The news feed here is about an HSCB raid in Geneva, the lunacy in the “ceasefire” in Ukraine, we have more isis information and how a reporter called the president of the united states and A**clown? (but mysteriously, has been retracted)
Yes, I had to read that again, as it is a story from a comment from a small paper in Minnesota that has reached global level news.
Instead of a blurb about foreign policy, monetary issues, or political interests. The big story is about the president with his seflie stick.
Right now I am lamenting the death of NY Times media writer, David Carr last week. I would have loved to read what he thought of the president trying to look hip to younger voters and promoting health care via a selfie stick.
Mr. Carr’s term for it was Narcisstick.
You might want to hang on, as today might be a rant about photography ethics, the presidency of the United states of America, and the license that each is giving mainstream people almost a license to act and become more self absorbed.
Lets start with the president. It seems he is becoming more distant by life inside the beltway that the reality of what is happening across the nation. I remembered the last time I was at my folks, he was speaking at a university and he had a bus, with a helicopter and a fighter jet flying around in circles. When he went to china for the last summit. The Chinese press was rambling about the “beast” which I am guessing is part bat mobile, part armor reinforced military vehicle and then you stick a Cadillac emblem on it.
Plus, there is the new 747-8 air force one, (backup #2, and perhaps #3?) That probably is a marvel in technology and cool stuff.
Why the rant? I remember hearing that in Norway, and the king of the country rode the the train. As Americans we thought, “where are all his bodyguards? Security?”
Kink Olav had a quote, “why do I need bodyguards, I have millions of civilians to protect me.”
That day, I learned something about leaders and the bond between power and the people beneath them.
I wish I could say the same for my home country, but alas, through the years we have enough lunatics inside AND outside the country that would like nothing better than to make a mark for themselves. So, layers and layers of security are piled on, and brains think of any possible plan and a countermeasure to protect the most powerful man (who knows, maybe Hillary will win in 2016, write up a spiffy new tour rider, and then we add most powerful woman) in the world too!
SO that concludes my rant about life inside the beltway, and the disconnect between those that have and the rest. The inequality is growing wider each day, but at the top, everyone is so busy trying to get more that I doubt they can see what is happening at the bottom. In some senses, I fear the USA will end up like most two tiered countries.
I have been following the WORLD photo competition this year with more interest than usual. This year marks the 25th year of adobe Photoshop, of which I started with version 1.5. It was a bunch of floppy disks and you really had to do dozens of steps to do what you can do with one click today.
I guess 20% of this year’s photos were disqualified this year. There is the big thing about ethic in the world of photojournalism. I really don’t know what to say anymore, as I don’t’ really know what is real with imagery. Ansel Adams composited-bracketed exposures for his prints, was this manipulation? You see the museum prints of the great images of the past and there was manipulation in the printmaking. It was called dodging and burning. Photoshop has tools that allow this in highlights, midtones, and shadows with flows and opacity you want.
Digital image manipulation is spiffy. Then there is the element of cropping, because few can shoot perfect images, full frame - all the time.
I haven’t seen too many people in the actual world of journalism that don’t crop a bit. It isn’t like you are in a studio and can control every element. Usually, particularly in a war zone, I have never heard of a story where a photojournalist raises a white flag, calls out to the combatants, “sorry, but I didn’t get the shot I want to win a Pulitzer, can you please do another take, maybe wait to start fighting at the golden hour of light? it will make you all look so much more dramatic?”
Maybe someone has tried that and it got people to actually stop fighting in the past?
"is this guy with the camera nuts? asking us to stage a fight so he can win some prize?"
So you have image manipulation and yet, today’s cameras, exposure metering, autofocus, and everything else, makes taking a bad image, really hard. I think of this website. I have an old apple iphone that takes the vast majority of the images. That part is pretty amazing.
So this year, the photo world is doing eye tracking research to promote a dying portion of news, that being photojournalism and deep reporting. In a sense, they are doing what I feared would happen with big data, people will not use it to come up with new ideas, but rather, simply quantify their worth. Did anyone have to spend money to use technology that advertisers have been using since the 60’s to quantify that the market will not pay as much as they used to for a professionally trained shooter vs. scouring the Internet for crappy images they can use for free?
Common sense must have taken a day off for that board meeting?
Of course a professional shooter with training, years of skills and experience will run circles around you and I with a camera. But there isn’t too many that is that good. I wager many could be that good, but few want to put in the time and effort to really hone their craft. Instead it seems to be more about creating a zippy brand on social media and saying “look what I am doing!” Than “what is a great image?”
“We are loosing market share, what can we do to rationalize our future existence! Pay for some research! Write a report!”
This ramble is not an attempt to make fun of anyone. But rather, ask the readers, “What kind of world do we want to live in? What kind of society do we want? What freedoms? Do we live in fear or security and peace?
What does this have to do with the president being called an "assclown" by a reporter?
The president of the United States has a full time photographer who I am assuming has a staff that literally documents every move the man makes. I would wager, that much like the reality that more images are taken in the last I am guessing 6 months than all of previous photographic history (last I knew it was 880,000,000,000 images last year) President Obama is the most photographed and visually cataloged president in the history of the USA
It isn’t because he is the most photogenic, or dapper – although the president might disagree – it is simply because times have changed and imagine and the technology to use it has become commodified, easy to use, cheap, and mindlessly simple. While I think one should need to get a license to own a camera – to keep too many bad images from being taken – I doubt this will happen.
"sir, can i see your license to use photoshop?"
Mr. president. You carry a tremendous power in every word, action and deed you make. Personally, I have no idea how you do your job, as it seems thankless at times when things are bad and even if you are doing a good job, there is so many power factions, that who do you really know is your ally and friend anymore?
But please put the narcisstick down. Museums in Europe are banning them, and I am thankful for that. While I applaud the innovation of the narcisstick invention – someone saw a need and with American ingenuity capitalized on it – but some ideas are just really not very good.
All the narcisstick does is make people look and/or be more narcissistic.
Mr. president, since your video, sales for narcissicks have gone up 300%.
Please let your photographer just takes your images. He will make you look presidential, and any other slant or emotion you want to convey. He won’t make you look, as others have commented, like an a**clown.
If that fails – use Photoshop. You can make any image be whatever you want. Just don’t submit it to any photo award competitions.
the world can change in an instant - live it in simple love - not layers of fear. what was the big campaign theme? "change?"