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David Schonauer
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Blog Entries by David Schonauer

Icons: Fifty Years Ago, a Space-Age Photo That Transcended the Television Age

Posted January 31, 2012 | 01/31/12 07:40 PM ET

America's first glimpse of the seven young men who would lead the nation into space came at a NASA press conference in Washington, D.C., on April 9, 1959. It began with a picture session for the clamoring press photographers on hand -- the "grim little crawling beggar figures" Tom Wolfe...

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How One Classic Photo Told the Truth While Fudging Reality

Posted October 4, 2011 | 10/04/11 01:33 PM ET

Most of us are comfortable with a degree of laxity when it comes to the truth, and even willing to suspend disbelief when it suits our purposes. (I cite the popularity of the Kardashians and FOX News as examples.) When it comes to photography, however, we are less compromising. The...

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William Wegman's Theory of Dogs and Dogginess

Posted September 2, 2011 | 09/02/11 05:12 PM ET

There are people who own dogs and love dogs. And then there are those dog people--the ones who go a little overboard. These are the people who, as the artist William Wegman told me recently, "are so doggy, everything they do is sort of a dog thing."

It might come...

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Weather as Entertainment: An Increasingly Dangerous Allure

Posted June 27, 2011 | 06/27/11 07:14 PM ET

Photographer Jim Reed's business is severe weather, and this year business has been good.

I spoke this week with Reed, one of the country's premier severe-weather photographers, to get his take on the record-breaking abundance of tornadoes that have ripped across the country this spring, from the...

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Hetherington, Hondros, and the Risky History of the War Photographer

Posted April 22, 2011 | 04/22/11 04:59 PM ET

To the list of photographers who have died while covering war and conflict, we must now add the names of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, killed in Misurata, Libya on Wednesday. They join the likes of Ken Oosterbroek, a member of the so-called Bang Bang Club of photojournalists...

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Remembering the Lost Era of Board-Track Motorcycle Racing, When America Fell In Love with Speed

Posted April 2, 2011 | 04/02/11 05:42 PM ET

Their names are now just footnotes in the history of American motorsports: Jim Davis. Gene Walker. Fred Ludlow. Albert "Shrimp" Burns. Ralph Hepburn. Ray Weishaar. They were young men from farms and small towns who earned fleeting fame in the early decades of the 20th century by riding motorcycles around...

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The First Great Piece of Literature About the War in Afghanistan

Posted November 23, 2010 | 11/23/10 04:08 PM ET

Every war brings with it a unique culture, and demands a unique voice to tell its story. Photojournalist Tim Hetherington and writer Sebastian Junger may have found the voice, or voices, of the Afghanistan war.

Hetherington's new book, Infidel, is a slim, small-format volume that has the...

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Finding Artist Purity in the Great American City of Dreams: Las Vegas

Posted November 12, 2010 | 11/12/10 04:58 PM ET

Every autumn around this time I start spending too much time in the art section of my favorite bookstores, turning the luxurious pages of the season's latest photography books. There are way more to look at than there used to be, which isn't necessarily a good thing. Two decades ago,...

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Suffering for Art and Telling a Story Nobody Else Will Tell

Posted November 5, 2010 | 11/05/10 04:20 PM ET

A couple of weeks ago the W. Eugene Smith Foundation announced that Darcy Padilla, a San Francisco-based documentary photographer, was the recipient of its coveted annual grant for "Humanistic Photography."

That term has always puzzled me, because I am hard-pressed to think of any kind of photography that...

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How Herb Ritts Created the Idols We Deserved

Posted October 26, 2010 | 10/26/10 03:45 PM ET

Toward the end of Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour, an oral history that traces the life and career of the late photographer, we are treated to a piece of wisdom from another famous image-maker who died in the past decade, Helmut Newton. He is quoted on the subject...

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How Herb Ritts Created the Idols We Deserved

Posted October 26, 2010 | 10/26/10 03:13 PM ET

Toward the end of Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour, an oral history that traces the life and career of the late photographer, we are treated to a piece of wisdom from another famous image-maker who died in the past decade, Helmut Newton. He is quoted on the subject...

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The Lost Ansel Adams Negatives: 10 Essential Plot Points

Posted October 15, 2010 | 10/15/10 05:31 PM ET

I suppose everyone is still pretty excited about those "lost" glass-plate negatives that perhaps were made by Ansel Adams back in the day. You are still excited, right?

I ask, because the story has taken a number of twists and turns over the past few months, and most of...

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