Usually camera-shy Mephistopheles consents to a photo in the Times.

John Marshall Mantel for The New York Times

On Wednesday, Danielle Chiesi appeared in Federal court in Manhattan to plead "guilty to three counts of participating in an insider-trading conspiracy," reports the NYTimes.

Ms. Chiesi is a central figure in the government’s sprawling, multiyear investigation into insider trading on Wall Street. The inquiry centers on the prosecution of Raj Rajaratnam, a billionaire investor who helped found the Galleon Group hedge fund. . . . 

“This guilty plea causes me great pain, and I’m deeply ashamed by what I did,” said Ms. Chiesi, who told the judge that she was under psychiatric care and taking anti-anxiety drugs. “I ruined a 20-year career that I truly loved and have brought disrepute to what is an honorable profession.”

John Mantell got the shot of the guilty trader outside the courtoom. He was lucky enough and good enough to capture the other player in the drama — manifesting himself appropriately in Master of the Universe form — in the same frame. Having collected his due, Mephistopheles puffs contentedly on his cigar. 

Alec Soth's portrait of a portrait.

Devin Blommingdale, sales manager, Anderson Toyota, by Alec Soth

I love this picture from Alec Soth's new series for the Times, umpteen portraits of workers in Rockford, Illinois.

As the camera recorded the portrait, the snow recorded the process of the portrait.

The tracks tell the story: Bloomingdale stepping lightly, perhaps tentatively, into the frame from the lower right corner, turning and facing the camera. Soth — or his assistant — more comfortably tromping from camera to subject, likely more than once, loop-de-looping to Bloomingdale and back to meter him or hand him a color-checker chart to hold for a frame or brush lint off his jacket or help him with his stance.

All the usual business of making a portrait, rarely seen in the final image, but here made visible for us by the snow.



In the Julian Assange portrait sweepstakes, @MrToledano -- Philip Toledano -- comfortably in the lead.

Philip Toledano for the New Yorker.

The second picture doesn't do much for me, but the first one really knocks me out. 

There are two other formal portraits of Assange now out (that I've seen, there may well be others). Both are fine, but neither are closing fast on the top one above. 

Max Vadukul for the New York Times' T Magazine.


Jillian Edelstein for Stern.


Assange's appearance in court today provided the daily snappers a chance to shoot something a bit more en pointe than usual, using the "heavily tinted windows of a police vehicle" as an off-camera filter. There's something surveillance-y about these three images that I like, though that may be because I just heard Jill Magid and Tevor Paglen speak at a event at the New School.


In the first photo, Carl Court renders the effect of the window-filter in a cooler machine-pink. In the two other photos, Peter Macdiarmid opts for full-on red-hotness. I think the Times picked the better of his two images seen here. Is Assange telling us the sting is on? 




Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images in the Guardian: "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, pictured through the heavily tinted windows of a police vehicle as he arrives at Westminster magistrates court in London, on 14 December 2010."


Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images in Stern


Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images in the New York Times. 

"The Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arrived at court inside a prison van with heavily tinted windows on Tuesday in London."

Haunting photo of two slave children by the Brady studio, probably Timothy Sullivan (h/t @civilwarphoto)


AP story:

RALEIGH, N.C. — A haunting 150-year-old photo found in a North Carolina attic shows a young black child named John, barefoot and wearing ragged clothes, perched on a barrel next to another unidentified young boy.

Art historians believe it's an extremely rare Civil War-era photograph of children who were either slaves at the time or recently emancipated. . . .

New York collector Keya Morgan said he paid $30,000 for the photo album including the photo of the young boys and several family pictures and $20,000 for the sale document. Morgan said the deceased owner of the home where the photo was found was thought to be a descendant of John.

A portrait of slave children is rare, Morgan said.

"I buy stuff all the time, but this shocked me," he said.

What makes the picture an even more compelling find is that several art experts said it was created by the photography studio of Mathew Brady, a famous 19th-century photographer known for his portraits of historical figures such as President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Stapp said the photo was probably not taken by Brady himself but by Timothy O'Sullivan, one of Brady's apprentices. O'Sullivan took a multitude of photos depicting the carnage of the Civil War.

Read the rest:

Or maybe not:

Update on June 16: the debate about this image is ongoing:

Update on July 2: Still more nay-saying:

Your daily Sammy Davis Jr. and May Britt.

Sammy Davis Jr. and May Britt, photographed in 1960 by Brian Duffy. The British photographer died last week.

Guardian obit:

The photographer Brian Duffy, who has died of pulmonary fibrosis aged 76, captured the swinging 60s in a series of stylish and iconic images, but then disappeared from the world of glamour for 30 years. With David Bailey and Terence Donovan, he broke the mould of fashion photography. The three men became far more famous than many of the models with whom they worked, and were – for a while – bigger than the glossy magazines that published their pictures. The photographer Norman Parkinson called Duffy, Bailey and Donovan the "black trinity". There was some merit in the label. The cravat-wearing old guard felt threatened by these freewheeling young men in leather jackets, who took their models on to the streets and snapped them with newfangled, small 35mm cameras.

Their inventive compositions were looser than the stiff, stuffier studio portraits of the 50s. Duffy later explained: "Before 1960, a fashion photographer was tall, thin and camp. But we three are different: short, fat and heterosexual. We were great mates but also great competitors. We were fairly chippy and if you wanted it you could have it. We would not be told what to do."

Duffy was argumentative and awkward, but never grumpy, as he is often portrayed. Bailey remembers him being "sublime at solving technical problems". He expected high standards from everybody around him, but he liked his models to have a drink, and even to sing when they were being photographed. "He was very scary, but he was the business," recalled Joanna Lumley, who posed for him in the 1960s.

Read the rest:

Gallery of portraits:

One portrait style to rule them all! Like some brilliant crazy recursive neo-Evans crowdsourced performance piece.

"We have called FACITY into life, because we wanted to show faces in a way one has not seen before. Close, direct, intime, naked, natural, genuine. And we hope, you see it this way, too."

Here are your directions, aka the "Manifest":

1. Frontal position to the camera (no leaning head).
2. Open sharp eyes (focus on the eyes).
3. No smile. Natural facial expression.
4. Pure faces (minimum of make-up). Hair pulled backward (minimum of hair visible).
5. No clothing visible. No glasses, no jewelry (exception: piercings).
6. Partial head shot (refer to other faces).
7. Only indoor daylight. No artificial light sources. Clean background.
8. Aperture 2,8 with a 50 mm lens (or similar conditions).
9. Square format (at least 600x600 pixels).
10. Minimal processing (as realistic as possible).

Plus there's a PDF tutorial, with pictures. Download:

Makes me think of this: 

And this:

Eugene Terre'Blanche "hacked to death" in South Africa.

1998 portrait by Jillian Edelstein, from her book Truth & Lies.

The Guardian on the murder:

A notorious white supremacist who once threatened to wage war rather than allow black rule in South Africa was hacked to death at his farm yesterday following an argument with two employees. Eugene Terre'Blanche's mutilated body was found on his bed along with a broad-blade knife and a wooden club, police said.

"He was hacked to death while he was taking a nap," one family friend, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters.

Local media quoted a member of Terre'Blanche's Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging party (Afrikaner Resistance Movement, or AWB) as saying that the 69-year-old had been beaten with pipes and machetes. Police said two males, thought to be workers on the farm, have been arrested and will appear in court on Tuesday.

Read the rest: