Guardian columnist Jonathan Jones is a master of sparking controversy in the world of photography. As you might remember, he’s the guy who keeps arguing that photography is not art… a year after calling it “the art of our time.”
His latest target is the above photograph showing Prince Harry shooting with a Fujifilm X100 during a trip to Lesotho in Africa. Jones argues that it’s “as arrogant as any colonial portrait.”
After the crash of yet another Malaysian Airlines jet, the question is being asked: “Is it ethical for news outlets to publish graphic photos of the victims?”.
News outlets, the good ones, spend a lot of time thinking about the best way to present information as it unfolds; part of their thinking should respect the fact that images, once revealed, cannot be unseen.
The Washington Post has a similar article. The Big Picture and TIME have both gone ahead with sharing brutal images (albeit with clear warnings).
Back in 2012, the Republican Study Committee caused widespread debate over intellectual property law after publishing and then pulling a paper on copyright reform. Derek Khanna, the conservative staffer behind the paper, was fired by the committee shortly afterward.
He may have lost the platform afforded by the RSC, but Khanna is still pushing to have his views on copyright reform heard. His latest writings continue to cause quite a discussion on how copyright should be handled in the United States.
In the two photographs above, the bottom image is a photo-manipulation created using the top image. Are they completely separate works of art? What if we told you the second photo was created without the original photographer’s permission and submitted to a contest as an original artwork? What if we told you it actually won?
That all actually happened last year, and the images are at the center of a copyright skirmish.
Want to turn your friend’s Facebook photograph into a mug to sip your morning coffee from? A new service called Photos At My Door can help you do that. It’s an app that can access any of your Facebook friends’ public photographs and turn them into products ranging from photo prints and canvases to mugs and mouse pads.
If the thought of having your photos sold as commercial products without your permission makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone: the app is attracting criticism for it’s apparently flippant views on photo copyrights.
NPR sparked a debate regarding photojournalism, ethics, and privacy this past Monday after publishing a story titled, “What It Feels Like To Be Photographed In A Moment Of Grief” on its photography blog.
The discussion revolved around the photograph above, which AFP photographer Emmanuel Dunand captured in the evening after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Back in 2009, Popular Photography announced the winning photos of its latest Reader’s Photos Contest. Two of the winners (shown above) had some photographers scratching their heads, due to the fact that they’re “Photoshop jobs” rather than non-manipulated stills.
The New York Post sparked a firestorm of controversy last week after publishing a photo of a man about to be struck by a subway train. People around the world were outraged that a photographer decided to photograph what had occurred, that he had sold (or, in the photographer’s words, licensed) the photo to a newspaper, and that the paper decided to publish it with a sensationalist front page story.
The New York Times found an eerily similar story on its hands this week, but its handling of the situation — and the subsequent public reaction to the article — has been drastically different.
Last month photographer Chris Crisman entered the photograph above, titled Butterfly Girl, into the World Photography Organization’s 2012 World Photography Awards. It was selected from the thousands of entries as part of a promotional campaign for the contest and in that process was spread out all over the Internet. From the Daily Mail to the Huffington Post, the story about the World Photo Awards and Chris’s photo made the rounds across the web.
In particular, on the UK news site The Daily Mail, the photo generated a ton of comments and sparked some controversy as to whether or not it was appropriate for a photography competition. This caused me to ask myself the question: “What defines a photograph?”
The National Gallery in London, the world’s 4th most visited art museum, is currently holding its first major exhibition of photography, titled, “Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present.” Andrew Graham-Dixon of The Telegraph has published a review of the show, and has some strong opinions on photography’s place in the art world:
The truth is that very few photographers have ever produced images with the weight of thought and feeling found in the greatest paintings. The camera is certainly an artistic tool, and photos can certainly be works of art. But can they be works of art of the same order as paintings? Modern critical orthodoxy would say yes. But the real answer is no. Photography lacks the depth and heft, the thinking sense of touch, that painting possesses.
That is why the greatest images of the last 150 years– the images people argue about, contest, return to again and again – are not photographs but paintings
Brian Sewell over at The London Evening Standard has written up a lengthier, but equally critical, review.
Seduced by Art: Seven magazine review [The Telegraph via POTB]
Image credits: Photograph by Maisie Broadhead and painting by Thomas Gainsborough