Chi Modu Dies: Photographer Of Tupac, Biggie And Other Hip Hop Legends Was 54

Famed photographer Chi Modu has died. The artist, who captured iconic shots of Tupac and many more, was 54.

Modu’s passing was confirmed on Monday by way of a post on his official Instagram account. “Our hearts are broken… We continue the fight,” the caption for the post read. “The family requests privacy at this time.”

While the cause of Modu’s death was not immediately made clear, sources told TMZ today that he passed following a battle with cancer.

Modu—who was born in Nigeria in 1966—broke out as a photographer in the 1990s, when he became director of photography for The Source magazine. There, he would shoot cover photography for 30 issues, documenting the entirety of hip hop’s golden age.

Wu-Tang Clan, Run-DMC, The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Nas, Ice Cube, Eminem and Mary J. Blige were just a few of the many iconic artists he photographed over the years.

According to TMZ, a memorial service for Modu is in the works. His family will offer additional information soon.

Source: Deadline Hollywood

Six Homeless People Were Paid To Fill Disposable Cameras During UK Lockdowns, With Images Now Going On Display In London Exhibition

An exhibition showcasing photographs from homeless people during the UK’s coronavirus lockdowns has given them an income boost and provided an “utterly unique” perspective on the pandemic.

Out Of Home was devised by photography hobbyist Dan Barker and his wife Lucy Wood, whose photographs have featured in the Royal Academy.

The couple paid six people £20 for each camera they filled with photographs.

The pictures, taken from largely empty streets across usually bustling London, are now on display in an outdoor exhibition at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The images are also being sold as individual prints and have even been compiled into a 65-page book.

The profits from all these uses will go to the photographers, with a portion also going to the church near Trafalgar Square, to aid its work in helping the homeless.

“The work they’ve produced is utterly unique… people like you and me showing what life has been like, without a home, at a time we were all told to ‘stay at home’,” Mr Barker told the PA news agency.

Joe Pengelly, a homeless man based in Covent Garden, would usually sell The Big Issue but was unable to due to coronavirus restrictions.

Instead he has been reliant on a combination of the £300 he receives each month in benefits and begging on predominantly empty streets.

“Obviously, the income’s a good thing, but it’s not the main thing… now I’ll get known for something other than just begging or being homeless,” the 32-year-old told PA.

“There’s another side to me, and hopefully people will see that… there’s another side to everyone on the streets.”

Mr Pengelly has been staying in a hostel for £120 per month during the pandemic, but he said the temporary accommodation is “the sort of place that can kick you out without an excuse”.

“When the lockdown started it was a nightmare… it was like a nuclear bomb had wiped out all but a tenth of London’s population,” Mr Pengelly added.

“(The hostel) might sort a roof over your head, but it still doesn’t sort out where, where you’re going to get any finance from.”

Mr Pengelly said he was most proud of a photograph he took of three police officers in high-visibility jackets as they asked him to move along.

He also picked out a perspective shot taken while he was reading a book on the street in his sleeping bag.

Government statistics show the average age of death for a homeless woman in the UK is 43, and Mr Barker said Kelly’s death highlights the difficulties of living on the streets, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Another man who took part, Darren Fairbrass, said the public’s perceptions of homeless people changed during the pandemic.

“People have changed… they seemed to think because I’m homeless and sleeping on the streets that I must have this Covid virus,” the 37-year-old said.

“People seemed to get scared if I was to approach them. Thankfully there were still a few that treated me as if I was a human still, and stopped, even just for a chat.”

Mr Fairbrass said life “completely disappeared” from central London during the lockdown, but the cameras made life easier and provided for him and his dog, Indie.

“I’ve lost count how many cameras I have actually filled, I just know it’s a lot and have had fun doing them and made life out here a bit easier,” he added.

Those who took part in the project were told to take pictures of things they find interesting, and not to spend more than one hour and 45 minutes on it each day – to ensure the work was paid at the London Living Wage.

They were given one camera per day, but this was flexible where pay could help, and altogether thousands of photographs were taken.

The exhibition Out Of Home is free and open from Thursday to Sunday and on bank holidays.

Source: Shropshire Star

Yumi Nu Becomes Sports Illustrated’s First Asian Curvy Model: ‘We Are Worthy’

Model Yumi Nu is making history.

Nu, who is Japanese and Dutch, took to social media to announce that she is the first curvy Asian model to pose for Sports Illustrated. Her spread is set to appear in the 2021 swimsuit issue.

“Secrets out!!! I’m a 2021 @si_swimsuit Rookie! What an incredible honor it is to be in such an inclusive and beautiful magazine that has pushed the envelope since day 1. I’m so proud to be making history as the first Asian curve Sports Illustrated model. Thank you to my team @jonilaninyc @pheeeeeeeebssss @thesocietynyc for being the most incredible agents and to the amazing team at @si_swimsuit @mj_day @jo.giunta @margotzamet for making this happen! An incredible day with our amazing crew who had me laughing all day, photo by legendary @yutsai88 and best hair and makeup by @djquintero and @rebeccaalexandermakeup,” she wrote.

In a second post, Nu shared a video from her shoot and thanked SI for allowing her to “tell my story.”

“I’ve grown very passionate in recent years in talking about the body shame that Asian women and women in general go through, because it was something that was very difficult for me growing up,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to go through life with the lie that they aren’t enough as they are. It stops us from living our fullest lives. WE ARE WORTHY!!! WE ARE DESERVING OF GOOD THINGS!!! LETS GO!!!”

Sports Illustrated posted a quote by the magazine’s editor MJ Day on their social media, with Day saying Nu “possesses the most amount of confidence and appreciation for herself and body that we’ve seen.”

“She doesn’t hold herself to any traditional beauty standards and is gracefully unapologetic for seeing herself as a powerful, beautiful, sensual woman,” Day said. “She shows up for women in a strong way and is on a mission to end the conversation around limiting women in the industry. Not only is she stunning, and an extraordinary model, but she radiates warmth and the kind of energy that we always want around. Yumi’s photos are some of my favorites and so is she!”

In a recent interview with People, Nu explained where her confidence comes from.

“I feel the most confident when I’m grounded in the belief that my worthiness can’t be earned — I have always been, always will be worthy. With that mindset, I can do anything I want!” she said.

She also admitted that she recently began to truly connect with her Japanese heritage in the wake of anti-Asian violence that has been increasing around the country in the midst of the global pandemic.

“The Asian community isn’t always a loud one,” she said. “Our society’s view of Asians in the model minority myth lens has silenced us for many years. In this time of anti-Asian violence, it’s so important now more than ever for Asian people to be heard and supported. The division and racism in our world has gotten so bad; we’ve grown so far from love and connection. I want to create a space for people to feel heard and safe. That’s my purpose on this earth.”

In recent years, Sports Illustrated has been praised for being more diverse and inclusive when it comes to choosing their models. In February 2015, Robyn Lawley became the first curvy model to pose for the magazine’s swimsuit edition. And it was announced on Wednesday that Leyna Bloom became the issue’s first trans model of color.

Source: Yahoo

Photographer Nate Gowdy Captured Images Of The Chaos Outside The Capital – ‘Still Processing What I Witnessed’

Photographer Nate Gowdy has documented close to 30 official Trump rallies since 2016, so he thought he knew what to expect when he arrived in Washington, D.C. after leaving Atlanta this week.

“My flight from Atlanta to Baltimore the night before should’ve prepared me for what would be one of the most surreal scenes I’ve documented,” he explains. “I’d never been aboard a plane where the dichotomy of people’s views was so starkly apparent, with people donning red hats and Trump merch side by side with people just getting from one place to the other.”

A chant of “Four More Years” began and was booed by others on the plane, which then resulted in someone shouting: “Go back to Venezuela!”

After the events of January 6th, when a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol and swarmed for hours until they were ejected from the government building, Gowdy states: “I’m still processing what I witnessed yesterday. We all are. It’s difficult to know what people are thinking when they’re breaching security barriers, attacking law enforcement, threatening members of the media, flaunting pandemic safety protocols, and bashing down the doors and windows to Congress, feeling enabled by the words they’ve just heard uttered from their ringleader, the President of the United States, who tells them that they are fighting the good fight. Throughout the afternoon, I heard countless individuals quipping how it was the best day of their life, and that it was one for the history books. How do you capture something so unprecedented, particularly when you don’t believe the ‘truths’ they do?”

Source: Rolling Stone

Orange Coast College Professor Emeritus John Upton, Noted Photography Icon, Dies

John Upton, one of the founders of the well-respected photography department at Orange Coast College who taught there for more than 40 years, died on Dec. 7 in Petaluma. He was 88.

Upton died due to complications from lung cancer, the school announced.

A former San Clemente and Laguna Woods resident, Upton had moved to Petaluma two years ago to be closer to his family, his daughter, Sean, said.

“He always had an eye for photography,” Sean Upton said. “The day that I drove him to the hospital, which was just two weeks ago, he was looking out the window appreciating places that he may photograph someday. So, he was always looking through the eye of the lens of the photographer.”

John Upton was born in Iowa and moved to the San Fernando Valley when he was 5 years old, his daughter said. He went to art school in San Francisco, at the California School of the Fine Arts, studying with contemporaries like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston before he was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War in 1953.

Upton came back to Southern California and became a faculty member at Orange Coast College in 1960. He retired in 1999 but continued to teach a gallery class part time for several years.

Upton and his then-wife, Barbara London, published the influential college textbook “Photography” in 1976. There are more than 1.5 million copies in print.

“Things that other people see as common knowledge, John would sort of miss,” said OCC Photography Department Chair Blade Gillissen, a student of Upton’s at the junior college in the 1990s. “He was so tuned into photography. I remember one day trying to talk to him, back when the [Los Angeles] Lakers started doing better again with Kobe [Bryant] and [Shaquille O’Neal]. And he had no idea who I was talking about.”

The gallery class provided joy for Upton later in his life. Gillissen said he and Upton would each drive a van full of students to art galleries and museums throughout Southern California on Saturdays, with Upton acting as a docent.

“I haven’t offered it since he stopped teaching it,” Gillissen said. “I don’t know anyone off the top of my head that could teach it like he did it.”

Sean Upton called her father one of the premier art historians in the U.S. Last January, Orange Coast College opened a survey exhibition of his fine art work at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion on campus. The exhibit ran until mid-March, when the school was shut down due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The survey had selections from four main bodies of work: early work, “Japanalia,” “Jungle Road” and the more recent “Petaluma.” John Upton was an avid fan of Asian art and culture and would visit Japan yearly for decades, Sean Upton said.

The exhibition was curated by Tyler Stallings, director/senior curator at the Doyle.

“He was mainly known as an educator, for the book and what he did for the photography department at OCC,” Stallings said. “He’s always been making work, but as a busy teacher, he didn’t always have the time to get his work out there. That was the angle of the show.”

Later in his life, Upton also collaborated with longtime friend and part-time OCC Photography Department instructor John Hesketh, who would print his photography.

“John was one of the sweetest and most giving people around,” Hesketh said. “I had a commercial father of photography [Dean], and John was kind of my fine art father of photography. He was very, very dedicated to photography itself and what it meant to be a fine art photographer, or an artist that was lens-based … He was like this elder statesman that represented photography in its best, kindest way. He was very generous in encouraging other people to do what they could do.”

Source: LA Times

Fujifilm breaks mirrorless speed record with new f/1.0 lens

Fujifilm has announced a new 50mm X-series lens with an unprecedented f/1.0 aperture. The XF 50mmF1.0 R WR is the world’s first f/1 autofocus lens for mirrorless cameras, according to Fujifilm, and marks the 35th X-series lens the company has produced. Its field of view is about 75mm-equivalent on Fujifilm’s APS-C sensors.

Fujifilm’s previous fastest lens was the 56mm f/1.2, which is the aperture that companies like Canon and Nikon also tend to top out at when designing autofocus lenses. While Canon did make an autofocus 50mm f/1.0 for its DSLRs at one point, it was discontinued decades ago. Nikon and Leica have made f/0.95 lenses before, but they only worked with manual focus. Large apertures allow the user to achieve shallower depth of field and shoot at faster shutter speeds or lower ISO settings.

Source: The Verge

Photography Tips: Full Frame & Crop Sensor Cameras

What is the difference between Full Frame & Crop Sensor? Full Frame or Crop Sensor – which is better? What is the best sensor size? These questions are asked a lot and it can be very confusing.

Both sensor sizes have benefits and potential ‘costs’ attached to them. A full frame has less depth of filed than a crop – so for blurry background portraits a FF will be better, but for big depth of field maybe a crop sensor camera. But that will have less resolution… and so it goes on.

So I’ve distilled it down to the basics to explain the advantages and dis-advantages of both to help you chose which works best for you.

Mike Browne