Collector Sues Chicago Gallery for Damaging 54 Vivian Maier Prints

by JamesNYCMay 13. 2014 14:02

The owners of a Wicker Park gallery are being sued as a result of a 2012 exhibit of works by the photographer.

A photo collector who bought part of the Vivian Maier photo collection when Maier’s storage locker was auctioned off in 2007 has sued a Chicago gallery: Corbett vs. Dempsey, for damaging 54 images during a 2012 exhibition of the work; according to a report today in the Chicago Reader.

Vivian Maier who was unknown as a photographer when she died in 2009 has since been promoted to stardom by the PR machine of collectors John Maloof and Jeffrey Goldstein. They bought the vast majority of Maier’s negatives and prints at the 2007 auction and are not involved in the claim against Corbett vs. Dempsey.

The collector suing the gallery is Ron Slattery, who bought several thousand of Maier’s negatives and several thousand prints when her storage locker was auctioned. According to the Chicago Reader report, Slattery provided 56 of the prints to Corbett vs. Dempsey for an exhibition and sale that ran from June through December, 2012. Two of the prints sold but Slattery claims that the gallery returned the other 54 prints in damaged condition. He alleges that the gallery used too much hinge glue to mount the photographs and it soaked through the print paper “severely distorting the images.” Slattery’s claim also that the damage was “exacerbated” by exposure of the prints to “excessive heat,” and he alleges the gallery tried to cover up the damage, according to the Chicago Reader report.

The gallery says it admitted the damage to Slattery upon return of the images and claims to have made “multiple” offers to settle the claim for $8,700–the cost of repairs estimated by a restorer consulted by the gallery.

Slattery is seeking $200,000 in actual damages to the photographs, plus $2 million in punitive damages.

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“Twin Peaks” creator David Lynch reveals where his ideas come from

by JamesNYCMay 8. 2014 14:53

Ever wonder where the man behind the movie “Blue Velvet” and other artistic endeavors gets his ideas? Last week in a talk with Paul Holdengräber at Brooklyn Academy of Music, David Lynch gave us a glimpse into his extraordinary and brilliant mind.

Asked about where his ideas come from, Lynch explained,”It comes like on a TV in your mind.” Lynch also called ideas “beautiful gifts.” A portion of the hour-long talk can be viewed below:

It's always great to hear how others creative get there ideas; as opposed to those that steal and "Re-purpose" the works of others from the past.

According to Brooklyn Magazine, Lynch expounded on other topics. In terms of music Lynch loves Kanye West, specifically “Yeezus,” which he said was “one of the most modern pieces and so minimal, so powerful but at the same time so beautiful.” He also loves Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young.

He also thinks everybody is a voyeur, saying, “Looking into windows is something so fantastic. It’s like cinema, and a glimpse into another world, other lives. So beautiful.” David Lynch was also an Eagle Scout, who volunteered at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration where he saw “four consecutive presidents just gliding by me.” An in-depth reading can be found here.

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Photography Against A White Background - Patent granted to Amazon "WTF"

by JamesNYCMay 6. 2014 12:09

In yet another act of insanity and a further display of the US Patent and Trademark Office level of ignorance and complete incompetence on display during the past 10 years, the USPTO has granted Amazon a Patent for: "Photography Against A White Background".

Polaroid | PHOTO ASSISTANT against white background 1989

Now how anyone in any office would not be able to pick up any magazine produced in the last 100 years and not find "Prior Art" that would be an example of this type of photographic lighting setup is simply astounding.

Creating images of people or products against a clean white background is probably the most common studio photography techniques in use and a basic  skill for any studio photographer using studio strobes or continuous lighting. But that has not stopped the US Patent and Trademark Office from granting Amazon one of the most bizarre and needless patents I've heard of in a long time. A studio lighting setup that allows photographers to "achieve a desired effect of a substantially seamless background." Yes, Amazon now holds a patent for taking photos with a clean white backdrop.

Which is rather astounding because I've been doing this with studio strobes and or tungsten lights sources since 1989. And still others have been doing this since the 40's as far as I can tell based upon my 4 minutes of Google research.

The details of the patent itself are slightly more focused, calling out specific lighting placement and even the placement of a 21-inch raised platform nine feet from the backdrop for the subject to stand on. The patent's diagrams show very specific numbers and placements of the light sources, but those details aren't the point. Enforcing such a patent would appear to be nearly impossible, considering the nature of such photos with a pure white background, there's no way to know if the photographer is following the specific setup that Amazon patented.

Regardless of enforceability, the idea of patenting a fundamental and basic photography setup is hard to fathom, particularly when you consider that Amazon filed for the patent in November of 2011. If the USPTO had asked around a little, it probably could have found dozens of photographers who have used nearly identical setups for years particularly given that the ability to manipulate a background from pure white all the way down to black is something every photographer masters when learning how to use strobes.

View the Patent here

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Leica Launchs the New Leica T-System

by JamesNYCApril 24. 2014 01:44

Los Angeles, California - April 24th, 2014 -- Leica Camera continues to celebrate its journey into the future with the launch of the radically new yet brilliantly familiar Leica T-System. The Leica-T was designed with dynamic simplicity in collaboration with AUDI Design and it is the fourth system ever to be released from Leica. The Leica T-System features Wi-Fi, a rebuilt graphical user interface (GUI), Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac® OS X and Microsoft Windows®.

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The Profoto B1 Can Now Perform TTL Metering with Canon EOS-1D X

by JamesNYCMarch 31. 2014 05:11

Profoto Announces B1 Firmware Upgrade

Today, Profoto followed through on its promise to continuously update and improve their B1 wireless, off-camera flash system,  by announcing their first B1 firmware upgrade and update to the AirTTL system,  enabling TTL metering with the Canon EOS-1D X.

Since its release in November last year, the B1 has been able to perform TTL metering with the majority of Canon cameras. But there was one exception – Canon’s flagship – the EOS-1D X. Today, this feature is made available free of charge through an easily installed firmware upgrade.

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Calumet Photographic - Closes US Stores, files for bankruptcy, Gives Employees Zero Notice

by JamesNYCMarch 13. 2014 05:53

Calumet Photographic - "It's where the Pro's DID NOT GO often enough!"

Calumet Photographic, the Chicago based camera supply, photo rental and photo retailer that first opened 1939 abruptly closed its doors and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection after 75 years in business.

Some employees took to Facebook and Twitter to express anger over the sudden closure, saying they were not given prior notice.

On its Facebook page Calumet said that it was closing its stores in the United States, but that its European stores would remain.

According to court documents Calumet Photo Chapter 7 filing, in which a company prepares to liquidate, it lists assets of less than $50k, and and estimated liabilities in excess $10 million to $50 million.  
Assets of less than $50k is interesting when you consider how much product they stocked and rental equipment that was held in their inventory. Calumet’s bankruptcy filing lists 585 creditors, including photo manufacturers such as Canon, Fuji, Manfrotto, Phase One, Hasselblad, Cambo, Mac Group and many others.

Calumet photo.com LLC has voluntarily filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, listed as case #14-08908 in the Northern District of Illinois United States Bankruptcy Court. The filing is dated March 12, 2014  Calumet Photo LLC Bankruptcy Petition

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Flying a Drone around The NY Public Library

by JamesNYCOctober 31. 2013 01:01

Originally posted on http://boltron.com/nypl

Shot with the full cooperation of nypl.org and their rad labs team. Seems like most likely the first drone ever flown inside the NY Public Library. If you haven’t been there, go.

Everyone in the video was involved in the shoot and lots of safety precautions were taken and no books were harmed in the making of this video. Shot with a DJI Phantom and both a Hero3 Black and an iPhone 5S. Slowed down with Twixtor in After Effects to make up for the glaring lack of a Gimbal.

Thanks to @msh for coming up with the idea, @riordan for touring us, and @meikd, @ryanchris, and @gab for helping out. So much semi-autonomous quadcopter technology happening right now. Pretty sweet that they are small enough to take into a place like this and open up a new way of capturing images. And this is just the beginning. Music was purchased with rights to distribute from the Vimeo music store.

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New Law Regulates the Use of Child Models in New York

by JamesNYCOctober 26. 2013 15:23

New legislation in New York State demands that models under the age of 18 receive the same protection as child performers. Photographers and clients who hire models under the age of 18 will have to provide them with more protections and services on shoots in New York State under a new law that takes effect November 20. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the new child labor law on Monday night.

State senators Jeffrey D. Klein and Diane Savino, Democrats from New York City, proposed the legislation earlier this summer.

Lawyers writing for The National Law Review broke down the implications of the legislation in an article published in July. According to the article, “the new legislation will provide that companies employing models under the age of 18 will be required to obtain certificates of eligibility, to provide chaperones and tutors and to limit their work hours,” among other requirements. Under-age models will now receive the same protections as child performers.

The law also stipulates that 15 percent of a child model’s gross income be placed in a trust by the model’s employer.

Advocacy organization The Model Alliance, which supported the legislation, created a guide to understanding the new law, “Under 18 Models and the Law,” which can be downloaded here: http://modelalliance.org/child-models

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LEICA D-LUX 6 Silver Edition

by JamesNYCOctober 24. 2013 22:27

Solms, Germany  (October 24, 2013) - Leica Camera AG, presents a new design twist on the Leica D-Lux 6 digital compact camera. With an existing version in elegant, matte-black, the camera is now available in a high-gloss, two-color finish. The new high-gloss black camera body paired with the silver-colored lens creates a tasteful contrast that results in a sophisticated, stylish appearance.

 

The silver lens of the Leica D-Lux 6 is a Leica DC-Vario-Summilux lens. The varied range of focal lengths makes the camera particularly versatile, ideal for everything from wide-angle architectural and landscape photography to photojournalism and portraits. Combined with a powerful 1/1.7” CMOS image sensor, this camera guarantees a high dynamic range and brilliant images that capture life’s greatest moments.  

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DxO Optics Pro 9 introduces revolutionary PRIME denoising technology and pushes the limits of high ISO photography even further

by JamesNYCOctober 23. 2013 02:16

DxO Optics Pro 9 introduces revolutionary PRIME denoising technology and pushes the limits of high ISO photography even further

With its award-winning and unrivaled image processing quality, DxO Optics Pro definitively emerges as the software of reference for the most demanding photographers

Special introductory offer through November 20, 2013

October 23, 2013 - DxO Labs announces the immediate availability of DxO Optics Pro 9, the major new version of its image-processing software. DxO Optics Pro 9 introduces PRIME, a revolutionary noise reduction technology whose spectacular performance produces detailed and vividly-colored images even under the most extreme shooting conditions.

Based on DxO Labs' exclusive approach of prior calibration of equipment in its laboratories, DxO Optics Pro integrates many powerful tools for automatically processing RAW and JPEG images: precise optical and geometric corrections, intelligent optimization of exposure and contrast, preservation of colors and details. Its numerous presets can be adapted to photographers' personal tastes and will help them bring out the best in their photos in just a few clicks.

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