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  • Elio De Pisa’s photographs capture Berkeley as it was

    There exist several photographic records of Telegraph Avenue in the 1960s: Rag Theater by Nacio Jan Brown (1975) and Telegraph 3 a.m. by Richard Misrach (1975). There now is a third, Berkeley Then, photographs by Elio de Pisa, text by Diane de Pisa, photo editing by Nick Cedar. Brown and Misrach were great photographers who went to Telegraph Avenue, took great pictures, and made great books. De Pisa was of Telegraph. He managed the Caffe Mediterraneum from 1960 until 1972. (more…)

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  • Exposing a tumultuous era: Photographer Ken Light

    Drawn to documenting the burgeoning protest movement in the late 1960s, Ken Light came to photojournalism as an extension of his anti-war activism. He started by shooting marches and demonstrations, but it wasn’t until the Nixon administration’s secret bombing of Cambodia came to light in late April 1970, and campuses exploded, that he truly found his calling. Hitchhiking from Ohio State in Athens to the flagship Ohio State campus in Columbus, he captured clashes between students and the National Guard shortly before four students were killed at Kent State in similar demonstrations. Arrested despite his press credentials, Light retrieved his undeveloped film when he got out of jail, and “those photos were published in newspapers and magazines all over the world,” he says. “I was struck, you can really have a voice. I could look around at my generation and tell stories about what’s happening.”

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  • Human rights made strikingly visible at Berkeley show

    Human rights organizations often depend on the media’s megaphone, calling malefactors to account by publicizing their misdeeds. So it’s something of a paradox that Berkeley’s most influential and visionary NGO dedicated to the international struggle for human rights, the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law, tends to operate under the radar. In marking the center’s 20th anniversary, the HRC is presenting an alternately breathtaking and hair-raising photo exhibition, Envisioning Human Rights, part of a new effort to raise public awareness about the organization’s vital work. (more…)

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  • Richard Nagler: Here’s looking at you, looking at art

    For his new collection of images, Berkeley photographer Richard Nagler spent a lot of time in museums. He also spent a lot of time waiting. Stationed in front of a work of art, he would wait for someone to come along and complete it. The serendipitous, unposed results come from both Nagler’s creative eye as well as his patience.

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  • Cris Benton: Seductive images of a landscape in transition

    Cris Benton, a retired professor of architecture and former department chair at UC Berkeley, recently published Saltscapes: The Kite Aerial Photography of Cris Benton (Heyday Books, 2013), which provides a fascinating, and beautiful insight into the salt evaporation ponds of the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay. The photographs are taken using a kite and radio-controlled camera, a technique Benton pioneered in the early 1980s. Berkeleyside talked to Benton — whose work has been shown at the Oakland Museum of California, the Exploratorium, and the Cooper Hewitt Museum among others — about the story behind the images, as well as some of the joys and hazards of kite aerial photography.

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  • Berkeley 14-year-old photographer goes to White House

    Andrei Crandall, a 14-year-old student at Longfellow Middle School in Berkeley, got the opportunity of a lifetime recently when he was invited to the White House by the President’s personal photographer, Pete Souza, and ended up snapping his own shots of Barack Obama.

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  • A journalist discovered, undercovered: Vivian Maier

    The most mind-blowing fact about Vivian Maier isn’t that she managed to shoot more than 120,000 photos while supporting herself a nanny. Or that the families for which she worked had little clue about her double life. Or even that she often took her charges into rough Chicago neighborhoods while she captured intimate images of life on the street. What’s hardest to comprehend is that she acquired such an exquisite sense of composition while never seeing most of her shots, which were discovered as undeveloped negatives shortly before her death in 2009 at the age of 83.

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