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January 5th, 2011

“Strobist” Not Happy With TechCrunch For Unauthorized Use of His Photo

Photographer and “Strobist” blogger David Hobby noticed TechCrunch grabbed one of his photos from his “all rights reserved” Flickr stream for use in a blog post today. He’s not happy about it and called the AOL technology news Web site out on taking his work without permission.

“Tell you what. Just ask me for permission to use this picture in these comments and I will grant it,” Hobby wrote in the comments below the TechCrunch article, which was about Twitter’s new look. “[H]aving [my photographs] taken from a place where there is even an ‘all rights reserved’ notice RIGHT NEXT TO THE PHOTO is not cool—even if you run a linked credit.”

Given the subject of the TechCrunch article, Hobby is appropriately also using his Twitter feed to point out the copyright violation to his followers.

Update: TechCrunch and the author of the article have apologized for the infringement and asked permission to use the photo.

December 28th, 2010

Top Photo Blog Posts of the Year

One interesting aspect of publishing “PDN Photo of the Day,” our photography blog, is seeing which photographs and photographic subjects attract the largest number of readers. Often our readers enjoy photographs that we find interesting and beautiful, then share the posts with friends, and the audience for a particular entry grows exponentially. Other times a post we’re particularly excited about receives a more modest response for one reason or another.

As the year drew to a close, we decided to get in touch with the editors of four photography blogs published by major newspapers to see which of their posts were the most-viewed this year. (more…)

December 22nd, 2010

PhotoShelter Picks Favorite Photo Blog Posts of 2010 (Including Some from Us)

If you’re looking for some good reading over the holidays then check out PhotoShelter’s list of their Favorite Photo Blog Posts of 2010.

The list is a hodgepodge of photo industry posts from a variety of blogs, subdivided into 9 different categories. And, we might add, three stories from our very own PDNPulse blog made the cut. :-)

Check out the full list on PhotoShelter’s A Picture’s Worth blog.

November 24th, 2010

Street Photography Alive and Well in New Book

"Charity, Bournemouth" 2008; ©Paul Russell

Yesterday, we told you about the street photographer who was questioned by police after taking photos in Times Square and many of you weighed in with your commentary. And while being a street photographer in New York City may not be easy for various reasons, it doesn’t compare to Great Britain where it can be downright criminal thanks to that country’s strict anti-terrorism laws.

According to Wired.com’s RAW File blog, that’s changing with a recent amendment to Britain’s “Prevention of Terrorism Act” which had declared photographers “suspicious” merely for carrying photo gear. (And you thought things were bad in Kuwait.)

The “suspicious” photographer law was amended this past summer and, somewhat coincidentally, a new book is out from Thames & Hudson (get it: London and New York) entitled “Street Photography Now.”

The book is a compendium of famous and lesser known street shots from a range of photographers, including Martin Parr, Joel Meyerowitz, Trent Parke, Michael Wolf, Bruce Gilden, Matt Stuart, Nick Turpin, Alex Webb and many others. Check out the video slideshow from the book below.

(Via RAW File.)

Street Photography Now from Third Floor Gallery on Vimeo.

November 23rd, 2010

Street Photographer Harassed by Police for Taking Photos in Times Square

Resnick was questioned by a police officer moments after he took this photo. ©Mason Resnick

Mason Resnick, a photographer and editor of the Adorama Learning Center, was shooting in New York City’s Times Square yesterday when he felt a tug on his camera strap. His first thought was that someone was trying to steal his camera. When he looked up though he saw the stern face of a New York City police officer staring back at him.

“What are you doing?” the officer grilled him.

When Resnick explained he was a street photographer who was capturing candids of people in Times Square, the officer pressed him by saying he had received “several complaints” about Resnick.

“I was following you for several blocks,” the officer said. “There are a lot of school groups here today, lots of children.”

Resnick was nonplussed.

“That inference was pretty clear,” Resnick wrote in his blog for Adorama. “I was being not so subtly being accused of being a pedophile.”

Resnick was able to able to quell the situation by showing the officer the images he had shot — even though he was no way legally obligated to do so. In the end, Resnick, who was testing the Leica X1 and D-Lux 5 digital cameras for Adorama as part of a Street Photography Stress Test, decided that arguing further was not worth it.

“Even though I know I have the legal right to take pictures in public places (this has been challenged many times in U.S., Canadian, and UK courts and in every case, the photographer’s rights have been affirmed), I also advise my students that when an officer tells you to stop taking pictures, you stop, and don’t argue Why? Because he is armed, and has the power to arrest you—and he may not be well-versed in the rights of photographers.”

What do you think of how Resnick handled the situation? How would you have handled it? Have you noticed more harassment from police officers for taking photos in public places lately?

(Read more about Resnick’s experience in Times Square here.)

September 9th, 2010

TSA Talks About Suspicious Photog Poster Sparking Outrage On Blogs

A handful of blogs recently pointed out a new Transportation Security Administration poster depicting a hooded photographer shooting pictures outside an airport fence. The poster encourages people to report suspicious activity, e.g. suspicious-looking people mulling around airports with cameras.

According to TSA representative Anne Davis, the posters were created for General Aviation (GA) facilities, the hundreds of smaller airports all over the country used by private aircraft owners at which TSA has no jurisdiction. The poster is not for commercial airports, so it shouldn’t increase the likelihood that your average nervous traveler is going to call the authorities if they see you taking pictures of an airplane while you’re waiting for your next flight to board.

But the posters could encourage local law enforcement and security personnel to question and/or harass professional photographers and hobbyists more than they already do. Davis says TSA works with these small GA airports and offers them guidelines on how to operate security, but has no real control over whether their suggestions are implemented. Operation of GA airports is left up to local, not federal, law enforcement.

Davis says the posters were given to GA airports, but she did not know where the posters would be hung, and said that GA facilities might choose not to hang them at all. She also was not sure why a photographer was the suspicious person of choice for the posters, rather than, say, someone trying to break into a GA facility or loitering around aircraft.

“I always suggest that photographers check with the airport press office,” before photographing around GA airports, Davis says. By law, though, photographers don’t need permission to photograph anything from public property. And the unfortunate message the TSA is sending with its poster is: cameras in the hands of government agencies protect us; cameras in the hands of private citizens and the press are a threat.

August 27th, 2010

National Geographic Veterans Launch Photo Tips Site

Long-time National Geographic contributors Cary Wolinsky and Bob Caputo have just launched PixBoomBa.com, a web site of photographic tips delivered in a humorous, self-deprecating style through video, illustrated text and blog formats.
Pixboomba

The goal of the site is “to make both technical and aesthetic elements of good photography accessible to anyone interested in making better images, no matter their skill level, equipment, or budget,” the two photographers explain in their press kit.

“PixBoomBa is a family business with Italian/Jewish roots,” Wolinsky tells PDN. “It is never just the two of us. We have an insanely dedicated team of freelancers and volunteers working around the clock.”

The demo version of the site was geared primarily to beginner/intermediate level photographers, with a tutorial on white balance, basic portraiture, and depth of field. The videos are intended to be as entertaining as they are informative. Wolinsky and Caputo ham it up in one video about how not to photograph strangers (a corresponding “Actual Info” article provides the useful tips).

To support the site, Wolinsky says he and Caputo will run advertising by the artisans and institutions that support PixBoomBa. They are also looking for partners interested in licensing PixBoomBa content.

July 20th, 2010

Photographer Cut by Getty for Altered Golf Photo Offers Explanation

Golfer-before The freelance photographer we told you about yesterday who was dropped by Getty after one of his images of a golf tournament was found to have been digitally altered has offered an explanation of what happened.

Marc Feldman, whose freelance status with Getty was terminated over the altered photo, told the Dallas Morning News he made "a fatal mistake."

"There was absolutely no intent to pass this off as a real image," Feldman explained to Dallas Morning News photo editor Guy Reynolds for the paper's Photography Blog. "Only a moron would have sent both."

A photo Feldman captured of golfer Matt Bettencort was distributed by
Getty Images even though a caddie had been digitally removed from the
background. Getty, which has a strict policy against altering its news
images, later put out a "mandatory kill" notice on the photo after Reynolds alerted them to it, and dropped
Feldman from its roster.

Feldman, 61, told Reynolds that he was in the press tent processing the images when Bettencort and his caddie stopped by to look at the photos. The caddie then suggested the photo would look better without him in it.

Matt Bettencourt 2 copy-thumb-300x190-86601 "So I showed them how easy I could do that," Feldman told Reynolds. "I thought I just saved it to the desktop not to the send folder. I certainly did not mean to send both of them to Getty."

What do you think about Feldman's explanation? Does it sound like a plausible, honest mistake? Have you ever done anything similar? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

July 6th, 2010

Spill Photogs Could Face Felony Charges Under New Coast Guard Directive

2010-07-03-felon6
© Georgianne Nienaber

Photographers and journalists reporting from the Gulf on the Deepwater Horizon spill are now subject to $40,000 fines and Class D felony convictions if they are found to be in violation of a new Coast Guard directive.

The directive established a 20-meter [65-foot] safety zone around all oil containment boom in the gulf. According to The Deepwater Horizon Unified Command press release, “[v]essels must not come within 20 meters of booming operations, boom, or oil spill response operations under penalty of law.”

In a blog post over the weekend, journalist Georgianne Nienaber argued that  this new regulation effectively prevents photographers from getting near affected areas. “If the Coast Guard has its way, all media, not just independent writers and photographers… will be fined $40,000 and receive Class D felony convictions for providing the truth about oiled birds and dolphins, in addition to broken, filthy, unmanned boom material that is trapping oil in the marshlands and estuaries,” she wrote.

According to the Coast Guard directive, “[t]he safety zone has been put in place to protect members of the response effort, the installation and maintenance of oil containment boom, the operation of response equipment and protection of the environment by limiting access to and through deployed protective boom.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper also addressed the directive on his television show. The protestations from the press prompted a response from Unified Command that stated, “These 20-meter zones are only slightly longer than the distance from a baseball pitcher's mound to home plate. This distance is insignificant when gathering images. In fact, these zones, which do not target the press, can and have been opened for reporters as required.”

MSNBC also reported on another act of press obstruction by BP over the weekend. Lance Rosenfield, a Texas-based freelance photographer working on a story that is part of a collaboration between PBS and ProPublica, was detained when he took pictures of a BP oil refinery in Texas. According to MSNBC, “Rosenfield…said he was followed by a BP employee after taking a picture on a public road near the refinery, and then cornered by two police cars at a gas station. The officials told Rosenfield they had the right to look at the pictures taken near the refinery and if he did not comply he would be ‘taken in’.”

A response by BP officials claimed that “[t]he photographer was released with his photographs after those photos were viewed by a representative of the Joint Terrorism Task Force who determined that the photographer's actions did not pose a threat to public safety.” Editor-in-chief of ProPublica, Paul Steiger, explained, “[W]e certainly appreciate the need to secure the nation’s refineries. But we’re deeply troubled by BP’s conduct here, especially when they knew we were working on deadline on critical stories about this very facility. And we see no reason why, if law enforcement needed to review the unpublished photographs, that should have included sharing them with a representative of a private company.”

—By Cameron Handley

Related:

The Oil Spill Story Finally Hits Home

Oil Spill Coverage From Local Perspectives

Amazing Footage of Gulf Oil Spill Captured with Canon 5D Mark II

June 30th, 2010

Panasonic G2 Commercial Seemingly Shot with Canon 5D Mark II


Panasonic-G2-Canon-5D-commercial
Oops!

Panasonic’s PR department must be kicking itself for releasing this behind-the-scenes video of the making of a new commercial for the Panasonic Lumix G2.

Watch the clip below and you’ll see the Canon 5D Mark II with Canon L-series glass being used frequently throughout the filming of the spot even though the G2 shoots 720p HD.

Truthfully, most consumers — who this camera and the commercial are primarily aimed at — aren’t going to notice (or care) but camera geeks will and the behind-the-scenes footage is already turning up far and wide in the tech blog-o-sphere.

Doh!

UPDATE: Looks like the behind-the-scenes video has been removed. Wonder why.

(Via Photography Bay & CrunchGear)