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July 8th, 2011

Jason Groupp Appears to Survive Hungarian Challenge to Guinness Flash Record

Guinness record holder Jason Groupp appears to have survived a challenge to his world best mark of lighting 300 flashes in a single photo.

According to a least one published report, an attempt was made to break Groupp’s controversial record this past week in a public square in the northern Hungarian town of Eger.

Apparently, Mother Nature may have played a part in the failed effort. Or maybe the record was, in fact, broken but Guinness was not on hand to verify the feat. (Scattered news reports are still coming in and being translated by our crack team of linguists.)

From this Google-translated blog:

“Unfortunately, time was not kind to us, because when the rehearsal began, the rain burst (in a few minutes after our arrival). The villanj pears and only then, but diligently shining. A few minutes later I poured properly, had to hurry. The distributors have ensured that the power villanj pears to have swam in the rain water, but it worked well.”

Groupp did not seem worried that his record was in jeopardy. “Looks like someone ‘tried’ to break my Guinness World record,” he bragged on Facebook. “I think this record is safe for a little while.”

In May, the New York-based Groupp attracted the admiration (and ire) of his fellow photographers when he harnessed the power of 300 small strobes to light a group portrait at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. The photograph broke the Guinness record for most flashes used in an image.

Could this emerging rivalry become the Kobayashi vs. Joey Chestnut of the small strobe lighting world? Time will only tell.

July 7th, 2011

How Rene Burri Herds Photographers (Video)

Do photographers make the worst portrait subjects?  That’s a question for Rene Burri, who has been taking group portraits of the members of Magnum Photos at the cooperative’s annual meeting for over 30 years.

At Magnum’s recent meeting in Paris, Chien-Chi Chang shot a short video of Burri as he attempts to direct and cajole the members in three languages. The resulting portrait appears at the end of the video.

June 29th, 2011

Death of a Photojournalist (and Super Hero) Announced

Peter Parker, who was arguably the most famous newspaper photojournalist (albeit a fictional one) and superhero, has died. The final installment in the “Death of Spider-Man” comic book series went on sale June 22, Marvel Comic announced last week. (Speculation that Parker, Spider-Man’s alter ego, committed suicide after scathing reviews of his Broadway musical, “Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark,” are currently unfounded.)

Longtime fans of the web-slinger needn’t fear, though. The Spider-Man killed in this month’s Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #160 is a re-imagined version created in 2000 under Marvel Comics’ Ultimate Marvel imprint as part of an effort to appeal to a younger audience. One recent storyline involved Parker being fired from the Daily Bugle for doctoring photos.

While the Ultimate Marvel version was being published, the original Spider-Man was having his own adventures in several series that were published concurrently. The more seasoned Spider-Man, created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, will continue to grace his own monthly titles.

Somehow we knew the real Peter Parker would never Photoshop photos meant for publication.

June 17th, 2011

PDN Video Pick: Bicyclist Fights City Hall with Moral Outrage (and Humor)

Tempers have been flaring for months over New York City’s bike lanes. Residents blame them for adding to traffic congestion; bicyclist claim motorists who flout the rules make the bike lanes unsafe. Against that backdrop, filmmaker (and bicyclist) Casey Neistat has posted a 3-minute video titled “bike lanes” to protest a fine he had to pay for straying outside a bike lane. His initial encounter with a police officer makes for a slow start, but if you stay with it, the rest of the video makes for quite an entertaining short.

June 17th, 2011

If Whistler’s Mother Had Worn Stilettos

This new fashion spread features high production values, detailed styling, great lighting, lots of imagination… And it induces giggles, as fashion photography often does.

Photographer Peter Lippmann, known for exquisite still lifes, has re-interpreted several well known paintings, by Zubaran, Whistler, de la Tour and others. In each photo, he’s placed a shoe or handbag from the 2011 collection of luxury fashion designer Christian Louboutin. The idea seems to be that Louboutin’s sculpted, bejeweled and befeathered shoes and clutch purses are works of art.

What strikes us funny is that none of the models in the photos are actually wearing the shoes — they’re holding them in their laps, gazing lovingly at them as they sit on a table or carrying them atop a tray of fruit.  That’s probably wise, because posing in those heels could hurt. And people who collect Louboutin’s red-soled creations aren’t really interested in their practicality.

Still, it would have been nice if Whistler’s mother had spiced up that dowdy outfit of hers with a pair of roccia leather ankle boots with studded piping. After all, she’s got a foot rest.

All photos © Peter Lippmann

Via StyleBubble.co.uk

April 13th, 2011

Photo Auction/Event to Benefit Japan Rebuilding To Be Held Next Week in NYC

A silent auction of photographic prints to benefit relief efforts in Japan will be held next Thursday, April 21 at 25CPW Gallery in New York City. The auction is being organized by a group of NY-based Japanese and American photographers, and includes work donated by more than 60 photographers.

Ticket sales for the event, and 100% of proceeds will go to Architecture for Humanity, a non-profit organization that is helping rebuild communities affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

Participating photographers include Gilles Bensimon, Kenro Izo, Elliott Erwitt, Jean Gaumy, Lois Conner, Nina Berman, Suzanne Opton, Wayne Liu, James Whitlow Delano, Jonathan Mannion, and Stephen Ferry.

In addition to a silent auction, the event will feature Japanese-themed live music, food and drink.

The event is dubbed The Wa Project, after the ancient Japanese term, which “dates back to the 8th century and means many things,” says a statement by the organizers. “It is the ancient name of the spirit of the country itself. It also stands for peace and calm and is a symbol of the circle, unity, and harmony.”

The Wa Project is being produced through a partnership with Nuru Project, 25CPW and Sombra Projects, with contributions from the Magnum Foundation and Friends Without Borders.

For more information on participating artists, and to purchase tickets, please visit http://waphotographyauction.com/.

March 31st, 2011

Adolfa Peeling Potatoes (and 59 other unusable stock photos)

©Marcel Steger

Stock agencies frequently boast about the size of their image collections. Just yesterday, in fact, a well-known agency announced that its collection had reached 23 million images. It’s impossible to know how many images make up the entire stock photo universe, but suffice it to say the number runs into the hundreds of millions, at least. And the laws of probability dictate that some bad images–and I mean, really bad–are going to slip past the gatekeepers.

BuzzFeed.com has compiled a gallery of some of the worst examples. It’s hard to imagine how many of these pictures were even conceived, much less approved by photo editors. In fact, some are so outlandish that it occurred to us they might be hoaxes. We can’t vouch for the authenticity of all the watermarks indicating where the images came from, but Corbis confirmed that the image at above is indeed from its collection. It was shot by photographer Marcel Steger, and a Corbis spokesperson sent a link to his portfolio, presumably to help mitigate the shock of this particular image by giving it some context.

The BuzzFeed gallery also includes a dozen or so images from Getty, including the one shown at left. Asked whether this and the other images with Getty watermarks are really from Getty, an agency spokesperson said she’d get back to us. We’ll update the post if we get more  information.

To see the rest of the gallery, click here at your own risk.

March 18th, 2011

Friday Fun: The Fitness Republic of China, by Christopher Wahl

http://www.thefitnessrepublicofchina.com

Corporate photographer Christopher Wahl shot this video in a park in Shanghai, China, on one of his days off. He used a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and turned the whole piece into a microsite of nonstop repetitious exercise movements,  http://www.the fitnessrepublicofchina.com (rollover each individual frame on the site to hear the accompanying audio. “I was inspired by how a simple movement and the initial act of practice is reflective in the lives of many living in China,” Wahl says. His favorite is the man in the blue sweatsuit shaking his posterior. What’s yours?

All images © Christopher Wahl