Tag Archives: nick ut

LA Diary

A Multimedia Piece On LA; Its People, Its Places

Bob's Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

On a recent trip to Hollywood to attend the Taste Awards ceremony at the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard as a finalist for my film on the Electric Coffee Company, I decided to shoot a project on Los Angeles.

My initial thought was to shoot a photo series of daily life, a photo series on TV Host Andrea Feczko and separately, a video interview with the legendary AP photographer, Nick Ut. As my time in LA continued, I shot a wider set of imagery and short video interview with LA street artist Plastic Jesus.

(L-R) AP photographer Nick Ut, author of the Pulitzer Award winning "Napalm Girl" photograph (shown) from the Vietnam War and Edmond Terakopian. Image shows some of Nick Ut's cameras used during the Vietnam War and more modern cameras; on the right is Edmond Terakopian's Olympus OM-D E-M1. Thompson Beverly Hills, LA, California, USA. January 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian (self timer image)

(L-R) AP photographer Nick Ut, author of the Pulitzer Award winning “Napalm Girl” photograph (shown) from the Vietnam War and Edmond Terakopian. Image shows some of Nick Ut’s cameras used during the Vietnam War and more modern cameras; on the right is Edmond Terakopian’s Olympus OM-D E-M1. Thompson Beverly Hills, LA, California, USA. January 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian (self timer image)

For the project, I took an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Olympus M.Zuiko lenses; the 12-40mm f2.8PRO, 25mm f1.8 (see my review of this superb lens) and 45mm f1.8. I also took along a Roland R26 audio recorder and the Rode Lavalier and VideoMic Pro microphones. Lastly, possibly the most used accessory, a Lastolite reflector which didn’t stop getting used for the beach and pool shots with Andrea. I don’t think in my lifetime I’ve used a reflector as much as I did over those two days!

When looking at the material as a whole, it became apparent that it all would make an immersive multimedia piece, mixing photography (and time lapse photography) with video, some audio and the right music. After I’d done my photo editing and processing in Aperture, I fired up FCP X and started to look at the material as one unified project. 64 hours of editing later, I had my “LA Diary”.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens and Rode VideoMic Pro on a Manfrotto tripod. On the left is a Roland R26 audio recorder. January 18, 2014. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens and Rode VideoMic Pro on a Manfrotto tripod. On the left is a Roland R26 audio recorder. January 18, 2014. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The interviews with Nick Ut and Plastic Jesus are short tasters as I will be editing more in-depth versions of these in due course. For the LA Diary, it worked better to have shorter, sharper video segments to fit in with the flow of the entire piece. The flow was helped along tremendously wight he correct music and I spent a while listening to various pieces. I’ve mixed, edited and cut quite a few of the tracks, bringing in audio on it’s own or with video and getting the delicate balance just right was tremendously helped along by using the astonishing Event Opal audio monitors.

During the project I had a lot of help from various people, so a huge thanks goes out to: Nick Ut, Associated Press, Andrea Feczko, Rachel Rudwall, Plastic Jesus, Armen Khanlian, Yvette K. Mankerian, Nick Stern, Joseph Hovanessian, Thompson Beverly Hills hotel, Kellee Griffith, Michelle Nouraei, Roxana Alas, Rachel Rudwall and Mark Thackara. The project could not have been done without your help; you have my thanks 🙂

The Power Of Photography

The Napalm Girl By Nick Ut

In my opinion, AP photographer Nick Ut‘s Pulitzer Prize winning photograph from the Vietnam War, commonly known as the “Napalm Girl” is the most iconic and most powerful photograph ever taken.

In this June 8, 1972 file photo, crying children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, run down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places as South Vietnamese forces from the 25th Division walk behind them. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. From left, the children are Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim's cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. AP Photo/Nick Ut

In this June 8, 1972 file photo, crying children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, run down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places as South Vietnamese forces from the 25th Division walk behind them. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. From left, the children are Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim’s cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. AP Photo/Nick Ut

Here’s a superb ABC7 Special about the image, the stories and people involved. It’s well worth watching. Powerful, moving, interesting.


Fascinatingly, this TV documentary also clearly shows the power of photography compared to TV footage. Nick Ut’s photograph has such power and depth, compared to the TV footage which whilst strong, has no where near the strength of the still image. Anyone who doesn’t understand the power of a photograph needs to be shown this documentary.

Nick Ut-Leica Hall of Fame Award


Nick Ut is an AP photographer. Using a Leica, he captured without doubt the most iconic photograph taken to date; the napalm girl, during the Vietnam war. Watch the story behind the famous photograph “The Napalm Girl”.

Nick Ut was honored with the Leica Hall of Fame Award on September 17 at “LEICA – DAS WESENTLICHE” at Photokina 2012.

Nick Ut’s Iconic Napalm Girl Photo

40 Years On From AP’s “Napalm Girl” Photograph From The Vietnam War

Anyone with any interest in history or photography will know the image. It’s a photograph that grabs you and never leaves you once you’ve seen it. The image taken by AP’s Nick Ut on June 8th, 1972, shows crying children running away from their village after a Napalm aerial attack by South Vietnamese Forces.

In this June 8, 1972 file photo, crying children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, run down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places as South Vietnamese forces from the 25th Division walk behind them. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. From left, the children are Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim’s cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. AP Photo/Nick Ut

It’s a disturbing image; one that shakes us to our core. The main subject in the shot is nine year old Kim Phuc; running, , wailing the words “Too hot, too hot”, crying and naked. As she was hit by the burning Napalm, it raced up her body and incinerated her clothing on contact. It burnt through the layers of her skin all over her back, leaving her heavily scarred to this day.

This moment brought together photographer and subject, not only to create the most powerful image from the Vietnam war but it also united a nine year old girl who would certainly have died, with her saviour; the young 21 year old Vietnamese photographer, Nick Ut. He drove Phuc to a small hospital, where he was told the small girl was too far gone to save. He showed them his American press badge and demanded the doctors treat the girl and left, assuring them that the girl would not be forgotten. “I cried when I saw her running,” said Ut. “If I don’t help her — if something happened and she died — I think I’d kill myself after that.”

AP staff photographer Nick Ut in Vietnam during the 1970s. AP Photo/Nick Ut

Although AP had strict rules about nudity, legendary AP photo editor Horst Faas broke the rules as soon as he saw the image, as it’s news value far outweighed any policy.

A few days later, Christopher Wain from ITN found out that the little girl had survived. He was on the scene and had given her water and doused her burning back with water from his canteen. He fought to have her transferred to a speciality unit run by the Americans. Although she had 35% of her body scorched with 3rd degree burns, she survived and 13 months later, after multiple painful skin grafts and surgeries, she was allowed to leave the Barsky facility.

Kim Phuc

Photographer Nick Ut with Phan Thi Kim Phuc; the girl in iconic Vietnam War photo “Napalm Girl”. Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. AP Photo/Nick Ut

Kim Phuc, now 49, says “I really wanted to escape from that little girl. But it seems to me the picture didn’t let me go”. After years of difficulty, feeling like a victim of war, then finding love, and finally defecting to Canada, the picture has changed it’s meaning for her. “Most of the people, they know my picture but there’s very few that know about my life,” she said. “I’m so thankful that … I can accept the picture as a powerful gift. Then it is my choice. Then I can work with it for peace.”

To help children caught up in war, she has created The Kim Foundation.

Nick Ut

AP staff photographer Nick Ut views an A-1 Skyraider attack aircraft, as used in Vietnam, fitted with Napalm. April 2010. AP Photo/Nick Ut

Over 40 years have passed since AP’s most iconic image was taken, and Nick Ut, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the image, is very much a full time AP staff photographer, now based in LA. In August this year, Nick visited the AP offices in NY to see his original negatives for the third time ever, since having processed it in the darkroom in Vietnam.

During a visit to the Associated Press headquarters photo library in New York, Aug. 10, 2012, AP staff photographer Nick Ut holds a plastic sleeve containing the original “Napalm Girl” negative, for which he won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography. (AP Photo)

To find out more about the background to this amazing image and the surrounding story, I thoroughly recommend this AP article.

Here’s a must watch interview with Nick Ut, describing the events of the day, with some stunning photography.

 

All images ©AP