Are you so bad at photography that all your photographs are completely overexposed to the point of pure white? Good news: there may yet be artistic hope for you. The Hayward Gallery in London is planning to mount an “Emperor’s New Clothes”-style exhibition titled “Invisible”, which will only feature artwork that can’t be seen. Pieces include Tom Friedman‘s “1000 Hours of Staring” (shown above) — a blank sheet of paper that the artist stared at for hours upon hours over the course of five years — and Andy Warhol‘s empty pedestal titled “Invisible Sculpture”.
Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before someone launches a photo exhibition consisting solely of blank white photographs.
This incredible London flyover footage, taken by aerial photographer Jason Hawkes, shows the huge city in a way most of us haven’t seen before. Through Mr. Hawkes’ lens you begin to grasp the true scale of the soon-to-be Olympic city; including some beautiful dusk shots of the Shard, which is now the tallest building in Europe.
Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz wasn’t far off when he said that the video could very well be part of Tron Legacy or Blade Runner.
16-year-old photographer Jules Mattsson has won a settlement from the London Metropolitan Police after being stopped and detained last year while photographing the Armed Forces Day parade. Here’s Mattsson’s account of what happened:
I was detained by Police in Romford after taking an image of a cadet unit who were about to march in a massive parade in front of thousands of people with cameras. I was told it was an offence to photograph a child, then an offence to photograph the military, then an offence to photograph the police then that I was a threat under the terrorism act. I was frog marched with my arm painfully twisted away from the public eye and any witnesses and pushed down a set of stairs. The police illegally tried to take my details on several occasions also. [#]
In addition to the financial settlement paid to Mattsson early last week, the police department has also apologized for its actions.
The London Evening Standard has published a fascinating article on a photograph captured by Getty photographer Oli Scarff, which shows a near-fatal stabbing that occurred during London’s Notting Hill Carnival back in August. After being published around the world, the photograph changed the lives of the subjects seen it it. The fleeing man was identified from the photo and sentenced to 4.5 years in jail, the policeman was criticized for his apparent indifference (a claim he disputes), and the man trying to trip the attacker was hailed as a hero but subsequently named as an ex-Russian police officer who was dismissed over murder allegations.
If you want to do street photography, attacking people with cameras like Fabio Pires does in London probably isn’t the way you should go about doing it — unless you’re trying to give photography a bad name. Does anyone know of any good behind-the-scenes videos of good (and candid) street photography being done in a respectable way?
On June 21, 2011, non-profit organization Shoot Experience sent out six photographers to various parts of London to see the current state of photographers’ rights.
Some used tripods, some went hand held, one set up a 5 x 4.
All were instructed to keep to public land and photograph the area as they would on a normal day. The event aimed to test the policing of public and private space by private security firms and their reaction to photographers.
The result? Every one of the photographers was confronted at least once, and in three cases the police were called.
This is an 80-gigapixel panoramic photo, made from 7886 individual images. This panorama was shot from the top of the Centre Point building in central London, in the summer of 2010. We hope that the varied sights and energy of London have been captured here in a way never done before, so that you can experience one of the world’s great cities – wherever you may be right now.
It’s pretty crazy how you can zoom into individual windows and clearly see people walking on sidewalks.
What was supposed to be a routine press preview of the Turner Prize exhibition in London turned a two-hour standoff between photographers and Tate Britain gallery contract-wavers.
Press photographers refused to sign a problematic form at the door that required them to guarantee their images would not “result in any adverse publicity” for the host gallery and reportedly signed away permission sans-royalties for gallery publicity.
Instead of securing a monopoly over the favorable images produced at the event, the gallery succeeded in the opposite, mucking up press relations in a very public way. Read more…
Over the weekend 16-year-old freelance photographer Jules Mattsson was photographing police cadets in an Armed Forces Day parade in London when he was approached by police and told that he needed parental permission to photograph the cadets.
According an audio recording of the incident, the police officer argued, at first, that it was illegal to take photographs of children, before adding that it was illegal to take images of army members, and, finally, of police officers. When asked under what legislation powers he was being stopped, the police officer said that Mattsson presented a threat under anti-terrorism laws. The photographer was pushed down on stairs and detained until the end of the parade and after the intervention of three other photographers.
Mattsson, having been stopped by police before, started recording audio of the incident on his cell phone in an attempt to capture the arguments that police use against photographers. In the recording, an officer can be heard stating that they didn’t need a law to detain Mattsson.
This reminded me a little of the confrontation between a photog and policeman in Los Angeles that we wrote about earlier this month. However, in that case many commenters thought that the photographer had crossed a boundary and was intentionally provoking the officer in order to create a scene.
More good news for photographers in the UK. A week after UK’s terror tsar called for the abolition of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, UK’s Crime Minister David Hanson has new statements assuring photographers that anti-terrorism legislation should not be used to hinder photography. He is quoted as saying,
I recently met with Austin Mitchell MP, members of the Parliamentary All Party Photography Group and representatives of the photographic press and the Royal Photographic Society to discuss the issue of counter terrorism powers and offences in relation to photography.
I welcomed the opportunity to reassure all those concerned with this issue that we have no intention of Section 44 or Section 58A being used to stop ordinary people taking photos or to curtail legitimate journalistic activity.
Guidance has been provided to all police forces advising that these powers and offences should not be used to stop innocent member of the public, tourists or responsible journalists from taking photographs.
These powers and offences are intended to help protect the public and those on the front line of our counter terrorism operations from terrorist attack. For the 58A offence to be committed, the information is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
I have committed to writing to Austin Mitchell MP to reinforce this message and to follow-up on the representations made.
Indeed, news of photographers being stopped unreasonably has died down in recent weeks, so it seems as though things are becoming more photographer-friendly in the UK. If you’re in the UK, have you noticed any improvement?