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Oxford School of Photography
insights into photography
Tag Archives: Australia
Startups battle for rights to smartphone images
August 9, 2013Posted by on
In the last 5 years or so there has been a battle fought over the ownership of images uploaded to social networking sites. This has been fuelled by news organisations asking, “Are you there”, “Do you have pictures” “Send us your photos” This is feeding the apparent requirement for immediacy and the cost of course is quality. Press photographers are professionals, they have not just equipment that is appropriate to the task but they also have skills, experience and follow journalistic principles. This article in the BJP provides clues to the next nail in the coffin for press photographers. A new startup which aims to harness social media technologies to source news story photographs.
The popularity of connected devices and smartphones has transformed each of us into potential news gatherers, and now a growing number of startups are offering services to connect us with media organisations, Olivier Laurent reports
On 07 June, when Santa Monica gunman John Zawahri went on a rampage, killing his father and brother before firing on three other people near a college, CrowdMedia – a new website whose task is to filter through images posted on Twitter – was coming online for the first time. “This happened within 15 minutes of our launch,” says CEO Martin Roldan. “We were able to get the licence for the only images shot from inside the college while it was happening. The photographs were picked up by a couple of news organisations, including the Huffington Post. It showed that CrowdMedia worked.”
Based in Montreal, CrowdMedia is the latest startup in the battle for people’s pictures, as smartphone devices have transformed us all into potential press photographers, ready to transmit images of newsworthy events as they happen.
“We built a social media monitoring tool, Ejenio, last year,” says Roldan. “It allowed businesses to monitor what people were saying about them on Twitter and Facebook. While we were working on Ejenio, we realised there were a lot of good, newsworthy images on Twitter, but media organisations often had trouble finding them and getting the rights to use them. We saw a real niche there, so we shifted our focus to photography.”
Launched in June, the platform sifts through more than 150 million social photographs posted on Twitter in real-time. Using geolocation information and keywords entered by staff, CrowdMedia selects 0.03 percent of these images which it deems newsworthy. “We input that information manually, but we’re working on tweaks to improve our algorithm, and soon the platform will be able to detect automatically when something happens around the world, and search for relevant images,” explains Roldan.
“The beauty of it is that, unlike other startups relying on mobile apps that users have to install in the first place, our audience and user base is already there. When we find a newsworthy image, the platform automatically sends a tweet to the user, who just has to click on a link to confirm that the photograph is his and whether he accepts to sell it for half of the proceeds.”
CrowdMedia sells a non-exclusive licence for $20, whatever the image’s content. “After 48 hours, that price goes down to $5 because we are only interested in what is happening in real time,” Roldan explains. “We are aware that $20 is a low figure and this has been the only criticism we have received so far. Of course, we’re listening to what people are saying. But it might be that it’s the right kind of pricing and that people are just not used to that. When an event has global reach, like the recent plane crash in San Francisco, images of the scene can be sold more than 1000 times at a $20 price tag. The copyright owner could easily make $10,000.” I would ask but how many pictures used actually earn any money and how many photo journalists will there be in 10 years time if this becomes the standard.
Newspapers now routinely do not employ photographers, they use freelancers who previously would have been staff, guaranteed a salary, now they are paid on a job basis and usually not enough to earn a decent living. The Fairfax group, Australia’s main newspaper group didn’t send any photographers to the 2012 Olympics apparently.
There are now many ways for newspapers, what an outmoded term that is, news organisations, that is better, to obtain images and certainly in some instances immediacy is important because unexpected events rarely feature experienced photo journalists as onlookers. The problem it seems to us here at OSP Towers (and we are not photo-journalists) is that the whole world is becoming dumbed down. It is obvious to us here that the nature of poor quality, both technically and visually, images just makes everyone more likely to accept less, less in every way. Soon the bottom of the barrel will be the norm. It is happening in so many of the varied creative occupations; decent writing in newspaper/online where ever, is now being superceded by blogs, which rarely have editors or any form of objective control. The creative professional, although hailed as important is being slowly edged out of the way to accommodate lower costs, and in the end the cost to all of us is a demeaned experience.
Magnum Photos announces Sydney photography workshop
April 23, 2013Posted by on
For our friends on the other side (of the world…..nothing spooky here) a workshop. Hosted in conjunction with the Head On photography festival, the five-day workshop will be led by Magnum photographers Ian Berry, Eli Reed and Chris Steele-Perkin
Intended to be hands-on and practical, the workshop, which will take place from 21-25 May, will involve group critiques, and reviewing and mentoring sessions.
Participants will be encouraged to work on self-directed projects under the guidance of Magnum photographers Ian Berry, Eli Reed and Chris Steele-Perkins who will assist in all aspects of shooting, editing, discussing and presenting work across the five days.
The workshop is aimed at photographers who want to challenge their visual understanding, develop their photographic identity and push the boundaries of their personal practice.
It will culminate in a projection of participants’ work as part of the official Head On Photo Festival, Australia’s largest photography festival.
In addition, workshop participants will have the opportunity to produce a group photobook in conjunction with Blurb.
The deadline for applications is 28 April. To apply for a place on the workshop, visit the Magnum website.
For information about Head On Photo Festival, visit www.headon.com.au.
28 Cute and Beautiful Photographs of Penguins
January 23, 2013Posted by on
I have a relationship with wildlife photography that is difficult to resolve. I know I will never manage to get the fantastic shots we can see on Wild Life Photographer of the year, in fact I am unlikely to get the sort of shots your local wildlife photography group will get. The reason is three fold, I do not have the patience to wait for animals to do their thing, I do not have suitable equipment as buying a 400mm f2.8 would be an excessive expense, I don’t like being cold or wet. Does this mark me out as a photographer who is not prepared to go that extra bit to get better pictures, well no because I do in my professional work or when I travel, I will happily sit and wait for the sun to get lower to achieve the shot I want. Even so I do enjoy pictures of wildlife and when I do have a camera in hand and some fauna does it stuff in front of me I am as likely as the next to start taking pictures. Sadly the results rarely get close to those of wildlife photographers.
I was in Australia throughout December and early January and was thrilled to see Fairy penguins at Bicheno in Tasmania. They came leaping out of the sea at about 8.30 at night to roost in their burrows in the sand dunes. It was too dark to take pictures, next morning I saw emu at a distance, I didn’t have a lens long enough and I saw an echidna but by the time I was ready he was heading off into the bush. At the Jelong caves in the Blue mountains I saw rock wallabies and surprisingly a duck billed platypus. Admittedly I had to get up at 5.30 in the morning to catch the platypus but as someone said they are rarer than whales and I managed to get a picture. So I do not do wild life photography. I leave it to those who have nothing better to do with their time than sit and wait, sometimes for weeks, for the animal to perform in front of their lens. These intrepid photographers will always do a better job than I could and looking at their pictures will always bring me more pleasure than looking at my own poor substitutes.
Here then is a gallery brought to you by Lightstalking of penguins, there are lots of pictures so worth visiting the Lightstalking site here
penguin group small by Antarctica Bound, on Flickr
/.\ by Anne Froehlich, on Flickr
Click Here: 28 Cute and Beautiful Photographs of Penguins
In case you are interested here is my picture of the duck billed platypus, this is a rare image partly because of the animal depicted and partly because I had to get up before sunrise.
Wildfires: an astonishing photograph of survivors in an age of catastrophe
January 11, 2013Posted by on
Tim Holmes (not pictured) and his wife Tammy (second from left) huddled under a jetty for three hours with their grandchildren while their hometown in Tasmania was destroyed by wildfires. Photograph: Tim Holmes/AP
Jonathan Jones writes in The Guardian
The old newspaper saying that a good picture is worth a thousand words has rarely been proved more dramatically than it was when grandfather Tim Holmes took his family to shelter in the sea while fire consumed their Tasmania community – and remembered to bring along a camera
2013 has barely begun but this photograph of Holmes’s wife and their grandchildren sheltering from the wildfires in sea water under a jetty will surely be remembered 12 months from now as one of the year’s defining news images
So many photography tutorials
December 6, 2012Posted by on
From Canada to Australia to Oxford links and tutorials to keep you occupied. Toad Hollow Photography to Lightstalking to you how great is that
As fall begins to settle in Toad Hollow Photography searches high and low online to find the very best links to tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone. This week’s list features some fabulous pieces as posted by some of the truly talented photographers that the Toad encountered during this week’s adventures. We really hope you enjoy reading these posts and seeing some of these awesome images as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
Let It Go by CEBImagery.com, on Flickr
Sign up for the Toad’s regular newsletter which features news from The Hollow and the world of photography, as well as link’s to interesting places. As the Toad is near completion of his second eBook installment, which he will be making available for free exclusively to his newsletter subscribers, you will want to get signed up to make sure you don’t miss it!
A Detailed Guide to Photographing Fall Foliage – the term detailed doesn’t even begin to describe the incredible depth this article goes into in terms of sharing tips and tricks for great fall photography. A large series of incredible photographs illustrates all the points mentioned, making for a complete and authoritative online guide to this type of image creation.
Quick Photo Tip: Be An Observer Of Your Surroundings – once again Joe Baraban shares some insight into capturing one of those “OMG” photos that we all strive for. Sometimes the simplest lessons contain the biggest rewards, and this article discusses this facet of photography. One of the best parts of this post is Joe’s incredible imagery that he shares to illustrate his point.
Iceland by Michael Schlegel – epic and dramatic landscape shots are presented in this post that features the black-and-white photography of Michael Schlegel. Iceland is a very unique place and these incredible photographs shares some of the vistas that have given it this reputation. Michael’s incredible compositions share a sense of scale in some of these shots, and removes it in others. Definitely a collection you won’t want to miss in this week’s links list!
National Geographic Photo Contest 2012
September 28, 2012Posted by on
As reported in the excellent the Atlantic magazine:
Once again, National Geographic is holding its annual photo contest, with the deadline for submissions coming up on November 30. Beginning on September 1, the society started gathering and presenting galleries of submissions, encouraging readers to vote for them as well. National Geographic was kind enough to let me choose among its entries from 2012 for display here on In Focus. Gathered below are 50 images from the three categories of People, Places, and Nature, with captions written by the individual photographers.
Here is a sample of some of the 50 images in the gallery here
Ninja Kangaroos: Young male kangaroos test their strength with “boxing” matches that mostly occur at dawn. One buck gets in the others face with its forepaws until the second one concedes and hops away, or stands up tall and faces its tormentor. Then the two grapple until an advantage is gained and one rears back onto its tail and kicks out with both its feet. Here the roo on the left clearly has its opponent on the retreat. Photo taken at Lake Cootharaba, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. (© raoul slater/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Yosemite Valley at Dusk: A mist had settled over Yosemite Valley, as automobiles passed through, headlights illuminated the fog. (© Phil Hawkins/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Chaos: A huge flock of Red-billed Queleas flies in to drink at the same time as an African Elephant in Tsavo National Park, Kenya. (© Antero Topp/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Butterfly at sunset: Photographer Toni Guetta submitted this macro shot of a butterfly with the sunset in the background near Hod ha’sharon, Israel. (© Toni Guetta/National Geographic Photo Contest)
89 Photography Links That Drip With Awesome
August 10, 2012Posted by on
By Toad via Lightstalking, striding the globe; from Canada to Australia to back here, bringing you the best tutorials and photography links from the blogsphere this week.
Back from a brief summer vacation, the Toad has been busy all week getting caught up with all the activity in the realm of photography. Toad Hollow Photography has put together this weeks comprehensive list of fabulous links to tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs that contain some really incredible images and posts to see. We hope you enjoy viewing the sites in this weeks list as much as the Toad did in bringing it to you.
Here is a taste of what is on offer
Synthetica by CEBImagery.com, on Flickr
The Toad’s lovely and talented wife, Mrs. Toad, has been busy with her digital pen lately on their blog. Check out her latest piece “Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice” which takes us inside a kitchen display in a local heritage museum and takes us on a tour of the heart of an old historic home.
10 Tips for Photographing Classic Cars – this is a great list of tips and tricks for photographing cars, now that the season is truly upon us. Rod Arroyo delivers a brief but totally comprehensive list of considerations and concepts to employ when shooting this type of photography, well worth the time to visit.
Click Here: 89 Photography Links That Drip With Awesome
Enough Awesome Photography Links to Drown a Fish
July 16, 2012Posted by on
From Toad Hollow via Lightstalking or to put it another way, Canada to Australia to UK
It’s been a really fabulous week for photography and Toad Hollow Photography has been busy searching the internet for the very best tutorials, photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone here. This week’s list comprises a fabulous set of links showcasing some really incredible works as presented by gifted artists and photographers. The Toad really hopes you enjoy viewing these images and posts as much as he did in bringing this list to you.
cherries in a china cup by loco’s photos, on Flickr
Check out the Toad’s book featuring a very unique look at Vancouver Island and some of the eclectic architecture and features of the area. “Beneath the Veneer” is available in both hard and soft copy and is presented in the classic photobook style.
Here are some of the tutorials for the full Monty go here
photoFXlab Tutorial – Blake Rudis creates and shares a new video tutorial, this time discussing the merits of photoFXlab, a free image manipulation tool. Blake’s tutorials are very comprehensive and this one includes him showing the viewer how he used this tool to create a composite image.
My HDR Workflow – A.D. Wheeler takes us along on a video tour showcasing his personal workflow for creating very natural and beautiful HDR landscape images. A.D. does wonderful work in this genre and this tutorial is sure to teach everyone some tips and tricks on how to work in this style.
ChromaLuxe Metal Print Review – metallic based print mediums used for photography can produce stunning results, we always encourage our customers to order our prints on metallic paper. Blake Rudis shares his insight into this specific medium by providing a great write-up and some example images to illustrate the incredible results one can achieve.
Click Here: Enough Awesome Photography Links to Drown a Fish
Exploring Metering Modes
May 31, 2012Posted by on
Digital-Photo-School are based in Australia, this article is by a guest contributor to their site called Andrew S Gibson, he lives just down the road from us here in Oxfordshire UK, weird the way the world is so interconnected, great too.
This article is a pretty full explanation of the different metering modes available on your camera and how and when to use them.
“This is the third in a series of four articles about exposure by Andrew S Gibson – author of Understanding Exposure: Perfect Exposure on your EOS camera. You can read the first lesson, which explored the reasons for using program, aperture priority and shutter priority modes, here, and the second lesson, which explained why your camera’s meter gets exposure wrong, here.”
November 12, 2011Posted by on
I am thinking about going away at Christmas, in terms of business it will make no difference, as the UK closes down for 2 weeks commerce grinds to a halt unless you are a retailer. I haven’t been away since visiting Syria in 2009 and I think a trip is overdue. My current intent is Laos, it sounds perfect for me at a time of year when the weather back home is cold and grey and if like last year snow covered. A good time to escape. Maybe I will book today.
My inbox pinged and there was another sage missive from the excellent Tom Dining. He is a photographer from the Northern Territory in Australia, Darwin. For me he would not need to travel, all he needs to photograph is around him, but then again for him it is home. So this post from Tom hit at the heart of my current ponderings. Here is what he says
“In the process of learning to see, ordinary days and ordinary events can often take on a significance that is, to say the least, surprising, if not profound, but certainly extraordinary in their connection. Today is such an ordinary day.
The first event was a simple question posted on a blog.
” Where is your next big travel trip?”
Simple enough inquiry, but the implications in the particular context was that one needs to travel to photograph; to find new destinations, grandeous scenery, interesting people, places of beauty, the obligatory sunset or sunrise on a new and more exciting horizon, captivating architecture or the progression of interesting and dramatic lives and events other than those that fill our own seemingly mundane existence. We need the imagery of the imaginary, the visual spectacle of the spectacular; we need to see and record what we don’t have or pay homage to the representation of what we do have: the landscape.
The travelling photographer is armed with a vision we envy. He brings us a world out of reach to many. Like The Grand Tour we plan our lives, in part, to fulfil the dream and return with the booty of other places, neatly parcelled in a digital slide show which will be presented to friends and family on our return.
“See where I have been,” and we will sit in amazement at the splendor and beauty of it all.”
So Tom is challenging us to find images worth recording at home?…Is he getting to the root of why I want to go to Laos or in fact anywhere, am I missing the point?.
“While standing in the middle of the road framing one of many shots I took that morning, drifting blissfully through my own world, a gentleman approached from the curb.
“What are you photographing?’ he asked sincerely.
” The truth” I responded, only after the shutter hand been pressed and I was happy I had captured it as I saw it.
“I used to photograph rock art” he added, with some trepidation, moving back to the curb and seeking safety from the traffic and me.
Everyone has a vision of the truth. We can all find it and photograph it as we see it. When that is done, the beauty will be revealed. Finding your truth may be closer than you think.”
Read more of Tom’s wise words on his blog here
Here are some images from my last trip, if you would like to see more go here