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June 18th, 2014

Suffolk County Pays $200K to Settle News Photographer’s Unlawful Arrest Claim

Frame grab from Philip Datz's recording of an enoucnter with a police officer that led to his arrest. The officer shown here repeatedly ordered Datz to "go away." When Datz questioned the order, the officer said, "There's nothing you can hold over my head."

Frame grab from Philip Datz’s recording of an encounter with a police officer that led to his arrest. The officer shown here repeatedly ordered Datz to “go away.” When Datz questioned the order, the officer said, “There’s nothing you can hold over my head.”

Suffolk County, New York  has agreed to pay freelance news videographer Philip Datz $200,000 to settle civil rights claims stemming from Datz’s unlawful arrest for recoding county police activity on a public street in 2011. In addition, the Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD) will institute an ongoing training program for its officers to safeguard “the constitutional right of the public and press to observe, photograph and record police activity in locations open to the public,” according to the settlement terms.

The settlement agreement was approved by the Suffolk Count legislature yesterday.

“This settlement is a victory for the First Amendment and for the public good,” Datz said in a prepared statement posted by NPPA, which helped Datz make his Civil Rights claim. “When police arrest journalists just for doing their job, it creates a chilling effect that jeopardizes everyone’s ability to stay informed about important news in their community.”

Datz, a freelancer, provides footage for local TV news broadcasts. He was shooting the scene of an arrest of a criminal suspect in Bohemia, New York on July 29, 2011 when a county police sergeant approached him and repeatedly ordered him to “go away.” Datz asked where he should stand to continue taping, but the police sergeant said “no place” and threatened to jail Datz if he didn’t leave the scene.

Datz moved down the street and continued recording, and was promptly arrested. Police confiscated his camera and videotape. According to his lawsuit, Datz suffered a shoulder injury during his arrest, and was handcuffed to a police station desk for two hours before police charged him with “obstructing governmental administration.”

Datz recorded the moments leading up to his arrest, during which a police officer confronted him and told him he was prohibited from filming the scene, even from a distance. The officer repeatedly told Datz to “go away” repeatedly. Datz moved a block away, and when he resumed recording, the officer sped up to him in a patrol car and placed him under arrest.

Datz posted the video on YouTube afterwards, and prosecutors ended up dismissing the charges against him in August, 2011. Datz then sued, claiming his arrest was unlawful and that police had violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights.

Under the terms of the settlement, Suffolk County and the SCPD admitted no wrongdoing.

Related:
Police Intimidation Watch: Photog Sues a Long Island Police Department

NH Town to Pay $57K to Settle First Amendment Claim in Traffic Stop Video Case

PDN Video: A Photographer’s Guide to the First Amendment and Dealing with Police Intimidation

June 17th, 2014

What We’re Following on Instagram This Week

Here’s what the @pdnonline folks are checking out this week on Instagram.

© Cengiz Yar (@hfwh)

© Cengiz Yar (@hfwh)

Cengiz Yar, Jr @burndiary
Burn, the online magazine for emerging photographers founded by David Alan Harvey, has been using Instagram to post photo essays: one photographer sharing photos from somewhere in the world for seven days. This week: Cengiz Yar, Jr., (@hfwh) posting from Syria, mainly the Kurdish-controlled region, and from a refugee camp for Syrians in Lebanon.

 

© Patricia Lay Dorsey (@patricialaydorsey)

© Patricia Lay Dorsey (@patricialaydorsey)

@socphotogallery
Thanks to PDN’s 30 photographer Zun Lee (@zunleephoto), whose work we featured last week on PDN Photo of the Day and on the @pdnonline Instagram feed, for introducing us to this one. Social Photography is using Instagram as a virtual gallery and online forum in connection with its physical gallery exhibition this month at Indy India Art Gallery in Indianapolis. Social Photography is fostering a dialogue about how social media and the sharing of images is changing both photography and how we view our daily lives. In addition to Zun Lee, contributing photographers have included Samantha Box, Lauren Bohn and Patricia Lay Dorsey.

© Daro Sulakauri (@darosulakauri)

© Daro Sulakauri (@darosulakauri)

Daro Sulakauri for @opensocietyfoundations
Daro Sulakauri (@darosulakauri) is taking over the IG feed of Open Society Foundations, posting from Tchiatura, a manganese-mining town in the Republic of Georgia. The story is brutal, the images beautiful.

© Carl De Keyzer/Magnum Photos (@carldekeyzer of @magnumphotos)

© Carl De Keyzer/Magnum Photos (@carldekeyzer of @magnumphotos)

Carl De Keyzer for @newyorkerphoto
Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer (@carldekeyzer) is taking followers of the New Yorker Photo Booth to an exotic locale called his backyard. All week he’s posting from his home and garden. De Keyzer lives in a restored castle “somewhere between Ghent and Brussels in Belgium.” This proves, yet again, that you don’t have to venture too far to make great photos, especially if you live in a restored castle and have a garden with peacocks and geese and a big white dog.

June 9th, 2014

Obituary: Roger Mayne, Documentarian of London’s Post-War Working Class

"Southam Street, 1956" © Roger Mayne/Courtesy Quaritch

“Southam Street, 1956″ © Roger Mayne/Courtesy Quaritch

Roger Mayne, whose images of working class neighborhoods in London in the late 1950s established his reputation as an important post-war British photographer, died June 7th at the age of 85, according to a statement from Gitterman Gallery. The cause of death was a heart attack, the gallery says.

Mayne began photographing working class youth and neighborhoods of West London in 1956, two years after moving to the city to become a photographer. “For Mayne, even the empty streets and dilapidated buildings had ‘a kind of decaying splendor,’” says Gitterman. Mayne spent five years on the project, and his work captured the spirit of an era before London’s run-down neighborhoods were razed and modernized, destroying many of the working class communities in the process.

He was particularly interested in the lively youth culture–”teddy boys, jiving girl, and kids playing in the streets,” according to his Gitterman. “By 1959 Mayne’s images were so indicative of this period that Vogue used them to illustrate teenage styles.”

His work was recognized early by various photographic societies and institutions. In 1956, he had solo exhibitions at the George Eastman House in Rochester, and at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. During the late 1950s, his work appeared in a number of group shows. The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago also acquired prints of his work.

Mayne went on to a successful career as a freelance photographer, working for various magazines and newspapers. A solo exhibition at The Victoria and Albert Museum in 1986 renewed interest in his work, according to Gitterman. His work has since appeared in several exhibitions, including shows at the Tate Britain in 2004 and 2007. He had a solo last year in Bath, England at Victoria Gallery.

Mayne is survived by his wife, Ann Jellicoe, as well as by a daughter, a son, and their families.

June 3rd, 2014

Photo Agencies Test Consumer Market with Prints–and T-shirts

One of seven images offered for sale in "Seven x 7 x VII-Print Flash Sale" this week. Photo © Ashley Gilbertson.

One of seven images offered for sale in “Seven x 7 x VII-Print Flash Sale” this week. Photo © Ashley Gilbertson.

In a week-long “flash sale” intended to raise cash for operations and test new ways of engaging with audiences, VII is offering signed 8×10″ prints for $100. Meanwhile, Magnum has announced a 67-hour flash sale of its own, offering signed 6×6″ prints for $100 starting on June 17. In addition, Magnum has struck a deal with Photo.Clothing to emblazon works by various Magnum photographers on t-shirts.

The ventures reflect a new reality for the venerable photo agencies, which have until now steered clear of mass consumer markets to protect their elite brands, and the high value of their members’ work. But their traditional markets and existing streams of revenue may no longer be enough, forcing them to test consumer markets.

“We had a pretty animated discussion about this at the [VII general meeting] in Paris, [and] some questioned whether their prints would lose value if they were to be involved,”  says VII Photo member Ashley Gilbertson.

“Many of us don’t believe that we live in a world that demands we choose to be squarely in the museum / collector side or selling to the public at a far more affordable cost. We can do both, and have been diligent in this sale and will be in the future to protect the higher end print market with edition prints and such.”

For one week only, VII Photo is offering signed prints by six photographers for $100 each. The photographers participating in the sale are Gilbertson, Antonin Kratochvil, Gary Knight, Ed Kashi, Christopher Morris, Anastasia Taylor-Lind, and John Stanmeyer. The sale began May 30 and ends June 6.

Gilbertson says all proceeds from the sale will go to support the business operation of VII, which were recently “slimmed down to give us a chance to grow in different ways.”

The sale lasts only a week because the agency doesn’t have the staff resources to sustain it on an ongoing basis. “Additionally, I think it’s more interesting as something that pops up and then disappears - the prints are an open edition, but there is an inherent value in the photographs only being offered for a short window,” Gilbertson says.

The agency is planning to do two more sales, each featuring the work of different photographers, “to eventually include everyone at the agency,” Gilbertson adds.

Gilbertson says selling images directly to the public expands the audience for VII photographers’ work. “Why should our work live in major collections alone? It shouldn’t. These images have just as much power on the wall, or even on the ‘fridge, in the home of a citizen. Communication is our game, and this is the right move that supports that goal.”

For its part, Magnum has announced a special offer of signed 6×6″ prints of a selection of photos to be announced in the days prior to the start of the sale on June 17. The agency, which did not respond to PDN’s repeated requests via phone and email for an interview, says the 67-hour sale is intended to commemorate its 67th anniversary.

Magnum has also struck a deal with start-up company Photo.Clothing to provide images by several photographers for reproduction on t-shirts. The t-shirts offered for sale so far through Photo.Clothing’s Kickstarter page feature images by Martin Parr, Chris Steele-Perkins, Bruce Gilden, Richard Kalvar and David Alan Harvey, according to the UK-based magazine Creative Review.

So far, seven backers have contributed about $400 toward Photo.Clothing’s Kickstarter goal of $20,000.

May 27th, 2014

Photojournalist and Translator Killed in Eastern Ukraine; 1 Photographer Injured in Mortar Attack

Italian photojournalist Andrea Rocchelli, and his Russian interpreter, Andrei Mironov, were killed May 25 by mortar fire near Slavyansk in the Eastern Ukraine, the Italian foreign ministry reported.

They had been covering fighting between pro-Russian rebels and government forces in the region. William Roguelon, a French photojournalist who was  traveling with Rocchelli and Mironov, told news organizations that they came under mortar fire and had taken shelter in a ditch when they were hit. Roguelon is now recovering from injuries sustained in the attack.

Rocchelli, 30, had previously covered stories in the Caucuses, Afghanistan, India, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, the NPPA reports. This year, he covered the protests in Kiev’s Maidan Square. In 2008, Rochelli cofounded the photo collective Cesura. He is survived by his girlfriend and their son, age 3.

Mironov, 60, was a human rights activist who had been imprisoned as a dissident during the Soviet regime.

May 20th, 2014

Open Society, Smith Memorial Fund, Burn Magazine, Boulat Association Calling for Grant Applications

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund,  Open Society Foundations, Association Pierre et Alexandra Boulat, and Burn Magazine are all soliciting applications for major photojournalism grants. Deadlines are fast approaching.

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund has issued its last call for entries for its $30,000 Grant in Humanistic Photography. There is a $50 application fee, and the deadline for entries is May 31.

The grant is awarded annually to a photographer whose past work and proposed project follows the documentary tradition of legendary photojournalist W. Eugene Smith. Recent winners include Robin Hammond, Peter van Agtmael, and Krisanne Johnson.

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial fund is also calling for entries for the $5,000 Howard Chapnick Grant, which is awarded for education, research, or special projects undertaken in support of the field of photojournalism. Applications for that grant are due July 15, and there is no application fee. See smithfund.org for full details.

The Association Pierre et Alexandra Boulat, based in Paris, has put out a call for entries for the 8,000 euro (about $11,000) Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Grant for photojournalism. The grant is given “in order to allow the winner to produce a story that has never been told but that the photographer cannot find support for within the media,” the association says on its web site. Past winners include Arnau Bach, Maciek Nabrdalik, and Lizzie Saadin.

Applications are due by June 7. There is no application fee. See the association’s web site for an application and guidelines.

The Open Society Foundations Documentary Photography Project is soliciting proposals for its 2014 Audience Engagement Grant program. The grants, in varying amounts, are designed to help documentary photographers and photo-based artists use their work to affect change by engaging with NGO partners to reach targeted audiences. The deadline for applications is July 8, 2014.

For the first time, OSF is awarding Audience Engagement Grants for training workshops, to help applicants develop their projects, as well as grants for project implementation. See the OSF web site for additional details and application guidelines.

Burn Magazine has announced a call for entries for its $10,000 Emerging Photographer Fund grant. There is a $25 application fee, and the deadline for entries is July 31. The grant, initiated in 2008 by Burn magazine founder David Alan Harvey, is intended to support the continuation of the winners’ personal projects. Past winners have included Diana Markosian, Matt Lutton, and Davide Monteleone. More information is available on the Burn magazine web site.

Related:

Open Society Announces 2013 Audience Engagement Grant Winners
Anatomy of a Successful Grant Application: Joseph Rodriguez on the Audience Engagement Grant (PDN subscription required)
Robin Hammond Wins $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Fund Grant

May 14th, 2014

Kidnapped, Beaten, and Shot in Syria, Photographer and Writer Manage to Escape

Photographer Jack Hill and reporter Anthony Lloyd of The Times of London escaped to Turkey after they were kidnapped, beaten and shot by a rebel gang in Syria, the newspaper has reported.

The two journalists had been in Aleppo accompanied by bodyguards, and were returning to Turkey when their car was forced off the road and they were taken hostage by about seven men.

Hill was forced into the trunk of a car, and “savagely beaten” when he tried to escape, The Times reported. Lloyd was held in the back seat of the car, and was shot twice in the leg during the ordeal.

The two journalists eventually fled to safety in Turkey, although details about how they escaped were not immediately available.

Related:
Spanish Journalists Freed After 194 Days in Captivity in Syria
Freelance Photographer Killed in Syria

May 6th, 2014

New Free Web Service Claims to Offer Solution to Runaway Image Fakery

San Jose-based Fourandsix Technologies has announced plans to capitalize on “a growing distrust of manipulated images” with the launch of new forensic tool “to prove that hosted photos have not been modified with Photoshop or other tools,” according to a press release.

The tool is available for free to individual users at izitru.com. A developer API making it possible to integrate the photo authentication software into any website is available to third parties for a fee.

“Viewers are unsure of what to trust, whether they’re looking at a selfie on Facebook, an item for sale on eBay, or a dramatic storm cloud photo on Twitter,” the company says in its announcement.

The izitru.com website prompts users to upload their JPEG images, which are then subjected to six different forensic tests to distinguish original camera files from “subsequent derivations”–ie, files altered with Photoshop or other tools.  “Images that pass all six of these tests get the highest trust rating,” the company says in its announcement.

One of our first questions was, Can this tool be used to determine the authenticity of images already posted online–such as winners of major awards in photojournalism contests, or any other news images, for that matter? (more…)

May 1st, 2014

George Steinmetz Wonders: Was It Worth Getting Arrested for National Geographic Cover Story Photos?

Brookover Ranch Feed Yard near Garden City, Kansas, with adjacent crop circles of grain used to fatten cattle. © 2014 George Steinmetz/National Geographic

A picture worth being arrested for? Brookover Ranch Feed Yard near Garden City, Kansas, with adjacent crop circles of grain used to fatten cattle.                © 2014 George Steinmetz/National Geographic

This month’s cover story of National Geographic, about how to meet growing worldwide demand for food, is the story that got photographer George Steinmetz in trouble last June, and he’s still stinging from the experience.

Caught in the political crossfire between animal rights activists and agribusiness interests trying to make it illegal to photograph factory farm operations, he wound up in jail in Kansas while on assignment to shoot the story, called “The New Food Revolution.”

“It was quite a surprise to me,” says Steinmetz, who is renowned for the beautiful aerial landscapes he shoots all over the world, and who is used to encounters with authorities. “I’ve been detained in Iran and Yemen, and questioned about spying, but never arrested. And then I get thrown in jail in America.” (more…)

April 29th, 2014

ICP Celebrates Infinity Award Winners (Recap and Video Links)

Last night the International Center of Photography honored photographers working in photojournalism, fine-art and fashion at the 30th annual Infinity Awards. The awards were inaugurated in 1985 as a way to recognize outstanding achievements by photographers working in various genres within the medium.

It was the first Infinity Awards ceremony for new ICP director Mark Lubell, who promised the crowd that the organization would remain at the “center of the conversation” about the medium. Perhaps as a way to illustrate that point, ICP arranged for a drone to photograph partygoers during the cocktail hour, then put those photographs on-screen at the beginning of the ceremony.

The Cornell Capa Lifetime Achievement Award was given to German-born photographer Jürgen Schadeberg, who as an expatriate in South Africa during Apartheid, made some of the most famous images of Nelson Mandela, and encouraged black South African journalists to pick up cameras and tell their stories.

James Welling was honored for his contribution to fine-art photography; Steven Klein for fashion; Stephanie Sinclair and Jessica Dimmock were honored for photojournalism; Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin were honored for their publication Holy Bible; and Samuel A. James received the Young Photographer award.

Sinclair and Dimmock received a standing ovation from the crowd for their work documenting the practice of child marriage and its effects on adolescent girls, their families and their communities. The project, “Too Young To Wed,” is a decade-long pursuit for Sinclair that has spawned a non-profit that she hopes will help young girls and communities do away with the practice of child marriage.

Samuel A. James, who in his young career has worked extensively in Nigeria documenting the impact of oil extraction on the culture—including photographing the illegal tapping of oil pipelines and makeshift refining operations by impoverished Nigerians—thanked the Nigerians who “gifted me these stories” during a short acceptance speech. James also dedicated the award to a friend who was killed in an explosion while attempting to refine black-market crude oil.

In accepting the Publication award for their book Holy Bible, for which they combined the King James Bible with images from the Archive of Modern Conflict, Broomberg and Chanarin called the book their “attempt to somehow illustrate this text,” and said they hoped it would be an invitation to others to make their own attempts. They also paid tribute to their publisher, Michael Mack for his production of the book, and to the Queen of England, who owns the copyright to the King James Bible.

In a slightly incongruous presentation, pop star Brooke Candy spoke about Steven Klein and introduced a high-octane video that reviewed much of Klein’s work. The fashion photographer briefly thanked the crowd after noting that, “photography pretty much saved my life.”

MediaStorm produced short documentary films about all of the recipients except Klein. Watch those films on the MediaStorm site here.

Related: Tour de Force: James Welling’s Artistic Versatility
Best Photo Books of 2013