In November of 2010, The New York Times made headlines of their own when they chose four Hipstamatic photos to grace their front page. And now, Instagram is getting in on the action as well. For Sunday’s paper, the NYT decided to use a photo of Alex Rodriguez taken by photographer Nick Laham in a locker room bathroom using an iPhone and edited in Instagram. Read more…
Apparently robbers in Northern California are starting to learn that photojournalists typically shoot with pretty expensive gear. The New York Times reports that robbers have been targeting news photographers in recent months, sometimes at gunpoint:
Last August, Laura Oda, chief photographer for The Oakland Tribune, was photographing people painting the mural when she spotted someone in her peripheral vision. “Within seconds they were on me,” she said, “one in front and one in back.” Armed, they pulled cameras off her neck and grabbed her bag of cameras and a laptop from her car.
Three months later, Ms. Oda was photographing cars at a busy intersection when she was again robbed of her camera, at gunpoint once more. For a while, she avoided the streets of Oakland. She has since returned but has established a new rule: she does not stay in one place for more than five minutes.
One veteran photojournalist has already lost five cameras to robbery. Each successful theft nets the robbers between $3,000 to $50,000 in gear — gear that hasn’t been turning up on the secondary market (e.g. craigslist).
It’s safe to say that most amateur photographers have wondered at one time or another if they have what it takes to make it in the big leagues. Well, here’s their chance to find out, because The New York Times is hosting a professional portfolio review for 150 of the best amateurs courageous enough to send their work in. Read more…
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. Read more…
On Tuesday, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by militants, resulting in the deaths of ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three members of his staff. In an article reporting on the attack, The New York Times included a photograph that reportedly showed a bloody and unconscious Stevens, moments away from death. The image caused outrage with some readers, and soon attracted the attention of the United States government, which asked the Times to pull the photo. The Times said no. Read more…
Everyone is a photographer these days, and it is estimated that 380 billion photographs were taken last year, with a huge percentage of them created with the 1 billion+ camera-equipped phones now floating around. The New York Times’ James Estrin has some interesting thoughts on where this radical-shift in the practice and definition of photography is taking us:
Just as access to pens and paper hasn’t produced thousands of Shakespeares or Nabokovs, this explosion of camera phones doesn’t seem to have led to more Dorothea Langes or Henri Cartier-Bressons. But it has certainly led to many more images of what people ate at lunch.
[...] A photograph is no longer predominantly a way of keeping a treasured family memory or even of learning about places or people that we would otherwise not encounter. It is now mainly a chintzy currency in a social interaction and a way of gazing even further into one’s navel.
He thinks the strengthening torrent of digital images will have one of two possible effects: a culture that is more aware and appreciative of photography, or a society in which it’s impossible for any photo to rise above the flood of images.
After Bang-Bang Club photographer Joao Silva lost his legs to a land mine in Afghanistan in October of last year, NYTimes executive editor Bill Keller stated, “He will be missed until — as I have no doubt he will — he returns to action, cameras blazing.” Keller predicted correctly — Silva has returned to work less than a year after suffering his horrific injuries:
[...] as the Times correspondent Sabrina Tavernise rushed uphill on Wednesday to cover the closing ceremony at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, she spotted a very familiar face in the crowd. Mr. Silva, wearing a T-shirt with the exclamation “Pow!” written across the front, was already on the scene. He was smiling. He was walking on his prosthetic legs. And he was taking pictures.
One of those photos, of soldiers and visitors watching a parachute demonstration during the ceremony, was chosen for Page 1 of The Times on Thursday. [#]
Silva tells the NYTimes, “It was a matter of making the best of what I had. There will come a time when I can run, but now I can walk.”
The New York Times has a powerful piece about photographer Giles Duley. Duley was covering a patrol in Afghanistan back in February when he stepped on a bomb and lost an arm and both legs:
“I remember looking up and seeing bits of me and my clothes in the tree, which I knew wasn’t a good sign,” he said. “I saw my left arm. It was just obviously shredded to pieces, and smoldering. I couldn’t feel my legs, so straightaway and from what I could see in the tree, I figured they were gone.”
[...] Rather than tally what was missing, Mr. Duley counted what remained.
“I thought, ‘Right hand? Eyes?’ ” — he realized that all of these were intact — “and I thought, ‘I can work.’ ”
And work is what he plans to continue doing. Duley expects to be self-dependent within the year and to continue working as a photographer — perhaps even in Afghanistan. You can help finance Duley’s recovery and return to photography through this website.
That’s why, for years, there were two kinds of cameras: pocket models, with tiny sensors that produce blurry or grainy photos in low light and S.L.R. cameras, those big-sensor, big-body, heavy black beasts used by professionals.
In the last couple of years, though, things have changed. There’s a new class of camera whose size (both body and sensor) falls in between those two time-honored extremes. They represent a rethinking of every single design element, a jettisoning of every nonessential component, in pursuit of a tiny, big-sensor camera. Because that, after all, is what the world really wants.
Do you think these cameras are “what the world really wants”?
This audio slideshow interview by BagNewsSalon features New York Times contract photographer Michael Kamber, who discusses the issue of military censorship of photographs shot during the Iraq war and how his ability to document the war became more and more limited as time went on. An interesting point he makes is that uncensored photography should be allowed even if it can’t be published immediately, because it can provide posterity with an accurate view into the past.
Making pictures and getting them published have their own set of rules dictated by government, military, publishers and editors. The images made by the photojournalists who covered the war can reveal a gruesome reality beyond what the American media has shown us. “I think that we need to publish those photos for history even if we can’t get them in the newspaper today,” said Kamber.
A warning: the slideshow includes some pretty intense images of war.