A collaborative online community that brings together photographers and creative professionals of every kind to find ways to keep photography relevant, respected, and profitable.
Want us to find an answer to your question? Interested in becoming a contributor?Email us
Why do we often assume that art is not functional? On the other hand, why do we rarely view the purely functional as a work of art? Bayview artist Ian McDonald delves directly into the world of form and function in his bright and austere studio. With ceramics as a current focus, McDonald also works with wood, textiles and various other materials that allow for direct manipulation. When asked about his source of inspiration, McDonald revealed that it is the begun process of work itself that serves as his guide on where to go next.
Read an interesting interview and see more images of his beautiful artwork here.
Jessica Dimmock, a young photographer who won acclaim while still a student at ICP for her intimate portrayal of heroine addicts in The Ninth Floor, recently released a music video for Moby. It’s an intense piece, an unconventional music video, and interesting new territory for both Jessica and Moby. The Photography Post ran a nice little interview with the photographer about the piece on Thursday.
We’re happy to help spread the word that award-winning photographer Judith Fox has an exhibition opening on Thursday, March 4, at FiftyCrows Gallery in San Francisco, which was founded by liveBooks CEO Andy Patrick. The exhibition will include images from two bodies of work, Sea of Dreams and I Still Do, which documents her husband’s descent into Alzheimers and which was named one of 2009′s best photo books by Photo-Eye.
Irving Penn, one of the masters of photography, died Wednesday, October 7, 2009, at the age of 92 at his home in Manhattan. Penn leaves behind him a wealth of iconic imagery, from portraits of cultural leaders to obsessively exact still lifes. Photography Now has a great selection of Penn’s work online and the Getty Center in Los Angeles is showing Penn’s exhibition “Small Trades” now until January 10, 2010.
Scientists Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith, inventors of CCD (charge-coupled device), will be sharing this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics with Charles K. Kao, the “Father of Fiber Optics.” Although the duo had moved onto other research projects, their discovery made digital imaging possible, from point-and-shoots to the Hubble Space Telescope.
Both Outside and Esquire launched a moving magazine cover this month, with the full videos available on their websites. Alexx Henry, the photographer behind the new Outside cover, made a name for himself doing a “Living Movie Poster” for the movie Mrs. Washington. It’s the second time Greg Williams has shot a moving cover for Esquire, after the first one featuring Transformer star Megan Fox.
Fashion label Ralph Lauren landed in hot water this week with a “poor imaging and retouching” job on one of their advertising images. After Boing Boing brought attention to a photograph of already thin Filippa Hamilton photoshopped to unltra skinny, Ralph Lauren’s legal department sent the blog a take down notice. Bad move. Now The Drudge Report, The Huffington Post, Yahoo!, Jezebel and ABC News have jumped on it. PDN has the details.
I recently had an exhibition of my work from Chinese Turkistan, or Xinjiang, China, in Toronto, Canada. It was my first solo exhibition, but similar shows will happen in Europe and China next year. Putting on a gallery show can be a very trying experience for any photographer, emerging or established. But as I learned, the rewards outweigh all the hard work that goes into it.
In the early days of my time in China, I realized that I had a strong connection to the province of Xinjiang, the mainly Muslim region in northwest China. The Chinese portion of the Silk Road, once known as Chinese Turkistan, is changing before our eyes. Ancient mud brick homes and labyrinth-like towns are being torn down in the name of “progress.” I had traveled in the region often and felt an immediate passion to tell the stories of its people, but I didn’t actually make images there until some years later, in 2005, when I visited the region on assignment.
I’d made the images for myself, but wanted to share them with the world. I like to contact the galleries I’m familiar with by email and set up face-to-face meetings to show prints. Some galleries are very open minded and want to meet emerging photographers. Most galleries don’t even reply. It’s a competitive, in some cases cut-throat, industry — and the economic crisis has made it that much more difficult to get started. More »
The Associated Press announced that plans are underway to create a registry that will track online usage of AP content, including text, photos, and videos. The registry is expected to launch early next year, which will cover only AP text content initially, and be extended to AP member content as well as photos and videos eventually. Click on the image on the left to see a diagram explaining how the registry works.
Back in April, we talked about Chris Usher’s lawsuit against Corbis. Turns out Judge Sotomayor was one of three judges who ruled on the case. While most in the photo community are concerned that the case will become a judicial reference, consultant Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua disagrees. Read her well-versed argument here, here and here.
Although there is no final word yet, edvidence suggests that Robert Capa’s iconic “Falling Soldier” photo was likely staged. Interest in the authenticity of the image has been rekindled as a result of a new traveling exhibition in Spain, which was organized by the International Center of Photography. Philip Gefter has a thoughtful essay on NYT’s Lens regarding this and other iconic staged images.
Kudos for Judge Tomar Mason for upholding the rights of photographers and journalists – a photojournalist student at San Francisco State University, whose name was not identified by request of his lawyer, does not have to surrender his photographs of a murder scene to police under the state’s shield law. Wired has the full story.
The arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. this week has not only been the latest topic of racial profiling, but also of citizen journalism. The widely distributed photo taken at the time of the arrest did not come from a news agency, but from the London-based “citizen journalist” site Demotix. PDN has more on the story, as does Fred Ritchin at After Photography.
Ted Barron at the Boogie Woogie Flu blog posted two very cool MP3 tracks of Weegee and Henri Cartier-Bresson speaking about photography. The Online Photographer also pointed us to some other audio clips of radio interviews with Weegee from 1945, including an explanation of how he got his name.
Kodak announced on Monday that they will retire the 74-year old Kodachrome film because, quite simply, it’s not selling. Is it ironic or perfect timing that National Geographic Museum’s new exhibition, which runs through September 7, is “Kodachrome Culture: the American tourist in Europe“?
The best-remembered Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett died of cancer on Thursday at the age of 62. The New York Times had a nice tribute, and Bruce McBroom, the photographer behind the actress’ iconic poster, shared the story of the serendipitous shoot.
With the recent Iran media ban, there is a growing concern for the lack of professional conflict coverage. Paul Melcher had a great piece on why war photographers are rarer than ever. A timely wake up call for anyone who really cares about photojournalism.
Miki Johnson: Tell me about the goals of the Soul of Athens project.
Jenn Poggi: One of our fundamental goals is to replicate the editorial experience, whether it’s in the newsroom or whether it’s in a more corporate setting where you’re producing a product. It’s not just about that final product; it’s also about taking a group of people, bringing them together, and going through the process together.
The other obvious goal is to examine the soul or makeup of this unique community. We have to ask ourselves, what kind of preconceived notions do we come to the project with? How are we going to shape this project or allow it to be shaped? And how are we going to present different materials in a manner that’s approachable for the audience?
This year we have broadened the kind of content that’s being presented on the site. There have been pieces besides audio/video and still photography presented in the past, like the first year there was a Second Life component. But this year we are doing it in a more inclusive way. We have several interactive informational graphics; we have written pieces. Sometimes several assets are being packaged to address a specific topic. For example, a piece on drilling oil in Ohio has an informational graphic with it, as well as multi-media still photography video presentations.
The team is also thinking about how to present this material and cross-promote it, so there are more ways to search and access the different pieces that exist. That’s one thing that the news industry is getting better at, but there are still many publications that produce a huge project and a few days after it’s posted, it disappears because it’s not re-promoted or cross-promoted.
MJ: How are the students who work on the project chosen and organized?
JP: The first year, Soul of Athens was produced by a relatively small group, the brainchild of a couple of very talented people. Now it’s grown into this institutional project, with a class in the spring quarter. We meet once a week, as if it were an editorial budget meeting in a newsroom. The team of senior producers had been meeting earlier and we had students present a resume and cover letter about their skills and what they’d like to focus on: producing, content creation, development. We tried to pull in people from all majors — information graphic people, designers, still photographers, videographers, sound people, developers, and coders.
MJ: Regarding multimedia, how do you decide where it works and where it doesn’t, when to do audio or video?
JP: First we created a list of all the different story pitches the students made. Then each senior producer went down the list and grabbed several ideas to help shepherd. Each senior producer met with their team to understand their stories and what particular skill sets each person had.
Now that we’re approaching our launch date, as the content is being brought to final production, we are going back and reviewing each of the pieces as a group and deciding what’s a good mix — of topics, storytelling techniques, and assets. With a complicated project like this, you never sit down, hand out a series of deadlines, and say, we need this many people, these pieces of content. It’s not a scientific equation. It’s constantly evolving. When you’re passionate about what you’re doing, there’s always gonna be a little chaos during that final crunch time. You just have to be able to change on the fly and stay fluid through those moments of chaos.
MJ: How did you think about synthesizing everything together and how people would move through the site?
JP: People were working on design ideas at the same time we were coming up with content. In a perfect world, you would assemble all of the content, then look at it and figure out what’s the best way to present that. But we work like we would in a newsrooms, where lots of these things have to happen simultaneously.
The designers made pitches on how they envisioned the Soul of Athens site coming together. One group of people investigated the texture of this community. What do we see in our environment, both man-made natural? Another team talked about the sounds that are happening around us. Designers also had to consider how to present information in a way that fulfills the basic requirements of good navigation.
We culled the initial pitches down to three, which were presented to the whole group. The class as a whole voted on what direction to take. I think in the newsroom setting, because of time constraints, which are worse than ever, this planning part of the process often gets left out — but it’s so important.
MJ: You mentioned that you have people specifically dedicated to promoting Soul of Athens. What have they been doing?
JP: We’re creating some pre-launch energy with things like a trailer video (above). We looked at places that covered Soul of Athens in the past, as well as places that haven’t. Then we looked at new things that have developed this year, like Multimedia Muse, that are really highlighting great work.
At the local level, we’re making t-shirts for the team; we’re chalking up the sidewalks around the community; we’re plastering Post-Its with a slogan and logo around town. There’s a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. There was also a postcard campaign where postcards were created inviting members of the community to contribute their ideas about what the Soul of Athens is. They could write or draw something, then drop it in a post box and have them sent back to us here on campus. Eventually that will become it’s own piece of content on the website.
The Favorite Website Awards
L.A. Times Slideshow – Waiting For Death
Flowing Data – Worldwide Inauguration
Flowing Data – 17 Ways to Visualize the Twitter Universe
The Whale Hunt – A storytelling experiment by Jonathan Harris
FFFFOUND! – Image bookmarkingNew York Times – One in 8 Million
“What’s G?” – Gatorade Commercial
One Laptop Per Child
Carmen Suen: Tell me about how the “I Dream To…” program works.
Amy Tierney: It is a semester long program where me and my co-instructor, photographer Emily Hart Roth, go to the participating schools every week for a one-and-a-half-hour class to teach the girls the skills that they need to be a photojournalist, including how to use a camera, how to use Lightroom to produce edits, how to conduct an interview, and so on. Each of them has to choose a woman who they want to do an interview with, usually someone in the career field of the student’s dream, or someone who inspires them.
Towards the end of the semester, they interview their subject, take pictures during the interview, and write up an article as their final projects. We then post these articles on the “I Dream To…” blog, so others can see their work. We also take the girls to a photography studio so they can see what a true working studio and a photographer’s daily work life is like.
But the highlight of the program is the exhibition. Not only do the girls get the chance to show family and friends their own work, but they can also be introduced to different people in the community. It’s a great way for them to practice their social skills.
CS: What is your role in this program?
AT: I am actually a founder and mentor of the “I Dream To…” program, which started in 2007. At the time, I was already involved with StepUp Women’s Network’s L.A. Chapter. One of the mission of StepUp is to inspire and empower high school girls in underserved communities to achieve their dreams. I believe art can help us understand the world around us. And so I decided to bring art to these high school girls. Because of my own background, photography seemed to be the obvious choice.
Through photography, photojournalism in particular, you get the opportunity to interact with a multitude of people. I think people skills is one of the most essential skills for one to succeed in life.
CS: Do you feel like the program is achieving its goals?
AT: I would say it’s very well received. Jamie Kogan, Step Up Women’s Network’s program manager really keeps us going. This year is the third year, and the program has expanded from L.A. to Chicago and New York. We got so many hugs and thank-yous at the end of each semester. Some of the girls who have participated in the program have taken a serious interest in photojournalism and have decided to pursue it as a career. That’s a very big encouragement for us.
We also have to thank our sponsors for helping us financially. Our organization is non-profit and depends largely on financial assistance from our donors. We hope that they will continue to help make this program happen.