Walmart Files Suit Against Photographer's Widow

by JamesNYCMay 15. 2014 15:48

Your typical copyright infringement involves one photographer stealing another photographer's images, or reproducing copyrighted images without permission. But in this case, it's the largest retailer in the world bullying a small Arkansas studio.

Walmart and its founding family, the Waltons, have filed suit against Helen Huff, the widow of Arkansas photographer David A. Huff. David Huff's studio, Bob's Studio of Photography, was founded by his late father, Robert A. Huff, in 1946, and created portraits of the Walton family before the expansion of Walmart grew them into one of the wealthiest families in the world. But now Walmart and the Walton family are demanding that Helen Huff hand over those works.

Read the full story here. Walmart.jpg

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The Very First Color Photographs of the United States

by JamesNYCMay 15. 2014 14:27

Mulberry Street in New York, around 1900

You're looking at some of the very first color photographs of North America! A fascinating new photography book called An American Odyssey opens the archive of the Detroit Photographic Company to reveal America in brilliant color from the late 1880s to the early 1920s. Several thousand black-and-white negatives were reproduced in color by a photolithographic technique invented in Switzerland, called the Photochrom process.

Graphic designer, photographer, and collector Marc Walter owns one of the world’s largest collections of vintage travel pictures, or more specifically photochroms, and co-authored the book, An American Odyssey, with documentarian Sabine Arqué. The 612 page book takes us back in time, showing us rare and remarkable images of America's past including some of its most iconic landmarks.

As it states in the introduction of An American Odyssey, "Here, then, is the Grand Canyon in color more than ten years before the invention of Autochrome by the Lumière brothers. . . . The Grand Canyon had been discovered in the early 1850s and, by 1895, had already been photographed during the scientific expeditions organized by the American government in 1860–70: Timothy O’Sullivan, J.J. Fennemore, William Bell, William Henry Jackson, and John K. Hillers had already brought back monochrome pictures of the canyon. But the colors of the Grand Canyon—the reds, browns, ochers, and white of its strata burned by the sun were unknown to all but a select few. The colors of what Henry Miller termed 'the land of the Indian' . . . were for the first time revealed to the world by the photochroms of W. H. Jackson.

READ MORE HERE

 

 Anonymous, A Monday washing, New York, photochrom.

Mariposa Grove, "Three Graces," Yosemite National Park, California.

 

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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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The Making of the Pirelli 2012 Calendar - Mario Sorrenti

by JamesNYCMay 12. 2014 13:55

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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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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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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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Fashion Photographer Deborah Turbeville dies at age 81

by JamesNYCOctober 24. 2013 05:21

Photographer Deborah Turbeville, whose atmospheric images for Mademoiselle, Harper’s Bazaar, Italian Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, Cacharel, Valentino and Barneys New York were distinctive for their mystery and drama, died in a New York hospital October 24, her agents, Marek and Associates, confirmed. The cause of death was lung cancer.


Throughout her career, Turbeville created fashion, travel and architectural images that were “Romantic, feminine, elegant, unconventional, dreamy,” as Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani wrote in the 2011 book Deborah Turbeville: The Fashion Pictures (published by Rizzoli).

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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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Fotodiox Announces New Additions to Signature Line of High-Intensity LED Lights

by JamesNYCOctober 17. 2013 22:04

Fotodiox Announces New Additions to Signature Line of High-Intensity LED Lights

Next Generation Upgrades to Best-Selling LED Lighting Panels Offer More Portability, Control, and Ease of Use for Amateur and Professional Photographers

Fotodiox, the leading manufacturer and distributor of high-quality photography and videography accessories, has announced the availability of its next generation LED light panels; the Fotodiox LED-312D, LED-312DS, and LED-1024AL. The new LED lights are compact and powerful, while remaining lightweight – perfect for both studio and location shooting. Fotodiox's LED panels generate little heat, use little power, and now the reduced bulk of these newest lights maximize portability and mounting possibilities to capture the perfect shot.

 

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