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May 17th, 2013

Video Pick: PDN’s 30 Panel at Palm Springs Photo Fest

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the PDN‘s 30 panel at this year’s Palm Springs Photo Festival, you can now watch it below! The symposium, called “PDN Presents: Strategies for the Emerging Photographer,” took place on Monday April 29 and was moderated by PDN Editor Holly Stuart Hughes. The panelists were: 2013 PDN‘s 30 photographers Ian Allen, John Francis Peters and Jessica Sample; Photo Editor Emily Shornick, who works at NYMag.com’s The Cut; and Sony Artisan of Imagery Andy Katz. The photographers discuss how they transitioned to shooting professionally, while Shornick gives insight on what photo editors are looking for when hiring photographers.

You can see the complete list of 2013 PDN‘s 30 photographers at pdnevents.com/pdn30.

PDN’s Strategies For The Emerging Photographer at the Palm Springs Photo Festival from PALM SPRINGS PHOTO FESTIVAL on Vimeo.

April 22nd, 2013

Video Pick: Thomas Dworzak’s Long View of the Caucasus

Since the 1990s, Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak has explored the volatile republics of the Northern Caucasus. It’s a region that’s now in the news because alleged Boston bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had ties there, but  Chechnya, Dagestan, Georgia and other republics of the Caucasus have long been a source of curiosity and geopolitical ambitions, especially in Russia.

In his 2010 book, Kavkas, Dworzak, who is now based in Georgia, wrote: “Having discovered the importance of the ‘Caucasus Experience’ in 19th century romantic Russian literature, I finally put together a book with all the images from my years spent in the Caucasus.” Kavkas includes images Dworzak took while covering the conflicts in Chechnya and Abkhazia and their aftermath, as well as scenes from Dagestan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ossetia.

In the book’s introduction, Dworzak called Kavkas “a toast to the Caucasus.” Magnum in Motion made a multimedia slide show of some of the images from the book. They appear on screen as in the book, interspersed with text from writers including Tolstoy, Lermontov and Pushkin.

While many of Dworzak’s images are poetic and allusive, and compliment the writers’ rhapsodic prose, at other times they make a sharp contrast, showing the violence and hardship the region has seen in recent years.

Related article:
Boston Bombings Focus Attention on Caucasus, And Photo Projects on the Region

Notable Photo Books 2010 (review of Kavkas, published by Schilt)
(For PDN subscribers only.)

April 2nd, 2013

Video Pick: One Family Business Copes with Climate Change

The team of Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele have long been using multimedia and video to get beyond statistics and portray the stories of individuals around the world whose lives are affected by climate change. The four new films in their Facing Climate Change are about people in the Pacific Northwest adapting to rising sea levels and atmospheric change. The films premiered this year at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival and are currently being shown around the country on a nationwide tour.

Their film “Oyster Farmers, Facing Climate Change” uses dramatic underwater footage, documentary photography and video, music and interviews to tell the story of Kathleen Nisbet and her father, Dave, who have for years farmed oysters in Washington’s Willapa Bay. Recently, however, oyster larvae and young oysters have been dying at an alarming rate because of the acidity of local waters, caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide. The problem is particularly acute off the Northwest coast. The Nisbets’ solution:  moving some of their business to Hawaii, where there is less ocean upswell, and thus the acidity in the water is increasing less rapidly.

Drummond and Steele had many partners in the making of the new films, including the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington and Washington State Department of Ecology, and they received major funding from Nau’s Grant for Change and several other funders. You can read about the making of the film on Drummond and Steele’s blog, bdsjs.com/blog. You can view all the videos at bdsjs.com/facing-climate-change/ and on Vimeo.

March 19th, 2013

Video Pick: An Intimate Look at a Hoarder

The winners of the PDN Edu Student Photo Contest   were announced last week. Alexander Kreher, of Virginia Commonwealth University, won the multimedia/video category
with an 18-minute short film, “Street Dreams,” about the young woman who became the first female to run alone and unsupported across the United States. She made the 2,867 mile-run to raise $17,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

In his other video submission, a piece called “All Those Wonderful Things,” Kreher uses a mix of stills, video and a compelling audio interview to tell the story of one woman’s struggles with hoarding, the financial problems it creates, and the disappointment she feels about her life. Kreher made that four-and-a-half minute piece while studying at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.

“All Those Wonderful Things” can be found on Vimeo.

September 27th, 2012

Video Pick: A Partnership to Fight the Stigma of Incarceration

During a panel discussion at ASMP’s “Sustainable Business Models: Issues & Trends Facing Visual Artists” symposium, Stephen Mayes, managing director of the VII Photo Agency warned photographers not to think of themselves strictly as service providers. He suggested looking not for clients, but for “partnerships.” He said VII has successfully formed several such partnerships, in which the entity paying for the photos isn’t necessarily the same company that’s using the photos. One such partnership is the VII Photo Agency’s recent work creating videos and photo essays for Think Outside the Cell, a non-profit organization that works with the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated and their families to help end the stigma of incarceration

The campaign was funded by the Ford Foundation, and VII acted as Think Outside the Cell’s “exclusive visual communications partner,” according to the press release from VII. The photographs and video that VII photographers created for the Think Outside the Cell web site show the ordinary lives of people who were formerly incarcerated in order to raise awareness about the stigma and challenges they face upon release from prison— problems that go far beyond discrimination when applying for jobs. The stories the photographers tell also explore “the local, state and federal laws that prevent formerly incarcerated persons from accessing the resources necessary to establish a stable and productive life.”

The first of the videos, ten minutes long, debuted on the Think Outside the Cell web site this week. It’s a collaboration between Ed Kashi, Jessica Dimmock, Ashley Gilbertson and Ron Haviv; the videos are edited by Francisco Fagan.

Here’s a short trailer:

The Prison Photography blog has begun a five-part series on the Think Outside the Cell campaign, and will be running weekly interviews with each of the photographers. Part One of the series was posted this week. In it, writer Pete Brook talks to Sheila Rule and Joseph Robinson, co-founders of Think Outside The Cell, and one of the subjects featured in the video. They explain how the organization is addressing the problems of the formerly incarcerated, how the campaign was planned, and why the partnership with VII was, in Rule’s words, “a natural fit.” Says Rule, “We are both driven by storytelling. Stories change hearts and minds.”

September 14th, 2012

PDN Video Pick: Chasing The Light (With the New Nikon D600)

Wildlife photographer Florian Schulz, who we profiled in the August 2012 issue of PDN, was asked by Nikon to put the recently released D600 through its paces. Schulz was the first photographer to test the camera in the field. He and his brother, filmmaker Salomon Schulz, produced this short film, titled “Chasing the Light.”

NIKON – CHASING THE LIGHT from Florian Schulz on Vimeo.

Related: Photokina 2012: Nikon Debuts Smaller, 24.3MP Full-Frame D600 DSLR for Photo Enthusiasts

July 18th, 2012

Video Pick: “I Ain’t No Cowboy.”

Belgian photographer Titus Simoens has been working off and on across the United States, photographing slices of life in the American West. He recently won the Best in Show award at the Foto8 Summershow in London (featured on PDN Photo of the Day);  one of his images of America was honored in PDN’s Great Outdoors competition in 2011.

Simoens has co-directed a documentary, billed as “the story of two young cowboys,” called Miles Away. The documentary was shot in Cow Camp, Idaho, where Simoens also shot still images. Cow Camp is where cowboys Gene and Josh live for six months of the year, tending cattle, managing the land and repairing fences while living in a house without running water or electricity. The documentary has won awards at the Berlinaire Film Festival in Ghent, Belgium, and the Docuwest Film Festival in Golden, Colorado. It is now out on DVD.

The trailer for the documentary shows Gene and Josh at work (footage set to harmonica music) and then, in the last seconds, offers a glimpse at what their home life is like.

For more on the documentary “Miles Away,” visit the Web site:
www.milesaway.be

July 6th, 2012

Video Pick: Making a Leica M9-P ‘Edition Hermès’ Camera

This summer, as part of its ongoing collaboration with the French fashion house Hermès, Leica announced a special “Hermès Edition” of the M9-P camera. Above is a video that shows the care and attention to detail that goes into making one of the limited-edition cameras.

The calfskin leather that’s wrapped around the camera’s body was supplied by Hermès and various details of the camera, including the top and base plates, the shutter speed dial, the multifunction wheel and the shutter release, were redesigned by Walter de’Silva. The camera comes in two sets: the first includes a Leica Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens; the second includes Leica Summicron-M 28 mm f/2 ASPH., Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. and APO-Summicron-M 90 mm f/2 ASPH. lenses as well as an Hermès camera bag and a book of photos by Jean-Louis Dumas.

Dumas, the chairman and artistic director of Hermès from 1978 to 2006, was a well-known photography buff who was rarely without his Leica camera. He invested in the camera maker and decided that the Madison Avenue Hermès store in New York City should have a photo gallery on its top floor. To learn more about the retailer’s unique exhibition space, read our interview with curator Cory Jacobs.

May 23rd, 2012

Video Pick: William Wegman on Walking Canes and Dogs


Omhu, the design firm that makes stylish canes and other mobility aids, teamed with photographer William Wegman to produce a photo library and video that presents canes—and the mobility they provide—in a fun way.

It features one of Wegman’s classic subjects, a Weimeraner, interacting with one of the canes, which are made using high-performance materials used for skateboards and bikes. Rie Nørregaard, creative director and president of Omhu (Danish for “with great care”), was a leader on the cane design and the new campaign.

Both the cool-looking canes and the dancing, leaping, bounding Weimeraner shown in Wegman’s photo library are intended to encourage people to move more.

The company fills a void in the market, supplying products for an aging population that doesn’t want to sacrifice style for functionality. Maybe Omhu can make a nice looking case for my reading glasses.

You can view the photo library on the Omhu web site, and the video can also be viewed on Vimeo.

April 30th, 2012

Video: How Erik Almås Works with Dinosaurs

© Credit Suisse/photo by Erik Almås

Erik Almås says he prefers “crafting” images to “capturing” them. Working with ad agency Euro RSCG in London, Almås crafted an ad for Credit Suisse that features the eco-friendly Oxygen scooter, a Credit Suisse client. He shot images in multiple locations and in a photo studio, which were then blended with some computer-generated images of dinosaurs. No, the CGI dinosaurs are not a reference to Terence Malick’s Tree of Life, but to the era when fossil fuels were not yet fossils.

This slickly produced behind-the-scenes video shows Almas shooting in Hawaii,  Arizona, and on the set. It also reveals what Euro RSCG and Credit Suisse marketers hoped to communicate and how the finished ad pulls all the photographic elements together.

 

The video can be viewed on Vimeo here.