In December, graffiti writers AUGER and REVOK modified a billboard advertising the wonderful Takashi Murakami exhibit at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Two days later, the billboard was removed. The LA Weekly now reports that Murakami himself saw online photos of the graffitied billboard and thought it to be “so wonderful, he had to have it for his collection,” according to his representatives. So apparently he had it taken down and shipped to his studio in Japan.
I’ve been playing around with the beta version of PicApp, a service that promises to let bloggers publish high-quality professional photos online for free. Bloggers do this anyway of course, but PicApp aims to make it legal. To start, PicApp has a deal with Getty Images to make Getty photos available through the service. Bloggers use a string of code to embed the image, a process familiar to anyone who has ever published a YouTube video. The photo appears with caption and credit information and contextual advertising.
Taxes are taxing enough, but photographers often have more challenges, such as how to depreciate equipment and account for part-time income. Advice from a CPA is the best way to address your specific needs. But if you go it alone, here are some resources for help.
The New York Photo Festival seems to have started on the right foot with a very solid line up of curators for 2008: photographer Martin Parr, Aperture publisher Leslie A. Martin, photographer Tim Barber (aka Tiny Vices) and photo editor for the New York Times Magazine, Kathy Ryan
I wanted to bring The Israeli border police in Weimar, the standard armored jeep that the border police uses to patrol will escort me in my daily life in town. I examine what such an action brings, how the presence of a militarized police force from Israel in a small quiet East German place would be perceived. Would it produce fear, antagonism, discomfort or maybe understanding and sympathy? The site of the Star of David is never neutral on the streets of Germany, all the more so when it is painted on an armored jeep. Not surprisingly, I could not bring a real jeep to Weimar. Instead, I built a two- dimensional life size cut out (like the fake police cars that deter driver from speeding). The cutout can do the same job that a real jeep can do and invoke the discussion I would like to create.
I went to Haiti because I wanted to do something to supplement my New York work. It wasn’t far, it’s three and a half hours direct flight from New York City. They have a Mardi Gras in February so that means people are on the street.
A very important factor is that historically Haitians weren’t against being photographed. Whereas if you go to some other Caribbean countries, it would be much tougher to photograph. In other words, you’d put your life really in danger. Like Jamaica, if you don’t have an ‘entre’ it’s a tough place and they don’t take to being photographed as well. If you’re going to the areas I go into, you’ll lose your camera or you lose your life.
I got sent to Miami for three days for The New York Times for a piece on the Miami art scene post Art Basel. I can’t really say much more than it was an amazing time, met some really chill people and got a chance to just wander and make photos I wanted to make. We don’t get to do nearly as much of that these days in our business, so I took full advantage of making wrong turns, finding random wi-fi spots (thank you Denny’s), and taking in some spectacular shows.
These are only a fraction of the 80-picture edit I sent, but I’ll drop a few more on this blog in a few days when I get around to editing my stuff from my random side-trip to the fashion district – which is about as close to painted wall heaven as I have ever been.
There are lots of reasons why making a film about Annie Leibovitz, our most famous living photographer, may be a bit intimidating. For one thing, photography is essentially static, so how to bring it to life on screen? For another, Leibovitz has something of a reputation.
Graydon Carter, her boss at Vanity Fair, likens her to ‘Barbra Streisand with a camera’, which is possibly shorthand for ‘she’s a nightmare on legs!’ (I’m guessing that he isn’t referring to her singing.) Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue, admits that, yes, Annie is demanding, that the idea of ‘budget is not something that enters into her consciousness’, before quickly adding that she is worth it because ‘she cares! she cares!’ Even Leibovitz’s flesh and blood, in this case, her sister Paula, confesses: ‘You don’t want to be anywhere near her when she’s taking pictures.’
One of the most striking new bodies of work I’ve seen recently is a series of photographs made by the 30 year old photojournalist Jehad Nga. Taken in a Somalian café and lit only by a single shaft on sunlight, the images illuminate their subjects in the clandestine manner of Walker Evans’ subway pictures or Harry Callahan’s “Women Lost in Thought”.
Nga was born in Kansas, but moved soon after, first to Libya and then to London. In his early 20s he was living in Los Angeles and taking courses at UCLA, when he came across the book “Digital Diaries” by Natasha Merritt. The book, a collection of sexually intimate photos made with a digital point-and-shoot, convinced Nga that he could become a photographer. One year later he was traveling through the Middle East taking pictures.
Tom Rankin began photographing the sacred landscapes and spiritual traditions of the Mississippi Delta in the late 1980s when he moved there to teach at Delta State University. He returns to Mississippi regularly to photograph some of the same churches and cemeteries as they evolve and change over time, reflecting the ongoing life of these holy spaces. Rankin expresses his deep connection and attraction to the Delta and its religious practices in his book Sacred Space.
“In Vegas, I don’t have to worry about photographers waiting outside my house every day because they can’t wait outside my hotel room,” Spencer Pratt, a star of the MTV reality series “The Hills,” said in early January as he and Heidi Montag, his co-star and girlfriend, posed for photos on a red carpet on the way to an event that they were paid to attend at the Jet nightclub at the Mirage.
“When we travel here we have bodyguards, there are people with earpieces making sure there aren’t any photos we don’t want, making sure there’s no problems,” Mr. Pratt said. “I’m sure a lot of celebrities come out to Vegas because it’s like a hide-out, it’s a getaway.”
Indeed, as the city rolled into the year’s biggest betting weekend, the Super Bowl, stars aplenty were expected to be in the nightclubs and sports books. But they were not expecting to be trailed by what Robin Leach, the former host of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and the unofficial dean of the Las Vegas celebrity news media, refers to as “wild roaming packs of paparazzi.”
“All of our photographers are known to the casinos almost as if they’re registered,” said Mr. Leach, who writes the Vegas Luxe Life blog for Las Vegas Magazine. “If a photographer breaks the spirit of the unidentified terms of his access, that’s the last time he gets red carpet or nightclub privileges.”
It is just a photograph of a body at the side of a road—another death among the millions of deaths of World War II. Yet this photo, long lost and never before published, has surprised historians. The dead man in the picture is Ernie Pyle, the famed war correspondent whose dispatches painted vivid portraits of the lives of common GIs. Pyle famously covered several theaters of war, including the brutal Italian campaign of 1943-1944, and was killed on April 17, 1945 on the island of le Shima, off Okinawa in the Pacific.
Even historians who have specialized in studying Pyle’s work and collecting his correspondence had never seen the image. The negative is long lost and only a few prints were known to exist.
Automated tools like Mr. Baldassi’s are changing the editing of photography by making it possible for anyone to tweak a picture, delete unwanted items or even combine the best aspects of several similar pictures into one.
Police, saying they were responding to citizen complaints, carted away two large promotional photographs from the Abercrombie & Fitch store in Lynnhaven Mall on Saturday and cited the manager on obscenity charges.
Adam Bernstein, a police spokesman, said the seizure and the issuance of the summons came only after store management had not heeded warnings to remove the images.
The citation was issued under City Code Section 22.31, Bernstein said, which makes it a crime to display “obscene materials in a business that is open to juveniles.” He did not say what was being done with the pictures and when the manager, whose name was not released, is scheduled to appear in court.
Starting on February 1, 2008, Canon USA began informing key photographers and key organizations using the EOS-1D Mark III that engineers at Canon in Japan have developed a new fix for the camera’s autofocus, a fix that’s in addition to the change in the sub-mirror mechanism and firmware updates introduced in 2007.
We all like looking over the hill to see what’s coming next. With the exponential rate of change which technology now gives us, having a sense of what’s coming next can also be a form of economic sense, as it is not at all uncommon for one to buy what appears to be the latest and greatest only to find the next day that something new has just been announced. (If you want to have a better appreciation for what exponential technological change has in store for us, read The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurtzweil. It was recently recommended to me by Bill Atkinson, and is a real eye-opener).
That next big thing, at least in the world of photographic quality inkjet printers, is now available from Epson. As I write this the Stylus Pro 11880 has been on the market for a few months, and through the kind auspices of Epson I have had one in my printing studio for testing for almost as long. A combination of travel, the holiday season and teaching commitments has prevented me from putting fingers to keyboard as quickly as I would have liked, but I have been printing with the 11880 every chance that I’ve had, and I’m smitten.
There is no doubt that this U.S. $15,000, 60 inch wide, nine ink channel printer is likely the finest printer yet available for photographic printing. But given its price and size it is not likely to find a home other than in high-end commercial printing studios. Nevertheless it is a harbinger of what’s coming next from Epson, and so is well worth our while to have a close look at.
In those days, you could get close. Very close. That’s how Rowland Scherman worked. With his hand-held Leica, he shot Mississippi John Hurt strumming a guitar on a rickety bed, Robert F. Kennedy strategizing with campaign advisers, and Bob Dylan at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival.
“I was so close, I could have said, ‘Bob, could you hold this camera?’ ” Scherman jokes. “Nowadays, they would take you and throw you out.”
Nobody threw Scherman out. For roughly a decade, the photographer had an uncanny knack for making sure he was in the right place at the right time, whether shooting for Life magazine, National Geographic, or Time. And just as quickly as he arrived, he disappeared, drifting across the ocean and out of that glossy world for good.
Hot off the mass email today Humble Arts Foundation has announced the 31 selections out of over 1000 submissions for the upcoming show “31 Under 31: Young Women in Art Photography.” The exhibition opening reception on Saturday, March 1st at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn and the show will stay up for the month.