Robin Williams, remembered.

robin williams

 

I was hired by the New Yorker in 2002 to photograph Robin Williams, and after doing my research what stood out most for me was that he was a very physical comedian. I came up with this idea to photograph him swinging from a chandelier in a grand hotel room. Most publicists shoot down these kinds of wild ideas, so I didn’t tell anyone what I was up to, but rigged up a chandelier at the Waldorf Astoria hotel for him to swing from. When Robin got there and saw what was happening, he lifted up his shirt and showed me this enormous scar on his shoulder. He’d just had surgery and couldn’t so much as lift his arm. He was so disappointed! He really felt bad about not being able to do it, because he loved the idea and really wanted to help me accomplish my vision. Unlike most Hollywood stars, he was unfazed by his success and position. He talked to everyone from stylists to the crew, to the hotel staff. We ended up asking a maid at the hotel to swing from the chandelier instead, and I asked him to just sit there and read a newspaper, which I think in the end was an even  funnier, more unexpected  picture.” – Martin Schoeller, photographer, about doing a photoshoot with Robin Williams (picture above) for The New Yorker in 2002.

Photographers share their stories about the legendary actor on TIME Lightbox. Click the link to scroll more pictures.

The War Photo No One Would Publish

first gulf war

 

 

 

Not long after the Iran-Iraq War ended in 1988 (with more than one million casualties on both sides), Saddam Hussein, then-Iraq’s leader, had his troops aimed, again, at its neighboring country, Kuwait, bringing the exasperated country back at war. The consequences were deadly for both Iraq and Kuwait, and nearly for Saudi Arabia; almost 800,000 US and NATO troops had to be brought in to stop Iraqi troops from invading the wider Middle East region. Thus began First Gulf War in 1991. Nonetheless, the war played upon was all huge mess not only for the military, but also civilians; while hundred thousands of soldiers were either dead or killed under the storms of fires, bombardments, and mortar shells, millions of civilians were also massively displaced. Most depressingly, Iraq had to pay war reparations to Kuwait almost equivalent to 80 billion US$, severely hampering the country’s already fragile financial stability.

But the public worldwide didn’t really have a complete idea about how the war was truly about. Kenneth Jarecke captured raw, real pictures about the worn-out troops, dead bodies, and all gruesome scenery from the battlefields, but none of the mass media wanted to publish his work instead. And much of the public remains concealed by the reality, up to now.

Read the full article in The Atlantic about Jarecke’s photographs.

 

Excerpt:

 

Not every gruesome photo reveals an important truth about conflict and combat. Last month, The New York Times decided—for valid ethical reasons—to remove images of dead passengers from an online story about Flight MH-17 in Ukraine and replace them with photos of mechanical wreckage. Sometimes though, omitting an image means shielding the public from the messy, imprecise consequences of a war—making the coverage incomplete, and even deceptive.

In the case of the charred Iraqi soldier, the hypnotizing and awful photograph ran against the popular myth of the Gulf War as a “video-game war”—a conflict made humane through precision bombing and night-vision equipment. By deciding not to publish it, TIME magazine and the Associated Press denied the public the opportunity to confront this unknown enemy and consider his excruciating final moments.

The image was not entirely lost. The Observer in the United Kingdom and Libération in France both published it after the American media refused. Many months later, the photo also appeared in American Photo, where it stoked some controversy, but came too late to have a significant impact. All of this surprised the photographer, who had assumed the media would be only too happy to challenge the popular narrative of a clean, uncomplicated war. “When you have an image that disproves that myth,” he says today, “then you think it’s going to be widely published.”

The changing face of Kabul

kabul

 

What comes to your mind whenever the word ‘Kabul’ appears? If you know enough about the ongoing war in Afghanistan, your perception – as having been molded by mainstream media – most likely suggests that you end up associating that country’s capital with continuous gun battles, suicide bombs, and a constant battlefield. Of refugees sprawling across the city like mushroom, of one where lawlessness is the fundamental tenet of life, and of one in unceasing strains of fear, uncertainties, and savagery.

While on some aspects, these remain the misfortunes Kabul dwellers still have to face, it turns out that the capital is, by today’s standards, no more an intense battlefield. What you might imagine of a land of mines, of shattered buildings, of brutality beyond human morale is now nearly non-existent within a short span of time. The Kabul you – and I – perceive was the Kabul we saw one decade ago; today, thanks to Business Insider, it is now a booming metropolis, one comparable to any you can see in emerging markets, or developing countries.

Yes, some things remain unsolved, though: corruption remains endemic, battles occasionally take place, administration overhauled by numerous technical problems, and poverty, and all social problems associated with it, is heartfelt nearly everywhere. But that doesn’t mean hope will soon be gone from this city, which now enjoys a rapid post-war economic transformation; maintain the optimism, and work hard to solve all the problems, and it is not impossible that sometime later, Kabul will flourish again.

View the complete photographs of this changing city in Business Insider.

Anton Repponen : One Month Off – Indonesia

one month off indo

 

 

A New York-based photographer spent one month in traveling across various places in the archipelago, capturing the authentic beauty of the cultures, nature, and the pristine beaches the islands offer.

Finally, I could post something beautiful about Indonesia, long after I fill this section with quite numerous negative articles.

Access his photographs on Ready Magazine.