September 2009 Archives

     In addition to photographing, I like to write.  In fact, at the risk of being labeled a photo heretic, I don't think a picture is always worth a thousand words.  Classic photos, yes.  Compelling photos that evoke emotions and tell a powerful story, yes.  But no matter how good a single photo, or even a series of photos, they are each just a 125th of a second slice of life.  If anything, more photos can be used to lie and mislead than to inspire.  Recently Time has been running a series of photographs from Detroit, showing the blight and deterioration.  Yet I just heard a radio report that says moving the camera slightly to the left of one woeful scene reveals a well kept business and front yard.  Which is the reality?  Both I'd say.  We can lie with a picture just as easily as lying with words.

     Pictures can be easy.  But reading, understanding, reasoning, puzzling out, thinking through...hard work at times.  To capture all the nuances of a complex story, and most stories are complex, I'll take a well researched and written story anytime. We can show a careworn face and feel a visceral reaction, but to really know what that person is about I want to know where he grew up, how his father treated him, did he have friends, what tragedies has he lived through.  I need to read about him, with the luxury of following the author through 5  or 50 or 500 pages...whatever is required to fathom the threads of his life.  I read novels.  I read biographies.  Histories.  Science.  Tougher than staring at a photo, but oh so rewarding.  I love photographs.  But I need words.
      ASMP, the American Society of Media Photographers, has filed objections to a proposed copyright infringement action against Google, asserting that photographers, graphic artists and other copyright holders have been excluded from the process and any settlement money. According to Victor Perlman, ASMP General Counsel, "The vast majority of photographers and graphic artists, whose works have been and continue to be digitized by Google without authorization, and who have been members of the plaintiffs' class since June 2006, would neither receive compensation for past infringement nor any benefit going forward."

     Read more about this action here:

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