Photo of the Week, 2 June 2013

I’m not very happy with the Chicago Sun-Times. The home of national treasure Roger Ebert has done the unbelievable, the unthinkable. This week, they laid-off all 28 of their photographers. Let me rephrase that, they fired all of their full-time photo-journalists. Yes, journalists. Those photo-journalists, like Pulitzer Prize-winner John H. White told the news of the nation and world, many times, better than any man or woman could with words. This, on the heels of Melissa Mayer’s comment about professional photographers, sheds light on the dwindling respect and literacy about photography and images, in general. I’m disgusted by the Sun-Times, absolutely disgusted. You’re wrong Chicago Sun-Times to think that you can parse out your photographic needs to freelancers. I’m sure that they are capable of delivering wonderful shots now and then… but it’s not their sole job, or their soul work.

In honor of the souls and works of the photo-journalist:


[Image credit: John H. White]


Look Pretty for the Camera

Sometimes you read something and just want to share. Well, at least, I do. This morning it was reading about Yolanda Dominguez‘s photography project Poses. In short, she highlights the absurdity of fashion magazine photographs by having real, everyday women recreate the poses in their real, everyday settings. Genius! For example, when was the last time you, your girlfriends, sisters, mothers, aunts,and neighbors looked like this?

Now, I think it would be great to see a men’s version of this project. Women aren’t the only ones poked, prodded, and preened to look a certain way. Talk about it taking a village to raise a child, it takes a couture village to create fashion models! I haven’t seen many poses like this in my classrooms at C.C.:

For more information about Poses you can read and see more at Bust Magazine.


Merry (?) Christmas

It’s no coincidence that St. Matthews-in-the-City Church in Auckland, New Zealand has chosen the Christmas season to reveal their latest billboard ad depicting the Virgin Mary. Titled “Mary is in the Pink,” the ad is meant to show Mary, full of grace, juxtaposed with situations today’s women can find themselves in. According to Yahoo’s The Sideshow, “Vicar Glynn Cardy said that this year St. Matthews wanted to focus on what it was like for a real mother with a real child. ‘It’s about a real pregnancy, a real mother and a real child. It’s about real anxiety, courage and hope.'” Two year’s ago, the same church featured a billboard with Mary and Joseph.


Photo of the Week, 18 September 2011

Now granted, it isn’t a photograph, but it’s certainly the image of the moment. This past Thursday, Columbia College’s President, Dr. Gerald Brouder, gave his biennial State of the College Address where a new logo and ‘brand‘ for the College was launched. Many in the crowd cheered. Many did not. I’ve talked with so many current and former students, staff and community members that long for the former logo of the College, seen above.

The logo prominently features Rogers Gate, the formal entrance to the College. Named after Joseph Kirtley Rogers, President of Columbia College from 1858 to 1877, the Gate signifies the decision by Rogers to keep the College open during the Civil War. According to the College’s website, “The trees are evergreen, universal and ancient symbols of knowledge. The triangle is a delta, the Greek letter for change, which Columbia College has done successfully to survive and prosper during its long history.”

The distress some in the Columbia College community feel has spilled over onto an online petition at Change.org.


Word clouds and you

I’ve always found word clouds to be a fascinating way to orient and think about key ideas and concepts.  For example, the recent debt ceiling ‘negotiations’ resulted in this word cloud of the way Americans perceived the behavior of Congress.

I think “ridiculous” is about right.

If you’d like to make your own word cloud, you can use Wordle‘s software and tweak it along the way– with different fonts, colors, layouts– you name it.  The only downside– you can’t exactly ‘save’ the image to your computer.  You can post it to a public gallery and link to it that way.  I thought I’d try it out with a short introduction I’ve written for a script that will be published in October.  It was nice to see that Wordle and I see my work the ‘same way.’

For even more options, check out this blog post for teachers.  Have fun making your own word clouds, now!


Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Academy Award-Winning actress Geena Davis recently launched a foundation to raise awareness about the disproportionate level of male and female speaking roles in television and film. As the website reports, “Research by Dr. Stacy Smith at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication shows that fewer than 1 out of 3 speaking characters in the top movies aimed at kids from 1990 – 2005 were female. Television aimed at kids was also imbalanced with 1.67 males for every female. Other ratings in film showed imbalance as well: PG was 2.6 males to 1 female, PG-13 was 2.8 to 1, and R was 2.9 to 1.” Go to the website and click on the Do You Count? menu item at the top to participate and help the Institute track the faces of entertainment today.