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February 20th, 2014

Hartford Police Sued for Stopping Camera Drone, Chasing Photog Away

A news photographer has sued the Hartford, Connecticut police department and two of its officers for forcing him to stop flying a camera-equipped drone over the scene of a police investigation.

Photographer Pedro Rivera, who works for television station WFSB, was briefly detained for questioning and ordered to stop flying the remote-controlled drone over the scene of a fatal traffic accident on February 1.

Rivera was not on duty for WFSB television and was not gathering video for the station at the time, he told police at the scene. But he acknowledged to police that he sometimes provides video footage from his drone to the TV station.

After he was detained, police ordered him to leave the scene. Rivera alleges that police then called his employer, and told a supervisor that Rivera had interfered with a  police investigation. Police urged the station to discipline Rivera, he alleges in the lawsuit.

He was suspended from his job “for at least one week,” the lawsuit says.

Rivera says police violated his First Amendment rights to “monitor” the police response to a motor vehicle accident, and his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable seizure.

Rivera asserts in his lawsuit that “private citizens do not need local, state or federal approval to operate a remote-controlled aircraft” and that police had no cause to believe he was “in violation of any law or regulatory requirement.”

The Federal Aviation Administration has taken the position that commercial use of drones is illegal, and that journalism amounts to commercial use of the vehicles, according to an NPPA report. That report also notes that some critics say there is no legal basis for the FAA’s position.

Rivera is seeking compensatory damages for lost wages and emotional distress, as well as punitive damages. In addition, he is asking the court for a declaratory judgment that he wasn’t violating any laws by flying the drone, and for an injunction to prevent Hartford police from “interfering with the lawful operation of drones within city limits.”

Hartford police have yet to file a response to Rivera’s claims, and they did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Related:
PDN Video: A Photographer’s Guide to the First Amendment and Dealing with Police Intimidation
Police Intimidation Watch: New Haven Police Sued for Arresting Photographer, Erasing iPhone Video

February 20th, 2014

PDN Video: A Photographer’s Guide to the First Amendment and Dealing with Police Intimidation

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, news photographers have been subject to police intimidation and arrest, as if photography is a crime. But federal law protects photography and photographers, as Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel to the National Press Photographers Association, explains in this video. The challenge for photographers is knowing how to assert your rights in tense situations, without getting arrested. Osterreicher offers practical tips for staying out of trouble while getting the pictures you need. And for photographers unfortunate enough to get arrested, he suggests places to call for legal help.

Related:

Police Intimidation Watch: New Haven Police Sued for Arresting Photographer, Erasing iPhone Video

Police Intimidation Watch: Detroit Police Apologize After Video Shows Them Violating Photographer’s Rights

Police Intimidation Watch: Cop Charged with Lying About a Photographer’s Arrest

February 19th, 2014

Trunk Archive Buys Bernstein & Andriulli, Gallery Stock

Image licensing agency Trunk Archive has acquired Bernstein & Andriulli (B&A), the photographers’ rep firm, and its sister company Gallery Stock, Bernstein & Andriulli announced today.

Howard Bernstein said in a prepared statement that Trunk Archive’s image collection and service capabilities “make [Trunk Archive] the perfect partner for future growth and offers many strategic opportunities to our artists.”

B&A represents about 45 photographers. The firm also represents illustrators, directors, hair and makeup artists and stylists. Gallery Stock represents about 120 commercial, fine-art and editorial photographers for secondary sales of their images.

B&A and Gallery Stock will continue to operate under Bernstein’s direction, and retain their brand identities, according to the announcement.

Trunk Archive CEO Matthew Moneypenny said in the statement that the combined companies will give clients “unprecedented access to the world’s most creative and thought-provoking imagery,” but he provided no specifics.

Trunk Archive represents more than 250 photographers around the world for secondary image sales. Founded seven years ago by Moneypenny, a former Art + Commerce image licensing agent, It has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Sidney, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.

Related:
(Re)Sales Opportunities (subscription required)

February 18th, 2014

Daniel Berehulak Named 2014 POYi Freelance Photographer of the Year

©Daniel Berehulak from his project "Maha Kumbh Mela"

©Daniel Berehulak from his project “Maha Kumbh Mela”

Daniel Berehulak has been named Photographer of the Year–Freelance at the 2014 Pictures of the Year International Competition. Berehulak, who is based in New Delhi, India, won the honor for a portfolio that includes stories about malnutrition and drug addiction in Afghanistan, the Hindu pilgrimage Maha Kumbh Mela, and celebrations by South Africans of Nelson Mandela just after his death last December.

The prize, which was decided yesterday and announced today, were part of the Reportage Division of the POYi competition. Yesterday, POYi announced on its web site that Annalisa Natali Murri won the Community Awareness Award her project “Len’s Daughters,” about women still struggling to survive after a massive earthquake in Armenia in 1988. Robin Hammond won the World Understanding Award for his project “Condemned,” about the neglect and abuse of the mentally ill in war-torn African countries.

PDN posted a story yesterday identifying other winners of Reportage Division categories.

Jurors for the Reportage Division included Danny Wilcox Frazier, Renée C. Byer, Richard Cahan, and Lara Solt.

Judging of POYi’s Editing Division entries began today. Multimedia Division judging begins on Saturday.

Related articles:

Robin Hammond Wins 2014 POYi World Understanding Award

Robin Hammond Wins $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Fund Grant (subscription required)

National Geographic Experiments with a New Form of Digital Storytelling
(Nick Nichols’ Serengeti Lions)

Barbara Davidson Names 2014 POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year

Patrick Smith Named POYi’s 2014 Sports Photographer of the Year

February 17th, 2014

Robin Hammond Wins 2014 POYi World Understanding Award

©Robin Hammond

©Robin Hammond

Photographer Robin Hammond has won the 2014 World Understanding Award at the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition for “Condemned,” his widely acclaimed project about the neglect and mistreatment of the mentally ill in African countries ravaged by war and natural disaster.

The World Understanding Award is a category of POYi’s Reportage Division, which is open to freelance and agency photographers. Other categories and first place winners in the Reportage Division so far include:

Science & Natural History: Michael “Nick” Nichols, for an image of a black-maned lion on the Serengeti that he photographed for National Geographic as part of a feature story about lions.

Science & Natural History Picture Story: Pedro Armestre, for a story he shot for Greenpeace about the impacts of climate change on native communities of Greenland.

Environmental Vision Award: Erik Messori, for a story about the social and environmental costs of coal mining in India.

News Pictures Story: K M Asad, for a story about the rescue efforts after the collapse of a garment factory building in Bangladesh that killed more than 1100 workers, and the toll that the disaster took on the survivors.

Issue Reporting Story: Daniel Berehulak, for a story about the sudden and unexplained increase last year in life-threatening malnutrition among young children in Afghanistan.

Feature Picture Story: Fatemeh Behboudi, for her story about aging Iranian women who still await the return of bodies of sons they lost in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88).

Jurors are judging entries today for the Community Awareness Award, Photographer of the Year–Freelance, and Best Photography Book.

News Division and Sports Division category winners were selected last week. Editing Division and Multimedia Division entries will be judged over the next week.

Related articles:
Robin Hammond Wins $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Fund Grant (subscription required)

National Geographic Experiments with a New Form of Digital Storytelling
(Nick Nichols’ Serengeti Lions)

Barbara Davidson Names 2014 POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year

Patrick Smith Named POYi’s 2014 Sports Photographer of the Year

February 14th, 2014

Patrick Smith Named POYi’s 2014 Sports Photographer of the Year

©Patrick Smith

©Patrick Smith

Freelance photographer Patrick Smith has won Sports Photographer of the Year honors at the 2014 Pictures of the Year International competition (POYi). Smith won for a diverse portfolio that emphasized his NASCAR coverage, but included sports action, portraits and feature photos of athletes and fans of various sports.

National Geographic magazine has won the top prize in the Sports Story Editing category for a story titled “On the Trail with the First Skiers,” a story about skiers in a remote area of China and the clues they offer about the evolution of the sport. The story was photographed by Jonas Bendiksen.

Other categories in the 2014 POYi Sports Division contest and their first-place winners include:

Sports Action: Mark J. Terrill of Associated Press for his photograph of welterweight boxer Pablo Cesar Cano landing a punch on the face of opponent Ashley Theophane.

Sports Feature: Jabin Botsford, a student at Western Kentucky University, for an image he shot at a Kentucky high school cheerleading competition.

Recreational Sports: Alex Goodlett of the Daily Herald (Provo, Utah), for an image he shot at a high school volleyball match.

Sports Picture Story:  Daniel Ochoa De Olza for a story about bullfighting in Spain.

Judges for the Sports Division entries were James Colton, Elsa Garrison, and John McDonnell

Judging for the Reportage Division (formerly Magazine Division) entries begins tomorrow and continues through this weekend. Editing and Multimedia Division entries will be judged next week.

Related
Barbara Davidson Named 2014 POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year

POYi Posts Winning Entries for Its Newspaper Division Contest (And PDN Names the Photographers)

February 11th, 2014

Barbara Davidson Named 2014 POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year

Los Angeles Times photographer Barbara Davidson has won Newspaper Photographer of the Year honors in the 2014 Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition, contest organizers announced this afternoon.

“[T]he judges noted a strong balance of powerful aesthetic with solid journalistic content” in Davidson’s portfolio, POYi organizers said in a prepared statement. Her portfolio included two picture stories: “A Healing Bond,” about a girl from Afghanistan who came to the US for medical treatment; and “LA’s Shooting Season,” about the trauma team at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Runners up for Newspaper Photographer of the Year honors were James Oatway of The Sunday Times (Johannesburg) and Lacy Atkins of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Winners of all the POYi Newspaper Division categories were identified by PDN earlier today.

Meanwhile, POYi judges also selected winners in two Sports Division categories today. They include Alex Goodlett of the Daily Herald (Provo, Utah), who won first prize in the Recreational Sports category; and Daniel Ochoa De Olza won first prize for Sports Picture Story.

Related:
POYi Posts Winning Entries for Its Newspaper Division Contest (And PDN Names the Photographers)

February 11th, 2014

POYi Posts Winning Entries for Its Newspaper Division Contest (And PDN Names the Photographers)

 

©Taslima Akhter

©Taslima Akhter

Taslima Akhter of Bangladesh has won first prize in Spot News category of the Newspaper Division in the Picture of the Year International (POYi) competition, and Niclas Hammarström has won top prize for the General News category.

POYi organizers have not yet announced the names of the winners, pending completion of judging in all divisions and categories of the competition on February 25. But POYi is posting the winning entries on its web site as they are selected, enabling visitors to the site to figure out who they are. (The Newspaper Photographer of the Year entry has not been posted, however.)

Akhter and Hammarström both won prizes for heartbreaking images. Akhter’s image (shown here), called “Final Embrace,” shows two garment workers who died embracing each other in the collapse of a factory building in Dhaka, Bangladesh last April. Hammarström’s prize-winning photograph, from Aleppo, Syria, shows the badly burned face of a child.

Other categories and first prize winners for the Newspaper Division include:

Feature Pictures Story: Lacy Atkins (San Francisco Chronicle) for “100 Black Men Community Charter School.” (original story here.)
Issue Reporting Picture Story:  Lisa Krantz (San Antonio Express News) for “Twice Betrayed: Military Sexual Trauma.”
News Picture Story:  Tyler Hicks (The New York Times) for “Massacre at a Kenyan Mall.” (see Lens Blog)
Portrait Series: Sara Brincher Galbiati for “Circus Kids of Kabul.”
Portrait: Magnus Wennman (Aftonbladet) for “Merullah.” (Fourth slide in gallery here.)
Feature: John Stanmeyer for “Signal.” (lead and second image here.)
Natural Disaster: Philippe Lopez (AFP/Getty) for “Philippines Weather Typhoon.

Judging for the POYi Sports Division began yesterday. Mark J. Terrill of Associated Press won first prize for Sports Action for his photograph of welterweight boxer Pablo Cesar Cano landing a punch on the face of opponent Ashley Theophane. Jabin Botsford, a student at Western Kentucky University, won first prize in the Sports Feature for an image he shot at a Kentucky high school cheerleading competition.

Other Sports Division category winners will be selected today and tomorrow. Judging for the Reportage Division (formerly Magazine Division) entries begins on Friday and continues through this weekend. Editing and Multimedia Division entries will be judged next week.

February 10th, 2014

Freelancer Astrid Riecken Wins “Eyes of History” Photographer of the Year Honors

Astrid Riecken has won Photographer of the Year honors at the 2014 Eyes of History competition, the White House News Photographers Association announced yesterday. The Washington, DC-based freelancer also won first-place prizes in the Feature and Portfolio categories.

Win McNamee of Getty Images won Political Photo of the Year for an image of President Barack Obama speaking at a White House briefing room about the Trayvon Martin case. McNamee also won first place in the Presidential category.

In other still photo categories, Melina Mara won first place prizes for both Picture Story Politics and Political Portfolio. Bonnie Jo Mount won first place for Picture Story Feature. Mara and Mount are both Washington Post staff photographers.

Jabin Botsford of Western Kentucky University won Student Photographer of the Year honors.

Best of Show for multimedia entries went to Ken Geiger of National Geographic for the iPad version of his story called The Last Chase, about Tim Samaras, a well-known storm chaser who was killed during a tornado in May 2013. Geiger also swept first, second, and third prizes in the Non-Linear Storytelling category.

In the Linear Storytelling category, Jim Lo Scalzo won first place for a multimedia story about Iowa’s county fairs that he produced for European Press Photo Agency.

A complete list of categories and winners is available at the White House News Photographers Association web site.

Winners of the competition in all categories will be honored at the WHNPA’s annual black tie gala, scheduled for May 10, 2014, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington.

January 27th, 2014

Photographer Fired by AP Says Decision Was Fair, But Process Wasn’t

Courtesy of AP Photos

Courtesy of AP Photos

Freelancer Narciso Contreras, a talented war photographer who was cut off by Associated Press last week after he admitted he had Photoshopped a news photo, told PDN in an e-mail interview that he accepts his punishment, but said, “I’m critical when it comes to how the Industry handles the situation with individual photographers, especially when you are a freelancer.”

AP cut ties with Contreras publicly after the photographer informed the wire service that he had removed a video camera from a corner of an image of a Syrian rebel soldier taking cover during a fire fight. Contreras says he knew it could end his relationship with AP, but that he didn’t expect to be shut out of the process.

“I would have preferred to discuss with the editors the whole situation personally, [but] they went behind locked doors and made their decision.” He added, “As a photographer you should have the right to be included in the process.”

Contreras said he thinks AP also went too far in making its decision so public. “The public punishment seems more like an exhibit of power in order to protect [AP's] own interests,” he said.

Following is an edited transcript of PDN’s e-mail interview with Contreras.

Q: How did AP find out you had altered the photo? Did you tell them after they confronted you about it? Or did you voluntarily turn yourself in? And if so, what led you to do that?

A: I told one of the AP photo editors about the picture when we were working on selecting images for the [World Press and other photo] contests some weeks ago. I told the photo editor immediately when I saw the image on the screen. I didn’t hesitate in telling him, it just came up.

Q: If your own ethical principles required you to correct the mistake, why didn’t you tell AP sooner?

A. I was thinking all the time [about] that picture and I found the moment to explain [it] to the AP photo editor. Why not before? [For] the same reason that I submitted the altered picture, it was my wrong decision.

Q. Why were you retouching the image in the first place? Do you typically make the types of adjustments to your image files that AP permits, and if so, what are your usual adjustments?

A: I was conscious about the camera [in the original image] from the beginning. I couldn’t get the camera out of the frame when we were at the top of the hill and running down, away from the [gunfire]. I used a wide angle lens [because] the rebel [ie, the subject of the photo] was so close. [It was] difficult to work, under [fire]. So, when I got back to our base and tried to find a picture to describe the situation, I found this frame, but with the camera in the corner. It took me time to make the decision to remove it from the frame, but I did it.

I usually develop my images using the base process, RAW files toned and desaturated. The photo with the rebel ducking is my exception. I gave all my archives to the AP, almost 500 pictures, and they could see for themselves that this was a singe case.

Q. Do you know what caused your lapse in judgment? I am trying to understand: What caused you to cross the line this time–but not other times?

A: It took me time before I decided to take it [the camera] out. I recognize and assume the rules of photojournalism as the basis of my work, but I was weak at this point. There is no other reason, I broke my own rules. My fault was that I din’t contact my editors to ask for advice or try to get feedback from my very experienced colleague, who was with me.

I’m not trying to excuse myself, but it is not easy to be at a place where you are facing death every single moment, your mind and feelings are moved to another reality, far away from the one you are used to, [and] you perform like a different person. You can support long working days under tough conditions, your mind is set up to survive, and obsessively in the perfection of your work. This is the problem. We are obsessed about getting the perfect shot, that means you want to get the perfect shot under hazardous conditions. It is not worth [it] as a photographer, to come back with nothing if you risk your life [covering a story]. This obsession made the difference, and affected my decision to alter the picture. But I recognize that I made a mistake, a severe one, and a wish I could undo it.

Q. Did you understand when you made the alteration what the consequences might be if you were caught? In other words, were you aware of AP’s ethics policy, and the consequences of violating it?

A: I did know the consequences to alter a picture, and I did know when I told the AP photo editor about this as well, but at the time I told the AP editor I was looking to be honest for what I had done, and I feel this time I took the correct decision to try to repair my mistake.

Q. What do you think of [AP's] ethics policy?

A: That policy means to respect the credibility of the profession and the credibility of the service that all journalists and photographers are doing. So, this is the basis of our work.

Q. Do you think the punishment was fair? If not, why not? And what action by AP would have been more fair?

A: As I mentioned before, the credibility of our work is on the table when a single mistake is [made]. So, to prevent this kind of situation [from] happening again, and to protect the credibility of our profession I have to assume the consequences. But all situations and cases are unique and should be treated as such.

I would have preferred to discuss with the editors the whole situation personally, before they took their decision, but I have not had the chance to talk to anyone. They went behind locked doors and made their decision. This is a very critical situation, and accordingly it has to be analyzed and talked through with whom committed the fault. We are not disposable. They have to analyze every single case according to its unique nature.

Q. Our readers are divided about AP’s reaction to what you did. Some think AP was too harsh. Others expressed zero tolerance for altering news images, and think your punishment was justified. What would you say to them?

A: Zero tolerance is justified when it comes to altering news images. We must all play by the rules. But I’m critical when it comes to how the Industry handles the situation with individual photographers, especially when you are a freelance[r]. [For] editors it is not always easy to handle mistakes, but as a photographer you should have the right to be included in the process. Every single case is unique and that has to be taken in to consideration as well.

Q. What would you have said to AP? Is there an argument you wanted to make to them, to prevent them from ending their relationship with you?

A: They have the right to cut ties if you break the rules, but they should not have the exclusive right to manage the consequences of a photographer’s fault. Dialogue is the base to solve any single problem. If you are not allowed to talk when you are being judged by a company, there is something that is not working properly.

I do accept to break up the working relationship between them and me if I broke the rules, but the public punishment seems more like an exhibit of power in order to protect its own interests.

Q. What effect do you think this incident will have on your career? Do you expect to continue working as a photojournalist? If so, for whom?

A:  This incident affected my working relationship with the AP, and probably with some other media outlets, but nothing has changed for me in terms of what I assume as my duty in life, as a person and as photographer, to document what I perceive as the breaking moments for our history. I’m still the same person that I was when I got recognition for what I’ve done in Syria or anywhere else. I’m still in the same place where I was when I started collaborating with the AP.

I made a mistake, but it does not mean that the whole body of my work is lost. I have to restore my credibility, firstly by assuming that I made a mistake and sincerely apologizing for this, secondly by reinforcing the working relationship with the media outlets I work with.

As far as I can, I would keep on doing photography. This incident affects my way temporarily, not permanently. I believe in what I do in my life, this is my engagement and this is beyond photography.

Related:
AP Cuts Ties with Photographer Narciso Contreras Over Photoshopped Image