Posts tagged with ‘photography’

Afghanistan Votes

Amazing photos of today’s election in Afghanistan are making their way through Twitter. A great place to start is with @afghansvote, the feed of a crowdsourced, citizen journalism project that’s monitoring the elections and is based out of Kabul.

Images: A man whose finger was severed by the Taliban after a previous election has a different one marked after he votes, via @ToloNews; a group of voters salute “the enemies of #Afghanistan,” via @JavedAzizKhan; women wait to vote outside of Kabul, via @HabibKhanT; and a woman explains to the AFP why she votes, via @dawn_com.  

Photographing Afghanistan’s Elections
The New York Times has a great photo essay by Bryan Denton on Afghanistan’s tomorrow’s presidential election.
Via The Times:

As they registered with the Independent Election Commission in October, some of Afghanistan’s presidential candidates took offense when told they had to leave their guns at home. Brawls broke out. It was not a promising beginning to the first election in modern Afghan history with the potential to bring a peaceful change of leadership, as President Hamid Karzai’s 12 years in power come to an official end.
In the months since, a Taliban campaign of attacks has taken its toll in lives and fear. Insurgents even managed to strike the election commission, killing workers and setting a ballot warehouse on fire. But the overall violence across the country has been lower than before the 2009 vote, and the most dire predictions have so far not come to pass.

Image: Supporters of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani, by Bryan Denton, via The New York Times. Select to embiggen.

Photographing Afghanistan’s Elections

The New York Times has a great photo essay by Bryan Denton on Afghanistan’s tomorrow’s presidential election.

Via The Times:

As they registered with the Independent Election Commission in October, some of Afghanistan’s presidential candidates took offense when told they had to leave their guns at home. Brawls broke out. It was not a promising beginning to the first election in modern Afghan history with the potential to bring a peaceful change of leadership, as President Hamid Karzai’s 12 years in power come to an official end.

In the months since, a Taliban campaign of attacks has taken its toll in lives and fear. Insurgents even managed to strike the election commission, killing workers and setting a ballot warehouse on fire. But the overall violence across the country has been lower than before the 2009 vote, and the most dire predictions have so far not come to pass.

Image: Supporters of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani, by Bryan Denton, via The New York Times. Select to embiggen.

100 Years of Photographs Now Free to Embed →

The News: 

Getty Images is dropping the watermark for the bulk of its collection, in exchange for an open-embed program that will let users drop in any image they want, as long as the service gets to append a footer at the bottom of the picture with a credit and link to the licensing page. For a small-scale WordPress blog with no photo budget, this looks an awful lot like free stock imagery.

Implications abound but this one is particularly interesting:

The biggest effect might be on the nature of the web itself. Embeds from Twitter and YouTube are already a crucial part of the modern web, but they’ve also enabled a more advanced kind of link rot, as deleted tweets and videos leave holes in old blog posts. If the new embeds take off, becoming a standard for low-rent WordPress blogs, they’ll extend that webby decay to the images themselves. On an embed-powered web, a change in contracts could leave millions of posts with no lead image, or completely erase a post like this one.

All About the #Selfies
Via Wired:

Right now, there are more than 79 million photos on Instagram that fall under #selfie. This is not counting #selfies (7 million photos), #selfienation (1 million photos), #selfiesfordays (400,000 photos) or the countless number of photos with no hashtag at all. You might be thinking: “Finally, we’ve reached peak #selfie!” But according to a new study, only 3-5 percent of photos on Instagram fall into the category…
…In its short lifespan, the selfie has gone from pop culture phenomenon to academic lab rat. For obvious reasons, these photos are a psychological research goldmine, but there’s been little done in the way of objectively looking at the photos’ content to see how it might reflect the actual world we live in. Selfiecity looks at the trend through a window, not a microscope. Instead of zeroing in on a single narrow element, the Selfiecity project is broken down into a few broad areas: main findings, contextual essays and interactive data visualizations. “We wanted to look at this phenomena from different perspectives,” Manovich explains.
Selfiecity analyzes Instagram data for visual cues like head position, emotional expression, gender and age, in order to get a clearer picture of how (and how often) people actually take selfies in different cultures. “The idea was to confront the generalizations about selfies, which are not based on data, with actual data,” says Manovich. “We wanted to look at what the actual patterns are.”

So, check Selfiecity, it’s mesmerizing.
And then, perhaps, check #SELFIE (Official Music Video), a techno ode to all things selfie, crowdsourced “from so many amazing and funny ppl.”
Image: Selfies in New York, via Wired.

All About the #Selfies

Via Wired:

Right now, there are more than 79 million photos on Instagram that fall under #selfie. This is not counting #selfies (7 million photos), #selfienation (1 million photos), #selfiesfordays (400,000 photos) or the countless number of photos with no hashtag at all. You might be thinking: “Finally, we’ve reached peak #selfie!” But according to a new study, only 3-5 percent of photos on Instagram fall into the category…

…In its short lifespan, the selfie has gone from pop culture phenomenon to academic lab rat. For obvious reasons, these photos are a psychological research goldmine, but there’s been little done in the way of objectively looking at the photos’ content to see how it might reflect the actual world we live in. Selfiecity looks at the trend through a window, not a microscope. Instead of zeroing in on a single narrow element, the Selfiecity project is broken down into a few broad areas: main findings, contextual essays and interactive data visualizations. “We wanted to look at this phenomena from different perspectives,” Manovich explains.

Selfiecity analyzes Instagram data for visual cues like head position, emotional expression, gender and age, in order to get a clearer picture of how (and how often) people actually take selfies in different cultures. “The idea was to confront the generalizations about selfies, which are not based on data, with actual data,” says Manovich. “We wanted to look at what the actual patterns are.”

So, check Selfiecity, it’s mesmerizing.

And then, perhaps, check #SELFIE (Official Music Video), a techno ode to all things selfie, crowdsourced “from so many amazing and funny ppl.”

Image: Selfies in New York, via Wired.

China Televises Sunrise
Daily Mail:

The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.
The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.

Filed under: The future has arrived.
UPDATE 1/20/14: The above is, in part, apparently untrue. 
PolicyMic:

The truth: As TechInAsia reports, the smog is real but the fabled publicly-orchestrated virtual sunrise is not.
The sunrise was part of a 24/7, seven-days-a-week ad for tourism in the Shangdong province that runs continuously no matter how much smog is flowing into Beijing that day. This particular animation is less than 10 seconds of the ad; the photographer in question just took a lucky snapshot.

China Televises Sunrise

Daily Mail:

The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.

The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.

Filed under: The future has arrived.

UPDATE 1/20/14: The above is, in part, apparently untrue. 

PolicyMic:

The truth: As TechInAsia reports, the smog is real but the fabled publicly-orchestrated virtual sunrise is not.

The sunrise was part of a 24/7, seven-days-a-week ad for tourism in the Shangdong province that runs continuously no matter how much smog is flowing into Beijing that day. This particular animation is less than 10 seconds of the ad; the photographer in question just took a lucky snapshot.

Homs 2011 v Homs 2014
Via @_amroali. Select to embiggen.

Homs 2011 v Homs 2014

Via @_amroali. Select to embiggen.

China’s Official Party Organ
File under things we missed in 2013: People’s Daily News, the official paper of China’s communist party, got a new building this year.
We say: Form follows function.

China’s Official Party Organ

File under things we missed in 2013: People’s Daily News, the official paper of China’s communist party, got a new building this year.

We say: Form follows function.

Meanwhile, In the Central African Republic
Via the New York Times Lens Blog: 

When mostly Christian militias loyal to the ousted president launched an attack on the Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui, on the morning of Dec. 5, the Associated Press photographer Jerome Delay was in his hotel. Cut off from his driver because of the fighting, Mr. Delay walked and caught rides from pro-government forces instead.
Corpses were laid in front of Parliament, on the streets and inside a mosque where about 50 bodies of women and men were being prepared for burial. He found 200 more when he went to the morgue the next day.
"It was horrifying. I’m an old hand in a way, and so as terrible as it sounds, I’m used to the smell of death,” said Mr. Delay, who is 53. "But that was unbearable. Absolutely unbearable."

FJP: Don’t know much about the Central African Republic? Here’s the Guardian’s current reporting on the sectarian fighting happening in the country. Here’s the same from The New York Times. And here’s a timeline of the country’s history from the BBC. 
Over at the United Nations, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson has told the Security Council that the country’s “population is enduring suffering beyond imagination.”
The French foreign minister, whose country now has troops on the ground, recently warned that the Central African Republic “is on the verge of genocide.” 
Image: A French soldier speaks with Sincere Banyodi, a suspected Christian militia member wounded by machete blows in the Kokoro neighborhood of Bangui. By Jarome Delay/AP, via The New York Times. Select to embiggen.

Meanwhile, In the Central African Republic

Via the New York Times Lens Blog

When mostly Christian militias loyal to the ousted president launched an attack on the Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui, on the morning of Dec. 5, the Associated Press photographer Jerome Delay was in his hotel. Cut off from his driver because of the fighting, Mr. Delay walked and caught rides from pro-government forces instead.

Corpses were laid in front of Parliament, on the streets and inside a mosque where about 50 bodies of women and men were being prepared for burial. He found 200 more when he went to the morgue the next day.

"It was horrifying. I’m an old hand in a way, and so as terrible as it sounds, I’m used to the smell of death,” said Mr. Delay, who is 53. "But that was unbearable. Absolutely unbearable."

FJP: Don’t know much about the Central African Republic? Here’s the Guardian’s current reporting on the sectarian fighting happening in the country. Here’s the same from The New York Times. And here’s a timeline of the country’s history from the BBC

Over at the United Nations, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson has told the Security Council that the country’s “population is enduring suffering beyond imagination.”

The French foreign minister, whose country now has troops on the ground, recently warned that the Central African Republic “is on the verge of genocide.” 

Image: A French soldier speaks with Sincere Banyodi, a suspected Christian militia member wounded by machete blows in the Kokoro neighborhood of Bangui. By Jarome Delay/AP, via The New York Times. Select to embiggen.

Meanwhile, In Turkey
“In Istanbul protesters chanted ‘everywhere is bribery, everywhere is corruption,’ reports the BBC. ”It was an echo of the Taksim Square mass protest this summer, when opposition activists chanted ‘everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance.’”
Meantime, the sons of two cabinet ministers have been charged in an urban development corruption probe.
Image: Protestors build barricades in the Kadiköy neighborhood of Istanbul. Via 140journos​.

Meanwhile, In Turkey

“In Istanbul protesters chanted ‘everywhere is bribery, everywhere is corruption,’ reports the BBC. ”It was an echo of the Taksim Square mass protest this summer, when opposition activists chanted ‘everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance.’”

Meantime, the sons of two cabinet ministers have been charged in an urban development corruption probe.

ImageProtestors build barricades in the Kadiköy neighborhood of Istanbul. Via 140journos.

RIP
Molhem Barakat, 17-year-old photographer, killed while covering battle at Al-Kendi Hospital, Aleppo, Syria. Via Dita Sely.

RIP

Molhem Barakat, 17-year-old photographer, killed while covering battle at Al-Kendi Hospital, Aleppo, Syria. Via Dita Sely.

I Am An American
Late last summer The Atlantic put together a nice round-up of free online image collections.
These range from the well known, such as Flickr Commons, to the less well known, such as the Washington State Coastal Atlas.
In between, for your browsing and remixing pleasure, check out Rijks Studio from the Netherlands’ state museum, and the Open Content Program from the J. Paul Getty Trust which launched just this year.
Read through for other collections at The Atlantic.
Image: A Japanese-American hangs a sign on his grocery store December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Via the Calisphere open image collection.

I Am An American

Late last summer The Atlantic put together a nice round-up of free online image collections.

These range from the well known, such as Flickr Commons, to the less well known, such as the Washington State Coastal Atlas.

In between, for your browsing and remixing pleasure, check out Rijks Studio from the Netherlands’ state museum, and the Open Content Program from the J. Paul Getty Trust which launched just this year.

Read through for other collections at The Atlantic.

Image: A Japanese-American hangs a sign on his grocery store December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Via the Calisphere open image collection.

Global e-Waste Growing to 65.4 Million Tons by 2017
A new study by a coalition of NGOs, and industry, science, UN and government bodies, attempts to map the flow of e-waste around the globe. In doing so, it predict a huge surge in our collective discarded junk, with the United States and China generating the most waste.
Via The Independent:

[S]oaring international demand for electric and electronic products is fueling a global rise in e-waste, which is set to reach 65.4 million tons annually by 2017.
The grim forecast is from a new study released today, which has mapped more than 180 countries.
It reveals that, in only five years, the yearly amount of e-waste will rise 33 per cent from the 49 million tons of used electrical and electronic items generated last year…
…Mobile phones form the bulk of the 14 million used electronic products exported, with most used phones destined for Hong Kong, and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Old computers are generally sent to Asian countries, while heavy items such as TVs and computer monitors end up in places such as Mexico, Venezuela, Paraguay and China.

The exportation of our unwanted electronics has strong, local health concerns. Take, for example, Guiyu, China. The town has become a dumping ground for old computers, phones and other gadgets with an industry arising that tries to strip valuable metals from, say, say microchips.
Side effect, according to the BBC:

The soil in Guiyu has been found to be so saturated with heavy metals such as lead, chromium and tin that groundwater has become undrinkable.
According to China’s Shantou University, the town has the highest level of cancer-causing dioxins in the world, and local children suffer from an extremely high rate of lead poisoning.

Image: A woman in Guiyu, China strips electronics of their valuable parts. Select to embiggen.

Global e-Waste Growing to 65.4 Million Tons by 2017

A new study by a coalition of NGOs, and industry, science, UN and government bodies, attempts to map the flow of e-waste around the globe. In doing so, it predict a huge surge in our collective discarded junk, with the United States and China generating the most waste.

Via The Independent:

[S]oaring international demand for electric and electronic products is fueling a global rise in e-waste, which is set to reach 65.4 million tons annually by 2017.

The grim forecast is from a new study released today, which has mapped more than 180 countries.

It reveals that, in only five years, the yearly amount of e-waste will rise 33 per cent from the 49 million tons of used electrical and electronic items generated last year…

…Mobile phones form the bulk of the 14 million used electronic products exported, with most used phones destined for Hong Kong, and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Old computers are generally sent to Asian countries, while heavy items such as TVs and computer monitors end up in places such as Mexico, Venezuela, Paraguay and China.

The exportation of our unwanted electronics has strong, local health concerns. Take, for example, Guiyu, China. The town has become a dumping ground for old computers, phones and other gadgets with an industry arising that tries to strip valuable metals from, say, say microchips.

Side effect, according to the BBC:

The soil in Guiyu has been found to be so saturated with heavy metals such as lead, chromium and tin that groundwater has become undrinkable.

According to China’s Shantou University, the town has the highest level of cancer-causing dioxins in the world, and local children suffer from an extremely high rate of lead poisoning.

Image: A woman in Guiyu, China strips electronics of their valuable parts. Select to embiggen.

WAR-TOYS
Via Wired:

At the Spafford Children’s Center for in East Jerusalem, L.A.–based photographer Brian McCarty watched as a little girl made a crayon drawing of a dead boy. She carefully colors in a red pool of blood around his body. It was a drawing that McCarty would later use to stage one of his photographs for WAR-TOYS, a series that recreates children’s memories and fears of conflict in the Middle East with toys.
“Play can become a mechanism for healing,” says McCarty. Drawing on the tenets of art and play therapy, which help children express emotions in non-verbal ways, he sees WAR-TOYS as providing witness to the often unseen impact of armed conflict on children, while serving as part of these children’s therapeutic process.

According to Wired, McCarty worked with children on the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, and hopes to collaborate with others on this series in Afghanistan, Sudan and Colombia.
Image: Resilience, by Brian McCarty, via Wired. Select to embiggen. Read through for more photos and the rest of the story.

WAR-TOYS

Via Wired:

At the Spafford Children’s Center for in East Jerusalem, L.A.–based photographer Brian McCarty watched as a little girl made a crayon drawing of a dead boy. She carefully colors in a red pool of blood around his body. It was a drawing that McCarty would later use to stage one of his photographs for WAR-TOYS, a series that recreates children’s memories and fears of conflict in the Middle East with toys.

“Play can become a mechanism for healing,” says McCarty. Drawing on the tenets of art and play therapy, which help children express emotions in non-verbal ways, he sees WAR-TOYS as providing witness to the often unseen impact of armed conflict on children, while serving as part of these children’s therapeutic process.

According to Wired, McCarty worked with children on the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, and hopes to collaborate with others on this series in Afghanistan, Sudan and Colombia.

Image: Resilience, by Brian McCarty, via Wired. Select to embiggen. Read through for more photos and the rest of the story.

British Library: Go Forth and Remix
Via the British Library:

We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of.

So, awesome.
Now check out the British Library’s next steps:

We plan to launch a crowdsourcing application at the beginning of next year, to help describe what the images portray. Our intention is to use this data to train automated classifiers that will run against the whole of the content. The data from this will be as openly licensed as is sensible (given the nature of crowdsourcing) and the code, as always, will be under an open licence.
The manifests of images, with descriptions of the works that they were taken from, are available on github and are also released under a public-domain ‘licence’. This set of metadata being on github should indicate that we fully intend people to work with it, to adapt it, and to push back improvements that should help others work with this release. 
There are very few datasets of this nature free for any use and by putting it online we hope to stimulate and support research concerning printed illustrations, maps and other material not currently studied. Given that the images are derived from just 65,000 volumes and that the library holds many millions of items.

Image: Detail, page 331, “L’Alsace et des Alsaciens à travers les siècles,” via the British Library on Flickr. Select to embiggen.

British Library: Go Forth and Remix

Via the British Library:

We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of.

So, awesome.

Now check out the British Library’s next steps:

We plan to launch a crowdsourcing application at the beginning of next year, to help describe what the images portray. Our intention is to use this data to train automated classifiers that will run against the whole of the content. The data from this will be as openly licensed as is sensible (given the nature of crowdsourcing) and the code, as always, will be under an open licence.

The manifests of images, with descriptions of the works that they were taken from, are available on github and are also released under a public-domain ‘licence’. This set of metadata being on github should indicate that we fully intend people to work with it, to adapt it, and to push back improvements that should help others work with this release. 

There are very few datasets of this nature free for any use and by putting it online we hope to stimulate and support research concerning printed illustrations, maps and other material not currently studied. Given that the images are derived from just 65,000 volumes and that the library holds many millions of items.

Image: Detail, page 331, “L’Alsace et des Alsaciens à travers les siècles,” via the British Library on Flickr. Select to embiggen.