Cat photos help raise privacy issues

Owen Mundy has taken online cat pictures to another level.

On the surface, his website, I Know Where Your Cat Lives, appears to be a feline-lover’s dream, offering up random pictures of public photos of a wide range of kitties from all over the world.

But in his Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for web hosting, Mundy of Tallahassee, Fla., explains a deeper purpose to his efforts.

“This project explores two uses of the internet: the sociable and humorous appreciation of domesticated felines, and the status quo of personal data usage by startups and international megacorps who are riding the wave of decreased privacy for all,” he writes. “This website doesn’t visualize all of the cats on the net, only the ones that allow you to track where their owners have been.”

The Kickstarter campaign runs through 9 August 2014.

 

Facebook selfies as depiction of the American girl

Jenna Garrett waded through countless Facebook self-portraits, or “selfies,” for a new exhibit that examines the concept of the online identity.

As part of the Aperture Summer Open project, Garrett’s series, “The Public Profile of An American Girl” comprises nearly 5,000 public images of young women posted to the social-media website.

“It’s very important to me that the work be viewed as an installation—there is something really visceral about seeing 500 images of people licking one another. So much of what we do online feels intangible—people post photos, share their entires lives and say so many things without so much as a thought. Making images online a physical thing (public images that anyone could stumble upon and see) changes the dynamic entirely,” she tells Cool Hunting.

Garrett’s series is part of a larger body of work, titled “The Public Profile Project.” In one of its pieces, “Pretty/Ugly,” she creates a disturbing mosaic of YouTube videos from a recent phenomenon in which teenage girl invited viewers to weigh in on her looks.

Steve McCurry reveals stories behind the images

Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs – YouTube.

Steve McCurry took inspiration from New Zealand photographer Brian Brake‘s famous 1962 image of an Indian girl in a monsoon years later when covering the subcontinent’s rainy season.

“During my monsoon coverage in India, I learned that there was this terrible flood in one of the cities in Gujarat. So, I got a flight, and to my horror, I saw that three-quarters of the city was underwater. People were living on their roofs. They had no fresh water. They had no food. So, I set about documenting this situation,” he said a video accompanying his book, “Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs,” published by Phaidon.

“I literally spent the entire day walking around up to my waist or my chest in water, and the water was very dirty an fully of dead animals. It was very disgusting,” McCurry added. “But It was fascinating how people persevere, how they can live through these situations and actually cope and do quite well, despite this kind of very difficult circumstance.”

Documentary digs into NYC street photography

Cheryl Dunn casts a spotlight on nine decades of New York street photography — with some of the discipline’s best-known practitioners and a few unheralded ones — in her new documentary film, “Everybody Street.”

“If you want to get a really broad slice of humanity, you can find it in New York,” Dunn tells Wired. “Every kind of person is out there and I think that’s what’s attracted all these photographers.”

An image from 'Everybody Street.'
An image from ‘Everybody Street.’

The cast reads like a who’s-who of photographers known for their fleeting imagery of a different time in New York’s history and iconic imagery of the city’s inhabitants: Bruce Davidson, Elliott Erwitt, Jill Freedman, Bruce Gilden, Joel Meyerowitz, Rebecca Lepkoff, Mary Ellen Mark, Jeff Mermelstein, Clayton Patterson, Ricky Powell, Jamel Shabazz, Martha Cooper and Boogie, as well as historians Max Kozloff and Luc Sante.

The “Everybody Street” Vimeo page contains selected clips from the interviews, including one in which Meyerowitz responds to a question of what makes a good photograph.

“I hitchhiked to Mexico, and in Mexico I saw this. It’s a shooting gallery, and in the shooting gallery there’s a wooden trunk, and in the trunk is a baby who’s screaming. Probably the gunshots,” he said. “I mean, I was able to see that that there was kind of an overall thing, rather than just looking at the baby. So, I think early on, I kind of developed a sense of, you know, what might make an interesting photograph.”

via New Film Profiles NYC’s Greatest Street Photographers

Magnum Photos announces new members

Moises Saman was named the newest full member of Magnum Photos at the organization’s annual meeting in New York this week.

A former Newsday staff photographer, the Peruvian-born Saman focused on covering the post-9/11 world, spending time in Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries. Leaving the New York-based newspaper, he became a freelancer with Panos Pictures in 2007 and has since received numerous awards from the likes of World Press Photo.

In 2010, he was invited to join Magnum Photos as a nominee.

Magnum Photos also announced new associate members Bieke Depoorter and Jérôme Sessini, and nominee Sohrab Hura.

The agency’s 67th annual meeting kicked off at International Center of Photography, with a reception for the Magnum Contact Sheets exhibition at MILK Gallery. The event concluded at NeueHouse.

via Magnum Photos Blog.

Barton Silverman’s close call with the Verrazano

Runners at the start of the 1997 New York City Marathon as they ran across the bridge from the Staten Island side, where fog engulfed the Staten Island tower.

Barton Silverman, a New York Times sports photographer, recalled an exciting moment near the start of his illustrious career, as a 19-year-old in Brooklyn witnessing construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1962.

“I started pulling on the rope and my foot slipped,” Silverman told the Times’ Lens blog. “Half my body was off the bridge. I had this huge camera bag pulling me down. I didn’t know if I should drop the bag into the water or save myself. Six construction workers came to help.”

Shaken but unharmed, Silverman made it off the bridge — which turns 50 this year — and on to a photojournalism career spanning four decades.

The catwalk running all the way up the Brooklyn side of the tower.

via Falling for the Photo in Staten Island.

Jo Ann Callis reveals long-hidden fetish photos

Jo Ann Callis, renowned for her fabricated photography work in the 1970s and ’80s, recently revealed a trove of early fetishized constructs she had deemed “too hot.”

Well, at first I thought it was because they were too “hot.” Or they were too emotional — they weren’t cool like a lot of the conceptual work. They were very formal, aesthetic — all the things that weren’t in vogue at the time. So, that was initially why. But mostly I was just interested in other things. I went on using some of the same ideas: like tactility, how something feels, and how you can represent a thought in a photograph just using a straight negative — not putting it out of focus on purpose, just seeing what kinds of metaphors I could create. But I think it was the sexuality in them, and I just lost my nerve.

jo-ann-callis-02.nocrop.w1800.h1330Callis, whose best-known work comprised beautiful, uncomfortably skewed nudes and elemental expressions of the body, maintained a constant aesthetic throughout much of her career, which saw its first major exposure via the 1981 Whitney Biennial.

Fast-forward to 2009 and preparations for a Getty retrospective, Callis recalled being asked by Senior Curator of Photographs Judith Keller if there were any images of hers they hadn’t seen.

'Other Rooms' by Jo Ann Callis“And I said, ‘No, that’s it,’” Callis told New York Magazine. “I just pretended they didn’t exist, because even at that time I just didn’t think this was appropriate to show at the Getty — and I didn’t think they would be interested in it.”

Now the photographs are the subject of an exhibit at Rose Gallery in Santa Monica, Calif., and a monograph, “Other Rooms” by Aperture.

via These Eerie Fetish Photos Were Kept Under Wraps for Years – The Cut.

A photograph that exposed World Cup trickery

1990 World Cup

Ricardo Alfieri, a photographer covering the 1990 World Cup in Italy, captured a series of images that exposed a blatant attempt to tilt the results of a critical game between Brazil and Chile.

A flare fired from the Brazilian section of Maracana Stadium appeared to strike Chilean goalkeeper Roberto Rojas bloody, jeopardizing the Brazilian team’s continued participation in in the tournament.

“Amazing as it may sound, no TV camera caught the moment the flare flew over and supposedly hit the goalkeeper,” photographer Paulo Teixeira told CNN.

“I missed the shot and so did most of the photographers,” he added. “But there was one guy by me — Ricardo Alfieri, a good friend — and I asked him, ‘Ricardo, did you capture the flare?’ He said, ‘Of course, about four, five shots.'”

After a hastily processing lab was readied to develop the film, Brazilian newspaper Globo agreed to pay the then-exorbitant sum of $5,000 for rights to the photos.

The images showed that the flare had landed about a meter away from Chile’s goaltender, who faked the injury by cutting himself with a hidden razor blade in an attempt to eliminate Brazil’s team.

FIFA awarded Brazil a 2-0 technical victory that took it to the finals and banned goalie Rojas for life.

His wife, Viviane Rojas, told CNN that her husband, who at the time played professionally for Sao Paulo, had been forgiven by the city.

“Here in Brazil, Roberto has always been loved,” she said. “The most important thing for Brazilians is that he has, in his interviews, come across as a human being with a very distinct and good character. He has admitted his guilt and been forgiven.”

via How a Single Photograph Thwarted One of the Most Heinous Cheats in Soccer History.

U.S. Supreme Court upholds mobile-phone privacy

The U.S. Supreme Court

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision upheld the privacy rights of mobile phones belonging to people who are arrested.

This is a bold opinion,” Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University, told The New York Times. “It is the first computer-search case, and it says we are in a new digital age. You can’t apply the old rules anymore.”

In the written decision, Chief Justice John Roberts noted in Riley v. California that mobile phones commonly contain “a digital record of nearly every aspect of their lives — from the mundane to the intimate.”

Roberts also acknowledged the multipurpose nature  of mobile phones.

“They could just as easily be called cameras, video players, Rolodexes, calendars, tape recorders, libraries, diaries, albums, televisions, maps or newspapers,” he wrote.

The court also prohibited the deletion of data contained within mobile phones, or their confiscation.

“Digital data stored on a cell phone cannot itself be used as a weapon to harm an arresting officer or to effectuate the arrestee’s escape. Officers may examine the phone’s physical aspects to ensure that it will not be used as a weapon, but the data on the phone can endanger no one,” Roberts wrote.

The specific language is notable, as police departments have claimed in numerous seizure cases that they had “feared” for their lives from the phone as a potential weapon. The claim is made constantly on photo-rights blog Photography Is Not A Crime.

The court also carved out a right to privacy distinct inherent in digital devices from physical searches at the time of arrest.

“A conclusion that inspecting the contents of an arrestee’s pockets works no substantial additional intrusion on privacy beyond the arrest itself may make sense as applied to physical items, but more substantial privacy interests are at stake when digital data is involved,” the decision stated.

(via Supreme Court Rules Police Need Warrant to Search Cell Phones | Photography is Not a Crime)

Timothy Archibald captures autistic son’s habits

Timothy Archibald and his son, Elijah, have created a body of work that captures the unique interactions between the boy and the world at large.

Archibald told the New York Times Lens Blog that the portraiture sessions were brief, regularly scheduled and sparked by his son’s interest in something.

It was Eli’s idea to see if a very large manila envelope would fit over his head; Eli’s idea to blow into one end of a vacuum cleaner hose and hold the other end to his ear to hear the whoosh. It was Eli’s idea to see if he could curl up his body until it fit inside a clear plastic toy box, to flatten his features with a wide rubber band, to look through the wide end of a funnel that happened to be the same circumference as his face.

“He has always fetishized objects,’’ Archibald said. “They are iconic to him.’’

The photographs are available in a limited-edition book of 43 images, “Echolilia,” which is available on Archibald’s website.

(via Loving Father Photographs Unique Habits of His Autistic Son – My Modern Met)

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