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July 23rd, 2014

Court Refuses to Hear Challenge to FAA’s Drone Cease-and-Desist Orders

A Federal appeals court in Washington, DC, has dismissed a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by a search-and-rescue group in Texas that uses drones in its work, but both sides in the case are declaring victory.

Texas EquuSearch had tried to overturn an email from the FAA ordering the group to stop operating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly called drones, in its search-and-rescue operations, the AP reports.

The three-judge panel said it could not review the case because the warning notice the FAA sent to did not represent the agency’s final policy on drone use, “nor did it give rise to any legal consequences.” The FAA is expected to finalize its policy on piloting drones for non-recreational use next year. The policy could affect photographers who  use drones to carry cameras on assignment.

The court’s ruling fails to clarify what authority the FAA has currently to regulate the use of drones.  In March, a federal administrative court judge overturned a $10,000 fine the FAA had imposed on photographer Raphael Pirker for using a drone to shoot a video for the University of Virginia, because the FAA still has no regulations on the books regarding the use of drones.

Brendan Schulman, the lawyer for Texas EquuSearch, told the site Motherboard that the appeals court ruling last week  “achieves the desired result of clarifying that Texas EquuSearch is not legally required to halt these humanitarian operations.” Texas EquuSearch has resumed piloting drones, AP reports.

In a statement, the FAA said, “The court’s decision in favor of the FAA regarding the Texas EquuSearch matter has no bearing on the FAA’s authority to regulate” unmanned aircraft vehicles. The FAA also said it reviews the use of drones “that are not for hobby or recreation on a case-by-case basis.”

Related Article
Commercial Drones are Legal, Federal Court Says

http://pdnpulse.pdnonline.com/2014/03/commercial-drones-are-legal-federal-court-says.html

July 9th, 2014

How a Former White House Photographer Documented a Marriage-Equality Battle

© AFER/Photo by Diana Walker

© AFER/Photo by Diana Walker

Having worked as Time magazine’s White House photographer through three presidential administrations, Diana Walker is used to capturing intimate views of history-making moments. Her images of a different kind of political drama are highlighted in the documentary “The Case Against 8,” which debuted at The Sundance Film Festival this year and has recently been shown on HBO.

During the four-year court battle to overturn Proposition 8, the law banning same-sex marriage in California which ended in the Supreme Court a year ago last month, Walker had total access to the plaintiffs, Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, and to the legal team working on their case, including lead attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson. Walker was on assignment from American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the non-profit that funded the lawsuit.  Walker calls the assignment “ideal”: “I got to do what I like to do, which is showing people doing their thing in hopes it leads to an understanding of what they do  and why they do it.”

© AFER/photo by Diana Walker

© AFER/photo by Diana Walker

She was contacted for the assignment by Chad Griffin who was then heading AFER (Griffin is now president of the Human Rights Campaign). Walker had met Griffin when he worked on the communications team in the Clinton White House. When Griffin said he wanted to hire her to document the progress of the case to throw out Prop 8, Walker recalls, “I said, ‘What’s Prop 8?’” Though she was unfamiliar with the issue, she says, “I knew I liked Chad enormously and any project he had would be something I’d be interested in, so I said ok.”

Walker’s responsibilities were typical for an assignment for a non-profit: “Chad wanted evidence of what they’d all been through and what it looked like,” including images to share with the press and AFER donors. She photographed demonstrations, rallies, the plaintiffs going in and out of court, behind the scenes shots of meetings of the legal team and prepping the plaintiffs for testimony. Walker, who divides her time between Washington, DC, and a vacation home in Idaho, says she typically had a few days’ notice of when a verdict would be announced, or when the lawyers or plaintiffs would be making a public appearance. “I had to be available whenever they needed me,” she says. AFER allowed her total access, she says, and the plaintiffs in the case allowed her to photograph them and their families at home .

One part of the assignment, however, was unusual for Walker: She asked for a buy out, and negotiated a fee for the copyright to her images. “I said, I’m happy to do this, but I don’t want to be left sitting on my computer, sending out photos to all these different parties who are going to be interested in my stills.” Though Walker has retained the copyright to all her magazine assignments, and published two books using images in her archive (a third, about Hillary Clinton, will be published by Simon & Schuster in October), she didn’t want to handle licensing requests for the AFER images. “I am at the stage in my life where my husband and I travel a great deal. We love to be with our five grandchildren. Being available to handle frequent requests for images seemed more than I could handle or wanted to deal with.” Griffin agreed to her terms (Walker didn’t disclose her fee to PDN).  Walker says she did quick edits after each shoot to “get rid of the junk,” but Griffin agreed to consult her when large batches of her images were used. For example, Walker was asked for her input when AFER  provided a selection of her images to Jo Becker, author of Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality, published this spring; and to Boies and Olson who published their own book about the case in June.

While Walker was documenting the case, she was often working alongside filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan White, who were shooting footage for what would become “The Case Against 8.” The film shows Walker at work, and includes many of her black-and-white portraits of the two couples at the heart of the case.

“It was so interesting to me, because they were these two sets of plaintiffs totally unused to being in the public eye, who were totally unbothered by me or the film crew,” Walker says. After four years in their company, “I got to really love the players. They were all wonderful.”

After attending a screening of “The Case Against 8,” Walker says, “I was simply delighted with the way they used my images.” The only part of the story she regrets being unable to photograph, she says, were the weddings of Perry and  Stier in San Francisco and of Zarrillo and Katami in Los Angeles. After the US Supreme Court had ruled that the supporters of Proposition 8 had no standing to appeal the case (on the same day the Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional), California’s high court had to issue a ruling that same-sex marriages could begin again in the state. Walker was out of town the morning the order was issued, when the plaintiffs went straight to their local court houses to get their marriage licenses and be married.

“But I was there at the Supreme Court,” Walker says. “That was great.”

July 2nd, 2014

Magnum Photos Names Nominee, New Member, Appoints New Executive Director

At the annual meeting of Magnum Photos last week, members of the photography collective voted to make Moises Saman, a long-time Magnum associate, a full member of the agency. Bieke Depoorter and Jerome Sessini were elevated from nominees to associate members. One nominee to the agency was named: Sohrab Hura, who is based in New Delhi and was selected for PDN’s 30 in 2010. The announcements were made after the conclusion of the meeting, held in New York City.

Also at this year’s meeting, Magnum named a new executive director: David Kogan, a journalist who had previously worked as global managing director of Reuters Television.  Photographer Martin Parr, who was elected the new president of the collective, said in a statement, “I am confident that David Kogan’s experience as a successful media executive and entrepreneur, and his sensitivity as an important collector of photographs, brings the right mix of competence and vision to open this new chapter of Magnum’s history.”

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June 20th, 2014

Danish Photojournalist Released in Syria after 13 Months in Captivity

Daniel Rye Ottosen, a Danish photojournalist who has been held captive in Syria for 13 months, was released yesterday and reunited with his family, Denmark’s Foreign Ministry reports. According to the Associated Press, a ministry spokesperson would not comment on reports that Ottosen had been kidnapped by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or answer questions about whether or not a ransom had been paid for his release.

Ottosen, a freelancer, had been photographing the effects of the ongoing civil conflict in the country when he went missing on May 17, 2013.

In March of this year, a Spanish photographer and a reporter were released after 194 in captivity. Other journalists, however, remain unaccounted for. James Foley, a contributor to Global Post, has been missing since November 2012. American Austin Tice has been missing since August 2012. Today, Tice’s mother posted on Twitter: “Today, we celebrate the release of Daniel Rye Ottosen. This good news brings us great joy and hope. All the best to him and his family.”

Syria is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. At the end of 2013, a dozen international news organizations signed a joint letter to the Syrian opposition and militias demanding action to curb the “disturbing rise in the kidnapping of journalists.”

Related articles:
Kidnapped, Beaten and Shot in Syria, Photographer and Writer Manage to Escape

Spanish Journalists Freed After 194 Days in Captivity in Syria

Freelance Photographer, Age 18, Killed in Syria

June 17th, 2014

What We’re Following on Instagram This Week

Here’s what the @pdnonline folks are checking out this week on Instagram.

© Cengiz Yar (@hfwh)

© Cengiz Yar (@hfwh)

Cengiz Yar, Jr @burndiary
Burn, the online magazine for emerging photographers founded by David Alan Harvey, has been using Instagram to post photo essays: one photographer sharing photos from somewhere in the world for seven days. This week: Cengiz Yar, Jr., (@hfwh) posting from Syria, mainly the Kurdish-controlled region, and from a refugee camp for Syrians in Lebanon.

 

© Patricia Lay Dorsey (@patricialaydorsey)

© Patricia Lay Dorsey (@patricialaydorsey)

@socphotogallery
Thanks to PDN’s 30 photographer Zun Lee (@zunleephoto), whose work we featured last week on PDN Photo of the Day and on the @pdnonline Instagram feed, for introducing us to this one. Social Photography is using Instagram as a virtual gallery and online forum in connection with its physical gallery exhibition this month at Indy India Art Gallery in Indianapolis. Social Photography is fostering a dialogue about how social media and the sharing of images is changing both photography and how we view our daily lives. In addition to Zun Lee, contributing photographers have included Samantha Box, Lauren Bohn and Patricia Lay Dorsey.

© Daro Sulakauri (@darosulakauri)

© Daro Sulakauri (@darosulakauri)

Daro Sulakauri for @opensocietyfoundations
Daro Sulakauri (@darosulakauri) is taking over the IG feed of Open Society Foundations, posting from Tchiatura, a manganese-mining town in the Republic of Georgia. The story is brutal, the images beautiful.

© Carl De Keyzer/Magnum Photos (@carldekeyzer of @magnumphotos)

© Carl De Keyzer/Magnum Photos (@carldekeyzer of @magnumphotos)

Carl De Keyzer for @newyorkerphoto
Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer (@carldekeyzer) is taking followers of the New Yorker Photo Booth to an exotic locale called his backyard. All week he’s posting from his home and garden. De Keyzer lives in a restored castle “somewhere between Ghent and Brussels in Belgium.” This proves, yet again, that you don’t have to venture too far to make great photos, especially if you live in a restored castle and have a garden with peacocks and geese and a big white dog.

June 3rd, 2014

PDN Photo Annual Judges on Images They Wish Had Been Winners

Judging a photo contest is hard work. So why do creative directors, art producers, gallery directors and photo editors to do it? One benefit is that they get to see fresh imagery—lots more imagery than just the final winners. To win a juried competition like the PDN Photo Annual, an entry has to garner high scores from multiple jurors. But sometimes work that one or two judges love doesn’t score high enough with other jurors to place among the finalists.

We gave some jurors of the PDN Photo Annual the opportunity to talk about one entry that they particularly liked and remembered, but didn’t make it into the Annual. Here are their choices:

© Antonio Gonzalez Caro

© Antonio Gonzalez Caro

Myles Little, associate photo editor, TIME:
I choose Antonio Gonzalez Caro’s project about fishermen. His is a highly personal vision of a subject I’ve seen covered a lot, often in more conventional ways. Without romanticizing this hard life, Caro draws the viewer into a place of dark beauty. The images of the man bellowing, and of the hand near the school of fish, make me feel like I’m peering into an old fisherman’s dream.

© Adam Voorhes

© Adam Voorhes

Darhil Crooks, creative director, The Atlantic:
I pick “Dangerous Candy” by Adam Voorhes. There is so much I love about this image. The sharpness of the lighting and shadows is beautifully done and the background color gives the image a happy vibe. You don’t even notice the packs of nicotine-laced “Camel Strips” at first. But what I admire the most about this shot is the precision. The angles are perfect, the distribution of the M&Ms and the tear of the wrapper were clearly thought out and styled. It’s not only a brilliant idea, but the execution is brilliant as well.

© Moms Demand Action/photo by Eden Robbins

© Moms Demand Action/photo by Eden Robbins

Raquel Duarte, senior print producer, LLOYD & CO:
Eden Robbins did a phenomenal job with the “Mom’s Demand Action” campaign. I gave him a 5 rating but unfortunately he did not win the PDN annual contest recognition that I find he deserved. It’s a simple campaign that is extremely powerful. The content is what got me immediately. It is clever, raw, based on statistics, fueled by truth. Given all the political controversy around guns and weapons and the unfortunate turns of events we have had in the recent years, it is repulsive that our government has “their hands tied” to take any action and vetoed any proactive measures that could been taken to prevent the harming of any further innocent lives… [t]he children who will grow to be our future.

On a creative note, the casting is remarkable. The mix of ethnicity, gender, facial expressions, are well represented. The unfocused and monochromatic backgrounds are perfect, simply there adding mood and atmosphere, but yet very specifically detailed. The objects the children are holding are nostalgic, relatable, reminding me of the joy and fun I had growing up, followed by an uncomfortable feeling that shatters my happy memories, because those items are banned, while guns are not.

Grey’s creative direction was brilliant. Eden’s execution was ingenious.

© Andrew Goeser

© Andrew Goeser

Brian Paul Clamp, owner and director, Clampart Gallery:
Who has not been curious about “Missed Connections” on Craigslist? Andrew Goeser’s student project endeavors to see the real people behind the ads. Contacting those individuals who place these ads, the artist shot them at the site of the “missed connection” and then paired the photograph with the original post. I find the concept of the project compelling, and the hypothetical relationships at turns funny, romantic, poignant, and sometimes even pathetic. I can imagine this series expanded and presented/published as a book.

Related:
PDN Photo Annual 2014

May 27th, 2014

Photojournalist and Translator Killed in Eastern Ukraine; 1 Photographer Injured in Mortar Attack

Italian photojournalist Andrea Rocchelli, and his Russian interpreter, Andrei Mironov, were killed May 25 by mortar fire near Slavyansk in the Eastern Ukraine, the Italian foreign ministry reported.

They had been covering fighting between pro-Russian rebels and government forces in the region. William Roguelon, a French photojournalist who was  traveling with Rocchelli and Mironov, told news organizations that they came under mortar fire and had taken shelter in a ditch when they were hit. Roguelon is now recovering from injuries sustained in the attack.

Rocchelli, 30, had previously covered stories in the Caucuses, Afghanistan, India, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, the NPPA reports. This year, he covered the protests in Kiev’s Maidan Square. In 2008, Rochelli cofounded the photo collective Cesura. He is survived by his girlfriend and their son, age 3.

Mironov, 60, was a human rights activist who had been imprisoned as a dissident during the Soviet regime.

May 6th, 2014

Good Food: Romas Foord, Ditte Isager, Food & Wine Honored in 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards

© Romas Foord. From Historic Heston.

© Romas Foord. From Historic Heston.

The James Beard Foundation announced the winners of its annual Books, Broadcast and Journalism awards on May 2, and two cookbooks shared the prize for best photography. Historic Heston, by chef Heston Blumenthal, features historic English recipes photographed by Romas Foord in the style of Old Master still-life paintings. Historic Heston also won the top award for Cookbook of the Year.

The other winner in the photography category is Rene Redzepi: A Work in Progress, which encompasses three volumes: a journal by the chef and author of Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine (published in 2010); a book of 100 recipes, photographed by Ditte Isager; and a collection of iPhone photos shot by the staff of the restaurant Noma.

Food & Wine magazine won the award for Visual Storytelling, which recognizes excellence in photography and graphic design.  The magazine’s winning submission included three stories published last year. The award was shared by Food & Wine‘s art directors James Maikowski and Patricia Sanchez, creative director Stephen Scoble, and director of photography Fredrika Stjarne.

The James Beard Foundation is a non-profit based in New York City that organizes lectures, workshops, events, and other educational initiatives around the country to promote the exploration of American culinary history and culture. All the James Beard Foundation honorees can be found at JamesBeard.org.

The year’s nominees can be found at www.jamesbeard.org/blog/complete-2014-jbf-award-nominees.

Related articles
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April 24th, 2014

You Voted. Now Here’s the Winner of the Cramped But Cool Studio Showcase

© MNRD Photography

© MNRD Photography

Congrats to Bob Menard of MNRD Photography in Toronto! His workspace was the clear favorite and garnered the most votes in this year’s Cramped But Cool Studio Showcase. At 300 square feet, the studio is the smallest of the entrants, but shows that hard work pays off.

After a total renovation to get rid of a popcorn ceiling and old carpeting, Menard’s basement now makes the most of its square footage, with lots of storage plus touches that suit his portrait photography,  such as the 500K LED lights he installed in the ceiling. You can read more about the renovation in our post, “Polished, 300-Square-Foot Reno Near Toronto.”

Menard earned not only the admiration of PDN readers but also a $50 gift certificate to B&H Photo and Video.

Thanks to all the entrants and voters.

Related Article
Cramped But Cool Studio: Time to Vote For Your Favorite

April 22nd, 2014

Daniel Berehulak to Receive Getty Images & Chris Hondros Fund Award

© Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

© Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Photojournalist Daniel Berehulak has been chosen the winner of the Getty Images & Chris Hondros Fund Award, the Chris Hondros Fund announced today. Berehulak, a photojournalist based in New Delhi, India, will receive a $20,000 prize to support his documentary work. Preston Gannaway, a US photographer, has been named a finalist for the award, and will receive a $5,000 prize.

The awards will be given on May 7, at a benefit for the Chris Hondros Fund to be held at Aperture Gallery in New York. The Chris Hondros Fund is a non-profit photojournalism organization founded in memory of photojournalist Chris Hondros, who was killed in a mortar attack while covering the conflict in Libya in April 2011. The Fund “advances the work of photojournalists who espouse [Chris Hondros's] legacy and vision, and sponsors fellowships, grant making and education to raise understanding of the issues facing reporters in conflict zones.”

Berehulak, who is represented by Reportage by Getty Images, the same agency that represented Hondros, said in a statement, “I had the pleasure of knowing Chris as a colleague and looked up to him as one would an older brother.”

Earlier this year, Berehulak was named Freelance Photographer of the Year at the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition for a portfolio of work that included his story about malnutrition in Afghanistan, published in The New York Times.

Related articles
Tomas Munita, Bryan Denton to Receive Getty & Chris Hondros Fund Awards

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Daniel Berehulak Named 2014 POYi Freelance Photographer of the Year