Boston news station WBZ-TV stirred up some controversy recently after airing a piece titled “Downtown Crossing ‘Street Photographers’ Crossing The Line?“. Apparently a viewer sent in some video showing a group of six or seven older men who regularly visit a particular crosswalk to photograph pedestrians on the street, saying that they see the men “aggressively hunting down and photographing women and children nearly every day”. The station then decided to air a piece and publish a story from this perspective, questioning the intentions of the photographers and quoting other pedestrians on the sidewalk disturbed by their behavior.
During the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, a number of images that became widely discussed were of 15-year-old Fabienne Cherisma, who was shot and killed by police after looting two plastic chairs and three framed pictures. One of these photographs (shown above), captured by photographer Paul Hansen, was recently chosen as the best International News Image at the Swedish Picture of the Year Awards. There was soon a good deal of discussion in the Swedish media over the ethics of such an image.
If you somehow got your hands on a Fujifilm Finepix X100 already but don’t mind waiting a little longer to use one, you can double or triple the money you paid by selling it to desperate buyers on eBay. Fujifilm was already experiencing extremely high demand and possible shortages, but then the tragic earthquake in Japan completely halted production of the camera after Fujifilm’s factory 20 miles from Sendai was damaged.
There are a few of the cameras being sold on eBay right now, with one auction for a used X100 — with a scratched LCD screen, no less — at $2,300 already with nearly 3 days remaining. This is for a camera that will be selling for $1,200 new when it’s available.
(via 43 Rumors)
A huge story last year was when a painter named Rick Norsigian came across 65 glass negatives at a garage sale, purchasing them for $45. He then had them examined by experts, who told him that they were previously undiscovered Ansel Adams photographs worth at least $200 million. Just as the find was being heralded as one of the greatest in art history, Ansel Adams’ relatives and Publishing Rights Trust expressed skepticism that they were in fact Adams’. It then came to light that the photos might actually belong to a man named Earl Brooks who once lived in the same city as Norsigian (Fresno, California).
Matthew Rothenberg, the man who has led Flickr the past two years has Head of Product, announced today that he is leaving the service. In a message posted to his Twitter account, Rothenberg states,
Here goes: after 5 years, I will be stepping away from Flickr. Will miss working with such a talented, hard-working, and hard-drinking team.
Despite reassurances from Yahoo that Flickr is doing well, many will undoubtably look at this development and wonder whether the future for the service is as bright as the company would like us to think. TechCrunch also reported today that the situation inside the service isn’t too great.
Google has changed the way it limits Picasa photo storage, allowing users to store a virtually unlimited number of photos… provided that they’re small. Previously the service limited users to 1GB in storage and 1,000,000 photographs (split between 1,000 albums). While the photo limit is quite generous, it was difficult to reach since users would likely hit the storage limit very early on (you could only store about 10,000 100KB photos). The million mark is easier to reach now thanks to Google no longer counting photographs 800px wide and smaller towards the 1GB limit, making it a pretty attractive free storage solution for people with a bunch of small photos to store.
Store More Photos and Videos in Picasa Web Albums (via Lifehacker)
In 1999 Corbis — privately owned by Bill Gates — paid $20 million to acquire Sygma, a legendary photo agency that was the largest in the world at the time. After the acquisition, the agency bled money and suffered heavy fines due to the mismanagement of photographs, paying $2 million at one point for losing 750 of one photojournalist’s photos. In 2010 the new agency, named Corbis Sygma, filed for bankruptcy after its debt had risen to €73m (~$100 million). Now the court appointed administrator of the defunct company is saying that millions of images in the collection may be destroyed after a failed attempt to sell them at auction.
MI5 might have missed a golden opportunity to prevent the 7 July 2005 London bombings back in 2004 when they cropped a photograph of two of the terrorists badly before sending it to the FBI. The photograph was of two of the bombers — Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammad Sidique Khan — and was shot by an undercover agent at a motorway service station. For some reason, MI5 decided to desaturate the photo, crop Khan (the ringleader) out, and make Tanweer look hardly human with blurry facial features and a blob-like profile.
February seems to be the month when lost photographers’ lives are saved thanks to their camera flashes. Last year around this time a German tourist was miraculously rescued when a woman spotted his desperate flashes on a live webcam feed.
Earlier this week a 29-year-old photographer was hiking in Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin when darkness fell, causing him to became lost, wander off the trail, and fall 15 feet into a boulder field. The man spent two hours on the phone with rescuers before they were able to locate him in the darkness thanks to flashes he was firing off with his camera. He had developed hypothermia from the snow, but his camera flash saved his life.
(via Chicago Tribune)
Image credit: *Flash* by Michael Mistretta
The Micro Four Thirds system is apparently headed somewhere big, as more and more lens companies are joining in on the action. Just a few days ago Schneider Kreuznach announced they would be joining the system, and now Carl Zeiss is joining too, bringing 160+ of producing quality glass to future MFT cameras.
You can find a full list of companies on the official Four Thirds website.
Image credit: Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 3.5/135 – 1 300ppi by Ferran Nogués