Posts Tagged ‘After’

Kodak will lay off 425 employees after reporting millions in losses

14 Nov

Kodak recently disclosed its third quarter fiscal results, revealing that it had a GAAP net loss of $ 46 million on $ 379 million in revenues during its Q3 2017. This marks a sharp downturn of fortunes for Kodak, which saw $ 12 million in net earnings during the same quarter last year. “An overall print market slowdown and rising aluminum costs have impacted our commercial print business,” explained Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke in a release.

Clarke went on to explain that Kodak is, “taking immediate actions to accelerate cost reduction and reduce investments to sharpen our focus as we continue to actively pursue changes to the Kodak product and divisional portfolio.” According to New York Upstate, “accelerate cost reduction” translates to the Eastman Kodak Company cutting 425 jobs.

The quarter had its upsides for Kodak, however, which reports that its Kodak Sonora Plates saw a 24% growth in Q3 and its Flexcel NX revenue grew 2% year-on-year. Overall, Kodak’s CFO David Bullwinkle said the company anticipates generating cash during Q4 2017. “We plan to improve our cash balance through reducing working capital and through cost actions,” Bullwinkle explained, “including focusing investments in technologies most likely to deliver near-term returns.”

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Faker exposed after convincing top news media he was a war photographer for two years

07 Sep

Over 100,000 Instagram users and some of the world’s best known media organizations were fooled for over two years by someone pretending to be a front-line war photographer. The entire stranger-than-fiction story was revealed recently by BBC Brazil after a lengthy investigation.

According to the BBC’s report, so-called ‘Eduardo Martins’ posed as a Brazilian UN photographer by using a collection of images stolen from other photographers’ websites and from news organizations. Stealing with care he built a body of striking work that brought him to the attention of BBC Brazil, Al Jazeera, the Wall Street Journal, Getty Images and many others, and amassed him over 120,000 followers on Instagram.

‘Eduardo’ posted tear-sheets of his work in print and recounted stories of his encounters and ‘humanity’ in the face of chaotic and violent scenes. He was able to keep the ruse going by never speaking to anyone in person, and sending only recorded or emailed messages. His photographs were placed with Getty Images and tales of his exploits made print with some of the world’s biggest newspapers.

An interviewer at the BBC became suspicious, however, and started to ask questions that revealed other Brazilian war photographers working in the same zones had no idea who Eduardo was. As the war correspondent community is tight knit and journalists in conflict zones inevitably know one another, alarm bells began to ring.

Enquiries with the UN also established that no one with that name was on its books as a photographer, and that neither were other UN photographer friends that Martins referred to—including some that Martins mourned in his posts after they were ‘killed’. Amazingly the UN even followed him on Instagram.

Pictures from the Facebook page of photographer Ignacio Aronovich that demonstrate how Martins manipulated photographs belonging to Daniel C. Britt to disguise them from image recognition software.

It turns out the profile picture Martins used was of a UK surfer called Max Hepworth-Povey, and that the images Martins posted, distributed to news outlets and supplied for his interviews were stolen from other photographers. The images were often flipped, cropped and manipulated to disguise them from automated visual-matching services so Martins could pass them off as his own.

His technique became clear when a photographer noted that other photographers in a picture credited to Martins were holding cameras with the shutter release on the left hand side of the body instead of the right.

As news of suspicions got back to Martins via a photographer he corresponded with online he disappeared, deleting his Instagram account and shutting down the phone number he used for Whatsapp messaging. His last message said he was planning to tour Australia in a van for a year and to cut communication with the world.

Whether Eduardo is a man or a woman, or even owns a camera at all, remains unclear—and indeed whether he/she is even from Brazil and is or isn’t currently in Australia. These things may never be known, but the story does raise questions about how well news organizations vet their contributors and interviewees.

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Lensrentals shares photos of destroyed camera gear they got back after the eclipse

02 Sep

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Our friends over at Lensrentals shared an entertaining-if-a-bit-depressing post today: rental camera gear destroyed during the solar eclipse of 2017. It seems that, despite plenty of warnings from other websites and Lensrentals itself leading up to the incredible celestial phenomenon, not everybody got the message that you always need to use a solar filter to shoot the eclipse.

As such, Lenrentals got back everything from melted aperture systems, to burned shutters, to a fried mirror—ostensibly because people were shooting in live view.

LR is careful to specify that they actually got very few damaged units back given just how much gear they rented ahead of the eclipse, and that this post is meant to entertain not criticize:

“Please keep in mind, this post is for your entertainment, and not to be critical of our fantastic customer base,” writes Zach Sutton. “With this being the first solar eclipse for Lensrentals, we didn’t know what to expect and were surprised with how little of our gear came back damaged.”

So, entertain away. You can see a few of the images in the gallery above, or visit the full Lensrentals blog post for more pictures and descriptions of the damage the sun can do to expensive camera gear when you’re not properly equipped to shoot it.

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Photographers face three felonies after climbing bridge for cityscape shot

01 Sep
Benjamin Franklin Bridge at night by Jeffrey Phillips Freeman

Breaking the law to get the perfect shot can have serious legal consequences, a harsh reality currently facing photographers Martin J. Romero-Clark and Andrew Lillibridge, who were arrested after climbing onto the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia.

According to local news site, police received an alert at 12:50AM on July 25th about a potential jumper on top of the bridge; this prompted a response from the Philadelphia Police marine units, port authority police, and the Philadelphia Fire Department. Upon arriving at the scene, authorities reportedly discovered the two photographers with camera gear. By the time the two were arrested at 1:20AM, the incident had drawn 36 firefighters, eight port authority officers, and seven port authority rescuers.

Statements from authorities to local news indicate that the photographers’ climb onto the bridge had tripped security alarms and was captured on security cameras. In addition, the bridge had to be shut down for 103 minutes.

In a statement to, Delaware River Port Authority CEO John Hanson said the two had worn black clothing and climbed the bridge on a wet night, putting both themselves and everyone on the ground at risk. “They could have fallen, they could have been injured in the process of apprehending them, and they put the heroic men and women of our police department and the Philadelphia Fire Department at risk,” Hanson said. “We’re going to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. I am not amused, and I am very angry.”

The pair now face two third-degree felonies, one fourth-degree felony, and their photography equipment has been confiscated.

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Photo of the week: Drone portraits bring healing and awareness after wildfire

19 Aug

On November 23, 2016, a fire started along the Chimney Tops 2 that would spread throughout Gatlinburg and become the worst fire in Tennessee of the last 100 years. It claimed 14 lives and over 2,000 homes and businesses.

As the devastation became apparent, I had an idea to use my camera to bring healing and awareness to the region’s victims in a series of photos. From December 14-20, 2016, I photographed as many individuals and families as I could. There were already lots of photographers and drone enthusiasts there but I don’t find that more cameras help in times of need. There has to be a specific idea or angle to tell the story in a different, emotionally-compelling way.

As story-tellers, we have to use the creative director parts of our minds to think differently.

So I had the idea to place a stark white mattress in the middle of these blackened, charred homes and then place the homeowners on the mattress and photograph it from a drone. I had never used drones before but I knew it was the right solution for this project. And I was hopeful that it would be a bit therapeutic for the homeowners to lay down one last time in their former home… a moment of quiet remembrance in a time of distress.

This is the very first photo I took for the project, a portrait of a new friend named Kirk Fleta. He’s a famous musician and had built his home himself, with his own hands.

We had him lay down and then started flying the drone. As soon as I took this first photo, I started crying. I’ve never cried in my entire career, upon seeing one of my images for the first time. But this one got me on every level. Not only was it a successful vision but it uniquely displayed Kirk’s loss and it seemed to represent such a vulnerable moment for him… the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one.

We used a variety of different drones and DSLRs to capture the aerial shots and portraits for the project, respectively. For this shot, we were using a DJI Inspire Pro (X5). You can see the entire project here.

Jeremy Cowart is an award-winning photographer, artist, and entrepreneur whose mission in life is to “explore the intersection of creativity and empathy.” His work ranges from celebrity portraiture to deeply personal projects like the Gatlinburg portraits. To see more of his work, visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

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Oldest known portrait of a US president unearthed after over 100 years in storage

18 Aug

The oldest known original photo of a U.S. president will go up for auction at Sotheby’s on October 5th, the auction house has revealed. The daguerreotype is a black and white silver-plate portrait of John Quincy Adams, who is featured sitting in a chair as a Massachusetts congressman following his term as president.

The photo was originally gifted by Adams to Vermont congressman Horace Everett, who remained in possession of the photo until the time of his death.

Though the photo had remained at Everett’s house since it was first gifted to the congressman, it was only recently realized to be a photo of Adams. The image was taken by photographer Philip Haas in Washington DC, according to journal entries made by Adams, who described visiting the photographer’s studio twice in March of 1843. The previous oldest original portrait of a president was also of Adams, taken only a handful of months later in August 1843.

The back of the framed portrait features Everett’s name, as well as the initials ‘J. Q. Adams,’ the date ‘Feb. 1843,’ and a bookplate that reads, ‘Presented by J.Q.A to his Kinsman H.E. 1843.’ The auction house has the portrait listed with an estimated sale price of $ 150,000 to $ 250,000.

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Photographer Bill Frakes loses university position after sexual harassment report

12 Aug

Photographer Bill Frakes, whose career has included shooting for the likes of Sports Illustrated and Coca-Cola, has been removed from his position as visiting professor at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The decision was made by the university after it judged that a report claiming sexual harassment against Frakes was credible. News of the allegations first surfaced in documents obtained by The World-Herald.

University of Nebraska spokesman Steve Smith confirmed the report to PDN, saying Frakes was originally appointed to teach through the Fall semester, but that following the university’s decision, “Prof. Frakes is not teaching any courses at Nebraska this Fall.” Additional details weren’t provided for the sake of privacy.

The matter revolves around a report filed by student Calla Kessler. According to those who have viewed the leaked documents, Frakes was accused of violating university sexual harassment policies by commenting on female students’ bodies and clothing, as well as calling female editors “bit***s” and browsing photos of “scantily clad” women using his phone while in a car that contained female students. His actions are said to have only applied to women, not men.

In addition, Frakes was accused of making threats to students that included the ability to “end their careers” and advising that students shouldn’t “piss [him] off.” The university reportedly corroborated the accusations with other witnesses to these alleged actions and statements. Following the investigation, UNL decided to remove Frakes from his role as visiting professor.

For his part, Frakes has remained silent on the matter, stating the confidential nature of the proceedings. “The final hearing has not taken place,” he told PDN. “The university has directed the process be confidential, and I intend to honor that request.” Though he didn’t offer any further statements on the matter, he did reveal that he is appealing the university’s decision.

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Photographer behind famous ‘monkey selfie’ is broke after years-long copyright battle

14 Jul
The infamous photo, captured when the monkey pressed the shutter, has become the subject of a years-long copyright dispute that has left Slater broke. Photo: David Slater

Freelance photographer David Slater, once one of the most talked-about photographers in the world because of his serendipitous ‘monkey selfies,’ is now considering dog walking… or giving tennis lessons. According to The Guardian, the selfsame selfie that made Slater famous has left him broke after years of legal disputes between Slater and both Wikimedia and PETA.

In case you’ve not been following this strangest of copyright battles, the details are as follows. In 2011, Slater traveled to Sulawesi, Indonesia where, by his account, he managed to coax some macaques to start playing with his camera gear. Slater did this on purpose, he says, because he was having trouble getting a close up wide-angle shot of the monkeys with their eyes open.

His gambit worked. One of the macaques took a few ‘selfies’ that immediately went viral, earning Slater a few thousand pounds… then the legal troubles started.

Wikimedia refused to take down the photo at Slater’s request, claiming that he wasn’t the copyright holder since he didn’t press the shutter. Then the US Copyright Office ruled that animals cannot own copyrights, leaving the photo ostensibly author-less. And finally, since Slater continues to claim copyright, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sued him on behalf of the macaque in 2015.

That pretty much brings us to yesterday’s article in The Guardian, in which Slater admits that years of legal battles have left him broke and ready to ‘pack it all in.’ He couldn’t even afford the airfare to attend his own trial in San Francisco this week—instead, he watched a livestream of the trial from his home in the UK.

Slater’s current predicament isn’t just a cautionary tale for photographers who dream of going viral, it offers fascinating insights into the archaic laws surrounding authorship and copyright. Of course, the idea that this case might prevent future photographers from going through something similar is probably small consolation for Slater at this junction.

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Panono no more: 360-degree camera maker sold after ‘amazing but also exhausting journey’

05 Jul
Jonas Pfeil demonstrates the size and design differences between the working prototype Panono camera (right) and the design model of the final production unit (left). In a letter to backers he has confirmed that the company is to be sold, after only delivering around 400 cameras.

It’s official: Panono, maker of an innovative 360-degree camera, is to be sold after only managing to deliver around 400 cameras to its backers. The company filed for bankrupcy in May, but in a letter to backers, co-founder Jonas Pfeil has confirmed that the sale of Panono’s assets is expected to be finalized very soon.

As he explains, ‘assets’ in this context means ‘inventory, software, the rights to the hardware, almost all employee contracts, IP rights etc., […] but not the obligations towards external parties’. External parties like the Indiegogo backers that funded the Panono camera. In other words: if you backed Panono and you didn’t get your camera yet, you’re officially out of luck.

Thanking backers for their support and understanding, Pfeil called the experience ‘an amazing but also exhausting journey’. He stressed that, as shareholders, ‘the [outgoing] founders will […] not profit from this sale, as the money will be used by the insolvency administrator to pay outstanding invoices and other debt first.’

Meanwhile, there’s some good news for the 400 or so backers that did get their cameras – after some initial uncertainty, it seems that the cloud service supporting the device will continue to be maintained.

We really liked the Panono when we tested it last year, and we’re sorry to see it go. Were you one of the backers? Did you receive a camera? We’d like to hear from you.

Read our review of the Panono 360-degree camera (July 2016)

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So much for that idea: Swiss village lifts photography ban after story goes viral

03 Jun

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Just days after ‘banning’ photography, the Swiss village of Bergüm has, not surprisingly, reversed course. In a bizarre video, the mayor of Bergüm states that ‘until the ban on photography is officially lifted, everyone with a camera will be given a friendly special permit.’

The video leaves little doubt that the whole thing was a PR stunt, with Mayor Peter Nicolay proclaiming ‘the beauty of our village has become world-famous thanks to our friendly photography ban.’ Judging by how quickly the story spread, the stunt worked exactly as planned.

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