The Feral Eye

Archive for October, 2009

D. Burnett

Time flies… I’m recognizing that in many ways today. I’ve been working at Contact now for two and a half years; it feels like a day. My Dad just turned 65, he still acts like he’s 30. I finally get a chance to do a blog post and realize I missed September altogether… And I NEED BOTOX! maybe not…

Last night I attended a lecture by mentor and friend, photographer David Burnett. David was speaking at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism about his new book (whose cover I am proud to have designed) 44 Days: Iran and the Remaking of the World. The photographs in the book are from 30 years ago, an amazing body of work, which we were finally able to put into book form thanks to Contact and National Geographic. The lecture touched largely upon the difference in how news is delivered now versus then. 30 years ago, Burnett would shoot and shoot, then head to the airport to find a traveler willing to carry his film to Paris or New York so it could be passed to the TIME magazine bureau there. Looking back at the recent elections and protest in Iran, the iconic images were delivered instantly by cellphone camera, youtube and even twitter. It is incredible to think how in 30 years photography and photojournalism has been reshaped at about every level from capture to delivery.

To prove my point I offer this iphone shot of David in the Contact offices today. For those who don’t know, he is a master of large format photography and pioneered a technique using Graflex Press Cameras and WWII areal surveillance lenses to create an amazing tilt-shift lens effect. Here he is covering the Kerry campaign with the now famous Burnett Combo. There is now an app for the iphone called Tilt Shift Generator that mimic’s the effect by utilizing a tilt shift lens.

So now all Burnett needs is an iphone and he can leave the 50 pounds of gear at home, right?

David Burnett

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