Journalists Under Threat, From Within

Freelance photographer and FFR member Bill Kotsatos is seen during clashes between anti-government protestors and riot police, 01 December 2013, in central Bangkok, Thailand. (© Adam Gnych)

Freelance photographer and FFR member Bill Kotsatos is seen during clashes between anti-government protestors and riot police, 01 December 2013, in central Bangkok, Thailand. (© Adam Gnych)

Journalism is under threat from all sides. The last few years have been some of the most dangerous in history for journalists around the world; they have been killed, injured and detained in record numbers. But journalists are under threat from within as well, as some media companies seem content to eat their own. Stephen Hull, Editor-in chief of Huffington Post UK, recently stated on BBC’s Radio 4, “If I was paying someone to write something because I want it to get advertising, that’s not a real authentic way of presenting copy. When somebody writes something for us, we know it’s real, we know they want to write it. It’s not been forced or paid for. I think that’s something to
Protestors flee and hide behind makeshift shields from rocks being thrown by police in front of the US Embassy, Cairo, Egypt, 14 September, 2012, on the fourth day of protests in response to an Anti-Islamic film released in the United States. (© Amanda Mustard)
Freelance photographer KC Ortiz looks for cover during sporadic gunfire at Phan Fah bridge, Bangkok, Thailand, 18 February, 2014, during political protests. (© Nick McGrath)
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Melissa Click Fired for Violating Photographer’s Rights During Protest

melissaclick It seems the Melissa Click saga has come to an end. A few months after being filmed confronting a photojournalist during a student protest at the University of Missouri, the mass media professor was fired yesterday for infringing on the student’s rights. Click was charged with assault last month for calling for “muscle” to remove photojournalists from a public space on the university campus during the November 2015 protests. Click apologized for the incident shortly after the story went viral. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the university’s Board of Curators voted 4-2 in favor of the termination, which was being demanded by over 100 Missouri state lawmakers, even though over 100 university faculty voiced their support of Click. Chairwoman Pam Henrickson, who herself voted against the firing, shared the news in a prepared statement: “Dr. Click was not entitled to interfere with the rights of others, to confront
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Leica to ‘Reinvent Smartphone Photography’ with the Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei

huawei Leica wants a piece of the smartphone photography boom. The iconic German camera company and Chinese telecom giant Huawei announced today that they’re teaming up in a long-term technology partnership to reinvent smartphone photography. The goal is a “visual world renaissance,” the companies say. Huawei became the 3rd largest smartphone manufacturer in the world in 2012, and in 2015 it became the first Chinese phone company to sell more than 100 million devices in a single year. “Leica is a legend in the world of photography; we believe no other manufacturer has revolutionised the industry as much as them,” says Huawei Consumer BG CEO Richard Yu. “We, HUAWEI, take the utmost pride in exceptional quality and Leica is in a class of its own in its sector.” The partnership will “span research and development, design, co-engineering, user experience, marketing and retail distribution,” the companies say. combo “The strategic alliance between
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Federal Judge Says Photographing Police Not Always Protected by 1st Amendment

policehead In a surprise decision in the US court system, a federal judge ruled last Friday that photographing and filming police officers isn’t always protected by the First Amendment. The two cases in question were Fields v. City of Philadelphia and Geraci v. City of Philadelphia, which involved citizens who were detained simply for photographing police officers at work. Federal District Court Judge Mark Kearney writes that there is no constitutional First Amendment right to film or photograph police officers when that act isn’t accompanied by “challenge or criticism” of the police conduct. In other words, unless you’re opposing and protesting police actions by pointing your camera at them, the First Amendment doesn’t protect you. Want to simply take a picture of police officers at work with no agenda in mind? That’s not protected free speech — at least in Judge Kearney’s eyes. Want to photograph while screaming at them
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This ‘Famous’ Photographer is Getting Called Out for His Public Comments

jakeolson There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of photographer Jake Olson before, but many people are learning of that name this week. He’s a self-proclaimed “famous” American photographer who’s now at the center of major controversy in the photography world. The firestorm started on Monday after a Facebook comment thread screenshot was posted to Reddit. “Recently there was some discussion about Jake Olson’s tutorials,” writes Redditor midwest00, “if anyone was considering purchasing them I would ask that you read this first.” The screenshot is of a thread on Olson’s personal Facebook page in which he writes about a $190,000 car his family owns: screenshot As you can see, Olson boasts of being a “famous photographer,” citing the fact that he has his own Wikipedia page and that he was referred to as one of the 7 most successful social photographers on the Web in a 2004 Forbes article and
A screenshot of a deleted Facebook announcement about a canceled workshop in Sweden.
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My Point and Shoot Photo Made it to the Smithsonian

The Peanut Butter Raccoon

The Peanut Butter Raccoon

On a May evening in 2005, a group of us were spending time in my parents’ garage. We’d just graduated from high school days earlier and didn’t know what to do with ourselves. One of many boring nights spent pissing the time away, high on the excitement of graduation and fear of the future; I’m quite sure I’d have forgotten all about that night if it wasn’t for the noise we heard in the driveway. It wasn’t unusual to hear noises in the driveway, animals regularly raided garbage cans along my street. Our house was on the edge of suburbia, the last street in town; houses lined one side of the road and the forest the other. But this noise was different, it was as if someone was banging or knocking. 1-L_mStnGM-yY3anSGXeRrQw We opened the door and found a raccoon with his head stuck in a Peanut
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Photography Experience Not Required, or: Why Some Camera Stores Are Hurting

nophotoexperience Warning: this is a rant. This one just left me shaking my head. Sure, there are probably times when you think the words “Photography Experience Not Required” might be completely applicable or acceptable. But how about in a job listing for a camera store? I got an email saying that a local camera store near me was looking for a customer services sales clerk. This isn’t a professional photographers type of store as much as it is your classic consumer-oriented small camera store that has survived places like Best Buy moving in down the street. So just for giggles, I skim through the ad listing. All standard fare yada-yada until I get to the part that says “Photography Experience Helpful, but not Required.” helpwanted Say what? Excuse me? A camera store not requiring it’s employees to have photography experience? It may be a bit extreme, but could you imagine an
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How I Turned a BS YouTube Copyright Claim Back on the Real Infringer

copyrighttube My name is Aram Pan, and I’m a photographer documenting North Korea through 360° panoramas, photos and videos. I’d like to share with everyone my experience with what I call “copyright infringement abuse.” Basically, I feel that the YouTube copyright reporting system is seriously flawed. Here’s what happened to me… Back on September 27th, 2015, I published the following video that used an audio track by Digital Juice called the “Clarion Conspiracy.” Everything was fine for months. On February 3rd, 2016, I was slapped with a “Copyright Infringement” notice claiming that I had infringed on a song “prologue” by SM Entertainment, South Korea’s largest K-pop media group that owns some of the biggest names in K-pop (e.g. Girls Generation, EXO and Super Junior). Their claim was that the “Clarion Conspiracy” audio track was copyrighted to them. 12657761_333399496783885_3230672514902525298_o Naturally I disputed this claim but after some time, SM Entertainment
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Why Some Canon Lenses Are White Instead of Black

whitecanonlens Have you ever wondered why some Canon lenses are white while most other lenses in the industry are black? No, it’s not just for aesthetics and marketing… Canon has a technical reason for it: heat reduction. It’s a pretty known camera industry factoid, but perhaps some of you have never heard about it before. A number of Canon’s professional L series lenses — all super-telephoto lenses — are “white” with the distinctive red ring. The color is actually more accurately described as “off-white,” “putty,” “light gray,” or “beige.” “There is a good reason for this,” Canon writes over on its European website. “Lenses contain glass elements. These expand with heat.” “This is not usually a problem with compact lenses − the amount of expansion is small,” the company says. “But large lenses contain large elements and here expansion can bring a lens close to the limits of its
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Is This Real Estate Photo Illegal False Advertising?

realestate1 An Australian real estate company is in hot water this week after it was discovered that one of its listing photographs isn’t an accurate depiction of what the property is like. But even though the photo looks like it was manipulated with Photoshop, it may have been a clever composition that uses a wide angle lens and a tricky perspective. reports that the photo above is what the real estate giant Ray White listed for a 3-bedroom brick home in the Penshurst suburb of Sydney, Australia. Looks pretty nice, right? Well, this is what the exact same property looks like when viewed in Google Street View: realestate2 Yeah, that’s a gigantic water tower dwarfing the home and dominating the background when viewing the house from the street. You can look around for yourself: “The photos in question were not taken by a Ray White contracted photographer, but were
When the house was last sold in 2010, the photographer used an angle that left out most (but not all) of the water tower.
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Are You CRUSHING Your Creativity?

You guys have heard me talking about my early lifelong love of activity and sports like skateboarding, skiing, football, and even going to college on a soccer scholarship. Coming from an athletic background, I always considered myself pretty active. Yet, the truth is, once I started building my photography career in action sports I put my entire focus in that and the majority of my movement came from my work. Even though my career is based in action sports photography — I climbed mountains on several continents, was up early, to bed late and generally active when shooting — only a very small portion of the work of photographers requires us to be shooting. There’s a lot of time spent in travel, post production, in client meetings, retouching images, or developing new concepts at a desk. Even when I was on location, what we’re doing is hardly ergonomic. I was
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Google Killing Off Picasa to Focus on Google Photos

picasariphead Google has been making big moves into the world of digital photos recently through its Google Photos product, which offers free and unlimited storage and sharing. As the popularity of the service grows — over 100 million people use it now — the relevance of another fades: Google announced today that it’s shutting down Picasa to focus solely on Google Photos. “After much thought and consideration, we’ve decided to retire Picasa over the coming months in order to focus entirely on a single photo service in Google Photos,” the company writes. “We believe we can create a much better experience by focusing on one service that provides more functionality and works across mobile and desktop, rather than divide our efforts across two different products.” Picasa was acquired by Google from a company called Lifescape back in 2004. Google then took the image organizing and editing software and offered it
A screenshot of Picasa 3.9. Image by Codename Lisa.
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The Russian Zenit Camera is Coming Back… to Battle Leica in Luxury

zenitcamerahead Leica, watch your back: you have a competitor in the horizon. The iconic Zenit Soviet camera brand is coming back… as a luxury camera brand. Rambler News Service reports that the announcement was made on Monday at a press breakfast in Moscow by the Russian state corporation Rostec, which develops, makes, and exports high-tech products. “This is a very high demand product,” said company director Vasily Brovko. “We want to make it a luxury device, analogous to the Leica.”
Russia wants to launch Zenit as a luxury camera that rivals the German Leica brand.

Russia wants to launch Zenit as a luxury camera that rivals the German Leica brand.

Rostec owns the Krasnogorsky Zavod optical factory in the city of Krasnogorsk, near Moscow. During the Soviet era, this plant was known as Krasnogorsk Mechanical Works, and it produced millions of still photography and movie cameras. The brands included Zenit, Zorki, and Krasnogorsk. The Zenit was an SLR camera that was inspired by the
The Krasnogorsky Zavod factory, where Zenit was manufactured.
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Photographer Harassed Online After Calling Out Pop Star for Stealing His Photo

harassmentcopyright Brussels-based photographer Ezequiel Scagnetti stirred up a hornets nest this past weekend after calling out a world famous boy boy singer for posting a photo on Instagram without any permission or credit. Fans of the star began harassing Scagnetti, defending the singer with abusive messages. The whole thing started on Saturday when Scagnetti discovered his photo of a Burmese traditional boxer posted to Instagram by singer Harry Styles of the English-Irish pop boy band One Direction. Styles has nearly 16 million followers. styles The photo had racked up over 750,000 likes in its first 15 hours, without even a mention of Scagnetti’s name, much less permission from the photographer. Scagnetti took to Facebook to voice his complaint about the post, which has since been taken offline:

Big Names Laid Off as KelbyOne Refocuses on ‘Core Principles’

kelbyonehead If you’ve received any photography and Photoshop training and news from Scott Kelby’s KelbyOne, you probably recognize the names Pete Collins, RC Concepcion, Brad Moore, and Mia McCormick. Those are a few of the big names who are now looking for a new job — they are laid off by KelbyOne as the company attempts to refocus on its “core principles” of training creatives. Collins broke the news last Friday on his Facebook page, posting an image of a man holding a sign that reads: “Will Photoshop For Food.”
Well, due to financially tough times… myself, RC, Corey, Mia and a lot of great folks are being let go today at Kelby….
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Inventor of the Synchronized Camera Flash Dies at 96, Has More Patents Than Edison

fischer The inventor of the synchronized camera flash has died. Artur Fischer, a German inventor who registered more than 1,100 patents in his lifetime — beating Thomas Edison — passed away in Germany back on January 27th, 2016. He was 96 years old. The New York Times reports that Fischer obtained a patent for the synchronized flash system back in 1947 after struggling to photograph his newborn daughter. “At the time, you could only use a powder flash for interior shots, which you had to ignite with a cord,” Fischer said in a 2015 interview with Der Spiegel. “It was dangerous, and the picture quality was poor because the subject usually blinked at the flash.” So he invented a better system himself — one that triggered a flash when a camera’s shutter was released. His invention was then acquired by the camera company Agfa.
“Getting a good shot just wasn’t
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Apple CEO Mocked for Blurry ‘Shot on iPhone’ Super Bowl Photo

timcooksuperbowl Apple loves promoting its iPhone camera quality by sharing beautiful photos shot around the world by iPhone owners. So it’s curious that Apple CEO Tim Cook decided to share a blurry photo on Twitter while attending Super Bowl 50. And now the Internet isn’t letting Cook live it down. Here’s Cook’s not-so-spectacular “shot on iPhone” photo from the Super Bowl: …and here’s what Internet users had to say about the shot:

An Interview with Gear Reviewer Bryan Carnathan of The Digital Picture

bryancarnathanhead Bryan Carnathan is a photographer and the founder of The Digital Picture, one of the leading Canon DSLR gear review websites in the world. We had a chat with Carnathan to learn more about his popular site and his thoughts on the camera industry. PetaPixel: Can you tell us about yourself and your background? Bryan Carnathan: Sure. My formal training resulted in a BA degree in Computer Science and a minor in business. My career started in programming and quickly moved into IT management and consulting. On the family side, I am married to a beautiful woman and have three amazing teenage daughters. As a gear reviewer, I cannot have bias. As a father, I can be very strongly biased. How did you first get into photography? At the age of 15, I was working all of the odd jobs I could find to save enough money to buy
Bryan Carnathan Adams Falls Portrait
Bryan Carnathan in Alaska
Bryan Carnathan Environmental Studio Portrait
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Groupon Sued for Using Instagram Photos Without Permission

grouponheader Groupon is being hit with a class action lawsuit that claims the deals company has repeatedly used Instagram photos without permission from the photographers. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the suit was filed yesterday by a photographer named Christine Dancel in the Illinois Cook County Circuit Court. Dancel says she shot a photo of herself at a restaurant last Summer and shared the tagged photo on Instagram. Soon after, she found that the Chicago-based Groupon had used her photo in a deal offer for that same restaurant. The suit claims that over 1,000 Instagram photographers have had their photos stolen in an identical way as “a core part of Groupon’s advertising strategy.” “Groupon intentionally creates the false impression that the consumers appearing in the photos are endorsing” the offers, the suit argues. This photo usage causes “potential customers to think that people in the photos are satisfied Groupon customers
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