March 07, 2014

Friday Round Up - 7 March, 2014

This week on Friday Round Up we take another view on the Getty Images for Free story, plus there are two brilliant and extremely different photo essays that showcase the diversity of the documentary genre as well as exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney. And as a salute International Women's Day is the success of the Crying Meri Kickstarter Campaign.

Another Take on the Getty Images “Free” Story that Raises More Questions
Most will have seen the stories circulating about Getty Images decision to offer its 35 million plus library of images for free. From reading the coverage it appears that Getty Images has made this decision based on the presumption that everyone who blogs will go to the Getty Images library for photographs. But if you are a blogger that cuts and pastes from an existing story such as the one that ran today on The Atlantic, then the embedded information that is the crux of Getty's strategy does not appear (see below). 

This image, which appeared in two places on The Atlantic story "Why Getty Going Free Is Such a Big Deal, Explained in Getty Images" - first as the lead image and then again under point 3 - was saved as a right click “save image as”. As you can see there are no embedded details on this image despite the fact that this information appears on the image published on The Atlantic site which you can view here. The above image has not been cropped or altered in any way. What you see is what was saved directly from the site.  

While Getty Images’ move to offer free photographs may be adopted by some bloggers, the very nature of ‘aggregated media’, under which many blogs sit, is to share stories and images that are already available online. Also the cut and paste mentality that exists on sites like Facebook sees thousands of images shared daily without credit. So while the move to halt piracy may be the prime objective, there are still clearly loopholes to close. 

Image Credit: GettyImages Gallo Images/George Brits/ Vetta

Photo Essay:
Edward Burtynsky – Water

(C) Edward Burtynsky - Iceland 2012

Undoubtedly one of the most respected landscape photographers working today, Edward Burtynsky’s body of work titled ‘Water’ builds on his already impressive oeuvre and is nothing short of breathtaking - these images re truly epic not only in scale, but in the depth of the storytelling.

Burtynsky’s approach to the landscape is driven by his desire to capture humankind’s relationship to nature and how this is expressed in the industrialised landscape in particular, which has been his focus for more than 30 years.

In articulating his approach he told Alison Stieven-Taylor, “I was always interested in trying to find a language deep in the landscape to photograph. Obviously the traditional landscape has been done, the pristine landscape, what else can you do that we haven’t already seen? Trees, twigs and leaves have been covered really well".

“I felt there was an opportunity to bridge through my work the kind of disconnect that has occurred in our post modern society where economies are globalised, where things come from everywhere and we really don’t have any notion of the source anymore. It is a way to look at the human imprint on the land in pursuit of the materials for our urban existence and to bridge those worlds by exploring the voids.”

 (C) Edward Burtynsky - Aragon, Spain 2010

  (C) Edward Burtynsky - Cádiz, Spain, 2013

 (C) Edward Burtynsky - Colorado River Delta 2011

Burtynsky’s philosophy can be clearly seen in the photographs that comprise ‘Water’, a body of work that captures the way we have taken this amazing natural resource and literally reshaped the face of the planet. In his Artist’s Statement he says, "While trying to accommodate the growing needs of an expanding, and very thirsty civilization, we are reshaping the Earth in colossal ways. In this new and powerful role over the planet, we are also capable of engineering our own demise. We have to learn to think more long-term about the consequences of what we are doing, while we are doing it".

  (C) Edward Burtynsky - Luoyuan Bay Fujian Province China 2012

 (C) Edward Burtynsky - Pivot Irrigation Texas 2011

To see more of Edward Burtynsky's work visit his website here

Photo Essay:
Maxim Dondyuk - The TB Epidemic in Ukraine

While current news coverage of the Ukraine is focused on the political upheaval and Russia's presence on its doorstep, Ukrainian photographer Maxim Dondyuk has been covering another crisis - the TB Epidemic that is ravishing his country claiming around 10,000 souls each year. Many in the west assume this disease is of another generation long past, but for the last 16 years the people of Ukraine have battled against this invisible marauder. Dondyuk has won numerous awards for this body of work that explores both the medical and social implications of this epidemic. To see more from this remarkable photo essay click here

All images (C) Maxim Dondyuk

Exhibition: Melbourne
Rebecca Dagnall – In Tenebris

In her latest exhibition, “In Tenebris”, which is Latin for ‘in darkness’, photographic artist Rebecca Dagnall explores the concept of the Australian gothic drawing on colonial literature which she says is where the notion of the gothic was first seen in Australian culture.

Within this framework Dagnall has created a series of 13 photographs that invite the viewer into a dark landscape that is at once recognizable and unfamiliar. While the European gothic speaks of antiquities, amazing architecture and haunted houses, Dagnall says the Australian gothic “seems to have taken hold around things like isolation in the bush, which comes from that colonial influx where the harshness of the landscape, the difficulty of living somewhere so foreign, so unknown, where animals can kill you, was quite scary”. 

(C) All images Rebecca Dagnall

Dagnall’s images, which are beautifully printed and are now on show in the Edmund Pearce Gallery in Melbourne, invite the viewer to let their imagination take flight and create their own narratives around the notion of being in the dark.

In Tenebris
Until 29 March
Edmund Pearce Gallery
Level 2 Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street
Visit the Gallery website here

Exhibition: Sydney
Australian Vernacular Photography – Art Gallery of NSW

© Jeff Carter -The Sunbather (1966)

This exhibition explores the “depiction of modern Australian life” over the past 50 years and showcases the work of sixteen photographers including Sue Ford, Fiona Hall, Robert McFarlane, Ed Douglas, Jeff Carter, William Yang, Trent Parke and Glenn Sloggett. All works are from the Art Gallery of NSW's extensive Australian photography collection which numbers around 3800.

In 'Australian Vernacular' there are photographs that draw on tropes of Australian imagery – sun, surf and sand are recurrent themes, for example, that are associated with Australian beach culture. Although the relationship to these themes differs widely depending on whether you are living in the southern states or the country’s more tropical climes. There are also images that could have been taken anywhere, banal suburban themes save for one defining factor; the uniqueness of the Australian light and how the use of light is very particular to photography from this country. 

(C) Anne Zahalka 2007

While older works give insight into historical values and carry with them the nostalgia of their time, many of the more recent photographs add to conversations around technology and its impact not only on the artistic practice, but also on how the viewer consumes images.

Australian Vernacular
Art Gallery of NSW
Until 18 May

There are also exhibition floor talks:
12 March 5.30-6pm Anne Zahalka Artist
9 April Isobel Parker Philip Writer & Photographer
14 May Eleanor Weber Assistant Curator

International Women's Day 
Fighting Against Domestic Violence

Saturday 8th March is International Women's Day. While there are many issues facing women around the world, domestic violence is still one that seems no closer to resolution. In Australia if a man beats another on the street, that is considered criminal assault, yet if a man beats his wife it's domestic violence and punitive measures are not comparable.

It seems appropriate that on the day we celebrate the rights of women everywhere to live in harmony with love and respect, that Photojournalism Now congratulates photographer Vlad Sokhin and FotoEvidence for the success of their Kickstarter fundraising campaign to publish Sokhin's book "Crying Meri".  Sokhin is dedicated to exposing the endemic violence against women in Papua New Guinea and his work has assisted in changing that country's political stance against domestic violence. With the publication of his book later this year, and the backing of FotoEvidence and its commitment to exposing injustice, those who endure domestic violence take another step towards the light.

(C) Vlad Sokhin

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