March 13th, 2014

Chloe Dewe Mathews Named 2014 Gardner Fellow By Harvard’s Peabody Museum

From Chloe Dewe Mathews's series "Caspian." © Chloe Dewe Mathews

From Chloe Dewe Mathews’s series “Caspian.” © Chloe Dewe Mathews

British photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews was named the 2014 Robert Gardner Photography Fellow by Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the museum announced earlier this week. The documentary photography fellowship provides a stipend of $50,000 to a photographer to work anywhere in the world on a book project about “the human condition.”

During her fellowship, Mathews, who is represented by Panos Pictures, will continue her series on the Caspian region, which she began in 2010 and which included her look at an Azerbaijani city, Naftalan, famous for petroleum-based therapeutic treatments. Mathews has returned several times to the region, with trips to Russia and a burning gas crater in Darvaza, Turkmenistan.

The fellowship was established by Robert Gardner, a documentary filmmaker and author, who studied at Harvard University, and was the director of the Film Study Center there from 1957–1997.

The fellowship is judged by a committee of four, whose identities were not disclosed by the museum. The museum seeks nominations from experts around the world.

Past fellowship winners include Guy Tillim (2007), Dayanita Signh (2008), Alessandra Sanguinetti (2009), Stephen Dupont (2010), Miki Kratsman (2011) and Yto Barrada (2013).

Related: Israeli Photographer Wins $50k Robert Gardner Fellowship for 2011
PDN’s 30 2012

March 13th, 2014

Calumet Photographic to Liquidate, Closes US Stores

calumet-FBCalumet Photographic, the 75-year-old camera supply and rental company, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Chicago Tribune reports.

This morning, Calumet announced on its Facebook page that it had closed all its stores in the US, though its stores in Europe remain in business.  Calls to Calumet stores in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles were not returned, and the company’s website is down.

Calumet’s bankruptcy filing lists 585 creditors, including photo manufacturers such as Canon, Fuji, Manfrotto, Phase One, Hasselblad, Cambo, Mac Group and many others.

PDN will continue to follow this story.

March 12th, 2014

Model Release Lawsuit Survives Getty’s Challenge

A New York state judge has cleared the way for a lawsuit by a model who is accusing Getty Images of commercial use of her likeness without a model release.

State supreme court judge Ancil C. Singh rejected last week a request from Getty to throw out model Avril Nolan’s claim on First Amendment and other grounds.

Nolan sued Getty last September after her picture appeared in a public service ad promoting services for HIV-positive people. The ad, published in a free daily called AM NY, showed a picture of Nolan with the headline “I am positive (+) and I have rights.”

The ad was placed by the New York State Division of Human Rights, which licensed the image of Nolan from Getty. The photograph was shot by Getty contributor Jena Cumbo, according to court documents.

Nolan alleges that she didn’t sign a model release for the image, so Getty was in violation of New York’s right of publicity law not only for licensing the image for use in the HIV ad, but also for displaying the image on its web site.

New York state law prohibits use of a person’s likeness for advertising or trade purposes without written consent, i.e., a model release.

Getty countered in its motion for dismissal that displaying the images on its web site for licensing to third parties does not constitute advertising or trade use under the state’s right of publicity law. The agency also claimed a First Amendment right to display images for license to third parties. And it argued that Nolan should sue the State of New York, not Getty, since it was the state that used the image for advertising purposes, allegedly without consent.

But the judge concluded that Getty’s defenses are questions for a jury to decide.

The ruling was against Getty’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and not a ruling on the merits of Nolan’s claims.

March 10th, 2014

Commercial Drones Are Legal, Federal Court Says

A federal administrative court judge has determined that drones–aka unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs–can be used for commercial purposes because the Federal Aviation Administration has no regulations on the books that prohibit such uses.

Vice.com reported that the judge made the ruling last week in a case involving a photographer who had appealed a $10,000 fine for using a drone to shoot a video commercial, allegedly in violation of FAA rules.

The FAA immediately appealed, explaining in a statement that it “is concerned that this decision could impact the safe operation of the national airspace system and the safety of people and property on the ground.”

The FAA had fined photographer Raphael Pirker for unauthorized commercial use of a drone in 2011, after Pirker had used a remotely-controlled aircraft to produce a video commercial for the University of Virginia. Pirker had piloted the aircraft in the vicinity of the university, located in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Pirker, owner of UAV video production company Team Black Sheep, won his appeal of the fine on the grounds that a drone is in the same class of aircraft as model airplanes, which the FAA has never regulated. (The FAA has asked model airplane operators to fly the planes under 400 feet, and to stay away from airports, but those rules are strictly voluntary.)

The administrative court ruling means that photographers can use drones for commercial purposes, at least for now. But with the FAA opposed to unregulated use of drone aircraft in the US, it’s a safe bet that the agency will try to impose new administrative rules–or seek legislation–to restrict the use of drones in the near future.

Related:
Hartford Police Sued for Stopping Camera Drone, Chasing Photog Away

March 7th, 2014

Eddie Adams Workshop, Smith Grant, Other Grants Accepting Applications

Earlier this week The Eddie Adams Workshop began accepting applications for its tuition-free, four-day photojournalism workshop in upstate New York. The Eddie Adams Workshop brings together top photography professionals and 100 students each year, and its alumni include many of the top photojournalists working today. Applications for the 2014 Workshop will be accepted through May 31. Students are selected based on the merit of their portfolios.

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is accepting applications through May 31 for the 2014 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, which carries an award of $30,000. In addition, the jury will also give out an additional $5,000 in fellowships. There is a $50 fee to apply.

The nonprofit arts advocacy organization Crusade for Art is accepting proposals for its first-ever Engagement Grant, a $10,000 award given to a photographer or group of photographers who submit “the most innovative plan for increasing their audience and collector base.” There is a $20 fee to apply.

The Photographic Museum of Humanity, a digital photography museum, is awarding a grant of $4,000 for photographers. Applications are due March 12, and judges include Alec Soth and Diana Markosian. There is no fee to apply.

Related: Anatomy of a Successful Grant Application: Joseph Rodriguez on the Audience Engagement Grant (PDN subscription required)
Anatomy of a Successful Grant Application: Minnesota’s Artist Initiative Grants (PDN subscription required)
Anatomy of a Successful Grant Application: Jon Lowenstein’s Guggenheim Fellowship (PDN subscription required)

March 6th, 2014

Getty’s Craig Peters on Why Free Images Are Good for Photographers, And for the Photo Industry

Following the announcement by Getty Images that the agency would be allowing non-commercial uses of its images free of charge, we interviewed Craig Peters, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Marketing at Content Images at Getty, to try and find out what the agency hopes to gain from this extraordinary decision.

As we reported today on PDNOnline,  Getty has released a new embed tool to make it easy for non-commercial users to share images from Getty on websites, blogs and social media channels. The new tool enables Getty to collect data on those users and and push ads through the embed viewer. We asked Peters how ad revenue will be shared, what this new business model means for the perceived value of images, and whether Getty is changing its position on enforcing copyrights on images.

(We used the image above for free, using Getty’s Embed tool)

PDN: Getty has various collections, from different sources. What images are excluded from this free usage initiative?
Craig Peters: It’s hard to give you a specific answer. The vast majority of images are in, [unless] we have restrictions from the photographer or copyright owner.

PDN: Are news and celebrity images available as soon as Getty uploads them?
CP: They’re made available as soon as they’re uploaded.

PDN: Why is Getty giving up on the idea of charging everyone–even small non-commercial users– for use of images? Read the rest of this entry »

March 6th, 2014

PDN Video Pick: Making an Award-Winning Story of One Woman’s Resilience

Sensei from ora on Vimeo.

Ora DeKornfeld, a communications major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, won first prize for her video “Sensei” in the Multimedia Feature category of the 2014 Pictures of the Year International competition. Brilliantly shot and edited, DeKornfeld’s video tells the powerful story of a rape victim’s survival, resilience and determination. DeKornfeld explains how she won her subject’s trust, found a way to portray events in the past through evocative imagery, and produced a tight, dramatic narrative.

PDN: What was this project was for? How did it get started?
Ora DeKornfeld: That project was made as a final documentary piece for a journalism class. The assignment was to make a vérité documentary. It was a challenge for us to [record] something actually happening, instead of fully relying on B-roll over interview audio. My professor [Chad Stevens] assigned the project knowing that was unrealistic, so this project deviated greatly from that initial assignment, but that’s how it started.

PDN: How did you find this subject, and how get her to open up?
OD: I went to this neighborhood in Durham (North Carolina)–a pretty dynamic low-income neighborhood, and I saw a flyer for self-defense classes and that’s something I have always been personally interested in, and I wanted to do a piece that touched on women’s issues. So I called the number and ended up talking to Brenda, the subject, and she was immediately open. She told me that the reason she got into martial arts was because she was a victim of a violent crime. I didn’t push that at the time, but it was an immediate indicator that she had a real deep experience that motivated her. So I said, would it be OK if I made a documentary about you? She was really open to it.
I went to her karate class on Tuesday and Saturday for two weeks, then I asked if I could come to her house, meet her family and start hanging out with her there. And I kind of just stayed until she said, “OK, Ora, you need to get out of my house.” But through that experience we bonded. Read the rest of this entry »

March 6th, 2014

Getty’s Free Image Program: New Revenue Model, or a Surrender to Copyright Infringement?

Getty Images lit up the Twittersphere today with an announcement that it was making its archive available free of charge for bloggers and other non-commercial users. Some of the big questions are: What is Getty gaining by making images free to the public? How does Getty’s decision affect not only its own contributors, but all photographers? And are there any hidden costs to non-commercial users who take advantage of Getty’s free images?

Getty said in its announcement that it was releasing a new embed tool to make it easy for non-commercial users to share its images on websites, blogs and social media channels.

Getty CEO Jonathan Klein says in the announcement that the “easy, legal sharing…benefits our content contributors and partners.”

One benefit to the company and its partners is that by automatically crediting the images and linking them back to Getty’s website, the embed tool makes it easy to find and license the images for commercial use.

At the same time, the embed tool will also makes it easier for Getty to track non-commercial uses of its images, and the users who take advantage of the company’s offer of free images.

To read what Getty’s terms of service allow it to do with users’ information, and more on the implications of this new business for the perceived value of all images, see our news story, now on PDNOnline.

Related Articles

Getty’s Free Image Program
ASMP To Getty Photographers: Time to Bail

March 5th, 2014

New Pro Cameras and Lighting Gear Debut at WPPI Show in Las Vegas

Nikon-D4S-1I’ve been pounding the WPPI show floor in Las Vegas this week for our sister publication, Rangefinder magazine, covering what’s new in the world of photography gear. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights from WPPI, which saw quite a few new pro cameras debut in the U.S. at the show.

Follow the links for the full posts on Rangefinder’s blog, Photoforward.

Read the rest of this entry »

March 5th, 2014

Scotiabank Announces 2014 Finalists for $50K Photography Prize

Rodney Graham, Mark Ruwedel, and Donald Weber have been named finalists for the 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award, the sponsor announced yesterday. The winner of the $50,000 prize will be announced April 29 in Toronto.

The award was established four years ago to honor the work of contemporary Canadian photographers. The 2014  nominees “have unique and distinctive bodies of work that show true excellence in Canadian contemporary photography,” says photographer Edward Burtynsky, chairperson of the award jury.

Graham, a conceptual artist, has created a varied body of work the comprises photography and media art installations that incorporate film, painting, literature, and music.

Ruwedel is a landscape photographer, working in both black and white and color. His latest book, called “Pictures of Hell” will be released this fall.

Weber, a documentary photographer, is “devoted to the study of how power deploys an all-compassing theatre for its subjects,” according to the Scotiabank announcement.

Nominations came from curators, photographers, artists, gallery directors, art critics, and academics from across Canada.  The finalists were selected by a three-member jury including Robert Bean, an artist, writer and photography professor; Catherine Bédard, art historian and Deputy-Director of the Canadian Cultural Centre; and  Ann Thomas, Curator, Photographs Collection, National Gallery of Canada.

In addition to the $50,000 cash prize, the winner of this year’s award will have a book of his work published by Steidl, and an exhibition at Ryerson Image Centre, Ryerson University, in Toronto.

Related:
State Power: Donald Weber’s Interrogations
PDN’s 30 2008: Donald Weber (subscription required)