Dorothea Lange, “Human Erosion in California” and “General Strike/Street Meeting, San Francisco”
(via J. Paul Getty Museum)
In a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed published this past Sunday, Jaime O’Neill discusses the lack of iconography present to represent the current economic crisis. “The pain and suffering has only been superficially covered by the news media,” says O’Neill, “but it has surely not been addressed by our artists.” O’Neill reminds us that during the Great Depression, artists from all fields captured the pain and struggle of the nation within their various works: Steinbeck with his words, Guthrie with his tunes, and photographer Dorothea Lange with her series of painfully striking images. Future generations also sought to, as O’Neill says, “vivify” the experiences of Americans in hard times, including Bob Dylan singing “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” to Vietnam War protestors. And yet, the writer points out, there have been no bold works along these lines by the artists of our time. Even Dylan, O’Neill points out, now keeps his opinions to himself. And actually, it’s been the comedians who have been most outspoken about the issues. At the end of the piece, O’Neill says something that really resonates with me:
“As much as anything, the arts define the times, sketching a portrait of a moment in the life of the nation and the world, marking a period in ways it comes to be viewed by people who live through it and by people who come after. But the tale of our times is mostly being told by our unwillingness to tell it.”
What do you guys think about this, particularly as it relates to the photographers of our time? Certainly we are offered powerful glimpses at war and famine abroad by brave photojournalists every day. But what about photos documenting or commenting on the American experience?
Read Jaime O’Neill’s full article here.
The worst Vermont Flooding in 100 Years
© subadei/Flickr Creative Commons
Homes washed away, lives wrecked, farmland torn asunder, yet beauty remains. Hurricane Irene’s damage to Vermont is yet unmeasured to the accountants, insurance companies and cash-strapped FEMA. Six years after Katrina, we are reminded again that it’s the people who feel the measure of the hurricane’s power.
Flickr has just announced a new privacy feature for geotagged photos, called Geofences. Over 300 million photos and videos have been geotagged by Flickr members so far, and the engineers wanted to make managing privacy of these geotagged shots easier for the community. Instances in which you might want to conceal your photo’s location include: shots taken at home or at the private residence of someone else whose exact location you don’t feel comfortable broadcasting to the world at large. According to one Flickr engineer, who helped develop the new feature, “Geofences are special locations that deserve their own geo privacy settings. Simply draw a circle on a map, choose a geo privacy setting for that area, and you’re done. Existing photos in that location are updated with your new setting, and any time you geotag a photo in that area, it gets that setting too.” This saves the photographer the hassle of tweaking default geo settings every time she uploads media taken in a location she has deemed private.
Read all about Geofences, from the inception of the idea to the technical details on the Code: Flickr Developer Blog.
It’s every professional photographer’s worst nightmare to have his/her camera and gear stolen. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to pro shutterbug John Heller while on assignment for Getty Images at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, when $9,000 worth of gear was stolen from him— including his Nikon D3 DSLR. After filing a police report and all but resigning himself to the loss, Heller decided a few months ago to do a search for his camera on GadgetTrak’s Camera Serial Search (which is a free service). According to GadgetTrak, “Heller entered the serial number of his stolen camera and found an exact match with several images that were recently posted to Flickr.” Through a pretty fascinating series of events thanks to the embedded serial number in the uploaded images, the stolen property was ultimately recovered.
Instagram, a favorite photo sharing app of the creatively inclined iPhone user, has recently reached the 150,000,000 photo mark. Since its launch in the App Store in October 2010, Instagram has had over 7 million international users join in on the photo sharing fun. Whether they’re sharing their lives with family and friends, or vying for a spot on the Popular Page, these users have now collectively shared over 150 million snapshots.
You can catch DP’s Instagram action by following @digiphotomag. (And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well!)
[via 6sight, via Instagram]