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Posts Tagged ‘controversy’

A How-To, a Gallery, a Controversy

September 24th, 2013 No Comments

Our weekly three-pack includes the usual tutorial and online gallery but the third component is a photography controversy which category is a weekly staple on our Pro blog.

The Einstein Monolight

We had featured this marvellously versatile piece of gear on our pro blog not too long ago.  Here it is on our retail blog as the subject of a nice tutorial by Rob Taylor on phototuts+ in which the focus is squarely on freezing action.

The amazing feature about this monolight is that this very professional piece of equipment’s “menu is as easy as operating, say, a phone or scientific calculator”!  You can learn how to use it easily, step by simple step.

In his tutorial, Taylor explains how you can set the Einstein to “1/10,000th sec at 1/16th power” and thus use it as a budget strobe to (nearly) freeze a sparrow’s flapping wings and flying water droplets.

Coast to Coast 

Ever thought of driving from New York to California?  That’s what Matt Borkowski did and he has posted some of his images on The Leica Blog.

 These are not ‘Art Photos’ but are snapshots by an unsettled wayfarer; as Borkowski tells it, they are just “some of my favorite images so far from our journey to California.”

He has managed to do quite an amazing job of portraying or expressing loneliness or solitariness.  We see man alone at the end of the land and woman alone at the literal ‘End’ of the road. 

Other images, notably a fine and appealing composition of a coastal town, various vessels, and an aircraft’s wing, impart that feeling of unsettled wanderlust that the photographer conveys in his short writeup.

“I am (HIV)-Positive” – Not

Getty Images sold a photo of a young female model to the New York State Division of Human Rights, which photo was then used for an HIV-Positive awareness campaign.  The problem was that the model is not HIV-Positive, nobody sought her consent, and she suffered a few awkward questions with family and friends as a result of the “I am Positive” admission improperly attributed to her.

Michael Zhang on PetaPixel has the story of this Brooklyn model who is now suing both Getty Images and the NYDHR for compensation.  

What Getty and NYDHR did is very controversial; what the model has done in response is not remotely so.


Manufacturing Controversies in Pom-PomLand

August 21st, 2013 No Comments

Well, whaddaya know but a few persons Down Under have managed to cause a Photography Controversy in Pom-PomLand!

We almost always post a ‘Controversy of the Week’ on our professional and trade sister site but this is a light-hearted, mmph! type of controversy that is, perhaps, better suited to our retail site.

Surely it is common knowledge that animals too have, er, ‘private parts.’  Tourism Australia – not very smartly, it must be said – posted a picture on its Facebook page of a kangaroo in a reclining posture with his private parts pixelated.  The smart thing to do would have been to use another picture altogether but someone at Tourism Australia is evidently enamoured of the look pioneered and popularized by American news channels.

Next thing we know, this misjudgement blows up into a controversy – and who blew it up and where?  Why, those chaps Australia is playing the Ashes against in Pom-PomLand!

Daily Mail cried, “Australian Tourism staff cause outrage after posting censored picture of kangaroo.”  The Mirror cried, “Kangaroo Facebook picture sparks censorship outrage after Tourism Australia pixelates out animal’s genitals.”  Yahoo News UK cried, “Australia tourism bosses cause outrage by censoring ‘full frontal’ kangaroo Facebook pic.”  (Emphases added.)  

‘Outrage’?  ‘Censored’?  Note that all three media sources use these words.  Shouldn’t responsible media be talking about ‘outrage’ at ‘censorship’ of free speech in almost every country of the world, as speech limitations accrete and accrete and free speech rights erode and erode?

There was and is nothing controversial about the photo, there’s no ‘censorship’ and no ‘outrage’ – Pom-PomLand’s media have misrepresented jokey and mischievous comments, plus some put-downs, on the Facebook page as ‘outrage’ and pixelation as ‘censorship.’  This is actually an interesting example of how a perfectly non-controversial but ill-judged image can be blown up into a controversy by those who want it to become one – this is a manufactured, fabricated, controversy.

A good theory is that they’re just wanting to rub Aussie noses in it after the ongoing debacle in the Ashes.  It’s a hundred-to-one they wouldn’t be acting this way if Lillee and Thommo had still been around . . . they’d have had other things on their collective mind.


Controversy: Facebook/Instagram, Your Slip is Showing!

July 17th, 2013 No Comments
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

We post a near-weekly article on a controversy in the Photography Industry on our sister blog on our professional site.  Let’s change ends and bring one controversy to our consumer-side readers.

Controversy, it seems begets controversy.  Though this one is flying under the radar, the issue is not any the less controversial.  About six months back we had blogged about the ‘Instagram Controversy.’  That situation had given rise to a class action lawsuit.  Today, Facebook, owner of Instagram, is both relieved (and perhaps a little cock-a-hoop) that the lawsuit “was dismissed by a judge last Friday on procedural grounds.”  This judgment is available on Gigaom and PhoneArena.

Note the key term ‘procedural grounds.’  That means that the underlying alleged facts of the case did not come into play.  The class action was always going to be an uphill struggle; after all, Instagram/Facebook did not sell harmful products nor did they even mislabel a product or service.  They pulled a ‘switcheroo’ on users who were using a free service.  Users who were unhappy with the switcheroo were free to terminate their accounts and take their (unpaid) business elsewhere.

That’s just the ‘common sense’ view.  With the alleged facts never being looked into (because the class action was procedurally deficient), one cannot tell whether or not the lawsuit, which pertained to ownership of rights of a web-service user’s photographs, had any merit or not.

All that said, perhaps we can draw an inference from a very revealing question cum plea out there on Facebook itself; in the write-up by David Cohen on its own site: “Readers[,] Is there any point to this case, since Instagram already reverted to its prior terms of service?”

“. . . reverted to its prior . . .”  But why?  Aha!  So Facebook/Instagram pulled a switcheroo on the switcheroo – a double U-Turn – because and after ‘they got caught’!

So what would have happened had there been no outcry, no uproar, no controversy?  Facebook isn’t telling but it’s reasonable to infer that that there would have been no second change of direction . . . .  Silently, quietly, Instagram may well have been enjoying some or another fruits from their unwitting users’ photographs!  

Now ain’t that controversial?


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