Spot-News Photographers: An Endangered Species?

Alan Mutter, former No. 2 editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and now a Silicon Valley VC specializing in new media, questions the future of professional spot-news photographers in his most recent blog post:

Hal Gould Still Prefers Darkroom to Digital

Hal Gould, the American photographer and gallery curator, turns 87 this week. Unfortunately, he won’t have a birthday, since he was born on Feb. 29 — leap year.

It would be difficult to skip over Gould’s remarkable contributions to fine art photography. In the 1970s — at a time when many museum and gallery curators did not consider photography an art form — Gould opened the Camera Obscura Gallery in Denver, which has played a leading role in the promotion and advancement of fine art photography ever since.

Sammy Davis Jr., Photographer

A new 339-page compilation, Photo by Sammy Davis, Jr., chronicles the legendary entertainer’s life with the Rat Pack in the 1950s and ’60s. The LA Times reports:

SlideShowPro: Helping Photographers Exhibit Their Work Online

Mike Sansone at the Photopreneur blog has a nice post on SlideShowPro and its creator, Todd Dominey. Writes Mike:

For a while now one of the most stylish ways of exhibiting photos online has been to use SlideShowPro, a component for Macromedia Flash. The program lets photographers and Web developers place interactive galleries on their websites, complete with MP3 files, thumbnails and even automated Flickr feeds. For photographers, it’s one of the sleekest ways to show your favorite pictures on a website.

Pro Photographers Moonlight as Software Developers for Lightroom 1.0

After a 12-month beta period that tapped the brains of 500,000 photographers, Adobe Systems this week released Photoshop Lightroom 1.0.

Designed primarily for pros, the tool allows users to import, manage and present large volumes of digital images. The software has added new functions since beta began; Lightroom’s Library function, for example, now lets users employ keywords to help sort through large image collections, as well as better organize photographs.

Would Acquiring Jupiter Help Getty?

The New York Post reported today that Getty Images, Inc. is in advanced talks to acquire Jupitermedia Corporation. It’s unclear how much Getty is willing to pay for Jupitermedia, but sources close to the deal said the image company could fetch more than $11 a share, or nearly $450 million including debt. Jupitermedia has been generating about $135 million annually.

Shooting Shooting: Photographers at War

James T. Phillips’ description in CounterPunch of photographing war presents an odd picture of combat photographers. I can’t argue with his general line that the war in Iraq is going to leave a generation of Iraqis with some terrible mental images — who can? — but the idea that “[t]he ranks of front-line photo-journalists in Iraq are now filled with native-born Arabic-speaking men, women, and children” is just plain wrong. At least as far as the images recorded on memory cards rather than retinas are concerned.

Check Out the Reuters Photographers Blog

Reuters launched a new blog this week where the news agency’s photo editors and photographers will blog about “what makes a great picture” and share “the most eye-catching images from the hundreds reviewed every day.”

How to Create a Winning Portfolio — It’s About More than Good Pictures

As the editorial director at Black Star, I’m fortunate enough to look at between 10 and 15 portfolios every week. Unfortunately, very few of those portfolios lead me to take on the photographers who created them.

Thirty-Five Years Later, Photography Still Beats Working for a Living

Zagreb, Croatia — Wow! Just arrived into country No. 62, which is a tad over one for every year of my life.

I once commented to a picture editor at National Geographic that spending so much time away from home was pretty rough. He looked at me and in a very lazy Southern drawl commented, “Being a photographer is one helluva life — and just be thankful you’re leading that life.”

Using Photography Contests to Boost a Career

Scott noted that the winners of the World Press Photo of the Year 2006 awards were announced recently. As always, the quality of the winning entrants was outstanding. You can see them all here.

The Changing World of Photography … and How to Survive It

I’ve always admired the resilience of professional photographers. But that resilience is really being put to the test now; few industries have changed so much in such a short space of time. A great picture might still be a great picture — that will always be true — but the technology used to take that image has changed, as has the means of returning it to photo editors, the photography market that can buy it… and just about everything else too.

The Jesuits: Love Shown in Deeds

Throughout the years I’ve worked as a photojournalist, I have been privileged to encounter many people working in a range of ways to improve the lives of the world’s disadvantaged, misunderstood and marginalized. One such group of people is the Jesuits, an order of Catholic priests.

Getty Photographer Wins 50th World Press Photo of the Year Award

American photographer Spencer Platt of Getty has won the 50th annual World Press Photo of the Year award for his remarkable photograph of affluent young Lebanese surveying the destruction of war from inside a red convertible.

Good Widgets for Displaying Your Photos Online

Good Widgets is a site where you can create custom photo widgets to show photography on your blog or Web site. 901am blogger David Krug hails it as “a killer photography display product.”

Will Flickr Enter the Stock Photo Market?

Recently on CNN, Stewart Butterfield, founder of Flickr, was asked why Flickr doesn’t license rights to its pictures like iStockphoto.

Butterfield answered, “That’s something we haven’t actually started yet but we’ve spent a long time thinking about it. Everyday we see people buying photos from Flickr users, and it’s a very complicated, difficult and frustrating process for both sides. It’s something we’ll be looking at more closely and probably doing some stuff in the next year.”

No Lens, No Problem — on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

Say what you will about pinhole photography — but it’s hard to argue with its staying power. As we approach Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day on April 29, 2007, we prepare to celebrate a form of lens-less image-making that has been around since the time of Aristotle.

Create a Coffee-Table Book for Yourself or Your Clients

Ready to create your own coffee-table book? Efotolab has partnered with Blurb.com to enable photographers to compose, publish, print and sell their own books.

And Then the Light Bulb Went Off

From Rich Legg, digital photography enthusiast:

What you are seeing is a capture of a lightbulb in the process of burning out. To create the shot, my friend Harley and I removed the glass enclosure of a standard household lightbulb (while leaving the innards intact) and powered it up in a pitch black room. The result was an immediate burn-out … The red hue on the smoke was added in post-processing.

Architect Selected to Design Gallery for Black Star Photography Collection

Ryerson University has selected Toronto architects Diamond + Schmitt to design a new gallery and research center to house the Black Star Historical Black & White Photography Collection.

Getty: Adding Images, But Not as Quickly as You Might Expect

It seems clear from Getty Images’ announcement of the Lifesize collection in November and their opening of their RF brands to iStockphoto’s top photographers that the company wants to add a lot of new images quickly. But cranking up the new systems necessary to encourage photographers to submit, editing to determine who is approved to submit and integrating the images into the database may take a little time.

Can Taking Photographs in Public Be a Crime?

A Morristown, N.J., court will decide whether to dismiss an indictment of a man and his girlfriend who were arrested for taking photographs of women’s buttocks in public places, such as parades and fairs.

Matthew Pillsbury Goes Back to the Future with “Screen Lives”

A remarkable black-and-white photography exhibit, Matthew Pillsbury’s “Screen Lives,” runs through Feb. 24 at the M+B in Los Angeles.

As described by Sharon Mitoza of Wired:

Having Fun Won’t Kill Ya

Sometimes you’ve just gotta have fun. So in the name of lightheartedness and some silliness too, here are two sites that are sure to put a smile on your face.

Running from Camera is a photoblog begun last June by Muggezifter with these simple rules: “I put the self-timer on 2 seconds, push the button and try to get as far from the camera as I can.”

A Bird’s Eye View: Kite Aerial Photography

The last few times I’ve flown, I requested a window seat so I could photograph what was outside — sometimes the clouds, sometimes the rivers and fields, sometimes the skyscrapers below. Especially interesting was making the same cross-country trip during different seasons and comparing what the landscape looked like during summer and then during winter.