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June 24th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

mrhayata | Flickr

mrhayata | Flickr

“And read… read all the time… read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life.” ― David McCullough Jr.


The Role of Photography in Presenting Innocence and GuiltTime

Champions of Monster Polaroids Go DigitalNew York Times

Guillermo Del Toro’s 11 Rules for Visionary FilmmakingNo Film School

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand – Ken Burns

Photography’s Shifting Identity in an Insta-WorldNYT

On a Life of PhotographyCrave

Nepotism in Photography? Blame Social Media FStoppers

19 Fine Art Shooters on Their Daily RoutineFeature Shoot


Weekend Video

Gain insight into how Ansel Adams “composed” one of his best-selling images through his son Michael.

June 23rd, 2016

FAA Releases Rules for Commercial and Media Drone Operation

Yesterday the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a new set of rules for the use of drones in the United States for “non-hobby and non-recreational purposes,” i.e. commercial production and journalism. The rules introduce a certification process for drone pilots, address drone operation when people are present, and spell out when drone operators must clear their flights with local air traffic control, among many other provisions.

The rules will go into effect in early August.

The FAA released a summary of Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, for those who don’t want to read the full, 624-page document. Some of the highlights include:

  • A person operating a small UAS must either hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of a person who does hold a remote pilot certificate (remote pilot in command).
  • To qualify for a remote pilot certificate, a person must:
    • Demonstrate aeronautical knowledge by either:
      • Passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center; or
      • Hold a part 61 pilot certificate other than student pilot, complete a flight review within the previous 24 months, and complete a small UAS online training course provided by the FAA.
    • Be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration.
    • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS. Alternatively, the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the visual observer.
  • Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, and not inside a covered stationary vehicle.
  • Daylight-only operations, or civil twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
  • Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with the required ATC permission.
  • Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC permission.

Matt Waite, the founder of the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska has a good breakdown of the different airspace rules in his explainer for NiemanLab, here.

Related: Own a Drone? You’ll Have to Register It with the FAA
FAA’s Proposed Drone Rules Won’t Bar Photography

June 17th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

Carlos Lorenzo | Flickr

Carlos Lorenzo | Flickr

“My early and invincible love of reading–I would not exchange for the treasures of India.” Edward Gibbon


The Photographer Turning Forensics into PortraitureThe Guardian

On Ethics and Respect in Street PhotographyNicholas Goodden

When It Comes to Creativity, More Is MoreCreative Review

Photoshop Is PhotographyThe Phoblographer

What I Learned After Two Years as a Concert PhotographerMedium

The Life of a Photographer’s AgentCreatives Go!

Photographers of Color on the Industry’s Lack of DiversityPDN

Photogs You Should Know: Celebrity Shooter Miller MobleyRF

All That Sex and Blood, Mr. DePalma!New York Times

From Backyard Epics to Miles DavisFilmmaking Magazine

On Photographic EnvyEric Kim

Why I Shoot FilmEmulsive


Weekend Video

Official White House photographer Peter Souza sites down with BBC’s News Night to discuss what it’s like to photograph the most powerful man in the world.

June 13th, 2016

Clément Chéroux Appointed Senior Curator of Photography at SFMOMA

Clément Chéroux has been appointed senior curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the museum announced today. Chéroux will begin his tenure at SFMOMA in early 2017. He succeeds Sandra Phillips, who after a thirty-year career with SFMOMA, will assume the newly created role of Emeritus Curator as of July 1, 2016. (Click here to read PDN‘s recent interview with Phillips, in which she discusses her new role, as well as the museum’s growing investment in photography.) Ruth Berson, deputy museum director of curatorial affairs, will serve as interim department director.

Clément Chéroux. Photo courtesy of SFMOMA.

Clément Chéroux. Photo courtesy of SFMOMA.

Currently the Chief Curator of the Department of Photography at the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Chéroux will supervise SFMOMA’s photography exhibitions, acquisition program, publications, scholarship and management of the museum’s Department of Photography, which includes the Pritzker Center for Photography, the largest space permanently devoted to the medium in the United States.

“Clément brings deep expertise in the realm of modern and contemporary photography from curation to scholarship and publication, as well as a uniquely global perspective that will build on the remarkable legacy of Sandy Phillips and our innovative photography team,” Berson said in a statement.

The museum has also announced a major photography gift from collectors Lisa and John Pritzker. The gift includes 78 photographic works by 25 artists with images ranging from documentary and experimental, and from the single print to the unique artist’s book, according to SFMOMA. It includes works from André KertészVito Acconci, Dieter Appelt, William WegmanLee Friedlander, Philip Lorca diCorcia, Paul Graham and Garry Winogrand, among others.

Related Links:

Interview: SFMOMA’s Sandra Phillips

SFMOMA Announces Plan To Open Biggest Photo Center In US


June 10th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking


Brian Pirie | Flickr

“If I could always read I should never feel the want of company.”
George Gordon Byron


Remembering David GilkeyNPR

The Surprising Fate of FilmPDN

Fashion Photographers Return to FilmBusiness of Fashion

Axl Rose Doesn’t Want You to See His Fat FaceFortune

Confessions of a Stock Photography ModelVox

A Woman’s Place in the Mideast? Behind the LensWaPo

Grad School Dropout Turned Boston’s Hot Wedding Photog BG

Can Video Games Make You a Better Photographer?AV Club

10 Useless Facts About 19th Century PhotographyTelegraph

A Critical Take on “The Steven McCurry Scandal”Writing Through Light

How Stanley Kubrick Created Metaphoric RealityMentorless

Why I Think We’re Poised for a New Revolution in PhotographySake River

How Contemporary Photography Is Changing Image of Blackness HuffPo


Weekend Video

Enjoy a sampling of some of the best drone videos of the year, released this week by the second annual NYC Drone Film Festival.

June 3rd, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

Afab Uzzaman | Flickr

Afab Uzzaman | Flickr

“The problem with a life spent reading is you know too much.”
Josh Lanyon


How We Trained Software to Judge PhotographyMedium

A Disturbing Trend in PhotographyNeal Rantoul

The Afterlife of Polaroid The Nation

What I Learned When My Photo Went ViralRangefinder

VR Is Cool, But Is There Any Money In It? – ProVideo Coalition

A Crash Course on Social Issues Documentary WorkPBS

My Gear SucksKennan Hastings

Photography in a Moment of ChangeA Photo Editor

Framing Fears GUP Magazine

Photographing the Real ObamaThe Guardian

What the Guardian Gets Wrong About Photographing ObamaDisphotic

Deconstructing Structure in Photography Ming Thein

Female Cinematographers Not Hiding Behind the Camera  – NYT


Weekend Video

Take a trip through Ansel Adams’ creative process in this 1958 documentary.

June 1st, 2016

Annie Flanagan Wins $5K Michael P. Smith Grant for Documentary Photography

New Orleans photographer Annie Flanagan has been awarded $5,000 as the winner of the 2016 Michael P. Smith Fund grant for documentary photography. Flanagan won for her series “Deafening Sound” about rape culture in the U.S.

An image from Annie Flanagan's photo project, "Deafening Sound." Williston, North Dakota, 2013. Photo © Annie Flanagan

An image from Annie Flanagan’s photo project, “Deafening Sound.” Williston, North Dakota, 2013. Photo © Annie Flanagan

Flanagan photographed women who have been victims of rape and other sexual and physical abuse. Her images highlight their injuries, both physical and emotional. “Her photographs are direct and jarring, pulling us into the nightmares of these women’s lives, yet they are also tender and affecting, and at times even lyrical,” says juror Stella Kramer in a prepared statement.

Other finalists for the grant were Jeremiah Ariaz, whose work captures African American trail riders in Louisiana, and Michael Adno for his series “Cracker Politics” that covers the contemporary manifestations of historically controversial groups like the Klu Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations.

The grant, which was created by the New Orleans Photo Alliance (NOPA), is meant to honor the work and life of documentary photography Michael P. Smith. The grant is open to Gulf Coast photographers working on long-term cultural documentary projects.

A second $5,000 grant from the New Orleans Photo Alliance—the Clarence John Laughlin Award—will open for submissions on June 15. The award is meant to support the work of photographers “who use the medium as a means of creative expression,” according to NOPA’s web site.

Related Links

Annie Flanagan Named Finalist in 2015 FotoVisura Personal Project Grant

Fund Your Work: Four Documentary Photography Prizes Looking for Applications

How to Win Grants That Support Your Photo Projects

May 27th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

Plofiz | Flickr

Plofiz | Flickr

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”
Jeannette Walls


The Woman Who Influenced Diane Arbus’s Eye –  WSJ

Why Snapchat Could Change How Photographers Tell StoriesTime

Why This 150 Year Old Photography Technique Is Coming BackCNN

Tainted Love: Why Photographers Fail Lighting Essentials

Anton Corbijin, Finding Peace Through the Lens 52 Insights

Filmmaking Behind BarsABC

“Have a Viewpoint” Photographer Magazine

Filmmaking in One of the World’s Most War-Torn Regions Movie Maker

The Stories Hidden in Contact SheetsSierra Whiskey Bravo

I Am Unable to Visualize AnythingVox

The Philosophy of VR’s Most Cinematic StudioNo Film School

Shooting the Perfect PortraitBritish Journal of Photography

Why War Photographers Are More Important Than EverVanity Fair



Weekend Video

As the summer dawns, ushering in long days full of possibility, we couldn’t help but be reminded of the art of Bill Watterson. This video strays outside of photography, but we think the message resonates.

May 23rd, 2016

Diving Equipment Maker Cleared in Death of Underwater Photog Wes Skiles

A Palm Beach County jury has cleared diving equipment manufacturer Lamartek of wrongdoing in the 2010 drowning death of Wes Skiles, a renowned underwater photographer and cameraman, reports the Palm Beach Post. Skiles’s widow, Terri Skiles, filed suit in 2012 alleging that her husband had died because of faulty breathing apparatus manufactured by Lamartek. She claimed the Lamartek knew the apparatus—called the O2ptime FX rebreather—was prone to failure. She was seeking $25 million in compensation for her and the couple’s children. The death had been declared an accidental drowning by The Palm Beach County Medial Examiner in November 2010.

The lawsuit went to trial last week. Jurors found that Lamartek, which is also known as Dive Rite, was not responsible for Wes Skiles’s death. The jury also concluded the rebreather was not dangerous, according to The Palm Beach Post report

Skiles was a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine and National Geographic television. He grew up exploring the caves of northern Florida. National Geographic credits him with developing and refining a technique for using multiple strobes to dramatically light the underwater environment of caves.

Underwater Photographer Wes Skiles Dies on Shoot

Death of Underwater Photog Ruled Accidental

Widow of Underwater Photog Wes Skiles Blames His Drowning on Defective Gear

May 20th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

Jonathan Petit | Flickr

Jonathan Petit | Flickr

“People who say they don’t have time to read simply don’t want to.”
Julie Rugg


The Horror of Virtual RealityThe New Yorker

50mm Is the Only Lens You NeedWired

Facebook Is a Growing Digital GraveyardBBC

Creating a World of WonderPDN

The Case Against Steven McCurryNY Times

Your Opinion of Steven McCurry Doesn’t Matter Photo Shelter

Steven McCurry & Photojournalism’s Burden of Truth – Disphotic

Why Facts Aren’t Always Truth in PhotographyTime

The Liberating Limitation of Short

How Instagram Is Changing the Art WorldVice

What it Takes to Be a Great Sports Photographer from Someone Who KnowsForbes

Oculus Video Chief on the Future of VR FilmmakingCNET

What Every Photographer Needs to Know About BrandingRF


Bonus Weekend Audio

A podcast covering what it takes to create a successful documentary while shooting abroad featuring filmmakers Arianna LaPenne, Alex Mallis, and Brian Chang.