This Week in Photography: Understanding NFTs?

 

 

 

 

“Pope Paul, Malcom X, British politician sex, JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say…”

Billy Joel, “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” 1989

(Lyrics quoted from memory, b/c that horrible fucking song stuck in my head.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gaslighting is such a great word.

 

(Perfect for the 2020’s.)

Having fallen prey to the tactic in the past, I empathize with others who do.

If you’re not familiar with the term, (or have heard it, but don’t know exactly what it means,) the gist is, when a person or a group challenges your proper understanding of reality, so deeply, so aggressively, that eventually you begin to question your own sanity.

For example, imagine you are in a blue elevator with three strangers.

All of a sudden, the lights go out, and the car freezes.

You’re stuck.

The group begins to converse, and at some point, one of the other people mentions the elevator is red.

No one disagrees, but you don’t think much of it, and of course the subject quickly changes.

But you’re stuck in there for hours, and over time, it keeps coming up.

The room is red, they all say.

Over and over again.

At first, you’re sure what you saw: the walls were painted Dodger blue.

 

Dodger blue color sample, courtesy of crispedge.com

 

Eventually, as they all agreed, again and again, that you’re actually in a red elevator, your confidence begins to wane.

Are you POSITIVE you’re in a blue elevator?

Since they’re all so sure of themselves, isn’t it possible, at least remotely, that your memory is inaccurate, and the walls are actually Candy-apple red?

Slowly, their bluster begins to erode your knowledge of what you saw.

Like the drip, drip of a leaky faucet, you begin to question yourself, and by the time the lights come back on, you’re actually convinced they were right, and you were wrong.

And so a blue elevator becomes red in your mind, because you have no counter-factual information available, (beyond your own recollections,) and an entire group of people is challenging your conception of reality.

Like I said, what could be more 2020’s than that?

When Putin declares war against a Jewish president, and accuses him of being a Nazi?

 

Courtesy of the Detroit Jewish News

 

Or a guy you went to High School with starts blowing up your phone, promising to make you rich, in what seems like a scam, but he’s just so damn confident, with slick answers to all of your concerns, that eventually, you begin to believe him?

Am I finally writing that long-promised article about NFTs?

You bet I am.

Buckle up.

Like the bonkers, stream-of-consciousness Bill Joel song I quoted at the outset, I’m writing this article in a manner echoing the batshit crazy world of photo NFTs, in which it’s hard to know what to believe, (or whom,) because everyone is so sure they’re right, even though they’re shouting opposite arguments simultaneously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to admit, I’ve been dreading writing this article.

If I could go back in time to September 2021, tell myself to let it all drop, and plug my ears with tissue paper, like Larry David, I would.

(If any of you has a functioning time machine, please email or DM me. I’m happy to pay a hefty sum.)

 

Courtesy of backtothefuture.fandom.com

 

Alas, I don’t think it’s an option.

And as I’ve been teasing this article for months, and promised Rob I’d “land the plane” this week, it’s time to put up or shut up.

But what if I’ve spent this many months reporting, interviewing artists, reading articles, thinking deep thoughts, and still don’t know what the fuck is going on?

Well, I guess I’d have to write it like that, wouldn’t I?

 

 

 

 

 

It must have been the Spring of 2021, (about a year ago,) that I first started noticing some NFT info popping up on my Twitter feed.

I kept seeing the name Justin Aversano, who was making a project about twins, but that was as much as I absorbed.

Then I heard my colleague Kris Graves was getting in on the game, with Justin, and that made an impression.

In May, Noah Kalina, an artist I knew of, but didn’t know, asked to see some work on Twitter, for a potential collaboration with Crytpo.com, so I sent him a link to a project of mine, and while he liked the work, he didn’t end up doing anything with those guys, so the idea dropped.

According to all I’ve since learned, March-May of 2021 was ancient, for the NFT world, the equivalent of a Mesopotamian society.

Those earliest NFTs might as well be Sumerian statues, with the massive mono-brow, given how fast things seem to move within this subculture.

 

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

I guess my attitude was always, I’ll sit on the sidelines until this becomes a thing, and then I’ll check in with my buddies, who’ll catch me up, and get me in the game.

Was that the right mentality?

Hard to say, but I’m reporting it as it happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Fall, I’d begun to hear this was officially a thing, and some photographers were making real money, so I decided to tap up my network.

Strangely, some people I knew well, and with whom I’d collaborated before, (or done favors,) ghosted me, hard.

That never happens, so it made me curious.

Why would people who were normally cool with me all of a sudden tuck their heads?

What were they afraid of?

Or perhaps the better question was, what were they protecting?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stranger still, in that same time-frame, a guy I went to High School with, (and was friends with on Facebook,) with whom I had not spoken in almost 30 years, reached out to see if I was interested in joining the NFT world.

He wanted to “onboard,” me, and began sending me information, via every available digital channel: text, FB, email, IG, and Twitter.

It was the full-court-press, with texts coming in first thing in the morning, late at night, all weekend long, and it was intense, to say the least.

All of my instincts told me things were fishy, that I was not about to make $2 million, and never have to work again.

That simply posting my archive images on an NFT platform would not solve all my problems, and make me rich and famous beyond my wildest dreams.

We all know the old saying: anything that seems too good to be true is too good to be true.

But I kept discussing it with my wife, and we both agreed even a small chance of life-changing money meant I should keep an open mind, and see where it went.

My new NFT cheerleader certainly knew some of the key players, and told me about the large sums of money he was spending, so on the surface it seemed legit, but then again, there were so many articles out there calling this crypto world a scam, a pyramid scheme, a multi-level-marketing program gone global.

Each day, I found myself wondering, WTF?, but kept at it, trying to learn more.

Eventually, this High School colleague and I considered going into business together, to create a platform to sell NFTs, because it seemed like the sales-platforms were where the real money was.

(Obviously, I didn’t go that route in the end.)

Many people have now heard of Quantum, (which recently drew $7.5 million in VC funding,) the trendiest NFT-gallery-company, and I was able to interview founders Justin Aversano and Kris Graves during my reporting phase.

 

 

Assembly is another, and I’m sure there are more out there.

From what I could gather, these money-making-orgs were founded based on a collab between some photo-world players, and crypto-money-people.

That seemed to be the key.

Then I learned how the platforms were interconnected with DAOs, which were (more or less,) unlicensed companies that in some ways, via fractionalized ownership of risky assets, behaved like the collateralized debt obligations and subprime lenders that crashed the global economy during the Great Recession.

(And I’m on record as making that comparison months before NYT columnist Paul Krugman wrote an article on the topic.)

But again, it felt like the more I knew, the less I understood.

That may happen to other people, but it doesn’t happen to me, so I really wondered how it seemed like everyone was gaslighting everyone?

 

 

 

 

 

Before you read any further, I want to state, right here, right now, that I don’t consider this a takedown piece.

I have no beef with the NFT community, which has been kind and generous to me, and certainly don’t feel I side with the haters, who mostly complain about the electricity use, the general sketchiness of cryptocurrency, and likelihood that people will get scammed out of money they can’t afford to lose.

(I’ve wondered for months now, why are electric cars seen as good, and eco, but electric art is automatically bad?)

Over the course of my reporting, I spoke with a group of NFT artists who truly love their new community, and the opportunities it affords.

I learned about artists who were trying to innovate with the blockchain, which, as best as I can describe, seems to be decentralized collection of servers around the world that hosts an official, crypto-protected, transparent, inter-connected, permanent digital ledger that cannot be manipulated, once it’s in place.

(Each “block” of data is connected to the next, and immutable.)

Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah, whom I first discovered on Noah Kalina’s Twitter feed, set out to use NFTs to fund, (and has since succeeded,) an honest-to-goodness expedition, at sea off the southern tip of South America, so she and her scientist colleagues can share open source knowledge about Climate Change with the world.

The photos are beautiful, the project is ambitious, (called “Behold the Ocean,”) and of all the people I’ve interviewed as a journalist over the years, she was about as impressive an artist as I’ve ever “met.” (We spoke on Zoom, as she is based in Switzerland.)

 

All images from “Behold the Ocean”

 

Akosua, who goes by Ava Silvery on Twitter, told me about an artist with the pseudonym Patricia El, who was working on a project, “In This Land,” trying to document and digitally map Bedouin communities in the West Bank that were disappearing, as Israeli settlements continued to expand.

 

 

Again, massively ambitious, political, and fascinating.

It was also far cry from the capitalistic land grab I kept hearing about, where people were getting rich, and only a sucker would stay on the sidelines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spoke with Richard Renaldi, a photo world friend whom I once interviewed here on the blog, the day before he “dropped” his “Touching Strangers” catalogue with Quantum.

It was early days for the platform, but they’d already established a tradition of selling out everything they offered, immediately.

I asked Richard what it felt like, knowing he was about to make massive cash, but his attitude was clearly, I’ll believe it when I see it.

So we spoke again, after his work had indeed quickly sold out, and he was still giving off a whiff of disbelief.

He shared concerns for the people out there who might get suckered, but mostly felt fortunate he’d come out ahead.

As he cashed his Ethereum out immediately, and made a killing, before the crypto-currency market had a crash.

Wait a second, did I really get this deep into the article, (1800+ words,) without mentioning Ethereum before?

Shame on me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read Neal Stephenson’s seminal book, “Cryptonomicon,” years ago, and re-read it last summer.

He’s the genius, sci-fi, futurist writer whose ideas were brought to life by subsequent coders.

 

 

Google Earth, Second Life, the Metaverse… these were ideas plucked by others from his influential book “Snow Crash.”

And “Cryptonomicon,” as its title suggests, more or less invented the concept of cryptocurrency in 1999.

He theorized about “money,” disconnected from governments, or even the tangible world, which could cross borders at the speed of light, never need to be exchanged, and accumulate value, like any other currency.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Bitcoin, but there are many other digital currency offerings, like Solana, and Ethereum, which is the main one used to create NFTs.

When I was first contacted by that trader-dude, 1 Eth was going for $3000ish dollars, and during the months of our conversations, it flew up to around $4800.

I was watching it rise each day, yet couldn’t shake the thought this whole world seemed unsustainable.

(If it were really that great, why were so many people trying that hard to constantly recruit a new batch of players?)

As you may know, the markets took a tumble recently, with Ethereum trading as low as $2411, and as of today, (I’m writing on Thursday,) 1 Eth = $3117.

Given how many people were using the term Crypto Bubble in late 2021, I guess we could say it’s popped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does one make, or “mint,” an NFT?

Well, it costs Ethereum to do so, so you have to convert your dollars (or Euros, Pesos, or Yen,) into Eth via a digital platform like Crypto.com or Coinbase.

That gets you in the game, like a gambler buying chips at a casino.

But in order to “mint” your work on a site like OpenSea, (which was likened to Ebay to me more than once,) or Foundation, (which is invitation only,) you need to create a digital wallet, with a service like Metamask or Rainbow, which operates as a connection point between your digital currency and the sales platforms.

The platforms take a cut if your work sells, (everyone takes a cut,) but you also have to pay to mint things, which are called “gas fees.”

Those float, and at one point, were as high as $200-ish per NFT minted, which was when I got concerned people would lose money on the venture by minting collections of work that would not sell.

Still, the artists I interviewed were over-the-moon to have discovered the NFT world, even if they weren’t yet selling work.

And the love and joy were genuine, for sure.

Frankly, I didn’t speak to one person who was unhappy with the situation, and only Richard Renaldi expressed any skepticism at all, but he was the one who came out furthest ahead.

(Except for Kris and Justin, who by all accounts have made a shit ton of money.)

 

 

 

 

 

I interviewed, and have since kept up with Danielle Ezzo, Mickey Smith, and Chavi Lujan via Twitter.

(Which quickly became the NFT community’s social media platform of choice, along with Discord.)

 

Danielle Ezzo, From the series and collection, “If Not Here, Then Where?”

 

I hadn’t heard of any of them before I saw their Twitter handles pop up a few times, in relation to the DAOs, so I followed them, requested interviews, and they were gracious.

But when we first spoke, none of them had “gotten rich,” or sold much work at all. (Mickey even reported in November she’d sold the most work to her IRL handyman in New Zealand, as he was about to go into crypto full time.)

Each of them has since had their career advance in cool ways, via the NFT community, and I know Mickey has begun to sell work, though I’m not sure about the other two.

 

LOCO from the Volume collection on Foundation
TIME #1,TIME #2, TIME #3 from the Library of Obsolescence collection on OpenSea

 

The big takeaway from speaking with all three artists was that the NFT world, which had developed around Discord and Twitter, had introduced them to an entirely new group of friends, colleagues, and opportunities.

Danielle now writes and does Twitter Space interviews for a platform, Mickey has been featured on a billboard, and Chavi just co-founded an NFT platform called Nemo, which aims to raise money by selling NFTs of environmental projects, to help support the collapsing coral reefs.

 

BLOOD displayed on a billboard in Los Angeles through The Billboard Creative + Obscura. Exhibition curated by Mona Kuhn and Alejandro Cartagena

 

They were all genuine, honest, cool, hard-working artists, yet for them, greed, and get-rich-quick schemes, had nothing to do with their interest in that world at all.

 

Chavi Lujan photo NFT’s

 

(Chavi and Danielle also told me they’d been interested in crypto for a while, before the NFTs came along, and Mickey was a long-time arts professional in the US, before moving to NZ.)

Still, though, I had at least some concerns.

 

 

 

 

Mickey, for instance, told me she was “working” for free for Obscura DAO, (working was my term, not hers,) but had then been awarded a “commission,” for which the DAO only selected other artists who’d been volunteering for their cause.

That reeked of nepotism to me, and inside baseball, and I said so at the time, so again, this is not necessarily a negative thing.

(Especially as I’m not the only one to express reservations about DAOs.)

Maybe it’s time to dive into that for a second.

 

 

 

 

 

DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organization.

It’s basically an unlicensed LLC, or an unregistered company, and they’re meant to be idealistic, like communes.

People buy in, or are gifted “tokens,” and then they get to vote on how the DAO operates.

RAW DAO was the first to come across my radar screen, as I spoke to Justin Aversano the day after a “party bid” bought one of his NFTs for several million dollars, via fractionalized ownership, and he offered that as seed money for RAW DAO, which would buy more art, to hold, like a mutual fund, and the entire DAO would profit as the NFTs appreciated in value.

Of course, just buying NFTs from the chosen artists should by itself raise the value of their work, much as IRL galleries help “support” museum shows for their artists, so they can increase prices.

I should also mention NFTs are based upon the idea of a “smart contract,” and one of the main selling points is supposed to be that the artist gets 10% royalties on future sales, which is obviously a pro-artist move.

But I kept thinking, only the tiniest fraction of artists ever has a resale market, so how does that help, unless the entire endeavor is meant as a bit of a trading scheme?

Even now, I’m not sure if a collector buys an actual .jpg file with their NFT purchase, or a link to where the file resides on the blockchain, so even after all this time, the process is still obtuse to me.

And I’m not alone.

Just this morning, Rob, who actually bought a few NFTs to see how the system works, and support artists, was Tweeting about the seemingly shady situation surrounding a set of August Sander NFTs, which went to market via Fellowship Trust, despite not being sanctioned by the copyright holder.

 

 

People bought and sold things they did not have a right to own, and then the files were removed from OpenSea.

So all the NFT skeptics, (and there are many,) are having a field day, as it seems to prove their fears of massive scammery going on.

Was it?

Honestly, I don’t know, but my erstwhile colleague, Alejandro Cartagena, who founded Obscura DAO, is in the thick of the controversy, and I’d been wondering about the validity of the DAO business model for months, so I was not surprised to hear this outcome.

Even Kris Graves, one of the official godfathers of the NFT world, expressed concern about them to me, saying in February, on the record,

“Someone asked me to be in a DAO, months ago, right when Quantum was starting, and I was like, it does not make sense for me to put myself in this kind of… even if they don’t consider it a risk, I do. I mean, it’s run by someone who doesn’t live in the country. They’re controlling a bunch of other peoples’ money that was given to them on spec. And then they’re going to have to give pieces to the people that they… the system is a circle. There has to be more rules in place for me to even think about being a part of any those things.”

Really, who knows what the fuck is going on?

 

 

 

 

 

Well, this is the longest article I’ve written in 10.5 years of doing this column.

Am I surprised?

Not in the least.

I’ve been absorbing information for months now, waiting to have a word-baby, and here it is.

(15 lbs, 11 oz.)

But what have I learned, really?

Maybe I should circle back to Noah Kalina, who did an awesome interview with me in December.

He reported he’d sold nearly $120,000 in NFTs in a year, from his series “Lumberland,” yet he did it the old-fashioned way.

Noah worked at it, promoted it hard, put in the effort, tried not to be obnoxious, (the NFT world is famous for overkill,) developed relationships with people at Foundation, b/c he had some old-school digital street cred, and treated it like selling any other form of his art.

 

All images from “Lumberland”

 

Unlike the Quantum platform, which was selling out whomever’s work they offered, sometimes in seconds, Noah did it by pushing the rock up the hill each day, committing to the process, and making it work for him.

He has always created photographs in serial form, and the images make sense to collectors, so they buy them.

And that’s where I landed, in the end.

If people want to offer something for sale, and other people want to buy it, what’s the harm?

Eco-wise, there are so many larger issues to worry about, and carbon offsets are available.

If artists are making friends, rather than money, or building careers, that is awesome.

If younger collectors want digital files, rather than prints, so what?

The world changes.

Always.

And if some things look shady, or nepotistic, they probably are.

Most of the artists I interviewed agreed there would be bad actors in the system.

Scams too.

Because digital life is ultimately just another manifestation of actual life.

And there are plenty of assholes out there.

Right?

 

 

{Ed note: I’d like to thank all the people who shared info with me over the last six months. Much obliged!}

 

 

This Week in Photography: Hitting Rock Bottom

 

In all my time writing this column, today is unique.

 

(And we’re at almost 9.5 years of weekly writing, not that anyone’s counting.)

Today, for the first time in my life, I know what rock bottom feels like. As an American, and as a husband.

And let me tell you, folks, it doesn’t feel good at all.

Being “right,” and telling everyone what was coming, and knowing in my heart it was true, and then seeing it all play out in accordance with my worst fears… it’s not a good feeling.

 

Yesterday, January 6, 2021, is a day that I will never, ever forget.

(And you won’t either.)

For starters, some lunatic-right-wing-Nazis tried to take over the government, storming the Capitol to ensure that Donald J Trump, the worst President in American history, remained in power. And he egged them on!

In a Democracy, one that I’ve warned 100 times was in serious danger, some psychopaths, carrying the Confederate flag, marched through the United States Capitol as if they owned the place.

Make no mistake, these fuck-tards are just as “potentially” dangerous as the actual Nazis that wiped out some of my ancestors.

They are just far-more-incompetent, and we only have luck to thank for that.

Basically, America broke yesterday, and only then did some of the cowardly, duplicitous Republican Senators begin to realize that if you wipe out the political class, that includes them too.

How fucking stupid do you have to be to need to see an actual insurrection, in your own office, to believe what the evidence has been saying for years now?

Trump told us, in a debate with Hillary Fucking Clinton, that he was the kind of guy who did not respect the results of elections, if he lost.

In 2016!

Why did so many people assume he was joking, or choose not to care, as long as it was in their naked self-interest?

Did they never even read the DSM 5, to learn about narcissistic personality disorder?

Anyway, you obviously have to hit rock bottom in order to see a way up. (Plus, Haruki Murakami’s characters always learn valuable lessons when they’re stuck in the bottom of a well.)

In my personal life, yesterday was a breaking point too.

Like many a self-sabotager before her, my wife waited until January 1st, the day after I bragged in this column about her recovery, to passive aggressively attack my sanity yet again.

Only after I’d begun to hope, and relax, did her subconscious come after me.

Yesterday, even before I knew the Capitol had been attacked, I broke, and challenged the unhealthy dynamics in my home for the last time.

We reached rock bottom, and either she’ll get her shit together, starting today, or after being with her for half my life, and giving everything I have to support her physical and mental health, we may end up getting divorced.

Honestly, I don’t know which way it will go, and I’m being a bit blithe by omitting so many details, but there is only so much I am willing to share with you.

The gist of it is exactly the same thing that caused the Trumpist rebellion yesterday: some people would rather believe a lie, a fantasy, than confront the difficult aspects of their lives, and their personalities.

Trump proved to us, over and over, that there was nothing he wouldn’t do or say to achieve, and then maintain, power over other people.

He lied, and he lied, but lots of people CHOSE to believe him, rather than any counter-factual information.

Honestly, if I had told you in 2015 that by #2020, a sizable portion of America would support ACTUAL Nazis, would you have believed me?

Probably not.

But there are some Americans who might have nodded a bit, bopped their heads, and said, “Sure, why not? It’s a racist fucking country, after all.”

There are some Americans who know, thanks to copious evidence, that some lives matter more than others in this messed up society.

There are some Americans who, if you told them in 2015 that in #2020, a police officer would murder an African-American man by suffocating him to death, ON CAMERA, would say, “Sure, why is that any worse than all the other murders, the lynchings, the endless denial of our humanity?”

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Because yesterday, as so many of us had our eyeballs glued to our Twitter feeds, absorbing news AS IT WAS HAPPENING, I realized that many of our photojournalist readers, and my colleagues, were kind of heroes.

Out there, risking their lives, to share the events with the rest of us.

And I got it in my head to try to include some of the great imagery with you here.

But Capitalism being what it is, (no offense to the photographers,) I tweeted a request that went nowhere, and the few people I asked had their work “embargoed,” so it would not be accessible to us here.

Twitter, though, for all its nonsense, is also a pretty fascinating resource.

Right there in my feed, it “recommended” that I follow a young, African-American photographer in Dallas, of whom I had never heard: Laidric Stevenson.

So I did.

Then I jumped to his website, and discovered the amazing “#AmericanMadeMachines,” and his perfect-for-today “MyVirusDiary,” which he’s shot for obvious reasons. (My own version has taken over my IG feed.)

I don’t know much about Laidric, but I do know he’s a Dad, has a full-time day job in an office, a part-time second job at night, and he uses a large format camera to make his life as a photographer as challenging as possible.

I know that for all the talk of featuring more artists of color here on the blog, it’s always a difficult, because the artists I meet at festivals, or who submit their books, are predominantly White.

And I know that when I saw his photographs of Dallas, so crisp and bleak, they felt like #2020.

But somehow, they were also beautiful.

People sometimes ask me why a photograph made by an African-American is different from the same image made by a White photographer?

Is it always?

Maybe not, depending on context.

But when you see these images, with their graffiti about Black Lives Matter and George Floyd, or a guy named David, (or Bug, or Juice,) who was taken before his time, they feel different than if I’d cruised around Dallas, trying to tell this story.

And the large format camera, which forces one to move slowly and methodically, allows us to enter into a fully realized world, rather than just passing by at 65mph.

We see a billboard for masks, and wheat-paste posters about the Census, en Español. There are messages of hope, and landscapes of despair.

Like I said, it’s #2020.

And all that isolation, all the damage caused by the last four years, you can feel that too.

So in the end, Twitter came to the rescue, as we all get to enjoy Laidric Stevenson’s photographs, on this, what I can only hope will be the very first day of a new era.

For my country, for my community, for my family, and for me.

Stay safe out there, and see you next week!

 

This Week in Photography: Voting Time

 

“Now that I’m home, and the road is behind me, I’d like to thank everyone I met who showed me a good time, and reminded me that we need no Orange King to make us great again.

We’re pretty fucking great already.”

Me, writing in this column, October 28, 2016

 

I never intended to be political.

It wasn’t a plan.
Or a move.

But I was given this amazing opportunity, to write for thousands of smart artists, editors, writers, educators and photographers, and I’ve always taken it seriously

So speaking my mind, with respect to politics, was a natural evolution. Why would I keep such an important part of my world-view to myself, in a long-running weekly opinion column?

With all this freedom, to stay silent on the biggest issues of our times would have been moronic.

So here we are, and Election Day will soon be upon us, #2020 style.

Will any polling places get shot-up with AR-15’s?

Will mask-wearing voters rumble with anti-maskers in the streets of America’s cities?

Would such a sentence have even been comprehensible if it appeared in this column 4 years ago? (Maskers and anti-maskers…WTF!)

If you read the opening quote carefully, you’ll note that I had just been out on the road, as I’d covered Chicago, NYC and LA all within a few months.

Travel, and fresh impressions, were aplenty.

(Now, I walk in circles around the dirt roads of my neighborhood, multiple times a day.)

I also called Trump an Orange King, as I’d been critical of him for years, by that point. (And I was very, very worried he would break the world.)

But I also took a pretty Pro-America, positive stance, which is not something I’d do so easily 4 years later, now that Trump has indeed broken the world.

It’s been much easier to criticize this society, as it’s gone to seed, and Americans have turned on each other to the point that trying to save other people’s lives has become such a contentious political issue.

(You can’t force me to respect other lives! It’s my freedom to do what I want! When I want!)

But here we are.

It’s cold outside. Taos County, where I live, has seen a 50% spike in Covid-cases in under three weeks, and the future of our country, (if not the entire world,) is at stake.

Everyone needs to vote.

It’s that simple.

Please vote.

(If you’re allowed.)

Some felons are stripped of the right, and in other cases, the legal hoops required to register flummox citizens into giving up without trying.

But at least women can vote, right?

I mean, can you imagine if they couldn’t?

It seems like a pretty ridiculous thing to say, but the truth is, (of which most of us are oblivious,) that it was only 100 years ago that women were granted the right to vote in America.

100 years.

In the big picture, that’s nothing.

Within the last 160 years, this country had slavery, fought a war against it, took all the West from the Native Americans, and then slowly allowed certain segments of society to attain rights, but only when they fought for them.

That’s the big point I want to make today.

Just because things are so crazy, so perpetually on fire, we assume the world is irreparably wrong, or America is in a death-spiral, and that’s that.

The cynicism of the Trump era, on top of the mendacity and fear-mongering, has worn us all out.

But as creative people, we have the talent and skills to communicate big ideas and messages. (It’s literally what we do for our living.)

So sometimes, fighting for our rights, demanding things get better, and shouting it from the rooftops, is absolutely the way to go.

It’s what allowed each insane batch of prejudices and morally bankrupt ideas to fall away, a bit at a time.

Like women achieving the right to vote.

I mention all of this for obvious reasons, to get you inspired, but also to give props to two different groups of my colleagues, who are making a difference.

First up, this column was motivated by A Yellow Rose Project, a website/curatorial venture put together by Meg Griffiths and Frances Jakubek, which features the work of 100+ female photographers.

 

Each was given the chance to make work in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, and it features dozens of super-talented women that I’ve met on my festival travels over the years.

So many photographers I’ve written about here, or shared a meal or a coffee with.

It’s an amazing cross-section of our field, and I highly recommend you check out the work on the website, though I’ll feature some images from the homepage below.

Secondly, I wanted to also give a shout out to Andy Adams, of Flak Photo and associated projects, who recently launched a collective online effort to get out the vote.

Along with a host of partners, (including Humble Arts’ Jon Feinstein, another friend of the column,) Andy has launched a #, #PhotographersVote, and an Instagram handle, asking people to share their voting-themed images on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

It is an opportunity for photographers to be creative, try to push others to do the same, and in a non-partisan way, hopes to get more Americans involved in the voting process.

I’ll also include some screen-grabs from the # on IG below, but encourage you to search through the archive. (Editors note: The archive is much less visible than it was yesterday. Not sure why, but it seems Instagram has changed some rules before the election.)

 

I chose to participate, and posted some images from my voting day experience, and you can too.

If we care about the outcome of this election, and want to vote the Orange King out, it’s the least we can do. (Or you can also donate money, write letters, make phone calls, or put on a scary mask and get yourself arrested.)

See you next week.

Hopefully we’ll know the outcome by then, but I doubt it.

The Lost Rolls America Archive

 

Last week, I said I like to shake things up.

And I meant it.

So today, we’re going to pivot away from book reviews, and bring you a special feature about the Lost Rolls America Archive, a project led by NYU professor Lauren M. Walsh, and photojournalist Ron Haviv.

I wrote a piece about the endeavor for Lens in late 2016, just as it was getting started. The gist is that Fuji offered to develop and scan one roll of lost or forgotten film from anyone in America. All you had to do was dig the film canister out of your couch cushions, or the back of your fridge, and send it in. (Apparently, the archive is now closed.)

They sent back the scans, and then each person picked one (or more) of the photos to be included in an archive of lost images from contemporary America. (And occasionally beyond, as you’ll see below.)

Now that the Lost Rolls America archive has gathered steam, there are several hundred images posted online, in a database of forgotten moments.

Lauren and Ron were kind enough to answer a few questions about the project, and mass-culture-photography in general. They also allowed me to edit the following series for you, as a way of looking for through-lines in the burgeoning archive.

There’s an exhibition of images from the LRAA in an airstream in Los Angeles this week, in conjunction with the MOPLA, so if you’re in SoCal, go check it out.

(Photo credits: All images copyright Lost Rolls America Archive, and the photographer. The photographers are as follows: Rikki Reich, Ed White, Russel Gontar, Stephen Desroches, Scott Ellerby, Jessica Lipkind, Jeremy Harris, Jonathan Schaefer, Mary Croft, Beth Urpanil, David Burnett, Terry Bliss, Philip Maechling, Orquidea, William Bennett, Beth Urpanil, Nora Curry, Tamika Jancewicz, Alan Wong, Mary Keane, Valerie Ferrier, J Printen, Deb Treanor, Valentina Zavarin, Rikki Reich, Alex Cave, Linda Walker, Stephanie Heimann, Lisa French, Jeffrey Robins)

 

Q&A with Professor Lauren M. Walsh and Photojournalist Ron Haviv 

 

JB: Why did you think people would submit their personal memories to the public Lost Rolls America Archive?

LW & RH: The process allows participants to re-engage with a time from the past, to literally view a forgotten moment and re-experience it. And the experience isn’t just for the individual. In contributing to the archive, you become part of a collective dynamic, where you realize that there are points of commonality across these once-lost images and the memories they call forth.

Additionally, the memories written in the archive often reflect a desire to share deep feelings about life experiences. In consisting of all kinds of photography—not just professional, but the snapshots of amateurs and hobbyists—Lost Rolls America celebrates the average person’s personal experience. In this sense, it works to offer a sense of community and a space to acknowledge and commemorate all of our pasts.

 

JB: Do you think the archive, in its current form, says anything about contemporary America?

LW & RH: Today, when the perception is often that we are a divided country (politically, economically, and so forth), the archive stands a powerful reminder of the many ways that we are in fact more similar than different. There are shared themes that appear through the photos and memories, such as the attention to family, the celebration of youth, the nostalgia for lost loved ones, the exuberance of travel, and even the value of the mundane in all of our lives.

 

JB: Has the ubiquity of cellphone cameras changed the nature of photography, or are there just infinitely more photographs?

LW & RH: The ubiquity of camera phones has indeed influenced our photo-taking habits. We self-document with photos more than ever before, but what is the role of these sometimes enormous personal archives? Moreover, how has the ubiquity of cellphone cameras changed the way historical narratives are recorded? These are two of the central questions we address in a talk we’re giving on Sunday, April 15th, at 4pm at the LINE Hotel (3515 Wilshire Blvd) in Los Angeles. For those who can’t make it, it’ll be streamed and a record of the talk will eventually appear on the Lost Rolls America website: www.lostrollsamerica.com

 

JB: If you could go back in time and re-shoot one roll of film in your life, which would it be? (Or where would you be?)

LW: In college, at one point, I was traveling in France. My suitcase, in the back of the train, was stolen. The most important items (passport, laptop) were in my backpack with me in my seat on the train. So I mostly just lost clothes, which are replaceable. But in that suitcase were eight rolls of film. That was the worse part of the losing the luggage – because those were irreplaceable. If I could go back in time, I’d try to recapture those college travel memories. I imagine such photos would only become more valuable over time, taking on a wistful tinge as I look backward reliving those younger days.

RH: The dream of all photojournalists: to transport oneself to a moment in time where the history and future of humanity was being decided. From documenting a time when there were no cameras to pivotal events in war/politics/culture/etc, my choices are endless. It will remain an unanswered question as the answer changes moment by moment as I think I should go there or here or somewhere else…

 

JB: How would you describe the difference between the celluloid aesthetic, and the hyperreal digital aesthetic that’s taken its place?

LW & RH: One of the most significant differences that Lost Rolls America celebrates is the “delay” inherent to analog film. In the digital age you can see your image immediately. This changes the experience, both of picture taking and of the memory of the moment captured. With analog, you can’t see your photo right away, you don’t know exactly what the picture looks like. That slice of recorded time from the past is returned to the photographer only after the film is developed – that could be a few hours or a few days, or in the case of this archive it can be years and even decades. It has been nothing short of magical to view the responses of participants in the archive who are seeing moments from their past after such long periods of time. It’s a revelatory experience and for many, the memories, summoned up in response to the once-lost photo, are raw, fresh, powerful, and poignant.

 

JB: How will the photographs be exhibited in LA? What are the exhibition details? 

LW & RH: The photos from the archive are exhibited in a retro-style Airstream at The LINE Hotel. We invite visitors to step backward in time as they experience others’ photos and memories. It’s simultaneously a collective Americana experience and personalized one, as if stepping into someone’s home, seeing their old photos and hearing their memories. The Airstream–outfitted with a picnic table, rocking chairs, and picket fence–displays the archive contents in unique, interactive ways – through journals, photo albums, with large prints and small, in a bedroom, a kitchen, outside and inside the Airstream. We encourage anyone in the area to visit!

Newly Formed Agency Avec Artists

Recently launched Avec Artistsis a new boutique photo agency run by Carrie Ferriter in NYC. This new agency is part of Bruce Kramer’s growing fiefdom, the Kramer Creative Group which is set to launch this month along with a relaunch of JAW (Just Add Water ) as Selected to be run by Rebecca Fain former photo editor of XXL Magazine.

Heidi: What was your concept when developing this roster? 
You have quite the range from editorial, advertising, documentary, personal, and fine art.

Carrie: I wanted to create a company that appealed to advertisers but also take on photographers that had a range and were involved in other aspects of photography, whether it be fine art, publishing, directing, etc. I find that when photographers are involved in projects other than commercial work – they are in turn more interesting.

( Stephen Toner) 

What made you select someone like Stephen Toner and decided to open his book with the landscapes, do you see that type of work applicable for car advertising or….?

I have known Stephen for many years and have always felt strongly about his photography.  We originally met through an old friend while I was living in London and I have worked with him throughout the years with EXIT.  I wanted to work with Stephen because not only is he an excellent photographer he is very much tapped into the pulse of what is happening in the photography world. His work appeals to creative directors because he is a creative director and has also founded and runs a really respected and award winning magazine called EXIT.  I approached him to join Avec because his photography has never really been shown in this sort of outlet.  It’s almost as if I’m introducing someone very new but also very established at the same time.

The reason I opened with Landscape is because the pictures are stunning.  They grab your attention.  That’s also the work that he loves and wants to shoot all the time so I thought I would just put it out there from the very start.  Whether or not it’s applicable to car advertising I’m sure going to approach all car advertisers along with everyone else.

( Perou ) 

Are you the only agent?

Yes, I am the only agent but Avec is part of the Kramer Creative Group which is a group of agencies my partner Bruce Kramer owns. Bruce is fully involved  with avec and all the agencies in the group. Each agency is unique and has it’s own style of talent. It’s great to have that because we all really work together and help each other out.  For example, I work alongside another agent, Bridget Flaherty, who runs Bridge Artists. She represents stylists, set designers, hair and makeup. Her and I are constantly feeding ideas off of each other and helping each other out with clients.  It’s a great team.

What kind of content will be on your news section?

It’s going to start with mainly news on the photographers.  I would like it to be a very visual blog but eventually I want it to grow into something a bit more and allow the photographer to contribute on it.  I want it to be accessible to people on my roster and give them the freedom to post whatever they would like.  Avec translates to ‘with’ so the essential core of this agency is to be ‘with’ the artists.  This isn’t an agency about me, it’s very much about them and I want the blog to showcase that.

Where were you before this agency?

I started my career working in production at an agency called JGK, after that I worked for Moo Management (now Trish South management) and then for a more commercial agency in NY.   Working at Moo was a great springboard to where I am now – the roster there was great and really allowed me to develop my own working style and eye for type of photography that I feel strongly about representing.

( Lauren Ward ) 

How would you describe your roster? and who are your premiere clients, mostly European?

My roster is a group of photographers I feel passionately about and enjoy working with.   There is a definite fine art and documentary feel to avec but once you look a little deeper you will see that there is a good range than can appeal to many different clients.  My clients are across the board –  I wouldn’t say that they are mostly European though.  Throughout my career, the agencies I have worked for have all been European or have had European founders so that definitely comes into play but I’m heavily targeting clients in the US.

As an agent what do you think is the single most important aspect in getting your photographers to work in the current economy?

Target to the right client, be persistent, be genuine, follow up consistently but in a way where you are respecting the clients time and space.  Sorry, I realize that was more than one thing!

( Cyrus Marshall ) 

What will you do differently with this particular agency?

I’m launching as a traditional photography agency but competition is fierce so I think it’s important to stand out and be a little more modern in my way of thinking.  I try to stay on the pulse of what is happening industry wise – blogs like ‘A Photo Editor’ are a huge resource.    I really want avec to grow and as the industry changes I will adapt the agency accordingly.

When did you launch?

Just this month!

Last Chance To Stop $300 Permit Fee

Today is the last day to register with the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting to speak out at the hearing on June 3rd against charging fees for all still photography permits. Every editorial and advertising photographer uses the type of equipment that under current rules requires a film permit from the city and up until now those seeking a permit simply were required to carry $1,000,000 in liability insurance, but the new proposal is adding a non-refundable $300.00 ‘application’ fee for every time a permit is pulled to shoot!

Read about it here.

Breaking: Getty Shuts Down The Entire Wholly-Owned Shoot Program

This just in: The entire wholly-owned shoot program at Getty Images has been shut down and the producer and digital tech person at Getty have been laid off.

My source (here).

I’m told: “Wholly owned is when Getty Images would commission photographers for shoots in their creative division. It may also include photographers who were on salary at Getty Images who created content for them.”

Spanish Newspaper Claims “Iconic Capa War Photo Was Staged”

A Spanish Civil War photo by Robert Capa that shows a Republican soldier at the apparent moment he was fatally hit in the back by a bullet was in fact staged, a Spanish newspaper claimed on Friday (here).

“Capa photographed his soldier at a location where there was no fighting,” wrote Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico which carried out a study of the photograph taken in September 1936, the third month of the war.

The so-called “falling soldier” photo was not taken near Cerro Muriano in the southern Andalusia region, as has long been claimed, but about 50 kilometres (30 miles) away near the town of Espejo, the newspaper said.

via Yahoo! News thanks Mike.

UPDATE: Great narrated video from the Guardian (here).

Friday Links

Top ten reasons managers become great
8. Self aware, including weaknesses. This is the kicker. Great leaders know what they suck at, and either work on those skills or hire people they know make up for their own weaknesses, and empower them to do so.
via scottberkun.com.

Top ten reasons managers become assholes:
2. They are insecure in their role. The psychology of opposites goes a long way in understanding human nature. Overly aggressive people are often quite scared, and their aggression is a pre-emptive attack driven by fear: they attack first because they believe an attack from you is inevitable. Management makes many people nervous since it’s defined by having have less direct control, but more broad influence. A huge percentage of managers never get over this, and micromanage: a clear sign of insecurity and confusion over their role and yours.
via scottberkun.com.

Review: Milton Rogovin: The Making of a Social Documentary Photographer
Milton Rogovin is one of those underappreciated photographers. His work could maybe be termed the photographic equivalent of Studs Terkel’s radio shows: Rogovin took photos of people who worked hard for their money and who often were very poor.
via  Conscientious.

Dear Designer, You Suck
Sometimes I wonder, then: given that everyone in design seems to more or less know everyone else, are we really having the kinds of meaningful, constructive, critical discourses that we really should be having? Are we pulling our punches too much when discussing the merits of the work that our peers turn out? To put a finer point on it: are we being honest with one another?
via Subtraction.com

Ten Graphic Design Paradoxes
05: For designers, verbal skills are as important as visual skills. Since graphic design should be self-explanatory, designers might be forgiven for thinking that the need to provide a verbal rationale for their work is unimportant. Surely the work should succeed on its own merits without requiring a designer’s advocacy? True. Except there never was a client who didn’t want an explanation for every aspect of every piece of creative work they commissioned.
via Design Observer.

The Photographer as Scientist
The April 2009 issue of Modern Painters is completely devoted to photography. The cover story is about Hiroshi Sugimoto and profiles his recent work and experimentations.

I had not heard about this before but Sugimoto has been buying up early negatives made by William Henry Fox Talbot in the 1830’s and is now using them to make his own work from them. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about that.
via Horses Think.

Magazines Blur Line Between Ad and Article
David Granger, the editor in chief of Esquire, a Hearst magazine, included advertisers in cover compositions he produced for February and May, which the magazine society said it did not object to.

When he and his publisher began working on the projects, Mr. Granger said, “we came to an agreement on certain principles, and one was that there had to be real, viable reader benefit to any of the things we did.” He said that other cover treatments, like ESPN’s and Entertainment Weekly’s, “are pure advertising iterations.”
via  NYTimes.com.

Friday Roundup- Quotes From The Last Couple Weeks

In their book, How not to Write a novel, Newman and Mittelmark say that there are lots of books on how to write a novel, but none on how not to write a novel. With their blessed sarcasm, they say “…if reading Stephen King on writing really did the trick, we would all by now be writing engrossing vernacular novels that got on the bestseller lists.” Which isn’t the case, so Newman and Mittelmark decided to provide the service of offering observations on how not to write a novel.

It’s the same with photography. There are loads of books on how to photograph. They will tell you how to use long exposures, how to be creative using fancy things like multiple exposures (double the exposure and double the meaning), how large format will really bring out the detail, and so on and so on. In other words, the simple functional How to… books of photography pretty much cover the heady world of art photography from top to bottomus.

It’s simple stuff, but simple is good, especially in photography, which is basically a monkey art.

[from a new series on Colin’s blog called How Not To Photograph, each post is great]

via Colin Pantall’s blog.

————–

“If the old model is broken, what will work in its place?” To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the internet just broke.

That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place.

via Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable « Clay Shirky.

————–

the most a portrait photographer can hope for is to make a portrait that reflects where the sitter is with the photographer.

Steve Pyke on Conscientious

————–

one of the goals behind developing Google’s Chrome browser is to “make the web as fast as turning the page in a magazine.” That is still one advantage paper has over the Web: zero load times.

Marissa Mayer is the vice president of search products and user experience at Google

Marissa Mayer: …you’ll be able to say give Google an image and say find other images like this or find me images of a monkey, those types of things.

Charlie Rose: When will it happen?

Marissa Mayer: … I think the vision will probably happen in more than a 10-year timeframe, maybe 15. Those are of course guesses just off the top of my head…

via TechCrunch.

————–

Once the economy revives, however, a panel of Wall Streeters predicted it will be up, up and away for M&A. [Media and Advertising]

“All companies are tightening their belts … they are sitting on a lot of cash. So at one point M&A will come back,” said Jonathan Miller, co-founder of investment fund Velocity Interactive Group and a former chairman of AOL.

via Media biz in coin catch – Entertainment News, Business News, Media – Variety.

Janet Froelich Leaves NY Times Magazine for Real Simple

This is a big deal (just a rumor right now).
John Korpics made a similar move back in 2005 when he left an award winning run at Esquire for In Style. Not sure if we need to start rumors about the Times Magazine being in trouble because she’s likely just burnt and ready make some serious cash.

Friday Link Love

Palm Springs Photo Festival has a free photo contest (here). [Your work will be seen by thousands of retirees! Kidding, important people will be in attendance.]

PhotoShelter has an image buyers survey with lots of powerful information (here). [Is it me or do the image buyers–PE’s included–sound like a bunch of whiners… don’t make us do this, don’t make us do that, we’re busy, we have no time… do you want cheese with that?]

Facebook does an about face on their TOS changes (here). [Imagine how long that would have taken if we needed newspapers to react to this shit.]

Photographer Zack Arias spills his guts in this video (here). [Who knew Avedon sucked at one time ; )]

Five Papers named the world’s best designed (here). Money Quote: The rising trend of strong photography in the 1980s and 1990s seems now a distant memory. Often, photo departments and staff shooters are the first to go during management cutbacks. Yet, as the global culture becomes more visual, newspapers must keep pace, even lead. Publishers must recognize that the core value of their product is good journalism — the integration of writing, photography, graphics and design. [So you’re saying publishers should pull their heads out of their asses? At this point they need to just cut a window in their stomach.]- [Whatever you do don’t watch the video they made you’ll want to claw your eyes out part way in… stick to making newspapers people!]

The HCB (Henri Cartier-Bresson) Award is a prize to stimulate a photographer’s creativity by offering the opportunity to carry out a project that would otherwise be difficult to achieve.It is intended for a photographer who have already completed a significant body of work, a talented photographer in the emerging phase of his or her career, with an approach close to that of reportage. The prize is of 30 000 Euros and is awarded every other year (here). [You are sooooo dreaming… but click anyway.]

Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Photoshop via the Adobe blog (here).

Life, Burnett, Surburb x, Newspaper Business 101, Eggleston

NPR’s All Things Considered has an interview and slideshow (here) with Bobbi Baker Burrows (daughter of Vietnam photojournalist Larry Burrows) where she talks about a few of the iconic images from Life Magazine now out in a new book Life: The Classic Collection.

Found it on Robert Benson’s blog.

Photojournalist David Burnett (Contact Press Images, New York) shows you the ups and downs of what it was REALLY like to try and photograph the Games of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.



Via, Melcher & Harrington

American Suburb x is an incredibly interesting photography blog I found via Conscientious.

Over on Publishing 2.0 (here): “Every conversation about reinventing a business model for newspapers begins, it seems, with a question about how to find a way to pay for what we value in the current product. In other words, how do we find a way to keep doing what we’ve always done and make as much money as we’ve always made?”

“I’ve rarely heard anyone start by asking what the market values. Where are the pain points in the market? How can we solve problems for people?”

“You know, business 101.”

William Eggleston at the Whitney (here) via NYMag (here): “Eggleston’s 1976 MoMA show launched his career and proved a turning point in the history of photography. Scorned at the time for being vulgar and banal, the show has since been revered for exactly those reasons.”

The Election And Photography

The Obama camp did a much better job managing their photography in this election and while I don’t think you can control everything that happens I still think people underestimate what can be done with photography.

When I saw these Obama rally photos (here) I thought, how can you not believe in the power of photography to deliver a message. I was told by someone who used to help politicians with photography for a living that the way you get images like this is make the photographers stand in a certain place so the only photograph they can take is that one.

Good Morning America ran this picture (here) yesterday morning with Diane Sawyer saying “what a photograph.”

Folio Mag, Covers of the campaign (here).

Powell cites a Platon photo when endorsing Obama (here).

If the intersection of politics and photography interests you visit this site: http://www.bagnewsnotes.com

Side Note– Over on FiveThirtyEight.com: “Ever since Brett Marty started taking photographs for the site, our traffic has skyrocketed (here).”

Thanks Allison, Ryan.

How Can You Make A List Of Influential People And Not Include Photographers?

I picked up Esquire’s 75th Anniversary issue and was flipping through their list of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century (here) and discovered that they couldn’t think of a single photographer to include in their list (WTFngF). Now, I know how these lists are made and it usually starts with the gathering of a massive list of names from all walks of life and I can see they did a very good job of balancing it out with artists, journalists, writers and such, but no photographers. Are you kidding? Time had a similar snub with their 2008 list of the Worlds 100 Most Influential People (here).

I seriously hope Nachtwey does something amazing tomorrow but surely he can’t be the only one. Can he?

A Couple Things Today

Looks like Life Magazine will be publishing their collection for consumers to browse (here).
Thanks, Matt Wright-Steel.

Here’s an interesting idea. Someone from within a stock photo agency is anonymously posting gems from the collection as they run across them (here). The splash page at a stock agency website is always incredibly valuable real estate, so maybe there are other ways to get images from the collection in front of potential buyers.
Via, Swiss Miss.

Photography News Links

Inspired in part by a post I made on the escalating cost of digital processing PDN has a survey (here) that should give us all a clearer picture on what people are charging and what magazines are paying. Take a few minutes to fill it out.

A new Channel 4 series, Picture This, takes six wannabe snappers and sets them assignments over the course of three weeks, eliminating the unsuccessful contestants until just two remain to battle it out for the prize. Martin Parr, the acclaimed photographer best known for his colourful pictures of British seaside life, is one of the three judges on the show.The documentary photographer became involved with Picture This because he believes that photography is not given the prominence it deserves in the UK, whereas in other European countries and in the United States it is celebrated as an important art form. -The Independent Story

Neil Leifer still acts like he has something to prove. Some of it’s the plight of the news or sports photographer, even if you’re the best. Leifer recalls how even Sports Illustrated sometimes sent him out with a snot-nosed reporter who’d introduce him by saying “This is my photographer.” -LA Times Story

Artists are drawn to de Wilde in part because the tedium that’s typical of photo shoots is transformed into a facet of the creative act when she’s at the helm. De Wilde insists on long conversations, in person, with young artists prior to taking their picture. She’ll hunt for ideas but also memorize the way a person’s eyes move and the way they smile at a joke, so that when she’s standing behind the camera she’ll be able to recognize what’s real, no matter how surreal the setting or high the concept. -Boston Globe Story

‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe is to play the late British war photographer Daniel Eldon in a new biopic.

Best photography related headline of 2007: Britney Spears and Photographer Suspected of Making Quick F-Stop At Beverly Hills Hotel. -Defamer Story