Earlier today, unimaginable tragedy struck the town of Newtown, Connecticut as 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School were gunned down by a man we now know to be 20-year-old Adam Lanza.
As details poured in over the course of the day, Lanza — who took his own life at the scene — was mistakenly identified by police as Ryan, his older brother. Because of this mistake, news organizations nationwide began searching for pictures of a Ryan Lanza matching the description of the gunman, subsequently stumbling upon and disseminating the wrong picture for several hours.
Just a few hours ago, a man opened fire at the Empire State Building in New York City, killing a former co-worker before being gunned down by police. Ryan Pitcheralle was passing through the area when the shooting occurred, and used Instagram to capture a photograph of the victim lying in a pool of blood.
One of the biggest stories in the news over the past month has been the controversy surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Poynter has published an article that examines how the media has used photography to portray Trayvon Martin, the victim, and George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed him.
The dominant photo of Martin shows him 13 or 14 years old, wearing a red Hollister T-shirt. Other photos, none of them recent, depict a young Martin in a youth football uniform, holding a baby and posing with a snowboard. He is the picture of innocence.
The most common photo of Zimmerman is a 2005 police mugshot. He is 22 in the photo, which was taken after he was arrested for assaulting an officer. (The charges were dropped.) He looks unhappy, if not angry.
The contrast — the two photos are often published side by side — has led to criticism that news media have tilted the story in favor of the 17-year-old victim and against the 28-year-old man who shot him.
The iconic photos of Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman & why you may not see the others [Poynter]
If you’ve ever tried shooting in a dark location without using flash or a tripod, you probably know how difficult it can be to remove camera shake from your photos. Alex Jansen — a photography enthusiast who’s an officer in the US Army — has written up an awesome tutorial on how you can apply some of the tricks used by rifle shooters to shooting with a camera:
I am by no measures a “pro,” but I understand my fundamentals very well, and this specific set has been drilled into my head so many times that it is now second-nature. I am going to teach you how to “shoot” your camera like a high end rifle because at the end of the day, the fundamentals stay the same in every aspect.
The guide focuses on the US Army’s four fundamentals of marksmanship: steady position, aiming, breath control, and trigger control.
Making the Most of Long Exposure Handhelds [Pentax Forums]
Image credits: Photographs by Alex Jansen/Pentax Forums
On Memorial Day 2011, Narces Benoit witnessed and filmed a group of Miami police officers shooting and killing a suspect in a car chase and armed robbery. He was then confronted by officers who handcuffed him and smashed his cell phone, but Benoit was able to sneakily preserve the video with some quick thinking. The Miami Herald writes,
Benoit said the officers eventually uncuffed him after gunshots rang out elsewhere and he discreetly removed the [memory] card and placed it in his mouth.
Officers again took his phone, demanding his video. He said they took him to a nearby mobile command center, snapped a picture of him, then took him to police headquarters and conducted a recorded interview while he kept the [memory] card in his mouth. He insisted his phone was broken.
The video was uploaded to YouTube yesterday, and has since gone viral. A local news cameraman also had his camera confiscated and thrown into the back of a police car.
(via The Miami Herald via Carlos Miller)
Update: Turns out it wasn’t a SIM card, but an SD memory card that was used in a HTC EVO. (Thanks Caleb!)
Update: You can read the National Press Photographers Association’s response here.
Photographer Alan Sailer works out of his garage shooting things with a high-speed pellet rifle and photographing the results using a homemade flash unit. An interesting series of photographs he has, titled “The War Against Christmas“, involves filling Christmas tree ornaments with various things and shooting them for unique explosions of texture and color. The photograph above shows an exploding ornament that was filled with washable kids tempera paint.