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February 25th, 2013

DKNY Atones for Unauthorized Usage by Donating $25K to Photog’s Community YMCA

brandon-stanton-DKNY

Brandon Stanton’s images were used without permission in a window display at a DKNY store in Bangkok.

 

When DKNY used several photographs by Brooklyn, New York-based street photographer Brandon Stanton in a display window without permission, Stanton took to social media to get the word out and ask the clothing company to donate to a local YMCA in his community, the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn. The multinational clothing company responded by giving the YMCA a $25,000 donation in Stanton’s name.

“I didn’t want to take on a powerful company in any sort of litigation,” Stanton told PDN via email. “I don’t have time for that right now. I also didn’t want to try to personally enrich myself by drawing attention to the matter. So I decided on the YMCA.”

He added, “I’ve seen firsthand how much they help the community.”

DKNY had originally approached Stanton months ago and had offered him $15,000 for use of 300 images for store windows. When Stanton asked for more money, the clothing brand balked, and the deal fell apart, the photographer claims.

Then Stanton discovered his images were being used anyway in a DKNY store in Bangkok. He took to Facebook to share his story and demand that the company make a charitable donation rather than

compensate him. Stanton wrote: “I don’t want any money. But please SHARE this post if you think that DKNY should donate $100,000 on my behalf to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. That donation would sure help a lot of deserving kids go to summer camp. I’ll let you guys know if it happens.” The post spread, earning more that 60,000 Facebook shares and likes, and several thousand comments.

This afternoon DKNY responded with a statement on their social media sites, saying their Bangkok store “inadvertently… used an internal mock up containing some of Mr. Stanton’s images that was intended to merely show the direction of the spring visual program.”

“DKNY has always supported the arts and we deeply regret this mistake,” the statement said. “Accordingly, we are making a charitable donation of $25,000 to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn in Mr. Stanton’s name.”

After DKNY agreed to make the donation, Stanton published their response on Facebook and thanked everyone who supported him. “$25k will help a lot of kids at the YMCA,” he wrote. “I know a lot of you would like to have seen the full $100k, but we are going to take them at their word that it was a mistake.”

DKNY may have another problem, though. Stanton doesn’t have model releases for his images, he told PDN. “Part of DKNY’s original pitch to me was that I would obtain model releases from 300 of my subjects. Seeing as though no agreement was reached, that was never done.”

Whether that could come back to bit the DKNY and its parent company, LVMH, Inc., remains to be seen.

Amy Wolff contributed reporting to this article.

February 19th, 2013

Olympus Unveils Slim, High-End 12MP Stylus XZ-10 Compact Camera

Olympus-XZ-10_BLK_FRONTOlympus updated its X-Series of compact cameras this morning with the portable and lightweight Olympus STYLUS XZ-10, which incorporates many of the same high-end features of the flagship STYLUS XZ-2 compact in a slimmer body. The new luxury compact camera boasts a bright f/1.8 to 2.7 zoom lens, pro-style manual settings, ISO 6400 capability, a 12-megapixel back-lit CMOS sensor and Olympus’ TruePic VI image processor.

The Olympus XZ-10 comes in black, brown, or white and will sell for $399.99, starting in late March 2013.

More details in the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE

The Olympus STYLUS XZ-10 iHS Proves Less Is More with Lightweight High Performance

New Ultra-Portable, Ultra-Bright High-End Compact Puts Power in Your Pocket at an Affordable Price

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 19, 2013 – Olympus refines its X-Series with the extremely compact and lightweight Olympus STYLUS XZ-10, which incorporates many of the same high-performance features of the flagship STYLUS XZ-2 in a stealthier body. The new high-end compact is an ideal combination of optical brilliance and usability in a pocket-sized design that blends a super-bright f1.8 to 2.7 zoom lens, pro-style manual settings, ISO 6400, 12-Megapixel backlit CMOS sensor and powerful TruePic VI image processor.

Its flexible 26-130mm* wide-angle iZuiko Digital 5x optical zoom lens with excellent brightness, even at its maximum zoom, fits into a body that is about 40 percent smaller by volume** than its predecessor. Olympus’s advanced iHS image processing technology, and a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor combine with the large-aperture lens to deliver high-sensitivity, low noise and blazing auto-focus performance that translates to excellent image quality from a compact camera. Even at high ISO settings, iHS technologies deliver low noise and radiant colors with crisp details and rich gradation in both dark and light parts of the frame.

XZ-10 upgrades include 120fps high-speed HD movie recording and Photo Story, which shoots a group of still photos straight into attractive, pre-prepared layouts that are ready for sharing via FlashAir without the need for more work on a computer. Modes like the popular Handheld Starlight Mode with Flash make blur-free shooting without a tripod possible even in difficult lighting, and HDR Backlight Adjustment for ideal exposure when shooting against the light.

Just like the STYLUS flagship XZ-2, the XZ-10 has a customizable control ring around the lens so users can adjust key settings such as aperture and exposure time manually without having to take their eye off the subject. Alternatively, users can assign ISO or metering to the Fn button on the back of the camera to ensure quick, easy handling on the go.

Olympus-XZ-10_BLK_BACKBasic operations and settings of the Olympus STYLUS XZ-10, starting with touch controls and Live Guide, as well as a graphic user interface, will be familiar to Olympus PEN and OM-D shooters. Instantly activate the Touch AF Shutter function to select the subject you want to focus on and activate the shutter simply by touching (no swivel), 920,000 dot LCD screen. With a tap of the finger, it can focus on fast-moving subjects and trigger the shot.

In addition to superior still image quality, the 1080p Full HD Movie capability with stereo sound captures movies in the best quality currently available in compact cameras. Multi-Motion Movie IS image stabilization corrects for the common gradual camera shake that occurs when shooting on the move, delivering more stable, higher-quality movies. Beautiful movies can be shot even longer with a 1920 x 1080 High-Definition size and MOV/H.264 movie compression that has an excellent compatibility with computers.

Users can easily share their images on a big-screen HDTV in high definition using an optional HDMI cable or on their social networks using the Olympus Image Share smartphone application (via optional Toshiba FlashAir SDHC card or optional Eye-Fi Card).

*35mm equivalent.
**Based on external dimensions.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Olympus STYLUS XZ-10 will be available in late March 2013, and ships with a USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack, Li-Ion Battery Charger, Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS ib software CD-ROM, Manuals and Registration card.

Estimated Street Price: $399.99 (Available in black)

For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website: http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/digitalcameras/xz-10.html

February 5th, 2013

Liz Hingley Wins $15,000 PhotoPhilanthropy Prize

©Liz Hingley

©Liz Hingley

Photographer Liz Hingley has won the 2012 PhotoPhilanthropy Activist Award in the professional category, organizers of the competition announced last week. She will receive $15,000 for a story she shot for Save The Children about a UK family living in their first house after residing for three generations in caravans.

“This series of photographs was taken during two years of close collaboration” with the family of two parents and seven children, Hingley explained on her entry form. “I formed a trusting relationship….in order to develop a more subtle visual language, which provides new ways of representing the stories of both struggle and resilience.” The photographer noted that it was the first time Save the Children “was able to use real peoples’ stories to communicate the meaning and experience of genuine deprivation in a wealthy country.”

The PhotoPhilanthropy Activist Awards is an annual competition to recognize bodies of work by photographers who collaborate with non-profit organizations to affect social change. Runners up in the professional category this year were Gwenn  Dubourthoumieuon, who shot a story about copper mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo for The Carter Center; and Sara Anjargolian, who shot a story about poverty in Armenia on behalf  of Tufenkian Foundations.

Other 2012 Activist Award winners included Kai Löffelbein, who won in the student category for work he shot for Society for Community Organization; and Natasha Kharlamova in the amateur category for work she completed for Our Sunny World. Löffelbein and Kharlamova will receive $2,000 each.

The judges for the competition included documentary photographers Phil Borges and John Isaac; Denise Wolff, photo book editor for Aperture; Alexa Dilworth, publishing director and senior editor at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University; and Margaret Aguirre, global communications director for International Medical Corps.

See more information about the 2012 contest and winners. See a slideshow of Hingley’s entry here.

October 23rd, 2012

FotoDC Presents the 5th Anniversary FotoWeekDC Festival – November 9-18, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

What began in 2008 as a week-long local photography festival has grown into a year-long, international commitment to the medium. While the venues, categories, and events offerings have evolved with each year, dedication to the FotoDC/FotoWeekDC missionremains constant: to provide exposure for photographers and make diverse, high-quality photography accessible through exhibitions and collaborations.

Now in its fifth year, the 2012 FotoWeek DC Festival features a new platform of events, exhibits, partnerships, and learning opportunities all over the city. FotoWeek Central, homebase for all things FotoWeek DC, comprises 40,000 square-feet of exhibit space in our nation’s capital and will host the Benefit Launch Party, the FotoWeek Central Lecture Series, the FotoBooks exhibit, and more than ten full-scale exhibits by the 2012 International Awards Competition finalists, Uncover/Discover 2012 winners, Photo Philanthropy, Flak Photo, and Reporters Without Borders/Magnum Photo Agency, just to name a few. Festival passes cost just $5 and offer unlimited entry to FotoWeek Central (tickets at the door will cost $7).

The Goethe-Institut will be the home to the Portfolio Reviews, a festival mainstay, FotoWeek EDU, a new series of seminars, and the winners of the FotoBook competition.  Portfolio reviews offer the opportunity for photographers of all levels to receive critical feedback and insight on their best work from experienced professionals during a 25-minute session. Registration costs $75/session and is now open – take a look at the reviewer bios and select the best match for your own style and photographic goals.FotoWeek EDU Seminars bring industry experts and photography leaders to share their knowledge, techniques, and unique approaches in the areas of photojournalism, storytelling, presentation, self-publishing, marketing, and more. Tickets for each session cost $165 and include access to evening meet-and-greet cocktail receptions that follow each seminar. Then, it’s a wrap! Review and unwind at the Closing Party on Saturday, November 17, held at the former Spanish Ambassador’s Residence, and toast the close of another successful festival.

Want to come to FotoWeekDC from out of town? No problem! FotoDC’s new partnership with Destination DC, the official tourism corporation for Washington, DC, includes hotel packages starting at $94.99 per night for the duration of FotoWeekDC (November 9-18, 2012). The ten participating hotels gift each room occupant with an extra incentive to explore the city: a $10 Metro SmarTrip card. Participating hotels include: Comfort Inn and Suites near Union Station, Helix, a Kimpton Hotel, The Dupont Circle Hotel, and The St. Regis Washington, D.C., and more. Please visit FotoWeekDC.org for more information.

Stay tuned for more information on FotoWeek By Night and even more events and programs as they are finalized and added to the new-and-improved festival calendar.

 (Sponsored Post)

October 3rd, 2012

Brazilian Artist and Two New Yorkers Transform New York City

(Sponsored Post)

Bel Borba Aqui New York (BBANY) is a multi-facetted visual art project by Bel Borba, Burt Sun and André Costantini. It was conceived after André and Burt completed a feature length documentary entitled “Bel Borba Aqui”, on Brazilian artist Bel Borba (which opens at the Film Forum in NYC on October 3rd.) BBANY overlaps the theatrical release of the film in addition to creating live street art and a new short film posted every day for 30 days. Where “Bel Borba Aqui”, the feature film, was filmed entirely in his hometown, Salvador, Bahia, BBANY seeks to bring Bel’s transformative artistic interventions to New York City.

It seems that sometimes the lines between art and life become blurred. What started as a journey documenting art became the art itself. So it was appropriate that the 30 days of street art is presented with support of the Crossing the Line Art Festival part of the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF).

Bel Borba Aqui New York can be broken down into the following components. ”Diario Baiano” (The Diary of a man from Bahia region of Brazil) is a challenge to create art for 30 days on the streets of the 5 boroughs of NYC from September 14th to October 13th. While Bel creates installations and ephemeral art using mostly recycled materials, Burt and André document his actions using D-SLR’s taking advantage of both still and video capabilities. Because the art is temporary, the short films ultimately become the tangible art piece. Every day after shooting, André edits the film which is uploaded and viewable at http://diariobaiano.wordpress.com/ Then on Sunday October 14 many of the sculptural artworks created from recycled water barriers will be installed in Times Square by Father Duffy Square for a public showing for a 24 hour period.

Also in Times Square, for the entire month of October, as part of the “Times Square Moment: A Digital Gallery” will be the first film ever created specifically for the Times Square Art Alliance by Bel, Burt and André and is entitled “Universal Pulse.” The collaboration depicts visual transformations on the NYC landscape evoking at once a sense of present and nostalgia. It will simultaneously occupy 16 Jumbotron screens around the square and can be viewed once a day from 11:57pm to midnight.

August 27th, 2012

Studio Lighting Made in Germany – For Almost 65 Years Multiblitz® Creates Studio Lighting Equipment for Professional Photography.

Sponsored Post

Multiblitz®, the German manufacturer with the longest tradition in developing studio lighting for professional photographers around the world, brings German-engineered state-of-the-art lighting equipment to the US.

Named after Harold G. Edgerton’s famous multi-flash exposures in 1949, Multiblitz pioneered the development of the first electronic flash unit in continental Europe in the late 1940s. At Photokina 1976, Multiblitz forever changed the photography world, by introducing the industry’s first compact monolight, the Ministudio 202. It was the first compact studio flash that could be easily stored in a case, including tripods and umbrellas – the first studio lighting kit was born. Since then, Multiblitz was accountable for many innovative products that were well ahead of their time, culminating in the TIPA Award winning flash system Profilux Plus in 2010.

The Multiblitz Profilux monolights are designed for the ambitious amateur/emerging professional. Available in 250 & 500 Ws versions, both models feature 5 f-stops – adjustable in 1/10th increments. The battery operable Profilux Plus monolight targets the professional photographer with more energy output and shorter flash durations. It is available in 200, 400, and 800 Ws versions with 7 and 8 f-stops respectively (800 Ws model), also adjustable in 1/10th increments. The multi-voltage Profilux Plus units can be powered with Multiblitz Propac battery packs, delivering up to 3200 on-location flashes at maximum output. All flash units are fan-cooled, automatically dissipate flash energy, and covered under a 3-year manufacturer warranty.

Propac Battery Pack w/Trolley

Multiblitz manufactures at the company’s headquarters in Cologne, Germany. Here, a 55,000 sq ft facility houses the entire production cycle. From conceiving an idea, designing and engineering the product, to finally manufacturing studio lighting equipment. With over 60 years of experience in developing premium studio lighting, Multiblitz is the most experienced manufacturer for photographic lighting equipment.

“Our products are an alternative to over-priced brands or cheap imports from Asia.” said Veit Wulms, president of Multiblitz USA. “We give amateurs and professionals the opportunity to experience German-made, premium quality studio lighting at a reasonable price. Here in America, Multiblitz products are sold directly at our online store. With this strategy we can guarantee competitive prices and excellent customer service.”

Starting in August 2012, Demo Events will familiarize photographers with Multiblitz equipment. Photographers will have the chance to get hands-on experience with Multiblitz studio lighting equipment in a real-life situation.

For more information about Multiblitz Studio Lighting, products and demo events, contact Multiblitz USA, P.O. Box 36118, 
Baltimore, MD 21286-6118, info@multiblitzusa.com, http://www.multiblitzusa.com.

July 17th, 2012

Nielsen Photo Group Issues Statement on PIX Digital Magazine

On July 10 The Nielsen Photo Group, parent company of Photo District News, Rangefinder, and other publications and photography events, introduced a new, free digital magazine called PIX. A statement from The Nielsen Photo Group regarding the launch of PIX was sent out in PDNewswire, PDN‘s weekly newsletter, on July 12. Click here to read the full statement: http://tinyurl.com/pixmagazine

March 7th, 2012

Litepanels® Ships Croma Variable Color-Temperature LED Lighting Fixtures

Croma

Sponsored Post

Litepanels®, a Vitec Group brand, announces that the Croma on-camera LED lighting fixture, capable of generating variable color temperature illumination, is now shipping.

The Croma provides Litepanels hallmark soft light with the addition of variable color temperature output ranging from daylight (5600°K) to tungsten (3200°K). It is a versatile solution for run-and-gun news shooters, event videographers or still photographers who move rapidly from one light environment to the next, with no time to change lighting equipment or add gels. Delivering powerful performance in a small package, this self-contained light can be a secret weapon on any set or location, wherever an extra kick or soft fill is needed.

Croma provides infinite control of both color temperature and lighting intensity via two ergonomic on-fixture dials. One offers the ability to dim from 100% to zero with no noticeable color shift. The second lets the user dial-in the fill light to any point between daylight (5600°K) and tungsten (3200°K) to precisely match the ambient light.

The Croma draws just 9W, and provides the equivalent luminance output of 40W – 90W traditional fixtures. To power the fixture, the user has the choice of AA batteries or optional AC adapter. Six 1.5V AA batteries install within the Croma to provide power from 1.5 to 6 hours, depending on battery type.

The compact Croma weighs just 12 oz. (.4 kg) and measures 6” x 4” x 2” (54mm H x 36mm W x 102mm D).

“Our new Croma is an on-camera color-temperature versatile LED lighting fixture that can match the ambient light with a quick turn of a knob, making it the go to light for any environment,” said Chris Marchitelli, Litepanels VP of Global Marketing. “Videographers and DSLR shooters alike will wonder how they ever managed without it.”

For more information on Litepanels LED lighting, contact Litepanels, Inc. 16152 Saticoy Street, Van Nuys, CA 91406, Email: info@litepanels.com www.litepanels.com

February 21st, 2012

Cindy Sherman: Anticipating YouTube and Facebook Since 1975

"Untitled Film Still #21." (1978) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Horace W. Goldsmith Fund through Robert B. Menschel © 2012 Cindy Sherman

The idea that identity is easily constructed and manipulated for the cameras may not seem ground-breaking, but Cindy Sherman has been at it for 35 years, long before the age of reality TV and Facebook. Since the start of her career, Sherman has had an uncanny ability to anticipate the cultural zeitgeist, and her influence permeates contemporary portraiture, where so much imagery is self-consciously constructed for the camera.

Her talent and influence are on spectacular display in a retrospective of her career at MoMA, beginning with what amounted to her eureka moment–a series of identity-bending self-portraits she made as a student in 1975–and progressing through her career to her 2008 series of society portraits. The exhibit adds up to more than the sum of its parts, underscoring Cindy Sherman’s influence and intent in ways that are not always obvious in her individual works.

Sherman is known for her ingenious and provocative creations of (mostly) female character types, all of which are photographs of the artist herself dressed in the different roles. That all of her images are self-portraits is at once beside the point and central to the meaning of the work: Throughout her career, Sherman has explored the malleability of identity and how, with a complicit photographer, identity can be invented and re-invented through dress, make-up, and props that trigger cultural cues and references so familiar to viewers. At first glance, the subjects look familiar and real.

Of course, Sherman is both model and photographer. She shoots without assistants, doing all of the make-up, hair styling, and prop styling herself. And the images aren’t of Sherman or her alter-egos. They’re meant as commentary on popular culture, expressed as a kind of performance art in front of the camera. (“One thing that I’ve always known is that the camera lies,” she said in a 1983 interview.)

Her Untitled Film Stills, for instance, comprise 70 8×10 black and white images that examine  the ideals of femininity and beauty perpetuated by Hollywood during the 50s and 60s. Inspired by the cheap publicity stills handed out by movie studios of that era, Sherman re-created scenes in which she starred as career girls, housewives, bombshells, and other female movie archetypes. Her 2008 society portraits, meanwhile, are a commentary on the tragic and vulgar affects of a certain cohort of aging woman of wealth, struggling to keep up with demands placed on them by a culture obsessed with youth, beauty, and status.

Sherman didn’t show up at the MoMA press preview on February 21. She is reportedly unassuming and genuinely nice in person, but generally press shy. She also prefers to avoid interpreting her work, leaving that to the viewer instead (all of her works are untitled for that reason).

But she explained in a 1987 interview,  “When I was in school I was getting disgusted with the attitude of art being so religious or sacred, so I wanted to make something that people could relate to without having to read a book about it beforehand. So that anybody off the street could appreciate it, even if they couldn’t fully understand it; they could still get something out of it. That’s the reason why I wanted to imitate something out of the culture, and also make fun of the culture as I was doing it.”

But Sherman’s intent is not simply to parody the character types she depicts; there is genuine empathy in the dark undercurrents of her imagery. It is also richly layered, complex and open to broad interpretation–attributes that make the work so enduring–without being opaque.

The Cindy Sherman exhibition at MoMA runs through June 11, 2012.

Related:
PDN Photo of the Day: Cindy Sherman

November 28th, 2011

Israel Apologizes to Lynsey Addario

Israel’s Defense Ministry has apologized to photojournalist Lynsey Addario after soldiers subjected her to a humiliating strip search at a Gaza Strip checkpoint several weeks ago, according to an Associated Press report. The search occurred after Addario, who is pregnant, was forced to pass three times through an X-ray machine, despite the concerns she expressed for her unborn baby.

Addario complained in a letter to the Defense Ministry that before arriving at the checkpoint, she had asked not to go through the machine because of her pregnancy. She said soldiers “watched and laughed from above” as she was forced through the machine, and that she had never been treated with “such blatant cruelty,” according to AP.

A Pulitzer-winning photojournalist who has worked in more than 60 countries, Addario has endured some rough treatment in the past. Last spring, she was groped by forces loyal to deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi after they captured her along with three other journalists working for The New York Times.

Addario was on assignment again for The New York Times when she was mistreated by Israeli soldiers at the Gaza checkpoint.

“We would like to apologize for this particular mishap,” the Defense Ministry said, explaining that security was tight on the Gaza border “to prevent terror from targeting and reaching Israel’s citizens.” The Ministry said that Addario’s request to avoid the X-ray machine had not been handled properly, according to the AP report.