December 19th, 2014

Creative Cloud Photography Plan–3 Myths Debunked

Sponsored by Adobe

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Photos © David Guenther

When the subscription model was first announced for the Adobe Creative Cloud in 2011, many photographers were concerned about the implications of “renting” software. Adobe, recognizing that most photographers don’t need the entire suite of applications they offer, responded with a special version this summer that includes Photoshop CC and Lightroom–the two tools most important to a photographer’s digital workflow, and widely considered the standard for post-production.

David Guenther (www.davidguentherphotography.com), a respected wedding and portrait photographer based in Lethbridge, Alberta, uses Lightroom and Photoshop CC extensively– they are, as he puts it, his “jam”. Guenther does his photo processing in Lightroom before sending them over to Photoshop CC for final tuning and output. In his opinion, the subscription model of $9.99 per month is a great value. “I’d rather pay a low monthly cost than buy the software outright at a huge price, and then have to upgrade every time a new version comes out,” he explains.

While the cost efficiency is a plus, the subscription-only model has been a big change for photographers who were used to a one-time purchase and basic access from their personal computers. Three years after Adobe Creative Cloud’s first release, we still hear common misconceptions about its features and functionality. With the release of the Creative Cloud Photography plan, it’s time to clear the air.

David Guenther Adobe CC

The Myth: The Creative Cloud Photography plan is more expensive in the long run.

The Truth: When compared to the traditional model of purchasing and upgrading, the Creative Cloud Photography subscription saves hundreds of dollars and spreads out the costs over time. When you add in the mobile applications that can handle powerful photography editing (photo editing in Lightroom mobile, for example) and other services like Lightroom web for sharing and receiving feedback, the value of Creative Cloud becomes very clear. And, as an added bonus, photographers of all levels will find value in Adobe’s extensive video tutorials that are available with the plan.

The Myth: All of your images will be stored in the Cloud.

The Truth: It’s not necessary to store your images in the Cloud (nor will you lose them if you have a lapse in your subscription), and all of your files can easily be stored locally. The Cloud is a just a very cool bonus–for many photographers, like Guenther, access to mobile apps like Lightroom mobile and Photoshop Mix let him edit and organize his photos while away from the computer. He says, “I use the Adobe Creative Cloud quite a bit. It’s important for me to have access to images and shoots I’m working on, because I’m often collaborating on a project and need to discuss work when I’m away from my computer. In that way, it’s been a huge help. I always have access to my work. All that, combined with Smart Previews in Lightroom, means I can work pretty much anywhere at any time. That’s essential for me.”

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The Myth: All Creative Cloud applications are Cloud-based.

The Truth: One of the biggest misconceptions about Creative Cloud subscriptions is that you need to be connected to the Internet in order to use the applications. All of the desktop applications live on your computer. There is no requirement to have a full-time Internet connection­–Creative Cloud checks once a month to validate the subscription, taking only a few seconds. And with the mobile applications, this means you can work anywhere: remote locations, at the client’s office, or wherever you travel to.

Guenther says, “For me, Creative Cloud Photography has allowed me to be more mobile and work while I travel or while I’m away from the office. The Adobe tools I use operate just the same, but I have more flexibility.”

You can read more about the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan at www.creative.adobe.com/plans/photography. And, as always, you can download a free 30-day trial of Lightroom or Photoshop CC–desktop or mobile–to try it out for yourself.

December 19th, 2014

Project on Ukraine Wins $20,000 2015 Aftermath Grant

Justyna Mielnikiewicz has won the 2015 Aftermath Project Grant for “A Ukraine Runs Through It,” a project exploring tensions in modern Ukraine using Dnieper River as a symbolic dividing line. The $20,000 grant, offered by the nonprofit Aftermath Project, supports documentary photography that addresses the legacy of conflict.

The Aftermath Project also announced several finalists, whose work will be published in War Is Only Half the Story, the annual publication of the Aftermath Project. The finalists are:

Bruno Boudjelal, whose project, “Mapping of Massacre Sites in Algeria,” explores the sites of massacres that occurred in 1997 and 1998.

Glenna Gordon for her project, “Artifacts of a Kidnapping: The Things They Carried Home,” a survey of the objects brought home by ransomed kidnapping victims of terrorist groups around the world.

Adam Patterson for “Men and My Daddy,” a project on Northern Ireland, exploring how former terrorists function during peacetime and whether aging ex-paramilitaries find purpose in their lives.

Donald Weber for”War Sand,” a landscape and archeological project about the beaches of Normandy, which still contain particles of shrapnel from the 1944 D-Day invasion of  France during World War II.

A special discretionary grant of $2,500 was given to buy gear for two Syrian refugee teenagers, who have been photographing their lives of Syrians in refugee camps. The money will be administered by photographer Brendan Bannon, who has run UNHCR-sponsored arts education programs for children in refugee camps.

The judges for the 2015 grant were Denise Wolff of Aperture; Amy Pereira of MSNBC; Stephen Mayes, Executive Director of the Tim Hetherington Trust; Elizabeth Rappaport, photographer and Aftermath Project board member;  and Sara Terry, photographer and founder of the Aftermath Project.

Related articles:
Post-9/11 War Business Project Wins 2014 Aftermath Project Grant

Stanley Greene Wins 2013 Aftermath Grant

Anatomy of a Successful Grant Application: Andrew Lichtenstein’s Aftermath Grant

December 18th, 2014

FILM Ferrania’s Plan to Save an Analogue Slide Film Factory From Extinction

© Aischa Gianna Muller

Corrado Balestra taking spectrophotometric measurements of an emulsion sample in the LRF. Balestra is an expert in emulsion manufacturing and melting. © Aischa Gianna Muller (www.aischamuller.com)

Film is finished. Film is dead, declared deceased by David Lynch, among others. Contrary to all declarations, however, this year, two enterprising Italians have recently begun manufacturing film, and may have hit a turning point in their quest to make film’s resurgence a sustainable reality.

In 2003, Ferrania became the first of the major film manufacturers to declare bankruptcy. The Italian company, which produced the cinema film stock for such classics as De Sica’s The Bicycle Thief and Fellini’s 8 1/2, along with 35mm and 120 film for stills, had an expansive campus in the Liguria region of northern Italy, and the capability to produce almost 330 million rolls of film per year. Those days ended with the expansion of digital photography.

But there’s new life for the old Italian brand. Intrepid film devotees Nicola Baldini and Marco Pagni have managed to form a new, leaner version of the old company, called FILM Ferrania, with a group of former employees itching to get back to their life’s work. They recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising $322,420 to purchase and relocate the old Ferrania manufacturing equipment, which had been collecting dust on the Liguria campus. They’ve already begun manufacturing the first batches of 135 and 120 film for still photography, as well as Super 8 and 16mm film stocks.

“Everyone told us we were crazy,” Baldini says in their Kickstarter video, admitting “perhaps” it was true. “Or maybe not…” Pagni counters.

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Marco Pagni (left) and Nicola Baldini (right).

Their plan was to scale down the massive operation of the old Ferrania to make it more sustainable. The original company still produces industrial chemicals at the Liguria campus, but the equipment they needed was scattered throughout a series of abandoned buildings.

The small Research & Development team is comprised of former Ferrania employees Corrado Balestra, Daniele Montano, and Danilo Ferraro (who study and prepare the chemicals); Ezio Perone (who coats the film); Renzo Manera (who finishes the film); and Marco Scognamilio, who oversees the entire process. They set up shop in the Laboratori Ricerche Fotografiche (LRF), the small R&D building on the Ferrania campus where they used to test the films they manufactured. It’s a small-scale version of the entire plant; everything needed to make film lives inside the LRF. It was owned by the government of Regione Liguria, where the plant is located. But seeing economic benefits to the restoration of the old plant, Regione Liguria offered FILM Ferrania team a favorable lease.

But the team still had a “goldilocks” problem. The equipment in the LRF was too small to mass-produce enough film for their business, and the full-scale operations were too large: The building that (just barely) contains the precision coater they needed was nine stories high and 100 meters long. “Big Boy,” as the team calls the industrial film coating facility, is designed to make as many as 330 million rolls of film in a year—an unrealistic goal for sales, as Ferrania’s 2003 bankruptcy proved. 

“If there’s gonna be any long-term viability for film, it has to be done on a much different scale then it’s done currently,” says David Bias, who heads FILM Ferrania’s nascent U.S. office. “The scale of the operations of Kodak and Fuji are literally just too big for long-term sustainability.”

So the Ferrania team set out to scale their operations “just right,” using the Kickstarter funds to purchase “Trixie,” the large-scale triacetate base production machinery that makes the plastic that holds the film together; “Walter,” the high-volume chemical synthesis lab that makes the chemicals (named after Breaking Bad‘s Walter White); and “Big Boy,” which they would scale down to meet their production needs.

So who is the Ferrania customer? To hear Bias tell it, their customer base is diverse: professional digital photographers who shoot film in their spare time, kids who grew up with digital devices in their pocket at all times, for whom film is a brand-new thing, and older people who never really latched on to digital devices. Film used to be the only option for photography; now that there are so many options, shooting on film has become a deliberate, conscious choice.

“No longer do you have to buy film if you want to take a picture,” Bias says. but it doesn’t mean people won’t buy film. The last analogue photography project Bias worked on,  the Impossible project, proved that. “You want to buy film. That’s a very, very different kind of thing.”

Ferrania can’t match the scale of Kodak and Fuji, so its film won’t be a low-cost alternative—Baldini and Pagni’s goal is not to undercut the big boys. Kodak and Fuji are the only other players who can manufacture color film from start to finish, and as they continue to make less film at higher prices, the companies that rely on their materials for production—such as AgfaPhoto and Lomography—may not be able to keep up. Ferrania should have an advantage to start, at least; their first production runs will be reversal film—which Kodak already killed, and Fuji has severely cut back (most recently, cutting Velvia 100F 120).

“Kodak and Fuji are going to exit from their traditional analogue market,” Baldini claims in an email interview with  PDN, “while Ferrania is investing to redefine the market in order to be sustainable for many years ahead.”

Baldini’s drive to save film is partly about esthetics. He is a filmmaker, and his decision to launch the company began with his desire to shoot on film that didn’t exist anymore. Time will tell if the artistic vision of a pair of dreamers will provide a solid enough foundation to support a business. But the pair has at least 5,582 Kickstarters at their back, and a quick look at the #FilmIsAlive hashtag on Twitter and Instagram—which they’re using to promote the relaunch—shows they are not alone. The audience is there, and they’re passionate. But as operations get into full swing, will they put their money where their mouths are?

Baldini says the company’s profitability hinges upon how much film they are able to produce, “because the market is very willing to accept new analogue products that fit specific needs.” They plan to ramp up production steadily over the next three years, and project a profit as early as 2016.

“I think film has become more of an art material,” Bias says. “The people who shoot film, want to. They seek it out, and they spend the money that it takes to do it.”

Related Link: The Future of Film, May 2012

 

December 18th, 2014

Time Inc. UK Issues Rights-Grabbing Contract

Time Inc.’s UK division has riled editorial photographers by issuing a new contract requiring freelancers to hand over “all rights” to any assignment images for about 60 specialty publications. The contract takes effect January 1, 2015, but there may be wiggle room for negotiation, at least for some photographers who take the initiative to push back.

“It’s an outrageous rights grab,” says photographer David Hoffman, spokesperson for Editorial Photographers UK (EPUK). “It’s just bullying.”

The contract applies to a wide array of Time Inc UK titles, including fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, and shelter magazines, as well as  niche magazines for marine, wine, gardening, fishing, sport, and technology enthusiasts. The contract does not apply to assignments for TIME, the weekly news magazine.

“The new agreements better reflect our needs as a multi-platform business,” Time Inc. UK’s director of corporate communications Karen Myers told PDN via e-mail. “Contributors need to bear in mind that commercial realities dictate that we will be using the content that we purchase in many different ways to reflect the changing media landscape, both now and in the future.”

Myers acknowledges that some photographers “will not want to assign and/or waive their rights and there is no obligation for them to do so – if they do not wish to do so, they may object and negotiate different terms with us in the usual way.”

Hoffman explains, “If an editor really wants your particular work, or is sympathetic to you, they may be able to do individual deals.”

But photographers who aren’t able to negotiate to keep their copyrights will be deprived of the right to re-license assignment images,  which could ultimately hurt Time Inc., Hoffman says. “The best photographers won’t work for them under those terms,” and those photographers who do accept the terms won’t have much incentive to do their best work, he explains.

December 18th, 2014

Police Intimidation Watch: Photographer Wins $1.1 Million for Malicious Prosecution

A New York woman who was arrested and jailed for four days after photographing an Air National Guard base from a public thoroughfare was awarded $1.1 million in compensatory damages by a federal jury last week.

Nancy Genovese sued the town of Southampton, New York, the Suffolk County sheriff’s department and several individual officers in 2010, alleging violations of her constitutional rights, assault, battery, false arrest, use of unreasonable and excessive force, and malicious prosecution.

In a trial that concluded December 11, jurors concluded that Suffolk County sheriff’s deputy Robert Carlock had maliciously prosecuted Genovese. But Genovese failed to prove that Carlock had initiated criminal proceedings because of her political associations. Therefore, the jury found that Carlock was not liable for violating Genovese’s First Amendment right of free speech.

Although jurors reached agreement on the $1.1 million award for compensatory damages, they were unable to reach a unanimous decision on punitive damages, so deliberations are continuing.

According to court papers, Genovese was driving home in July, 2009 past the Gabreski Airport Air National Guard base in Suffolk County (Long Island) when she stopped her car to photograph a helicopter on display in front of the base. Genovese made the photograph from inside her car, intending to post the photo on a “Support Our Troops” website.

As she was preparing to drive away, a Southampton, New York police officer approached her and asked what she was doing. Genovese explained what she was photographing, tried to show the officer the images on her camera’s LCD, and then ended up giving the officer her camera card to protect her camera, which the officer was treating roughly, according to Genovese’s lawsuit.

At that point, the Southampton police officer ordered Genovese to remain where she was, and called the county sheriff’s department to report Genovese’s presence outside the base, “falsely and wrongly informing” the sheriff’s department that Genovese “posed a terrorist threat,” she said in her claim.

Authorities from the FBI, Homeland Security, the ANG base, and the local police and sheriff’s department rushed to the scene. Genovese was questioned on the roadside for “five or six hours.” She alleged that her car was searched without her consent, and because she had just come from a local shooting range, authorities found an AR 15 rifle, as well as a shotgun and ammunition, in her car. Southampton police seized the guns, which were legally registered, according to court papers.

According to the suit, Suffolk sheriff’s deputy Carlock said to Genovese, “You’re a right winger, aren’t you?” He and another unidentified officer proceeded to taunt Genovese, repeatedly referring to her as a “right winger” and “tea bagger” and allegedly threatening to arrest her for terrorism “to make an example of her to other ‘tea baggers.’”

After hours of questioning, federal authorities concluded that Genovese wasn’t a security threat. After they left the scene, however, an unidentified sheriff’s deputy handcuffed Genovese, and transported her to jail, where Carlock allegedly told her that although authorities “had nothing to charge her with,” they would “find something in order to teach all right wingers and tea baggers a lesson.”

She was charged later that night with “terrorism,” and arraigned the next day on criminal trespass charges. Bail was set at $50,000 because of sheriff’s “inflammatory accusations” that she was a terrorist and a flight risk, she alleges in her lawsuit.

Genovese spent four days in the county jail, until she was finally able to raise the money for her bail. While in jail, she alleges, deputies continued to taunt her, subject her to sleep deprivation, deny her medical care for a leg injury that became infected, and instigate alarmist media coverage by releasing to reporters false information about Genovese and the circumstances of her arrest.

The criminal trespass charges against Genovese were dismissed in November, 2009. She filed suit on July 29, 2010.

In her lawsuit, she alleged violation of her First Amendment right of free speech, as well as violations of her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments rights of freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. She also claimed she was subject to fear and terror, humiliation, degradation, physical pain and emotional distress.

In 2013, a federal judge dismissed Genovese’s claims against the town of Southampton and its police officers. The judge ruled that the Southampton police officer who originally stopped Genovese had probable cause to do so; that the officer didn’t use excessive force; and that Southampton police seized a gun in her car “under a lawful exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment” because it was in plain view insider her car. Therefore, the court said, Southampton police did not violate her constitutional rights.

The judge also dismissed false arrest claims against Suffolk County sheriffs, on the grounds that they acted on the “probable cause” determination of Southampton police. But the court declined to dismiss Genovese’s malicious prosecution claims against Carlock and the sheriff’s department, clearing the way for the trial, which began December 8 and lasted for three days.

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December 17th, 2014

Phase One Intros A-Series Medium Format Cameras (For Real This Time)

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Phase One and Alpa have officially announced the first products following their September 2014 partnership announcement. News of the A-series had surfaced  earlier this year when Phase One dealer Digital Transitions posted some preliminary details online.

The new Phase One A-series cameras combine an Alpa 12TC mirrorless camera body and a Phase One medium format IQ2 A-series back.

There will be three cameras in the new series.

The A250, for $47,000, uses Phase’s IQ250 50-megapixel CMOS-based camera back and can also display a live view feed on an iOS device for focus assist capabilities. The A260 uses the IQ260 back and will retail for $48,000. Finally, the A280 will use the IQ280 back and will set you back a cool $55,000.

All of the A-series cameras will ship with a 35mm Rodenstock Alpar lens. At launch, there will be two other lenses available for the system: an Alpagon f/5.6 23mm for $9,070 and an Alpa HR Alpagon f5.6 70mm for $4,520.

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All of the A-series lens profiles are factory calibrated and preloaded on the IQ2 A-series digital backs, eliminating the need to manually create and apply LCC profiles. You can select the lens you’re using in the camera menu and corrections are  automatically processed when importing to Capture One Pro 8.1, according to Phase One.

Phase One A-Series systems ship with Capture One Pro 8.1 software as well as Capture Pilot 1.8 for remote viewing on iOS devices. New accessories, such as lens shades, phone mounting hardware and shimming kits will also be available to support the new line.

The A-series is available now.

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December 11th, 2014

Actor Says Paparazzi Are to Blame if They Get Punched

Photographers’ injury lawsuits against pugilistic celebrities and their bodyguards are too commonplace to count as news these days, but a report about the case of photographer Sheng Li v. actor Sam Worthington caught our eye because of the actor’s defense. Call it the serves-you-right defense.

According to a Radaronline.com report, paparazzo Li is suing the star of Avatar and his girlfriend, Lara Bingle, for $10 million in damages. Li alleges they caused him a shoulder and wrist injury during a scuffle on a New York City sidewalk, presumably after Li tried to photograph the couple without their consent.

Worthington’s defense, according to Radar, is that getting attacked by celebrity subjects is an occupational hazard for the paparazzi. Li “knew the hazards,” he argues. Therefore, he’s responsible for his own injuries.

Worthington is partly right: getting attacked by celebrities is a well-reported risk of paparazzi work. But assault, even against annoying people, is still illegal. And unless that changes, getting sued for outrageous sums of money will probably remain an occupational hazard for celebrities, or at least hot-headed ones.

December 11th, 2014

ACD Systems Looks to Streamline Photo Workflows with ACDSee Ultimate 8

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Fast on the heels of the fall launch of ACDSee Pro 8, ACD Systems is out with another title, Ultimate 8, that merges sophisticated image management and organization tools with a layered photo editor.

The company is taking aim at Lightroom and Photoshop users, arguing that its $149 software centralizes what Adobe breaks up into two separate programs.

ACDSee Ultimate 8 offers all the organizational and editing capabilities of ACDSee Pro 8 but adds a layered editing toolset for more complex edits.

Using Ultimate 8 you can apply filters and effects to individual image layers, create, reorder, merge or manipulate layers individually, apply pixel targeting to layers as well as add text and watermarks as a layer. Additionally, you can add images as layers to build composite images. The program supports transparency for 32- and 64-bit images.

Ultimate 8 is available now for $149.

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December 9th, 2014

Obituary: LIFE Photographer Ralph Morse, 97

Photographer Ralph Morse, who covered war, sports, science, celebrities, theater, and other assignments during his long career as a staff photographer for LIFE and TIME magazines, died December 7 at his home in Florida. He was 97.

Morse’s death was reported yesterday by TIME magazine, which said on its website that “no photographer in the history of LIFE magazine had a more varied, thrilling and productive career.” Morse became LIFE’s youngest World War II correspondent when he joined the magazine in 1941 at the age of 24.

He covered the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942, and later on, the liberation of Paris in 1944 and the surrender of Germany at Reims in 1945. After the war, Morse covered a wide range of assignments for LIFE, beginning with Broadway and the London theater, and eventually sports, science and technology, and other subjects.

Besides the major events of World War II, Morse was witness to other historic moments of the 20th century. TIME describes his iconic shot of Jackie Robinson “one of the greatest baseball photographs ever made.” Morse also photographed Babe Ruth’s farewell at Yankee Stadium, Einstein’s funeral, the Ali-Liston fight, and other events.

According to TIME, Morse was the first civilian to fly on a Strategic Air Command B-47 Stratojet, a nuclear bomber developed during the Cold War. He was also the first to shoot color photographs of the caves of Lascaux. He also covered NASA’s Mercury space flight program.

He remained a staff photographer for LIFE magazine until it folded in 1972, then joined TIME magazine. He retired in 1988, and told John Leongard, author of LIFE Photographers: What They Saw, that he sold all his cameras and and stopped taking photographs to avoid “everybody and his brother” asking him to photograph their weddings.

December 8th, 2014

Obituary: Street Photographer Arthur Leipzig, 86

Arthur Leipzig, a documentary photographer who captured daily life in New York City, died on Friday, December 5, 2014, at his home in Sea Cliff, N.Y., The New York Times reports.  He was 96.

A high-school dropout, Leipzig studied under Sid Grossman at the Photo League, enrolling in 1941 after he injured his hand in an industrial accident. He soon after joined the staff of the daily newspaper PM, and began photographing the children of New York City, work later immortalized in the 1994 book Growing Up in New York. Leipzig claimed he was inspired by the Flemish painter Pierter Bruegel the Elder and his depictions of children’s games in Renaissance-era Flanders.

51g-CDLasdL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_He was born Isidore Leipzig on Oct. 25, 1918, in Brooklyn, NY, but never used his first name, and legally changed it to Arthur when he came of age. Leipzig lost his sight in his left eye while covering a story on backyard skating rinks, but still retained enough depth perception to continue in photography.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City included his work in its exhibition of photography’s “New Faces” in 1946, and his photo “Sleeping Child” was exhibited as part of “Photography in the Fine Arts” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1960. Leipzig’s work is a part of the permanent collections of the MoMA, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. His photos were exhibited in 24 solo shows, and he published four books of photography. From 1968–1991, he taught art at C.W. Post College of Long Island University, and in 2004 he was given the Lucie Award for fine arts photography by the Lucie Foundation.

He is survived by his wife of 72 years, the former Mildred Levin; his daughter, Judith; his son, Joel; three grandsons and a great-granddaughter.