No Caption Needed is a book and a blog, each dedicated to discussion of the role that photojournalism and other visual practices play in a vital democratic society. No caption needed, but many are provided. . . .

November 15th, 2013

Last Stop: War/Photography at the Brooklyn Museum

Posted by Hariman in conferences & shows


WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath is an exhibition of 400 photographs that was organized by the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and now has come to the Brooklyn Museum, where it will close on February 2, 2014.

The exhibition “explores the experience of war with an unprecedented collection of 400 photographic prints, books, magazines, albums, and camera equipment, bringing together iconic and unknown images taken by members of the military, commercial portraitists, journalists, amateurs, artists, and numerous Pulitzer Prize–winning photographers.

“Including the work of some 255 photographers from around the globe who have covered conflicts over the last 166 years, WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY examines the interrelationship between war and photography, reveals the evolution of the medium by which war is recorded and remembered, and explores the range of experience of armed conflict: recruitment, training, embarkation, daily routine, battle, death and destruction, homecoming, and remembrance. In addition to depicting the phases of war, WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY includes portraits of servicemen, military and political leaders, and civilians and refugees.”

More information on the exhibition and the museum is available here.

Photograph by Walter Astrada. Congolese women fleeing to Goma, from the series Violence Against Women in Congo, Rape as Weapon of War in DRC, 2008.


October 25th, 2013

Fade To Black with BJP

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The British Journal of Photography has a new online quarterly magazine for the iPad called Fade to Black.  The magazine is “dedicated to a new generation of image-makers who embrace the convergence of photography, video and multimedia, and all the new opportunities offered by digital capture and distribution to shoot and distribute their projects themselves.”

A free six-month subscription is available here.

October 18th, 2013

Paper Call: The Visual Culture of the News

Posted by Hariman in conferences & shows

Getting the Picture: The Visual Culture of the News

LA Times riots

 The Visual Studies Research Institute at the University of Southern California invites submissions for a conference on Getting the Picture: The Visual Culture of the News, which will be held May 4-5, 2014.  The conference is part of a three year project on “Visual Evidence.”  The full paper call is here.

They invite submissions from junior scholars and graduate students in their final year working across all times and places on “news pictures.” Send a 250-word abstract and CV by November 1, 2013 to; include “News Pictures” in the email title. Travel and expenses will be paid. Papers will be pre-circulated and commented upon and there is an expectation that participants will read the papers of other participants (between 10-12 papers). They will be due April 25, 2014.

October 11th, 2013

Exhibition on The Social: Encountering Photography

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NEPN / Sunderland

The North East Photography Network is sponsoring The Social: Encountering Photography, which is a month-long series of photography exhibitions, installations, and talks in Sunderland and North East England, UK.  The program (OK, the programme) is listed here.

Photograph by Simon Roberts, Penshaw Monument, Penshaw, July 2013 from The Social: landscapes of leisure.

October 4th, 2013

The Street Collective Shares their Craft

Posted by Hariman in conferences & shows



For a limited time, the photography site PhotoWhoa is providing a free download of an e-book they’ve produced on street photography.

Freddy from PhotoWhoa says, “We’ve just spent months creating a free e-book with insights from several extremely talented street/doc/fine art photographers. We entitled it ‘The Street Collective.’

The Street Collective was the result of many hours interviewing top photographers such as Bryan Formhals (of LPV Magazine) and World Press Award winner Laura Pannack about their process and how they achieve
their unique looks. We did this to help our audience learn what it takes to make great street photography.”

You can see the free e-book here and download your own copy here.  The work is highly stylized, which is not to some tastes, but the price is right and there is much to be said for this kind of sharing and networking.   The site offers other freebees here, as well as plenty of pay as you go classes.

You also might want to opt in to their subscriber list.  They don’t sell or share their list, but you would get emails about product recommendations, as that is part of what they do.  Once again, photography needs to keep experimenting with varied business models, and this might be an effective way to get professionals and amateurs working together in win-win arrangement.

September 20th, 2013

Paper Call: Fifth International Conference on the Image

Posted by Hariman in conferences & shows


Artistic submissions to the conference exhibition and proposals for paper presentations, poster sessions, workshops, roundtables, or colloquia are invited for the Fifth International Conference on the Image, to be held 29-30 October 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Submissions are welcome from a variety of disciplines and perspectives, and faculty and students are encouraged to jointly submit proposals discussing The Image through one of the following themes: The Form of the Image; Image Work; The Image in Society.

The deadline for the current round of the call for papers is 3 October 2013.  Additional information is available here.

Submissions for the 2013 Image Conference and exhibition in Chicago are also still open. More information on the submitting your proposal or attending the conference in Chicago is available here.

If you are unable to attend the conference, you may still join the community and submit your article for peer review and possible publication, upload an online presentation, and enjoy subscriber access to The International Journal of the Image.

August 23rd, 2013

Call for Papers: What Is Documentary?

Posted by Hariman in conferences & shows

Lange, Manzanar flag

April 24-26, 2014

Documentaries continue to play important roles in defining, exposing, and transforming social realities. Today, we are witnessing an explosion of documentary making enabled by new digital production and distribution technologies, even as traditional news media may seem compromised and in decline.

We will gather at the University of Oregon’s Portland campus from April 24-26, 2014, to explore the past, present and future of documentary in all its forms. The conference will feature a unique coalescing of media scholars and students, media professionals, independent media producers, government and community officials, as well as interested community groups and the public. The event will feature keynote speakers, roundtables, paper presentations, and screenings, in an attempt to answer questions about the changing nature of documentary.

We welcome proposals that address any and all forms of documentary – film, video, radio, audio, photography, print, digital media, online, etc.

Send 250-word proposals by October 1, 2013, to:
Janet Wasko ( or Gabriela Martinez (
School of Journalism and Communication
University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97405, USA

Photograph by Dorothea Lange, “Dust storm at this War Relocation Authority center where evacuees of Japanese ancestry are spending the duration” (Manzanar, CA, July 3, 1942. 210-G-10C-839 []).  

August 9th, 2013

Philosophy of Photography: The Journal

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I don’t think we’ve mentioned this before, and it’s new enough to still be off the radar for many in both the professional and academic communities, so:

Philosophy of Photography is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of photography. It is not committed to any one notion of photography nor, indeed, to any particular philosophical approach. The purpose of the journal is to provide a forum for debate on theoretical issues arising from the historical, political, cultural, scientific and critical matrix of ideas, practices and techniques that may be said to constitute photography as a multifaceted form. In a contemporary context remarkable for its diversity and rate of change, the conjunction of the terms ‘philosophy’ and ‘photography’ in the journal’s title is intended to act as a provocation to serious reflection on the ways in which existing and emergent photographic discourses might engage with and inform each other.

The publisher’s web page for the journal, along with the table of contents for the current issue, is hereIntellect publishers focus on cultural and media studies, film studies, visual arts, and the performing arts.

July 19th, 2013

Playing with Traumatic Images: Zbigniew Libera’s Retouched Icons

Posted by Hariman in conferences & shows

Parodic alternations of iconic images are a dime a dozen online, which makes it all the more telling when an artist uses the same technique.


Polish artist Zbigniew Libera has altered a number of classic images to overlay their dark themes of violence and death with the decor of popular culture, childhood, or other familiar sites of fantasy.  These alterations are detailed enough to create the desired disorientation, but not so much that they don’t circle back around to also reaffirm the original scandal.  The image above is particularly interesting in that regard.

The composition starts out as a mockup of Dmitri Baltermants’ “Grief,” a photograph of villagers from Kerch, Crimea looking for their loved ones who had been slaughtered by the Nazis in 1942.  Although often seen as documentary witness to the horror of civilian casualties in warfare, it appears that the Nazis, you will be shocked to learn, had in fact rounded up thousands of Jews for this massacre.


For a Polish artist to play with such a photo is not inconsequential, but I’m not going there.  What strikes me at the moment is how the retouched image can, when seen in the context of the Boston Marathon bombing, look eerily like a new photograph of yet another slaughter.  And a slaughter once again by people who will kill innocents in the name of purity.  If the message of the parody is that the past is still with us amidst the distractions of contemporary mass culture, then the artist may have done his job.

You can see other images in the series here.  Thanks to Kamila Zrembska for the link.

July 12th, 2013

Jonathan Hyman and the Landscapes of 9/11

Posted by Hariman in conferences & shows

Landscapes of 9:11 cover

In the emotional aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks, people from all walks of life created and encountered memorials to those who were murdered. Vernacular art appeared almost everywhere—on walls, trees, playgrounds, vehicles, houses, tombstones, and even on bodies. This outpouring of grief and other acts of remembrance impelled photographer Jonathan Hyman to document and so preserve these largely impermanent, spontaneous expressions. His collection of 20,000 photographs, along with field notes and personal interviews, constitutes a unique archive of 9/11 public memory.

In The Landscapes of 9/11, Hyman offers readers a representative sampling of his photographs and also relates his own story in a clear and detailed narrative. He is joined by a diverse group of scholars and museum professionals, including editors Edward Linenthal and Christiane Gruber, who use the Hyman collection to investigate the cultural functions of memorial practices in the United States and beyond, including Northern Ireland, the Palestinian West Bank, and Iran.

Full disclosure: John Lucaites and I co-authored one of the essays in the volume.  The book is being released this month in cloth and paper; you can order copies here.

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