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November 7th, 2011

Photographer Stephen Ferry Awarded First Tim Hetherington Grant

Stephen Ferry has received the first-ever Tim Hetherington Grant, it was announced this morning. The grant was established to honor Hetherington, the photographer and filmmaker who was killed in Libya in April, 2011, and is administered by World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch with the support of Hetherington’s parents.

For more on the grant and Ferry’s work see our story on PDNOnline.

September 27th, 2011

LUCEO Opens Online Store In Effort to “Assert Creative Control”

Photographer collective LUCEO Images announced the opening of an online store that the group of documentary photographers hopes will allow them to “assert more creative control over the production and distribution of our work,” they said.

The group will sell limited- and open-edition prints, books and other creative work through their online store. The store’s proceeds will go into a general fund supporting new projects by the photographers, as well as other initiatives like their grant for student photographers and their donations in support of other photographers through crowd-funding sites like KickStarter and Emphas.is.

LUCEO is launching the store with the sale of the second issue of their magazine, 2×2. The magazine features the work of members Kendrick Brinson and Matt Eich, and it is also being sold in a limited edition featuring two prints.

The collective plans to offer a new print for sale on the site every two weeks.

More at store.luceoimages.com.

September 7th, 2011

Cover of French Edition of Franzen Novel Appears to Rip Off Photog’s Book

Coincidence? The covers of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom (left) and Sanna Kannisto's Fieldwork.

The cover of the French edition of Jonathan Franzen’s bestselling novel Freedom bears more than a passing resemblance to Sanna Kannisto’s photo book Fieldwork, which was published earlier this year by Aperture. The similarity led Aperture publisher Lesley A. Martin to accuse the French publisher, Editions de l’Olivier, of creating a “copycat cover” via Twitter.

Both covers feature photographs of flying birds against white backgrounds, and the covers are also laid out almost identically, with the titles and author names at the centers of the covers.

Somewhere in France a graphic designer has some explaining to do.

September 1st, 2011

Valerio Spada Wins 2011 Photography Book Now Grand Prize

© Valerio Spada

Valerio Spada of Milan, Italy has won the $25,000 grand prize in the fourth annual Photography Book Now competition, sponsored by Blurb, for his book  Gomorrah Girl. The book, which explores life in Naples among the Camorrah (the local name for the Mafia), was chosen by a panel of jurors from among more than 2,300 entries. Spada’s book and 12 other winners in several categories will be exhibited starting September 15 at the Aperture Gallery in New York City.

The Photography Book Now contest, now in its fourth year, honors creativity and innovation in self-published photo books.  Gomorrah Girl was not published using the Blurb publishing platform.

“Mr. Spada’s self-published book is a strong embodiment of the complex criteria the judges used: strong photography, important subject matter, vigorous edit and intelligent sequencing, combined with a thoughtful attention to those elements that are specifically book-centric,” says  Darius Himes, lead judge for the competition.

The category winners are:

Fine Art
Rene Nuijens, Yuri Gagarin: 50 Years of Human Space Flight
Documentary
Rafal Milach, In The Car With R
Travel
Thomas Michael Alleman, Sunshine & Noir
Student
Goseong Choi, Umma

The People’s Choice winners are:
Fine Art
Zoltan Vansco, Unintended Light
Documentary
Peter Irmai, Summer Garden (Sommergarten)
Travel
Idan Hojman, Along the River
Student
Ian Waelder, Circus Life

A full list of winners, including runners up and honorable mention selections, can be found at the Photography Book Now site.

Related stories:
Judith Stenneken Wins Photography Book Now Prize

How to Distribute Your Self-Published Book

Self Publishing Done Right

June 21st, 2011

PDN Video Pick: Into the Half-Life

Into the Half-Life from Donald Weber on Vimeo.

In this piece by Donald Weber photographs, video and quotations from residents of Zholtye Vody, Ukraine, combine to tell the story of a community crippled by health issues related to mining and enriching uranium for use in weapons of mass destruction. Weber recently received a national magazine award in Canada for his photo essay on Zholtye Vody, which was published in The Walrus.

A member of VII Network, Weber is currently at work on a book, and on July 21 and 22, Weber will be teaching two grant writing workshops in Berlin. Weber estimates that he’s won $178,000 in grants supporting his work over the past five years. For more information visit: http://donaldweber.tumblr.com/.

May 18th, 2011

How to Shoot a Book Cover in 15 Minutes

Have you been offered a great assignment but been given a near impossible deadline? (Join the club, right?)

Photographer Jordan Matter had just such a dilemma recently when he was asked, at the very last minute, to shoot the cover photo for a new novel being published by Penguin entitled “The Grief of Others” by Leah Hager Cohen.

The book is about a family dealing with the loss of a child and the publisher was having a tough time finding the right cover art. Rather than go with something no one was happy with, they called in Jordan to see if he could capture an image that worked.

The twist was that while the novel was about a serious subject, the publisher wanted the image to offer a sense of hope while also suggesting mystery. And, oh yeah, the photo also had to have two essential items in it: home and light. Sounds challenging already, right?

The second twist was that Jordan would have only 48 hours to shoot it.

Here’s how he handled it:

“First, I needed to find the home. My wife suggested a stunning yellow Victorian, and I approached the owner – ‘Are you home tomorrow? Want a nice photo of your house?’. Then I needed to find the right mix of family members – kids had to be the right age, parents under 40 and attractive. I combined two sets of friends to obtain the perfect mix. We all met and waited for sunset. I had not done any location scouting nor did I bring any lighting, and proceeded with trust that it would work out. We turned on all the house lights, and as the skies darkened I shouted out directions from across the street. I took 100 photos in 15 minutes, and then it became night.”

That was just the beginning though. Read more on Jordan’s blog to find out how he got to the final image that made in on the cover (shown above).

May 2nd, 2011

Israeli Photographer Wins $50k Robert Gardner Fellowship for 2011

© Miki Kratsman, from the series "Targeted Killing."

Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology has awarded the 2011 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography to Miki Kratsman, an Argentinean-born photographer who has lived in Israel since 1971.

Kratsman, who has exhibited his work internationally and was included in the Venice Biennale in 2003, has also worked as a news photographer covering the Palestinian occupied territories for Ha’aretz newspaper since 1986.

During his fellowship, Kratsman will create a body of work that considers how Palestinians appear to outsiders. For one segment of the project, which builds on his “Targeted Killing” series, Kratsman will photograph Palestinians with a lens used by the unmanned aircraft of the Israeli Defense Forces. Photographs of shadids, or martyrs, as they are seen in posters in the occupied territories will be the basis for another segment of the project. For a third portion of the work, Kratsman will photograph articles of clothing warn by Palestinians when they were killed, a nod to Francois Aubert’s 1867 photograph of the shirt of Mexican ruler Maximilian just after he was executed.

The Robert Gardner Fellowship, named for the award-winning documentary filmmaker and author who was formerly the director of Harvard’s Film Study Center (1957–1997), funds the work of “an established practitioner of the photographic arts to create and subsequently publish through the Peabody Museum a major book of photographs on the human condition anywhere in the world.” The four previous fellows are Guy Tillim (2007), Dayanita Singh (2008), Alessandra Sanguinetti (2009), and Stephen Dupont (2010).

April 29th, 2011

AP to Publish Royal Wedding Keepsake Book Next Week

© AP Photo/APTN

Did a family emergency, act of God or snooze button prevent you from tuning in to watch the Royal Wedding this morning? Don’t worry, the Associated Press has you covered. The wire service sent 21 photographers to document every last detail of Wills’ and Kate’s big day.

AP picture editors are already picking through the thousands of images AP photographers made, the best of which will be gathered into a commemorative book that will be available next week (technology!) from online on-demand publisher My Publisher. The handshake between Mr. Middleton and the Prince, the exchange of rings, the kiss (!), that rascal Harry’s proud smile—all of these moments can be yours to cherish.

The limited-edition book—limited to what, you ask? As many copies as people are willing to order, we’d wager—will be available in two sizes. Prices for your very own Royal Wedding album have yet to be announced, but we’re pretty sure they’re just going to call it priceless. Well played, AP.

Watch this space: http://www.mypublisher.com/royalwedding

April 19th, 2011

Tsunami Slide Show iPhone/iPad App Benefits Red Cross Japan

© PAULA BRONSTEIN

A new iPhone/iPad slide show app, featuring images of tsunami devastation and rebuilding in Japan taken by 14 international photographers, has been launched to benefit the Japanese Red Cross Society. The “3/11 Tsunami Photo Project” app sells for 99 cents on the iTunes store, and has been released with help from Kodansha Ltd., Japan’s largest publisher.

The current version of the app has images, comments and audio recordings by Dominic Nahr, Adam Dean, Shiho Fukada, James Whitlow Delano, Paula Bronstein, Jean Chung and Keith Bedford. An update to the app, due out later this month, will add contributions from Pieter Ten Hoopen, David Guttenfelder, Giulio di Sturco, Ko Sasaki, Jake Price, Guillem Valle, Ryo Kameyama. In all, the app will show 120 images by 14 photographers.

To purchases the app, visit the Apple iTunes store:
itunes.apple.com/app/id431226495#


April 14th, 2011

Photogs Crowd-Sourcing a Global Map of Photo Book Stores

Photographer Matt Johnson and designer Wayne Ford, who operate the Web site Photo Book Club, have been hitting the social media channels asking for recommendations for great photo book stores around the world. They’re plugging the recommendations into a Google map, which they aim to turn into a comprehensive resource. They are up to 50 78 stores in several countries.

Check out the map to make suggestions or to find out where to look for books on your next trip:

http://photobookclub.org/index.php/resources/