Every year, the MacArthur Foundation selects 20-40 exceptional people in the United States and awards them with $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grants” — prestigious awards that come with no strings attached. Winners are of all ages, come from all kinds of fields, and are selected purely because they “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work.”
The 2012 winners were revealed today, and of the 23 people selected, two of them were photographers: Uta Barth and An-My Lê. Read more…
The 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners have been announced, and both winning photographers focused on the unbearable trauma of war. Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse won the Breaking News award for his “heartbreaking image of a girl crying among a pile of dead bodies after a suicide bomber’s attack at a crowded shrine in Kabul.” Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post won the Feature Photography prize for chronicling “Colorado resident Scott Ostrom’s struggles with severe post-traumatic stress disorder after four years as a Marine Corps reconnaissance man and two deployments to Iraq.”
Instagram is holding onto its place as the darling of the mobile photo sharing world. After adding a whopping two million new users in a month thanks to Thanksgiving and the release of the iPhone 4S, the app now has a shiny new trophy for its shelf: it has been selected as Apple’s “iPhone App of the Year“. The future is looking extremely bright for the 13-month-old, 7-man company: Goldman Sachs recently designated it as a potential IPO candidate and founder Kevin Systrom expects the membership base to double once the Android version arrives.
12-year-old Sam Kaye of Radlett, Hertfordshire, UK has become the youngest person ever to earn a distinguished membership to the Royal Photographic Society, the world’s oldest photographic society. Kaye became a Licentiate of the RPS by submitting ten of his photographs anonymously to a panel of judges, who were shocked to learn of his age after awarding him with the distinction. Read more…
A man in Atlanta was just awarded $40,000 in damages after having his cell phone confiscated and photos deleted while filming police activity from a public location. The man was filming for Copwatch, an organization that aims to crack down on law enforcement wrongdoing by filming their activities, and was told by the police that he had no right to record them. An interesting quote from the CNN segment above is the lesson this case should send to other police departments,
The lesson is that police departments need to know that citizens can film their activity if it is taking place in a public place.
Not a bad result for having some cell phone photos deleted, huh?
TIME magazine has named the Sony Alpha A55 as one of the top 50 inventions of 2010. They write,
A.K.A. the camera that never blinks. Traditional digital SLR cameras take the nicest photographs around, but they’re hobbled by a decades-old technical limitation: when you snap a picture, the mirror that’s been redirecting the image to your eye and to a focusing sensor pops up momentarily as the image is captured. Until it goes back down, the camera can’t focus. Sony’s Alpha A55 ($849.99 with lens) fixes that with an ingenious translucent mirror that stays put. That means you can shoot up to 10 perfectly focused photos a second and record HD video that never goes blurry. Bonus advantage: with no need to allocate interior space for a moving mirror, the Alpha is noticeably smaller and lighter than its Sony SLR brethren.
10 perfectly focused photos per second? That’s a pretty interesting claim.
A couple days ago we covered the winning image of the British Journal of Photography’s international photo contest and how many readers disagreed with the photo’s merits. The prize for that contest was a one week exhibition and a Sigma digital compact camera. Now compare that to the above photograph, which won AU $80,000 in the 2010 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, one of the richest prizes in the world. Like the BJP photo, this photograph became the subject of debate. Read more…
Adorama announced today that “So Long & Farewell” by Neville Black was picked as the grand prize winner of the first annual iPhone Photo Contest, which comes with a $1,000 gift certificate as the prize.
Black tells us,
I’m a photographer based in Ottawa Ontario Canada (moved from Vancouver BC recently) and I’m still in awe at some of the architecture in the capital. I’ve shot most of it all before with my SLR but when I picked up the iPhone 3Gs to add to my camera collection, it was like rediscovering photography. The iPhone is in a world of its own, its amazing. I created this photo with TiltShift, DXP (blurry shampoo bottles made the sky) and my favorite app I pretty much use for all my shots, Lo-Mob.
Candidate photographs are nominated through the website, and must be cameraphone photos shot in 2009 and distributed on Twitter through one of the popular social media channels (i.e. Twitpic, Flickr, etc…). The nomination phase ends on February 5th, 2010.
An obvious favorite to win is the following photograph by Janis Krums of US Airways Flight 1549‘s successful ditch in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009:
Krums was on the ferry sent to pick up the passengers, and sent the tweeted the photo via Twitpic from his cameraphone. Here’s a screenshot:
What made the tweet and story particularly noteworthy was that the real-time nature of Twitter allowed the photograph to circulate widely before any mainstream news sources were able to obtain photographs. We’re guessing this is exactly the type of photo the new Shorty award would like to honor.
The ubiquity of cameraphones combined with real-time distribution offered by Twitter has changed the world of photography. When something happens in one part of the world, people can now see it all over the world almost instantly — if someone with a cameraphone and Twitter account is nearby.
Can you think of any other candidate photograph for the new award?