Pete Muller for The New York Times
By Mikko Takkunen
November 11, 2013

Features and Essays

Pete Muller for The New York Times

Pete Muller: Congo’s Battle Against Rebels (NYT) More work on the Lens blog here

Brian Sokol: One Family’s Journey to Safety in the Congo (Newsweek)

Brent Stirton: Saving Congo’s Gorillas: A Refuge for Species Under Threat (LightBox)

Zed Nelson: The New Nation Makers of South Sudan (Lens Culture) The new power-brokers of South Sudan – the former rebel soldiers, government advisers, ministers, bureaucrats, adventurers, entrepreneurs and international aid workers who have descended on this fledgling nation

Jason Larkin: After The Mines (Panos Pictures) Legacy of Johannesburg’s mining industry and its effects on the city’s urban environment | Also on Photo Booth here

Star Wars series stalwarts Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher have been joined in a galaxy far, far away by a mix of fresh faces. John Boyega (Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time), and Max von Sydow (The Exorcist) have all signed on to star in J.J. Abrams Star Wars Sequel that takes place after the events in Return of the Jedi. Filming begins soon and the film is scheduled to hit theaters December 18, 2015.
Manu Brabo / AP

Manu Brabo: Zaatari Camp (AP Big Story) Largest camp for Syrian refugees becoming a city

David Guttenfelder: North Korea in Widescreen (National Geographic) Panoramas of life and landscapes in North Korea

Gilles Sabrie: Small Part, Big Screen (China File) Audio slideshow | A Beijing migrant tries to break into the movies

David Leventi: Life and Death in Varanasi (LightBox) India | Portraits from the banks of a sacred river

Munef Wasif: In God We Trust (LightBox) Photographing the intersection of Islam and culture in Bangladesh

Anja Niedringhaus / AP

Anja Niedringhaus: The Dismantling of America’s Presence in Afghanistan (TIME) The exodus of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is a messy affair thanks to all the stuff brought in to fight a 12-year war

Daniel Berehulak: Reeling From War, Afghan Society Ill-Equipped to Face Addiction (NYT) Growing army of drug addicts in Afghanistan

Stefano de Luigi: Mongol Rally (VII) The Mongol Rally, which completed its tenth race in 2013, is a nontraditional road race that spans some 8,000km—nearly 5,000 miles—from its starting point in Europe to its finish in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Star Wars series stalwarts Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher have been joined in a galaxy far, far away by a mix of fresh faces. John Boyega (Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time), and Max von Sydow (The Exorcist) have all signed on to star in J.J. Abrams Star Wars Sequel that takes place after the events in 1983's Return of the Jedi. Filming begins soon and the film is scheduled to hit theaters December 18, 2015.
Alessandro Gandolfi / Parallelo Zero

Alessandro Gandolfi: Zahia’s Trip (Parallelo Zero) Palestinian girl living in Gaza City and suffering from leukemia, has to travel to Tel Aviv every two weeks for treatment | Gandolfi’s website

Bjoern Steinz: A Wall Runs Through It (Panos Pictures) The ghettoisation, exclusion and poverty of Slovakia’s Roma community

Jennifer Tse: Child of the Sewer (Foto8) Romanian woman who has lived most of her life in the sewers of Bucharest

Brendan Hoffman: The Town with No Tomorrow (Foreign Policy) Snapshots of life in a Siberian town that’s lost its livelihood

Misha Friedman: The Superstar and the Sex Symbol (LightBox) The World’s Highest Ranking Chess Champions

Alex Majoli: A night at Osteria Francescana (Photo Booth) Majoli’s pictures of Italian chef Massimo Battura as he prepared for a night at the restaurant

Whether you use an iPhone, Android Phone or Windows Phone, some tips are universal. Follow this advice, and you'll save a lot of time, money and heartache in exchange for just a little extra effort. Here's what you need to know to get more out of your smartphone, regardless of who made it: Back Up Your Photos Don't leave the fate of your photos to chance with manual backups. Instead, set your phone to automatically back up photos online, so you'll never lose any memories if your phone is lost or stolen. You've got plenty of options for doing this, many of which allow you to just set it and forget it. Dropbox's Carousel app and Microsoft's OneDrive app can automatically back up photos to cloud storage, though you're limited to 5 GB of free storage for the former and 7 GB for the latter. (Windows Phone users can download the unofficial CloudSix for Dropbox app, or use their phones' built-in OneDrive camera backup function.) You can also use the Google+ app for iOS or Android, which backs up unlimited photos if you go into settings and limit resolution to 2048 pixels, or use Flickr, which gives you 1 TB of storage for high-resolution photos and videos. Here's the really important part: Bugs happen, and data gets lost even when you think you're backing it up. Use more than one of these services at the same time--and keep manually backing up photos to your computer--and you'll drastically lower the odds of losing anything. Get Your Music From the Cloud Why spend an extra $50 or $100 on more storage for your phone when you can lighten the load by storing your music online? Google Play Music can store up to 20,000 free songs, which you can then access through apps for iOS and Android (or unofficial apps for Windows Phone). Just download Google's Music Manager software, and have it upload your computer's music folder. If you need more storage, Amazon Cloud Player will store up to 250,000 songs for $25 per year. You could also subscribe to a service like Spotify, Rdio or Beats Music for $10 per month, and built your own cloud music library from millions of tracks. What if you're not online? All of these services allow you to download songs, albums or playlists for offline listening. But because you're using a smartphone, and most smartphones now have 4G LTE data connections, the odds are increasingly slim that you won't be able to get to your music. Check Out Alternative Browsers and E-Mail Apps It's easy to stick to the defaults for these core functions, but if you take some time to try alternatives, you might find one that's better for your needs. Mailbox is a great e-mail alternative for iOS and Android, letting you dismiss e-mails with a swipe, attach files directly from Dropbox and set reminders for messages that you want to answer later. Gmail users should also check out Google's own Gmail app for iOS, as it's better than the iPhone's default Mail app for searching and for viewing long conversation threads. For web browsers, Chrome and Firefox both let you view any tabs you have open on another device, though Firefox is Android-only. Dolphin Browser gives you desktop-style tab view and includes frilly features such as gesture controls and add-ons. Use Some Logic to Sort Your Home Screens Has your home screen turned into a chaotic mass of unorganized apps and folders? Take a few minutes to sort things out, and you'll save yourself some headaches later. Take your absolute favorite apps (not counting the ones on the bottom tray), and place them directly on the bottom two rows of your main screen, with no folders. That way, you can easily reach them without stretching your fingers. Above those rows, use folders for your favorite app categories, or add a widget or two on an Android phone. (I like to have a "Utilities" folder for random things like the calculator, voice memos and reminders.) For subsequent screens, try organizing them by use case, so you have a page for games, a page for reading and so on. Ideally, you won't fill every page, and your phone will have a logical way to grow as you acquire more apps. Use Your Phone as a Wireless Hotspot You wireless carrier might prefer if you signed up for a tablet data plan, but you don't have to. In most cases, it's cheaper to use your phone as a wireless hotspot, which can provide Wi-Fi to any tablet or laptop. This service is already included if you have a shared data plan on AT&T or Verizon, and while it's not quite as convenient as having 4G built into your tablet, it's a lot cheaper in the long run. Check out our guide to setting it up and figuring out the costs. Get to Know Your Shortcuts There's almost always a faster way to do things, it's just a matter of memorizing the necessary swipes, pinches or long-presses for your particular phone. On the iPhone, for example, you can swipe up from the bottom edge to bring up quick settings, or double tap the home button to bring up a recent apps list. You can then close an app (say, if it's misbehaving) by swiping upward on it. (iMore has a good list of other hidden iOS gestures.) And here's a cool trick for Android: When viewing notifications, you can either pinch outward or long press and drag down to expand a notification, showing a larger overview of your e-mails or messages. In general, Android shortcuts are a bit trickier, because each phone has its own button layout and software tweaks, but if you play around with long-pressing or double-tapping on each of the main navigation buttons, you may discover some hidden functions. Don't Buy Insurance (Unless You're a Klutz) Next time a phone salesman tries to scare you into buying an extended warranty or insurance, keep this old trick in mind: Instead of buying the insurance, just set aside the money you would have paid, putting it into a piggy bank, savings account or whatever. Do this for all the electronics you buy where a warranty or insurance plan is offered, and chances are you'll save enough of your own money for a repair or replacement if something does go wrong. And you won't even have to pay an outrageous deductible. (One exception: If you have a history of losing track of your phone, maybe insurance is a good idea.)
Mark Peterson / Redux Pictures

Mark Peterson: Political Rhetoric in Black and White (NYT Lens) Peterson’s website and Instagram

Charles Ommanney: American Gun Stories (Reportage by Getty Images) Ommanney travelled across the United States to photograph gun owners and learn why they choose to bear arms

Lottie Hedley: Unbroken (Daily Mail) Inside the Amish world in Maine

Jill Knight: At West Point: Duty, Honor, Gay Marriage (NYT Lens) For months, the photographer Jill Knight followed a couple of West Point graduates, who became the first male gay marriage at the military academy

Jared Soares: Uniting a community through basketball (CNN Photo blog) Basketball loving community in Barry Farm, one of the oldest African-American neighborhoods in the U.S. capital

Ilana Panich-Linsman: Forever 15 (NYT Lens) Panich-Linsman shadowed a group of 15-year-old girls — having been 15 herself not too long ago — to document their making the small decisions that began to define them as women

Nolan Conway: The American Nomads of Walmart’s Parking Lots (Wired Rawfile)

Clay Lomneth: Girl with autism never says ‘I love you’ (CNN Photo blog)

The American Lung Association has released its annual State of the Air report, which details the levels of air quality in cities across the nation. As you might have guessed, things aren't great. Nearly half of Americans live in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution, the report says. And in California, nearly 3 out of 4 residents live in polluted cities. Here are the top 10 cities with the worst ozone pollution: Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, CA Bakersfield, CA Fresno-Madera, CA Sacramento-Roseville, CA Houston-The Woodlands, TX Modesto-Merced, CA Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Las Vegas-Henderson, NV-AZ
Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Barbara Davidson: Celebrating the ‘Lord of Miracles’ (LA Times Reframed) Major Catholic procession in Los Angeles

Mauricio Lima: A Grim Aftermath (NYT) An altercation during an amateur soccer match in Brazil led to the deaths of the two people involved

Louie Palu: Mexico’s Violent Drug War (The Atlantic) After covering Afghanistan for more than five years, photographer Louie Palu returned to North America to cover the bloody drug-related crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border

Simon Roberts: The Social: landscapes of leisure (FT) A series that Simon Roberts was commissioned to take as part of “The Social: encountering photography”, a month-long celebration of photographic work in northeast England

Edward Burtynsky: Water (NYT Lens) Using aerial photographs that render imperiled landscapes almost abstract, Edward Burtynsky explores the consequences of human activity bearing down on the earth’s resources


Portraits of War: From the Civil War to Afghanistan (Washington Post) Package honoring war photographers: five from modern wars and five from the Civil War

Robert Nickelsberg’s Afghanistan: A History (Photo Booth) Prestel is publishing a collection of Nickelsberg’s work that captures the country’s tumultuous modern history

Afghanistan: Seen Through the Lens of Anja Niedringhaus (The Atlantic)

In Russia, Conflating Journalism and ‘Hooliganism’ (NYT Lens) The Russian journalist Denis Sinyakov, detained while photographing Greenpeace activism in the Arctic Circle, is sitting in a cell 23 hours a day and may face seven years’ imprisonment

Is This The Future Of Photojournalism? (Lens Culture) Thoughts on whether the recent New York Times multimedia ‘A Game of Shark and Minnow’ could be an indication of the future

Can Medium Resurrect the Photo Essay? (Medium)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? His most famous role, however, would include a rabbit. Hoskins played Eddie Valliant, an alcoholic detective with a grudge against toons, in the groundbreaking film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. The film would go on to win four Academy Awards.
Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Syria: the shots that shook the world (Telegraph) Five photographers who have borne witness to Syria’s civil war tell the stories behind their defining images of the conflict | Related photo gallery here

Polish photographer Marcin Suder kidnapped in Syria back home after escape (

The month in photography (Guardian) November’s guide to the best photography exhibitions and books

Celebrating the Courage of Children in Rajasthan (PROOF) Stephanie Sinclair’s photographs from India

Around Any Corner, Moments That Endure (NYT) Photographs from “Everybody Street,” a new documentary about New York street photographers

Testimony through photography (CBS) A retrospective exhibition of Ron Haviv’s work, “Testimony” will opened Nov. 1, 2013 at Anastasia Photo in New York

Christopher Anderson: Son (Kehrer Verlag)

Book Review: Son (Photo-Eye) Look at Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson’s new book

Bruce Wrighton’s Photographs of Binghamton, New York (Photo Booth) Few people had encountered the work of Bruce Wrighton when he died, twenty-five years ago, at the age of thirty-eight. His documentary photographs of his home town of Binghamton, New York, surfaced slowly in the following years, providing an intimate look at the small city during the economically depressed years of the late nineteen-eighties

Neal Boenzi’s New York Photographs (NYT Lens) Neal Boenzi, one of New York Times’s storied staff photographers, surrendered a trove of photos to be organized for a new exhibit, showcasing the career he made with his index finger

A Bystanders View of History (Photo Booth) In conjunction with the upcoming anniversary, the ICP has mounted an exhibition, “JFK November 22, 1963: A Bystander’s View of History,” that focusses on the visual records of the event captured by people who bore witness to it from the sidelines

Photographer Elliott Erwitt in search of the real Scotland (Telegraph) Veteran American photographer Elliott Erwitt’s assignments have been many and varied. How would he capture Scotland on behalf of a whisky company? | Photos here

Mona Lisa He followed up his strong performance in The Long Good Friday with his role as George in the 1986 British neo-noir film Mona Lisa for which he would win a BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Actor.
Jacob Aue Sobol / Magnum

Grit, Grain, Veins: The Diaristic Photographs of Jacob Aue Sobol (LightBox) Intimate stream-of-consciousness-style photographs featured in the Magnum photographer’s latest book

Veins: a Scandinavian photobook full of blood, nudity and human strangeness (Guardian) Sean O’Hagan on Anders Petersen and Jacob Aue Sobol’s new book | Slideshow here

War/Photography exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (New Yorker) Landmark exhibition arrives to New York

Uncensored Instagrams From North Korea Buck Brutal Trend of Secrecy (Wired) Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder’s popular Instagram photographs

Allen Frame: Dialogue with Bolaño (Photo Booth) A photographer and a writer sharing themes of menace, intrigue, and sensuality

Photographer Richard Renaldi Puts Two Strangers Together For Intimate Photographs, And The Results Are Surprising ( Video

Discovering the Next Generation of Photojournalists at World Press Photo’s Masterclass (LightBox)

Per-Anders Pettersson

Per-Anders Pettersson’s best photograph: Xhosa manhood ceremony (Guardian) Pettersson talks about one his favorite photographs

Mike Berkofsky’s best photograph: Jimi Hendrix (Guardian)

Featured photographer: Dimitris Michalakis (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: Mikolaj Nowacki (Verve Photo)

Interviews and Talks

Shakira is out and Gwen Stefani is in as coach on NBC's hit reality singing show The Voice. Stefani will join veterans Adam Levine and Blake Shelton along with other newcomer Pharrell Williams, who is stepping in for Usher. Former coach Christina Aguilera broke the news on Twitter, welcoming Stefani to her "crazy fam." Aguilera left the show to give birth to her first child with husband Matthew Rutler. The new coaches will break in their spinning chairs this fall on the show's seventh season.
Peter van Agtmael / Magnum

Documenting War: Peter van Agtmael in Conversation with Philip Gourevitch Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 (Aperture Foundation Vimeo)

On Being a Woman Photographer With Maggie Steber and Lynn Johnson (PROOF)

Nicos Economopoulos (Ideas Tap) Magnum photographer Economopoulos on working in the Balkans and southern Europe

Robin Hammond (

Gregory Heisler (PDN) Heisler on his new book and best portraits

Benedicte Kurzen (Photo Raw interview on NOOR website) Kurzen on the myth of the war photographer

Santiago Lyon and Hal Buell (Newseum YouTube channel) AP photo director Santiago Lyon and former AP photo director Hal Buell discuss the photographic history of the Vietnam War, as well as the current state of war photography

Ed Kashi (PROOF) “What it takes is a desire, a hunger, to see and to capture things.” – Ed Kashi

Steve McCurry (Paris Match L’Instant) McCurry interviewed about his new book by fellow photographer Pascal Maitre. NB. English translation below the French text

Nicole Tung (Photo Brigade) Tung on her work covering the Arab Spring

Andrew Lichtenstein ( Lichtenstein discusses his work “Landscapes of American History” which documents how historically significant sites in the U.S. look today

Kadir van Lohuizen (Paris Match L’Instant) van Lohuizen on his Via Panam book. NB. English translation below the French text

Panos Pictures Vimeo

Nic Dunlop (Panos Pictures Vimeo) Nic Dunlop spent 20 years photographing Burma under military rule. His book – Brave New Burma – is an intimate portrait in words and pictures of a country finally emerging from decades of dictatorship, isolation and fear. n this film Dunlop talks about this work, the history of Burma and it’s possible future.

Ben Lowy (Hipstamatic blog) Lowy on his iPhone photography

James Estrin (Vogue Italy)

Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini (American Photo)

Photographer Tomas van Houtryve’s artifacts (PROOF) Artifacts is a series about physical items that have meaning to photographers in the field. The items are styled, shot, and described by the photographers themselves

Jane Hilton (Ideas Tap) On her work documenting brothels

Neil Harris (Columbia Visuals) Fortune’s magazine’s associate photo editor Harris gives advice to photographer

Mikko Takkunen is an associate photo editor at Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.


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