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Gaston Lacombe

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In zoos all around the world, visitors go to admire some of the most beautiful, rare or fierce creatures on Earth, but often fail to notice the deplorable habitats in which they are kept.

I have been gathering pictures from zoos all around for the last three years. I like most zoos — I really do. Some zoos need to be congratulated for making great efforts at conserving endangered species, providing shelter to animals who could not otherwise survive and educating the public on ecological issues.

However, even in the best zoos, there are animals that are stuck in cement enclosures too small for their needs, or in rooms where the only vegetation they see are the plants painted on the wall. I’ve seen animals living in cages where they cannot even sit up, or have no access to daylight or clean water. At these moments, I feel guilty for supporting a system that treats animals cruelly, and at these moments, I take pictures.

 

Bio

Gaston Lacombe is a photographer and filmmaker, originally from the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

He has left his footprints all over the globe, including living in Latvia for 12 years, and is presently based in Washington DC. He completed his Professional Photography degree at the Center for the Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University (Washington DC campus), and also has studied at the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. level in History.

He specializes mostly in documentary projects that have taking him to all corners of the planet. This includes an art residency in Antarctica with the government of Argentina in early 2012. His work has been shown in PDN magazine, the Washington Post, the Toronto Star, and many other publications. His photos have also been exhibited in solo and group shows in North America and Europe, including at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

 

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Gaston Lacombe

 

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I recently had the pleasure of organizing this year’s Beercamp website. If you’re unfamiliar, Beercamp is a party for designers and developers. It’s also a playground for front-end experimentation. Each year we abandon browser support and throw a “Pshaw” in the face of semantics so that we can play with some emerging features of modern browsers.

This year’s experiment: a 3D pop-up book á la Dr. Seuss. If you’ve not seen it, hop on over and take a look. The website was a test to see how far SVG and CSS 3D transforms could be pushed. I learned a lot in the process and wanted to share some of the techniques that I found helpful when working in 3D space.


“Beercamp 2012: A Tale of International Mischief”

Before we jump in, please note that explaining everything about the website without boring you to death would be damn near impossible. For your sake and mine, I’ll provide just brief takeaways. As you skim through the code snippets, be aware that jQuery is being used and that a lot of code has been removed for simplicity (including browser prefixes).

Finally, please remember that this is an experiment! It will not work in all browsers. It does not degrade gracefully, and the markup is less than poetic. Put your convictions on hold for a moment and let’s have some fun.

Takeaway #1: Exploring 3D Space Is Fun

Before I started building the Beercamp website, I did some “research” into what makes pop-up books so much fun. As I flipped through the paper-crafted version of Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go, I found myself inspecting each page from multiple angles. Seeing how things looked from different perspectives was fun, and interacting with the environment was engaging.


The inspiration for Beercamp: Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.”

I wanted to create that same engagement in my digital version with intuitive and unobtrusive controls. Thus, the scene rotates based on the mouse’s coordinates, allowing the user to move the book around without much effort. Achieving this was pretty easy:

1. Set up a listener.

This is for the mousemove event.

$document.mousemove(rotateScene);

2. Calculate the rotation.

I wanted the book to rotate between -15 and 15 degrees, based on where the mouse is located along the x axis. This can be calculated using the following:

rotationY = -15 + (30 * e.pageX / $body.width());

3. Apply the rotation.

$scene.css('transform': 'rotateY(' + rotationY + 'deg)');

Pretty simple, right? The only problem is that our friends on iPhones and iPads don’t have mouse coordinates. They do, however, have a gyroscope. Rotating a phone is very similar to rotating a book, so adjusting the scene based on the device’s orientation made for an intuitive and delightful interaction. Setting this up was similar but slightly more involved.

1. Set up a listener.

window.addEventListener('deviceorientation', rotateScene, false);

2. Determine the orientation.

Before we can calculate the rotation, we need to know whether the device is in landscape or portrait mode. This can be determined by evaluating window.orientation:

  • Landscape
    Math.abs(window.orientation) == 90
  • Portrait
    window.orientation == 0


Determine the device’s orientation by evaluating window.orientation.

3. Calculate the rotation.

Now that we have the orientation, we can pull in the appropriate values from the gyroscope. If the device is in landscape mode, we’ll tap the beta property. Otherwise, we’ll use gamma.

var theta = (Math.abs(window.orientation) == 90) ? e.beta : e.gamma;
rotationY = 0 + (15 * (theta / -45));


The deviceorientation event enables us to pull alpha, beta and gamma rotation values. Note that these values are relative to the current orientation of the device. The image above shows the axes of a phone held perpendicular to the ground in portrait mode.

4. Apply the rotation.

$scene.css('transform': 'rotateY(' + rotationY + 'deg)');

Takeaway #2: Depth-Sorting Is Notoriously Buggy

A number of browsers support 3D transforms, but few do so elegantly. Apart from general efficiency issues, the biggest hindrance is improper depth-sorting.

Depth-sorting is required when two planes intersect in three-dimensional space. The rendering engine must determine which plane (or, more specifically, which areas of the plane) should be rendered and which should be clipped.


Depth-sorting varies across browsers.

Unfortunately, each browser implements depth-sorting differently and, therefore, has its own issues. The best we can do to combat the glitchy pop-through of underlying elements is to keep planes away from each other.

The Beercamp website involves numerous plane intersections. Initially, I had all of the pages rotating around the same point in 3D space (0, 0, 0). This meant that just about every plane in the book was fighting to be on top. To counter this, the pages needed to be positioned as if they were next to each other along the spine of an actual book. I did this by rotating the pages around an arc, with the open page at the pinnacle.


Rotating pages around an arc helps to prevent clipping.

function updateDrag(e) {
    …
    // operate on each spread
   $('.spreads li').each(function(i) {
        // calculate the angle increment
        var ANGLE_PER_PAGE = 20;

        // determine which slot this page should be turned to
        var offsetIndex = per < 0 ? 5 + curPageIndex - i : 5 + curPageIndex - i - 2;

        // calculate the angle on the arc this page should be turned to
        var offsetAngle = per < 0 ? offsetIndex - per - 1 : offsetIndex - per + 1;

        // calculate the x coordinate based on the offsetAngle
        var tarX = 5 * Math.cos(degToRad(offsetAngle * ANGLE_PER_PAGE + 10));

        // calculate the z coordinate based on the offsetAngle
        var tarZ = 5 * Math.sin(degToRad(offsetAngle * ANGLE_PER_PAGE + 10));

        // position the page
        $(this).css('transform', 'translateX(' + tarX.toFixed(3) + 'px) translateZ(' + tarZ.toFixed(3) + 'px)');
    });
}

This technique helped to clear up most of the depth-sorting issues, but not all of them. Further optimization really relies on the browser vendors. Safari seems to have things worked out on both desktop and mobile. Chrome Stable struggles a bit, but the latest Canary works wonderfully. Firefox does a fine job but suffers from slow frame rates. It’s a tough battle to win right now.

Takeaway #3: Vector Space Is Tricky But Useful

Building the pop-ups was by far the most difficult aspect of the project, but also the most satisfying. Other pop-up books have been built on the Web, but I’m unaware of any that use realistic pop-up mechanics. This is with good reason — achieving it is deceptively complex.

The magic of programming pop-up mechanics lies in the calculation of vector space. A vector is essentially a line. Knowing the lengths and directions of lines enables us to perform operations on them. Of particular use when building pop-ups is the vector cross product, which is the line that runs perpendicular to two other lines in 3D space.

The cross product is important because it determines the upward rotation of each pop-up piece. I’ll spare you the headache of play-by-play calculations (you can view the math below if you’re really interested). Instead, let’s try a visual representation.


The vector cross product in action.

We start by determining two points where each pop-up piece touches the page within 3D space. Those points are used to define a vector for each pop-up piece (the red lines). Using those vectors, we can calculate their cross product (the blue line), which is essentially the line at which a physical pop-up folds in half. Rotating each piece up to the cross product then gives us perfectly aligned pop-ups!

This is not exactly easy math in my opinion, but it is extremely useful. If you’re interested in playing with vectors, I strongly recommend Sylvester. It really simplifies vector math.

function setFold() {
    var points = [];

    // origin
    points[0] = [0, 0, 0];

    var adj = Math.sqrt(Math.pow(POPUP_WIDTH, 2) - Math.pow(POPUP_WIDTH * Math.sin(degToRad(-15)), 2));

    // left piece: bottom outside
    points[1] = [-adj * Math.cos(degToRad(-180 * fold)), adj * Math.sin(degToRad(-180 * fold)), POPUP_WIDTH * Math.sin(degToRad(-15))];

    // right piece: bottom outside
    points[2] = [adj * Math.cos(degToRad(-180 * 0)), POPUP_WIDTH * Math.sin(degToRad(-180 * 0)), POPUP_WIDTH * Math.sin(degToRad(-15))];

    // left piece: top inside
    points[3] = [-POPUP_WIDTH * Math.cos(degToRad((-180 * fold) - 90)), POPUP_WIDTH * Math.sin(degToRad((-180 * fold) - 90)), 0];

    var len = Math.sqrt(Math.pow(points[1][0], 2) + Math.pow(points[1][1], 2) + Math.pow(points[1][2], 2));

    // normalize the vectors
    var normV1 = $V([points[1][0] / len, points[1][1] / len, points[1][2] / len]);
    var normV2 = $V([points[2][0] / len, points[2][1] / len, points[2][2] / len]);
    var normV3 = $V([points[3][0] / len, points[3][1] / len, points[3][2] / len]);

    // calculate the cross vector
    var cross = normV1.cross(normV2);

    // calculate the cross vector's angle from vector 3
    var crossAngle = -radToDeg(cross.angleFrom(normV3)) - 90;

    // transform the shape
    graphic.css('transform', 'translateY(' + depth + 'px) rotateZ(' + zRot + 'deg) rotateX(' + crossAngle + 'deg)');
}

Takeaway #4: SVG Is Totally Tubular

I know, I know: you’ve heard the case for SVG before. Well, you’re going to hear it again. SVG is an incredible technology that works really well in 3D space. All of the illustrations on the Beercamp website were done in Illustrator and exported to SVG. This provided numerous benefits.

Benefit 1: Size

Because the pop-up pieces required large areas of transparency, the file-size savings of SVG were enormous. PNG equivalents would have been 200 to 300% larger than the uncompressed SVGs. However, we can reduce file size even more by exporting illustrations as SVGZ.

SVGZ is a compressed version of SVG that is incredibly small. In fact, the SVGZ files for Beercamp are up to 900% smaller than their PNG equivalents! Implementing them, though, requires some server configuration. This can be done easily with an .htaccess file:

AddType image/svg+xml svg svgz
AddEncoding gzip svgz

Benefit 2: Flexibility

The flexibility of SVG is perhaps its most highlighted benefit. The graphics on the Beercamp website are scaled in 3D space to fill the browser window. There are also hotspots on each page that allow the user to zoom in for more details. Because everything is handled with SVG, the illustrations remain crisp and clean regardless of how they’re manipulated in 3D space.


SVG files are inherently responsive.

Benefit 3: Self-Contained Animation

All of the SVGs on the Beercamp website are implemented as background images. This helps to keep the markup clean and allows images to be reused in multiple locations, such as with the pop-up pieces. However, this means we lose DOM access to each of the nodes. So, what if we need some animation on the background SVGs?

SVG allows us to define animations within the file itself. All of the pop-up images in the final Beercamp website are static, but an earlier version featured animated beer bubbles. To increase performance in some of the less-capable browsers, these were taken out. However, the SVG animations ran very smoothly in WebKit.

SVG animation gets less hype than its CSS cousin, but it’s just as capable. Within an element, we can add an animate node to specify typical animation settings: properties, values, start time, duration, repeat count, etc. Below is an excerpt from one of the Beercamp bubbles.

<circle fill="#fff" opacity=".4" clip-path="url(#right-mug-clip)" cx="896" cy="381" r="5">
    <animate attributeType="XML" attributeName="cx" from="890" to="881" begin="7s" dur="5s" repeatCount="indefinite" />
    <animate attributeType="XML" attributeName="cy" from="381" to="100" begin="7s" dur="5s" repeatCount="indefinite" />
</circle>

Takeaway #5: Experimentation Is Messy But Important

Now that the practical tidbits are out of the way, I’d like to say a word about experimentation.

It’s easy to get boxed in by the reality of developing websites that are responsive, cross-platform, cross-browser, gracefully degrading, semantically perfect, progressively enhanced, _______, _______ and _______ (space to fill in upcoming buzzwords). These techniques are useful on production websites to ensure reach and consistency, but they can also limit our creativity.

I’ll be the first to admit it: the Beercamp website is buggy. Browser support is limited, and usability could be improved. However, the website is an experiment. It’s meant to explore what’s possible, not satisfy what’s practical.

A dogma is emerging in our industry — and the buzzwords above are its doctrine. Experimentation enables us to think beyond that dogma. It’s a wonderful exercise that indulges our curiosity, polishes our talent and ultimately advances our industry. If you’re not experimenting in some capacity, you should be.

The State of CSS 3D

CSS 3D has yet to hit a tipping point. Browsers simply don’t support it well enough, but there is promise on the horizon. Mobile Safari, with its hardware acceleration, renders 3D transforms extremely fast and with very little depth-sorting issues. It’s only a matter of time until other manufacturers release stable implementations. It’ll be interesting to see how CSS 3D techniques hold up against other emerging technologies, such as WebGL.

Remember Flash? Me neither.

You’re Invited

By the way, Beercamp is being thrown by nclud at the Front-Trends Conference in Warsaw. If you’re headed to the conference, you should stop by and say hello!

Related Links

(al)

© Tom Giannattasio for Smashing Magazine, 2012.

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Material sample interpretations as simulations of macroscopically photographed nano-sculptures. The base for these enlarged tiny grown crystal structures are textile pattern, with two different levels of translation. One is the layer of color, where a scan of the textile is taken directly to color individual parts of the structure. The second layer is a translation of fabric weavings into three dimensional stacks of interlocked platonic bodies. Both layers are in an uneasy, off-set relation with each other. On a meta level, the simulation of photographed space seduces to imagine this setup as an existing material reality.

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Intelligent particles, the size of dust grains, are programmed to fill nonexistent shapes (the mathematical problem of geometry packing). The "know" their relative position inside the imaginary form (i.e. distance from hull or center) and take on a color relative to it.

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Back from Perpignan and another great visit to Visa Pour l’Image… obviously a lot of  fun was had and it did hurt a bit looking at my bank balance this morning …but it was also a productive week or so in terms of showing work and meeting editors….and educational having sat through several photographers’ talks…Chris Morris and Gary Knight to mention just a couple…But if there are two words that really sum up Visa Pour l’Image 2011 for me, they are exhaustion and inspiration…Those were at least the two things on top of my mind landing back in London Monday evening… the late nights, early rises, and eventful days certainly took their toll…but you also get very inspired attending the evening screenings at Campo Santo or La Republique, looking at the exhibitions at places like Couvent de Minimes, showing and getting feedback for your work at Palais de Congress, or just talking shop with fellow photographers and other industry types over dinners in some of the many very fine restaurants or over drink at the famous La Poste…or just plain fooling around

photo: Barbara Davidson

My festival highlights in terms of looking at work were exhibition of Barbara Davidson’s Pulitzer winning work Caught in the Crossfire about innocent victims of LA gang warfare…and seeing Canon AFJ 2011 recipient Ilvy Njiokiktjien present a very well put-together multimedia version of her award winning series at the Canon stage…hope the video will be online soon somewhere, I’d love to be able to share it…

Before we look at the latest features, take a moment for this…

Fundraing for Anton Hammerl’s (1969-2011)  3 children…

Friends of Anton | related on BJP

It was unfortunate there was no tribute to Anton during Visa evening screenings as there were for Lucas Dolega, Chris Hondros, and Tim Hetherington,  apparently because Hammerl’s photos had not been released for free due to a misunderstanding (this according to BJP’s Olivier Laurent) …

Features and Essays 

Tenth anniversary of 9/11 in a few days…

Chris Anderson has a great video piece called Ten Years Later on the New Yorker Photo Booth…too bad the stills portfolio only shows 9 frames and doesn’t include some of my favourite stills seen in the video, including the below one…

Christopher Anderson: Ten Years Later | recommended video (The New Yorker: September 2011)

TIME have a gallery of some of James Nachtwey’s well-known as well as previously unpublished 9/11 photos up on Lightbox…

James Nachtwey: Revisiting 9/11: Unpublished Photographs (TIME LB: September 2011)

Damon Winter: The Sky Cowboys (NYT: September 2011) Related on NYT Lens | Related on NYT Mag 6th blog

Jason Eskenazi: Vanishing Points at Ground Zero (New Yorker: September 2011)

Stephane Sednaoui: 9/11 Search and Rescue (TIME LB: September 2011)

Newsweek: Ten Year Later (Newsweek: September 2011)

Libya…

Moises Saman: Migrants Face the Suspicions and Wrath of Libyan Rebels (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Magnum: Libya (Slate: September 2011)

Surprised to see Ron Haviv’s been shooting with iPhone in Libya…stupidly Vanity Fair Italy have cropped them for their slideshow…

Ron Haviv: Libya (Vanity Fair Italy: August 2011)

Marco Salustro: Last Days of Gaddafi Regime (Photographer’s archive: September 2011)

New features on Haviv’s agency’s site… VII Photo were celebrating theirs tenth anniversary in Perpignan…

Marcus Bleasdale: South African Farm Workers (VII: September 2011)

Ed Kashi: Turkey (VII: September 2011)

Eric Bouvet: Bab al-Aziziya (VII Network: September 2011)

Peter diCampo: The Pajarito Mesa – An Energy Case Study (VII Mentor: September 2011)

Another VII Mentor program photographer, Erin Trieb,  had work on the New Yorker’s Photo Booth… Hipstas…

Erin Trieb: New York Meets Hurricane Irene (New Yorker: August 2011)

Christopher Morris: Beatus (Photographer’s Vimeo: August 2011)

Yuri Kozyrev: The Light of Caucasus (TIME LB: September 2011)

Robert Nickelsberg: Postcard from Brooklyn: Celebrating Eid (The New Yorker: September 2011)

Terrific Perpignan coverage on the NYT Lens blog courtesy of Mr James Estrin….All three below were exhibited at Visa Pour l’Image…

Walter Astrada: Violence Against Women (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Was great to see Shaul Schwarz’s Narco Culture project exhibited… Big fan of the work…I had the opportunity to attend Getty Reportage photographers’ meeting being part of the Emerging Talent, and Shaul showed us the trailer for the feature documentary…Very much looking forward to it…

Shaul Schwarz: Narco Culture (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Jocelyn Bain Hogg: Candid Moments From the British Underworld (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Jonathan Saruk on Reportage site with another not so obvious Kabul subject…the last one was Kabul cinemas if you don’t remember…

Jonathan Saruk: Driving Schools in Kabul (Reportage by Getty Images: September 2011)

Gianmarco Maraviglia: Egypt – A Country in Between (Parallelo Zero: 2011)

Lee Friedlander: America By Car (Guardian: September 2011)

Patrick Smith: Leisure Territories (TIME LB: September 2011)

Daria Tuminas: Ivan and the Moon (Firecracker: September 2011)

Human Endeavour: Degeneration (Foto8: September 2011) Human Endeavour website

Sean Gallagher: The Panda’s Forest (The Atlantic: August 2011)

Interviews

James Nachtwey on 9/11…

James Nachtwey : on 9/11 (TIME: September 2011) video and interview by Marco Grob as part of Beyond 9/11 : Portraits of Resilience 

Lynsey Addario was on CNN on talking about working in Somalia on a recent assignment for Newsweek…(thanks to @tammydavid for pointing me to this piece)

Lynsey Addario (CNN: September 2011)

Great Visa coverage by British Journal of Photography’s La Poste desk…aka Mr Scoop aka Olivier Laurent…here are some of the interviews…

Barbara Davidson : From the Pulitzer to Perpignan (BJP: September 2011)

More on Shaul Schwarz’ and his Narco Culture project…

Shaul Schwarz (BJP: September 2011)

Aidan Sullivan : “The Getty Grants have become a lifeline for photojournalists” (BJP: September 2011)

Stanley Greene (BJP: September 2011)

Yuri Kozyrev : Visa Pour l’Image 2011 (Euronews: September 2011)

Ed Ou : Winner of City of Perpignan Young Reporter Award 2011  (TIME LB: September 2011)

Mike Kamber  : ” I want to carry on the legacy (takepart.com: 2011)

Sebastian Liste (La Lettre: September 2011)

Ron Haviv : Freelance in a World at Risk (1998) (Youtube)

Eirik Johnson (Youtube)

Ed Kashi : Eye-to-eye (NYT Lens: August 2011)

Donovan Wylie (National Medium Museum Vimeo: 2011)

Antoine d’Agata (Vimeo)

‘This Is What I Do. This Is All That I Know.” – Joao Silva

Part of NYT Lens’ Visa coverage…Joao Silva had a show of his Afghanistan work…

Joao Silva (NYT Lens: August 2011)

My favourite frame of Silva’s exhibition made me think of  other  photos I’ve seen of the B52 trails in the Afghan skies…photos which kind of seem to sum up and symbolise for me the long term foreign influence in the country…Of course the US and its allies have been in Afghanistan for 10 years with tens of thousands of boots on the ground…but when you think longer term…How will the last ten years of fight against the Taliban be seen in 20 years… 30 years… or 50 years? With US and its allies planning to reduce their presence in the country, will this most most recent war in Afghanistan be seen just as ‘a 10 years-or-so long in-and-out bomber round’? What has really been achieved?

Below Silva’s frame side-by-side Anderson’s, Knight’s, and Boulat’s…

Two more interviews…

Simon Norfolk (Institute: 2011)

Shannon Stapleton (Reuters blog: 2011)

Articles

Visa news….

Well deserved award for Kozyrev…

BJP: Yuri Kozyrev wins Visa d’Or award

I think Peter Dench nails the Perpignan experience with these videos…

Hungry Eye TV: The Dench Diary at Visa Pour l’Image Day 1 /  Day 2 /Day 3 / Day 4/ Day 5 / Day 6 (Hungry Eye: September 2011)

Visa Pour l’Image: Oliver Jobard Visa d’or Feature Award winner (festival website: September 2011)

Panos Pictures blog: Shiho Fukada Daily Press award at Visa (Panos blog: September 2011)

La Lettre: Guillaume Herbaut : Prix Webdocumentaire 2011 (La Lettre: September 2011)

Getty: Editorial Grants winners (Getty: September 2011)

NYT: Peacekeepers in Somalia Fire on Car, Leaving a Journalist Dead (NYT: September 2011)

photo: James Nachtwey

Life.com: They Were There: 9/11 Photographers (Life.com: September 2011) Related: All life.com’s September 11  galleries

Guardian: The meaning of 9/11′s most controversial photo Thomas Hoepker’s photo of New Yorkers apparently relaxing as the twin towers smoulder says much about history and memory (Guardian: September 2011)

The former executive editor of The New York Times, Bill Keller reassesses his Iraq war support…

photo: Alexandra Boulat

Bill Keller: My Unfinished 9/11 Business (NYT Mag: September 2011)

Tom Junod in Esquire on one of the most iconic 9/11 photographs…

Tom Junod: The Falling Man (Esquire: September 2011)

photo: Sebastian Meyer

BJP: Listening in: The use of audio in photography (BJP: 2011)

10b Photography is a post-production lab in Rome with a very  impressive client list … there’s an interesting piece on their website on the lab’s ethics….

photo: Yuri Kozurev / NOOR . Digital Imaging by 10b Photography

10b Photography: Ethics (10 Photography website)

Errol Morris’ book Seeing is Believing review on New York Times…

NYT: Errol Morris Looks for the Truth in Photography (NYT: September 2011)

NYT Lens: ‘Where Is the Front Page in Cyberspace?’ (NYT Lens: September 2011)

NYT: When the Camera Takes Over for the Eye (NYT: September 2011)

NYT: One Eye on the Door, the Other on His Photography (NYT: September 2011)

CPN: Photographers for Hope (CPN: 2011)

La Lettre: James Nachtwey leaves VII (La Lettre: September 2011)

Guardian: Featured Photojournalist: Jorge Guerrero (Guardian: September 2011)

Magnum: Steve McCurry is the first winner of the newly created Leica Hall of Fame Award (Magnum: September 2011)

“Is photojournalism dead? NO – it’s alive and kicking!”  - Tom Stoddart

Getty Images blog: Visa Pour l’Image (Getty blog: August 2011)

David Campbell: Thinking Images v.21: Seeing the dead (DC blog: September 2011)

Want an overview of the challenges facing photojournalism in the new media economy? See Campbell’s back catalogue

Stephen Mayes and Tim Hetherington on war and sexuality…

Stephen Mayes and Tim Hetherington: Theatre of War or ‘La Petite Mort’ (pdf)  (DC blog: 2011) related

Guardian: The head of photography on… picture manipulation and trust in news imagery Acceptable uses of Photoshop in the Guardian and Grazia (Guardian: September 2011)

Verve: Benjamin Rasmussen (Verve Photo: September 2011)

The Atlantic: The Freelance Surge Is the Industrial Revolution of Our Time (The Atlantic: 2011)

Apps

British Journal of Photography releases iPad App.. I had a chance to see it at Visa and I have to say it does look good!

Info on the magazine’s website: British Journal of Photography comes to the iPad

Sneak preview here

In iTunes Store

The BJP app promises to give  ” readers the highlight features of our print editions together with extra features, photos and a raft of new multimedia and video content, including a moving image cover created by New York-based artists Reed+Rader. “

Issue #1, available free from 7 September, includes:  Exclusive interviews with celebrated portrait photographer Anton Corbijn and acclaimed German film director Wim Wenders on the relationship between still and motion images;  Five photographers, including Tim Walker and Zed Nelson, discuss their first adventures in filmmaking; A special report on the role of photojournalism since 9/11 Q&A with legendary South African photographer David Goldblatt etc. etc..

Reuters is also coming out with their own app for the App…

Reuters: The Wider Image

Also…

Greenpeace releases photography app

Light It Magazine

Awards, Grants, and Competitions

Tim Hetherington Grant by World Press Photo | related on BJP

The PhotoPhilantrophy Activist Award

Aaron Siskind 2011 Individual Photographer’s Fellowships

NGM Photo Contest

College Photographer of the Year

Agencies

Happy 4th Anniversary to NOOR

photo: Robert Christina / Nikon Europe

Institute for Artist Management : Motion page

Crowd funding

Laura El-Tantawy : I’ll Die For You: suicide in rural India (Kickstarter)

Mariella Furrer  : My Piece of Sky: Memories of Child Sexual Abuse (Kickstarter)

Pete Brook : ’Prison Photography’ on the Road: Stories Behind the Photos (Kickstarter)

Blogs

TIME Lightbox Tumblr

Jobs

PDN is hiring a Managing Editor

Senior Technician at Bournemouth

Photographers

Ilvy Njiokiktjien

Nadav Neuhaus

Natasha Fillion

Monique Jaques

Rafael Fabres

Jonathan Saruk

Maximiliano Braun

Allison Shelley

Jonathan Lewis

Gordon Welters

James Chance

Stephen Kosloff

Michael Barrientos

Daphne Plomp

Books and Exhibitions

Michelle Sank : The Submerged : Hot Shoe Gallery : PV 8 September 1830-2100 :  Book published by Schilt Publishing

To finish off…

Portrait photographer charging by weight

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Maps are beautiful and misleading abstractions of a landscape that looks incomparably different when I am physically standing in it. Based on maps and my limited knowledge of Tottori, I had planned to travel along its rivers to experience a sort of reverse evolution, from contemporary architecture and industry at seaside cities, going deeper inland through rice-fields and small villages, where a relaxed traditional lifestyle still exists, and finally reaching the source area of ancient, untouched nature.

Thirty or forty-five kilometres depending where I start counting this is the length of the Sendai River. I spent three weeks and 1000 km on a scooter up and down the roads along its riverbank. An endless number of water-courses comprise the canopy of Sendai-gawa. The river rushes through a series of forking branches, faithfully mirrored by narrowing roads running along it, that lose traffic to finally disappear into a tunnel. It is not so easy to follow the Sendai in the maze of such intersections. Impossible to tell which is the main stream I often ended up in a dead end.

My preconceptions failed me. Japan is criss-crossed by lines and tracks of human presence. The long isolation made the island a more or less controlled garden. The coast is inevitably developed, but the other extreme is nowhere to be found. No matter how high I climbed along the creeks, I could not find the desired untouched nature. A concrete dam, a bridge, loose power-lines, or trashed umbrellas always reminded me that this is inhabited land. Even the cedar forests were systematically planted in the Edo age. So I tried to focus on the gardeners, Japanese people who are rarely visible on the maps. Pointing my camera towards any given part of the landscape, someone soon walked into the picture, to perfect Bonsai-land.

When taking the pictures I aimed for this artificial naturalness. My players to whom I owe my thanks, are actors of Bird Theatre in Shikano, and their relatives. They play japanese people, thus themeselves, pleasing me, the foreigner. These fake images - when mixed amidst the ones of original scenery, which were not altered by me - may help to discover the intendedness and meretriciousness of the latter, that seemed so specific of Japan.

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