A Day Without a Woman

For anyone who thinks there is no need for an International Women’s Day, here’s one reminder from a death squad in Central America that I cannot forget. At dawn on February 20th 1982, I head off to ship film at the international airport, but I first encounter the victim of a right-wing death squad, later confirmed …

Measuring Influence

Earlier this month, TIME magazine devised a list of “the 100 most influential photographs” from across all of history. http://100photos.time.com/ Such an enterprise makes perfect sense coming from the publishing company that hopes to rival the Nobel’s leading figures around the world with their own Man or Woman or Group or Machine of the Year. …

A Book by Its Cover

I’ve noticed that more and more photographers have thrown up their hands in surrender, unable to choose the one picture out of a project to symbolize the whole, to draw browsers in, and seduce them through the book’s cover. Instead, photographers try to wriggle away, determined that no one will ever judge their book (or …

News of the Day… circa 1912

What a pleasure to discover that one of my long, long distant cousins in Switzerland loved art.  His painting above took the title “News of the Day” and left his easel in 1912. Hans Bachmann was born 30 April 1852 in Winikon, Canton Luzern, to an outspoken progressive politician, Judge Johannes Bachmann, and his wife …

Crowded Wisdom

by J. Ross Baughman excerpted in part from Angle, his memoir published in 2014.        “I know it when I see it.”        In a slightly different context, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart couldn’t define with words very well what he was seeing, but he was sure of his brain’s response …

Turning a Blind Eye

by J. Ross Baughman      During 45 years as an investigative journalist, conflict photographer and editor of visual communications, my greatest frustration came from society’s willingness to talk (and presumably think) about many of the most important issues of the day, but not to look at them.      Even while valuing eye-witness accounts …

The Chameleon with a Camera

by J. Ross Baughman an excerpt from Angle, a memoir published in 2014 On 15 July 1983, Woody Allen comes out with his movie Zelig, about an imaginary celebrity from the 1920s and ‘30s who happens to be a human chameleon. The character, brilliantly portrayed in mockdocumentary style by Woody Allen, yearns for any and all kinds …

Swiss Picture Reporting in August 1571

by J. Ross Baughman an excerpt from Legends Overlooked, his forthcoming book on folktales and Swiss history Storytellers in Medieval Switzerland first crafted a new style that matched colorful pictures with vivid news reports. They carefully saved the comings and goings of shooting stars, floods, war and royalty. These Swiss Chronicles also faced a difficult …