Mobile apps with retro filters such as Instagram and Hisptamatic have been very polarizing in the photo industry, but the latest member of the anti-Instagram camp has many people scratching their heads. The NCAA has banned college coaches from using Instagram filters while recruiting prospective athletes.
If you suffer from gear envy, you might want to skip over this post. Apparently children from wealthy Chinese families these days are traveling with fancy DSLR cameras while on vacation. A person named Liu Li Yang recently published a series of photos over on Chinese social networking service Renren that show a group of tourist children clutching expensive Canon and Nikon DSLRs and lenses.
Starting in 2004, British photographer Julian Germain began a photo project shooting portraits of classrooms in North East England. The next year, he began doing the same thing for schools across the UK. It soon turned into an international project, as he began traveling to schools across the globe to document the environments young people are learning in. He calls the series Classroom Portraits. The photograph above shows a 4th grade math class in Cusco, Peru.
Wealthy people who want to flaunt their wealth are attracted to shiny and pricey things. It’s no surprise then, that more and more Hollywood celebrities are gravitating toward one particular brand for their photographic needs: Leica. Alex Williams of The New York Times writes that the stars aren’t simply adopting the revered marque — some are learning how to use it too:
“If celebrities are going to be seen with a camera, for better or for worse, Leica does lend a certain cachet,” said Michael Holve [...] “It seems a Canon or Nikon is somehow bourgeois, or even pedestrian, by comparison.”
The swelling ranks of famous M-system devotees reach beyond those with a well-chronicled affection for the camera, like Brad Pitt. In recent years, Daniel Craig, Jude Law, Louis C. K., Miley Cyrus and many other celebrities have popped up in paparazzi shots toting Leicas.
[...] It is easy for cynics to sniff, but many Leica-toting celebrities take their photography seriously. Brendan Fraser, an aficionado, has had his work featured in the prestigious Leica Gallery in New York. And Mr. Pitt, who has appeared on the cover of Interview magazine holding a Leica M7, earns praise from photographers in Leica forums for his work, including a cover shoot of Angelina Jolie for W a few years ago.
Williams also makes the observation that the camera’s minimal features and manual controls naturally divide the celebrity owners into serious photo enthusiasts and posers.
Click if You Can Afford It [New York Times]
Everyone is a photographer these days, and it is estimated that 380 billion photographs were taken last year, with a huge percentage of them created with the 1 billion+ camera-equipped phones now floating around. The New York Times’ James Estrin has some interesting thoughts on where this radical-shift in the practice and definition of photography is taking us:
Just as access to pens and paper hasn’t produced thousands of Shakespeares or Nabokovs, this explosion of camera phones doesn’t seem to have led to more Dorothea Langes or Henri Cartier-Bressons. But it has certainly led to many more images of what people ate at lunch.
[...] A photograph is no longer predominantly a way of keeping a treasured family memory or even of learning about places or people that we would otherwise not encounter. It is now mainly a chintzy currency in a social interaction and a way of gazing even further into one’s navel.
He thinks the strengthening torrent of digital images will have one of two possible effects: a culture that is more aware and appreciative of photography, or a society in which it’s impossible for any photo to rise above the flood of images.
In an Age of Likes, Commonplace Images Prevail [NYTimes]
Image credit: Lunch by churl
Redditor bottleface was watching the live stream of Jay-Z’s first annual “Budweiser Made in America” festival this past weekend, when something caught his eye. One of the concert goers standing in the front rows had made a pretty unique camera choice: a Macbook Air. While the fans around him held up smartphones to snap photos and record videos, the Macbookographer was proudly holding up his laptop with the FaceTime camera pointed at the performance.
Horseback wedding in Banff, Canada
Manchester-based couple Lisa and Alex are on a mission to find the best place in the world to get married, and through first hand experience rather than other people’s opinions. They’re currently in the midst of a two-year journey around the world in a 24-year-old camper van, hunting for both the perfect location and the best cultural wedding ceremonies.
They stage a mock wedding in each country they visit — in the style of a culture associated with that location — and recruit a wedding photographer to help them document that experience.
It’s standard procedure for photo labs around the world to contact authorities if illegal activity is discovered in pictures, but what constitutes “illegal activity” can different widely from place to place. Case in point: three French tourists were recently given jail terms in Sri Lanka for photographs they took containing Buddha statues.
The New York Times has published a great interview with Michael H. Osterreicher, the general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association and the editor of the organization’s advocacy blog. In it, NYT Lens Blog co-editor James Estrin asks Osterreicher about photographers’ rights and the trend of people being stopped while shooting public locations.
Forget rings on your fingers or grills on your teeth: Japanese designer Jay Tsujimura thinks your camera is where bling should go. Presumably geared towards people who use pricey cameras as a fashion accessory and status symbol, Tsujimura’s premium line of camera jewelry is designed to adorn hotshoes and shutter releases.