July 2005 Archives

I recently stumbled upon a site called the InternetArchive (http://www.archive.org) that is trying to become an authorative internet library. Good luck on that project, but what is interesting is that they are creating an archive of documentary films and movies.

The National Council on Independent Living had their annual meeting in Washington in July. They voted affirmative on the following resolution:


Adopted at the
NCIL Annual Council Meeting
July 14,2005

WHEREAS, the right to food and water is a basic human right; and

WHEREAS, the past few years have seen highly publicized legal battles
seeking to remove restrictions on starvation and dehydration of people
with cognitive disabilities; and

WHEREAS, numerous states have enacted statutes removing restrictions
on the starvation and dehydration of people with cognitive disabilities; and

Cambridge in Colour has a very nice section titled Digital Photography Tutorials: "This section includes tutorials on how to acquire, interpret and process digital photographs." It includes topics such as:

  • - A Background on Color Perception
  • - Understanding Bit Depth
  • - Understanding Image Noise, Part 1: Concept and Types
  • - Understanding Depth of Field
  • - Using "Levels" in Photoshop
  • - Averaging Images to Reduce Noise
  • - Understanding the Hyperfocal Distance
  • - Techniques for Minimizing Lens Flare at Night
  • - Understanding How Dynamic Range, Tone Curves and Local and Global Contrast Interrelate
  • - Plus many more...

The British Medical Journal online web site reports: Image of disabled children wins award (Cohen 331 (7511): 254 -- BMJ):

Alone in the Dark, part of a series of three photographs focussing on disabled children in institutional care in India by photographer Kurt Tong, was the winner of this years Luis Valtuea International Humanitarian Photography Award.

The award, established in Spain in 1998 by Mdicos del Mundo, part of the Mdecins du Monde network, was set up as a tribute to humanitarian workers killed while working in Rwanda and Bosnia-Hercegovina.

... The exhibition is at The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ from until 5 September. See www.thefrontlineclub.com.

The New York Daily News reports that the MTA has a secret film file on photographers:

"MTA investigators are keeping a secret database of people stopped and questioned for filming or photographing bridges and tunnels as part of the agency's efforts to thwart terror, the Daily News has learned.

The information is used to try to determine whether shutterbugs are simply putting together vacation slide shows - or gathering intelligence to plot mayhem, law enforcement sources said."

If this is true, this is very disturbing. Both amateur and professional photographers are being turned into modern day boogeypeople. And when a terrorist incident happens, what do the authorities want? They want people to send them their tourist snapshots so that they can try to see if they can spot the bad guys before the act. Argh!!

Link: Enough Already!

| | Comments (2)

Peter Myers has a wonderful essay titled Enough Already! on the Luminous Landscape website:

When I am out in the field photographing, I enter what for me is a "sacred space." By this, I mean that I do not want to be disturbed in the field by the technology of the camera. Rather, I want to feel free, open to the moment and absorbed by the beauty of the view in front of me. It's not about the camera, but about the moment. Given my feelings, I do not want a computer strapped to the back of my lens, with twenty-plus levels of menus, more buttons than are needed to launch a nuclear missile, and the perpetual pause to monitor that "all systems are GO!"

The Leica M series camera has been in continuous development for FIFTY YEARS -- one camera body and lens system -- the same camera body and lens system.

Over the Leica M's fifty-year lifespan, this camera system has been refined in actual field use by some of the most prestigious names in photography, such Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisenstaedt and Sebastiao Salgado. The camera has been slowly and conservatively shaped to create the essence of the minimal requirements of photography, at maximum performance. The camera system simply disappears, and it becomes a link between the photographer and the lens -- the two covalent elements of photography as an art form. "

Many folks in the USA are now hooked on Google Map's innovative web based mapping system. What makes Google different from MapQuest or Yahoo! Maps is its java based interface which lets you drag-and-scroll in real time as well as its satellite overlay and new hybrid overlays. Google Maps has recently spawned Google Maps - the Moon.

Google has recently teamed up with Japanese cartography company Zenrin to bring Google Maps to Japan. The interface is provided in both English and Japanese, but most of the map detail label are in Japanese. While you can ask it for detailed addresses like "千代田区永田町1-7-1", you can't do point to point driving directions (yet). If only they had this when I was doing my fieldwork!

The BBC has a fairly mundane article on digital photography vs. analog photography. This topic has been covered so many times it's really quite boring to read yet again. But they opened the article up for comments from readers, and that's where the real gems are. So skip the article and go straight to the comments. (Submitted by Mehyar)
From the Take me to the source of chaos blog:
The Prickly Pear pamphlets, mostly in experimental methods in anthropology, the crisis of representation, philosophy and anthropology, and the like, have been published on the internet in pdf format!!! Authors include Anna Grimshaw, Marilyn Strathern, Richard Rorty, David MacDougall, and Melissa Llewelyn-Davies!
Update 2006.06.07: The publisher of the Prickly Pear pamphlets has a new address: http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~jrs71/pricklypear/

I was browsing through my web server stats and was a bit astounded. Photoethnography.com's main site gets around 60,000 unique visitors a month while this blog itself is averaging over 600 readers a day. Wow....

Some excellent news for students and connoisseurs of photography. The International Center for Photography in New York City and the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY are joining their collections together to create a publicly accessible database of iconic photographs of the past century. From the NYTimes article:

[O]fficials at the Eastman House - the world's oldest photography museum, with more than 400,000 photos and negatives, dating back to the invention of the medium - felt that they needed a New York City presence. And the International Center, a younger institution with a smaller collection, wanted access to Eastman's vast holdings, which include work by Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy.

... both institutions are at work on an ambitious project to create one of the largest freely accessible databases of masterwork photography anywhere on the Web, a venture that will bring their collections to much greater public notice and provide an immense resource for photography aficionados, both scholars and amateurs.

Buy those yellow boxes of film in bulk now, Kodak is awash in red ink despite slashing jobs left and right. I wouldn't be surprised if they jettisoned their film division altogether: From: http://money.cnn.com/2005/07/20/news/fortune500/kodak.reut/index.htm:

Kodak to cut another 10,000 jobs
Company posts loss, plans to slash up to 25,000 positions partly due to slumping film sales.
July 20, 2005: 10:28 AM EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Eastman Kodak Co. Wednesday said it would cut up to 10,000 more jobs than previously announced to speed its move into digital products, and also posted a quarterly net loss due to restructuring costs and a faster-than-expected decline in film sales.

Shares of Kodak (down $2.55 to $26.19, Research) fell more than 6 percent in premarket electronic trading from their closing price Tuesday at $28.75 on the New York Stock Exchange. Although the stock has bounced back in recent weeks, it is still down about 10 percent this year, and is underperforming the Standard and Poor's 500 index by about 13 percent so far this year.

Hot off the newswires, Sony and Konica-Minolta are collaborating on future generations of digital SLR cameras (DSLRs) built around the Maxxum/Dynax/alpha lens mount. This bodes well for the future longevity of this lens mount. The recently released Maxxum/alpha 5D camera is getting rave reviews, along with its more professional older sister, the 7D.

Here's the full press release:

Konica Minolta and Sony Agree to Jointly Develop Digital SLR Cameras

Tokyo (July 19, 2005) Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. and Sony Corporation have reached an agreement to jointly develop digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras. Taking full advantages of their respective imaging technologies and key devices, the two companies will develop and commercialize new digital SLR cameras based on and compatible to Maxxum/Dynax lens mount system.*1

My partner is constantly baffled at my simultaneous ability to say that I have way too many cameras and my desire for even more. Here's the short list of cameras that I'd still love to acquire.
I've enjoyed photographer Sebastiao Salgado's earlier work on human migration or poverty etc. much more than his current project in the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica titled Genesis which mainly features turtles and penguins. But his most recent photographs, published in The Guardian, are very moving and well worth a look.
The chatter level of grad students blogs is high regarding an article posted on the Chronicle of Higher Education's website with the title, "Bloggers Need Not Apply." Part of the closing argument reads:
Job seekers who are also bloggers may have a tough road ahead, if our committee's experience is any indication.

You may think your blog is a harmless outlet. You may use the faulty logic of the blogger, "Oh, no one will see it anyway." Don't count on it. Even if you take your blog offline while job applications are active, Google and other search engines store cached data of their prior contents. So that cranky rant might still turn up. The content of the blog may be less worrisome than the fact of the blog itself.

Several committee members expressed concern that a blogger who joined our staff might air departmental dirty laundry (real or imagined) on the cyber clothesline for the world to see. Past good behavior is no guarantee against future lapses of professional decorum.

The AAA jobs database is a great resource for finding jobs in anthropology. You can set up an automated mailing alert that notifies you when new jobs are posted. The most recent one I received are for two new tenure-track jobs in cultural anthropology at the University of Vermont and Ohio State University. The deadlines for both are this December (although I suppose if you send the applications in earlier, they might screen you at the AAAs, which can be both good and bad).

Voice over IP (VOIP) internet telephony has changed the landscape for long-distance and even local phone calls. I can now call Japan for pennies on the minute. In fact, it's cheaper for me to call Osaka from New Haven than it is to call Osaka from Tokyo on a regular NTT telephone line!

AoG.2y.net has a new blog entry consisting of anti-Japanese children's drawings found in a (South) Korean subway station. Am I allowed to find them intensely cute?

Via Mehyar.

NPR has an online audio story on "Photographers as Security Concerns:"

Morning Edition, June 16, 2005 · Photographers across the country have complained of getting harassed by law enforcement officials citing security concerns since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

There are good links to information and resources on photographer's rights on the right hand side of the article page.

The NY Times (2005.06.25) has a short article about Bill Gates as potential anthropologist:

Bill Gates as Anthropologist

MARGARET MEAD. Louis Leakey. Bill Gates?

Grouping the founder of Microsoft among great anthropologists is not as strange as it first sounds, according to the current issue of Fortune Small Business.

In an effort to grow ever closer to its customers, Microsoft has hired numerous social scientists, including anthropologists, to help it understand the natives, who in this case are the small-business owners who use its software.

The NYTimes (2005.07.03) has an interesting article about how to survive business traveling:
IF you are a working stiff like me, you probably have to travel, and travel a lot. And unless you travel by private jet - a treat I had again last week - you probably suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous travel fortune: long lines; maddening, foot-tapping fellow passengers; hotel rooms that smell like gymnasiums; noisy neighbors; hard-to-find taxis; meals that leave you clutching your abdomen at 3 in the morning.

As you can guess from the flurry of new postings, I've made it safely to New Haven. The drive from Minnesota to Connecticut was generally uneventful except for the two flat tires on the interstate. The first one was changed with the help of an off-duty Wisconsin police officer and the second we did ourselves. For some reason, I can't reach the AAA emergency number (800-AAA-HELP) on my T-mobile phone. I'll have to figure this out before we do our next big road trip -- for now, you should know that you can call a local AAA office and ask to get patched through to the national number.

HDR-HC1.jpgCamcorderInfo.com has a very extensive review of the new sub-$2000 Sony high-definition camcorder, the HDR-HC1. This is one of several new consumer/prosumer high-definition video (HDV) camcorders on the market. The high-end is defined by the Sony HDR-FX1, which is a fantastic $4000 HD unit that really opened up the market to prosumers. JVC also has two camcorders aimed for the prosumer/consumer markets: the GR-HD1 and the JY-HD10U. There's a nice comparison of the high-end Sony vs. JVC on HDVinfo.net.

Regular readers of my blog know that I generally do not take photographs without the permission of the photographed except in exceptional circumstances. This is one element, I think, that differentiates my work from traditional street photography -- which from the time of Henri Cartier Bresson has had elements of stealth and deception that are generally anathema to anthropology.

Clayton Cubitt's Used Future blog links to an article on the NY Post that street photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia has been sued by one of the people he surreptitiously photographed on the street:

"DiCorcia rigged strobe lights to scaffolding and trained his lens on an "X" he taped to the sidewalk. From 20 feet away, he took shots of Nussenzweig and thousands of other unsuspecting subjects. Later that year, diCorcia exhibited this image under the title "#13" at a Pace Wildenstein gallery show called "Heads" in Chelsea. The photographer said multiple prints of Nussenzweig's picture sold for about $20,000 each. The picture also was published in "Heads," a book that sold several thousand copies, diCorcia said. (NY Post)

There is quite an interesting discussion attached to Clayton Cubitt's blog entry, I'd encourage people to read through it. The fundamental legal question is whether diCorcia's fine art photography is editorial or commercial work. It'll be interesting to see the outcome in the courts, but my guess is that diCorcia will settle before then.

This is a reminder that the Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars is currently accepting applications for its 2006-2007 fellowship
competition. The application deadline is October 1, 2005. Historians are
encouraged to apply. Eight historians are among the 23 fellows recently
selected for 2005-2006 fellowships.

Indiana University Gender Studies Search

The Department of Gender Studies at Indiana University - Bloomington announces a search for one TENURE-TRACK Assistant Professor to begin August 2006. For this position, we seek scholars working in transnational gender studies. We are particularly interested in candidates whose transnational research focuses on the construction of sexualities and genders in their global iterations. The Department invites applications from interdisciplinary feminist scholars who are actively addressing core questions of gender and sexuality through ambitious research agendas and energetic teaching/mentoring on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Applicants will be expected to assist in the development of the doctorate, teach core Gender Studies courses, and work collectively to develop the Department. Candidates must have prior teaching experience, preferably in Women’s or Gender Studies and must have their PhD by August 2006.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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