RNC events. These are subject to change. Locations will be announced.

Saturday. August 28

  • Christian Defense Coalition, midnight, Saturday into Sunday, 31st Street and 7th Ave.
  • Planned Parenthood, 11 a.m. 31st Street and 7th
  • Green Party rally, noon (12 p.m.) 31st St. and 7th
  • Mets at home, 1 p.m.
  • Latin Music Fest TBA
  • Middle East Peace Coalition, 3 p.m. 31st and 7th
  • RNC Media Party, 8 p.m.

Sunday, August 29

  • Manhattan Half Marathon, 7 a.m. Central Park
  • Code Pink Women for Peace, 8 a.m. 31st and 7th
  • United for Peace and Justice, 10 a.m. Lower Manhattan 14th Street, 15-22nd Street (see description)
  • Mets home game, 1 p.m.
  • Christian Defense Coalition, 2 p.m. 31st Street and 7th
  • Delegates Broadway shows, 4 p.m.

Monday August 30

  • RNC opening, 10 a.m.
  • US Open Tennis, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • NYC AIDS Housing Network and Hip-Hop Summit action at noon, from Union Square Park, up Eighth into demo area which is all of Eighth Avenue and as much as needed 31st Street south
  • Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights, 1 p.m. 31st and 7th
  • Mets, 7 p.m.

(While the RNC is in session, Seventh and Eighth Avenues will be locked down, with vehicle and pedestrian diversions. Heading south on Seventh Avenue, diversions will be at 42nd Street. Diversions will occur one hour before the convention begins, for a total of 13 hours all week. For a maximum of 18-20 hours, areas from 42nd to 23rd will be closed to traffic on Seventh and Eighth; at least 1-3 lanes will be open at other times.)

Tuesday, August 31

  • US Open Tennis, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Yankees home, 1 p.m.
  • NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action), 8 p.m. 31st and 7th Ave.
  • Postal Unions protest, 2 p.m. 31st and 7th
  • People for the Americans, 5:30 p.m. Central Park

Wednesday, September 1

  • Anti-gun display, 6 a.m. Union Square Park
  • The line, 8 a.m. employment line (There will also be a group who will be creating an unemployment line from the Garden up Broadway, with each demonstrator holding a pink slip. No permit was needed for this.)
  • US Open Tennis, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Mets, 7 p.m.
  • Yankees, 7 p.m.
  • Central Labor Council, 4 p.m. 31st and 7th
  • National Organization of Women, 7 p.m. Central Park
  • NYC Host Committee concert, 7 p.m. Central Park
  • RNC starts at 8 p.m.

Thursday, September 2

  • US Open, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • A major demonstration(s) is expected, though none are scheduled with permits issued
  • Mets, 1 p.m.
  • Yankees, 7 p.m.
  • RNC in session 8 p.m.

Friday, September 3

  • US Open, 11 a.m.
  • Delegates, candidates leave city


Most news organizations will have T-1 lines inside the Garden and those with RNC credentials will be able to gain access to the Farley Post Office. There are numerous Starbucks, Kinkos, and T-Mobile stores that offer T-Mobile WiFi access throughout the city. Also, Verizon WiFi currently works throughout the city and sites are available on the Verizon Web site on the Internet.

(Compiled and written by Todd Maisel. Maisel is a member of the photography staff of the New York Daily News. He was chair of this meeting, serves as secretary of the New York Press Photographers Association, and is a member of National Press Photographers Association.)


Cartier-Bresson's Impact On Photojournalism

By Claude Cookman

Editor's note: Claude Cookman, an associate professor of Journalism at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, is the author of one of the essays in Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Man, the Image and the World: A Retrospective (Thames & Hudson, 2003). The catalogue was published as part of the Cartier-Bresson retrospective at the opening of the photographer's Foundation in Paris last year. Cookman, an acclaimed photographic historian, was the winner of the NPPA's Robin F. Garland Educator Award in 1999.

The death of Henri Cartier-Bresson reminds us of the huge debt we photojournalists owe to this French giant who stopped actively photographing more than 30 years ago.

His phrase, "the decisive moment," is probably the first association for most. Capturing the climactic instant, whether peak sports action or subtle emotional interaction, has become the gold standard for photojournalists. But history and Cartier-Bresson's own words enrich our understanding of this packed term.

Capturing action was difficult and rare with old view cameras mounted on tripods and bulky hand-held press cameras such as the Graflex. That changed when the 35mm Leica appeared in Germany in the mid 1920s. Beginning in the early 1930s with a series of photographs remarkable for their revelatory content and pristine composition, Cartier-Bresson showed the world the Leica's potential to achieve spontaneity. That remains his greatest legacy to photography's trajectory.

The decisive moment is most closely associated with his signature photograph taken in 1932 behind a railroad terminal in Paris. It freezes a leaping man a millisecond before his foot splashes down in a huge puddle. For Cartier-Bresson, the decisive moment meant more that just stopping action. Trained as a painter in the classical French tradition and captivated by the recent revival of the theory of the golden proportion, he insisted that geometric composition was vital. Such composition can be seen in the 1932 photo, with its repetition of forms and placement of focal point. In the preface to his 1952 book The Decisive Moment -- which should be required reading for all photojournalists -- Cartier-Bresson defined his aesthetic is "the simultaneous recognition in a fraction of a second of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms."

What is likely to be forgotten is that Cartier-Bresson's use of the Leica showed modern photojournalism a new ethic. Because large-format cameras used holders with only two sheets of film, earlier photojournalists commonly staged their pictures. In contrast, Cartier-Bresson practiced unobtrusiveness as the route to capturing unposed photographs. This allowed him to respect his subjects while also obtaining natural, revealing images. His unobtrusive approach allowed him to take and keep photographs of the assassinated Mohandas Gandhi, lying in state in January 1948. (The Life photographer Margaret Bourke-White, who photographed Gandhi with a large camera and flash, had her film confiscated by the Mahatma's devotees who considered her actions disrespectful.) Cartier-Bresson articulated his ethic and the unobtrusive approach that now goes by the term "a fly on the wall" in The Decisive Moment preface: "We are bound to arrive as intruders," he wrote. "It is essential, therefore, to approach the subject on tiptoe.... It's no good jostling or elbowing." As part of his unobtrusiveness, he rejected artificial lighting. "And no photographs taken with the aid of flashlight either, if only out of respect for the actual light.... Unless a photographer observes such conditions as these, he may become an intolerably aggressive character."

Humanism, another element of his ethic, also infuses contemporary photojournalism. With few exceptions, Cartier-Bresson photographed people. They are seen with warmth, curiosity, empathy, and occasionally humor. It is no accident that of the 502 images that Edward Steichen chose for his Family of Man exhibition, 10 were by Cartier-Bresson. He spoke often of how photography required the alignment of not just the head and hand, but also the heart. His humanism extended beyond respecting his subjects, to serving an audience. Writing in 1952 at the height of anxiety about the nuclear arms race, he characterized his role as supplying photographs to "a world weighted down with preoccupations," one full of people "needing the companionship of images." A few years later, he told an interviewer: "The important thing about our relations with the press is that it provides us with the possibility of being in close contact with life's events. What is most satisfying for a photographer is not recognition, success, and so forth. It's communication: what you say can mean something to other people, can be of a certain importance."

His humanism aligned with a social conscience. During his formative years in the 1920s and 1930s, he saw the effects of the worldwide depression and the rise of Hitler's Nazism. As a young journalist, he felt compelled to witness these problems with his camera. Explaining his change from painting to photography, he told an interviewer: "The adventurer in me felt obliged to testify with a quicker instrument than a brush to the scars of the world." He was engaged in leftist politics during the 1930s and active in the Green Party in his later years. Running throughout his work are numerous images that expose the contradictions of capitalism, such as a homeless couple bedding down for the night in front of a store window with a large IBM logo.

As with many great figures, Cartier-Bresson's life and work are enveloped in myth. For the record, on occasion he did use flash, he did crop his pictures, and he did allow himself to be photographed -- although only by his wife, the photographer Martine Franck, and his colleagues at Magnum Photos, the agency which he cofounded with Robert Capa and others in 1947.

The most important misconception about his work, however, is that he is a single-image photographer. In numerous books and exhibitions, his work is shown as an aggregation of discrete photographs, seemingly unrelated to each other. In contrast, his contact sheets at Magnum's Paris Bureau demonstrate that most of the great images resulted from extended picture stories that he shot for magazines such as Harper's BazaarLifeLookHolidayParis MatchDu, and Epoca.

These reportages fall into three major categories. He photographed news events such as the liberation of Paris, the funeral of Gandhi, the fall of Beijing, and the 1968 student rebellion in Paris. In the early 1960s he photographed and wrote texts for a series of 16 portraiture stories for a London magazine, The Queen. Published under the running title "A Touch of Greatness," the stories profiled such notables as Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Miller, Robert Kennedy, and Julie Harris. His largest body of work might be characterized as ethnography. From country to country, he systematically sought out and photographed the same human activities and institutions: the marketplace; the church, synagogue or mosque; the parks where children played and adults relaxed; kindergartens and universities; concerts, plays, weddings, funerals, and people at work, from peasant farmers to computer engineers. His 1954 report on the people of Russia is arguably his greatest essay in this genre, but he also worked the streets of China, Cuba, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, most European countries, and the United States.

As the art world has claimed Cartier-Bresson, exhibiting his work in the world's most prestigious museums and publishing it in art-book formats, it is important to remember that Cartier-Bresson was a magazine photojournalist. Most of his great images would never have been taken without assignments from the picture magazines.

In the mid 1970s, for a variety of complex reasons he disavowed photojournalism and photography, returning to his first love of drawing. But his contact sheets, captions, story manuscripts, published writings, and interviews all demonstrate that during his active career from the 1930s through the 1960s, he thought and worked in the European tradition of magazine photojournalism.

He said it best in an interview: "People often say that I have been in the right place at the right time. What they really mean is that I follow the newspapers, in order to get a sense of what is happening in the world." In his 1955 book The Europeans, Cartier-Bresson characterized the role of the photographic reporter by saying, "I was there and this is how life appeared to me at that moment." Taken together, these two statements plus his archives at Magnum encompass the essence of photojournalism: Anticipating a significant event, he got himself into position, photographed with thoroughness, edited his film, added text and captions, and then, through the picture magazines, communicated what he witnessed to a mass audience.

Claude Cookman can be reached at [email protected].


Maysville, KY, Chief Photographer Seriously Injured In Wisconsin Crash

EAU CLAIRE, WI.—Ledger Independent Chief Photographer Bob Warner was seriously injured in a single vehicle accident early Saturday morning in central Wisconsin. Warner and his wife Julia and son Jim were driving to Seattle to spend time with son Michael Smith who is in the Navy.

The accident happened at about 6:50 a.m. on I-94 in Eau Claire, WI, after Julia, who was driving, apparently fell asleep at the wheel. She said she doesn't remember what happened, but surmises she nodded off.

Bob Warner was thrown from the front passenger seat to the back seat and sustained a fracture to his spine.

Julia said she does not remember taking off her seat belt, but thought she must have because her face received lacerations from the windshield. She was taken to Marshfield Hospital where she was treated and released.

Their son, Jim Warner, who is confined to a wheelchair, received a hairline fracture to his knee and several bruises and cuts to his face, his mother said. Jim's wheelchair is normally locked into its spot in the handicap friendly van, but he was asleep in the third row of seats when the accident occurred.

A Wisconsin State Police District 6 spokeswoman said the vehicle crossed the median then began to roll. Bob Warner's injuries required he be transferred to Hennepen County Hospital in Minneapolis, MN, where he underwent surgery for possible injuries to his pancreas.

His abdomen is okay, doctors said, but the more serious injury to his back will likely leave him paralyzed.

"That's their gut instinct," Julia said Sunday. "The CT scan was inconclusive." Julia said she and Bob had stopped and taken a walk to revive themselves only 20 minutes prior to the accident.

By Sunday afternoon the couple's other son, Ryan Smith, and his wife Regina, had made it to Wisconsin to St. Joseph Hospital where Jim Warner was a patient. He has been released and the trio were on the way to Minneapolis when we spoke to Julia at about 4 p.m. Sunday.

Bob Warner has no feeling in his lower extremities and will be fitted with a metal halo to keep his spine stable, his wife said. He may soon be transferred to University of Cincinnati Medical Center where there is a specialized spinal injury clinic, Julia said. The van they were driving was totaled, but an emergency room nurse took her private vehicle to the impound lot and got the family's belongings, Julia said.

Jim's aid dog, Jasper, was found walking the highway about three hours after the accident with a cut on his head. He is currently kenneled at a veterinarian's office.

"The family is all right for now, but may need financial help in the near future," Betty Coutant reports. " Julia said the family will take it one day at a time for now. 'We've got a long way to go.'"

Anyone wishing to help the Warner family may contact the newsroom at +1.606.564.9091, oremail Betty Coutant [email protected]


San Francisco Bay Area Media, EMS, Police, Fire Workers To Meet

Journalists and San Francisco Bay Area police, fire, and medical first-responders will meet Thursday, August 19, in an unprecedented community event designed to bring members of the media and EMS professional together to discuss their job responsibilities and goals, and what they have in common and where they might clash in the course of doing their jobs.

The event is sponsored by The National Press Photographers Association, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The session is open to all working journalists, police, fire and paramedic/EMT professionals in the Bay Area.

"They are the 'first-responders,' the photographers, reporters, editors, police, firefighters, and EMTs who are first on the scene of tragedy and disaster," NPPA past president David Handschuh says. "Each has a job to do amid the chaos and trauma: secure the area, help the victims, write the story, capture the images. Many times these jobs and priorities conflict, creating more stress in a stressful situation. And hidden behind the headlines and photographs are the affects on the first-responders, who are forced to face horrific situations as part of their job. How can we leverage this common experience to overcome the inevitable clash of professionals with different goals and responsibilities?"

The event is this Thursday, August 19, at 6:45 p.m. at the Radisson Miyako Hotel, 1625 Post Street, San Francisco CA, 94115, in the Sakura meeting room. Parking is available at the Japan Center Garage, 1600 Geary Street (entrances on both Geary and Post).


UNITY Conference & CNJO meet in DC

"UNITY is really about collaboration," said UNITY President Ernest Sotomayor as he addressed those gathered at the Council of National Journalism Organizations. Over 40 people, the biggest attendance ever for a CNJO meeting, gathered at the Washington Convention Center for their annual summer meeting, coinciding with the UNITY conference (

[Unity: Peter Weitzel, of the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government, speaks to CNJO at UNITY at the Washington Convention Center in Washington. At left is Ted Gest of the Criminal Justice Journalists, and at right is Eric Hegedus of the National Lesbian and Gay Hournalists Association. Photograph by Linda D. Epstein/KRT]

More than 7,000 people had registered for UNITY by Monday night. UNITY is an alliance of AAJA, the Asian American Journalists Association; NABJ, the National Association of Black Journalists; NAHJ, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; and NAJA, the Native American Journalists Association. While each group meets individually each year, the four groups hold a joint conference every five years to bring minority journalism organizations together in one event.

Representatives of various journalism organizations such as the Society of News Design, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, American Copy Editors Society, Associated Press Photo Managers, and the Society of Professional Journalists attended CNJO.

[Unity: Hai Do (right), AME/Photo at The Journal News in White Plains, NY, and representing the Associated Press Photo Managers, speaks with Mark Mittelstadt of the Associated Press Managing Editors, at CNJO and UNITY at the Washington Convention Center. Photograph by Linda D. Epstein/KRT.]

Pete Weitzel, of the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government addressed the organization and asked that all the organizations coordinate their efforts to be more effective in getting information from the government. "We need to fight restrictions on information," Weitzel said.

Several training issues were brought to the attention of the organization including Poynter's training survey and

-- Linda Epstein, NPPA Region 3 director


Legendary Photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson, 95, Dies in France

PARIS, France - Henri Cartier-Bresson, 95, the legendary pillar of modern photojournalism who documented half a century of history by capturing it in iconic images that he called "decisive moments," one of the founding members of Magnum Photos who eventually put his camera down to return to his first love of drawing and painting, has died at his home in southern France.

[Henri Cartier-Bresson: The 'father of photojournalism,' Henri Cartier-Bresson, seen in 1972 in Forcalquier, the Alpes de Haute-Provence, France, has died in his home at the age of 95. Photograph © by Martine Franck/Magnum Photos.]

His family released a brief statement from Paris tonight: "The family of Henri Cartier-Bresson, the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the photographers and staff of Magnum Photos are sad to announce the death of Henri Cartier-Bresson on the 3rd of August at 9:30 a.m., in his house in the county of Luberon (France). His funeral was held in the strictest of privacy. A commemoration will be held in honor of his memory at the beginning of September." No other details were available.

"He was perhaps the greatest photographer of the 20th century. There will never be another Henri Cartier-Bresson," said photography editor John G. Morris, a lifelong personal friend of Cartier-Bresson and the author of Get The Picture: A Personal History of Photojournalism. Cartier-Bresson inspired countless generations of photographers. His images in Life,VogueHarper's Bazaar, and hundreds of magazines and books are as much art as they are photographs. His images have been shown in the leading museums of the world and constituted the first-ever photographic exhibit at the Louvre.

Cartier-Bresson was born August 22, 1908, outside Paris to a wealthy family with a thriving textile business. The International Herald Tribune reports that in the early 1900s, "almost every French sewing kit was stocked with Cartier-Bresson thread." At 20, as the oldest child who was expected to carry on the family business, Cartier-Bresson abandoned the textiles to study art and painting. His interest in photography didn't blossom until 1930 when he traveled around central Europe taking pictures. His travel photographs appeared in several magazines and were followed by his first show in 1933 in Spain, after which his career as a photojournalist of significance took flight.

Using small Leica rangefinders, and usually 50mm lenses and black and white film and relying only on existing light, he captured scenes of simple daily street life and devastating global war, the faces of both the famous and the unknown. Working on big stories as well as showing life's smallest, nearly invisible details, he made pictures at the exact moment when all the elements of a scene or its peak action came into place, when an image had its greatest "significance" or, as he termed it, was at its most "decisive" moment.

In 2003 as Cartier-Bresson's 95th birthday approached, Morris wrote a tribute to him in "A Letter From Paris" forNews Photographer magazine. The two became friends in August 1944, just days after Paris was liberated from German occupation, and they remained friends for life, later working together at Magnum Photos where Morris was executive director and Cartier-Bresson one of the agency's founding photographers. Morris almost always fondly referred to his friend Cartier-Bresson as "HCB."

"I arrived in Paris from London, a stranger, to take charge of Life's Paris bureau," Morris remembered. "It was temporarily in a room in the Hotel Scribe. Robert Capa says: 'I have a friend who can help you. He speaks English and knows his way around. His name is Henri Cartier-Bresson.' I had never heard of him, but the next morning a slight, blue-eyed young man shows up at the door of the Scribe. We go off on foot, making the rounds of photographers and picture agencies, including Wide World, in the deserted New York Times office. Henri takes me home for a simple lunch, apologizing, 'We don't buy on the black market.' I learn that he had been living and photographing underground, after escaping from a German prison camp.'"

Serving in the French Army, Cartier-Bresson had been captured in 1940 during the Battle of France and was a German prisoner of war for three years, twice attempting escape before success on his third attempt. He returned to Paris and after the war resumed photography. In 1937 he married Ratna Mohini, a dancer. In 1947, along with Robert Capa and David Seymour, he cofounded Magnum Photos. And in 1970 he married Martine Franck. Together they had a daughter, Melanie.

Cartier-Bresson's landmark book was The Decisive Moment, published in 1952. In 1960 a 400-print exhibit toured the United States, and on April 28, 2003, the Bibliotheque Nationale's Grand Galerie opened the largest one-man show in its history, called "Henri Cartier-Bresson: De qui s'agit-il?" (Who is he?). Morris said, "Its five-pound 'catalogue,' published in French by Gallimard and in English by Thames and Hudson, reproduced the show's 602 items, not to mention listing his 109 books and catalogues, 800 picture stories in magazines and newspapers, 270 photo exhibitions, 38 exhibitions of his drawings, his 14 films, and the 11 films and 320 articles about him."

The next day, April 29, the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson opened with champagne at its newly refurbished five-story landmark building near the Gare Montparnasse. "Henri, as usual, tried to hide," Morris wrote afterwards. Cartier-Bresson strongly disliked being photographed and rarely granted interviews. Morris said, "The Foundation was the housekeeping solution of Henri's wife, Magnum photographer Martine Franck, for disposing of Henri's treasures of a lifetime -- 'He never throws anything away.'" Morris said, "HCB agreed to the Foundation on condition that the building be 'neither a museum nor a mausoleum.'"

Then, when Cartier-Bresson's expertise and fame were near its peak, he put down his camera. After photographing French President General Charles de Gaulle's funeral in 1970, Cartier-Bresson visited Morris in New York City. Morris was the photography editor of The New York Times in those days, and he arranged a dinner with newspaper's photography staff. "I did not realize it at the time, but just about then two things occurred that would change Henri's future," Morris wrote. "He had fallen in love with Martine Franck, then a photographer with Visa. And he had experienced a rebirth of his previous passion, to be an 'artist.' To him this meant sketching and painting. The two occurrences were not unrelated; one photographer in a family is normally enough, and Martine is very talented."

"Henri found a further excuse to quit photography in the advice of his longtime friend Teriade, publisher of The Decisive Moment, who told him that he had done everything that could be done in photography," Morris recalled. "Teriade was partly right. From the standpoint of style, Henri had scarcely deviated from his earliest work. But from the point of view of content, Teriade unfortunately proposed that Henri turn his back on the balance of the 20th century. History was the loser. However, thanks to Robert Delpire, who became Henri's editor, his pre-1970 work took the form of an unparalleled photographic commentary on our times."

Morris remembers warning Cartier-Bresson once, after critics reviewed his artwork without mentioning his earlier photographs, "If you're not careful, you're going to go down in history as a painter, not as a photographer." Morris said Cartier-Bresson replied, "I'm just a jack of all trades."

It was well known that Cartier-Bresson did not want his photographs to be cropped by picture editors. John Morris remembers, "At Magnum there were two rubber stamps used on Henri's press prints. One said that the photo should not be altered by cropping; the other said that the photograph should not be used in a way that violates the context in which it is taken. One stamp for BEAUTY, of form; one stamp for TRUTH."

Michael Evans was a staff photographer at The New York Times when Morris was the picture editor and was working there when Morris once convinced Cartier-Bresson to take a Times photography assignment for a "second front" feature -- a story that leads the second section's front page. "Morris worked with Cartier-Bresson on the final image, and the page was all laid out and there were strict orders left with the desk not to crop the image under any circumstances," Evans remembers. "Well, of course something happened, and the page got changed, and the image got cropped. And Henri went ballistic."

Trying to deal with the incident, Evans remembers, Morris went in and met with the newspaper's executive editor, Abe Rosenthal. "John said something to the effect of, 'We've got a problem, Henri's picture was cropped,'" Evans said, "and Rosenthal said, 'Well who the (expletive) is Henri Cartier-Bresson?' Then later Henri, in his exceptional French/English, responded in a similar fashion, 'Who the (expletive) is Abe Rosenthal?' I think it was the last assignment Cartier-Bresson shot for the Times," Evans said with a laugh.

Cartier-Bresson is survived by his wife, Martine Franck, and their daughter, Melanie.


NYC Police To Meet NYPPA, NPPA Members To Discuss Republican Convention Plans, Access

Members of the New York City Police Department will meet August 12 with representatives and members of the New York Press Photographers Association and the National Press Photographers Association to discussion preparations and policies for the upcoming Republican National Convention in New York City. The convention in Madison Square Garden begins August 30 and runs through September 2.

Todd Maisel, of the New York Daily News, who is secretary of the NYPPA, announced the Thursday, August 12, meeting with police. It will be held at 1 Police Plaza, New York, at 6:30 p.m. in the Pressroom Auditorium. An RSVP is required for admission to the meeting due to security concerns. There will be no exceptions.

The meeting will address what's been done to make convention areas secure, what access media will have at specific sites, and what will be done to insure media access to related events (including protests, rallies, and related disturbances). If you're covering the Republican convention, "You can't afford to miss this meeting," Maisel said.

Maisel said that police believe there have been past attempts to infiltrate the media in order to gain close access to political leaders and sensitive locations, so security measures to access this policy meeting will be in enforced. Maisel also extends the meeting invitation to representatives of NYPPA and NPPA publications, wire services, photography agencies, and magazines. Food and refreshments will be served.

To RSVP call +1.212.889.6633 or eMail [email protected] well before the meeting date. Absolutely no one will be admitted to the meeting who is not on the cleared guest list. Contact Todd Maisel for more information.


Reporters Committee Launches Arrest Hotline for Journalists at Democratic Convention

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has established a 24-hour free Media Hotline for credentialed journalists who run into legal trouble while covering the Democratic National Convention in Boston next week.

In cooperation with the law firm of Prince, Lobel, Glovsky & Tye LLP, the hotline is for journalists who are interfered with or assaulted covering the news, or who are arrested or detained during demonstrations or other disturbances, for the duration of the convention.

The Hotline telephone number is +1.888.428.7490 and will be available to all journalists who have been issued DNC credentials. Lawyers staffing the hotline include Joe Steinfield, Rob Bertsche, David Plotkin, and Jeffrey Pyle. The backup telephone number is the Reporters Committee's hotline, which is +1.800.336.4243.

A flyer outlining procedures for resolving problems arising from detention or arrest is online at

The Washington-based Reporters Committee, a nonprofit association of reporters and editors established in 1970, provides cost-free legal advice and research assistance to journalists and their lawyers. The Reporters Committee has established such hotlines at national conventions since 1972.

For further information, contact executive director Lucy Dalglish at the Reporters Committee, +1.703.807.2100, or Joe Steinfield or Rob Bertsche at Prince, Lobel, Glovsky & Tye LLP, +1.617.456.8018.