Bad news for photographers in Southern California: the Los Angeles Police Department issued a notice regarding its official terrorism handling policy earlier this week, and the document still identifies photographers as potential terrorists. The intradepartmental correspondence, sent out by the Chief of Police, warns officers about the following:
Photography. Taking pictures or videos of facilities/buildings, infrastructures or protected sites in a manner that would arouse suspicion in a reasonable person. Examples include taking pictures or videos of ingress/egress, delivery locations, personnel performing security functions (e.g., patrol, badge/vehicle checking), security-related equipment (e.g., perimeter fencing, security cameras), etc.;
Observation/Surveillance. Demonstrating unusual interest in facilities/buildings, infrastructures or protected sites beyond mere casual or professional (e.g., engineers) interest, such that a reasonable person would consider the activity suspicious. Examples include observations through binoculars, taking notes, attempting to measure distances, etc. …
Back in September we featured a project called This Was Found that promotes art by leaving framed prints out and about in the UK. Now, printing company Jondo is taking it to the next level with a project called Art Heist. They’ve left 26 gigantic, museum-quality 40x60inch canvases in various secret locations around Los Angeles. Find one, and you’re free to take it home. Just make sure you have a good way of bringing home the massive photo! Read more…
Colin Mika and Brandon Vedder of All Cut Up Films created this amazing time-lapse video of Los Angeles by photographing the city through a “snow globe”. They captured 4000 images with a custom rig, which consisted of a Canon 5D Mark II, a homemade tilt-shift lens, a light bulb filled with water, and paper cutouts for shaped bokeh.
Here’s a brief video in which Los Angeles-based photographer Mike Kelley shares his technique for lighting large architectural spaces using small flash units. Kelley captures hundreds of photographs of each scene and the combines them afterwards in Photoshop. Back in September we shared an interesting time-lapse walkthrough by Kelley showing how he shoots home exteriors with the same technique.
It took six months of on and off shooting for photographer Colin Rich to create this amazing time-lapse video showing Los Angeles at night. He used a Canon 5D that’s still chugging along after 120,000 actuations. Be sure to watch it in HD and in fullscreen!
“Vector Portraits” is a series of candid portraits of passing motorists shot by photographer Andrew Bush between 1989 and 1997 in the Los Angeles area. After making 66 of these portraits, he published a photo book with them titled “Drive“. Read more…
Street photographer Eric Kim wanted to capture what it’s like to roam around on the streets and shoot photographs of complete strangers (without their permission), so he mounted a GoPro HD 960 video camera to the top of his Leica M9 and then walked the streets of LA. You can see some of the resulting photos over on Kim’s blog.
A few guys in Los Angeles recently convinced their friend to let them borrow his new iPhone 4 (that he waited 4.5 in line for), and got onto a rooftop with the help of another friend. Using some large helium balloons, they attached the iPhone and started recording 720p video of downtown LA as it rose up to 1000 feet into the air on the end of a kite string. They also made a fun behind-the-scenes video of their project.
This setup is definitely cheaper than an RC plane or helicopter, and somewhat safer and more stable than a kite.
The above video was recorded by Shawn Nee for Discarted, a blog that fights for photographers’ rights to shoot in public locations. It shows Nee getting into a verbal exchange with a police officer over whether or not he can legally photograph the officer.
Opinion over this video — created in February but just released yesterday — is extremely divided. Photography blogger Thomas Hawk thanks Nee for “continuing to fight for photographer’s rights”:
Our ability as citizens to document the police is extremely important. Historically, citizen photography has been instrumental in documenting police abuse cases from Rodney King to the recent shooting death of Oscar Grant. To wear a badge and a gun in our society is a privilege and ought to only be afforded to those willing to enforce actual laws and not intimidate citizens by making up illegal photography rules of their own.
On the other hand, comments left in various places regarding the video argue that Nee was intentionally provoking the officer, “stirring the pot” for the purpose of producing this video. A commenter at the LAist writes,
Who is harassing who in this video? Clearly, the guy taking the video wanted this to happen. He had a video camera set up, to video himself taking picture of an officer making a traffic stop? The cop tells him to stop at the beginning, and that the the guy on the bike is making him nervous. The officer is making a traffic stop. Lord knows how tense a traffic stop can be. Then you have this kid pull up behind up, and stop, and start taking pictures.
“Running on Empty” by Ross Ching is a neat time-lapse video inspired by Matt Logue’s empty L.A. project, which we featured last year. Rather than individual photographs in which ordinarily busy LA streets are artificially devoid of any cars and people, the video takes it a step further by stringing together such photographs to create an eerie (yet soothing and beautiful) glimpse into an LA in which streetlights blink above “I am Legend”-esque roads. I wonder how long post-processing took…