Vivian Maier

She was an unknown street photographer of Chicago and died last year. John Maloof discovered her photos after buying tens of thousands of negatives at an auction. A selection of photos are already online. Maloof writes:

After some researching, I have only little information about Vivian. Central Camera (110 yr old camera shop in Chicago) has encountered Vivian from time to time when she would purchase film while out on the Chicago streets. From what they knew of her, they say she was a very “keep your distance from me” type of person but was also outspoken. She loved foreign films and didn’t care much for American films.

The Independent has also written about her.

UPDATE: The online art project Artsy has an excellent page on Maier where you also can buy prints.

PicApp seriously improved

Afghan Presidential Elections Partial Recount Begins

PicApp is an idea I’ve liked from the start: Professional news photography being made available to everyone, via embedding like the Afghanistan photo here. In the first phase the service didn’t work so well, so I ended up not using it that often. But the new version has serious improvements. Now embed code in different sizes is directly available (no login necessary), and photo presentation is better as well. Advertising is only displayed — as far as I understand — when you click on a photo.

A story at ReadWriteWeb clarifies some of the questions bloggers might have — se especially the comments.

Treholt reddet ut av Facebook

PST har lagt ut fotoalbumet fra Treholt-saken ikke bare på lukkede Facebook, men heldigvis også på åpne Flickr. Sikkerhetstjenesten har til og med spionert seg fram til en Creative Commons-lisens på bildene — navngivelse, ingen bearbeidelse (står egentlig noe i veien for å velge den aller frieste lisensen, med kun navngivelse? De ivrigste vil nok remikse Treholt-bildene uansett).

Jeg håper virkelig at mange offentlige institusjoner vil følge PST og gjøre historiske fotografier tilgjengelig. Treholt-bildene er en påminnelse om at det ikke bare er arkiver, biblioteker, museer eller NRK som sitter på viktig historisk materiale.

Digitaliseringen av fotografier, både av offentlige hendelser og private minner, har potensial til å påvirke vår historieforståelse. Både profesjonelle aktører og amatører vil bidra. Min personlige favoritt for tiden er Bergensavisens Fotomuseum på Origo. Ved siden av bilder fra avisens eget arkiv er det nå begynt å dukke opp mange spennende bilder fra private samlinger. Se for eksempel bilder tatt av Franz Blaha. Fascinerende. En utfordring for Origo blir å legge til rette for at publikum kan føre på stikkord (tags) som på Flickr, og å innarbeide Creative Commons-lisenser. Burde være mulig å få til, folkens?

Se min temaside med flere relevante saker om historisk fotografi.

Find those CC images


A few years ago Creative Commons licensing of photos (and other works) was mostly for geeks, but I believe use of the licenses are gaining in popularity, and slowly but surely, users will also credit photographers in the correct way. At least now that, finally, Google has launched Creative Commons filtering in their image search.

Still, so far I much prefer Peter Shanks’ flickrCC search site, which manages to combine usability with beauty — no small accomplishment. I can live with the limitation that here you “only” search through Flickr images.

And don’t forget: There’s also the Creative Commons own search page.

See more useful tools for bloggers and journalists and more about photography.

The photojournalist’s mind

Extraordinary: The four photographers who captured the “Tank Man” on Tiananmen Square 20 years ago tell their individual stories of the event. An afterthought from Charlie Cole about the man with the bags — who remains unidentified, his destiny unknown:

I think his action captured peoples’ hearts everywhere, and when the moment came, his character defined the moment, rather than the moment defining him. He made the image. I was just one of the photographers. And I felt honored to be there.

Cole reflects further:

In my opinion, it is regretful that this image alone has become the iconic “mother” of the Tiananmen tragedy. This tends to overshadow all the other tremendous work that other photographers did up to and during the crackdown. Some journalists were killed during this coverage and almost all risked being shot at one time or another. (…) and we should not be lured into a simplistic, one-shot view of this amazingly complex event.

The photojournalist’s dilemma?

The event was also recorded on video; the moving pictures provide context and answers to some questions remaining after seeing the still images.