Category Archives: news

MoMA offers its first free online photography class

NEW YORK — The Museum of Modern Art has launched its first online photography class titled “Seeing Through Photographs,” a six-part course offered through learning company Coursera.

MoMA describes it:

Led by Sarah Meister, Curator, Department of Photography, the course introduces learners to firsthand perspectives and ideas from artists and scholars about what a photograph is and the many ways in which photography has been used throughout history and into the present day: as a means of personal artistic expression; a tool for science and exploration; a method for documenting people, places, and events; a way of telling stories and recording histories; and a mode of communication and critique in our increasingly visual culture.

The course launched Feb. 10, 2016.

Top: Still from Vik Muniz: Equivalents, from Seeing Through Photographs. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Below: Screenshot of Coursera page.

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NYPL releases trove of public-domain images

More than 180,000 images held in the archives of the New York Public Library were put online this week in what may be the largest web-based collection of photographs in the public domain.

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Broome Street, Nos. 504-506, Manhattan. 1935. By Berenice Abbott.

The library announced on its blog that users of the NYPL Digital Collections would contain easier-to-use links and filters to find restriction-free content. Power users will also have access to the database’s Digital Collections API, as well as additional tools added to the NYPL’s GitHub account.

 

In addition to photographs, the collection includes historic maps, botanical illustrations, unique manuscripts, ancient religious texts, and more.

Some of the photography collections available include:

The collection also includes historic maps, botanical illustrations, unique manuscripts, ancient religious texts and more. Visit nypl.org/publicdomain for information.

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Carrie and Alfred with Alfred’s pony ‘Tim’

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.

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)

N.Y. cameraman wins $200,000 police settlement

News cameraman Philip Datz won a $200,000 settlement from the Suffolk County Police Department stemming from his 2011 arrest at the scene of an investigation.

“This settlement is a victory for the First Amendment and for the public good,” Datz said. “When police arrest journalists just for doing their job, it creates a chilling effect that jeopardizes everyone’s ability to stay informed about important news in their community. Journalists have a duty to cover what the police are doing, and the police should follow the law and respect the First Amendment to ensure they can do that.”

In addition to the monetary award, the county also agreed to implement a new training program and create a Police-Media Relations Committee, according to the National Press Photographers Association.

In a video of the arrest, Suffolk County Police Sergeant Michael Milton tells Datz repeatedly to “go away.”

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” Milton says. “There’s nothing you can hold over my head or anybody out there.”

via New York Photojournalist Wins $200,000 Settlement from Viral Video Incident 

Bruce Weber depicts Detroit and its denizens

Parishioner outside Perfecting Church, Detroit, Michigan, 2006
Parishioner outside Perfecting Church, Detroit, Michigan, 2006, pigment print. © Bruce Weber

DETROIT — While first visiting Detroit on assignment for W magazine in 2006, the renowned fashion photographer saw something more than the faded glory of a preeminent American city.

Patti Smith, Musician and Writer, New York City, 1996, gelatin silver print. © Bruce Weber
Patti Smith, Musician and Writer, New York City, 1996, gelatin silver print. © Bruce Weber

“If I was ever in trouble, I would want someone from Detroit to be there with their dukes up along with mine,” Weber said at an event touting his upcoming exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Curiously, it was Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour who helped bring the show to fruition, following a lunch meeting with Weber at which he exclaimed, “I love Detroit!”

The exhibit, “Detroit — Bruce Weber,” which comprises some 80 photographs, opens 20 June 2014 and runs through 14 September 2014.

Hindu deities brought to life, one at a time

Widely recognized amid everyday life in India, Hindu deities come to life in the work of photographer Manjari Sharma.

Traveling to Mumbai in February 2011, Sharma took three weeks and an estimated $3,000 to $4,000 to produce her first photograph in the “Darshan” series, according to a New York Times Lens Blog feature, titled “The Beauty and Chaos of the Gods.”

For Sharma, it’s a project that could take several lifetimes, given the multitude of Hindu deities to choose from.

“There are billions of gods and goddesses in Hindu mythology,” she told the Times. “I could be doing this till the day I die and not have done enough.”

The sensitive nature of working with religious figures, also, isn’t lost on Sharma.

“If these gods weren’t given the respect that they should be given or I had my own take, which was perceived as slander, it would be shut down,” she said. “I’m treading on really touchy waters. Fortunately, everyone is in sync with the understanding that I’m treating it with as much respect as I could, since I come from it.”

A Kickstarter campaign helped the Brooklyn-based photographer raise an additional $26,000 for the project.

Sharma was recently named among the winners of CENTER’s 19th Annual International Awards and will have her work exhibited in Santa Fe, N.M.

via Darshan 2011 Ganesha on Vimeo.

Curve winners go on exhibit in Santa Fe

SANTA FE, N.M. — The winners of CENTER’s 19th Annual International Awards go on exhibit 14 June 2014 at the Center for Contemporary Art’s Muñoz Waxman Gallery.

The exhibit will highlight work by Guy Martin (project launch winner) and Adam Reynolds (project development winner), as well as Manjari Sharma, Morgan Ashcom, Jeanine Michna-Bales, Thomas Jackson, Charlie Simokaitis, Barbara Hazen, Anne Berry, Mateusz Sarello and Ryan Zoghlin.

Drawing entrants from 43 countries, the CENTER Awards highlight outstanding photographic works and include a cash grant, exhibitions, attendance to Review Santa Fe and exposure for their work.

Review Santa Fe is CENTER’s flagship event runs 26 June to 29 June and brings together photographers and photography curators, editors and gallerists to review portfolios amid a series of events.

Muñoz Waxman Gallery is located at  1050 Old Pecos Trail.

via CENTER: The Curve.

Tom Ford book spotlights stratospheric fashion career

NEW YORK (Fotophile.com) — It’s not often a fashion designer at the top of his game walks away from it all. But then, it’s not often the industry finds a Tom Ford, either.

“Tom Ford”

Since announcing last November that he would leave his position as creative director of Gucci Group and designer for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, Ford took the industry by surprise. Now, Rizzoli has published an oversized volume highlighting the illustrious designer’s decade-long career set for release 1 November 2004.

The book features more than 300 photographs providing evidence of Ford’s stratospheric career as a cutting-edge designer and sharp businessman. In his decade-long role at the helm of Gucci Group, the company increased sales from $230 million in 1994 to nearly $3 billion in 2003 and becoming the world’s leading luxury brand, while setting fashion trends as well.

Photos are provided by some of the world’s top image-makers, including Richard AvedonMario TestinoHelmut Newton,Annie LeibovitzHerb Ritts and Terry Richardson, among others. The deluxe edition comes slipcased in white cabra leather and retails for $350; a black, cloth-bound version (pictured) runs $125.

The book boasts contributions from top editors Greydon Carter of Vanity Fair, Anna Wintour of Vogue and Bridget Foley of W.

Ford, a native of Austin, Texas, who was raised in Santa Fe, N.M., has won numerous design awards, including four from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and five VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards.

Sotheby’s sets new records, spurs medium’s next phase

By LAURA HUMPHREY
Contributing Editor

NEW YORK (Fotophile.com) — To the delight of auction houses and many in the photo world, it has become accepted that each season sees auction records broken for the highest amount paid for a photograph. The previous record was set just a few months ago by Richard Prince‘s Untitled “Cowboy”(1989), which sold for nearly $1.25 million at Christie’s in November 2005.

The sale of photographs from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art at Sotheby’s on 14 February 2006 broke this record three times. Two important and rareAlfred Stieglitz photographs of Georgia O’Keefe, the “heroic” nude and a portrait of the artist’s hands, sold for $1.2 million and $1.3 million, respectively, without buyer’s premiums. This alone was cause for celebration, clapped hands, and raised eyebrows but seemed almost lackluster when compared to the evening’s sale of Edward Steichen‘s The Pond — Moonlight (1904). This piece, at just over 16 x 19 inches, sold for $2.6 million — essentially the total of the last three auction records added together. It was purchased by Peter MacGill of Pace/MacGill Gallery on behalf of a private client. The estimate, which Sotheby’s sets in accordance to current trends in the retail and auction markets, was $700,000 to $1 million.

Unlike the Prince photograph, there probably won’t be much debate over the high value given the Stiechen and Steiglitz photographs: Each is a rare print by a landmark artist. It can be argued that the Stiechen photograph is unique, given the painstaking process he undertook to create the soft light and layered colors of the night scene. On top of that, it would be hard to match the glowing dual provenance of these photographs having come from the Met out of its Gilman Paper Company acquisition.

While it was expected that the Stiechen would break the previous auction record, more of a surprise was the exorbitant prices paid for many of the lesser works of the sale. Most notably, a group of three Jaromir Funke print went for 18 times the top of the estimate given by Sotheby’s. The heated battle on the auction floor lead to a buyer’s price far and away above the typical values for top Funke prints on the retail market. The estimate was set at $5,000 to $7,000 but sold for $130,000, without buyer’s premiums, to a private client.

This means good things for Sotheby’s but may be mixed for private dealers and galleries. In this sale it practically became standard for each lot to sell for at least double its estimate. Yet comparable pieces for many of these expensive lots can be found on the retail market for prices much closer to the estimates. The main difference is that the photographs in this sale all came with such sterling provenance. Perhaps the most interesting result of this sale will be to see how galleries and dealers adjust the values of their wares, if at all.

Another aspect to consider is the role of the actual artists in the rapidly escalating auction market. Photographers tend to be more closely involved with the galleries that represent them than with auctions. Auction houses do receive works from artists’ estates, but more often auction consignments come from people other than the artist or estate. Case in point, the record-breaking Prince photograph was put up for sale at Christie’s by an anonymous consignor. Prince himself was so uninvolved in the process that he was, according to PDN, “at home wrestling with [his] 8-year-old daughter in [his] bed watching the World Series of Poker, eating the last of [their] Halloween candy” while his photograph made auction history.

This week witnessed a truly historical event for the esteem of photographs in the larger art market. While this record may not be broken for some time, it is clear that the photography market is on the rise. This will always be a good thing for collectors. But for many in the photo world, the question now is: Who will be able to cash in?