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claytoncubitt:

If you haven’t seen the stunning 2001 documentary “War Photographer” about prize-winning conflict photojournalist James Nachtwey, you really must. It’s a beautifully filmed, deeply contemplative study of what it means to be a photographer, and what it means to be a witness to conflict.

It also features an absolutely enthralling cinematic technique: a tiny camera mounted above Nachtwey’s own shutter button, so you can see the stream of time and context around each of his decisions to capture (or not capture.) You can see it in the trailer above, at the 1:17 mark.

And this brings me back to my recent essay, On the Constant Moment. If the Decisive Moment is Nachtwey’s shutter button there with the protestors on the West Bank in 2001, the Constant Moment is your ability to choose different moments from the video feed, from wherever you are, in 2013.

Freed from instant decision in the middle of chaos, able to pause and rewind, did you make different aesthetic choices about when to “shoot?” Would Nachtwey, if he could?

That’s the Constant Moment.

Y el fotógrafo es un tal Mr. Winter x)
iloverivolta:

The pictures in this New York Times war story have been shot with an iPhone and processed in Hipstamatic. Times keep a-changin’.

“Mr. Winter even found himself taking a few iPhone pictures during firefights while he was shooting video with his single-lens reflex (a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, as long as we’re on the subject). The Hipstamatic app forced him to wait about 10 seconds between photos, so each one had to count.”

And of course they kick ass.

Y el fotógrafo es un tal Mr. Winter x)

iloverivolta:

The pictures in this New York Times war story have been shot with an iPhone and processed in Hipstamatic. Times keep a-changin’.

“Mr. Winter even found himself taking a few iPhone pictures during firefights while he was shooting video with his single-lens reflex (a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, as long as we’re on the subject). The Hipstamatic app forced him to wait about 10 seconds between photos, so each one had to count.”

And of course they kick ass.

A nine-part essay by crime gang expert Sudhir Venkatesh, who sat with a bunch of members and ex-members of the Chicago drug trade to watch the show weekly, throughout most of the 5th season. Includes several Q&A rounds between the ghetto guys and the (mostly) mid-class white readers of Venkathesh’s blog.

The show actually does get a lot of stuff right. But are the little details they point out in between episodes what I find most fascinating. The Wire is as pessimistic as you can get from a TV show, but not even that matches its real-life counterpart. Sometimes the very nature of a long-running series gets in the way of what the thugs consider plausible.

“They’re making us wait,” said Orlando. “See, that’s when this stuff gets unreal. When they start making you feel like you could actually get somewhere in the ghetto.”

“What do you mean, ‘get somewhere?’” I asked.

“In the ‘hood, everything changes. Nothing happens the right way,” he replied.

“Give me an example,” I said.

“Well, like what’s happening with Marlo and Omar,” he replied right away. “In the ghetto, you never have this kind of thing last so long. People kill each other right away, or not at all.”

And the fact that the writers are mostly white…

“White folks always love to keep these uppity [characters] alive. No way [a self-righteous, disrespectful gangster] survive in East New York more than a minute!”

“I’d let a black man write it, first of all,” said Shine. “That way, you’d have real winners and losers. Like I said, white folk want you to believe that everyone is screwed up, everyone is getting their piece [of the action]. True, but it’s different if you’re white. It’s never as bad as it is when you’re black.

Still, the gang members got into it to the point of betting as much as $8000 on the outcome of some of the character’s fates.

It’s a good read, even if you’re unfamiliar with the show. It made me think about how sophisticated a traditionally ‘dumbing’ medium can be, actually making the audience smarter. Damn, even videogames these days do some fine, ambitious job on portraying life in the streets you rarely find in traditional journalism.

It strikes me as a beautiful process how a fictional story, made to entertain, can send echoes through different channels and weave ties previously unthinkable of between academics, thugs and fans who end up discussing stuff that happens daily to living, breathing people.