The following are excerpted from news stories posted on PDNOnline and PDNPulse.
Visit www.pdnonline.com/digest to read the complete articles.
ONLINE NEWS DIGEST
Jon Lowenstein Wins $10,000 2014
Lange-Taylor Prize for “South Side”
Photographer and filmmaker Jon Lowenstein won
the prize for “South Side,” his ongoing project
about life in the Chicago neighborhood where he
has lived and worked for more than a decade. The
prize, awarded by The Center for Documentary
Studies at Duke University, is given to support
documentary artists whose projects rely on
the interplay of words and images. Lowenstein
proposes to use the award to create “a lasting
testimony” to his Chicago neighborhood,
continuing to shoot photos, and eventually
publishing a book featuring both his images and
Is the Fair Use Defense Just for Rich and
Famous Appropriation Artists?
Fair use may be turning into a legal refuge
primarily for “rich and fabulous” artists, according
to an article by Stanford scholars Andrew
Gilden and Timothy Greene. Based on their
analysis of Patrick Cariou v. Richard Prince
and other copyright disputes between artists,
they argue that wealthy artists prevail in part
because of a cultural presumption that works are
“transformative” when they appropriate material
from unknown artists, then sell for high prices to
an exclusive market. By contrast, works by famous
artists don’t seem like raw material to juries,
judges or average citizens. (Whether a disputed
work “transforms” the original work is a primary
test for a finding of fair use.)
Photographers Settle Copyright Suit Against
Google. But On What Terms?
A copyright infringement lawsuit against Google
that began in 2010 with plenty of bluster from
trade groups has finally ended with a whimper.
The American Society of Media Photographers
(ASMP), Advertising Photographers of America
(APA), and other plaintiffs were determined to
stop Google—and its Google Books program—
from copying, scanning or displaying copyrighted
photos and other visuals in printed publications
without permission. But last year, a federal court
dismissed a similar lawsuit by the Authors Guild on
fair use grounds. The photo trade groups dropped
their claim without any concessions from Google,
beyond the company’s agreement to donate an
undisclosed amount to the PLUS coalition, a non-
profit copyright advocacy organization.
The 50,000 Euro Controversy Over Artistic
Freedom and the Carmignac Gestion Prize
Newsha Tavakolian, the Tehran-based
photojournalist who won the 2014 Carmignac
Gestion Photojournalism Award, announced in
September that she will return the 50,000 Euro
prize, claiming that the head of the investment
bank that funds the prize edited her work and
changed its title “in ways that were simply not
acceptable to me.” A spokesperson for the
Carmignac Foundation claims the organization
has “postponed” planned exhibitions and the
publication of Tavakolian’s work to protect the
photographer and her family from threats from
the Iranian government.
New $10K Grant Will Send Newborn Babies
Home From Hospital As Photo Collectors
A new $10,000 grant to support programs
that engage new audiences with photography
has been awarded to Pittsburgh photographer
Matthew Conboy. He won the grant, established
by the non-profit Crusade for Art, for a proposal to
send newborns at a Pittsburgh hospital home with
signed prints from local photographers. “I believe
[this] could change their lives and the lives of those
around them: art,” Conboy wrote in his proposal.
The program will run for one year, and Conboy
estimates the 12 participating photographers will
send 3500 newborn babies home with an original
New Forest Service Directive on Still Photos
Worries Reporters, First Amendment Activists
Proposed changes to United States Forest
Service rules have some First Amendment groups
concerned that photojournalists could be required
to obtain permits and pay fees up to $1,500 to
photograph within national forests. The proposed
rules appear to be targeted at commercial
photographers, not journalists engaged in
legitimate news gathering, but the language of
the rule is ambiguous. The public was invited to
comment by November 3, 2014. See http://1.usa.
assignments for her all the time.
[Richardson was unavailable for
comment before our deadline.] He also
started researching how photographers
self-promote, and realized he had to do
two things: define his strength, and use
it to target specific clients.
“I had a real passion for travel
photography: flying to weird places,
meeting local people who lived a lifestyle
that I didn’t understand, and using my
camera to understand and engage with it.
That’s portrait work,” Elias says.
He started listing clients he thought
would want him to engage with people
“to explore what their product is:
people working in their plants, scientists
formulating stuff, or reality show stars
who make moonshine or catch crabs,”
he says. Elias started sending e-mails
every six weeks announcing different
campaigns he’d shot, followed by
postcards to those who clicked through
his e-mail links to his web site.
He was strategic about what he sent,
and to whom. With a promo featuring
an image he’d shot for Deadliest
Catch, for instance, he’d send emails
to broadcasters, and clients in the
adventure travel business. “I would have
in my mind exactly what kind of client
I would go after, and it really started to
pay dividends. I started getting those
[clients].” (He landed a job for Country
Music Television that is likely to lead to
more CMT work, he says).
Most of Elias’s work so far has been
for broadcast networks. He’s now
pushing to land corporate assignment
work. He’s also doing cinematography
for the Disney Channel and ABC. And
he’s shot commercials for Google, BET,
Nickelodeon, A&E and MTV.
Elias says the secret to his success was
simply figuring out what he was passionate
about, but it doesn’t require all the
suffering he went through to figure it out,
he adds. “You can think to yourself, what’s
hot right now? How do I chase the market?
[But] you’ll never be tapping into what it is
that you actually want to express.
“I think the way you end up trusting
yourself is pretty simple. If you shoot
something that you think people would
want to see, and then shoot something
that you want to see, watch what the
[difference in] reaction is…if you actually
focus on what comes from within you,
you will have clients that will work with
A young man on the street, Pocket Town, 2005.
From “South Side” by Jon Lowenstein,