February 18th, 2015

Should Photogs Disqualified from World Press Be Banned? Org Says No, For Now

In the days since World Press Photo announced that 20 percent of the photographs they considered in the final rounds of the competition were disqualified for manipulation, many in the industry have called for WPP to release the offending images and make their standards more clear. In comments by jurors, WPP administrators and photographers published on the New York Times Lens Blog, 2015 competition jury chair and New York Times director of photography Michelle McNally noted that the manipulations led “many in the jury to feel we were being cheated, that they were being lied to.” World Press Photo jury secretary David Campbell notes that newspaper and wire service photographers get fired when they are caught manipulating news photos: “Narciso Contreras and Miguel Tova have lost their jobs because of manipulations that crossed the one line we can draw.”

These reactions beg the question: If World Press Photo is a reflection of the photojournalism industry, should photographers who attempted to deceive jurors—and the public—be banned from the competition? After all, newspaper and wire services have fired photographers who manipulated images.

According to World Press Photo managing director Lars Boering, the organization is not currently planning to ban any photographers who submitted manipulated images to the competition. “I might discuss that with the board and the team that is organizing the competition,” he told PDN, adding that “a lot” of the disqualified photos were cases of “clumsy” Photoshop use rather than blatant attempts to deceive competition judges.

World Press Photo rules state: “The content of an image must not be altered. Only retouching that conforms to currently accepted standards in the industry is allowed.” In her statement on Lens, McNally clarified that the manipulation the jurors disqualified included “removing or adding information to the image, for example, like toning that rendered some parts so black that entire objects disappeared from the frame. The jury—which was flexible about toning, given industry standards — could not accept processing that blatantly added or removed elements of the picture.”

The organization is very aware that manipulation accusations can deal huge blows to the careers of photojournalists, Boering says, which is why they are keeping confidential the names of photographers who were disqualified—despite calls for more transparency. “If people get caught by agencies, then they are thrown out, and I know it’s difficult for these people to get back to work or find other agencies, so that’s a serious thing,” Boering explains. “If an agency makes that decision it’s up to them because that’s their rules. We organize a competition; we care a lot about photojournalism and visual journalism, but…I don’t think we should be the ones that decide on the careers of photographers, and whether they should be ruled out of competitions with others or whether they should lose their job with their agency.”

“We’re not going to put their names out unless we think it’s really severe what they’ve done,” Boering adds. “It might be that we think about talking to them about the way they go about it.”

Boering said WPP had today sent notices to the disqualified photographers presenting their evidence and explaining their decisions. He says the organizations has received one or two responses from photographers accepting the decision.

It’s more important to WPP that this controversy sends a message to photojournalists and the industry, sparks discussion and, hopefully, a resolution, Boering says. “Technology makes a lot of things possible, but it makes it possible to find things…. The technicians that do our research, they’ve showed me several examples of things that you can do and I think it’s amazing.”

Boering says he’s heard from people at agencies and news organizations, and others in the photo industry in the past few days. World Press Photo is planning “several debates” starting on the day of the awards presentation, that he hopes will help the “find common ground with the industry to get it right.”

Related: Mads Nissen Wins World Press Photo of the Year 2014 Prize
AP Cuts Ties with Photographer Narciso Contreras Over Photoshopped Image
Photographer Fired by AP Says Decision Was Fair, But Process Wasn’t

February 17th, 2015

Daniel Berehulak Wins Reportage Photographer of the Year at 2015 POYi Competition

Ebola victim James Dorbor, 8, is rushed into a treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. He died a short time later. ©Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Ebola victim James Dorbor, 8, is rushed into a treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia last September. He died a short time later. ©Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Australian photographer Daniel Berehulak of Getty Images has won Photographer of the Year honors in the Reportage Division of the 72nd annual Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition, which is currently underway at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Paul Hansen of Sweden and Daniel Rodrigues of Portugal were the first and second runners up, respectively.

Berehulak’s winning portfolio emphasized his coverage of the Ebola crisis in West Africa. It also included stories about national elections in India, the economic downturn in Brazil, and single images from stories in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Kenya.

In other POYi Reportage Division categories, Lisa Krantz (USA) won the Community Awareness Award for her project titled “A Life Apart: The Toll of Obesity.”  Finalists for the award included Mario Tama (USA), Toni Greaves (USA), April Saul (USA) and Kuang Huimin (China). (Krantz also won second place for her obesity project in the Issue Reporting Picture Story category of the POYi competition’s Newspaper Division.)

The World Understanding Award went to Jan Grarup (Denmark) for “Somalia in Transition,” and judges awarded Special Recognition to Ryan Spencer Reed (USA) for his project titled “Despite Similarities to Reality.” Finalists for the World Understanding Award were Edu Ponces (Spain), Paula Bronstein (USA), and Renée C. Byer (USA).

David Chancellor (UK) won the Environmental Vision Award for his project “With Butterflies and Warriors.” Michael Robinson Chavez (USA) was awarded special recognition for “The Driest Season: California’s Dust Bowl.”

Other POYi Reportage Division categories and winners included:

News Picture Story: John Moore (1); Carolyn Cole (2); Arash Khamooshi (3)
Feature Picture Story: Hajdú D. András (1); Tomás Munita (2); Corrina Kern (3)
Issue Reporting Picture Story: Brent Stirton (1); Alex Masi (2); Daniel Berehulak (3)
Science & Natural History Picture Story: Javier Arcenillas (1); unidentified* (2); Stuart Palley (3)
Science & Natural History: unidentified* (1); unidentified* (2); unidentified* (3)
Best Photography Book Award: TBA The Long Shadow of Chernobyl by Gerd Ludwig

Judging for the POYi competition began February 2 with News Division Entries. Winners in that division, selected last week, included Newspaper Photographer of the Year Brad Vest of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis and Sports Photographer of the Year Cameron Spencer of Getty Images.

Judging for the Reportage Division took place from February 11 to February 14. The competition concludes this week with judging of the Visual Editing Division entries.

*Contest organizers have posted all the winning entries, but have not officially identified winners. Please help us name them.

Related stories:

Brad Vest Named Newspaper Photographer of the Year at 2015 POYi Competition

Cameron Spencer Wins POYi Sports Photographer of the Year Honors

Mads Nissen Wins World Press Photo of the Year 2014 Prize

February 13th, 2015

UPDATE: You Be The Judge: Did Jessie Ware’s Music Video Infringe Asger Carlsen Photo?

Update: More than a month after we reported photographer Asger Carlsen’s complaint about the striking similarity between one of his images and an image used in a recent music video, we learned there’s been an update. Scroll down for details.

Yesterday photographer Asger Carlsen called out director Christopher Sweeney and musician Jessie Ware for plagiarism. Posting to his Instagram account and Facebook page, Carlsen showed a still from the newly released video Sweeney directed for Ware’s song “Champagne Kisses,” comparing it to an image Carlsen created in 2010. In the video, which mixes retro and surrealist esthetics, Ware appears briefly sporting a lower body made of plywood, laid out in the exact same position as Carlsen’s model in the 2010 photo.

Reached for comment, Carlsen told PDN that he “cannot comment on the Christopher Sweeney video” at this time.

We’re pretty surprised that anyone would have the chutzpah to mimic such a distinct visual concept without reaching out to or crediting its originator.

Whether or not Carlsen could win a legal case is a trickier question, and courts have sometimes surprised us in their rulings on these matters.

UPDATE: Good Egg, the production company that represents director Christopher Sweeney, published a statement on their website apologizing to Carlsen and acknowledging that Sweeney “referenced” Carlsen’s image “without consent or permissions.” The statement read:

An image from Asger Carlsen was directly referenced without consent or permissions in a music video for Jesse Ware directed by Christopher Sweeney at Good Egg.

An informed social media reaction and action from Carlsen has prompted an acknowledgement and an apology.

Asger’s work remains an inspiration and we are happy to announce that this matter has now been settled to the satisfaction of all parties.

Carlsen declined to comment on the details of the settlement. Good Egg also did not respond to requests for comment.

Related: Rihanna Settles Lawsuit With David LaChapelle

February 12th, 2015

Mads Nissen Wins World Press Photo of the Year Prize

2014 World Press Photo of the Year. ©Mads Nissen/Politiken

2014 World Press Photo of the Year. ©Mads Nissen/Politiken

Danish photographer Mads Nissen of the daily newspaper Politiken has won the World Press Photo of the Year 2014 prize for an image showing a gay couple during an intimate moment in St. Petersburg, Russia. The image, which was part of the news coverage last year about rising discrimination and hate crimes attacks against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Russia, also won first prize in the Contemporary Issues category of the World Press Photo competition. The winners of the contest were announced February 12 in Amsterdam.

Read the full story at PDNOnline.com.

 

February 10th, 2015

Cameron Spencer Wins POYi Sports Photographer of the Year Honors

©Cameron Spencer

©Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Photographer Cameron Spencer of Getty Images has been named Sports Photographer of the Year at the 2015 Pictures of the Year International competition, organizers announced today. His portfolio included a variety of dramatic sports action and feature images from a wide array of sporting events, including the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Runners up for the award were second place winner Al Bello of Getty Images and third place winner Patrick Smith.

In other sports categories, first prize for a Sports Action photo went to Al Bello of Getty Images for his dramatic shot of New York Giants receiver making a one-handed touchdown catch.

The winners of other sports categories are:

Sports Feature: Robert Sabo/Getty (1); Cameron Spencer/Getty (2); Ricky Carioti
Recreational Sports: Jacob Ehrbahn (1); Sol Neelman (2); Austin Anthony/AP (3)
Sports Action: Al Bello/Getty (1); Alex Livesey/Getty (2); Joel Marklund
Winter Olympics: Lucas Jackson/Reuters (1); Joel Marklund (2); Ezra Shaw/Getty
Sports Picture Story: Jacob Ehrbahn (1); Cristina Aldehuela (2); Yasuyoshi Chiba (3)

Judging for the POYi competition began at the University of Missouri on February 2, and will continue through February 20. Sports photo categories fall under the competition’s News Division. Judging of Reportage Division entries begins tomorrow.

Related:
Brad Vest Named Newspaper Photographer of the Year at 2015 POYi Competition

February 10th, 2015

Funding Your Long-Term Photo Project—Upcoming Award and Fellowship Deadlines

Two awards and a pair of reporting fellowships are currently seeking applications.

The International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University is seeking applications for reporting fellowships on the topics of health/development and religion.

IRP says that the fellowship awards will include “roundtrip air tickets to and from [fellows'] homes and destinations, but all other travel must be arranged and paid by the fellow. IRP will offer a stipend based, in part, upon the budgets that all applicants must submit.”

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the deadline on Monday, March 16. Applicants can be freelance or staffers. For more information visit the program website.

The 5,000 Euro (approx. $5656) Alfred Fried Photography Award is seeking photographs that answer the question, “What does peace look like?” All photojournalists may enter the Austria-based award competition free of charge. The entry deadline is May 17, 2015. Visit the Fried Award website for more information.

Last but not least, the New Orleans Photo Alliance is currently accepting applications for its annual Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography award of $5,000. The award is open to photographers based on the Gulf Coast of the United States—Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Emma Raynes, Director of Programs at the Magnum Foundation, is the judge for this year’s award. Applications require a fee of $25, and are due March 30, 2015. For more info visit the NOPA website.

February 10th, 2015

Sigma Releases New 24mm Art Lens, DP Quattro Series Camera

 

 

 

 

 

pphoto_dp0_quattro_side_slanting-large-2Sigma announced the fourth member of its DP Quattro series of digital cameras, plus a new 24mm Art lens in advance of the CP+2015 show in Japan.

The DP0 sports a fixed 14mm F4 lens (21mm, 35mm equivalent). All other features will be identical to the previous models in the lineup.

The DP0 incorporates a 29-megapixel APS-C-sized Foveon X3 Quattro image sensor. The Quattro sensor features a proprietary three-layer design meant to replicate how film emulsions capture red, green and blue light. Working in tandem, these three layers create Sigma’s equivalent of a 39-megapixel image, and Sigma’s True III image processor crunches the data to output an image that the company claims delivers truer-to-life colors and more realistic images than competing sensor designs.

Beyond the sensor, the DP0 delivers 14-bit RAW image capture and a sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 6400. The body design marries a thin, panoramic frame with a prominent grip that extends from the back of the camera, giving the DP0 a particularly distinctive look.

Pricing and availability on the DP0 were not announced.

 

401_24mm_art-150dpi-angledSigma also announced a new member of its Art lens family. The new 24mm F1.4 Art  lens is designed for full-frame DSLRs. It features  nine rounded aperture blades and a maximum magnification of 1:5.3. The  minimum focusing distance is 9.8 inches.

The lens incorporates both “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass and Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass in  15 elements in 11 groups. According to Sigma, this construction minimizes chromatic aberration of magnification especially in the edge of the image field.

By placing aspherical elements in the rear of the lens, Sigma said it was able to improve performance when shooting wide open, keeping distortion, flare and chromatic aberration to a minimum.

A full-time manual focusing mechanism lets you switch into manual focusing during autofocus by rotating the lens ring.

Pricing and availability for the new 24mm Art Lens were not announced.

February 10th, 2015

Ricoh Releases Weather-Resistant Pentax K-S2 DSLR

Pentax_K-S2_black_lcd

Ricoh will ship the new Pentax K-S2 DSLR to stores in March. Hailing it as the world’s smallest dust proof and weather-resistant DSLR body, the K-S2 boasts 100 seals to protect its innards from inclement weather.

The K-S2 uses a 20-megapixel CMOS sensor with an anti-aliasing filter simulator which lets users adjust the degree to which anti-aliasing filtration takes place. It offers Wi-Fi, NFC and a rotating LCD 3-inch display with a second shutter button for snapping–what else–selfies.

The camera employs a SAFOX X AF sensor module with  11 sensors, including nine cross-type sensors in the middle. It’s capable of achieving focus in a minimum brightness level of –3 EV.

A new Clarity Enhancement feature is debuting in this DLSR to automatically add more realistic texture impression to photos when shooting in Advanced HDR mode. It can also be set manually when shooting in other modes.

Video is recorded at 1920×1080 resolution with a choice of 24, 25 and 30 fps frame rates. There’s also a 4K interval movie mode that automatically merges a series of still photos taken at pre-selected intervals into a single movie.

Additional features include an optical viewfinder with a 100 percent field of view, in-camera image stabilization, continuous shooting at 5.5 frames per second and a top shutter speed of 1/6000 sec. There are 11 custom image modes, 19 scene modes and 9 digital filters.

The K-S2 is available for pre-order now for $699 (body) or for $799 with a retractable 18-55mm lens which shrinks down to just 1.5-inches when fully retracted. You’ll have your choice of seven colors:  forest green, desert beige, stone gray, white and lime, black and pink, white with a racing stripe, and black with a racing stripe.

Joining the K-S2 will be a new, all-weather flash. The AF201FG flash unit has a guide number of 20 at ISO 100/m and an assignable mode button. It has  five modes: off, P-TTL (leading curtain sync), P-TTL (trailing curtain sync), manual (full), and manual (1/4). The flash accepts two AA batteries is available for pre-order now for $150. It arrives in March.

February 10th, 2015

Nikon D810A Captures the Heavens in a New Light

D810A_14_24_front34r.lowNikon will release a special version of its D810 DSLR, the D810A, that has been modified for astro-photography applications.

The D810A incorporates a modified infrared cut filter that lets the camera capture the red hydrogen alpha gas emissions from stars and nebulae. According to Nikon, the camera is four times as sensitive to light on the 656 nanometer wavelength, enabling it to capture celestial details that would otherwise be missed by conventional digital cameras.

The D810A will also feature a new long exposure manual mode that will deliver exposures as long as 15 minutes. For exposures longer than 30 seconds in live view mode, the camera also offers a Virtual Exposure Preview Mode, which generates a preview of the image on the camera’s display.

To enjoy the full benefits of the D810A, the camera will need to be mounted to a telescope and Nikon cautions that the camera is not recommended for Earth-bound subjects. The D810A is due in May though a price has not been finalized.

In other Nikon DSLR news, the company will release a “filmmaker’s kit” for its D750 DSLR. The kit will combine the camera body, the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED lens, the AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G lens and the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens. You’ll also find two additional EN-EL15 batteries, an ME-1 Stereo Microphone, one Atomos Ninja-2 External Recorder, and Tiffen 67mm and 58mm Variable Neutral Density Filters (8-Stops). 

The filmmaker’s kit ships at the end of this month for $4,000.

 

February 9th, 2015

PDN Video Pick: Office Scene (“Today, I’m going to let them touch me”)

Photographer Endia Beal’s video “Office Scene” demonstrates how it is possible to make strong, compelling video with almost nothing, if you’re smart about it.

The video is a foray into the discomfort zone of inter-office race and personal relations. Beal, who is African American, heard rumors around a corporate office she worked in that several of her white male colleagues were fascinated by her hair. So she decided to let them touch it–on the conditions that they really dig their hands in, and agree to talk on tape afterwards about how the experience felt to them. Amazingly enough, they agreed. “I transform into a voyeuristic actress fulfilling the desires of my male colleagues,” Beal explains. She uses just two video shots to tell the story. By focusing her camera on the banal and stripping the visuals down to a minimum, she’s able to use the audio to maximum effect, leaving much to the imagination of the viewer.

Beal projected this video, along with her more recent (and equally compelling) “9 to 5″ video, at the National Geographic Photography Seminar last month in Washington, DC.

She explained at that seminar that her work is intended to push conversation about the experience of women of color in corporate America, particularly about issues that people are afraid to talk about. Beal credited Tod Papageorge with pushing her to use photography to explore her own experiences while she was enrolled in the MFA photography program at Yale.

“I said, ‘[Those experiences are] so intimate and personal to me,’” she recounted. “He said, ‘Those are the stories that need to be told.’ So I took the risk. I had no idea that something so personal and private could be universally translated, that other people could understand, that a minority woman could speak to the universal.

“The history of photography for minority women is still being written,” she continued. “I think about Deborah Willis, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Deana Lawson, Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson–all these wonderful women. But our book is really short. If I can add a couple of photographs to that narrative, then I’ve done my job.”

Related:
Look3: Carrie Mae Weems on Race, Sexuality, History and Finding Meaningful Work