Month: October 2013

Hahn + Hartung’s The Forgotten

“The way Western media portrays Africa is very unilateral,” say Miguel Hahn and Jan-Christoph Hartung, two photographers who form the Spanish and German duo, Hahn + Hartung. “In Germany, we read an article about Kenya’s middle class, which we found really interesting. So we started to do a bit of research about the middle class across Africa. Our goal was to make people rethink their image of Africa.” With the help of photographer and filmmaker Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann, who is based in Nairobi, Hahn + Hartung started contacting members of the middle class in Kenya for their project, The Forgotten. Quickly enough, their search took on a life of its own. “People we met would give us more contacts, and these contacts would introduce us to others. One day, we were sitting in a restaurant, and a professor was at the table next to us. He started talking to us and when we told him what we were doing, he invited us to his house; he became one of our subjects.” [bjp_ad_slot] The feedback both photographers received …

2013-12-11T11:11:33+00:00

New iPhone app celebrates double exposure photography

“I was always amazed by the results I got when sharing rolls of films with other people to shoot over,” says Adam Scott, Lomography UK’s former managing director and the CEO of Dubble, a new app company. “Sometimes the results weren’t good but more often than not you would get these photographic miracles.” Scott has been looking to bring this “unpredictability and suspense” to the iPhone, which has become one of the world’s most popular cameras since its launch in 2007. “[Smartphone photography] seemed to be about showing off your photo to get likes, comments and more followers. That’s when I had the idea for Dubble,” he tells BJP. [bjp_ad_slot] Dubble is a free iPhone application that lets users shoot a picture and upload it to the dubble community. The picture is then randomly paired with another community member’s photograph to create a “digitally-blended, dubble image,” says the company’s founders. The resulting image can be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, with support for Instagram and Tumblr coming later this year. “We have a healthy roadmap of …

2013-12-11T11:11:45+00:00

National Geographic: Around the world in 125 years

When National Geographic was first founded, photographers, in today’s sense of the term, didn’t really exist. “Instead, there were explorers,” says Sarah Leen, the newly promoted director of photography at National Geographic magazine. “These explorers would go out and discover the source of the Nile, for example. They would take notes, then come back to this room full of editors and tell them what they had found.” One hundred and twenty-five years later, these meetings – called Final Shows – still take place, but the explorers are now mostly referred to as photographers. “They are the people who go out and discover these places. They come back and show us the pictures and tell us their stories,” says Leen. [bjp_ad_slot] In the industry, National Geographic is often referred to as one of the last bastions of photographic commitment – a place where photographers are respected, nurtured and protected. Yet that commitment to photography only started in 1904, when the magazine’s editor, Gilbert Grosvenor, had 11 pages to fill. “Grosvenor grabbed a package from the Imperial …

2013-12-11T11:11:57+00:00

Nikon brings back well-respected 58mm prime lens

First launched in 1977, the Nikon 58mm f/1.2 Noct-Nikkor, which was discontinued in 1997, continues to attract second-hand buyers on eBay with the lens retailing at more than double its original price – putting it out of reach for many photographers. No more, says Nikon, which is releasing later this month the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G, a homage to its celebrated ancestor. “Meticulously crafted to deliver exceptional imaging performance, this fast new prime lens is in a class of its own,” says Nikon. [bjp_ad_slot] “The design concept pays homage to Nikon’s legendary Noct-Nikkor lens, while the brand new optical construction enables astounding sharpness, contrast, and resolution,” it adds. “With outstanding resolving capability, exquisite bokeh, and unbeatable performance when shooting wide-open, this is a distinctive lens for those pursuing the holy grail of low-light photography or who want a lens with a truly unique signature.” Nikon says that the lens reduces sagittal coma flare “across the entire frame with the result that point light sources such as city lights are reproduced as fine rounded points, even at …

2013-12-11T11:13:03+00:00

Sony releases full-frame compact system cameras A7 and A7R

Sony has beefed up its line of full-frame compact cameras after the R1X and R1XR with the release of two E-mount compact interchangeable lens cameras – the A7 and A7R. Both new models offer a full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor, with the A7 fitted with 24.3 megapixels, while the A7R uses a 36.4-megapixel sensor that has been designed to offer better low-light performances. “It features a new ‘gapless’ on-chip lens design, which eliminates gaps between adjacent pixels,” says Sony. “These advances increase light collection efficiency, achieving outstanding resolution, sensitivity and low noise while circumventing the challenge of decreased pixel size due to the extremely high pixel count.” The A7R also doesn’t use an optical low-pass filter. [bjp_ad_slot] The A7 and A7R share the same Bionz X image processing engine, which is said to “maximise detail and reduce image noise over a wide ISO 100-25600 sensitivity range – expandable down to ISO 50 and up to ISO 51,200 with Multi-Frame Noise Reduction”. The A7 uses an enhanced Fast Hybrid autofocus system that “combines speedy phase detection AF with …

2013-12-11T11:13:15+00:00

Crowdfunding platform Emphas.is goes insolvent amid internal conflicts

“I’m currently conducting an investigation to understand why the company has failed,” says Pauline Atkinson, the liquidator appointed to Emphas.is, the crowdfunding for photojournalism launched by photographer Karim Ben Khelifa, photo editor Tina Ahrens and open innovation evangelist Fanuel Dewever. Emphas.is was born in early 2011 with an ambitious goal: to allow photojournalists to raise funds for their projects by appealing directly to their audiences. Emphas.is offered photographers a place to pitch an idea for a story, present their budget, and – if they received the necessary funds – keep in touch with backers with exclusive updates and early access to the work. A year later, Emphas.is expanded to the book publishing business, appointing Walter Tjantelé as publishing director. Emphas.is Publishing, said Tjantelé, was a “natural evolution” for the platform as the founders found that a lot of photographers “wanted to fund self-published books on our platform”. [bjp_ad_slot] In its two years of existence, Emphas.is helped raised $500,000 for photographers’ projects, financing work by Matt Eich, Pep Bonet, Tomas van Houtryve, Robin Hammond and Kadir van …

2013-12-11T11:13:31+00:00

AFP’s Fabio Bucciarelli and Javier Manzano win Bayeux Calvados Awards

Fabio Bucciarelli has won a €7000 cash prize at the 20th Bayeux Calvados Awards for an image shot in Syria of “a wounded young Syrian who sits at the back of a truck after an attack carried out by President Assad’s forces on a Shaar neighbourhood”. Bucciarelli, who works for Agence France-Presse, came ahead of Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic and CNN’s Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, both of whom were also commended for their work in Syria. [bjp_ad_slot] The Public Photo Prize was awarded to another Agence France-Presse stringer, Javier Manzano, who will receive €3000 for an image also shot in Aleppo, Syria. Manzano won a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year for the same work. He spoke to BJP at the time about the danger of covering the Syrian conflict as an independent photographer. “Security is an issue we all take seriously,” Manzano told BJP. “The difference is that if an independent journalist gets kidnapped or killed, he or she will most likely be labelled as ‘an irresponsible daredevil’. If a staffer from a large organisation is kidnapped, he or she will most likely …

2013-12-11T11:13:44+00:00

Instagram to start rolling out ads in the US

“We have big ideas for the future, and part of making them happen is building Instagram into a sustainable business,” says Instagram as it announced it would start showing “an occasional ad” in its US users’ Instagram feeds. “Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow. We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.” The San Francisco-based social sharing application adds that “any advertisements you see [will] feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.” [bjp_ad_slot] Users will be able to hide the ads they see and provide feedback “about what didn’t feel right,” it claims. “We’re …

2013-12-11T12:36:00+00:00

“Instagram has changed the way people see the world,” claims co-founder Kevin Systrom

Speaking at a private event at the National Portrait Gallery on 17 September, Systrom explained how Instagram was originally designed to make it easy for people to share images. Yet, “for some reason it has become this itch that you have to scratch,” he said. “It’s everywhere. It’s become a common element of life.” Social media in general, he added, and Instagram in particular have also changed the way entire industries communicate with their customers, citing the example of the fashion world which has been transformed in recent years. “Social media has changed fashion. If you look at the Sartorialist and how Scott Schuman covers fashion – it’s everyday fashion on the streets. We all have a camera in our pocket now, and I could snap a picture [of someone with a outfit I like or someone with a nice hat], bring all these images together and show them instantly online. In some way, it democratises how fashion spreads across the world. All of us can participate.” [bjp_ad_slot] He continued: “For Instagram specifically, I’ve noticed …

2013-12-11T11:14:00+00:00

Instagram to start rolling out ads in the US

“We have big ideas for the future, and part of making them happen is building Instagram into a sustainable business,” says Instagram as it announced it would start showing “an occasional ad” in its US users’ Instagram feeds. “Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow. We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.” The San Francisco-based social sharing application adds that “any advertisements you see [will] feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.” [bjp_ad_slot] Users will be able to hide the ads they see and provide feedback “about what didn’t feel right,” it claims. “We’re relying …

2013-12-11T11:14:16+00:00

BJP Staff