Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Metadata Leads to Meta-Blunder at Washington Post

It seems that at the Washington Post, they still haven't quite gotten the hang of this Internet thing.

Apparently the Post's online site posted a story about a 21 year old hacker who plants adware on people's computers. He agreed to talk to the newspaper if they would give him anonymity, which it did. However, they had a photographer talking photographs of the hacker and apparently she inadvertently included location information in the metadata of the digital photograph files. The photographs were supposed to conceal the hacker's identity.

When the geeks on Slashdot found out about the story, some enterprising uber-geeks went about trying to decipher the metadata and identify the hacker and his location.

They apparently pinpointed the hacker's location to a small town in Oklahoma.

The Washington Post has since pulled the photos from its site. But the damage has already been done. The authorities are probably closing in on the hacker right now.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Ansel

Ansel Adams, arguably the greatest photographer that ever lived, was born today, February 20, 1902.

His contribution to photography is legendary. His legacy will live forever, as will his amazing photographs.

Somebody Buy These Guys a Map

The Mainstream Media (better known as MSM in the blogosphere) needs to go back to Geography class–or at least Reporting 101.

Regarding the sale of Edward Steichen's "The Pond" photograph, which I wrote about here, for $2.9 million recently, making it the most expensive photograph ever sold at auction, MSM needs to get their geography straight.

Most news reports, including The New York Times, New York Newsday and the Associated Press, identified the pond in the photograph as being on Long Island. The only problem is the pond actually is in Westchester County in Mamaroneck, New York. It is, however, near Long Island Sound, which could be where the confusion stems from.

If the MSM would only have read the auction catalog, they would not have made the fundamental mistake of getting the location wrong. According to the catalog:

The photograph was taken in the wetlands around Mamaroneck, New York, on Long Island Sound, near the home of Charles H. Caffin.

Seems pretty straightforward to me.

The Westchester-based newspaper The Journal News has been trying to track down the exact location of the pond. After being first given some erroneous information, the paper finally located it–at least as best it could considering much of the area has changed since the photograph was taken.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Expensive, No?

What you're looking at is the most expensive photograph in the world.

Yes, it's true. The Metropolitan Museum of Art just sold this photo for $2.9 million, the highest price ever paid at auction for a photograph to date.

The photo, by Edward Steichen, is entitled "The Pond–Moonlight." It was shot in 1904. It was expected to sell for $1 million.

Not bad for a photo that technically sucks. But, it is a rare Steichen after all. The museum already had a print of "The Pond" in its collection and acquired a second one when it bought the Gilman Paper Co. collection in 2005. The photograph is considered rare because it is one of the first known photos to use the autochrome color process.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Vanity (Un)Fair to War Journalists

Vanity Fair may have a way with words (and that's a debatable point), but they apparently do not have a way with photographs. According to a posting on The Smoking Gun here, the magazine in its December 2005 issue manipulated a photo of a reunion of Vietnam-era war journalists to include former CNN journalist Peter Arnett, who wasn't actually there when the shot was taken.

The Smoking Gun correctly points out that Vanity Fair should have labeled the photo a composite, or a "photo illustration," which they didn't.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

It's Been Zeiss Knowing Ya

Apparently Carl Zeiss will be making its new ZF lenses for the Nikon at the Cosina factory in Japan.

In an article on Rob Galbraith's Digital Photography Insights site here, Zeiss says they will use Cosina to keep the cost of the lenses in line with traditional Nikon pricing and make them available to as many photographers as possible.

Too bad. There was hope for some great lenses, now that Nikon is ceasing production on most of its classic glass.