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March 28th, 2012

PDN Video Pick: Gregory Heisler, David Hobby and Martin Prihoda in a Self-Portrait Shoot-Out

Shoot-Out, GPP 2012

Three photographers walk into a hotel in Dubai. A guy proposes a self portrait shoot-out, and they agree to take up the challenge in front of an audience of photographers in town to attend the Gulf Photo Plus 2012 show. The first photographer, David Hobby, says, “My goal tonight is not to fatally embarrass myself in front of my long-time idols.” The second photographer, Martin Prihoda, tells the MC that still life makes him uncomfortable. (Fortunately for him, still life wasn’t the challenge.) The third photographer, Gregory Heisler, says, “I really have to pee.” Then the shoot-out begins, with an intrepid video crew on hand to capture the drama, reality-TV style. Cameo appearances by David Burnett, Zack Arias, and Joe McNally. We’ll resist the urge to spoil the surprise by revealing the winner.

March 16th, 2012

Russell Brand Charged for Throwing Photog’s iPhone Through Window

Notorious phone hurler Russell Brand turned himself in to police, who booky-wooked him for criminal damage to property (©It Books)

New Orleans police charged actor Russell Brand yesterday with two misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property for throwing a photographer’s iPhone through a window. Bail was set at $5,000 and Brand was sent on his way.

Brand turned himself in after police issued a warrant for his arrest in response to photographer Timothy Jackson’s complaint about the phone-throwing incident. Brand allegedly snatched Jackson’s iPhone and threw it through the window of a New Orleans law office as the photographer tried to take his picture earlier this week.

Brand later made light of his actions on his Twitter feed with a post that said: “Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iPhone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory.”

According to news reports, the damage caused by Brand totaled $700. He has reportedly already paid $240 for the replacement of the broken window.

Related:
Russell Brand Faces Arrest for Destroying Photog’s iPhone as ‘Tribute’ to Steve Jobs

March 15th, 2012

Russell Brand Faces Arrest for Destroying Photog’s iPhone as “Tribute” to Steve Jobs

WANTED by police for hurling paparazzo's iPhone through a window (©It Books)

Beware of iPhone wrecker Russell Brand. The actor (and ex-Mr. Katy Perry) is wanted by the New Orleans police for allegedly destroying the iPhone of paparazzo Timothy Jackson.

According to news reports, Brand snatched Jackson’s iPhone and threw it through a window as the photographer was attempting to take a picture of him earlier this week. Brand has been in New Orleans for a film shoot.

Once the internet started buzzing about the incident, Brand tried to make light of it on his Twitter feed with a post that said: “Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iPhone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory.”

Jackson filed a complaint with police, who have issued a warrant for Brand’s arrest on a misdemeanor charge.

February 15th, 2012

PDN Video Pick: Roger Ballen’s Music Video for Die Antwoord

Roger Ballen, known for his dark, unsettling photography, has brought his esthetic to the “I Fink U Freeky” video he recently directed for the South African hip-hop band Die Antwoord. The result, which has been widely circulated via social media, is a creepy but visually compelling freak show. Ballen recently explained to Phaidon that he shot photographs for the band about three years ago. They asked him to shoot a music video, which he was happy to do. “We started with my photographs for ideas and then mimicked them in the sets. Most of the sets started with almost like a ‘Roger Ballen still life’ and then we might have added in a mouth or foot or hand and then we went into them cinematically,” he told Phaidon.

January 25th, 2012

Who’s Shooting What: Nigel Parry, Peter Lindbergh Shoot New Campaigns

PDN advertising photography-Who's Shooting What

©Peter Rad--From an anniversary campaign for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, featured in PDN's Who's Shooting What column.

In the latest installment of PDN’s Who’s Shooting What column, we feature Nigel Parry’s work for the MSNBC “Lean Forward” print campaign,  Peter Lindbergh’s work with actress Gwyneth Paltrow for the Coach spring/summer 2012 campaign, a nude by Emily Shur for an advocacy campaign, plus a lot of other assignment work by photographers from all over the country (not just LA and New York). We also name the ad agencies and creatives behind the assignments for Bally, AOL, VW, Frito-Lay, Cocoa Metro and other clients.

Another special feature of the latest Who’s Shooting What column is our first-ever WSW Quiz, where readers can test their skill at separating advertising fact from fiction.

If you would like to see your advertising work featured in future installments of Who’s Shooting What, follow the submission instructions here for consideration. Please note that WSW is primarily for advertising assignment work. Editorial work is rarely included.

Now, for the fine print: you have to be a PDN subscriber to access the WSW column, which is behind our pay wall. Subscription information is available here.

January 20th, 2012

Annie Leibovitz, On the Trail of Bygone Celebrities

©Annie Leibovitz--From "Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage." Something on TV got Elvis Presley all shook up. Leibovitz took this photo in a storage room at Graceland.

New work by Annie Leibovitz goes on exhibit today at the American Art Museum in Washington, DC., and it’s only distantly related to the celebrity portraiture she’s so famous for:  Leibovitz has turned her camera on the personal effects and ephemera of celebrities from bygone eras, especially notable women.

The exhibition, called “Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage,” includes 60 personal images she shot from 2009 through 2011 while traveling around the US and elsewhere. Among the images are landscapes, but the images of things left behind by famous people are the draw.

Those images include a photograph of Louisa May Alcott’s dolls; a close-up of a something-of-hearts playing card signed by Annie Oakley, with a bullet hole that the famous markswoman put through one of the hearts; an Emily Dickinson dress; and Georgia O’Keefe’s pastels. Famous men are also represented: Leibovitz includes a photograph of TV set that Elvis Presley shot through with a large-caliber bullet sometime in the 1970s.

Leibovitz is a celebrity herself because of her commercial portraits of so many icons of pop culture.  But she has published and exhibited several personal projects in the past, notably images of her parents and her partner, the late Susan Sontag, and compiled much of it in her book “A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005.”

January 18th, 2012

4 Useful Lessons from La Redoute’s Nude Man Fiasco

Was the photographer blind, inattentive, or just following the, ah, brief?

Somewhere, a photographer has been scolded–or worse–for a catalogue image that embarrassed his or her client.

The image in question, for La Redoute, a French clothing company, shows happy kids frolicking on the beach in bathing suits–with a naked man emerging from the water in the background. The company removed the image from its Web site and apologized publicly after some shocked customers complained.

A BBC report about that apology notes that the error was “compounded by the fact that La Redoute provided a magnifying glass so that people could examine the beachwear close-up.”

This piece of news made the viral rounds a couple of weeks ago, so perhaps you’ve already heard about it. But we wanted to point out the silver lining: There are lessons to be learned from the unfortunate mistakes of others. In this case, they include:

–When location scouting for a kids’ catalogue shoot, avoid nude beaches.
–If someone on set says, “There’s a nude guy in the background, but we can fix that in post,” don’t just say, “Yeah, yeah” and forget about it.
–Have someone review your images for nude guys (and other glitches you’ve tuned out) before you send them to the client.

The magnifying glass raises pesky questions, though. Was the nude man really an error, we wonder? Or was he planted intentionally in a perverse kind of “Find Elmo” game–that came complete with a magnifying glass–in order to generate publicity for the company?

So that brings us to Lesson #4: If a client asks you to plant a nude guy in a catalogue image, go ahead and oblige them. Just ask them to leave your name out of it, so when they send their public apology to the BBC, it doesn’t look like you screwed up.