gill moore photography

Monthly Archive for March, 2008

Photography rights grabs, erosion of freedom, the fightback begins and blogging helps

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In an effort to hold back the tide of rights-grab photographic competitions and to educate those that unwittingly enter them, Pro-Imaging (a UK-based photographers organisation and discussion list) has recently launched a campaign of naming and shaming.  Anyone can submit to the PI website the name of a competition they feel is unfair and PI in turn will investigate.
They have drawn up a Bill of Rights which lists how they feel a photo-competition should be run.   This will be used as a basis to check the Rules of Entry and Terms and Conditions of various submitted competitions.  Already given a black mark are some household names; Adobe, Nikon, Canon, National Geographic, Panasonic and the UK Government … so it seems no-one is too large to be spared.
The campaign has gained a great deal of support on the web and in print, this week the British Journal of Photography reported a recent success of changed T&C’s as a direct result of the PI campaign.
A campaign such as this can only highlight the power of the internet with websites and blogs being a fantastic method of galvanising far-flung individuals who share a common interest and giving them a sense of community and a powerful voice.  Quite by brilliant coincidence the manchesterphotography blog has a great link to an article in the Times which discusses why we need to hang on to our freedom.
This ties in nicely with another big issue gaining much debate at the moment, that of photographers rights to take images in public places.  Ignited in a big way by the Metropolitan Police’s rather provocative campaign asking the general public to become their eyes and ears.  See the posters below, first is the original and underneath a rather humerous counter created by EPUK , another internet-based organisation whose membership is mostly editorial photographers.  See more on their campaign here and here.
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As if that wasn’t enough for you, check out this link.  Here we have a rather misguided and ill-informed Community Support Officer tackling an innocent street photographer in London recently.  
 

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Deutsche Borse Prize 2008; Esko Mannikko, John Davies, Jacob Holdt, Fazal Sheikh.

For anyone who wants a look at the four shortlisted candidates for the Deutsche Borse Prize 2008 then trundle over here click on the gallery view and there are a selection of thumbnails from each of the finalists’ images plus a short biography. Thanks to lensculture.com for a great bit of work.  The eventual winner, announced on 5 March 2008, was Esko Mannikko from Finland for his retrospective exhibition shown at Millesgarden, Stockhom entitled “Cocktails 1990-2007″.  
Two images from the winning exhibition are below.  
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“I am a photographer of fish, dogs and old men”, Männikkö once said. Bringing to attention stories which carry a universal poignancy, Männikkö shows us a world where animals, objects and people are all portrayed and treated with the same mutual respect and childlike wonder.
The three other nominated artists were: 
John Davies (UK) for his exhibition “The British Landscape” at Bradford National Media Museum.  He uses panoramic black and white photography to document the changing post-industrial landscape of Britain between 1979-2005.
Jacob Holdt (Denmark) for “United States 1970-1975″ a book which documents the lives of people he met whilst hitchhiking across the USA.  
Fazal Sheikh (USA) for the publication “Ladli” which seeks to examine the enduring prejudices against women in contemporary Indian Society.
For further information on the prize click here.  All shortlisted work can be seen until April 5th 2008 at the Photograpers’ Gallery, London.  Click here to go to their home site.

Two cycle schemes trying to make a difference: “Ciclovia” in Bogota and the “Velib” in Paris.

Well, it seems cycling has been deemed newsworthy in the UK at last. Naughty David Cameron has been found running a red light and going the wrong way down a one-way street on his bike. Something I would never do of course.
In an effort to balance out this negative press I urge you to take a look at this link: www.streetfilms.org/archives/lessons-from-bogota/ or click on the youTube image below.
It features a short film made all about an amazing scheme called “ciclovia” in Bogota where the usually car-laden streets are given over to pedestrians and cyclists every Sunday. It has been a massive success and shows how an area can be transformed if designers put community needs at the heart of things.
The film was made by a non-profit group aiming to reclaim New York back for its people. They want to improve the quality of life and make the streets safer for all New Yorkers; pedestrians and bicycles, skaters, rollerbladers, in fact any non-vehicular modes of transport. Via their website they provide evidence to back their case and a platform for discussion and dialogue on the issue: www.streetfilms.org.
Most people do agree that we must find alternatives to the car. Ideally, we want easy, cheap, practical and acceptable modes of transport. The rise of cycling in London has been dramatic since 2000 with a reported 83% increase in journey’s by bike. It shows the desire is there to use pedal power but conditions need to be right to make it happen and attitudes need to change.
In August last year Paris introduced a scheme called “Velib”, 20,000 bikes were dotted around 750 sites within the city centre for anyone to hire. One must purchase either a subscription (£20 for unlimited use all year) or pay per trip when the first half hour is free and then the cost is roughly a euro an hour. The system operates with either a pre-validated swipe card or the users credit card which then allows quick release of any bike from the bike’s locked collection points. Bikes do not have to be returned to the same spot.
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Use of the “Velib” has been high, with 1.6 million trips in the first month each bike being used roughly 30 times each day and that is despite many technical glitches suffered at the scheme’s start. The bikes also carry advertising space to subside some of the scheme’s costs. Using the bike as a portable marketing tool has encouraged advertisers to introduce schemes to Seville, Cordoba, Brussels and Vienna and is probably the most likely way a large scale scheme similar to the Parisian one may be brought to the UK.
Suprisingly, many of the Velib users are switchers from public transport rather than car-ditchers, so not quite the anticipated effect the French mayor had hoped for. However, it is still early days and has possibly started a slow sea change in opinion; the acceptance of the bike as a popular, even trendy, method of getting from A to B in a cosmopolitan and busy city. Could the UK be next to follow?

In need of inspiration try www.illustrationweb.com

If I could be born again it would be nice to be able to draw or to sing.  I love music and listen for hours quite easily and I satisfy my urge to appreciate great illustration by checking out this site periodically www.illustrationweb.com.  It is a neat and well designed website and contains some great work.  Here are a couple of my favourites.

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Jonathan Williams (www.jonathanwilliams.co.uk), a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art now lives and works ensconced in a furry parka to brave the wilds of Aberdeen, Scotland.  14 years of experience and award-winning to boot.
And below is work by London-based illustrator Claire Scully (www.thequietrevolution.co.uk), she has a wonderful style and an eye for the natural and modern worlds often blending the two together if needs be.
 
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Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2007, Charlie Crane & Laurie Hill.

Way back, on a cold January evening, I went along to the Bloomberg newcontemporaries 2007 exhibition at the Cornerhouse in Manchester, UK. The exhibition took up every bit of available space in all their galleries and even the stairwells. It is primarily a showcase for young UK artists to display their work and those chosen must be final year undergraduates or current postgraduates from UK colleges. As you can imagine there was a massive array of styles, medium and standards on show. Two artist’s work stood out for me:-
Charlie Crane’s colour photographs of Pyongyang “Welcome to Pyongyang”
charliecrane_1.jpg
This is probably my favourite shot “Koryo Hotel” from his series of 28 images, which was also made into a limited edition book published by Chris Boot. I find the colours, mood and composition utterly beautiful and transfixing. Tremendously memorable. Charlie has already won many awards and is probably familiar to many of you already, he lives and works in London, UK and his homesite is here.
The second talented artist I wanted to mention is Laurie Hill who had an animated story “My First Taste of Death” on show. In her own words it deals with … “The tormented offspring of half-remembered Hollywood adventure movies with a sting in its tail. Me and the boss discover Dodo island, I face a deadly struggle with my nemesis the demented sea scorpion and destruction looms when the terrible TRUTH is revealed.” It blends wonderful flowing animation and a strong narrative with a real feel for childhood imagination and wonder.
I have searched high and low for a stream of the animated piece shown at the gallery but I am afraid the best I came up with is these stills. Hopefully you can get a sense of the craft and individuality of the piece from the images but for the full effect I guess you must just see if you are lucky and can catch the work as it pops up around the world. At the moment it is showing as part of the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, USA. It has already been to London (UK), Utah (USA) and Manchester (UK). Check out here for further up to date listings and information on the director.

lauriehill.jpg


Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2007, Charlie Crane & Laurie Hill.

Way back, on a cold January evening, I went along to the Bloomberg newcontemporaries 2007 exhibition at the Cornerhouse in Manchester, UK. The exhibition took up every bit of available space in all their galleries and even the stairwells. It is primarily a showcase for young UK artists to display their work and those chosen must be final year undergraduates or current postgraduates from UK colleges. As you can imagine there was a massive array of styles, medium and standards on show. Two artist’s work stood out for me:-
Charlie Crane’s colour photographs of Pyongyang “Welcome to Pyongyang”
charliecrane_1.jpg
This is probably my favourite shot “Koryo Hotel” from his series of 28 images, which was also made into a limited edition book published by Chris Boot. I find the colours, mood and composition utterly beautiful and transfixing. Tremendously memorable. Charlie has already won many awards and is probably familiar to many of you already, he lives and works in London, UK and his homesite is here.
The second talented artist I wanted to mention is Laurie Hill who had an animated story “My First Taste of Death” on show. In her own words it deals with … “The tormented offspring of half-remembered Hollywood adventure movies with a sting in its tail. Me and the boss discover Dodo island, I face a deadly struggle with my nemesis the demented sea scorpion and destruction looms when the terrible TRUTH is revealed.” It blends wonderful flowing animation and a strong narrative with a real feel for childhood imagination and wonder.
I have searched high and low for a stream of the animated piece shown at the gallery but I am afraid the best I came up with is these stills. Hopefully you can get a sense of the craft and individuality of the piece from the images but for the full effect I guess you must just see if you are lucky and can catch the work as it pops up around the world. At the moment it is showing as part of the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, USA. It has already been to London (UK), Utah (USA) and Manchester (UK). Check out here for further up to date listings and information on the director.

lauriehill.jpg