Yesterday we shared a disconcerting art project by Kyle McDonald in which he installed apps in Apple Stores throughout NYC to secretly photograph customers staring into the computers. We predicted that Apple wouldn’t be too happy about it and, lo and behold, it’s pissed. The company has reportedly enlisted the help of the US Secret Service to investigate McDonald’s actions. Mashable writes,
[…] four Secret Service men in suits woke him up on Thursday morning with a search warrant for computer fraud. They confiscated two computers, an iPod and two flash drives, and told McDonald that Apple would contact him separately.
McDonald, who has a master’s degree in electronic arts, admits the project might make some people uncomfortable. Before he began, he got permission from Apple’s security guards to take photos in the store, then asked customers if he could take their photos (with a camera). Had they all said no, he says, he wouldn’t have proceeded.
It’ll be interesting to see how this case turns out, but it appears to be another example of a common sense fail when it comes to photography.
Update: We hear that all charges against Rhonda Hollander have been dropped after a judge found the testimony “not credible.”
In the United States, anyone can be photographed in most public places without their consent… as long as they don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy. A female traffic magistrate named Rhonda Hollander was arrested last week after following a man into a courthouse bathroom and photographing him as he used the urinal.
When Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Darlene Harden confronted Hollander a short time later, the magistrate admitted taking a picture but refused to turn over her phone, arguing that it was a public restroom and she was not violating any laws, according to the report. [#]
Other places where people have an expectation of privacy include homes, dressing rooms, medical facilities, and phone booths. Basically, it helps to have some common sense.
(via SunSentinel via Pixiq)
P.S. You can find a list of photographers’ rights in the US here. The text is printed on the gray card set we sell through our store.
Leica is reportedly working on a compact, large-sensor, interchangeable lens camera that will rival the “EVIL” cameras offered by Olympus/Panasonic (Micro Four Thirds), Sony (NEX), and Samsung (NX). In an interview today with Amateur Photographer, company boss Alfred Schopf stated that consumers “will see something at the next Photokina”, and that the camera will have at least an APS-C sized sensor. Perhaps the new camera will be how Leica finds its way again after being late to the digital game.
(via Amateur Photographer)
One of the exciting features of iOS 5 announced by Apple last week is the ability to use the iPhone’s “volume up” button as a shutter button when taking pictures. What’s also neat is that this design choice also means that the “volume up” button on Apple’s headphone remotes can also trigger the shutter, allowing them to be used as remote shutter releases. Say hello to stealthy and/or non-blurry iPhone photographs!
Turns out turning photographs into stencils isn’t transformative enough to be defended as “fair use”. In a case that has many similarities to the Shepard Fairey vs. AP legal battle, a judge ruled earlier this week against graffiti artist Thierry Guetta after Guetta (AKA Mr. Brainwash) had used a “stencil-ized” photo of Run DMC by Glen E. Friedman to promote an exhibition, concluding that Guetta’s piece didn’t differ enough from the original image to be considered fair use.
What are your thoughts on this issue? How much does a photograph need to be transformed before it is considered a new piece of art?
(via Boing Boing)
Image credits: Photograph of Run DMC by Glen E. Friedman
The White House announced last month that it would be ending the long-running practice of reenacting Presidential speeches for photographs, but stated that they were still working out how the new system would work. Last week it reached an agreement with the White House Correspondents’ Association — rather than reenacting photos for a larger group of photographers, a single photojournalist will be given permission to shoot future speeches as they happen:
[…] news photographers will now be permitted to designate a single representative to act as a “pool” for the entire press corps. The photos taken by the pool representative will be made available to all news organizations. Reporters use a similar pool system for presidential events in which space is limited. [#]
“Hey, no pressure, but the world’s media is depending on your photos!”
(via The Washington Post)
Google Street View photos won’t be limited to the exterior of buildings for much longer — the company has just announced Google Business Photos, a service that will allow Google websites to show the interiors of local businesses. If you thought having vehicles equipped with Street View cameras driven up and down every street in every city was a tedious project, for Business Photos Google is planning to have photographers sent to businesses that apply for the service. Crowd-sourcing the imagery would definitely be less labor intensive, but shooting inside private property requires permission.
If you’re the proud owner of a Polaroid 600 camera (and have deep pockets), this news will be music to your ears: Impossible has launched its new PX 680 Color Shade First Flush line of color instant film to replace the popular Polaroid 600 color film that was discontinued back in 2008. In addition to Polaroid 600 cameras, the film is also compatible with SX-70 models as long as you use a neutral density filter. It seems like Impossible is getting better and better at resurrecting Polaroid films — these new sample photos look much better than the shots we saw last year of its PX100 film. Each pack contains eight shots and costs $22 from the Impossible shop.
Image credits: Photographs by Brandon Long and Patrick F. Tobin
Production issues experienced by Canon and Nikon (caused by the earthquake and tsunami) may soon allow competitors to eat into their dominant DSLR market shares and, according to a story by USA TODAY, Sony is pegged as one of the main benefactors:
Canon has 44.5% of the digital SLR market, followed by Nikon at 29.8%, Sony with 11.9% and Olympus at 5.1%, IDC says.
[…] At a time when many Canon SLRs are hard to find, due to production issues, the Sony models are not only in amply supply, but discounted to sell with special promotions.
[…] Sony has the name recognition, and ample shelf space in prominent stores.
These gains would likely be limited to first time buyers who are looking for their first DSLR — camera owners already committed to Canon or Nikon’s mounts are unlikely to switch systems just because of a temporary shortage.
Sony could benefit from shortages of Canon, Nikon SLRs [USA TODAY]
Image credit: SONY A55 by 246-You
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.