Friday Happy Hour: War On Photography, The Faces Behind Iconic Photos & More

Friday Happy Hour: War On Photography, The Faces Behind Iconic Photos & More

You know those weeks where you feel like there were so many good blog posts, so many news stories you wanted to read, that worried you wouldn’t have time to get to them all? This was one of those weeks. It was a tough call what to cover and what to leave out in our weekly Friday Happy Hour, but in the end we came up with a solid list. Below are our top picks from this week.

The War on Photography

There’s been a lot of talk recently about “The War on Photography”, or the notion that photographers and everyday citizens who take photos or videos in public places are causes for alarm. Many argue that the tension between government officials (i.e. law enforcement officers) and the press (i.e. news photographers or your Aunt Sissie taking a picture of the Empire State Building) began with the War on Terror, whereby any semi-suspicious action became reason to panic.

Mickey Osterreicher, General Counsel to the NPPA, wrote an interesting article for Business Insider this week about his views on the matter, stating that he also sees this as an infringement on the First Amendment. He also links to some first-hand accounts of photographers who were, in his opinion, wrongfully arrested for taking pictures at high-stake events like Occupy Wall Street.

How far is too far? What do you think is the motivation behind law enforcement officials who detain people for photographing in public places? Is this all part of our current culture of fear? We’re curious to get your thoughts, so share them in the comments.

Tim Mantoani’s Behind Photographs

There are a handful of really iconic images that many of us can recall automatically – Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl portrait on the cover of National Geographic, The Tank Man of Tienanmen Square, a classic shot of Marilyn Monroe…but few of us know what the photographer behind the image actually looks like.

Step in our friend Tim Mantoani, SoCal/NYC-based commercial and advertising photographer, whose project captures portraits of famous photographers holding their most iconic or favorite photos. Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends is a beautifully done book – what makes it even more special is that Tim took all the portraits on a 20×24 Polaroid camera, whose film is pretty hard to come by these days. Check out this post by Wired for more of the story and a slideshow of some of the book’s top images.

Tim joined us back in 2010 for one of our favorite webinars of all time Focus on Your Passion.

Photo by Tim Mantoani

Kodak files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Turns out those rumors you’ve been hearing were true – Kodak finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday. Given its recent financial reports, and slow move to adopt new digital technologies, this seemed like a long-time coming. The 133-year-old company has struggled to keep up with competitors, and has recently moved from cameras to focus on making printers.

Is this the end for Kodak? “Kodak is taking a significant step toward enabling our enterprise to complete its transformation,” says Antonio M. Perez, CEO at Kodak. Meaning that Chapter 11, if approved by a judge, allows the company to continue operating normally while it re-negotiates its debt to creditors.

Still, it’s a sad time for the makers of our first consumer camera. What are your fondest memories of using Kodak products?

PDN Photo Annual 2012 open for entries

If you like money ($15,000 in prizes) and recognition (winning images published in PDN magazine), then don’t miss out on the opportunity to submit to PDN’s Photo Annual 2012. It’s an excellent opportunity to get your work in front of industry leaders. They’re also posting images from the latest submissions, so you can see who’s in the running. Learn more here – submission deadline is January 25, so don’t delay.

Brands “flocking” to Instagram

There’s an extremely social component to Instagram – in addition to taking and sharing your own photos, you can also follow friends and now, brands. Ad Age Digital posted an article this week saying that brands like Puma and GE are “flocking” to Instagram, mainly using it as a behind-the-scenes showcase for customers. Tiffany and Co., for example, has recently been taking Instagram pictures of window displays at their flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. GE uses the app to show technicians on the job.

After securing $7 million in funding last year, it appears that at least for the moment, Instagram is here to stay.

Incredible India – photography by Scott Kelby

Scott Kelby spent four days in India this January, and promptly created an eBook of his most memorable and outstanding photos. Incredible India is a really beautiful collection of the people and places he encountered. Scott also talks his gear choices and links to a video on how to create a photo book in iPhoto in this blog post. He shared the finished images here on Google+ to a mere 330 +1’s and 140 comments. Talk about social!

The Photographer’s Social Media Handbook 2012

Curious how successful photographers like Scott Kelby get so much attention on social media? Good thing we just released The Photographer’s Social Media Handbook for 2012! This is your all-in-one-guide to Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. Learn how to attract more followers, engage with your community, and optimize your time so that “getting social” doesn’t turn into a black hole. And as always, it’s free to download.

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Ken McCrocklin at 5:55 pm

    War on photographers? Are you kidding? Any public event is open to be photographed, PERIOD! I am sure some up and coming young Lawyer would love to take on this cause and make a fortune! This is still the United States of America and it is still Land of the free.

  2. Simon Brown at 6:54 am

    I noticed a massive change here in the UK after 9/11. The paranoia ratcheted up a lot, especially for someone like me who when tanned displays their Middle Eastern inheritance. We also have a ghastly though popular tabloid press who sometimes seem to suggest that photographers are perverts(specifically child molesters) whilst they themselves continue their nefarious activities(for those not in the UK Google “Leveson Inquiry”). Things have calmed down a lot recently, perhaps our change of government has helped; there’s also been a lot of work done behind the scenes and in front on how to deal with both restrictive and illegally applied legislation and jumped up busybodies. A major concern for me currently is the increasing demand for model/property releases where there is no basis in law. Again in the UK this has sometimes appeared to be driven by the populist tabloid press.

    I do wonder though if sometimes we do not help our own cause. Many photographers working large events appear scruffy, rude and aggressive. What kind of impression does wearing a tee shirt advertising a made-up Thai sex parlour make? Or screaming profanities at the person you want an image of? Or striding into a restaurant, up to someone’s dinner table and shoving a camera in their face? Just because they’re locally a little well known. I’ve personally seen all these happen. Were some lout to behave like this without a camera in their hand would we regard it acceptable and appropriate? Personally I do not. I am certain that my habit of dressing well and trying to remain polite and discrete reduces problems*. Although I’m often approached it’s usually with polite interest, showing people images on a preview screen and talking to them about what I’m doing is enjoyable and sometimes productive.

    I genuinely feel we need, both individually and as an industry, to take a hard, critical look at our professionalism in how we present ourselves and our work. And how we argue for the essential freedoms we have to make images of, and write about, the world we live in.

    *perhaps th fact I’m 1m85 tall, 76Kg with a 78cm waist helps a little here…

  3. Brett at 1:50 pm

    I’ll catch flack for this, but it would have been nice to see someone else recognized for their work in India, someone who has put in real time, rather than just promoting someone who spent four days there because they are a photo celebrity. There are plenty of people to feature who have done significant work and created a lot of meaningful products from their work, like PS user Mirjam Letsch.

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