Posts Tagged ‘controversial’

Gregory Heisler’s Controversial Photo of President George H.W. Bush for TIME

American portrait photographer Gregory Heisler (whom we featured yesterday) is probably best known for his 70+ cover portrait photos for TIME magazine. One of his most famous portraits shows a double exposure, “two faced” photo of President George H.W. Bush. The photograph, shot entirely in-camera, was used as the first TIME “Person of the Year” cover photo.
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Street View Screenshots: Photography or Plagiarism?

In 2011, photographer Michael Wolf was awarded Honorable Mention in the World Press Photo 2011 contest for screenshots taken from Google Street View. It immediately sparked a debate regarding whether or not the work should even be considered “original photography”. The Independent has an interesting article about a different Street View “photographer”: Jon Rafman, whose work we’ve featured here before.

At first, [Rafman] would spend eight to 12 hours at a time traversing the globe from his desktop. “It was destroying my body,” he says. But when the images he’d collected went viral online, he began to take submissions from other users, too. Some had collected images of prostitutes at work, others presented car accidents, even dead bodies left by the side of the road – and, presumably, ignored by Google’s drivers. Many of the images in the exhibition have now been wiped from the web: the perps lined up against a wall by the São Paolo police are gone from Google Maps. A man sitting with his legs splayed strangely around a lamppost in Toronto has been blurred into obscurity.

Rafman’s images, by contrast, are almost entirely untreated. He even leaves the Google Street View navigation tool in the top-left corner of each photograph. “The work is connected to the history of street photography,” he explains, “but also to the 20th-century ready-made movement. So leaving those artefacts in the image is extremely important. In the bottom-left corner of each picture is a link that says, ‘Report a problem’.

His work, titled The Nine Eyes of Google Street View, will soon be exhibited at London’s Saatchi Gallery.

Google Street View photographs: the man on the street [The Independent]

The Idea is That People Should Look A Certain Way in the Face of Tragedy

During the 9/11 attacks in NYC, Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker shot what is perhaps the most controversial image created that day: a photo that appears to show a group of young people casually enjoying themselves while the World Trade Center burns in the background. Hoepker kept the image under wraps for four years and then caused quite a stir after publishing it in a 2006 book. Columnist Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times that “The young people in Mr. Hoepker’s photo aren’t necessarily callous. They’re just American.”
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Controversial French Ad Campaign for Photographers’ Rights

French photographers organization Union des Photographes Professionnels (UPP) launched a controversial new advertising campaign this week, speaking out against the use of photographs without proper permission and/or payment. The ad reads: “Each day, a photographer’s work is used without his consent”. A spokesperson for UPP states,

It’s obvious that professional photographers are not being listened to. So, for the first time, we’re speaking to the photographic community with an image. We hope to raise awareness among the public, as well as the media and the government, about photographers’ problems. Each day, photographers are faced with decreasing rates. They are forced to compete against image libraries that are offering vile prices. These practices are infringing on photographers’ moral rights.

In a blog post, the organization adds, “Each day, photographers risk their lives to allow us to stay informed. And each day, photographers continue to be dealt with as if they weren’t producing anything. [...] With this image, we want to show the violent and disrespectful economic reality that photographers have to deal with.”

(via UPP via BJP via The Click )

Photo Exhibition Features Self-Portraits Found on Apple Store Devices

Remember the hoopla last year after artist/programmer Kyle McDonald installed an app on Apple store computers to secretly snap portraits of customers? Outcries of “invasion of privacy” sprang up everywhere, and Apple got the Secret Service involved in putting an end to it. Well, photographer Irby Pace has done something similar, but instead of secretly capturing images, Pace simply visits Apple Stores and harvests self-portraits “abandoned” on the devices. Pace collected over 1,000 images in 2010 by emailing and texting them to himself, and is currently displaying them in a gallery exhibition titled “Unintended Consequences”.

Unintended Consequences (via Wired)

This is Lady Gaga’s Photo Release Form

Early in 2011, there was a brouhaha after newspaper photographer Jay Westcott complained about Lady Gaga’s photo release form given to photographers attending her concerts. PDN characterized the story as a “fame monster gobbling up photographers’ copyrights“. What you see above is a copy of the actual release form given at concerts. Apparently contracts like this one are pretty standard these days.

(via Reddit)

H&M Photoshops Model Heads Onto CGI Bodies

Clothing retailer H&M has sparked quite a bit of controversy after admitting that most of the models featured on its website are computer generated. The company says that pasting real model heads onto CGI bodies provides a better way of displaying clothes made for humans than using real humans to model them. Spokeswoman Nicole Christine tells ABC News:

This technique can be found in use throughout the industry. This is not to be seen as conveying a specific ideal or body type, but merely a technique to show our garments.

It is regrettable if we have led anyone to believe that the virtual mannequins should be real bodies. This is incorrect and has never been our intention. We will continue to discuss internally how we can be clearer about this in the information towards our customers.

Although the identical poses and proportions are hard to overlook, the company does match the skin tones of the bodies to the faces quite well, making the ‘shopped nature of individual photos difficult to detect.

(via Jezebel via kottke.org)

Controversial Photos of Smoking Children

After seeing a video on YouTube of an Indonesian toddler who smokes 40 cigarettes a day, Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens decided to respond to a general smoking ban introduced in her country recently with a series of photos showing children smoking. I Love Belgium writes,

The children, aged four to nine, are shameless posing while enjoying their cigarette or cigarillo. So why kids? By portraying adults as children all the attention went to the smoking. An adult would draw to much attention to the portrayed person. Thus these portraits evoke question such as: is the smoking ban the right way to get rid of an absurd addiction and are smokers treated like little kids who can’t make the difference between good and bad? While Frieke doesn’t give answers, the portraits are strong enough to start your thinking process!

Although photographs have become quite controversial, it may comfort you to know that none of the children were exposed to actual cigarette smoke through the photo shoots — the cigarettes were actually made of cheese!
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Nikon says “A Photographer Is Only as Good as the Equipment He Uses”

You’ve probably heard the expression “It’s the photographer, not the camera”, but apparently Nikon — or at least one of its PR people — hasn’t. A few hours ago the company updated its Facebook page with,

A photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses, and a good lens is essential to taking good pictures! Do any of our facebook fans use any of the NIKKOR lenses? Which is your favorite and what types of situations do you use it for?

Needless to say, the post was met with quite a bit of disagreement in the comments.
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Does Bringing a Camera onto an Airplane Damage Its Sensor?

Kodak uploaded a video to YouTube recently thats been causing quite a bit of controversy. It’s a talk by Rob Hummel at Cine Gear Expo 2011 in which he states that bringing your digital camera onto an airplane will damage its sensor and cause dead pixels (it’s about 8min into the video). The reasoning is that at altitudes of 20,000ft and higher, you would need 125ft of concrete to shield yourself from the gamma rays, which induce voltages in the sensors and fry the photo sites. He also claims that manufacturers only transport cameras by sea, and that they all keep quiet about this because they fear a class action lawsuit.

The comments on the YouTube video and the dpreview forums are filled with people who believe that this is simply an attempt by Kodak to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) over digital cameras in an effort to lure more people to using film. So, which is it? Fact or FUD?

(via dpreview and Photo Rumors)