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February 20th, 2013

David Alan Harvey Wins POYi’s Best Photo Book Prize

From (Based on a True Story) ©David Alan Harvey

From (based on a true story) ©David Alan Harvey

Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey has won Best Photography Book honors in the 2013 POYi competition.

Harvey won for “(based on a true story),” an experimental book comprising a collection of images–part true, and part fictional–of a journey through Rio that “explode with color, heat, humidity, sex, more sex, danger, fear, chaos, more chaos,” according to the Burn magazine Web site.

Finalists included six other books–”Brooklyn Buzz,” by Alessandro Cosmelli & Gaia Light; “England Uncensored,” by Peter Dench; “The Invisible City,” by Irene Kung, Ludovico Pratesi, and Francine Prose; “The Wrong Side: Living on the Mexican Border,” by Jerome Sessini; “In the Car with R,” by Rafal Milach & Huldar Breidfjord; and “Violentology: A Manual of the Columbian Conflict,” by Stephen Ferry.

The jurors also gave special recognition to Marc Asnin for his book, “Uncle Charlie,” and to “Bosnia: 1992-1995,” edited by Jon Jones.

POYi jurors have been selecting winners in Editing Division categories over the last several days. Winners so far include the Memphis Commercial Appeal, which took first place in the News & Issue Story Editing category for “What Obama Didn’t See.” The story is the print version of a multimedia project titled “As I Am” by Alan Spearman, which was featured in the January 2013 issue of PDN.)

National Geographic magazine won first place in the News & Issue Story Editing–Magazine category for “Nile Journey,” a story about Egypt photographed by Alex Majoli that ran in the magazine’s May 2012 issue under the title “Egypt in the Moment.”

The Washington Post won Feature Story Editing–Newspaper for “A Siberian Pictorial,” featuring images by Sebastião Salgado.

Related:
Notable Books of 2012: Part 1 (includes a review of (Based on a True Story) by David Alan Harvey)
Picture Story: A Guided Tour of Poverty in Memphis (about Alan Spearman’s “As I Am” project)
Paolo Pellegrin Named POYi Freelance Photographer of the Year
Paul Hansen of Dagens Nyheter Wins POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year

February 1st, 2013

Project on African American and Latino Ballroom Subculture Wins CDS/Honickman First Book Prize

© Gerard H. Gaskin

© Gerard H. Gaskin

Gerard H. Gaskin’s photography series on the African American and Latino house and ballroom subculture of urban, gay pageants has received the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize.

The prize carries a $3,000 grant, and an opportunity to publish a book of the work and exhibit it online and at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. The images also go into the permanent collection at Duke’s Archive of Documentary Arts.

Judged by curator, historian and photographer Deborah Willis, the 2013 prize is the sixth biennial award given by Duke Center For Documentary Studies and the Honickman Foundation of Philadelphia.

According to Gaskin’ statement, “The balls are a celebration of black and Latino urban gay life and were born in Harlem out of a need for black and Latino gays to have a safe space to express themselves. Balls are constructed like beauty and talent pageants. The participants work to redefine and critique gender and sexual identity through an extravagant fashion masquerade.”

Though the balls originated in Harlem, Gaskin noted, the culture has grown and spread. He made his images in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. “My images try to show a personal and intimate beauty, pride, dignity, courage, and grace that have been painfully challenged by mainstream society,” he says.

“Gaskin’s work looks at the notion of transformation as he turns his lens on what it means to be ‘desired,’ and at the same time, what it feels like to be alienated,” Willis said in a statement. “His photographs are as exciting to look at as they are a means for imagining the lived experiences of the communities he has documented.”

The prize is open to American and Canadian photographers of any age who have never published a book-length work. For more about the prize visit: firstbookprizephoto.com.

December 14th, 2012

Mila Teshaieva Wins Critical Mass Book Award

Ruins of a luxury Soviet restaurant near Baku. © Mila Teshaieva

Ruins of a luxury Soviet restaurant near Baku. © Mila Teshaieva

Today Photolucida, the non-profit photo organization, announced that Mila Teshaieva won the 2012 Critical Mass Book Award for her documentary series “Promising Waters,” which explores the present-day identity of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, three countries located along the Caspian Sea. Her project will be published as a photo book by Photolucida and German publisher Kehrer Verlag.

The Berlin-based photographer notes on her website that the countries she has photographed “have emerged from the wreckage of the Soviet Union with immense oil and gas reserves and the enormous challenge of defining themselves as independent nations.”

The winners of the two Critical Mass Solo Show awards were announced as well. Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon, will exhibit Tamas Dezso’s “Here, Anywhere.” This series also focuses on a former Eastern Bloc country, though the subject matter is the photographer’s native Hungary. The second Solo Show was awarded to Heidi Kirkpatrick of Portland, Oregon. Her work turns photography into sculpture and will be exhibited at The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Each year Photolucida holds the Critical Mass competition, which permits photographers of all levels to submit a ten-image portfolio for consideration. A committee of approximately 20 jurors selects 200 finalists from all of the submissions, which are then voted on by over 200 members of the photo community. Past Critical Mass Book Award winners have included Jeff Rich, Birthe Pointek, Alejandro Cartagena, Donald Weber, Amy Stein, Peter van Agtmael and Louie Palu.

Related Articles:
PPE 2012: What Photo Editors Want
2011 Critical Mass Top 50 Announced
2010 Critical Mass Book Award Goes to Jeff Rich

 

December 6th, 2012

Call for Entries: European Publishers Award for Photography

The five publishers responsible for the European Publisher’s Award for Photography are now accepting submissions for their 2013 competition. The award, which gives one photographer the opportunity to publish a book with publishers in France, Spain, Great Britain, Germany and Italy, celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013.

Past winners include Bruce Gilden, Simon Norfolk, Paolo Pellegrin, Jacob Aue Sobol, Davide Monteleone and, most recently, Alessandro Imbriaco.

The five publishers who give the award are: Actes Sud (France), Blume (Spain), Dewi Lewis Publishing (Great Britain), Kehrer Verlag (Germany) and Peliti Associati (Italy).

The competition is open to photographers worldwide. The deadline for submissions January 31, 2013. For rules and entry instructions see Dewi Lewis Publishing’s site here.

November 16th, 2012

Aperture and Paris Photo Announce First PhotoBook Prize, PhotoBook of the Year

The cover of David Galjaard’s Concresco, which won the First PhotoBook Prize. © David Galjaard.

Paris Photo and the Aperture Foundation announced the winners of the first annual Paris Photo Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards today.

The First PhotoBook Award went to Dutch photographer David Galjaard for his self-published book Concresco, about the remaining cold-war-era bunkers that dot the Albanian landscape. Open to all new bookmakers, the award includes a $10,000 prize.

An interior spread from Galjaard’s Concresco. © David Galjaard.

The PhotoBook of the Year award went to Anders Peterson for his City Diary (Volumes 1-3), which were designed by Greger Ulf Nilson and published by Steidl, and which depict the gritty sides of St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Tokyo.

The cover of Vol. 1 of Anders Petersen’s City Diary, which was named PhotoBook of the Year. © Anders Petersen, published by Steidl.

In the fall edition of Aperture’s Photobook Review, which announced the shortlisted books, the descriptions of the two eventual winners highlighted not only the content of the images, but the quality of the bookmaking.

Concresco is a consistently and elegantly rendered physical object,” the short review pointed out. “This three-volume set of soft-cover paperbacks with gatefold-like flaps is densely printed on every surface,” a review noted of Petersen’s City Diary. “The ink fumes that emanate from the rough-cardboard envelope that acts as packaging are fittingly as strong and musky as the photographs themselves.”

The envelope packaging of Petersen’s City Diary. © Anders Petersen, published by Steidl.

The prizes were awarded by a jury that included Roxana Marcoci, curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Thomas Seelig, curator and curator of collections at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland; Britt Salvesen, curator and head of the Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography and the department of prints and drawings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Els Barents, director of the Huis Marseille Museum for Photography; and Timothy Prus, curator of AMC Books, selected the winners for both prizes.

All of the 30 books shortlisted for these prizes will be exhibited at Aperture in New York and will then tour to colleges, libraries and public exhibition space. To review the full shortlist visit The PhotoBook Review site here.

November 12th, 2012

Marketing Jordan Matter’s “Dancers Among Us” Photos

Photographer Jordan Matter helps out as a PDN product tester from time to time so we were pleased as punch to see his new book of photographs, Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday, debut on The New York Times‘ best seller list recently.

Matter’s images, which feature professional dancers performing in everyday situations across the United States, premiered on PDN’s Photo of the Day blog back in 2010 and then returned in March of this year. (See a few of his images below.)

Since then, the Dancers Among Us project has really taken off. Along with the book, the Internet has fallen in love with Matter’s joyful images. He was featured on Reddit in a Q&A with readers last week and several photography-related websites and blogs have run his images (often without his permission, it’s worth noting), turning the shots into the latest viral photo sensation.

Along with crediting PDN for helping him get his first early exposure of the project, Matter says the below marketing video created to promote Dancers Among Us has been successful at getting him and his work featured on the Today show and in The Washington Post.

Bravo Jordan!

© Jordan Matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Jordan Matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Jordan Matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Jordan Matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Jordan Matter

October 29th, 2012

PPE 2012: James Balog on Using Art to Alter Perception About the Environment

As the Northeast braces for Hurricane Sandy to make landfall this evening, with schools and offices—including PDN‘s—closed in preparation, it seems an appropriate time to recap photographer James Balog‘s keynote address this past Saturday at Photo Plus Conference + Expo. Balog’s talk covered his Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) project, which shows through time-lapse video the recession of 27 glaciers around the northern hemisphere, from Greenland to Iceland to Alaska to Montana and Nepal. The time-lapses are remarkable: viewers the recent spike in the earth’s temperature manifested in the shrinking of massive glaciers over the course of just a few years. Balog also introduced and screened a documentary about the EIS project, called “Chasing Ice” (see the trailer here).

Balog has dedicated his life and career to photographing the environment and nature, and his talk was more focused on how humans are changing the planet than on photography. But it did present the photographers in the audience with some insights into how photographic tools can be used to change public opinion and into how one photographer is accomplishing that task.

“Art in combination with science has proven to be effective” in shifting the public understanding, Balog noted in explaining his methods and thinking. “We are visual witnesses. [Cameras] are not just tools, they are vital parts of the sensory apparatus of the human race.” Indeed the EIS time lapses, enabled by digital camera technology, have allowed Balog and his team to show us something we could never have otherwise seen.

Balog was a budding scientist when he decided he was more interested in photography than in statistics and crunching numbers, he recalled. As a young adult he “realized that one of the pivotal issues of our era is the intersection of humans and nature,” and his work has focused on “probing that boundary,” he explained.

The EIS project grew from assignments from National Geographic and the New Yorker to photograph glaciers. Through those assignments Balog discovered a way to visualize the idea that humans “are changing the basic operating system of the earth” by burning hydrocarbons, and that that reality could be understood through looking at the planet’s ice. Glaciers serve as barometers and thermometers for the planet, Balog noted, and “everyone knows what happens when ice melts.”

When he launched the EIS project five years ago, Balog and his team created digital camera systems with custom-made timers and solar panels that would capture an image of a glacier every 1/2 hour during daylight hours. Those systems were mounted in modified Pelican cases and trekked into remote areas around the planet to record the changes to some of the most massive glaciers in the world. The results of the project address the “need to introduce more understanding of the truth” of how humans are changing the basic functioning of the earth.

During his talk Balog noted that “Chasing Ice” has been sent several times to President Obama, and to every member of Congress. The film will open in 24 theaters nationwide in November, expanding to more theaters if the public response is positive. Balog also said the EIS group is engaging with the Evangelical Creation Care movement to spread the word about the project and film among that group, which is dedicated to preserving the environment. A book of Balog’s glacier photographs, Ice: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers, was also released last month from Rizzoli.

Balog envisions the EIS project going on indefinitely, he noted. He also spoke about a new non-profit organization he is establishing called Earth Vision Trust, which will look to fund other people’s environmental projects through fellowships.

August 7th, 2012

Do You Have To Move to New York to Succeed? Here’s Patti Smith’s Advice.

When we hold PDN 30 seminars at art schools around the country, students sometimes ask me if they should move to a big –and expensive—market like New York or Los Angeles to get work as photographers. I’m never sure what advice to give: Is there a benefit to being part of a big artistic community that outweighs the need to slave away to pay the rent?  Imagine my surprise when I heard performer and writer Patti Smith offer a very clear opinion on the matter during a reading and book signing in Brooklyn Bridge Park last night.

As the setting sun turned the sky over the East River shades of pink and gold, Smith read several poems and two excerpts from Just Kids, her award-winning memoir about living and making art in New York in the late Sixties and Seventies with her friend photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. One passage described how they survived by eating at the Horn & Hardart Automat, where 65 cents could buy a chicken sandwich, and how Mapplethorpe cut a deal on a Brooklyn apartment by promising to paint the blood-spattered walls and clean the mold and old syringes out of the refrigerator.

Smith then took a question from a member of the audience seeking advice for artists trying to move to New York.  Smith said she regrets that the economy has changed so much, then added that though she can understand why someone would want to live in what she called a “great” city, she recommends that artists keep their eyes on what really matters:   “Do the work.”  Doing the work, she said, might require moving back with your family and “working out of the garage” for a while. Consider your temperament, she advised.  “I always worked 9 to 5 jobs,” and managed to draw and write in her spare time, but “Robert found it harder” to work full time and take photos. Smith, who grew up in South Jersey and lived in Detroit after she married her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith, said there are cheaper, roomier places to live in Philadelphia and Detroit. But where you live, she said, is less important than what you do.  Success, she said, isn’t determined by landing “a big gallery,” it’s determined by the quality of what you produce. “Do the work,” she repeated. The crowd of New Yorkers applauded.

Smith’s reading was part of the Books Beneath the Bridge series, which supports independently owned bookstores – that is, the few that have not yet gone the way of Horn & Hardart.

July 31st, 2012

With Much Ado About Public Service, Google Pleads Fair Use in Big Copyright Case

Arguing that its Google Books program makes fair use of copyrighted books by providing an indispensable public service, Google has asked a federal court to dismiss The Authors Guild’s claim that Google is infringing the copyrights of authors on a “massive” scale.

Google has scanned more than 12 million books–many of them still under copyright protection–as part of its Google Books program. Google indexes every word of the scanned books. It then makes snippets of the books available in search engine results, according to keywords entered by Google search engine users.

Google’s use of books is fair because it provides vast public benefits without any demonstrated harm to plaintiffs,Google asserts in its motion, filed in US District Court in New York City on July 27. (Emphasis is Google’s.)

The Authors Guild originally sued Google for copyright infringement in 2005, alleging the search engine company is scanning books without permission from authors for its own commercial gain. The guild says the Google Books program undermines the ability of authors to license and sell their books. It is seeking a court injunction to stop the Google Books program. The American Society of Media Photographers has filed a similar but separate lawsuit against Google in 2010.

In making its fair use argument, Google paints itself as a beleaguered public servant, prevented from advancing human knowledge by specious claims of copyright infringement.

“Google Books is an important advance on the card catalogue method of finding books,” the company says in its motion. “The advance is simply stated: unlike card catalogues, which are limited to a very small amount of bibliographic information, Google Books permits full-text search, identifying books that could never be found using even the most thorough card catalog. Readers benefit by being able to find relevant books. Authors benefit because their books can be more readily found, purchased, and read. The public benefits from the increase of knowledge that results.”

Google says that users cannot download the entire text of the books that show up in the search engine results. It only leads them to relevant books which they can purchase elsewhere if they wish.

The scanning and indexing of the books is fair use, Google argues, because the end use (thorough indexing of every word of every book) is “highly transformative”:  Google search engine users can search for information and get results showing snippets from all books containing the search terms. “Indeed, it is no overstatement to say that Google Books has transformed scholarly research,” the company says in its motion. “Google Books yields a literally unprecedented public benefit, and that benefit militates strongly in favor of a finding that Google’s scanning,indexing, and snippet display constitute fair use.”

Google does not mention that its apparent fit of civic virtue is driven by the potential to turn a profit by scanning and indexing the copyright works of authors. Those who use the Google Books index would effectively provide Google with personal information every time they did a search. That information could be sold to marketers, or used by Google to push highly targeted advertisements to Google search engine users.

But Google waves its hands to distract the court’s attention from all of that: “Google’s status as a commercial entity does not tip the scales against a finding of fair use…Much more significant is that a student or professor (or indeed anyone who finds a Library Project book on Google Books) is engaging in precisely the sort of use historically favored as noncommercial.”

Google and The Authors Guild had reached a tentative agreement in 2009 to settle the case. It would have allowed the Google Books program to continue if authors were allowed to opt out. But the judge in thee case rejected the agreement. He said the agreement would have to be ‘opt in’ for all authors (rather than opt out) in order to comply with copyright law.

Google has rejected an ‘opt in’ system as too cumbersome, so the Authors Guild suit has continued. The ASMP lawsuit is also pending.

Without commenting directly on Google’s motion, attorneys for The Authors Guild say they have filed their own motion for summary judgment. That motion is not yet available for public review, however.

Related stories:
Judge Block’s Google’s Divide-and-Conquer Strategy in Big Copyright Case
ASMP, Other Trade Groups Sue Google (subscription required)

June 25th, 2012

Pulitzer Center Publishes First iBook with Photographer Greg Constantine

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a non-profit organization that provides key support to photographers and writers working on long-term investigative journalism projects, made its first foray into digital book publishing late last week with the release of “In Search of Home,” an iBook about statelessness, featuring the photography of Greg Constantine and essays by Stephanie Hanes.

The interactive, 49-page book, grew out Hanes and Constantine’s long-term reporting project on “stateless” people, who are denied the basic rights of citizenship in the countries in which they live, often for religious and ethnic reasons. The iBook focuses on three populations who have no nationality: the Rohingya from Burma, the Nubians of Kenya, and people of Haitian descent living in the Dominican Republic. It features four slideshows of Constantine’s images, an audio slideshow that provides an overview on the problems faced by people who live in legal limbo without national identity, as well as other features, like an interactive map and timeline.

“In Search of Home” is the first in a series of iBooks that will be produced by the Pulitzer Center. The project, according to a post by Jon Sawyer, director of the Pulitzer Center,  on the organization’s blog, “is part of a broader Pulitzer Center initiative, seeking out new platforms and partners to extend the work of journalists we support and to make use of the extraordinary presentation of multimedia material now possible on tablets and other mobile devices.”

Proceeds from “In Search of Home,” which is being sold for $4.99 in the iTunes store and can be viewed using the iBook 2 app for iPad and iPhone, will go to Constantine and Hanes, minus the 30 percent Apple charges to carry the book on iTunes.

“We hope to make these books the capstone for the best of our projects, giving readers an immersive, narratively rich way of engaging the issues they cover,” Sawyer said. “We believe these presentations will appeal to all audiences, and especially to the university and secondary-school students that have become a major focus of the Pulitzer Center’s work.”

Related: Q&A: Getting Funding from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Picturing Non-Profit Journalism
Picture Story: An Emmy-Winning AIDS Documentary in Poetry and Pictures
Field Studies: Exploring the Complexities of War-Torn Congo