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Newsweek‘s cover image of Sarah Palin in running shorts awkwardly holding her PDAs caused a huge stir this week, especially when Daily Finance uncovered that the resale of the image, originally made for Runner’s World by Brian Adams, constituted a breach of the original contract. In a side saga, photojournalist Nina Berman took considerable heat for her incisive comments about the cover on the BAGnewsNotes blog when a YahooNews link flooded the blog with new readers.
A recent study conducted by psychologists at the University of California, Los Angeles, found evidence that merely looking at a photo of a loved one can decrease a person’s perception of pain, the New York Times Well blog reported this week. Although the study was very small, focusing only on 25 women’s reactions to images of their boyfriends, it found that their pain perception was lower looking at a photo than even holding their boyfriend’s hand.
The winners of the 64th Annual College Photographer of the Year were announced over the weekend. Ryan C. Henriksen was named College Photographer of the Year and Maisie Crow, the runner-up (both are students at Ohio University). Check out the extensive gallery of winning images, as well as archived screencasts of the judging process, which lend incredible insight into how the judges’ decisions were made. UPDATE: There’s a great interview with Documentary Gold winner Alex Welsh over at The Visual Student.
The Telegraph launched a new section this week called Telephoto that compiles an impressive array of stories focusing on art and documentary photography. After being tipped off by 1854, the blog of the British Journal of Photography, we had a great time perusing gems like Alec Soth’s video diary of trying to photograph the most beautiful woman in Georgia (the country).
After two years of research by members Richard Anderson and Peter Krogh, ASMP announced the launch of its dpBestflow.org website at FotoWeekDC earlier this week. Shorthand for “Digital Photography Best Practices and Workflow,” the website, part of the three-tier project that includes a book and a traveling seminar series, aims to offer definitive guidelines for digital photography best practices and workflow.
Forbes Media announced yesterday that it has acquired digital magazine FlipGloss and its Digital Glossy Insert photo publishing platform. Launched about 8 months ago, FlipGloss combines search engine capabilities with the experience of flipping through photo content of a magazine, and users can click on objects in the photos to find out where to purchase an item or even be led to an advertiser’s website.
Wes Anderson’s new movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox, which opens in selected theaters today, is a stop-motion picture shot entirely using a Nikon D3 – over 600,000 stills that generate 18.5 terrabytes of data. According to movie review website IMDb, the beautifully art-directed adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic used Nikon D3 because it “offers a significantly higher resolution than even that of full High Definition.” Wired.com has a great “Making of” the movie here.
Google has cut the price for extra storage on its photo sharing site Picasa to about one eighth of what it used to cost. For $5 a year, now you can have 20GB photo storage on the site. “Since most people have less than 10GB of photos, chances are you can now save all your memories online for a year for the cost of a triple mocha,” according to the official Google Photos Blog.
A Photo Editor pointed us to some hopeful news about the future of the media industry. Maggwire.com is planning to charge readers a subscription fee to access a channel where they can get content from a large number of top magazines. On the other end of the spectrum, San Francisco-based McSweeney’s announced that they’re releasing a single-issue “21st-Century newspaper prototype” called San Francisco Panorama in December. It’s big and beautiful and nothing like a website — that’s the point.
The judge in the ongoing Google book settlement case ruled this week that photographers are not authors and therefore cannot be included as part of the settlement, according to TechCrunch. The motion to join the current settlement between Google and the Author’s Guild was brought earlier by ASMP, the Picture Archive Council of America, the Graphic Artists Guild, and several individual photographers.
Germany’s most popular women’s magazine, Brigette, confirmed with The Guardian that from 2010 on, it will be banning professional models from its pages and use only women with normal figures. Andreas Lebert, editor-in-chief of the magazine, said that he is tired of having to retouch pictures of underweight models to “fatten” them up. Conscientious has more on the story.
Last Wednesday, Toyota posted an apology on the Flickr forum admitting that they have been using pictures from Flickr without photographer permission. They have since removed the Flickr photos from their 4Runner website. PDN reported that Toyota USA’s ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, has reached out to at least one of the Flickr photographers involved.
You’ve probably noticed that the liveBooks RESOLVE blog has gotten a facelift. If you click through the rest of our site, you’ll see even bigger changes that are way beyond cosmetic.
Those of you who read RESOLVE regularly know that we rarely talk about liveBooks here. Our posts are designed to provide photo professional with the information and inspiration they need to run successful, fulfilling businesses. Today, liveBooks is doing just that — so we are excited to share our news with you here.
With the help of $5 million in funding, we are now making our websites available to all photo professionals and visually driven businesses for just $39 a month.
Our award-winning design team (that’s them above) has created a huge selection of pre-designed sites endowed with the same powerful search engine optimization and business management tools that have convinced industry leaders like Harry Benson and National Geographic to choose us as their website solution. With our new flexible pricing and subscription offering, these solutions are available immediately without a big up-front investment.
Of course, we’re still offering the custom-designed websites that we’re known for, and we’re continuing to serve our customers’ expanding business needs by working in innovative ways with our long list of partners.
Here at RESOLVE, you’ll continue to find helpful business advice, important industry news, inspiring new work, and a renewed focus on the innovators who are forging the path through this new media wilderness. As always, we welcome your input about how RESOLVE can serve you better and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Editor, RESOLVE Blog
Kodak’s new brand campaign named “It’s Time to Smile,” focuses on strengthening relationships by sharing important life moments, in pictures of course. Behind the happy message, though, is a not-so-cheery outlook. After thousands of layoffs and salary cuts earlier this year, the company reported yesterday its fourth quarterly loss in a row, PDN reported.
Jorge Colberg at Conscientious alerted us to an interesting interview with William Patry, senior copyright counsel at Google and author of a number of books on copyright law, including his recent Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars. The interview covers topics from the AP-Fairey lawsuit to the moral imperative of copyright.
Popular news site The Daily Beast, in partnership with Global Philanthropy Group, has launched a philanthropy and photography site, The Giving Beast. Be sure to check out the galleries, featuring works of Sarah Elliot, Elizabeth Gilbert, Suzy Allman and other note-worthy photographers.
Despite some questions about its longevity, the New York Photo Festival will launch its third year in 2010, as Andrew Hetherington reported this morning on What’s the Jackanory? Lou Reed will be one of the lead curators this year, but Andrew tips his hat to Erik Kessels, whose 2008 NYPH conversation with Martin Parr was a highlight. We’re stoked about photo thought leaders Vince Aletti and Fred Ritchin (check out this excerpt from Ritchin’s recent book, too).
I blame my friends who work at three-letter agencies for the United States government. They are the ones who invited me to the Black Hat Technical Security Conference in Las Vegas to drink, have a good time, and learn how completely ignorant I was about online security.
Today, I am a changed person. What I previously deemed to be adequate, if not savvy, security precautions for my quotidian web use, I learned was the same as leaving a full camera bag with the top flipped open on the front seat of my parked car. Sure, the doors are locked, but it would take only the slightest initiative and about six seconds for someone to break the window and walk away with tens of thousands of dollars in gear. I know what you’re thinking. You would never do that. Okay, then take the quiz below. If you answer yes to any of these questions, I’ve got news for you: You’re way more vulnerable than you think.
Why we are the way we are
In spite of the news stories that circulate daily about online security breaches, we are surprisingly apathetic about the threats they pose to us personally. It’s like backing up your computer — it’s a secondary concern until you’re hit with disaster. Then, suddenly, you’re a convert to the church of redundancy.
Unfortunately recovering from a security breach is nowhere near as easy as recovering from a lost hard drive. With the latter you at least have an idea of what you’ve lost. You can lament it over a glass of wine and move on with your life. A security breach places the control of your social, financial, and photographic life in the hands of someone else. And the ramifications will potentially haunt you long after the initial breach.
Consider the following. A friend of mine had a huge falling out with a close friend, who guessed her email password and sent an inflammatory email to her entire address book. Most of the recipients realized her email address book had been compromised, but those who didn’t know her well were shocked. Ultimately she was able to contact everyone and inform them what happened — but you can imagine how things could have gone worse.
My friend, like many of us, never thought twice about the weak password on her email account. The convenience of an easy-to-type, easy-to-remember password took priority over other considerations. She could not fathom anyone using her email account maliciously.
This is what gets us into trouble. We’re good people and have an inherent problem thinking like criminals. It’s hard for us to see our online assets through criminal eyes and predict how to protect ourselves.
A while back I was uploading images to the FTP directory of my web site when I was hit with a disk space error. An examination of my FTP server revealed dozens of unidentified folders, most filled with illicit pornography. My head spun. Given the nature of the material, I contacted my internet service provider, filed an official support ticket, and had them remove the files in case there were any legal protocols involved. A hacker had broken my FTP directory password and was serving up an entire website from my FTP directories for months without my knowledge. Oh man, I was pissed.
Unfortunately there was no way to trace the hacker. Moreover, and frightening to consider, if the authorities had found the illegal site before I did, I could have been arrested. An investigation would have revealed I had been hacked, but who needs that kind of grief?
If you’re utilizing a portfolio service like liveBooks that is monitored by a professional IT staff, you’re safer, but only if your password is strong. Weak passwords are the easiest way for a hacker to access to your account. If you do get hacked, liveBooks keeps a backup of your online portfolio going back a week onsite, and going back a month at a secure offsite facility. Recovery usually takes an hour. But don’t depend on those protocols unless you absolutely have to. Adopting safe practices is a lot easier and less expensive.
So here we are at the basic security primer for photographers, or anyone else who spends most of their time online. This is by no means a definitive list, but it will help you think more carefully about your online habits. The information here was gathered from Black Hat, Craig Butterworth at the National White Collar Crime Center, and Carl Slawinski from Agile Web Solutions.
NEW HABIT 1 — Free WiFi: Never, ever, ever log in to your bank account or credit card account when you’re on a free WiFi access point. The reason you have to use a password to access most WiFi networks, especially your own, is because that password encrypts the information floating through the air between your computer and the WiFi hub. If the network is open, so is the information your sending over it.
NEW HABIT 2 — Passwords: The days of passwords drawn from kid’s birthdays, dog names, and Star Wars characters are over. I have seen a brute-force attack crack a weak password in minutes. With today’s powerful computers and free cracking dictionaries and rainbow tables available online, hackers can let computers run for days while they sort out passwords.
One of the most effective ways to keep your passwords strong, like ox, is to invest in a product like the highly regraded 1Password from Agile Web Solutions. I have been using the product for years, but only after my discussion with folks who make 1Password did I take my security to the next level.
1Password generates strong passwords, which it stores for you. When you need the password, the application will enter it for you with an easy key stroke. The generated passwords are so convoluted that you’d never be able to remember them, but that’s the point. 1Password is also on the iPhone so you can take your passwords with you. The file that they use to store your passwords is heavily encrypted and would take a supercomputer 128 years to crack it. More »
Prix Pictet announced yesterday that the winner of this year’s photography prize for environmental sustainability goes to British based Israeli photographer Nadav Kander, whose project Yangtze, The Long River Series documents the changing landscape along China’s Yangtze River. Pictet also awarded a photography commission to RESOLVE contributor Ed Kashi, who will fulfill Pictet’s annual commission this year in Madagascar.
Vincent Laforet released his latest short film, Nocturne, shot with a prototype Canon 1D MKIV on Monday, but was asked by Canon to take it down the following day, he explained on his blog. Photo Business News and Fake Chuck Westfall both took Canon Japan to task for the move. If you didn’t catch Nocturne before it was taken down, it’s on YouTube, of course.
And the drama goes on. After Shepard Fairey admitted last week that he had lied about his source of his Obama image, the Associated Press released a statement on Tuesday that they are challenging Fairey’s account in court as “purposely deceiving.” Excerpts of AP’s most recent court filings and the letter Fairey’s attorneys sent to the AP are available at PDN.
Jen Bekman Projects, the innovative creator of the 20×200 prints store and the Hey, Hot Shot! photo competition, received $800K+ in venture capital funding. The series A funding was led by California-based venture capitalist True Ventures, along with a other angel investors.
American Society of Magazine Editors just announced the results of their 2009 Best Magazine Cover Winners this week, and the Best Magazine Cover of the Year goes to Rolling Stone‘s for its Peter Yang portrait of a smiling Obama. It was also the magazine’s best-selling issue in 2008. Across the Atlantic, The Maggies released the results of the Best Covers in the UK.
Stock Artists Alliance (SAA), an organization that represents independent stock photographers, confirmed in a press release that it will merge with the Alliance of Visual Artists, an umbrella organization representing five photographic associations, including the Professional Photographers of America.
Polaroid announced at a press conference in Hong Kong earlier this week that it will relaunch its instant cameras and film, with distribution expected in mid 2010. The announcement came largely in response to The Impossible Project, a group of Polaroid enthusiasts in the Netherlands that has been trying to recreate the magic of the film on a low budget and is now tasked with recreating it for Polaroid.
Rob Haggart at A Photo Editor pointed us to two impressive documentary videos shot with the Canon 5D Mark II by Danfung Dennis and Yassine Ouhilal, respectively, Check out Rob’s behind-the-scene interview with Yazzy in particular.