May 14th, 2015

How Greg Constantine Keeps a Human Rights Story in the Public Eye, and the News Cycle

An outdoor exhibition of Greg Constantine's photographs in the Plaine de Plainpalais park in central Geneva. Photo courtesy Greg Constantine.

An outdoor exhibition of Greg Constantine’s photographs in the Plaine de Plainpalais park in central Geneva. Photo courtesy Greg Constantine.

For more than a decade, photographer Greg Constantine has worked to document the lives of stateless people—people who have no nationality and are denied basic human rights—in places such as Sri Lanka, Kenya, Malaysia and Ukraine. Constantine has also photographed Burma’s Rohingya Muslims, hundreds of thousands of whom live as refugees in Bangladesh, who are trapped “in a cycle of misery that has no borders,” he writes in a statement about his work.

Creating photographs is just the start for Constantine. By exhibiting his work in cities all over the world, and by engaging with universities and non-governmental organizations, Constantine has developed a unique and effective approach to building an audience for a serious topic.

Developing new methods for getting his work out is essential, says Constantine, who is exhibiting his Rohingya photographs through May 28 at PowerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, and is participating in a panel discussion about Burma and the Rohingya at the Open Society Foundations on May 18. Traditional media outlets tend only to cover the plight of the Rohingya during tragedies. In the past two weeks, the Rohingya have been in the news because a mass grave was discovered at a human trafficking camp in Thailand, while other traffickers, fearing a crackdown, abandoned trafficking boats, stranding thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshis at sea, prompting global media coverage. “Whenever something really tragic happens it pops up in the news and then it just kind of evaporates,” Constantine notes. Read the rest of this entry »

May 14th, 2015

Federal Judge Sanctions City of Atlanta for Continuing to Violate Photographers’ Rights

In the wake of recent violations of news photographers’ rights by Atlanta police, a US federal court judge has held the City of Atlanta in contempt of a 2012 court order to reduce interference with citizens documenting police activity.

US District court judge Steve Jones handed down the civil contempt ruling against the city yesterday, and imposed sanctions intended to force compliance with the 2012 order and “address future monitoring of [Atlanta’s] compliance with the order.” Read the rest of this entry »

May 13th, 2015

PDN Video: Gillian Laub on Winning Over Reluctant Subjects to Film “Southern Rites”

Gillian Laub: "Southern Rites" And The Challenges of Access from PDNOnline on Vimeo.

In 2009, Gillian Laub’s story in The New York Times Magazine about segregated high school proms in Mount Vernon, Georgia, stirred national outrage, which finally forced the community to integrate the proms. Afterwards, Laub faced down the hostility and threats of locals to work on a documentary film about race relations in the area. In this PDN video, she describes the challenges of filming where she was unwelcome, and how she managed to win the confidence of her subjects– including a murder suspect who had granted no media interviews before he sat down with Laub. Titled “Southern Rites,” the film debuts May 18 on HBO. Laub’s still photographs are showing at Bonnie Benrubi Gallery in New York City from May 14-June 27, 2015. Damiani will also publish a book of the work in June.

Related:
PDN Photo of the Day: Gillian Laub’s “Southern Rites”

Shaul Schwartz’s Reel Peak Films: A Production Company Devoted to Editorial Documentaries

May 11th, 2015

Andy Biggs Talks Shop About Moab’s New Juniper Baryta Rag

Sponsored by Moab

Wildlife photographer Andy Biggs has a well-stamped passport. “I’ve been everywhere, man,” he says with a chuckle, listing his recent travel itinerary—including India, Tanzania, Utah, Botswana and Scotland—while noting that Africa is his “home turf” for dramatic wildlife and nature pictures. The Houston-based lensman’s travels have a dual purpose: He leads photo-workshop safaris on the road, and he sells commercial prints of his own resulting images.

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Photo © Andy Biggs

“I supply interior designers with prints for their clients,” Biggs explains, “and I’ve entirely switched all my printing over to using this terrific inkjet paper.” He’s referring to Moab Juniper Baryta Rag 305, which he uses for both his large-scale color and his trademark black-and-white prints.

“I like the vividness of the colors and the depth of the black,” Biggs says. “In the black-and-white world, you want that really rich, deep black, which you can get with the Baryta. Plus it has the right white point that I’m looking for, a nice, mellow shade. A lot of papers on the market have an unnaturally bright white, which can look sort of fake. The color of white in a paper is really important—there are tons of shades of white, more than you’d ever imagine.” Read the rest of this entry »

May 7th, 2015

Getty Images and Instagram Launch $10K Social Media Photo Grant

Photographers who use Instagram to document and share stories of underrepresented communities are eligible for a new $10,000 grant announced today by Getty Images and Instagram.

According to an announcement from Instagram, the judges will pick three winners based on “the existing body of work represented on their Instagram account, focusing on the quality of their imagery, their photographic skills and on the project and stories told through their photos.”

“Photographers in all corners of the world use the Instagram platform to share unique and authentic stories that otherwise rarely come into focus,” Getty’s senior director of content partnerships Elodie Malliet Storm said in a statement.

“This grant captures the global enthusiasm from photographers to continue to push their craft to new levels,” added Instagram community director Amanda Kelso.

In addition to the grant money, the work of the winners will be shown at the Photoville photography festival in September in New York City. Winners will also receive mentorship from a Getty Images photographer.

The grant boasts a distinguished list of judges. They are: TIME magazine director of photography Kira Pollack; photographer Malin Fezehai; photographer Maggie Steber; photographer and National Geographic Fellow David Guttenfelder; and photographer and @EverdayIran co-founder Ramin Talaie.

Applications will be accepted through June 4, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. GMT. Getty and Instagram also released a hashtag to help spread work of the grant: #GettyImagesInstagramGrant.

For more information or to apply, visit: www.gettyimages.com/grants

Related: PDN’s 30: Malin Fezehai
PPE 2014: Leading The Revolution in Smartphone Photography
Why TIME Chose an Amateur Photographer’s Image for Its Cover
Q&A: Instagram Editorial Director Pamela Chen
Maidan Moment: Anastasia Taylor-Lind’s Book of Portraits From Kiev

May 6th, 2015

View the PDN Photo Annual 2015 Winners’ Gallery

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Pictured: A portrait of actor Michael Keaton, photographed by Art Streiber for Entertainment Weekly, from the Magazine/Editorial category in the 2015 PDN Photo Annual.

PDN is proud to present the winners of the 2015 Photo Annual. The online gallery is now live at www.pdnphotoannual.com/gallery/2015.

The PDN Photo Annual, now in its 15th year, is a celebration of innovative work by photographers from all over the world. The 2015 competition drew thousands of entries in ten categories, including Advertising/Corporate Work, Magazine/Editorial, Photojournalism/Documentary, Sports, Self-Promotion, Photo Books, Personal Work, Stock Photography, Video, and Student Work.

Entries to the 2015 PDN Photo Annual competition were judged by a panel of 29 industry professionals. They included James Estrin, co-founder of The New York Times Lens blog; Gregory Heisler, distinguished professor of photography at Syracuse University; Teru Kuwayama, Facebook photo community manager; Michael Norseng, Esquire director of photography; Aidan Sullivan, vice president of photo assignments at Getty Images; Jody Quon, New York magazine photography director; Susan White, Vanity Fair director of photography; Patrick Witty, WIRED director of photography; and other jurors.

Over 200 winners have been honored in this year’s competition, in addition to six special award winners presented by The Arnold & Augusta Newman Foundation, the Marty Forscher Fellowship Fund and Parsons The New School For Design, PDN, Epson and Sony. Nancy Borowick, a New York-based photographer, will be receiving the $15,000 Arnold Newman Prize; Helsinki-based photographer Meeri Koutaniemi will receive the $5,000 Marty Forscher Fund professional award and Syracuse University student Alexandra Hootnick will receive the $3,000 student award.

May 1st, 2015

Why TIME Chose an Amateur Photographer’s Image for Its Cover

The May 11, 2015 cover of TIME Magazine, with an image by aspiring photographer Devin Allen.

The May 11, 2015 cover of TIME Magazine, featuring an image by aspiring photographer Devin Allen.

Yesterday TIME Magazine released the cover of the May 11 issue bearing an image of the Baltimore protests made by a 26-year-old amateur photographer named Devin Allen, who first picked up a camera in 2013. It is just the third time the magazine has used amateur images on the cover. It’s generated a lot of publicity for TIME, which issued a press release about Allen’s photo the day the issue came out. “[Allen’s image] was just beautifully composed and it was compelling, and it caught my eye immediately and summed up the story in a really interesting way,” says TIME deputy director of photography Paul Moakley.

Since Monday, Allen, who has a job working with autistic children and is an aspiring photographer, has covered the protests of the death of Freddie Gray, who died after his spinal cord was nearly severed while he was in police custody. (The state’s attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn J. Mosby, announced this morning that she has filed homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against Baltimore police officers). The cover text ties Allen’s black-and-white image of a protester running from a line of riot police to scenes one might have seen during the Baltimore riots in 1968, implying little has changed for black communities.

Allen brought an insider’s perspective to his coverage of the protests of Gray’s death. He is from West Baltimore, where protestors have clashed with police and riots have erupted into looting and arson. His images went viral on Monday when he published them on Instagram. They were shared by actor Michael K. Williams and singer Rihanna, and caught the attention of editors at several news organizations, including TIME. Read the rest of this entry »

April 30th, 2015

Marcus Bleasdale Wins 2014 Robert Capa Gold Medal

Body parts on the road after a lynching by FACA (les Forces Armées Centrafricaines, the military of the Central African Republic) soldiers.

Marcus Bleasdale has won the 2014 Robert Capa Gold Medal Award for his coverage of the religious violence in the Central African Republic, the Overseas Press Club (OPC) has announced. The images were made on assignment for Human Rights Watch, Foreign Policy and National Geographic.

The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award is bestowed annually for the best foreign photo coverage “requiring exceptional courage and enterprise,” according to the OPC. As tales of the Islamic State’s brutality dominated news reports around the world, Bleasdale covered the brutality unfolding in the Central African Republic, as Muslims and Christians battled in the streets. In a brief description of the work, the OPC said “His menacing, unnerving images of chaos had a profound impact on the judges. The images place the viewer in the moment in a way that demands and holds attention.” Bleasdale has been honored by the OPC before, winning the 2013 Feature Photography Award for “The Last of the Viking Whalers,” which the OPC called “completely original photographic storytelling executed perfectly.”

Other winners of OPC photography prizes for work completed in 2014 include: Jerome Sessini of Magnum Photos, who won the Olivier Rebbot Award for his photos of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet shot down over eastern Ukraine; Bulent Kilic of Agence France Presse, who won the John Faber award for his photos of the Euromaidan Revolution in Kiev, Ukraine; Rodrigo Abd of the Associated Press, who won the Feature Photography Award for his photos of Peru’s illegal gold mining industry.

Bleasdale, Sessini, Kilic and Abd, along with several other journalists, will be honored at a banquet at the Mandarin Oriental New York later today. The event will be livestreamed here.

Related:

Tyler Hicks Wins Robert Capa Gold Medal Award

David Guttenfelder Wins Two Overseas Press Club Awards

April 29th, 2015

What Photographers Need to Know Before They Go Pro

Sponsored by NYIP

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Photo by Hossam ElDin Mostafa

What do you need to know before you go pro? Robyn Selman, general manager of The New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) aims to answer this question through curriculum for photographers.

Selman works with experts in the field, such as Patrick Donehue, to ensure NYIP’s curriculum is “forward-looking and serves students well,” she says. Donehue, who has worked as a photographer, educator and director of photography at Getty and Corbis and is now a consultant working with Apple, offers these tips for budding pro photographers:

1) Study what has already been done. Successful photographers know how to stand out from the crowd. They create images that haven’t been seen before.

2) Thrive on the process of improving. Focus and development aren’t just photographic techniques, they’re attitudes. Continually scan the horizon for what you’d like to do, focus your inspiration, make choices, and persist so you are always enhancing your vision and craft.

3) Edit, then edit again. Start by selecting dozens of favorite images from a shoot, then cut them down. Then do it again (and again). This is how to build a portfolio. Be a ruthless editor of your own work.

4) Handle adversity and be optimistic. Learn how to rebound from difficulties, whether personal or professional. Being able to dust yourself off and get back up is the mark of a determined and inspired professional.

5) Listen. Then ask your client, editor, curator, colleague, etc. questions, and don’t leave a topic or a meeting until you know what’s being asked of you.

6) Speak a global visual language by looking at things from a global perspective. Do research; find out what things look like in Singapore, Shanghai, Rio, Dubai and elsewhere around the globe, so you get a more rounded impression of the world.

7) Get funding. In order to grow, learn and put the necessary time and energy into refining your craft, you need to be properly funded. Choose gear you can afford—or find a way to afford the gear you need—and take a financial risk when it seems appropriate.

8) Be an early adopter of technology. Use new tools to help set you apart and gain an edge on other photographers. Monitor and be aware of what’s coming and choose what you need to embrace to enhance your image-making.

NareshKumar-hr

Photo by Aspenashfotons

NYIP offers a Professional Photography Course that covers technical know-how, business acumen, personal vision, professional practices and techniques, and specialty areas of focus, providing a solid, smart and comprehensive foundation for your growing professional business. And while NYIP’s courses are online and self-paced, the program pairs every student with a professional photographer as a mentor for personalized support throughout your studies.

Additionally, NYIP has partnered with Wedding & Portrait Photographers International, WPPI, to launch the first ever industry certification for wedding and portrait photographers. Like NYIP’s courses, the certification program is offered asynchronously, fully online, giving you tremendous scheduling flexibility. The program covers technical details relevant to photography, exposure, lighting, and composition, as well as business knowledge. Those photographers who successfully complete the program will be WPPI Certified photographers.

Visit www.nyip.edu to learn more about its courses and WPPIC.

April 28th, 2015

U.S. Copyright Office (Once Again) Studying Copyright Struggles of Photographers

The U.S. Copyright Office has published a call for comments from photographers and visual artists about how their works are “monetized, enforced and registered” and about “obstacles” artists face protecting their copyrights “when navigating the digital landscape.” The U.S. Copyright Office announced the research initiative April 24 in the Federal Register. The written comments are due by July 23.

What action, if any, the U.S. Copyright Office takes as a result of its research remains to be seen. “We just want to get an overview of the landscape,” says spokesperson Catie Rowland. “We’re just researching it, to see where it leads. There are a lot of concerns. We want to see if we can address them.” Read the rest of this entry »