Most of us who are passionate about photography pursue the craft as either a career or a hobby for the simple enjoyment of creating beautiful or impactful images. Occasionally, however, a photographer picks up her camera with the lofty goal of changing lives or improving the world in which we live. Betsey Chesler is one such person.
What began in 2004 as a social networking service for Harvard students has rapidly grown into an international phenomenon with social, political, business and cultural implications for users of all ages. With over 158 million users in the U.S. (and almost a million world-wide), Facebook now reaches nearly 75% of Internet users in our country.
There’s a little company in Tuscon, Arizona that is literally working on some giant ideas—like a digital camera with so much dynamic range it can capture both the sun and the stars in broad daylight!
Spectral Instruments has built a 20-year reputation as a premier provider of cooled, high-end CCD-based camera systems for scientific imaging applications from astronomy to pre-clinical drug discovery. This new project, the “1110 Series,” involves a camera with a 112-megapixel, black-and-white sensor without a Bayer mask or filter of any type that could “detract from the overall image sharpness.”
Jack Robinson was a prominent American photographer throughout the 1950s and 1960s when his career was cut short by a drinking problem and he faded into obscurity—until a former boss visited Robinson’s apartment and discovered a veritable treasure trove of iconic images.
The Future of Photography Museum Amsterdam (FOAM) recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with an exhibit and series of activities reflecting upon the future of our craft. The organization’s mission is to enable people throughout the world to experience and enjoy photography—whether it's at their museum in Amsterdam, on their website (www.foam.org), or via their internationally distributed magazine.
Some of the most haunting images of our time are those made in areas of armed conflict. Among the earliest war photographs were those taken by an anonymous American who made a series of daguerreotypes in 1847 during the Mexican-American War.
Like many photographers, I grew up beholden to the great color palette and brilliant results of Kodachrome 25 and the easily pushable, low-light capabilities of Kodak Tri-X black-and-white film. These iconic products are but two of Kodak’s remarkable achievements that come to mind as we ponder the recent Chapter 11 filing of the company that invented the hand-held camera and was one of the world’s most notable brands for over a century.
Three prominent industry organizations have just launched a comprehensive and long-needed campaign to permanently embed standardized metadata and copyright-status information in digital files. The program is intended to benefit those who create, as well as use, digital photos, text, audio and video files.
When industry mavens get together to ponder the future of photography, all too often the discussion centers around megapixels, file formats, sensor configurations, optical design, storage options, and other technical minutiae. Of course there’s nothing wrong with those prognostications, particularly since many of us are techno-nerds. It’s also true that sophisticated tools undoubtedly play an important role in a photographers results.
A “great” photograph isn’t necessarily a beautiful photograph. In fact, some of history’s most compelling images have been those that made a statement about contemporary culture or motivated people to support a cause. These days, the power of photography to instigate social change is perhaps most evident in documentary images of public protests here and abroad.