Communication Arts photo annual: Juggalos!

I’m excited that a photograph of mine has been selected by the Communication Arts 2011 jury to appear in their Photography Annual 52. The picture is of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, the frontmen of Christian horrorcore rappers Insane Clown Posse, shot for a Jon Ronson story in The Guardian Weekend Magazine. You can see a behind the scenes shot from that session in the archives, here. Below are pics of the Annual, and also a shot I’ve never shown before, of ICP fans outside the Eagle/Rave after the concert they played the night I photographed them.

Communication Arts Photo Annual 52 tearsheet
Communication Arts Photo Annual 52
Insane Clown Posse fans outside the Eagle/Rave in Milwaukee. Photo by Jim Newberry.

Twitpic, Flickr, and others own and can sell your photos

In more yoinking news, A Photo Editor points out that photo sharing web sites including Twitpic, Flickr, yFrog, Instagram, and others can sell your photos at profit. How can they do this? You allowed it when you signed up for the account and agreed to their Terms of Service.

The post over at APE points out that in their TOS, MobyPicture explicitly states that:

All rights of uploaded content by our users remain the property of our users and can in no means be sold or used by Mobypicture or affiliated third party partners without consent from the user. This means Mobypicture will NEVER sell the rights to your shared photos and videos. Your content is yours!

Think before you yoink

Alpana Singh with grapes, photographed by Jim Newberry

OK, so I found a photo I shot of Master Sommelier Alpana Singh on this MTV blog. The photo was used without permission from me, and–more annoyingly–without a photo credit. Below the blog post, a reader commented that she loves the photo; too bad there’s no way for her to know who shot it (if she had wanted to buy a print, or ask permission to use the photo, or hire me for a shoot, etc).

After a bit more looking, I found that same image on another blog. This blogger was conscientious enough to run a photo credit, but he must have found the Singh photo on the aforementioned MTV blog, because the credit he gave was to MTV, not me. I don’t blame him for the mistake; he was doing the right thing in running the attribution. But this kind of thing is bound to happen when you yoink a photo from the Internet and post it on your site without permission and credit.

I think it’s nice to share, and that copyright laws can be problematic. But it’s really difficult to make a living as a photographer these days, and it doesn’t help when a profitable corporation uses my content without paying or crediting me. Remember, vee have vays of finding unauthorized use of photos. So please, support creative people. Don’t run a photo if you don’t know where it came from. If you see a photo you like on another site and want to use it, ask nicely. Many of us will be happy to let you run a photograph on your non-commercial site if you include a link and a photo credit (I have often). And if you have a commercial site and want to use a photo, kindly cough up the usage fee.

The Singh portrait was originally shot for the Reader, shown below.
Alpana Singh Reader cover by Jim Newberry

Lens: NYT debuts photojournalism blog today

Lens: photojournalism blog from the New York Times
Lens: photojournalism blog from the New York Times

The New York Times is debuting a photojournalism blog, and it looks like a winner.

Lens will be a showcase for the work of Times photographers, but it will also highlight the best images from other newspapers, magazines, news organizations and picture agencies, and from around the Web. It will point readers in the direction of important books, galleries and museum exhibitions. And it will draw on The Times’s own pictorial archive, numbering in the millions of images and going back to the early 20th century.

Walker Evans’ collection of 9,000 postcards

Yesterday the Met opened an exhibit of postcards collected by the great photographer Walker Evans. I can’t wait until the skies of New York City are filled with low-flying triplanes and bridges run through skyscrapers—this postcard depicts a future I can believe in!!

"Future New York, The City of Skyscrapers," 1910s. (Unknown artist) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Walker Evans Archive
"Future New York, The City of Skyscrapers," 1910s. (Unknown artist) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Walker Evans Archive

Photographers: terrorists?

A good read from The Guardian:

Since 9/11, there has been an increasing war on photography. Photographers have been harrassed, questioned, detained, arrested or worse, and declared to be unwelcome. We’ve been repeatedly told to watch out for photographers, especially suspicious ones. Clearly any terrorist is going to first photograph his target, so vigilance is required.

Except that it’s nonsense. The 9/11 terrorists didn’t photograph anything. Nor did the London transport bombers, the Madrid subway bombers, or the liquid bombers arrested in 2006. Timothy McVeigh didn’t photograph the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The Unabomber didn’t photograph anything; neither did shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Photographs aren’t being found amongst the papers of Palestinian suicide bombers. The IRA wasn’t known for its photography. Even those manufactured terrorist plots that the US government likes to talk about — the Ft. Dix terrorists, the JFK airport bombers, the Miami 7, the Lackawanna 6 — no photography.

Given that real terrorists, and even wannabe terrorists, don’t seem to photograph anything, why is it such pervasive conventional wisdom that terrorists photograph their targets? Why are our fears so great that we have no choice but to be suspicious of any photographer?

Because it’s a movie-plot threat.

I’ve definitely experienced this paranoia; since 9/11 I’ve been told not to take photos numerous times, in situations that wouldn’t have been an issue before. The thing is, if you wanted to take pictures for dastardly purposes, it would be quite easy to do it surreptitiously–why would you walk around with a big ol’ SLR when you could use a hidden video camera, or use your camera phone while you pretend to text someone. I can understand that people feel jumpy and there are very real threats out there, but freaking out about someone photographing a building just seems silly.

And another thing. Once at a Whole Foods store I spied a swell looking stack of oranges that I decided to take a snapshot of with my little point and shoot. Mere seconds elapsed before a staff member told me I couldn’t take photos in the store. In this case, I’m guessing the fear is not of terrorism, but probably more a corporate competitive issue. It seems that all chains have that policy.

Death of traditional photography? Kodak’s hurtin’.


Kodak’s CEO, Antonio Perez, warns that the company might have to raise the price of its photographic paper and chemicals by as much as 20 percent over the forthcoming weeks as the demand for raw materials cause the costs to soar.

Prez said that the entire traditional photography market would be effected by rising prices as aluminium, silver and oil, vital ingredients for the sector, shot up in the last year.

This, added to other costs related to distribution, logistics and shipping expenses, is putting extra pressure on Kodak’s bottom line.

The forthcoming price raise could prompt photographers to either rush to deplete existing stocks at current prices or switch to the digital alternative which would be yet another blow to the ailing traditional photography industry.

— article by Desire Athow