Image Manipulation: The Bane of Digital Photography

Digital photography has turned a world of possibilities into reality. It has alleviated photographic challenges and made visual communication much faster, easier and more fun. But offsetting these positives is a Pandora’s box of evils that have been released in the publishing world. Paramount among them is the issue of digital image manipulation.

So You Want to Be a Black Star Photographer?

We are frequently approached by photographers interested in receiving assignments through Black Star. “What is your selection process?” they want to know.

There is no formal system for selecting Black Star photographers — and there is no formal pecking order among our approximately 350 photographers, either. Our selection process is more art than science, and always has been.

Citizen Journalism’s Terms of Use: A First Look

Reuters has put forth its terms for submissions to You Witness News. Here are a few tidbits, and my thoughts:

Fast-Growing Alamy Adds Nearly One Million Images in Q1

This week, U.K-based stock photography portal Alamy released first quarter 2007 figures on contributors, percentage revenue and average pricing. In the quarter they added 920,952 images to their collection, which now totals more than eight million images.

Stock Image Market Sizing: 2007

The Industry Measure (formerly TrendWatch Graphic Arts) has released an update to its popular Stock Image Market Sizing report. The company collected data from graphic arts firms, creative firms, publishers and Internet design and development firms. Some key finding in this report are:

Photographers and Models Scrapping Again Over Usage Rights

It’s happened again: a photographer is battling publicly with a glamorous model over usage rights.

Newspaper Not on the Ball in Altered-Photo Case

Allan Detrich of the Toledo Blade took the photo at top left during a University of Toledo women’s basketball game. He submitted the bottom photo to his editors — inserting the basketball.

Business Owners, Marketers Learn Limitations of Stock the Hard Way

Christine Hutman, owner of the Chicago-based online business Pet Services Review, wrote Inc. magazine to ask the following question:

Are You Ready for the Decline of Print Publications?

If you want to continue to take pictures for a living, it’s time to start learning to shoot video. Why? Because newspapers and magazines, the lifeblood of professional still photographers, are beginning to move away from print and toward online. Once online offerings have been established, video and sound become more appealing and a better way to tell stories than with still images. There is already movement in that direction and it’s a trend that can only increase.

Pictage Marries Wedding Photographers with Web 2.0

Pictage, an online service provider for more than 9,000 wedding and event photographers in the United States, has launched a new community Web site enabling photographers to exchange ideas and directly access professional development resources and content.

The f295 Symposium: A Preview

You remember the old joke about someone walking up to a great photographer and asking “How do you take so many great photos?” and the photographer replies, “The only secret is f/8 and be there.” Well, there’s a lot of truth in that old adage — but for some photographers the trick to getting great images is “f295 and be there!” F295, if you haven’t guessed, is the approximate aperture of a pinhole camera.

Whither Microstock?

In today’s New York Times article by Katie Hafner, A Photo Trove, a Mounting Challenge, there are a few interesting excerpts:

Stock Footage Generates $282 Million Annually

A recent study by The Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL) determined that the global stock footage industry generates approximately $282 million in licensing revenue annually. Data on estimated revenues, content type, Web functionality and region was collected from 67 key footage companies.

Hanging with Revolutionaries

Waiting is a major part of a photojournalist’s life; waiting for the Pope, a President or a rebel.

The first revolutionaries I ever worked with were the MNLF, Moro National Liberation Front, in the southern Philippines. When I wanted to contact them I would wait in a hotel in Davao on the Island of Mindanao. The room was just big enough for a bed; there were cracks and stains on the walls and tiles that were lifting off the floor. There were mosquitoes drifting around a ceiling fan, which clicked and clacked as it went around.

Brochure? Sales Sheet? What’s the Difference?

Is it a transit ad, or a bus back? Does POP really mean Point of Purchase? The way we have, for years and years, described the types, sizes, media, and locations of where our photography is used, is dizzying.

The Secret to Client Relationships? Deliver Good Work!

Most of my assignments start with a call from the client (or Anh Stack or Ben Chapnick) with some information about the shoot and then a follow-up e-mail. I talk to a client, but hardly ever see the client.

Black Star Photos on Display at 2007 Toronto Photography Festival

The 2007 CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival, May 1-31, will feature an exhibit of Ryerson University’s Black Star Historical Black & White Photography Collection at BCE Place. Images for the exhibit are being printed by Ryerson photography students using an HP Designjet Z2100 printer donated by HP, the photo festival’s lead sponsor.

Q&A with iStockphoto’s Bruce Livingstone

CNET News published an interview with CEO Bruce Livingstone of iStockphoto on Wednesday. An excerpt:

USA Today Squeezes Freelancers Over Usage Rights

USA Today has increased its day rate for freelancers in a new contract — but with a catch. In return for the $100 increase, the newspaper now demands the right to use freelance photos wherever it wants, forever. That includes on the USA Today Web site and in other Gannett publications.

Beate Chelette of Corbis: Living the American Dream

Beate Chelette is a woman full of dreams, talent, strength and business acumen. She came to the United States 17 years ago from Germany,determined to live her American dream. As an entrepreneur it was no easy path; she had her share of highs and lows before creating a successful interiors stock library, Beateworks. In March 2006, Beate sold that company to Corbis.

Jack Hollingsworth: Content Creation Partner

Jack Hollingsworth is a top commercial image producer and “content creation partner.”  What does it mean to be a content creation partner compared to a stock photographer?

– a higher volume
– higher value
– faster, smarter, cheaper time-to-market
– one-stop-shop performance
– completely staffed (including pre-production, production, and post-production services)

Photoshop World Hits Boston

This year’s sold-old Photoshop World Conference & Expo runs from April 3 to 6 in Boston.  The much-anticipated CS3 will surely be the most popular topic of discussion.  To answer photographers’ questions, O’Reilly Media has announced that it will host many of its own bestselling photography authors at the expo.  Said O’Reilly’s digital media evangelist, Derrick Story:

Getty Photographers Pessimistic About the Future

When I recently asked Getty photographers if their royalties were going up or down, I was quickly flooded with responses that indicate a high level of dissatisfaction and frustration. I promised anonymity so I won’t identify respondents by name, but I will include comments that went well beyond the simple survey questions.

The Value of Post-Production

Long gone are the days where we made the last frame, sent it to the lab via courier, and it returned to show us the glory of our work (or where we’d made a disastrous error.) Yet, this “ship and forget” system meant more time shooting — doing what we love and, hopefully, are most talented at. Today, a photographer’s time is spent far differently. And the biggest leech of our creative time is ((post-production)).

Time Inc. Still Can’t Resurrect Life

In its latest bid to revive the most popular magazine brand of the 20th century, Time Inc. in 2004 relaunched Life as a Friday insert in 70 U.S. newspapers. On April 20, the Life supplement will cease publication.