Alex Potter Wins First K James W. Foley Fellowship
Photographer Alex Potter (right) has won the inaugural James W. Foley Fellowship for young journalists, fellowship administrator The GroundTruth Project announced last week. Potter will use the $10,000 fellowship to pursue a project about the effects of conflict on children in the Middle East.
“I am delighted that she will be continuing Jim’s legacy of moral courage and commitment to the truth,” said Diane Foley, Jim Foley’s mother and the founder and executive director of the James W. Foley Foundation. Foley was captured by ISIS while reporting on the Syrian civil war and murdered in 2014.
Potter, who is a trained nurse, has worked in the Middle East as both a journalist and caregiver. She was one of 250 applicants—including 100 photographers—for the fellowship. “Alex’s application stood out from the rest,” says Kevin D. Grant, co-founder and executive editor of The GroundTruth Project. “Her personal investment in public service is very much in keeping with Jim Foley’s model of journalism as public service…[and her] proposal resonated with the selection committee for its thoughtful approach and its focus on the victims of the fighting, particularly children, and how they are recovering.”
Applicants were asked to submit proposals about “education, health, culture, art, food, faith and other expressions of life in a region where too often reporters cover only conflict,” according to GroundTruth’s call for applications in October.
Funding for the fellowship is provided by the James W. Foley Foundation, with additional funding provided by New Yorke-based Correspondents’ Fund, a non-profit that provides funding and emergency relief for journalists in the US and abroad.
A German court has ordered the book publisher Steidl to pay photographer Lawrence Schwartzwald €65,000 ($77,392) in damages for accidentally discarding or destroying 49 portfolio prints, according to an Artnet News report.
Schwartzwald’s collection of candid photographs showed New Yorkers reading. He sent the 49 prints to Steidl in 2014 hoping to have them published as a book. According to Schwartwald, Steidl notified him in 2015 that the work wouldn’t be published. He told Artnet News that he asked Steidl to “please return my portfolio prints.”
They never arrived, so Schwartzwald sued the publisher in 2016. He valued the prints at $1,200 each.
Gerhard Steidl, publisher and company founder, told Artnet News that he didn’t reject Schwartzwald’s book; he just couldn’t publish it quickly enough, so Schwartzwald asked Steidl to return the prints.
But Steidl admitted that he had lost Schwartzwald’s work. “It just couldn’t be found,” he told Artnet News. “I didn’t sell it, auction it, or put it under my bed, it’s just not there anymore.”
Steidl’s lawyers told Artnet News that the prints were “most likely shredded according to the usual office procedures, as senders do not typically ask for the return of portfolio proofs.” (In 2013, Steidl told PDN that he receives 1,200 unsolicited book proposals per year.)
Leica M10 Full-Frame Sensor is More in Line with Top Crop Sensors: DxOMark
The Leica M10 is a $6,900 camera that some photographers swear by, but its full-frame sensor doesn’t stack up well against the top full frame sensors on the market — it’s more in line with the performance of top APS-C crop sensors. That’s what DxOMark concluded in its latest review of the camera.
Announced in January 2017, the new M10 is an M series digital rangefinder that features a slimmer form factor that’s more similar with Leica’s analog M series cameras of old.
The M10’s sensor tested well, but it falls behind the highly acclaimed full frame sensors in new cameras such as the Sony a7R III and the Nikon D850, which were both awarded groundbreaking scores of 100. The M10 was found to be at least a 1 stop worse in both color depth and dynamic range.
In fact, the Leica M10’s sensor scores are more on par with the best APS-C chips we’ve tested in mirrorless cameras, such as the Samsung NX500 and the Sony A6300. Headline sub-scores for color depth (Portrait) and dynamic range (Landscape) are either the same or better for both the Samsung NX500 and the Sony A6300. Dynamic range is better at base ISO for these top-performing APS-C chips, too, offering half or two-thirds of a stop better performance compared to the M10 at base ISO. So while the M10’s 24Mp full-frame CMOS sensor has great specifications, it doesn’t quite hit its full potential.
DxOMark does note that the one advantage the Leica M10 has over the top crop sensor cameras is the fact that its physically larger sensor is able to gather more light, providing better low-light ISO performance.
“For pure sensor performance, the Leica M10’s 24Mp CMOS chip is in the same ballpark as recent Leica full-frame chips,” DxOMark concludes. “Compared to the top-performing full-frame sensors we’ve tested, the M10 lags a little behind at base ISO and throughout the sensitivity range, with image quality more in line with the best APS-C chips.”
Apple’s ,999 iMac Pro Has Arrived, and It’s Looking Good
Apple’s new $4,999+ iMac Pro just hit stores today after being announced back in June. Based on initial hands-on reviews that are starting to appear, this computer looks like a solid option for photographers looking for a monster computer upgrade.
While the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro start at $1,299 and $2,999, respectively, the iMac Pro has a staggering starting price tag of $4,999. Include all the available spec and performance upgrades offered by Apple, and you’re looking at a computer that costs over $13,000.
“Pros love iMac. So we created one just for you,” Apple says. “It’s packed with the most powerful graphics and processors ever in a Mac, along with the most advanced storage, memory, and I/O — all behind a breathtaking Retina 5K display in a sleek, all-in-one design.
“For everyone from photographers to video editors to 3D animators to musicians to software developers to scientists, iMac Pro is ready to turn your biggest ideas into your greatest work.”
The top-of-the-line features and specs you’ll find in the iMac Pro include up to 18 cores (with options for 8/10/14/18), Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.5GHz, a cache of up to 42MB, Radeon Pro Vega graphics with up to 16GB of memory and 22 teraflops, up to 128GB of memory across 4 channels, up to 4TB of all-flash storage, four 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 ports that let you connect two 5K monitors, 10Gb Ethernet, and a Retina 5K 27-inch display with 14.7 million pixels and one billion colors.
The dedicated webpage on the Apple site boasts of the iMac Pro’s performance in handling photo editing software such as Photoshop CC and Pixelmator Pro.
Reviewers and notable creatives who have gotten their hands on the iMac Pro early have great things to say about it. Here’s a roundup:
Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Vincent Laforet calls it “a wonderful machine that will satisfy all users out there.”
Overall this is a wonderful machine that will satisfy all users out there – with the exception of the 0.1% of users who work in the 8K RAW RED world for example and want to transcode at 1:1 or faster with purpose-built machines. If you’re shooting 4K or pretty much any still camera available today, this Mac is unlikely to let you down. I know it’s tackled everything I’ve thrown at it and it’s the first machine that can keep up with me in an still edit of thousands of images or hundreds of minutes of video footage.
“It feels like the ideal high-end YouTuber, Final Cut Pro machine,” says technology personality Marques Brownlee. “The main question will be, is it worth the extra money.”
“Given the up-to-date high-level components, it’s not surprising that it’s probably faster than any Mac to date,” says CNET’s Lori Grunin, “but I really feel that unless you’ve got a pent-up need for an iMac on steroids, I’d wait and see what the new Mac Pro looks like.”
Jonathan Morrison provides a tour showing what the iMac Pro offers, both inside and out:
[O]ne of the main advantages of the iMac Pro: moving to a workstation class CPU gives access to more cores, advanced processing features, and a bigger, more scalable, performance envelope than you can get in a standard iMac. Other key advantages are memory capacity and graphics capability. If your work benefits from any of these things, then the iMac Pro is the natural choice […]
It will be interesting to see how the higher end models price out, especially the 18-core model, but if the trend is in line with the base model, this will be quite a deal for people that are ready to spend money on a true workstation-class Mac. Just be careful that your wallet doesn’t catch on fire.
Google Unveils 3 Experimental Photo Apps For Smartphones
Google has created a trio of apps that utilize experimental technology in a bid to push forward the possibilities of smartphone photography and videography. The apps — Storyboard, Selfissmo!, and Scrubbies — use techniques like smart object recognition and person segmentation algorithms similar to Portrait Mode to enable creative editing of images and video.
Storyboard — which is available only on Android — applies a comic book style effect to your videos. It works by analyzing your video and grabbing still frames at interesting points. It then lays them out in a single-page comic layout and applies a stylization algorithm that yields a different result every time you swipe down on the screen to refresh it.
Selfissmo! is an app to assist in taking selfies, and is available on both iOS and Android. Once launched, the app snaps a black and white photo of you every time it recognises that you have changed your pose and stopped moving, without you needing to trigger the shutter yourself.
It also offers encouragement during your photo shoot, displaying small platitudes such as “Radiant!”, “Fabulous!”, and “Superb!”. The app collates these photos into a contact sheet from which they can be saved or shared.
The third app is named Scrubbies, and is available only for iOS. Scrubbies allows you to manually create a looped video by scrubbing through it to alter the speed and direction. The end result is a shareable video loop similar to Instagram’s Boomerang, but with complete control over the output.
Over on its research blog, Google says that the “‘appsperimental’ approach was inspired in part by Motion Stills, an app developed by researchers at Google that converts short videos into cinemagraphs and time lapses using experimental stabilization and rendering technologies.
“Our appsperiments replicate this approach by building on other technologies in development at Google,” the company writes. “They rely on object recognition, person segmentation, stylization algorithms, efficient image encoding and decoding technologies, and perhaps most importantly, fun!”
B&H is Shipping an Extra ,200 Sony a7R III to Customers by Accident
When I picked up my new $3,200 Sony a7R III camera from B&H Photo at UPS on Monday morning, I was surprised at how it was packed, because it was a box inside a box. This never happens, so imagine my surprise when I opened this rather large second box to find two cameras inside.
Knowing the law, for a split second I knew that I could keep what was inside, but I immediately reached out to my contact at B&H Photo during my drive home to find out what happened. Considering others received and unboxed cameras from B&H Photo on YouTube, I hoped it was a one-off error, so I worked with them to figure out how this happened. They figured out that any 7lbs box being shipped must be a double pack, which was where our conversation stopped.
Since then, I have discovered that I was not the only one to receive two cameras. I am not sure why this person wanted to be on the news for returning something they didn’t pay for, but I highly encourage any of you to do the same thing.
Depending on the size of this error someone will likely lose their job around the holidays. There are also your fellow photographers out there that are being deprived of stock by this error of unknown size.
I’ve done some digging and I know more than 20 people who have received an extra camera, so that is a fairly significant loss on everyone’s behalf. Roughly $66,000 is not a bad salary and it could be a much larger error than that, so if the cameras aren’t returned you can bet jobs will be lost.
I don’t believe in a lot in this world and karma certainly hasn’t worked in my favor, but it still doesn’t change things. People should try to do the right thing. So if you receive a second camera in error, contact B&H Photo. If they take the time to reach out to you because you received one, just send it back and be happy with the camera you paid for.
Happy Holidays and thanks for reading.
About the author: Louis Ferriera is a second-generation Leica photographer that learned analog photography on a first production year Leica M3 that he inherited from his uncle. Photography has been an avocation of his for 25 years and he became involved in professional photography when the transition to digital photography began in the 90s. You can find more by Louis on Fuji Addict, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, 500px, and Twitter. This article was also published here.
Léonard Pongo Wins 00 Visura Grant for Work on Congo
Léonard Pongo has won the 2017 Visura Grant for Outstanding Personal Project, for his long-term project “The Uncanny,” about daily life in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pongo, a member of Noor who was named a PDN’s 30 photographer in 2016, will receive a $5000 cash prize and a 90-minute consultation with editor and curator Scott Thode.
Juan Arredondo was named the finalist for this year’s grant. His project “Everybody Needs a Good Neighbor” looks at the challenges facing former child soldiers in Colombia.
Visura hosts portfolios, builds websites and “connects professional individuals and organizations worldwide in the photography, film, and media industry.” The jury for this year’s grant was Gina Martin of National Geographic; Myles Little, former photo editor at TIME; Yukiko Yamagata of Open Society Foundations; Michael D. Davis of the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University; and freelance photo editor and curator Monica Allende.
The jurors chose 20 honorable mentions. The list of honorable mentions and their personal projects can be found on the Visura website.
Previous winners of Visura grants include Justin Maxon and Jared Moosy; and Souvid Datta, whose honors (including PDN’s 30) were withdrawn after he admitted to plagiarizing work by other photographers.
Samsung’s 512GB Chip Will Hold Years of Smartphone Photos
Samsung smartphone are about to get a lot more internal storage. Samsung has announced that it has begun mass production of a 512GB embedded Universal Flash Storage solution that will appear in the next generation of smartphones from the South Korean giant.
The 512GB chips will provide vast internal storage space and may spell the end of the need for microSD cards by most smartphone users who want to store years of photo and video memories.
Samsung says that this is the first chip of its size in the mobile industry that offers this new level of “unparalleled storage capacity and outstanding performance.” It takes up the same amount of physical space as Samsung’s previous 256GB chip, so it’s unlikely we’ll see smartphones increase in size as a result.
Smartphones using the new 512GB chip will be able to store about 130 10-minute-long 4K Ultra HD video clips.
“The new Samsung 512GB eUFS provides the best embedded storage solution for next-generation premium smartphones by overcoming potential limitations in system performance that can occur with the use of micro SD cards,” says Samsung VP Jaesoo Han. “By assuring an early, stable supply of this advanced embedded storage, Samsung is taking a big step forward in contributing to timely launches of next-generation mobile devices by mobile manufacturers around the world.”
Samsung has introduced a new “power management technology” in the chip, helping to minimize the “inevitable” increase in the amount of energy required to run it.
The new chip will be able to do fast transfers, boasting read and write speeds of 860MB/s and 255MB/s respectively. At these speeds, a 5GB video clip can be transferred to an SSD in about 6 seconds — that’s over 8 times faster than a “typical” microSD card.
For random operations, the chip can read 42,000 IOPS and write 40,000 IOPS — that’s about 400 times faster than the 100 IOPS of a conventional microSD card.
Samsung has said that it intends to “steadily increase an aggressive production volume” for the 512GB chips, as well as expanding the previous 256GB chip’s production.
“This should meet the increase in demand for advanced embedded mobile storage, as well as for premium SSDs and removable memory cards with high density and performance,” says Samsung.
Gucci Opens Its Doors in the Miami Design District
As it stands, Gucci is a fashion force to be reckoned with. And over the course of several months, the Italian fashion house has celebrated their décor line at Maxfield, started a holiday gift giving initiative, and is now opening a storefront in the Miami Design District just in time for Art Basel. The imaginative design concept, conceived by creative director Alessandro Michele, features a two-floor boutique decorated with velvet armchairs, pale pink velvet dressing rooms, textured rugs and…
Second Model Accuses Bruce Weber of Sexual Harassment
Days after a model filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against photographer Bruce Weber, a second model has stepped forward with sex harassment accusations against the photographer, according to a USA Today report.
Model Jason Boyce filed a lawsuit against Weber last week, claiming he was sexually harassed by the photographer at a 2014 photo shoot.
Yesterday, model Mark Ricketson held a press conference and described how Weber made him feel “ashamed and embarrassed” at a 2005 casting call in Weber’s office. Ricketson said Weber told him at that shoot that he “looked tense,” then guided the model’s hand “lower and lower” toward Ricketson’s genitals. Ricketson’s account of Weber’s actions was similar to that of Boyce.
Ricketson cannot sue for sexual harassment because the incident happened too long ago. But he has offered to testify in Boyce’s case as a corroborating witness, according to a Huffington Post report.