An alley between overcrowded tenements, with garbage thrown over the railings of the back porches. Most of the area's tenants were transient. Chicago, 1948.
Wayne Miller—Magnum
By Vaughn Wallace
May 23, 2013

To photograph mankind and explain man to man — that was how legendary photographer Wayne Miller described his decades-long drive to document the myriad subjects gracing his work. Miller passed away Wednesday at the age of 94 at his home in California.

Fan TV has a simple proposition for Time Warner Cable customers: For $99, it will make your cable TV-watching experience better. You buy the box and stick it in your living room, in place of a regular cable box. Instead of the the regular guide--cluttered with row upon row of channels you never watch--you get personalized recommendations, not just for stuff that's on cable, but for shows and movies from other streaming video sources like Crackle and Redbox Instant. And instead of a huge, clunky remote, you use a touchscreen pad that responds to swipes and taps. But as CNet points out, Fan TV also makes the experience worse in a few significant ways: You can only watch what's available through Time Warner Cable's mobile app, which means some channels may not be available. You also can't record live shows for later viewing or watch recordings from another DVR. A full cable box stand-in this is not. No disrespect to Fan TV, which has created what appears to be a pleasant interface and concept. But the whole setup is preposterous. Here we have a cable company that is unwilling to reinvent its stodgy old system for watching television, but continues to increase prices year after year. To justify these higher prices, Time Warner Cable and other providers point out how they're offering more channels than ever, regardless of whether subscribers asked for these channels. Meanwhile, the licensing costs to carry all these channels keep going up, and all subscribers get is more clutter in an increasingly mind-numbing TV guide interface. So now, instead of addressing those problems, Time Warner Cable turns to another company that promises to fix the clutter--not for the same exorbitant prices you've been paying, mind you, but for an extra $99. Oh, but no DVR allowed. Sorry. No wonder more people are ditching or skipping cable in favor of cheaper, smarter, more convenient online video services. And no wonder companies like Google and Apple have delayed or given up on plans to make cable TV better. It's a lost cause. On a section of Fan TV's website, the company wonders aloud whether it's crazy to compete with the tech giants and instead cozy up to pay TV providers like Time Warner Cable. At last, we know the answer.
Rene Burri—Magnum

Miller began pursuing photography while attending college at the University of Illinois, Urbana, shooting for the school’s yearbook. Following a two-year stint at the Art Center School of Los Angeles, Miller started working as a photographer for the U.S. Navy, serving in the Pacific Theater under Edward Steichen’s Naval Aviation Unit.

“We had Navy orders that allowed us to go any place we wanted to go and, when we got done, to go home,” Miller said in an interview with the American Society of Media Photographers. “It was fantastic.”

Miller’s reportage-style images of life and death aboard U.S. aircraft carriers provide a visual narrative for a field of battle largely unknown to the American public. Miller’s war-time photographs illustrate the tension and tragedy of bloodshed and destruction underneath the beautiful skies and billowing white clouds of the South Pacific.

And after Japan capitulated in September 1945, Miller was one of the first photographers to enter Hiroshima, documenting the unimaginable effects of the 20-kilton atomic bomb detonated over the city the previous month. Miller photographed victims suffering from acute radiation poisoning and severe shock in the ruins of a city reduced to rubble in one great flash.

Miller received two grants from the Guggenheim Foundation to photograph his next major project, a documentary look at the streets of Chicago’s South Side, his hometown. Shooting between 1946 and 1948, his work — a mix of portraits and environmental scenes — broke convictions for its look at the black communities living and working in postwar Chicago.

It's summer movie time again. And with the Cameron Diaz vehicle The Other Woman premiering Friday, it's time to see what Hollywood's take on 51 percent of the population will be this season. It's no secret that women aren't getting a fair share of worthwhile screen time in Hollywood: only 30 percent of all speaking roles belonged to women in 2013, even with huge hits starring women like Gravity and The Hunger Games. And summer tends to be the worst for women who are relegated to playing a superhero's damsel in distress. But after The Heat's success last summer, it looks like we're getting more women on screen this year—though that doesn't necessarily mean more nuanced women. I've gone through the trailers for the big summer films starring women. (I skipped movies like 22 Jump Street and Godzilla due to lack of women in the trailer.) I have rated them "good," bad" or "ugly" from a woman's standpoint based on the following factors: how prominently the woman is featured in the trailer; how likely the movie looks based on the trailer to pass the Bechdel test—a handy metric that asks if two women talk to each other in a film about something other than a man; and how original the female role looks I have not seen any of these films, so I cannot judge them based on their quality. I also cannot predict if a movie like Walk of Shame is secretly a feminist manifesto that is just being advertised as a movie full of prostitute jokes. I am just basing my feminism scale analysis on the trailers alone. And full disclosure: I will see and likely enjoy many of the movies I gave "bad" or "ugly" ratings to. MAY The Other Woman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlHMHLuJWbo Ruling: UGLY It's like they tried to write a script in violation of the Bechdel test by stuffing as many blondes as possible in one movie and having them only talk about one (extremely sexy, plucked right from Game of Thrones) man the whole time. Sure, they're getting their vengeance—but can't they all just dump him? Does Cameron Diaz's high powered lawyer have time for this? The Amazing Spider-Man 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlM2CWNTQ84 Ruling: UGLY I watched three different Spider-Man 2 trailers to find one where Emma Watson had more than one line to say. I was unsuccessful. At least in this trailer her and Peter have a "meaningful" interaction where he traps her with his web so she can't follow him into a dangerous situation and then she accidentally yells out his secret identity. Adhering to the damsel in distress trope much? Please, someone give Emma Stone an Easy A-like script again. Free her! Walk of Shame https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A303btALnoM Ruling: UGLY Apparently every woman wearing a bandage dress has sex for money. I count six prostitution jokes in this single trailer. Pair that with the cliche, busy working woman learns to let go with nice guy plot line, and you have yourself an "ugly" ranking. Belle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtdk6owFj2o Ruling: GOOD The movie celebrates the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed-race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay who helped influence her uncle Lord Mansfield—the man responsible for paving the way for slavery's abolition in England. The movie features a strong young woman who has things on her mind other than love (though, this being 18th Century England, that Jane Austen-esque aspect is of course a part of it too). X-Men: Days of Future Past https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsjtg7m1MMM Ruling: BAD The X-Men franchise really lucked out, signing Jennifer Lawrence on before she got too big. I imagine now she'll have an enhanced role in the ensemble film (she gets more air time than Halle Berry in the trailer and Ellen Page is nowhere to be seen). Still, nothing in this trailer indicates that this movie will pass the Bechdel test. Plus, we can't forget Lawrence's superhero "costume" is just a bunch of blue body paint. Maleficent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-XO4XiRop0 Ruling: GOOD Yes! More movies about women villains, please—especially if they're played by Angelina Jolie. Though Jolie action movies have been hit and miss in the past (Tomb Raider, Salt, Wanted), she's still the goto women for suck flicks. Let's hope this movie opens the doors for other female-driven blockbusters (Scarlett Johansson's Lucy could be a start) and a whole new genre of evil women movies. JUNE Edge of Tomorrow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw61gCe2oqI Ruling: GOOD Yes, it's still a Tom Cruise action movie at heart. But Emily Blunt looks to be kicking as much as as he does in the trailer. Plus, she's the one training him in the art of killing off robots. And she's the one on the badass poster. She'll probably end up falling for him. But hey, it's a step in the right direction. The Fault in Our Stars https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ItBvH5J6ss Ruling: GOOD Pass the tissues, please. Every summer has to have a heart-wrenching, doomed romance, and who better to anchor this summer's than Hollywood's newest it-girl (who is, by the way, growing into a good role model for young women), Shailene Woodley. JULY Tammy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEN-HRp1Kck Ruling: GOOD It's a comedy about one woman. This could be the worst movie ever, but the fact that Hollywood decided to trust Melissa McCarthy to carry a movie without a man like Jason Bateman or a buddy like Sandra Bullock is a great sign. Of course, let's hope it's even funnier than The Heat or Bridesmaids—the funny female flicks that preceded it. Begin Again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTRCxOE7Xzc Ruling: BAD Really, I'm just ambivalent about cliche musical romances where a man who is a mess discovers a talented woman and is rehabilitated by caring about her. I downgraded this trailer to "bad" because Keira Knightly's dad, reinforcing a greater trend of movies featuring older-guy, younger-girl couples—and never the other way around. Jupiter Ascending https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THVFkk-sEus Ruling: BAD I really want to give Jupiter Ascending the benefit of the doubt and assume they'll eventually cut the Mila Kunis damsel-in-distress crap. This did come, after all, from the makers of the Matrix who gave us a pretty badass lady. And yet throughout the trailer, she's being rescued or kidnapped or falling from things. Let's hope for a twist ending. Sex Tape https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJTct8eHKYE Ruling: GOOD Let's set aside the fact that this is just not how "the cloud" works. Say what you want about the premise or whether it was actually a good idea to do a Bad Teacher reunion with Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. At least Segel gets as naked as Diaz in the trailer (though Segel hasn't exactly been nudity shy before). They're equally ignorant of technology and equally dim-witted in the way they go about fixing the sex tape problem in the trailer. And that's all we ask for. So hooray for equality in stupidity! AUGUST Guardians of the Galaxy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89q_HH-3ghk Ruling: BAD I've decided we're past the point where we applaud superhero films just for having a woman in uniform instead of one in danger. That era ended with Black Widow in the Avengers films. Now, we have to hold superhero movies to a higher standard, and this trailer at least does not meet it. You have Zoe Saldana in your movie, and yet she doesn't get a line in the trailer? She's arguably the most famous (visible) person in this film. (The actual most famous non-visible people are Bradley Cooper and possibly Vin Diesel voicing a raccoon and a tree, respectively—go figure.) Lucy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVt32qoyhi0 Ruling: GOOD We've gotten a lot of fighting teen heroines lately in Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Gamesand Shailene Woodley in Divergent, but we need a more grown up version. With Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson proved she can be an action star. Now here's her shot to carry her own movie. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqRRF5y94uE Ruling: UGLY Almost every woman in this trailer is wearing only a bra or boustier or leather outfit—basically all things you can find in a sex shop. That's all.
Wayne Miller—Magnum

“Up until that time, these [photographs] were considered snapshots by the public and by the commercial world,” he told ASMP. The visual weight of his work didn’t go unnoticed — the hope, worry, excitement, struggle and leisure pictured in ‘The Ways of Life of the Northern Negro’ remains striking even to modern viewers today.

After his Chicago body of work, Miller went on to work as a photographer for LIFE until 1953. He began collaborating with his old boss, Steichen, on a new project called the “Family of Man” — an ambitious look at the commonalities among humans around the world through the work of 273 photographers (including Miller). As an associate curator, Miller helped Steichen produce and organize the show’s exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1955. One of Miller’s photographs even graced the cover of LIFE that February.

The good, the bad and the ugly

Miller held the title of president of the prestigious Magnum photo agency from 1962-1968, leading the cooperative before beginning a career with the National Park Service and later, CBS. In the mid 1970s, Miller put down his camera to follow his passion for the environment, purchasing a small plot of redwood forest in Mendocino County. For the next several years, he worked to combat tax laws that favored clear cutting forests. He continued to push for sustainable practices through retirement.

Miller is survived by his wife Joan, four child, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.


The film about Miller’s career, embedded above, is ‘The World is Young” by Theo Rigby, a photographer and filmmaker based in San Francisco.

Vaughn Wallace is the producer of LightBox. Follow him on Twitter @vaughnwallace.


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