Year Two: While We Were Out

Today marks the second anniversary of The First 10,000. It’s been a much quieter year hereabouts than I intended, but I plan on remedying that starting… well, now-ish. There’ll be plenty more coming in the days ahead.

And just because we’ve been away (in a manner of speaking) doesn’t mean we haven’t been paying attention to the goings-on in the world of photography. In case you missed them, here’s a roundup of some things that caught our eye. If you’d like to see more like this, incidentally, head on over to our Facebook page and “Like” us there, since I plan to keep these little incidentals on that page rather than taking up too much space with them here. In the meantime, thanks for sticking around (both of you)!

Let’s get started, shall we?

Greg Bottoms’ “Dear Mr. Eggleston” uses one of Eggleston’s best-known images to spark a discussion, or maybe a reverie, on memory and photography, and the place where the two intersect.

A bit late to the party (as usual), but I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Wired magazine’s Raw File, which turns an eclectic eye on photography. While you’re there, don’t miss Raw Meet, which intermittently talks to various movers and shakers in the world of photography.

Raw File: Raw Meet:

Photography in the News (Part One): the internet briefly lost its shit over Swedish photographer Paul Hansen’s prizewinning image “Gaza Burial”. It was initially suggested that it was a composite taken from multiple images, but later analysis would show that this wasn’t the case. The debate over what constitutes acceptable photographic editing in journalism apparently isn’t over just yet.

Photography in the News (Part Two): No sooner had the furor over Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s comments on maternity leave started to die down, she stepped in it with photographers. Saying that Flickr would no longer offer a Pro option  because there’s no such thing as pro photographers any more. I was perplexed; this hit the news within days after I’d gotten an email from the service suggesting that I go pro (apparently pros don’t exist, but their money’s still as good as anyone else’s). The considerable number of people who are pro photographers reacted with a combination of anger and scorn, to the extent that they bothered to think of Flickr much at all (the service has lost many of its professional users to other services). My brain hurts thinking about this, much less writing about it. Imaging Resource has a higher tolerance for this sort of thing than I do, and their take is here:

Photography in the News (Part 2 ½): On the other hand, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Ms. Mayer; the PhotoShelter blog had this rather depressing item about the Death of Photojournalism. It’s a topic that’s bloomed like a hoary perennial for the last decade or so, but given that the Chicago Sun-Times had just laid off the entirety of its photojournalism staff, they may have been onto something.

The Washington Post avoids controversy with their “Iconic Images” series, which also manages to avoid both context and history… while there’s little arguing with the images they chose to feature, anything of this nature will raise eyebrows (or hackles) with what it leaves out. The WaPo seems to think that not much of note took place prior to 1945, which would be news to some of the best practitioners of the art and craft of photography.

And of course, there’s some photography.  I’ve come across some great photo projects in the last few months. If they share anything in common, it’s that they’re coming from photographers with a more inclusive eye for beauty.

Photographer Angelica Dass calls Humanæ “a chromatic inventory, a project that reflects on the colors beyond the borders of our codes by referencing the PANTONE® color scheme.” Her project subverts the ways we normally look at, and think of, race and “color.”

Marian Drew’s Still Life / Australiana (2003-2009) consists of breathtaking shots of roadkill. Yes, I wrote that sentence, and I mean it without a trace of irony.,m4,default,1&m4albumid=38&m4returnid=50&page=50

Rick Guidotti’s Positive Exposure is a direct response to the fashion photographer’s frustration at being told, in effect, what was and was not beauty. His response? Illuminating the beauty of those with genetic differences.

Jens Juul’s Six Degrees of Copenhagen turns a sympathetic eye on that city’s denizens.

Mark Laita’s series Created Equal is a meditation on social mobility and inequality.

Finally, of “Impaired Perceptions,” Brian Charles Steele says, “These portraits show each person’s humanity and force the viewer to see them as individuals.”


Photographic Miscellany

Happy Easter…?

Every so often, someone at a traditional media outlet discovers that the iPhone takes photos, and uses their newfound insight to declare the death of every other camera out there. This week, it’s the Wall Street Journal’s turn (“Is the iPhone the Only Camera You Need?”). Far be it from me to knock the iPhone for its photography capabilites,* but I hardly think that a camera phone — no matter how much it’s improved — is a match for an SLR or even a Micro 4/3 camera in terms of versatility or image quality. This isn’t some kind of elitism on my part; it’s simple physics, especially now that phone makers are trying to squeeze more pixels onto very tiny imaging chips. For all author Kevin Sintumuang’s breathless prose (up to and including that the iPhone will make you feel like “Terry Richardson and Ansel Adams rolled into one.” After all, it’s got Hipstamatic), saying that the iPhone will replace everything out there is like saying the George Foreman Grill is a more than adequate substitute for a Weber.

In the meantime, Byte — which, unlike the WSJ, tries to stay au courant, if not somewhat ahead of the curve — seems to have decreed the iPhone passe (“Lytro: The Next Big Thing in Photography”). Todd Ogasawara has an in-depth review of the camera, which combines minimalism and simplicity with the innovation that it allows you to choose the focal point in your photo after the fact. That’s the good news. Among the bad news: as Ogasawara points out, this is still very much a “1.0 product.” Some of his gripes come off as trivial (he doesn’t like the squarish aspect ratio of the photos), but some of the others are anything but (like the fact that PC users are, for the time being, left in the dark).

Wired unplugs for a feature on a small Indiana newspaper whose photojournalism can and does go toe-to-toe with the big guys, all while resisting an online presence (“Small Paper Prioritizes Photography, Wins Awards“). At a time when many local papers — including those with national readership — are struggling to get back into the black, author Jakob Schiller notes that “[…]a strong local readership and the family structure of the paper have prevented a precipitous decline. Rumbach says the paper has had no layoffs and has given the staff a raise each year.” While I don’t think that photojournalism, even when very well done, as seems to be the case here, is a panacea, it’s certainly encouraging to see a paper with strong local ties fall back on solid local reporting rather than puff pieces, and seeing that commitment rewarded in the bottom line.

newjerseynewsroom’s Wendy Ekuah Quansah reports that Temple University student Ian Van Kuyk can be added to the long list of photographers arrested for exercising their First Amendment rights (Temple student photographer arrested for snapping police). The lesson in this, as it’s been so many times before, is twofold. Know your rights as a photographer. Just don’t expect that the police will know, or honor, those rights.

Finally, from the Not Necessarily the News desk: The Huffington Post features a piece by Canadian photographer Peter Carroll (Creativity Exercises) that’s a great tool for breaking out of the periodic slumps that beset us all as photographers. While longtime readers of this blog (both of you) will recognize some of the advice given, there’s plenty of wisdom there, alongside some lovely photos.

*I’d much rather knock it for the trail of dead in its wake

Photo News Roundup, 8/20/11

Just had to keep digging, didn’t you.

We may be posting more news around midweek next week, with product announcements due any day from Nikon and Sony. In the meantime, here’s this week’s gleanings from around the web, with links going to the original articles.

Quiet week on the Olympus front, but quite a bit of Panasonic news, including a new series of Micro 4/3 pro lenses to be called the X series, a GF2 underwater housing from Nauticam, and rumors of a GF7 announcement in late ’11/early ’12. (4/3 Rumors)

Canon is very tight-lipped of late. Might they be announcing something on August 23? 1DS Mark IV TBA in a couple of weeks? At least one thing seems certain: you probably shouldn’t be putting much stock in the 1D Mark V specs floating around lately. (Canon Rumors)

Interesting test of the current generation of rugged/waterproof cameras at

EISA announces their 2011-12 Photo Awards Winners. Scan the list and it looks like a soccer league for six-year-olds; nearly every company took home honors for something. (EISA)

“Inexpensive” and “Leica” are two words not usually seen in the same ZIP code, much less the same sentence, but Phottix apparently has a viewfinder magnifier that’s about a quarter the price of the OEM piece from Leica. Oh, and the memory card issues with Leica cameras have now been joined by battery issues. (Leica Rumors)

With new Sony mirrorless stuff in the offing, the Micro 4/3 Users Group has an interesting size comparison among Sony and Micro 4/3 lenses (personally, I’d like to see a chunkier body on the upcoming NEX, ’cause the current designs look rather like a Labrador mounting a Schnauzer. Just sayin’.)

If you’re a Nikon fan, I hope you weren’t getting your hopes up over their upcoming mirrorless camera. Not only will it not have an APS-C sensor, its design and feature set make this look like a strictly consumer camera. We’re likely to find out more in the days ahead. On a different note, Nikon may be looking to revive the Nikonos waterproof camera (or something like it) and aim it at the market that’s currently gaga over GoPro. (Nikon Rumors)

Remember a couple of weeks ago when it was said Kodak might be trying to unload some of its patents and other intellectual property as a poison pill to ward off takeover? While the company’s valued at about $600 million, those IP assets might be worth in the ballpark of three billion dollars. (Photo Rumors)

More specs trickling out about upcoming Sony cameras, plus the coolest binoculars you’ll see all year. (Sony Alpha Rumors)

Photo News Roundup, 7/16/11

Huzzah! More News!

A snapshot of this week’s photography news from around the web: links are to the sources’ websites.

New Micro 4/3 lenses, and DxOMark tests the sensor on the Olympus EP-3 (4/3 Rumors)

Kenko-Tokina acquires filter makers Cokin, Pentax unveils a red version of its 645D medium format camera, Toshiba opens quake-resistant factory (Adorama)

The Andy Warhol Museum releases an iPhone app that makes your snaps look like Andy’s legendary silkscreens (Boring Pittsburgh)

Canon raises prices on as-yet unreleased lenses, and Holga Direct releases a Canon-mount lens that promises to make the photos taken by your thousand-dollar camera look as though they were done on cheap plastic by a hipster with questionable facial hair (Canon Rumors)

Leica to enter EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) fray? And since rangefinders (the company’s bread and butter since the 1920’s) are already mirrorless, isn’t that a bit redundant? Also, Panasonic DMC G3 review posted (DPReview)

Leica M9-P now in stock in the States, Moscow’s Leica store robbed (Leica Rumors)

Nikon issues service advisory due to overheating issues with Coolpix L23, also announces 40mm 2.8 DX Macro lens (NikonRumors)

RED’s EPIC-M in stock, EPIC-X still delayed due to the earthquake in Japan (Photo Rumors)

Rolling Stone has an exclusive preview of the upcoming limited edition book of photographer Masayoshi Sukita’s photos of David Bowie, titled Speed of Life.

Possible first look at the upcoming NEX-7? Looks photoshopped, but you never know… (Sony Alpha Rumors)

Photo News Roundup, 7/9/11

Material 3 (2010)

Your weekly dose of photography-related news kibble from around the web. Links go to sources’ websites:

Olympus scaling back or abandoning 4/3 SLR system in favor of Micro 4/3? Panasonic Japan announces new Lumix Phone — it’s not Apple, and has built-in optical stabilization. What’s not to love? (43Rumors)

Travel Photography Invitational 2011 (two days left to enter); new wide-angles from Tokina, new “bullet cam” from Rollei, new compacts announced by GE, mirrorless systems rumored from Fuji, ESA builds billion-megapixel (!) camera (Adorama)

Photojojo introduces Canon mount for iPhone (all together now: “WHY?”), while Canon patents a three-layer sensor system similar to Sigma’s Foveon sensor — here’s hoping that, unlike Sigma, they don’t try to pass off a 15-megapixel sensor as 45 megapixels. (Canon Rumors)

A “Caveat Emptor” that anyone concerned about their intellectual property rights should read before using Google Plus (Going Pro)

2011 Oskar Barnack Award winners announced; new video out from renowned street photographer Eric Kim that’s a must-see (Leica Rumors)

Nik Software-sponsored portraiture contest (

Photojojo likewise introduces Nikon mount for iPhone (again: why?); rumors of updated Nikkor lenses, and the rebirth of the Nikonos underwater camera (Nikon Rumors)

Oxfam and the European Journalism Centre launch the third round of Cl!ck About It, a photo contest that aims to show, in photos, the impact that Oxfam’s programs have (Oxfam, et. al.)

Within the Frame author/photographer David duChemin’s Photographically Speaking due in October (Pixelated Image)

Masaya Maeda, head of Canon’s camera division, interviewed; says production is back to pre-quake levels, slyly hints that Canon may be introducing its own mirrorless system (Reuters)

DxOMark data out for NEX-C3, possible A-Mount mirrorless compact in the works, NEX-7 touted as possible “Killer” of Fuji X-100 (my prediction? If quality’s the same as the NEX cameras we’ve seen so far, it retains the retro look that everybody loves about the Fuji, and adds interchangeable lenses while keeping prices reasonable, the X-100 stops looking quite so attractive); reviews up for several Sony lenses (Sony Alpha Rumors)

Former Yahoo engineer says he’s got the Flickr killer; if you’ve ever been annoyed — or infuriated — with Flickr, you’ll understand the appeal (Steve’s Digicams, but I’d also suggest you check out the engineer’s Kickstarter page, with which I am unaffiliated, for additional info)