Gallery opening celebrates debut of Vietnam photo book

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AP photographer Nick Ut stands near his iconic picture of a 9-year-old running from a napalm attack.

Crowds of journalists, photographers, distinguished guests and members of the public packed into the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York Thursday night to view iconic and rarely seen images of the Vietnam War taken by Associated Press photographers.

The exhibit showcases some of the nearly 300 images included in a new photo history book, “Vietnam: The Real War” (Abrams; Oct. 1, 2013; 304 pages; 300 photographs; US $40.00/CAN $45.00/UK £25).

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Visitors view the AP exhibit at the Steven Kasher Gallery.

Writer Pete Hamill, who penned the book’s evocative introduction, and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Nick Ut, whose work is featured prominently in the book, were on hand to sign books at the reception. AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt, Tom Curley, former chief executive at AP, and Chairman of the Board Mary Junck were also in attendance.

The exhibit runs through Nov. 30. The gallery, located at 521 W. 23rd St. in New York, is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

AP is hosting other book-related events in Washington, D.C., at the Newseum on Saturday, Oct. 26, and next month in San Francisco.

AP Vietnam Photo Exhibit

Crowds attend the opening of the AP photo exhibit at the Steven Kasher Gallery (Photo by Sean Thompson)

AP Vietnam Photo Exhibit

Visitors crowd into the Steven Kasher Gallery to view the AP photo exhibit (Photo by Sean Thompson)

AP is your all access pass to New York Fashion Week

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Iman is interviewed at New York Fashion Week, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. (AP Nicole Evatt)

From the catwalk to the sidewalk, AP is your all access pass to New York Fashion Week, which runs through Sept. 12, and will be followed by events in London, Milan and Paris. Here’s a look at our multiformat coverage led by AP East Coast Entertainment & Lifestyles Editor Lisa Tolin and fashion writer Samantha Critchell:

-          AP will review and provide runway and celebrity photos from 60-plus shows.

-          Our journalists are producing 2 or more runway videos per day.

-          On Twitter, @AP_Fashion is providing color and the latest industry news.

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AP’s Jocelyn Noveck interviews model Heidi Klum at New York Fashion Week. (Photo by Nicole Evatt)

-          A new interactive feature highlights behind-the-scenes images shot via Instagram by AP journalists such as entertainment producer Nicole Evatt and photographer Richard Drew.

-          All of AP’s fashion week coverage is accessible via AP Mobile, the award-winning mobile app and photo collections are available via AP Images.

“AP is always looking for new and innovative ways to cover one of the industry’s most-watched and highly anticipated events,” Tolin said. “The @AP_Fashion Twitter account and the Instagram project complement our comprehensive coverage and allow us to bring fashion fans behind the scenes and into the front row. ”

AP photographers accept Pulitzer Prize for Syria coverage

Five Associated Press journalists accepted the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography at an awards ceremony at New York’s Columbia University on May 30.  It is the 51st Pulitzer for AP and the 31st for photography.

Earlier this week the team reflected on the challenges and risks of documenting the civil war in Syria.

See a slideshow of the winning images.

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From left are: Pakistan chief photographer Muhammed Muheisen, Manu Brabo of Spain, Narciso Contreras of Mexico, Rodrigo Abd of Peru and Gaza-based Khalil Hamra. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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From left are: Gaza-based Khalil Hamra, Rodrigo Abd of Peru, Pakistan chief photographer Muhammed Muheisen, Manu Brabo of Spain and Narciso Contreras of Mexico. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

AP Pulitzer winners reflect on challenges, risks of covering Syria

The Associated Press journalists who won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography come from vastly different backgrounds, but are united in their mission to document the civil war in Syria openly, fairly and accurately.

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From left, Santiago Lyon, Rodrigo Abd, Muhammed Muheisen, Khalil Hamra, Narciso Contreras, Manu Brabo and Manoocher Deghati.

The team of Rodrigo Abd, Manu Brabo, Narciso Contreras, Khalil Hamra and Muhammed Muheisen spoke candidly about their experiences, living conditions and the backstory of some of their powerful images at a panel discussion for staff at AP headquarters in New York ahead of the Pulitzer ceremony on May 30. They were joined by Middle East Regional Photo Editor Manoocher Deghati and AP Vice President and Director of Photography Santiago Lyon.

Abd, who is based in Lima, Peru, but is of Syrian descent, said “going back to his roots” to cover this story was sad, but important. “We don’t do this for awards. We believe in journalism and the impact we can have with pictures,” he said.

Speaking about the importance of getting their images out to the world, Muheisen said: “If this picture doesn’t go out, it didn’t happen.”

 See a slideshow of winning images.

AP photographer: For a moment, hope in devastation

AP Photographer Sue Ogrocki has worked in Oklahoma for more than 10 years where she has covered about a dozen tornadoes. She was at the elementary school destroyed by a tornado and saw rescuers pulling children out of the rubble, capturing the key images of the tragedy. This is her account of what she witnessed.

Watch AP news video.

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Follow the latest news from Oklahoma.

Former AP White House photographer honored for ‘Lifetime Achievement’

Former Associated Press Senior White House photographer Ron Edmonds is being honored by the White House News Photographers Association with its Lifetime Achievement Award. It will be presented at the 2013 “Eyes of History” annual awards gala on Saturday, May 11, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington.

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President Barack Obama congratulates AP White House Photographer Ron Edmonds, with his wife Grace and daughter Ashley, upon his retirement from AP. (White House photo by Lawrence Jackson, July 30, 2009)

Edmonds is “the quintessential Washington photojournalist,” said J. David Ake, AP assistant chief of bureau for photography in Washington. “Many of his images have stood the test of time and are now icons in our collective memory. He was arguably during his Washington tenure, the AP’s most published photographer.”

In interviews with AP and PBS, Edmonds offered recollections of his fascinating career and the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan — a split-second that he captured and that earned him a Pulitzer Prize.

“I have had one of the most fantastic jobs in the world,” Edmonds told colleagues in an email upon his retirement from AP after 28 years. “It has allowed me to work with some of the greatest journalists in the world and to make images of some of the biggest events in the last thirty years. I hope that in some small way, I have helped the Associated Press maintain its prominence as the number-one news organization.”

Video journalist hightails it to the heart of disaster in Texas

With quick thinking and immediate action, an AP video journalist beat even the first responders to the scene of a disaster in West, Texas. AP Managing Editor for State News Kristin Gazlay explains:

Dallas video journalist John Mone got a telephone call from a friend in the small town of West, Texas, whose house had just been shaking. He checked Twitter, saw reports that a fertilizer plant had exploded and called the Dallas desk. “Go,” editors told him. So he went.

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John Mone

Because he was so quick to get on the road, he was able to get to the heart of the disaster, gaining access to first responders, witnesses and triage tents before authorities were able to cordon off the area. Austin-based legislative relief staffer Michael Brick wasn’t far behind, and Lubbock correspondent Betsy Blaney worked the phones.

Mone hightailed it down Interstate 35 fully expecting to be detoured to clear the way for response units. As he approached West, encountering the acrid smell of ammonia in the air, he was directed away from the blast site and to a triage center where all the witnesses were gathered –- and access to them had not yet been locked down.

He hit the record button on his video camera and didn’t stop rolling. He located people waiting for word on the injured, eyewitnesses wandering around in a daze and someone who had captured iPhone video of the explosion. Later, when police began to block off the area, he sneaked down a side road on foot with his camera, walked a mile and was able to film damaged homes.

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This Thursday, April 18, 2013, aerial photo shows the remains of a nursing home, left, apartment complex, center, and fertilizer plant, right, destroyed by an explosion in West, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Mone shared his interviews with desk editors putting together the mainbar, and shared a byline with Brick.

See his video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RqnLR-ZWGU

Read the story here: http://www.bostonglobe.com/2013/04/17/texas-fertilizer-plant-blast-injures-dozens/ytYc2CZkcuF8XJjqe6AFLO/story.html

The video of his witness interview was used 1,000 times by AP clients and, overall, video filed by Mone was taken by 2,600 times clients internationally. ABC News regularly used AP video in its updates.

For helping ensure the AP owned the story of the fertilizer explosion in a way no other news organization could match, Mone wins this week’s $300 Best of the States prize.

Stories behind coverage of Boston Marathon blasts

In a memo to staff, Senior Managing Editor for U.S. News Mike Oreskes recounts how photographer Charles Krupa, who covered his first Boston Marathon in 1986, pushed toward danger to capture one of the signature images of the April 15 bomb blasts. Oreskes also singles out other AP staffers near and far who contributed significantly to AP’s news report:

Even in the midst of the biggest stories, it is often the individual acts of journalistic determination that make all the difference. Charles Krupa, AP’s Boston Photographer, was in the pressroom finishing his coverage of the Boston Marathon when two deep booms resonated through the Copley Plaza hotel.

A security official announced that the hotel was in lockdown because of an explosion at the finish line, and that no one was allowed to leave.

But Krupa, knew he had to go.

He would run toward danger to fulfill his role as photojournalist, bringing back the gripping photo of a man, legs shattered by the explosion, being rushed from the scene in a wheelchair. It was one of the signature images of the bombings that transfixed the nation and brought Boston to a standstill for four days. For his professionalism and determination that awful afternoon Krupa wins this week’s Beat of The Week.

As guards started to lock the two marked exit doors, Krupa grabbed three cameras _ one with a 70-200mm zoom lens, one with a 300mm telephoto lens and the last one hurriedly attached with a 16-35mm zoom lens that would allow him to get up close to the subject. He put his laptop on his back and bolted for an unmarked, unlocked door he remembered near the race officials desk.

He crashed past three guards about to lock the next door, leading outside, and broke into the street.

He stopped, checked his cameras and ran toward the finish line on Boylston Street, half a block away.

It was there, in the panic and confusion, that he saw Jeffery Bauman being tended by a doctor, an emergency medical technician and a volunteer in a cowboy hat. “When I saw Bauman’s legs were gone, I knew whatever happened was bad,” Krupa said.

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An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. At least three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded when two bombs blew up seconds apart. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The volunteer, his hands bloody from applying tourniquets to Bauman’s mangled legs above the knees, was hailed as a hero. Bauman woke up in the hospital and helped the FBI identify at least one of the bombing suspects who he said had looked him in the eye shortly before the bomb went off.

Krupa shot six or seven frames, and moved on to capture more images.

When a crew of Boston police officers saw him coming and made it clear he wasn’t getting through them, he doubled back to the finish line photo bridge, only to be blocked at the bottom of the staircase by another policeman. But then a race official whom Krupa has known for 25 years told the officer to let him pass. Krupa covered his first Boston Marathon in 1986.

From there, Krupa said, he could survey two scenes half a block apart: race officials, doctors and police helping the injured, ambulances being quickly loaded, and the sidewalks splattered with blood and broken glass.

After a few minutes, concerned about more possible bombs, police and officials cleared the area.

Krupa had been on Boylston Street about 8 minutes. He had shot about 250 frames.

He went back to the hotel but couldn’t get in, so he sat on the sidewalk, took out his laptop and filed about 25 images.

Those eight minutes were the first extraordinary individual effort of an extraordinary week, but hardly the last. If Krupa showed the world what happened, Washington newswoman Eileen Sullivan told how it happened and who authorities say did it, and Atlanta-based videojournalist Robert Ray got the only shot of the suspect being taken away in an ambulance. In between, New York photo editor Karly Domb Sadof plumbed social media for user-generated content that kept the photo report fresh all week.

Sullivan, the AP’s domestic counterterrorism reporter, broke two agenda-setting stories. The day after the bombing, she reported exclusively that the bombs were made in ordinary kitchen pressure cookers hidden in black bags. Then, after working sources through the predawn hours on the last day of the police dragnet, she reported the names of the suspects and that they were Russian Chechens.

When the manhunt ended and the surviving suspect was taken into custody, Ray captured exclusive video, sprinting ahead when he saw the ambulance leaving, escorted by police. As it passed, Ray raised the video camera up to the window and got the shot of the suspect inside, on his back. The single edit was used more than 1,800 times by AP video clients, leading BBC and Sky News bulletins.

Domb Sadof, who normally is the photo desk liaison to the Business Desk, was virtually a one-woman show pursuing user-generated photos through social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook. She obtained permission from the families to use photos of the three people killed, and in at least two cases her efforts led to interviews with photographers that developed into stories.

She even managed to connect the Boston bombings to another tragedy. A marathoner on his way home from Boston witnessed the Texas fertilizer plant explosion. Domb Sadof located the man and passed along his information to the Central Desk for a story.

AP’s reporting from Honduras, Gaza and Syria wins prestigious awards

Associated Press journalists have won a number of prestigious awards for their work covering a variety of difficult stories spanning from Latin America to the Middle East.

AP won three awards and two citations from the Overseas Press Club of America:

  • Based in Jerusalem, photographer Bernat Armangue won the John Faber Award for his package of images documenting the Gaza conflict.
  • Photographer Oded Balilty, also based in Jerusalem, was recognized with the Feature Photography Award for his stunning images from an Orthodox wedding. 
  • Alberto Arce, AP’s correspondent in Honduras, won the Robert Spiers Benjamin Award for a series of stories looking at violence in that Central American country.

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Smoke rises after an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

AP’s coverage of the civil war in Syria by Rodrigo Abd, Ahmed Bahaddou, Manu Brabo, Khalil Hamra, Hamza Hendawi, Ben Hubbard and Bela Szandelszky earned the Hal Boyle citation.  Brabo also received the Robert Capa citation for a separate 12-picture package from Syria.

Separately, Arce’s coverage from Honduras also won a 2012 Sigma Delta Chi Award for foreign correspondence from the Society of Professional Journalists.

In addition, AP collected 16 awards in the National Press Photographers Association contest, more than any other news agency. First place winners include Armangue, Daniel Ochoa de Olza, Manas Paran, Mike Roemer, David J. Phillip, David Goldman and Vadim Ghirda.

On April 15, AP won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for images from Syria. AP journalists have also been recognized by the National Headliner Awards, Pictures of the Year International, World Press Photo, China International Press Photo competition (CHIPP) and the White House News Photographers Association.

Pulitzer win recognizes AP’s commitment to telling story of Syria

Five Associated Press photographers from around the globe were awarded the Pulitzer Prize this week for their powerful and heartrending coverage of the Syrian civil war, and AP was a finalist for its multiformat coverage there.

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Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographers, clockwise from top left, Rodrigo Abd, Manu Brabo, Narciso Contreras, Khalil Hamra and Muhammed Muheisen.

The breaking news photography award — reflecting work by the team of Rodrigo Abd, Manu Brabo, Narciso Contreras, Khalil Hamra and Muhammed Muheisen — is the 51st Pulitzer Prize win for AP. The Pulitzer judges honored them for “producing memorable images under extreme hazard.”

“It’s tremendous recognition for a group of five of the most talented and brave photographers working in the world today for their work covering the awful war in Syria,” AP Vice President and Director of Photography told The New York Times “Lens” blog. “It’s very fitting given their dedication and commitment in the face of terrible work conditions over the course of the last year.”

Other news outlets around the world — including TIME magazine, BBC News and the Guardian — showcased galleries of the pictures.

“AP is widely and justifiably known for its coverage of war, and [this] prize fits into that rich tradition,” AP Vice President and Senior Managing Editor for International News John Daniszewski said. “The coverage of this war has been one of the most challenging of our era.”

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Members of the Associated Press headquarters newsroom applaud the announcement of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winners, Monday, April 15, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

AP’s coverage of Syria is detailed in its digital annual report, which includes a video of Abd describing the image “he will never forget,” of a young boy crying at his father’s funeral. It’s an image that appeared on the front pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal on the same day in 2012.