The photo of a man holding a photo of the man in the iconic photo created an associative link much stronger than mere words might have. We see the man who purports to be the Hooded Man in a photograph, holding the Hooded Man photograph.
… It is said that seeing is believing, but often it’s the other way around. We do not form our beliefs on the basis of what we see; rather, what we see is determined by our beliefs. We see not what is there, but rather what we want to see or expect to see.
Few sentences in the English language are more dreaded than this seemingly innocent offer: “Oh, I must show you the pictures from my vacation.” … But, of course, those very same shots can be extremely useful when researching your own trip. How big is that pool? What, exactly, does the room at that five-star hotel you’re thinking of booking look like? What’s the crowd like at the so-called hot restaurant? It’s good to have documented evidence from someone who has been there.
A picture-sharing site like Flickr contains the work of tens of thousands of talented amateurs, all of them capable of producing one or two photographs a year that could be published anywhere. If only 1% of the pictures on Flickr are publishable, that would mean 1.5m usable pictures uploaded there every year. Most of the drudgery of identifying good, relevant pictures is also done here – by the photographers themselves, who tag them, and by the other users, who notice them and have their interest recorded by the software.
Andre Gunthert, a french art historian, director of the French scholarly publication “Etudes Photographiques” who was part of the advisory team for the show and part of the panel / roundtable on April 29th has posted a Flickr set of pictures from the show.
Fred Ritchin, whose resume includes being a photo editor at the New York Times, co-autoring Salgado’s Uncertain Grace and authoring In Our Own Image – the coming revolution in photography, a book about the challenges of digital photography which was in print for 15 years, as director of PixelPress, a groundbreaking essay on Bosnia with Gilles Peress, and who is currently teaching at NYU gave a talk about digital photography and his upcoming projects.
The first few seconds are clipped, and we’ll put a video sometime next week as Fred was showing pictures.
Martin Parr, author of, among others, “Boring Postcards” and “Bliss : Postcards of Couples and Families” explains in his conference how your family photography is form of propaganda, his opinion on technique, what his new agenda is, the demise of Corbis and Getty at the hands of Flickr and what the best new business model for successful photography is. And how dreadful, cliche’ed and boring a lot of amateur photography is.
Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet and UK paper Metro are reporting on a new cellphone scandal out of Denmark.
According to the newspapers, a group of high school students has used cellphones to film an annual strip tease competition held in front of, and judged by, teachers. The circulation of the footage has created an outcry from school authorities.
The video was posted to Youtube, taken down, and has been made available in its original form on infamous swedish bittorent tracker The Pirate Bay.
As a follow-up to the previous post, here’s an interesting article from 1996
(for those of you who don’t remember, that was the time before digital cameras cost less than a car; and cell phones with integrated cameras were something James Bond would show off at MI6 office parties and would make lower ranking secret agents very envious.)
The Transparent Society, by David Brin, Wired magazine, December 1996:
Photography has always had the potential to democratise images, but it has seldom worked out that way in practice. Digital imaging has made image-making devices ubiquitous. Many more people now possess the means to make images more of the time. At the same time, images are primarily used, in the public image environment, to influence public opinion and encourage the consumption of products and services. What is the relation between these two phenomena: near universal private image-making capability and widespread manipulation through public images?
Quand les photos font leur cinéma: “Dans le cadre de son projet Movie Assembly, Gokhan Okur, étudiant turc, tente de concevoir un film sans caméra, entièrement conçu à partir des images du site Flickr.”
We’ve just uploaded this afternoon’s discussion with MaryAnne Golon. Ms. Golon is the director of photography for Time Magazine. The discussion ranged from Time’s “you” person of the year to amateur photography websites, through James Nachtwey in Iraq and how Time intends to deal with crowdsourcing.
Most of it is in English, but there are a couple of passages in French – everything switches back to english afterwards, though.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the new age of digital portraiture is the ease with which photographers, professional or amateur, can so easily produce images, videos, sequences and other projects that are dramatic, fresh and interesting. “Digital technology has changed what portraits look like,” Mr. Lipkin said. “If you pay attention to Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and the other social Internet sites, you see right away how stylized the portraits are. How they are taken from odd angles and with interesting lighting. It’s the angle of the hand-held digital camera.”
Eva Leitolf’s Rostock Ritz is a fantastic book, titled after a hunting range in Namibia, a former German colony. It’s one of the most intelligent examinations of post-colonialism and the theatralization of history i’ve come across.
In her own words : “One hundred years after the genocide of the Herero and Nama by German colonial forces in the former colony of German South-West Africa (1885-1915), Rostock Ritz takes a look at the culture of remembrance of the Herero and the self-image of Namibians of German origin in their everyday lives.
The 23 photographs cast a wry light on ideas of homeland and identity, and open up insights into a society permeated by insecurity and prejudice.”
I hope we can get this in the Tillburg show, or maybe add it to the current one.
You can visit her site here, there is work on racist crimes in Germany, as well as mid-90’s Beirut, where the first image is from (the second one is from Rostock Ritz).
Le journal Suisse Le Temps a mis une galerie d’images qui sont dans l’exposition en ligne. Vous pouvez la visiter ici. Elle présente des travaux des lecteurs / participants de JPG magazine, ainsi que de Martin Parr et de l’agence de presse Keystone.
Swiss newspaper Le Temps has gallery of pictures that are in the show. You can look at it here. It features work from the fine readers / contributors of JPG magazine, as well as from Martin Parr and the Keystone press agency.
The show is becoming more exciting with each day. We sense an
enormous interest on the part of the press, even a kind of hunger.
People know its a burning issue, the digirevolution, and crave for
some kind of understanding of it. Setting it up, the Hewlett Packard
technicians have been fantasticy helpful. I don’t know how we could
have done it without them, or the equipment they’ve so generously let
us have. As Adrien and Matthias said on the radio tonight, the show
isn’t about technology, but technology is an important given in the
situation, and we had to focus on it to a basic extent as well as
with the images.
It’s not a show, its an experiment. It’s a thrill to be riding a
wave and seeing where it takes us. The museum won’t be quite the same
after this, and it’s for the better. Museums have to shed their old
skins or they will become irrelevant. It’s surprising to think no one
else has attempted what we are attempting. Tell us if we are wrong,
and someone has!
Last day of preparation tomorrow, with still much detail work to
do, and then the hordes will arrive!
This is a series of 16 photographs of a region of the sky, taken by an amateur astronomer, on which an asteroid which should be on a collision course with the earth does not appear, proving that there is no asteroid on a collision course with the earth. On the theoretical level, proof by absence isn’t really common in photography – you’d traditionally use photography to prove that something WAS there, not that something WASN’T there.
A complete story of the incident, which almost prompted a phone call to the White House, is available here.
(images (c) Brian D. Warner / Palmer Divide Observatory)
JPG is ‘the magazine of brave new photography’ – a printed magazine available in stores, and an online community. Unlike traditional magazines, JPG is created by its readers: anyone can contribute their photographs and vote on their favorites. The best are printed in the next issue.
We’ll be showing a bunch of work from JPG magazine: there will be 20 prints of the ‘most favorited’ images, i.e. the JPG community’s most appreciated images.
Spent the day holed up in the Elysee’s dark basement. Some twisted individual christened it the “salle Lumière” – in honour of the (french) filmmakers, of course, but since Lumière also means light in french, i’ve got a feeling there might be a sense of irony involved.
Mission of the day was to get a brand new HP Z3100 up and running (HP sponsors the show, so we’re getting TOYS). Unpacking was surprisingly uneventful, with a somewhat similar experience to what Micheal Reichmann posted about on Luminous landscape. Seriously over-engineered packaging, somebody’s been studying his illustrated Erik Demaine. I did have a problem with a printhead at first, cleaning the contacts and reinserting it a couple of times did the trick, but i’ve got a feeling it could have not gone that well. The heads don’t have the differently-shaped nubs the ink cartridges do, so there’s a bit of a risk of getting ’em all mixed up, which probably wouldn’t be good.
I haven’t had time to totally put the thing through its paces, but I’m mightly impressed this far.
The stuff we got seemed very hot off the assembly line, with a nice “G(olden) M(aster)” on a burnt-cd and several ink cartridges that lacked production stickers. Gamut seemed excellent on the stock photo paper HP packages with it (extra-super-high-speed-drying-mega-gloss), i’m waiting to test it with Archival Matte (or whatever it’s called these days). Self calibration is the smartest addition to printer tech in a long time. I do feel a bit frustrated by not being able to use Bill Atkinson’s most excellent charts. I’m not sure the extra cmyk module allows it, and don’t like the idea of software tiering for stuff like that. There might be a way to hack around it by editing a couple of ressources like you’d do for Gretag’s i1, but it’s inelegant nonetheless. I did see some gloss differential in high-contrast areas under “just the right light”, though. Extremely minimal and might be a question of finding the right paper. I’ll be doing part of the show on it : a print of mine, the JPG magazine stuff, the During work. The museum will also be using it to make 100 prints a week of randomly selected images from the Flux installation. So i’ll be spending quite a bit of time in that basement in the couple of days, print speed was about 2 centimeters per minute at the highest quality settings.