New study reveals why some people are more creative than others

New study reveals why some people are more creative than others

BY: Roger Beaty, Harvard University

Creativity is often defined as the ability to come up with new and useful ideas. Like intelligence, it can be considered a trait that everyone – not just creative “geniuses” like Picasso and Steve Jobs – possesses in some capacity.

It’s not just your ability to draw a picture or design a product. We all need to think creatively in our daily lives, whether it’s figuring out how to make dinner using leftovers or fashioning a Halloween costume out of clothes in your closet. Creative tasks range from what researchers call “little-c” creativity – making a website, crafting a birthday present or coming up with a funny joke – to “Big-C” creativity: writing a speech, composing a poem or designing a scientific experiment.

Psychology and neuroscience researchers have started to identify thinking processes and brain regions involved with creativity. Recent evidence suggests that creativity involves a complex interplay between spontaneous and controlled thinking – the ability to both spontaneously brainstorm ideas and deliberately evaluate them to determine whether they’ll actually work.

Despite this progress, the answer to one question has remained particularly elusive: What makes some people more creative than others?

In a new study, my colleagues and I examined whether a person’s creative thinking ability can be explained, in part, by a connection between three brain networks.

Mapping the brain during creative thinking

In the study, we had 163 participants complete a classic test of “divergent thinking” called the alternate uses task, which asks people to think of new and unusual uses for objects. As they completed the test, they underwent fMRI scans, which measures blood flow to parts of the brain.

The task assesses people’s ability to diverge from the common uses of an object. For example, in the study, we showed participants different objects on a screen, such as a gum wrapper or a sock, and asked to come up with creative ways to use them. Some ideas were more creative than others. For the sock, one participant suggested using it to warm your feet – the common use for a sock – while another participant suggested using it as a water filtration system.

Importantly, we found that people who did better on this task also tended to report having more creative hobbies and achievements, which is consistent with previous studies showing that the task measures general creative thinking ability.

After participants completed these creative thinking tasks in the fMRI, we measured functional connectivity between all brain regions – how much activity in one region correlated with activity in another region.

We also ranked their ideas for originality: Common uses received lower scores (using a sock to warm your feet), while uncommon uses received higher scores (using a sock as a water filtration system).

Then we correlated each person’s creativity score with all possible brain connections (approximately 35,000), and removed connections that, according to our analysis, didn’t correlate with creativity scores. The remaining connections constituted a “high-creative” network, a set of connections highly relevant to generating original ideas.

Two renderings show the lobes of the brain that are connected in the high creative network.
Author provided

Having defined the network, we wanted to see if someone with stronger connections in this high-creative network would score well on the tasks. So we measured the strength of a person’s connections in this network, and then used predictive modeling to test whether we could estimate a person’s creativity score.

The models revealed a significant correlation between the predicted and observed creativity scores. In other words, we could estimate how creative a person’s ideas would be based on the strength of their connections in this network.

We further tested whether we could predict creative thinking ability in three new samples of participants whose brain data were not used in building the network model. Across all samples, we found that we could predict – albeit modestly – a person’s creative ability based on the strength of their connections in this same network.

Overall, people with stronger connections came up with better ideas.

What’s happening in a ‘high-creative’ network

We found that the brain regions within the “high-creative” network belonged to three specific brain systems: the default, salience and executive networks.

The default network is a set of brain regions that activate when people are engaged in spontaneous thinking, such as mind-wandering, daydreaming and imagining. This network may play a key role in idea generation or brainstorming – thinking of several possible solutions to a problem.

The executive control network is a set of regions that activate when people need to focus or control their thought processes. This network may play a key role in idea evaluation or determining whether brainstormed ideas will actually work and modifying them to fit the creative goal.

The salience network is a set of regions that acts as a switching mechanism between the default and executive networks. This network may play a key role in alternating between idea generation and idea evaluation.

An interesting feature of these three networks is that they typically don’t get activated at the same time. For example, when the executive network is activated, the default network is usually deactivated. Our results suggest that creative people are better able to co-activate brain networks that usually work separately.

Our findings indicate that the creative brain is “wired” differently and that creative people are better able to engage brain systems that don’t typically work together. Interestingly, the results are consistent with recent fMRI studies of professional artists, including jazz musicians improvising melodies, poets writing new lines of poetry and visual artists sketching ideas for a book cover.

Future research is needed to determine whether these networks are malleable or relatively fixed. For example, does taking drawing classes lead to greater connectivity within these brain networks? Is it possible to boost general creative thinking ability by modifying network connections?

The ConversationFor now, these questions remain unanswered. As researchers, we just need to engage our own creative networks to figure out how to answer them.


Roger Beaty, Postdoctoral Fellow in Cognitive Neuroscience, Harvard University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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New study reveals why some people are more creative than others

New Makeover for Group Registration of Photographs: 6 Takeaways

New Makeover for Group Registration of Photographs: 6 Takeaways

By Melinda Kern

Calling all photographers! Starting February 20, 2018, the U.S. Copyright Office will implement a new rule affecting how groups of photographs are registered. The rule aims to modernize and streamline the registration process for group registrations of photographs, but also implements other important changes.

Copyright registration is, of course, voluntary. However, photographers should still consider the benefits that copyright registration offers, such as being able to bring an infringement lawsuit. Understanding that the filing fee for registrations can be burdensome for photographers, who often seek to register large volumes of work, the U.S. Copyright Office has created a rule that allows photographers to register multiple works under a single application and single filing fee.

Here are six characteristics that all creators should be aware of:


  1. Modified registration processes for two group registration options.

The Copyright Office has created two new group registration options for photographs: group registration of published photographs (GRPPH) and group registration of unpublished photographs (GRUPH). The current “unpublished collection” option for photographs and the pilot program for published photographs will no longer be available after the rule takes effect in February. It’s also now up to photographers to determine whether a photograph is published or unpublished according to the Copyright Act, as the Copyright Office won’t register an application including that combines published and unpublished photographs.

The Copyright Act’s definition of “publication” is tricky, even for copyright lawyers. While many photographers may also have trouble distinguishing between whether their works are published or unpublished, the U.S. Copyright Office “intends to add examples [in the Copyright Office Compendium] to explain the difference between published and unpublished photographs,” and also update its informational materials, such as the Copyright Office’s circulars, regarding the rule’s new registration options to help photographers understand this important distinction.


  1. Paper registration applications are a thing of the past.

All GRPPH and GRUPH applications must be filed online. Any group registration claims attempting to use paper applications will be refused by the Copyright Office. Recognizing that photographers may have difficulties using the new online application process, the Copyright Office will provide an example of the online application on its website for photographers “to familiarize themselves with the new form” and “will prepare an online tutorial that explains how to use the new applications.” The new applications will also include links that will help answer frequently asked questions.


  1. Registrations are limited to 750 photographs.

Photographers are now limited in the number of photographs that may be registered in a single application. The new rule imposes a 750 photograph limit for both published and unpublished group registration applications, changing the previous options that allowed photographers to register an unlimited number of photographs.


  1. Applications require digital deposits and Identifiable Information.

The rule changes how photographs within these group registration applications are deposited and the information that must accompany these photographs. Photographers must submit digital copies of their photographs along with their application. This requirement can be met one of two ways: “by uploading the photographs to the electronic registration system or by sending them to the [Copyright] Office on a physical storage device, such as a flash drive, CD-R, or DVD-R.” Digital deposits are required to be in either JPEG, GIF, or TIFF format, and can’t exceed 500MB.

Photographers must also provide a title for the group of photographs as a whole, in addition to assigning each photograph within the application a title and file name. The information for each individual photograph must be submitted in a separate document along with the application, in either Excel, PDF, or other format the Office approves. Applications for group registration of published photographs additionally require the month and year of publication.


  1. Group applications must meet new eligibility requirements.

The Copyright Office clarified the eligibility requirements for submitting group registration applications. Each photograph must be created by the “same author.” While the term may sound limited, it encompasses works made for hire, which are works prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment and the hiring entity is considered the actual “author,” and therefore, the copyright owner, of the work.

For works made for hire, the copyright owner isn’t required to identify the employee who took the photographs in their application. However, if during the registration application process the copyright owner checks the work made for hire box but leaves the designated “employee” space empty, “the application will not be accepted” by the registration system. To prevent this problem, the Copyright Office has advised copyright owners to state that employee(s) are “not named in the application.” If the registration application is approved, the work for hire information, or lack thereof, will still appear in the online public record.

In addition to being created by the same author, all photographs within the group registration application must be owned by the same person or entity. For example, if a corporation files an application to register a group of 500 photographs, that corporation must be the copyright owner for all 500 photographs. A corporation may not file a group registration application if they only own 499 photographs and another individual owns the remaining photograph.

Published photographs registered through the new GRPPH process aren’t required to be published within the same country, but are required to be published within the same calendar year. If an application contains various publication locations, this information may, but isn’t required to, be noted in the application’s “Note to Copyright Office” field. GRPPH applications should also include the author’s country of citizenship or domicile (which will usually be the hiring entity’s under the work made for hire doctrine) and the country where the photographs were first published. The citizenship and publication information helps the Copyright Office determine whether the photographs are eligible for U.S. copyright law protection.


  1. Group registration won’t limit a photographer’s available remedies.

The rule confirms that each individual photograph registered under the GRPPH and GRUPH registration application is a separate work under the Copyright Act, similar to the current rule. Treating each photograph as an individual work allows a photographer to seek separate statutory damage awards, as opposed to being limited to a single award for all the photographs in a single application. This provides photographers with greater avenues for relief to protect their works.

Melinda Kern is a Legal Fellow with the Copyright Alliance. This post first appeared on the Copyright Alliance blog and has been republished with permission.

Don’t Miss: What To Do If Someone Steals Your Photography


Stephen Shore on How to See

Stephen Shore on How to See

Photographer Stephen Shore has long been a believer in breaking with visual conventions.

Throughout his decades-spanning career, Shore has left an indelible mark on photography and fine art. To celebrate his exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern art, Shore takes you on a guided tour through the Met, highlighting some of the thinking behind his most important work.

In one particular portion of the Met exhibit, he walks through a recreation of his “American Surfaces” show and discusses how, at random moments, he would force himself to become “aware of his field of vision” to help him “take pictures that felt like seeing.”

Don’t Miss:

Stephen Shore in Full

Stephen Shore on Challenging Photography Conventions

Quick Tip: Take This Quiz to See If It’s Time to Quit Assisting

Quick Tip: Take This Quiz to See If It’s Time to Quit Assisting

Los Angeles photographer Travis Shinn spent a decade—“too long,” he says—as an assistant. “Get in, learn what you can and get out. Or you start getting bitter.”

Here’s a quick test to help you figure out if it’s time to strike out on your own as a photographer:

1. Have you been assisting 5 years? 7? 10 or more?
2. Do you feel like a slave to somebody else’s vision?
3. Do you silently second-guess the photographers you work for?
4. Do you try to steal the spotlight from photographers who hire you?
5. Do you weep while loading someone else’s film, schlepping their gear, or adjusting their lights?

For other tell-tale signs, see “How to Know When It’s Time to Make the Jump from Assistant to Professional Photographer.”

From Assistant to Photographer: Magdalena Wosinska’s Professional Transition
From Assistant to Photographer: Kyle Johnson’s Professional Transition
How Kat Borchart Built a Career in Fashion and Beauty Photography
From Assistant to Photographer: Shaina Fishman, Pet Whisperer
Celebrity Photographer Jesse Dittmar’s Advice to Assistants

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Source: PDN Pulse

Quick Tip: Take This Quiz to See If It’s Time to Quit Assisting

Photographing the SpaceX Zuma Rocket Launch from the Orlando City Stadium

Photographing the SpaceX Zuma Rocket Launch from the Orlando City Stadium

By Steven Madow

As a photographer that isn’t associated with any news media, it can sometimes be difficult to get access to certain opportunities.  With space, this is especially true, since access normally means the ability to place a camera near a launchpad in areas that are heavily restricted.

This is a story of how it can never hurt to ask for permission.

Streak Rocket Shots

The first time I required a “big” camera to capture an image was for a rocket streak shot. This type of shot shows a rocket launching at night streaking through the air. It is created not by combining hundreds of images in Photoshop, but instead by using a long exposure. When any digital picture is taken light has to hit a sensor and be recorded. When there is a ton of ambient light or fast action, the shutter has to be open for a very short time (small fractions of a second). A rocket streak shot is the complete opposite of that – the shutter needs be left open for very long periods of time in “bulb” mode,  typically  for 120 seconds to five minutes. This needs a very steady tripod or else everything will get wobbly. As the rocket moves, the light continues to get recorded bit by bit and then this shot is created!

Flash forward a couple of years to having some better equipment and a few positive experiences of getting this style of shot. The new goal is now getting an interesting foreground in the shot with the streak in the background. I’ve had good attempts of this in places like Lake Eola and I’ve had complete duds like at the Cocoa Beach Pier where my view for a 3AM launch was blocked by clouds.

 Trying to Get Permission

In early 2017, I captured a drone  picture of the new Orlando City Stadium that I was very proud of. At that point, I conceptualized doing a shot with the stadium and the city skyline in the foreground and a rocket streak in the background. Unfortunately, drones are bad for long exposures. It is difficult enough to keep them still for a normal picture, but for 120 seconds it is impossible. The vantage point from the ground outside of the stadium would be atrocious. This meant that the only way to capture this shot would be with my trusty Panasonic GH5, a tripod, a precarious perch inside the stadium … and permission.

So, the journey to get that permission commenced. I started out by just sending media requests via the Orlando City Soccer website explaining what I wanted to do. I included some example shots of the stadium and a previous rocket streak and simply explained that I wanted to combine these.

No response.

Then, before a scheduled launch in November for the mysterious “Zuma”  payload that the US government was sending aboard a SpaceX rocket, I decided that perhaps asking my social media network would be a better approach. At the same time, I sent a simple Facebook message to the OCSC page and they gave me an email address to contact. I sent a basic email with my short pitch and an example photo, and hoped for the best.

Amazingly enough, I got a response back to the email saying something negative and something very positive. The bad was that the stadium was closed for a somewhat extended Thanksgiving holiday so nothing would be possible. The good was that someone there (I’ll keep their name private) was willing to help. Fortunately (for me anyway) the launch got postponed by a few days, and then for a couple of months. That brings us to last week – the launch was scheduled for Thursday evening. I reached back out to my contact and he was still game.

Launch Day

After charging and packing my gear (three cameras, some tripods, and a few remote camera cables) my wife and I were off to the stadium. We were told simply to beep the car horn loudly when approaching the loading dock. Amazingly this worked, and our gracious host met us and gave a brief tour of the darkened stadium. We then went up an elevator and he opened a locked door to what looked like a utility closet. Inside the room, there was a 30 foot vertical ladder leading straight to the canopy (aka roof) over the stands.

After a scary and somewhat unstable climb, we trekked across the metal grooves of the canopy that happened to be the exact width of our feet. The view from the top was incredible. We could see the Orlando Eye, the city skyline, and much more. The camera set up took about 45 minutes and the rocket countdown continued smoothly. Looking east (towards the Space Coast), it seemed that there were some big clouds in the way, but it was tough to really know if that was the case since it was so dark. During the set up, our guide was able to control the stadium lighting, which was incredibly helpful. He actually turned the lights to full brightness for me to get some shots that I would later blend with the rocket streak. (Puzzled passers-by may have thought there was a late night soccer game!) Since my final shot was 131 seconds, the foreground of the stadium was pretty washed out – some parts were 100% white from the excessive exposure time. This meant that the extra shots taken ahead of time were critical to the success of the final image.

 T-Minus 60 Seconds

The tripods and cameras were all well-tested and the stadium light were dimmed. The moment of truth was upon us. Would the clouds be too dense? Would the rocket launch be scrubbed at the last-minute? Would the camera (and backup cameras) fail?

“10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, liftoff of the Falcon 9” came roaring out of our phones watching the live stream. The next 30-60 seconds were agonizing waiting for the rocket to rise in the horizon enough to be seen some 60 miles away from the launchpad. And then finally the bottom of the sky began to glow orange and a nice dot of the rocket was clearly visible in the sky. It was rising dead center in the shot, exactly where I needed it to be. The clouds were mostly gone and it was incredibly clear. A few seconds into the view,  the Falcon rocket started to head strongly northward, which was perfect for the composition I was seeking.

131 seconds after we first saw it, I decided to stop my shot. The cameras then had to process a noise reduction protocol (I’ll leave the technical details of this part out), but this takes an additional 131 seconds. The camera screens counted down the seconds and we waited, and waited. Finally, the images revealed and they were more than I could have ever hoped for! My primary composition had the rocket perfectly in frame. While it was processing, we could see the second stage begin and later on we saw one of the landing burns from the first stage of the rocket. This was captured as well, and added to an alternate version of the shot shown here.

As we headed back towards the vertigo-inducing ladder, we saw some fireworks from Disney in the distance. It was a perfect ending to an amazing experience, and goes to prove – it never hurts to ask.

This post first appeared on SteveMadow.com and has been republished with permission. You can follow Steve on Instagram at @stevenmadow.

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Photographing the SpaceX Zuma Rocket Launch from the Orlando City Stadium

Fund Your Work: Upcoming Grants, Artist-in-Residency Application Deadlines

Fund Your Work: Upcoming Grants, Artist-in-Residency Application Deadlines

Photographers seeking support for long-term projects take note: The deadlines for some big grants are coming up. We’ve paired information on these grants with tips from past winners and judges of many of these awards, grants and artists’ residency programs.

Center for Photography at Woodstock Artist-in-Residence Program
This photography-based Artist-In-Residence Program was created to expand the dialogue around diversity, race, identity and beyond, and to provide studio residencies for U.S.-based artists, scholars and curators of color. Deadline: January 28.


Alexia Foundation
The Alexia Foundation awards grants to student and professional visual journalists to help them produce projects that inspire change by addressing topics that are socially significant. Deadline for Professional Grant is February 1. The deadline for The Alexia 2018 Student Grants is March 1.


VSCO Voices
This is a six-month grant program that provides $20,000 in funding and mentorship to individuals working to empower marginalized U.S. communities through art. Online applications open February 5. Deadline: March 4.
VSCO is no longer accepting applications to its Artist Initiative grant, but our article about the program may help you tailor your application to fit VSCO’s interests.


MIT CAST Visiting Artist
This visiting artists program offers artists from a wide range of visual and performing arts disciplines a chance to embed in the cutting-edge research and teaching at MIT, where scientists and engineers are open to artists’ speculative and hands-on way of working. Deadline: Rolling applications


McKnight Artist Fellowship
McKnight partners with eight discipline-specific arts organizations to administer 38 fellowships of $25,000 each per year to selected Minnesota artists. Artist fellows may also participate in residencies, retreats, exhibitions/performances, and other
professional development opportunities. Deadline: Three remaining application periods in 2018, due April 15, July 15 and Oct 15.


Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize
Created by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke, the $10,000 prize supports “artists, working alone or in teams, who have undertaken extended, ongoing fieldwork projects that fully exploit the relationship of words and images in the powerful, persuasive representation of a subject.” Applications open February 1. Deadline: May 15


Getty Editorial Grants
Five grants of $10,000 each are awarded annually to support independent photojournalists to pursue projects. Applications open April 1. Deadline: May 15




W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography
Presented annually by the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, this grant supports a photographer whose past work and proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s concerned photography and dedicated compassion.
Opening date for applications yet to be announced.
Deadline: May 31

Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship
The foundation offers six-month fellowships of $20,000 and one-year fellowships of $40,000 to “journalists engaged in rigorous, probing, spirited, independent and skeptical work that will benefit the public.”
Applications open June 1. Deadline: October 1


Minnesota’s Artist Initiative
This grant program is designed to assist professional Minnesota artists at various stages in their careers. The grants, which range from $2,000 to $10,000, can be used to support career building and artistic development, as well as the creation of new work.
Deadline: June 29

Economic Hardship Reporting Project
Supports photo essays, portrait series, “innovative visuals and audio work” that tell new narratives about economic hardship.
Deadline: Rolling submissions

Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellowship
Offering grants of up to $10,000 each, support artists working in photography or photo-based art. Grant cycle and deadlines will be announced Spring 2018.


John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships
The Guggenheim Foundation awards approximately 175 Fellowships each year. Its mission is to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed. Applications open July 2018.



More Grant Writing Tips:




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Fund Your Work: Upcoming Grants, Artist-in-Residency Application Deadlines

A Short History of American Photography

A Short History of American Photography

Ralph Hattersley once said that we make photographs “to understand what our lives mean to us.”

We study history for much the same reason.

In this short survey of the history of American photography, Analog Process’s Marc Falzon takes us through some of the images, and image makers, who played a decisive role in shaping the early history of American photography.

Via: ISO 1200

Update on a Photo Scam: Photographer Lucky to Get Money Back After Fake Fader Assignment

Update on a Photo Scam: Photographer Lucky to Get Money Back After Fake Fader Assignment

A photographer reached out to PDN last week with details of a fake assignment scam that nearly cost him $4100. A person pretending to be an editor for The Fader, Patrick McDermott, contacted the photographer in late December with an offer of an assignment to shoot a fashion editorial for the magazine. He accepted and was sent a check to cover his fee and expenses for models and crew. He was instructed to use models from an agency that turned out to be fake. The agency demanded fees in advance, and the photographer deposited $4100 into the bank account of the fake modeling agency. Then he found out the check from the client had been recalled.

Photographers have reported versions of this same scam previously, including in September 2017 when a person calling himself “Alan Hurt” contacted photographers posing as a fashion blogger for High Snobiety. (See: Scam Alert: Phishing Scheme Targets Freelance Photographers)

This time, however, the scam had a positive ending. The photographer immediately contacted Wells Fargo, the bank that was holding the account for the fake modeling agency. “I got lucky and they managed to freeze the account and get my money back several days later,” he told PDN via email. “I’m afraid others may not have been so fortunate.”

The photographer who was nearly duped by the fake Fader assignment—and who asked to remain anonymous to protect himself—agreed to share the emails, contracts and other documentation with PDN so that others may avoid the mistakes he made. Here’s his story:

The initial email from the poser offered a shoot with a budget of $6300. The errors in the text of the email might have tipped the photographer off, but we’ve all received hastily written emails with a few errors, right?


Once the photographer replied that he was interested in the assignment, he received this follow-up. Again, numerous grammatical errors and some nonsensical statements (“Your works are quite aesthetic”) that could have been a red flag for the photographer. But the offer of payment for part of the photographer’s fee and the expenses for the talent convinced the photographer this was legit.


Next, the poser sent a contract. The photographer signed the fake contract, and was then sent a check for $4,800; $700 for part of the photographer’s fee, and $4100 to pay the modeling agency, fineline-talents.com. He was instructed to contact “Neil Barton,” a supposed modeling agent. A quick look at the website of the modeling agency makes it appear legitimate, but none of the links or menus function. The photographer reached out to the modeling agency and received this reply, as well as an invoice.

The photographer deposited the $4800 check. A couple of days later, he withdrew $4100. The modeling agency “required a cash deposit because the shoot was ‘short notice,’” the photographer explains. “This was by far the dumbest thing I did. Should have heard alarm bells loud and clear by now but my brain shut down for dollar signs.”

He says that two hours after he made the deposit to the modeling agency’s account, he received a call from his bank saying the check from “The Fader” had been withdrawn. “I was responsible for the $4100,” he says. Realizing what had happened, he went back to Wells Fargo and was eventually able to recover his money.

Related: Scam Alert: Phishing Scheme Targets Freelance Photographers

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Source: PDN Pulse

Update on a Photo Scam: Photographer Lucky to Get Money Back After Fake Fader Assignment

Retailer CVS Announces Move Toward Unretouched Beauty Photographs

Retailer CVS Announces Move Toward Unretouched Beauty Photographs

CVS Pharmacy has announced that it will use only unaltered photographs in all of the marketing and packaging they produce, and the company will ask the brands whose products they sell to comply with new transparency standards for altered imagery. The retail pharmacy chain, the largest in the U.S., introduced the initiative earlier this week.

CVS joins brands such as American Eagle’s Aerie and Dove in making the shift away from the heavily retouched imagery that has become the norm in the fashion and beauty industries. Photographs heavily altered in post-production have been increasingly criticized in recent years for promoting unrealistic beauty standards. “The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established,” said President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President, CVS Health Helena Foulkes in a statement.

Beginning this year, all imagery produced by CVS Pharmacy will adhere to new post-production standards, and the company will use a “CVS Beauty Mark” watermark to call attention to images which are not “materially altered.” The company has defined material alteration as “changing or enhancing a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics.”

The company announced they will require transparency for all beauty imagery in its stores and marketing materials by the end of 2020. “We’ve reached out to many of our beauty brand partners, many of whom are already thinking about this important issue, to work together to ensure that the beauty aisle is a place that represents and celebrates the authenticity and diversity of the communities we serve,” Foulkes said.





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Retailer CVS Announces Move Toward Unretouched Beauty Photographs

Quick Tip: Mike Davis on Editing Your Work for Competitions

Quick Tip: Mike Davis on Editing Your Work for Competitions

The Alexia Foundation’s call for 2018 grant applications reminds us how photographers often struggle to edit their own work. We recently asked Mike Davis, chair of the Alexia Grant competition and a professor at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications, for his advice about photo editing. Here’s what said about editing for competitions:

“I think the biggest mistake photographers make in selecting images for contests or competitions is that they tend to choose images based on the captions—the informational aspect. In a [competition], judges have no idea what the captions say. They’re purely responding to what they feel in the image, at least in my experience. The critical thing is choosing the first image that sets the stage for all others. What do you feel from the image, and what do you know from the image? You have to feel something from that image. If you don’t, so what? Outta here!

“Images that have significance are going to make you feel something. Then secondarily, how is the color? Does the color convey to that quality? Does the light convey to that quality? Is the composition helping? And that means, Is it a three-dimensional space I’ve expressed? And then there’s: Is the moment value an important part of the frame?

“Moment value for me is more than just: Is there an instant that happened and I captured it? There can certainly be a unique instant in the photograph, but it’s more about the coming together of all elements in the frame, uniquely. And the more elements there are, the higher the moment value. That doesn’t mean there has to be a ton of crap happening. It just means, in the way Cartier-Bresson expresses the decisive moment, [there’s] more of a complete geometric expression.”

See our story “Veteran Photo Editor Mike Davis on Editing Your Own Work.”

The Alexia Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2018 Professional and Student Grants. The application deadline for the $20,000 Professional Grant is February 1. Applications for the five student grants are due March 1. Student grant winners receive $1000, plus funding for a semester of study at Syracuse University.

Photo Editor Mike Davis and Jason Eskenazi on the Art of Sequencing Photos
7 Grant-Writing Tips from 2017 Getty Editorial Grants Juror Chelsea Matiash
How to Put Together a Standout Submission for Open Calls, Awards and Juried Reviews

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Source: PDN Pulse

Quick Tip: Mike Davis on Editing Your Work for Competitions