World Press Photo Announces Finalists for 2018 Awards
World Press Photo this morning announced six finalists for the 2018 World Press Photo of the Year. The winner will be announced April 12 at a ceremony in Amsterdam.
World Press also announced three finalists in each of its eight photo categories, and three finalists in each of its four Digital Storytelling categories. This is the first time World Press has announced nominees for its prizes in advance.
There are six nominees for World Press Photo of the Year. One photographer shot two of the nominated photos: Patrick Brown of Australia for an image of the Rohingya crisis, photographed for UNICEF.
Adam Ferguson of Australia for his portrait of a 14-year-old girl from the series, “Boko Haram Strapped Suicide Bombs to Them. Somehow These Teenage Girls Survived,” shot for The New York Times.
Toby Melville of the UK, for a photo from “Immediate Aftermath of an Attack in the Heart of London,” shot for Reuters.
Ivor Prickett of Ireland, for “The Battle for Mosul—Lined Up for an Aid Distribution,” shot for The New York Times.
Ivor Prickett for “The Battle for Mosul—Young Boy Is Cared for by Iraqi Special Forces Soldiers,” also for The New York Times.
Ronaldo Schemidt of Venezuela, for a photo of a protester in Venezuela, photographed for Agence France-Presse.
After a packet of information and photos by all the nominees were sent to press, World Press Photo sent an announcement that one image in Toby Melville’s series, nominated in the Spot News-Stories category, had been killed by Reuters in May, and should not be published. No explanation was given for why the image was pulled.
All the nominees for 2018 Photo of the Year honors are men. Last year, World Press released a State of the Industry Report based on a survey of working photojournalists around the world; only 15 percent of respondents were women.
Nominees in other categories include Ryan M. Kelly of The Daily Progress for his photo of the car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, nominated in the Spot News-Singles category, and David Becker’s coverage of the mass shooting in Las Vegas in the Spot News-Stories category. Anna Boyiazis of the US and Tatiana Vinogradova of Russia are nominated in the category People-Stories. Ami Vitale of the US is a nominee in the Nature-Stories category and Corey Arnold and Michael Patrick O’Neill, both of the US, are nominated in Nature-Singles. Richard Tsong-Taatari of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis is nominated in General News-Singles.
The four categories of the Digital Storytelling Contest are Immersive Storytelling, Innovative Storytelling, Long Form and Short Form. The New York Times received four nominations; The Washington Post, TIME, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the National Film Board of Canada each received one nomination.
Getty Licensing Deal with Google Suggests Thawing of Relations
Getty Images has announced a partnership with Google that includes a multi-year deal licensing deal. In a statement released by Getty on Friday, the two companies exchanged pleasantries, but offered few details about the deal. The “collaborative relationship” between the companies, said Getty CEO Dawn Airey, will allow Getty to work “closely with [Google] to improve attribution of our contributors’ work and thereby [grow] the ecosystem.”
The announcement comes almost two years after Getty Images filed an unfair competition complaint against Google in the European Union, claiming the search engine had cut into the agency’s licensing business. The new agreement suggests the two companies may have reached a détente, at least for now. An email to Getty contributors suggested that Getty had withdrawn its unfair competition complaint against Google. “After working cooperatively with Google over the past months, our concerns are being recognized and we have withdrawn our complaint,” the email said.
Getty had filed the complaint against Google, Inc. to protest changes made in 2013 to Google Images, which had not only “impacted Getty Images’ image licensing business, but content creators around the world, by creating captivating galleries of high-resolution, copyrighted content.” Google Images went from displaying thumbnails that linked to image sources such as Getty, to displaying galleries of large images that kept search users (and their behavioral data) in the Google ecosystem.
“They’re the ones monetizing all of that [image search] traffic and user engagement,” Getty General Counsel, Yoko Miyashita told PDN in an interview shortly after the company filed its EU complaint. “We’re a competing images search engine. Search engines thrive on queries, follow-on queries and all of that engagement data to continue to improve and smarten up the algorithms. We have customers who pay us significant licensing fees to have the rights to display these images. They’re wholly dependent on that traffic to generate the advertising revenue that’s required to pay for the images they license from us. To me, its an underlying fairness issue. All of these publishers pay for the rights to display these picture galleries and Google has done it for free. It’s really hard to compete against a zero-cost competitor.”
According to Getty’s email to contributors, Google will change the structure of its Image search platform, eliminating the “View Image” button that allowed Google Images users to view a high resolution image, and will also display copyright and credit information more prominently.
Think About How You Use Instagram With the Flyer Theory
By David Justice
No matter how you feel about Instagram, if you’re reading this you know that you need it. Period. Social Media can change careers. Instead of being stuck working with people in your 15 mile radius, you’re now open to the world. But if you’re reading this, you’re probably also using Instagram wrong. If you need help with your Instagram, there’s one cheat, trick, hack, whatever you want to call it, that’s free and more beneficial than anything else you can do.
How often do you engage with accounts you don’t follow? Do you stick to the photos in your feed? Or do you ever look at photos under hashtags? And how often are those hashtags something that aren’t for other photographers, but are for models, makeup artists, designers, and people like that? Not that often? Well let me introduce you to The Flyer Theory (patent pending).
You’re walking down the streets of New York. There’s advertisements and flyers everywhere down every street. If you think of Instagram tags as streets in New York, they’re all filled with flyers. Well think about every photo you post as one of those flyers. And think about all those people also walking down those same streets posting their flyers too and just ignoring what you posted for putting up their own. That’s what it’s like when you post photos with hashtags. Your flyer is on all of these streets and sure, maybe it stands out among the rest of them, but chances are you’re not going to get any real, solid engagement out of it.
Find the flyer that’s all about PlayStation repair. See how it just blends in with the rest of them? That’s what it’s like posting to Instagram. Now add in the fact that this is being updated constantly
Now let’s say you change it up. Now you’re going to those streets and handing out flyers to people who are walking by. You’re not limited to what streets you can post on and you’re actually putting your flyers in people’s hands. This is what interacting with people on Instagram is like. When you like photos on hashtags, you’re literally putting a notification on someone’s phone that says “Hey, my name is (your name here) and I like your photo”. Yes, most people don’t care and most people will ignore it. But not all of them. Some people will actually inspect your profile. And those people might want to follow you and hey maybe they’ll even want to pay you for a shoot.
Gary Vaynerchuk has talked about this before. You can’t just be in the background. You need to put in the work. Social media doesn’t work in your favor. It’s a give and take. The work you put in is somewhat equal to what you get out of it. If you’re ignoring other people and only look at people you admire, or friends, or meme pages, you’re not going to get real engagement with new, potential clients. Yes, of course there will be some people. But you’re leaving so much on the table by not doing that.
So that’s the flyer theory. Along with the flyer theory there are some prerequisites:
Your work needs to be half-decent for the flyer theory to work. People might check out your page, but they won’t like or follow because they don’t care about what you do. Just because you put a flyer in someone’s hand doesn’t mean they are going to care about it. This isn’t some fake follower trick, you’re basically introducing yourself to people who wouldn’t know about you otherwise.
You need to be smart about the tags you engage with to be effective. If you’re a MUA trying to work with photographers, why would you interact with pictures from other makeup artists? It’s definitely great to connect with other people in your area, but they’re not going to pay you. You go to places like #nycphotographer (or whatever your local city/state is) or #nycdesigner or tags like that. You try and get the attention of photographers. Not makeup artists, not dog lovers, and not bakers. Basically you think about who your perfect client is and try to get their attention.
You can’t like everything. Instagram will ban you for liking too many things in an hour and there’s just some things you don’t want to like. I go through places like #nycmodel pretty regularly and I make sure not to like photos of young kids, random photos of models with their significant other or people just out clubbing. I try to like photos of people actually modeling and pictures I actually like. I’m not lying, I’m not just trying to spam. I find people whose work I actually like. I even follow a lot of them. If you want to spam people’s photos you can. There’s services for that out there. But have fun being that person who follows/unfollows everyone. No one likes that person.
Diversify your bonds. You can’t just keep liking the same photos from the same people on the same tags. You have to mix it up every now and then. If you’re looking at #NYCModel every time, maybe look at #modelagency or something else that deals with models. If you consistently like things under the same tags, you’re going to at some point “dry up the well” so to speak and you’ll just be liking the same photos from the same people who don’t want to follow or like your stuff.
And that’s it. It can be shrunk down to just engage with people who are in your target demographic. And that’s seriously it. By engaging with people and putting yourself out there first, you’re inviting others to check out what you do who wouldn’t have otherwise. So go like and comment on shit and engage with people while being genuine. Because people want that and they appreciate it when you actually try and give a damn about them.
This post has been republished with permission from photographer David Justice.
National Geographic Photographers on What Photo Editors Really Do
“I’m pretty sure most people have no idea what a photo editor actually does,” says photographer David Guttenfelder at the beginning of this short video recently published by National Geographic. In the video, photographers and photo editors explain a bit about the how the photographer-editor relationship works at National Geographic. “It’s a complete partnership,” says Erika Larsen. “It’s just as personal to them as it is to me.”
One of the best things photo editors offer, the photographers say, is tough criticism. Tim Laman recalls one editor saying, “I don’t care if you spent a week sitting in a blind to get that picture, it’s still a crappy picture.” Aaron Huey says Sarah Leen made him cry. And Joel Sartore says an editor told him, “we can’t publish your excuses.”
Nearly all the photographers agree that National Geographic’s demand that they hand over every image they’ve made on an assignment makes them feel “naked.” “The first time, I don’t think I ate for several days,” says Andrea Bruce. “It’s just pure shame,” adds Charlie Hamilton James.
While the video doesn’t delve into the nitty gritty, behind-the-scenes work, it’s fun to see the people behind the pictures talking candidly about the editing process. And to see Corey Arnold talking to his cat.
Quick Tip: How to Ask Donors to Support Your Photo Project
Few photographers are comfortable asking for donations to support their projects. Fundraising expert Dianne Debicella, program director at Community Partners in LA (and formerly senior program director at Fractured Atlas), reminds artists that they’re not begging. She explains why confidence is so important when asking potential donors for money:
“You have to frame [the pitch] with confidence and clarity: ‘This is exactly what I ąm doing, and this is why you should be involved. So I ąm offering you this opportunity.’ This isn’t about begging, and this isn’t about handouts. This is about [asking people to] become part of your project and support it, and about you not coming across as, ‘I’m sorry to bother you, and this is something I feel embarrassed by.’ Nobody is going to want to give if you ąre acting shy about it, or if you ąre acting as if you ąre doing something wrong.
“[Try] to seed a network in order to prep [potential donors] by saying, ‘I’m going to be doing this project, and I’d love to send you more information about it.’ Or you might say, ‘I’m really excited about this work that I’m producing. Can I share some of it with you?’ That gives you an introduction, and the ability to make that ask down the road.
“If you’re sending out a request by email or snail mail, and you are uncomfortable saying, “Please give me $1,000,” you can say, “If you donate $25, it will help me buy five rolls of film. If you donate $50, that will pay for one hour of darkroom time. If you donate $250, that is going to help me pay for a lighting kit rental.”
How to Pack Like a Professional Travel Photographer
If experience is the great teacher, then travel photographers Ira Block and Colby Brown could teach a master class. Boasting nearly half a century of travel shooting between them, Brown and Block shared some of their road-won wisdom with attendees at the Sony/PDN day at B&H Photo and Video.
Here’s what we learned:
More Bags Are Better
Both photographers stressed the need to pack only the photo gear you can carry onto a plane, since you don’t want to run the risk of checking your camera gear only to have the airline lose it in transit. Pack photo gear in a roller bag for travel to/from the airport but keep a backpack in your checked luggage for transporting gear when you’re at your destination. Block checks his tripod in his luggage but also carries a smaller spare in his carry-on just in case.
Beyond the photo gear, Block and Brown are practically paranoid about backing up their images in the field. Their advice: pack plenty of SD cards. Block travels with 15 of them. When your card is full, don’t offload the images and format the card, just start a new card. This way, if your backup memory is damaged, you can still recover images off of your SD card.
As for backup memory, both photographers prefer SSD drives since they’re tiny and can take more of a pounding than hard discs. To be really safe, back up your entire travel shoot on two separate SSDs. Put one in your checked in luggage and the other in your carry on, Brown advises. For files as for flocks, there’s safety in numbers.
One of Block’s favorite pieces of camera gear to travel with is a power strip, with enough outlets to recharge a phone, camera battery and also power a laptop. He also brings a USB hub for extra charging. The power strip ensures that he’ll just need to carry a single set of outlet adapters when working in different countries, and not one for each plug he needs to work with.
As for batteries, both Brown and Block said they carry in the neighborhood of five extra camera batteries.
Pack to Survive
Both Block and Brown often find themselves beyond the easy reach of the industrialized world’s amenities. In that case, they’re often left to purify their own water or traverse dangerous conditions with whatever’s on their feet.
A key component of Block’s travel kit is a UV water purifier. This wand-like device can be used to stir a glass of tap water to make it safe to drink or brush your teeth with. Block used to travel with iodine tablets for that purpose but those would leave the water tasting like iodine.
Brown keeps a pair of micro-spikes handy for when he needs to cross icy paths or navigate a glacier.
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.
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.
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?
For now, these questions remain unanswered. As researchers, we just need to engage our own creative networks to figure out how to answer them.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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?