Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Howard Chapnick Legacy, a collaboration between Aperture and W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund

Uncategorized0 comments

“The Howard Chapnick Legacy” was a special program in the “Smith Talks”, an ongoing collaboration between Aperture and W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. The event took place on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 at Aperture.

Howard Chapnick (1922-1996) is a legend of photography, the long time head of the Black Star Agency and author of the classic “The Truth Needs No Ally: Inside Photojournalism”.

In 1979 with colleagues, John Morris and Jim Hughes, Chapnick founded the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, which awards grants for projects in humanistic photography. Shortly after his death in 1996, the Smith Fund announced a new and additional fellowship in Chapnick’s name, a $5.000 grant to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism.

The evening celebrated his career and the grant’s recipients. Chapnick was a seminal influence on a roster of today’s leading photo-journalists like Pete Turnley, Donna Ferrato, Tony Suau, Chris Morris, Joseph Rodriquez, James Balog, and James Nachtwey to name a few, all of whom were invited to contribute to the evening’s proceedings.

The evening was hosted by Mickael Itkoff of Daylight Publishing. who received the Chapnick grant in 2006 which made it possible for Daylight to go to press. The Chapnick grant has been able to give smaller organizations an immediate boost like this. Other past Chapnick grantees Marie Arago, Ryan Libre, Liza Faktor, and Richard Steven Street talked about their projects and grant. There are also video commentaries from co-founders and Smith Board Members John Morris and Rich Clarkson and in person remarks from Trustees Aaron Schindler and Phil Block.

For more information about the Howard Chapnick Fund, go to http://smithfund.org/howard-chapnick-grant.

How Ryan Libre and His Documentary Arts Center Empower Visual Storytellers in Asia

Uncategorized0 comments

Ryan Libre speaks on grassroots photojournalism and visual literacy at TEDx

Ryan Libre is an award-winning documentary photographer and the founder of Documentary Arts Asia (DAA), a non-profit organization working to tell stories from Asia that need to be heard. The organization was conceived in 2008 after Ryan’s work on NGO documentary projects brought Asia’s need for visual literacy education to his attention.

In 2011, he was awarded he Howard Chapnick Grant, part of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, to build a physical space for the organization. Three years later, DAA flourishes in its mission. The DAA center supports documentary artists in Asia with various amenities including a gallery, a library and a workshop space.

Film production and interactive design studio MediaStorm caught up with Ryan to learn more about DAA’s current role in providing community and resources for Asia’s storytellers and what’s next for his organization and his career.

MediaStorm: What did you hope to accomplish when you started the Documentary Arts Center?
Ryan: I wanted to raise the interest in and an awareness of documentary photography and film in Southeast Asia. From there my goal for the organization was to find talented, local emerging and established photographers to support.

Why is visual literacy important?
Right now kids spend a lot of time learning to read the written word. But the visual image, still and moving, is increasingly where people get their information. It shapes their world view and life choices. I want people and institutions to make visual literacy training a higher priority.

And why was it important to have the Center in Thailand?
Chiang Mai is a major hub and crossroads for Southeast Asia. Lots of ideas are born and shared there. The idea of DAA is to have a center in most Asian countries, but still most governments in the region are not as open to NGO’s and showing sensitive or critical work. Chiang Mai is known as the cultural and art capital of Thailand. So it was a perfect choice for the first center. We now have a second center in N. Burma. Inside the Kachin Independence autonomous region. The gallery/library/cinema is just 11 kilometers from front line fighting in a region with very few if any resources for aspiring documentary photographers. I hope to open more DAA centers like this in the future.

You were awarded the Howard Chapnick Grant in 2011. How did the grant impact your organization?
Well, before the Chapnick Grant we had no physical center and were mostly known only by a few photographers N Burma. After Chapnick we were able to open a beautiful center and it helped a lot with recognition also. After the ceremony I stayed in NYC for a few weeks and it opened up a lot of doors for me to meet great people to talk about DAA.

What initiatives have the Center’s focus now?
Right now we’re building a new center! 5,000 square feet. It may sound like we are rolling in money now, but the land was donated and we are designing and building it ourselves from adobe bricks and straw-bales.

What lessons did you learn launching your organization?
Wow, I’ve learned so much, personally and professionally. One of the main things is the power of design. A nice logo, website and posters are powerful tools for advancing your message. I’ve also become a much better photo editor, for others works and my own.

How can readers support the work you’re doing?
A couple ways:

  1. Join a workshop – our photo and film workshops are very affordable and half of the fees support the artist, with the remaining half reinvested into our programs.
  2. Buy a print from one of our exhibitions, or choose from the many matted prints for sale at the center.
  3. Become a member – both paid and unpaid memberships help us.
  4. Give in-kind gifts to our artist in residence program – such as meal or drinks vouchers.
  5. Donate a portion of your tax money to DAA. You can write it off your taxes so it costs you nothing!
  6. Donate a print for our annual silent auction.
  7. Give DAA something from our center wish list or a book from our library wish list.
  8. Donate online – DAA keeps its overheads low so that every penny, baht & yen goes to useful projects.

More information on all of these options is available on our site.

Are you working on anything outside of the center? Can we expect any new projects from you?
I’m finishing a feature length documentary, When Will It Be, about the Kachin Independence organization. I’m looking for a publisher to publish a book of the stills from this 6 year project as well.

After those projects finish I have a long list of projects I’m dying to shoot.

About the Howard Chapnick Grant

In 1996 the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced a new award, the Howard Chapnick Grant, to honor the memory of Howard Chapnick, and acknowledge the value of his enormous contribution to photography.

The annual $5,000 grant may be used to finance any of a range of qualified undertakings, which might include a program of further education, research, a special long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual. Special consideration will be given to projects that promote social change and/or serve significant concerns of photojournalism.

Applications are due July 16, 2014. Learn more and apply at http://smithfund.org/howard-chapnick-grant.

 

Attend the Smith Grant Ceremony

Uncategorized0 comments

The 35th Annual Smith Grant Ceremony is taking place at the SVA Theater on Wednesday, October 15th at 7:00 p.m.

See more information >

Discovering Daylight in a Sea of Change

Uncategorized0 comments

Michael Itkoff is cofounder and editor of Daylight, a non-profit organization dedicated to publishing art and photography books. He is also the 2006 winner of the Howard Chapnick Grant.

Michael and his partner Taj Forer founded an organization dedicated to a print product in 2003, when the industry was already moving to digital. In this interview, he discusses the growth and adaptation of Daylight in the evolving digital landscape and how winning the Howard Chapnick Grant helped him reach his goals.

Interview with Michael Itkoff

What led you to create Daylight back in 2003?

Taj Forer and I founded Daylight in part because we felt that our specific area of interest—photo-based work existing somewhere between the documentary mode and that of fine art—was not being properly addressed by the industry.

We set up Daylight as a platform for more subjective, personally experienced truths that were realized through photography.

You founded an organization dedicated to publishing art and photography books in 2003, when the industry was already moving to digital. How has Daylight worked within the massive shift in art and photography publishing over the last decade?

Although only 10 years ago 2003 is ancient history in the context of the print/digital shift. In those days it was not yet obvious that a sea change was on the horizon. In fact, it took us over a year after publishing our first edition to develop a proper online presence as we were so committed to the physical object.

Since that time we have anticipated and embraced the continued shift toward digital formats with our multimedia program and newly launched iPad publishing program.

As part of Daylight’s continued shift toward digital formats, they have recently launched an iPad publishing program.

Tell us more about your multimedia program. Is it integrated with your books program?

The multimedia program highlights the work of an individual artist and presents a portfolio-based slideshow of work along with the artists narration and a curated musical selection. We feature artists from the Daylight Photo Awards as well as from our books program in addition to artists from outside the fold.

We have been producing multimedia as a separate initiative since 2007. To date we have over 50 features available for free.

Now that you are producing both digital and physical products, do you find your audience shifting in one direction or the other?

It is too early to tell. I believe our core audience shares our commitment to print as well as our interest in experiencing work within the digital space.

“Jeff Jacobson: The Last Roll” is Daylight’s most recent multimedia project. They now have more than 50 features available for free.

You were awarded the Howard Chapnick Grant in 2006. How did you use the grant and what has it meant for you personally?

The grant proceeds went straight into publication of Issue #5 of Daylight Magazine. Our goal at that time was to remain in print and the Chapnick grant certainly helped offset the cost of our fifth edition!

It was also a benchmark for Daylight as it signaled public acceptance and industry recognition. I am still proud to have received the award.

Itkoff used the Howard Chapnick Grant to fund the fifth edition of Daylight Magazine.

Daylight runs an award program of its own. When did you start running it? And who does it seek to award?
We launched the Daylight Photo Awards in 2010 along with the Center for Documentary Studies, but have since proceeded to offer the awards on our own.

The DPA offers $1,000, a solo show and a multimedia feature to an artist with a developed body of work in order to showcase it and aid in its development.

About the Howard Chapnick Grant

In 1996 the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced a new award, the Howard Chapnick Grant, to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing research, education and management.

The Grant was established to honor the memory of Howard Chapnick, and acknowledge the value of his enormous contribution to photography.

The annual $5,000 grant may be used to finance any of a range of qualified undertakings, which might include a program of further education, research, a special long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual.

According to the Fund’s Board of Trustees, special consideration will be given to projects that promote social change and/or serve significant concerns of photojournalism. The grant is not intended to be used for the production of photographs, which will continue to be funded by the main grant of the Smith Fund.

Applications are due May 31, 2013. Learn more and apply at http://smithfund.org/howard-chapnick-grant.

Strategies for Photographers: Thoughts On How To Apply For Fellowships and Other Competitions

Uncategorized0 comments

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund and the Aperture Foundation are hosting a panel on Strategies for Photographers: Thoughts On How To Apply For Fellowships and Other Competitions this coming Monday.

Strategies for Photographers: Thoughts On How To Apply For Fellowships and Other Competitions
Monday, March 4, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
Aperture Foundation
547 W. 27th St.
New York, NY 10011

Event open to the public.

About the Event

One of the ways photographers are able to sustain careers is through grants and fellowships. For over 30 years the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography has been one of the most prestigious.

The panel brings together some Smith Fund Board members to share their experiences judging competitions ranging from Smith to World Press Photo, World Photo Organization, Getty Images, PDN, Le Journal de la Photographie and American Photography to name a few. This is a unique opportunity to gain some insight into what takes place in the judging room and for photographers seeking advice.

Participants will include current Smith Board members David Friend (Vanity Fair) W.M. Hunt (Dancing Bear), Marcel Saba (Redux Pictures), and Lauren Wendle (PDN), all of whom have served as head jurors.

This panel is free and open to the public and will follow an afternoon press conference announcing the call for entries for the 2013 Smith Fund Fellowship.
Past recipients of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund represent a “Who’s Who” of 20th Century documentary photography in the humanistic tradition of Smith. Recent W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund recipients include 2012: Peter von Agtmael, 2011: Krisanne Johnson, 2010: Darcy Padilla, 2009: Lu Guang, 2008: Mikhael Subotzky, 2007: Stephen Dupont, 2006: Paolo Pellegrin, and 2005: Pep Bonet.

Chronologically, earlier fellows range from Jane Evelyn Atwood, Eugene Richards, Sebastio Salgado, Milton Rogovin, Gilles Peress, Donna Ferrato, Letizia Battaglia, John VInk, Graciela Iturbide, Paul Graham, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Carl de Keyzer, Dario Mitideri, Eli Reed, Marc Asnin, James Nachtwey, Ellen Binder, Vladimir Syomin, Gideon Mendel, Alain Keler, Ernesto Bazan, Chien-Chi Chang, Brenda Ann Kenneally, Maya Goded, Kai Widenhofer, Trent Parke, to Stanley Greene through to Peter van Agtmael.

For more information visit smithfund.org. Entries for this year’s competition are due by the end of May.

About the Grants

The W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography was established in 1979 following the death of Gene Smith, the legendary American photo essayist. Today, the grant represents the most prestigious honor in the field of documentary photography.

The Howard Chapnick Grant encourages and supports professionals working in the fields of documentary photography and photojournalism. Applicants may be engaged in research, editing, education, or similar endeavors; the grant is not intended to be used for the production of photographs. Special consideration will be given to projects that promote social change or serve significant concerns within the field.

Learn more at smithfund.org.

Apply for the 2014 Grant

Uncategorized0 comments

The deadline for the 2014 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is May 31, 2014.

Apply for the Grant >

Apply for the 2014 Grant

Uncategorized0 comments

The deadline for the 2014 Howard Chapnick Grant is July 15, 2014.

Apply for the Howard Chapnick Grant >

Page 3 of 3123
  • Sponsors


    The Incite Project
    Herb Ritts Foundation
    Canon

    Leonian Foundation



    ICP SVA
    MediaStorm PDN
    Synergy Communications
    Aperture Foundation Brilliant Graphics