This behind-the-scenes video by the Associated Press gives a neat look at the various robotic cameras the agency will use at the London Olympic Games (earlier this month we shared some of Reuters’ rigs). Fancy remote-controlled rigs will allow for many photographic firsts, as cameras will be found in locations that were previously inaccessible. Wired writes that despite their usefulness, robotic cameras are causing some human photogs to sweat:
“We are essentially able to put cameras and photographers where they’ve never been before, capturing images in ways they’ve never been captured,” [Fabrizio] Bensch said. “For example, I’ve installed a robotic camera unit on a truss, 30 meters high — in a position where no photographer has been in a previous Olympics.”
For [Mark] Reblias, those are positions you just can’t compete against. With the traditional remote-control cameras, if the subject showed untethered joy five feet out of frame, you were out of luck. Now if Reuters is able to get that shot, “well, there’s nothing I can do,” he said. “Maybe I’ll have to upgrade my gear and make a robotic system. It’d be expensive, it might be a cost I have to take on.”
When it comes to photography agencies, Getty Images reigns supreme. Founded in 1995 by Mark Getty and Jonathan Klein, the Seattle-based behemoth in many ways took stock and editorial photography into the digital age, causing the slow decline of “former-rulers” like the AP. Between Getty’s editorial supremacy and the rise of an era where photojournalists find themselves replaced sometimes by average Joe’s with smartphones, the last few years have consisted mostly of the AP trying to staunch the bleeding. But now it seems they’re ready to fight back. Read more…
Most people are familiar with the famous Tank Man photo taken by AP Photographer Jeff Widener as tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square on June 5th, 1989. Taken from a 6th floor balcony of the Beijing hotel, the iconic version we’ve come to know is only one of 4 very similar photos taken that same moment. Read more…
The AP has sacked photographer Miguel Tovar for “deliberate and misleading photo manipulation” after Tovar cloned out his own shadow from a feature photograph. The Photoshopping came to light after an alert photo editor spotted a strange looking dust pattern in a photo of Argentinian children playing soccer. Read more…
The AP published an article yesterday titled “How Much Longer Can Photographic Film Hold On?” that gives a pretty grim outlook for the future of film. About a decade ago, Americans were purchasing close to 1 billion rolls of film and 19.7 million film cameras every year. This year, only about 20 million rolls will be sold and film camera sales may fall below 100,000.
For InfoTrends imaging analyst Ed Lee, film’s fade-out is moving sharply into focus: “If I extrapolate the trend for film sales and retirements of film cameras, it looks like film will be mostly gone in the U.S. by the end of the decade.”
As high schools and colleges find the rising costs of analog photography prohibitive, they’re transitioning to a completely digital curriculum and shutting down their darkrooms, further reducing the demand for film. Film lovers, enjoy it while it lasts!
President Obama announced last week that photographs of Osama bin Laden’s body would not be released to the public due to concerns that it would incite violence and hatred, but a number of news agencies and advocacy groups are attempting to have them released using a Freedom of Information Act request. The Associated Press is one of the agencies that filed a FOIA request (they’re also requesting that video of the raid be released), and the US government has 20 days to respond. Read more…
High quality video on consumer DSLRs is changing how journalism is being done. Kevin Roach, the VP of In this video interview by Beet.tv, Kevin Roach — VP and Director U.S. Broadcast News at Associated Press — called the Canon 5D Mark II “game changing” when asked by Beet.tv about the future direction of the AP.
The AP announced a new program allowing outside sources to hire some of their top photographers for regional assignments. AP Director of Photography Santiago Lyon said in a press release that the deal is pretty straightforward:
If a particular publication or media outlet wants to use one of our staff photographers for an editorial assignment — photographing Easter festivities in Spain, for example — and it would fit into the photographer’s scheduling and our commitments, we would assign that shooter to the story.
There are 25 elite AP photographers on board with the new program. Their names and bios can be seen on the AP Editorial Assignment page.
The AP hasn’t released price ranges for assignments, but it’s likely they will vary case by case.
It would seem that the AP is rapidly expanding and personalizing its agency services; they recently added AP videos to their imaging collection, and they offer image research services. The agency also currently allows their photographers to be commissioned to shoot commercial style and stock images for AP-owned PR Newswire.