Posts tagged photography

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.

If Only For a Second

Absolute must watch. 20 cancer patients participate in a unique makeover experience. Runtime~3:44. By the Mimi Foundation.

Love is Not A Crime
The News, Part 01: India’s Supreme Court upholds a 153-year-old law criminalizing “gay sex” and overturns a four-year-old ruling that recognized same-sex relationships.
The News, Part 02: The UN says that the ruling violates international law and asks India to reconsider.
The News, Part 03: Australia’s High Court overturned legislation allowing gay marriage. Twenty-seven previously married couples will have their unions annulled.  
Image: A human rights activist protests in India, as shown on the front page of The Guardian, newspaper edition.

Love is Not A Crime

The News, Part 01: India’s Supreme Court upholds a 153-year-old law criminalizing “gay sex” and overturns a four-year-old ruling that recognized same-sex relationships.

The News, Part 02: The UN says that the ruling violates international law and asks India to reconsider.

The News, Part 03: Australia’s High Court overturned legislation allowing gay marriage. Twenty-seven previously married couples will have their unions annulled.  

Image: A human rights activist protests in India, as shown on the front page of The Guardian, newspaper edition.

It’s also possible that we actively opt not to pay much attention to the scenes we capture, because we’re counting on photos to record everything so we don’t mentally have to. If that’s the case, that would mean that you’re farming out your memory to Instagram as you move through the world.

Emily Badger, How Instagram Alters Your Memory, The Atlantic Cities.

To test this, Henkel, a researcher at Fairfield University, concocted a series of experiments leading undergraduate students on guided tours through the university’s Bellarmine Museum of Art. They looked at paintings, sculptures, pottery, jewelry and mosaics. The students were given digital cameras to photograph some of the objects and were told to simply observe the others. The next day, they were given a series of recall tests, trying to detect which objects they remembered best in name and detail.

As it turned out, people remembered fewer of the photographed objects, and fewer of the details about them, relative to the pieces of art they’d actively observed with their own eyes.

…There was one catch in Henkel’s findings: She also asked participants to zoom in on and photograph the details of some of these art pieces. And people who did that were much better at remembering the works of art that those who simply wedged entire objects into one frame and then walked away. Perhaps, by focusing consciously on the details, we can cut back on some of this “photo-taking impairment effect.”

Just a Group of Snow Monkeys Enjoying a Japanese Hot Spring

Via Slate:

The relaxing sensation of soaking in an onsen—or Japanese hot spring—is so popular that even the country’s monkeys take part in the tradition. At Jigokudani (Hell’s Valley) Park just outside Nagano, snow monkeys soak in the hot springs on winter days and return to the forest at night.

Images: Snow Monkeys in Jigokudani Park, via Slate and Atlas Obscura. Select to embiggen.

A Cautionary Tale on the Use of a Photo

Seattle Times:

Last week, The Seattle Times published a story headlined, “Women-only swim times spark emotional debate,” about a controversy over women-only hours at a pool in Tukwila. The women had requested the female-only swim times for both body-image and religious reasons.

The story was accompanied by a portrait I took of sisters Faisa Farole and Jamila Farole, who were trying to preserve female-only swim times.

This week, I learned that the Fox News network aired a story about a Minnesota swimming pool that was setting aside hours for Muslim women to swim. Fox suggested this was an example of the growing influence of Sharia law in the U.S., and included The Seattle Times photo from the Tukwila pool.

The Fox video clip, which has been shared on blogs across the country and even ran on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, began this way: “The minority becoming the majority at one community pool. Sharia Law is now changing everything…”

The Seattle Times did not authorize use of this photograph on Fox News. We are not sure how Fox News acquired this image, though it could be through a labeling mistake by The Associated Press. The Seattle Times often distributes images through the AP but with language that prevents use by television networks.

Using my photo to illustrate a story on a swimming program in Minnesota, under the title “Sharia Law: Swim Class for Somali Muslim Girls,” is unfair to the young women in the photo and misleads viewers.

Uncensored Instagram Photos from North Korea
via Just Something:

David Guttenfelder is the Associated Press Chief Photographer for Asia, almost a legend in photojournalism. He’s been traveling the world for the most part of his life documenting events like the genocide in Rwanda, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, three different Olympic games and many other historical events. He is a seven-time World Press Award winner and has gained various other awards during his brilliant career.
He’s recently been documenting North Korea and since their authorities loosened a bit their restrict policies about photojournalism he’s been one of the first photographers allowed to bring a smartphone inside the country. A 3G network is now available for visitors, so he’s been able to take pictures with his camera phone on the streets of Pyongyang like he could have done in any other part of the world and for the first time he had the chance to upload them on Instagram while still in the country, marking a milestone in the history of photojournalism.
The event is momentous and thanks to David we can now watch for the first time ever some uncensored real life moments directly from North Korea. In the following gallery you will see our favorites among the pictures he took there.

Check them all out here.
Image: Students at a concert (via David Guttenfelder on Instagram).

Uncensored Instagram Photos from North Korea

via Just Something:

David Guttenfelder is the Associated Press Chief Photographer for Asia, almost a legend in photojournalism. He’s been traveling the world for the most part of his life documenting events like the genocide in Rwanda, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, three different Olympic games and many other historical events. He is a seven-time World Press Award winner and has gained various other awards during his brilliant career.

He’s recently been documenting North Korea and since their authorities loosened a bit their restrict policies about photojournalism he’s been one of the first photographers allowed to bring a smartphone inside the country. A 3G network is now available for visitors, so he’s been able to take pictures with his camera phone on the streets of Pyongyang like he could have done in any other part of the world and for the first time he had the chance to upload them on Instagram while still in the country, marking a milestone in the history of photojournalism.

The event is momentous and thanks to David we can now watch for the first time ever some uncensored real life moments directly from North Korea. In the following gallery you will see our favorites among the pictures he took there.

Check them all out here.

Image: Students at a concert (via David Guttenfelder on Instagram).

The Psychology of Selfies & A Handmade Pinhole Camera
We learned this week that the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is selfie, the informal noun defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” It was added to the Oxford Dictionary Online (not the Oxford English Dictionary), which bases its entries on current and practical word usage, meaning they can be removed when they are out of use. 
Blog posts about the psychology of the selfie abound. It’s a cheap fad. It’s a an evaluator of social reach. It’s a modern iteration of the self-portrait fueled by a hunger for social feedback. It’s a reflection of our loneliness and desire for image control. And on and on.
And then there is this.
Photographer Tatiano Altberg teaches children in a Rio de Janeiro favela how to make pinhole cameras out of recycled cans. There is no viewfinder and no button. They learn to create narratives through their photos, and to take self-portraits.
Lens Blog:

But unlike the countless “selfies” they were already used to seeing on social networks, these forced them to be more introspective, considering both their mood and environment.
“The challenge of working with pinhole photography is to make the self-portrait a process of reflection about one’s self — a product of an intention,” she said. “The idea is not to take photos in an automatic way, with poses and gestures that are seen in the pictures teenagers take with their cellphones and digital cameras. It’s necessary to pay attention to the surroundings and think before making an image. Pinhole is a slow process of creation that demands a lot of thought.”
The payoff has come with students who have become excited about the possibilities of self-expression. Jailton Nunes was a skeptical 12-year-old when he started the workshop, deflecting any compliment with jokes. But over time, he came to embrace the project, and a self-portrait of his was used on the cover of “Everyday My Thoughts Are Different,” which was published this year.
“Another photo taken by him that is very significant is the one where he appears beside a miniature sofa,” Ms. Altberg said. “He looks like a giant. The image has special symbolic meaning since he was explicitly self-conscious about his height, something that diminished throughout the year as he gained confidence.”


FJP: Here’s a thought. For young teens who live busy lives in crowded spaces (Rio or elsewhere) that are then compounded by an abundance of digital imagery in online social worlds, it’s difficult to find the space to know yourself, to construct an image of yourself for yourself and to capture that image. In a sense, the digital selfie is a way to try to create and preserve a controllable record of who you are in an otherwise uncontrollable world of too many records. It’s a very human need. If we look at it that way, the potential for teaching projects like Altberg’s is enormous.—Jihii
Image: Yasmin Lopez, via Brazilian Stories and Selfies Through a Pinhole, NY Times.

The Psychology of Selfies & A Handmade Pinhole Camera

We learned this week that the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is selfie, the informal noun defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” It was added to the Oxford Dictionary Online (not the Oxford English Dictionary), which bases its entries on current and practical word usage, meaning they can be removed when they are out of use. 

Blog posts about the psychology of the selfie abound. It’s a cheap fad. It’s a an evaluator of social reach. It’s a modern iteration of the self-portrait fueled by a hunger for social feedback. It’s a reflection of our loneliness and desire for image control. And on and on.

And then there is this.

Photographer Tatiano Altberg teaches children in a Rio de Janeiro favela how to make pinhole cameras out of recycled cans. There is no viewfinder and no button. They learn to create narratives through their photos, and to take self-portraits.

Lens Blog:

But unlike the countless “selfies” they were already used to seeing on social networks, these forced them to be more introspective, considering both their mood and environment.

“The challenge of working with pinhole photography is to make the self-portrait a process of reflection about one’s self — a product of an intention,” she said. “The idea is not to take photos in an automatic way, with poses and gestures that are seen in the pictures teenagers take with their cellphones and digital cameras. It’s necessary to pay attention to the surroundings and think before making an image. Pinhole is a slow process of creation that demands a lot of thought.”

The payoff has come with students who have become excited about the possibilities of self-expression. Jailton Nunes was a skeptical 12-year-old when he started the workshop, deflecting any compliment with jokes. But over time, he came to embrace the project, and a self-portrait of his was used on the cover of “Everyday My Thoughts Are Different,” which was published this year.

“Another photo taken by him that is very significant is the one where he appears beside a miniature sofa,” Ms. Altberg said. “He looks like a giant. The image has special symbolic meaning since he was explicitly self-conscious about his height, something that diminished throughout the year as he gained confidence.”

FJP: Here’s a thought. For young teens who live busy lives in crowded spaces (Rio or elsewhere) that are then compounded by an abundance of digital imagery in online social worlds, it’s difficult to find the space to know yourself, to construct an image of yourself for yourself and to capture that image. In a sense, the digital selfie is a way to try to create and preserve a controllable record of who you are in an otherwise uncontrollable world of too many records. It’s a very human need. If we look at it that way, the potential for teaching projects like Altberg’s is enormous.—Jihii

Image: Yasmin Lopez, via Brazilian Stories and Selfies Through a Pinhole, NY Times.