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Illumination magazine.
 Fall 2007 Table of Contents.
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McDougall's 'bled-strobe' image of girl on a swing snags the cover of the June 1950 edition of Modern Photography.

At the time when Angus McDougall's photos were first celebrated on the cover of Popular Photography and other mass-circulation photo magazines, most news photographers still utilized the "open flash" method for illuminating subjects.

Multimedia: Angus McDougall.The cumbersome technique involved manually opening and closing the camera's shutter while popping a bulb's magnesium filament. It made all but the most stage-managed types of flash images difficult to produce. Portable strobes, developed by enterprising staff members at the Milwaukee Journal, changed everything. Firing at 1/10,000 of a second, they could stop even the fastest motion. Because they were battery powered, they could be set up almost anywhere.

With the encouragement of Journal photo director Bob Dumke, McDougall used the technology to pioneer techniques that revolutionized artificial light photography: action color, bled strobe, black light action color, x lighting, and wireless "slave" flash. All contributed, as MU photojournalism professor and chair David Rees put it in a recent essay, to images that permanently altered the nature of print media.

"So stunning and captivating were many of the pictures that they would run a full broadsheet page," Rees wrote. " 'News' was redefined to include features and normal daily activities, and often included multi-picture presentations."

McDougall joined the faculty of the MU School of Journalism in 1972. For the next ten years he led the school's photojournalism sequence and headed its Pictures of the Year competition. More recently, along with his wife Betty, McDougall contributed close to $850,000 to create the Angus and Betty McDougall Center for Photojournalism Studies. The center will establish the Missouri Photojournalism Archive in concert with Pictures of the Year International and the Missouri Photo Workshop image collections.

BOY WITH BIRDS: Pet orioles help themselves to a boy's breakfast in an image shot in 1952.

"Art photography has received recognition for a long time, but journalistic photography often has a short life. It is in the papers and magazines, and then it's gone," McDougall said at the time. "Photojournalism should receive the same recognition as art photography has in the past, and should be just as accessible."

The new McDougall Center and its Missouri Photojournalism Archive will be housed in MU's Lee Hills Hall. The archive will contain collections of photographs, oral histories, writings and other materials from individual photographers. As is fitting, McDougall's oeuvre will be the first catalogued.

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