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Frenchman Fred Noy has spent 11 of the last 18 years as a documentary photographer covering civil war in Africa and has been published in Le Monde, The Guardian, Vanity Fair and many more. Fred sent out an email update about his blog and I was drawn to both his photographs and the stories. Blog and website both worth a visit.

Chad © Frederic Noy

Karsh_Updike_John_02.jpgIt's end-of-year obit season and it's been a busy one. Here in the Karsh archive we have at least half a dozen newly dead people. John Updike is here to illustrate the point.

John Updike, 1984 © Yousuf Karsh

karsh_esquire_cover.jpgWhen Esquire photo director Michael Norseng contacted me about their January 2010 issue, we went over the individual Karsh portraits of the Kennedy brothers; Michael is a fan of Karsh and hoped to use something of his on the cover. The magazine came up with an idea to create a composite image from the three and, along with Michael's personal letter, we presented it to the Estate for their consideration. Happily, rare approval was given, gorgeous scans were sent, and we are all thrilled with the results.

Edward Kennedy 1968, John F. Kennedy 1960, Robert Kennedy 1962 © Yousuf Karsh

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Phillip Toledano's project "Days With My Father" is nothing but open, honest photography and feelings laid bare. Almost overwhelming but completely compelling, the project is a series of photographs of Phillip's elderly father who was suffering badly from a lack of short-term memory. Facing what many of us may have to, Phillip recorded some beautiful moments, some haunting, some funny. I'm touched that he could be so brave as to make this available to the public, and he himself is humbled; he's had over a million hits to the website and received hundreds of emails. There will be a book in 2010.

Thanks Phillip, you owe me and a million+ other people a box of tissues.

From "Days With My Father" © Phillip Toledano

pelosi_steve_pyke.jpgSteve Pyke, MBE, seems to be pretty much the busiest artist I know right now, so many others are hurting for work. That said, I doubt Steve's paused often on his 30+ year photographic journey. In the late 80's my agency syndicated his work and I remember lots of actors and musicians, but what I never knew till now is that he worked with Peter Greenaway on a couple of my favourite films, Drowning By Numbers and The Cook The Thief.

Steve: I've got the Hob Nobs, I'm just waiting for you to have a minute to put the kettle on.

Very current Pyke: On view through December 19th a small show at BLT, and his photographs illustrate a new book, 'Conversations on Ethics' published by OUP.

Nancy Pelosi, minutes before she heard the news she had made Speaker of the House, 2006 © Steve Pyke




Karsh_QEII_Philip_1951.jpgLady GaGa dressed in a sort of Elizabethan-style bright red latex outfit for the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool last night; she got hoisted 20 feet in the air to play the piano and then went and shook hands with QEII and Prince Philip. Fabulous and priceless. I'm sorry I've got no GaGa so early QEII will have to do.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. 1951 © Yousuf Karsh

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Armed with stacks of C prints for the archive back when we worked together (pre-digital) Jim McCarthy's photography always caught my eye for its vibrancy. Jim may be best known for his lively colour photos from New Orleans Jazz Fest, an event he's been covering since 1993 and which is now an impressive body of work, but he's generally a great gig shooter. Jim's signed up for representation with the Rex Features agency so congratulations and here's to resale, wherever it may be.

Tony Bennett, Jazz Fest 2009 © Jim McCarthy

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I'll say one thing for the Interweb, it's terribly handy for getting back in touch with people. My old mates at Shoot in London have been repping photographers and stylists for many years now and as I dropped the owner an email after too many years, I learned she's still working with Ray Burmiston. From All Saints to the Birthday Party, Spice Girls to Tenacious D, Ray has been photographing musicians since leaving his own band, the Passion Puppets, in the early 80s. Another entertaining music archive for your viewing pleasure and Ray also shoots fashion and portraits.

Kelly Osborne © Ray Burmiston

Stetsasonic-Brooklyn-1988-.jpgThe New York Times ran an article today about the City Council's recent ruling to ban roll-down gates. The ban is supposed to improve quality-of-life and to allow police to look in during an emergency. Street photogs, you have till 2026 to record the character of your neighbourhood.

Stetsasonic, 1988 © Janette Beckman

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With no end to her talent and determination in sight, my old mate Julie Mihaly has launched a new online magazine, Boom Underground, a source of musings and retrospective analysis of the Baby Boomers' impact on society. Julie is a photographer, writer, designer and producer, tirelessly creative and wickedly funny.

From "Notes in Passing" © Julie Mihaly

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