Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Images

I am sure you have all seen images of this already, but thought I'd share a link to the incredible photographs of the recent volcano eruption in Iceland...a good example of the strong connection between art and science:


Visual Journalism We Can All Take Part In...

This morning I read an article that reminded me a lot of class and I thought it could be fun for us to participate in A Timely Global Mosaic, Created by All of Us.

The basic idea is that everyone is invited to join in taking a photo on May 2 at the exact same moment to create a mosaic of one single moment in the life of our planet. Then you're supposed to send your photo to Lens, the photography blog of the New York Times.

The photograph can be of anything, but you may want to think ahead a little to show how you can best represent yourself, your community, your culture or whatever it is you decide to take a picture of.

The timing of this is complicated, but basically, on the East Coast you will need to take a picture at 11 am on Sunday, May 2. Starting on May 2 and ending on May 7, there will be a form available on the New York Times Website so that you can submit your best image. For more information, check out the blog here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I was at a dinner party last night for a friend who has joined a photography book on facebook. She was sharing the above image as one that has lately been discussed within the group. This is a picture that I have seen before (one taken in 1994), but I didn't know the story behind it. My friend told me that the photographer shot it quickly and left before finding out what happened to the little boy. It was known that the little boy was trying to make his way to a United Nations station for food while the vulture waited in the distance for the boy to die. The conversation at the dinner table seemed to settle on the horror of this image, the image as documentation of the Sudan famine for those people in the world who might not believe it, but also the outrage that the photographer could then just walk away. While my friend pulled up the image on the computer, everyone seemed to be mesmerized staring at the image, myself included. It's an image many of us have seen before and I don't feel the need to see it again, but when it is put before me, I can't even look away. As the conversation continued, I found myself thinking about our class discussions over the traumatic images of 9/11 and the degree to which exposure to images can almost make people numb. After sharing this with other dinner guests, there seemed to be consensus amongst the guests that the image of this little boy was more horrifying than images of 9/11.

Although the conversation moved on, I was left wondering why this was so. Could it be that images of 9/11 were so abundant that people have become numb to some degree? Is it because the majority of dinner guests were living in the NYC-Long Island area when it happened versus the photo in discussion was taken in Sudan? Is it because 9/11 was an act of terrorism - humans against humans, whereas the image of the vulture and the boy is nature at its worst? It is amazing to think that over 15 years after this image was taken, people on Facebook are still discussing the image, and it is coming up at dinner parties amongst friends. It also leaves me wondering if photographing events is enough. I can't help but get the idea out of my mind that this photographer saw the little boy struggling, took the photograph and left. The photographer committed suicide a few years later. Some images you can't shake.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Trauma of Images- Haiti

I was thinking about our conversation regarding the trauma of images. We discussed those images that are frozen in our minds and some shared that traumatic experiences are more of a movie they replay over and over. I'm sure we all have some combination of these experiences regarding trauma. It prompted me to consider the images coming from the earthquake in Haiti. I had been feeling like the images were increasingly shocking as compared to images from other disasters/wars. I found this Washington Post article asking about our responsibility in these situations. Elikins talked about the images we censor or are forbidden to see. How do you think this has shifted over the years?

Another question to ask- recently my friend witnessed the man who jumped off of the empire state building. She described this to me in great detail and I made an image in my mind that I can't shake. This image or one like it, from a New Yorker, traumatically dead would never be shared, yet images of twisted bodies from other countries are. I think this is interesting. Is it o.k for us to exploit and view the mangled dead elsewhere?

Here's the link for the Washington Post article:


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Article-People getting hired from their Flickr images

I thought that this article would be interesting for the class from "The New York Times". It tells a terrific story about a woman who uploaded her Hawaii vacation pictures onto Flickr, only to be hired by stock image company Getty Images. She now makes a monthly income from license fees of her photos.

Here is the link....