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If pictures from North Korea could not have been uploaded in real time to internet, as argued in my previous post, images featuring the Demilitarised Zone into the border city of Kaesong could not been taken at all for a very long while. Mobile phones, long camera lenses and, generally, shooting photos without permission was forbidden in the area. At departure, officials hold the right to check the visitors’ photos and delete the objectionable ones.

The long-standing rule is now history. Here are some of the very first photos of the Demilitarised Zone courtesy of Damien Spry, Australian academic and media consultant, along with his testimonial:

An amazing visit to the demilitarized zone dividing the Koreas. The UN doing an important and difficult job. The UN personnel were very welcoming and impressive.The first is at the customs point for entry into North Korea. (There is a shared industrial complex just over the border so goods are transported across.) It’s a list of what you can take (travel docs) and what you can’t (just about everything else).Next is a signpost marking the armistice line. It’s been there 60 years.Next is a conference room where meetings between north and south happen. I’m standing in North Korea; so is that highly trained, completely immobile soldier. The door to his right is locked. The other side of it are the North Korean army.

Next is the actual bridge of no return.

The last picture is me in front of the blue conference rooms. Behind them, the big building is the North Korean complex. We are standing in front of Freedom House, built for family reunions between those separated by the war and sadly used only once.

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Remember our little talk on media using Instagram content without any proper credits? All safely stored here.

Good news! A judge ruled that news agencies cannot freely use, publish or distribute Twitter photos without the specific permission of the photographers who took them. (I know! It;s not Instagram, but one step at a time!)

This is the latest development of a 2010 case when mass media (from Agence France Press to the Washington Post) published the image of a woman trapped beneath rubble after an earthquake in Tahiti, captured by photographer Daniel Morel.

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Not only that did not have Morel’s permission to do that (and they didn’t pay him a ha’ penny, as a matter of fact), but once he sent out cease and desist letters, the AFP argued that there was no copyright infringement and launched a lawsuit against him for “antagonistic assertion of rights.” That’s a little bit too much, AFP!

Enough with all of that! District Judge Alison Nathan of Manhattan has issued a ruling that the use of Twitter photos without permission constitutes copyright infringement, and the case will go in court!

Eyes wide open on that! It is a firs, it will set up a precendent and it will have major implications for photographers worldwide!

Each month, Australian Photography is featuring a competion. As themes vary significantly – from ‘weather’ and ‘street’ to ‘decay’, just to name only a few – it will be practically impossibile not to find something on your fancy. All you need is an Aussie post address and the willingness to be judged by your fellows!

The photo challenge of this month is the colour ‘blue’, but hurry up, cause today it’s the last day. I’ve just jumped in with two entries – looking forward to some useful critiques!

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The Natural City

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Portrait of a Lady

Oz media photographers didn’t quite keep their lenses wide shut for Australia Day fireworks, but there are out there some amazing photographers who never take a break. Among them:

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‘Burning Man’

Waiting for the fireworks, Fremantle, Perth, WA

Photo by Padmacara

Australia Day Fireworks - Melbourne by catch_simon

Melbourne, VIC

Photo by catch_simon

Australia Day 2013 by tco1961Sydney, Darling Harbour

Photo by tco1961
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Sydney, Darling Harbour
Photo by Greg J Farmer
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Perth, WA
Photo by Ph!ltographer
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Perth, WA
Australia Day by Rodrigo Correia
Perth, WA

“In the spring of 1921, two automatic photographic machines, recently invented abroad, were installed in Prague, which reproduced six or ten or more exposures of the same person on a single print.

When I took such a series of photographs to Kafka I said light-heartedly: “For a couple of krone one can have oneself photographed from every angle. The apparatus is a mechanical Know-Thyself.”

“You mean to say, the Mistake-Thyself,” said Kafka, with a faint smile.

I protested: “What do you mean? The camera cannot lie!”

“Who told you that?” Kafka leaned his head toward his shoulder. “Photography concentrates one’s eye on the superficial. For that reason it obscures the hidden life which glimmers through the outlines of things like a play of light and shade. One can’t catch that even with the sharpest lens. One has to grope for it by feeling… This automatic camera doesn’t multiply men’s eye but only gives a fantastically simplified fly eye’s view.”

Gustave Janouch, “Conversations with Kafka”