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Festivals

liveBooks has a long history of commitment to photojournalism, philanthropy and social change. Our CEO Andy Patrick took over the International Fund for Documentary Photography (IFDP) from Mother Jones Magazine in 2001. The IFDP was a grant program started by photographers Ken Light, Michelle Vignes, Marc Riboud, Sebastiao Salgado and journalist Kerry Tremain. In 2001, Andy integrated the IFDP into FiftyCrows, a non-profit he founded to support documentary and photojournalistic photographers that were documenting social issues around the world.

Jack Piccone photography website

Andy and his wife contributed over a million dollars to assure that these important photographic essays made their way into the world and that great storytellers had an opportunity to continue their important work. FiftyCrows and the IFDP has supported many great photographers including Ed KashiJack PiconeMarcela TaboadaAndre Cypriano, Stephanie Sinclair, as well as in the early years amazing photographers such as Joseph Rodriguez, Donna Decesare, Nan Goldin, and Shahidul Alam.

Chobi Mela International Photography FestivalThe grants have been used for many things including financing the continuation of a story that otherwise would not have likely seen funding from traditional means, to starting organizations such as what Shahidul Alam did in the early 1990′s in Bangladesh. From this was born The Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography and the DRIK Picture Agency.

 

In 2004 Shahidul AlamChris RainierWade Davis, Andy and others formed the National Geographic All Roads Photography Awards. All Roads has supported countless indigenous photographers in their efforts to document their own cultures.

Shahidul Alam photography website

So today, it is with great anticipation and excitement that we share with you one of our favorite events, the Chobi Mela International Festival of Photograpy. If you get a chance – GO! The festival takes place in Dhaka, Bangladesh and opens on January 25th. What sets Chobi Mela apart from other other photo festivals is that it is not only truly international, but is also perhaps the world’s most demographically inclusive festival.

In keeping with ethos of DRIK, Chobi Mela has always symbolized a struggle against hegemony and oppression. The theme for Chobi Mela VII is Fragility. It will feature photographers from 23 countries and every continent except Antarctica. Exhibitors include well known photojournalists and new ones alike.

Mr. Alam said he created the Chobi Mela festival primarily so Bangladeshi photographers could be more widely exposed globally, extending to international audiences. “I wanted to create a bridge,” he said. “But it also gives us a chance to take stock of this remarkable transformation that is taking place within photography in Bangladesh.”

Congratulations to Shahidul and his amazing team… our hearts our with you!

While iStockphoto is launching its 10th birthday bash, this New York Times story outlining the hard road ahead for photographers stirred up debate in the photo world (there’s even a follow-up article with reader and blog responses). Adding insult to injury, word also surfaced of a new business model for product photography called Via U!, where buyers can composite an image and purchase all rights for a flat $250 fee. A Photo Editor has details.

The New York Photo Festival (NYPH) announced its curators and exhibition dates for this year. The third annual NYPH ’10, which runs from May 12 – 15, 2010, is getting bigger and better, with later and extended exhibition hours, reduced fare and open attendance hours for the public. It has also teamed up with the Slideluck Potshow to take photography outdoors.

Blurb’s Photography Book Now competition has also launched its third year. In addition to $25,000, the grand prize winner will also be given the opportunity to show their work at ICP, the Annenberg Space for Photography, and the George Eastman House. The competition is a reminder of the potential of self-publishing, something we discussed extensively in our Future of Photobooks series.

Center, formerly known as the Santa Fe Center of Photography, has announced the winners of the 2010 Center’s Choice Awards. Aaron Huey, Stephen Beckley, and Jamey Stillings are the winners of the Curator’s Choice Award, the Director’s Choice Award, and the Editor’s Choice Award, respectively. See the full list of winners here.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of giving a presentation to members of the conservation, media, and photography communities as part of the WildSpeak program at The WILD Foundation‘s World Wilderness Congress in Merida, Mexico. WildSpeak was created by the International League of Conservation Photographers, four days of presentations showing conservation organizations the power of visual storytelling and persuading them to make more room in their budgets for collaboration with conservation photographers.

The presentation I was part of, “New Media and Creating the Groundswell,” focused on using new online tools to disseminate conservation messages. The other speakers introduced me to several fascinating initiatives that I want to share with the RESOLVE community — by synthesizing photography, education, technology, and social action, they highlight trends that I believe will become increasingly important as the new media landscape evolves.

ARKive_WildscreenCollect and Contextualize
ARKive
is an initiative by Wildscreen to create a digital library of text, photos, and video of a huge number of the world’s animal and plant species. In some ways, the vast number of images available online do not become truly useful and powerful until they are organized and searchable in a collection like this.

LandScope_MapOrganize Geographically
Frank Biasi, director of Conservation Projects for National Geographic Maps, demonstrated two projects he’s working on that are using maps as the main navigation tool for a site. The Global Action Atlas helps connect people with social action opportunities in specific areas of the world, and LandScope.org is a map-based resource for the land-protection community and the public. As geotagging becomes automatic and people interact more across all geographic barriers,  information organized around a map structure will undoubtedly increase.
WildCoastMash Up Media
WildCoast is the perfect example of a non-profit taking their message far beyond the common trap of “preaching to the choir.” By signing up a sexy model and a Lucha Libre celebrity, this organization focused on saving coastal ecosystems won major victories for sea creatures. They also disseminate much of their information as comics and animated videos, something that Médecins Sans Frontières has also explored with their beautiful graphic novel, The Photographer.

Pandemic_LabsCreate Endless Collaboration
Matt Peters, the founder of Pandemic Labs, which ran social media strategy for the entire Wild9 congress, wrapped up with a wonderful presentation about the way online information tools can help keep people who connect at events like Wild9 connected and moving forward with their ideas long after the sessions end.

The Wild9 Live page collected blog posts in three languages, tweets about Wild9, live streams of many presenters, and Qik videos streamed from delegates’ cell phones, letting people from around the world (they received hits from around 80 countries) feel like they were part of the congress. And, possibly more important, now all that information is archived and available online. You can see the presentation videos at the Wild9 USTREAM page and even check out my presentation about creating clean, easy-to-navigate websites that drive visitors to act, not just look.

I’m going to be in New York City from October 13-24, catching up with friends in the photo world and then joining the liveBooks team at PhotoPlus Expo on October 22-24. If you haven’t checked it out yet, we’re offering FREE access to the Exhibition Hall and a chance to win a $3,200 liveBooks website. Look for us at Booth #378, at the PhotoPlus Expo Bash, and at other events all three days. If you want to keep up with special offers and events, be sure you’re following us on Twitter and Facebook.

While I’m on the road, we’ll be posting some of our favorite content from the archives. I’m also taking this time to figure out how we can continue to improve RESOLVE, so if you have feedback, now is the time to share it! Leave any additional thoughts or questions in the comments, please :) And, of course, if you want to meet up in NYC, let me know!

The Associated Press came under criticism this week for requesting that the organizers of Noorderlicht International Photofest, which starts tomorrow in the Netherlands, remove an essay from its event catalog. The essay, written by former Magnum Photos president Stuart Franklin, was supposed to accompany AP images from the Gaza Strip, according to this AP statment. More from both sides at PDN and the British Journal of Photography.

Starting this week, Getty Images will represent the Los Angeles Times’ archive of celebrity portraits through its Contour division, according to a press release published in PDN.

For those wishing they were at Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, France, this week — there’s an app for that. If you have an iPod, you can download the free application here and see some of the exclusive images from the festival.

Less than a year after the demise of Digital Railroad, Image Warehouse announced that it will cease operations by the end of September. Carroll Seghers, the company’s founder, sent out the announcement earlier this week to all users of its services, at least giving them a little more time to find alternative storage that Digital Railroad supplied.

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, it was great to hear and see so many young photographers at LOOK3 who are taking ownership over the incredible change happening in the industry today. But, in the end, we were all there to scope out some great photography. Here are 10 awesome things from LOOK3 that I might otherwise have missed (they’re in no particular order, so I’m not even numbering them).

  • Shaw Rocco’s Cellular Obscura, a series of images taken with this generation’s Kodak Brownie i.e. a cell phone. Don’t miss the end of the slideshow – it’s very worth it. Also, bonus points for a great version of one of my favorite songs.
  • Jason Eskenazi’s Wonderland, the result of more than 10 years (and several prestigious grants) documenting post-Soviet Russia. Several people mentioned this to me as the standout of all the festival slideshows.
  • Carl Bower’s Chica Barbie about the beauty pageants of Colombia. I feel incredibly ambivalent about these images, which in my mind is a marker of great art. This was one of several great projections brought in by Slideluck Potshow…a natural addition to a festival that started as a projection in Nick Nichols’ backyard.
  • Martin Parr’s Playas book. Watch the preview on Magnum in Motion, but keep in mind that the book is so much trashier (in the best way) in person. Parr found the worst designer, cheapest paper, and least-talented printer possible to produce this little conversation piece…which claims “$7.99!” on the cover but really sells for $40.
  • Kelly Shimoda’s I Guess You Don’t Want to Talk to Me Anymore. Ok so I technically knew about his one before, and in fact I think my cell phone is probably in this project somewhere, which comprises photos of cell phones displaying text messages. But until I saw this at Slideluck, I didn’t realize how many images were available on Kelly’s blog and website.
  • Michael Wolf’s Transparent City. Considering that the Museum of Contemporary Photography has already picked up on these, I’m probably behind the times. The best part about seeing these as a slideshow was the mix between the distance and detail shots of people photographed in the windows of huge office buildings.
  • Blood Trail, a documentary following conflict photographer Robert King through 15 years in the field. Sadly, I didn’t make it to this film, but I heard so many great things about it that I am making it a point to hunt down a copy asap.
  • Jessica Dimmock’s Papparazzi! Jessica made a name early for herself with her Ninth Floor work about a community of addicts living in a posh New York apartment building. Of course I was intrigued to learn she had moved on to photograph the least respected and possibly best paid editorial photographers in the business.
  • Tim Hetherington’s Sleeping Soldiers, which most people saw at the New York Photo Festival, where it was praised as the highlight of the program. I’d watched the video online, but it’s always better live on a huge screen.
  • Yolanda Cuomo and Kristi Norgaard, who designed all the visuals for the festival, explaining the fascinating process they go through to design photo books for legends including Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, and Sylvia Plachy.

It’s not very often that I return from a photo festival with a cohesive message or even a consistent idea. But I spent a lot of time at LOOK3: Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville last week talking with the up-and-coming young photographers who are being given the chance to shape the photo industry in a tangible way. Starting out as a photographer today, especially as a photojournalist, means nothing is certain. So it’s reassuring to hear that young photographers understand that this time of uncertainty is also an opportunity for evolution.

One way photographers are facing many challenges is by banding together into artist collectives, such as Luceo Images, MJR, Aevum, EVE, and Oeil Public. In the video below, Matt Eich (Luceo), Tim Hussin, Mustafah Abdulaziz (MJR), and Matt Craig (MJR) explain what they’re excited about in photography now. I also had conversations along these lines with Matt Slaby (Luceo), Kevin German (Luceo), Danny Ghitis, and Michael Christopher Brown. Although rubbing elbows with legends is always fun, these young shooters are most excited about their contemporaries and the camaraderie between them.

Michael Shaw, creator of the BAGnewsNotes blog and a RESOLVE contributor, is also excited about these young photographers and the collectives they’ve started, because they treat blogging as a vital, necessary part of their careers and distribution plans. Sometimes they strive to be featured on blogzines like Verve Photo, DVAFoto, and Flak Photo, which highlight great work by (mostly) emerging photographers. There are also blogs like That’s a Negative and We Can Shoot Too, that focus on work by photographers in specific places (Portland, OR, and Los Angeles, in this case). Other times they use the blog format to promote the achievements of their own members, as with the Luceo and MJR blogs.

Despite Michael’s quip about “older photographers,” I do have to mention that Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey, one of the dons of photojournalism, is also on the front lines with his online magazine, burn, which is working toward assigning original photography to emerging and established photographers — something Michael has been doing for years at BAGnewsNotes. David presented a very fun, sexy video promo for burn at the festival that includes an annual Blurb book and lots of other intriguing possibilities for new distribution models.

What am I forgetting? I’m still decompressing from four days of festival and sleep deprivation, so please let me know about other collectives, cool blogzines, or other innovative photo projects in the comments. Plus, we’re raffling off a free liveBooks Photojournalism website in honor of LOOK3 – email resolve@livebooks.com with your name and email to enter. You can also enter the promo code liveBooksLOOK3 and get a discounted liveBooks Photojournalism website (email resolve@livebooks.com for details).

  • What would you do if you find out your family picture ended up in a billboard in the Czech Republic – without your permission? The story of Missouri mom Danielle Smith trying to figure out why her family photo appeared in an advertisement for a Czech grocer was getting a lot of interest on the web. This week, the story even got into mainstream news coverage. While it’s definitely a copyright infringement, no one knows for sure how the photo landed on the streets of the Czech Republic. PDN proposed a possible theory to the mystery.
  • Yesterday started the Look3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, where thousands of photographers gathered to celebrate photography. The festival grew out of backyard photography parties at National Geographic Magazine editor-at-large Nick Nichols‘ home which he hosted for the last twenty years. Martin Parr, Gilles Peress, Sylvia Plachy are the featured photographers this year. Our editor Miki Johnson is there to support the event. Stay tuned for more about the festival here at RESOLVE.
  • The new iPhone 3GS is here! Well, almost. Available on June 19, the iPhone 3GS has 2 times the speed compared to the iPhone 3G, a 3 megapixel built-in camera with auto focus, and video recording and editing capabilities. Plus, it starts at $199. What’s not to love? Maybe the $200 AT&T plan upgrade fee? Apparently, existing iPhone AT&T customers will need to pay an extra $200 “upgrade fee” in order to get the iPhone 3 GS and a new AT&T service plan. That might have some iPhone users thinking twice about snatching the new make.
  • A Photo Editor posted an excellent video by photographer Alexx Henry, explaining how he uses the RedOne to turn his regular still shoot into a video shoot. We’re especially impressed by the quality of the video itself – we wonder if Alexx made it with his RedOne? Be sure to check out Alexx’s blog with the final results.

  • After a 4-month hiatus, the photo-sharing community magazine JPG is back in action. The last few months were a roller-coaster ride: since the announcement of its closure in January, there’s been news after news of possible buyouts, but nothing confirmed until late February. JPG sent out its official “back in business” announcement on Tuesday, May 12, to its community members. Expect the new JPG to hit news stands soon.
  • We were glad to read that Iranian American photojournalist Roxana Saberi was finally released from the infamous Evin prison Sunday, after the court reduced her conviction from 8 years in prison to suspended sentence of two years as a result of a five-hour appeals hearing. Saberi was detained by the Iranian government in January and subsequently convicted of espionage charges. Her release comes at an opportune time — the film she co-scripted, “No One Knows About Persian Cats,” just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday.
  • The much-anticipated Richard Avedon retrospective opens today the International Center of Photography in New York City. The exhibition includes images that the master fashion and portrait photographer created between 1944 to 2000. The New York Times has a great article and audio slideshow about Avedon and the exhibition.
  • The latest NASA mission to fix the Hubble telescope has been all over the news this week. Last week NASA released some of the last pictures produced by the 16-year-old camera on Hubble — the new ones will take a little while to hit the internet. These ones are so breath-taking, we can’t imagine how stunning images from the new $126 million camera will be.

  • The long-awaited new LIFE.com has finally launched this week. A collaboration between LIFE and Getty Images, the new website features millions of images from the LIFE and Getty archives and more than 3,000 images are added to the site every day. You can download, share or print any of the images for free for personal, “non-commercial” use. We can’t deny this is an amazing (well-designed) resource, but like Vincent Laforet, we wonder how this will affect editorial licensing in the long run.
  • These days pretty much anything seems “greenable” so it’s not surprising that Aurora Photos is launching a “Green Collection” that “focuses on creative photography illustrating contemporary environmental themes and issues.” We like the journalistic approach of its “Nature and Environment Feature Stories,” which has slide shows that cover environmental issues from all over the world.
  • The New York Times broke the sad news on Monday of Helen Levitt’s death. The photographer, famous for her poetic imagery of New York City streets, passed away in her sleep at her Manhattan home at the age of 95.

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