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Latest News

Report released for entrapments on Horse Park Fire

Khai Le

Additional information has been released about the entrapments that occurred on the Horse Park Fire May 27 in a remote area of Southwest Colorado. Earlier we posted two videos that were shot when firefighters hurriedly retreated as the fire advanced, plus information from a “72-hour report”.

Now a 56-page Facilitated Learning Analysis and a 12-minute video are available that break down the incident in even more detail.

To very briefly summarize what happened, while scouting a road for a potential burnout operation, a hotshot crew superintendent and foreman encounter a wall of flames and attempt to retreat. Their truck becomes stuck, forcing them to flee on foot, narrowly escaping the rapidly advancing fire front. Just as they reach safety, they learn that their crew lookout is missing. After nearly 40 agonizing minutes, the lead plane pilot locates her after she ignited an escape fire. It is a compelling story, which is pretty well summed up in this video.

2018 CWA District 9 Leadership Conference in Hawaii: “This is a dangerous time to be a journalist”

Khai Le

May 22, 2018:  "Week after week, President Trump and this Administration seem to break new ground in their attacks on the press. The president and his cabinet officials view the free press as the enemy. CNN and the Associated Press were barred from entering an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) summit on water contamination where Administrator Scott Pruitt was speaking. When a reporter asked questions about why she was prohibited entry, she was forcibly removed by security guards.”                                                                                                   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

May 25th 2018 Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) filed a bill in the Senate that would make it a federal crime to assault a journalist. A similar bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Eric Swalwell of California in February of this year. Unions representing 30,000 reporters, photographers, and broadcast employees are praising the bill. News Guild President Bernie Lunzer said, “The Journalist Protection Act addresses a real need. This is a dangerous time to be a journalist.”

“NABET members are easy and tempting prey for anti-media extremists and thieves because they often work in the field alone or with just one other person. They also carry equipment that’s expensive and cumbersome,” said NABET Sector President Charlie Braico. He also said, “The Journalist Protection Act will permit the authorities to properly punish people who attempt to interfere with our members as they work in dynamic and challenging newsgathering situations,”

The bill would make it a federal crime to intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist engaged in reporting or with the intention of intimidating the journalist or impeding newsgathering. It calls for punishment of up to six years in prison.

                                                                                                                        By Louis Gabriele 

Fire Safety Seminar on June 23

Khai Le


Let’s talk fire with those on the front line

PPAGLA Member Fire Safety Seminar 2018

Listen to seasoned photojournalists who get right on the fire line and share some pretty amazing work. Feel their adrenalin as they stand next to the guys and gals charged with quelling the beast. Learn what photojournalists and firefighters do to prepare for survival and work in harmony.

Saturday, June 23, 2018
Time: 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
Location: Veterans Memorial Complex
4117 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90230 held in the Iksan room

Cost: FREE to members! Non-members $50.

Benefits: Priceless
You seriously don’t want to miss this event!

Visit for more information and to RSVP. 

Herman Alphonse Conant

Khai Le

Simi Valley, CA
Herman Alphonse Conant, 80, of Simi Valley, CA passed away peacefully on May 2. He leaves behind his beloved bride of nearly 55 years, Martha Jean (Metoyer) Conant, his two sons, Kevin and Douglas, his daughter-in-law Chloe, and his beloved granddaughter, Mara Jade. Herman is also survived by his sister, Mrs. Valma Veronica (Conant) Metoyer, his brothers Willie and Charles Conant, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Roque Conant and Florence (LaCour) Conant Llorens, his brothers, Joseph and Ralph Conant, and his sisters, Ezora (Conant) Bryant Parker, Rosa Mae (Conant) Roque, and Catherine (Conant) Colson Couty. Herman, a United States Army Veteran, was an award-winning television news cameraman for NBC for more than 30 years and a proud member of the Knights of Columbus Council 5803 and the Father McDonagh Assembly 2557. He will be remembered for his warm smile, his easy laugh, and his kind and generous heart. Services will be held on Thursday, May 17th, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Simi Valley, California. Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Herman Conant Scholarship Fund through the Knights of Columbus. Herman will be laid to rest at St. Augustine Catholic Cemetery in Melrose, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.



Gary Friedman Memorial Photo Exhibition

Khai Le

Gather with us to celebrate the photography of Gary Friedman. Gary may be gone, but his photographs will live forever. Known as “our spiritual leader” please come see his amazing body of work that stretches 40 years from the streets of Detroit to Beverly Hills. If it was a news story, Gary was there. Please join other photogs, some of whom were lucky enough to be nicknamed by Gary, to see Gary’s unique view of the world. You won’t be disappointed.


BBC reporter and famed photographer among 31 killed in Afghanistan

Khai Le

Ten journalists were among 31 people killed in a series of attacks in Afghanistan on Monday, including a BBC reporter and a well-known photographer who had written of the dangers of reporting in the Afghan capital.

Nine journalists were killed in suicide bombings in the capital, Kabul. Shah Marai of Agence France Presse was among a group of journalists who died when a bomber disguised as a TV cameraman detonated a second bomb at the site of an earlier explosion. Both attacks were claimed by Islamic State.
In a separate incident, Ahmad Shah, a 29-year-old reporter with the BBC’s Afghan service, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Khost province, the BBC said. Najib Sharifi, director of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, said Shah was on his way home when the attack took place.

Awards Luncheon Date Announced

Khai Le

Mark your calendars for the annual Awards Luncheon. This year's will be held at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello. Tickets will be available to purchase on the PPAGLA website soon.

Saturday, April 7, 2018 - Social Hour 11am - Lunch 12am
901 Via San Clemente
Montebello, CA

RSVP PPAGLA Events Friday Feb. 23 and March 2

Khai Le

Upcoming Events for Members!

RSVP for the LA Times tour -
RSVP for the Associated Collegiate Press talk. -

Two Fridays!  Feb. 23 and March 2, 2018

Friday, Feb. 23, 11AM Los Angeles Times tour and speakers!  Ever wonder what goes on at the LA Times?  What is it like to work there?  Join LA Times longtime employee Darrell Kunitomi as he guides you through the history of this storied institution.  Then, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from working LA Times staffers in the photography department and have their questions answered.

Don’t miss this rare and unique opportunity!  

For security and capacity reasons, attendees MUST RSVP to prior to Weds. Feb. 21. RSVP here -

Open exclusively to PPAGLA members in good standing.

Tour begins in LATimes lobby.  Plan on being present by 10:45AM to check in with security.  Tour begins promptly at 11AM.

Space is limited!  RSVP now!




Friday, March 2, 9:30-11:20AM PPAGLA Speaks at Associated Collegiate Press, National Scholastic Press Association’s Convention!

RSVP here - 

Location:  Hyatt Regency Hotel
200 South Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA
Regency ABC room

**PPAGLA Members — go directly to the Regency ABC Room.  Members have free entry permission by going directly to this room.


Session One of Two: 9:30 - 10:20 AM - Amy Gaskin “Building Relationships: Finding and Telling Stories Through Photos”

Have you ever wondered how to find compelling photostories as a student?  How do you gain access and build trust with subjects?  Learn how one college student covered issues on a national level, including traveling to Triple Crown races.  Hear “behind the scenes” stories and tips that will help your photostories have greater impact. 

The Washington Post, The Guardian, and others have published her work.  Her story on California Chrome, an unknown horse who rose to become one of history’s most winning thoroughbreds, rose to second position on Google behind Sports Illustrated.  She is the 2017 Leica Emerging Photographer, Palm Springs Photo Festival and is 2017 American Photographic Artists National Emerging Photographer winner.  Other awards include Eddie Adams and Sports Shooter Workshops, and PPAGLA Student of the Year, sponsored by Nikon, American Photographic Artists’ Top 100 exhibitions as selected by curators of the Getty Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


Session Two of Two: 10:30-11:20AM - Panel Discussion: Landing Your First Job - Careers in Photography


Are you a student and now wondering what comes next?  In this constantly evolving world of photojournalism, how do you stay afloat?  What are editors looking for?  What are your career options and prospects?  Learn about various careers in photography and hear valuable advice from recent graduates to those with decades of experience.  What worked for them?  What didn’t?  How do you move ahead today in our current landscape?


Panelists include:


Calvin Alagot, Editor, Los Angeles Times Features (recent student) Prior to becoming editor at the Los Angeles Times, Calvin was a graphic designer at The Malibu Times from 2014-2016 where he assisted with the weekly production of the paper as a page designer. Calvin also began designing graphics for, a non-profit investigative news site in 2016.  His photography has twice been featured at The Getty Museum's College Night in the student gallery accompanying the Masters Class Series.


Daniel Bowyer, Los Angeles Rams team Photographer — Recently a student, Daniel Bowyer is making the transition to professional photography and currently is a team photographer at the LA Rams.  Bowyer is a runner-up in PPAGLA Student of the Year competition.


Gerard Burkhart, Mojave Artist in Residence, Educator, and former LATimes photographer part of Pulitzer winning team.  Gerard’s work has appeared internationally through assignments or via the wire services Agence France Presse and Associated Press. He was a member of 3 Pulitzer winning teams as a freelancer for the LATimes.  Recently, he was Artist in Residence at the Mojave Reserve and teaches Photojournalism at Santa Monica and Pierce Colleges.


Jim Caccavo -  A former Los Angeles Times staffer, Jim Caccavo was the Red Cross Photographer for the Vietnam War, and later a contract photographer for Newsweek magazine in that same conflict. Upon returning to the US in 1970, he attended the Art Center College of Design where he earned a BFA in Photography & film while working for Newsweek.  After a stint at the LA Times, he worked for Time/Life while  running  his own studio.


Mike Nelson, EPA (currently in LA, former bureau chief, Middle East). Michael has been involved in photojournalism since 1981 and has had a number of personal photo exhibits in Europe, the United States and Egypt.  Over his 30 year long career he has been honored with a number of awards including World Press Photo and NPPA and has extensive coverage experience in the Middle East, Africa and the United States.


John McCoy, LA Daily News (Chairman, PPAGLA). John McCoy worked at the Los Angeles Daily News for over 30 years covering events across Southern California from fires, to professional sports.  His work has won numerous awards.  


Arturo Quezada, Chief Photojournalist/Operations, Univision Los Angeles With over 26 years experience in television, Quezada has held numerous positions in the industry. 21 of his years have been at Univision where he has been Univision Network News Videographer and Editor.  Additionally, he  was Operations Manager for Univision Corporate where he taught editing, videography, newsroom workflow and storytelling.  Recipient of 9 Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, 16 RTNA Golden Mike Awards,  5 - time PPAGLA Videographer of the Year, and is an NAHJ and Associated Press Award winner. 


Karen Quincy Loberg, Freelance - Karen served on the photography staff of the Ventura County Star, a daily newspaper, from 2000 - 2017 and now freelances.  Her clients include European Pressphoto Agency, Associated Press/Boston, LIFE Magazine, Getty Images, Annenberg Space for Photography, Community Newspaper Company, Ventura County Farm Bureau. Maienza Wilson, Davis Reed Construction, Lou Diamond Phillips & the Pipe-fitters, Megan Mullaly and Bravo TV Network. Her work has won numerous awards.


Moderator: Amy Gaskin, Vice President PPAGLA, Freelance press and corporate (bio above, please see 9:30 event)


All panelists are Members of PPAGLA


There will also be a PPAGLA table in the foyer.  Come see us there and network!

Richard Kay Smith

Khai Le

Noted cameraman Richard Kay Smith passed away peacefully at his home in Studio City on Thursday December 21st, surrounded by those he loved. Dick, affectionately called "Kay" by family members, was born and raised in Redlands, California. His father, Malcom, was a coach; his mother, Gertrude, was a church soloist. Kay was recruited by Stanford University to play football. While attending Stanford, he was drafted by the U.S. Army and served his country during the Korean War.

He returned to Stanford and completed a degree in journalism, then moved to Burbank and joined NBC News in 1958. If you watched TV news in the 1960s-1990s, you undoubtedly saw Kay's work. During his 36-year career with NBC, he received numerous awards, including two national Emmys and a Golden Mike.

In 2012, he earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles. Kay married Ann Wellen on February 7, 1959 in Pasadena. Family was the central part of Kay's life. He is survived by his wife, Ann; four children: William (Rose Hayden), Debra (Rick Simon), Michael and David; three grandchildren, Natalie, Taylor and Emma; his extended Wellen and Smith family; and many close friends. 

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 31, 2017.

Board Member Election Results

Khai Le

The Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles is pleased to announce the results of our recent Election to the PPAGLA Board of Directors for 2018-19 Term.
The new Board Members are: Gerard Burkhart, Jay Clendenin, Amy Gaskin, Dave Seger, Lou Varela, and Marcus Yam.
Congratulations to each of you!

Dick Smith

Khai Le

PPAGLA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Dick Smith, passed away Thursday after a long fight with Parkinson’s disease. Dick enjoyed a long and storied career at NBC, first as a film photojournalist and then EJ cameraman. He generously his knowledge and wisdom with many who followed in his footsteps. All admired him professionally and loved him as a friend.

Following a two-year stint in the Army (during the Korean War) and his graduation with a journalism degree from Stanford University, Richard K. (Dick) Smith joined the west coast bureau of NBC News in January 1958.

Starting as a production assistant, Smith entered the newsfilm apprenticeship program with NBC. Within months he had his first notable assignment, covering atomic bomb tests at the Nevada Test Center. He worked alongside cameraman Gene Barnes.

After becoming a staff news cameraman in 1961, Smith covered a brush fire near the old zoo in Griffith Park and received a 1962 Golden Mike Award for his photos of the distressed animals.
n 1964, Smith spent seven weeks covering the war in Vietnam, accompanying South Vietnamese troops in fighting the Viet Cong. His newsfilm was used almost nightly on the Huntley-Brinkley news program, also on an hour long “special report” in primetime for the network.

After his stint in Vietnam, Smith worked with correspondent Robert McNeil covering the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign, five weeks of grueling cross-country travel. The campaign airplane stopped in every state with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska.

In 1966, Smith joined the staff of the network show “First Tuesday,” a two-hour primetime documentary program. Alongside correspondent Tom Pettit, he made trips to the USSR (filming the first American tourist allowed in Siberia), to Johnston Atoll (America’s Nerve Gas Arsenal), and Tahiti (French President Charles DeGaulle inspecting French Foreign Legion troops stationed there).

In 1975, Smith traveled to Fort Dietrick, Maryland, to give NBC’s “First Tuesday” viewers a look at the U.S.’s Germ Warfare Program, which earned him a “Photographic Excellence Award” from the NPPA.

As newsfilm was phased out in 1976, Smith moved over to electronic journalism (EJ) and joined “KNBC’s Unit 4,” an investigative group headed by Pete Noyes.

Significant at that time was a trip Smith made to China with reporter/anchor Jess Marlow and soundman Jim Coughey to document, among other things, Bob Hope’s activities in preparation for an hour special on NBC.

These “other things” resulted in the Chinese government’s confiscation of their videotape as well as placing the group under house arrest in Beijing. After pleas by both Hope and Marlow they were released and sent home with their videotape.

Smith accumulated 11 awards in his 36-year career, the most notable being his photographic contributions to the Emmy-winning “First Tuesday” story on “America’s Nerve Gas Arsenal.”
Equally as important as his professional accomplishments are his personal accomplishments as a father and grandfather who has instilled in his family the value of hard work, commitment over the long haul, and the art of listening and not judging. Smith retired in 1994 and continues to live in his Studio City home with Ann, his wife of 53 years, and his four adult children and three grandchildren living nearby.

Dick Smith Lifetime Achievement PDF

Melanie Buck

Khai Le


It is with great sadness that we pass along the news that Melanie Buck has passed away on December 3 at her home in Landers. 

Most of you got to know Melanie through her husband Paul Buck, who is a past President of PPAGLA and currently a photographer for the European Pressphoto Agency.

Melanie and Paul welcomed their only child Joe Claude Buck into the world just five weeks and 2 days before her passing. Melanie was 41 years old.

The Buck’s loved living on their little piece of heaven in Landers where the pair own and operate a small farm with chickens, Nigerian pygmy goats, geese and dogs and cats.

Melanie was employed as Library Assistant and Youth Services Lead at Joshua Tree Branch Library, a job she dearly loved. She also served as a board Member on the Landers Community Association and the Morongo Basin Historical Society.

The community of Landers has embraced Paul and little Joe Claude after Melanie’s passing by helping with meals, and donations of mothers milk for the baby Buck. A go-fund me campaign has been started to help Paul with the expenses that he will likely face in the months to come.

To contribute please go to:

Anacleto Rapping, Los Angeles Times photographer and my best friend for 30 years.

Khai Le

Anacleto and I have been best friends over 30 years — mountain biking, skiing, hiking, climbing and raising our children. We worked together over 20 of those years as photographers at the L.A. Times.

On the front door of Anacleto’s locker next to mine to this very day is the following quote by Henry David Thoreau … “The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sing the best.”

Anacleto encouraged ALL of us to use our talents. Photojournalism can be a very competitive, high-stress field, and photographers can be an insecure group yearning for validation. Not Anacleto — he was confident and always prepared.

Anacleto was a remarkable photographer in every way. He had a keen eye with attention to composition and detail. His images spoke volumes. We would talk about how great photographs are made when preparation meets opportunity. He loved the art of photography.

Exposures in Journalism Gala

Khai Le

2017 Exposures in Journalism Gala Opening.
What: Visual journalism show highlighting professional and student winners in
           still photo and video categories.
Show comprises of:
·      Professional still and video winners from the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angles (PPAGLA) 2016 competition.
·      The past twelve years of PPAGLA Student photojournalists of the year.
·      The results of an area-wide student visual journalism competition with competitors from Los Angeles vicinity colleges and Universities.
When: Saturday September 16, 2017, 6pm-8pm
Where: Santa Monica College
             Drescher Hall
             1900 Pico Boulevard
             Santa Monica California, 90405


Round Table Discussion
When: 4:30-6:00 p.m.
What: Roundtable discussion; What is journalism education’s role in countering “Fake News”.
Who: PPAGLA Professionals and students from the contest.
Hosted by:
·      The Corsair News, the award-winning student publication of Santa Monica College.
·      The Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles, representing media professionals since 1936.
·      The Santa Monica College Photo Department offering a comprehensive suite of classes covering all aspects of commercial photography.

Judging for the area wide student competition was provided by Los Angeles Times staff photographers and editors.

Event Organizers

Gerard Burkhart
PPAGLA Board Member and Education Co-Chair

Amy Gaskin
PPAGLA Board Member and Education Co-Chair

Thanks to Sponsors and Supporters -

Sponsoring the PPAGLA Student of the Year Competition and the Exposures in Journalism Gala

Sponsoring the PPAGLA Videographer of the Year

The Icon
Generously underwriting and provided the student contest prints for 2017.

Epilogue Inc
Generously printing the 2016 PPAGLA winning photos

Los Angeles Times
Judging for the area wide student competition was provided by Los Angeles Times staff photographers and editors.